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With or Without Memory

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Anzu was in duty that day and the only thing left to do was wiping the windows. The upper-side was too high for her to reach so she tip-toed a bit, but too bad she wasn’t careful enough. She slipped, eventually losing her balance.

She was falling.

It happened so fast she didn’t even get to process the situation. All she knew is that she was falling, all she thought is that she was going to die, and all she heard is that someone’s calling her name.

“ANZUUUUUU—!!”

The voice sounded familiar but she couldn’t hear the voice clearly because of the strong wind. Her eyes shutted tightly as she waited for the pain to come, but strangely enough it never did.

“Got you!” She could barely hear as a pair of hands caught her before she crashed to the ground.

“Ugh...” Anzu winced. It was a miracle that she was even alive. She still felt dizzy because of the fall but she was fine because her head landed on something soft. A person, a blue jacket. Anzu’s eyes shot open as she quickly looked up to find that she landed on Knights’ King, Tsukinaga Leo.

Her face turned pale when she noticed that Leo was unconscious.

Even worse, he was bleeding.

At that time her heart almost stopped.

The thought was really scary.

Fortunately, he was saved because she immediately called for help despite her wavering legs. She could never thank God enough. When Anzu visited him the next day she was relieved to see Leo looking healthy while joking around with his unit members. The others greeted her, yet the king furrowed his brows.

“Nice to see you here, Anzu-chan~” Arashi accepted the basket of fruits she brought. “Is your head okay?”

“Yes, Onee-chan. I’m not hurt at all... Thanks to Leo-san.”
Her eyes casted down. She still felt guilty, of course.

Everything happened because of her after all.

Arashi smiled as he patted her head, pushing her lightly to Leo.

“You’re late, Anzu.”

Anzu laughed awkwardly, “Sorry, Izumi-san. There is something I need to do at home.”

“If you let me know I can pick you up, Onee-sama!”

“Way to go, Succhan~” Ritsu whistled. “Although the truth is you just want to know her house.”

“R-RITSU-SENPAI!”

The room was lively but Leo didn’t say anything at all, he just stared at her while frowning. It bugged her. Usually, it was Leo who would greet her so excitedly first. Calling her name and asked her to do ucchuu with him. Anzu gulped before turning to Leo, trying to greet him with his signature pose.

“Ucchuu, Leo-san.”

Leo blinked.

“OHH!!!!! UWHAAHH, YOU SURPRISED ME THERE! YOU JUST DID UCCHU, DIDN’T YOU?” The orange-haired man chirped happily, replying her with his ucchuu. “Wahaha, I was wondering who are you but you’re interesting!!”

Anzu tensed.

“Eh—?”

“Hey, hey! What’s your name?”

The whole room turned silent.

Leo looked at the others in confusion, “What? What’s wrong with asking her name?? Don’t look at me like that! I’m not trying to flirt, you know!”

“It’s not that...” Ritsu spoke first. “You really don’t know her?”

Her heart sank.

Suddenly it was really hard to breathe.

“Ehh?” Leo started to ponder. “Ngggghhhh, sorry I try to dig my memory but I just don’t remember you at all. Have we met somewhere? Man, I’m really bad at remembering someone! So, what’s your name??”

“... Anzu.”

“Oh! Nice to meet you, Anzu!! Ucchuu~”

This time she didn’t respond to him. The atmosphere turned heavy as the rest of Knights just widened their eyes on him, making Leo frustrated. He didn’t know what is wrong at all. He was feeling oddly relieved when she saw her entered the room healthy and well, but there wasn’t any single memory in his head about the brunette in front of him.

Wasn't now their first meet?

“That kind of joke is not even funny, Leader. Stop it!”

“Ousama... I’m gonna get really mad at you if you don’t stop, you know?”

Anzu could only clench her hands.

She didn’t want to believe at all.

“What? Naru too!? Unnghhhhh, seriously guys what is it that I do wrong? I just asked a girl for her name? Why are you so surprised?” Leo scratched his head. “Ugh, now my head hurts so bad... Just tell me already.”

Izumi walked towards Leo, gripping his shoulders tightly until he winced a bit.

“Hey, this is not a joke... Do you really not remember Anzu?”

Please just say that it’s only a joke.

“... Am I supposed to remember her?”

At that moment, it was as if her whole world had stopped.

ooOOoo

Apparently because of the hard blow on his head, Leo had partial amnesia. A really heartbreaking one since it was only her whom he forgot. Other than that, his recovery skill was really amazing that he got discharged from hospital after three days and could go to school already. The rest of Knights suggested Anzu to spend more time with Leo. It wasn’t guaranteed, but triggering his memories about her is probably the most logical way.

“Don’t give up hope, Anzu.”

Izumi’s words encouraged her to keep accompanying Leo like how she usually did.

It was hard. Since her heart could only hurt every time she saw his face now. He had forgotten all of their precious memories, his youth which he had spent on her. It was probably the price. Her price for being careless and hurting him in her place, it was the punishment she deserved.

“Hey.”

Anzu jolted a bit as Leo’s voice brought her back to reality. Her head turned to find that he already stared at her sullenly.

“I’m sorry, okay? I just met you in the hospital but my heart always flutters at the sight of you, it’s funny. I don’t know why either but it’s really saddening me to see you look so down,” Leo said. “I’m sorry for not remembering you, I will try my best.... so, please don’t make such sad face. Okay, Anzu?”

Her tears spilled.

“U-UWHAAHH! DON’T CRY!!”

Leo panickly tried to stop her tears. He hesitated at first but this is the only thing he could think so he stroked her face and wiped the tears with his thumb. “I want to cry too if you cry like this, you know?” Leo smiled, “Come on smile, Anzu. I might not remember you, but I feel like I really like your smile~”

Anzu sniffed. The tears were still flowing, yet his smile calmed her heart.

“You’re right...” she smiled. “Thank you.”

She shouldn’t give up. He would definitely remember her. He must remember her.

“Mind to take a walk with me for a bit, Leo-san?”

ooOOoo

“This is the place where we first met,” Anzu said. “Do you remember anything?”

Green eyes scanned his surroundings as Anzu brought him to a nearby park. He shook his head, there was no special memory triggered in his mind regarding her. The place felt familiar to him, but it was probably because this place wasn’t that far from his residence.

Anzu smiled at him a bit disappointed, “Ah... I see. It’s okay, we’re just getting started!”

He felt terrible. He knew she forced a smile, but he couldn’t do anything about it.

“Look, you were making a fuss by yourself here at night when I found you.” Anzu pointed at the bench. “You just lost your smartphone and wallet, I honestly don’t know just how many times do you change your phone in a year. I sneaked behind you to check but then you noticed me. I told you that Knights had been searching for their leader and I was helping.”

Leo stared at Anzu’s smile as she reminisced the past. Their first meeting was a wreck but still a precious memory for her. She giggled, “You frantically searched for a place to write so I lent you my memo pad. Do you remember? You looked really happy back then.”

“Ngghhh...” Leo tried hard, but it was in vain. The furrow between his brows already told Anzu the answer before he could even say sorry.

Anzu bit the inside of her cheek. “Well, it was totally a coincidence that I could find you there anyway so it doesn’t really matter. Let’s just mov—”

“No!! I don’t think so, though?”

“Eh?”

“They asked for your help because no one could find me, right? But, you actually managed to find me even though you’ve never seen me before! Our meeting is more like a fate, don’t you think?” Leo grinned broadly. “You're destined to be the one who found me, Anzu~”

‘It was fate that I was able to meet you...’

His words got her awestruck.

Her smile returned, “... True that.”

“Right~? Wahaha, of course I’m a genius after all! Well then, where’s the next place—Whops!” He took her hand in reflex before hurriedly letting it go again. “Kuro told me that touching a girl casually could be counted as sexual harrassment. Especially someone you just met. It’s scary! Sorry ‘bout that, Anzu!”

Someone you just met, huh?

Somehow it felt really lonely after he let go of her hand. Before he would even hug her out of nowhere, though. It really hurt. Being the only one who remembered was really painful.

“What’s wrong, Anzu?”

She wanted to cry but she shouldn’t.

Anzu offered her hand to Leo, as if a reassurance that it was okay for him to hold her hand. “Shall we go to the next place, then?”

The king widened his eyes before taking her hand in his, “Alright!”

He didn’t remember her,

But his thumping heart was probably telling him otherwise.

ooOOoo

They went to several places in Yumenosaki building this time.The Archery ground where they decided to take care of the kittens together, the corridor where Leo was too enthusiastic in asking her about his birthday that he got too close to her until she blushed, and in front of the fountain where she would usually brush off the dry leaves on his head while he was busy composing.

She even told him that he would write her name on his notebook, so Leo would remember to always call for Anzu if he were in trouble or something. He got angry at her one day for not showing up even though he already called her name many times, though.

God knows since when had being around him already become a part of her daily routine.

It was like a memory-trip for her, but for Leo it felt more like someone else’s story. Like he wasn’t even a part of the memories she told him. He couldn’t remember at all.

“Uugh, what is this—my head really hurts from thinking too much! There’s no inspiration flowing at all grrr!! Ahh, I need glucose to think!”

“Here,” she gave him a chocolate. His eyes sparkled like a child, Leo happily ate the chocolate.

“Whoaaah thank you, Anzu! I really like you! I love you! How do you know I want this?”

“Because you were always asking for it,” the side of her lips curved slightly. “So, I bring some with me everyday.”

There was a tug on his heart.

“Let's go, Leo-san.”

“O-ohh, okay!”

It was a really sad smile. Almost suffocating.

ooOOoo

Anzu showed her the costume he wore at Opera Event with Akatsuki. “Do you remember this? You were really excited to be a part of this event. You said even though you got rebuilt by the aliens you wouldn’t brainwash me and I should stay the way I am.”

“Hnnnhh, I would probably change my mind to brainwash you now!”

“Hey!” Anzu huffed. “Anyway in the end you called me up and making me stand on the stage. I was really flustered, you know?”

He looked confused, Anzu widened her eyes in realization. She shouldn’t have said that. Of course he didn’t know.

She didn’t change, but he wouldn’t even remember.

“... You said you’d dedicate the remainder of your youth to me—I mean, raising me up to be a fully-qualified producer. I’m really happy that you’re willing to teach me about composing music. Thank you, Leo-san.”

Her sudden smile caught him off-guard.

“U-ungghh... You’re welcome, I guess!”

It had been bugging him for awhile, but what was his relation to this girl that it felt really terrible for him? Like he had forgotten something very important. If his guess were correct then his sin was too hard to bear.

He could hear her sigh this time.

“You still don’t remember, do you?” Her smile had turned sad, “The next place is the last place I could show you. My... no, our precious memory.”

“What is it?”

She took his hand.

“A confession.”

ooOOoo

It wasn’t a special place. Just a shady spot in the school rooftop where the wind swayed your hair gently. Anzu sat there.

“This is where you confessed to me.”

Leo gulped.

“So, it’s true that we are—“

She nodded, “Yeah, a couple. You always say you love me a lot and I do too. Being with Leo-san is a bliss that I have never imagined before.”

Suddenly his heart hurt so much. The guilt was growing bigger that it almost choked him. What a terrible king to even forget his own queen, a grave sin. The name which rolled from her tongue, whose name was it? Was it him? The Leo which she said to be her bliss.

Anzu could see his face darkened. She patted her lap, Leo took the cue but was hesitant at first before she pulled his hand. His face reddened when she saw her face from below as he laid his head on her lap.

“That time you said you were jealous of Ritsu-kun for always using my lap to sleep, so it was your turn that time,” she explained.

Rittsu you bastard so you always experience this, Leo cursed inwardly. He could understand why would he be jealous.

She lifted his hand and brought it to her cheek, “Then you stroked my face while looking up at me. Saying something that I wouldn’t forget. I thought my heart would jump from its cage that time.”

He too, his heart wouldn't shut up now.

‘It’s fate that I was able to meet you. Please always stay with me’, ” tears fell upon her cheek. She was crying. “You also said it back there that our meeting is a fate so I feel really happy. I really wish for a miracle... for you to remember me again, but I guess it’s impossible.”

“It’s not right! I—“

“Do you remember even a fragment of me, Leo-san? Did my story actually reach you? Do you feel anything from it?”

Leo couldn’t say anything.

“It’s my fault. Everything is my fault,” she sobbed between her words. “I know that, yet I still want you to remember me. I’m really selfish. It’s really painful to feel like a stranger even though we’re this close. I want you to say ‘ucchuu’ every time you meet me. I want you to search for me. I want you to hug me again...”

It choked him. He didn’t know it could be this hard to breathe.

“Don’t you always remember my name even though you forget things so easily? Even though it’s usually hard for you to remember names? Please... remember me again.“ Her hoarse voice almost sound like it’s begging.

He bit his bottom lip hard, it almost bled.

“Hey,” she called him. “... Didn’t you swear your oath of loyalty for me?”

A grave sin, indeed.

Anzu quickly wiped her tears and got up, “I’m sorry, I was being emotional. My words are only nonsense. I’m really sorry for forcing this into you. Please forget what I said. Let’s go back, we’re already skipping classes.”

“Wait, Anzu!”

Leo caught her wrist but she softly let it go. “It’s okay, Leo-san.”

The way her hair fluttered and the tears in her eyes glistened under the sunlight, her smile was the most beautiful he had ever seen.

“I’m letting you go.”

Also the most heartbreaking.

“Ungh—my head hurts.” Suddenly Leo held his head with both hands. Anzu went panic as Leo gritted his teeth like he was in pain. She froze when Leo collapsed to the ground. Her whole body shuddered, it reminded her of that time again. She wrapped her arms around him as the tears made its way again through her cheeks.

“I-I’m sorry... I’m sorry for forcing you to remember. It’s okay now, it’s okay. I’m letting you go doesn’t mean I completely give up on you, you know? Wake up, please. I still remember so... the memories still have proof that it exists. It’s okay even if you forget, I will get you fall for me again. I promise,” She cried. “... Please, don’t leave me.”

Without warning, an arm sneaked around her shoulders and pushed her down until their lips met. Anzu was too dumbstruck to react. After they let go, the first thing she saw was his smirk.

“What’s wrong, Anzu? Don’t wake me up with your tears, okay? Ucchuu, Anzu~”

She widened her eyes.

“... Leo-san? Do you remember me?”

“Leo? Hmmmmm is that my name?? Right, right!! I’m Tsukinaga Leo, the king of Knights and you’re Anzu of course!” He patted her head as he grinned broadly. “My queen.”

Anzu couldn’t hold her tears anymore as it streamed down. He could feel it in his shoulder as he hugged her, burying his head on her hair as he inhaled her apricot scent. “There, there Anzu. I’m here now, you don’t have to worry~”

“Uuhh... I love you, Leo-san.”

“Uhn! Me too. Even the whole universe should know that I love you so much, Anzu! I will swear an oath again to always be with you so...”

He smiled as he kissed her forehead.

“...You don’t have to feel lonely anymore.”

As his words calmed the storm in her heart, she fell into a really peaceful dream on the king’s chest..

 

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“So, did you actually get your memory back?”

“Of course not, Suou. A memory wouldn’t come back that easily, you watched too much drama!”

“What!? You lied to her then!”

“If I didn’t do that she’d definitely blame herself again everytime she sees my face. Just thinking about it almost brings tears to my eyes, you know? It hurts so bad. Like my heart is being strangled. You guys should try to experience amnesia someday.”

“No, thank you,” Izumi spat. “Honestly, are you okay with lying to her like this?”

“The truth is I’m definitely not. Lying is also a sin after all!” Leo grunted. “I might not remember our past,but the one thing I’m sure now is that I’ve fallen for her again. I love her, Sena. I really do. The feelings I have now certainly won’t lose!”

“Don’t push your luck, Ousama.”

“I’m not pushing my luck duh, Rittsu! I will create new memories with her!”

“Oh my, what about your past memories? Don’t you hold them dear?”

Leo stayed silent for awhile before smiling.

“As long as she still remembers, the memory won’t disappear. It will always exist. If one day my memory decides to return then I will gladly accept it but for now it’s okay, I will always make her happy to compensate for it.”

That was what she said at that time too.

“She might hate me for lying, even so I will get her to fall for me again. I will.”

“Hee... why are you so confident?”

“Because, Sena, you see...”

His racing heart ever since the first time he saw her in the hospital was the proof.

“We will always love each other. It’s fate~”

Izumi sighed, “I can’t believe you are talking about fate.”

Leo hummed, "It's the truth. I couldn't help it."

With or without memory, he would still love her.

“That’s why, Anzu... I hope you will let me love you again this time.”