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He wasn’t quite certain when it happened - sometime after his departure from Japan, to be truthful, though he couldn’t pin down precisely when - but George realized that he missed Yukari. Not Yukari-the-muse or Yukari-the-toy, but Hayasaka Yukari, the strange and sometimes stupid girl that had been drug into his world kicking and screaming, then changed it forever.

He found it odd, the act of missing someone. He’d never missed his parents, but Arashi and Miwako’s disappearance from his life had caused brief pangs in him. He had missed Kaori, he remembered, in a somewhat distant manner after her move to Europe. Probably, he would have missed Isabella the most, had she not chosen to accompany him to Paris.

George had not, however, expected to miss Yukari. True, he was never happy except for when she was with him, but he’d never really been happy before her entrance into his life; he knew he could live without her, it wasn’t like he needed her or anything. He’d just never anticipated actually wanting her to always be at his side.

George still didn’t understand Isabella’s laughter at hearing that, though. Despite having been born into a male body, Isabella’s mind was as frighteningly and maddeningly female as any naturally-born woman’s, leaving George confused at her words and actions a great deal of the time.

Some time later, though, he thought he finally understood his friend’s laughter to an extent.

At some point in time, George had become a collector of women’s jewelry, most especially the tastefully elegant and understated sort that was beautiful, yet appealed to those who didn’t wear much jewelry. The piece that appealed to him the most was a delicate, braided rose gold choker, upon which a small butterfly hung, wings outstretched and decorated with tiny chips of garnet and topaz.

It wasn’t until he tracked down a matching bracelet and imagined how beautiful it would look adorning Yukari’s delicate wrist that he realized all of the jewelry in his collection was meant for her. Most of the pieces had inspired him to create corresponding outfits for his private collection - much more extravagant than, but still complementing and showcasing, the jewelry - all of which would look decidedly wrong on anyone other than his muse.

The reason, George finally understood, that he’d never expected to want her at his side was because he had always wanted her there; even before he’d left and they were still together. Now, he was simply being reminded of his long-held desire.

Years later, while watching his Yukari across a crowded room on the arm of another man - of her husband - reminded him once again. For some inexplicable reason, George didn’t think that desire would be far from his thoughts anymore.

He studiously ignored the odd ache in the vicinity of his heart at the sight of a platinum band on the slim finger that had once been graced with a delicate, beaded butterfly.