Epilogue: Aftermath of the Storm

"Well Rei...how does it feel?" asked Zero.

"Feel?" asked Rhythm as she looked at him, knees balled up toward her chest. It was February 11th 2041, her birthday. 18 years of her life.

"You know, being 18. Your an adult now." Zero smirked at her.

"Doesnt feel that much different. Sure, Ill be able to buy all those cheesy commercial gadgets that they show on t.v., but it doesnt feel any different than 17." Rhythm smiled at him and they both laughed a bit.

"It doesnt, does it?" Zero sprawled out on his back.

"Nope." She sighed. "So much...has happened in these past few months...weeks...days...hours..."

Zero nodded. "Yup...you becoming the somewhat leader of a gang. Battling a fattle shot to your abdomen...taking on Rokkaku head on."

Rhythm lifted her shirt up a bit and saw just above her belly button the scar of what the bullet had left. "Yup..."

Zero sighed and shook his head.

Rhythm looked at him. "Whats wrong Zero?"

Zero sighed. "I just regret...some things Ive done in the past."

Rhythm blinked. "What do you mean?"

Zero blushed. "Ive lied to so many. When I met you, I couldnt help it...you were...you seemed so pure."

Rhythm stared at him. "Zero? Where is this coming from?"

Zero looked into the sky. "I dont know. I just felt like I should tell you that you have changed my life in some ways."

Rhythm smiled at Zero and her eyes took on a warming look. "Well...Im glad I could help?"

Zero rubbed her head. "Thats what I like about you. Always optimistic about things. Thanks...Rei-chan."

Rhythm tackled Zero to the ground. "Hey! Only Sakkis allowed to call me that!" she teased, and stuck her tounge out at him.

Zero tackled her to the ground. "Bien la Fleur de Cheery naura pas des objections si je vous appelle cela, nest-ce pas?"

Rhythm giggled. "Ah...you speak the language of love! I have no clue what the hell you just said though..."

Zero smirked. "Ah, vous êtes plus beau que la lune lui-même ma dame..."

Rhythm knocked him off of her. "I take it...your flattering me..." she stuck her tounge out at him and winked.

"Hey, its true!" said Zero grinning at her.

The two heard firecrackers off in the distance go off. "Sakki mustve told the people down at City Hall...you know, they were under complete mind control by Rokkaku right?" asked Rhythm.

Zero raised his eyebrows. "Really?"

Rhythm nodded. "Yup! When I killed Rokkaku that did it, everyone who was under mind control was set free...I cant believe I did all that...Zero..."

Zero looked up at Rhythm and she collasped into Zero. "Oh Zero...I dont want to go through any of this anymore. I dont, really I dont. I just want to be a normal teenager...you know, with all her friends. I want to be free. Im just scared sometimes, like Im going to lose my cool under pressure, and somehow everyone will turn thier backs on me and Ill be alone again. I really dont want that..."

Zero stroked her head. It seemed like the both of them had some problems that they both needed to sort out. "Its just..." Rhythm began but Zero just shushed her and she hugged him tighter around the waist.

Rhythm sat up and smiled. "Im okay now...hey! I almost forgot!" Rhythm digged into the pocket up her red jeans and pulled out a note. "Here...its from Metal."

Zero unfolded the note, scanned it, blushed and stuck it into his pocket. Rhythm blinked. "What did it say?"Zero shook his head as Rhythm was still holding onto him, which added a deeper layer toward the already growing blush.

"Uh, nothing." Zero smiled at Rhythm who looked like a little child. Innocent. Pure. Curious. Like when they were first alone together. When Rhythm had first complained about his riddles. Thats when Zero leaned in and Rhythm closed her eyes, and they kissed. It was rough at first, put steadily grew more passionate. All worries were left behind. Nothing mattered. It was just them. Zero ended the kiss and looked at Rhythm who was as red as a babies bottom.

"Um...maybe I should get back to the party...Arigato Zero-kun. " said Rhythm standing up.

Zero looked at her, nodded and watched as she left and then looked out at the city and its glowing lights. "Dou itashimashite Rei-chan..."

He looked up into the skies, and saw one star twinkle brightly. Yes, Rhythm was right. Things were going to get better. He just knew it.

fin