Mad About You

Chapter 14: The Beginning of the End

AN: That chapter was totally angst-ridden, wasn't it? I really didn't want to kill Tala because he's the best new character on the show, but I had to. He's so hot! We should have a memorial for him later. Heehee. I'm gonna write a Tala fanfic soon. He's so cool, dude! Now on to the fanfic...

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Kai wasn't sure whether to continue holding on to Ayame or to release her. Eventually he knew that he would have to let go, but he didn't want to just yet. He loved the feeling of having his cheek pressed up against her head, and he loved feeling the tender skin around her arms where he held her. He loved her scent, and he loved being there for her. He just wasn't sure how he wanted to go about freeing her from his own grasp.

Kai knew now that he had to leave Ayame. Not just let go, but let go entirely. He loved her; he knew that for sure now. However, he wanted what was best for her, and being with a guy like him just didn't make things that way. Kai knew that as time passed he would just cause her more pain, and that was the last thing Ayame needed. He knew very well that leaving the only person he ever loved wouldn't be easy, but he had no choice in this matter. He decided that he didn't like loving anyone, and that this would be the last time he would.

Maybe if things weren't this way, maybe if Tala hadn't died, or if Kai didn't have Voltaire as his grandfather, or if Ayame had her parents back he could be with her.

Maybe. Kai hated that word. He was always so uncertain of things, despite his usual calm veneer, and that word just added to his insecurities.

Kai finally freed her from his grasp, but she just sank back into his arms anyway out of exhaustion. Her head was rested comfortably on his shoulder, and he just sat there, feeling quite stupid. Eventually his stupidity led him to feel as though he should say something.

"Look, Ayame, I know you've been through a lot of losses in your lifetime, but I have to tell you that you're being a baby." At Kai's rude words Ayame tilted her head up remorsefully.

"I don't understand," she said her voice shaking. "What do you mean?" She brought her eyes up to stare at him and sat up on her own. Both of them were sitting on the bed comfortably now, legs outstretched in front of them. Kai, realizing that he was acting like his old self, continued that way. He figured that if he could be the old Kai, maybe Ayame wouldn't feel so bad when he said mean things to him, and she would be stronger, like she had been previously. Then she wouldn't care if he left.

"I said that you're being a baby. Stop crying and get over it." Ayame lowered her head and for a moment Kai thought that he had really hurt her feelings badly and that she was about to cry, but instead she nodded and wiped the forming tears from her eyes.

"You're right Kai. I am being immature. It hurts, but-" she trailed off. She wiped her eyes again and then looked up at Kai, a bright smile appearing on his face. "I'll work through it. Like I have before." Kai gave her a half-smile, half-smirk, and Ayame glomped him. She hugged him so tightly that Kai was afraid that his arms were going to pop out of their sockets, but she released him before they could. Her eyes were larger and cuter than usual, and once again, she looked at Kai with admiration. It was quiet for a long time. Eventually, Ayame spoke again, this time more quietly.

"You're my strength, Kai. I know that now." She looked down at her hands again, her face filled with an expression that Kai could not recognize. "I loved Tala a lot, but now I realize that my love for him was a fantasy. We were just long-time friends. Of course, I'll miss him forever… But Kai, I…." She paused. "I love you."

It had been the last thing that he had expected, especially since he had wanted her to hate him.

Everything was backfiring. She couldn't love him, not anymore. And worse, Kai couldn't love her back. He was her strength…. What about him, damnit? Aya was doing things to him that he didn't like at all. Why couldn't he just forget her? Why was her love so hard to forget? Why couldn't he just leave her?

Yes, why couldn't he just leave her?

Kai tried to get up and just walk away. His new plan was to just walk away from Aya forever, and never grace her with his presence again. He stood up, his legs wobbling, and walked slowly to the door.

Aya, a surprised look on her face, reached out after him, realizing what he was doing.

"Kai? Where are you going? KAI!" He could hear her yelling from outside, and it was hurting his ears. He knew she wouldn't be able to follow, for she was still slightly shaky, and she was still hurt.

Kai stalked out the room, pushing himself to the maximum. He could feel his heart breaking as he left, and his whole body was trying to stop him, but he wouldn't be beaten. He wanted to just stop, fall down, and cry, but he wouldn't allow himself to let go of his mask.

As Kai made his way down the hospital stairs, many things flew into his head. Maybe he should just throw himself down the steps and call it a day. Then he could die. He felt like he was dying already anyway. His whole body ached, and he wasn't quite sure he could make it the rest of the way down the steps.

Though his body hurt, he knew Ayame would be coming after him soon, so he pushed onward down the steps.

As he exited the hospital building, he could hear his heart pounding still. He was exhausted, and it was all he could do to keep himself from running back inside to Ayame.

But he didn't.

Kai continued home as best he could, and he laid down on his bed. He pushed the girl with the bushy black hair from his mind, hoping his grandfather wasn't home, and thought of other, happier things. He thought of a time when he could be with family who actually loved him. He thought about going to a school he actually liked. He thought about having real friends, but his thoughts suddenly turned to Max, Rei, Tyson, and Kenny, and he felt happier. He thought of Ayame being with a guy that was better for her, a guy that was going to help her succeed, and not just make her life sadder than it already was, and he found himself feeling much better.

Maybe these hopes and dreams would actually come true one day. Maybe someday he'd truly find peace.

There was that word again- maybe. But maybe did mean maybe. And maybe is just half the battle.

Any hey, it's better than nothing at all.

FIN.

AN: Again, thank you to everyone who has helped me with this fanfic, and to EVERY SINGLE PERSON that has reviewed/will review in the past, present, and future. I really appreciate it; you guys got me to over 120 reviews already! I'm impressed. Oh, and as you may already have known, this is the last chapter of "Mad About You", but there may be a sequel; I haven't fully decided yet. Look for "Still Mad About You" within the next month or so if I do decide to write it. I love you all, and thank you for making my fanfic so popular!