So this is it. The big one. The end all be all. I need to stop talking in sentences like that. I guess I should really just cut to the damn chase. It's time for the thank you's!

            Ahem. I would like to thank my laptop. See, I didn't have the internet for the first fifteen chapters of this. (Yes, I've been holding out on you people.) But without my laptop we wouldn't have anything because it so faithfully was there. I would like to thank food. I like food and often I'll be sitting there munching on potato chips and something will suddenly pop into my head. I'd like to thank my fine knowledge of video games for helping me right Akira and Soujirou as video game fanatics. This of course being attributed to a childhood of watching people play Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy III without letting me near the Nintendo. And when they did, you can bet I took my precious time. I would like to thank my pajamas as they are comfy and I can lay around in them and write with minimal worries about whether they were getting dirty or not. I would like to thank Teresa-onee-chan. Not only does she get to read everything before everyone but she also has the most wonderful feedback. Also she made me a Gryffindor scarf that is lovely and warm. (Thanks!) Oh! And she bought me a Fruits Basket character art book and not that it has much to do with this story, let's all pretend it did. ('Cause Kyou-san is a sex fiend!) And I also have thank her because without her many drunken sex stories, I would probably never been able to write that one chapter. (Okay so she only wrote like two, so?) I'd like to thank me. I make things possible. And I'd like to thank my choir teacher for giving the choir that huge long lecture about college and taking choir seriously. (Okay I realize we should work hard but yeah…she takes her job a little too seriously.)  Otherwise, this story might never had been thought of, let alone written. I'd like to thank Agent MarbleEyes for one day she will fall down a flight of stairs and land on my very own Doumyouji. (She'll fall down 'em if I have to push her. Not that I would. **Whistles and twiddles her thumbs.**) I'd like to thank Curdled Milk who is a wonderful reviewer and writes a story that is never going to end! (Must…know…what…happens…) It's as addictive as coffee… And I'd like to thank Lawful Fic who wrote a big review for this and it was super fun to read. (I read her one for this Harry Potter fic and it was so funny.) Check out her reviews and stuff at And I'd like to thank Yih, for putting my stuff up on her website. Er, I better give you the URL So now I'll let you read the ending of this story.  

Disclaimer: I don't own Hana Yori Dango.

Warnings: I'm such a sap. Oh well. Erm cussing, and stuff…yeah…stuff…

Mood music: I listened to that song "Hallelujah" by someone…I dunno it's in that movie Shrek so yeah for like awhile and then I changed to the song I quoted at one point which should be obvious to anyone looking for it. Have fun!

Never Quite As It Seems

Chapter Seventeen

"I haven't been this scared in a long time,

And I'm so unprepared, so here's your Valentine,

Bouquet of clumsy words, a simple melody,

This world's an ugly place but you're so beautiful to me,"

            -Going Away To College, Blink 182

            I woke up on Monday morning, not feeling the least bit better. At least I wasn't really all that angry I was just…I'm not sure. Something still hurt. I got dressed and figured I'd go downstairs, eat breakfast, (I'm sure Akira and Soujirou were eating Lucky Charms right about now.) and be on my way to classes without having to so much as pass Doumyouji in the hallway.

            But of course, as we know, plans usually go wrong.

            Making my way down the stairs, I was going towards the kitchen when I stopped just around the corner. Doumyouji was already up and talking to Soujirou and Akira.

            I shouldn't be eavesdropping…

            "So I'm going to leave." I could hear Doumyouji telling the others as if he was at the end of a long explanation.

            "Leave?" Soujirou and Akira inquired at the exact same time.

            "You can't do that!" Akira insisted. "You and Tsukushi will work it out." A lump formed in my throat.

            He's leaving? Like what? Leaving for a few days???

            "No, I decided to transfer to a different college in New York." Doumyouji seemed very firm on the subject as if he had been planning this for a long time. "It's better this way."

            "You can't leave! We've been friends since high school!" Soujirou insisted. "Come on, you know that's not gonna solve anything."

            "Your sister isn't going to let you go and you know it." Akira pointed out.

            "My sister is not in charge of me. I'm leaving this afternoon." Doumyouji told them.

            "This afternoon? You couldn't give us a little more time?" Soujirou pleaded with him. "Gah, you're really just going to pick up and leave? What about Tsukushi?"

            "Tsukushi doesn't want me here." Doumyouji answered simply.

            He's leaving…I'll never see him again…why? Why is he leaving? Why does it hurt?

            I turned away from the entrance to the kitchen and ran. I ran straight out the front door and began running down the street. I don't know why I was running like this, I felt like I was trying to outrun something.

            At first I thought I was running to my first class but then I changed my mine. No need to try to pay attention in class. It was so odd thinking about walking to my first class. Doumyouji had been driving me every day. I finally stopped running and caught a bus into town.

            I found a coffee shop and went inside. Some nice warm coffee would probably calm me down. I felt so unsettled. I got a cappuccino and sat down in front of a window, sipping my hot drink.

            Watching cars go by I wasn't really thinking that much. It was like being in a daze.

            Why do I feel like this?

            I didn't even think when a white convertible went by and I saw Tsubaki and Shigeru in it looking at me with interesting expressions. I waved at them. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake. They pulled into the coffee shop on a very sharp turn that made me realize that the Doumyouji family had a thing for driving dangerously. Tsubaki and Shigeru both came inside.

            Tsubaki slammed her hands down on the table.

            "He's leaving!" She exclaimed in obvious frustration. "He won't listen to me at all!"

            "So?" I asked glumly. "It's his decision."

            "Tsukushi what happened between you and Tsukasa?" Shigeru asked as she stood next to Tsubaki.

            "Who cares what happened? The important thing is now Tsukushi is going to go tell him to stay." Tsubaki grabbed my wrist and pulled me away from about half my cappuccino.

            "Wait!" I yanked my arm away as we started to go out the coffee shop's doors. "I can't do that! He won't listen to me."

            "Of course he will. Naturally he's just doing this because of something between you and him. You just have to hit him over the head and call him an idiot. He'll stay." Tsubaki nodded her head as if this had been the plan all along.

            "No he won't. Tsubaki…just go home…let me drink my coffee okay?" I asked her in a small voice.

            "You're just going to let him?" Tsubaki questioned looking some what stunned.

            "What would you have me do?" I questioned her, a felt tears start to well up in my eyes. "What do you want me to do?"

            Why am I so sad?

            "Tsukushi…" Tsubaki began in a pleading tone. "Tsukushi come on, let's go. Your just going to stay here the whole time and not face him? Don't you feel like a coward?"

            "No!" I pushed past her and Shigeru and began to run again. There's was something about running. But this time I was almost blinded by tears that I didn't really understand. They were just coming down.

            I feel like I'm losing something. Something important. Why do I feel like this? Why?

            I broke down and began crying immediately. Right there in the middle of a sidewalk. People looked at me strangely but I didn't care. I was crying to hard to stop right then. It was almost as if I had been holding back these tears for a long time.

            "Miss are you alright?" One passerby asked me. I nodded dumbly. I might as well get off the ground. I was still crying as I looked around. I looked up at the café I was sitting in front of.

            It's the café that Doumyouji took me to…

            More tears started to come down as I thought about that night.  It was a long time ago. Or it felt that way to me.

            "So you are worried about me."

            I was worried about him wasn't I? It's kind of odd isn't it?

            I walked along and looked into the window of that same candy store. I remembered standing there just like that looking at chocolate teddy bears. The display had changed.

            "I'm glad you like it."

            He always did think of me…didn't he? He wanted to make me smile…

            I smiled a little through my tears. My feet kept going though. They just knew where they were taking me. It was odd how the memories were coming back to me.

            That's when I saw the flower vendor selling flowers to a couple. A dozen roses. I remembered Doumyouji's speech about giving flowers to girls. I thought of when he bought me those flowers, so long ago on that one night.

            "What do you think I'm getting them for?"

            Heh, I must have seemed stupid then…not to figure it out. Did he like me back then? What did Rui say? That Doumyouji was in love with me since I first yelled at him? Was he right?

            I approached the flower vendor, looking at all the flowers.

            "Would you like to buy some miss?" The vendor asked politely. A tear rolled down my cheek.

            "I think I'll take a rose." A finally got out. "A red one."

            "Are you alright?" The vendor questioned me looking concerned. He got the flower and wrapping it in nice paper.

            "Not really." I shook my head. "I don't even know what I'm doing."

            "Here." The vendor handed it to me. I started to go for money from my pockets but he stopped me. "Just take it miss, and try and smile okay?"

            "Thank you." I smiled slightly as I walked away looking at my flower. I kept walking for a long time. Amazingly I had found my way to the park that was located behind the houses, but I was a long way from the houses. I could barely make them out. I sat down on a bench with my one flower.

            "Why do I keep acting weird?" A girl asked her friend as they walked by me.

            "Dude, you're dumb." The friend rolled her eyes. "It's obvious isn't it? You're in love."

            "Am not!" The girl denied. "Or…I guess I am aren't I?"

            "Gah, I hope he doesn't go for you for your brains…" The friend teased. My mouth dropped open slightly. I was just staring at them as if they had wings.

            "Why do I keep acting weird?"

            "It's obvious isn't it? You're in love."

            "You're in love."

            Something struck me right then and there. I had an epiphany. It was the most wonderful feeling in the whole world. I cannot begin to describe it to you. It was as if a ray of light shot through all my confusion and frustration and sadness, melting it away. It seemed so obvious before that it was almost funny.

            I'm in love with Doumyouji.

            It was unbelievable how liberated I felt when I realized it. Everything began to click into place.

            I'm totally in love with Doumyouji! GAHHHHHHHHH! Great, now what do I do? He's leaving this afternoon! Spectacular timing Tsukushi.

            I'm an idiot. Wait! Maybe I can stop him!

            Wait, we had that fight. NOOOOOOOOOOO!

            But maybe…maybe he won't leave. Maybe Tsubaki's right, if I tell him not to he won't.

            What if he doesn't want me anymore? Maybe I shouldn't go…

            You won't know unless you try! What are you? A coward? Makino Tsukushi never backs away from a challenge!

            "That's right!" I stood up and struck a determined pose. Several people looked at me funny. I didn't care though. I ran towards the houses. I jogged as fast as I could. I was halfway through the park when I had to stop to catch my breath.

            "Hey Tsukushi!" Makiko and Yuuki waved at me. I waved back before starting up again. I could hear their conversation go on.

            "Where's she going?" Makiko asked Yuuki. Then I was out of hearing range. Dammit, I was going to get to that house if it killed me.

            Must…get there…

            I ran around the back of the house and ran through the front door, which I closed quietly as I had no idea if anyone was home or not. I don't know, I didn't want to make a huge noisy entrance. Maybe a dramatic one.

            I went towards the living room where I heard voices.

            "What's that check for?" Soujirou's voice could be heard asking.

            "It's for Tsukushi." I heard Doumyouji's voice and felt this weird happy feeling rise up.

            I'm in loooooooooooooooooooooove!

            "TEN THOUSAND???" Soujirou's yell probably echoed through the whole house and seven states.

            Ten…thousand? THAT'S A TON OF MONEY! WOAH!

            "Keep it down Soujirou." Doumyouji hushed him. "It's a long story."

            "So what are you going to do? Are you going to say good-bye to Tsukushi?" Soujirou asked them.

            "I'm just going to give her the money and go. We don't really need to say good-bye…" Doumyouji sounded sad. I chose this moment to make my entrance. I stalked in there with my hands on my hips. The two boys were looking at me with surprise.

            "I heard you're leaving." I pursed my lips.

            "Yes I am." Doumyouji didn't exactly look me in the eye. "Here's what I owe you." The check was in his hand which he held out towards me. I looked at it and took a deep breath. I took the check from him.

            And I threw it up in the air over my shoulder, before doing something that I would never regret.

            I suddenly wrapped my arms around Doumyouji and kissed him.

            He pulled me further into the kiss, wrapping his arms around me in turn. We finally broke after awhile. I remembered my flower and held it out towards him.

            "So what does it mean when a girl gives a boy a flower?" I asked with a grin. Doumyouji grinned back.

            "I think it means that she wants to kiss him again." Doumyouji braved. He didn't have to ask twice. Soujirou coughed and I remembered that he was also in the room.

            "Akira! Get down here!" Soujirou yelled and Akira came flying down the stairs.

            "I knew they were going to get a happy ending…sheesh…" Akira shook his head as if we were all far younger than he was.

*                                              *                                              *

            "So the whole time, it was just an act?" Tsubaki looked horrified. "You two were so convincing!"

            "I really thought they were together…" Shigeru scratched the back of her head in confusion. "I guess they are now right?"

            "Yeah." I affirmed.

            "Um, Akira and I have a confession to make." Soujirou announced. We were all sitting at the table in our house and Doumyouji and I just got done telling everyone the story.

            "You spiked my soda?" I asked jokingly as Akira had been the one to get sodas for everyone.

            "No. We knew the whole time what was going on." Akira told us.

            "You…did?" Doumyouji finally got out because I was still confused.

            "Yeah, we just thought it would be fun to torture you guys. Besides we knew you two would end up together for real." Soujirou shrugged.

            "You two…" I trailed off dangerously.

            "Hey, it was all in good fun right?" Shizuka jumped in. Rui was sitting next to her. "You can't really blame them…"

            "I can if I want to." I murmured. "Oh well."

            "Let's go play video games!" Soujirou suggested. Everyone agreed to this and we all were walking out when Doumyouji put his arms around me, stopping me.

            "So…I guess we're together now…" Doumyouji trailed off. I giggled.

            "Yep." I agreed.

            "And you're in love with me." Doumyouji stated.

            "Yep." I nodded a little.

            "You realize you'll have to meet my parents and all that." Doumyouji added in.

            "Yep." I shrugged.

            "And my mom will hate you." Doumyouji kept going.

            "Yep." I affirmed.

            "And she'll probably be against it." Doumyouji went on.

            "Doumyouji?" I turned to face him, putting my arms around him in turn.

            "Yeah?" Doumyouji looked down at me curiously.

            "Shut up." I told him before going in for a kiss. We walked into the living room after that so that we could have some sort of video game tournament as a celebration. I looked over at Doumyouji and I decided something right then and there.

            Life is pretty damn sweet.

*                                              *                                              *

            Dude, that was great. I feel really good about how that chapter went. I was scared it was going to be short but it wasn't so go me! I rule! Please R&R my friends because as we know, author's want reviews.

            More shameless self plugging: I have another couple AU's planned. (Where do I come up with this stuff?) Including the AU of Doom as I've so wisely dubbed it and others, plus a what if-er fic and fun stuff like that. So please stay tuned. The next AU I'm putting out is going to be a lot more serious, something new and different for Jade! It's called Fly Away From Here and I won't say anymore then that!