We Will Meet Again
The airport terminal was packed, even at the late hour that it was, mostly because of the fact that Andy (and Miaka) were going to be departing on a flight in less than fifteen minutes. So of course there were quite a few reporters and photographers crawling around the place.
Humorously enough, the first one to get irritated at the reporters presence was Mrs. Yuuki, who promptly managed to put the fear of God into each and every one of them and send them running.
So that was where Miaka got her commanding aura from, Andy mused silently.
Andy mentally reminded himself to never let himself get on Miaka's bad side. Not if she was that scary.
Miaka and Andy went to say goodbye to Mrs. Yuuki and give her a hug. Miaka gave her a kiss on the cheek before moving on to say goodbye to the others.
Andy shuffled a bit nervously as he stood before Mrs. Yuuki. There was so much that he wanted to say to her.
Other than the slight fear he had of the woman, Andy really wanted nothing more than to thank her and congratulate her for raising Miaka. Without her his country would have been destroyed and so many more people would have died. Without Miaka, he would never have known how to be himself. However, he realized that telling Mrs. Yuuki about the other world was likely not a very good idea and so he decided to wait until later to do so, when he could put what he felt into more eloquent wording.
And so, he simply hugged her and then hugged Keisuke, Tetsuya, and Yui in turn.
By then, he and Miaka had reached Taka.
Andy and Taka hadn't really gotten a chance to speak to each other until now, Seishi to Seishi that is, and now that they had the opportunity neither one really knew what to say. The selfish part of Andy almost felt like saying "nya nya nya nya nya nya!" but that would neither be Emperor-like nor polite.
And so he refrained.
Mostly though, Andy was just glad to see a fellow Seishi alive and well.
After a moment of uncomfortable silence Taka made the first move, placing his hand on Andy's good shoulder, though not yet managing to make eye contact, as he spoke to both Miaka and Andy. "You guys know that the thing I want more than anything in the world is to make Miaka happy." He took a breath, "and I guess what I'm trying to say is that if it has to be anyone else but me…" he trailed off and then looked Andy in the eye, "I'm glad it's you."
Miaka cleared her throat and then slid the ring she had worn for the last few years, the shinzaho, off her finger. "I suppose that it wouldn't really be appropriate for me to keep this, now that we aren't together anymore." She took Taka's hand and placed the ring in it. "But it is still the shinzaho, so you'd better protect it." She smiled and stepped back, picking up her carry-on bag as she and Andy headed towards the gate.
"Don't worry." She added, "You'll find someone else. Someone who deserves you more than me." She paused and then glanced at her brother, "After all, Keisuke found a girlfriend." Miaka held up a finger, "Still haven't met her, but he has one. Therefore hell hath frozen over. If he can find someone, you won't have to look far. Maybe you even already know her."
Taka snorted, at the same time going through a mental checklist of the girls he knew, "Feh. Not likely." He laughed.
Keisuke interrupted, holding up the paper he'd picked up while they were waiting for the plane to start boarding passengers. "Hey! Look at this! Ayame is being indicted for attempted murder! Her lawyer is pleading insanity and disability."
Tetsuya shook his head, "Wow, you never know, do ya? Crazy people…"
Yui nodded her agreement before frowning and asking, "So, Andy. What exactly did Mr. Kimoto think of your little stunt? He probably wasn't very happy, was he?"
Andy snorted, "That is definitely an understatement. He was furious! In fact, he fired me on the spot after the show." He wrapped an arm around Miaka's shoulders and pulled her closer, "In fact I had to spend most of the ride here convincing Miaka that it wasn't her fault. With the response I got from that crowd, it shouldn't be hard to find another manager."
Taka shifted. His arm was starting to hurt again. Not to mention that all the standing he was doing was really putting a crick in his leg. Suzaku, was he getting old or what? He shifted again and started when he felt someone run right smack into him.
"Ow! Sorry! My fault! Damn clogs…" muttered a familiar sounding voice.
Taka blinked at the mop of brown hair that was pulled into a ponytail and then realized who it was.
That's when Yumiko decided to look up and saw who she'd run into. "Oh. It's you. Nevermind. I take it back."
Taka made an incredulous noise, "It was an apology. A deserved apology no less. You can't just take it back! And by the way, watch where you're going!"
"Me? You watch where you're standing!"
The others watched idly for a minute before Tetsuya cleared his throat and broke in, "Did anyone ever tell you that you two argue like a married couple?"
The two in question froze in mid-sentence before shouting (Yumiko's face having gone mysteriously red), "We do not!" in unison.
Tetsuya and Yui looked at each other and nodded, "Married couple."
Yumiko flushed again, though with embarrassment or anger one could not be entirely sure. "I wouldn't marry him if he were the last male on Earth!"
With that she shoved Taka, spun on her heel, and—her clogs not agreeing with such a sharp movement—promptly fell right back into Taka, sending them both to the ground with a fairly good-sized "thud."
"I knew she was seme." Miaka looked up and saw Anwe, who until this point had remained unnoticed. The quiet blonde, as always, had held her tongue until she could get a good jab in at someone. Namely Yumiko.
When Yumiko had crashed into Taka, he had hit the ground first, followed shortly by Yumiko herself who had ended up sprawled across the teal-haired man.
Eyes widening once she saw where she had landed, Yumiko swallowed and then pulled herself up, dusted herself off, "Like I said. Watch where you're standing." and then flounced away towards Anwe with her nose in the air like nothing had happened.
Keisuke, catching sight of Anwe, waved and his expression noticeably brightened. Anwe, for her part, saw him and reddened, waving shyly back.
Miaka watched this exchange silently and then asked where they knew each other from.
Upon hearing their explanation, however, Miaka blanched and wrinkled her nose, "Oh my God! You were his hot date? Anwe, ewwwww! I thought you had better taste than that!" He's my brother! Gross!
Andy chuckled politely as he watched the siblings slam each other verbally while Taka and Yumiko each pretended the other didn't exist. "Ah," he sighed as he nodded to himself, "people in love are dense."
That was when he caught sight of, lo and behold, the flower lady—this time selling flowers from a boutique cart on wheels.
"Taitsukun?" he blurted incredulously.
Upon hearing her name, Taitsukun wheeled her cart over—it appeared to be quite a feat as she was so incredibly short and the cart looked like it weighed more than she could handle.
Good Suzaku. How could he have forgotten that face?
Then again. Maybe it was a good thing as he surely would have been given nightmares as a child.
Hoping that the old woman couldn't read minds, Andy inclined his head and, because there were at least three people nearby who didn't know who she really was, simply said, "Thank you for helping me with the flowers."
Something that looked suspiciously like a smirk crossed the creators face before she answered him, "You're welcome."
By this time, Miaka had noticed who Andy was talking to and had come over to put in her two cents. "Taitsukun! What are you doing here?"
"Well. Seeing as I seem to always have to look out for you and your seishi, I thought I'd drop by to observe what was going on. It's not my fault I had to disguise myself as a florist and inadvertently meddle with things."
Miaka and Andy looked at each other and then back at Taitsukun, "Meddle? What?"
Taitsukun rolled her eyes and sighed deeply. "Nevermind. Just take this here." She then handed them a small package wrapped in plain brown paper. "I think you'll find this useful."
Miaka shook her head, utterly confused, "What are you talking about?"
Taitsukun did not answer immediately. Instead her eyes wandered downward, appearing to be studying the not very interesting linoleum floor. "Oh nothing you need to know. By the way Miaka, how did you like those flowers?"
"The flowers? What? Of course I liked them, they were beautiful. Why?" Miaka was beginning to get a little suspicious of the old lady.
"Well, it appears that they did their job."
Andy frowned, "What job?
The creator rolled her eyes and growled, "Idiot. Remember that I told you that flowers have meanings?"
Come to think of it, yes, she had mentioned something about symbolism and that flowers had been used for centuries in potions and spells of all kinds. She had told him that most of the flowers he had bought for Miaka had represented love, but then she had shoved those last three at him as he was walking out the door…
"Taitsukun, if you don't mid my asking, exactly what did those last three flowers stand for? And the ones you gave us at the dance?"
The creator smirked again, her eyes dropping again and this time Miaka realized that she wasn't staring at the floor. "Oh, they did their job too." She nodded before folding her arms behind her back Jedi style and walking away.
Okay. She looked entirely too smug. Andy thought, his heart beginning to beat nervously. Just what had that sneaky old biddy been up too? "But what did they symbolize?" Andy asked, somewhat frantically.
Taitsukun stopped and looked over her shoulder, "Fertility."
AN: The quote "People in love are dense." Is owned by Arashi… It ain't mine. And the giving the ring back idea actually came from KittyLynne's "The Promise." Well. Sort of. I really liked the way she did it in that story, the way she did it just made so much sense. I almost forgot about the fact that it was there while writing most of this story, so the fact I mention it at the end is just kind of a short, "I forgot this in the rest of the story and so here it is in all its underwritten glory" type thing. I really should have made it more symbolic and all, being as it is a promise/engagement ring, not to mention a mystical artifact, but… I didn't. So there.
Oh. And the slight, slight, slight (did I mention slight?) hinting at Yumiko/Taka is because, well, I felt bad leaving him all by his lonesome and someone who reviewed was asking me to please not leave him all alone. Thus, the somewhat scary idea of Yumi/Taka was born. Mostly because the only female characters I had to work with were the kennel girls, Shiko, and Ayame. Hayai'd have killed me if I paired her off with him. Rae, Arashi, and Kieru probably wouldn't have cared much. But I thought the kind of love/hate thing I could do with Yumi/Taka was just a lot more fun. Same thing with Anwe/Keisuke, just a random, "I'm going to poke fun at my friend this way" thingy.
Oh. And just what where Yumiko and Anwe doing there? We'll say they were meeting their American friend that was coming for a visit.