A/N: Final Chapter. Thank you all so much for reading, I enjoyed writing this very much.
I give special thanks to: Bobby, Christina, and Dylan.
Two days had passed by since Naota woken up. No words had been exchanged on the topic of the Pirate King or what had taken place at Medical Mechanica HQ. That didn't mean that questions that had gone unanswered didn't ring in his mind constantly. What the main focus of the moment had been apparently improving his health.
Sorata after he had gulped down the noodles that Yuto had gotten for him -hunger getting the better of him, he fainted. He had been out off and on, disreguardless of day and night and his amount of fatigue. It was uncontrollable. His need for blankets was sperattic, freezing in a cold sweat or burning in next to nothing. Haruko couldn't say that she wasn't concerned, she had fought too hard for Naota just so he can go and do something like dying now.
The young man was lying on the couch, under almost every blanket Yuto had owned, sweat dripping down his chin, lightly shivering. He was attempting to catch sleep, but it eluded him. Haruko walked up to the side of the couch. How ya doin'? she asked, softly.
I can't sleep, I'm cold. Naota tiredly replied.
'Mind if I joined you?
Shock registered his senses for a moment, but a chill took his body and he suppressed a violent shiver as best he could. He looked toward her and shrugged... Maybe extra body heat wasn't such a bad idea.
Carefully, aware that not all of his injuries had fully healed(while hers were enough to no longer pose any problems for her), Haruko slid herself under the many layers of blankets, gentlely placing herself above him, making herself close to another blanket. She pulled his body, although wet with sweat, to her and wrapped her arms around his waist. His chest rose and fell in a deep breath, as she placed her cheek against the side of his head. Naota's shivering subsided for the moment, and she felt him pull her in close. Then he spoke.
Haruko... what happened... back there?
She had the feeling she knew what he was referring to.
Haruko answered she a slight shrug, You reached your potential.
She looked back at that moment, right before the blinding light -when she had almost cried.
... You died. the effect of what actually happened just seemed to hit her. Naota had died. But here he was under her, breathing -although a little shallow- but alive. Something inside her felt like it had just been twisted. But he didn't seem to react the same way, just slowly nodding.
It was ... dark. It hurt.
Something in side her heart twinged, it felt like... guilt.
After another moment or two of silence, Naota spoke up. What are you- but he was cut off as Yuto's voice called out to Haruko. With an exaggerated sigh, she brought her head up.
Call for you.
Who the hell is it?
HQ. They want to talk to you.
Unreadable look on her face, Haruko looked down to Naota. I'll be right back. she assured him as she slipped out of the blankets and left the room. She headed towards the front desk and stood next to Yuto. He pointed to the vid-screen on a small device on the wall behind the counter. A small light was flashing until he pressed it and an image appeared on the screen. It was her superior.
Reluctantly, she replied.
You have been involved in the destruction of the Medical Mechanica Headquarters in the Beta Quadrant, have you not? not waiting for her answer, her superior continued.
This has been a major event in the war -in our favor. There are only a number of stations and substations for us to deal with now; without their central command center they are terribly unorganized.
However, you have also disobeyed your orders again -you've gone AWOL, proceeded to seize the enemy's headquarters without our consent, and also eventually obtained the powers of the Pirate King Atomsk.
Henceforth, you are under strict house arrest until our forces arrive to escort you back to HQ where you will be put on trial for your actions.
In addition to this, the boy you rescued from Medical Mechanica must be brought in for testing. He was subjected to the highly addictive illegal drug known as space serum', unnaturally slowing his aging process to that of ours.
He will not be able to return to Earth for they believe him to be dead and he had been subjected to the space serum'.
Former General Ryuu is to keep you under house arrest until your escorts arrive. You have one day.
And that was it. The screen clicked off to black. But before another moment had passed, the screen had shattered for Haruko's fist had shot it's way into the wall behind it.
Haruko couldn't believe her ears. What the hell did they think they were doing? Putting her on trial and testing on Naota... it was total bull shit. She knew she had broken a few rules, but this was going to far. What were they going to do with her? Kick her out? Use her as a test subject too? Have her finish off what was left of MM forces? They were fucking insane.
But before Haruko had time to contemplate this more, or for Yuto to respond -a thump sounded to their left. It was Naota, laying on the ground at the end of the hall, for he had fainted.
All of Haruko's sudden anger left her in a rush, all of her thoughts turned to the fallen boy. She walked over to his side, to see if he was hurt. Luckily, none of his wounds had reopened when he fell. With an audible sigh, she lifted him up to bring him back to the couch. Yuto lagged behind silently, at a loss for words. They may have gotten out of the hands of MM, but Haruko and Naota were in for still more problems. Yuto wished he could help them; he scratched an itch on his stubbly chin. He was to keep Haruko under house arrest... how could he do that?
As he made his way into the room, Haruko had placed Naota back down on his previous spot on the couch. Her eyebrows met in an look of what could be taken as determination or anger as she sat next to the couch, glaring down on a spot next to the sleeping boy's head. He was pale with dark rings under his eyes, despite the fact that he was eating properly now. Yuto joined her, placing his crutch down on the floor.
That's why he's like this.
Yuto, caught off guard by the edge in Haruko's voice, moved his focus from the boy on the couch to the young woman sitting in front of him. The look in her eyes seemed distant, yet angry.
What do you mean?
She took a deep breath, aware that if she were to hold a conversation with Yuto she should probably calm down -she already broke his vid-screen. After a moment she turned to look at him, the look in her eyes softened, although the edge in her voice still apparent.
Space Serum. It's highly addictive. It's that shit that MM was making him take. He's going through withdrawal. Her sentence ended harshly, the last word almost spat out.
How long do you think they had him on it?
I don't know... she trailed off, her voice dropping it's edge as she was in thought. Not long, he wasn't like this when I saw him before. Her first rescue attempt.
Then the effects should last too long, right? he asked, slightly motioning to the couch with his head. She nodded.
But he can't go home anymore... she stated.
Damn them... that wasn't fair. It was all MM's fault... and if she had only been successful the first time!
Haruko slammed her fist against the floor, though it landed without heat. What could they do now? What was she planning on doing after she saved Naota anyway? ... Didn't plan that far ahead. Oops.
We have a day. She reminded them of the time left before she was reprimanded and Naota dragged away... she couldn't let that happen -but how?
Yuto and Haruko planned for the rest of the night while Naota slept.
Naota lifted his head up to new, but familiar surroundings. Right, he was at Yuto's place -where ever that was. He sat up to observe his surroundings once more, the was sun shining, it was day. Had he slept the whole day?
Then he realized, he wasn't cold anymore. Or burning, or sweating. He felt... fine. Wanting to test out the extent of his health, carefully -he stood up. The world spun only for a second, the result of laying down for so long catching up with him. After that he stretched. He let out a whine as what seemed like every bone in his body cracked. He was still slightly sore, but the pain was much more bearable now then it had been before.
Curious to see what was going on outside, he slowly walked out of the room, hoping this wouldn't knock him out again. He heard the unmistakable sound of the Vespa running somewhere outside. Then he heard voices along with the hum of the motor. It was Yuto and Haruko. Then one of them stepped into the shop, it was Haruko. She hopped over the counter and made her way down the hall and caught sight of Naota in the doorway. You're up. She asked, her tone bright. Naota then noticed that her face and clothes were smudged with grease -and he gathered that all the activity outside was her and Yuto fixing the motor. He surpressed a smile for the comfortable casualness of the situation.
How much did you hear before?
It was his turn to nod.
She smiled at him. He felt a blush coming on and he felt 12 again.
Why d'you ask?
'Cause I'm leaving.
Naota's heart sank.
Haruko was leaving... again. She was leaving him alone. He suddenly felt the sting of tears in his eyes, and he turned away from her, hoping that she didn't see them.
he managed out.
Why wouldn't see be leaving? GSPB wanted her -she was going on the run. She had Atomsk's powers now, she could take care of herself. She didn't need him anymore at all. That meant that he'd have to face the GSPB forces alone, they would take him -and he'd be subject to more tests... He suppressed a sob, and trying to make it look as if he was scratching his nose, he wiped his tears away.
Where are you going to go?
Dunno, away. She shrugged.
His voice was threatening to break as he spoke again, Will... I ever see you again?
Naota couldn't met her eyes. Fingers gentlely placed themselves on his chin, and turned his face to Haruko's.
You've been crying. she stated, smiling.
His heart fluttered, and sadly, he nodded. She had him.
Do you think I'm just going to leave you here this time?
He stared at her, shocked.
I'm taking you with me. Be ready by tonight.
Night came quickly, and before he knew it he stood in front of the counter of the shop, looking outside to the ready and waiting Vespa. Yuto had given all of his old clothes to Naota, for he was wearing a shirt from 1974 Tokyo, and pair of jeans from before Yuto had lost his leg. They have to go to someone besides Haru-chan. he had stated grinning, while handing a pile of pants over to a sweatdropping young man.
Naota didn't need to make sure he packed light however, he didn't have anything with him when he got there anyway. He felt a hand on his shoulder and he jumped, then realized it was only Haruko. You know how to use this thing? she questioned him, slipping the bass strap over his shoulder.
I took a few bass lessons when I was 14.
She shook her head. I'll teach you how to really use it. Haruko smirked, walking over to face him. Before turning to walk out the shop doors, she winked at him. He blushed, but felt a slight pang in his heart.
He would most likely never see Earth again. He'd never have a chance of seeing Mamimi or his brother ever again, and he was now going to be an outlaw. Part of him wanted to cry about this fact, and he deeply regret it. Then again, he was with Haruko, for who knew how long. And Haruko wanted him there with her.
Ta-kun! We're going! he heard her call out to him. Yuto voice answered from behind him. In a sec, Haru-chan! Naota turned to face the older man, who was looking back at him with a wide smile on his face.
Promise me something, will you, Naota? the young man was surprised he knew his name. Shyly, he nodded. Yuto continued to smile at him.
Take care of Haru-chan for me.
Naota must have been blood red, for Yuto chuckled softly. I -I promise. he replied with a nod. His heart felt light at the idea of what he was promising to do. That's what I thought. Yuto replied, in a tone that Naota hadn't heard the man use yet, it was... sadly kind.
Before another moment passed for Naota to ponder this however, he was lead out of the door over to the Vespa. We planned this out a head of time. Haruko said to Naota, handing him a helmet and goggles. This would be the first time he rode with her with them on.
By the time the GSPB gets here, we won't be too far, and we'll lay low for a little while. They won't think to check so close to this planet. she added, revving the engine. Yuto continued for her. When they ask me what happened I'll just tell him that Haru-chan kicked my ass. I'm already missing a leg, and they know she's got Atomsk's powers, so they'll believe me pretty easily. She kidnapped you. Yuto ended with a laugh, and Naota smiled back.
Naota sat himself behind Haruko on the moped, but watched that he didn't disturb their bags that were attached to the Vespa. After things calm down over here, you guys are welcome to come back. Just be careful okay? Yuto looked to both of them, Haruko nodded and waved at goodbye to him.
Where are we heading? Naota asked Haruko.
She then turned to him, once more revving the engine. Well, once we're out -we gonna look for Canti. You ready?
Naota smiled and nodded, Haruko grinned -and they were off.
His grip around Haruko's waist tightened, and her right hand gripped his own.
They were free.
You are most likely wondering about what happened to Canti, right? Don't worry, he's out there somewhere, Haruko and Naota are gonna find him. *nods* I dunno how a sequel would turn out.... you never know. This is officially the longest piece of fanfiction I've ever written, with the highest word count.
*bows* Thank you again for reading. -Sakurazuka Seiri Raharu