Boys Before Flowers
"You never apologized…" Mimi was thinking aloud. Yamato looked over at her, hands crammed in pockets, "What?"
"You never apologized for being a big jerk last year." She pouted a little bit, looking up at him, "I apologized."
They had gone shopping in Shibuya together. Mimi got lonely often, since her parents weren't home.
Yamato sighed, running his hands through his hair.
"I was kind of a jerk, huh?"
"Kind of?" Mimi nudged him meaningfully, "I cried almost every night."
He stopped walking and turned her towards him, placing his hands on her shoulders and leaning forward, his eyes flickering seriously. But Mimi turned her head snobbishly and crossed her arms.
"Don't think that a kiss will get you out of an apology again." She said, peering at him from the corner of her caramel eyes, "Just apologize."
He paused, thinking, then leaned towards her ear and whispered,
Mimi sniffed and pushed past him.
"Not good enough."
"Make it up to me…" She turned and pointed across the street, "…there."
Yamato followed her extended finger with his eyes. Several "Love Hotels" stood against the winter night. He blushed without thinking and quietly asked,
Mimi blinked, confused, obliviously following the direction in which she was pointing. It took her a few moments; finally, she herself blushed and whapped him on the shoulder.
"Not there. There."
Yamato looked again. Then he paled slightly.
She turned her head and sniffed.
"If not there, then I won't forgive you."
"All I can say is," Hikari leaned back on the couch, arm brushing with Takeru's but pretending like she didn't notice, "it's about time."
"You're one to talk." Taichi mumbled, his head tipped back on the other side of her, examining the ceiling without intent. Hikari blushed sourly,
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Takeru cleared his throat, pushing the copy of Fame Magazine aside.
"Hey, we were thinking of going out for gyoza or something. Do you want to come?"
"Can't." Taichi hopped up, heading for the foyer, "I've got a date with Sora."
"You?" Hikari leaned back on the couch, "A date with Sora?"
"What can I say? I'm a romantic at heart." He stuffed his wallet, lying carelessly with the shoes, in his back pocket. "Itte kimasu."
"Itte rasshai." Called Hikari and Takeru after him. Taichi shut the door, leaving the two of them sitting on the couch in an empty house.
"I can't believe he left us alone." Said Hikari, honestly surprised.
They looked at each other and blushed, finding their knees suddenly very captivating.
"So uh…" said Takeru quickly, "…you wanted to go out for gyoza, right?"
"Yeah…" They moved to the foyer, shoving on shoes and putting on coats. Hikari yanked her purse from a hook on the wall.
"How do you feel? About Mimi going out with Yamato, I mean?"
"I dunno, I just wanted them to be happy." He grinned, "Why? Are you jealous?"
"Maybe…" She said tentatively.
Takeru's face fell quickly.
"Really?" She grinned.
"Yeah right." She slipped through the door and Takeru closed it behind her, saying "Don't scare me like that…"
After dinner, Taichi and Sora walked through the busy streets hand in hand.
"You've been so sweet lately." Sora hummed, squeezing his hand, "Are you trying to get at something?"
"Geez, you're so suspicious…" Taichi scratched the back of his head with his free hand, "Can't I spend time with my girlfriend?"
Sora stood on her tiptoes and kissed his cheek.
"Gomen ne." Taichi continued to pout, though his face reddened slightly.
They traversed the shopping district, Sora admiring all the stylish clothing. Taichi meanwhile watched the bright lights and strange people.
He stopped suddenly.
"Taiyo?" Sora asked.
"Lemme see your phone." Taichi said bluntly.
Sora pulled it out of her bag and handed it to him.
"Did you forget something?"
He opened the phone, aimed and shot. Surveying his handiwork, he smiled and dialed a number. Taichi's cellphone (that American song "Yeah!") went off in his pocket.
"Your cellphone…" Sora said.
Taichi flipped her phone shut and handed it back without bothering to see who was calling him.
"What was that all about?" Sora said, looking dubiously between him and the phone as she replaced it.
"Once again, so suspicious…" He leaned down so that his cheek floated in front of her face so she could kiss it, the familiar smug smile on his face, "Go. Men. Ne. Tai. Yo."
Taichi enunciated each syllable because he knew it would aggravate her. True to his assumptions, Sora shoved him lightly.
But they were both smiling.
Toru looked very sternly between them.
"Look, just because we got a good review in Fame Magazine and an offer from Divinity Records, doesn't mean we can relax." His finger whipped towards Yamato and Mimi, "And just because you two are going out, it doesn't mean that you can make kissy-kissy with each other anymore (he looked specifically at Yamato) than you can with Reiichi."
Reiichi wasn't paying attention. He had started a conversation with Mimi and continued it long after she thought it was finished.
"…I mean, the best man won. I won't dwell on what could have been…"
"And no matter what," Toru continued, "if you get in an argument or break up or something, our personal lives will not interfere with our progress as musicians. The band comes first. That's our new motto."
"Whatever." Yamato said. Toru flinched.
"Don't take it so lightly…" he muttered, "We all voted on it. We're a democracy now."
Keitaro raised his hand but spoke anyway,
"If this is a democracy, I vote we change our name."
"We're not changing our name." said Toru bluntly.
"You just said…"
"Well, forget what I just said, then…"
They started arguing and Reiichi continued muttering to himself. Yamato leaned over towards Mimi's ear and whispered,
"You wanna go make kissy-kissy over there?"
But before they could make their great escape, Yamato's phone rang, calling everyone's attention to the escaping couple. Mimi sighed with a smile,
"What did I just tell you!" Toru exclaimed.
Yamato ignored him and checked his phone. New picture mail.
He opened it. His face twitched.
It was a picture of he and Mimi leaving the karaoke bar she had dragged him to the night before. Akin to last time Yamato had lost miserably, but to "atone for past crimes" Mimi had made him wear her hideous 'winner's hat', a gaudy glittery tiara with pink feather lining. It was possibly the most humiliating moment in his life. But he was home free now. He had left that night behind him. Or so he thought.
Mimi peeked at the picture and stifled a laugh.
"Oh, you look so cute…"
Yamato twitched again, scrolling down. There was a caption to go along with it.
YAMATO, PINK IS NOT YOUR COLOR. –TAICHI
He snapped his phone shut and stomped irritably back to his seat, muttering under his breath. There were a few audible words: Big Head. Idiot. Kill.
Mimi finally managed to suppress her giggles.
"I'll forgive you now. I think you've been punished enough."
"Punishment?" Reiichi responded for the first time in a good half-hour, blushing slightly, "What kind of punishment?"
"Not that kind." Said Keitaro and Toru together.
"What are you talking about?" asked Mimi innocently. All three boys blushed and waved their hands.
"Uh, nothing. How about we practice now?" They began to set up their instruments near the speakers. Mimi sat in the folding chair beside Yamato. Before she could speak, he muttered,
"You're troublesome, you know that?"
She only smiled.
"That's why I'm so cute." Yamato glanced at her with a small grin, leaning over and touching his mouth very lightly with hers. Then a rogue drumstick whapped him in the face.
"No kissy-kissy!" Toru screeched.
In Fiji, Tachikawa Satoe sat up from her sleep. Looking to her left, she realized her husband had also woken up.
"Kissy…" She started.
"Kissy…?" He finished.
They glanced at each other.
"It's so quiet without Mimi-chan…" Nanaka stretched her arms and yawned, "I feel so calm and at peace…"
"It's true." Yumi, currently engrossed with the latest installment of her favorite manga, turned the page, "She attracts trouble, doesn't she?"
"Mm. I'm sure Ishida would agree. She always hangs out with him and his good-looking friends, or goes to practice or goes on dates. So busy…"
Yumi set her book face down on the floor.
"I miss her." She said.
"Me too." Nanaka agreed.
They sighed together.
"I have to admit. Life was very exciting when she was at war." Said Nanaka.
"I almost miss that too. To think we went to Ishida's house…"
"Yeah. He's scary. But…" She looked at Yumi, "Mimi-chan is lucky, isn't she?"
They sighed again.
"Let's find rocker boyfriends." Said Yumi.
So in the end, everything worked out. Yamato and Mimi aren't at war anymore and instead chose to be boyfriend and girlfriend. I didn't see that one coming. And of course, Taichi and Sora continued acting like an old married couple. Even precious Hikari-chan and that pretty boy are enjoying lover's bliss; they're on a date at this very moment. Grrr. But what I want to know is…
Daisuke threw his fisted hands in the air.
"Where's my happy ending!"
"Don't complain when I'm treating you to lunch." Said Miyako sullenly. Ken and Iori solemnly nodded. Daisuke threw his chopsticks onto the table.
"Don't you resent that we were completely ignored this entire time?"
"Nope." Said the three of them together. Ken said, "I actually find it refreshing."
"Restrain yourself." Said Iori, referring to Daisuke's unintelligible rant from across the table, waving tufts of maroon hair in his fingers, "You're making a scene."
Daisuke slammed his fists down on the table.
"I even have to live with that woman, moping around the house all day, crying and lighting incenses. It's really unfair." It really was unfair.
"It can't be helped." The three of them said together.
Yamato answered the door with his shirt off, his hair dripping wet and a towel hung casually over his shoulders. Mimi blushed, hiding the bouquet of flowers skillfully behind her back.
"Come inside." He said, pulling the towel through his hair. She nodded, slipping her shoes off of her feet as he moseyed back into his room. Mimi made her way towards the kitchen, where Yamato had set the wildflowers in a vase on the counter.
"The flowers are still alive." She said, faux-thoughtfully as she quietly unwrapped the plastic from the bottom of her own bouquet.
"Yeah. It's been almost two weeks. They must be hardy." Called Yamato, from his room. She grinned. She had, in secret, been replacing the flowers every other time she came over. Thus far, she hadn't been caught.
"Maybe it's a symbol of our relationship." She answered, trying to hold back her excited giggles as she lifted the blue flowers from the vase and replaced them with her identical set, taking her hands off of it just in time for Yamato to come around the corner of his room, wearing a black tee-shirt.
"That it's hardy?"
She gave him a look.
"That it will never die." She said meaningfully. Yamato scoffed quietly and rolled his eyes. Mimi put her hands on her hips; she had to fight to keep herself from shaking the flowers in his face.
"What's that about?"
"Nothing." He smiled. It was a very nice smile. "I just don't want to jinx it, I guess."
They stared at each other for a moment, then Yamato flopped on the couch and leaned his head back. Mimi took the opportunity to toss the old bouquet in the trashcan before making her way to the couch and sitting beside him. He smelt like always: soap, shampoo, a subtle aftershave. She had not known he could grow facial hair.
She breathed in contentedly. Breathe out.
"I have a little confession."
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, slightly worried.
"I've been replacing the flowers in the vase."
He grinned first. Then he tipped his head back and laughed. Mimi smiled unsteadily, trying to see what could be so humorous.
"What's so funny? Hey, Yamato…"
He pulled a lock of her hair through his fingers, chuckling quietly. And in that instant, before he even formed the words, she knew what the answer would be.
"I've been replacing them too."
It took her a moment to comprehend.
Then she threw her arms around him and laughed.
End of Epilogue.
Alright. It's done. It's finally done. I'm not going to write anymore! Well, I'm going to try not to write anymore because I have a strong sense of closure right now. I'm sorry it was so long. I dunno; I guess if you made it all the way down here, then it didn't bother you so much. Anyway, now that all the mimato is out of my system for a while I'm going to try and write some takari. I feel like Takeru and Hikari are a little neglected. So yeah. Oh, and thanks for reading.