Chapter Seventeen

Anything But Ordinary

"I would've done more, if I were you." Megumi began, chewing carrot sticks as she and Kaoru watched the fifth lamest movie ever made on her VCR. "A slap was not enough." She once again commented, sending Kaoru a knowing look.

Kaoru sighed, "Yeah, I know…" they were both obviously talking about the little incident she had with Asako last night, and now Kaoru was starting to regret for not inflicting more pain on the stupid, interfering bitch. "Eh, what the heck? There's always a next time, ne?" She received a wicked grin from her friend and she too grinned back.

The two went silent for a moment, concentrating on the movie their watching before Megumi opened her mouth to ask, "Any contact with ice-block?"

"Nada." Kaoru replied with her eyes still glued on the TV while munching on her bag of chips. "But I've seen Enishi a few days ago."

"What? That other guy?" Megumi incredulously stared at her friend.

"Yep." Kaoru nodded, "I asked him to drive me to Macy's to pick up my birthday presents."

Megumi's eyes widened, "Really? Why didn't you invite him to the party?"

Kaoru rolled her eyes, "First of all, I forgot… and second, I don't want him to meet my parents."

Her friend lightly chuckled, "Yes, yes, smart move. You don't want to lose another friend now, do you?"

"If my father learns about me befriending Aoshi's cousin—he'll kill me." The dark-haired culinary student grumbled.

"Well, that sucks…"

"I know…"

Winter had definitely arrived. The snowfall was unstoppable that night as she strolled on the busy streets of Tokyo. Kaoru forlornly watched each snowflake fall on her nose, causing her eyes to cutely crisscross. Sighing, she strode further with sagged shoulders, digging both of her hands on her coat pockets until she arrived at the bus stop. Patiently she waited and in a few minutes, the bus arrived. Riding the bus was almost like a habit to her. It took a lot of effort to convince both her parents and Juro to let her commute her way home.

As she sat on the far end of the bus, Kaoru started thinking about Aoshi and her wavering relationship with him. It's been days and still no contact from him. Maybe he took dad's threat seriously. He'll never call me… he'll never make a move retrieve me back. And yet this made no sense to her. She knew Aoshi too well. He wouldn't back down so easily. He could be stubborn if he wanted to. If he had the will to get her back, then he would've done it a lot sooner. I hate to say this, Aoshi, but your cowardice angers me… she knew if Aoshi heard her calling him a coward, he'd definitely punish her—more or less, strangle her to death.

A smile then crossed her face at the thought of Aoshi getting irked and at the same time struggling to look stoic. They both enjoyed pushing each other's buttons… and in the end, they ended up loving each other in a way no other lovers would do. The relationship they had was different. Yes, there was love. But the argument, quarrels and insults could never be barred. That was the spice, as what she would call it. A day with Aoshi was never boring and she knew he thought the same. Annoying her was his favourite past time… and making him jealous was her favourite routine.

God, I miss him… Kaoru was tired of crying… but then why is it every time she thought about him, her eyes started to water?

It was so unfair.

She wanted to see him… desperately. And it hurt her to know that neither of them could please their desires.

Her musings came to a halt when she realized it was time to get off of the bus. She stood up from her seat and started walking out, her head bent low. Tugging on the hood of her jacket, Kaoru exited the bus without as much of paying attention on her surroundings, nor the person she bumped into. Her eyes were focused on the ground as she walked her way towards home.

A sigh surpassed her lips.

Another night in the mansion.

Another damn lonely night in the freakin' asylum.


Aoshi always loved the winter season. The weather perfectly suited him, cold and bitter. Ironically, his mood fit that exact description. He felt cold, bitter… and lonely. Absently he watched the snowflake cover the cold pavement in a heap. Tucking his hands on the pockets of his coat, Aoshi started walking his way towards the bus stop. Ever since Kaoru left his apartment, Aoshi came into a habit of taking the bus instead of his own car. It seems the mere act of riding the bus was enough to satisfy his abiding loneliness.


She once again invaded his mind, just as what she did while he was on the hospital, working or when he was just plain day dreaming on his free time. He couldn't stop thinking about her. And sometimes, he couldn't help not to wonder if Enishi really did go through with his threat a few nights ago.

Obviously, Aoshi's cousin was attracted to Kaoru also. And there was no stopping him from pursuing her now. Well, now that Kaoru was single again, Enishi would not hesitate to court her.

Just the thought of it made him scowl. It angered him to know that his very own cousin had the hots for his girlfriend. Correction, ex-girlfriend… Aoshi freely frowned. Was she really now his ex-girlfriend? His ex-lover? The thought alone annoyed him. You were the one who ended the relationship, you dolt! He mentally reminded himself and then not too soon he felt the urge to kick himself for his foolishness.

Regret, that was what he felt.

And now he was torn between leaving and staying in order to get the girl who was rightfully HIS. Again, he knew it was suicide. But who cared anyway? He, for one, definitely did not give a damn. He was no coward… so why was he still standing here, mourning and not making a damn move? If he wanted her back, then he'd better do something!

But then… what if Kaoru was opposed to that idea? What if she had finally gotten over him?

Enishi said she wanted to see you. I guess that's enough proof…

Not too soon, the bus arrived and people started getting off of it. While waiting, Aoshi stared into space, reminiscing his wonderful days with the innocent, lively Kamiya Kaoru.

God, how he missed her.

His musings came to a halt when he felt something… or rather, someone bump into him. Hard. Aoshi woke up from his trance and glared at the person who carelessly collided against him without so much as an apology. The person's face was hidden behind the hood of his—Or was it her?—black jacket that made Aoshi scoff and ignore the ludicrous incident. "Ch, teenagers…" he grunted before stepping inside the bus and taking his usual seat. The far side of the bus.

Funny, the moment he sat there and closed his eyes, he could almost imagine Kaoru sitting nearby.

Somewhere he could smell the familiar scent of jasmine.

And unbeknownst to him, the person he'd been thinking about for almost the entire day sat in that very same seat.

Ah yes, fate could really be playful sometimes.

Mornings were supposed to be sunny, warm and serene with the exception of birds chirping happily outside. Well, unfortunately, Kaoru's morning did not turned out as normal as what she thought it should be. Groaning in her sleep, she turned and tossed in her bed, burying her head beneath her fluffy pillow, trying to block that annoying noise coming from the outside of her room.

"Sir, please, you're not suppose to enter!" a female voice almost shrieked.

"Miss Kaoru is still asleep. Please wait here 'til she wakes up!" another voice said, almost anxiously.

"Get out of my way. I need to see her!" a strenuous male voice stubbornly replied.

"Sir, please!" the women begged until the sound of a door being harshly opened banged against the armoire next to it.

Kaoru jump with a start, "Wha—" with dishevelled hair and lethargic eyes, she observed the commotion in a blur.

"Kaoru!" a tall figure then approached her bed.

Rubbing her eyes, Kaoru tried to acknowledge the person who disrespectfully entered her room. As the figure came closer, she noticed the man had stark white-hair, sphere-like earring, and green eyes. "Enishi?" she questioningly muttered, "What are you doing here?" her voice was quite ruff from obvious reason that she had just roused from her sleep.

"Oh, miss! We tried to stop him!" one of the maids timidly explained.

"But he still insisted on entering…" the other maid continued, "We are so sorry for not driving this man away." Both bowed apologetically, afraid that they might lose their job because of this mishap, "Do you want me to call the security, miss?"

Kaoru ignored them and once again focused on her unexpected visitor, "Enishi, what's wrong?"

Enishi shook his head, "There's no time to explain. You have to come with me." He said, more demandingly.

"What? H-hey! W-wait! Eeep!" and the next thing she knew, she was being hauled up and carried like a sack of potatoes on Enishi's shoulder. "Enishi, put me down!"

"I'm sorry, but we have no more time. We have to get there, NOW!"

"Miss Kaoru!" Both servants shrieked as they watched the rude stranger take away their mistress.

"Oh my, what should we do?" the maid fidgeted as she turned to her companion.

"I don't know!" and then the two noticed Enishi reaching the stairs, "Mister! Wait!" the two scurried in suit.

"Enishi, put me down!" Kaoru weakly protested.

"No. And will you stop squirming? You're not light as what you appear." He mindlessly stated though that made him receive a rather… painful jab from the woman he was carrying.

Once outside, Kaoru ceased herself from pounding on Enishi's back and demanding him to release her. "This is definitely NOT funny." She commented, not fully expecting to be carried like this first thing in the morning. "Where are you taking me?" when she heard no answer from the other, Kaoru scrunched her face, "Enishi!"

Enishi ignored her until they reached his car and dropped her off in the passenger seat. Kaoru pouted as the door shut while Enishi walked around the car to take the driver's seat. "Don't worry, I'll return her." He assured the two shivering servants before starting the engine and drove off.

"Explain." Kamiya Kaoru demanded crossing her arms as she crossly glared on the man beside her. "This better be important, Enishi. Being hauled outside my very own house's not my daily routine."

Enishi knew better not to piss her off. And so, he then replied the answer she had been meaning to hear, "We're going to the airport."

Blue eyes widened broadly, "Eh? Airport?" her brows then knitted and her eyes flared dangerously, "Did it occur to you that I'm only wearing my pyjamas?" she tugged loosely on her pink night clothes and then checked her breath, "And God…" her face scrunched from the smell, "You didn't even give me the chance to brush my teeth nor wash my face. Aww, even my shoes are missing!" She said while lightly rubbing her still sleepy face.

"Aoshi's leaving." Enishi suddenly interjected from Kaoru's unnecessary babble.

Confusion and shock spread across the girl's face once she heard those words come out of Enishi's mouth. "What—what did you say?" did she heard him right? Did he just say Aoshi was leaving?

"Here," he tossed her a peppermint spray and then said, "You can wear my coat if your clothes bother you."

Kaoru still frowned as she repeated her previous question quite irritably, "Enishi, WHAT did you say?"

Enishi gripped hard on the wheel and replied, "The hospital he's working at recommended him overseas… he's going to New York, Kaoru. You got to stop him." He gave her a meaningful look before concentrating on the road again.

"He's leaving?" she whispered, stunned. This couldn't be happening! Why was he leaving the country all of a sudden? Was she of no importance to him at all? Could he actually leave everything behind—including her? Was she too easy to forget? How dare you! Mentally she hissed, Oh God, Aoshi you CAN'T leave me!

"Passengers of flight 7859 New York, please proceed to the…"

Aoshi looked up from the newspaper he's reading and took hold of his bag. That was his flight and as what the lady said in the speaker, the plane was leaving. Aoshi walked with measured steps, hesitantly proceeding as if he was expecting someone to appear behind him and stop him from taking another step. He looked back and found no one, much to his disappointment.

"Flight 7859 will leave in fifteen minutes, all passengers…"

"Fine." Aoshi grunted and started walking towards his plane.

This is it.

There was no turning back now.

In a few minutes, he would be leaving everything behind…

In the next two days, he would be in a new country, new customs, new surroundings, and meet new people.

Soon, he'd be starting a new life.

A new life in the big apple, New York City.

The moment the car stopped in front of the airport, Kaoru pushed the door open and jumped out. She then turned and smiled thankfully at Enishi. Profusely, she bowed, "Arigato, Enishi-san!"

Enishi smirked and winked, "Thank me later. Go get him." He said, motioning his head towards the airport.

Kaoru nodded and after bowing again, she ran off.

Running around the airport only clad in Pyjamas, an oversized coat and slippers was humiliating. But right then, Kaoru could care less. With the big risk of losing the man she loved, Kaoru would do anything to see him, wearing PJ's or not.

"Flight 7859 will leave in fifteen minutes, all passengers…"

"No…" Kaoru muttered breathlessly, abruptly stopping to regain the amount of air she lost. Desperately, she looked around for any sign of Aoshi. But much to her dismay, she couldn't find him. Again, she ran around, climbing up to the next floor and then running again. It was as if she was circling the whole airport for the last five minutes.

"Aoshi…" she called softly, on the verge of tears and losing hope.

Aoshi thought he heard someone call his name and looked back. His eyes searching the whole area, yet unfortunately he found no one.

"Sir?" His attention was quickly hauled by the flight attendant in front of him. The stewardess gave a friendly smile and said, "Ticket please."

He nodded, "Right," plucking the ticket on the inner pocket of his coat, Aoshi handed it over to the young woman, who by the way was starting to annoy him with her constant batting of eyelashes. Was something wrong with her eyes? Aoshi would never know.

Another plane took off before them as she and Enishi quietly sat back on each car seat. The white haired punk turned his head and stared on the woman sitting next to him. An hour before, he found Kaoru at the entrance looking as if the world just turned upside down. Her eyes were blank and spoke very few words. He dared not to question her on what happened since it was pretty obvious she was not able to reach Aoshi in time. He too, felt devastated.

He turned his head to watch another plane fly off but did a double take when he noticed one single tear slide over Kaoru's cheek. Shit. Now she was crying. What was he supposed to do? Damn it, I'll kill you when you get back, cus'… he straightened up and gently called, "Kaoru…"

"Why did he leave me?" Kaoru muttered, "Am I that easily to forget?"

"Of course not. I'm sure Aoshi never meant to leave you this way. Maybe, something happened…"

"He didn't even say goodbye…" Kaoru fisted on Enishi's loose coat, "… he's the most insufferable, cold bastard I've ever met!"

"Yeah, he is…" Enishi knew he had to agree with that.

Kaoru sniffled and swiftly wiped the tears away from her eyes with the back of her hands. She gave a soft yet bitter laugh before she replied, "I'm sorry, Enishi-san. I didn't mean to cry in front of you." She laughed again, "God, how embarrassing."

Enishi furrowed his brows, "Nothing's wrong with crying. You can cry if you want." Enishi was unsure of how to handle a crying, obviously depressed woman. Sighing, Enishi reached out and said, "Come here." He pulled her into a hug, enveloping his arms around Kaoru's frail form.

Once she was in his arms, Kaoru buried her face on the crook of neck and cried. She could feel his hand hesitantly running up and down on her back while the other caressing her hair. "Shh…" Enishi tightened his hold, wishing that this was enough to sooth her.

Enishi's warmth was nice.

But still…

Oh, how she wished it were Aoshi holding her right now!

Kaoru then pulled away from their embrace and looked straight into his eyes. She was so glad Enishi was there to support her. Kaoru had no idea what she'd do without him, especially in this depression. A small smile tugged the corners of her lips, "Enishi, I can't thank you enough…" still sniffling, Kaoru still managed to say.

Enishi grinned back, "Just as long as you stop crying, I'll be more than happy." With that said he pulled away as Kaoru did too and sat back on her seat.



"C-can you drive me to his place?" her eyes shifted uncomfortably as she asked.

Enishi quizzically looked at her but then answered, "… sure."

That afternoon, Kaoru stood in front of the abandoned apartment with the absence of Enishi. He dropped her off and asked if she wanted him to stay. Kaoru refused and assured that she'd be fine. Her eyes slowly scanned the whole place, memorizing each part of it for she knew it would take some time for her to gain the courage to revisit this place again. So many memories… Kaoru was not sure if she'd be able to handle more. Slowly, she walked towards the stairs and up to the front door. All the windows were closed and the lights were off, an indication that the whole place was unoccupied. Then her eyes fell down on the metal knob before her.

Could she open the door? Should she enter the apartment? Questions ran inside her mind. This would be my last visit… It wouldn't hurt to take a peek. With a sigh, she reached out and grabbed the cool handle. Surprisingly, the door was unlocked. With a familiar squeak, the door gradually opened, revealing the interior of the apartment in a snail's pace.

Hesitantly she entered with her eyes cautiously looking around as if expecting to see something. Damn, why do I keep on getting my hopes up? He's not here… you'll never see him again… with that awful thought, Kaoru closed the door behind her with a click. Proceeding inside, Kaoru took in her surroundings. She looked around as if she hadn't been in that place for years.

The living room.

Dining room.


The bedroom doors…

Everything brought out unforgotten memories.

Maybe I shouldn't have come here… Kaoru thought, her blue eyes shadowing with obvious sadness. The sun was already setting outside, bringing a bright orange shade around the apartment.

Again, Kaoru preceded with her tour and explored the empty apartment more. Hmm, actually it looked more like a house than a mere apartment… well, based on the size, that is. The place was spacious without the furniture. Great, now I'm measuring the area. A snort and then, Things that depression can do…

Deep in thought, she reached the open balcony without noticing she was already walking there. Looking up, she watched the sun set before her eyes. This was one of the best parts of the apartment. From here she could just stare up in the sky of stargaze at night because of the lack of buildings behind. The place was situated perfectly, slightly above the city. Not to mention the lushness of the whole backyard, though it was covered with heaps of snow.


Right then, a memory crossed her mind. That night when she gave the invitation to Aoshi from Tachibana Asako. A smile tugged her lips as she remembered how Aoshi disliked the idea of attending the party without her. Her smile went wider at the thought that Aoshi really hated Asako even before she met her.

Aoshi… again, the thought of him downed her. Her shoulders slumped as her eyes fell down onto the wooden flooring of the porch. Gently, she touched the wooden balustrade, letting her disappointment consume her.

No, erase that—she let her anger consume her.

I swear Aoshi, you're worse than a child! Up until now Kaoru couldn't swallow the fact that Aoshi left her just like that! He didn't even fight for her… how come? She knew Aoshi didn't have a metal heart (despite the fact that he seemed like he was the coldest bastard in the world). He might be just stoic and unfeeling to some—but to her, he was the most stubborn, arrogant jerk she had come to adore and love. She wanted to know what happened and yet he never gave her that chance.

Beyond doubt unfair.

In the midst of her inner monologue, she felt something awfully weird. The hand mindlessly caressing the wood covered with snow freely touched her chest to where her heart was beating. What is this… feeling? She mused as her face contorted in confusion. She felt unusually… different. Like someone's digging holes behind her neck.

Quickly she spun only to find herself staring into something she had never expected to see.

Right before her stood Shinomori Aoshi, staring calmly towards at her as if he was expecting her to be there. Ice-blue-eyes reflected against confused, sapphire ones.

Kaoru's breath hitched and a soft gasp escaped her throat. Her eyes flew wide as she gaped at the man standing only a few feet away from her. The soft streaks of the sun dramatically illuminated the handsome doctor's features. In short, he was breathtaking (Not to mention his sudden appearance almost caused her heart jump out of her throat).

"Aoshi?" there was no doubt it was Aoshi who's standing in front of her. The same hair, eyes, chiselled cheekbones, fine jaw… it was definitely Aoshi alright! But what was he doing here? Wasn't he supposed to be flying to New York? Kaoru was confused.

But damn, was she glad.

And upset.

"H-how?" she sputtered, not knowing when, where and how to start.

Aoshi silently stood there. His eyes never left hers. She could not tell what exactly running inside his head.

"You…" then her eyes started to water. Shit, not here! Don't cry! Not in front of him! But it was too late when a tear coursed down her cheek. "What are you doing here?" she barely whispered.

Then the trance like situation shattered in pieces once his mouth twitched into a small, amused smile, "This is my apartment."

If this was one of their daily routine arguments, Kaoru could've retorted back. But it seems various emotions overcome the bemused girl. "I thought you already left!" she said, carefully preventing herself from crying like a five-year old in front of him.


Kaoru kept her gaze steady.

"I heard you calling my name," he finally answered.

Kaoru's eyes once again widened.

Aoshi then started walking and brushed passed her only to view the sun set on the horizon. He leaned against the balustrade, relishing the cold breeze of winter afternoon. "Kamiya Kaoru…" a snort and then, "Who would've thought that clumsy girl from the hospital I mindlessly hired was the CEO's daughter…" he said, almost to himself.

Kaoru remained silent and Aoshi took this opportunity to continue.

His eyes swept over the snow-covered ground, "Every person makes mistakes. And without these mistakes, we can't call ourselves normal. We're human beings punished by God. We love, we laugh, and we cry… man's basic nature. We have flaws just like anybody else. Nothing's perfect… none of us is perfect. There are lumps in it."

Kaoru gave out a dry laugh despite of her watering eyes, "Are you trying to be a philosopher now, Shinomori-san?" as she spoke that name; it felt oddly different around her tongue. Heck, even Aoshi flinched at the way she addressed him.

"No." was his one word answer.

And God was Kaoru annoyed of it! "You—" her anger started to rise again, "You can't just appear here and say those things to me!" her hands clenched tightly at her sides, "You said we both need time to sort things out… but the moment I was separated from you, I can't stop thinking about you! I was hoping you'd appear on our doorstep, being the prince I've dreamed of when I was a child to save me out of that prison…" her eyes were shadowed by her bangs, "But you never came. My knight in shining armour never came… And then I started doubting if you really loved me…"

Aoshi felt instantly guilty, "You shouldn't."

"But how? You never came to see me… even Enishi said—"

Ice-blue-eyes narrowed dangerously, "Enishi?" what does his cousin have to do with this?

"He comforted me, keeping my hopes up that I will see you again. But when he dragged me out of my house telling me that you're leaving the country—I never felt more scared in my entire life."


"I thought you're going to leave me. I came here to relish and at the same time bury the memories I had in this place. And then you appeared out of nowhere, saying things about man's imperfection. You don't know how much you're confusing me right now… why are you doing this?" Kaoru demanded for an answer, almost exclaiming her words.

"I'm sorry." Aoshi suddenly said, straight-faced.

A frown crossed the girl's face, "I should be the one asking for forgiveness…" her eyes warily lowered to the ground. She suddenly found the footwear she borrowed from Enishi more interesting than Aoshi. What are you saying? You're confusing me…

Aoshi shook his head and straightened up to face her. Kaoru watched his every move with evident tenseness. "You are anything but ordinary, Kaoru. You're bold and beautiful… so full of life. You treated me differently and you couldn't be more different than those women who keep following me around. You loved me for what I am and not because of how I look or the money I kept in my savings account." The ice-blue-eyes softened, "As what Enishi said… you're the only person who managed to reach out to me." With a heavy sigh he spoke again, "You changed me, Kaoru. And I don't want to lose you…" he stared meaningfully straight into her eyes to emphasize his point. Now that he was here with her, he'd never let her go. She was his.

Kaoru didn't know what to say. She almost melted at his words, knowing that it touched her deeply. Her eyes brimmed with unshed tears as she replied, "Do you—still love me?"

Aoshi gave an earnest smile for the second time, "Would I still be here if I didn't?"

And that made her cry her heart out. Instead of feeling all unsure with Kaoru's crying, Aoshi took a few steps towards her and tightly wrapped his arms around her. The sun was finally gone and nightfall surrounded them.

"You bastard…" Kaoru cried, wrapping her own arms around him at the same time.

Aoshi smirked, "Can't argue with that." He definitely deserved whatever damn names she wanted to call him. Just as long as he got to hold her like this, there was nothing more he could ask. The feeling of contentment, that was all what he needs.

When Kaoru was able to stop herself from crying, she slightly pulled back and looked up at him, "Don't ever do that again!" she pouted with her cheeks flushed and puffed.

"I won't." he grinned like a teenager, feeling happier than ever.

She then stood on tiptoe and kissed him chastely. "Let me tell you something …" she whispered with a contented smile.

"Hn?" his eyes fell on her lips with thoughts of ravishing it feverishly as a result of being deprived from it for days.

"You're anything but ordinary to me too, Shinomori Aoshi, you moody git." She playfully poked him on the chest.

Aoshi laughed with amusement, "Are we gonna stay here all night to exchange insults or," he leaned down next to her ear and whispered, "are we gonna make the most of it?"

Kaoru felt her whole face redden from that question and before she could even reply, she was suddenly scooped up, earning a gasp from her. He draped her over his shoulder and carried her like a sack of potatoes towards the stairs. Sheesh, everyone just love carrying me around like this! she dryly commented as the thought of Enishi doing the same to her this morning.

"Aoshi!" she whined but then started laughing at the sudden turn out of events.

Aoshi placed her down on the floor, smirked and asked the inevitable question as they stood before the two bedrooms. "Mine or yours?"

Kaoru grinned back as she replied, "Yours…" with that double entendre answer, Aoshi pulled her tightly into his arms and kissed her.


Quick A/N: OMG! I'm finally done! Complete! Finito! Oh, I'm so proud of myself! (Jumps up and down out of joy then goes to lala land) I hope you liked my last chapter. I know I can't please everyone but still at least some of you appreciates my effort. Thanks A LOT for those who bothered to leave a review ABO. You guys rock and I just want to say how happy I am to have all of your supports (Especially my beta-readers and those who constantly e-mails me...). I know, I know, the chapter's kinda cheesy--but hey! I enjoyed writing it! Making Aoshi and Kaoru quite OOC's fun! I hope you had fun too, because I know I DID... Again, thanks a lot for reading ABO and please do support my other fics since I'll be focusing on them (Specifically "Scarlet Letter"). And yeah, thanks WhiteRabbit5, Tina and Mandy for editing this chapter. You're the best beta-readers ever!

BTW, you can check out my LJ account (newbie) for more updates.