The final chapter of After the Storm! Enjoy, my fanfiction friends!
Disclaimer: I do not own Fruits Basket. Even the earlier chapters say so. They're mocking me, I swear!
"You look like you've just had a nice dream," I said as I looked in on her.
Kagura smiled. "I was thinking about the past. I don't remember if I had any dreams." With a yawn, she sat upright and focused her fog-gray eyes on me.
"Is your headache gone?" I asked her, unable to keep the solicitude from my voice.
She nodded. "Yes. All I needed was a nap." She looked around as if listening intently for something. "Did everyone leave?"
"They wanted to give you some peace and quiet." I sweatdropped while adding, "And you know how hard that would be with Kyo yelling and Shigure cheering about cake."
Her laugh was a heavenly sound to my ears. "I told them to enjoy themselves. But it's nice that they were so thoughtful."
"If you're feeling up to it, would you like to take a walk with me?" I looked out the window. Twilight was fading to night. I had to hurry if I wanted my timing to be perfect. They would be there soon.
"Sounds nice," Kagura agreed. She stood parallel to me as she smoothed the wrinkles from her summer dress. Hand in hand, we journeyed to the doorway. She slipped on a pair of sandals and I put on some shoes before she and I left.
A brush of warm air kissed our faces upon our exit. Summer nights are usually sticky and uncomfortable, but this one was warm and nice.
Just like being with her, I thought as we walked down the street. She attracted many admiring looks from males, as did I with the opposite sex. Even though they look at her, she doesn't seem to notice.
I don't have to worry about her leaving me and she doesn't have to worry about me. As far as I'm concerned, the only woman in this world is Kagura. And I know that she only has love for me.
Do I deserve her? I wondered some nights. Kagura is the best thing that has happened to me. Will she find out that I'm not worthy of her? Will she leave me when she discovers this?
Now I laugh at my earlier doubts. I realized that on my arm is a woman who loves me for who I am.
She once said that she loved Kyo, everything about him. She passionately declared that she loved the good things, the bad things, even when he took on his true form. Perhaps she loved Kyo so much that it hurt him physically when she was around, but she loved him unconditionally. I was jealous of what he had. I had no desire to obtain the abuse Kyo did on a regular basis, but I wanted love. I wondered why he was so angry. He had friends and I chose solitude. He wasn't as strong as me, but did that matter when he had unconditional love?
That made me bitter. Tohru was a blessing, including me in her friends' activities. But despite my gratefulness, I wanted to make friends on my own. I longed to be sociable and friendly enough for people to say, "That Yuki is special. I want to be his friend."
I was in a dark void. When Kagura ran away from Kyo and Tohru, I instinctively knew that I had to help her. It wasn't that I just didn't want anyone else to experience the same feeling in my heart. I also liked her.
I tried reaching out to her when I saw her in the rain, but she locked me out of her heart. In that moment, I understood what it was like to be her. Kyo never gave her a chance, and it was clear that she despised my very presence. With understanding came respect, then deep affection. I would do anything for the drenched girl that stood in front of me.
I held Kagura, hoping these feelings could be expressed to her. And she let me hug her! I was so happy that I silently vowed to help her.
Even if she didn't return my feelings, I craved the day when she could think of Kyo without experiencing sadness. In the space of a month, I fell even more in love with her. When her words were losing her tears, I was truly happy for her.
I listened to her and gave her my words, but I've often regretted that I couldn't do more for her. According to Kagura, my simple act of listening encouraged her to heal. Even more shocking than this confession was her confession of love for me four months later.
Kagura is convinced that I saved her from drowning in a well of sadness, but in retrospect, she was the one who helped me. My life had a purpose, but there were always dark clouds in the distance. Her smiles and kindness dispelled the ominous clouds in my life's sky. Without her, I don't think happiness would reign my life like this.
Our destination loomed in front of us. She released my hand and ran into the plushy grass.
"Oh, Yuki!" she exclaimed. She spun so fast, it was as if she weren't a person, just a chaotic cloud of sky blue. When she stopped, she smiled at the glowing insects languishing in the air, illuminating the night like lanterns.
I walked into the park and ended up by her side. But she was ubiquitous, examining the flowers, and then traversing the path.
"Tulips!" She walked on the dusty lake lined with pink, yellow, and red flowers. The fireflies seemed to be attracted to her. They formed a shroud around Kagura.
"Thank you for bringing me here, Yuki. And you remembered my fondness of fireflies! Thank you."
She's to me what the fireflies are to the night. She lit up my life even more when she decided to confide in me. Her smiles, her laughter, and millions of things that make up her persona sent millions of illuminated lights my way.
She has as many good qualities as there are fireflies in the sky.
"Darling, what's wrong?" Her smile disappeared. How'd I do anything to make her smile again.
"Nothing's wrong. Everything's right." I stepped closer to my princess.
"Kagura... We've been together a long time. Time seemed to fly between the first moment we became a couple and now. Seeing you now, I understand what life is about. It's supposed to be full of light and joy. That's what you epitomize. You believe I coached you out of a broken life, but I know it was your doing. You have inner strength, as well as outer strength," I added, pointing to the arm she previously punched.
"It's you who brightened my days more effectively than the sun. You warmed my nights and gave me a purpose. You are my entire life, Kagura. You are the beginning and the end of our story. I want to thank you for being my salvation. I also want to ask you if you would be my wife."
Kagura gasped at the appearance of a velvet box as I kneeled. Upon opening it, a sanguine ruby with tiny pearls surrounding it was presented to her.
"Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes! Oh, Yuki, I will marry you!" she shouted as she threw herself into my arms. Tears encrusted our eyes as we gazed into each other's faces. Her lips dropped onto mine. I held her tighter, savoring the taste of her, the warmth of her arms, and my exploding heart.
Two Months Later...
"Thank you for attending our wedding," my wife said with a smile. She looked enchanting in a snow-white kimono threaded with pink and lilac flowers. Her hair was pinned up to reveal a pale neck which displayed a diamond necklace.
Our family smiled back at us above the mile-long trail of deserts on the table. The night produced a sliver of moon that resembled a smile.
"I'm sure everyone's hungry, so enjoy our Fantastic Fruits Feast!"
"You didn't have to name our desert," Kyo pointed out.
"I got the habit from Momiji. But enough of that. Eat!"
I brought out her hand to admire her ring. The deep color of red... It was the color of the umbrella that I shielded her with so long ago. That was the beginning of the story, our romantic tale. If I didn't go after her and if she didn't consent to wanting my help, we wouldn't be where we were today.
"Still can't believe it?" Kagura asked me.
"I can't. It went by so quickly," I answered. I looked at Kagura lovingly.
I'm reflected in her eyes, just as she's in mine.
Just as we're reflected in each other's hearts.
"I love you," I whispered.
"I love you, too," she said through her tears.
We'll run into dilemmas in life. I know this to be fact. And yet, life will be wonderful with her by my side. We'll battle them together as one.
Just as we've always done.