A/N: Heh. I'm sure you all thought I would be evil, ne? Well, I decided to scrape a little of the ice off my heart and present you with this! The magnificent epilogue! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Don't own, not making any money!
Warnings: Shounen-ai, character-death
Main Characters: Souma Ayame and Souma Hatori
Additional Notes: "Moroi Jinsei Omoi-de Aru" means "Remembrance of a Fragile Life". Still depressing.
Epilogue: Moroi Jinsei Omoi-de Aru
"You left me, sweet, two legacies,—
A legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had he the offer of
"You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
You conscience and me."
He stood there, lost, alone, a frigid chill twined about his heart. Empty. He stared at that fan, so cold, so tired. It was an ordinary fan—six blades and no light. It was just a fan, but it sent chills and horror through his soul. Shadows played across it, giving it the feeling of that night…
He'd gone to find Shigure; his friend had acted so strange, had looked so upset as he had left the day before. He didn't understand—he couldn't understand anything at all anymore. Dark, everything was so dark now, so uncertain. Since that day, since those words… He could close his eyes and those words would echo in his mind, engraved there for eternity.
"I… I'm sorry Aaya, for everything. Please…I don't deserve it, but…someday…I hope you can forgive me." He'd smiled, his eyes glassy and wet. "I know you and Haa-san will be happy together… I wish you nothing but love, and luck… Goodbye… Aaya…"
That was last time he saw the Shigure he had thought he knew. Perhaps…if he hadn't stayed by Hatori… He should have followed—he should have! Things might've been different—if only he had gone after his friend!
But he hadn't.
He'd knocked on the door the next day, wanting to talk, but no one had answered. He'd waited and waited and waited. He'd waited for nearly twenty minutes; he was worried, the image of the dog's anguished face from the day before flashing through his mind. He couldn't stand worrying and waiting anymore—he opened the door.
The sight he'd seen haunted his days and nights now, twisting and looming in his mind. If he had only followed… Shigure… He'd found Shigure.
The dog, the one he had always thought would be there, had hung himself in the shadows of Akito's room. The noose was made of the satin and silk bed sheets, twisted, braided, and looped together. He'd hung himself from that fan.
He could still see those wide, unseeing eyes, that mouth, horribly pale and blue-tinted, open in a silent scream, an unheard cry for release. His neck broken, head cocked at an impossible angle—he only hoped death was swiftly… So limp, lifeless, as his feet dangled near flour feet above the waiting ground…
He was shaking now. He felt light-headed, the room beginning to sway and spin; he knew if he didn't sit down soon his legs would give out. Carefully he sank to the floor, his wide eyes near really leaving the fan. His breath hitched and he gasped to catch it before it left forever. His best friend had died on that fan…
Shigure hadn't even left a note—perhaps that's what killed him the most—he didn't understand. Why had Shigure done it? Why? Why? There was no need for it! Why had the dog thrown his life away? Why? Still, he believed it to be Akito's fault; though how, he wasn't sure. He'd found the patriarch's body near Shigure's—he was dead. Fluid in the lungs, or something like that. He had only asked one question after the autopsy—"Did he die in the pain he deserved?" Akito deserved pain, he had decided long ago; he deserved to rot and burn in hell for everything. There had been no tears shed at Akito's funeral and that felt…right, somehow.
He sighed, a dry sob escaping through the fingers that now covered his mouth. The dog's funeral had been different. Tears fell like rain as they lowered the casket, flowers and small things piled on with prayers and farewells. He'd clung to Hatori, unable to hold himself up alone. He could see nothing but the way Shigure had looked, cold and limp, above the ground. Another sob ripped free and he felt himself drowning, suffocating. "Why?"
"He wanted to."
He swallowed, glancing over his shoulder to see Hatori, a cigarette, long since burnt out, held lightly between those lips. "T-Tori…"
"Ayame, Shigure must have wanted to die… He was the one who made the noose. He was the one who tipped over the chair beneath him… He was the one who ended it." Hatori closed his eyes. "He wanted to die."
"But why?" demanded Ayame, shaking worse. "Why?"
The dragon shook his head. "I can't answer that."
Golden eyes were wide, tears streaming down those cheeks, through those splayed fingers. "Oh Gure-san…why?"
Hatori only watched, his emerald eyes infinitely sad.
His stomach heaved and Ayame clamped his hands over his mouth as he felt the nausea rise. The tears were coming faster now, burning, and his eyes glazed with the agony of it all. Hatori knelt next to him, wrapping his arms around the snake, holding him. "Ayame…I'm here. I promise I will never leave you… Never…"
A sob, so broken, so alone. "Tori…"
Hatori winced as he pulled Ayame closer, the scar on his stomach aching, sending a sharp pain through his frame but he ignored it—his lover was far more important than any scar. He kissed those lips, those eyelids, that forehead, the crystal tears that fell from twin suns, wishing he could kiss away all the pain. "I swear to you, Ayame," he whispered into silver tresses, "I will always be here. I will always be yours."
"I… Oh, gods, Tori-san," managed the snake through the pain. "Tori-san… I love you—don't leave me!"
The dragon held Ayame's shaking body, knowing he would never—could never—break his promise, his vow. "I promise—I won't."
They stayed that way for what seemed like hours, Hatori never once speaking of his own wearied agony. Ayame moaned softly, his hand going to his forehead. "Tori-san…why did it have to be this way?"
The dragon sighed, emerald soft and understanding. "We may never know that Ayame—all we can do is pray and hope…and remember happier days for Shigure."
Ayame sniffed, resting back against the dragon's chest, mindful of the throbbing scar. "Happier days? I suppose… He should know—I wonder: can he see everything from heaven?" A ghost of a smile flitted across Hatori's face as he held the only thing he had left closer. "Do you think he knows? About Yuki and Tohru?"
A quiet laugh. "Yes, I'm sure he does. I'm sure he had a hand in it as well—something about their engagement just reeked of Shigure, didn't it?"
"Yes!" giggled the snake softly, his eyes sliding half-closed. "Yes… You know, sometimes I can feel him… I think, Tori, that he's watching over us…"
Hatori swallowed dryly, closing his own eyes. "I think you're right—we're always together—"
"Even when we're apart," finished his silver-haired lover. "We'll meet him again someday, won't we Tori-san?"
"Yes, murmured the dragon softly, picking the snake up. "We will…and everything will be fine. Mabudachi Trio forever…"
Ayame murmured against his chest as he made his way down the hall, toward the room they now shared. "Tori? Do you think there will be sakura in heaven? Gure-san always loved watching them fall…"
A small lump had formed in Hatori's throat and he paused in his walking. "Yes," he said at last after a moment. "Yes…but it will be better—there will be sakura snows…"
/Saigo no Owari\\\
A/N: Okay, this is the final chapter—there will be no more after this, no matter how many times you ask (no offense). I hope you enjoyed "Sakura Snows", and I'm sorry the updates took so long. If you have any questions, just ask and I'll be happy to answer them! The poem in chapter 9, I forgot to mention (and thanks to a reviewer for reminding me), is "The Song of Love and Death" by Lord Alfred Tennyson, and the poem at the head of this chapter is by Emily Dickinson. Thank you to everyone who has reviewed and I hope to hear reviews from you again!