Chapter 22: End
"That's our mom Tohru-chan," Sachiko answered, as she hugged her sister close, small tears flying down her face. "Mom gave birth to you, the same day she died."
Sachiko saw Kyo standing in the doorway, and he was gazing in, as if a stranger in a distant land. He finally spoke, "Was that really mom's story? Did she give up her life, for my life?"
Sachiko nodded, "Mom loved us, and…she gave up Yuki, for me." Ayame wandered in, hearing those words. He saw the children all on the bed now, curled up around Sachiko, the eldest.
Ayame backed out of the doorway and whispered, "Tohru, are you watching?" His own mind went back to Tohru's martyr attitude. The way she gave up everything for her kids, because Akito told her so. His wife had never wanted special treatment and only wished to repay him a thousand full. She had left him with twins, his own to children, and that seemed the end of it.
He was a wreck when his wife died, and along with Yuki, had been in a mental coma. It didn't seem like it, because he acted so cheerful. Then, Hatori and Shigure noticed it, he remembered the bar, he remembered everything. Shigure had pushed him into the red light district after two months of his mental coma state.
Ayame remembered the girls, touching him, hearing them ask him questions. Later, he felt dirty, as if he betrayed her. Shigure would shake his head and place a hand on his shoulder, telling him to loosen up. "We all loved Tohru, but Ayame, you need to move on."
Ayame's shoulders shuddered and he then peeked into the room, hearing a familiar poof! He smiled, as Sachiko was held carefully in Kyo's arms. Tohru pet her sister's head in acknowledgement. The awe in Kyo's voice when he muttered, "That's so cool."
Sachiko purred and then whispered, "It has its perks, but it has its curse too. Both my dads and mom can do it."
Tohru and Kyo pet her, and Ayame strolled in, sitting behind his children before embracing them. Tohru giggled as she leaned back into Ayame's chest, knowing he wouldn't transform, just like Ai and Yuki's hugs. It seemed only to work for parents, not siblings.
Sachiko was then placed in Ayame's lap, and she feared what would happen when they saw the remaining bruises that were still on her skin. Sachiko relaxed then, and when she suddenly transformed back, Ayame calmly covered her in a blanket. "You've got to be quick to cover yourself up."
Sachiko nodded to Ayame before being thankful for the blanket, which covered her bruises. She shivered slightly at the feeling, and pulled it closer, "Thanks dad."
Ayame hugged her, throwing her backwards but feeling warm all over, feeling safe. "I'm going to go talk to Akito with Yuki today, so please, do you think you could go with your siblings to Kagura's house?"
Sachiko nodded from the safety of her blanket. She had pulled on her underwear at that point, just a small trainer's bra and underwear. Tohru and Kyo slipped out of the room to get ready, but Ayame stayed. Gently he stood to leave, but before he did he turned back to Sachiko, "Be careful with what you where and what you do, because the bruise's Akito left most likely have yet to heal fully."
Tears flooded her eyes then, "Daddy, I was so scared…I didn't know what to do. Fighting back would only lead to more pain…"
Ayame came back to his daughter, hugging her close, "I know, your mother and I went through the same thing. We did it for you, thinking Akito would never hurt you. We were foolish in thinking that. Are they that bad still?"
Sachiko pushed the blanket away, still tearing and showed her father the fading marks on her skin, "They hurt so much daddy, and once he ended up actually breaking my wrist. Hatori couldn't say a thing to me, but his eyes told me everything. The mistakes on the directions was enough to tell me his sympathy, he used codes for me. I was secluded for so long…"
Ayame hugged her, the long hair hiding Sachiko, "Daddy…is everything going to be okay, you're not going to get hurt are you? Like so long ago?"
Ayame shook his head, "I don't know Sachiko, and I don't care. All I want is for you to stay with me, or Yuki. Which ever one you prefer, he wanted to make a room out for you."
Sachiko nodded and whispered a curt thank-you before pulling away and slipping on her tee and jeans. Ayame sat there and when she turned around he pointed at the bruise peeking out slightly. Sachiko sighed, "Dad, I can't wear a long sleeved shirt, it would be too hot."
Tohru came in then, and hugged her sister hard, "I'm ready, and Kyo's waiting outside."
Sachiko nodded and before leaving, she ran up and gave Ayame on big hug, "Please daddy, and be careful…" Ayame returned the hug, sending her off with Tohru.
At Yuki's house…
Tohru skipped there, but Sachiko took in the sun, and air. When they reached Yuki's house, Kagura answered the door. She was met with big hugs and Sachiko's dazed expression. When Sachiko didn't make a move to come inside, Kagura made sure the kids were okay before waking outside into the sun, "Sachiko-chan, are you okay?"
Sachiko snapped out of her daze, "It's that outdoors that makes me feel better. It's that after seven years with out it, you appreciate it more. Mom, did dad feel the same way I did?"
Kagura walked up behind her and hugged her close, Sachiko's back to her chest, "I don't know, to tell you the truth. When I was a kid, I barely saw your father; my eyes were only for Kyo back then. I didn't fall for your father, after your mom and him broke up."
Sachiko nodded, still staring off in the distance, and then Yuki called out for Kagura. She whirled around and after a couple seconds, Yuki came out to her. He smiled at her, "Why don't we go for a walk on the outside?"
Sachiko's eyes lit up, and Yuki smiled. They ended up in ice cream pallor, where they ordered ice cream. Sachiko smiled softly, "The same day I started living with you, was when you took me here. I was six then…and then 10 months later mom had twins."
Yuki nodded to her, "You were so young, and I wanted to protect you as best I could. Tohru and Ayame allowed me to do that. I knew what you were going through, when you first came to the funeral. Akito tortures us in mental and physical ways."
Sachiko nodded, "I have so many bruises, but they're fading. Dad, I heard you were locked up, just like me…"
Yuki shut his eyes for a second before opening them, "Yes, it happened for a year or maybe ten, but now it's not. Akito doesn't reign over me much anymore. Now I have something to tell you. This subject is a sore spot among many with Kagura and me."
Sachiko took a bite of her ice cream before looking at him intently, "What?"
"When you left, after the funeral, I went into a two year coma. They say that when I was in human form, I would talk, but I would transform sometimes, for days at a time."
Sachiko nodded, "Was it me and the loss of mom?"
Yuki nodded, "It was Sachiko-chan, it was."
Sachiko burst out crying again, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"
Yuki stood up and took her hand, kneeling next to her in a second, "No, no, shh…calm down. I want truth between us. Like you could with Ayame, I want you and me to have that relationship. Sachiko, look at me, look at me." Sachiko looked at him, "It's my own condition, seriously, and I've had it forever."
Sachiko gave a small smile, "Okay…" She flung her arms around him, "I love you daddy!"
Yuki smiled and hugged her tight, "I love you too."
Later that day…
Ayame had come back, with only one bruise on his cheek. Smiling, he kissed each of his kids, and then stopped at Sachiko. "Why don't I talk to you alone?"
Yuki got up and followed them as they walked outside the room. When they were outside, Ayame smiled and hugged Sachiko. "Today will be a very happy day. Akito says you may stay here. Akito wants you though, to come see him once a month. Do you like these terms?"
Sachiko nodded happily, "Hai, oh yes, yes, yes!"
A soft smile appeared on her face, and she hugged them both. Then she turned back to her dad, "But you got hurt in the process of making the deal…"
Ayame smirked, "This bruise? It's nothing compared to get you back."
Sachiko thanked them both, and when she entered the house, she announced she was staying. Everyone cheered and hugged her, and then her cat form ended up running around everyone, dodging and running in circles. In the distance was Tohru and Kyoko, soft silhouettes of their shapes showing through the window. "You're family is strong."
Tohru turned to her mom, "They are, and they will get through everything."
With that, the two ghost disappeared in the wind, leaving the land of the living behind. In the land of the living however many problems this family encountered, they decided to stick together to the very end. Even though sometimes people still can't believe the rat plus the onigiri equals the cat.