Warning: Mature Content ahead.

True Confessions 12:

It was turning out to be a rather humid day and Yankumi wished, for the umpteenth time that she had worn something lighter. She shouldn't have listened to those weather men on TV. They hardly knew what they were saying half of the time anyway. According to them it was supposed to be cool and cloudy and yet the sun had refused to stop shining. She was boiling out here!

She must have groaned or whined or made some small sound of suffering because her companion eyed her warily. "Are you tired already?" he asked with a small smirk although he couldn't help feeling a bit concerned at how flushed she looked. Thankfully, they were almost to their destination so she could take a break.

"Shut up," she mumbled and leaned against him. His arm encircled her waist as they walked. "How much longer?" she asked, inwardly grateful for his support.

"We're almost there. I think it's this street…" He stopped and eyed the small piece of paper in his hand before pointing towards the tall structure with the words 'Amnesty International' blazoned across it.

"Wow…this is a volunteer office?" she asked in awe. "I thought it would be more…"

"Depressing?" Shin offered as he led her across the busy street. He nodded towards the security guard and walked through the glass doors and into a blessedly cool lobby. Yankumi sighed in gratitude at the welcome reprieve from the heat and was tempted to sit down on one of the many benches stationed around for that purpose.

"The building houses many other international organizations involved with charity or humanitarian services," Shin explained as he eyed the large directory on the wall. Yankumi leaned in with interest. She always enjoyed listening to Shin talk about things like these. The young man had obviously been doing his homework and was more than ready for his journey. It helped that he could speak English relatively well and they had spent several evenings conversing in the foreign language to hone their skills. She was going to miss that…among other things.

"Oh…this is where you are looking for, right?" She pointed at the words 'Habitat for Humanity' and Shin nodded in agreement. "It's on the third floor."

"Let's go." He held her hand as they walked past a group of tourists. There were many people who seemed to be speaking several different languages and Yankumi could only stare wide-eyed at everything. It dawned on her that there really was a whole other world to explore out there and that her little yakuza lifestyle was nothing in comparison to what Shin was bound to face. As they stepped into an elevator, having to squeeze through a group of other people, she stole a quick glance at him. He looked calm and collected as he always did but she couldn't help wondering if he was afraid deep down inside. He had to be! He was going to a place where a different people, language and culture awaited him. It wasn't going to be easy as he had told her before but he was more than ready for the challenge.

She lowered her gaze and then gasped softly as she felt his hand beneath her jaw. She gave a small smile to his questioning look. She was fine, she mouthed. Just a little tired. He didn't look a bit convinced but he squeezed her hand gently in reassurance all the same. She held on tightly and as the elevator doors opened to the right floor, they stepped out and walked down the corridor. Yankumi stared at enormous blown-up pictures of famous humanitarians and the poor and deserving individuals who had been helped in their times of need. This floor was rather quiet compared to the chaos of the main lobby and only a few people milled about as Shin walked up to the receptionist.

"Ah, Mr. Sawada," the pretty brunette behind the desk greeted. "Please have a seat. You'll be called into Mr. Wellington's office in a minute."

Wellington? He definitely didn't sound Japanese. With a heavy sigh, Yankumi fell into one of the chairs in the waiting room and noticed that there were several other people waiting as well – two young men and an attractive girl who looked about Shin's age. Yankumi picked up a magazine and thumbed through it without seeing a thing, her mind already racing with worry. What if this girl was to go on the same trip with Shin? Wouldn't he be tempted to start an affair with her?

"Hello," she suddenly greeted in English and Yankumi lowered the magazine slowly. Shin, who had closed his eyes, opened them to eye the girl. She switched to Japanese just as easily as she had spoken in the foreign language. "My name is Kusanagi Sakura. This is my brother, Akira and his best friend Izumi."

Yankumi and Shin opened their mouths to reply to the greetings from the trio, but it seemed like Sakura wasn't quite finished. "We're from Team Malaysia or rather we were Team Malaysia but now we want to be in Team Africa. It's going to be so awesome this time around. What team are you applying for? And what's your name? Are the two of you going?"

Yankumi, not knowing what to say, was spared the trouble as Shin replied. "No, I'm the only one going and I'm applying for Team Africa too. The name's Sawada Shin."

"Awesome!" Akira cried out suddenly. "That makes a total of…" He counted his fingers. "Twelve so far. We hope to get more members by the end of the week…"

"Our goal is twenty-six," Izumi chimed in. "Last year it was brutal! We barely made it in Malaysia, ne, Sakura?"

Shin, now interested and quite glad he was going to be working with a few Japanese people, leaned forward to listen to their stories. Apparently, this was their fifth overseas volunteer mission and they had just graduated from high school! Sakura was already a first year in college which made her a year older than Shin. She could speak several languages and was going to become a diplomat when she finished school while Akira and Izumi planned to become archeologists.

Yankumi listened to their excited chatter, feeling the cold claws of dread tightening around her heart as Shin became lost in their conversation. She suddenly felt like an outsider and wondered what she was doing in here. She longed to butt in and to ask her own questions but she knew she didn't belong in their world.

"Hey, aren't you going to tell us your name?" Akira asked suddenly causing the others to stop long enough to finally notice the silent woman.

"Oh! Me?" Yankumi sat up quickly. "Ah! My name is Yan…Yamaguchi Kumiko. Nice to meet you."

"So are you like his girlfriend?" Sakura asked with a teasing wink. "It's got to be hard having him leave for so long. You're staying the full year, aren't you, Sawada?"

Shin nodded slowly. "Yes…"

"But it's fine," Yankumi interrupted quickly with a smile that felt too bright. "I know he'll do just fine when he goes away and we'll keep in touch all the time, won't we?"

Sakura and the boys exchanged a look before she said softly. "Well…communication isn't going to be that easy especially when you're made to work in locations where there's no water or electricity."

"Yeah, sometimes we don't get to talk to our family members for months at a time," Izumi said with a slow nod. "But I'm sure it won't be that bad!" He added quickly, noticing the stricken look on Yankumi's visage. "I'm sure he'll be able to communicate with you as often as he can, ne, Sakura?"

"Uh huh!" The girl nodded with a warm smile but the damage was already done. Shin noticed how pale Yankumi had become and reached out to hold her hand, but she pulled it away quickly and managed a weak smile in his direction. She wasn't going to cry. She couldn't cry in front of them. She had to be strong. For him.

"I'll wait downstairs," she said hoarsely and before Shin could utter another word, she rose to her feet and left the room ignoring the concerned looks that came her way. Shin would have gone after her, but Mr. Wellington had chosen that moment to step out of his office to greet the new recruits.

Yankumi staggered down the hallway before sliding to the floor, grateful that no one else seemed to be around to see her in this state. Two weeks had passed since Shin's graduation and each day had seemed to pass by at an alarming rate. Although, he did his best to spend as much time with her as possible, he had been busy trying to tie up all 'loose' ends in preparation for his trip. There was his apartment for one thing. His landlord had agreed to rent out the room for the duration of Shin's stay abroad with the condition that it would be ready for Shin when he returned. However, Kuroda had offered a section of his large estate to be used as Shin's quarters and needless to say both he and Yankumi had been thrilled at that prospect.

And there had been the visit to Toudai a few days ago. Professor Fujiwara – Shin's self-appointed counselor – had wanted to meet with the young man to discuss his future. Despite his trepidations, Shin had made the trip with Yankumi in tow and for two days they had traversed the large campus, marveling at the great school and its student body. By the end of their orientation, even Shin had felt a dull flame of excitement at the thought of coming back to such a place. Maybe his father had been right after all. Tokyo University really was an awesome place to be a part of. Yankumi, for her part, had taken tons of pictures at every opportunity she could find. She posed in front of all the important monuments and sites, making sure that her right features were caught through the lens. She had never felt any happier during their stay in Tokyo. It had felt just like a honeymoon with him and there had been no worries about some overseas trip.

She rose to her feet slowly and walked into the elevator, hardly paying any attention to the group of men that filled the small space. Squeezing herself in the middle while hoping that someone was going to the ground floor, she gave a breathless squeak of surprise as a hand squeezed her ass gently. She glanced at the two men beside her and growled softly. If they dared to touch her again…!

"Get your damn hands off me!" she yelled as she felt it again. She swung out a fist to punch the culprit in the face, glad that she had finally found someone to vent out her frustrations.

By the time the elevator doors opened, those waiting outside were shocked to see all the men – about six in all – slumped in a corner and an angry looking woman walking out of it with a toss of her head.

Men, she thought with a snort. They are all goddamn perverts!

Shin found her, almost half an hour later, sitting by the outdoor fountain and licking a vanilla flavored ice-cream. "I thought you said you'd be waiting for me in the lobby," he said with a light frown as he walked towards her. "I was looking all over for you."

"Do you want an ice-cream?" she asked, ignoring his accusatory look as she smiled brightly at him. "There's a vendor right there and I can go get you one…"

"Cut the bullshit, Kumiko," Shin interrupted calmly. "If you've got something to say, then say it."

She shook her head and held up her cone. "Would you like mine then? It's vanilla and I know you like…"

"Kumiko," Shin began in a low voice which clearly meant that he was not buying her nice act in the slightest. Knowing how stubborn he could be, Yankumi sighed and sat back on the bench. She stared at the few children who were running in and out of the sprays of water for a moment before replying quietly.

"I don't want you to go, Shin." She lowered head as if ashamed of admitting it and held her breath in anticipation for his response. But for a long moment, he said nothing and simply sat beside her. She heard the rustle of papers he had been holding in his hands and it seemed as if he was reading through them.

"I leave on the fifteenth, two weeks from now," he began quietly but firmly. "However, we will have to be at a three day camp before departure. We have to learn a few skills, take our shots and…"

"Don't go…" she whispered hoarsely, clenching her hands into tight fists on her lap. The cone snapped in her hand but she barely noticed it. "You can always take volunteer work in…in Japan, can't you?"

She simply couldn't imagine a day without him now. Ever since she had walked into Shirokin and had met his cool gaze in that auditorium, she had known that somehow, he was and would always be a part of her life. To lose him now even if it was just for a while was going to be the hardest thing she had ever faced.

"Kumiko, I thought we had already talked about this…" He began but his words faltered as she tossed the ice-cream into a nearby trashcan and buried her face against his chest. For a moment, he wondered if he was hearing things since her voice was muffled against his shirt. "Kumiko?"

"I said," she pulled away just enough to be audible. She wondered why she had never said it till now. It couldn't be that hard and yet each time she felt it was the right moment to let him know, something had come up to ruin it. Maybe this time, she could tell him and he might change his mind and not wish to go anymore. It was wishful thinking, she knew, but it couldn't hurt to try. She lifted her gaze to meet his bemused ones, her cheeks flushing darkly as she licked her lips slowly. The sounds of the city around them seemed to melt away and all that was left was the young man who sat before her. She raised a trembling hand to caress his cheek gently, staring at every contour and line of that handsome visage as if to imprint it in her mind forever.

"Shin…Shin I…I lo…"

Feeling as if his heart would rip a hole right through his chest, her soft confession was effectively muted by the droning sound of a passing airplane. He groaned and held her tightly to his body, knowing that she had said them but yet fate had deemed it necessary to deny him the pleasure of hearing it.

"I love you too, Kumiko," he whispered into her hair, caressing her back gently. "But…I'm still going. I don't want you to worry too much about me and you know I'll do my best to stay in contact as often as I can…"

She stiffened in his arms and then pulled away quickly, her cheeks still flushed. "So my feelings for you won't change a thing!"

He shook his head, trying to stop himself from smiling at how great she looked when upset. "Nice try, Kumiko-chan, but fawning all over me isn't going to help. I'm still going…ouch!"

She swung her handbag at him again and he had to lift his hands to shield himself from her punishing blows. He got to his feet and tried to run away but she began to chase him down the street, still yelling about his ungrateful and selfish behavior.

"Get back here, you fool!" she yelled. "Come here and I'll kick your ass!" And yet to cherish every moment I have left with you…that is all I can do now, Shin.


A week later, she slammed the list on the low table between them and grinned widely at him.

"What's this?" he asked warily as he picked it up to stare at her scribbled words. "Things to do with Shin." He smirked. "Aren't you missing something here…?"

"Give that back to me," she retorted quickly as she snatched the note from his hand while trying hard not to blush at his insinuation. "These are just some of the fun things we can do before you leave, you idiot."

He eyed the chaotic looking apartment, wondering how and when he had managed to accumulate so much in a short space of time. There were empty boxes all waiting to be packed with his items and ready to be taken to his new 'home' at the Oedo compound.

"And just when are we going to do all of this? I've still got to organize these things…"

"Which is why we're going to finish it all today," she said quickly. "See? We can go to the park first…they open at nine and then indoor skating…"

"I don't skate," he mumbled beneath his breath, trying hard to fight his blush as he rose to his feet. "This is ridiculous, Kumiko. I don't have the time to do this. I've got things to prepare for…"

"But these are our last few days together!" she suddenly yelled out causing him to stop in his tracks. He glanced over his shoulder at her lowered head. "I won't see you again in five days," she continued softly. "I want to be with you for as long as I can…"

Her words were muffled as he pulled her into a tight embrace. He listened to her soft sobs, knowing that he was only being this 'strong' for fear he would lose his resolve and decide to stay after all. It was a risk leaving her and, not for the first time, he wondered if other men (Shinohara being his number one concern) would come into her life while he was gone. He closed his eyes and inhaled the sweet fragrance of her hair, knowing that this might be one of the few times he would get the opportunity to do this.

"Let's do it," he mumbled into her hair. "Wherever you want to go, Kumiko."

She pulled away, smiling tremulously through her tears. "Really? Anywhere!"

"Uuum…yeah…?"

"Yes! Then hurry and wear your shoes!" she ordered quickly as she rose to her feet with a wide grin. He blinked in surprise at the sudden change of mood and then realized that she had tricked him into agreeing. Those tears hadn't been real at all. Damn her! However, he didn't protest when she dragged him to his feet. He smiled softly at her excited and contagious demeanor, somehow glad to know that he could at least make her happy this way.


Despite her need to go to the amusement park early, Yankumi had screamed in terror during most of the rides, so loud in fact that Shin was sure he had gone tone deaf by the time they left. Her arms were soon filled with stuffed animals he had won for her but realizing that she couldn't take them all in the bus, she had to give them away to some passing children.

At the indoor skating rink, it had taken almost ten minutes to convince Shin to get on the ice. He had held onto the side stands cursing out loud as he watched her twirl around and around in circles. She called him a chicken and weakling and in his attempt to get back at her, he had faltered and fallen on his ass…several times. He did manage to skate on his own for all of one minute, but Yankumi had held his hands through it all and had to laugh at how flustered he looked each time he lost his footing.

They satisfied their hunger at a rather fancy restaurant afterwards, failing to tell Shin that one of her grandfather's friends owned the establishment. Of course, it didn't help that many of the waiters gave it away by calling her 'Ojou' on more than one occasion and Shin had to shake his head and fight back a smile each time she tried to make them shut up. The four course meal was delicious and although Yankumi had wanted to have an extra cup of white wine, Shin had declined the offer and had to drag a protesting woman out of the building.

They stopped to watch a colorful street performance and danced and clapped along with the others as the entertainers gave out colorful beads and prizes to the spectators. By the time they had made their way towards the river, it was dusk and both were extremely exhausted.

"Look!" She suddenly yelled out, pointing towards a small photo booth that had been erected along the road. "Let's take a few pictures, Shin."

"I look like crap," he protested weakly as he was pulled into the tiny space but was ignored as usual as Yankumi tried to figure out what background suited them and how much money it would take.

"All right, I think I have it set now," she said as she sat beside him. "Say cheese, Shin!"

He rolled his eyes and tried to duck, but she caught his chin and then forced his lips to part into what was supposed to be a smile. She tried several outrageous poses with him – like grabbing him in a headlock or placing kisses on his cheek or ruffling his hair or blocking his view at some point.

"I think it's out of money, Kumiko," he said while pulling out the strips of pictures. Even he had to laugh at the results and she grinned in pleasure at the sound of it. "I think I'll take some with me," he added, tearing out several to stick into his pocket. She blushed at the gesture and reciprocated his act by peeling off the old sticker of her face on her cell phone and replacing it with one of both of them smiling at the camera. Shin approved by giving her a hard kiss and she nudged him playfully as they made their way out of the booth and back into the street. They walked towards the river and without saying a word, fell back to the cool grass to watch the fading sunset in the horizon.

For a long time they remained lost in their thoughts as daylight slowly made way for early evening. Yankumi sighed softly and then turned on her side to stare at her silent companion. His eyes were closed and she realized with a soft smile that he had fallen asleep. Moving even closer to him, she reached out to brush away the dark locks from his forehead. She traced the outline of his closed eyes, his nose and his lips tenderly, biting her lower lip to stop herself from getting emotional again.

"Shin…" she whispered against his lips. "Don't you dare forget about me. Not ever." He mumbled something unintelligible and she captured it in a soft kiss before laying her head upon his chest. She reached for his hand and held onto it tightly, feeling her lashes grow heavy with sleep as she listened to his steady heartbeat. And as she began to drift to sleep, she silently wished that this wonderful moment would remain frozen in time…forever.


The next day, Shin received a phone call from Kuma inviting him and Yankumi to a designated address. He had been relatively vague with his reasons, but as Shin and Kumiko approached the meeting place, it was quite obvious what was about to happen. A surprise party/farewell party for him!

It was Noda who had somehow managed to gather most of the ex-students of Class 3-D for the farewell party and even Fujiyama and Kawashima sensei were a part of it. They had rented out the bowling alley for the night and since they weren't under curfew (and Yankumi had to stop herself from reprimanding them most of the time) beer flowed freely and everyone was in relatively high spirits. To Yankumi's surprise, Uchi had walked in with Ayumi in tow and she had to say that both of them looked quite good as a couple. Of course, Shin had no problems displaying his affection for Yankumi now and although it had gotten some used to – at least by the other classmates – everyone congratulated the couple and wished them the best in the long run. Fujiyama rolled out a very large cake with the words 'To The Coolest Friend Ever – Good Luck Shin-chan!' on it and Kuma was teased for trying to steal a bit of the icing before anyone else. Shin took as many pictures as he could with his friends with every intention to save them up in his album of memories. The party finally ended sometime in the wee hours of the morning and it was Tetsu and Minoru who had to take the drunken couple back to the house.

Shin woke up around noon with a blinding headache and staggered towards the bathroom to regain some semblance of normalcy. Once cleaned and sure the world had stopped spinning on its axis; he managed to eat some of the food Tetsu placed before him without hurling its contents to the floor. He glanced at his watch and winced. He had promised to meet Natsumi almost half an hour ago and giving Minoru the message to let Yankumi know his whereabouts, he all but ran out of the compound and towards the park.

"I thought you weren't going to make it," the blond girl said with a warm smile as she wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. Usually shying away from such contact with her, he welcomed it this time and even returned the gesture. He was soon aware of her soft sobs and he felt a pang of guilt in his heart…again. Leading her towards a bench, he dried her tears quickly and held her hands trying to smile at her tearful visage in reassurance.

"Just one more year," he said softly. "When I return, you'll be ready to graduate and then we can be at Toudai together."

"What makes you think I want to go to Toudai?" she teased while sniffling at the same time. "I'm going to school in the United States. I'm going to go overseas too."

"And Dad approved of this?" Shin asked in surprise.

Natsumi shrugged and looked away. "Well…he doesn't know yet. But I'll convince him, you'll see."

"Natsumi," Shin began in worry.

"Don't fret," she said with a firm nod. "I'm not going to run away again."

"Good."

They fell silent and stared at the people who walked by for a moment before Natsumi spoke up again, this time with faint amusement in her voice. "So you and that teacher are now dating, right? Ayumi told me that. How come you didn't let me know?"

"Because you're a nosey girl."

"Hey!" She slapped his arm playfully trying to look upset. "If she's going to be my sister, you might as well let me know."

Shin had the grace to blush. The whole marriage thing was still a long ways away. He didn't really want to think about that now although he did have plans to do so eventually. "Idiot," he mumbled and ignored her teasing as she noticed his red cheeks.

"She's nice," Natsumi agreed with a nod. "And cool. I'm glad you found someone to make you really happy, Shin. But…"

She really didn't need to finish her question for both siblings knew the foreboding cloud of doubt which hovered over them. Although Shin had been 'disowned', he would still have to let his parents know his intentions regarding Yankumi someday.

"I'll worry about that when the time comes," he said with a firm nod as he rose to his feet. "But for now, let's go have some fun, hmm? Did you bring your camera?"

At her nod of agreement, he held her hand tightly within his, vowing to himself to continue to protect her for as long as he could.


"Eight thousand, four hundred and five miles from Tokyo to South Africa," she muttered to herself as she brushed her hair slowly. She could hear Shin moving about in the other room and already feeling quite nervous; the hairbrush fell from her trembling hands and to the floor with a loud clatter.

"Is everything okay in there?" he asked in concern.

"Ye…yes!" she replied as she fell to her hands and knees to search for the elusive item. "I'll be out soon!"

Finding it between her small travel bag and the sink, she stood up again and stared at her pale visage in the mirror. It was almost eleven at night and they were back in Shin's all but empty apartment to pick up a few remaining items – at least that was the plan.

Shin's farewell dinner with her grandfather and the kyodai had been a somber and yet celebratory one. Kyou-san had launched into a heartfelt speech that left Tetsu, Minoru and Sawara in tears. On behalf of his henchmen, he had given Shin a wicked looking dagger which he claimed to have been passed down from generation to generation in the Oshima family. Of course, Yankumi had asked what Shin was supposed to do with such a thing while building houses for people, but Shin had accepted it with grace and genuine pleasure. Kuroda, for his part, had imparted a few sincere words of advice to the young man and Shin had had to stop himself from crying through it all. How he wished his real father would have been the one to see him off, but he was still grateful that at least his second family cared for him just as well. Prayers had been said afterwards and much to everyone's surprise, it was Yankumi who had suggested she and Shin go back to his apartment to take care of the rest of his things. Since he was leaving for the camp in the morning – Sakura and the others were going to pick him up – Shin had figured it would be a good idea anyway. It would save him the trip of going back to his place the next day.

And now here they were, alone in his empty apartment with nothing but futons on the bare floor for the night. He had only one suitcase and a rather large backpack for the trip, claiming that it was all he could ever need.

"Our last night together," she whispered and covered her face with her hands to stop herself from giving in to the tears she had held back all day. She took a deep breath and shook her head rapidly before staring at her flushed features with determination. She couldn't back out now. She had promised to give him this last gift as a memory he would never forget and although she had always planned to wait until her wedding night, she had the feeling that this was as good a time as any. What would happen if he didn't come back? Or if he lost his life or a limb or two over there? What would happen if he outgrew her and no longer found her attractive or wished to be with another woman? She couldn't bear to think of any and all other terrible situations that might occur!

"It's now…now or never," she said with a firm nod of resolution. She eyed the satin blue but simple kimono, making sure its sash was relatively loose around her waist and that it fell off her shoulders. She had seen her favorite actress do this in a movie once and it was supposed to be seductive and enticing to the man. She shook her long dark hair, allowing it fall over her shoulders and frame her face. She had only put on a light sheen of makeup and wondering if she smelled nice enough, she reached for her bottle of perfume and dabbed a bit more on her neck, behind her ears and wrists.

"There!" She stepped back and pursed her lips into a pout. She lowered her lashes and practiced her lines. There was no way Shin could resist her now. Just like in the movies, she was going to open up the door like this…

She did so ever so slowly.

She was going to lean against the doorway with a leg up, revealing her thigh to his gaze in a seductive pose. She began to do so but unfortunately, forgot that her sash was rather long. As she tried to raise her leg, it got tangled up with the doorstopper and consequently sent her sprawling to the floor in a heap that was anything but seductive.

"Kumiko!" Shin called out as he ran towards her and fell to his knees. "Are you all right?"

No, I'm not! This was supposed to be me seducing you, damn it! She allowed him to lift her up and then pushed his hands away to hide her embarrassment.

"Wow…" he whispered in awe as he took a good look at what she was wearing. The kimono looked like it was ready to fall off her body completely and her hair looked dishelved. The fact that she was glaring at him as if it was all his fault made her even sexier and before he could stop himself, he placed his hands on her hips and pressed his face against her flat torso with a low groan of need.

She blushed to the roots of her hair as she felt his warm breath against her stomach. She barely protested as he pushed the cloth aside to caress the soft but firm contours of her hips and down to her thighs. She whimpered as his mouth hovered around her belly-button and felt her knees tremble as he began to kiss it gently. She called out his name shakily, her hands sinking into his hair as she allowed him to pull down the simple white cotton panties she had been wearing.

"Kumiko?" he asked in a strangled voice. There was a desperate plea in the way he had called her and as she stared into his darkened depths, she knew she would be unable to say no even if she tried.

"Hai…Shin…"

He rose to his feet and seized her mouth in a searing kiss, tongues dueling fiercely as he pushed aside the kimono to let it pool at their feet. Her hands tugged on his sweater restlessly and he obliged by pulling back a little to take it off completely. She gasped at the feel of his broad chest, now more bronzed and stronger from his sparring matches with her and Kyou-san. She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and lost herself in his kiss as he lifted her up to lead them towards her futon. They almost stumbled to the floor in their haste, their breathing shallow and rough as they realized the enormity of the situation. She moaned out his name as his lips began to trail hungry kisses along her jaw and neck. She cried out in pleasure at the tingling fullness in her breasts, toes curling in response to his expert touch as he fondled and tasted each one with equal and thorough attention. When his lips began to move lower and towards the sensitive region between her legs, she flushed in embarrassment and covered her face.

Shin smiled at her protests and reminded her of just how beautiful she was. Her intended and half-hearted insult towards him at his cheesy words; was lost in the choked sob that escaped her lips as she felt his tongue there. She begged him to stop and yet to go on, her trembling hands sinking into his hair as he continued to torture her with each precise stroke. Her entire body arched off the futon and before long, she felt the low heat rise within her stomach and rush out just as quickly in an orgasm that had tears of satisfaction springing to her eyes. With a low groan, she fell back to the bedding limply, arms reaching up to pull Shin back to her.

"How did that feel?" he asked between tender kisses as his hands moved to remove his pants. If he didn't get any relief soon, he was going to go insane.

Still blushing and trying to catch her breath, she could only smile shyly at him. "Good," she finally confessed. "Very…oooh!" Her eyes widened at the sensation of his hard flesh against her stomach. She looked down and sucked in a harsh breath in awe. Well, no one could call him a boy with that!

"Touch me," he begged softly, whispering his plea into her ear. He was aware that this might be her first time and didn't want to have her running away or worse kicking him down there again. But he needn't have worried for her fingers did wrap themselves around his aching flesh and began to stroke it tentatively.

"Like…that?" she asked, worried that she might be hurting him, but if his low pants and moans were any indication, she knew she was doing a good job. She caught his lips in another kiss and stroked even faster, her fingers getting used to the hot and slightly sticky organ which seemed to swell in her grip. His groans grew to a fever pitch and just when she thought he was going to explode, he pulled away quickly, muttering something about needing protection. She held her breath and listened to the hasty rustle of paper, flushing as she understood what he was doing now. However, something flared deep within her again as Shin moved back to tease the swollen tip against her wet entrance. She had heard that it was supposed to hurt the first time around and she braced herself for it. She had a high threshold for pain anyway, so this wasn't going to be so bad, was it?

"Kumiko?" he asked softly, looking deeply into her glazed depths. He wasn't sure he would be able to stop anyway and her slow nod was all the permission he needed. He hissed sharply as he thrust as slowly and as carefully as he could into the tight sheath. He watched her features contour with pain and he stopped moving. "Are…are you okay?"

"Fine…fine," she replied breathlessly. She clawed the sheets and tried to even her breathing to get used to invasion. He felt so big within her. She felt so tight around him and when both knew they couldn't take it anymore; Shin closed his eyes and buried himself even deeper, listening to her strangled cry as his hands sought for hers to hold on to. Together they moved, getting used to each other's rhythm as they began a dance as old as time. In time, they became one, bodies becoming covered in a light sheen of sweat as they moved faster and harder to reach completion.

Yankumi had never thought she would be able to feel anything this good before. It was simply indescribable and sharing it with Shin made it all the more intense and even better. She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck as she felt it again – that familiar head numbing rush of heat which seemed to creep from the tips of her toes, up to her hair and down to the pit of her stomach. She lifted her legs to wrap them around his waist, no longer bothering to stop her cries of ecstasy as she felt him so deep inside of her it felt as if he had become a part of her very soul.

"Shin…Shin…" Over and over she called out his name, knowing she would never get a chance to call him this way for a long time to come. Her name came out in a choked sob from his lips as he stiffened within her. It was a chain reaction of events that had them both clutching each other tightly as they finally came together. Bodies quaking with the thrilling aftermath of their orgasm, they seemed to fall back to earth in a boneless heap with limbs still entangled intimately. Yankumi could still feel Shin within her and she wanted to hold on to this feeling for as long as she could. She kissed his shoulder tenderly, tasting the salt of his sweat as her arms caressed his back gently. It wasn't until Shin moved away gently that she realized that she had been crying and for quite sometime it seemed.

He brushed away her tears gently, resting his forehead against hers and finally feeling for the first time in a few days, that this was really the end. He stole a quick glance at the clock beside them on the floor and realized that they had less than five hours till his departure.

"I love you, Shin," she whispered thickly, curling into his warmth. "You won't forget me…will you?"

He cupped her face gently within his hands and smiled tenderly into her flushed visage. "Forget you? I'd rather die, Kumiko. I'll always be with you in spirit you know that."

Shin…

She buried her face against his chest and didn't try to stop her tears from falling even harder. He continued to speak to her softly and when they made love again, it was with a feeling of tenderness and yet heartfelt desperation. Her body was his temple and he made sure he worshipped it for as long as he could.


She opened her eyes slowly and blinked at the bright sunlight that greeted her. She was still lying on the futon, but had been covered with a blanket which had kept her warm and also made her sleep so soundly. She tried to move and winced in pain, the memories of last night rushing back to her mind quickly. Blushing darkly, she closed her eyes, unable to believe that they had actually done it, but the feeling was quickly lost as she realized with a pang in her chest that there was now a distinct cold and empty feeling in the room.

She sat up slowly and brushed away her hair from her face. The other futon which had been for him was no longer there. There was nothing in here besides her small travel bag, her kimono draped over a single chair and the faint but lingering smell of his cologne and the musk of their coupling. There was nothing but the sound of the small clock ticking beside her which filled the silence and she knew then without a doubt that he was really gone.

Good bye…Kumiko…

The tears came again and she slapped her hands over her face to stop them. For a while she remained that way, her sobs filling the empty room. "You idiot," she sniffled softly. "You could have at least woken me up to let me know you were going."

She wiped her eyes and finally noticed the card that had been placed within the folds of her gown. Picking it up slowly, she had to take a deep breath to read what it said. She recognized his neat handwriting in an instant as she began to read softly.

My dearest Kumiko,

I thank you for the greatest gift you could have ever given me last night. I know I will cherish those moments with you as I go through the next few months. Even though we will be thousands of miles apart, I meant what I said by me always being with you in spirit. As you begin your new school year, I know you will be faced with as much challenges as you had when teaching us but, I have faith in you, Kumiko. You taught me the most important lesson in life and that is love and trust and I am sure your new students will learn to appreciate that valuable lesson in time.

Just remember that if you ever feel you can't go on or that there's too much pressure for you to deal with, take a look at that back seat in the classroom and you'll always see me sitting there, cheering for you…always.

Until the day I return, I'll always remains yours...

Shin.

"Idiot," she whispered thickly as she lay back on the futon and held the letter to her chest. She closed her eyes and for the first time, she felt a warm glow of happiness fill her heart as his words continued to ring in her mind. It was going to be a long twelve months, but with his words of comfort and support, Yankumi knew that she could tackle anything with even more confidence this time around.

"Hurry back home to where you really belong, Shin," she said with a warm smile of content. "I'll be waiting…for as long as it takes."

The End


Author's Notes: I thank you for taking the time to read this story. This was my first effort/foray into Gokusen fiction after being a fan for so long. My sincere apologies to those who might have read and have now been spoiled with some scenes/ideas from the Drama, but all in all, I hope you enjoyed the story as much as I had fun writing it. Thank you again for reading and your wonderful and encouraging feedback!