Yawning, I leaned my chair back on two legs as the class representative said his thing about the upcoming winter break and all the homework that needed to be done during it. The history report was due the day we came back as well as the math, science, English, everything. The class soon started to lose interest so I raised my hand and shouted out to him; "Yo, president, what happens if we don't do the work?"
Yamato looked at me, suddenly stern and serious thanks to my subtle encouragement. "You'll be in a lot of trouble, be given even more work to do, and fail everything that you didn't turn in with no exceptions." The class went silent a moment, giving him enough time to finish his speech without any more trouble.
Chiaki trotted a few steps to catch up to Maron and grinned at her while taking her backpack to carry for the girl. "What do you want to do over winter break?" he asked lightly as they walked. Yamato and Miyako were a few steps ahead of them arguing over the next best plan on catching two thieves that he, personally, didn't think would show up anymore for a while- if at all.
Miyako turned around and held up a finger, walking backwards. "My family is going to a ski resort!" she told them happily. "Everyone is invited, want to come with us?" Yamato looked over at her and for a moment got enough strength to ask her if he too was invited along as well.
Maron's eyes fell a little bit before looking up and smiling at her best friend. "I'm sorry, but I can't make it this time."
"Ah? But you always come with us! It won't be the same if you aren't with us at Christmas." Miyako looked at her with a mix of sadness and confusion.
Taking the hint, Chiaki picked up his pace and caught up to his friend "Linchou, what's going on?"
"Don't call me that while we're off from school," Yamato complained. "But anyway," He looked back at the two girls, going through an inner debate if she should say anything or not. "From what I know, Maron had always gone with Miyako during the winter and summer breaks. Since she lives alone, Miyako always drags her with her own family."
"I see…" He cast a quick glance behind his shoulder at the pair. Maron was waving something Miyako said off with a blush. She caught his eye a moment and blushed harder, looking away. "I'll ask her about it later tonight I guess."
"What are your plans?"
"Me?" Chiaki looked upwards in thought while breathing in the crisp winter air. "No plans. Never really thought about it before." With everything that has been going on with him lately, he was amazed he still went to school as much as he did. His attendance was a lot lower than the average person but thanks to his father being a doctor, he got them all excused at least. Maron wasn't as lucky and more than a few times, he had to lie for her, telling the teacher that she had a cold when she was really resting after a theft. A quick moment shot by Chiaki's mind where he was actually glad that he and his father wrote the same.
"This is where I split, then." Yamato waved to his group of friends and went off his own way. His friends all shouted out their goodbyes along with Miyako finally telling him that he was also invited to go with her and her family plus Jeanne task force.
Their apartment complex came into view a little later and Miyako waited at the elevator as her friends checked their mail. Chiaki got a handful out, being the first of the month, while Maron only got a little note from Chiaki. She read it there like always and Miyako observed her face grow darker before she turned to her boyfriend and stomped her foot. "Chiaki! Don't leave things like that in my mailbox!"
"Like what?" He asked absently as he looked at the random junk mail and bills in his box while walking to the elevator. The ride up was quiet thanks to a blushing Maron and a pre-occupied Chiaki. The only female of the group that felt like talking at the moment sighed and instead tried to see the note Chiaki left her bet friend.
It may be cold outside but I'll always be here to keep you warm.
She didn't see why that would cause Maron to blush as bad as she was, so Maron bent down to tie her shoe and see if anymore was written on it
P.S. My bed is always warm too, Baby!
A hot blush shot over Miyako's face and she quickly stammered to finish her shoelace. When the door opened she hurried over to her door and waved over to them. "See you tomorrow! Lets go shopping, Maron." She opened her door without giving her a chance to respond and greeted her mother as she went in.
Chiaki finally looked over to Maron when they reached their apartments and gave her the bag he was holding. She gave him a small thank you and opened her door, only giving Fin a half hearted smile as she was greeted. The door to her apartment closed and Chiaki stood at his door, suddenly missing the quick peck on his cheek that she normally gave him when they got home.
Letting out a small sigh, the boy unlocked and opened up his own apartment door and stepped in to a greeting from Access. "Access, I need some buddy." He tossed his backpack carelessly on the floor like he always did and kicked off his shoes. "I need to find out two things. One: What made Maron so sad today and two: What can we do to cheer her up?"
"I'm already two steps ahead of you, Sinbad." Access motioned for him to follow and lead him to his living room, where a magazine was on the table. "It's in here somewhere…" Access turned the pages as fast as he could with his small hands. "There, finally." He pointed to the large two page advertisement that was now displayed in the book.
"The amusement park in the Yakazini district will receive a make over by…" Chiaki's eyes widened. "Access, that's Maron's father!"
"Keep reading." Access sat down on the table and waited for his partner to finish.
The pages were folded so Chiaki could hold it with one hand and keep reading while he rooted through his cabinets for some type of snack. "The famous architect will be drawing out the plans for the renovations but due to family issues, will not be able to come to Japan personally to oversee the construction. Known best for what has been accepted as the best park to date; the Maron Dome in America, the new plans for the local amusement park will be based off…" His words trailed off as he started to eat from a bag of chips.
"So basically, Maron's old man is going to be at the Maron Dome in America for a few days before drawing out the plans for the one here…" He sighed and tossed the magazine across the room before falling down onto his couch. "Well that's just great. No wonder Maron's so sad. Her father was supposed to come here but isn't. Ne, Access, I bet that's why she isn't going with Miyako, huh?"
"Never mind," he sat up and walked over to the balcony. "I'm going over to Maron's place for a bit."
"You know her door is just as close as jumping balconies, don't you Sinbad?"
Ignoring his angel, Chiaki hopped easily over onto her balcony and let himself in through her always unlocked sliding door. A quick glance around told him that she didn't even bother to turn on the lights. Seeing as how Fin was no where to be found, he assumed the girl was in her bedroom. He walked over to her open door and leaned against the doorframe. Maron was facing her closet, taking off her skirt in favor of a pair of sweatpants to lounge around in. Fin was on her shoulder and the two were talking about something that Chiaki wasn't paying attention to. Instead his eyes were fixed on Maron's bottom half. "Baby got back!"
Maron literally screamed out I surprise and had to grab the closet door to keep herself from falling down. "Chiaki, don't you ever knock?" She threw her skirt at him, covering his eyes. Thanks to Fin, he was occupied long enough for his girlfriend to fully cloth herself by the time his vision was returned to him.
"Aw, I should have kept my mouth shut…"
Maron sighed in annoyance. "What do you want?"
Chiaki's mind went back onto the reason why he went over to her home in the first place. "I didn't get a kiss today," he pointed to his cheek. "So I came to get it." His girlfriend rolled her eyes and walked up to him. Her head lifted up as she stood on her tip toes, but Chiaki stopped her before her lips could peck against his face. "I decided that I owed you one, though." He smiled at her confused look and kissed her temple.
The simple act worked as he hoped it would and she noticeably calmed down. His arms went around her from behind and he soon had her in his favorite position with her back against his chest. "What do you want to do for Christmas break?"
"Nothing," She looked down.
"Come on, there's something."
"No there isn't, please let me go. I don't want to be hugged right now."
"Yes you do. Tell me what you want to do."
"Nothing!" she moved to pull away from him, but his arms wrapped tighter.
"Tell me where you want to go."
"Chiaki let me go!" He could tell she was about to cry, but didn't let her go.
"Say it Maron!"
"America!" the word escaped her lips before she could stop it. "I want…" her breath caught and he could feel a tear drop land on his arm. "To go to America…" Her body went slack where she stood as Chiaki retracted one arm from her. She head him press a few buttons on his cell phone, but didn't bother asking who he was calling.
"Dad! It's me." He leaned back a little from her and took her hand with his. "I need a favor…. Yeah, I know… Yes… Actually no, I'm not coming home for break… That's why… Yeah… America, I need two plane tickets and passports." Maron turned around quickly, looking up at him with shocked and panicked eyes. "Tomorrow?" He looked over at Maron, who couldn't seem to say anything. "Yeah, tomorrow is fine. I'll come by before I go out and work extra hours when I get back to cover everything that I buy."
She swallowed thickly as the boy finished up his conversation and finally flipped his phone closed. The look he gave her said all it needed to. All she ever had to do was say the word and he would take her anywhere. "Chiaki… I …"
"Start packing," He cut her off so she wouldn't have to worry about thanking him. "I have to go by the hospital tonight to get everything in order. Dad will meet us at the airport tomorrow with our passports, so you don't have to worry about that." Chiaki walked over to her door and smiled at the almost crying girl. "If you need me, I'll have my cell phone on me. Be sure to pack enough since we'll be gone for two weeks."
Finally Maron seemed to remember how to move and quickly gave him a hug, crying in his chest. "Chiaki…"
"Hey now," He gently stroked her hair and held her lightly. "Don't worry, everything is fine. We'll have a blast so go ahead and start getting ready." She nodded into his chest before pulling back just enough to look up at him. Torn between grabbing her butt or kissing her, Chiaki let enough time slip by for her to make the decision for him by leaning up on her toes and flaking her lips against his.
Chiaki grinned lightly the next morning as Miyako and Maron fussed at each other about the luggage that she was bringing on her trip. After the initial shock of breaking the news to them, Miyako's family soon were making themselves busy helping her get ready for it. Her mother had made them cookies to eat on the plane while her father arranged to be able to drive them to the airport himself. Currently he was leaning against the car outside their building with his friend and class president while the girls continued to argue on what was 'too much' and 'not enough' luggage.
"So She's going to be able to meet her parents, huh?" Yamato asked, sliding his hands into his pockets to keep warm. He had on a dark green sweater and blue jeans. Beside him Chiaki had a matching dark blue sweater with jeans as well. A light fog came from their mouths as they talked and Yamato was glad that he had swapped to contacts so his glasses wouldn't fog up on him during days like this.
"Hopefully. Truth is I have no idea as to how I'm going to meet up with him." Chiaki sighed and looked down. "All I can do for her is be able to take her there and look after her. We're going to have to pull something insane to get to talk to the architect of the park."
"Maybe I can do something, my uncle has a company branch off in America," Yamato turned around and reached into the car they were leaning against to find his cell phone. "I may be able to at least get you a car. You can drive, right?"
"Yeah, that would be great, Yamato!" Chiaki walked around to the other side of the car to try and help him find the phone. "Dad got me a hotel room and passports but I was going to have to find a car on my own once I got there."
Miyako and Maron stepped outside the building, each holding a small suitcase. Both of them belonged to Chiaki, as he packed only fifteen shirts and seven pairs of pants for his entire trip there. Looking over to the car, Miyako sighed and shook her head. "You are a lucky girl, Maron."
"Why do you say that?" She blinked and looked over at her friend before following her pointed finger to the boy bending over with his top half in the car.
"He has such a cute butt."
Maron blinked as Chiaki stood up from the other side of the car. "But Miyako, Chiaki is on the other side." She pointed as well, making her eyes go from one boy to the other. Finally Yamato pulled out of the window and said something about making a phone call. "Ohhhh, Miyako," She elbowed her blushing and confused friend. "If you like Yamato, why don't you just say so?"
"It's not that, I mean, I was saying," She watched Yamato laugh and hop onto the hood of the car to make the call. "Just every now and then, when he's confident about himself, he looks just a little…. Cool, that's all."
Maron had to agree. Both times when he was possessed by a demon and given all the confidence in the world, the girls at school had flocked to him. Since then he had somehow became a good friend to them and slowly changed to be more of his true self that he always hid. "Come on then, let's not make them wait."
As the girls walked to the car, the entire Jeanne special task force slowly trudged out of the apartment building as well. Each one was carrying an insanely large bag that was packed full of things. Chiaki's jaw dropped when he saw it all. "There's no way that's fitting in the car!" he pointed at them, shocked. "No, just no. You have to leave some of that behind."
"I can't leave without this stuff!" She scolded him, stomping her foot. "These are all vitals!"
"Vitals?" He countered with a half laugh in his voice. "You took every single outfit in your closet! No, I don't even think all that would fit in your closet!"
"I need them!" She came up to him and got close to his face. "You just don't understand."
"We can't take them all."
"We can. Or else."
"Or else, what?" He grinned at her. Maron smiled sweetly up at him and leaned forward to whisper in his ear. Miyako watched amused as his face went from cocky to shocked to alarmed. "You serious?" He asked her, getting a curt nod. "…Fine, load it up." He jerked his thumb to the car and went back to leaning against it dejectedly.
"What did you tell him?" Miyako asked, pleased at her friend.
Maron turned and winked at her. "Only that he wouldn't be able to touch me at all during the entire trip."
"That all?" she raised an eyebrow and got a smirk in return.
"And that I would take back everything that I got at Victoria's Secret." She winked at her friend and held her finger up like a gun pointed at Chiaki. "Bang"
"Chiaki!" the voice caught the boy's attention and lead it over to his father, who was standing next to the loading dock to the plane. "Over here!"
He let go of Maron's hand and walked to his father, grudgingly patting his back when he hugged him. "Minazuki's uncle called me; they'll have a car waiting to pick you up at the airport. Also here's the address and phone number of the hospital that my best friend runs. If you ever need anything just call him up." He looked at his son and smiled. "Don't forget that you promised to work with me when you got back!"
"Yeah, yeah. You have the passports?" he held out his hand and received two small pocket sized folders. Flipping through them he nodded to himself. "Good."
"Also, here." His father handed him a folded sheet of paper. "Don't forget that Maron's father is my friend. I arranged a meeting with him. He's expecting me to meet him at that café at that time." Although Chiaki never told him the real reason he was going, it must have been pretty obvious when he asked for Maron to come with him.
"…. Thanks, Dad." Chiaki looked around a moment, and then turned around to double check to see if anyone was looking at him. Finally after triple checking the Maron's attention was on Miyako, Chiaki gave his father another hug.
"Aw how sweet!" Maron's voice instantly perked up, making Chiaki's eyes go wide. "Chiaki is hugging his father!"
Almost the next second a chorus of "Awwwwww"s rang out, making Chiaki immediately try and pull away from his father, who wasn't letting go.
Maron looked out of the plane and touched the small window with her hand. "I'm really going aren't I?" She thought aloud, making Chiaki look over at her. "To America… I'm going to meet my dad." She didn't turn to look at him, but her hand reached over to his and loosely gripped two of his fingers. "I wonder what he looks like. I wonder what he'll say to me. I wonder what I should say to him." Her questions didn't mean to have any answers but Chiaki felt like he should try to say something to her anyway.
"Maybe he agreed to come to Japan to work on our park so he would have a reason to stop by and see you?" His reasoning was a far shot but Maron's hand gripped his fingers just a little more tightly. "Since, you know, anything holding onto your parents would be released. So, um, maybe he's just as scared to come back to you as you are to contact him."
"And my mother?"
Chiaki thought about it a moment as his girlfriend gazed out the small window. "The article mentioned his family, so maybe your mother is there with him. You never know," He trailed off on his sentence. Truthfully he wanted to tell her that maybe they were going to get back together, but he knew that if he voiced the thought that she too was obviously thinking then it would only be that much harder on her if it wasn't true. "At any rate, we're going. We'll meet your father. From there, it's all up to fate."
"Fate, huh?" She turned to look at Fin, who was asleep in the little carry-on bag that Maron had in her lap. "Sometimes I think that fate owes me something from everything that I've been put through." Turning to him, she smiled. "You too,"
"No, Fate doesn't owe me anything." He gave her a cocky grin that she never knew to hate or love when he flashed it. "To me, I think we're even." His hand turned over, freeing itself of her fingers and instead trapping all of hers in its hold. "After all, I was given an Angel."
"You say something, Sinbad?" Access asked, landing on his shoulder after coming back from looking around the plane.
Maron's free hand shot to her mouth to cover a laugh. Her eyes shone at him happily, though, and he knew that she got what he was trying to say. "You're sweet, Chiaki… Sometimes." He gave her a look, but she still kissed his cheek. The simple little act made him give her a goofy little smile that she was sure only she ever had the pleasure of seeing.
Access jumped from his partner's shoulder and landed next to the sleeping Fin. He sat down next to her and looked at the white winged angel. "It's a long flight, Access," Chiaki told him. "Might as well get some sleep if you're tired."
Access took the hint and used it to his advantage to lie down next to his love interest. Although they were back to back, Chiaki once remembered Access telling him that touching an angel's wings was a sign of affection. Fin somehow didn't mind the company and scooted closer to him in her sleep. Maron gave her friend a small smile before closing the lid just until it wanted to click shut and sat it between the seats. "How long is the flight?"
"About sixteen hours." He took small bottle from his chest pocket and took out some pills. "These will keep you from getting air sick, and will help you sleep most of the way." He handed her two before taking some himself.
The airline stewardess came up to the front and started talking to them about the flight and how long it'll take, but Chiaki's mind stayed on the girl next to him, who was once again touching the glass window and staring outside as if she could find the answers to her problems there.
A/N: Part two coming soon. Hopefully I'll get it all done in three chapters, maybe four if I get some good reviews. Check back in a few days for the next chapter.