Waking Up: Ending #3?

By: tomieharley

Author's Notes/Disclaimer: First, I do not own any of the S-Cry-ed characters, even lovable Cougar-san! Second, this IS the original ending. I kind of leave on a cliffhanger, but I have three more stories in the works and need to focus on them for now. Third, please review if you have the time. I want to know which ending is the best (Chapter 2 or 3)? Also, I just want to say thank you for the several reviews from part 1 and part 2. It really helped me to stay motivated.

As Mimori ran toward the room lit with a strange white glow, she prayed silently for God to give her a second chance with Cougar. Over and over she repeated her mantra until she hit the white light.

She's staring up at a sterile white ceiling. No one seems to notice the princess as she awakens from her mysterious slumber that had plagued her for so many days. The other room's occupant is fast asleep in the bed near hers, snoring softly and mumbling inaudibly. Listening, she can hear no one else in the room with her. Odd, she thinks until she realizes just how quiet the room is. I must have been moved to a semi-private room, she decides.

Mimori closes her eyes. Lying there, she focuses on recalling her fleeting dreams once solid enough to compose her reality but now slipping through her fingers like smoke. What she managed to hang onto were pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to the enigma of how she ended up here, in HOLY's medical ward? As each piece fell into its rightful place, another would follow until the puzzle sat almost completed with the exception of a final missing piece, the most important one since it connected the whole thing together.

She remembered going after Kyouji Mujo, a powerful alter user from the mainland. He had kidnapped a small girl named Kanami, and both Ryuhou and Kazuma went to save her. Both Scheris and she followed them but ended up going separately. Something went wrong. She never found Ryuhou. Why?

What went wrong?

Try as hard as she could, Mimori couldn't remember. The missing piece, she groans. She slaps her head hard in frustration.

She then notices the bandage around her right hand. Words, her words, a promise she made, returns, echoing in her ears, "This time, it's my turn to save you Cougar. I will save you and then you'll know how much I love you."

Cougar! She'd forgotten about Cougar. I can't remember what happened to him, she realized with tears streaming down her face. All she could remember was his unmoving body lying on the floor where Mujo dropped it. I've got to find him. I've got to-

Suddenly, the other patient giggles, interrupting Mimori's chain of thought, before blurting out, "Oh, Miss Minori, you know you shouldn't be in the men's shower room. Now, what did you do with my towel, you saucy little minx? Grrr."

Mimori gasps, jerking her head over at the other patient: Straight Cougar.

Too surprised to be angry, Mimori stopped struggling with her tangled bed sheets and covers in order to watch Cougar for a minute. She furiously blinked several times unable to believe what she was seeing. A perfectly healthy-looking Cougar laid atop the covers of the only other bed in the room wearing his uniform except his coat which rested on the back of the chair sitting between their beds. He giggled again and mumbled something about her dropping the soap before finally wrapping his strong tanned arms around his pillow, pulling it close to his chest, and snuggling with it like you would a favorite stuffed animal. Using her uninjured hand, she stifled a giggle as he planted a light kiss on his pillow playmate.

She smiles softly at him. Taking a break from your HOLY duties, I see. Same old Cougar, she thought.

And yet, not the same, for the first time, she saw him as a man, her man, her Prince Charming. Her eyes trailing over his body, she never realized how fit Cougar really is. Taking in his hard abs peeking out beneath his black tank, she found herself wondering if he spent as many hours in the gym as Ryuhou? Probably not, but then again, Cougar could always make the time.

After awhile though, watching him sleep so soundly no longer contented her. She wanted to feel those strong arms wrapped around her, squeezing her so lovingly. Throwing off her covers, Mimori scooted over to the edge of the bed and began working on getting the metal safety railing down. She pressed the button several times, which was suppose to release the locking mechanism, but nothing happened. Grunting, Mimori leans over the railing to see if she was doing it right; when without warning, the railing fell away. Mimori screamed before she tumbles over the side toward the hard linoleum floor below. She shut her eyes instantly.

But she never hit the floor.

"What the…?" Mimori asks herself, peeking at the floor barely an inch below her. Both arms outstretched in front of her ready to break her fall her fingertips gently brushing across the cold surface.

That's when she became aware of strong hands holding her on either side of her waist as well as the empty bed in front of her. She looked back and found herself nose to nose with the wide-awake alter user. "Cougar! You're really alive!"

He said nothing at first but blew out a deep breath he appeared to have been holding. "Not for long, if you keep these antics up," he scolds, shaking his head the entire time he speaks. "You're going to have to take it easy on me. I'm not as young as I use to be."

Instead of hoisting her back up onto the bed, Cougar continued on scolding her in rapid succession.

As Mimori listened, she started to feel shy around him and could not interrupt him, even if she could find a pause or break in his tirade. She stares hard at the floor, wishing she could sink into it. She'd never seen Cougar so mad before. Of course, he has a right to be mad. He risked his life for me and here I am trying to break my neck by getting out of bed. But what if that's not his only reason? Maybe he's upset about what I did in Mujo's fortress? So many things could have gone wrong and we would both be dead now. He wanted to protect me and I came back anyway. Stupid! There's no way he'll forgive me now.

Resigned, she pushes away all thoughts of a future with Cougar, attempting to tune back into what he's saying. It seems he's winding down or so she hopes.

He knocks on the cast for her left leg. "You are aware of the fact you have a broken leg, don't you? Such recklessness! I don't know what I'm going to do with you. You refuse to go back to the mainland, try to destroy HOLY, fight dangerous alter users, and now attempting to escape from the medical ward." He bends back down to her so their faces are now level. A devilish grin slowly spreads on his face, causing Mimori to blush and hastily turn her gaze back to the checkered floor. She peeks back once at him.

With a cocked eyebrow, he says in all seriousness, "I'm going to have to chain you to your bed at this rate if I plan on getting any sleep. Let's put you back…"

His voice trails off. Mimori waited for him to speak again or at least finish pulling her back up onto the bed, but nothing. "Cougar? Cougar, what are you…" Mimori, balancing on one of her hands, whipped around to see what was wrong, and froze.

Cougar's eyes were trained on her butt. Apparently, her gown had slipped up when she fell and now her butt lay exposed for the entire world to see, along with her pink silk panties. He kept opening and closing his mouth though nothing would come out. She could almost see the drool inching down the side of his mouth.

She grabbed her gown and pulled it down over her panties, breaking the spell over Cougar who had the decency to at least blush guiltily. "YOU PERVERT!"

With catlike speed, almost capable of matching his alter power of Radical Good Speed; Mimori twists herself around to slap him with one hand while the other kept her gown down.

"Too slow, Miss Minori," he whispered to her, easily catching her attacking hand while his other arm kept her from hitting the floor again—this time head first.

Before she could say anything again, he scoops her up in the manner of a man taking his lover to bed just like in the movies. On instinct, her arm goes to wrap itself around his neck. Mimori's heart began to race. Now what, she asks herself as he lays her gently in the center of the bed. They stare at one another breathing hard and neither speaking.

Hating to be unsure of how to feel, Mimori grabs onto the easiest emotion, anger, caused by her recent embarrassment. The entire time she thought he hated her when he was really just using the time to look at her butt. What a jerk! She glares at him, her face red with embarrassment, while Cougar's face remains completely emotionless, except for his twinkling eyes. She couldn't be sure if she saw it exactly, but she was sure he just winked at her. How dare he! She balled her hands into fists.

He called her 'Miss Minori,' she recalls suddenly, the anger instantly draining from her. Forever, it felt like since she heard him so blatantly disregard her name's pronunciation. She burst into fresh sobs.

Cougar, who usually never could keep his mouth shut, said nothing but simply pulled her to him, wrapping those big strong arms she'd been fantasizing of a few minutes ago, and hugged her tightly. Mimori encircled his waist with her own and cried softly while he held her and occasionally stroked her hair. Neither spoke or moved for a long time. They simply sat there on the bed, enjoying their shared warmth and comfort.

Finally, Mimori yawns loudly. Again, the spell broke over them. Both pulled apart although they remained touching each other one way or another: a brushing of fingertips across bare shoulders, a thumb rubbing circles into a palm, a hand running up and down a forearm.

Again, she yawns. Flushing in embarrassment, Mimori covers her mouth, attempting to muffle a third one. Instead, Cougar gave a loud yawn. They both laugh.

"Sorry, I appear to be contagious," she tells him.

"In that case," Cougar started, stretching out on his back beside her, "I probably shouldn't go back to work until the doctor comes, which should be"—he studied the clock on the wall—"another hour and fifteen minutes. Doctor Kurosawa likes to take long lunches, you see. He's a good guy but lousy taste in neckties." And with that last bit of information, he shut his eyes and folded his arms behind his head as he prepares to fall asleep again.

How come he always does this to me? Now what? She'd never had a man in her bed before, especially someone she was very attracted to. What do I do? Should I kiss him? Or maybe, I should lie down beside him and see what happens? Mimori turned away, occasionally sneaking a peak at him; unsure of whether he really was asleep or not as she watched his chest slowly rising and falling. She clutches the sides of her nightgown twisting the ends worriedly. Cougar said the doctor wouldn't arrive for at least another hour so they would be alone until then. This would be the perfect opportunity to tell him how she felt about him, or at least, try and explain why she came back to help him in his fight with Mujo. He deserved that much. Or maybe-

A hand grabbed a handful of her gown jerking her forcefully backwards onto the bed.

Bewildered, she turned her head towards a grinning Cougar, who peeked at her with only one eye opened.

"Or maybe," Cougar said, echoing her thoughts, "you should rest here beside me where you belong, my love."

Eyes widening in surprise, Mimori allows him to gently turn her onto her side. Her back now facing him, she can feel the bed's weight shift as he scoots closer to her.

Even if she could speak, Mimori knew this wasn't the time. For now, no words were needed. They were on the same page for once. They were together.

Together. First, in mind and then…

Mistaking her body's trembling from coldness, Cougar wrapped his body around hers in the manner of a blanket. A leg resting over hers, while an arm laid protectively across her stomach clutching at her tiny waist beneath the thin material of her gown. Besieged by small tremors, her body snuggles closer still until Cougar made a low guttural noise.

Coughing, he briefly releases her to pull the covers over their bodies before settling down again beside her. Although this time, there's a bit more distance between their bodies, Mimori takes note, smiling into the sheets. Then with one last yawn, she drifts off to sleep safe in Cougar's arms.

Time passes but the sleeping lovers take no notice since both are fast asleep. And as the hospital room's door slides open, neither falter in their shared dreams of their happy future ahead. Nor when the visitor gives a startled gasp of surprise at seeing the scene before him. Unnoticed, the bouquet of flowers drops from his hand.

Ryuhou's eyes lit with a demonic fire narrow.

Walking closer, he scrutinizes the scene displayed in front of him.

Obviously, they were a couple now. He could not deny that fact as he watched them sleeping next to one another, smiles on both their faces.

His hands automatically go toward the end of the blanket but he hesitates. Then drops his hand back to his side.

He steps away, turning to leave. No, this isn't the time, he decides. Mimori's been through a lot and he could not risk her having a relapse, especially since she's finally awaken.

Before leaving, he turns back one last time. His eyes focus on Cougar and his lips curl up into a sneer. You haven't beaten me yet, Cougar, you smug bastard. No one beats me. He then looks over at Mimori, his eyes softening a bit. In his pocket, he fingers the new crystal necklace he had planned on giving her today, but…

He closes the door silently behind him and walks back the way he came. He hums to himself. For now, he would let her enjoy the happiness she thinks she has finally found. But in the end, she'll come back to me again. Right, Cougar? There are no happy endings for us alter users. You know all about that, but you'll be reminded soon enough again. And I'm going to be the one to do it.