Reb: Sorry guys, I thought I'd already posted this chapter. Heh heh. Hi, Lady Hikari-Yami!
It had been a week since the defeat of Lana. Her castle and all trace of her had vanished and even Izumi had eventually faded away. Families were reunited with loved ones and everything was getting back to normal.
Mothers cried as children returned, parents rejoiced as spouses came home, and people cheered as friends and family rejoined them. No one had seen Kouji as he made his way home, as Kouichi feared they'd recognize him by his long hair and be out for revenge.
Kouji knew he killed people.. But the only ones he could vividly remember killing were his father and Lana. For this he was thankful. When Kouichi brought him home, his mother cried and hugged him.. And Kouji cried and hugged her.. And they cried some more and hugged each other.
Now.. Today was the day. Mom had quit work and retired for good. And Kouichi planned on hanging out with Kouji and their new friends later today.. But first.. It had to happen.
Kouji sat on the back porch, all alone. His hair draped over the back of the chair and collected on the floor. He just sat there.. Waiting, it seemed. Soon, his mother came out onto the porch and smiled. She kissed him on the forehead, as she did almost every time she saw him now, and then stood behind him, being careful of his hair.
She began to snip away his hair, bit by bit till it got to a length she liked. Kouji waited patiently, a small smile on his lips. He was finally getting his mother's cut. He felt all the weight lift off his head and suddenly his head was like air.. So much lighter. As the hair fell away, so did much of the grief, the memory, and sorrow caused in the last 8 years. He felt as though he could truly smile again.
And as his mother finished, he knew he'd be a better person than he'd been before. He looked in the mirror and confusion crossed his face.
"But mom.. It was this long before..." he commented, noting his hair was the same length as before Lana kidnaped him. His mother hugged him from behind.
"I know.. I liked your hair that long.." and Kouji smiled warmly.
He tied his hair in it's low ponytail and turned to look at his mother. He looked at her hand as she offered him his bandana. He smiled as he replaced it on his head. Tears brimmed his mothers eyes when he looked at her again.
"You're really back.." she cried.
"Ya.. And I'm never leaving again.. I promise.." Kouji was gonna make sure he never broke this promise... as long as he lived.
Kouji turned to the door as Kouichi walked out.
"Come on.. We'll be late.." he smiled at his brother's old hair cut. It was like rewinding time. Now the only thing reminding them of the event was the pile of long navy hair, left on the floor.
"Ya. Let's go. Later mom!" Kouji waved as the twins left the house and ran down the street to meet their friends. People waved and greeted Kouji as he ran by. They'd heard he was back but they hadn't seen him. Kouji smiled and blushed lightly at all of it.
They arrived at the park and met everyone else.
"Hey guys." Kouichi waved as the others noticed them.
"Hey." Kouji smiled too. His appearance seemed to stun the others into silence. "What?"
Kouichi laughed. "This is actually what he looked like before he left.." the twins continued to laugh until..
"What's so funny?" they all turned to see a blonde haired girl wearing purple clothing staring at them. They gasped, it couldn't be.
"Hi. I'm Zoe.. I just moved here from Italy." she laughed at their faces.
All but Kouji hurried to greet her. They all wanted to get reacquainted. Kouji smiled.
"Hey Kouji come meet Zoe!" Kouichi called just as Zoe gave Takuya a peck on the cheek. Once again, Tomoki giggled, J.P. fumed, and Takuya blushed.
"Coming." Kouji responded as he came over.
"Hey." Zoe greeted.
"Hey." Kouji responded, smiling.
"Come on guys, lets go see a movie." Kouichi and Takuya said simultaneously. They laughed and then headed to the movies.
One thing Kouji did remember while being Kouri.. Izumi. She's always been there for him.. Always.
"Thanks." he said as they walked.
"For what?" she said as though she didn't know.
'Ya.. It'll all work out.'
Reb: Done. With a little scent of Kouji/Izumi at the end. Hoped you liked my rushed story. Later!