A/N: I just recently watched the entire Paradise Kiss series, and I was very unhappy with how the story ending. This fic offers an alternate ending that is a bit happier. It will have a lemon scene with George, Yukari and Isabella, but the steamier stuff will be contained almost entirely in chapter 2. If that's not the sort of stuff you want to read, you can safely skip the entire second chapter, and it shouldn't affect your understanding of the rest of the story. Hopefully that will help everyone be able to enjoy the story!
Also, you should know that I wrote this story based off of the anime, not the manga. In the anime, they wait until almost the end of the series to reveal that Isabella is a man...it took me completely by surprise. I've just recently started reading the manga, and I found out that Yukari knows right from the start that Isabella is a man in the manga. I've written this story based on the assumption that she believes Isabella is a woman. Hope that makes sense!
Yukari stares forlornly at the rest of the group gathered in the atelier. She knows that this is supposed to be a time for celebration, but she also knows that nothing will ever be the same after this night. George would be leaving for Paris tomorrow, and Miwako, Arashi, and Isabella would all begin pursuing their own careers without him. The dream that was Paradise Kiss would fade until it was nothing but a glimmering memory in the distance…it would never be a reality. They were supposed to be celebrating their graduation, but all Yukari could see was the beginning of the end.
"You know," says a lilting voice from behind her, startling Yukari out of her reverie, "most people do not begin missing those they love until they are actually gone. Things will change…it is the way of life, but now is not the time for sadness. You should embrace these last moments with all the joy you can give, Carrie."
"How can you be so calm, Isabella?" Yukari asks angrily. "Our makeshift family is breaking apart, and George…George is leaving us all! The rest I could possibly bear to lose, but the thought of George truly going leaves me empty inside."
"Perhaps this will help you," Isabella says with a small smile as she hands Yukari a glass of red wine. "Let its warmth fill the emptiness inside you so that you can forget for the moment that George will be gone tomorrow and remember that he is still here tonight."
Yukari takes the glass with a wary look. She usually preferred to stick to nonalcoholic beverages…what George would typically call "kids drinks"…but tonight she longs for anything that will take away the emptiness and help her stand firm in her decision to put her career before love. And Isabella had worked so hard to prepare a lovely party…it would be disrespectful to let her sour mood make the occasion anything less than a success.
"I'm sorry," Yukari says softly. "I will do my best to enjoy our last night together." That said, she gives a firm nod and quickly downs the entire glass of wine, coughing slightly at the surprising warmth that spreads its way down her throat and into her stomach.
"Not so quickly, Carrie!" Isabella says with a laugh. "Just like our time together, fine wine is meant to be savored. You must breathe in its scent until it fills your senses, drinking it in small doses so that you can appreciate every drop. And besides…we wouldn't want you passing out so early in the evening…you'll hardly enjoy the party if you spend the whole night asleep on the couch!"
'I'm very sorry!" Yukari says again, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment.
"Not to worry," Isabella says gently. "We'll try again, yes?" This said, she pours Yukari another glass, and hooking her arm through the other girl's elbow, she leads her towards the rest of the group.
As Yukari draws near, George watches her with hungry eyes. She stops several feet from him and turns her head away shyly, but George will have none of that. Taking a step forward, he runs his hand lightly over the bare skin of her arm until he reaches her wine glass. Holding her hand in his, he lifts the glass to his nose and breathes deeply before leaning forward and stealing a kiss, tasting the remnants of the wine that still cling to her lips.
"A fine vintage," he says with a sly smile, "and its taste has only improved with time. You'd best be careful though," he whispers in her ear. "I have no qualms about taking advantage of you while you are drunk."
"Perhaps that is what I am hoping for," Yukari says with a wink, laughing as George's eyes widen in surprise. He is not used to her being so forward.
"You should drink wine more often," George replies, topping off her glass and giving her a wink of his own.
Yukari lets the warmth of the wine loosen her tongue and lift her spirits. She laughs boisterously with Miwako and Arashi and flirts shamelessly with George. After about her sixth glass though, she notices with a frown that the bottle is now empty. With a slight waver to her step, she stumbles to the bar in search of another bottle. A silky, gloved hand reaches out to steady her.
"I think you may have had enough for one night," Isabella chides gently.
"I'm just doing what you told me and having a good time," Yukari pouts, looking up to glare sullenly at Isabella.
However, when their eyes meet, Yukari's face suddenly flushes as she is drawn back into the memory of their first meeting. She had been running down the street trying to escape Arashi, and she had run headlong into Isabella. In the end, she had been clutching the other woman for support much like she was now. And just like that first time, she feels a strange fluttering sensation in her stomach…the same feeling she gets every time George comes near her. George's presence is so overwhelming, that she assumed all of her fluttery emotions must stem from him. She had forgotten that Isabella alone could also produce such a reaction from her.
"You know," Yukari says dreamily, "I think you are the most beautiful woman I have ever met…I thought you were an angel when I first saw you. I don't understand why George chose me to model his dress when he has you. I've seen so many beautiful women since I started modeling, but none of them compare to you. None of them make me feel like you."
Isabella gives her a stunned look, her eyes opening wide and her body trembling slightly. Then Yukari feels a strong pair of arms wrap around her from behind.
"And how is it that she makes you feel?" a seductive voice whispers in her ear.
Yukari sighs, melting into George's embrace. "She makes me feel flushed and giddy," Yukari giggles.
"It's so confusing…" she continues in a pouty voice. "I don't feel this way around any other woman, but sometimes when I see her, I wish she would touch me the way you do, George."
"Oh?" he says, sliding his cool hands underneath Yukari's blouse to caress the soft skin of her stomach just below her breasts. "Touch you like this?" he asks.
"Yes," Yukari whispers, arching into George's touch.
"And like this?" he asks, turning her head to kiss her mouth before trailing light kisses along her jaw and neck.
"Yes, oh yes!" she sighs, her eyes half-closed in a blissful, dream-like state.
George reaches one hand out to Isabella while holding Yukari close with the other. Isabella's breaths are coming in dainty little gasps, and for a moment, George is afraid she is going to run. But then she tentatively places her hand in his, her eyes wide with fear.
"Do you like the sound of that, Isabella?" George asks as he pulls her in close. Her only response is to allow her lips to inch closer and closer to Yukari's until her whole body is trembling and she is kissing the girl desperately.
Yukari eagerly accepts the kiss, allowing George to press her body flush against the other woman as his hands run freely under her shirt and his mouth plays havoc with the pale expanse of her neck. Yukari is surprised at the feel of it all. She had expected Isabella's body to be soft and yielding, a stark contrast to the hard angles and lines of George's body, but through the layers of ruffles and lace, Isabella feels strikingly similar. In her drunken haze, she could almost convince herself that the same hardness that was being rubbed against her from behind was also being pressed into her from the front, but it had to be some trick of Isabella's elaborate clothing…some piece of boning or support hidden in the cloth to help it keep its shape…women definitely did not have that sort of reaction when they were aroused.
Pushing her confused thoughts to the back of her mind, Yukari reaches her hand up to cup the other woman's face, longing to deepen the kiss and explore further during this moment of rare abandon. But the moment her fingertips slide across Isabella's face, she realizes that she is not imagining things, and she recoils in shock. Makeup can only fool the eyes, and her fingers clearly felt what her eyes could not see…the beginnings of tomorrow morning's stubble.
"It…it can't be!" she exclaims. "You…you're a man?"
Isabella backs away as if she had been slapped, her eyes filling with unshed tears. "You are my dear friend…I should have told you sooner. What a shameful creature you must think I am," Isabella cries softly, her head hung in humiliation. "I have never felt comfortable living as a man…" she whispers as her tears begin to streak down her face.
"Shhhh…" Yukari replies, struggling away from George's arms and rushing forward to pull Isabella into a loving embrace. "No explanations are necessary between us. I think deep down I have always known. That is why only you, out of all the exquisite women in the world, can make my heart flutter. But you are still Isabella…the most beautiful woman I have ever met…no matter what body you were born into."
Isabella holds Yukari tightly, peppering her face with butterfly kisses. George allows them a short time to have their moment before he silently comes up next to them and begins to stroke their arms. "This doesn't have to end here, you know. Come back to my apartment with me…both of you…and I will turn your tears into cries of pleasure."
"But the party…Miwako…Arashi!" Yukari gasps, her eyes widening in fear at the thought that her other two friends may have been silently watching all that had just occurred.
George motions his head towards the back room, where the muffled sounds of panting and groaning can be heard. "Our friends seemed to have abandoned the party in favor of their own sort of fun. Let's leave them their privacy and go have some fun of our own," George says with a sly grin, his voice brimming with confidence.
Mutely, Yukari and Isabella both nod their heads, trembling slightly. Like frightened schoolgirls, they clasp each other's hand tightly as they follow George to his car.