WARNING: Spoiler alert for the end of the anime series. DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED THE ANIME TO THE END!
Mitsuki didn't know when Takuto would recover his memories of the time when he was a shinigami who watched over her. She longed for him to remember the times they'd shared when she, Takuto, and Meroko had been an unstoppable team. She longed for a return to the closeness, the friendship, and the beginnings of a deeper feeling she'd begun to sense in him towards her.
She didn't know if he ever would remember, but still she hoped.
His memories didn't come back that day in the street when Meroko led her to him.
She'd fallen, and called his name, straining vocal cords still sore and delicate from her surgery, but she'd managed to get his name out, and he'd heard her. He'd turned and walked back to her, carrying a feather of Meroko's, and for a brief instant surprise crossed his features as he repeated Meroko's name, but then the recognition faded, and they were just two humans staring at each other from across sidewalk pavement.
He'd asked if she was alright. He'd seen her getting up from her fall, saw that her knee was scraped and insisted she sit down so he could bandage it with a handkerchief from his pocket, frowning over her wound with an expression of concentration she knew so very well.
Desperate to keep him there with her a while longer, she'd touched his guitar case hesitantly, and asked if he'd give her lessons. He said he hadn't really thought about teaching guitar before, then grinned and said, "Why not?"
That's how it began. Mitsuki's grandmother graciously agreed to pay for the lessons, perhaps because she saw how much it meant to Mitsuki, or perhaps it was simply to keep her from straining her vocal cords by giving her a different sort of outlet for her musical talent. Mitsuki had embarrassed them both by throwing herself into her grandmother's arms and hugging her fiercely. She'd pulled back immediately, blushing and apologizing, but before her grandmother nodded her acceptance of the apology and dismissed her, Mitsuki thought she saw a softening of her grandmother's face, and the gleam of moisture in her eyes.
All through the next three years of lessons, Mitsuki waited and hoped, and did her best to excel so that Takuto wouldn't regret agreeing to teach her. Takuto responded with measured encouragement and praise, but without that spark of recognition she longed for.
After Dr. Wakaougi and Ooishige married, Mitsuki saw Takuto even more often at their house. Dr. Wakaougi went back to practicing medicine after Full Moon (Mitsuki's alter ego) disappeared, but he'd been a member of Route L, the same band as Takuto, and used that relationship as an excuse to ask him to dinner, usually on the same nights Ooishige asked Mitsuki to dinner.
Ooishige continued to manage other singers, though she told Mitsuki again and again that whenever Mitsuki wanted to get back into singing professionally, Ooishige would drop everything to manage her career again. She kept saying it even after her baby was born, around the time Mitsuki turned 16.
When Ooishige and Wakaougi chose Mitsuki and Takuto to be their baby's godparents, Mitsuki was so sure that Takuto would remember something, anything, about the last time she'd stood before him in a 16-year-old body. She'd even grown out her hair so that it flowed down her back as it had when she'd been Full Moon. She'd seen a flash of something in Takuto's eyes when he saw her at the church for the christening ceremony, but it was gone before she could even be sure of what she'd seen, and he didn't say anything, so she let it go.
About that time, Takuto caught a break and began making records again. Despite this, he kept up their lessons once a week, though they both knew Mitsuki had grown beyond any need for them. She now played almost as well as Takuto, though her style was very different than his. Yet he continued the lessons, and she continued to hope.
Then things changed. Their lesson was over, and Takuto was telling her a funny story about what had happened at the recording studio that day. Mitsuki laughed so hard that she'd tumbled off the armless side of the couch. Takuto reached out to grab her shoulder and pull her back and ended up tumbling after her, landing on top of her with his lips brushing her cheek.
The last time they'd fallen that way, Takuto was still a shinigami and Mitsuki was twelve years old and confused. Now she was seventeen and knew what she wanted. She wanted Takuto to kiss her. She could see in his eyes when he straightened his arms and raised himself off of her that he wanted it too, and that it surprised him. She thought, 'this is it. He'll kiss me and he'll remember at last and everything will be perfect.'
But he didn't kiss her. Instead he pulled back and hauled her unceremoniously to her feet, cracking a joke that had them both laughing helplessly.
A month later, Takuto got an offer to be the opening act for The Splendid Seven, a rock group that was taking the musical world by storm. They were popular on both the European and Japanese music charts. It was the chance of a lifetime. Takuto had to take it. Mitsuki knew that. She knew it when they parted at the airport as she came with Wakaougi, Ooishige, and their baby to see him off on his year-long world tour. She'd hoped then that Takuto would remember, that the pain of leaving would spark his memory. Though there was pain and regret in his eyes as he told her goodbye, there was no memory of a time when she'd been his whole world. Mitsuki smiled bravely, wished him well, and cried on Ooishige's shoulder all the way home.
That year was the longest one in Mitsuki's life. Even when Ooishige emerged from her maternal leave especially for her, and began slowly reintroducing Mitsuki to the musical world – this time under her real name and not as Full Moon, Mitsuki couldn't forget Takuto. She tried to lose herself in the music, and her songs began to sell. It wasn't the landslide success she'd had as Full Moon, but it made her happy to be singing again. To touch other peoples' hearts even though she couldn't touch the heart or memory of the one who mattered most was a bittersweet sort of joy.
Takuto didn't remember when she sent him a copy of her latest single on CD, even though she'd written the song about him. She'd been subtle, referring to him only as an angel, and not by name.
It was too subtle. He'd emailed her with congratulations, and more funny stories about his world tour. It was the sort of congratulatory message you'd send a favorite little sister who'd got the lead in the school play, and it broke Mitsuki's heart to realize that in Takuto's eyes she'd always be the little girl he'd mentored and taught to play guitar. She answered that email, but none of the others he'd sent after that. It hurt too much to pretend it didn't matter.
By then she was already working on a full CD. Wakaougi and Ooishige were taking their time choosing songs for her that didn't sound like the ones Full Moon had sung. It wouldn't do to invite comparisons. If anyone ever did a voice analysis of one of her new songs and one of Full Moon's old ones…
Separation and silence didn't make Takuto's memories come back either. What made him remember at last was a song.
Mitsuki was finished recording for the day. Her tiny little sports car was in the shop, so Ooishige volunteered to drive her home. The technicians were already packing up when a record company executive asked Ooishige to step into his office to discuss some distribution rights issues. Mitsuki decided to wait in the recording studio.
The control booth went dark, and she knew the technicians had gone. She wandered through the studio, touching the microphone gently. This was the same studio where she'd recorded 'Eternal Snow' as Full Moon.
No one was around. It was safe now.
She closed her eyes and let the memories wash over her of the time when her 12-year-old self had transformed (with the help of Takuto's shinigami magic) into a 16-year-old singing sensation called Full Moon.
Opening her mouth, she began 'Eternal Snow' softly at first, then with growing emotion. The notes of the song her father had written to her mother came belting out of her mouth, no holding back.
When the song ended and she opened her eyes, Takuto was there, standing in the doorway between the control booth and the studio, eyes wide with shock, his face ashen.
"T Takuto!" Mitsuki stuttered. "I didn't know you were back."
"We cancelled the China shows and came back early…" Takuto whispered, still staring, piercing her with the intensity of his gaze. He came slowly forward into the room, letting the door swing shut behind him, closing them in their own private world.
"That song…" Takuto began.
Flustered, Mitsuki tried to cover, the need for secrecy instinctive now after countless warnings by Wakaougi. "Do you like it? It's an old Full Moon song."
She giggled nervously and looked away.
"You're Full Moon."
Takuto's words fell like stones in a pond, sending ripples through Mitsuki's world. Slowly, she brought her eyes back to Takuto's face, that beloved face framed by bangs that always seemed to escape the tie he used to pull the rest of his hair back into a ponytail.
"You're Full Moon," he said again decisively. "You're Mitsuki, but you're also Full Moon."
"How…how could you know that?" Mitsuki's throat felt dry and her heart began to pound.
Takuto began to shake his head in bewilderment, then stopped. A look of wonder came into his eyes. "Mitsuki, the day we met, you called out my name. How did you know my name?"
'Oh Meroko,' thought Mitsuki nervously as she clenched her hands together in front of her. 'You told me to do my best when you brought Takuto and I back together. Please don't let me screw this up.'
Drawing a deep break, Mitsuki gathered her courage and spoke. "I knew your name because I knew you from before."
Takuto frowned, and she knew what he was thinking.
"Not from when you were singing with Route L," she denied. "I mean from when…"
"When I was dead," Takuto finished for her. A sort of disbelieving awe flashed in his eyes. "I was a shinigami. Meroko and I were assigned to watch over you when you were dying."
Tears began spilling out of Mitsuki's eyes, which was crazy because she was laughing too, her joy rich and full, so much so that she thought she might burst with it. "Yes, yes, Takuto, yes."
He'd remembered at last.
He came across the room and was gripping her shoulders as if he was afraid she might disappear if he didn't hold on to her.
"Why didn't you tell me?" The words were accusing, but his tone was infinitely tender.
"You wouldn't have believed me," she told him. "You didn't remember, and I was just a kid."
A wry smile crossed Takuto's face. "Believe me, I know that. When I saw you that first time…" He stopped and his wry smile turned into a quick grimace as he corrected himself. "I mean what I thought was the first time, I thought to myself, 'This is it. This is a girl I could love.' But you were in junior high school! I couldn't…" he broke off, begging her with his expression to understand.
Smiling, remembering her 12-year-old self, Mitsuki raised a hand and covered his hand, which he'd left on her shoulder, with hers. She'd loved him back then with the fervor of a child, without a true understanding of the self-sacrificing nature of love, that it was more than just a feeling of tenderness, a rush of emotion. It was wanting the best life had to offer, not for yourself, but for the one you loved.
"Thank you for waiting for me to grow up," Mitsuki whispered, and she saw that he understood, that he knew she'd realized why he treated her like a younger sister and kept his feelings so firmly in check that she'd begun to doubt if he had any feelings for her at all.
But the way he was looking at her now had nothing of an older brother in it, and it was as natural as the moon pulling in the tides when they leaned forward and their lips touched.
"Mitsuki! Keichi is here to take us both to dinner and…"
Ooishige strode into the darkened soundbooth and flipped on the light, her husband right behind her carrying their sleeping two year old against his shoulder. Ooishige glanced around the empty soundbooth, a frown beginning to wrinkle her forehead.
"That's weird, I could've sworn Mitsuki said she'd wait for me here."
Dr. Wakaougi tapped his wife on the shoulder, and pointed through the soundbooth's window at the couple lost in each other's embrace, so oblivious that they hadn't even noticed when the soundbooth lights came on. "She did wait here," he told his wife. "Look there."
"What?" Ooishige turned and stared. "Oh!" Her face took on a happy, sentimental look that her husband had come to know and appreciate.
She sighed. "It's about time those two stopped beating around the bush. I still think we should have told Takuto earlier."
Wakaougi slipped his free arm around Ooighige's waist and pulled her against him, turning slightly so she wouldn't be resting against the baby. "No, it's better this way."
"I suppose you're right," said Ooishige, with laughter in her voice. "Looks like it's just the two of us for dinner."
The baby gurgled in his sleep, causing Ooishige to laugh gently. "I mean the three of us."
"It looks that way," agreed Wakaougi lightly.
Ooishige pulled away from her husband, and grabbed the hand that had been resting at her waist. "Come on," she whispered, and backed out of the soundbooth to the corridor outside, pulling her husband and child along with her, leaving Takuto and Mitsuki in peace.
A/N: Well, this is about the sappiest thing I've ever written. (I know, I know, the line about the Full Moon and the tides was over the top, but I couldn't resist the simile) However, the ending of Full Moon Wo Sagashite just didn't seem complete to me, and the age difference between Takuto and Mitsuki kind of bothered me too, so I created an alternative sequel to the ending. Hope you enjoyed it.