Disclaimer: Do Not Own…
A/N: Twenty-third chapter. Final chapter, guys! AAH!
23. Behind the Scene
Hiroaki Ishida grunted in his sleep. The man in his forties frowned as he scratched his chin slightly before turning to his side on the couch for a better position, but it did not help. He simply couldn't get back to sleep.
Now wide-awake, he called out, "Yamato, I told you not to give our number to your fans! …Pick up the bloody phone now!"
But he received no answer whatsoever from his eldest son. Getting irritated now, he stood up and checked Yamato's room — he wasn't there. Only then he remembered that the young rock star had a band practice that he had to attend, and had left around an hour ago. Hiroaki groaned as the phone didn't stop ringing.
"Okay, okay, I'm coming — hello, Hiroaki Ishida speaking here, Yamato's not at home, he's more than glad to have a supportive fan such as yourself, his new single won't be out until the next few months, now leave a message or I'll hang up—"
In his mind, Hiroaki was making a note to himself: "Rule number two in 'If You Wanna Stay in the Band' rules — DO NOT GIVE THE TELEPHONE NUMBER TO FANS!" But everything just sort of faded away when he heard a voice that he hadn't heard for quite a long time:
"Hiroaki, hold it for a moment!" said she before laughing. "I didn't know Yama shares so much about his band life with you before — do family members get discounts for the new album, then?"
Hiroaki dropped onto the vacant chair right next to the phone. "Natsuko?"
"Hey… I'm really kinda sorta confused right now and I mean it — really, really kinda sorta confused, and…I…think you might be able to help me."
O…kaaay… When the strong, I-know-what-to-do Natsuko Takaishi says she's 'really kinda sorta' confused, something must be really kinda sorta wrong somewhere!
A pale girl opened her eyes and saw a clean and neat room — the smell of antiseptic and several other stuffs told her that she was in a hospital room. She stretched her hands a bit, looked around, and spotted a figure sitting on a chair far away from the bed.
His arms folded, that person was leaning against the chair, watching her with blue, blue, unfathomable blue eyes. By now he should notice that she was already awake, but he did not smile or even come closer to the bed — he merely sat there, staring at her.
Catherine smiled at her fiancé but he remained that way and did not make an effort to even smile back at her. After a few uncomfortable seconds, she looked away — Takeru's blue eyes could be so piercing when he's not in a good mood — and it almost made her blurt out the whole thing, every detail of The Plan…
"…Umm, hey, Takeru," she said at last, meeting his eyes once more.
He stared at her for a second. "Outside," came the usual short reply.
"Oh…huh," she smiled a bit, trying to play innocent. "Erm, why aren't you outside? I thought you hate to stay in one place, doing nothing—"
"—Well, aren't you glad that I'm here?" he suddenly snapped. Catherine was quite taken aback. Sure, she had seen Takeru in his bad mood before, but he had never shown his anger at her before…not like this. The relationship that they shared was so neutral, so uneventful, so…so… — so formal. There was this for-the-sake-of-their-families thing going on between them, and Catherine didn't see it changing any time sooner…
"Your parents asked me to stay," he suddenly said. "And watch over you." He looked as if he wanted to add, "Not that you need any watching over, anyway…"
No. No, no, no — that was just her thoughts — he didn't know about it, and he wouldn't know about it if she kept on acting…
"Where are they? Where are my parents?"
He looked away from her. "With the doctor."
She nodded a bit, mouthing an 'O'.
"…Discussing about your conditions."
Catherine tried so hard not to look at his face with a panicked frown as he said those words. Her stomach did a violent flip.
"Oh my god…he knew."
"Is my sister here?" she asked, changing the subject. It was always good to know whether or not she had a back up.
"Bathroom," he answered shortly.
"What about your mother?"
"Somewhere. The cafeteria, maybe."
"Your grandmother, then?"
His eyes snapped back to stare at hers, as if he had heard what he was waiting to hear.
"Oh, crap — Catherine , you're such an idiot!" But it was too late to take back her words — and she couldn't ruin the plan, not now, not when everything had went according to plan. "Keep it calm…"
"Whoever told you my grandmother's coming?" he asked, calmly but coldly so, with his eyebrows raised. She avoided his eyes once more. He mustn't know about The Plan…he mustn't.
She smiled. "Ehehe…I was just saying, you know, she's always so worried about me… I can guess if she's coming to visit me or—"
"She's on a holiday in Hokkaido, what makes you think she'll come all the way here just because you fainted?" he asked, his voice as cold as steel. She played innocent by merely shrugging. After a few minutes of silence, Takeru spoke again:
"He's your father's brother — your uncle, right?"
She nodded, and he looked into her eyes intently.
Finally, Takeru stood up. He'd heard everything that he wanted to hear… He walked towards the bed, looked at her for a while, and then pushed back her fringe gently off her forehead. His touch seemed so gentle, so tender — and yet his eyes were…
"…I can add two and two, Catherine ," he said, nearly in a whisper. He retreated a few steps back. "And I've noticed things. For example, they say you have a fever — but you're not burning up at all."
Oh, god. For the first time, Catherine was somehow thankful that she was pale; for she was sure she could've turned even paler there and then.
"Send my regards to the Masterminds," he said, very, very calmly. They stared at each other for a while, and then he turned, opened the door, and left.
Soon after, Arya Leroy entered.
"Oh, Catherine darling, you're awake at last!" she said as she came towards the bed to hug her. "I saw Takeru on the way here. Did you two chat?"
Catherine just nodded. "Onechan…he knows. He knows, I know he knows!"
Arya frowned as she sat on the bad. "Knows? About The Plan?"
Catherine nodded vigorously. "He asked me about Uncle Allen — and I accidentally asked about Mrs. Takaishi! Onechan, really—!"
"Shh, shh, shh — calm down for a bit!" Arya said, holding up her hands. "Now…did he say to you that he knows about this plan?"
"He says he could tell — and he's right, I'm supposed to have a fever but I'm not burning up! He felt my forehead just now and he — he…!"
"Calm down," Arya said again. "He has nothing to prove this at all, Catherine! Okay, so what if he knows that Uncle Allen is our uncle and your doctor?"
"It means he knows that Uncle Allen is apart of this!"
"But he doesn't know about the pill! Catherine — what proof does he have, hmm? What, is he going to say that you purposefully fainted? How can someone purposefully faint? Plus, you are a great actor, even that Yagami's friends believed that you fainted for real!"
"…Well…I did faint — the pill, remember?"
Arya grinned and slapped her forehead a bit. "Oh, yes. I forgot about that… That's also why I'm here; Uncle Allen's asked me to ask you if you're feeling all right. Well, are you all right, honey? That pill Uncle Allen made was supposed to make you faint, but who knows if it has any side effects… Well, so?"
"I'm feeling fine, really," Catherine said. "But…about Takeru…"
Arya sat up straighter. "Okay, listen here, Catherine ," she began, looking at her in the eyes. "The wedding thing — the reunion or whatever — that happened coincidentally. Their teacher got married and hey, hey, whaddaya know, that Yagami bitch actually came trotting back to Takeru! It should've been a bad thing, but no. Miss Takaishi asked him to bring you along — and that also happened coincidentally. She actually gave you — gave us — the chance to carry out this Plan! And it was carried out perfectly — the Fainting Pill worked, you fainted for a while, made everyone worried sick, and Uncle Allen's going to lie to Miss Takaishi and Takeru about you going to France for further treatment — but everything's a lie, and yet who has to know about it other than us? No one!"
Upon seeing Catherine's unsure face, Arya added, "Even if Takeru knows about all this, he cannot fight back — come on! We all know that he won't stand a chance against Mrs. Takaishi, and there's no way Miss Takaishi's going to go against her mother's words… Our plan is working, Rina."
Slowly, Catherine nodded. "Okay… Okay, so…" She suddenly smiled with glee. "We're off to France after this, right? Right? Right?"
Arya beamed. "Yep! Off to France, my dear, because — oh, what was it again?"
The two sisters smiled and chorused:
" 'Catherine's condition is getting serious, she has to go to France for advanced treatment!'"
Arya pretended to look worried. " 'But — is that the only way, Doctor Leroy?'"
" 'Why yes'," said Catherine , her mood definitely brighter now, " 'I'm afraid she MUST go to France — ooh, gosh, like, she needs to go there immediately! We shall not delay this!'"
" 'For how long, Dr. Leroy?'" Arya pretended to ask.
Catherine giggled. "… 'For as long as it takes for Catherine to get better, for as long as it takes for that Hikari bitch to forget him — let's say, forever!
"Well then! May I ask you, what is it that you're really kinda sorta confused about, Natsuko?" asked Hiroaki's voice over the phone. Natsuko couldn't help but laughed a bit. She paced around the corner of the cafeteria, choosing her words as she did so.
"Okay," she began, "we're moving to France — Takeru and I."
There was a pause. She had half expected Hiroaki to say that he was not affected by this news, and that he wouldn't even give a damn about it.
"…Right… All right, so now we know that Yamato has more reasons to dislike you — despite his true emotions…he really misses you nowadays, actually," he replied. "And, uh, you'll be missed. And I'll miss Takeru a lot — I mean, having Yamato going out almost every day and coming home late is enough to make me worried sick, imagine what it'll do to me when Takeru's living halfway a cross the globe from me?"
Here, he laughed bitterly. When she did not speak, he hesitantly asked:
"I do believe there's a reason behind this? And you're telling me about this, so…"
He didn't finish his sentence. He was asking her to do so. Natsuko sighed deeply, and walked towards a vacant table and sat there. "Oh, Hiroaki, I don't know… I'm just — just so…so… I dunno, I'm so…"
"It's your mother, isn't it?" he said, very gently, in that caring voice of his. "And the engagement?"
"Yeah — and I'm not sure about this, it's — it's like — like…"
Suddenly, her ex-husband laughed. "You're a grown woman, Natsuko, and Takeru's our son! I mean, yeah, Takeru is your mother's grandson and all, but — oh, come on! Mother and grandmother, who d'you seriously think has the right over that boy?"
He was not being sarcastic. He was simply amused, she could tell, by her childishness. He was simply there, again, to give her simple solutions to her simple-turned-difficult problems… He was…as always…being the simple man that had managed to win her heart…
"Natsuko, listen — I was okay with the engagement before because Takeru seemed okay about it too. But everyone can see that he clearly loves Hikari Yagami now, I'm sure you know that, right? And I dunno what's up with your mother…ever since Takeru met Hikari; she's been acting as if she's battling to win a war…or something…"
She didn't say anything. Was he really okay with that engagement before? She didn't know…
"…Were you really okay with that engagement before…Hiroaki?" she asked silently. "Were you?"
She heard him sighed quietly. Sure, their children might know that she was once betrothed to another man instead of Hiroaki Ishida, but neither of them knew who that other man was… They didn't need to know it, anyway…
"Were you really OK about Takeru getting engaged to his niece before, Hiroaki?"
"Ah, Natsuko — we meet again!"
Takeru watched as his mother bowed politely to the doctor, who did the same. He did the same, too.
"Allen," he mother said, smiling as she straightened up. The doctor smiled warmly. "So, uh — how's Catherine ? Is she going to be all right?"
"Oh, I know my niece, she's a strong one — just like her mother," said Dr. Allen Leroy, patting Mrs. Leroy's shoulder affectionately.
"So…so she's off to France for further treatment?" Natsuko asked, as if wanting conformation. Dr. Leroy nodded.
Takeru quickly looked at the doctor, and then at the Leroys, before finally looking at his mother. No one had told him anything about Catherine going to France…!
"How long will it take? How long will the treatment take?" Mrs. Leroy asked, grasping her brother's arm tightly. Dr. Leroy looked down at the floor, sighing.
"For as long as it takes for her to get better."
"But she only has a fever, what d'you mean she's going to France?" Takeru asked loudly, his heart thumping fast.
"Takeru," his mother said warningly. "Catherine needs this treatment…"
"Well, we should go in and check how she's doing," Dr. Leroy said, smiling. After bowing at each other, Mr and Mrs Leroy and Dr. Leroy went inside Catherine's hospital room.
Takeru and his mother stood there for a while, and then Natsuko took Takeru by the hand and led the way to the elevator.
"Takeru, dear," she said, "about Catherine going to France…"
"You grandmother thinks it's best if we go, too."
The elevator door swung open, and Takeru observed his mother closely. "You're joking." The woman said nothing as she pressed the 'ground floor' button. "Mum, you're joking, right?"
"It's decided. We're leaving tomorrow, the first flight—"
"WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?" Takeru bellowed, making Natsuko jump a bit. She then pressed her hands against her chest as she stared, wide-eyed, at her son. "CAN'T YOU AT LEAST TALK TO ME BEFORE DECIDING THINGS FOR MY FUTURE? I MEAN, WHAT THE HELL — FRANCE! AND WHAT'S ALL THIS 'FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES' CRAP? MUM, SHE'S ONLY GOT A FEVER, AND THEN ALL OF THE SUDDEN SHE'S GOING TO FRANCE?"
He was looking at her with very angry eyes right now.
"Everything's been decided!" Natsuko said.
"OH YEAH, BY WHO? GRANDMA? WHO IS SHE AGAIN, KAMI-SAMA OR SOMETHING?"
"Takeru! It's been decided by the doctor—!"
They'd finally reached the ground floor, and Takeru thundered out of the elevator.
"GEE, I'VE NEVER EVEN HEARD CATHERINE'S DOCTORS MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT A TREATMENT IN FRANCE BEFORE, ISN'T IT JUST WEIRD THAT ONLY WHEN HER UNCLE IS HER DOCTOR THAT WE HEAR ALL THIS FRANCE CRAP, HUH?"
"I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE TAUGHT MY SONS TO SHOUT AT ME!" Natsuko screamed back as she walked quickly to catch up with her son. Everyone was rooted at their spot, be it doctors, patients or visitors, as they watched the fight between mother and son.
"AND I HAVE NEVER RAISED MY VOICE TO YOU BEFORE, D'YOU HONESTLY THINK I LIKE DOING THIS?" Takeru shouted back. Natsuko stopped in her tracks, but Takeru didn't. He thundered out of the hospital's main entrance, and Natsuko just watched him go…just like that. Not long after that, tears began to form in her eyes, and she quickly wiped them away.
Reaching for her phone, she dialled Hiroaki Ishida's number again.
"Ah, here she is, our little shining star!"
Everyone in the room clapped, and Catherine beamed. "So, we're really going to France?" she asked eagerly.
"Yes, dear," said her mother, and Catherine and Arya squealed happily.
"Well then! Now that everything's taken care of…why don't we inform Mrs. Takaishi?" said Dr. Leroy. He had been smiling widely all the time. Mr and Mrs. Leroy and the two girls agreed, and so Dr. Leroy took out his phone and dialled a specific number. "Ah, yes…Mrs. Takaishi! Yes. Yes, indeed." His smile widened, if ever that was possible, seeing that it was already so wide. "Thank you. Yes, we will. All right, goodbye."
With that, he beamed at everyone in the room.
"She congratulates us, and wishes you a safe flight tomorrow morning," he simply said.
And everyone laughed.
Hika-Hika: Hi Takeru!
I'm1800cmTall: Hey. So, tonight at 7?
Hika-Hika: Gee, I wuz thinkin' something along the lines of 'yea Catherine's OK'
I'm1800cmTall: yea Catherine's OK
Hika-Hika: (rolls eyes)
I'm1800cmTall: So tonight at 7?
Hika-Hika: U're really excited aren't you?
I'm1800cmTall: Yea cuz you're paying.
Hika-Hika: . . . . . . Fine. Yes, tonight at 7. Ja ne, gtg.
Takeru sighed, and typed,
I'm1800cmTall: (waves) Bye, luv ya.
Hika-Hika: Urgh, cheesiness.
He laughed a but, but later sighed, He was hoping to tell Hikari about him moving to France online, before they go for their dinner…but…could she take the news? Takeru's long fingers hovered over the keyboard for a moment, and then he typed something before jabbing 'enter', the 'send' button.
I'm1800cmTall: LOL erm hey there's something I wanna show you when we get there…
Hikari's messaged popped out seconds after his appeared on the screen.
Hika-Hika is now offline.
He stared at that sentence on the screen for several long minutes, and then at the cursed ticket next to the keyboard. His mother and Mrs. Leroy had went to purchase the ticket some time earlier, and his mother had wordlessly placed his ticket there on the table while he was taking a shower.
Groaning, he got up and threw himself onto the bed.
"This is going to be one hell of a dinner," he told himself. He was sure that Hikari had heard gone through a lot — first it was him telling her that he was engaged to someone else, and then she was slapped across the face — she was humiliated — by his good-for-thing grandmother in a packed indoor basketball court, and then even in her new hometown, she was alienated because some stupid girl misinterpreted her story… She already had too much in her head right now, and adding one more problem could actually make it explode…
But what else could he do?
(A/N: And now, back to where I left you guys in the previous chapter).
She leaned closer to have a good look at the item he had just took out of his jacket pocket — he watched her as her brown eyes read the words on the ticket. He waited.
"…A flight ticket to France?" She looked up, looking slightly puzzled and yet beautifully so. "What…?"
"Just — let's just…wait for the main course, at least, okay?" he said rather quickly, regretting his actions of showing her the ticket a little too soon.
"No, tell me," she insisted, her eyes growing wide with worry.
He sighed deeply. He could no longer contain it, anyway. "I have to pack tonight."
She could already guess it, for she grew a bit pale. "No — no way, you're joking," she said laughingly before taking a sip out of her glass.
"…I'm not. I'm leaving Japan tomorrow. I'm moving to France."
Looking at her eyes alone was enough to make him bleed to death — that pained look of hers…
He nodded a tiny nod.
He didn't answer.
"You're moving to France? France?"
"Yeah. Tomorrow morning…"
"And — what about me?" she asked, her eyes getting weirdly shiny.
He couldn't look at her anymore.
"That's it, isn't it?" she whispered, standing up and grabbing her coat and small hand bag. "I've asked you this question before, haven't I? What am I supposed to do when your grandmother forced you to marry Catherine in front of the whole of Japan? What am I supposed to do, Takeru Takaishi?"
"You'll have to listen to me," he said carefully, making eye contact with her. "I don't want to go, but it's my grandmother and the Leory family, they've—!"
"It's always your grandmother, isn't it?" she said accusingly.
"No, it's not an excuse! No — no, no, no, no — no, Hikari, listen to me first, please," he begged, grabbing her wrist quickly as she began to walk away. With surprising strength, she pulled away from his grasp and went, with surprising speed, towards the glass doors.
Things had just went from bad to worse.
"Oh crap — Hikari! Hikari, please listen to me — look, I've got a pair of new shoes for you, I'm no longer a Shoe washer, am I now? Hikari please, I'm begging you to just — urgh!"
Leaving his things behind, Takeru went out of the restaurant too. The dining district was packed with lovers, families and friends going out for dinner. Hikari was a small person, and it was easy for her to slip in between those people — but Takeru was a tall one, and this made it hard for him to chase her.
"Hikari Yagami, just hold on for a moment!"
"HELP!" she suddenly screamed. "I don't know this guy, he's tailing me!"
The crowd literally froze for while, giving Hikari the chance to slip away from him.
"No — WAIT! HIKARI, YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME — LISTEN TO ME FIRST! I DIDN'T PLAN ALL THIS, IT WASN'T—!"
But she didn't turn back at all. He started to go forward to chase after her, but a few men - complete strangers who were out to dine - stopped him.
"See here, boy..."
"Now now, let's not cause any trouble, okay?"
Takeru could only watch as Hikari disappeared into a cab. He didn't have much time - he MUST let her see some sense.
Thinking fast, Takeru took out his phone and dialled his brother's number.
"Niisan. Yeah. Listen - I need your help."
Takeru had to wait for about ten minutes or so for Yamato to fetch him. His insides lurched as he saw his dad's van skidding into a halt in front of him. Quickly, Takeru entered the vehicle and slammed the door shut.
"Where were you?" he demanded, putting the seatbelt on as Yamato started to drive.
"You're welcome, it's no biggie, I'm such a good brother, I didn't mind leaving my dinner behind just to fetch my little bro," Yamato returned sarcastically. Takeru rolled his eyes, but did not say anything. "So? Did you tell her?"
"And how did sh—?"
"How did you think it went?" he snapped back. "God, I'm such an idiot...!"
He expected Yamato to comment on this or make fun of him, but he didn't (which Takeru found to be extremely helpful, in a way). He groaned and banged his head against the headrest of the seat several times, muttering, "Idiot, idiot, idiot!" all the time. His brother didn't say anything, but kept on driving. When Takeru opened his eyes, however, he began to frown.
"This isn't the way to the hotel," he said quickly, looking around.
"I know," said Yamato.
"Well - turn back, we're going to the-"
"No we're not," his brother said shortly. "We're going home - you don't have a lot of time."
"Which is exactly why I need to see her now!" he half-shouted. Yamato said nothing as he took the junction that would lead them to the Takaishi's apartment.
"Just trust me on this one," Yamato said, rather mysteriously, as he dragged Takeru into the elevator. He violently shrugged his brother's hand off, but Yamato remained calm. Hands in the air to indicate surrender, he said, "Cool it, Teeks. You'll see her again - but we must hurry!"
"What the hell?"
The elevator doors slid open, and once again, Yamato half-dragged him out of it and towards the apartment. "Get in," Yamato said, shoving him through the door before closing and locking it quickly. The first person Takeru saw was his mother, who rose from her chair the moment her sons walked in. She looked extremely white.
"Are you happy now?" Takeru spat, glaring at her.
"And what's this? You're on Obachan's side, too?" he went on, turning around to glare at his brother.
"Listen," his mother said gently, touching his shoulders, "honey..."
"Don't touch me!" Takeru shouted.
"Takeru Takaishi!" came a new voice - a man's voice. "Don't shout at your mother like that!"
It was his father.
Slowly, Takeru looked at Yamato, and then at his parents. Why was his father here? They were leaving for France the first thing tomorrow morning - but why were Yamato and his father here?
"What's going on?" he asked slowly, looking at his father.
"This is what families do," said Mr. Ishida, "we help each other out. Now, sit down and listen!"
Takeru sat down with the rest of his family, and that night was indeed one hell of a night as his father revealed his plans.
A/N: Will Takeru be able to convince Hikari that he loved her? Will the Leroys and Obachan succeed in separating the two? What exactly did Mr. Ishida have up his sleeve? Find out in the new exciting sequel, Hello Again - or wait, is it called We Meet Again? Or...meh. I'm not sure what the sequel's called...hmm. Suggestions? XD
Thank you so much to you guys for lending your precious time to read this little fanfic of mine. Without you guys, I won't be writing this! :'D
For those of you who didn't get the memo, I have decided to split this fanfic into two parts. It used to have thirty-six chapters, and I thought that it was getting too long, hence the decision to split it. I know that some of you already know what happens after this, but please, do stay tune, because there will be slight changes in the plot.
If you reread Coincidence or Destiny then you will also notice that I have changed the name of Takeru's fiancé from Rina Sakazaki to Catherine Leroy (yes, the Catherine from Digimon 02). This is my attempt to reduce the amount of OCs (original characters) in this fanfic, to focus more on Digimon characters. So don't be surprised or confused when I refer to Takeru's fiancé as Catherine instead of Rina in the sequel, yeah? :)
I believe that's pretty much it! See you guys in the sequel soooooooon~ XD