Chapter 9 - Dedication

One and a half years have passed since Tokiya and Fuuko began seeing each other exclusively. The reactions of their friends were hilarious when they found out. Recca's eyes bulged out as he started to say something nasty. Yanagi promptly clamped his hand over his mouth, smiled sweetly and wished Fuuko good luck, then glaring at Recca back. He shut up. Domon, on the other hand, ran away crying about how the ice man had stolen Fuuko away from him. He was so traumatised that he cried for three whole months. In the end, he want to another city, working as a wrestler.

Of course, it was not all smooth sailing. Shinya was a huge problem, and bugged Tokiya for months. She got the hint in the end. Other than that, everything was relatively peaceful. It was also rather awkward for the both of them, as they had never been in a relationship before. They had their quarrelsome moments but always made up. They genuinely wanted to try their best to make their relationship work, so everything went well.

Anyway, it was that time of the year. Fuuko's birthday. Making a few phone calls, Tokiya was busy planning for it. For Tokiya, love for something new to him. For most of his life, he lived for revenge and nothing else. After meeting Fuuko and the rest of the Hokage, something changed in him. He knew that he was different. Emotions he thought lost was now coming back. He could see how hard Fuuko tried to be part of his life. In many ways, Tokiya was the passive one of the two. Fuuko loved him deeply, always trying her best to make him happy.

Putting down the phone, Tokiya told himself that he would make Fuuko happy. On her birthday, at the very least. He hoped that Fuuko would like what he had planned. Thinking about her, he smiled.

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Fuuko was in a panic.

Tokiya was picking her up in half an hour's time and she had not decided which dress to wear. Plus she had to do her hair. Not to mention makeup.

Fretting, she went into top speed mode, trusting her instincts and randomly selecting a dress from her small collection. A year ago, she would not even have thought of wearing a dress. Thanks to the power of love, everything has changed. The way she saw Tokiya was different from other people. He was extremely good looking, which is a fact, but deep inside, there was a profound sadness. It was something that Fuuko, with her happy-go-lucky personality found hard to understand. And it drove her to try to understand Tokiya more.

Patiently, she managed to melt the ice piece by piece. She knew that she could not change Tokiya totally, being like this for too long, but she at least brought out a side of Tokiya that no one could see.

Quickly, she made use of her time and managed, though barely, to make herself presentable. She was applying the finishing touches to her hair when the doorbell rang. Fuuko put on a dazzling smile and opened the door to greet Tokiya.

As usual, Tokiya was in perfect condition. Hair, clothes, everything.

How in the world does he manage to look so good every time? Fuuko wondered. This was something she still could not figure out.

"Ready to go?" Tokiya asked.

Smiling, Fuuko took his hand.

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The restaurant was a posh place. The atmosphere was great, the food was good. Fuuko was enjoying herself thoroughly.

"Enjoying yourself?" Tokiya asked.

"Yup! This place is great!" Fuuko replied, looking around.

"That's good," Tokiya said with a small grin. "Anyway, I have a surprise for you,"

Tokiya quickly got up and walked away before Fuuko could get a reply in. Wondering what the surprise was, she heard the soft croon of music.

She saw that the live band has begun to play, and that Tokiya was holding a microphone. Winking at Fuuko, Tokiya started to sing.

You'll never know what you've done for me

What your faith in me has done for my soul

Fuuko was surprised. She never knew that Tokiya could sing!

You'll never know the gift you've given me

I'll carry it with me

Through the days ahead I think of days before

You made me hope for something better

And made me reach for something more

Tokiya managed a smile at Fuuko before continuing.

You taught me to run

You taught me to fly

Helped me to free the me inside

Helped me hear the music of my heart

Helped me hear the music of my heart

You've opened my eyes

You've opened the door

To something I've never known before

And your love…

Is the music of my heart

Fuuko was trying hard not to cry. She was extremely touched by Tokiya's heartfelt words.

What you taught me

Only your love could ever teach me

You got through where no one could reach me before

Cause you always saw in me

All the best that I could be

It was you who set me free

Fuuko could not take it anymore. Her tears started to flow.

You taught me to run

You taught me to fly

Helped me to free the me inside

Helped me hear the music of my heart

Helped me hear the music of my heart

Signalling to the musicians, Tokiya continued singing the rest of the song one key higher.

You taught me to run

You taught me to fly

Helped me to free the me inside

Helped me hear the music of my heart

Helped me hear the music of my heart

You've opened my eyes

You've opened the door

To something I've never known before

And your love…

Is the music of my heart

Is the music of my heart

Receiving a large bouquet of roses from the restaurant manager, Tokiya walked down the stage to rapturous applause. Presenting the flowers to Fuuko, he simply said, "Happy birthday."

Amidst the tears in her eyes, Fuuko gave him the sweetest smile that he had ever seen.

Both of them knew that they were inseparable. For this moment, at least.

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Author's notes: Well, this is the end. My version of this song, Music of my Heart, was sung by Gloria Estefan and N'sync.

Disclaimer: The song, Music of my Heart does not belong to me. I am merely borrowing it, as with the cast of Flame of Recca, which belongs to Noboyuki Anzai.