A/N: Wowowowowww. I am so AWFUL at this updating business. I've been wicked busy getting ready for school and all..sorry guys! And thanks for being so faithful and reviewing! I hope this can make up for it a bit. Enjoy.
How much longer can I sit here, I wonder? How long before I go mad? I must see her; I cannot bear not seeing her when she needs so much help. Tohru…why, Akito? Why? What could she have possibly done to warrant such treatment? Was it because she taught us how to love? How to be friends? How to care about others besides ourselves?
Hatori slumped in his chair. His eyes were half shut and he was tracing circles around his mouth with one long finger. Ayame watched for a moment and then turned to face Shigure. Both men looked uncharacteristically serious.
"I know, Aya."
They spoke in quiet voices; the dragon had finally fallen into a slumber, however fitful it may have been.
"But Ha'ri…we can't let this happen to him. He was happy when he was around Tohru. He doesn't have many spots of happiness in his life. Why would Akito try to take them all away from him?"
Hatori let out a big sigh and turned slightly in the stiff chair, eyes opening.
"Akito doesn't like losing his family members to anyone," he said. "This happened to me once before. I was foolish to think that it wouldn't happen again." Without saying another word, Hatori stood and walked off. Ayame and Shigure sat in silence for a moment.
"C'mon, Tohru…Hatori needs you," Shigure muttered, closing his eyes in prayer.
Tohru, a voice drifted through the haze. Tohru, my child, why are you still here? You're alive, you shouldn't be in this state of being.
"Oh, mom..I can't move. I hurt so bad," I say, my eyes pooling. "Everything hurts. But worse than that, my heart hurts. And I know it is not for medical reasons."
What is it, my love? Mom asks softly.
"My heart hurts for Hatori. I heard him, mom, just a little while ago. I heard all of the Sohmas. But in particular, I heard Hatori. He sounded so sad, and I couldn't tell him that I'm alright, that I'm alive, or that-," I stop, unsure if I am ready to admit it to anyone. I could hardly admit it to myself.
Or that you love him. She doesn't ask; she says it confidently. I look down.
"Or that I love him," I whisper.
Come with me, mom says, holding out her hand. I take it timidly, afraid that she will disappear if I touch her. And then suddenly, we're walking.
I want to show you something, mom says. We walk along the haze, pictures beginning to form. I can see Shigure and Ayame talking and watching the younger Sohmas as they sleep. But where was Hatori? As if she can read my mind, she nudges me along. Come on, Tohru.
We start walking again. The hallway of the hospital is forming through the haze. We stand before a closed door. Mom pushes it open and enters; I follow. It is a chapel, and there, at the very front, is Hatori, head bowed in prayer. I walk even closer and sit by him. There are tear streaks marking his porcelain face.
"Hatori…," I whisper. I want to wipe his tears away, tell him everything will be just fine and that he doesn't have to worry. I look up at mom. "I don't care about the pain, mom," I say with determination. "I'm going back. I'm still alive, and its time I let everyone know."
Her heartbeat began to slow, to balance out. The beeps and buzzing of the machines started to calm, a steady beat replacing the lurches and jumps that marked her heart rate before. A groan escaped from Tohru's pale pink lips. All of the pain and memories hit her like a ton of bricks. Why had she decided to come back? And then she remember, summed it up in one small, six-letter word.
She had to see him, she had to get these tubes and IVs out. Looking around, she spotted the pull-cord for assistance. Shifting slowly, she reached over and pulled it. Within moments, a nurse entered.
"Miss Honda, you're awake!" she cried, smiling. "How wonderful! What was it that you needed, sweetheart?"
"I-," she tried to speak, but all that came out was a rasp. She wet her lips and tried again. "I want to see my family."
The first to enter was a jubilant Ayame, closely followed by Shigure and Kisa. The rest of the family ambled in quickly, and shut the door behind them. Cheerful chatter filled the room and Tohru looked around, smiling as she looked on her family. But Hatori was missing. Was he still in the chapel? And then the door cracked open lightly, a tall man entering slowly.
"Tohru," he breathed, eyes bright with tears as he moved to the side of her bed. He leaned in to kiss her forehead.
"Hatori," she whispered. She reached up and placed her hand on his face. She could feel the unshaven stubble under her delicate skin. They looked at each other for a moment and then she pulled him towards her. Before she could talk herself out of it, she gently kissed him.
"Tohru," he repeated quietly, a small smile pulling at his lips.
The Sohma family backed out quickly, leaving the two alone with each other. Neither of them noticed, so wrapped up in each other they were.
"Hatori," she said, "I…have something I need to tell you. I lo-…I..uhm…"
"I love you as well," he murmured, taking hold of her hand. Everything would work in the end.
The zodiac had finally learned the meaning of love.
A/N: Soooo? What did you think? Short, sweet, and to the point. ANNNND this story comes to a close! I may write a new one. I haven't yet decided. I hope you all liked this, though. Thanks for sticking with me through the end, everyone!