A/N: Whoah, it's been nearly a year since my last update. I am so sorry, my deserted readers. I apologize for abandoning you, but I have gone away for the better good. I have escaped to improve myself. x3 Fear not, allow me to give you guys a glimpse of my new writing style!

A Look into the Future

By: Terry-May

Chapter 9 – The Climax

Previously…

"We aren't being eavesdropped on, are we?" Kimi asked in slight panic at the sound of incoming footsteps.

"I hope not," Kei only managed to sound out before heading to the door alongside with Mayumi and Kimi. He pressed his ear against the door and listened closely. There was silence.

Presently

"No one's there," Kei whispered to the other two. He continued listening with his ear against the door. There was not a single sound.

"We better go check," Mayumi advised, looking seriously at her male cousin. She took his hand off the doorknob and swung the door open. As expected, there was no one.

"No one's there," Kimi breathed out in relief, repeating her brother's statement.

"Uh, guys…" Mayumi called in a small voice. Her two cousins looked at her. She evaded their questioning looks before sounding out, "I need to go to the bathroom."

"Oh," Kei said and chuckled. He had expected something else, obviously. Something that went along the lines of 'I'm going to check on your father'.

"The toilet is two rooms to the right from here," Kimi directed and flipped her hair lightly. Mayumi smiled at them before bowing in courtesy and heading to the washroom as instructed.

"So much for that," Mayumi muttered to herself after exiting the room. On her way away from the toilet, she walked past her 'uncle'. She greeted him, "Hello, Kyouya-jisan. This is a nice house you have."

"I appreciate that, Mayumi," he told her in turn. She bowed lightly before walking once more. Kyouya just shook his head lightly.

Mayumi found herself in the Receiving Hall. She questioned a loitering maid there about Haruhi's whereabouts. The maid eagerly answered that her mistress was on the third floor in one of the rooms. Mayumi bowed down in thanks and headed up. She, of course, was allowed to go around that house since she was an Ootori herself.

She finally stepped on the last step of the third flight of stairs. She was on the floor she sought. He target was there. Tonight, she would end this. By ending this tonight, she would call upon a new beginning and a perfect end. Plus, she would be able to have her life back.

She slowly opened the door of the Master's Bedroom. There, she found Haruhi sleeping peacefully. She crept up on her in silence as not to wake her. Mayumi pulled down the blanket as if to look for something. Her eyes scanned Haruhi's pale neck. She smiled to herself inwardly. Haruhi was starting to feel the pressure of going back in time and reliving everything. When she looked closer at Haruhi's neck, a disappointed frown beheld her lips.

"Gone," she muttered softly to herself with an unsatisfied expression. She walked away from the bed and searched the dresser-drawer. After opening a small drawer, she found a solitary ring box. She pulled it out and opened the box.

From the small box glimmered a red-green gem rested upon a silver ring. She immediately recognized it. But, as she recalled it, the stone was given as a separate, and it was not shining like that. She smiled lightly before heading back to Haruhi. She took Haruhi's right hand and attempted to put the ring on it.

"Stop," a male voice stopped her. In surprise, she dropped the ring. Kyouya hurriedly ran up to her and pinned her against the wall by her hands. Haruhi showed signs of waking, but he didn't notice it.

"You can't stop me," Mayumi taunted with a smirk. She did a twirling motion with her hands. Before Kyouya could notice anything, he was frozen stiff. He was breathing; hence, he was conscious. He was unable to move his head, but in his periphery, he could see Mayumi bending down to retrieve something that shone.

'No,' Kyouya thought to himself in dread. A tugging feeling at his heart pressured him to move. After struggling with his own will and the will of Mayumi, he was, at the most, able to turn his head to Mayumi's direction.

"Too late, Uncle," Mayumi stated mockingly. She slid the ring unto Haruhi's finger. As if all magic was nullified, Kyouya was able to move again. Although the spell was lifted, Kyouya still remained petrified.

"Why are you doing this, Mayumi?" Kyouya demanded calmly. But, no matter how hard he tried to be calm, his expression betrayed him.

"You know it already," she answered. She continued holding Haruhi's hand.

"Don't touch her!" he shouted. Mayumi just giggled. She held Haruhi's arm closer to him.

"Kyouya, you know this ring, don't you?" she asked him. Kyouya's gaze transferred from Mayumi to Haruhi. Haruhi's face beheld a look of pain.

"STOP IT! YOU'RE HURTING HER!" he yelled. Mayumi just clicked her tongue and shook her head at how helpless he was being.

"Then why don't you try to stop me?" she asked him with a villainous grin. Kyouya stopped and looked dumbfounded. Mayumi just laughed. Haruhi opened her eyes slowly. Kyouya felt relief.

Kyouya had recovered from his paralysis and had already ran up to Mayumi. Using his inherent masculine strength, he pushed the younger girl off the bed. He took Haruhi's hand and tried in vain to pull the ring off.

"Don't do that," she told him. He paid no heed to her and continued pulling. "If you do that, her finger will come off. Do you want to meet her again in the past with only four finger on her right hand?"

Kyouya stopped and looked at the girl. She was serious. He let go of Haruhi's hand and held his head, feeling hopeless.

"Then what?" he asked her weakly with pleading eyes.

"Relax. Everything will continue to the way it was. All except for her existence," Mayumi replied with a smile. She went up to him and caressed his chin. "Tell me, Kyouya. What do you know about the ring?"

"The ring?" Kyouya repeated with his now usual aloof expression. "I don't know anything about it."

"Then, do you know about that?" Mayumi pointed at the opened drawer and the small ring box that lay on top of the dresser. Kyouya kept silent.

"She was wearing that gem as a necklace," he finally answered. Mayumi smiled. "I took it from her the day before her birthday 15 years ago. I had it forged into a ring and used it to propose to her."

"What?!" Mayumi asked in exasperation, letting Kyouya go. She staggered backwards before falling down unto the carpeted floor. "What?!"

"Is something wrong?" Kyouya questioned with his trademark smirk. He was suddenly feeling victorious as he stood up.

"There's nothing worth smiling about, Ootori," she said as she narrowed her eyes at him. "This only means that the gem will affect you as well."

"What?" Now it was Kyouya's turn to be dumbfounded. At this time, Haruhi woke up. "Oh, thank God, Haruhi."

"Kyouya…h-help…" Haruhi just sounded out with her eyes gazing blankly towards the ceiling. Kyouya hurried over to her.

"Haruhi? Haruhi!" Kyouya called for her with a panicked look. He held her two hands wildly in an attempt to wake her. By chance, his fingers slid upon the glowing ring. Before anyone could notice, the whole room stood frozen.

Mayumi was frozen midway from standing up. She appeared to be in a squatting position. Kyouya was petrified, holding Haruhi's two hands. The ring had stopped glowing. Haruhi was paralyzed with her eyes looking as blank as ever. The tears Kyouya was beginning to shed was the only thing that defied the pause.

And after ten uncounted seconds, everything returned to normal. Mayumi stood up. She looked at the scene on the bed. ((Nothing perverted here.)) The two were still frozen. Just then, a weird hologram emission came from the gem of the ring. It opened up to reveal something like a portal. Mayumi gasped. She had not calculated this. Although being psychic, she never anticipated that Haruhi would go against their covenant and hand the ring over to just anyone. This added Kyouya to the equation. She remained silent as black gas closed in on the two.

Within seconds, the black gas had engulfed the two. Within more seconds, they were gone. Mayumi's eyes widened.

"Why wasn't I taken?!" she asked herself out loud. She fell to the floor and shed her tears. This was not what she had expected.