The last week of school was moseying on along the way lazy days usually do: slow and idyllic. There was some excitement over the fact that the entire 3-d class will be graduating, but Yamaguchi Kumiko waved it away in good humor. She had always known her boys could do it. 3-d, although excited about graduating, were more engrossed in planning for the graduation trip they wanted to take with everyone.

It would be the last trip they would be taking as a class. Who knew when they'd be together again, with all the others?

Shin, on the other hand, was spending the last week at the Ooedo's. Nobody thought this strange. Those who knew what went on between the two, knew nothing much was different, those who were blissfully unaware, were just so used to seeing those two together, Shin, being Yamaguchi-sensei's second-in-command, that they thought nothing of it.

Of course, these people were either very stupid, dense, or naive. In a way, it wasn't really cause for concern, since, nothing out of the ordinary does go on. (And if something did, much to the victorious crows of joy from the ShinKumi community, it would be none of their business!!! hehehehe)

When met by sly looks from the music teacher, or Shingumi, though, he would just roll his eyes, ignore them, or sleep. Always the best way to deal with them, anyway-and when asked, Shin, admits he wants to spend time with the kumi and her grandfather.

That's the excuse he's sticking with. (Though everyone knew what his reasons were.)

Apparently, though...no one buys it. Not even Kuma. And the sly looks, and evil jokes continue.

Until, of course, 3-d's 'fearless leader' gives his 'loyal men' a quelling look.

Then, the snickering, and the sly looks and jokes continue...discreetly (or as discreet as 3-d can ever hope to be...which, let's admit, isn't much. To Shin's dismay.)

The trip, it was decided, would be held that very saturday, after they graduate on Friday. And things were pretty much set.

Until, finally...Graduation.

It wasn't as long and boring as everyone expected. It was an emotional moment for 3-d's "Yankumi," since her boys would now be moving on to either college, or apprenticeship at some skill-related shop. After the emo moments had dissipated, though, each student left with their parent/s.

Much as the others wanted to take their leave of their fearless leader...he was nowhere to be found.

And each third year-even the ones from 3-d wore a secret smile, that day, as they left.

After all, there was only one place Sawada Shin could possibly be, today, at this moment.

Probably waiting for someone. And no one wanted to interfere.

Because this moment was...special.

Sure enough, as Yamaguchi Kumiko opened the door to the rooftop, there he was, back against the wall, head lolling forward, seemingly asleep.

"Oi, Sawada Shin. It's your graduation. Aren't you going home to celebrate?" She asked, sitting beside him.

He raised his head slowly and covered his mouth as he yawned, heavy-lidded eyes, turning it's gaze onto her. "Yeah. Maybe for an hour or two, then I'll be coming back. Tetsu's making hotpot, right?"

Apparently, he knew the kumi was going to prepare something for his graduation.

It didn't even surprise her. There was little Shin didn't know, when it came to the kumi. Damn it. Always sticking his nose into everything.

"I assume, since I've already graduated, you're not here to bring me back to class." He noted, sleepily.

He stood up to stretch his limbs. He reached a hand out to her to help her stand, though.

And it still surprised them both, how these little gestures have such an impact, though they were doing it often enough.

Holding hands, that is. It was always accompanied by a warm feeling that made them a little more aware of the other's presence.

"I-I w-wanted to give you something. As a graduation g-gift." She stuttered nervously.

Hoh. This was something important. Few things ever got her that way. He raised an eyebrow in askance at the small box she held out to him. He took it wordlessly, and opened the box.

His heart stopped...and it was taking a near-miraculous effort on his part to keep his temper in check...and not to scream and cry, like some sissy-girl.

It was the anklet he had given her.

"What's this?" He asked in a tight voice, his grip on the silver box, tightening.

"I've decided. I don't think I'll need that anymore." She answered. He took a deep breath.

"Oh, really." He wasn't really asking, and the tone dripped of sarcasm. Someone wasn't happy, and it was showing. He was slowly unclasping his hand from hers, but she refused to let him, and held onto them firmly.

It was beginning to hurt a little, but what the hell? His heart was breaking. Physical pain was the least of his worries.

"I don't think I'll need a trinket to remind me." She clarified, her gaze, not breaking contact with his.

What did she say?

"I said, I don't think I'll need a trinket to remind me. Not anymore." She repeated, giving him a goofy smile.

Did he just say that out loud?

"Yes." She answered, a smug smile spreading accross her face.

Fsck. (thankfully, he had recovered enough, and this last bit was not said aloud.)

He took the anklet and put it back where it was, a week ago.

"What are you doing?" She asked, eyeing him curiously.

"You might not need it, but it makes me feel good seeing it there." He said, in a mighty self-satisfied tone.

"You might as well put a sign on my forehead that says 'Shin's' on it." She grumbled. (of course, she thought this show of possessiveness rather cute, though she didn't say it.)

"Hn." He replied idly.

"What's THAT supposed to mean?" She asked, getting irritated by the second.

Of course, after seeing the arrogant smirk on his face, her temper had already snapped.

Oh yes. Now, She was on 'devil-mode.'

"Sa-Wa-DA!!!" She warned, eyes blazing.

"The way you look at me, they're gonna know, anyway. The anklet's a bit more discreet." He replied.

"W-W-WHY YOU!!! I'VE NOT SAID IT YET, YOU KNOW!!!" She sputtered, indignantly. Really. The expression was just too comical, it made him want to laugh.

"I haven't, either. Guess we're even." he answered, the bored tone he was using grating her nerves further.

The jerk was now strolling towards the door, leaving her behind.

OOOOOH!!!! THAT BRAT!!!! HE WAS GONNA GET IT!!!

In three quick strides, she was right behind him, and as she grabbed his shoulder, he turned around, put his arms around her, and presssed his lips to hers.

And yes. just like always, the sun was just setting. Only this time...this was real.

No hidden agendas. No hesitations. Just the two of them.

She closed her eyes, drinking in that clean, soapy scent of his, and marveled at the soft and warm pressure of his lips against hers.

He lifted his head a few seconds after, and whispered softly;

"I love you, Kumiko."

He held her close, her head on his shoulder, her hands against his chest.

"No games?" She asked quietly.

"No games." He confirmed.

"Sure it's worth it?" He asked, still unsure. Still wanting to hear her say it.

"Yes."

"I love you too...Shin." She added.

She loved the way his name sounded, when she said it.

She wasn't the only one.

They stayed like that, for a few more minutes, before they started to head back.

Shin, to meet his parents. Kumiko back to the kumi.

Then again, that was fine. Since The Young Master Red Lion was coming home later on...to her. To them.

To the Ooedo...and their Ojou.

At the nearest ramen shop, though...4 boys' curiosity were finally satisfied.

"Eeew. I told you we shouldn't have gone up there." Noda muttered.

"At first I thought it was a good thing we followed, since there was a big chance she was gonna dump him, but EEE-Yew." Minami said, thoroughly troubled.

"Of all of the things we could've seen...we just had to see that." Ucchi added.

"C'mon, guys. At least, Shin's happy. So's Yankumi." Kuma pointed out.

"He better not take her to the graduation trip, though." Minami mentioned.

"DUDE!!!" The other 3 complained, horrified at the thought.

Then again, as much as they seemed to protest, the truth was...they were happy.

Because like any loyal friend, Shin and Yankumi's happiness was all they wanted.

And yes. Unbeknownst to Shin, they were showing up at the Ooedo's later...to celebrate.

After all...friends didn't keep secrets, right?

Kumiko chose to keep this little tidbit to herself, and smirked.

She hoped the four boys survived it.

A/N: So, this is the end. It was quite a long ride, but I hope you guys enjoyed it. If I had to ask for something, it would be for every person who enjoyed this story, to review this last chapter as a sort of commemoration/parting gift for it.

This is the longest story I've written. The one I enjoyed the most.

And I hope I can write more stories that will make people laugh or feel what we make these characters go through.

I hope that I can write better, in the future to satisfy all of us.

Me, and all of you who were kind enough to read and review, especially those who were persistent enough (for some reason) to review all the chapters. It helps writers grow.

Again, thanks a lot!!! It really means a lot to me!!!

Review Replies!!!

Light side of Chaos: thanks for the love and support. I hope that you find this last installment as enjoyable as the rest of the story. I hope I made a decent ending for it! Thanks for reviewing!

to Nimeway: geh. to be honest, i feel sad it's ending, too. I wish I could write more of it, but, oh well. Here we are.

But there will be more stories. And I hope the next ones will amuse and entertain you just as this one did. Thanks for reading and reviewing! It is always much appreciated. !!!

to Tsunami: thanks for always reviewing. I really do appreciate the support, and I hope you enjoy this last installment!

to BlackJack7: Thanks for the feedback, and the cookie!!! I can scarecely believe it was this long, and somehow I don't want it to end, yet. I wish it could go on, but if it did, it would probably deteriorate.

This is the longest fic i've written, yet. And the one I enjoyed the most. I hope you laughed as much as I did, while I wrote it. Your stories make me laugh, too. I still smirk over Kyou not wanting to be sissified, every now and then. i don't even need to re-read it. I remember the silliness, in its all its glory!!!

As for Kyouya...I really wanna go with the Jekyll/Hyde idea, but I have yet to read the book. mew. Thanks for all the support! It really means something!

to LadySafire: i must admit, that the thing about Shin and Kumiko's relationship that I love the most-whether it be manga, anime, or dorama, would be their dynamics. how they argue, how they annoy each other...how Shin reacts to Kumiko, and vice-versa. Which is why I try to put in funny moments, that dissolve into waff moments. (please note the word 'try' . i'm not sure if i succeed or not, but i hope i do! )

because I really think that's how they'd be like...and it's cute, in a not-too-mushy sort of way.

Lets admit it. Shin and Kumiko probably cringe at the idea of 'mush.' hehehe. and so do i. (though I secretly like it. it's like a guilty pleasure. hehehe)

to silentemotions3: yeah. i kinda wish there was a gokusen 3-with Jun Matsumoto returning as Sawada Shin!!!! Awwww!!!!! i love it!!!! SHINKUMI FOREVER!!!!

but me as a director? It's going to be twisted! hehehehe. thanks for reading and reviewing, and also for the flaterring recommendation.

to naniek: It's okay! I'm just glad that you enjoy reading it. After all, people who write stories do so, not just to satisfy the need to write (for some) but also the want to put something across; whether it's laughter, or a lesson learned or something.

i'm glad you liked this story, and thanks!

to blueprincess16: I enjoyed the reviews. Glad you enjoyed the stories. Sorry I can't update drabbles (which in truth, are not really drabbly in nature, hehehe), because I need to get a new copy of the anime. I lost the ones I had. geh. so i don't know where to start.

But it makes me really happy that you're enjoying the other stories, as well. !!! Thanks for tuning in!!!

to Green.on.Black: awwww...thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed this story. I certainly enjoyed writing it. I'm glad I'm not alone! OHOHOHO!!! Thanks for the support!!!

to Sakura Taichou: here it is. not that long, right? hope you enjoy this last installment, and thanks for the reviews!!!

to WindyLea: well...considering the fact that this story lacks a lot of structure, i had to do it, sometime. hope you like the ending, and thanks for reviewing!!!