It was the final night of their American stint. The husband and wife took their bows to the deafening applause, accolades and standing ovation. She looked at him a little apprehensively and tried to make herself heard through the noise.
"Shinichi, I have something I have to tell you…" Her voice just managed to permeate through the din.
"What?! Can't it wait…" He yelled back, barely able to make out her words.
"Well, sort of… but I want to tell you now…"
"Alright… what is it?"
"You know how I've been eating a lot more lately?"
"You always eat a lot."
"But more so than usual."
"Okay... perhaps... So what?"
"Do you remember what you said about the spare rooms in the house? What they were for?"
"Well, we are going to need one of them soon… In about eight months…"
It took a few moments for the ramifications of that statement to drive home. His jaw fell open. His mouth opened and closed several times before he was able to say anything, Finally turning to face her, he managed to master his growing euphoria. "Really? You mean you are… and I am going…" As if remembering something, he protested "Wait a minute. Weren't you supposed to wait a bit longer?"
"Ah, but one cannot go against fate." She remarked sagely.
There was little for him to say in response… Safe to say, he had misgivings but there was also great anticipation. For better or worse, the future was going to be interesting.
She grinned happily. "Isn't it good?"
"Good? It's mind blowing. I don't know what to say."
"You'll know… when the time comes."
"And you choose to tell me now?" He looked at her warily. "In front of hundreds?"
"Well, I thought if you knew sooner, you might have stopped me from performing."
"Megumi Noda… you're really quite mad, you know…"
"So you keep saying… Gyabo... Do you think this madness is genetic?"
I had never intended for this fic to have a tragic ending primarily because Nodame Cantabile isn't, to my mind, that kind of story. Although I stripped away much of the humour early on, it was always a story about love and hope. At the risk of sounding fatalistic, I think from what we've seen in the manga, it is evident that Chiaki and Nodame are meant to be. It's purely a matter of them growing and maturing as a couple.
Frankly speaking, I'm exhausted. The number of sleepless nights I've had over this… I'm just glad that I can get back to my life… to catching up on some reading and viewing.
Do review, won't you? I confess to being very curious about those nameless hits that I've been getting.
Ebony: You get my award for most loyal reviewer… with SB Kisses following closely behind. You have no idea how much I appreciated seeing your comments chapter after chapter… to know that someone was enjoying this piece of insignificant fluff. :D
Myzee: It's been fantastic to have you on board. Thanks for the Kuroki idea… it was very helpful. I know I gave him a Japanese wife in this story but I'm not super enthused about the whole Kuroki/Tanya pairing in the manga. I'm so glad that he's going to be in the European SP.
YDKM: Your comment about the length of Chapter 15 was interesting considering that it is actually the second longest chapter in the entire story. I take it as a compliment that it ended too quickly for you. ;-)
I'm toying with a couple of ideas… one is a sequel to A Roman Holiday, but we'll have to see. I fear that I'm going to be typecasted but I do love Nodame and Chiaki though. Such a delicious pairing…