A/N: This is going to be my second attempt for an OT5 but this will be on a different plane compared to Simple Joys. You may have notice (and surprisingly, me too) that I seem to have an affinity to angst. This story is full of angst…I'll fill it to the brim. Kidding. But I do love making my readers cry. Haha! But kidding aside, I kinda like the feeling that I move people's emotions with my words. I hope I would be able to do the same with this story.
Disclaimer: I don't own POT, or the Korean show where I got the idea and the songs…if by heaven's grace it will turn out to be a song fic.
Parings: OT5, implied FujiRyoga (past) and a whole lot more
PS: "" for dialogs, '' for thoughts, italics for flashback, () for text messages.
A/N2: Ok...this is it...the last chapter. I just want to thank everybody for supporting this story. I had fun doing it since I was able to apply what I have learned from my instructors...for once. Teehee! I just realized something after I uploaded the previous chapter. A friend of mine told me that my main problem is that I don't talk about my feelings...I don't open up to people including my friends. I think I've found the source of my angst. And I don't know if that's a good thing or not. I mean, I already have an outlet for these pent up emotions and that's you guys. So yeah...I was like crying when I uploaded the chapter.
This would turn out rather short since it's an epilogue after all. I would like to give special thanks to the following:
takari love: Thanks a lot. I never expected that's I'd find a friend in you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And yeah, keep those questions coming. There's no better way to fire my neurons than asking questions. Better yet, you may help me review for my finals! Hahahahahahha!
1xmocha: Thank you! You are so like the patroness of OT5...thank you so much! It is a priviledge to have you review my work. (Kneels before her)
AND TO THOSE whoO WISHED ME LUCK FOR MY REVALIDA, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! I NEEDED THAT!!!!!! And to all of those who reviewed!!!!!!!! Thank you!!!!! Arigatou!!!!! Salamat!!!!!!!!!!
PSS: A REVALIDA is a grand practical exam where we memorize dozens of nursing procedures then we'll anxiously line up outside a room, only to be pushed in to perform an unknown procedure. You only have one minute to get all the materials and must demonstrate the whole procedure in front of a clinical instructor while stating the procedures and its rationales. You get to answer only two questions. It's a 100-point exam where the deductions come in 10 pts. It comprises 20 of my 40 of RLE. And...I PASSED MY REVALIDA!!!!! I PASSED MY REVALIDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WAS SO LUCKY THAT I GOT BLOOD TRANSFUSION AS MY PROCEDURE!!!! SO LUCKY INDEED!!!! ONE MAJOR DOWN! SEVEN TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ryoma stopped and took one last look at the sanctuary which became his home for the past three years. The scent of the spring flowers filled his senses and the vivid colors of summer made his gut churn in a good sort of way.
Graduation...he never imagined he'd live to see this day. For once he didn't see the old gothic buildings imposing...it didn't feel suffocating as it did before. He watched the students frantically went to and fro, making the last preparations for the Ceremony. He smiled.
"I'm definitely going to miss this." His hand raked through his still-short locks. His fingers felt for the healed scar. "Who said nothing good will result from misfortunes like this?"
He spun around only to see his lovers coming up around the bend, all dressed up for the special occasion. He smirked. "Monkey King, I told you no purple today!"
The business magnate just grabbed him and kissed him senseless. "And since when did I start listening to you for fashion advice?" He cocked his head up after they parted.
Ryoma pouted. "But it's my--mmphhp!!!" He was cut off when Fuji swooped down and captured his unattended lips. The golden-eyed man had no choice but to cling to the searing kiss. He wound his arms around the brunette's neck.
They broke off. Ryoma peered past the tensai and saw his two stoic lovers glaring at them.
"Sorry Mitsu, Gen." Ryoma unlatched himself from Fuji to give Tezuka and soft lingering kiss. "I didn't mean to forget about you two." He went to Sanada and did the same thing as well.
"Uhh guys, I don't think we still have time for that." Ohtori approached them. He had his button, corsage, his sash and his class ring already.
"Is it starting?" Ryoma asked him.
"Yeah. Surprisingly, my parents came that's why I have all this ornaments up already." He sighed but joy was definitely in his eyes. "You know how my mom reacts to these events."
Ryoma's eyes widened in surprise. "Really?! You mean--"
Ohtori's smile turned into a grin. "We're good and they already accepted Haru! Oh this is the best day of my life!" He gave Ryoma a bear hug. He didn't let go until he heard someone cleared his throat.
"Ahh sorry." He immediately released the young man upon seeing the murderous glares of his lovers.
"Don't mind them." Ryoma told him.
Ohtori then remembered something. "Oh yeah!" He took out his something from his pocket. "I already gave you corsage and sash to your parents but I got this." He took out a moss green-colored velvet box and handed it to him.
Ryoma took it and opened it.
"It's our class button and ring. I figured you'd want them to put it on you." Ohtori smiled. Ryoma smiled back to him and turned to his lovers.
Tezuka held his breath as he reached in and took the ring.
"Sweet." Fuji muttered as he eyed the silver band with an opal blinking under the midday's sky.
Atobe took his left hand and he and Tezuka slowly slid the ring into his ring finger. Ryoma was nothing but in awe as the silver band fit perfectly around his fingers. His heart swelled in happiness as if felt something more than just putting it on.
"T-thank you." Ryoma muttered, blushing hard. He then felt fingers on his right chest. he looked up and saw Sanada and Fuji pinning the button on his suit.
" Wow..." Fuji breathed out as they studied their lover. He exuded the aura of a powerful young man. "So beautiful Ryoma." He bent down and gave him a chaste kiss on the forehead.
"Let's go." Ohtori was becoming impatient. Yes, the five of them looked adorable and cute but the clock is ticking and their graduation march will start soon.
Ryoma took Fuji's and Sanada's hands together they walked out of the greeneries and towards the Symphony Hall of his school. Outside where families, the Press and the like gathered, stood the Echizens waiting for their youngest son.
"Oi Chibisuke!!!!!!" Ryoga waved when he saw his brother with his lovers and Ohtori came around the bend. "Hurry!!!!"
"That's so like him, alright." Came a grumble. Ryoga glanced sideways to Kirihara, whom he was steadily dating for about a month already.
"Yeah." He sighed as he watched his brother make no move to speed up. "I'm beginning to realize what a brat I have for a brother."
"Come on now, Ryoga." A soft hand tapped his shoulders. "It's your brother's day after all. Rinko smiled at the ecstatic face of her youngest.
Just as they approached, Nanjiroh arrived with a sash and a corsage in hand.
"There you are!" He cried in exasperation. "I've been looking all over for you!" Nanjiroh tugged him closer. "You're marching in 5 minutes!" He handed Rinko the corsage while he slipped the ornate sash over Ryoma's head.
"Hey, hey! Easy!" Ryoma protested.
"Good afternoon Rinko-san, Ji-san." His lovers bowed at the sight of Ryoma's parents.
Ryoga glared at them. "You kept him. Now my Chibisuke is late." He watched at his mother bent to pin the corsage on him.
"We're sorry." Tezuka smiled at them apologetically.
"There, all set." Rinko straightened out his suit and beamed at her son. "You look amazing Ryoma." She caressed his face gently.
"Amazing, yes but incorrigible...absolutely." Ryoga reached out and messed the already-messy locks. "Congratulations, Chibisuke."
"Oi watch it!" Ryoma slapped his hand away in annoyance. "I actually spent a long time tidying it up you know!"
"GRADUATES OF YEAR 2008, PLEASE FALL IN LINE. WE'RE ABOUT TO START THE CEREMONY."
Ryoma took a deep breath as the fluttery reined his heart once more. Reality soon caught up with him. He's graduating. He's alive. His lovers are back. His family is for real...EVERYTHING IS REAL.
A firm hand on his shoulders drew him back and he found himself staring up to his father's eyes.
"I'm very proud of you Ryoma." He drew him into a tight embrace. "I can't thank the heavens enough for giving me the chance to experience the person that you are now. I can't ask for more."
Ryoma felt his eyes warming up as he wrapped his arms around the old man as well. "Me too, Tou-san...me too."
He broke free from his father embrace to face Ohtori who was wearing the same elated expression.
They watched proudly as the members of the graduating class began their march. Nanjiroh and his family were seated together with Tezuka and the others. In front of them sat Ohtori's family, Niou...and surprisingly, Shishido and his family.
Not far from the back stood most of Ryoma's friends inclusive of Yukimura, Oishi and the rest of the gang. They were so elated that the young man is finally putting up a new start in his life that they had to restrain Eiji from screaming when it was Ryoma's turn to take the aisle.
Although that wouldn't be necessary since the moment he and Ohtori started their march, the rest of the world, students and guests alike, stood up and applauded the top students of their class.
"Wow...this is...amazing." Sanada scanned the entire hall full of people lauding his lover and his friend. He never imagined that the golden-eyed man was this great.
Ryoma squirmed in his seat, waiting for his name to be called. He had to admit that despite his amazing talents, the person who had been creating music longer than he had emerged as the victor. Although he only came in second, he was proud that his best friend was named the class Summa cum Laude.
"Echizen Ryoma, Magna cum Laude!"
A sudden tide of murmur enveloped the crowd. Ryoma then realized that the rest of the world didn't know that his name was hastily changed to Echizen due to the persistence of his father. Only the school administrators and a few selected acquaintances knew of the change that occurred.
He stood up and there was a resounding applause from the back. Ryoma turned around and gaped at the sight of numerous familiar faces, beaming at him proudly. Soon, the crowd's initial shock died down and the entire hall erupted in cheers and applause as Ryoma walked towards the stage to receive his diploma and several other awards.
"Echizen Ryoma is this year's Grand Vicar of The Performing Arts for his contributions to not only the Piano Division but to the rest of the Academy as well. He is also this year's recipient of Sir Atoine Ravine Excellence Award..."
Tezuka turned deaf to the voice that has been detailing Ryoma's achievements. All his senses were focused on the man on stage. It was not long ago that his lover made a deal with Death and nearly lost. It was not long ago that that he nearly lost probably the best thing he ever had...completeness.
He soon realized that he cannot deny his young lover the one thing that he selfishly hid from the world...his smile.
"That's it Ryoma...show the world how great you are."
Atobe had to wipe away the tears that escaped his eyes discreetly. If the golden-eyed man learned about this, he knew he wouldn't let Atobe live it down.
'But I don't regret it. I don't regret shedding these tears right now.' Atobe smiled when the head of the Piano Division put on the medal on his lover's neck. 'For Ryoma...I'll do anything...I'll offer anything...'
'I'll give up everything.'
Fuji tightened his grip on Sanada's arm. Yes...this feeling, this thrill that had long left his body returned upon seeing how his young lover was finally receiving the recognition he deserved. It might not be from tennis, but it is from something equally amazing.
'Just imagine if you didn't make the first move to sort things out, Syusuke.' he felt goose bumps on the back of his neck as the applause escalated to a higher notch when Ryoma received his third medal.
"AmIi not enough?'
Those words came back to him like a faint echo from the past.
'No Ryoma...you're not just enough...you're more than enough.'
Sanada felt his lips curving up into a smile when Ryoma struggled with the awards that he received. The last time that he saw his young lover in this situation was during the Nationals of his senior year in high school. Everything was perfect that time...until...
Sanada shook himself inwardly. 'Now's not the time to remember that Geinichiroh. That was the start of the darkest days of your life. Today is a day the Prince reclaimed what was rightfully his...success...distinction...perfection.'
"Good job, Ryo-kun."
Ryoma couldn't stop himself from grinning. Yes, it was hard to juggle the plaques and the trophies and such but it's ok.
"And here is Echizen Ryoma for his speech."
Then all of the euphoria in his veins suddenly dissolved into nothingness. "S-speech?"
Yukimura fought hard not to burst out laughing at the expression the golden-eyed man has. It seemed like Ryoma never saw it coming.
'Ahh...what a scheming friend you have, Ryoma-kun.' He turned his attention to the back of Ohtori who just stood there.
"He's probably grinning like a cat right now." He heard Oishi muttered.
"Speech?!" Nanjiroh gasped. "We never prepared for a speech! my god that idiot's going to babble his way into it!" Came a muttered outrage.
Rinko grasped her husband's hand. "It's ok Nanjiroh. Watch your son. He'll be perfect."
Ryoma swallowed the hard lump in his throat as one of the ushers relieved him of the burden of his achievements and was led to the podium. After recovering from his initial shock, he managed to throw Ohtori a death glare before he composed his self to face the rest of the crowd.
'Oh well...here we go.' He took a deep breath and gently tugged the microphone towards him.
"Good afternoon everyone." He fought hard to find his calm. 'Imagine you're currently in the US Open...or The Conservatoire in Paris.'
"As most of you know, I'm not a man of words..." This brought a waved of silence that filled the symphony hall. "And I would've liked to stay that way until now. However, the situation does not call for my usual aloof silence, but rather extreme gratitude for all of you."
He caught sight of his lovers and his family. He soon felt the anxiety leave his veins. 'Who would've thought I'd be standing here in front of you all? I guess I just didn't expect it to happen this way.
"I'm offering my deepest gratitude to all of you. First, to this wonderful institution who welcomed me with open-arms when I needed something to bring back the life in me. I remembered how the chills went down my spine the first time I really listened to Ohtori Choutarou played the piano in room # 4 three years ago." He closed his eyes as the haunting memories made the hairs on the back of his neck rose.
"I was so lost back then. I lost the one thing that directed my life...and who would've thought the gentle melancholic sounds of the keys he pressed would ignite something in me...something that I thought I lost."
"I would've have continued living without music..."
Ryoma fell back on the huge bed, exhausted from the day's event. First, he and Ohtori had to render piano performances for everyone. He chose to play his favorite piece, Ballad pour Adeline while his best friend play Fur Elise. After that, the Academy Orchestra, with Ohtori as the concert master and he as the pianist, played Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No.2 in c.
'I can still feel the tingles down to my fingers.' He smiled at the memory of the entranced faces. 'It's the best performance of my life.'
And immediately after the ceremony, a party was held in Atobe's mansion for him and Ohtori where all of their friends, band mates and families gathered. He snuck out for a while to get some rest.
He lay there for quite a while until he heard the door creaked open. He opened his eyes and found his brother standing by the doorway, watching him.
"Oniisan?" It took him quite a while to fight off the hostile feeling in his heart towards the older man...especially that the man had a possessive streak in him.
"Could you please stop touching my Chibisuke like that?" Ryoga glared at Atobe. "He's still young you know."
"Ryoga!" Ryoma glared at him indignantly. A small blush crept up his cheeks. "I'm mature enough to handle my lovers."
Atobe chuckled at he continued playing with Ryoma's hair.
"I said stop molesting my Chibisuke!" He not-so-gently grabbed Ryoma from the diva's grip.
And that started chaos.
Ryoga smiled at the adorable look on his brother's face. He couldn't quite understand how it happened but the moment he learned that Ryoma was his brother, he felt the weight from his heart was lifted and he was able to breathe freely.
"Are you coming home with us tonight?" He asked.
Ryoma shook his head. "You know very well that this is where I live." He could almost sense the jealousy from the older man. "I'll visit tomorrow and maybe I can talk them to come and spend the night at our house." He said. 'Our house...wow...I didn't imagine it would feel nice saying those words.'
Ryoga sighed and sat at the edge of the bed. "Fine, I'll tell mom and dad."
Ryoma smirked at the obvious dismay of the older man. It was indeed not too long ago that they were able to spend time together. He scooted over to his older brother and leaned against his side.
Ryoma tensed at first when he felt the gentle pressure of his brother against his arm. However, that tension slowly ebbed away. "Will you be playing tennis again?"
"I don't know yet. Seiichi-san has not given me a go signal yet." He felt his brother's hand on his head. " And besides, I don't know if I still get back in shape and be the player that I had been five years ago."
Ryoga stared at the dark mass of hair. "You can. You can fulfill Dad's dream. I cannot do it since I'm permanently off sports but you still can. From what I have heard, you are one hell of a tennis player."
Ryoma smiled. "I know." They just sat there in silence for a quite a while until Ryoga asked another question.
"How are you able to handle four men?"
Ryoma just smirked and left his older brother.
"Mada mada dane, Ryoga."
The soft gentle wind caressed his face as he stood before a familiar tree. For years he came to this spot to wallow in his self misery but now, he came for another purpose.
A warm hand gently grasped his shoulders, giving him the encouragement that he needed.
"Go on Ryoma." Tezuka smiled at him. It was only a year ago when they first stumbled into the resting place of their beloved coach. Now, he's here once more with his lovers and Ryoma's family to honor the woman who took care of Ryoma and raised him up into an amazing person that he is now.
"Obaa-chan," Ryoma swallowed hard as the emotions that he kept at bay threatened to burst out of his heart. He kneeled and gently caressed the soft grass which covered the remains of his grandmother.
His eyes shimmered with so much emotion. He wanted to cry, to scream so that the old woman would here him from where she is as of the moment. His heart was beating so hard...so heart that by any minute it would jump out of his chest.
Months of gruesome training...days of fierce battle and now he stood before the grave of Ryuzaki Sumire, with a golden trophy and medal glinting under the midday's sun.
"I d-did it Obaa-chan." Tears finally escaped his tear ducts and fell into the ground. "I did not give up...I did not forfeit."
A/N: Crappy ending? screams in agony I'M SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's just that I have my finals on Monday and a defense on Friday and we're still not done with our research proposal. I'm sorry if this last chapter did not cater to your liking but I really did my best.
I will try to start on the new OT5 story that I have been telling you about. It's still angsty...but not as angsty as this. An OC will be introduced.
Here's a preview of my upcoming story entitled: "Will you still love me tomorrow?"
A crash punctuated the banter when Ryoma fell back against the bed, his hand hitting the elegant lampshade which sent it crashing against the floor.
"HOW COULD YOU?!?!"
Ryoma winced as he touched his cheeks. He did not look at Atobe…nor Fuji. Not even at Tezuka nor Sanada. There was only one thing that is going inside his head.
'He hit me.'
"How dare you come back here after you spent the whole night with that bastard?!?!?" Atobe was fuming in anger. He wanted so much to maul, hurt and inflict pain on the young man. He wanted to make him feel the same amount of pain that he is currently dealing with.
On his other hand was a CD...sent by Yukimura just to spite them. It was a CD of him and Ryoma.
Blinded by rage he moved to hit him once more but strong arms seized him.
"Let me go Mitsu! Gen!" He tried to escape from their firm grips but they are much too strong. "Syusuke!"
Fuji just stood there, watching the whole scene unfold. His eyes were opened and yet his expression was unreadable.
"Ryoma, just leave." Tezuka told the young man on the bed. As much as he wanted to vent out his anger on him, he couldn't.
"Leave this house. I don't want to see you ever again."
How as it? I'll be posting this up as soon as I'm off any academic obligation.
THANK YOU SO MCUH FOR SUPPORTING "FORFEIT"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WILL TRY TO IMPROVE MYSELF MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FOR THE LAST TIME FOR "FORFEIT",
PLEASE MAKE ME REALLY HAPPY AND REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!