Standard Disclaimer Applied.
A/N: The last chapter is finally here but before that, here's to my wonderful heart-flattering readers:
Chiqui: Thanks for the review hun, I would be glad to hear more from you.
Ringgetsu: Yea, I realized the heart break in the last chapter was too much for my readers' hearts to take so I decided to finally update my final chapter.
Animeni: Eheheheh. Ur final chap's here!! Enough with the evil laughter! Creeps me out!
Clotiheart: here's the update!
Radcliffe-dreams: I love dan radcliffe too!!! Yey! Naaa,, don't worry, I not known to make tofuu sad endings, I always make the happy twists on it.
Nils: NILLY!!!! Yay! I missed you! Here's the next chappie!
Suryasree: I'm finally able to write ur name without looking twice. Haha! I wont think ur a sadist or anything. An author needs her criticisms and suggestions from the reader so please feel free to say anything.
Skysenshi: Hahahahaha! Don't worry, this chapter wont make u cry, I hope so.
Denise: Thank you for the review! Ur a new reviewer right? Well, some moments of my fics came from experience so I sometimes know how the character feels. But not all, sometimes an author needs to modify and revise. Thanks again and I hope to see ur review!
Khryzlekawaii (this is actually a close friend of mine who used my own id to log in) hehe, yo! Ur a complete jerk! Don't review using my fics using my own id again or ill kill you!!!
Abubi-chan: do you have a site where I can view ur pictures readily? Like for instance? Its hard searching for u in friendster. Hehe.
Snowcharms: He IS an idiot. This chapter will prove it.
Satomika: those are fuuko and tokiya in my avatar. I made it as a fanart for the tofuucentral forum. Hehe fuuko was playing Cinderella and tokiya as the prince.
Eirist: I hope u find this chapter to ur liking, Eileen!
And btw, some of u are asking about my tagalog. Actually, I was from Ireland and came here to Phil ten years ago. We stayed in manila for a few months but had to retire on the countryside and now staying in Mindanao due to my weak lungs, I wasn't able to tolerate Manila's pollution (no offense). Anyway, since ive gotten used to speaking English and had eventually learned bisaya, tagalog was not a part of my language expertise. Well, its being taught in school but I don't have a lot of interest on it since I can communicate using English to other Filipinos. But im now learning, I mean, come on, ive been here for years, of course I learned tagalog. I just cant speak it fluently but I can write it well now.
He said he would be back before classes start.
But a week had passed and there was no shadow of Tokiya Mikagami anywhere around.
Was it her fault?
Had she been too harsh? Too numb? Too cold?
Had it been too much?
Was he that hurt?
Was he even saying the truth? Did he mean it?
That somebody called again. Fuuko lifted her chin to see huge inquiring black eyes staring back at her. "It's the third time this morning that your thoughts drifted off again," Asuka commented with mild anxiety.
Fuuko smiled wryly. "I'm just…tired, I guess. I wasn't able to sleep during my last days of vacation," she said and gained another questioning look from the blackhead. "Students' grades," she added, noticing how the creases from the other girl's forehead smoothened in understanding.
"I computed mine before the Christmas vacation so I wont have any problems anymore. Apparently, more students had failed the last quizzes, they were probably too excited about having a break that they didn't feel like studying anymore," Asuka casually commented. It's a usual occurrence anyway.
Fuuko merely gave a meek smile. She silently stared as Asuka lowered her head to drink the hot liquid from her cup, stopped and looked back at her with alarmed expression. "Oh yea, have you heard the rumor?"
"Eh?" Fuuko asked through a whisper. "Rumor?"
"In the Physics department, about Mikagami Tokiya-san. Have you heard it?"
As if programmed, Fuuko automatically focused her attention on Asuka after hearing the ice block's name. She didn't know if her reaction was unintentional or involuntary. All she knew was that his name always made her react in a way that doesn't seem too forceful in her part.
She didn't utter an answer but even if she did, Asuka would cut it off without waiting for her to finish. Simply because she thought Fuuko might drift off again if she stopped talking. "I heard Tokiya-san had not reported to the department yet. He had been absent for a week now from his vacation. Rumor says he had flown back to London with his fiancée and got married," she relayed the message in one smooth chitchat.
Fuuko had been silent at first, digesting the details, then in a minute, she began laughing like an idiot, snorting mildly. "That's not true! Whoever spread that rumor?"
"From the Physics teachers themselves. One of them, uhhhh…Yamazaki-sensei, said he saw Tokiya with a woman at the airport a few weeks ago, just when vacation started and they took a plane to London."
Oh dear. "Are you sure? Did he see the woman's face?" Fuuko's face started to turn white and her hands rattled slightly.
"Well, we asked but he said he didn't. The woman was covered by Tokiya and Yamazaki-san could only see the girl's back. But he said she looked rather sexy, long legs and all. I didn't listen to more descriptions, I wasn't able to recover from the news that Tokiya already got a fiancée. I mean, we were still going out a week before he flew back to London, he couldn't have gotten a fiancée right after we broke up. That was a shocking news for me."
Fuuko stared at Asuka, mutely seeking regrets or hatred in her eyes but there were none. She had evidently gotten over her previous lover as though they haven't had any relationship before. It was amazing how she could do it. And Fuuko had to salute the little woman for such a brave, almighty act. Fuuko decided to ask for advises later when everything's under control.
"Anyway, about that big box that was sent to you yesterday. Who sent it? Where did it come from? What was inside?" Asuka's huge eyes glittered with interest.
Fuuko sighed. This was not the first time she was asked the same questions. Actually, she was asked thirty four times already. It was amazing how these teachers got too nosy. "It was a box of paper cranes with some love notes on it, no returning address or name of sender. I think it was mistakenly delivered." Fuuko knew it wasn't. For all she know, she's the only living person in Tokyo with the name Fuuko Kirisawa and the address was of their school and she's the only faculty with that name. When she opened the box, her first thought was Saicho, the madougo user that controls paper, but that was a vague unreliable idea. Why on earth would Saicho send her paper cranes with notes like "I love you because you make my day right", "I love you because staring at you simply makes me alive" and the worst, "I love you because I simply do."
All night, she had tried reading the paper cranes and it took her all morning to finish half of it. If she estimated well, it would have been a thousand and she just read five hundred of it. Boy, it was exhausting. She was never the type to enjoy reading or brainstorming, she liked spontaneous psychomotor activities. Aside from reading, she also used up half her nighttime thinking of anyone who would send her the box. She thought of a few names--guys from her highschool, other faculty men or even those she barely knew but casually met. Her last thought was of Ken McGregor. Afterall, he was the only man who had openly asked her to marry him.
Asuka had stared at Fuuko in a teasing manner, her eyes silently saying "Fuuko got a secret admirer" like what highschoolers do. Then in a minute, she terminated the mockery to jump on another topic. "Oh by the way, tomorrow's the interhigh basketball championship game. How are our players doing?" Asuka chose the topic Fuuko would have interest into.
"They're in condition to play. Hanamichi-kun is excited as usual and the rest are looking forward to getting another championship cup this year." Fuuko replied without delay. She had just checked on the team's practice a while ago and she was confident on winning. "How are the cheer dancers doing this year?" she asked, starting to delve in the conversation for the first time in twenty minutes.
"The usual. Too wild, too loud, too overwhelming. I'm sure they'll do fine. They got frustrated when they didn't get the first place last year and are now working hard on achieving their goal," was Asuka's response.
Fuuko smiled a bit. Until now, she still couldn't understand why Asuka chose to be the cheerleading coach when almost all members are a far cry from her timid, shy attitude. But the most surprising part would be the fact that she had controlled those wild, loud and overwhelming cheer leading girls with just a snap of her fingers.
"I guess we wont have any problems winning then." Fuuko winked and raised her cup for a toast. "To our victory."
Asuka giggled and clicked their two cups. "To our victory!" she repeated cheerfully. Then they covered the cafeteria with their mirthful laughter.
In the farthest corner of the ice skate park, a man inclined his back on the cold rusty iron bench, his face facing the darkening clouds and his arms spread over the back of his seat. Looking at him from a far distance, he looked almost mystical and mesmerizing with his long silvery hair fluttering softly with the wind, his pale complexion glowing in the darkening evening and his facial contours solemn and full of incomprehensible emotion. He would have been a good sight from everyone gazing from the distance, but up close he was a living testimony of a broken soul, a fragile heart and complete misery.
"Mikagami-san?" a man with the same silver mane looked down at Tokiya, his shadow covering him entirely.
Although his eyes were open, his mind was wandering far away that someone had to call his name before he can sense another person's presence. When his name finally registered, his dozed eyes blinked once and he was awakened with an embarrassed expression.
"Fancy seeing you here," Ken McGregor said gently and invited himself on the bench beside him.
Tokiya's initial reaction was to punch the man's face until he was no longer distinguishable but imagining Fuuko's response to his misbehavior controlled him from any violent actions. He needed to calm himself up, breath in and breathe out. Even when Ken McGregor had casually approached him and actually disturbed his moment alone, he should restore his innate calm, serene self. Violence was never his last resort until he met Fuuko and the rest. He should maintain it somehow.
"Konbanwa," Ken said after not getting any reply.
"I didn't know you speak Japanese," Tokiya had said the words before he could control himself. And he had said it in a, rather, rude sardonic way.
"I do. Half Japanese, Half Irish. And I used to live in Japan during my childhood years," Ken smiled as though recalling an old happy memory. "Your friend, Fuuko, and I were childhood sweethearts until I migrated to Ireland when I was fifteen. She was ten. Speaking of which, I took Fuuko to the airport today. She went back to Japan. Why weren't you there? Your parents and the Ashcrofts were there."
I am not in the mood to listen to your childhood love stories with her. He would have said that if he didn't bite his tongue literally. "I overslept," he lied and added, averting the topic. "I noticed you were really close to each other," he said instead, with an indication of turning the all succeeding topics off.
Ken replied with a grin. "We were, before. But now, it just wasn't like that anymore. I can see she had replaced me with a much better-looking person." He stared at Tokiya, his gaze traveling from Tokiya's eyes to the lengthy soft silver tendrils down his back. "And with a much better silver hair."
Tokiya would have been flattered (not that he'd show it anyway) but in his perspective, there was simply no truthfulness behind Ken's words. "We were more of comrades than friends," he said curtly, starting to get irritated of the other man's presence. Sure, a companion in a sad moment was what he actually needed even if he won't admit it. But the fiancé of the girl you love and had just shattered your heart was not a very good suggestion. He could have chosen the nearby frozen oak tree to talk with but not Ken McGregor. Everything but McGregor.
"When I saw her going out of that future-telling booth, I was dazzled and wasn't able to immediately rescue her when she went unconscious. I have to thank you for catching her before I did or she would have had a bleeding head," he chuckled at the memory of the comedic Fuuko falling on the ground like a light feather.
"There's nothing funny about a girl collapsing in front of you. I was in the vicinity at that time and I leaped off to help without actually knowing it was her."
"I know, that's why I thank you. I was the cause of that scar on her forehead ten years ago, I don't wanna be the cause of another scar on her head. That would not be a very fine greeting," Ken smiled despite Tokiya's developing glare.
Tokiya decided not to answer. He doesn't have a lot of things to say aside from "Fuck off" or "Leave me alone and go celebrate your engagement with my supposed-to-be-wife somewhere!" At that moment, he let himself wonder why Fuuko liked the man so much when he wasn't as pleasing and interesting as how she described him to be.
"I asked Fuuko's hand in marriage the other night," Ken started another topic, the one which Tokiya hated the most. It's just so ironic that he had to bring it up in an innocent purpose of cheering and melting his ice when it's the main reason why he was feeling forlorn and beaten.
"Congratulations," Tokiya said and got up, brushing off a few snowflakes that had settled down his shoulders and legs. "As much as I want to talk to you more, I really need to get going. Mom wanted me back before dinner," he faced the taller man and shook his hand. "It was nice seeing you again, McGregor-san."
Ken smiled again and Tokiya felt the great urge to punch it off his face. "It was a pleasure seeing you too, Mikagami-san," he said as he shook Tokiya's hand. "Although 'Congratulations' would not have been the nicest word," he paused to smile grimly. "I didn't get the girl. Fuuko declined my proposal."
At that moment, Tokiya was more than willing to take off and run far away but Ken's last words stilled him on the spot. He didn't know what was therapeutic to say, nor did he care but he uttered the words before even thinking. "Are you sure?" And then he realized it was non-therapeutic at all.
Ken nodded and it was hard to tell whether he was actually hurt or not. He looked as calm as a summer ocean breeze. "I think I am. I still have the ring in my pocket if you want to see," Ken said with good-humored sarcasm. "She told me to find someone that would love me a lot even when she doesn't understand me at all."
"Well," Tokiya's eyes sparkled and he didn't fight the undefeatable urge to smile from ear to ear. "That's Fuuko for you."
The gymnasium was a battlefield. If it was a painting, it would have been a very complex abstract art. People were everywhere--shouting, cheering, laughing, arguing, complimenting, whistling, throwing popsicle sticks with each other. The place was a total havoc with everyone betting on which basketball team to win, which one to lose or if it will be a draw game.
Fuuko was sitting on the bench, watching attentively as her team members aimed for more three-point shots. It was a close fight with her team on the lead but was still on a risky situation. They needed someone to do more rebounds since their 'Rebound King', Hanamichi Sakuragi, had already violated another set of laws and was fouled five times. He was then kept on the bench with her after beating him up with her Harrisen Fan and calling him an idiot everytime he talked.
"Dammit! Rukawa is getting more and more points! Coach, I need to get back in the game!" Sakuragi cried out, sniffing and pulling off his hair in annoyance. "I cant allow that ugly bat to continually show himself offffffffffffffff!!!!!" he bawled and pulled Fuuko's shirt.
"Shut up, you moron!!!" she aimed her Harrisen Fan over his head and plunged it deeply down his skull. "Touch me again and I swear I'll dye your head black!"
With the damaging thought of having his red hair turn into black, Hanamichi Sakuragi decided to settle down and sniff on his white towel. Murmuring something like "You old hag" on the far corner of the bench.
Fuuko rolled her eyes and heaved. No wonder her poor manager, Ayako, decided to take a day off on the day of the game. These boys are total crybabies. Then suddenly, Rukawa was on the run and Fuuko's heart hammered, hoping with sweaty palms that the kid could make a shot before time runs out.
Only twenty eight seconds to go.
Twenty five. The ball was passed to Mitsui and he was immediately of a three-point shot stance.
Twenty two. Somebody took the ball from Mitsui. Fukuda!
Twenty. Ryota got the ball and was running swiftly passing the ball to Acagi.
Eighteen…Acagi got the ball and passed it back to Rukawa.
Seventeen…"Rukawa has the ball again! Prevent him from shooting it Ryota!" Hanamichi had stood up and was silenced by another fan attack from Fuuko.
Fifteen... Rukawa has the ball and he was running for the goal.
Twelve…Somebody interrupted him and blocked him off. Sendo!
Ten…Rukawa passed it to Kogure.
Nine…Kogure to Mitsui.
Eight. Mitsui to Acagi but the ball was taken by Fukuda midway.
Seven. "Ahhhh!!! Block the curly brat!!!" Hanamichi roared wildly. "Block him!"
Five…Acagi towered Fukuda.
Four…Fukuda had passed the ball to someone.
Three…it was Sendo! Rukawa was on the move, everyone was on the move. Sendo was on his shooting stance.
Two…Rukawa tried to block. The ball was thrown towards the ring.
One…The ball entered the ring in one smooth fast shot. The other team scored!
"Damn!" Fuuko and Sakuragi chorused, getting up from the bench.
The crowd roared, the roofs almost exploding with the loud sound. The announcer turned the mic on and began to talk. "Final score for the two teams. Ryonan: 78, Shohoku: 78. We will have our tie breaker after five minutes…(someone whispered to the announcer's ear)…oh, make that fifteen to twenty minutes. Thank you." The announcer ended and the microphone clicked off. The big monitor inside the stadium was turned on after the announcer ended his message.
The Shohoku team lined up on the bench as their coach began shouting her strategic methods. The bench cheerers offered towels and cold bottled drinks to the players.
"It was close, so close actually. What on earth happened? How did Sendo escape from your grasps and did the shot?" Fuuko screamed her lungs out. "Acagi, Rukawa, I want you to bring Sendo down! The rest should handle the shots. Make sure Sendo and Fukuda are in control! Did you get me!?"
The team straightened their backs and simultaneously barked. "Hai, Kirisawa-sensei!"
Fuuko was telling and discussing more strategies when Sakuragi pulled her sleeve continuously. "What damnation is it now, Hanamichi!?" Fuuko glared at him and was able to hear her own shouting voice. Apparently, everyone inside the stadium had been speechless for a while without her knowing.
She looked at them, confused and questioning. Her team had also looked up and she saw how their eyes popped out as though seeing some flying saucers somewhere above. Their lips gaping, their expressions appalled.
"I guess you should see that," Sakuragi whispered, turning her around to see what the crowd was looking at. The huge monitors located at each corner of the gym had shown something other than the usual advertisements. Somehow, someone had mistakenly placed another CD on the computer and the monitors didn't show the ads of their sponsors. Surprisingly, it showed a cheerleader on her skimpy cheerleading attire, dancing awkwardly as though she was forced to do the video.
Fuuko would have laughed but nobody in that stadium found the act funny. Especially when it finally drawn into them that the girl has a lustrous mane of silver, a tall lean manly form and the usual scowl of his face and few creases on his forehead.
"Is it on? Is it already recording? Dammit, Recca, stop snickering!" the man on the video shouted at the one holding the camera.
"It's done Mikagami. Do whatever you wanna do now," Recca had said on the background and then he snickered again.
In the video, Tokiya glared at him and nodded. "Here, I wanna show you Fuuko's previous apartment. It was next to mine, actually. I had fixed and cleaned it and it looked brand-new now. See that? I clean better than any woman does." Recca followed Tokiya inside Fuuko's apartment, doing a little tour and showing how he had cleaned all corners, the windows and the ceiling. All through out the video, Recca had not controlled his laughter seeing Mikagami on a cheer leading attire, making the video too shaky and blurry but it was clear enough on the big monitor.
When they finally went out to the rooftop and breathed the fresh air, Tokiya had tactically kneeled down in front of the camera and took something out from the pocket of his pink skirt. The people staring at the monitor took a sudden deep breath and most of the girls screamed in anticipation while Fuuko's mouth gradually dropped to the floor.
"What the hell…" she whispered with saucer eyes.
"Fuuko Kirisawa, marry me." Tokiya said and showed the brilliant engagement ring. It had shone brightly and the audience stared at it with awe. All the girls screamed and then everyone followed. But the Shohoku boys were still in their aghast expressions and Fuuko had fought the need to collapse.
"Damn, you jerk. That's not how you propose. It's like you're demanding the girl to marry you. You should say it as a question! Not an order!" Recca had, again, shouted on the background.
Tokiya glared at him and complied, clearing his throat. "Fine. Whether she likes it or not, I'm still marrying her anyway. I don't care if I need to drag her to the church with me. Did you hear that, monkey? I'm going to marry you no matter what!" he spat out and everyone inside the gym laughed heartily.
"You are being recorded Mi-bou!! Say it right for pete's sake!" Recca barked again.
"Fine, fine!" he muttered and then kneeled again. "Fuuko Kirisawa," the audience had silenced as though a solemn moment was about to happen. "You know I'm not good with this. So I'm gonna ask you one thing, its for you to decide whether you wanna say yes or no," he paused and everyone stopped breathing.
He looked up at the camera. And with that serene beautiful contour that took all the women's breath away, he said, "Will you marry me, Kirisawa Fuuko?"
The area went silent, the viewers all glanced at Fuuko and lingered on her every move. She was pale, sweating and her jaw was trembling. She wanted to die on the spot, sink miraculously on the ground, be eaten alive. Everything but not this! She wanted to get away like how women on the movies do it with grace but she was glued hard on the floor. She was starting to feel numb and she prayed dearly that some automobile would just side sweep her or something. For the first time in her life, she had hoped for her body to feel weak, for her mind to doze off and for her heart to stop beating. But somehow her body just stayed there, standing and unmoving. And instead of collapsing and weakening, her body had overly functioned and strengthened somehow. After getting over the initial shock, there was something within her that lit up. A once used-to-be miserable abstract puzzle had rearranged and formed another picture. A happy picture. Within her, she felt as though a maze had finally found the definite roads and was already traveling towards the rightful path.
And towards her was Tokiya Mikagami, still in that pink cheer leader attire. Following him was Yanagi and Recca, who was coveraging the scene with his video cam. The monitors had turned off and all eyes were set on Fuuko and Tokiya.
"I didn't want to go through this pile of humiliation alone, so I thought it would be nice to share it with you." Was his greeting. Obviously, he had been trying to ignore the people around and the noise from everyone. His face was beet red and he looked like he didn't have more patience to tolerate the entire charade.
He didn't receive any answer. She steadily gazed at him as though he had gone bald and had grown bunny ears at each side of his head.
"Look, I know this is too much. But if you want to beat me up for this, you have to do the same to Recca and Yanagi. They planned for this. If I have my way, I would have---"
His words were cut off and the crowd erupted when Fuuko pulled his head closer to hers and their lips touched in a lovely display of a longing kiss. In that overwhelming heartfelt moment, Tokiya wasnt able to conceal a tear from running down. He embraced her tightly and hungrily devoured her with his passion and love. Fuuko had not just gave, she took as much as she want from him--his heart, his soul, his whole existence. In a still-dazzled disoriented mind, she decided to let her feelings out, to show him what he made her feel and give him the chance to love someone again. A love he would never let go.
Everyone stood up and applauded with tears welling up in their eyes. Asuka had bawled shamelessly even when she was seated beside her new boyfriend, Hideki. It was a happy mirthful sight. The couples started kissing as they let go of their colorful balloons and let it wander around the stadium.
When Tokiya and Fuuko parted, Fuuko whispered with a warm smile. "I would never imagine you visiting Ken just to get this information--about the paper cranes, the house cleaning and this cheerleading outfit."
Still brushing his nose to hers, he answered with a boyish gorgeous grin. "We had a small chitchat after you flew back here."
Fuuko chuckled, her cheeks starting to turn into a cherry. "Ken is a very nice person but he's the type to give something and take something as well. What did you give him in return?"
In that sly, lazy manner, Tokiya grinned again. "I gave him Elizabeth's number."
They both chortled and kissed again, laughing against each other's mouth.
After parting to breath, Fuuko huskily whispered. "Tokiya, in case I pass out again, be assured that I have said 'Yes'." She let him insert the band in her ring finger and with that cue, the great Kirisawa Fuuko had closed her eyes and finally landed on the arms of her fated husband, Mikagami Tokiya.
And they realized that for all this time…
…there was no use escaping after all.
A/N: I hate to see this story ended. But nothing is more pleasurable to see than a happy tofuu ending. Btw, I will find a time to edit this. This is unedited and will probably need improvement.
Thank you so much for reading and supporting this fic to the very end. I hoped it suited your imagination and I hoped u liked how it turned out. Comments and flames are always appreciated.
Do you want an epilogue btw?
ps. Thank you satomika-san for correcting my mistake!-hugs-