Darker than Black: A Heart is not Black
Chapter Seventeen: The Present
Misaki continued to cry on her couch, but at the corner of her eye she saw a note on her coffee table. She quickly grabbed it and read it.
I had to leave for work early. You looked so beautiful sleeping and I didn't want to wake you. I'll see you later tonight with your present.
I love you,
Misaki's tears turned to bliss, knowing that last night was a promise. A promise to stop running. Even if she only saw him once a week, it was still better than not at all. Her heartbeat pounded heavily, knowing that she was going to see him again tonight. She was happy to see that he signed the letter Li, believing he had finally accepted himself for who he is. Standing up from the couch, she held the letter close to her heart, spun on her toes with joy, and walked into her room to dress while hoping the day would fly by. She didn't care about the present he had for her, all she wanted was to hold him in her arms again.
Misaki walked into work with a spring in her step and a big smile on her face. Saitou sat over at his desk, and stopped what he was doing, as he watched Misaki enter her office. He believed he could hear her humming a song and couldn't believe how happy she looked.
Ootsuka sat at the desk next to him smiling at her.
"She's in love again," she pointed out to Saitou.
"She's in love again?" he questioned. "How? She was totally depressed last night."
"Did you finally tell her how you feel?" Ootsuka teased Saitou.
"M—me?" he stuttered, waving his hands. "No."
"Well then, it looks like she made up with someone."
"Made up?" he asked, looking at her baffled. "But Li-kun's in China."
Ootsuka stared devilishly into Saitou's eyes.
"Li-kun?" she questioned. "I was right. It's the same Li-kun November was talking about."
"How long were you planning on keeping that from me?"
"Ah, look at all the paperwork piling up," he commented, trying to change the subject, and pretending to work on them.
"You've met him? Is he cute? How old is he? What color are his eyes? How long have they known each other? Have they kissed…?"
Saitou sighed, as Ootsuka continued rambling on. Didn't she know better than to ask him all these questions? He liked Misaki a lot, and to know she was with Li hurt him enough. Standing, he walked away from his desk as Ootsuka rose from her chair and followed him.
"How tall is he?" she continued. "Where did they meet? Is he fat or skinny? Does he wear glasses?"
Unfortunately for her, he walked into the men's bathroom to have some privacy.
"Ah, no fair!" she yelled. "At least tell me what he's like?"
Saitou continued to think about Misaki and Li, who was supposed to be in China. It can't be him. He began to wonder who else, besides him, liked the captain. The ghost of BK-201 had been saving her; maybe he was the culprit. Saitou hit his head for thinking something so stupid, but then thought of something else. Maybe Li was BK-201 and that was why Misaki wanted him to drop it about BK-201 being a ghost. He hit his head again. That couldn't be. Misaki had said she saw the two of them present at the same time. Maybe it was Kouno. He'd have to hurt his friend if that were the case.
Lunchtime was drawing near, as Ootsuka waited for Saitou to exit the men's restroom so she could ask him more questions about Li. She was dying to meet the one man who seemed to have stolen Misaki's heart. It was good to see Misaki in a good mood again since usually she was too strict and focused only on work. Li had to have come back from China if she was acting like this again.
Ootsuka heard the elevator door open, turned to see Kanami stepping from it, and watched her approach her.
"Hello, Kanami," greeted Ootsuka. "Are you here to see the Chie…? eh… Captain?"
"Hai, is she in her office?" Kanami asked.
"Hai. Eh, Kanami. Do you know who Li-kun is?"
"Ah, hai. I've met him a couple of times."
Ootsuka devilishly smiled, and inquired, "Is he the one the Captain's in love with?"
"How old is he? Since when have they been dating? Is he cute?"
Kanami walked over to Misaki's office while Ootsuka stood to follow and continued asking questions. Ignoring her questions, Kanami opened the door to step through it, and closed it on Ootsuka's face.
"Oi, that's mean!" she shouted infuriated. "You're no better than Saitou!"
Determined to find out about him, she walked back over to her desk, sat down, and kept an eye on the door. As soon as Kanami left the office, she was going to pin her against a wall and interrogate her as a criminal until she got everything out of her concerning Li.
Minutes later the elevator door opened again, making Ootsuka turn to face it, and hope that the person stepping off it was Saitou; even though she hadn't seen him walk around the corner that led to the restrooms. She wanted someone to fill her in on the details.
She was distracted as her eyes fixated on a young, short black-haired man, wearing jeans and a v-neck t-shirt, who walked out of the elevator with his hands in his pockets. Ootsuka's eyes glittered at how handsome he was. To her he looked cool, dangerous and very delicious: especially around the collarbones. She really wasn't into real men, but she would make an exception for him. Realizing he was walking over to her, she diverted her eyes downwards while trying to make herself appear busy.
Ootsuka began to feel a little déjà vu, as if she had done this at a restaurant or something.
Noticing he stopped to look around the office, as if he were a little lost, she blushed while she brushed away the wrinkles on her skirt, and stood to go greet him.
"Um, excuse me. Is there something I could help you with?" she asked.
The man looked at her and smiled, causing Ootsuka's cheeks to turn bright red and divert her eyes away from his.
"Hai, I'm here to see Captain Kirihara," he informed.
"Do you have an appointment?" she asked, looking back up at him.
"Hai," he smiled.
"What's your name?"
"Could you please wait here? I'll go get her."
The man nodded in reply. Ootsuka turned around, still blushing, and walked over to Misaki's office to knock on the door. She turned back around to look at the man.
He's so cute, she thought. He would make a great candidate for my story's masked man.
"Who is it?" Misaki asked on the other side of her door.
"There's a Jackie Chan here to see you, Captain," replied Ootsuka.
"Jackie Chan, the movie star?" Misaki questioned.
Ootsuka felt stupid for falling for an obvious phony name and was about to go ask the man to leave, but she heard Misaki stand from her chair and open the door. Looking over at the man, she stared at him shocked. "What is he…?" Misaki huffed as she smiled. "Please send him in."
Ootsuka walked back to him and led him towards Misaki's office. She opened the door to let him in, as Kanami exited, and closed it behind him. It sounded like she heard him lock the door, so she placed her ear to it to eavesdrop on them.
"What are you doing here?" she heard Misaki ask the collarbone man. "It's too dang..."
Misaki didn't finish. Instead, she heard what she thought was them breathing heavily, and kissing. Next, she heard what sounded like papers crackling and things falling off her desk.
"What are you doing?" inquired Saitou, scaring her.
"Ah, nothing," replied Ootsuka.
"Nothing? Is someone in there with the Chie…eh…Captain?"
"Shh," Ootsuka whispered to Saitou.
She put her ear back against the door, which made Saitou frown. As if curiosity got the best of him, he too shoved his ear against it. Ootsuka could still hear heavy breathing and intense kissing, as other things fell onto the floor. Saitou's cheeks turned red from embarrassment and jealousy.
"What are you two doing?" Kanami asked, causing the two to jump.
"Shhh," they both said together.
"You shouldn't be spying on them," began Kanami, but she smiled and joined them.
Suddenly Misaki's door opened. They stared on shocked while they tumbled into Misaki's office. The floor was littered with pens, files and other things, and the desk was clean of items. Ootsuka looked up to see Misaki looking at them with a stern face.
Saitou followed her gaze and stared on shocked at the man standing behind her.
"Li-kun?" he questioned.
"Li-kun?" repeated Ootsuka dumbfounded.
"How did you get immigrations to let you back?" Saitou asked, standing.
"It's a long story," replied Kanami, as Kouno walked up to check out the commotion.
"You're Li-kun!" Ootsuka blurted out, standing up. "You're so cute. So how old are you? When did you two start dating? Have you two been slee…?"
"Ootsuka!" shouted Misaki, looking at her partners upset.
Li looked down to the ground embarrassed while scratching the back of his head.
Hei's stomach let out a loud base growl that echoed throughout the department. Everyone, except Misaki and Kanami, started looking around the office.
"What was that?" Ootsuka asked.
"Earthquake," replied Kouno.
Saitou stared at Hei who was scratching his head in embarrassment while looking towards the ground.
"I forgot how loud your stomach can get, Li-kun," commented Saitou, as Ootsuka and Kouno looked at him dumbfounded.
Saitou walked up to Hei, wrapped his arm around his neck, and yanked his head downwards. "Li-kun, you lied to me, you little sneak." He then whispered to him, "If you hurt her again, you'll have to answer to me."
Ootsuka walked up to him and said, "Hello Li-kun. I'm Ootsuka. It's nice to finally meet you."
"Hello," he bowed.
"Um, haven't we met somewhere before?" she asked, staring at him puzzled.
Hei scratched the back of his head.
"Ah, no, I don't believe we have," he smiled awkwardly, hoping she wouldn't recognize him from the allergy potion incident.
"Are you sure? You look really familiar."
Hei's stomach let out another loud growl.
"Kanami and I were about to get something to eat," indicated Misaki. "Would you like to join us?"
"Hai," replied Hei.
"You're all welcome to come too," said Misaki to her colleagues.
They entered a local restaurant to be seated at a large rounded table. Li sat to Misaki's right, as Kanami took a seat to her left. Ootsuka settled across from Misaki while Kouno sat to her left and Saitou to her right.
Kanami smiled while watching how happy Misaki looked. Kanami had searched all over the Ogikubo area looking for Li after hearing about his fight with ZY-543. She searched restaurants and apartment buildings, asking if a Chinese man worked or lived there, but she had no luck.
She was surprised when Yin had walked up to her.
"Hei's working as a cook at a restaurant called Ramen and More," she had informed her
Confused, Kanami had asked whom, but she remembered Yin was the shy girl at Misaki's apartment. She realized she was a doll and had to be working with Li.
"Hei? Do you mean Li-kun?" she had asked.
"Please ask for Hizumi," Yin had continued. "I don't want to see him sad anymore."
She had been surprised by the name. All that time she was looking for a Chinese man, and she didn't think he would take on a Japanese name. No wonder she couldn't find him. Kanami was even more surprised that a doll seemed to care a lot for Li. These two seemed to go against everything she knew about Contractors and Dolls.
When Misaki told her that Li had shown up last night, she couldn't believe he listened to her sob story at the restaurant about Misaki. Kanami had told him that if he really cared for her, he should forget opposite occupations, and go see her: at least on her birthday.
Misaki had frowned after she had asked if Li had tied a bow from his chest down to his eight-pack, which she had asked him to wear, but she had said no. She had been disappointed, but the blush on Li's face was priceless, and she had wished she had brought her camera.
Misaki better not let him go again, she thought.
Their food arrived minutes later. Devouring his meal in seconds, Hei asked for another serving. The waitress cringed, as sweat poured down her face. Ootsuka and Kouno's right eyelid rose in shock.
Kouno leaned over to Ootsuka and whispered, "He's going to get fat when he hits thirty."
Ootsuka nodded while her tears poured down her cheeks like waterfalls, and said, "Ah, for some reason, I can't stop picturing my fan-fiction character all plump looking now."
"Hey, Misaki." Hei heard Kanami whisper. "You never answered me. Is that his obeisance?"
"Then what is it? Do you know?"
"He doesn't have one," Misaki whispered back.
Kanami looked at her friend and accidentally blurted out, "He doesn't have one!"
Hei spit out his food all over Saitou, as everybody stopped eating while dropping his or her silverware and stared at the commotion. Misaki looked around the restaurant and threw her hands on her forehead while shaking her head embarrassed.
"Sorry," mummbled Kanami flustered, as Hei's cheeks turned red.
Coughing away his uneasiness, he continued eating and hoped everybody would stop staring at him. Ootsuka watched Hei eating like a horse, trying to figure out where she knew him from, as Saitou stood to head towards the toilet and clean up.
"Ah, now I remember," Ootsuka yelled out, as her colleagues and Hei looked at her. Hei started to sweat bullets. "I saw you eating at the ramen restaurant." She then mumbled, "What was I doing there?"
Misaki whispered into his ear, "She knows you, doesn't she?"
Nodding, he hoped he wouldn't have to explain to her later about it. He didn't think Misaki would be too happy hearing that she had found out about him, and that he had been ordered to kill her. As Ootsuka watched Hei, he wondered how long it would be before it took her to put the pieces together. It was bad enough Kanami knew he was BK-201, but if Ootsuka found out, she was most likely to write about him in her stories again.
Saitou returned from the toilet and sat in his chair to stare at Hei.
"So, Li-kun, where are you working now?" he asked. "Another restaurant."
"Hai," replied Hei.
"Where at?" Saitou asked.
"A little restaurant called Ramen and More."
Misaki winced at the name and began pounding her head with her fist.
"I thought I told you to find some better jobs. Are you a waiter there too?" she asked.
"No. A chef," replied Hei.
"That's good to hear," said Saitou. "So, how did you get immigrations to let you back into the country?"
"Ah, it was no big deal. I only lost my original paperwork and had to get it replaced," replied Hei. "I'll be able to finish my schooling."
"School?" Saitou questioned. His eyes slanted at Hei. "Obviously you came back for other reasons."
Ootsuka kept on starring at Hei, as if she were some hawk eyeing a prey, which caused him to sweat a little bit more. This was a bad idea. He only wanted to surprise Misaki with her present and didn't expect to end up eating lunch with all her coworkers. Thankfully, Misaki's department only consisted of her and her four officers. Hopefully what Misaki's father had told him, was true.
"I know," Ootsuka blurted out again, as Hei's sweat turned into bullets.
I was wrong, this was a terrible idea. I should have declined Misaki's offer, he muttered to himself.
"The masked man..." she continued.
Here it comes...
Kanami's eyes widened and quickly tipped over her drink and spilt it all over her lap. Her colleagues' attention shifted from Ootsuka to Kanami.
"Darn it," she yelled. "Um, Ootsuka, would you come to the restroom with me, please? I don't think these guys want to listen to your cosplay stuff anyway."
Ootsuka looked at her wide-eyed but followed her to the restroom.
"What was that all about?" Kouno asked.
"She was probably going to ask Li to cosplay her masked hero," commented Misaki, as Hei stopped sweating.
"Cosplay a hero?" questioned Saitou, and then laughed. "Too bad she doesn't know how clumsy Li is."
Misaki started to laugh along with Kouno. Hei looked at them embarrassed but joined in.
Minutes later, Kanami and Ootsuka returned from the restroom. Kanami walked over to Misaki and whispered something into her ear.
"So Ootsuka," began Saitou, "do you really want Li to cosplay your hero?"
Hei spit out his noodles all over Saitou again. Saitou sighed and used a napkin to wipe away the food.
"Ah," Ootsuka blushed, and looked toward the table embarrassed. "Hai. The writer of Rose of Morris read my fan-fiction. He really liked my story and would like me to come to an exclusive cosplay party. I'm allowed to bring a guest. I've been looking for someone who I thought would be the perfect candidate for my hero."
Hei looked at her dumbfounded.
"When is the party?" Kouno asked. "I'll dress up as your hero."
Everybody laughed at him.
"It's two weeks from today," replied Ootsuka.
"I'm sorry," Hei replied. "I'll be out of town."
Ootsuka looked at him upset, as Misaki stared at him puzzled.
"That's alright," she sighed, and then looked at Kouno who seemed to be happy about Hei's answer. "All right, Kouno. You're a little short, and we'll have to dye your hair black, but you can come."
"All right!" yelled Kouno, throwing his fist in the air.
Everybody started laughing.
"Li," Misaki began to ask. "Where are you planning to go?"
"Well, I," began Hei, as he thought up an answer. "My boss asked me to cater a party in Kyoto that weekend."
"Kyoto? Really?" replied Misaki.
Hei knew that she knew he was lying. She figured he was saying that so he could get out of cosplaying, but that wasn't the case. He did have plans that weekend.
"Some special event."
"I thought you said you worked at Ramen and More," Saitou questioned. "I didn't know they did that kind of work."
"EH... well, it's an on the side project."
An hour later, everyone finished eating. Kanami paid for Misaki's and Li's lunch, as Saitou paid for Ootsuka's. Kouno muttered displeasingly that he didn't grab Ootsuka's check fast enough from Saitou.
They started to head out of the restaurant, but stopped as they heard commotion from another table.
"HOT, HOTHOTHOTHOT," a man screamed, running around a table, as if he was playing duck, duck goose. He grabbed everybody's drinks and downed them, but it didn't seem to quench his thirst. They watched as he ran into the kitchen.
"Oi, what are you doing back here?" asked a chef. "OI, DON'T DRINK THAT!"
The man burst out of the kitchen, knocked over a waitress, and stormed into the restroom. Faucets were heard being turned on, as the man awed.
"I told that moron not to drink that," said the chef in the back. "That was used oil that was still hot."
Suddenly a pudgy man came up to Ootsuka and kissed her on the lips. Kouno clenched his fist to knock the man's teeth out, but he held himself up as Ootsuka's anger rose while she balled her fist and uppercut the pudgy man. Blood spewed out from his mouth and he rose into the air to drop onto his back, as a few teeth flew across the restaurant to land into someone's miso soup.
Misaki looked at him shocked. The pudgy man stood while wiping at his mouth, and then shook in fright as he noticed her. He tried to run for it, but Misaki was quicker and caught him.
"You're under arrest," she stated, and cuffed him. "You have the right…"
Misaki continued to read him his rights, as the man started to highlight in blue, but he stopped as his eyes fell onto Hei.
"It's you!" he screamed. "I'm still going to kill you!"
Misaki wished she had a serum to knock him out . He highlighted in blue again, causing Misaki to say, "Screw it," and hit the pudgy man on the back of the neck, knocking him out.
Everybody looked at Hei flabbergasted.
"What was that all about?" questioned Saitou.
"This is SF-542," informed Misaki.
"The contractor who spiced up my food at the festival?"
"Hai," replied Misaki.
"Why would he want to kill Li-kun?" Saitou questioned.
"Well, um, I don't…" began Misaki.
"We competed for a job," blurted in Hei, "and the creep spiced up my food. I ended up switching out our pots. He's been mad at me ever since. He wouldn't have gotten the job anyway, he's a terrible cook."
Everybody blinked at him dumbfounded.
"You're the other chef from the incident at Ikebukuro," said Saitou amazed. "I heard you easily knocked the guy out. How?"
Hei looked at him baffled that the Foreign Affairs would be called over for some stupid case. He didn't know how to answer Saitou, as he put his hand behind his head laughing off Saitou's statement.
"I guess it would have been easy since Ootsuka was able to punch him," stated Saitou.
Ootsuka punched Saitou, knocking him onto their table. Hei looked at them flabbergasted, and then helped up Saitou.
Kouno walked over to Misaki, and offered, "I'll take him into the station for you, Captain."
"Ah, arigatou, Kouno," she smiled.
They exited the restaurant with Kouno dragging out the pudgy man. Kouno, Saitou and Ootsuka returned to the station, and Kanami headed back to the lab.
Walking down a street with Hei holding Misaki in his arm, the two entered a nearby park, as other couples either walked by holding hands, or were sitting on a park bench kissing. Other people smiled at Misaki and Hei while they passed by. Misaki told Hei that Kanami had told her that Ootsuka didn't know he was BK-201. She really did want him to cosplay for her. Hei felt a huge weight lift off his shoulder until Misaki asked him how she knew him. He told her the story.
After the discussion, they walked in silence.
"You're working at Ramen and More?" Misaki asked Hei to break it.
"Hai," he confirmed.
"You're the chef named Hizumi, aren't you?"
"Hai," he said, puzzled that she knew his convenient name.
Misaki sat on a bench near a pond, as he settled next to her to wrap his arm around her.
"I went there to eat while I was looking for you," she explained. "The food was so good I thought it was your cooking, until they told me the chef's name, and he wore glasses. I didn't think about the possibility you could pass off as Japanese."
Hei looked at her baffled. "I'm surprised you didn't storm into the backroom and look for me."
"I did, but you weren't back there."
"I'm sorry for all the heartache I caused you."
"I'm just happy you're here with me now," she smiled, leaning her head against his chest.
Hei smiled as he sat his chin on her head.
"Why did you risk coming to my work earlier? What if someone from the Syndicate recognized you?" she asked.
"I had to see you," replied Hei.
"It's too risky."
"Perhaps you shouldn't have invited me to lunch with your co-workers."
"I didn't know Oostuka had met you."
"I really thought she was about to identify me."
"It probably be best if you stayed away from her, and especially the station."
"I thought it be okay because of what your father told me."
"What did he say to you?"
"He had the memories erased of all the Syndicate members who worked with the police. He asked me if I could help out with some cases for the Foreign Affairs in exchange for keeping the Syndicate off me."
"Nani?" She pulled away from him. "He blackmailed you?"
"Don't worry, Misaki. It was nothing like that, and I didn't take his offer. Besides, I think he did it more for your sake."
"Why didn't you offer to help him then?"
"Because, I'm tired of all the fighting and killing." Misaki smiled at him. "Misaki, would you like to get away from it too?"
Misaki looked at him dumbfounded.
"Quit being a police officer?" she questioned.
"Misaki, even though the Syndicate thinks I'm dead, that doesn't mean they won't find out I'm still alive. It may be twenty years from now, they could find out tomorrow. If that happens I will be on the run, not to mention they will know you helped me and come after you too. You're going to have to run with me."
Misaki looked at him concerned.
"In addition," Hei continued, "if your colleagues find out about me and know that you have been hiding the truth, your career would be in jeopardy too."
"I'm aware of that, Li. However, I still couldn't give up my career."
"Are you willing to risk all that to be with me?"
"Of course I am, Li. I love you."
"Then come away with me."
"What? Now? But they don't know…"
Hei placed his fingertips over her lips as he looked at her smiling. She looked at him confused as he reached his other hand into his coat and pulled out two plane tickets. Misaki looked at them baffled.
"I'm tired of all the secrecy," he continued, caressing her cheek. "I want to be able to spend a whole day with you, without worrying if the Syndicate is watching over our shoulders. I want to be able to take you shopping, to wake up next to you every morning, and show you off to the world. How would you like to go to Okinawa and forget about all this?"
Misaki stared at him disbelievingly, as if the situation was something she had seen in a movie.
"Okinawa? Leave... now? Li, it's too soon. We're not in dang..."
"Only for a month."
She stared at him stunned, but then she found herself wrapping her arms around him and kissing him.
"I would… love to," she replied between kisses.
"I love you. Happy Birthday"
"I love you."
Minutes later they walked out of the park, and headed down another street holding each other.
"I love you so much, but I hardly know anything about you."
"What would you like to know? You can ask me anything."
"Well, what's your favorite color?"
"You can ask anything about me and you want to know my favorite color?"
"Blue," he smiled.
"How old are you?"
"When's your Birthday?"
"Is your real name really Li-Hon Wong and are you really Chinese?"
Hei stopped and looked over at her stunned she would ask that question.
"I did an investigation on your name, and I couldn't find anyone that matched your description."
Hei didn't answer her. He leaned forward and kissed her.
"What does your heart tell you?" he asked.
"That you wouldn't lie to me about that and Li really is your name."
Hei smiled and kissed her again.
"But how come I can't find out anything about you?"
"You wouldn't be able to," he replied. They continued to walk down the street. "The Syndicate completely erased any trace of my existence."
"My parents became scared of my sister when she became a contractor, especially when she killed our family pet. They didn't know what she was at the time and had called in specialists who later turned out to be the Syndicate. They took my sister away. I, who loved her still very much, couldn't part with her and fought the Syndicate to keep them from taking her away from me. I guess they saw something in me and took me too. I had no problem going because I wanted to protect my sister.
"The Syndicate had my parent's memory erased of even having my sister and me. They completely erased us from the world, gave us new names, and trained me to become an assassin."
"How old were you?"
"Do you have any other brothers or sisters?"
"Hai, a younger brother. He was only five at the time."
"Have you ever thought about seeing your parents or brother again?"
"I have, but I can't."
Misaki looked over at him stunned.
"They wouldn't know who I am. Even if they knew they had another son, they wouldn't recognize me. I'm too old now."
"Maybe not, you might look like your dad. You should look them up."
Li stopped and looked into Misaki eyes.
"I gave up that part of my life a long time ago to protect my sister," he smiled. "All I'm interested in is my future with you."
He leaned forward and kissed her again. A minute later, he started walking while holding her in his arm.
"Is there anything else you would like to know about me?" he asked.
Hei hoped she wouldn't ask him anything too personal like, 'How many woman have you kissed.'
"Ah, there was something else that's been bugging me," she said a minute later.
"That black cat with the red collar. Was he really your cat?"
Hei smiled at her question as he remembered the annoying cat.
"No, he was a contractor."
"Hai. He possessed animals' bodies. He was part of my team along with Yin and Huang."
"Now I don't feel so bad about calling Animal Control on him."
"I'm glad you did. It was very amusing. Although I think he had it rougher with my landlady."
"This Huang guy, he wasn't by any chance that ugly, fat, tobacco smelling man that hung out in the park, was he?"
"You had to work with him? I feel bad for you, he smelled so bad."
"It was his attitude that I didn't like. Sometimes I felt he was more a contractor than me."
"You act on your emotions, you dream, and you don't have a price, Li. You're human, not a contractor."
Hei smiled and held her tighter.
They turned a corner and started walking down another street. Misaki noticed many cosplayers walking around and felt like she was at Harajuku.
"AH, NO WAY!" screamed a voice in front of them.
Hei noticed Kiko dressed in a cat outfit running up to him, along with someone dressed as the Black Reaper, but his black coat had purple lining in it instead of green.
"YOU TWO ARE DATING!" Kiko continued to cry. "I can't believe my dream guy is into older woman."
Misaki's anger rose from the brat calling her old again. She was about to arrest her for stalking, but Hei held her back.
"The world is so cruel," pouted Kiko.
Suddenly, her expression changed and looked starry-eyed at Hei. Hei and Misaki stared at her baffled. She gazed over her shoulder at her friend.
"Satoushi," Kiko began. "Take that coat off."
Satoshi took the black trench coat off and handed it to Kiko. Kiko smiled at Hei.
"Oh, Li-san, can you put this coat on for me?" she begged.
Hei looked at her dumbfounded.
"Ah, come on, please."
Hei was about to walk away from Kiko, but then noticed Yin heading towards them dressed in some cosplay too. He had asked Yin to stay with Kiko for the day and night so he could spend it with Misaki. She looked at him as if she wanted him to put it on. He sighed, gave in and grabbed the coat. Misaki looked at him shocked as he fitted it on.
"AH!" Kiko looked happier than she ever did. "I'm so good. It fits you perfectly. Satoushi was always too small around the chest area." Kiko grabbed Hei by the arm and started to pull him down the street. "We are so going to win the contest now. Come on Satoshi, I'm going to need those clothes."
Misaki looked at them bewildered, but then smiled and laughed as she followed.
Kiko dragged him into a convention and made him enter a restroom to put on the costume. Hei exited moments later, upset at himself for letting Kiko do this to him, but he saw how happy Yin was, and he couldn't hurt her feelings. Kiko quickly went over their skit with him that they had to perform on stage.
"Are you serious?" he asked.
"Of course!" she chimed.
Hours later, Misaki waited for their performance while watching everybody else, they were the next to perform.
Yin began to walk across the stage when Satoushi jumped out of a cardboard bush in front of her.
"Hee hee, I will drain your life out of you," he warned, giving a bad acting performance.
"Oh, no, is there anybody out there who will save me?" acted Yin, which Misaki thought was good for a Doll.
"Wait one minute, you evildoer!" shouted Kiko, hopping out from another cardboard bush. "Face the wrath of the Masked Hero!"
After being lowered on a wire behind Satoushi, Li began to play-fight him.
"You're very talented, Hero," commented Satoushi. "But I am better. Ha… ha… ha…!"
"I don't think so!" said Li, his acting slightly better than Satoushi.
Li pretended to punch Satoushi, which he jumped and landed on his back. "Ouch, that hurt."
Lying down, he stuck out his tongue to look as if he had been knocked out. Yin ran up to Li and hugged him.
"My hero," she chimed.
"If you ever need help again, just call out for us!" informed Kiko.
They ran off the stage as the audience clapped ecstatically.
After waiting another thirty minutes, the last contestants performed, and stepped from the stage. A man stepped in front of the microphone while tugging at his white collar. He started to announce the third place winner, followed by the second place winners.
"And first place goes to," he continued, "Kiko, Satoushi, Yin and Li for the Hero!"
Misaki clapped happily for them with the audience, as they stepped onto the stage to collect their winnings.
Feeling hungry again, Misaki and Li decide to head over to the restaurant where they had their first date. They were surprised to see Gai there again and kept their distance away from him so they wouldn't have to pay for his meal.
After they finished, they decided to head for the batting cages again. As they were leaving the restaurant, Gai was being escorted out by a couple of officers in uniform.
"But my employee said she'd meet me here, and offered to buy me dinner with her winnings from a contest," cried Gai. "If you'll just wait a while longer, I'm sure she'll be here."
"Maybe you should have waited for her to arrive before you ordered," one of the cops indicated, as they exited the building.
Misaki and Li giggled knowing Kiko had set up Gai. Li was about to go pay for Gai's meal so he wouldn't be arrested, but Misaki held him up.
"I'll take care of it in the morning," she said. "He never paid you back, right?"
"Eh, no, but I haven't been around for him to pay me back."
"I don't think he intends to either. Let him spend a little time in jail. The food there is free at least."
Li looked at her and smiled. They took off to the batting cages where Li held Misaki in his arms while they swung the bat. After they hit the last ball, they exited the cage to sit on the bench. They held each other in their arms and looked up at the stars reminiscing about the time they had spent together.
After an hour, Li took Misaki to his place where she spent the night.
A week later:
Dawn began to set over the horizon to sparkle off the ocean. The sky was cleared of clouds, as seagulls flew about or stood on Okinawa's beach. There was a slight breeze, which formed a few waves along the ocean bed. The sandy beach had been somewhat vacated with sandcastles and footprints left behind.
Misaki and Li walked along the shoreline holding each other, as the waves ran up the beach to douse their feet. Misaki was in a red bikini with a see-through cloth skirt, and Li wearing blue trunks. Her hair, hanging down, fluttered in the wind, which made her put a few strands over her ear to keep them out of her eyes.
Misaki had been embarrassed when Kanami had bought her bathing suit, but being with Li, her shyness faded away. She wanted to look beautiful and sexy for Li while they were here.
She wondered how he was able to rent a private beach house for a whole month, but she refrained from asking.
Misaki had never felt so at peace before. Nothing in the world seemed to exist except her and Li.
"I remember coming here once with my mother and father before the gates appeared," mentioned Misaki. "It really hasn't changed much."
"Really?" replied Li.
"I remember making sandcastles with my father and playing in the water while splashing it at my mother."
"It must have been a lot of fun."
Li bent down and splashed water at Misaki. Misaki guarded her face from it, but then smiled and bent down to splash Li. They continued splashing each other while smiling and giggling.
Misaki ended up tripping on her own two feet and fell onto her side. She glanced at the orange–reddish glow over the sparkling greenish-blue water. She felt this was paradise.
"It's beautiful," Misaki smiled. "I don't want this to end."
Li kneeled on top of Misaki and laid her head down to caress her cheeks, as the waves struck against them.
"Really beautiful," he smiled, looking into her eyes. "I love you."
"I love you, Li."
They kissed and didn't stop even after the sun submerged into the ocean.
Today marked the first day of their new life together. No matter what the future brought, Misaki would have this day and the ones to follow with Li by her side, forever.
A/N: I hoped you enjoyed my story. I'm not great with endings. I hope it didn't feel too rushed. Thanks again to Sakabatou77 for his help. Thank you to everyone who has read it. And thank you very much to the many that have favored or alerted the story. Please let me know what you thought.
I do have one more short story I'm working on. It's a Hei/Misaki story too where Misaki doesn't know Li is BK-201. My mind only seems to get creative with that setting. I'll post it as soon as I'm finished. And if you haven't read it, I do have a one shot up called, "The Lushes Kiss." Check it out if you haven't.