Hey everyone! Here's the final chapter of Wintertime Love! Hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: Seriously, does it look like I own YuGiOh GX? I don't people! If I did, this would be a freaking MANGA series!
Claimer: Seasons of Love, all of the seasons within it, and all of its original characters are exclusive property of Anime-Queen-2011. Copiers will be reported to the administrators. Do not steal anything.
!THE FINAL CHAPTER!
"You better call us more often; do you hear me, Missy?" Mom asked, releasing Claire from the vice grip she called a hug.
"Yes, Mom," Claire said, smiling. Mom nodded and kissed her forehead, walking over to Dad who was waiting for her. Claire sighed and walked over to us.
"I can't believe you have to go home today," Morgan whined again. Claire just laughed.
"Believe me, I wish I could stay, but Mom's freaking out more than ever." She flinched then, causing Jesse and me to frown angrily. She was referring to what Marc tried to do to her two days ago.
"I hope she checks you into a hospital to have your brain checked out," Danny said.
She rolled her eyes. "So I didn't press charges. What's the big deal? It's not like he did anything."
Yeah, that's right, the idiot isn't going to jail for what he tried. Claire didn't want to do anything, heaven knows why! To say I was a little peeved would be the understatement of the century.
"Hey, at least he didn't get the scholarship," Jim said, trying to lighten the mood. Jesse and I smirked at each other. Marc didn't get what he wanted, which, according to Jeremiah, he would have gotten with or without Daniel's help. After Jeremiah told the head coach (AKA Daniel's Uncle) what Marc tried, that scholarship went up in smoke.
"His parents wouldn't let him go that far away for college anyway, not with a baby coming," Claire said.
"Seems like karma has his number," Chazz said. We laughed, nodding.
"Ugh, this still sucks," Danny said.
"Geez, you guys need to calm down. I was going to have to leave anyway. Now isn't that bad. Besides, I get more presents when I get home!" She winked at me, causing me to chuckle.
"Just stay in touch and try to visit more often," Danny said, hugging Claire.
She hugged him back, nodding. "I'll do my best."
He kissed the top of her head. "You better." He took a step back, sighing and dragging a hand through his hair. "Damn, I wish I didn't have to split but Jake wanted me at practice twenty minutes ago."
"Blame my family," I said.
He nodded. "Good idea. See ya." He ran off before I could kick his butt.
Morgan frowned and looked at her watch. "Damn my life! I've gotta get to work. Curse my life!" She hugged Claire quickly and ran off, Mark running after her.
"And then there were twelve," Claire said, looking back at us.
"I wondered why Morgan didn't have work while we were here," Bastion said.
"The movie theater closes for the few days before and after Christmas, why I don't know," I said. Everyone just shrugged. I noticed vaguely that the only people here, aside from Claire, would be returning to Duel Academy in a few days.
"Do you have everything you need, Shelia?" Jim asked.
Claire nodded, hand curling loosely around her carry on. "Yeah. Mom asked me that about a million times before we left the house." She sighed.
I looked at her. "Hey, Claire, that reminds me."
She held her hand up, stopping me mid-sentence. "Hold that thought. I just remembered something."
"What's that?" Alexis asked.
Claire handed Jesse her carry on and grabbed Alexis' hand, pulling her away from us. "I need to talk to you alone," she said.
"What do you think that's about?" Atticus asked, appearing next to me.
I shook my head. "If I knew, I wouldn't be wondering, too."
"What is it, Claire?" Alexis asked when Claire finally released her arm.
Claire stood in front of her, blocking view of the gang, who were well out of hearing. "Is there something you want to ask me about?" she asked.
Alexis looked at her confused. "What do you mean?"
Claire sighed and reached into the pocket of her jeans, pulling out a folded piece of paper. Then she opened the paper and held it out so Alexis could see it; she gasped. It was the picture of Claire and Jaden kissing, the one Brook gave her the night of the Winter Ball.
The one she thought she put in her clutch but never found.
"I found it in your clutch when Jaden asked me to get Morgan's camera," Claire said, looking down at the picture then back up at Alexis. "And I'm surprised you haven't asked me or Jaden about it."
Alexis flushed lightly. "What makes you think I haven't asked Jaden?"
Claire rolled her eyes. "Because he isn't freaking out whenever we talk. Trust me, if he knew you knew about it, he would be." Claire folded the picture back up and slipped it into her pocket. "I'm just curious to why you haven't asked."
Alexis shrugged and looked away. "I decided that it doesn't matter."
Alexis looked at Claire, startled. She had her arms folded across her chest, eyes narrowed as they scrutinized Alexis' face. "Six months," she said suddenly.
"What?" Alexis asked, looking at her confused.
Claire patted her pocket. "We dated for six months. Started just after the kiss at the Winter Musical-thing, and ended when I moved to America."
"Oh, well, that's…" Alexis couldn't find the right word.
"In case you're wondering, yes, it would have lasted longer than six months had I not moved."
Alexis just nodded again, wondering why she felt okay and not worried or jealous.
Claire cocked her head lightly to the side. "I still see no green horns."
"Are you trying to make me jealous?" Alexis demanded a little annoyed.
Claire shook her head. "No, I'm just wondering why you suddenly stopped."
"Stopped being jealous of Jaden and me. One minute you were green as spinach and the next you're completely cool with it." Claire leaned closer to her. "I'm just curious."
"I just figured out I was being stupid." Alexis shrugged, looking away from Claire, who started laughing. Alexis glared at her. "What's so funny?"
"You don't actually expect me to believe that hock of baloney? You just suddenly realized you were being stupid? Come on, Alexis, we're both women here."
Alexis turned red and looked away. She didn't want to admit to Claire how she suddenly was able to realize that Jaden loved her and only her. After a few minutes of silence, Claire sighed.
"Okay, fine, I get it. It's personal. I just want you to know that even if I hadn't moved and Jaden and I continued to date, we wouldn't be together right now."
Alexis turned to her, curious. "What do you mean?"
Claire smiled and folded her arms behind her head, a stance Alexis was familiar with; it was the same way Jaden always stood at Duel Academy. "Jaden would have left me when he went to Duel Academy."
"Because he would have met you."
Alexis blinked a few times before Claire's words finally sank in. "Really?"
Claire laughed. "No doubt about it." She reached out and pushed Alexis' forehead with her index finger. "Be a bit more self-confident, Alexis. He loves you, so don't blow this. You won't find someone like him ever again."
Alexis smiled and nodded, rubbing her forehead without really thinking about it. "Thanks, I will."
Claire smiled back. "Good because if you blow this I will personally fly to Duel Academy and kick your ass."
Alexis laughed, finally feeling that she and Claire would be good friends. "I'll hold you to that," she said.
Claire nodded and then suddenly covered her mouth. "Oh! I almost forgot." She reached into her coat pocket and pulled something out. Without skipping a beat, she grabbed Alexis' hand and placed whatever she just pulled out into it, folding her hand around it. "Take this."
Confused, Alexis opened her hand and stared down at a simple, black hair tie. It was decorated with three mini Duel Monsters cards. "What this?" she asked, twirling the tie around on her finger.
Claire smiled and stopped her, pulling the tie down so it was on her wrist. "You'll see."
"What was that all about?" I asked when Claire and Alexis walked back over to us.
Claire stuck her tongue out at me. "You'll never know."
I frowned and looked at Alexis, who just smiled and linked our fingers.
"Hey, Claire! We gotta go!" Jeremiah called from the plane.
Claire frowned and waved her hand at him. "Be there in a minute."
He nodded and disappeared back into the plane.
"I guess this is goodbye," she said, looking at me. "Now what was it you wanted to ask me?"
"You took too long; I forgot."
"Surprise, surprise," Chazz grumbled, grunting when Blair thrust her elbow into his side.
Claire just smiled and went around, hugging everyone, even Chazz. She hugged Alexis, whispered something in her ear, and then turned to me. She folded her hands against her hips.
I smiled and hugged her tightly, lifting her feet off the ground and spinning her around. "Later, Claire."
"See ya, Jaden."
That was it. I set her down and she walked over to Jesse, looping her arm through his as he led her to the airplane. That goodbye, right there, was a lot less emotional than the one when she left Japan to move to America. It took us forever to say goodbye then; I almost made her miss her plane.
I guess a lot has changed in six years.
I watched with a smile as she and Jesse talked for a moment, saying their goodbyes. He brushed her hair out of her face, tucking it behind her ear. She touched his hand, smiled, and leaned up to press her lips to his. His hands captured her face and held her there for a moment that I knew felt like forever for them. Then she pulled back, grabbing his hand. She said something more, interlocking their fingers. He replied and kissed the back of her hand. She smiled, he smiled, and then she got on the plane.
"How come I feel like this should be in black and white?" I asked Alexis, looking at her.
She giggled and smiled at me. "Because you're a hopeless romantic."
"I thought that was Sam?"
"Huh, I guess that's okay," I said.
She laughed again and squeezed my hand, kissing my cheek. "You're a good brother."
I looked at her in surprise, but she wasn't looking at me, just leaning her head against my shoulder. I didn't know Alexis considered Claire my sister. I smiled nonetheless and kissed the top of her head. Just knowing Alexis accepted Claire as a member of my family made everything that happened the past few days, even weeks, seem like nothing.
"Now what are going to do?" Syrus asked as we left the airport, after watching Claire's plane disappear.
I shrugged. "Whatever we want. It's going to be just us for awhile."
"You make that sound like a bad thing," Jesse teased.
I laughed. "Nah, just saying."
We headed to the vans we drove to the airport, climbing in. When I helped Alexis get in shotgun, I noticed something on her right wrist. I caught her hand and looked closely at the black hair tie with three Duel Monsters cards.
Then I smiled.
"What is it?" Alexis asked.
I just shook my head, brushing my fingertips over the top of her hand. "Nothing, nothing at all." I kissed her hand and released it. Making sure she was completely in, I closed the door and walked around to the driver's side. As I climbed in, I remembered a conversation I had with Claire just after I went to Duel Academy.
"Do you think I'm getting ahead of myself?" I asked, tossing a bouncy ball against the walls of my dorm.
"No, I think you sound pretty sure of yourself," Claire answered on the phone, which was held between my ear and shoulder blade.
"Morgan and Mark think I'm crazy." I caught the ball and bounced it again.
"You're not that kind of crazy, Jadenman."
I smiled and caught the ball again. "Still, I feel like I'm rushing it."
"Relax and let everything fall into place. I'm sure it will work out."
I nodded and tossed the ball again. "Yeah, I'm sure it will."
She stayed quiet for a moment. "Hey, remember that hair tie I made one day at dueling school?"
I ducked my head down as the ball bounced passed me, bouncing off the wall between the bunk beds and hitting the back of my head. "Ow, yeah, what about it?" I grabbed the ball and rubbed the back of my head.
"Let's make a deal. I'm going to give that hair tie to the girl I know you want to marry, even if you don't know it yourself."
"Then how would you know?" I asked, throwing the ball again.
"Because I'm Claire Sato."
'Because she's Claire Sato' I mused quietly to myself, casting a glance at the tie around Alexis' wrist, the same one Claire promised she'd give the girl she knew I'd want to marry. Problem was back then Claire assumed I wouldn't know I wanted to marry that girl.
She was wrong.
I smiled and Alexis looked at me confused. "What are you so happy about?"
I chuckled and leaned toward her, stopped at a stoplight. "Just the future."
I kissed her then, as snow began to drift down around us. The future was a long way off, but if I knew just one thing about it, it'd be that Alexis was always going to be a part of mine.
AND THAT'S A WRAP!
Gah, it feels so good to write that line! Finally done with WINTER! YES!
Wow, you guys are amazing! I hope you enjoyed the final chapter of Wintertime Love! I'm not sure when Springtime Love will be posted, I only know that it won't be until Revenge of the Skulls is completed.
So, just don't PM me a million times asking when, because I don't even know. Just add me to your Author's Alert and you'll know when it's posted. And, if it takes a few months, just give me that. Don't ask in two months when, because I don't know.
Again, you guys are absolutely amazing! Please review and I hope to see you guys again in Springtime Love!