A/N: Hello, dear reader! I must say, I truly thought I was good and done with this story with the last chapter, but thanks to my friend Kaite I was blessed by the inspiration fairy! So I present to you chapter four of To Pluto and Back.
Disclaimer: I don't own Shugo Chara.
So, I'm pretty sure that it's the end of the world. Right now. Apocalypse, here I come!
Honestly, I should have known that allowing Ikuto to sleep over was definitely not the best idea I've ever had. Not with the parents I've been blessed with. It's just… it was so late, and I was so tired, and Ikuto was so warm and snuggy, and the next thing I knew…
"Whowhatnow?" I jolted up, blinking rapidly around my room in search of the yell interrupting my (very peaceful) sleep. For about two seconds I blinked up at the horrified face of my dad who was standing, petrified, in my doorway.
Several things happened at once.
As the gears in my head groaned into motion, I began to notice key pieces of information- Ikuto was still in my bed. My father opened my door to find me fast asleep with Ikuto IN MY BED. Ikuto was still asleep, IN MY BED! The dominoes were beginning to fall, and they were not going in a direction of my choosing.
Ami came sprinting into my room at my dad's yell, obviously curious as to why he looked as if the world was going to explode at any second. Noticing I was awake, she ran over and jumped onto my bed, unaware that I was not alone.
"Amu, what's wrong with da- AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH IT'S A BUGGULAR!" she screamed (not hearing my dad calling "Burglar, Ami! Burglar!"). "CALL THE POLICE, A BUGGULAR!"
And then Ikuto, said burglar and cause of all my problems, blinked and grumbled, "What the hell is going on here? Burglar?"
"BUGGULAR!" Ami yelled and crawled over to where he was still laying down. "GET OUT OF OUR HOUSE!"
"MOMMY, COME HERE NOW!" my dad yelled, close to tears. I grabbed Ami and pulled her off the bed. I was beginning to come to terms with the gravity of the situation.
"Amu, what's happening?" Ikuto mumbled, grabbing my arm and snuggling up to my side. I swear, if this wasn't equivalent to my death sentence, it would have been really cute. As it was, I was sort of afraid for my life.
"I'm pretty sure we're about to die," I said as I heard my mom's footsteps run toward my room. I closed my eyes and braced for impact.
"Oh… my," I heard my mom say. I think she went into shock.
"MOMMY, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DOOOOO?" my dad wailed. "OUR COOL-AND-SPICY DAUGHTER… WITH A… A…"
"Daddy, go wait downstairs, " my mom said, her tone turning businesslike. I opened my eyes to see her push my hysteric father out of the room. "Ami, go watch TV in my bedroom for a little bit, okay?"
Ami pouted. "But what about the buggular?"
"Just go," she sighed, gesturing out the door. Ami went, but in the very disgruntled fashion of someone who has just been denied access to something wonderful.
And now, it was just my mother, Ikuto, and I left in my room. I could not have pictured a worse situation to be in. Ikuto sat up slowly as he realized what exactly was happening.
"So," my mom said frostily, glaring at us. She knew all too well of my past with "that pestering Ikuto boy". I heard Ikuto gulp. Frankly, I was too terrified to do anything but stare back at her. "Tsukiyomi Ikuto,"
Ikuto froze. I chanced a glance over at him. He looked like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. I almost giggled, but caught myself. He cleared his throat and said in a small voice, "Yes?"
"Why don't you come downstairs for some breakfast?" my mom said, turning around to head back to the kitchen. "You must be hungry. You too, Amu. And maybe we should get some ice for that wicked looking bump on your head… it looks like you were attacked with a baseball bat!"
I think the world really has ended already. Honestly.
Ten minutes later found myself and Ikuto sitting across the table from my too-calm mother and teary father. A stranger situation I could not imagine. My mom sipped her mug of coffee and Ikuto took a bite from his toast. I looked at my food, finding it about as appetizing as a pile of grass. My dad took no notice of his food, faintly mumbling something that sounded a lot like "Cool… Spicy… Boy… Daughter…" Otherwise the table was silent.
My mom set down her mug and looked at Ikuto. "So, Ikuto," she said briskly. Her words held the promise of an avalanche of trouble.
"Yes, ma'am," he said. I could totally tell he was trying to appear all confident, but seriously. Who could possibly be composed after being found by my parents in MY BED?
"How old are you exactly?" she asked. I swear, all the effort going into x-ray technology is a waste. Moms have the x-ray glare down perfectly.
"21," he said. I nearly slammed my head down on the table. My parents were going to die of heart failure at this rate. He looked unconcerned with how much older he was than I, but I saw a really tiny amount of pink in his cheeks as he answered. My dad twitched and continued mumbling. My mom's eyebrows raised a bit, but otherwise she seemed okay.
"And you are in school?" she continued, gently patting my dad on the shoulder.
"And you're majoring in…?"
"Music, with an emphasis in performance," he said. Great. So not only am I dating a man five years older than me, but he's a starving artist. My parents love him already. Not to mention the fact that they found him in my bed… they might as well join his fanclub at this point.
"That's quite interesting, where are you planning on taking that?" my mom asked as my dad began to slump to the floor. She grabbed his arm and held him upright.
"I want to tour the world learning more about the violin, and then join an orchestra. I'm thinking the London Philharmonic," he said confidently.
Wow. I didn't even know that about him. He always seemed like such a goofball that the possibility of him having goals didn't enter my mind. Go figure.
"That's an extremely ambitious plan you have there," she said, mildly impressed.
Wait. Tour the WORLD? LONDON Philharmonic?
I was suddenly VERY interested in my mom's next question.
"So, where does my daughter fit into those plans, young man?" she asked, her eyes taking on a glint of steel. I could see the entire scene as if it were in slow motion. This was the moment where Ikuto was either going to barely squidge by or fail spectacularly.
"Amu will be wherever is best for her. I would hate myself forever if I ever caused her any harm," he said, eyes blazing right back at my mother. "She will most certainly attend college. After graduating from high school of course,"
My mother looked at him, again using the spectacular x-ray abilities that only mothers have. My father stopped his blubbering and looked at Ikuto as if he could possibly be an alien from another planet. Ikuto stood his ground, his hands gripping his knees in what looked like a painful fashion.
"You realize what position you have found yourself in, son?" my mother said quietly after a few minutes of tense silence. Ikuto nodded, hands gripping even tighter. She sighed, taking another sip of coffee. My father looked between her and Ikuto, waiting for her decision.
"I believe that this could work out," she said after a bit, nodding thoughtfully. Ikuto blinked. My jaw fell open. My dad looked like he was nearly about ready to cry again, but thought better of it. "Not the most stellar beginning, I must say, but I think you've got the right stuff,"
"Thank you, ma'am," Ikuto said. I think he was still in disbelief.
"You've got a long way to go before I even consider forgetting this little incident though, you hear?" she said dangerously. "You've put your entire foot across the line. See to it that no more of you follows it over,"
"Yes, ma'am," Ikuto said. He sounded relieved. Who could blame him? I had expected him to get away with being drawn and quartered at the very least.
"And Amu," my mom turned her glare on me. "Don't think for one second that I've forgotten you. It takes two to tango," I blushed fiercely, and I'm pretty sure Ikuto did the same.
"I'd say you're grounded until I forget this incident. Does that sound fair, Daddy?" she turned to him, and he nodded, still looking very teary. "Now Ikuto, I'd suggest that once you finish your breakfast, it's about time for you to head home,"
"Yes, ma'am. Thank you very much," he said, standing up from the table. I looked up at him.
So this is it- I am about to be separated from Ikuto for as long as my mom's memory serves.
I'm going to be an old maid.
"Amu! What are you doing? Escort your guest to the door!" my mom said with a tiny, miniscule smile.
"Yes, mom!" I said with a little bit too much enthusiasm. I did want a chance to say goodbye to Ikuto forever. I jumped up and ran after him.
I skidded into the front hall and straight into something warm and wonderfully comforting. Automatically, my arms wound around Ikuto's stomach and I buried my face into his chest. Hey, if I'm about to be separated from him for all eternity, I'm going to be as embarrassing as I want.
"Ikuto… I'm so, so sorry about my parents… I just," my voice withered away as his arms surrounded me in the tightest hug ever.
"Amu. It's my fault," he whispered. "I was tired, and stupid, and I should have woken up earlier and left… honestly, I deserve worse. Your parents had full rights to murder me where I stood," I giggled a little.
"It's not all that bad," he said, drawing away and running his fingers through my hair. "I just have to court you properly now is all. Which I was planning to do anyway," he laughed.
I smiled. And then, a traitor of a question bubbled up in my throat and I couldn't stop myself from blurting out, "Are you really going to tour the world? And live in London?"
He frowned slightly. "Amu. Are you really concerned?" I looked down at the ground. OF COURSE I WAS CONCERNED. This is IKUTO we're talking about. Ikuto, the crazy goofball who always managed to find himself in the worst of situations (if this morning was anything to go by). Ikuto, the "all-powerful god of sexiness".
"Yes," I whispered, absolutely embarrassed.
And then his hands were cupping my cheeks, and he drew my face up into one of the sweetest kisses I'd ever received. I was melting, melting away- like snow in the sunlight.
"AHEM, IT'S A LITTLE TOO QUIET OUT THERE," my mom said loudly from the kitchen. Ikuto smiled against my lips and pulled away.
"Amu, you will never, ever have to worry about us," he said, grabbing my shoulders and looking deep into my eyes. "I promise you, as long as you want me, I will be yours. No matter how far apart we are." He looked at me, like he was waiting for some sign that I understood.
And as much as it embarrassed me to admit, I believed him.
I smiled, and stood up on my tiptoes to give him a quick kiss. His smile that followed was one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen.
"BUGGULAR! IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO LEAVE!" The sudden yell from the stairs was enough to make us both jump. I looked up and saw Ami scowling angrily at Ikuto. "And leave Amu alone!"
Ikuto smiled, and bowed slightly in Ami's direction. "Of course, Miss Hinamori," He turned back to me and whispered "Don't worry, I'll write you a letter back," with a wink, hinting back to the crumpled letter discarded somewhere on my bedroom floor.
I swear, sometimes he just loves to embarrass me.
And with a few embarrassed goodbyes, he was out the door and gone.
"The buggular is gone!" Ami cried, her small face showing relief. I smiled, and turned to head up the stairs.
"Amu, I hope you're going up to clean that messy room of yours!" my mom called up after me. "It's the least you can do after this fiasco of a morning!"
"Yes, mom!" I yelled, pushing open my door. My room, however, could wait just a little bit longer.
I think it's about time to start looking at colleges.
Colleges in London, if I were to be exact.
A/N: I hope you have enjoyed my latest installment. I sure know I did! And you know, just as the inspiration fairy blessed me, so too can the review fairy bless you...
Until next time ~ artist-chan