AUTHOR'S NOTE IS AT THE END OF THIS CHAPTER. THANK YOU.
Sakura and Syaoran shifted nervously in their seats. You could tell that they were anxious to go wild and have as much fun as possible on their last day here. After today, Mokona would send them off to another world and another adventure.
But for now they waited. Kurogane and Fai had gathered them in the living room after they'd eaten breakfast and gotten ready for the day ahead. They told them they had something important to tell them.
"Syaoran," Fai began softly, "how important do you think love is?"
Syaoran turned red but kept his resolve. "I think it's more important than anything. If there was no love, people wouldn't have a reason to fight for what's precious to them and evil would rule the world." He glanced over quickly at Sakura who was smiling.
"I think," the princess said, "it's what makes people happy."
Mokona bounced around, impatient to hear what the creature already knew Fai was going to tell them.
"Tell me, what do you think of Toa and Kenji's love? Or Doumeki and Watanuki?" Fai leaned closer towards Syaoran.
Syaoran thought for a moment. "I'm not sure what you mean. The fact that they're both men? I don't think that matters. Toa, Kenji, Watanuki, and Doumeki are all strong and wonderful people and I can tell that their love is true. There are tons of normal couples who don't feel as strongly for each other as those four do."
"I think it's beautiful," Sakura added.
Fai smiled and Kurogane watched him uneasily. "Well, then." Fai grabbed Kurogane's hand and laced their fingers together. He held their hands up in the air. "We weren't sure how to tell you this, but Kurogane and I have that same kind of love. We certainly hope that doesn't change anything between the five of us."
"Yay! They finally said it!" Mokona exclaimed.
Sakura jumped up and clapped her hands together. "I'm so happy! I've always thought that you two were good for each other!" She ran over and gave both of them a hug. (What's this? Do we have a yaoi fangirl in hiding here?)
Fai giggled and Kurogane sighed with relief.
"Surely now you'll both become stronger since you'll be fighting to protect each other in future battles," Sakura said.
"Of course! Kuro-poo wouldn't want anything to happen to my pretty little face, would you?" He looked up at the warrior with puppy eyes and a pouty face.
"Tch. Full of yourself as always," Kurogane muttered. The wizard looked dejected. When Kurogane saw this, he sighed, leaned Fai over on the couch, and gave him a riveting kiss.
"Gyaah! I love you Kuro-tan!" Fai threw himself onto the warrior and gave him a big hug.
"Hey, we're keeping this PG around the kids, got it?"
Sakura gasped. "You mean you two have already—"
"Hey! What are we sitting here for! Let's go!" Kurogane yelled quickly, changing the subject.
Sakura and Mokona laughed while Syaoran looked at them in confusion.
"You're right. Let's go have fun!"
"Tickles…" Kenji mumbled. Something was tickling his nose. He tried wiggling it off, but it only made his nose tickle more. He opened his eyes the slightest bit and saw a black blur in front of him. He opened his eyes all the way and found the source of the tickling. A strand of Toa's hair was lying on his nose. He blew upwards at the strand and watched it float off and onto the bed.
He propped himself up on the bed and looked at the Hawaiian sleeping in front of him. His rich black hair was splashed across the pillow. He smiled, remembering how they'd fallen asleep in each other's arms the night before. It felt really nice.
Toa moaned. He opened his dark eyes and looked up at his newfound love. "Still sleepy," he muttered.
"Then go back to sleep. I'm going to go get breakfast, but I'll come back when I'm done."
"Nooooo. Stay here with me." Toa pulled Kenji back down and held him there like a teddy bear.
"Come on, Toa! Either get up or let me go."
But it was too late. The Hawaiian had closed his eyes and his grip on Kenji was strong. Feeling Toa's warmth, Kenji felt sleepy all over again as well.
"Sheesh. We still have work you know," Kenji said before yawning.
"Work. I said we have work."
"Work… OH CRAP, WORK!" Toa leapt out of bed and began scrambling out of his pajamas.
Kenji laughed, getting dressed at a slower pace. "That certainly got you out of bed."
"Of course! I can't afford to get fired or it's back to being a free-lance athletic trainer and that doesn't exactly bring in a ton of money."
"True." Kenji neatly slipped on his French waiter uniform. He was glad he didn't have to wear that stiff white Kikuchi Lodge uniform as much anymore. It was too bad for Hiroko though.
Toa finished getting ready and was about to leave when he looked back over at Kenji. He grinned and walked over. "I really love this outfit. You'll have to let me take it off of you sometime."
"What?! Take it o—?"
Toa kissed him before he could finish and ran for the door again. "I'll see you at my lunch break!"
Kenji sighed at Toa's immaturity but found himself smiling all the same.
"How should I do your hair, Aya? What about you, Yumi?" Hiroko asked the two as they sat in front of the vanity set in her room.
"You want to do our hair, Hiroko?" Yumi asked.
"Yes! It's grown since you went missing. It's longer than the other Tanaka's now. You have some split ends, but we can't take care of those some other time. Pigtails? Half-up half-down? How about braids? I have a curling iron too!"
In the end, Aya ended up with a head full of curls and Yumi ended up with pigtail braids. They wouldn't let Hiroko get away without doing something to her hair, so they straightened her hair and placed barrettes on either side.
"Let's go show everyone that we're not just Tanaka's anymore," Hiroko told the other two. "We're Hiroko, Yumi, and Aya!"
It seemed so strange. Familiar, but strange. Almost like returning to a place of one's childhood, but not quite. It was a big more foreign
That was how Kimihiro Watanuki felt when he first awoke a few hours later. Even though it couldn't have been longer than four hours, he felt as if he'd slept an eternity. What was that story where that guy slept under a tree for all those years? He couldn't remember.
He was anxious to get out of bed and stretch his legs, but drowsiness kept him rooted to the spot. Something else too, what was it? He breathed in deeply and felt his chest lifting something. Ah, that was it. Doumeki's arm was thrown over Watanuki and holding him gently around his waist.
He turned to look at Doumeki's face and was immediately embarrassed. He was so close that Watanuki could count his eyelashes. He brought his hand up to his chest and placed it over his heart. These feelings. He'd been holding them within his body for so long. In the beginning, he'd genuinely detested Doumeki. He'd been hopelessly in love with the lovely Himawari-chan and Doumeki posed a threat. Aside from that, he was rude, informal, and something of a glutton. No matter how much Watanuki told the other boy that he hated him, the archer would bother him day after day.
That was the first thing that got to Watanuki. Was he just stupid or trying to be annoying? It seemed that since he was so popular he'd have better things to do and other people to be around. But every time he chose Watanuki and Himawari. He thought that Doumeki was after Himawari for sure, but soon the boy walked home with him and saw him on days that they didn't have school. As much as Watanuki hated to admit it, he secretly liked it when Doumeki asked specifically for his food and scarfed it down. It was the only reason he kept making the archer lunch everyday.
The next thing that got to Watanuki was when Doumeki started coming constantly to his rescue. It's human nature to help a person in need if you have the ability, but Doumeki had gone beyond this. He was concerned about Watanuki's well-being all the time, not just when they were in danger. He'd even given him his eye. He'd come rushing when Watanuki had almost died when he'd befriended that lonely ghost woman. Soon, Watanuki had become dependent on that sense of security. He'd been too blind and ignorant to see that it was the beginning of love. Doumeki had been smarter than that. He'd known how he felt for Watanuki all along. In truth, he was just glad to be free of that struggle for understanding. Here the archer was in front of him, all his, the proof being his memory of the previous night and the arm cradling him even in sleep.
The drowsiness began to fade and hunger settled in. He even felt like the bottoms he was wearing were baggier on him. He thought about the beautiful fluffy omelets they made in the main building and salivated. He imagined that Doumeki would be hungry too, being the pig that he was. He squeezed Doumeki's nose. "Hey. Get up. I want to go eat."
Doumeki waved Watanuki's hand away and muttered something incomprehensible.
"I said, 'not cute at all.' It would have been cute if you'd kissed me awake."
Watanuki sat straight up. "Well excuse me for not being cute!"
Doumeki sat up with him. "I didn't say that. I said what you did wasn't cute. You, however, are irresistibly cute."
"Q-quit saying stupid things like that. It's embarrassing!"
"Fine. If you won't do it, I will." He leaned forward and caught Watanuki's lips in his own. He brushed some hair from Watanuki's face and planted another kiss on Watanuki's right eyelid.
"What are you doing?" the seer asked, flustered.
"Just kissing the one thing we share," he replied, referring to the eye he'd given Watanuki.
"You're so cheesy! Let's just go get breakfast." It was all Watanuki could do to keep from smiling. He didn't want Doumeki to see it or the big oaf would never let him live it down.
For breakfast, Kenji had made everyone delicious plates of omelets, croissants, and fruit. They ate quickly, not wanting to waste any of the day.
At the check-in desk, things were moving much more quickly now that Hiroko had Yumi and Aya to work beside her. Their cheerfulness immediately painted smiles on the customers' faces and a few boys even requested a date with them which they politely declined. It would be awhile until they stepped into that field again.
It was by majority rule that they all go skiing and snowboarding with Toa. Doumeki wanted to be the one to guide Watanuki this time and Toa gladly gave Sakura lessons while Mokona sat happily upon her shoulders.
"You're so cool, Syaoran!" Sakura called out as the boy flipped in the air on his snowboard. He turned to her with a red face and smiled and waved. His knees grew wobbly from embarrassment and he lost balance and tumbled. "Oh no!" Sakura gasped. When she saw that he was okay, she laughed.
"You wanna race, Kuro-pii?" Fai asked his lover.
"What, you against me? That doesn't seem fair. I'll beat you by a mile," the warrior said arrogantly.
"If you think so, then I guess I'll just have to take a head start." Fai started down the slope.
"Hey! That's cheating you stupid wizard!"
"Then hurry up and catch me, Kuro-slowpoke!"
"That's not even an honorific nickname! That's just stupid!"
"You certainly say stupid a lot. Care to broaden your vocabulary?"
The two zoomed past Watanuki and would have knocked him over if Doumeki hadn't been there to catch him. "Careful. Don't cross your skis if you can help it with those long gangly legs of yours."
Watanuki furrowed his eyebrows in concentration. He stared down at his feet, forcing his legs to keep steady. "I think I'm getting the hang of it!"
"Good. Let's try going slowly down this hill now. Oh, Watanuki, don't stare at your feet like that, you'll run into—"
Watanuki's ski caught on a large rock in front of him and sent him straight into the ground.
"Oi, retard. You're supposed to keep your eyes ahead of you at all times."
Watanuki spit snow out of his mouth. Instead of yelling at Doumeki, he said, "Let's try it again. I want to get this right."
It was with some regret that the group gathered up for the last time to eat dinner. The day seemed to fly by but was full of more than enough memories.
They all agreed on a small Greek place in the main building called Gyros*. The women who worked there floated eagerly around Fai and were more than willing to give him and his friends the best service possible.
"Anything for Le Chat Blanc-sama, huh?" Toa mused.
"Hm? Oh, yes. Of course." Fai had almost forgotten the role he'd been playing. His lips curled into a smile. "Hey, do you want to know a secret, Toa?"
"I'm not really Le Chat Blanc. I'm actually a wizard from another dimension. And Kurogane, Syaoran, and Sakura are all from different dimensions too. And Mokona? Not really a stuffed animal. Mokona moves and talks."
The others stared in horror at Fai for a long moment. Breaking the silence, Fai burst into laughter. "Oh man! The look on your face, Toa! And everyone else too! I was just messing with you. I'm not just a French model, you know. I've also got a great sense of humor."
Toa laughed. "Whew! You almost had me there for a second. You seemed so serious."
"You're so charming, Chat-sama," Hiroko chimed. Aya and Yumi giggled in agreement.
Watanuki laughed nervously out of relief. He opened one of his dolmades** and began eating at the rice and beef. "There's one thing I forgot to do. I still need to report to Kikuchi that I've fixed the spirit problem."
Kenji frowned. "About that… I meant to tell you earlier, but I forgot. Kikuchi's gone."
"Gone? What do you mean?"
"I'm not sure. He just suddenly left the resort abruptly last night according to the Yamada's that I work with. He left a note saying that he's not coming back. He left another note, but it said that only one of Kikuchi's assistants could open it. I guess we'll find out sooner or later. Thankfully, Kikuchi had enough assistants to keep this place running smoothly until we get a new director." He popped a Greek olive into his mouth.
"That's disgusting," Watanuki said.
"I know. Just leaving this entire resort without a director. What a horrible man."
"I wasn't talking about that. You just ate that Greek olive like it was nothing. Greek olives are disgusting."
"You think so? I like the salty tang they have."
The waitress arrived at their table and set down a platter full of Italian sodas. "There you are. Anything else?"
"I think we're good, thank you," Watanuki said as everybody seized their soda.
Toa ripped the top off of two creams and dumped them in the soda.
"You're putting cream in there?" Kenji asked.
"Yeah. Italian soda tastes best with two creams added."
The others decided to do the same and eagerly agreed with the Hawaiian.
Watanuki placed his chin in his hand. He was going to miss everyone here. Even this talk about little things like cream and olives was precious to him. He almost wished that this night would never end. But he had another life back at home. He had school and his job at the shop. He had Himawari to return to and to make lunches for and a new life to begin with Doumeki.
The waitress returned once more. There was no bill since the food was part of the price of staying at the resort, so what was it that she wanted?
"Toa Waka?" she asked.
"That's me!" he responded cheerfully.
"One of the advisors is here to see you."
"Ah crap. I hope I'm not in trouble. Or worse! I hope I'm not fired. Do you think you could ask him to come here? I'm trapped," Toa said since he was surrounded by the others in the large booth they were sitting in.
A moment later, a serious looking man in glasses and a suit walked over to their table. "Which one of you is Toa Waka?"
"Me," Toa said, getting tired of identifying himself.
"I'm here concerning a document Kikuchi-sama left behind. We inspected the document thoroughly and he left a note with it as well that verified the credibility of said document." He went into a deep bow. "You are to be the new owner and director of this resort, Waka-sama."
Toa choked on his Italian soda. "What?! Me?"
"Yes. It is specifically said that the resort go to the rightful heir. The original owner was going to be a man by the name of Kailani Waka, but he was unable to fulfill the duty and Kikuchi-sama took his place. Now that he has left for what we believe is retirement, he is handing it down to you, Kailani Waka's descendent."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. I don't think I can handle this. I'm only 20! I'm practically still a kid. And I don't know anything about running businesses."
"The other advisors and I will be assisting you to the best of our abilities. This was Kikuchi-sama's wish."
Kenji nudged his lover. "Take it! Can you imagine how much money that will bring in for you? And everyone loves you here. Haven't you ever wanted to make changes to this place?"
He looked down at him. "Yeah. You're right. Sure, I'll take it! Do I start tomorrow?"
"You may start whenever it is most convenient, Waka-sama."
"Okay! Then first thing tomorrow, we're going to be making some changes around here!"
"A toast, then," Fai said, raising his glass. "To Toa. And to us."
The others raised their glasses as well and clanked them together joyously.
Kenji beamed as he and Toa walked hand in hand down the hallway that contained their rooms.
"I still can't get over it! Toa Waka, the owner of the Japan-based Kikuchi resort. It's so exciting!" He tightened his grip on the Hawaiian's hand.
They stopped in front of Kenji's room. The Yamada immediately felt sad. "Tonight was so much fun. I'm really going to miss Watanuki and the others. I wish it could last a little bit longer."
Toa smiled at him. "It could, if you wanted."
Kenji's face burned like lava from the volcanoes of Toa's homeland. "Y-you mean… you w-want to…"
Toa bent over and enveloped Kenji's lips in his own. The tension left Kenji's body and he gave himself over to Toa's love. Toa opened the door behind them and softly eased his lover into the room, still drowning him in kisses. He pushed his way through until the back of Kenji's legs hit the bed and they fell over. The smaller boy's mind went into a small state of panic, but this panic soon vanished when he felt how natural it was to have his lover's hands all over his body.
Their clothes slid off so easily and Toa was surprised at just how soft Kenji's skin was. There was nothing in the world that could stop him from having his way with the smaller boy.
And what could Kenji do? Toa lit a fire in him like a million tiki torches.
Kurogane was already tugging at Fai's clothes the second they'd entered their room. They were openly in love now and Kurogane was eager to feel the wizard's body against his own again.
It was Fai's fault really. After dinner, he'd told Kurogane, "This is our last night here, you know. Who knows the next time we'll slip into a world where we have privacy. Or a soft bed."
Kurogane could think of a million reasons why that wasn't a good idea. However, the wizard had pulled him out of everyone's view and coaxed him into such a passionate kiss that Kurogane couldn't do anything but agree with Fai's wishes.
That one kiss had been enough to make Kurogane overeager and he was now planting his mouth on Fai's fair neck. He grinded his hips into Fai's and invoked a cry of pleasure from the wizard.
There was heat, of course, but more than anything they felt warmth. The warmth of what their actions meant, not just what the actions were.
"There," Watanuki said, tossing the last thing he needed into one of his bags. The bus was arriving early the next morning, so the two had decided on packing the night before so that they wouldn't be late. He gazed into his bag at the lucky rabbit's foot before zipping it up. The object had been like a talisman to him during this trip, but he didn't think he would need it anymore. He would return it to Yuko when he arrived home. He wondered if she even needed it. It was just some cheap thing. Hopefully she wasn't expecting to get that doorknob back. He still couldn't believe that Yuko had had the doorknob needed for this assignment in her possession. Where did she get all that random crap? Despite the mystery of it, Watanuki could only think of the week's worth of dust he would be dusting off that crap.
Oh no! He'd been gone a whole week! Yuko's shop had surely become a complete dump that would take him ages to clean. Was she okay? Was she starving without him there to feed her? And what about Mokona? He prayed that Maru and Moro had looked after them properly.
"Oi. Space cadet Watanuki. You back on earth yet?" Doumeki's voice walked into his thoughts.
"You'd think that the way things are now, you would call me something other than 'oi' or 'hey'."
Doumeki thought for a moment. "How about Oi-chan?"
"That's even worse!"
"Okay, okay." Doumeki slid his arms around Watanuki's small waist. "How about I just call you Watanuki then? And you can just call me Doumeki. Then, as we grow closer, I can call you Kimihiro and you can call me Shizuka."
"Psh. Whatever. I don't really care what we call each other."
Doumeki smiled at the shorter boy and they wavered for a second before falling into a kiss. Watanuki felt that same dizzying feeling he'd felt the night before when Doumeki had first kissed him. But this was different. He was unsteady, but kissed back this time, savoring the feeling of Doumeki's soft warm lips and his eyelashes tickling his cheekbones. When Doumeki slid his tongue into his mouth, Watanuki responded, doing all that he could to become enveloped in the archer.
When they broke apart, they both knew what the other was thinking. After this, it was back to school and normal life. Watanuki had a job and Doumeki had a temple to attend to. Not to mention Yuko probably had a list written up of other 'errands' for the two to run. Their lives would once again be enveloped in responsibility and they would return to being busy with few breaks. It might be a long time before they had another chance like tonight.
Watanuki slid off his glasses, ready to let Doumeki sweep him away.
"Toa, I can't breathe!" Watanuki gasped in Toa's bone-crushing bear hug.
"Wah! Promise you'll come see me! You can stay for free whenever you want! Promise me!"
"I promise! I promise!"
The Hawaiian released him and gave him a sorrowful smile. "You too, Doumeki. Not that'd you'd let Kimihiro go anywhere on his own anyway."
"Of course not. I wish you the best of luck with your new job." He went into a small bow.
"Thank you." Toa did the same.
Kenji extended his hand and shook Watanuki's and Doumeki's hands. "I too hope that you'll both come back. I want you guys to see what this place will become now that Toa's in charge."
"Don't be so humble! You're going to be my closest advisor, Kenji."
Kenji blushed. "Yes, but you're the one who's going to work all the magic."
"There's no way we won't come back. I've given you my address and email, so we'll talk often. Save a real room for us next time, ok?"
Hiroko, Aya, and Yumi smothered them in hugs and tears before their departure as well. They were truly in Watanuki's debt for reuniting them.
Syaoran and the others managed to make it there before their bus arrived.
"As much as I want to join in all of these goodbyes, I'm certain we'll see you again soon, Watanuki-san," Fai said.
Watanuki nodded. They'd be looking to Yuko for help again soon enough.
"We must take our leave now too," Syaoran said, looking to Mokona.
"Yay! It's time for Mokona's thing!"
The white creature leapt into the air and opened its mouth unimaginably wide.
"Good bye, everyone!" Sakura waved cheerfully as they were sucked in and disappeared.
Watanuki slapped his forehead. "Careless…" he muttered.
Toa's mouth fell open. "Oh my god! He wasn't kidding last night, was he? I can't believe that stuff he said is true! This is huge! Le Chat Blanc is actually a wizard!"
"Um, that's not quite right…" Watanuki began. Oh well. Let him believe what he wanted.
The bus sputtered and rumbled up behind them. Toa started wailing again.
"Toa, please! We'll communicate often and see each other again, okay?" Watanuki said, calming the Hawaiian down.
"Okay," Toa blubbered, crushing Watanuki and Doumeki in one final painful hug.
The two gave one last wave before climbing on the bus. Toa waved incessantly until the bus was out of sight.
"Wah! Kenji!" he cried, clasping onto his lover.
"Yes, I know. But it's time for you to begin your job as the owner of this place. Work hard so that Watanuki and Doumeki have an even nicer resort to return to."
He lifted the shorter boy in the air. "Yes! Let's go, Kenji!"
As expected, Watanuki was working for hours at the mess the witch made.
"This is ridiculous! Crumbs all over the carpet! Spills everywhere! Dust two inches thick! You are the laziest person to ever live!" Watanuki ranted.
"I don't know. I think King Louis XIV**** has me beat," the witch replied.
"Don't forget me, Watanuki whose name means April 1st!" Mokona added.
"I liked the white one better," Watanuki said through clenched teeth.
"Watanuki's annoyed! Watanuki's annoyed!" Maru and Moro sang.
Yuko took a long drag on her pipe. "Don't be so annoyed with me. I did you a favor."
Watanuki laughed. "You? Doing me a favor? And what would that be?"
"Setting up the scene for you and Doumeki, of course!"
Watanuki's cheeks burned. "What? We would've told each other no matter what!"
"That's a lie and you know it. Isolation was just what you needed," Yuko said, her ruby lips curled into a smile.
Watanuki said nothing and continued cleaning. He regretfully knew that she was right.
"Such relief! It was killing all of us watching you two bicker all the time. Doumeki was ready to tell you, but you were too much of a pain. Himawari felt the same, am I right?"
It was true. When they'd returned to school, she'd seen the difference between Watanuki and Doumeki automatically. She'd just watched them at first, but couldn't hold it in anymore. At lunch, she'd blurted out, "Did you guys finally get together?" Watanuki had nearly choked on a piece of squid and Doumeki had to swat his back until he coughed it back up. She told them that she'd been waiting for what seemed like forever for it to happen. Doumeki had told her how he'd felt about Watanuki and she'd told him to tell him as soon as there was a perfect moment. She'd expressed her happiness for them and told Watanuki she was glad that he wasn't lying to himself about being in love with her anymore. Truthfully, he still did love her, but like a sister, or like an uncle loves their favorite niece. He would still bear his teeth at guys who came her way, but for a different reason.
"Need some help?"
Watanuki looked up to see Doumeki picking up books off of the floor and sliding them into the bookcase.
"Doumeki! I thought you couldn't come in here!"
"I thought so too. But then I thought, 'I wish I could help Watanuki with all that cleaning' and it appeared. Cool, no?"
Watanuki smiled. "Yeah."
Yuko watched them clean together, grinning at the success her plan had produced.
The smell of salt and greenery was everywhere. Colors danced through the trees no matter which way one went. This was the beauty of Hawaii. Or the sea side of the largest island anyway.
Toshiro Kikuchi had arrived here a few days ago and had bought a small shack on the beach. He had more than enough money to retire and had decided that enough was enough. He now lived nearby one of his daughters and their grandchildren. He could now take his role as a gentle, retired grandfather.
The night he left, he'd seen Konako appear before him. He'd known all along that it was her who was haunting the resort. That's the main reason he'd been so desperate for an exorcist. He was sick of the past poisoning his life.
But Konako had moved on. The ghost boys had done their job. Most importantly, when Konako had appeared before him that night, she had forgiven him. Her grudge over Kailani's death was gone. She only wanted a peaceful afterlife and for her dear friend Toshiro to enjoy the rest of his life.
He hadn't forgotten about the strange woman who owned that shop and sent her the payment she'd asked for. For some reason, instead of money, she'd asked for the hair clip of Konako's that he'd kept all these years. He'd been sad to part with it, but it was all part of his new beginning. Konako had moved on, the resort was no longer his responsibility, and he'd even come to an entirely different country. He felt confident leaving the resort in that Waka boy's hands. His resemblance to Kailani was uncanny: his face, his voice, and even the way he acted. He had that same radiance that brought happiness to those around him.
He walked down a small stone path until he reached the graveyard. Despite being what it was, the graveyard was beautiful. There were flowers adorning numerous graves and others that grew from the ground. They danced in the breeze, almost as if they were celebrating the dead.
He first stopped by his wife's grave. He placed lovely purple flowers on her grave and said a quick prayer for her. She'd been a sweet girl and had given him three beautiful daughters. No sons to carry on the business, but he loved his children all the same. It was by his daughters' request that she be buried in this lovely state.
Then he moved on further down the graveyard. The graves were set according to date, so he had to go quite a ways to reach Kailani and Konako's grave. They sat side by side, just as Toshiro himself had asked. He placed a single bundle of flowers between the graves to share because he knew they would have rather shared them had they the choice. He kneeled in front of the tombstones. He ran his withered fingers across the names and dates and sighed. Then he smiled.
"Thank you," he said to the two slabs of rock. "And I'm glad you two are finally together."
Watanuki stared at the letter. Could it really be?
On the letter was the address for the Kikuchi resort from a Mr. Toa Waka. For the past year, he'd received emails from him and Kenji from time to time, letting him know how they and the girls were doing and how the resort was changing. However, these emails were never very long and Watanuki assumed it was because they were extremely busy.
He ran into his house and didn't even bother with finding the letter opener. He ripped it open without mercy and yanked the letter out:
Yo! What's up? Sorry I haven't really kept in touch. I'm not sure how to put an entire year in one letter, but I'll try. Things are so hectic here! Being boss is a lot harder than I thought. But I have my beloved Kenji here to assist me. It seems like he grows cuter and cuter each day. He would kill me if he saw me write that. How are you and Doumeki? Any progress in your relationship? You didn't break up, did you? No, I'm sure you would've told me something as important as that.
Anyway, we've given the forest land over to a wildlife reservation. They take excellent care of the plants and animals and let guests in to observe the nature. The resort had no use for that land anyway. The pond is now home to fish and ducks. I love feeding those little guys!
The Tanaka's and Yamada's here are no longer called as such. They now all look different because I've allowed them to wear their hair and stuff however they wish. The uniforms are different too. I sent a picture of Hiroko and the girls in the new uniform. It should be in the envelope. The buildings are a lot more colorful too. The delicious okonomiyaki hasn't changed one bit though!
Now for the reason I'm writing. It's almost been an entire year, hasn't it? The resort's about to enter its busy winter season, but I made sure to save you and Doumeki one of the best rooms we have. I also enclosed two bus tickets to the resort. You have that same week off, right? You can always email me if you need to.
I'm so happy! I can't wait to see you two again. Kenji too. It's too bad Chat-sama is off in other dimensions, isn't it?
Toa Waka, your good friend.
He pulled the photo of Hiroko and the girls out of the envelope and smiled. The new uniform consisted of a red button-up shirt with a red tie, a red and white plaid skirt, and stylish red boots. The three all had bubbly hair styles and Watanuki could hardly believe how long Hiroko's hair had become. He liked their smiles best of all.
Next the pulled the two bus tickets out. They looked exactly the same as they had the year before and the memories came flooding back. He held the tickets to his lips and closed his eyes. He couldn't wait to surprise Doumeki with all of this tomorrow at school. Mostly, he couldn't wait to see Toa, Kenji, Hiroko, Yumi, and Aya again. Yuko would have to give him the week off. It would be madness if she didn't and he could always bribe her with bringing back okonomiyaki.
This time, he and Doumeki wouldn't go to discover what the snow was hiding. This time they would discover what the snow had to offer.
Poison: OMG DONE. Good morning, everyone. I say that because I'm writing this very sentence at 4:35 in the morning. I had to finish. And now I'm barely keeping myself awake. It's a good thing I'm on summer vacation. Oh! There's so much I want to say, but since I'm tired, I'll just say thank you. Thank you for reading and reviewing and encouraging me to finish this story that never seemed to end. Thank you for bearing with all of my mistakes and slip-ups. Despite the throbbing in my fingers from typing, I had a lot of fun. More stories are on the way (hopefully) so be on the lookout! Lol, I think I hear my dad getting ready for work. Boo, now I'm sad that it's all come to an end… Man, I had a lot of trouble with the word omelet. I kept spelling it the French way on accident… Oh, and if you listen to Lovers in Japan by Coldplay, you can really get a feel for this chapter.
I'd like to give some special thanks to some very special people:
TwelfBell first and foremost. We talked about my flaws and I really think it helped. Thank you so much. Please check out her stories! She's written some excellent DouWata stories. Check out her profile, for me and for her.
Shinku Anrui, I will once again declare my love for you. Your reviews always make me smile and you are beyond wins. You are super wins. Please check her out too. Look at her deviantart! Her name is SasuNarufan5.
Dem Bones, I promise to get started on your story now that this one's finished.
I'd like to thank all my reviewers. You're all special to me and I've made it a point to reply to everyone I could (meaning those who were logged on when they reviewed so that I could actually reply).
I'd like to thank my friend I know in real life who listened to me read her the first chapter over the phone and told me to keep going. You know who you are, you lazy bum! Get to writing that first chapter of that Allen/Kanda story so that I can write the second chapter already!
Oh, and I guess I should thank my parents for buying the computer and paying for the internet that allowed me to post this.
Thank you for reading my long story about Wata-nudie and Dou-nekkid. Lol. That's what they're called in bed.
Now for footnotes:
*Gyros- This is a Greek dish of lamb and it's also the name of a Greek restaurant in the city that I live in. I decided to use it for the story.
**dolmades- This is a Greek dish that consists of rice and beef wrapped in grape leaves. I tried it this year while on a trip to San Diego and it rocked.
***Kampai- simply Japanese for 'cheers!'
****King Louis XIV- for those of you who don't know, he was one of the most famous of the French kings, often called the Sun King. He was very vain and really lazy. It was said that he had people carry him places when he didn't feel like walking.
I wasn't kidding about Greek olives. I tried one recently and they're a salty disaster. Don't eat them
The idea for the cream in the Italian soda came from one of my friends. We were eating at Gyros when she recommended two creams in my vanilla Italian soda and it was like heaven had descended into my cup. Try it sometime.
Sorry this is so long. It's just so hard to say goodbye!
So you all again,
It's now 5:30 and I seriously need to get some sleep. I see the light of the sun through my window and that is not good. I have stuff to do tomorrow.