AN: This is the Epilogue for my story, wow; it's been almost two weeks since I began to write this. It's a relief to finally be able to see the ending, just because so many more ideas are now forming in my mind on how to continue the saga. So please, keep checking my page for the sequel.

Kaytii/


I just wanted to sleep…

That everlasting, healing sleep…

But how could I sleep with that shrieking, and the thudding that entered the room…?

And the people who kept hitting my chest, and trying to wake me…?

Still, sleep won, and I was glad of it…

Everything would be fine now…

Of that I was certain…

"You gave us quite a scare then Hotaru-san" A grave voice began to speak as my eyes adjusted to the bright lights of a hospital room, before leaving with his clipboard to get some medicine.

A scare? What happened? I only went to sleep…

"Hotaru?" A calm voice dragged me out of my thoughts peacefully, a soothing presence in my mind, to wake me. "You almost died."

He says that as if it were a fact…

Sh*t

He wasn't lying, was he?

But… but…

"W… what happened?" I finally managed to stutter out.

"You don't remember?"

I don't know. Does that mean my memories weren't suppressed after all? Or does it mean Hatori hasn't had the chance to do it yet?

"I… I don't know, to be honest. I don't think I really want to remember what happened." I finally decided as my mind sut me off from the events that had happened before I colapsed. "I… I thought… I thought I was going to die.... that Akito was going to..."

At that Yuki's face darkened with fear.

"Akito was there? Hatori didn't say… Tell me Hotaru-san, what did Akito do?"

"He…"

He didn't do anything really though, did he? It was me who did the damage, who shattered the "creators" safety net without a second thought, not realising what the consequences for the entire family, and the zodiac would be...

"… No, he didn't do anything Yuki-san… at least not that time. I… I got there first and told him what I needed to."

"What did you tell him Hotaru-san?"

"-Chan" I insisted, tired of all the formalities and pretence that my family lived for, and just wanting to live an ordinary life.

"Hotaru-chan." He agreed, a ghost of a smile lingering upon his face before he looked down.

"I…"

I tried to think about what I had seen, and told Akito, but I couldn't remember anything about it… it was just gone.

"I don't remember, Yuki-kun… It's gone, all of it. I mean… I can remember being there, and talking to him… but it's like watching a movie with the mute button on – I can't remember what was said… Has… has Hatori been here?"

"Not on his own. Anyway, Akito has been taking up most of his time since your latest encounter with him… you really are okay, aren't you?"

His deep concern touched me, and I began to wonder what his childhood must have been like to make him this quiet, delicate creature.

"Yeah…" I tried to sit up properly, but then I got head rush and collapsed down again, laughing dizzily. "Erm… Yuki-kun, can you help me up please?"

"Sure," He grinned as he helped me out of the bed, all my limbs seizing up on me for a few seconds before my brain recognising them and figuring out how to move them. "Where do you wish to go?"

"That garden. The one where you found me that time." I didn't know why I wanted to go there; it just seemed like the right place to be."

And it was.

The calm tranquillity of the gardens brought a closure to all that had happened, a sense of peace and wonder as I sat with Yuki and watched the waterfall thunder down into the pond.

"Yuki-kun, I … I… I'd like to say…"

A howl from the mountains sounded throughout the Sohma property at that instant…

***

In the middle of teasing his editor Shigure heard the howl, and froze, a feeling of comradeship he had not heard in a long time stirring in him, as well as the distrust of meeting a reformed enemy and not knowing what to expect.

***

All over the Sohma estate, the remaining zodiac members felt a stirring in their spirits, a strange feeling of love...

...and hate...

...comradeship...

...and betrayal…

...new life…

...and the ultimate sacrifice…

***

Standing next to Yuki we both felt dread... and anticipation as my memories came flooding back to me... again, and we both knew, in that instant, what had happened, what was happening... and what was to happen...

... the rebirth...

... the life...

... and the end, the final ending...

...and it was only just begining...

***

...In the darkest corner of the estate stood Akito, alone, her face thunderous as she realised what had happened, that her last child had broken free of her decree, and would be returning for the others...


AN: Thank you to all who have read "The Melting snow". I really can't believe it's all over now, but keep waiting, the sequel to this will be out soon, just check my homepage to see all my other stories, and what my next stories will be like. I may also put a preview of the next story there for you all.

For now, goodbye

Kaytii/