Well, hmm I'm at a bit of a debacle. I have been reviewing the last chapter and… and I am not admonishing my reader's taste, but as a writer I thought it was awful and I don't know how I was capable of writing such a horrendous unflattering filler! I had a reader, who shall remain anonymous, point that out to me and I can't help but whole heartedly agree with this person because it was my exact sentiment, the chapter had been pre written two years ago and at the time it seemed a good idea. Since then my facilities and opinions have changed and I'm going to do something completely uncharacteristic (well formerly uncharacteristic) and I'm scrapping the chapter for personal ethics. I apologise to those of my readers who enjoyed it but as a writer I can't continue to display a chapter I am not proud of. That being said I have a new chapter (not filler) that will continue to the story. My hope is that I can complete this story in a month's time. I am venturing on two huge fiction projects that will require my upmost attention one of which will be an original story published on fiction press and a crossover fic of the "Big Tumbler Three" if you know what I'm talking about and are a fan I do hope you come and follow those stories once they are published! Again I thank all of you for your loyal following and your expressed enjoyment of my work thus far. I hope my work will no longer disappoint and that I can give you a satisfying ending to this fic.
With all my Love and Affection,
Disclaimer: I do not own Shugo Chara
Weeks had passed since Amu's kidnapping but it certainly felt like mere hours. Amu would often wake up to nightmares of Hitachi looming over her menacingly or being trapped in that room of the ancient castle. Suu had spent the earlier part of the month panicking and making sure Amu was alright and whole. Suu was the one who first woke up to Amu's screams from the nightmares and was always there to comfort her.
Ikuto however kept unusually silent and self-reserved and frequently disappeared for hours without explanation. He would return late and disheveled earing lectures from Suu but he usually shrugged it off and kept to his room in silence.
Amu had wondered why he had changed so suddenly. He didn't seem like regular Ikuto anymore but then again the whole ordeal had made everyone involved edgy: The Fujisaki's had checked in nearly every day to see what was going on, Nagihiko and Nadeshiko becoming common features at the apartment. Amu's friends spent endless hours at the coffee shop when Amu wasn't at School Yaya usually demanding an ungodly quantity of sweets. It was a nice break from the stoic faces and Amu looked forward to their visits.
Although Ikuto was usually the one who walked Amu home his sudden aloofness made him more distant than ever and had recently he started making excuses to skip out and either Nadeshiko and her brother or Suu would bring Amu back to the apartment.
Time had passed without incident and there was no sign of the enemy lurking. However, there wasn't a single day that went by without some kind of reminder of that day.
Amu wasn't flinchy, nor did she openly display her discomfort or terror but she had become afraid. She would lie awake at night just to avoid the nightmares of Hitachi threatening everyone she loved. But it had been weeks and neither Hitachi nor his lacky had shown up.
It was late, Amu sat for a while on the couch after a particularly trying day. The shop had been busy and full of people chatting excitedly about the upcoming Night Festival and the preparations which had already begun. Lights had been strung up around the square, flyers and pamphlets had gone out to advertise Ticket sales, and people had come in asking Suu if she would help with the refreshment arrangements.
The excitement and the preparation of the Night Festival had kept Amu and Suu busy. It was good, it was a distraction, but it didn't keep the nightmares away. Amu sighed as she turned the tv on hoping there was something on to fill the silence. The light from the tv glowed brightly and Amu had to blink to help her eyes adjust as it buzz to life. The program that appeared was a sappy romcom drama that made Amu flinch, the nightmares hadn't been the only thing that troubled her.
Ikuto had been noticeably distant since the whole event had taken place. He had been less and less like himself, he had become aloof and indiscreetly avoided Amu. She wasn't the only one who noticed. Everyone had asked her if they had been fighting or if she knew what had been bothering Ikuto. They hadn't, and she didn't know.
Nadeshiko had mentioned on one of her more recent visits that he had been hanging around the mansion more often but then would just up and disappear and she had spoken with her father, Notori, but he had dismissed it and said Ikuto simply needed time to cope.
Cope… Amu couldn't blame him. They had left Utau behind, they knew how to find Hitachi and Kazoumi and yet no power over them and that open window just made everyone skittish. Amu had been troubled over what Hitachi had called her "The Living Amulet". She recalled Notori mentioning such a thing but when she had asked Notori what "The Living Amulet" was but he said that it was merely a fairy tale and she shouldn't concern herself over it. Amu knew better, somehow she was the center of this mess but she didn't know how, she was a normal ordinary girl….
Amu was beginning to feel like a hindrance.
Amu winced the background noise of the Tv made her ears buzz and she felt dizzy. "Ordinary" it was… it felt like an awful word. She felt completely useless and more than that she felt contained and stuck. Quickly shutting off the tv she sat a minute in thought in the silence of the dark room. Thoughts and memories flooded her vision and soon the room felt like it was closing in on her. Ikuto wasn't the only person who was endangered by the wizard, should he get what he wanted, everyone was. Everyone was working to keep the world safe, but they also were keeping her safe. She clenched the pillow as the realization began to eat away at her thoughts. All of them they were keeping her in the dark. Her best friend obviously knew about Ikuto right away and she hadn't said anything… Hitachi hadn't called her "The Living Amulet" for nothing… it … wasn't just a fairy tale… was it….?
She dropped the remote on the sofa and ran outside barely reminding herself to put on shoes on the way out. She ran down the apartment steps and past Suuprize into the street. Late night car horns wailed in the distance and the thrumming sound of the street lights buzzed overhead. She didn't know where she was going; she didn't know why she had left.
She whirled around on the sidewalk for a minute feeling utterly stupid for just running out like a mad person and she was about to return when a blur of gold caught the corner of her eye and in response she turned to the opposite side of the street.
A woman with strikingly gold hair was waving at her and gesturing that Amu should come to her. Amu couldn't see her face but she recognized the woman from somewhere, but she couldn't quite place where.
A tiny voice in Amu's head protested as Amu's feet began to move toward the woman. On closer inspection the woman looked rather ordinary but innocent and angelic. She pointed to an open door that Amu hadn't noticed before and walked inside. Amu was hesitant for a moment she looked at the opening of the building. It had a large glass window that had been marked in gothic gold letters "The Mystic Experts". Amu glanced across the street toward Suu prize then back toward the open door in front of her and walked inside.
To Amu's surprise it really had been an old mystic shop, one side lined with gilding and cream colored fresco paintings with angel images adorned in every corner. The other side was vividly black and red with voodoo memorabilia and an array of Goth rock images and posters. Amu flinched as she nearly ran into a tall skeletal hand that pointed at her accusingly.
The woman had disappeared into the back of the shop. Amu didn't know whether she should continue further or obey her inner voice that told her to turn and run.
Taking an uneasy glance at the Skeletal hand she was about to do just that when the golden hair woman reappeared with a tea tray and placed it on an immaculate looking marble table and gestured Amu to sit.
Amu cautiously moved toward the table the days of no sleep and consistent work finally began to weigh on her as she slunk unto the chair the woman had pulled up for her. The Angelic woman smiled and sat across from Amu.
"You're comfortable YEEEESSS" The woman practically shouted in a comically shrill voice.
Amu shot up in surprise, then a giggle burst from her lips that quickly turned into a laugh, a loud uncontrolled laugh that Amu felt ashamed of after wards but the contradiction of the Woman's ethereal peaceful appearance to her actual voice was simply too funny. The woman patiently waited for Amu to finish laughing and simply blinked her squinted eyes in a saintly patience. After Amu finished she apologized and sat silently. The woman smiled and poured Amu a cup of tea, "It's fine." She said with a bit more high pitched reserve, "Your mother made fun of me for days after we first met, you are A LOT more polite than she was."
Amu nearly fell over at the announcement, the woman knew her mother?
But before Amu could ask anything another high pitch voice pierced the room, but it was more haughty and authorative than the saintly woman. The other voice came from a black haired goth woman who reminded Amu of a stripper dressed like a devil. She was dressed scandalously in a revealing midriff and miniskirt with fishnet stockings and knee high stiletto boots. "What are you trying to Do Elle?" She exclaimed pointing at Amu accusingly, "Get another one killed?!"
The angelic woman, Elle, simply crunched her face in a dissatisfied pout, "It's time she knew her OROGIN, IL!"
Amu stared back and forth at the two contradictory women. One angelic and one demonic but both… or rather neither of them seemed, evil. Amu felt insanely comfortable with them even as them began to bicker. Truthfully it was funnier than it was scary.
"You always put your nose where it doesn't belong I do believe the High Queen requested that you did not awaken the new one!" Il protested as Elle folded her arms defiantly, "She came to us, it's time we told her!"
"Told who what?" Amu said taking a sip of the tea Elle had given her. Elle and Il stopped and looked at her with slight surprise as if both forgot her presence here. Il grunted in protest but Elle cleared her throat, "Apologies! Yes, Amu I knew your mother and I know your grandmother-"
"You mean WE know her grandmother" Il interrupted indignantly. If Elle could glare through her slitted eyes Amu guessed that was what she was attempting to do as she slowly turned toward Il in a slow manner obviously attempting to be menacing but just looking rather ridiculous. Amu had to bite her lip in order to not laugh out loud again. Elle returned her peerless gaze at Amu and cleared her throat to continue, "… Ahem, Amu," She began and Amu realized that she didn't bother with honorfics but let it slide, "You come from a very long line, of VERY special people. You're the last of your kind and Ill and Myself included come from said line of peoples. You, however control a dominate power as do we, you could say we are like fairies!"
Il brought her palm to her forehead and groaned, "fairies?! That's the analogy you're going with? Man you are an idiot aren't you?"
Elle went "humph" and crossed her arms in protest, "Well how would you explain it?"
Il cracked her knuckles and tossed her head back, "Listen Amu, you're a very… special person and you're too damn young to know this but since dummy here insists on telling you this shit you should know that a very bad guy had been after your family for a millennia! We'd like to help but we're really not supposed to-"
"You mean The Wizard Hitachi?" Amu exclaimed aloud interrupting Il from her rant. She glance at both whom shared a shocked and horrified expression.
Who were these people, how did they know about this?
"You've met him." Il said with a hinge of fear in her voice. Elle's eyes grew wide and Amu could almost make out her eye color. Amu nodded slowly, "How do you know this?"
Amu swallowed hard fear and hatred growing in the pit of her stomach as she allowed the memories to resurface. The other two nodded as if they had been watching Amu's memories play in her head.
"This is VERY BAAAAD" Elle said with a bit of a quiver she then left the room to retrieve something. Il sat in silence for a moment, "So you've met "The Black Cat."
It wasn't a question. Amu stared up at Il, "How do you know about him?"
Il smirked, "We've known him since the Tsukiyomi bloodline was cursed because we are the guardians of "The Living Amulet". Hitatchi was always a selfish bastard; we figured he would come after The LA as soon as he fed on the Tsukiyomis. We kept The Black Cat alive because he wouldn't be able to properly digest the Amulet without the power of The Black Cat diminished."
Amu bit her lip, not really understanding what was she was talking about. Elle returned and handed Il a scroll. As IL read aloud Amu bit her lip, recognizing the words all too well.
"When the moon doth rise
And the sun doth set
Thou shall grow ears and tail
And cry for thy humanity
Where the moon shall give mercy
The sun shall not
By day a cat
By night a man
Until a fair maid sets her heart upon thee
And tulips bloom below the moon
The cat shall be no more
And the man shall walk his days
The curse of the music of the moonlit path
Shall be lifted and hence
A price be paid in full
A living amulet shall shatter
And a broken heart will mend a thousand years of wrong"
Both looked warily at Amu making her noticeably shake in her seat. Then Elle shook her and smiled, "Utter nonsense isn't it? I'm sure everything will be just peachy!" Il then slapped her head and gave Elle a look as if to say, "Told you it would be too much for her."
Amu glared at them both making them flinch, "That's the curse isn't it?"
Il sighed, "The curse of the Black Cat, yes. Each of the family is said to have a different curse but his is the clincher, if his curse is broken theirs will be as well."
Amu stood up quickly nearly making the tea tray fall over, "How do I break it?"
Elle moaned and Il scratched her head, "As The Living Amulet, You actually shall be the one to break it… but…"
Il sighed, "It calls for self-sacrifice. You or someone you love must display just that, unconditional love for another. It counters Hitachi's own power of greed. However the price it calls for is much too steep."
Amu shook her head, "Is it possible to break the curse in another way, perhaps if Hitachi is defeated?"
Il and Elle shared a look that told Amu enough, he couldn't be defeated, he was too strong. Amu shrugged and pulled her sweater closer to her, "Well, thanks for the tea… I should get going."
Elle reached out to Amu as she turned but Il stopped her and both watched with unease as the pink haired girl retreated.
When she got outside Amu paced for a second trying to catch her breath. In retrospect the two hadn't been all that informative, they just confirmed what she already knew. In the end it's your life or his
The voice echoed and taunted her making her quiver not from the cold but from fear. She knew what he had to do… that didn't mean she liked it. She was about to head back to the apartment when a voice came from behind, "Amu!"
Amu jumped suddenly terrified that Hitachi had finally come back for her. She gripped her hand into a fist and slowly turned ready to fight if she has to only to see Ikuto behind her, concern dripping from every point in his face then it turned to something he hadn't seen before, Anger? Ikuto grabbed her by her shoulders and his sapphire gaze bored into her, "What are you doing out and alone? What if something happened to you? Are you an Idiot?" Amu grimaced and pushed away from him, "I just needed a walk, a bit of fresh air…"
Ikuto stayed staring at her. There was something else in his eyes she couldn't quite place. Her eyes floated away from his face a noted that his Violin was sitting on his back she suddenly understood why he was out.
"They have been back…" she said breathlessly. Ikuto nodded.
"I've had Notori-san track their movements. I've been keeping them at bay as best I can but it almost feels like they're waiting for something. They've been attacking innocent people for life energy." He paused and winced. Amu immediately knew it was because it was Utau who he had to fight with, "I don't know what they're after but I do know it's not good."
He looked down at Amu again, his gaze boring down on her own, "I will protect you Amu. I won't let him harm you, or use you against me."
Amu winced, "Idiot." She said wrapping Ikuto in a comforting hug. Ikuto just went along with it resting his head on her own. You're not the one he's after…
Elle and Il had been watching from the window. It was clear now that trouble was inevitable because of those two.
"Why do they always hafta fall in love? It's a really bothersome emotion!" Il protested which earned a slap in the head from Elle.
"SHUT UP! Love is beautiful and we should always have faith in LOVE!" But she worried her lip and gulped, "They bloom in three days don't they…"
Il nodded, "Yes, in Avalon under the crystal moon the blood Tulips of the cross shall bloom and Hitatchi will be able to kill the prince…"
So don't kill me! I know what you all are thinking… and well *SPOILERS* I am tempted to kill everyone off really…*
But nevertheless I mean what I say when I'm bringing this fic to an end. Matter of fact it's almost over few more chapters and the epilogue left and well next chapter might take me a while update considering it's a nearly a book in of itself (a small dime store novel but really…) It's done… please excuse the language from Il but I felt like she would curse a lot. And thank you for reading and I have314 reviews! That's almost pi! Thank you all so much! I will be back to finish and I hope this chapter did not disappoint!
(Quite frankly I like it much better than the last) ^^