Final chapter. Thank you so much for being there with me throughout this journey. This is a very gooey and sweet chapter—kind of like how cream cheese icing is.

I dedicate this last chapter to my mother. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever met, and I want to be just like her when I'm older.


By Tsuki's Angel

-Chapter 24-

-Epilogue: Colors and Promises-

The dim lights bathed the room in a candlelit glow. The room smelled like roses and delicate perfume and radiated of nostalgia and bliss. Amu Hinamori sat on a plush vanity bench, facing a mirror. Her back was flawless and bare. Although a few stray hairs lingered on her neck from her hairstyle, she was the epitome of beauty.

The day we met,
Frozen I held my breath
Right from the start
I knew that I'd found a home for my heart... fast

Amu's heart beat fast. She sat in front of a vanity mirror, looking at her reflection. Was that really her? The girl in the mirror had flushed cheeks, gorgeous golden eyes emphasized with taupe eye shadow, and voluminous, curly hair piled on her head. Behind her, Souko and Utau were in tears. Amu's waterproof mascara failed to run as her own tears rolled down her cheeks. She stood up to look at her dress in the mirror.

Amu swallowed thickly. A mermaid dress decorated her body with its beauty. Its sweetheart neckline was lined with crystals and sequins, which carried down to the middle of her thighs where the dress flared out in a thick curtain of tulle. Her hair was adorned with a crystal tiara, and from it a waterfall of veil fell to her feet. She glanced in the mirror where Utau was dressed in a light pink strapless gown. Souko was dressed in a midnight blue gown. Rima walked into the room as soon as Amu turned around. Rima, a bridesmaid like Utau, wore the same gown as Utau did.

Rima smiled softly. "You're beautiful."

Amu couldn't find her voice. She took in a shaky breath and nodded quickly. Utau enveloped her in a hug. After Utau released her, Souko turned Amu's head to face her and kissed her on the forehead.

"You've always been like a daughter to me," Souko whispered, leaning her forehead on Amu's.

Again, Amu nodded. Her voice was wispy and full of tears as she whispered, "I love you, too."

The door opened once again as Aruto came in. Souko turned to look at her husband. Aruto looked a little shocked at first, but his face settled into a gentle expression.

Aruto walked up to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. His voice was thick, as if he had been crying. "Right from the start, you were one of a kind." Aruto breathed deeply. "Just like your mother." Amu's lip quivered, and she jumped into his arms. Aruto kissed the top of her head. "She's here in spirit. Right beside your father."

Amu's eyes flicked to behind Aruto where she saw one more person waiting for her: Takuya. He leaned against the doorway with his shoulder and looked at Amu with pure joy. Aruto let her go and stood next to Souko, taking her hand.

Takuya held his arms open. "Do I get a hug?"

Amu choked out a laugh. "Of course."

Takuya encircled her tiny body into his arms and hugged her tightly. Amu gripped his tuxedo and breathed in the familiar scent of her best friend. Over the years, they had become so very close. It drove Ikuto crazy at times, but their friendship never ceased.

"We should go," Utau whispered to Rima, and then looking at Souko and Aruto said, "I feel like we're intruding."

Souko laughed underneath her breath. "Yes, as do I."

Aruto picked up the conversation. "Amu, Takuya. We will see you at the ceremony."

Amu looked to them and nodded, still in Takuya's arms. "Okay."

They quietly left the room, and Amu took the moment to calm her racing heart. Takuya always made her feel less nervous somehow.

Takuya pulled back from the hug. "God, I feel like I'm giving you away myself!"

Amu laughed. "I feel like you are, too."

"Are you positive you want to move back to Florida after this?" Takuya said, his expression sad.

"Takuya, he promised me we would live on that ranch," Amu said. "It's his home…my home…"

Takuya sighed. "I'm going to miss you, Hinamori."

"Oh, Takuya…" Amu mumbled, squeezing him tightly. "I don't want to leave you!"

"Can't breathe," Takuya gasped as Amu's grip tightened. "Amu, can't…breathe."

"Oh," Amu said, letting go. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay," Takuya said, straightening out his tux. "But I don't want you to leave me, either."

"Come to Florida," Amu said hastily. "You can bring Haru. He will love it in Florida—the sun, the beach."

Takuya smiled. "Haru and I have jobs, you know. Important jobs? That we can't leave…"

Amu sighed. "I know." She frowned. "Why can't you be a rich, successful lawyer in Miami?"

"Same reason you can't be a rich, successful dance teacher in California," he said, tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear. "I love him, Amu. California's his home."

"Love," Amu murmured, hugging him again. He gently rested his cheek on her head. "It will make you do anything…"

Takuya nodded, and for the longest time, they stood there, just like that until Takuya broke the silence. "I think it's time for someone to walk down the aisle."

Amu nodded. "I'm ready." She smiled softly. "I've been waiting for this day all my life."

Takuya smiled and pulled the veil over her face. "Let's get you married."

Amu took Takuya's arm, and they made their way to the ceremony room. Amu stood outside the massive wooden doors where she felt her heart rate spike. Takuya watched her calm herself down. He squeezed her arm, and she glanced at him.

Colors and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I'm afraid to fall?

"I'm nervous," Amu whispered.

"I know," Takuya said. "But he loves you."

"Yeah," Amu said, smiling. "He does."

The two men in suits that stood in front of the closed doors proceeded to open them. A white carpet donned the aisle, and it was dotted with pink rose petals. The chairs that lined the aisle were pinned with pink roses themselves, and each of them was connected with a sheer white fabric that looped from chair to chair.

The sheer lavishness of the wedding sent Amu's heart into a frenzy, hitting her with an impact. However, it was what, or rather who, stood at the end of the aisle that made Amu's heart stop. There, clad in a black tuxedo with a black bow, was her fiancé, the man she was utterly, wholly in love with.

But watching you stand alone?
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

Takuya's grip on her arm was the only thing holding her back from sprinting straight down the aisle and into his comforting arms.

One step closer

In that moment every single person had vanished in the room except for Amu and Ikuto. Amu looked at Ikuto with bright, loving eyes. He, in turn, looked at her as if he were falling in love with her all over again. In his eyes she was the most beautiful woman in the world. His eyes wouldn't leave her delicate, gorgeous face, but when he forced himself to look elsewhere, he found himself looking at how wonderful she looked in her dress. The dress clung to her every curve perfectly. She made the dress beautiful, not the other way around.

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

As for the rest of the family and friends, Aruto and Souko looked at their son with adoring eyes. They could see how happy he was, and they couldn't have wished for a better daughter-in-law. Kairi was proud of his little brother. He never outright showed his affection for Ikuto, but he cared for the boy. They were family. Daichi and Kukai were grinning like mad. They always knew that those two were going to get married, always joked about it in college. Now, they were just happy that Amu was going to part of their lives permanently. Nagi was just as excited as Kukai and Daichi were.

And Kiseki? Well, he was eternally grateful that Amu came into his life. He couldn't take his eyes off of her as she walked down the aisle to his older brother. Amu Hinamori had caused him to rethink about his entire life, kind of like a slap to the face. Before she came, he was just trouble. To everyone. He got detentions and suspensions constantly, but now, he was on the fast track to medical school. Who knew?

And as for Yoru, he was just himself. A little kid, growing up. He didn't understand what it was like to be in love or what love really was, but he knew that he wanted what his big brother had one day. His naivety and innocence made Amu smile many times. She wanted a son like him one day.

The dance team never got back together as a team, but the eleven of them remained very close as friends. Utau moved on to a career in singing—she got her big break in college, and now she was on her way to release her third album. Rima ended up going into acting. This had shocked everyone, since she was always so reserved, but apparently she had another side to her. Dia and Ran decided to go into the fashion business together. They designed clothes and sold them at a small boutique, Would Be Self, in Stella, the town that Nobuko held her shop in. They helped girls find the beauty in themselves through fashion.

Kukai played soccer for a living, and he was pretty damn proud of how far their team got over the years. Daichi, on the other hand, is an architect. He designed many buildings, such as Ran and Dia's boutique. Rhythm became a music teacher shortly after graduating college. He taught at Seiyo High School, which came to no surprise to anyone. Nagi was still in college, but he knew that he wanted to go into some kind of business when he was older. And Nate became a veterinarian. He found an uncanny love for animals over the years, and he found that he loved his job, too.

And as for the final two members? Amu and Ikuto decided to buy a dance studio near the ranch they were to live on. They were currently teaching dance in California, but they decided they wanted to move back to Florida. Their relationship had ups and downs through the college years, but Ikuto finally found his nerves and proposed to her in her apartment. And it was inevitable that they were going to argue about every single wedding detail. Souko nearly pulled her hair out at some points, especially when it came to picking out Amu's dress. But now, they were getting married. And they were going to spend the rest of their lives together.

Amu found herself at the threshold of the steps. She took Ikuto's outstretched hand and stepped up so that she was holding Ikuto's hands across for him, teary eyed. Ikuto had a massive grin on his face—Amu's favorite smile of his. Amu barely heard the man that was marrying them say that it was time for the vows.

Ikuto swallowed thickly and looked into the eyes of the love of his life. Time stood still. "You've completely stolen my heart and soul, Amu Hinamori." Ikuto's heart clenched. "I should have you arrested since stealing is illegal." The guests chuckled at this. Amu smiled at the simply cheesy joke. "But as it turns out, I wouldn't have it any other way." Amu's breath hitched as she clung to his every word. "I love how you've changed me. I love how you talk to my family. I love how you crinkle your nose when I do something stupid. I love how much you care about, well, everything. And I just love you so damn much it hurts." Amu bit her lip as Ikuto wiped her tears. "And somehow, you're mine. I don't know how, but you picked me. And I realize that my life isn't perfect, but seeing you next to me every morning when I wake up makes it pretty damn close." Ikuto shrugged.

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What's standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

Amu couldn't help the tears that were falling from her eyes in massive droplets. She couldn't even get the words out, her voice was so thick. "Ikuto Tsukiyomi…you are one of a kind." Amu sniffed and took a deep breath. "Nobody in this entire world makes me laugh the way you do. You're my everything. And you've stolen my heart, and by some miracle that void was filled when I was able to steal yours back." Ikuto squeezed her tightly. "I will never let you go. You healed me when I was broken. I'm not perfect, and you know that. But I love you. I love you." Amu breathed out. "I love you."

The pastor smiled when he continued the ceremony. "Do you, Ikuto Tsukiyomi, take Amu Hinamori as your lawful wedded wife?"

"I do," Ikuto said, voice confident and secure.

"And do you, Amu Hinamori, take Ikuto Tsukiyomi as your lawful wedded husband?"

"I do!" Amu said, overflowing with joy.

"I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride," the pastor said.

Ikuto didn't think twice before pulling Amu's body into his and slanting his lips over hers as a round of applause erupted around them. The kiss was slow, sweet, and perfect. All the emotion they held in their hearts was shared in that one moment. That one moment that they will keep with them for the rest of their lives.

One step closer…

-Six Years Later-

The sunlight had shined and struck a sleeping woman's face. Amu Tsukiyomi blinked as she woke up, holding up her hand to shield the sun from getting into her eyes. She stretched as she turned around to see that she did not have a sleepy Ikuto wrapped around her body like she usually did. She sat up in bed, yawning, and she swung her legs over the edge. Slipping into her silk robe, Amu walked out of her and Ikuto's massive bedroom and towards the bathroom where she freshened up. She checked the kids' bedrooms afterwards to see if Ikuto had fallen asleep there. She was a little perplexed when she didn't see him or the kids in either of the rooms.

Amu walked downstairs to the family room where a picture perfect scene absolutely took her breath away. She had found her husband sleeping on the recliner with each one of their twins in his arms. They slept soundly, and the twins cuddled into their father's side. Sometimes she really was amazed by how great of a father Ikuto was. She walked to Ikuto's side and let the image sink in. Then, she pressed her lips to each of her beloved's foreheads and brushed the hair out of her husband's eyes.

Letting her sleeping family be, Amu strode to the kitchen to make a surprise breakfast for them after glancing at the clock. 12:28 PM. Whoa. She had slept in until past noon? She almost laughed. Well, this is what happens when a certain husband can't get enough of his wife.

Taking out the necessary supplies, Amu quickly whipped up a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and eggs. She should be making lunch, but it would be odd to eat turkey sandwiches as soon as you wake up. Amu flipped the pancakes over just as she scrambled another couple of eggs. She turned the bacon over to its other side after stacking the cooked pancakes onto a separate plate.

Meanwhile in the family room, Ikuto stirred in his sleep. It was either the noise in the kitchen or the smell of the cooking, but Ikuto had woken up. Setting the twins on the couch with a blanket over them, he went to the kitchen. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and yawned as he followed his nose to the kitchen. He smiled a sleepy smile when he saw Amu making breakfast.

Amu glanced up and smiled warmly. "Morning, sunshine," she murmured quietly as to not wake the twins.

"Could say the same to you," Ikuto said, striding to the other side of the counter where he grabbed Amu's hips to pull her into a long, sweet kiss. He slanted his head to deepen the kiss, and Amu let him. For a while, anyway. The stove was still on, and she didn't want her house to burn down because of a kiss.

Amu smiled against his lips but pulled back since she had to plate the food. Shortly after she had set the table, the twins were already waddling into the kitchen. Ami and Hikaru were only three years old. Ami had brown hair, much like Amu's mother did, but she had bright golden eyes as Amu did. Hikaru had blonde hair like Ikuto's mother and gorgeous blue eyes that could rival Ikuto's. Ami was the more energetic of the two, whereas Hikaru was quiet and shy. The two both had their differences, but they were equally loved.

Ikuto lifted Ami into the air. "Hey, Princess. Guess what today is?"

Ami's face broke into a grin. "What?"

"Saturday!" Ikuto said in the most excited tone.

Ami squealed, and Ikuto laughed. Amu rolled her eyes. Whenever he was with Ami, he was so out of character. He became this daddy that would do anything for his baby girl. When it came to Hikaru, Ikuto was always shining with pride. He spoke a little more gently to Hikaru, seeing as how he was so much quieter than Ami, but he loved him the same nonetheless.

Amu picked Hikaru up to kiss his little lips and hug him. "How's my little man?"

Hikaru smiled shyly. "Happy."

"That's great," Amu cooed. "Mommy and Daddy have the day off today. You know what we're going to do?"

Hikaru blinked and asked, "No. What?"

"We're gonna play together all day," Amu said, smiling.

Hikaru's mouth formed an 'O'. "Really?"

When Amu nodded, Hikaru smiled and gave her a tight hug. Amu and Ikuto put the twins in their highchairs, and the family ate their breakfast together in peace and laughter. Saturdays and Sundays were their days off. Usually, when they went to work, they brought the twins with them anyway unless one of their friends wanted to spend the day with them, which happened more often than not. The schedule was the same for the weekdays.

By nine o'clock, the family was ready to leave the house. They tried to keep together as much as they could throughout the day. Both Amu and Ikuto taught dance at the studio, but most of the time, they just managed the place. They had some other dance instructors that they had hired, and that relieved some of the tension off of them. Their dance studio was quite popular, and they couldn't possible teach them all. While the two of them worked, Ami and Hikaru were kept in a playroom where Amu and Ikuto kept an eye on them. They went out for lunch together, and when the day was over, they all went home.

Their lives were relatively simple, but in their minds, it was their family that was important to them. Amu and Ikuto enjoyed watching their kids grow up, and they marveled at how they learned and loved each and every day. Amu smiled at Ikuto in thought across the table.

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Ikuto caught her gaze and smirked. "Daydreaming about me, dear?"

Amu blinked and raised an eyebrow. She grinned as she said, "Always, honey."

Ikuto smiled maliciously. "Maybe you can tell me all about them later."

"Kids in the room," Amu said, brushing off his comment and tucking into her food. But she looked up at Ikuto from her plate and gave him a wink, promising him something later.

After clearing the table, Amu decided it was time to give the kids their baths. She set the dishes in the dishwasher and picked Ami up while Ikuto picked Hikaru up. They took the kids to the bathroom upstairs where they stripped the twins' of their clothing and placed them into the bathtub. They giggled and squealed as their skin touched the warm water. Ikuto sat down next to Amu on the outside of the tub. Amu mixed in a little bubble bath into the water, and Ami was delighted when she saw bubbles arise from the water. Ikuto picked up a handful of bubbles and blew them into the air.

Hikaru stared at the bubble rain, and a smile appeared onto his face. Ami squealed again and tried to catch the bubbles. Amu and Ikuto began to laugh along when Hikaru burst into a giggle fit with Ami. After finishing up the bath, Ikuto went to go take a shower, and Amu dressed Ami up into a baby pink dress and tied her hair into pigtails. She put Hikaru into a blue sweatshirt and a pair of shorts. By the time Amu was finished dressing the kids, Ikuto had finished his shower, and she was ready to take one herself.

Amu finished showering and dressing by the time Ikuto had the twins in the car. He strapped them into their car seats in the back. Amu stepped into the passenger's seat.

"Daddy, where are we going?" Hikaru asked.

Ikuto smiled. "It's a secret."

Ami gasped. "Tell me!"

"Nope," Ikuto said. "You will just have to wait."

Ikuto closed the door and stepped into the driver's seat. He started the car and drove off the ranch property. He glanced at Amu from the side and took one hand off the steering wheel. He grasped Amu's hand in his and squeezed it. Amu smiled. She squeezed back.

. . .

Ami was piggybacking on Amu, and Hikaru on Ikuto. Amu and Ikuto had both taken the liberty to take off their shoes and roll up their jeans as soon as they got out of the car. They stepped out of the parking lot into the sand of the same familiar beach that they had gone to so often.

The two parents set their kids on the ground and let them run wild. Ami immediately went towards the water where she let the waves splash her feet. Hikaru stood next to Ikuto, grasping his leg. He was afraid of the water since the last time they were here, he got pushed back by a wave. Ikuto picked up his son and kissed his cheek. He carried him towards the water. Amu took a seat on the ground near the water and dug her feet into the sand. She watched her husband hold their son over the waters and let the waves gently lap his feet. She propped an elbow on her knee and leaned her head forwards on her hand.

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Ikuto set Hikaru down and let him splash around. He walked over to his wife and sat behind her, having his legs on either side of her body, hugging her close to his chest. He swept her hair to the side and over her left shoulder and leaned down to kiss the junction between her neck and right shoulder. Amu tilted her head to the side, and Ikuto trailed kisses up her neck to her jaw. From there, he took a hand and gently turned her face so he could kiss her lips.

Amu pulled back and leaned back so that her head rested on his shoulder. Ikuto squeezed her tightly and took a deep breath, inhaling her scent. Amu began humming a tune. She let her eyes close. She listened. The waves splashed against the shore, and she heard the distant laughter of two happy children. She heard seagulls and the soft wind blowing.

I'll love you for a thousand more

"What are you thinking about?" Ikuto asked, tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear.

"I'm listening," Amu said.

Ikuto laughed. "To what?"

"The beach, I suppose," Amu said, laughing a bit herself.

"Strange," Ikuto said. He ran his hands from her shoulders down to her hands where he wound his fingers through hers. "What does it sound like?"

"Like…a beach," Amu said, breathing a laugh. "Utau always says that."

Ikuto rolled his eyes. "You know, she called yesterday."

Amu perked at this. "Really? What did she say?"

Ikuto grinned. "She and Kukai are coming back from Europe. She said she had a surprise, but Kukai kind of ruined it when he practically started having a heart attack over the phone the other day."

Amu scoffed. "What's the surprise?"

"Why should I tell you?"

"Because," Amu said defiantly, "you know, and I want to know too."

"What a childish reason," Ikuto deadpanned.

"Tell me," Amu insisted.

Ikuto shook his head. "No. Utau may just murder me in my sleep. And I'm sure Rima wouldn't hesitate helping her."

"She's pregnant!" Amu yelled suddenly, startling Ikuto.

Ikuto scrunched his eyebrows. "How…how did you know?"

Amu grinned mischievously. "I didn't. You just told me."

His jaw dropped. "That is so not fair."

"Who's childish now?" Amu sneered.

Ikuto pouted. "At least act surprised when she tells you?"

"That won't be a problem," Amu said.

Ikuto just laughed as he listened to Amu slipping into a long rant about how she was going to plan the cutest baby shower in the world.

One step closer

. . .

The family left the beach before the sun began to set. They had reached home, and the parents were planning on resting while the kids took their nap, but their plans went downhill when the twins insisted that they get to play in the backyard for a little bit. Their perfect Saturday was coming to an end. Amu stood on the back patio, leaning against the railing and watching her husband pick up her child to place her on the slide. The wind picked up slightly and blew her long rose colored hair back. The sunlight caught on her necklace, the same necklace given to her by Ikuto many years ago, making it glint.

The backyard was vast and covered a large area of land. Ikuto had kept his word from when she was seventeen, and it amazed her every single day. Love like hers didn't happen to everyone. Ikuto once told her that they would be living on this ranch, and here they were. Happily married and living a dream. Amu stepped back into the house and saw that her little boy was sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for her.

"Hikaru, do you want to play outside?" Amu cooed, picking up her three-year-old son.

He nodded and held up his arms.

Amu picked him up and held him on her hip. Before going outside, though, Amu went into the fridge to pick up two sippy cups of apple juice. She placed them on a tray along with some animal crackers, and then she headed outside. Amu set the tray on the patio table and walked towards the playground to join her husband.

Ikuto looked up from what he was doing. He saw Amu walking towards them, and she just took his breath away. She wasn't wearing anything out of the ordinary, just jeans and a sweatshirt, but the sight of her made his heart swell. God, she was perfect.

Amu sat down on a swing and placed Hikaru on her lap, having him straddle her legs while he faced her. She gently rocked back and forth. Hikaru kept a tight grip on her shirt. He looked tired. It had been a long day, after all. She glanced over at her daughter. Amu wondered vaguely how her daughter had so much energy. She had been jumping around all day, yet she wasn't tired.

It was only when it really started to get dark outside that the four of them decided to head inside. It was around the twins' bedtime, seeing how they had fallen asleep on the couches in the living room. The parents changed the kids into their pajamas and put them to bed, safe and sound, with a kiss on the forehead goodnight.

Amu and Ikuto decided to settle into bed for the night also. Ikuto slipped on a navy blue t-shirt and grey sweats, and Amu wore an oversized bedtime t-shirt. They both had their bedside lamps on, and Amu was cuddled into Ikuto's side, playing with his navy blue t-shirt. Amu was strangely silent as Ikuto rubbed her back. The silence bothered him.

He asked, "Amu, what are you thinking about?"

Amu sighed. "Utau finally decided to have a baby."

"Yeah," Ikuto said. He was confused. "Is that a bad thing?"

"No!" Amu said quickly. "Not at all! I'm just saying…"

"Amu, what's wrong?"

"Nothing," Amu said, shaking her head.

"Bullshit," Ikuto said.

Amu bit her lip. She got out of bed and went to the huge walk-in closet that they had in their room. Amu searched the top shelf and found the black box she was looking for. She pulled it off the shelf and sat down on the bed again by Ikuto's side. Ikuto glanced at the familiar box that she pulled out. It's been years since he even looked at the box's contents.

"Memories," Amu murmured. "I was silent because I was remembering."

Ikuto scrunched his eyebrows. He knew that she got like this at times. Sometimes she just remembers things from the past, and when she did, she would be silent. It wasn't as bad as it was years ago. She had healed significantly. But it still happened from time to time. The post traumatic stress disorder would never fully leave her, and these were the signs that it still lingered.

"Hey," Ikuto said, sitting up and pulled her into his lap. Amu leaned her head on his shoulder. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," Amu said. "I just want to look through this."

Ikuto nodded. "Let's see what we have."

Amu opened the box and revealed a myriad of items. Most of them were pictures. She picked up the pile of pictures and looked through them. Ikuto laughed as he saw the picture Amu stopped at. It was of him and Daichi in the backyard when they were very little. They were playing around in the sprinkler. Amu flipped to the next picture, which was of her and her mother when they lived in Brazil for that one month.

Amu laughed. "I remember this. My mom had an assignment in Brazil, and we were there for only a month. I think I was homeschooled that year, actually. We kept moving around, so it was a pain signing up for school after school."

"Brazil," Ikuto repeated. "I think you mentioned it before…did you have to speak Spanish?"

Amu rolled her eyes. "Their official language is Portuguese, you know."

"How the hell am I supposed to know?" Ikuto asked defensively. "Next picture."

Amu giggled and flipped the pictures. The two of them sat for hours looking through the various pictures. There was one of her and Utau at her bachelorette party. Utau held a shot glass up into the air, and Amu held her martini glass into her hand, laughing a bit too hard—mostly because she was drunk. Another picture was of Ikuto in middle school. He looked awkward, standing on the stage for his violin recital. Kiseki and Yoru made their appearance in a picture together—they were fighting over a stuffed giraffe. Amu remembered when she showed Kiseki that she had this picture. He flipped out. But of course, she was never going to throw it away.

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Amu and Ikuto laughed and reminisced about the good times that had gone by in their lives. The phrases "Oh! Remember when…" and "That was so much fun" came up often in their nostalgic conversation. They were lucky to have the friends, the family, and the lives that they did.

The last picture Amu stumbled upon was of their old dance team. Ikuto and Amu were both silenced as they soaked the image into their minds. The eleven of them stood in a line, arms over each other's shoulders. They had just won the dance competition of Ikuto's senior year in high school. The kids that once were in the picture were grinning like idiots, and Ikuto remembered the feeling. He felt like he was on top of the world. Amu swallowed thickly. She had felt triumphant. She had risen above. This was one memory she would never forget.

"We were so young," Ikuto murmured. "And stupid."

Amu chuckled softly. "But you have to be young and stupid before you get to be old and wise."

Ikuto raised an eyebrow. "Where did you get that from?"

Amu shrugged. "My quote calendar."

Ikuto stared at her for a second before they both burst into laughter. The clock read 1:39 AM. Time had gone by so quickly without them knowing it. Amu put the items back into the box and slipped it underneath the bed. Shifting underneath the covers, Amu settled onto her side, and Ikuto lied down behind her, holding her close.


"Hm?" he replied.

"Promise me something."

He paused, and then answered, "What is it?"

"Promise me that you'll be here forever," Amu whispered, barely coherent.

Ikuto furrowed his brows. He knew what she was feeling. And he also knew exactly what to say. He would say it every day for the rest of his life if he had to. "I promise, Amu."

Amu seemed to relax. "Thank you," she whispered.

"Now promise me something," Ikuto said.

Amu turned around so that she was cuddle up next to his chest. "Anything."

"Promise me that you'll be here forever, too," Ikuto said.

Amu nodded quickly. "Of course." She looked up to see that he was staring down at her. She looked into his eyes and said, confidently, "I love you."

Ikuto pressed a kiss against her forehead. "I've always loved you."

They just lay there for the longest time, and eventually, Ikuto felt Amu's breathing slow down, signaling that she was falling asleep. He leaned over her when he was sure she was asleep to turn off the table lamp, engulfing the room in darkness.

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Ikuto held his wife close to his heart as he felt himself begin to fall asleep. Amu wasn't perfect, and neither was he. It was never going to be easy, but it wasn't going to be impossible. Life was not permanent. He knew that they were going to grow old, and their children would grow up. But at least they were going to be together until they were grey and wrinkly. And one day, they will pass. Life is short, limited, measurable.

But their love wasn't. No, their love was infinite.


And this is the end of Complicated. Thank you so much for reading this until the very last word. I would like you guys to read this author's note because I cannot reach out to you guys any other way. I don't even know any of you, but you have supported me and cheered me on and pointed out mistakes and helped me grow.

If you take a look—my first chapter is horrendous. It's so…juvenile. Now, looking at the last few chapters, I can see that I have grown as a writer, thanks to you guys. I do not have the heart to change the first few chapters, but perhaps I will later.

You guys will probably forget this a few minutes after you read this, but I want you to know that even if you live on the other side of the world, or even here in the U.S. with me, I am grateful for the time you gave up to read this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I must have said that about a thousand times already, but I cannot stress enough how much I mean it. I enjoyed writing this. At times, I grew frustrated, but I finished it. And I'm glad I did. It's a wonderful feeling.

I still have a long way to go. I'm still only seventeen. Anyway, as always, tell me your thoughts on the chapter for the last time. Love you all.


Tsuki's Angel