Here's To Things Gone Wrong
Summary: Two weeks after victory, Misaki is told that she can't get the proper date with Oujirou. Who wants to date their future niece? Years later, what makes Oujirou decide to change his mind?
There really is no excuse as to why it's taken me so long. But at least I did update, yeah!
Love you guys, promiiise:]
Anyway, don't own characters, and I'm not The Secret Handshake, so I don't own the song either
Nothing Can Change That
And all I've ever really wanted
Was just to move away with you
Fall in love by the beach, the sun is shining
I think that you'd like it too
Misaki was so gracious that her mother was finally able to walk on her own. She had spent years away from her daughter just to prove herself, to create a program that wouldn't entitle the user to pick up their legs with their hands or to confine them to a wheelchair all their life.
And Angelic Layer finally brought in enough revenue to not just show the medical boards that it was a system worth checking into, but was able to pay pro bono for at least five hundred patients. Shuuko being the first, and of course, the guinea pig, for the transplant and surgery.
And today was another celebratory dinner for that occasion, three months after Misaki had won her championship title.
Everyone had gathered at a tiny restaurant near their home, Icchan even pulled out a chair for the walking Shuuko, he smiled the entire time causing the mother to blush.
She was always used to being doted on in the laboratory, but now that she was out in society and her coworkers weren't forced to keep her comfortable, it was a new prospect to deal with.
She did love them, all of them. And they obviously loved her, not merely as the deus of Athena.
For Misaki, this was her first time seeing some of her friends, for she had to be completely involved with her studies. Since Angelic Layer was out of season right now, and she had the ultimate partner to train with, school was having to come first.
When Kaede and Sai sat down, Misaki couldn't contain her excitement, and pardoned herself from her mother and ran over to the two girls to exchange hugs and sentiments. They were the big sisters she never had, and how she terribly missed them.
"Hey Misaki, how's school going for you?" Of course Sai would be the one to bring that up.
"Oh, well, I do my best."
The three could hear a giggle coming from the doorway, "Misaki, you're being humble. You're getting the highest grades in the class, that's what Kotaro complains about all the time—hey!"
The three girls, including the blushing Misaki, turned to see the said boy covering up a young Hatoko's mouth.
"She uh, I don't—I don't complain Misaki!" He stammered out.
Kotaro was forced to drop his sisters face from his grasp as his girlfriend, Tamayo put him in a headlock. "Don't worry about him, Misakichi, he's just being stupid again."
"Good to know some things don't change, eh Kaede?" Sai interjected. "But I'm so proud to hear you're top of your class, Misaki!"
The girl in question blushed. Again. It really was too easy to make her do that.
"Oh, as I said. I try my best. Mother really does help me a lot, as does my Aunt Shoko! And of course, Icchan helps when he can."
The two older girls offered their help if it was ever needed and the group sat down, as the food was about to be served.
And that was when Oujirou made his appearance. Misaki looked towards her hands in her lap, to her best friend that sat next to her, anywhere else but at the boy. It would be rude of her to excuse herself so close to his arrival and right when the food was coming.
And boy, was she hungry. Or perhaps not as much anymore. She realized her appetite was swiftly waning.
Oujirou offered a quick 'good evening' and gave Shuuko, the object of his childhood crush a hug for her successes, a handshake to his brother, and sat down on the other side of the table.
It still wasn't far enough, if you asked Misaki. But she wouldn't dare say a word or complain. She could get through this. She had to, for her mother.
The food came, and many laughs were shared. Stories about the recent games, Icchan of course being silly and played the victim to a bunch of Oujirou's jokes.
Oujirou who never really talked a lot as it was unless he felt something needed to be said, kept to himself, but was still amicable towards the group. Misaki, who was normally the open book of the group, talked when spoken to. She rarely put in her two-cents and instead kept her conversation to Hatoko who sat on her left.
Her mother, which was at the head of the table and directly to Misaki's right, stood up at the end of dessert.
"I just wanted to thank all of you, for supporting me over the years. For letting me back in your lives when all I'd done was run away," she looked at Misaki for this, "And for helping to push me when I felt I had no more left in me. It all means so much, and now look at what we've accomplished."
All of her guests cheered, Tamayo letting out a loud 'whoop!', and there were smiles all around. They all knew how shy Shuuko Suzuhara was, and so to get up and make such a speech was truly astounding. Key phrase there was: 'get up.'
No one looked happier than Ichiro Mihara though. He was so proud of the woman that sat next to him. He didn't look at her as a doctor would look at their patient after overcoming an intense neurological disease, no. This look was reserved for those special moments when someone you truly loved did something great.
He stood up next.
"I know that we had talked about this a few times, and over the last three months, this has been the most prevalent thing on my mind. I cant hide anymore how much I care about you, as I could my ideas. Shuuko Suzuhara, forgive me for putting you on the spot," he dropped to one knee, "But will you marry me? That is, if Misaki is okay with this?"
Everyone, including her mother looked at her. Misaki's throat tightened. Everything clicked into place. Her discussion with Oujirou three months prior, how they avoided each other, those days when Icchan would stay over…
"Of.. of course I agree with this! It's fantastic! It's…"
But at that point no one else was listening, Shuuko was already nodding yes and cheers were further spread.
What a joyous day indeed.
Misaki's attention was set to her lap yet again. She vaguely felt a hand on her arm as Hatoko tried to comfort her, but right now it would be in vain.
She knew she should be happy for her mother, after doing so much for her, and while her actions didn't always clearly display her love, she felt it. But right now, she finally wanted the sadness to cover her like a blanket.
Misaki finally gathered the courage to look over at Oujirou, who had his attention unwavering set to the couple. His face was like a mask of stone, never even flinching.
How could he do it? Did it affect him too? Was she the only one feeling this way?
Hatoko whispered an, "I'm sorry, Misaki."
Misaki just looked at her best friend. And a smile spread across her feature. "Don't worry about me, I'll get over it. My mother is finally happy, I should be too. And I'm going to have a father that is great. And an uncle that…"
But she never got to finish her sentence. She had no idea what she was even going to say. That she loved? Not as a family member, but as a person. That she couldn't have? No, hat didn't seem to fit either. Her mind was swirling in confusion, and she had no idea where to start. She needed to grasp onto something quick, or she was sure she was going to faint.
What had stopped her though wasn't her lack of train of thought, but was her object of affection had stood up himself. "Let me be the first to congratulate both of you. I couldn't be any happier for my brother, he really… found himself something special here.
"However, not to lower the mood or anything, in fact I want to raise it, I'm moving away. As we all have heard, the Angelic Layer has spread to more than just Japan and we need to accommodate for such, including setting up new headquarters. I'm one of the few qualified, and have been offered spots in China, and so, I will be leaving."
She really couldn't handle it anymore. Misaki finally let a choked sob come from her that most would confuse as one for being so happy. Why wouldn't she be? Her soon to be uncle was going to be so successful, just as her new father.
Uncle. Such a wrong title for him.
Tamayo even got up and walked to Misaki. "Misakichi. I…I need to go to the bathroom, I think you should accompany me."
"Thank you Tamayo." The brokenhearted girl stood up, her blue eyes not landing on anybody. She hardly had the courage. The left the room and only a few would notice, the celebration was too much for anyone to keep tabs on one person throughout.
On their trek to the ladies room, Tamayo grabbed her hand and squeezed. "I hope you know, I don't really need to go, I just figured you'd need some room to breathe. I know Misakichi pretty well, don't I?"
Misaki couldn't help but laugh a little. Tamayo was just too much. "Yes, you do. I want to thank you so much, I wouldn't know how else to..get away." She squeezed her friends hand back a little, but even Tamayo could tell it was half-hearted.
"Don't sweat it, girl! It's what I'm here for."
The two stepped in the doorway and Misaki glanced towards the mirror at her reflection. Her blue eyes threatened to tear up again, turning her skin a blotchy red. Her hair was already starting to mat down to her face, not that she had a lot of hair anyway.
She went to the sink and splashed her face with some cold water, hoping that it would snap her out of this melancholy daze.
She needed to find that focus. Her mother was getting married. She was probably going to be a flower girl, and she'd get to wear a nice dress.
Would Oujirou be there? Or would he already be in China? Would he make time to show? Where would he sit? Surely not next to her…
No, this wasn't how she needed to think. School. Angelic Layer. Her friends. They would support her, even if they didn't know she needed the support.
"I'm ready to go back, Tamayo. Thank you again." Misaki etched a smile upon her face again, just to show her how ready she was to make her appearance again. She really could do this.
Her fingers went towards her pocket, how could she forget? She had Hikaru settled in there. As the pads of her fingertips grazed across Hikaru's hair, the almost sticky material of her clothing getting caught.
Yeah. She could do this. She was strong.
They sat back down at the table, coming in the middle of a debate of what next season held for the cherished game.
"Do you think they'll be allowed to get rid of the first generation Angels? It's what I've grown up with, but I've met a new crowd of fans that think it's unfair that Blanche gets a special move."
Ichiro just smiled. "No, we couldn't make you give Blanche up. If they think it's unfair, then they just need to practice harder, isn't that right Misaki? You beat her on your own."
Misaki reeled back, not expecting to get thrown into this right away. "Oh yes, you're a formidable foe, and they need to learn to get better. It's more unfair to make you lower your standards to them."
And so the discussion continued for awhile, Misaki trying her best not to look at Oujirou, and he clearly had no intention of making contact with her. That was for the best though, she concluded. If he looked at her, she had no idea what would happen.
It was finally time for them to leave, the sun already set hours ago, and so the chilled night air greeted them as they walked to their cars. Shuuko and Misaki personally greeted each person individually and thanked them for coming.
It was a miracle that Oujirou had excused himself before this, so Misaki had nothing to worry about. As far as she was concerned, he was on a plane to China by now. She had at least a year before she was to see him at the wedding, and he'd be far too busy to visit before then.
She was fine. She could do this. She was strong.
The last group filtered out, consisting of Hatoko, Tamayo, and Kotaro, so her mother let them stay and talk for a last few minutes as she made her way back to the car.
"Thank you guys for being there for me. I appreciate you guys so much."
Her friends all smiled back at her. Hatoko grabbed her hands, "You are the strongest person I know, Misaki. You can do anything."
They all turned to leave, Misaki walking in the back of the group, letting her shoes scuff the road.
"You know, you shouldn't drag your feet like that."
That voice. His voice. He was supposed to be gone.
"Ou—Oujirou. What're you doing here? I thought you…left." Misaki whispered the last part, her friends not even noticing that she had stopped walking with them.
"I wanted to say goodbye to you in private. You won't see me again for awhile, and I thought it unfair to put you along with the group. You're… You're much more special to me than that, Misaki. Do you finally realize why I can only think of you as a sister?"
Misaki nodded in response, that memory cursing her thoughts for the past moments. "I understand clearly now."
"Then you also understand why I need to leave. It's not right to stay here. I want you to know though, that I will always think about you, Misaki. And I'll be keeping up with you and Hikaru through whatever you do."
With that, he kissed her cheek and walked off to the shadows.
Her mother called her over to the car, and Misaki ran and jumped in the back seat.
It was all so not fair. Did he really need to tell her that? She was fine thinking he wanted nothing to do with her.
She wanted to see him again.