Lux-Pain (Continuation for Edward Ending)
Written By: Ryu-Takehshi
It was all over. Edward Steiner was defeated by Atsuki. Everything was at peace in Kisaragi City…
On the night of the school festival, Atsuki Saijo sat alone on one of the benches in the quad of Kisaragi High. His classmates… No, his friends were still inside the school making preparations as Atsuki and a few other students waited.
Just then, a dark figure approached Atsuki. The silver-haired boy stood up and followed; he knew this man.
"Are you ready to go Atsuki?" Liu Yee asked.
"Go…? What do you mean?" Atsuki replied. He was definitely surprised by the question but his composure and calm expression remained on his face.
"Nola and Rei need us back at Fort. You didn't think that you'd stay here forever, did you?"
Atsuki looked down. "Of course not, what do you take me for? It's just, why did they choose now?"
"Nola needed time to erase some of your records and make it possible to leave without anyone knowing."
"But…" Atsuki glanced back at the school.
Akira Mido had just stepped out and noticed Atsuki standing there. "Hey Saijo, c'mon let's get inside!" he waved.
"Sure," Atsuki called back, "I'll be there in a second!"
Akira shrugged as Atsuki turned back to face Liu once again. "You know what…" he began.
Liu Yee looked up at him; it was obvious what was coming next. "Atsuki Saijo, you're not actually thinking of…"
"I'm sorry Liu… I'm sorry to Rei and Nola… and Natsuki and Aya. But," Atsuki sighed, "I quit Fort."
And with nothing more than a simple "Bye" Atsuki walked back to the quad and entered the school with Akira; leaving, not just Liu Yee, but the Fort operation as well.
Liu Yee's cell phone rang suddenly. "Nola, Rei… what do we do now?"
Natsuki's voice was clearly heard through the phone saying, "Leave Atsuki alone!"
"You can't be serious…" Liu protested, "He's a vital part of this organization!"
"But…" Natsuki replied; sadness and anger building up in her voice. "Atsuki never had a chance to live like a normal kid! It's unfair to take him away from people his own age!"
Her voice became soft, "That's how both Atsuki and I feel. The only person that's close to our age here is Nola! Why can't we give Atsuki this chance to make up for what he lost?"
Natsuki was nearly in tears, "He made friends there! Nola and I met some of them and they're really nice! We can't take that away from Atsuki; we just can't!"
Nola sighed, "But how can we do that? He has a special power that sets him aside from everyone else."
"Atsuki has been hiding it this whole time!" Natsuki pressed on, "He's really good at deciding what and what not to do! Why can't you trust him?"
"Chief Rei…" Liu began, "What do you think we should do?"
Rei thought for a moment, and then nodded. "Not to worry everyone… I know what to do."
"I hope so…" Liu sighed as he hung up.
Meanwhile, Atsuki and Akira were walking around the school festival. "We did a damn good job!" Akira beamed.
"Yeah…" Atsuki agreed, "you guys did great."
"Hey Saijo, you're phone's ringing." Akira noted. "I'll be with the others; try to catch up, okay?"
"Alright…" Atsuki reached into his pocket and retrieved his cell phone to answer it. "Hello?"
"Atsuki… Atsuki Saijo…"
"Chief Rei… I take it you hear from Liu Yee?"
"So, are you sending someone to bring me back?" Atsuki asked reluctantly.
"No, I'm promoting you…"
"What…? But, I quit!"
"Let me finish… I'm promoting you to Fort's agent specializing in Kisaragi City."
Atsuki was speechless.
"Whenever something happens there, you will be representing Fort. It is a responsibility you must take onto yourself."
Atsuki couldn't help but smile at Chief Rei's generosity; not knowing that Natsuki was the real reason why he was now allowed to stay in Kisaragi.
It took a moment for Atsuki to re-collect himself. "Thank you sir…" he replied.
"But keep in mind that we will call on you if and when we need you."
"I will sir…" Atsuki smiled as he hung up and ran off in search of Akira and the others.
"It's about time Tardy Maclateson." Akira laughed. "You're not just late for school but dances too?"
"Ease off Akira!" Mika scolded.
"Yeah, it's not Saijo's fault that someone decided to randomly call him!" Rui added.
"Okay, okay… sorry! Let's all just try and have fun!" Akira smiled.
"That's more like it!" Yayoi laughed.
Soon, it was time for the fireworks as the six stared up at the sky and watched. "There goes another month…" Ryo muttered.
"Really…?" Mika wondered, "It's only been a month?!"
"I know…" Ryo smiled, "hard to believe, right?"
"Of course…" Rui nodded, "So much happened!"
Some of the friends' glance dropped from the fireworks to the ground. "Like Mako…" Mika sighed, "Everyone was so upset…"
"There was that whole Mr. Yamato incident…" Akira shivered. "Way too scary…"
"And Mr. Mays tried to commit suicide…" Yayoi said as she smiled softly at Atsuki, "But… you saved him Saijo!"
"And all three of you went to the hospital…" Atsuki muttered looking at Mika, Akira, and Rui.
Akira was the first to look away, "M-Mika was in danger… I had to help!"
"And my situation was totally unrelated!" Rui protested, "I just had a random fainting spell." Rui sighed, "That was around the time with…" she looked down, "Kei…"
Atsuki looked over to her. She noticed and smiled back at him. "But Kei was really you Saijo. He was like my guardian spirit."
Ryo grimaced as a thought that came into his mind. Atsuki used his Sigma and realized the reason.
"Mr. Takano…" Atsuki said looking at Ryo.
Ryo looked back at him and smiled, "How'd you…?" he shook his head, "Was it that obvious?" He sighed, "It's just too bad. Did you guys hear that Ms. Hino died shortly after at the police station?"
"I heard that she went crazy!" Yayoi mentioned, "So many teachers are gone… in just a month…"
Atsuki looked at all of his friends' faces. Each one had something to be upset about and Atsuki realized that he had been part of it all. He could've told them, but didn't; he was apparently still loyal to Fort. But, he couldn't stand to see them like this.
"Well…" he began, "Not everything that happened in this month was bad…"
Yayoi smiled, "That's right; I mean, Saijo came in the beginning of this month, right?!"
"Hey yeah, that's true!" Akira noticed, "This ends your first month at Kisaragi, Saijo!"
The atmosphere began to lighten as the happier memories of this October entered their minds and erased the sad shinen.
"Like when we went to Sweet Ring…" Akira smiled, "I really gotta thank you for that!"
"I didn't want you to go alone…"
"What about when we went to Triple Step with Nami and Melody," Yayoi remembered, "You had fun, right Saijo?"
"Of course it was fun…"
"Remember those pictures of Naruse that leaked out?! I laughed so hard!" Mika smiled, barely containing her laughter.
"Uhh…" Atsuki paused.
"Oh sorry…!" Mika nodded, "You don't have to reply to that Saijo!"
"That reminds me Saijo…" Ryo started, "Did you enjoy those books that I lent to you? I really hope you did!"
"Yeah, I liked them. You have a real talent for finding books for people."
He shrugged modestly. "It's nothing really… I'd be nothing without help from Ai…"
Rui laughed, "It only seems like yesterday that I dragged you all around the school, right?"
"I wouldn't use the word dragging…" Atsuki replied. "Besides, that's how I met everyone."
"Yeah," Rui nodded as she glanced at Mika, "Just like your first encounter with little Ms. Reporter over there!"
"Oh whatever…!" Mika rolled her eyes, "It was just a joke!"
Atsuki smiled, their shinen played a memory of his first day when Mika said: "Atsuki Saijo and Rui Yamase… together?! No way…! This just in: Rui Yamase and Atsuki Saijo were seen kissing!"
"Right," Rui continued, "Then you met Akira and he was nothing but rude to you!"
"Hey!" Akira exclaimed, "I didn't know him then!"
Atsuki remembered Akira's shinen on that day was filled with fear that Atsuki was an enemy or a threat; but Atsuki didn't mention anything about that.
Ryo sighed, "Rui just made our first meeting the strangest thing in the world, remember Saijo?"
Atsuki recalled what he meant by reading his shinen. On his first day in the café when Rui said, in the strangest voice: "Hey, Ryo Unami! Woncha come on over here for a sec!" Atsuki laughed as soon as he remembered and Ryo smiled down at him.
"We met up in the Art Room, and then again through Nami and Melody." Yayoi smiled, "I was so surprised that she knew you!"
Yayoi's shinen that day said that Atsuki reminded her of Arthur and she wanted him to join the art club; Atsuki remembered his first day very clearly. He was just about to reply to all of them when…
"Alright students," Ms. Aoi said into the microphone, "It's time for the bonfire dance!"
Couples began to form as the slow-danced to the song that was playing. Even Takuya Inoue and Sayuri Makino were seen dancing as the six friends stood awkwardly with each other. But, as usual, Mika and Rui broke their silence.
"Saijo," Yayoi smiled, "Do you want to dance?"
"No way," Mika exclaimed, "I wanna dance with Saijo!"
"Are you kidding?!" Rui joined in, "Saijo's dancing with me!"
Atsuki looked at each girl's face as they fought over him; powerless to do anything.
Akira pulled Ryo over and whispered, "Yo Ryo, it looks like Saijo needs our help…"
"I think you're right…" Ryo nodded as the two boys rushed over.
"Hey Mika, I'll dance with you…" Akira pulled Mika's arm; practically dragging her away from Atsuki.
"B-but Akira…!" She put in little effort to fight back; she was also planning on dancing with Akira anyway.
"Hey Rui, why don't we dance too…?" Ryo offered as he pulled Rui over as well.
"H-hey, hold on Ryo!" Rui protested as she reluctantly began to dance with him.
"U-umm…" Yayoi muttered as she watched her two friends dance off with the boys.
"Do you still want to dance?" Atsuki asked, offering his hand.
She looked up at him; shocked. "A-alright…" she nodded as she took the gesture.
"Thanks…" Atsuki whispered to Akira and Ryo.
"No problem Atsuki!" Akira smiled.
Atsuki gave him a quizzical look.
"Oh did I surprise you?" Akira laughed, "Sorry but… shouldn't we all call each other by our first names? I mean, we're all friends here right?"
"Yeah…" Atsuki nodded, "Thanks Akira… Ryo…"
Suddenly, the bark of a dog was heard; followed by a loud voice that exclaimed, "Hey Bro! Oh, no way… you're dancing with Yayoi?!" Nami Kamishiro rushed over to Atsuki and Yayoi to break them a part.
"Hey Bro," she beamed as she stood between Atsuki and her sister, "I wanted to say goodbye, so when are you leaving?"
"L-leaving…?" Yayoi wondered. Mika, Ryo, Rui, and Akira stopped dancing to listen.
"Are you going somewhere, Atsuki?" Akira asked.
"You know what I mean, right Atsuki?" Nami nodded. "You can tell what I'm thinking…"
The shinen that Atsuki saw was a flashback of the night Nami told him: "You're like a hero out of a comic book! My very own Hero! You're that hero that will do what he needs to, then, when everyone is praising him, leaves. I guess it's too much trouble to ask you to stay, but I really wish you could… So, even though you're going to leave, Atsuki, I just wanted you to know that!"
"Atsuki, where are you going?" Mika wanted to know; (as did everyone else).
Atsuki shook his head as he bent down in front of Nami so that they were eye-to-eye; just like an older brother would do to his younger sister. He put his hand on her head and smiled, "Don't worry Nami," he began, (though, it was clear that he wasn't just talking to her but to everyone), "I'm not going anywhere for a long time!"
Nami's face lit up and a happy yellow shinen grew in her mind. "For real, Atsuki…?"
"I promise…" he nodded.
Though no one understood but the two telepaths, everyone smiled as if a burden had been lifted; a burden that no one would ever really know of in entirety.
The six watched the last of the fireworks and then parted. Atsuki was content with how that night had gone. He was glad that he could stay at Kisaragi and that he wouldn't be getting calls from Fort any time soon; or so he thought…
The next Monday, Atsuki walked out of his house only to find Ryo waiting for him. "Let's get to school Atsuki!" he smiled as the two walked in the direction of Kisaragi High.
Ryo paused for a moment, and then suddenly gave out a loud grunt. "Aww Man! Not again!" Atsuki stopped and stared, Ryo's shinen showed that he had forgotten his school bag inside Tohodo.
"I take it that you have to go…" Atsuki nodded.
"It's cool how well you know me Atsuki." Ryo laughed as he began to run back in the direction they had come. "I'll meet you at school!" he waved.
Atsuki shook his head as he continued on his way to school; he had actually made friends on a mission. He was surprised but had no regrets; he liked Kisaragi, and was friends with everyone there.
Atsuki took a detour; he wasn't anywhere near being late because Ryo began waking him up earlier and earlier in an attempt to get used to the morning, as Aoi had mentioned; Atsuki really didn't mind. He had enough time to walk around the entire city and still be able to hang around the café at school.
He passed by the post office and Mr. Enokida held Kee-chan's arm up from inside the window. Mei Lin waved her fan at him when he went by Pumpkin Witch; and Yuzi gave him a smile once their eyes met.
When he walked by was the police station, he smiled; for someone who was apparently considered a 'good guy', he had way too many trips in and out of that station.
"Good Morning Saijo, off to school I see!" a happy voice greeted him.
Atsuki looked up and found Yui Yamase smiling at him. "Oh, good morning Yui, anything interesting happen?"
"Not really," she shrugged, "But Aya told me to ask you whenever we need some help; you'd better be ready, okay?"
"Sure…" he nodded, "I guess I'll be on my way…"
"Oh Atsuki, one more thing," Yui called. "Give my sister a call, would you? I think she fell asleep at Company F again!"
"Alright," Atsuki replied without turning around. "I'll have Ryo wake her up!"
"Thanks!" Yui waved as Atsuki walked away.
After calling Ryo, Atsuki's next side-trip was to Rainbow Hill. He noticed Arthur Mays staring out into the distance just like the first time they met.
Arthur felt Atsuki's presence and turned to face him. "Well, if it isn't my Guardian Angel!" he joked.
"Hey Mr. Mays…"
"Are you on your way to school already?"
"Yeah, I thought I'd take a walk around town before heading off to school."
"Are you reflecting on something, perhaps?" his art teacher inquired.
"Yeah, on my first month in Kisaragi, I guess…"
"And many more months to come, right…?"
"Well, I shouldn't hold you up or you won't have anymore time to walk around. Enjoy your reflection Saijo!" he waved as Atsuki walked off once again.
Arthur was right, Atsuki was running out of time to roam around; but, luckily there were only three more places he wanted to get to and he only had enough time to hold down a two-minute conversation in each place.
Next was Meiko Elementary School. Atsuki stood by the entrance and waited until someone he knew passed by.
"Oh, it's you: Nami's Bro!" Tomo, Nami's friend and classmate recognized Atsuki right away and smiled at him.
"Hey," he nodded. "Where's Nami?"
"She was chosen to show the new girl around. She's inside the school right now."
"Alright then, thanks anyway." Atsuki waved at Tomo before turning to the direction of his next destination.
It was none other than the Seagull Television Station. Razzly spotted him and waved. "Hey, you're that boy that Nozaki's always with; Atsuki Saijo, right?"
Atsuki nodded as Razzly went on, "You just missed her, sorry. She left early for school today." She smiled, "Something about a new scoop on the new teachers at Kisaragi High!"
"New teachers…?" Atsuki wondered to himself as he took his leave, "Thanks Ms. Razzly!"
"My pleasure," she waved.
Atsuki's final destination was Sweet Ring, Kenichi Mido's pastry restaurant. Akira could be seen sleeping on a table from the shop window, and it seemed that Kenichi didn't do anything to wake his son up.
As Atsuki walked through the door, Kenichi smiled widely. "Well, if it isn't Atsuki Saijo! You should teach my son how to wake up early like you!" As Kenichi went on, he took a rag and whipped it right beside Akira's ear.
Akira woke up with a shocked expression on his face and flour on his cheeks. "W-what…? What's going on? W-welcome… oh, it's just Atsuki… What're you doing here?"
"It's time for school…" Kenichi said to his son as he handed him the rag to wipe his face.
"N-No way, already…?" Akira asked, still half-asleep. He looked down and noticed that he was already wearing his uniform and was ready to go. "Did… Did I fall asleep on the counter or something?"
Kenichi sighed and shook his head, "Well Saijo, I'm leaving my idiot-son in your hands for today…"
Atsuki laughed as he and Akira walked out of the door. Akira was clutching his head because of the pain of getting up to quickly as the two approached the quad. Ryo was sitting by the fountain, apparently waiting for them.
"Atsuki…?" he said with shock, "You only got here now? Did you take a side-trip or something?"
Atsuki nodded as the three of them walked into school, "You could say that…"
Just then, they ran into Rui and Mika. "Hey boys, did you hear? We have two brand new teachers starting today!" Rui exclaimed "They're filling in for Mr. Yamato, Mr. Takano, and Ms. Hino!"
Mika was just about to add something when the bell rang. "Looks like we made it right on time…!" Akira smiled as they walked to class.
Ms. Aoi waited for them to settle down and then began the class. She wasn't the new teacher everyone was expecting.
On the lunch break, Yayoi met up with them in the café. "Atsuki, did you see the new history and math teacher?"
Atsuki shrugged, "No… why?"
"He looks like he's related to you!" she exclaimed. "You guys have, like, the same eyes or something!"
"No way, seriously…?" Rui wondered. "That's weird!"
"Do you know him…?" Mika asked, intrigued because of her reporter's attitude.
"I don't know," Atsuki answered fairly.
"Hey, we could check out the teacher's lounge before break ends." Akira offered.
"Nah," Yayoi shook her head, "he already left to the classroom and the door's locked. But, we could check out the Nurse's Office. There's someone there to replace Ms. Hino too!"
"Then let's go…" Ryo nodded as all of them made their way to Ms. Hino's old office.
Atsuki didn't understand it, but he had a very strange feeling about who, exactly, was filling in for the teachers that had been 'infected'. And, a message from Nami only made it worse.
"Hey Bro, it's so awesome that you're staying from now on! Anyway, there's a new foreign exchange student at my school and I think she has powers like us. She's staying here for a week while another school in Japan gets a student from our school! Isn't that awesome?! When I mentioned your name, it kinda seemed like she knew you so I'll introduce you after school! I'm gonna be her friend and then we can all go to Triple Step or something; wouldn't that be great?! Oh yeah, one more thing, she's from Japan and she dresses weird, but I don't really care. She can speak great English!"
Atsuki sighed as he and his friends walked into the Nurse's Office; Atsuki noticed right away. His premonition was right… The substitute nurse smiled at him and Atsuki shook his head.
"Good Morning Students… My name is Nola and I'm here to fill in for Ms. Honoka Hino."
Atsuki let out a quiet grunt as he muttered under his breath, "They really couldn't let me go, huh…?"
Ryo suddenly remembered when he saw Nola, "Hey, aren't you the girl that Atsuki tutored in English?"
"Oh, is that really you Atsuki?! I could hardly recognize you!" Nola pretended as Atsuki rolled his eyes.
The bell for the end of break rang suddenly; as if to break the tension between Nola and Atsuki.
"There's the bell, guys," Akira noted as the five of them walked out. "Hey Atsuki, you coming…?"
"Hold on, I'm just going to talk to Ms. Nola for a second. It seems weird that she's teaching me now… You guys go ahead, I won't be late." Atsuki replied; not a bad excuse since Ryo had remembered.
"Okay…" Akira nodded as the door shut, "We'll cover if the new teacher asks and you're not there!"
When the door closed completely, Atsuki glared at Nola. "Don't give me that look!" she complained.
"What're you doing here?"
"Relax; we're only staying for this week! It's so cute when you don't know what's going on!"
"Wait… when you say: we, you're referring to you and Natsuki, right?"
"Yes… and no…"
Atsuki shook his head, "I can't wait to find out who my History and Math teacher is. Don't tell me… is it Chief Rei or… maybe Ms. Aya?"
Nola smiled sheepishly, "Umm… not exactly…"
Atsuki sighed heavily as he sat in class. "Mr. Saijo, sit up straight in your seat and focus!" Liu Yee ordered; he was definitely enjoying this, it was clearly shown on his face.
Atsuki sighed even heavier, as he sat up and muttered sarcastically under his breath, "Yes Mr. Yee…"
Forty-five long minutes later, school was finally over. As Atsuki made his way home, a small, silver-ish blue haired, fancily dressed… something tackled him from behind and exclaimed, "Atsuki, my love, I finally found you!"
Atsuki shook his head; he'd have had to been expecting this after he saw Nola and Liu Yee.
"Alright Natsuki, calm down…" Atsuki sighed, (something he did a lot of today).
"Isn't this great Atsuki?! Now I can stay in Kisaragi with you and we can be together forever!"
Atsuki didn't have the heart to tell her that she would be leaving at week's end, so it was fair enough to let her have her fun for today.
Nami came running up with Melody and smiled at Atsuki, "See bro, this is my friend Natsuki!" She laughed, "Your names rhyme! That's kinda funny!"
Nami nodded, "Yeah, Melody thinks so too!"
"So, you said that we were all going somewhere, right Nami-chan?" Natsuki asked.
Nami smiled, "Being called Nami-chan is so cool! And, yeah, I said that we should all hang out at Triple Step!"
Atsuki cell phone began to buzz as he excused himself from the girls and checked his messages.
Message from: a_ (Akira Mido)
~ Hey Atsuki! We're bringing some cakes and stuff from Sweet Ring and bringing them to Rainbow Hill. You in?
Don't message me back; just show up and try not to be late!
~ Akira… (I don't know why I put my name if it's displayed already.) :-P
"Sorry Nami, we'll have to go to Triple Step some other time." Atsuki stated.
"W-what…?" Natsuki exclaimed.
"It's alright bro; we can plan it some other time then!" Nami winked at Atsuki, "You're going off to hang out with my sister, right? It's totally understandable!"
As Nami said this, Atsuki read Natsuki's shinen. It was filled with sorrow, jealousy, anger, and despair.
But, Atsuki knew that that would happen; and besides, there was another thing for him to worry about. Because, for the first time in his life, Atsuki Saijo blushed as he answered Nami, "It won't just be Yayoi, everyone will be there."
"Oh, you mean like Mika and Rui?" Nami joked, "I thought you had a thing for my sister…"
Atsuki shook his head, and with that, as if he was fleeing from something, (most likely Natsuki explosion of emotions) he left.
"Atsuki wait!" Natsuki called after him as Nami laughed, "Tell me who Yayoi is! Who're Mika and Rui?! Atsuki! Atsuki, answer me!"
As Atsuki ran toward Rainbow Hill, he suddenly felt a very large shinen… somewhere. But, where was it? Was it because he ran passed the Yuhigaoka Apt. Building? Was it Natsuki's sudden overheat? No… this shinen felt too familiar; and close too. As if it was standing right in front of him, but he couldn't see.
But soon, it became clear enough to pinpoint, there were two entities that shared the same shinen… The first was a small boy with ash-grey hair and a pale feminine face stared back at Atsuki with piercing black eyes that no one ever forgot. He held hands with a younger girl. It wasn't that the two were angry with Atsuki; in fact, they were smiling widely.
It was then that Atsuki finally noticed, the shinen wasn't a grey and murderous shinen; it wasn't a blue and sorrowful shinen either; and, of course, it wasn't a shinen infected by silent. The shinen was a bright, happy, yellow one and, more importantly, it was Atsuki's; for the boy that stood in front of him was Kei Tono, and the girl…
Atsuki took a step back in shock, for the girl was none other than Atsuki's little sister.
"Have fun Atsuki!" the two waved as they began to disappear.
When they were gone, Atsuki smiled as widely as his counterpart did and finally made it to Rainbow Hill.
"Seriously Atsuki…!" Akira laughed as Atsuki took a seat on the grass, "No joke, you're honestly late for everything!
Atsuki smiled as he and his six friends watched the sunset. The only noise was Mika and Rui fighting over the slices of cake.
Without the sounds of them fighting, this scene would probably have had more meaning and thoughtfulness, Atsuki thought, But, at the same time; the scene would definitely feel… incomplete, without them… Atsuki smiled; he finally found where he belonged.