(A/N) - I know, I know! I was really busy, but no excuses! Please enjoy the final chapter of Worth! ( :
Otani stepped over the threshold and shook out his umbrella.
"It's pouring out there!" he shouted, tossing it to the side and wagged his head like a dog, sending water every which way. "What the hell is wrong with this sky? It was clear when I left school! And you won't believe…what's this?"
Otani stopped his rant and looked in the kitchen. Risa stood there, looking quite pleased with herself.
"Romantic dinner: attempt two!" she declared, doing a twirl, and spread her arms out wide, displaying her work.
Otani's blank face looked from her, uninterested in her performance, and then at the spread.
"You didn't have to do that," he said and Risa smiled.
"I didn't," she said pointing a finger up smartly. "But being the amazing girlfriend I am, I wanted to!"
"Yeah right," he snorted and Risa's face fell a bit.
"Was that too much?" she asked, a bit of her old vulnerable self resurfaced momentarily.
He smiled and shook his head.
She gave a slight unsure smile and then shook it off.
"Come! Sit, sit, and enjoy!"
Otani put down his briefcase and jacket. He loosened his tie as he neared the table and dropped into a seat at the end of the table.
"Hey, this looks good!" Otani said, his eyes widening as he picked up his chopsticks. Risa grinned broadly as she went to pull out her chair.
"But of course! I only prepare the best for-"
A shrill ringer interrupted Risa's declaration of love and she looked down. A smile broke across her face.
"Ah! It's Nobu-chan!" she glanced at Otani. "Do you mind if I take this for a moment?"
"Go ahead," he said through a full mouth.
"Nobu-chan!" Risa cried, stepping on the balcony.
"Risa!" Nobu's said and her familiar voice made her smile. "How are you? Sorry I missed your call."
"Nevermind, nevermind," Risa waved it off. She called to apologize to Nobu the other day, but she had not answered her phone. "How are you?"
"Fine! What about you and Otani?" she asked in a secretive voice.
"Eh, what do you mean?"
There was a pause.
"Well…how are you guys?"
"Oh, fine," Risa smiled. "I wanted to call and apologize for my behavior the other day. I wasn't acting like myself."
"It's fine! It's fine," Nobu reassured. "Yeah, Otani told me you were back to your old self. I'm glad."
Risa's eyebrows furrowed.
"You talked to Otani?" she repeated. "When?"
"Oh! Uh…um…yes. We spoke. He called me to check how Darling was doing."
"Oh…why didn't he just call him directly?"
"His phone is broken," Nobu said smoothly and hid her secretive smile. "Sorry to cut this conversation short, but I'm leaving shortly to visit a friend. I just wanted to make sure I talked to you."
"That's alright, I have dinner waiting. Goodbye, Nobu-chan!"
"Bye bye! Oh, and Risa?"
"Call me back tomorrow morning."
"Oh," Risa said a little taken aback. "Why?"
"Because I like to start my day off with a sexy little morning greeting from my best friend," she whispered seductively into the phone.
"Are you stupid or something?"
Nobu laughed and said her goodbyes. Smiling confusedly at the strangeness her friend presented in the conversation, Risa nonetheless liked hearing her familiar voice.
Snapping the phone shut, she sighed, and went inside to have dinner with her boyfriend.
"Are you tired?" Otani asked after dinner as he brought his plate to the sink. Risa yawned a bit before shaking her head.
"Just a little. Are you?"
"Not at all," Otani said strangely and Risa glanced at him.
"Are you alright, Otani?"
"You look a little pale," she commented in concern and put a hand to his forehead. "Are you ill?"
Otani slapped her hand away.
"Too worried," he said lightly. "I'm fine."
"If you say so," Risa huffed, washing the plates. Otani crossed his arms and leaned against the sink, looking as if he were in deep thought. "Did Sakura say anything after I left today?" she asked nonchalantly.
"Yes," he said and rubbed his neck. "She wanted me to tell you that she wasn't angry that you came to see me today. She was angry because you interrupted the class."
"Oh," she said, pausing her scrubbing. "I didn't even realize…"
Otani gave a small smile.
"Hey, leave those," he said suddenly. "I want to go somewhere."
Risa looked up in surprise.
"Yeah, come on."
She glanced at the pile of dishes.
"I'd rather do these now," she said, not wanting to wake up first thing to a pile of dirty dishes in the sink.
"Come on," Otani huffed. "We'll do them later."
"Can't this wai-"
"Nope," Otani closed a hand around her wrist, which was reaching for a pan, and tugged her toward the front door. "Let's go!"
"Our old school!" she said in surprise. "Wow, this brings back memories."
"It sure does," Otani said, his hands in his pockets, looking up at the building. "You wanna go up to the roof?"
She glanced at him.
"Can we? Isn't that trespassing?"
"I'm a dangerous kinda guy. I like to break the rules."
With a blank expression, she said, "No one on this planet would believe that."
"What's that supposed to mean?" he asked, ascending the stairs to the roof. "I'm not always such a good guy…"
"Sure, sure…" she said, with a smile on her face.
On the roof, Risa had to cover her eyes in the bright setting sun. When her eyes adjusted, she lowered her hand and gave a bright, shining smile.
"Wow!" she cried again. "Look at this sunset!"
She ran to the fence and pointed up at the sky. She glanced at Otani who was trailing behind her slowly, his hands in his pockets. His face looked pale even in the orangish light.
"Eh? Otani, are you okay?"
He nodded and smiled strangely up at the sky. Risa turned back around and closed her eyes as the bright orange sunset warmed her face. She smiled and opened her long thin arms wide.
"Wahh~ This feels great!"
She sighed and opened her eyes, lowering her arms. She turned to Otani saying, "Otani, come try th…"
A quiet breeze ruffled her skirt as she looked down with eyes as round as saucers.
Otani had either shrunk…or…
He was on one knee.
Koizumi's heart stopped and shock paralyzed her. All the oxygen from her lungs was sucked away, as if a vacuum had closed over her lips, as she watched his hands fumbled for his dress pant pocket. Out of the pocket, he retrieved a small velvet box.
She sucked in a sharp intake of air as her first name came from his mouth.
He looked up and presented the box to her without opening it. He took a deep breath.
"When you first told me that you liked me back in high school…I was horrified and I rejected you," he recited in a voice that wasn't his own. Risa knew how much he hated voicing his feelings and emotions aloud, regardless how much he had grown.
"But even though I rejected you in such a way," he said, his face filling with blood as he recalled the 'bear curry' incident. "You didn't stop trying to win me over. You tried, and tried, even though I showed no interest. And after months of you fighting for me, I rejected you again."
Tears burned in Risa's eyes, but she couldn't blink. Otani's embarrassment seemed to reach a point where he had to collect himself. His face was the color of a tomato and he half-groaned, half-sighed as he tried to continue.
"When I finally began to realize that I…didn't find you so disgusting anymore," he said in his Otani way of saying 'I began to realize my feelings for you'. "It was basically too late. You had begun to heal and move on…and I know," he said and could not meet her eyes. His voice jumped up an octave in his colossal humiliation. "That asking you to wait for me was selfish…but when I asked, you fell asleep." He dryly added.
Koizumi's lips twitched upward, but she still could not blink. Two fat tears ran down her face.
"I told you back then," he continued with even more blush on his face. She couldn't even imagine the embarrassment he was holding back as he recited his speech. "That I was no good without you. And while I was at University, I…" he shook his head, remembering the memory. He ruffled his hair for something to do. "It was very hard for me to be so far away…but we lasted."
More tears fell from her eyes.
"We moved in together after that," he said and Risa noticed that his eyes were slightly red. She must have been dreaming.
Atsushi Otani was not tearing up because of her. He couldn't. That was not the Otani she knew and loved. He couldn't.
And yet he was.
"And the last couple weeks you doubted yourself and felt as if you weren't worthy for me…idiot," he added with a grumpy face and then he blinked down at the box. "You broke up with me."
Risa's heart broke into a million little pieces.
"I didn't say it earlier because it's so damn embarrassing for me," he cursed in a high-pitched voice and if it were possible, his face grew even redder. "But it was awful. And I realized that not only am I still no good without you…," he said and suddenly his face, nearly catching on fire earlier, drained of all color. He continued in a hollow voice, "I never will be."
Otani glanced up at Risa with a slightly irritable face, as if she had forced him to propose in such a manner, as he revealed the ring contained within the box. For a split second, she had a flashback of him giving her a bunny ring. That seemed like ages ago as the box in Otani's hands exposed not an animated rabbit, but a small diamond ring.
"Koizumi Risa," he asked, his face draining of even more color as everything led up to this moment. He looked at her, not able to speak.
But he didn't.
Seemingly minutes ticked by as Risa's face slowly became less anticipated, and more irritable.
Otani's mouth opened and closed several times as he tried to form the words, and Risa snapped.
"Well?" she asked, putting her hands on her hips.
"Don't be so damn bossy," he gasped, and his ghost floated upward toward heaven. "I just realized I'm asking this idiot standing before me to…"
"What did you say?" Risa demanded, her arms snapping to her sides, her hands in fists. "Of all the times to insult me-!"
"I'm working on it!"
"Just say it!"
"I-I…can't," Otani choked, his face paling even more. His eyes widened. "I'm gonna die!"
"You're too dramatic!" Risa snapped. "Is the thought of spending the rest of your life with me too hard to say aloud?"
"Yes!" he cried, standing up. "All well, I tried."
"Oh no you don't!" she yelled. "You can't that far and not ask me!"
"You don't understand!" Otani yelled back, blood rushing back into his face. "You can't possibly understand how embarrassing it is!"
"How is that embarrassing?" she insisted, her hands on her hips again. "You should be crying out of your undying love for me!"
Otani's eyes widened impossibly wide and his eyebrows angled impossibly steep in his disgust.
"What did you say?!" he squeaked.
"This moment is supposed to be lovey-dovey!" she snapped.
"I'm sorry it's not everything you hoped it'd be-"
"If you don't ask me-"
"What are you gonna-?"
"I will ask you myself!"
"Don't be ridiculous-"
"Atsushi Otani!" Risa declared. "Will you marry me?"
Otani stopped, his eyes huge. His mouth gaped open and Risa stared at him, anger in her eyes.
Suddenly, there was a deafening explosion and Risa saw purple, green, and red sparkles in the peripheral vision.
She turned, her anger diminishing, and gazed, transfixed as fireworks shot into the air, and burst in the sky. One after another, they shot into the open space and exploded in a multitude of fiery colors. Many spectators below the school stopped to watch the show.
She heard Otani sigh beside her and she turned to see his defeated expression, rubbing the back of his head.
"They were supposed to go off after…well you know."
Risa, her expression of shock, did not change as she watched the fireworks, and then back at Otani's face.
"You did that?" she asked, through numb lips. His eyebrows furrowed.
"Well yeah. Koizumi," he ruffled his hair once again. "The man's suppose to ask…"
"Well, I asked you out from the beginning," Risa said, in her innocence. "It doesn't matter."
"Yeah it does," he said seriously. For a moment, they just stared at each other. Then Otani sighed, pulling out the small box once again. He watched her face as she looked at it, and he followed her gaze. A small smile spread across his face and he gave a laugh.
"I wasn't sure what you'd like," he said, and grinned at her. "The saleswoman had to help me."
She gave a disbelieving smile.
He looked at the box once again in amusement and then gave a sigh. He crouched down once again and kneeled next to Koizumi. Not wanting to mess up a second time, he touched her hand and went to hold it.
"Koizumi," he said, far more comfortable with using her last name. He swallowed down his embarrassment as he looked up into her face.
"Will you marry me?"
A second passed by as a small explosion erupted inside Risa's heart. She smiled widely and then cried.
"YESSSSSS!" She cried, throwing her hands up in the air. Otani fell backwards, the ring clattering away.
"Geez!" he yelled and reached for it before it could fall through the bars and down four stories. He turned his head swifly at her to glare fiercely, but instead of glaring, his expression turned to one of fright as Risa launched herself onto his lap, flinging her arms around his neck.
"Ack! Koizumi! Koizumi, get off!"
"I love you, Otani!" she cried into his shoulder. She pulled back shortly and gave him a kiss before hugging him again. His shocked face gave a squiggly smile as he pat her back awkwardly.
"T-There there," he said shakily, as he slipped the ring onto her slender finger. "Don't cry."
They stayed on the school rooftop as the sun set. They watched in childlike excitement as the fireworks began to speed up, grow bigger, and more vibrant. The finale was magical and Risa's head fell against Otani's chest, sitting on the ground next to him. Everything was perfect and there was no reason to stay any longer on the rooftop.
But they stayed.
Spending their first moments as fiancées in complete and utter bliss.
Otani rushed into the living room, panting.
"What is it?" he exclaimed at his fiancée.
Risa kicked her feet in the air on the couch, flowers overflowing from her aura. She held her left hand in the air and waggled her ring finger, admiring the trinket around it.
"I can't believe it!" She cried, tears flowing from her eyes.
"Say, when do you think you'll stop yelling?" He asked loudly, his face growing red. "Our neighbors have complained, you know!"
'Our neighbors,' Risa thought and more flowers bubbled around her. 'He grouped us together!'
She clutched at her heart as her heartstrings pulled to the point of snapping. She screeched again and Otani was smushed against the way by all the flowers now.
"That's enough!" He yelled. "No more of this! And too many flowers!"
"You've stolen my heart again!" She cried, sniffing. "I fell in love with you again!"
"That should be impossible by now, don't you think!"
She sat up and laced her fingers together as if she were thanking the gods for the midget standing exasperatedly in front of her. Her eyes, wide as saucers, sparkled blindingly and her mouth was pulled down in a radical frown.
The maddened expression melted of Otani's face and he laughed.
"Such an ugly face!"
"Excuse me?" She cried, standing up, her hands clenched into fists by her side. "I'll let you know that was the face of pure love!"
"Then fall out of love! Too ugly!"
"Impossible! You are ugly!"
Otani stopped laughing and the look of a pure Casanova overtook his features. He smoothed his hair back, leaned back against the kitchen counter and pointed at her.
"Impossible~," He spoke in a deep sexy voice.
There was a second of silence before Risa erupted with out of control cackles.
"What was that?" She snorted, tears falling from her face as Otani grimaced.
"That was the face of pure loooove~" he mimicked in a silly voice.
"Fall out of love!"
"That's my line!"
Otani reached over and pinched her nose. Risa's face twisted into irritation and she pulled on his ear.
Is it laughable?
They shouted and then fell over in giggles.
That two people of such radical heights…
She stood up, towering over him, took two steps backward, and then jumped like a cat with its claws out toward him. He rolled off the couch before she could pounce on him, jumped to his feet, bumped into the coffee table, and fell backwards. She climbed over the table after him.
That two people who behave so idiotically…
Otani pinned down Risa's hands and smirked at her. She closed her eyes and their lips met.
Would fall in love?
(A/N) - I hoped you enjoyed it! I'd like to thank the following people for supporting me and following this story as it progressed:
lovecomlove : Thanks for sticking with me ;_; I love reading your reviews!
The Dark Knight's Revenge : I always enjoy your polite, constructive criticism!
Quixotic Quest : It's always a pleasure to hear from you. ( :
jleigha : Your reviews make me laugh, which in my opinion, is the best kind of reviewer! Thank you. ( :
LCfan : You're such a lovely reviewer!
Priincezz : Girl, you know you've helped me so much...with Spanish. xD Haha, I hope you don't hate me for changing up the proposal scene a little! Thank you for everything!
Thanks for everyone who's reviewed and read this story. If you enjoyed it, you can check out my other stories, they're all LoveCom! xD
Until next time!