Summary: Utau succeeds in finding Ikuto one night and confronts him... but as what Ikuto had always seen her as – his sister.

Pairing(s): NOT romantic Ikutau, tiny hint of Amuto.

A/N: I wasn't really sure what genre this story actually is, so yeah. And I know; all the stories I'm writing aren't even on the waiting list on my profile, but... I just finished re-watching the epic episode 100 and I love that episode, even without the Amuto moment. Expect more Ikuto-based one-shots very soon because I still think that not enough people in the fandom pay respects to who he is as a character and not just his looks. This is Pre-Black Diamond.

Disclaimer: Shugo Chara! is not mine, but I do have plans to steal the characters so that I can use them in fanfics of varying degrees of phailage. Such as this short one.

~*~

As a Sister

The waxing moon was bright in the cloudless sky. It was a comfortably cool night and the rustling of the leaves in the soft breeze lulled him into a light doze. He often came up here to gaze at the moon in its various stages or to wonder why anybody would wish upon an uncaring star. Wishes were seldom granted, especially by burning balls of helium millions of miles away. People liked to hope and to believe in anything and everything that they possibly could. Even he had wished on a star before. He'd wished that somebody would come along and make everything better... who was he kidding? He didn't want just anybody; he'd wanted his father. He'd naively thought that things would be alright if his father came home and that they could have their happily ever after.

After a few years, he'd given up on that little fantasy.

In his almost trance-like state, he didn't notice the person quietly heading his way. Her blonde hair shone in the light of the moon and her bright, violet eyes held a mixture of fear, sadness and determination. She clenched her hands and squared her shoulders as she approached, mustering the courage for the conversation that she had to have with her sibling.

It was the rustling of her clothes as she sat down next to him that finally clued him in on her presence. His eyes snapped open to see her hugging her knees and looking up at the sky. He frowned in bewilderment - his sister was never this calm and quiet when she managed to corner him. In fact, she usually yelled and started attacking him, much to his discomfort but he chose to refrain from saying anything. She didn't say anything either so they stayed there in silence, simply watching the vast night sky. Finally, as if she couldn't take it anymore, she spoke up.

"It's been a while, huh, Ikuto?" she commented softly. He had taken to avoiding her so that he wouldn't have to deal with her obsessive tendencies or the guilt he felt plaguing him whenever he saw her. He should have been able to let her live a better life; a free life. Instead, she was trapped in the shadows along with him.

He closed his eyes again, sighing. "Utau..."

She interrupted him in case he was about to tell her to leave. She wasn't sure she could handle much more rejection from him. "I need to know something, Ikuto," she said, eyes still fixed on the sky.

He cracked a lid open at her serious tone but stayed silent. She took this as a sign to keep going.

"I need to know this as... as a sister. As part of your family," Utau continued. She breathed in deeply, struggling against the absurd urge to cry. Ikuto himself had been the one to tell her not to. Crying was weak; it invoked pity and pity was one thing she hated. She had to be strong.

At this, Ikuto sat up to stare at her. Of course, he was intrigued as to what she wanted to know but was more worried by her sudden change in personality than anything else. She turned to look at him at last, the apprehension in her eyes having multiplied by a thousand-fold.

"This... is probably going to sound stupid to you, but I need this. I need to know this." Utau bit her lip in uncertainty.

"Utau," he said almost in exasperation, raising an eyebrow. She stared at him wordlessly, her heart clenching at the answer that he might give her. The colour of his eyes reflected her own, reminding her that they were family... and family always stuck together, right?

"Ikuto," she said carefully, her gaze dropping to her hands so that she wouldn't be looking up at him, "if you had to choose... would you choose that elementary girl or me?" she asked desperately.

"What?" he said, taken aback.

"Would you choose that Amu Hinamori or me, your sister?" she choked out, her voice low and her hands tightening even further. Still she refused to either let a tear well up or to look at her brother's face, too afraid that the answer would be the one that finally broke her spirit.

Ikuto examined her closely. As children, it had always been them against the world. They'd stayed together as a united and inseparable front as their father abandoned them and their mother was taken into hospital. He'd always been there to hold her hand and guide her through the sorrow, protecting her and watching over her. All they'd had left was each other. He knew that she was deathly afraid that he would abandon her after all those years of fighting together and of her working so that he could realise his dream and become free. She was his baby sister, even though she didn't act like it the majority of the time. It was his responsibility to take care of her and protect her, not the other way around.

After a pregnant pause, he exhaled in a rush of breath and finally answered her. "You," he said quietly, "my sister."

Her head shot up, eyes shimmering with relief and she wrapped her arms around him in a hug... the hug of a sister, not that of a romantically inclined madwoman. For the first time in a long time, he returned her hug.

Amu had all her friends surrounding her: she didn't need him.

Utau did.

So it didn't matter that he needed Amu.