Okay, this is it! The final chapter! Can you believe it?!

Takuya: Um...the readers don't give a shit...

me: Eh, screw you, Kanbara....Anyway, you're probably right *mutters* For once... But yeah, here is the final chapter and I hope you enjoy it ^_^

Takuya: They won't....

me: Would you shut up already?! *shoves him into closet and locks the door* Pain in the ass.....

Red Rose

Chapter 34

"Dammit, when are they gonna let me see her?" Takuya grumbled angrily, impatiently drumming his fingers against the arm of the chair.

"Relax," Kouichi told him. "They'll let you see her in a little while."

Kouji walked up to them, holding five bottles of soda. He handed one to Takuya, and another to his brother. He then took a long gulp from a third bottle, leaving the other two off to the side.

"You guys each owe me a dollar," he said.

Takuya raised an eyebrow incredulously. "Thanks a lot, Kouji."

"Just kidding," the long-haired twin mumbled, plopping down in his seat next to Kouichi. "Where did Tommy and Nana go? I got them each a drink, too."

"Tommy figured that he'd visit his mother while he's here," Takuya replied, taking a sip. "Nana went with him."

"His mother's doctor said that she finally woke up," Kouichi added. "So, he's seeing her for the first time since she's been awake...."

Kouji took another long gulp. "Well, at least he brought Nana to support him. How do you think it'll go?"

Takuya shrugged, putting the cap back onto his bottle. "Who knows? I'm hoping that it goes well, but we won't know until Tommy and Nana return."

Just then, Dr. Kobayashi walked into the visitor's lounge, making his way over to the three teenagers. Takuya immediately stood up, almost falling over from his anxiety.

"Doctor, can I see Zoe?" He blabbered out before Kobayashi had a chance to speak.

The doctor chuckled softly. "Yes, that's why I came to see you. Can you follow me?"

"Good luck, man," Kouichi called after him.

Takuya followed Dr. Kobayashi down the long corrider, his heart pounding in his chest. He nervously glanced at the man, fear written on his face.

"Is Zoe awake at all?"

Kobayashi sighed. "I'm sorry, but she is still under heavy sedation. She probably won't be awake until later on tonight or tomorrow morning."

"What did you give her?" Takuya asked. "Medication strong enough to knock out a horse?"

Kobayashi smiled and shook his head. "I wouldn't go that far. But we wanted to make sure we stopped most of the heavy bleeding before she wakes up. Plus, she'd be in immense pain without the medication. There is an IV in her arm to help get nutrients in her body."

"How bad is she?" The brunette inquired. "Do you know whether or not she'll pull through?"

"I'm sorry, Takuya. But I still don't know yet," the doctor replied solemnly. "We managed to stop the heavy bleeding, but the nurses still need to change her bandages every few hours for clean ones. Since her heart was grazed, there's still a chance she could go into cardiac arrest."

The two of them stopped in front of a closed door, the number on it reading 224. There was a small window beside the door, but with the lights off inside the room, Takuya couldn't make anything out.

"As I said before," Kobayashi continued. "I'm not trying to scare you. I'm only trying to prepare you in case anything goes wrong. You have a right to know her condition since you told me she has no relatives that you know of."

"Her relatives are all dead," Takuya told him.

It was not exactly a lie, since no one, including Zoe herself, knew what had happened to her family.

The doctor gestured to the door. "You may stay there for about ten to fifteen minutes. A nurse will come along and retrieve you when your time is up."

Takuya nodded gratefully. "Thank you, Dr. Kobayashi."

He opened the door and was about to step into the room when Kobayashi stopped him briefly.

"Remember, although she's asleep, she may be able to still hear you," the doctor said with a smile before walking away.

Takuya entered the room, quietly closing the door behind him. The overhead lights were off, but there was a small lamp besides Zoe's bed, illuminating the room a bit. The brunette took a chair and pulled it up beside the blond's bed, his heart wrenching as he took a seat. Zoe was covered with a sheet from the waist down, covering up her legs and torso. However, Takuya could see the thick bandages on her arms, as well as a wrapping around her forehead. Her twin horns glistened slightly in the pale light.

Takuya gently took her hand and kissed it, letting his lips linger on her soft fingers. Dr. Kobayashi told him that if he spoke, Zoe might've been able to hear him. However, looking at Zoe in the condition she was in made him unable to speak. He choked back a sob, unaware that he was actually crying until he saw the teardrops sprinkling onto Zoe's hand. He scooted his seat up closer to her, gently stroking the blond's silky hair.

The heart moniter beeped periodically to indicate that Zoe's heart was still beating, and Takuya couldn't help but watch the squiggling lines go up an down on the screen. After a moment, he looked back down at his girlfriend, gazing down at her face. Zoe seemed to be sleeping peacefully, but that didn't ease his fears.

She could go into cardiac arrest at any moment....

Those words rang through is ears, teasing him that her life was still on the line. As grateful as he was that she was still alive, he wondered if it would only get his hopes and she would be viciously ripped out of his life.

No, don't think about it like that, idiot. Don't act like she's already dead or that she will be soon. Just do what you can and make sure you let her know that you're there for her, he angrily thought to himself.

"Hey, Zoe...." He finally managed, brushing a strand of hair off the girl's forehead. "I know that you told me to leave and not come back for you... But as you can see, you can't get rid of me that easily..."

Takuya smiled weakly, then leaned over to kiss her lips. They were as warm and soft as he remembered. Groaning slightly from his sore arm, he got up from his seat and sat back down at her bedside. There was a possibility of him getting reprimended, but he didn't care at this point.

"Zoe," he whispered into her ear. "Please...don't leave me...I almost lost you twice already. First in the bridge accident, then in the research facility fire...I don't want to to throught that again. And if you want you can count the time that Kakuzawa's crazy son kidnapped you after lying about being your uncle, then we'll count it as three times."

He continued to ramble on, saying nonsensical things. That didn't matter though, because whether or not the things he said made sense, he was making an effort to let her hear him.

Before he knew it, a nurse knocked lightly at the door. Takuya looked up to see a young woman with her light brown hair pulled softly into a loose bun.

"I'm sorry, but your time is up," she told him a gentle voice. "But I'll give you another moment to say 'goodbye' for now."

"Thank you," Takuya replied, watching as she walked back out into the hallway.

He turned back around to look down at Zoe's face one last time. The brunette leaned down and gave her another kiss, gently stroking her cheek.

"I'll see you later, okay?" He kissed her forehead, then rose to his feet.

Just as he was about to turn around to leave, he felt something against his cheek. He gasped in surprised, feeling a ghostly finger caress his skin. Zoe had not woken up, but the invisible touch was enough to ease his fears. With a smile, Takuya happily walked out of the room, where the nurse was patiently waiting for him in the hallway.

"It went well, I see," she commented, seeing his smile.

"Yup," he replied cheerfully. "And when she wakes up, I'll still be here."

Just as the nurse began to lead him back to the visitor's lounge, there was a sudden noise coming from Zoe's room.

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

"Oh, no," the nurse said breathlessly, rushing back into the room.

Takuya stood in the corrider, frozen in his spot as he watched other nurses and Dr. Kobayashi hurrying into the room as well.

"Wha-what's going on?" He asked, stopping one of the nurses.

"She just flat-lined," the nurse quickly responded, before running into Zoe's room, closing the door.

The brunette sank to his knees, not believing what was happening.



One month later

"Ha! I beat your ass!"

"Dude, you completely cheated that time! I saw you!"

"Kouji, how the fuck did I cheat? Hell, how can I cheat? Explain that one to me, Einstein!"

"Kanbara, in one minute your ass is going to get kicked right through the wall!"

"Yeah?! I'd like to see you try!"

"Oh, will you two just stop it already before I throw the both of you into the wall?!"

The bickering friends looked over to see Zoe standing in the doorway, one of her eyebrows raised in contempt.

"We were only kidding around," Takuya said with a laugh.

"Yeah, just fucking with each other," Kouji added.

The blond stared at them, unconvinced. "Uh-huh...."

She walked over the couch and sat down beside Takuya, snuggling up to him. Takuya dropped the controller he was holding, pulling the blond into his arms. His cast had been removed three days ago, giving him the freedom to easily do as he pleased. He kissed Zoe, not noticing as J.P. silently snatched the controller.

Zoe had been released from the hospital only after one week, as her condition had improved enough for Dr. Kobayashi to discharge her. Miki had been discharged after two days, muttering to herself that she only wanted a quiet nine-to-five job. She had vowed never to speak of anything that she had known about the facility, and her files had all been destroyed in the fire. She was now living in a small, cozy apartment with a good friend, eager to start fresh.

Since the reasearch facility had been burnt down, the debris was still being cleared away. Several charred bodies and remains had been uncovered, though there were many more to be found. Everyone who had been afiliated with the facility had met their demise within the building, unable to escape in time. As sad as it made everyone for those lost lives, it would help keep Zoe and Nana's identities a secret.

'Besides,' Kouji had commented. 'Anyone who wanted to be a part of that research was a monster and deserved to die.'

Everyone accepted his emo outlook, agreeing with him on that much. J.P. had reconnected with his cousins while visiting them and had gotten on good terms with them. One of them was specialized in making fake, yet believable identification papers. J.P. had arranged for him to make some for Zoe and Nana, helping them to fit in more and have a greater hope for a normal life.

"Ha ha! Finally! I can play this fucking game after watching the two of you play for three hours straight!" J.P. cried out triumphantly.

However, Kouji put his controller down, then switched off the Playstation 3. "Nah, I'm tired of playing video games for today."

J.P. gaped at him, his eyes almost bulging out of his head comically. "What?! Oh, hell no! You mean to tell me that the one fucking game that I finally get to play, you aren't going to play?! I've been gone for like over a month, so the least you could do is play one damn game with me! Just one!"

Kouji sighed. "Fine...just one game...after that, I'm taking a damn nap...."

"Friggen emo," J.P. muttered, but was happy nonetheless. "Okay, let's get this show on the road!"

Zoe snuggled into Takuya's lap, resting her head against his chest. She shifted slightly to find a comfortable position, wincing at the wounds that were still in the process of healing. Takuya kissed her forehead, watching as the other two played their game.

"So, where the hell are Tommy and Nana?" J.P. asked a moment later. "Haven't seen them around very much... Hell yeah! Head shot!"

"Well, you just got back two days ago," Kouji replied dryly. "So obviously you haven't seen them around much...."

J.P. rolled his eyes. "Eh, you know what I mean...."

"They went to visit Tommy's mother," Takuya told him. "She was sent home two weeks ago and Tommy's been going to visit her almost every other day. They also took Wanta with them."

J.P., who had been filled in about the events that had recently taken place, nodded. "Oh, well that's good. Did he say anything about moving back in with her or anything? Not that I don't like him being here, of course."

"No, right now he wants to take things slow," Takuya replied. "He and his mother need some time to heal their relationship, but so far things have been going pretty well. She seems to like Nana very much."

"She doesn't know that Nana's a Diclonius, right?" J.P. asked. "I mean, Tommy wouldn't tell her that...Dammit, Kouji! Watch my back!"

"Watch your own fucking back," Kouji growled. "What do I look like, your babysitter?"

"Well, if you're my babysitter, then you have to go and order me some pizza," J.P. said with a chuckle.

Kouji rolled his eyes. "Go fuck yourself....."

"Both of you shut up," Takuya grumbled. "You're so goddamn annoying. And no, Tommy didn't tell his mother that Nana's a Diclonius..."

"Yeah, whatever," Kouji replied with a sneer, still annoyed that he had been told to shut up. "But do you know where Kouichi ran off to? He left a few hours ago, but he hasn't returned yet."

"He said something about going for a walk to clear his head," Zoe told them. "By the looks of it, he's still not over Kanae...."

Kouji paused the game, ignoring J.P.'s groan of protest. "We really didn't know much about her...but from what Kouichi said, she was perfect."

"There's no such thing as perfect," J.P. pointed out.

"Okay, let me rephrase it then. She was the perfect girl for my lunatic brother," Kouji said.

"Oh, okay. She must've been crazy too, then." J.P. sighed. "I'm sure he'll find another girl. God knows that there are plenty of chicks out there that are tapped in the head....."


Kouichi wandered aimlessly past the familiar shops, his eyes gazing down at the ground as he walked. He went by the same stores and restaurants he had gone to with Kanae. Kanae..... It had been a month since he had lost her, but the event remained fresh in his mind.

He could almost hear her soft laugh, see her sparkling amber eyes, feel her silky pink hair between his fingertips....

"Dammit," he muttered, his sapphire orbs duller than normal. "When will the pain go away?"

Kouji had told him continually that he would find another girl. But maybe he wouldn't.... Kanae was one of those strange girls that only came once in a great while. The same strangeness that came with having a wild and crazy time, but not with a line of psychiatrists in tote.

As the short-haired twin continued to walk down the street, he looked up just in time to see a girl right in front of him. He couldn't stop himself in time and found himself colliding into her. They both cried out in surprise, then toppled over to the ground.

"Ah....." The girl groaned, rubbing her head.

"Shit, I'm so sorry!" Kouichi quickly apologized, pulling the girl up. "I was spaced out and didn't notice you standing there. I'm so sorry that I knocked you over."

The girl smiled. "Hey, shit happens. Not like either one of us got hurt or anything."

Kouichi stared at the girl, his eyes wide. She resembled Kanae in many ways, much to his surprise. Her eyes were a dark amber color with hints of red, and her pink hair was similar to Kanae's, but several shades darker. Her hair ended at her waist and her bangs blew lightly in the soft breeze. She was about an inch or so taller than Kanae had been, with a similar body type.

"You okay?" She asked, noticing the distant look on Kouichi's face.

The raven-haired teen immediately snapped out of it. "Uh, yeah. I'm fine. Just, uh....remembering something."

"Well, I hope you don't forget about it," she replied, a tiny smirk on the corner of her lips. "I'm Miyo, by the way."

"Um, Kouichi," he told her. "And again, I'm sorry that I crashed into you."

Miyo chuckled softly. "I would've moved, but had my back turned to you so I didn't notice you coming. But I wouldn't worry about it. So quit apologizing."

Kouichi nodded, a light blush rising to his cheeks. "Well then...I better get going. See ya."

"Hey, wait a minute," Miyo said suddenly, a somewhat embarrassed look on her face. "Um, I was wondering..... I'm a bit new around here and don't really know my way around. Could you just point me into the direction of the video store? I heard that it was somewhere around here."

"Oh, sure. It's that way," Kouichi said, pointing to the right.

Miyo smiled gratefully. "Thank you so much. It was nice meeting you, Kouichi."

Just as she was about to leave, Kouichi stopped her this time. She looked at him, her red eyes meeting his blue ones.

"Uh, it can get a bit confusing to find, though. Why don't I come along with you to help you find the store? Trust me, I've gotten lost plenty of times trying to find the damn place, and I've lived here for awhile," he told her.

"That would be great, actually," Miyo said, brushing her bangs out of her eyes. "I'm horrible with directions, so you can be my own personal map today."

With that, the two of them set off in pursuit of the video store. Kouichi realized that he had to get over Kanae, no matter how long and how painful the ordeal would be. However, despite the fact that Miyo had a resemblance to his deceased girlfriend, he knew that she was her own person. And he liked that about her. It would be a new beginning for him.

Later that night

Takuya emerged from the bathroom, making his way to the bedroom that he shared with Zoe. The blond was already lying on the bed, wearing only a pair of panties and one of Takuya's shirts. Her external wounds had healed almost completely, showing only faint lines that would fade away completely within another week or so. Her internal injuries were still in the healing process, but had improved immensely over the past few weeks. She had to avoid sudden movements, and keep her pace leisurely.

"Hey," she said, watching him walk over to her.

Takuya, clad in a only a pair of black sweatpants, sat down on the bed next to her. "How are you feeling?"

Zoe shrugged. "Okay, I guess."

"Did you take your medicine?" Takuya asked her. "Your pain pills?"

"Takuya, after spending years of being injected with plenty of unknown chemicals, I really don't want anything else like that going into my system," she replied. "Besides, the pain isn't all that bad anymore."

The brunette was about to argue with her to take them, but decided against it. "Well, if you say so...."

Takuya pulled the covers over them and switched the light off. He then pulled the blond into his arms, hugging her body up against his. Zoe rested her head against his chest, making sure to keep her horns from digging into his skin. Takuya smirked, pulling her closer, as the horns did not bother him.

"So, how does it feel knowing that for once you're not being hunted?" Takuya asked.

"It feels like something that I've never felt before," Zoe replied. "If that makes sense...."

Takuya thought for a moment, then nodded. "Yeah, it makes sense."

"I feel like I'm finally free," she told him. "But I still can't help but wonder....."

The brunette shifted his position, resting on his elbow as he looked down at her. "Wonder about what?"


There was a moment of silence, before Takuya sighed. "Zoe, he's not going to bother you anymore."

"Takuya, I told you that the facility collapsed before I could finish him off. There is very little chance that he survived the fire, but still...I never had the satisfaction knowing that I killed him," Zoe told him.

"There's no way he could've gotten out. You barely made it out yourself," he pointed out.

Zoe snuggled closer to her boyfriend. "Yes, I suppose. But if he somehow did, maybe he'll have a new lease on life."

Takuya raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean by that?"

"I don't know, to tell you the truth," she said in a low voice. "But if I ever do see him again, I'll be ready...."

"Ready for what?" Takuya asked with an amused smile.

Zoe smiled back at him, planting a soft kiss on his lips. "Well, we'll find out if it happens, won't we?"

With that, she pulled him down on top of her, ignoring the ache in her body from Takuya's weight. She ran her fingers through his soft, chestnut hair, and gazed into his chocolate-colored eyes. Takuya lowered his lips to hers, taking in her sweet taste. He moved his lips to her exposed neck, lightly kissing the tender skin. As he continued to kiss her, Zoe's eyes glanced over to a nearby desk.

On the desk was a bouquet of flowers that Takuya had bought for her, as he had insisted on buying her one each week. Within the bouquet was a single, red rose.

Yeah! I'm finally done with this damn story! Took me friggen long enough! And yes, I decided to bring J.P. along since he's been gone since the beginning of the story. There was a happy ending for everyone ^_^

Takuya: *walks over* You're mean!

me: *sighs* What now?

Takuya: You made everyone think that Zoe died!

me: ....Uh...yeah...so?

Takuya: So?! You did that in Bloodbath after the bridge incident! And then you made them think she died when the facility collapsed. And then you did it when she flat-lined! You're so mean!

me: And you're just realizing this now? But the point is that I didn't kill her. So there! *flips him off* Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed the story and the ending. Please review to let me know what you thought :3