(A/N) OMG I'M NOT DEAD! XD isn't that great? Sorry if you guys thought I had abandoned this story, I've just been going through a lot this past month (my mom and step dad divorcing, moving out of the house, final research papers, final exams, my laptop crashing etc) so I haven't had the time to write like I used to T^T BUT now I'm back, and rest assured I'm seeing this story through to the end! It may just take a bit longer than planned to upload all of it :,D but actually I'm almost finished writing it, I just need to work out the kinks before I put it all out for show :D Also I would like to add that on my super long 13 page research paper(I had to rewrite a part from a short story we read in class from another character's point of view) I MADE A 95! WOOO! XD ahhh! I was so happy I almost cried. Hooray for an A+! :D now I can really enjoy my summer vacation…
Anywho…please enjoy the long awaited next chapter for Who I Truly Love! Thank you all SOOO much for reading! You are the motivation that keeps me writing! Thank you! *hugs*
Ikuto was staring back at me like I was an idiot. "Do I really have to say it again?" True this was his third time repeating himself, but I still didn't get it, so I nodded. He sighed with a smile. "Let's go on a date, Amu."
As if in response to his offer, my stomach growled loudly. Oh God, seriously? I was so embarrassed that my red face never even got a chance to get back to its normal color.
Ikuto chuckled, "Well, I guess your stomach answered for you." He started to head down the stairs, "Whenever you're finished getting ready I'll be waiting for you down here."
What? WHAT? What the hell just happened? How did the most humiliating, emotional rollercoaster of a day end up with me going on a date with Ikuto! I shut my bedroom door carefully, and then ran to my mirror. I checked my hair again, it looked presentable (there were those irritating little frizzies that never went down no matter how much hair product I put on, so I decided to let them go free range rather then battle with them again), I checked my face and it looked fine (depressingly normal, but free of any pimples or unwanted hair), and finally I took a once-over of my outfit and decided that my black and white Converses would be the best match for a shoe. After all, it was raining outside. It would be stupid to wear anything other then tennis shoes. Rain boots would be the even smarter option, but I was so not going to wear those out on my first date.
My heart was beating a mile a minute. At first I thought it was because of how embarrassed I was earlier, but this wasn't the sort of feeling you get when you're upset. I took a quick glance in the mirror before heading out my room. I was…smiling. I was practically glowing, really. That really fast beating of my heart was because I was excited. But why? It was just stupid perverted Ikuto taking me out. My heart really belongs to Tadase-kun, right?
I little nagging voice in my head seemed to say 'why are you so excited then?'
I don't know.
'Is it because you maybe like Ikuto more than just a friend?'
That's impossible! I mean, I do love Ikuto, but more like a brother or a dear friend!
'Then why haven't you ever called him Ikuto-kun, or Tsukiyomi-kun? If he was just a friend why do you call him intimately by his first name without even one honorific?'
Well that's because I…
That's because we…
Well, he's never called me Amu-chan, or Amu-san, or, Amu-kun! He's never called me Hinamori-san, or Hinamori-kun, or Hinamori-chan!
Ugh, why was I having this argument with myself?
I was leaning against my doorway. I still hadn't gone downstairs. I couldn't face him now. I slid down to the floor, sat with my arms around my knees, and my knees against my chest, balled up in a tight little cage within myself. I suddenly couldn't move. Why was it that Ikuto and I always spoke to each other so intimately? Why is it that whenever Ikuto is close to me I get butterflies? Why is it that he always knows what to say to cheer me up? Why is it that I always know when he's truly in pain?
I clutched at my heart. It was throbbing wildly in my chest.
Could I possibly…be in lo-?
"Yo, Amu! You ready yet? I'm starving!" Ikuto called from downstairs, interrupting my reverie.
"Yeah I'm ready! Just hold your horses for a sec!" I called back.
I didn't mean to. I put my hand over my mouth, and felt my own returning smile. It was so easy to respond to Ikuto. With Tadase-kun I always felt like I was tripping over my words, and I never really got to be myself. With Ikuto it was so easy to just be laid back, and not worry about what he thought of me. Maybe that was why it became so easy to talk to him. I was always trying to impress Tadase-kun, but I never cared what Ikuto thought of me in the first place so I was always myself with him.
I walked over to the bathroom, and drained the bubbly water from my bath. I could feel my blush returning as I remembered why it was I didn't drain the tub as soon as I got out of it. I sighed. I really didn't know what to think right now.
"Is it really possible?" I whispered to myself. I put both of my hands on the tub while I watched the soapy water swirl down the drain.
"Could I really be…in love with Ikuto?"
I was standing in the doorway of the bathroom hidden by the darkness of the hallway. I watched Amu as she stared at the draining bath water. I had just meant to sneak up here and scare her just to get back at her for taking so long to get ready, but I never expected to overhear something like…that. Should I say something? Should I just leave, and pretend like I didn't hear anything?
I wanted to go to her, though. I wanted to hold her like I always do. I wanted to tease her, and then watch as her face burned bright red. For me it was never a matter of love. She was just Amu. She was the girl I could be with, and not have to worry about whether or not I was doing something right. I could just be myself, and just those short periods of time that we're together always made me happy.
Maybe that was love? I wouldn't know. The only person that ever said they truly 'loved' me was Utau, and I don't think that counts. I'm just a guy, after all. All that lovey-dovey stuff was for the girls, right?
I took a few quiet, backward steps away from the bathroom door, deciding to go with my 'just walk away and pretend like I didn't hear anything' plan, when Amu suddenly sniffed loudly. I stopped in my tracks, and watched as she lifted her slender arms to wipe her face. Was she…? No, she couldn't actually be…
I watched as a small trickle of water fell from her eyes.
She was really crying…
I knew what to do then.
I walked back towards the bathroom door, and opened it fully letting it hit the wall with a 'wump'. Amu, startled, jumped and looked towards the sound. When she saw me standing there she placed her hands over her mouth in disbelief.
"I-Ikuto, what're you…?"
I closed the distance between us in one stride, and trapped her in my arms with a tight embrace.
We stayed like that for a long time, or at least it seemed that way to me, before I whispered in her ear, "Why are you crying?"
She didn't answer me right away, but seemed to be choosing her words with care. "Because I'm confused, and that irritates me." She finally said.
I chuckled. That was such an 'Amu' answer. "So you cry when you're irritated?" I was slightly surprised that she hadn't pushed me away yet like she normally does whenever I hug her.
"No, not really. I've just never been this confused before, so I guess I don't really know how to react." She whispered back. I might've imagined it, but it seemed just then like she was holding me tighter.
Finally, I asked the one question I'd been avoiding, yet also trying to lead up to, "What exactly are you confused about, Amu?" I whispered as I brushed a strand of her pink hair away from her face, and tucked it carefully behind her ear.
It was as if someone had just flipped on her 'blush' switch. I could feel the heat from her face through my clothes, right onto my chest. The feeling was…quite nice.
Amu suddenly pushed me away, and wiped the remaining tears from her face. She wore a convincing smile, and seemed like she was trying to sound optimistic. "Well, I guess I'll figure that out eventually for myself." she avoided my eyes, "Ready when you are, Ikuto." She started out the bathroom door without looking back.
I raised an eyebrow at her, amused at her sudden 'chara-change', if you will. Who did she think she was fooling? "Y'know, your little 'fake smile' routine may work on the little prince, but you should know better than to think you could fool me with your lame acting."
Amu stopped walking, but didn't turn around, so I moved towards her, and grabbed onto one of her hands. She looked up at me with sad and surprised eyes. I didn't look back at her, but instead continued walking.
"If you're that determined to pretend, then just for you I'll go along with it." I smirked at her, and she blushed. "Well, then without further-ado, I believe it's time we left for our date."
I ushered her out of her house, and we walked hand-in-hand down the side walk.
"Where are you taking me?" she asked carefully. It seemed like she was trying not to reveal anything in her voice about what she was confused about. I suppose it was too bad I already knew…
"Hmm," I said in mock thought already knowing from the start where it was I was going to take her, "Someplace that will bring a real smile to your lovely lips." I teased.
She didn't respond, but instead kept glancing around the empty sidewalks we passed. She didn't let go of my hand either, though, and that was enough to make me smile.
"Um, Ikuto…?" She continued to glance around us.
"Yeah?" I wasn't looking at her, but rather trying to decide which way would be the best to enter our date spot.
"Aren't you worried?" She glanced up at me with her worried golden eyes.
Was she asking me if I was worried about my 'princely' competition for her? Did I even consider him competition? I stared into those golden orbs for a second longer trying to decide for myself.
Did I love Amu enough to try and steal her away from that 'little prince'? My eyes widened, and I suddenly looked away from Amu.
"Ikuto? You okay?" She sounded concerned, but I couldn't look back at her just yet. My mind was running at a mile a minute. Could I really be that dense? Did I honestly just realize it now?
A smile was slowly creeping up on my face, and with a wide grin I glanced back into Amu's lovely eyes. With a sudden realization I thought to myself, 'Did I love her enough to steal her away? What a dumb question! The real question is 'Do I love her?'
"Amu, I just realized," I started talking quickly, eager for my new revelation to be out of my lips, "I love you!"
I closed the distance between us in one swift moment, and placed my lips right on her surprised, soft mouth. Her eyes were wide, and her body was stiff for a moment. Then, I felt her body melt in my arms, she was embracing me in return, and before I knew it…
she was kissing me back.
(A/N): Woo! Nice ending, huh? Man, I've wanted them to kiss in the anime for SOOOO LOOONG! XD aaah! I really need to read the manga. Everyone keeps telling me its better :D oh! And incase that whole 'honorific' thing confused anybody let me break it down for you: in Japan everyone adds honorifics to the end of everybody's name such as san, kun, chan, sama, dono, etc. All show respect and politeness to the person being spoken to/of. Each one varies in the politeness zone, and if you want a real deep and detailed definition of each one I would recommend looking it up. The point I was trying to make (and somehow was never brought up in the anime! :O) is that whenever Ikuto and Amu speak to each other they NEVER use honorifics! People who don't use honorifics when speaking to each other in Japan are basically showing the closeness of their relationship with the other person. This is common when it comes to boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, really close friends, etc. The same is true for people that refer to each other using their first name. Since Amu and Ikuto don't use honorifics AND refer to each other by their first names it shows that a) they are VERY close and b) they could care less about showing respect to the other person (which I find hilarious XD) hope that helps! Till next time!
Thank you all for reading! Here're of virtual hugs for everyone!