FINAL CHAPTER. THIS IS IT! Sniffle... it's so tragic.
Chapter 18: Something About Love
Coming up with a way to win Amu back was harder than Ikuto imagined it to be.
He had to do something personal, something that she would completely adore, and not the typical romantic-movie thing – a candle light dinner or a walk on the beach.
He had always hated those tacky moments in the romantic movies Amu always made him watch with her. The two characters in the movie would take a spontaneous stroll along the beach with a perfect sunset in the background. As if something like that could happen without it being planned ahead of time.
Turning his thoughts back to the issue involving Amu, Ikuto raked a hand through his hair as he leaned back in his chair, deciding to pass time by glaring at Kazuomi, who was reading a newspaper across the room.
It was because of him that Ikuto found himself in this situation now. They hadn't spoken a word ever since he got back from Seiyo a couple days earlier.
Feeling someone's eyes on him, Kazuomi looked up from his paper, answering Ikuto's cold look with a glare of his own. Everyone else in the recording studio felt the temperature drop drastically, but had to continue working anyway, despite the awkward atmosphere.
Ikuto didn't really understand why he had to be in the recording studio, anyway. Today was Amu's birthday after all and he had to think of something to do for her, and quick. Nonetheless, he remained sitting in the swivel chair next to people fiddling around with the buttons and switches in front of them.
Once getting bored with the glaring contest, Kazuomi resumed reading his paper. Ikuto scoffed quietly before spinning around in his chair to gaze out the window, hoping to occupy his thoughts.
Just outside, crunchy leaves swirled around in the cool breeze and spread across the busy streets of Tokyo. It was almost October yet everyone was still wearing their summer clothes, despite the occasional weirdo who got cold easily so they walked around all year long wearing a parka. There was always someone like that.
The thought made Ikuto want to smile, but he didn't, because he was pretty sure that his step-dad was watching him again, and Ikuto wanted to get the point across that he was very angry with Kazuomi.
But thinking of the parka-person reminded him that everyone was different. Even the littlest things made up who you are. No one can be you better than you can. There's someone out there in the world that was created just for you, and even if you two are complete opposites and couldn't be anymore different, you two are meant to be.
Ikuto remembered when he went to the amusement park with Amu for the first time, and she had told him that she thought of her life as a story. That a greater person up above had specifically thought of a plot and the characters just for her life. Her story was already carefully created, but what was written on the pages ahead of her remained a mystery for now.
Turning back to resume glaring at his step-dad, the newspaper Kazuomi was reading caught Ikuto's attention. On the front page, there was an advertisement.
Sapphire eyes widening, he lunged from his seat and ripped the paper out of the older man's hands. His eyes didn't deceive him, the front page stated that the amusement park was finally opening for the season. The amusement park. The one that held so many memories for Ikuto.
That's when the idea came to him. He nearly smacked himself for being so blind. That's where he would take her: The amusement park, of course.
Ikuto reluctantly handed the paper back to Kazuomi and threw his coat on once noticing the time.
Before he managed to slip out of the studio, Kazuomi called after him.
"Hey, where do you think you're going?"
The sapphire-eyed male slowly turned around to look at the wrinkly-faced, ancient being. "To pick my son up from school." He replied with an edge to his voice. He was about to leave, but stopped once again to look at Kazuomi, sincerely.
"...I hope you know what you did to interfere with my life, as well as Amu's, was wrong. ...But... I'm going to forgive you. It may take some time... but I'm definitely going to, because I believe that everyone deserves a second chance."
Ikuto threw open the door, hurrying out of the building and to his car.
He wasn't as mad at Kazuomi as he was before. When he had gotten back from Seiyo just days ago, he set out for his step-dad almost instantly, feeling deadly.
Kazuomi was no longer acting all high-and-mighty, but rather timid and silent whenever Ikuto was around, knowing that the fate of the wealthy business was in Ikuto's hands.
Turning up the volume on the radio, Ikuto slid on his shades and turned down the street.
He had to admit, he didn't normally favor chick songs, but the one that was just playing was pretty adorable. Slowing to a stop in the parking lot at Yoru's school, Ikuto climbed out of the car and wandered his way over to the playground, where Yoru was sitting on one of the swings.
The young boy instantly lit up once seeing his dad. He jumped off of the swing and ran over to Ikuto, throwing his arms around him.
Ikuto lifted him up and held his school bag in his other hand. "How was school?"
Yoru thought for a moment, frowning. "It was fine. A boy got a pea stuck up his nose and he had to go to the doctor's office." He stated casually. "It serves him right, 'cause he stole that pea from my lunch."
The story made Ikuto laugh. Kids did the strangest things. He continued walking in silence, Yoru leaning his tired head on his dad's shoulder, breathing softly.
"You and mom love each other, right?" He asked quietly.
Ikuto stopped in the middle of the parking lot, still carrying the boy. "Why do you ask?"
"Because you never kiss her." Yoru replied. "All the kids at my school have parents that hug and kiss, and they sometimes even say that they love each other. You must have loved her at one point, 'cause you two had me!"
Opening the door of the car, Yoru climbed into his seat and sluggishly buckled up while Ikuto did the same.
"Well.. things are complicated right now." Ikuto finally replied once they started driving. "And how do you know we had you because we loved each other? Do you already know where babies come from?"
Yoru nodded eagerly, proud to display his knowledge. "Of course I do! When two people are madly in love, an angel will come knocking on their door. He'll then hold out his hands, showing the mom a blue bean and a pink bean. I think then he asks the mom to choose a color, and once she does, she swallows the bean and a baby grows inside her! It's quite simple, really."
The story made Ikuto bit down on his lower lip to hide a smile. "Did mommy tell you that?" He questioned, not surprised that she would come up with such a tale. It was just like her to say something like that.
"Do you love her?" Yoru repeated.
There was silence once again. It was bit of an odd question, especially coming from a five year old. Did he love her? Well, they had been through everything together. And when he said everything, he meant everything. He also knew he wouldn't be able to survive without her in his life. She was the one who saved him from his life of misery.
"...Yeah." Ikuto said, softly. "Yeah, I do."
The boy in the backseat grinned, silently bouncing up and down in excitement. So he was like all the other children, after all. His parents did love each other.
"Alright," Ikuto announced, stopping the car, "we're here."
Lunging out the door, Yoru hurried through the apartment building with Ikuto right behind. Almost every day they raced up the stairs through their building, just for fun. Ikuto always made sure to go just a little slower than Yoru, though, so he'd win.
Pushing the door open, Yoru almost did a face-plant before spinning around and dropping his bag on the floor. "I win!" He exclaimed, snickering under his breath.
His golden eyes then scanned the room for any sign of a certain individual, whom he found sitting cross-legged on the couch, reading a novel.
"Mom!" He hugged her tightly and kissed the top of her head. "Happy birthday!"
Surprised, Amu put her book down and hugged him back, smiling as she thanked him before he ran off and disappeared into his room, leaving her alone with Ikuto.
The pinkette picked her book up again, trying to resume reading, but failed miserably when Ikuto knelt in front of her, taking her hands in his.
She looked up from her lap, blushing as they made eye-contact. "Th-thank you."
Truth be told, neither one of them wanted to look away. They found each other's eyes so captivating, it was almost impossible to not get lost in them.
"You should get ready. We're going out tonight."
Blind-folded, she stood silently with the cool breeze blowing through her hair, making her pull her jacket tighter around her petite frame.
A warm hand grasped onto hers, leading her a few steps further ahead, into the dark abyss. She could only trust that he wasn't leading her into a place of certain death.
The only thing she could identify without her eyesight, was the smell of popcorn and artificial flavoring the wafted under her nose.
"C-can I take this off now?" Amu asked, pointing at the blindfold across her eyes.
Ikuto stopped walking and let go of her hands. Slowly, he untied the material and let it drop from her eyes, giving her a view of the colorful lights and roller coasters.
She gaped at the sight, eyes widening once realizing where they were. Amu whipped around to look at Ikuto with a smile on her face. "No way."
"Shall we?" Ikuto offered, gesturing to the rides ahead of them.
Not having to respond, the pinkette charged into the empty theme park, not noticing the tiny, brown paper bag Ikuto was holding.
That was for later. Preferably on the teacup ride.
He had called in ahead of time, specifically asking for the park to remain open for an hour or two after closing time, just for them. The workers would have to stay, though, to operate the rides, but they'd definitely get paid.
Ikuto left the brown bag with the ferris wheel operator and followed Amu through the amusement park.
Meanwhile..."I told you, we're lost!" Utau huffed angrily, folding her arms across her chest. The group stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and looked around.
Nagihiko frowned, snatching the map out of Kukai's clutches. "Well, no duh, we're lost. Kukai had the flippin' map upside down." He replied, turning the map around.
Rima rolled her eyes as she shook her head. Typical Kukai move.
Yoru, who was currently getting a piggy-back ride from Kukai, also shook his head. "I should've known you'd mess up the plan." He whispered to his 'uncle'.
The brunette glared over his shoulder at the little boy. "You were the one that kept telling me which street to turn on, so it's technically your fault."
"Kukai, he's five." Rima muttered.
"So what? He lives here, I don't!"
"You're the adult who should know ...HOW TO READ MAPS!"
"I CAN'T BELIE-
"I WOULD NEVER HAVE CO-
"GUYS, SHUT UP!" Rima yelled.
All went dead quiet and turned to look at the blond who was usually the quiet one of the group.
She ripped the map out of Nagihiko's hands and shoved it back at Kukai. "This is an important night for Amu! We promised Ikuto that we would all be there to surprise her and congratulate her after they get off of the stupid teacup ride. So read the damn map and get us to the freakin' amusement park!"
Kukai stared wide-eyed at the petite blond as she huffed away, dragging Nagihiko behind her. Glancing over at the young boy attached to his back, he realized that he wasn't the only one Rima terrified.
"Okay... to the carnival...!" The brunette stated slowly, trying to sound enthusiastic.
Utau snickered under her breath before latching onto her boyfriend's arm and kissing his cheek. "I'm so excited for them."
Kukai grinned back at her. "Me too. I mean, it's about time!"
Amu sighed in content while leaning her head back against the seat of the teacup she was sitting in. Her feet were aching, her legs felt like rubber, and her eyes were closing on her, but there was still a smile on her face.
Inhaling the cool, night breeze, she opened her eyes again and stared out at the colorful light display surrounding her. The amusement park at night was always one of the best places to go to relax or clear your head.
Looking across from her was Ikuto, who was also staring out at the scenery.
The pinkette blushed once they made eye-contact and looked down at her hands folded in her lap, just now noticing the small brown bag sitting beside Ikuto.
Realizing she had spotted the item, he knew it was now or never.
He took a deep breath before taking the plunge.
"...I know I've said and done things to you that don't deserve to be forgiven... and I'm sorry for not being there for you during those five, hard years you spent alone." Ikuto began slowly. "I have trust issues, I'm gullible, stubborn and... stupid... for forgetting about you after the surgery. But I also know that I love you and Yoru more than anything in my life and I would do anything to make everything right once again."
He then fumbled through the bag beside him, pulling out a small box that Amu only caught a glimpse of before Ikuto covered it with his hands.
"I know we've been through every high and low together, things more drastic than any normal couple could ever imagine going through – From disapproving relatives to memory loss. I believe that together, we just happen to be the perfect two." He stated honestly, finally uncovering what was in his hands, and opening the box to reveal a diamond ring. "Hinamori Amu, will... you marry me?"
If she wasn't crying already, Amu certainly was now. When she had told him to prove his apology to her, she hadn't expected anything like this. It surprised her in the best way possible.
Looking up at the sky to clear her blurry vision, Amu sniffled and nodded, squeaking out a small 'yes'.
"PARTY IT UP!" Kukai yelled, emerging from behind a nearby building with Yoru still clinging to his back.
"That.. was so beautiful..." Utau sniffled, sharing a box of tissues with Rima as the two wiped their eyes.
Yoru struggled and squirmed until he manged to crawl his way down to the asphalt and hop over to the pink teacup, where his parents were just climbing out of.
He tugged on Ikuto's sleeve to make him bend over so he could whisper in his ear. "You love her, right? Prove it." Yoru stated with a mischievous smirk.
"Challenge accepted." Ikuto stood up straight once again, he too, smirking.
His warm hand grasped onto Amu's, pulling her close to him. Finally, he could kiss her. Now he could hold her in his arms whenever he wanted to. Leaning his forehead against hers, he closed his eyes and pressed his lips against hers, securely wrapping his arms around her figure.
"Happy birthday, Amu."
"It's about time..." Yoru huffed before sharing a smile with Kukai.
Rima blushed and looked down at her shoes, sneaking a look at Nagihiko, who smiled at his girlfriend before pulling her into a hug, resting his chin on the top of her head.
There was something about love that breaks your heart, yet sets you free.
And finally, things were back to the way they were... before the storm.
Wow, guys. I'm so sorry that this took forever to complete, and that there's not many lovey dovey scenes, but I guess it's more of a drama. Oh, and I think this might be my last shugo chara story! If I ever do get hooked back on this anime, then I'll be sure to write another romantic comedy, as those are the stories I prefer. I love you soo soo much and you are an amazing person who deserves nothing but the best! If you ever need to talk, I'm here! Love, Kate p.s. There might be a slight chance of a short epilogue in the future.
If you ever need to talk, I'm here!
p.s. There might be a slight chance of a short epilogue in the future.