Chapter 15: All Good Things must come to an End
"Yatta! I can't wait to see my brothers and sister again!" Purin had been bouncing up and down for the last hour or so trying every body's last ounce of patience. Zakuro had fallen asleep with her head leaning up against the window; Mint had fallen asleep and fallen onto her shoulder. They were blissfully unaware of the child's exuberance.
"Please try to calm down Purin," whispered Lettuce gently. "It's really late and people are starting to sleep." Ami glanced back at us before whispering something to Akasaka-sama. He appeared to be agreeing with her. I watched him move to the driver seat to speak with our chauffer. Something was up. I turned to ask Ryou, who was sitting beside me, but he had fallen asleep. His arms were crossed and he had that familiar pout on his face. How cute… I carefully rested my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes.
A little later the bus came to a stop, much to our surprise. It was dark and just a little chili. Ami stood and stretched. "Time to get off the bus girls." We looked at her curiously. "Keiichiro and I just talked it over and we think it would be nice to spend our last night in a hotel. We'll just get home a few hours later tomorrow is all." A loud 'yatta' sounded in the bus.
It may not have been the five–star hotel from before, but I sure as hell wasn't going to complain. It beat sleeping on the bus all night. Besides, there were a few of us that would remain nameless who desperately needed a shower! We waited inside the lobby while Ami checked on room availability: one room—a suite. We took it.
"I'm hungry…" Mint was acting a little grumpy since being awoken from her beauty sleep. Of course no one could say they weren't hungry too. Ami shrugged and said we could have room service bring something up. Good enough for me. Up to the top floor; down the hall; to the right; room 1615.
The woman in the lobby hadn't been kidding when she described the room as a suite. It was actually the equivalent space of two rooms—a living room and a bedroom. There was even a small kitchenette! Purin took a flying leap onto one of the queen sized beds and flipped through the T.V. channels: reruns of Ranma ½… Sailor Moon… new episodes of Inu Yasha… Fullmetal Alchemist… She flipped the T.V. off. Nothing good, she whined (a/n I LOVE those shows!). That's when Ami mentioned the arcade in a room off of the lobby. We all looked at each other. 1.8 seconds later, we were down there.
Purin and Ami quickly engaged in a game of air hockey, which they both played valiantly. Five goals with the two of them would take some time. Akasaka-sama and Retasu were involved in a game of ping-pong. I walked over to Ryou who was watching Mint and Zakuro's heated DDR battle. Both girls being dancers meant an incredible competition.
"You should try that game Ichigo." I knew he was teasing me. I was a lousy dancer.
"Why would she want to make a fool of herself Shirogane?" Mint smirked at me as Zakuro stepped down to get a drink.
"Not all of us can have years of ballet under our belt," I retorted.
"Aw come on, what have you got to lose?" She was egging me on at this point.
"My dignity, my pride, my self-confidence, my lunch…" I went down the list as I climbed onto the dance mat in defeat. It did kind of look like fun.
"This is so not fun!" I cried tripping over my own feet. Mint stepped back and laughed at me. "The music was too fast Mint… isn't there a slower song on the play list?"
"You still want to try?" Her expression was somewhere between surprised and amused. I was furious with her for laughing at me, but I nodded. We stood in front of the monitors, ready to go again. "Hey Ichigo," Mint whispered without taking her eyes off the screen. "Just follow the arrow keys and don't put a lot of thought into it. You'll do better." I looked at her and smiled. She really could be nice when she wanted to be. Her advice worked well. The calmer I was, the better I did. As the song ended, she congratulated me.
"Not bad for a beginner Ichigo. Maybe in a few years, you won't lose." She winked at me. I couldn't be mad at her. I only smiled and retorted I'd practice so I could take her down. She laughed. It was about this time that Akasaka-sama rounded us all up. Time to hit the sack.
"Hey Ichigo." Ryou draped his arm over my shoulders and pulled me to him. I blushed. "Good job back there."
"Clearly," he replied jokingly. "But you tried, even after failing. I'm proud of you." I blushed and thanked him.
"Now do that at work." He should have stopped a sentence earlier. I sighed.
A few weeks ago, we all would have been weird out by the idea of sleeping in such close proximities with the guys. Now it was nothing. Akasaka-sama and Ryou were sleeping on the floor. The rest of us crowded into the two beds. I'd gotten so used to this… I wondered how I was going to sleep alone once I got home.
The bus left the hotel parking lot at seven a.m. sharp. Most of us were still half asleep, but leaving any later would make us arrive home way too late in the evening. The bus was supposed to drop each of us off at our own respective houses. About an hour outside of Tokyo, Ami left us. It was a sad goodbye. We'd all become attached to her. Especially me. Still, she had to return home; just like the rest of us. One by one we all left the bus. I was the last one off. Ryou walked me to the door. He told Akasaka-sama he'd meet him back at the café.
"Did you have fun?" He seemed rather nervous as we walked up the walk. It was amusing. He'd been to my home several times before. Perhaps he was scared of Dad. I gave his hand a quick squeeze.
"A wonderful time." I leaned in for a goodbye kiss.
"What's going on out here!" The door flung open. Mom was smiling pleasantly as she held back Dad. Ryou jumped a mile back. I'll see you at work was all I heard him say as he hightailed it out of the area. I couldn't help but laugh.
"Welcome home honey!" Mom waved at me excitedly. I dropped my bags and ran straight into her arms. I was never so happy to be home. "So tell me all about the trip… and this cute blonde guy… are you two a couple?" She led me towards the living room.
"She's too young to date!" Dad called after us shutting the front door.