*Okay okay okay I got the hint no one likes dark stories. Gomen, but I wanted to try something different. I think I'm better at writing happy endings though so I apologize deeply to Shakespeare, because there could have been an ending to make him proud, but I don't like that kind of thing. So here is the last chapter!*

Chapter 19 Beginnings

She threw herself at him, and he hit the ground as the darkness began to fade. He looked shocked as he looked at beautiful blue eyes. She was panting as she looked down at him; she looked scared to death.

"Umi?" he whispered. There was no way this was real.

"What were you doing?" she whispered and touched his face.

In that touch there was no doubt, "Umi," he didn't know how to react. He sat up and pulled her to him and kissed her. There were no words between the two. All that was needed was the touch. He kissed her face and neck as she ran hands down his back. He felt how much weight she had lost, but at the time cared about nothing but the fact that she was alive and here.

When they finally pulled away they were shaking and trembling, but safe. He helped her up and kissed her again. There were tears in her eyes, but they were of joy as she finally realized that she was here, in his arms, here to stay.

"Why didn't you come with them?" he whispered and kissed the top of her head as she snuggled near him.

"My parents," she tried to get her breath, "My parents didn't come back until late. I couldn't leave them thinking I was dead, so I stayed to tell them. I thought I would be able to make it, but the portal closed before I got there. I'm so sorry," she got as close to him as she could manage.

"I'm sorry I couldn't keep it open longer," he held her so tight that there wasn't a quarter of a centimeter of space between them.

"Oh God I missed you, Clef I almost died without you," Umi told him crying and laughing at the same time, the pure heat and emotion running through her.

"They told me that you jumped, they told me that you committed suicide. If you had there was nothing left for me to live for. I kept telling myself that you'd come back, but when I heard that I knew that you wouldn't. I was going to do the same," he told her what he could tell no one else.

"I did," she said it so softly he could barely catch it. He looked down into her eyes as she explained, "I did. I didn't want to live without you, so I did. I jumped off the Tokyo Tower, but when I opened my eyes I was here. At first I thought I was dead, but now I know that I'm completely alive."

"I'm glad," he smiled and took her hands and brought her fingers to his lips. He kissed them, and she laughed. It was good to hear her laugh again. As she did her sweater fell down a bit exposing a scratch, "What's this?" he whispered and touched it.

"Nothing," she pulled away, and he looked at her confused.

"That didn't look like nothing," he said calmly, and she shook her head.

"I got it when I broke the window to the Tower," she lied.

"Let me see it, maybe I can help," he held out a hand.

She smiled, "I don't need it, it's just a scratch. Let's go see the others," she turned, but he grabbed her wrist and looked into her eyes, then back to her arm. He reached down to her sweater, and she tried to rip away, but he held her firmly, "Don't," she begged tears streaming down her cheeks, "Clef don't, please."

He pulled the sweater up and saw that her arm was slashed and bloodied. For a minute he just looked at the butchered arm not completely realizing that it was the arm of his lover. It wasn't the graceful beautiful limb attached to the beautiful creature. It was matted with blood and barely recognizable, "What the hell is this?" he demanded, anger in his eyes.

She fell to her knees sobbing when he let her go. She put her head in her hands and as she did the other sweater sleeve slipped down and exposed the other butchered arm, but this one was worse.

"Umi what the hell is this?!" he persisted bending down and looking at the injuries.

She shook her head.

"Take your sweater off," he ordered, and she shook her head, "It wasn't a request," his anger was fierce. What had she done to herself?

With shaking hands she pulled off the sweater and exposed her arms. His gentle hands fell to the sleeves of her shirt and pulled them up to her shoulder blades. The wounds only increased at the shirt sleeves. It was mostly exposed flesh, the skin was barely visible. His eyes creased in anguish, what had she done? "How did this happen?" he shouldn't have asked; he didn't want to hear the answer.

"I did it," she said softly, and he winced knowing that was the answer he was going to get before he asked the question.

"Why?" he didn't know whether to scream at her or pull her close and ask her why. He wanted to do both.

"It hurt too much to loose you," she tried to explain, but she wasn't completely sure why, "It felt good."

"Slicing your arms like you would a piece of fruit felt good?!" he hated seeing her in pain, but he didn't understand. He was so mad at her. He never liked seeing her hurt, but this was too much.

"It felt better than the pain in my heart. It made me calm," she continued, "I don't know why, but it did."

"My God," he touched her arms and felt the slight upraised scabs of shallow wounds and the sunken in ones of deep cuts. Some were long and some short; it depended what mood she was in, what she was feeling. He gently turned her arms over and found the same on the backs of them. He noticed a few cuts dangerously close to the wrists. He stared horrified at the words "Blood Roses" carved into her left arm. He ran hands across them wanting to do something, but knowing that only time could heal these.

She looked at him, but his eyes never left her arms. She was scared, now that he knew, now that he knew how messed up she was he would want to leave her. He wouldn't want to be with someone like that. Finally he looked into her desperate eyes and couldn't find anything to say.

"I don't know what you want from me Umi; it's my fault this happened."

"No it's not," she touched his arms and then moved her hands to his face, "It's mine. I couldn't stand the pain, so I found a way out. I wasn't strong enough to cope, don't blame it on yourself."

He pulled her near him, "Why would you do this to yourself?" he whispered letting tears slip.

"I don't know," she cried, "I don't know. I just missed Cephiro, I wanted to get back. I don't know; it was just something to stop the pain. It was an escape, I don't understand it completely."

"You could have killed yourself," he pulled her tighter, "And then where would we be?"

"I'm sorry," she looked into his blue eyes, "I'm sorry I'm the way I am."

"No," he shook his head, "You're perfect the way you are," he kissed her fiercely.

"I won't ever do it again," she said softly.

"I know," he kissed her again, "I know."

§§§~~~

The three families were sitting in the Ryuuzaki's home and talking about their daughters and sisters.

"Umi went to the tower not too long ago," Mrs. Ryuuzaki was saying, "And she never came home, I think that she must have gone back."

"They were happy there; we made the right choice," Mrs. Hououji agreed.

"Hikaru said that they had all found love," Satoru said softly.

"They had," Kuu agreed and smiled at him, "They did."

"I'm sure they're happy now," Maseru put in, and everyone nodded.

§§§~~~

"Umi?" Fuu and Hikaru looked up with tears in their eyes. She smiled at them and let them hug her, being careful to pull her sweater close around her hands. Clef watched and frowned slightly, but no one noticed. All they saw was the happy embrace, and the way that he had seemed to get a new life, a new chance. A happiness had sprung back into his eyes, and they were glad to see him smile again as she laughed with her friends.

They never told anyone about Umi's secret. She had told him not to, and he had obeyed. No one ever needed to know, and she never did it again. She had no need. She was finally truly happy.

She sat by the ocean, her arms wrapped around her feet, and he came up behind her, kissing her neck. She laughed and turned around and met his lips.

"Hi."

"Hi," he responded and sat beside her. She put her head on his shoulder, "They were worried about you."

"I was just thinking," she smiled.

"Thinking about what?" he asked curiously.

"Thinking about how I really like endings like this."

"What kind of ending?" he put an arm around her waist.

"The kind of ending that is not really an ending but a new beginning," she responded and looked up into his eyes as she met his kiss.

"Me too."

*I have closing notes:

~Thanks to everyone who reviewed and thanks especially to Shazzam, ghettochild and E-chan Hidaka for putting up with all my experiments and reviewing all the time. That's a very encouraging thing.

~"Blood Roses" is a song by Tori Amos my all time favorite singer and it seemed to fit the situation.

~I promise not to write anything like this again.

~Thanks for putting up with this long distorted fanfiction and reading and reviewing! Arigato! And Ja ne! ^.^*