(Disclaimer: Ikigami manga belongs solely to Mase Motoro, but Sasuke Mura and the other unknown characters I am writing about belong to me. The story is just based on the plot line of the manga. If this disclaimer is wrong, then please do not sue me.)
Chapter 9: Forever
Riri Kinomoto lay on the bed with Sasuke, who was fast asleep, by his side. Riri ran his fingers through her hair and then touched her hand.
These hands used to be so small.
Riri, twenty-one, walked down the darkened streets looking at a file folder.
"Akane and Kyo Mura, they really are unlucky to be dying at the same time," said Riri as he looked over their file. Riri was ready to read their family history, but stopped when he reached their house. He sighed and shut their file.
"Time to tell them the bad news."
Riri knocked on their door. The door opened revealing Akane, a twenty-four-year-old woman with long black hair.
"Hello sir, do you need something?" asked Akane. Riri nodded and said, "I need to speak with you and your husband." Akane nodded and said, "Please come in." Riri nodded and followed Akane into the house.
Akane walked into the kitchen and said, "Kyo, there is a guest here." Kyo, who was at the table, stood up from his chair and asked, "Did you let in another stranger?" Akane giggled and said, "He said he needed to speak with us and I thought it would be rude to leave him standing in the cold." Kyo sighed.
"You have a point. We wouldn't want another cold patient in the hospital," said Kyo with a chuckle.
Riri looked at them and said, "Well I need to speak with you two." Riri was suddenly pushed into a chair by Akane. Akane smiled at Riri and said, "It's late and you look tired so why don't you have some dinner first before you talk." Riri was about to reject until Akane placed a plate of Tempura and rice in front of him. Riri cleared his throat and thanked her eating the meal before him.
"My Akane is the best cook in the world," praised Kyo. Akane blushed and thanked Kyo. Riri stared at them and wondered when he should tell them. Riri finished the last of his food. He cleared his throat and said, "Now I have to tell you that…"
Riri suddenly felt a small hand on his leg and blinked in confusion. He lifted the table cloth and gasped. Under the table looking at him with curious eyes was a small six-year-old girl in a pink nightgown.
Kyo chuckled and lifted the table cloth on his side.
"Now princess, didn't we tell you to go to bed already," said Kyo. The girl looked at her father and said, "But daddy promised that I can finish my jewelry before going to bed."
Akane looked at Kyo with crossed arms and said, "Oh, did he now?" Kyo chuckled and said, "I did say that, but I didn't expect her to hide under the table to work." The girl nodded and looked at Riri, who was looking at her with wide eyes.
"Who are you?" asked the girl. Riri stood up from the chair abruptly surprising Akane and Kyo.
"Is something wrong?" asked Kyo. Riri looked at them with a strained look and said, "I need to talk with you outside where your daughter can't hear." Kyo and Akane were confused, but did as he told.
Before he left the kitchen with the girl's parents, the girl grabbed his pant leg and handed him a beaded bracelet.
"For you mister, please come again."
Riri took the bracelet with his hand shaking and wished the girl good night.
I told them that they were going to die giving the Ikigami. I remember their crying faces and how they asked repeatedly what was going to happen to Sasuke. I felt so guilty that I just had to go to their funeral.
Riri walked into the funeral service and saw the many crying faces of people. He saw the two urns that had Akane and Kyo Mura's picture above them. Riri placed a lily in front of the urns and pressed his hands together in prayer.
I'm truly sorry.
"Can you believe that the Muras received their Ikigami at the same time?"
"Isn't that tragic?"
"What about their daughter? Is she going to be sent to an orphanage?"
Riri gasped and looked toward the bickering people. Sitting among them was the six-year-old girl he saw that night wearing a pure black dress. The girl's eyes were emotionless. He saw a man who recognized from the Ikigami industry grabbing her hand.
"Come along Mura-Chan. We will provide the money that was promised to you from your parents' deaths and then we will place you in the orphanage until you are an adult or adopted."
Riri gasped and was about to say something, but stopped when he heard someone yell, "Don't take her away!" A small boy that looked a little older than the small girl pulled her away from the employee and hugged her tightly.
"Don't take away Sasuke?" begged the boy with tears in his eyes. That's when Riri learned Sasuke's name for the first time. The boy had convinced his family to take her in and so the arrangement of the money was made with them. Riri knew that even though she had a home, she still felt empty without her parents. The guilt ate at Riri.
Riri walked away from the funeral feeling heavy hearted. He placed his hand in his pocket and gasped when he felt something like beads in his pocket. He pulled out the object and saw that it was the bracelet Sasuke gave to him. Riri smiled and came to a decision.
That's when I decided to give half my paycheck and a letter to Sasuke under the alias Lily every Friday. I still remember her bright smile when she received the first letter. Who knew that it would lead to my love to her one day?
Riri smiled and held Sasuke's hand gently. Riri kissed Sasuke on her lips.
"I will love you until the day I die, my beloved Moon Child."
(Please read the crossover story Storm of the Past)