One More Try

A Kurei/Fuuko Fanfic

Disclaimer: Kurei and Fuuko and whoever else may be involved in this fic are not mine. The song, One More Try by a1, does not belong to me either (duh!)

I really liked Masqurade and the idea of Fuuko and Kurei being together. ^_^ Frankly, I don't see why not. There's so much competition between Mi-chan and Raiha that we might as well bring the rich, most powerful guy of them all. *grinz*

Gomen ne to all those who don't really like Kurei and Fuuko being together. I myself like Fuu/Tok pairing. Fuu/Rai is also quite okay. Fuuko and Domon is a big sweatdrop tho…

Okay, let's get on with this….

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Kurei descended the steps wearily. For some reason, he had been ever so tired lately. Perhaps it was due to the lack of sleep, especially since Joker and his wisecracks had been working up again. Or maybe Neon's food was the real killer, turning his insides upside down. Raiha was no problem – his faithful ninja never brought him any trouble.

Life had been so empty lately. Everyday was more of a drag than ever. It seemed to exhaust every ounce of energy within him. He was glad when he could retire for the day and just lie asleep in bed.

But it had not been so before.

Gone were the days when he always awoke with newfound strength. When someone else, apart from the Uruha was actually allowed to enter the mansion. When the scent of roses would fill his room and the flowers bloom before his eyes.

Kurenai would have been so disappointed.

No, she was disappointed in him. He could feel it.

The man shook his head forcefully.

There is nothing different about today, he told himself. Everything is just fine, the same as before.

But his clenched fists and wrenched heart said a lot more.

They said what his lips would never admit.

They told him that he was a fool.

A fool to let her go, to chase her away.

Could be your eyes

Could be your smile

Could be the way you freed my mind

Deep, intense cobalt blue eyes that sparkled with laughter. Always smiling, always bright.

He loved those eyes.

The way they always stared back at him. They way they would laugh along with him, sharing his joy. The way clear liquid would fall from them when he was hurt, how they shared his sorrow with him.

One look at those eyes could make his every day seem bright. It made every breath he took worth it.

They comforted him and supported him through troubled times.

They understood his every need and provided in accordance.

They gave him strength to pass the day, the will to live on.

That hair. That strange coloured hair.

It was magenta highlighted fuschia.

Its strange colour had always intrigued him.

It was short – unlike how a usual girl would keep it.

It wisped about whenever a gentle breeze passed.

It was sleek and smooth.

He loved her hair too. The feel of it was so soothing. He wanted to run his fingers through that gorgeous hair and bury his face in it again. To smell that sweet smelling shampoo, which he could never figure out.

The way it glistened under the sunlight was magical. It would cast off rays of pink and purple, which ironically so happened to also be her least liked colours.

The way it swayed about whenever she walked. She always walked with a bounce to her step, and her hair would respond to the movements. When she ran, they ran with her, having little resistance to the wind.

The way it clung to her face when it was wet. That had always made her look vulnerable, like she needed to be protected. Protected by him - a job he would not give his Uruha to do. He would take it on himself to make sure she got what she wanted, as long as it was not unreasonable. Her requests were never unreasonable in any way, anyhow. She was not a selfish, self-obsessed girl.

And that single band that never seemed to be missing from her head. She had told him the story of it once. The story of her very first friend. During that time, she had not even considered Recca a friend, but instead a sparring partner – someone from next door whom she could play cards with. She told him of the loneliness she had felt at that period of time and how she was, in a sense, the school bully. No one dared to offend her, much less talk to her.

Her smile.

It was always bright and genuine. There was barely any falseness to it.

At first, she had used it as a cover up for all the pain she felt. A smile from her usually said that she was al right, nothing was wrong. Normal people would shrug and then leave her alone and act normally. But Kurei knew when her smile was just a front, something she would use to getaway with. Her smile would falter when she realised that he had seen through her mask, and she would pour out everything to him.

But when it was a real smile, it was often accompanied by a laugh.

Loud laughter, something she was famous for. Her pranks were not to be missed. Several times had she gotten back at Joker for his stupid wisecracks. The two were often at 'war' with each other, bickering and answering back. Both had a good guffaw at the end of it all and shake hands. It was more of slapping hands, actually.

She would howl in laughter when she saw them suffering at the food made. She and Neon in the kitchen together were real killers, food poison. How the inhabitants of the Uruha mansion had lasted so long was still a mystery to Kurei. Even one whiff of the fumes coming from the kitchen was enough to turn anyone off. But amazingly, the food was edible and went down their digestive systems without much complaint. Perhaps many years of eating Neon's food had resulted so.

Girlish giggling – a rare find. Since she was already so unladylike, it was not often that such a gentle girlish action could be spotted. These giggles could only be caused by him, when she did not like a thought of laughing out loud at him. Her eyebrows would crease together when he made an embarrassing mistake, and she would hold in the laughter that threaten to burst out any moment.

A gentle smile of gratefulness was the one never shown in public. Only when she was alone with Kurei would it appear, as if it were for him alone, and nobody else. It was a silent "thank you", something that caused all earnestness to show in her eyes. It was a special blessing to him. It always made him feel good inside. It made his heart warm and…bubbly.

Your precious touch caressed my soul

You gave me everything I need

Her hands were slightly calloused. It should not have been, especially since she was a girl, and not even a woman. She was a lot younger than he was, in both age and maturity. She was an immature brat, no doubt, but had an understanding heart.

The way she could see through people and comfort them, it was amazing. Her soothing words could make even death seeking Hisui to find new meaning to life. Her hug released Ganko from the chains which bound her, making the little girl know that a doll could never replace her mother.

To him, her touch was soft and tender. They never embraced much, just enjoying each other's company. It was a purely platonic relationship. She was beautiful, yes. In his eyes she defeated every other women he had ever seen or met in his life. Supermodels were nothing compared to her. But her outward beauty was but a small portion of the many reasons why he had grown to love her so much. Her inner beauty shone out more than what could be seen by the naked eye.

She made each of his days an enjoyable time. Sometimes he would be sitting there in his study, gazing out the window, waiting for a certain magenta hair figure to come bouncing down the pathway, swinging a portfolio enthusiastically with one hand. With the other she would control her balance.

She invaded many quiet afternoons in the mansion. Blowing up the kitchen, setting "Joker traps", mock dueling with Raiha, getting nagged and scolded at by haughty Neon. After all this had happened, she would meekly ascend the steps to find him. For some reason or another, she always knew where to find him. Once, he had opened the bathroom door to find her waiting patiently outside.

She was not exactly what one could consider a studious character, but she did her work anyhow. It was not the least bit surprising. She did not want to disappoint her mother or brother by having the principal call up to complain. Which reminds him, did her family know about all this?

Her weakest point was Math. She hated the numbers and was frequently complaining of how the numbers would haunt her at night when she slept. She groaned when he tried to explain the problem to her and scrunched up the paper in frustration. Amazingly, Raiha could teach her the logic behind it more easily than Kurei could.

"Whenever you do this, there's always an obviousness in your voice," she had once said.

Perhaps, but would studying with Mikagami Tokiya be any better. He would comment on how poor her handwriting was and link her with a monkey.

Kurei scowled darkly at that thought. He did not like people dissing her off.

And now I'm lost

Lost forever

Kirisawa Fuuko. Perhaps the most extraordinary girl he had ever met.

But he just had to throw it all away.

The source of his joy, his sun on earth.

The wrenching in his heart grieved him more as he walked out into the open. The mask he wore obscured his vision of the rose garden which Neon cared so carefully tended to.

His mask. He began wearing it again since Day One without her coming round the corner and bursting the door.

He liked it for its uses. It hid away the expression on his face. It hid away his true emotions from everybody. Make that everybody minus Raiha, the grinning fool who knew him all too well. Maybe she might be able to see through his mask too, he did not know.

Fuuko. Indeed a child of wind. She made everyday a passing breeze. She caressed gently, soothingly. She could grow fierce when provoked, and cause an unwanted storm.

But where was the wind now?

The laughter of wind always accompanied her wherever she went, but it was not present here, not now.

Kurei began walking. To where, he did not know.

He let his feet take control as they wandered about aimlessly.

At some point of time, his mask fell onto the ground with a muffled clunk.

Lost forever

And you said this is going nowhere, girl

And you said I turned my back on

You said I'm not the only one for you

~ Flashback ~

"You don't geddit, doya?" Fuuko's back was turned towards him. Her fist caused an indentation in the wall, bruising her fingers and chipping the bits of paint around the offended area. "This…all of this is so damn stagnant."

Kurei was leaned back in his chair, arms folded across his chest. His expression was unreadable – the shadows cast over them made it impossible to see. His legs were crossed in an uncaring manner as he continued to listen to her ramblings.

"I'm not saying that I don't like it…I…I don't know, 'kay? This is so confusing an' all an' I just thought you could show a bit more concern," she continued. Her voice quivered as she spoke. Out of anger, out of hurt, Kurei did not know. "I mean, you're just too distant. I can take it when you refuse to tell me top secret stuff which concerns only the Uruha. But I sure as hell can't take it when you hide yourself away from me Kurei. Coz…coz I don't wanna see you get hurt like you did before…an'…an'…"

She turned to face him. A telltale streak ran down from either sides of her face. "An' I…just…care about you…."

Her fists were still clenched into balls of white. They certainly did not match the expression on her face right now.

Kurei flit his eyes over the form before him.

"Is that all you wanted to say?" he questioned.

Fuuko snapped and lunged forward to grab him by the scruff of his neck. "You…teme…an'…an'…why'd you hurt me, my feelings?! Have you no heart?!" demanded she, nearly yelling into his ear. "What's the matter with ya Kurei?! You used to be different! What's happenin' to ya now?! Tell me!"

He pried her fingers off the scarlet material and flung her to the ground as gently as possible. Why? He must have had grown used to it, taking a lighter approach to her.

"What do you want?" A question yet again asked in that unfeeling voice, emotionless.

Fuuko was sniffing now.

Somewhere deep and hidden in the depths of his heart, he hurt.

"You…I thought you were different…" she sniffed, holding back tears that threatened to fall. Too late, they rolled out slowly, one by one, forming more and more ugly streaks on her tanned face. Her cobalt eyes glimmered and blinked. "Why're you so far away nowadays?…What's happened to the Kurei I know…? Don't you care anymore?"

"Nonsense. I have always been here." He knew what she was talking about, of course, but answered in ignorance anyhow. "Nothing has happened to me. I have always been Kurei."

The last question, he refused to answer.

With newfound strength, Fuuko hauled herself off the floor and slammed a fist down on his desk, splintering the wood. "You know what I mean Kurei! You know it, so stop lying! I've never lied to you, have I?!"

A few splinters were embedded into her bruised skin. A trickle of blood flowed onto the table, the wood seeping it hungrily, as though it had been waiting for this to happen for a long time.

It was a curious thought that none of his Uruha had come up to see what was happening. Kurei could sense that some of them were crowded outside his room – namely Raiha, Neon and Joker. But they dared not enter. The lock had been spoilt a few days earlier, so they should have had no problem in stopping Fuuko's ranting.

"I suggest you go and get that hand bandaged up before the splinters implant themselves deeper, " he said quietly. "And yes, you've lied to me before. It's just that I saw right through you."

"That's different!" shouted she. "You squirmed the truth outta me anyway an' I couldn't help but tell ya."

She glared at him with fierce, angry eyes. Kurei frowned inwardly. He knew that this was another mask of hers. She was just using anger to suppress the hurt inside.

"Your wounds won't heal properly if you're going to continue on like that," he spoke in an even, calm voice.

"I don't care about the physical wound dammit! Stop being such a jerk!" A quivering arm jerked to slap him, but before she could brush her fingers against his skin, he had reacted. She flew across the room and slammed against the cold stone wall. He watched as her lithe body slumped onto the ground. He heard as she winced in pain. He must have fractured a few bones.

How come that blow was without mercy?

Outside, he could hear voices as Raiha prevented Neon from rushing in to help the injured Fuuko. Joker, from what he could hear, was restraining Neon.

He strolled over to where the girl was. She tried raising a protective arm to ward him off but it only got as far as above her knee before it fell lifelessly to rest on her thigh. She cussed and pulled it closer to cross her abdomen. It must have hurt for the wincing was muffled but sharp.

He examined the damage done. "It's bad," he announced.

"Glad you realised," she replied sarcastically. Even talk was no mean feat for her. She wheezed with each word. "Should've realised that before you sent me flying across."

He scowled at her words again.

"Damn, you've made me so weak," she breathed. "And ya noe what, the damage doesn't only apply to those lousy bones." She lifted her right hand and rested it on the left side of her chest.

Kurei rolled his eyes. Since when had Fuuko been such a sap?

"I'll get Raiha to bring you to the hospital," he offered, voice still uncaring.

Her magenta bangs covered her eyes as her head hung down. "I want you to bring me there," she whispered inaudibly, but not too soft so Kurei could hear it. "Raiha is not the one I love…"

"Fuuko…" he warned. There was no need for her to say such, such…meaningless words. "You're going to the hospital."

"Won't. It's my business anyhow, not yours, why the hell should you care."

Kurei said nothing to that.

He raised her head and lolled it to the side, gazing at him with tearful eyes. The watery streaks had been smudged across her features.

"You're a rich, spoilt, annoying ass who just irritated the hell outta me," she spoke, wheezing. "And you coulda have any girl you wannaed from the four corners of this blasted world." He watched as she picked herself off the floor, hands pressed against the wall for support. It was then that he noticed a streak of red run from the back of her head down her back. "And," she continued, "I just found out it wasn't me."

She winced, dragging her legs across the floor. Her knees were shaking from the shock. She stumbled on the way, falling against the cold wall.

Kurei had the decency to offer some help, but she waved him off.

"Don't worry, I won't come here anymore…" her voice trailed off as she pushed the door open, weakly. She nearly tripped over his Uruhas would were huddling outside. Fuuko gave them a tired side-glance before following the wall to the stairs, where she tripped dozens of times, grabbing on tightly to the railing.

Kurei stepped outside and frowned at his three Jyushinshu.

Neon looked away, finding sudden interest in the floorboard.

Joker just kept staring in the direction of the stairs.

Raiha just shook his head and gave him a sad smile.

"Sumen ne, Kurei-sama. I believe I have a job to do." The ninja stood up, avoiding his master's gaze, and proceeded down the stairway.

One by one, those who had been hiding outside Kurei's office left, until only Neon and Joker were left.

Joker turned away from him and stuck his hands in his pockets, heaving a disappointed sigh. "Kurei-han, I'd thought you'd know better," he said before walking off.

Neon gazed at him with mournful eyes, hands clasped together. "Joker has said everything, Kurei-sama," she whispered, turning away and retreating in the same direction as Joker had.

Kurei's heart hardened to their words. He thought it preposterous, that his faithful followers would side with Fuuko. He was their master, not her!

Inside his office, Fuuko's portfolio was still sitting on the floor, expectantly.

A rich, spoilt, annoying ass huh?

~ End flashback ~

Please give it one more try for the sake of our love

Let's give it one more chance coz I can't give you up

I can't live one more day without you in my arms

I could never find another like you

He heard sounds of chatter, of laughter.

How ironic…

His feet had brought him straight to a school. Apparently, dismissal time was over and the students were leaving school one by one.

Kurei watched as a girl and boy held hands, heading towards the amusement park not far away. The boy was holding the girl's books and they laughed gaily at some joked that was cracked.

A smile.

How long had it been since he had seen one?

Ever since that day, none of his Jyushinshu made an effort to liven up the place. Though Joker grinned once or twice, Kurei could tell that it was forced. And it almost always happened whenever he was not there to see the stupid wisecrack made.

A chilly wind blew across and he looked up. For some reason, the school uniform looked seemingly familiar.

Pink blazer.

It was her school.

His leather boots drew themselves across to the front gate. He backed against the wall, not wishing to be spotted by Recca or Domon or Mikagami or anyone else that would totally give him away.

He could not will himself to leave the compounds and return to the mansion.

His legs now refused to obey him, so he did the only thing he could do.

Wait.

Wait till she was in sight and then maybe they could resolve the entire situation.

Wait till he saw her limping by and snatch her within a split second.

Wait till she would forgive his idiocy.

Could be the lies

Could be my pride

Could be the days and nights so wild

He remembered the day when his baka brother came barging in, yelling his head off and casting accusations at him. Domon and Mikagami had also accompanied him. The large Mongoloid threw threats and Mikagami did nothing but gave some unneeded comments.

"What did you do to Fuuko!" Recca had demanded, pinning Kurei against the wall.

Kurei's eyes slanted dangerously. "Unhand me."

But Recca did nothing of that sort.

Then Domon stepped up, smacking his fist to his palm. "And to think that I let you have her," he scowled.

"We trusted you," Mikagami had said, no emotion evident in his voice. His Ensui was gripped tightly in his left hand.. The blade was crystal clear.

Where had his Uruha been then?

"Where is she," asked Kurei, quietly, uncaringly.

"Why should we tell you?! You'll only hurt her even more!" yelled Recca.

Kurei gave his brother a cold stare and thrust him off, dusting his scarlet robes after which. "I have no time for this," he stated, meaning for them to leave, immediately.

But they did not.

Where were his Jyushinshu?

"Why'd you hurt her!" Now Domon was the one to demand. The bulky mass of muscles came his way, ready to pulverize him, but Kurei dodged easily.

"She got herself into all this," he said, never changing his tone of voice.

"What? She wasn't good enough for you? Is that it?" inquired Mikagami, annoyance clear in his voice. Ensui raised in an offensive pose, ready to strike.

"Do you still care?! Do you care about her anymore?! Or is your pride too important?! Can't stand being seen around with a tomboy issit?! Afraid to shame your name, issat it?!" Recca was holding back his want to release his flame. The way his right arm shook, it was as though the flame dragons were demanding to display his anger. His eyes burned with fury.

"Who allowed you to intrude into my private grounds?"

Kurei's tone was aggravating. His reply was so insolent.

"You…do you still consider yourself a man?!" Domon aimed a blow at him, but it was futile. Kurei was too fast to hit. With one hand, Kurei temporarily dislocated Domon's shoulder joint, causing the latter to howl out loud.

Outside, shuffling of footsteps could be heard as the door suddenly burst open, Raiha, Neon and Joker ready to defend their master.

Raiha did not hesitate to bring out his kantana, Neon was ready in a fighting pose, Joker gripped his Taishaku Kaiten.

"Tell me," began Mikagami as he brought his sword up warily, advancing towards Kurei, "were you serious about Fuuko in the first place."

Kurei returned a cold stare. "I do not know who you are talking about."

At that moment, Ensui's blade burst into water.

Raiha's kantana fell to the ground with a clink.

Taishaku Kaiten slipped from Joker's fingers.

All of them stared back at Kurei in shock.

"Ku-Kurei-sama…" gasped Neon, not believing her ears.

Mikagami was first to snap out of it. "Say that again," he challenged.

"I do not know her," Kurei repeated.

Mikagami pocketed his madougu and narrowed his eyes at Kurei. "I never believed that you could drop so low, Kurei," he said coldly.

Recca's fists balled up, frustrated. "Why, why you hateful being," he cussed. "I'll never forgive you for this."

Domon was helped off the floor by Recca. The big man said nothing but glared at Kurei, muttering something underneath his breath.

Raiha sheathed his kantana and stepped away from Kurei. Neon and Joker joined his side.

The three Hokage members left, saying that they had other things to look after than fight a worthless being.

"Where were you," demanded Kurei once they had gone.

Raiha lowered his eyes. Neon and Joker also looked away.

"Kurei-sama," explained the ninja, fists clenched, "Fuuko-san has been admitted into the hospital."

Could be the times I wasn't there

And all the nights we didn't share

Kurei entered the white ward. A smell of alcohol filled the air.

His Uruha had forced him to come here. They said that he owed Fuuko.

She was asleep on the bed, magenta hair sprawled all over the white pillow.

She looked so lifeless, so dead.

He tossed a bouquet of roses Neon had specially arranged onto the movable table that hovered across her bed.

It rolled off and landed on her lap.

He gave her one last glance and decided to leave. Staying here was only a waste of time, he told himself.

Just before his hand touched the doorknob, her hoarse voice spoke.

"Didn't hafta play games before," it said. "And take those flowers back, I thought you didn't know me."

He opened his mouth to say something, but grimly clamped it shut and walked out the door, shutting it tightly behind him.

Inside the room, Fuuko muffled a sob.

And now you're lost

Lost forever

He saw Fuuko amble out the school gates, hands tucked deep in her pockets, head lowered, as if ponder ing over something. Her pink blazer was slightly faded from long usage and the cold winter's chill caused the hairz on her nape to stand. Her hair barely swayed like they used to.

Kurei bit his lip guiltily.

Than somebody appeared behind her.

He was holding a portfolio with one hand and another was tucked underneath his arm. He ran his fingers through long silvery hair and blew into the winter's air, causing white smoke to appear.

Kurei recognised him on sight.

Mikagami Tokiya.

Kurei narrowed his eyes at this interfering boy.

He saw Fuuko's lips move, muttering something to him. Mikagami must have obliged, for he passed her the portfolio in his hands and bid her goodbye, walking off in another direction.

Kurei knew why.

She had felt his presence somewhere near and told Mikagami to return home first.

Fuuko shrugged and swung her portfolio over one shoulder, other hand still buried inside her skirt pocket. She seemed to be ignoring his presence and only raised her head once – to glance in the direction of the mansion.

She gave a resigned sigh and continued walking, head bowed.

She was obviously not looking where she was going, for she bumped into something. Someone, more like it.

It caused her to fall; her bones had not yet recovered.

"Hey, don't you have eyes?" she snarled, reaching for her black portfolio. She tried supporting herself up using her arms, but failed to do so. "Dang, now I can't get up. And it's all your fau…" Her sentence was cut off when she saw who was the person who had bumped into. Or whom she had bumped into, rather.

A scarlet robe billowed with the wind that passed.

Lost forever

And you said this is going nowhere girl

And you said I turned my back on

You said I'm not the only one for you

She glared up at him, putting even more effort into trying to get up.

"Need some help?" he asked. The answer was quite obvious, but the reply was different.

"Not from you," she said coldly, backing away from him.

"You sure?" he asked again. Offending Fuuko was the last thing he wanted to do now. Now that everything was so messed up.

"It's your fault that I'm in this state now." Her tone never changed. Kurei did not know if it was forced - but if it was, she was doing a very good job. Fuuko flung an arm into the air. "First you go and fracture my bones, then you come and knock me down. Tell me, what do you derive out of this?"

He said nothing.

"Ri-ight," she muttered sarcastically. "So you're gonna stay there and watch me as I struggle to get up from this freezing cold snow. You have fun while my ass is going numb."

Kurei frowned and lifted her up. Gently, now. Fractured bones were no joke.

She freed herself from his grasp immediately after her feet were steady. He flinched.

Her glare never wavered. "Didn't know you were so kind as to help someone you didn't know."

He flinched again.

"That hurt, Fuuko," he said softly.

"Oh yeah? Well, so do I," she scowled, cobalt eyes flashing.

Please give it one more chance for the sake of our love

Let's give it one more try coz I can't give you up

I can't live one more day without you in my arms

I could never find another like you

They just stood there, outside the school gates. Students passing by tend to stare and point.

Fuuko wanted to leave. She really wanted to. But her legs were not obeying her. They refused to budge, so she could not help but stand there and muster the fiercest glare she could come up with.

"Go away Kurei," she warned, willing her eyes to portray anger.

He did not move.

"I'm hanging around with Mi-chan now, so buzz off."

He kept silent for a moment, digesting her words.

"Are you still angry?" he asked in a slightly more caring voice.

Fuuko found herself wanting to turn away, but she couldn't, so she avoided his gaze, watching passing students. "I was never angry at you," she said quietly. Fuuko bent over to pick up her portfolio.

He never let his gaze leave her. He watched her every movement. It was like a movie he had not seen for a long time. A movie he really enjoyed.

His hands itched to touch her, to hold her.

Fuuko stiffened when she felt two cold fingers cup her chin. How long had he been out here? And most importantl,y just what did he think he was doing?

His fingers made her face him. His purple eyes stared right back into hers, making her feel small. She tried to look away, but his voice caught her attention again, and she had no choice but to listen.

"What do you mean by you're hanging around with Mikagami Tokiya now?" he asked. "Surely you don't mean that you have chosen him."

She blinked.

"S-so what if-if I have," she stammered. "It's ultimately m-my choice."

Then Kurei smiled victoriously.

So he had not mistaken the meaning of her words.

Fuuko scowled.

Damn that smile.

I can't sleep

I can't live without you by my side

So cold

So lost without you as my guide

You made me realise I'm nothing

Nothing without you

Fuuko fidgeted uncomfortably and tried to pry off the fingers that held her chin, that forced her to look at him.

Kurei defied her wish and grabbed on to her hand as well.

"You can't lie to me, Fuuko," he said, not mockingly.

She said nothing and cast her eyes away from his. The stare was so intense, and she didn't want him to think that she was weak. She was not going to fall at his feet and worship him, because he was not worth it. He was not worth her tears and sobs.

"I'm sorry that I lied one time too many Fuuko, that I caused you to go away," he said solemnly. She blinked and saw him glazing at her somberly, all earnestness present. He was being truthful. She hoped he was being truthful.

"I…I don't know why I shut myself away," he continued, stepping nearer to her.

Fuuko felt really uncomfortable now. Not only did she not know what to do, other people were staring now. They were watching, anticipating the outcome. She hated the way they were discussing this amongst themselves, the way she and Kurei were being made a spectacle. New of this was going to spread around school like a wildfire tomorrow. Not that she cared but…what if Mi-chan heard about this?

She did not tell Mikagami that she was going to be his girlfriend, and she sure hoped she had not given him that sort of idea. But Mikagami…she did not want to hurt him in any way…

She really wanted to pull away from Kurei now and suggest they go and talk about this matter elsewhere, somewhere more…secluded.

But Kurei's next move was too startling for her to react in time.

She was suddenly in his embrace.

Oh, so he had noticed too, and realised what she was feeling.

He stroked her hair.

"Are you afraid that they will talk? That Mikagami Tokiya will hear and get upset?" he murmured into her ear.

Fuuko blinked. Her arms failed to push him away.

"I've missed you Fuuko," he whispered. "Sleeping has been so impossible. I can't fall asleep, and when I finally do, dreams that haunt me will return, and I'd wish that you were back, that you were back to chase away all of them, to calm me. Life's been so empty without you. Everyday's been a living hell, a laborious process. It's been exhausting me out. Even Joker's stupid jokes don't help. It's so painful not to have you around, you know that?"

"Ku-kurei," stammered she.

"Shhh. I've been meaning to ask you to come back, really, I have. Ever since the day at the hospital. Ever since my baka brother intruded into the mansion. Ever since my Jyushinshu have been giving me the cold shoulder. But that's not all, my life's been so incomplete without you in it. I stare out the window everyday, expecting you to come bouncing down the pathway, portfolio flailing crazily in one hand. I've been so lost and I can't find peace. I've tried and tried all other ways and tried to make myself believe that I could live without you, but I found I was wrong.

"This is no lie Fuuko. I really missed you. Your smile, your hair, your eyes, your pranks, your inedible food, your complaints about school…I miss everything."

Please give it one more try for the sake of our love

Let's give it one more chance coz I can't give you up

I can't live one more day without you in my arms

I could never find another like you

Fuuko gasped.

Kurei had fallen to his knees in a kneel.

All around, people were watching, observing.

He gazed pleadingly up at her.

"Kirisawa Fuuko," he said in a very solemn tone, "I, Kurei, beg of you to forgive my idiocy and return to me. I can't live without you by my side. You are too special to let go. You complete my life, Fuuko. I can't sleep knowing that you hate me. I can't live without your smile, your laughter, without you as a whole. My life's so choked up without you here to clear up everything and bring me through all this mess. So I beg of you, forgive me and come back into my life."

One more try

One more try

One, one more try

Baby give me one more try

A crowd had formed and people were beginning to gaze at them, stars in their eyes. Some of them were prompting her to forgive him of his idiocy. Some were giggling uncontrollably. And more than half went "awwwwwwwwwwwwww."

Fuuko wanted to roll her eyes and tell the crowd to shut up already.

But instead, she fell to her knees to and looked Kurei in the eye. She placed both hands on either sides of his face.

"Kurei," she said gently, " I don't want to cause to big a scene here and have the principal come and chase us all away so that his ugly van can go through the school gates, so I forgive your idiocy."

The crowd cheered.

For the first time in months, Kurei smiled a genuine smile and hugged her tightly, forgetting for a moment that she was injured.

"And one more thing. Kurei," she said.

"Hm?"

"We're gonna become ice popsicles unless you stop hugging me in the midst of snow."

Kurei laughed and lifted her up in his arms, carrying her back to the mansion.

~ Later… ~

"Kurei…"

"Mm," he murmured. "What is it?"

"I think we left my portfolio back out there in the snow…"

"Who cares?"

"Hn. You really are a rich, spoilt, annoying ass."

"Yea. I'm a rich, spoilt, annoying ass who has the best girl in the world in his arms now…"

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Ne, minna-san, how did you like it?

The last part was real corny, right?

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