Let me just say how sorry I am for keeping you all hanging for so long. Thank you for asking me to continue this, it really helped motivate me to get this done and up as soon as school let out.
Disclaimer: If I were CLAMP, this would have gone on hiatus for years and years. Luckily, it's just a few (a lot of) months late. So you're lucky to have me and not CLAMP, right...? Yeah, I thought not.
Chapter Three ~ Her Wish
"… Aren't you going to eat?"
Fujimoto was already more than halfway through his serving. Kobato, on the other hand, hadn't touched her food or her drink.
She smiled sadly (how often had he seen her do that…?) and shook her head. "I'm going to go put it in the fridge for later," she said quietly as she stood, grabbing her plate and cup. He stared after her as she retreated into the kitchen.
What was the matter with girls today? Apparently, they couldn't eat in front of anybody without feeling self-conscious or something, he guessed. When she didn't come back, he finished his supper and took his dirty dishes to the kitchen. He half-expected to find her trapped in the refrigerator or something that only that idiot would be able to do. On the contrary, she wasn't even in the kitchen. Confused and secretly a little worried, he hurried to clean his dishes before going out the opposite way he came in.
There she was, just sitting in front of the fire in the playroom with a blanket over her legs. Without flailing about and tripping over herself, she looked a lot more mature. It was… weird. It almost seemed like it wasn't her—just a stranger with the same face. There was only one thing he was sure of.
He didn't like it.
Which meant that he was going to have to do something to change it.
"Oi…" he said rather uncomfortably as he approached her. She didn't turn, which was strange. Was she avoiding him? In the firelight, he saw something glimmer on the brim of her hat. "You've still got that snowy hat on? No wonder you're still cold." He put a hand on it, ready to tear it away from her head. "I'll hang it up near the entrance."
She shrieked and reached for the edges of the hat as he started to pull it away. She pulled it down with all her strength, trying to keep it on. "Don't, Fujimoto-kun!"
What the hell? "You'll get sick if you keep it on." He gave it another tug.
It almost slipped out of her fingers, but she caught it again and pulled it back down. "S-Stop it! … I have really bad bed head! A-And dandruff! Please, Fujimoto-kun…!" she asked desperately.
His hand didn't leave her hat as he walked to the front of her. "Listen, I won't judge you for any of that stuff. But it's unhealthy to keep this thing on your head." She was hiding her face, so he knelt down. He breathed a long sigh. "Look, I'll take my glasses off so I can't see your dandruff, okay?"
Kobato shook her head. "T-Thank you, Fujimoto-kun. Really. But I…" She looked up at him with watery eyes. "I need to keep the hat on."
After a minute, he finally removed his hand and settled beside her, gazing into the fireplace. "Fine, but I hope that dog can take care of you when your snotting everywhere."
He made sure to pretend like he hadn't noticed when Kobato wiped the tears from her eyes. For whatever reason, girls hated it when they had that pointed out to them. "Thank you for understanding."
"I don't understand," he said abruptly. "And I don't think you're going to explain it, either, are you?" She went back to staring at her lap. No, damn it, he was not going to feel guilty… "So, I'm just adding it to the list of things that you're going to have to explain eventually."
That caught her attention. "A list?"
He nodded. "Yup. There's a big long list, like why you're so clumsy, where you come from, why you're so naïve… and how you're so freaking happy all the time."
She stared at him. After what seemed like hours, she smiled. "There's a list for you too, Fujimoto-kun."
"Yup. Like, why you're so grumpy—"
"I'm not grumpy."
"—and why you hate kittens—"
"Wha—I don't hate kittens!"
"—and why you always pick on me—"
"That one I thought was obvious."
"—and why you push yourself so hard to help people."
He opened his mouth to protest some ridiculous grievance again, but it soon snapped closed. He felt the blood rush to his face. "Look, it's not really like that."
"And I'm not really happy all the time," she countered, her cheerfulness ebbing away. She turned to face the fireplace again and brought her knees to her chest. "Fujimoto-kun, is it wrong to smile when you don't want to?"
She was really asking the wrong person. He hardly ever smiled. "Uh, well… I guess it's not good just to mope about something, but it's not really great to just act like everything's okay when it isn't…" he answered vaguely, hoping she'd drop the subject quickly.
"Alright…" She didn't seem too satisfied with his answer.
It wasn't much longer before they set up sleeping areas, seeing as neither of them could seem to hold a lighthearted conversation for very long. They grabbed two of the futons and some blankets and pillows and set them up in the playroom. Feeling awkward but unsure of what else to say, they simply told each other goodnight before settling again into silence.
"Oi." He shook her, but she didn't stir. He rolled his eyes, but continued to shake her shoulder. "C'mon, wake up."
Groggily, she blinked her eyes open. "Fujimoto-kun…? What time is it?"
He shrugged. To be honest, he really didn't want to know. He was an early bird, but even this was too early for him. "Do you want to see the sunrise or not?"
It took her a moment to comprehend what he had said. Once it finally sunk in though, her entire face broke out into a grin. "That's right! Oh, thank you, I had nearly forgotten!" She reached for her bag, presumably to grab that stupid plush toy.
He sighed and sat back down on his own futon. Well, he could have a clear conscience now.
"Come on, Fujimoto-kun, we have to hurry to the roof!" she said as she grabbed his hand and pulled. He just couldn't catch a break.
"What? You wanted to see it, not me," he stated bluntly.
"Please, Fujimoto-kun, I want to see it with you! Just in case… in case things aren't the same next year."
He wasn't sure what she meant by that, but he could guess. This time next year, Yomogi could be shut down. Where would they all be then? Grunting, he lifted himself up. "Fine. But as soon as it's up, we go back to sleep."
She literally jumped for joy before grabbing both their coats and running up the stairs. He followed after her, secretly glad that she was back to the way she usually was.
The roof was cold, but bearable. It would only be a few minutes more before the sun broke over the hills.
"What do you do if you have to choose between the thing you want and the thing you should do?"
He looked at her. She was twiddling her thumbs. Why the hell did she ask him these kinds of questions lately? Well, at least this one was easier to answer than that one from the night before. "You do whichever one will make you happiest with yourself." This time, she actually did look satisfied.
At last, the first ray of sunlight shone over the hills, instantly warming them.
Kobato took a deep breath in and closed her eyes. This was what she had been waiting for; making her wish. Shrugging, Fujimoto closed his eyes as well. Let Sayaka-sensei get through all of this…
Before Kobato made her wish, she peaked through one eye over at Fujimoto. His eyes were closed, making his wish. Smiling sadly, she closed her eyes again. She knew what she really wanted to wish for, even if that wasn't what she should. Let me heal Fujimoto-kun soon…
Ioryogi gazed directly into the sun. He wasn't one for making wishes, except for when it really counted. He much preferred resolutions. Those he could hold himself to, instead of waiting for someone else to complete for him. He closed his eyes and sighed.
I'll try to make things right again.
A/N: That's all she wrote! My first completed fic. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope it was to your liking after waiting so long. Fujimoto was a lot of fun to write, though I hope I captured him and the other characters well enough for you all. Thank you for all of your support through this little holiday story of mine that's conclusion was far from the conclusion of the holiday. I would love to hear what you thought about it in your reviews!