Epilogue
Four months Earlier…
(Takes place during chapter 1)

Senior year had finally arrived.

The final year of immature bickering and lousy gossip. After this, there would be no more ass-kissing to teachers everyone loathed. The same teachers who loathed the students just as much but pretended to act so otherwise.

After this there would also be no more ridiculous dress-up days only the freshmen seemed to enjoy; and no more tacky festivities only half the school participated in. It'd all be gone in just ten months time.

Ikuto could hardly wait.

In fact, he was so eager for it all to end that he sat on the edge of the school's roof with his feet dangling over the ledge. His hands were folded loosely in his lap as he calmly gazed over the school grounds. A cool breeze had picked up and tousled his hair, blowing a few strands in front of his deep blue eyes as he let the muscles in his face relax.

It wasn't just the stress of school that was already getting to him, but work and family as well. Work was as it always had been - boring and a reason he had fallen behind in schoolwork last year.

Whereas at home…it wasn't getting any better. His mom had lost her long battle with leukemia just last week. She had been in and out of the hospital for years, giving Ikuto mixed feelings about the whole thing. Of course he didn't want her to die. It still created a lump in his throat at the thought of her. He didn't want her to die at all, but he knew she wasn't suffering anymore.

Utau, his younger sister…she was really his only ally in all of this. They had joined forces when their step dad, Kazuomi, came into the family picture when Ikuto was around seven.

He was a man who made Ikuto's life a living hell. He tried to take on the role of 'dad' in the household, starting with telling Ikuto what to do and what was best for him. If Ikuto spoke his mind and defied Kazuomi - something he usually did - he'd get a belt to the back until the right amount of blood was drawn.

Ikuto even had the scars to prove it - but refused to show anyone, not even Utau. He didn't want their sympathy. Or worse, to be looked down on as some kind of freak who couldn't even stand up to his own step dad. Plus, even if he did tell someone, what could they do about it? Call the police? Kazuomi would smooth talk his way out of it, then punish Ikuto in a way far greater than what he'd been experiencing so far. Worst comes to worst, Kazuomi would hurt Utau instead. That'd hurt Ikuto more than a belt to the back ever would.

Ikuto let his eyes gently shut as he relaxed his face muscles once again, his ears tuning in to listen to the distant singing of baby birds, followed by the low hum of a lawn mower starting up down on the soccer field.

There was a lot of good in the world.

Yet it didn't seem to matter how good the world was, the negative still managed to out-shine a thousand positives. And those negative had the power to twist and mangle your life in every possible way, making you beg for an escape from the world.

Gradually re-opening his eyes, Ikuto came to a conclusion: he needed a reason. A reason to stay alive.

Slowly rising to his feet, he released a deep, calming breath, "Give me a reason." He spoke softly while glancing up at the squiggly white clouds, in hopes that maybe his mom could hear him.

He waited a moment. Then two. By the time he reached ten counts, his foot was already raised and ready to drop.

"Wh-what are you doing?"

Ikuto quickly put up a nonchalant front and spun around in disbelief- …and there she was, with her pink hair and golden eyes.

His reason to live.

Author's Note: Okay, so that's the very end of this story now. (This took place during chapter one, this is just Ikuto's side of the story) Soo I guess this gives us a better idea why Ikuto kept that pregnancy test, using it as an excuse to talk to Amu and get to know her more. I mean, if someone showed up in your life as a reason to live, I'm sure you'd want to know more about them too :P SOOOO. Now for the preview for my next story…which I hopefully will create, but I'm still unsure. I'll see Ya'll later! (Amu and Ikuto are good friends in this story)

"Ah, yes…" Ikuto replied slowly before sending her a pointed look. "I seem to recall you having plenty of crabby days once a month. Do you want chocolate?"

Amu flushed a brilliant shade of red before giving a small nod.

"You still joining us for the movie night on Saturday?" The pinkette asked once her blush had calmed down, though her anger still remained from his previous comment. She wasn't that horrible when it came to her period. Ikuto just always happened to receive the worst of it.

Ikuto gave her a wary look. "Do you want me to?"

"Why, yes, yes I do. Then I can smother you with a pillow!" Amu exclaimed, throwing him a dark glare.

The old man at the counter sported a sailor-like paper hat, crinkles at the corners of his friendly eyes, and a welcoming smile. He reached over the counter and handed Amu her double-scooped, triple chocolate ice cream - in a waffle cone. Ikuto once made the mistake of ordering it to come in a bowl, like he preferred his own. After spending the day being ignored, he knew never to make that mistake again, having to learn the hard way just how attached Amu was to those waffle cones.

"Here you are, miss." The elderly man's attention caught briefly on the Disney character printed on Amu's t-shirt. He looked back up at her eyes and smiled again, "Or should I say, 'Tinkerbell'."

Amu blushed as she smiled bashfully and accepted the ice cream from the man. "Thank you, sir." Her honey-coloured eyes wandered down to the floor as she waited for her blush to subside.

Ikuto grabbed a spoon and stabbed it into his own iced dessert.

"More like Stinkerbell." He uttered, pretending he didn't notice the extra deadly death glare that was thrown his way.

To Be Continued…Maybe