"ALRIGHT!" Liz thundered as she clapped her hands together authoritatively, bringing the attention of the rest of the girls in the room to her. "Is everybody ready to knock them dead tonight?" she asked with a sly grin as she put her hands on her hips. Really, if anybody was going to be knocking anybody dead, out of all of us, it would probably be her. That girl definitely knew what she was doing when it came to the world of fashion and her tight baby blue dress that matched her eyes perfectly proved it. She wore almost no make-up and her hair was up in a messy, but still somehow trendy bun with pieces hanging down that added just the right touch of elegance.
As I looked around the room at the rest of the girls, they all looked equally as stunning. Patty looked great in herlittle red cocktail dress and her short hair in bouncing curls and Tsubaki looked amazing as always in her fitted purple dress, wearing a little more make-up than usual, but it just added to her beauty. Her long raven hair was now down and in it's natural flowing elegance. Lastly, I looked over to Maka who could definitely not get left behind here. Her deep green gown flowed gracefully over her body and her stylishly crimped hair made her look like some sort of mermaid princess.
Oh Shinigami…how would I ever be able to compete with any of them?
"I'm ready if everybody else is ready," Tsubaki said with a gentle smile as she timidly ran her fingers through her glossy hair.
"Yeah, same for me!" Maka said, folding her hands in front of her and smiling happily, bringing beautiful color to her skin and adding to her beauty.
"Patty's ready, Patty's ready! Let's goooo!" Patty cheered as her elegant appearance slowly melted away to reveal her usual child-like demeanor. She bounced up and down excitedly, her blue eyes shining with delight and her short curls bouncing right along with her movements.
Liz grinned at the girls' enthusiasm, then glanced over to me expectantly. "What about you, Rai? Are you ready to get out there?"
I bit my lip and crossed my arms over my chest uncomfortably. No, there was no way in hell that I was ready! Then again, I didn't think there was ever going to be a time where I was. Still, I shrugged instead of giving her a straight-forward answer, making her frown and walk over to stand beside me, looping one of her arms in mine. "Oh c'mon, there's no reason for you to be worried. You look great and you'll be fine! Just try and have fun!" she encouraged me.
"Yeah!" Maka chimed in as she walked to the other side of me and looped her arm in my free one. "And we'll always be here if you need us. Girls have to stick together, right?" I opened my mouth to answer, but was cut off my a loud knock on the door; our heads swivelled in response to the noise.
"Who could that be?" Tsubaki asked aloud as she tilted her head curiously.
"Well the party should be starting any minute now. Maybe somebody came to check on us?" Liz offered.
I gulped loudly. What if it was Kid? What if he was standing right outside the door and he walked in and looked at me and…
"Patty! Go see who it is!" Liz said to her sister.
"Kay!" Patty responded as she bounded over to the door and swung it open without hesitation. I glanced over her shoulder anxiously, but thankfully Kid wasn't among our visitors. In fact, it was only my partners.
Derek and Mason cleaned up nicely, both dressed in similar tuxedos, but Derek wore a blue dress shirt and black tie while Mason fashioned a green shirt underneath and a black tie. Derek looked like his usual tall, lean, and suave self while Mason had actually changed some in appearance. He must've gotten contacts, because he abandoned his glasses today, making his brown eyes warmer and more inviting now than they usually were from behind the glass. And he had smoothed his spikey hair down, taking away from his normal boyish appearance and actually making him look handsome, not that he already wasn't. Still, I blinked, looking from partner to partner before breaking out in a smile.
"Wow, you guys look great!" I said, taking a few steps forward to greet them with my arms still interlocked with Maka and Liz.
Derek glanced in the direction of my voice, then just stared at me with a confused expression. "Uhhh, thanks, but...hey Liz! I thought you said that I knew everybody that was coming to this party!" He exclaimed with an accusing look in Liz's direction before glancing at me warily again.
"Huh?" Liz asked, raising an eyebrow, before glancing at me and unhooking her arm from mine. "Oh!" she said in sudden realization before she burst out laughing. "You do know her, though!"
I rolled my eyes and walked forward to punch Derek in the arm. "It's me, you idiot!"
"Ow, hey! That's not very polite!" Derek said as he recoiled and rubbed his injured arm.
Mason hid a chuckle behind his hand as he watched the scene unfold with amusement. "Dude, try taking another look at her."
I crossed my arms over my chest and glared at my partner as he looked at me again, more carefully this time. He blinked for a second before I could see the spark of recognition in his eyes. "Woah, hang on. Is that really you, Rai?"
I smirked and fake-curtsied. "The one and only."
"Woah, no way! You look…" Derek struggled to find the correct word while Mason facepalmed.
"Like a girl?" he offered.
"Yeah!" Derek exclaimed.
I sighed heavily. I was probably going to get that comment a lot tonight. "Thanks."
"Well, we just came up to check on you. The party's started downstairs and some people are starting to come in now," Mason explained as he fiddled with his tie.
"Cool, well we're pretty much ready, so let's go!" Maka said as she straightened her skirt and headed for the door, pausing at the opening to wait for the rest of us. Patty followed her excitedly, grabbing Mason's hand as she passed by him and pulled him along as he let out a small surprised yelp. Tsubaki laughed lightly as she followed them out the door.
Derek lightly looped his arm around Liz's shoulders as he stared after them. "What's up with your sister, Liz? Making a move on my poor brother, is she?"
Liz shrugged. "Who knows when it comes to Patty."
"Let's just hope Mason can keep up," I added with a giggle.
"Alright then, shall we go?" Derek asked suavely as he guided Liz to the door.
"I guess we don't have much of a choice," I mumbled quietly as I followed them out into the hallway and to the staircase.
"Hey," Derek said as he turned his face in my direction as he reached to top of the staircase. "You really do look great." And without even waiting for a reply, he grinned and wasted no more time descending down the staircase with Liz to join the others. My mouth just about fell open, but I held it together and paused to glance over the balcony to the scene below. It looked like th party had indeed started. The music was playing and a few people were starting to shuffle in, some heading for the food while some were already on the dance floor.
Biting my lip, I made my way over to the stairs and starting going down to the ground level slowly. This was it, after all – the party where everything was supposed to change. Would it be for better or for worse? I mean, I did the best I could do. I got better and healed after almost dying, for crying outloud! This should be easy! But as my breath started to quicken as I reached the last step, I wondered why it wasn't. Maybe because this world was unknown to me. The world of fighting and killing kishin eggs was familiar, but this world of dresses and make-up and dancing and…romance could've been one of the moons of Jupiter for all that I knew. But there was no time to think about it as my feet finally reached the ground floor. It was too late to turn back now.
I barely had time to look around the room before I felt hands on my arms, yanking me to the side. "Hey!" I protested as Liz, Patty, and Maka guided me through the steadily growing crowd of teenagers. "What are you doing?"
"Oh, just moving things along," Maka said nonchalantly as she and the others suddenly stopped.
As I looked in front of me, I saw the reason why. It was Kid, all dressed up and looking absolutely amazing in his black and white tux. He looked handsome as always, but somehow different in this setting. His brilliant golden eyes took on somewhat of a sparkle and he looked older, more mature in his tux with a classic and perfectly symmetrical tie with his father's logo printed on the front. Then I took in the scene around him as Derek, Mason, and Soul all had their hands pushing him forward and his bewildered expression that matched mine. It seems that our friends were indeed trying to move things along.
And then Kid's eyes found mine as he noticed me. And everything clicked. He froze and the boys slowly let go of him and the absense of contact on my arms told me that the girls had done the same, but I didn't look around to check. I couldn't look away from Kid.
I held my breath as Kid slowly walked forward and brought a hand up to touch my face, as if to make sure that I was real. After he was reassured of at least that much, he cleared his throat. "Is that really you, Rai?"
"Y-Yeah, it's still me. Surprisingly," I answered with a small sheepish smile.
Kid brought his hand back down as he took in everything – my hair, my make-up, my dress. "So Liz got to you, didn't she?"
I laughed. "Is it that obvious?"
Kid finally smiled broadly. "Well, yes," he said as a blush slightly warmed his cheeks and he cleared his throat again. "Rai…you look…"
I nervously watched him as he seemed to be at a loss for words just like Derek only moments ago. "Symmetrical?" I offered, trying to help him out in case he forgot the sacred word.
Kid hesitated, then shook his head with a smile and took a step closer. He rested his hands on my waist and dipped his head down towards mine, causing my eyes to widen in surprise. And then he spoke. "No. Beautiful." And before I could even react, he bent his head down and captured my lips in his.
Just in that moment, all the tension seeped out of me, because I knew that this was right. This was where I was supposed to be. Kid and I may be different, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
We are light and dark, day and night.
Life and Death.
Well, that's the end of that, I guess! I'm sorry it took so long to write this, but I've kinda been preoccupied and had a million things going on…but you probably don't care much about my excuses, so yeah. Well, thanks for reading and all your support on this crazy ride of mine. I would like to thank all the people that have been here since the beginning and even the new readers that gave me the final push to make this last chapter happen. I hope you've enjoyed the story! I'd love to hear your comments or whatever for the ending, so send them in if you want! Thanks for reading Life and Death! Goodbye for now!