And that wraps up this little fic. Hope you all enjoyed.
A big thank you to everyone who's read and reviewed and stuck with a hopeless romantic (aka. me). And an additional thanks to Kaito Lune for her help with some of the dates for the masquerade.
Grades for the characters in this fic are at the end as I said in the first chapter.
Enjoy the conclusion.
AU. An interesting encounter has lead to Zoe having a mystery date to the dance. At the same time, JP's struggling with a hopeless crush, Takuya can't sort out his feelings for the blonde, Tommy's getting ready for his brother's marriage and Koji's about to get the shock of his life and thensome...
Izumi O/Zoe & Takuya K
Tomoko Kimura stirred faintly, before opening her eyes to find an identical set of blue.
'Hi mum,' Koichi grinned at her.
'Koichi? You-' Her eyebrows furrowed. 'Am I dreaming?'
'Nope,' the boy grinned, hugging her gently. 'I'm really here.' The grin faded into immediate concern. 'Are you okay?'
'Tired,' the sickly woman sighed. 'But otherwise good.' And she looked to be telling the truth too. 'Have I lost track of time, or are you supposed to be in Mexico?'
'Auntie died in a car crash,' he said softly, and a little sadly. The two had gotten to know each other quite well after all. 'She apparently arranged for me to come back here if something happened.'
'I see,' Tomoko said softly, stroking her son's hair, not noting the huddle outside the door. 'Where are you staying now?'
'With Rosa's parents,' her son replied, a little hesitantly. 'But-'
He stopped talking, instead waving a hand to the door. Tomoko followed the hand, before staring in surprise as an almost identical boy walked through the door.
Koichi moved away as Koji froze just inside the door. His mother, his birthmother, was lying on a hospital bed a few feet away.
'Koji?' she said hoarsely, eyes widening. 'Is that really you?'
'It's...me,' the longer haired boy said, all ten or so emotions previously swarming him suddenly on a hurried vacation. 'Mum,' he added, as the woman reached a weak hand to him.
'I never thought I'd see you again...'
Koji looked at Koichi, his brother, as he smiled happily at his mother's joy and nudged him with a jerk of his head.
And so Koji felt his mother's embrace for the first time he remembered.
'Umm...Onii-san?' Tommy asked hesitantly, watching his mother fussing over his brother. 'Can I invite another family to your wedding?'
'Is there a reason you're telling me this morning?' Yutaka asked in a slight panic. Apparently, the magnitude of the fact that he was getting married was starting to hit with the force of a sledgehammer.
'Long story,' the younger sibling said sheepishly. 'Let's just say there was a bit of a family issue that decided to show up yesterday with Koji. He's apparently got a twin brother, who's staying with JP's new "girlfriend" (which he intercepted with air quotes, seeing as they weren't technically official), and they both arrived from Mexico sometime...last week I think. Can they come?'
Yutaka looked at his mother, who shrugged. 'We do have enough seats for a few more guests,' she said warmly. 'Hurry up and phone them honey.'
Tommy ran off to call Koji's cell, then Zoe soon after to thank her for the quick heads up.
The actual wedding was done in one of the Shinto shrines in Shibuya, and only family was present and all legalities were done by noon. But the reception party later that afternoon was not quite as tame, but Yutaka and Jun Himi, the new couple, looked noticeably happier and relieved since the (hopefully last) chance for second-guessing the new level of their relationship had passed with no mishaps.
Most of the females present were in kimono; actually all were, except Zoe and Rosa, the latter who didn't even own a kimono and was instead in a purple cocktail and the former more comfortable in her Italian silk.
The males were only slightly more casual, split between black tuxedoes and suits...save the groom himself, in a male wedding kimono and sitting on the stage with Jun by his side in a rose pink iro-uchikake. Guests spoke, the couple were congratulated, people sang...including, to the amusement of his friends, a song by Tommy. Someone had been sensible enough not to let Davis up on stage to do the same. Probably his parents. Or his sister.
It was fairly large for a Japanese reception, because it seemed that Yutaka and Jun (namely due to their brothers') knew quite a few families, and most were eager to wish them well.
Despite that, they managed to get most of the formalities done by dinner time, so after the meal, the new couple descended from the stage to light the candles as the sun set outside, and thank their guests.
Yutaka's first stop was his younger brother and his friends, two whom he didn't recognise, and who Tommy had just started to get acquainted with.
They had been talking about a boy's feat of getting his ex-girlfriend back, by dressing up as a worm to be eaten by a fiery red bird at yesterday's masquerade. Interesting way to ask for forgiveness, he mused, amused.
'On, Onii-san,' Tommy gasped, turning around suddenly and finding his brother behind him, Jun still on her arm, though now in a navy blue.
Then he remembered the two the pair didn't know. 'Oh yeah. This is Rosa Hernandez.' He pointed at the brunette at JP's side, who bowed a little clumsily, apparently still learning Japanese customs and saying something in Spanish, until Takuya on her other side nudged her. The girl blushed, and repeated the introduction in Japanese.
He then turned to the boy. 'And this is Koichi Kimura. Koji's twin I told you about.'
The raven haired boy, looking remarkably similar to Koji (especially since he was in a borrowed suit), bowed too.
Yutaka's burrow furrowed slightly at the vaguely familiar face. He had a photographic memory, and he was fairly certain he'd seen that boy (not his brother) about...six years ago? 'Did I know you around six years ago?' he asked, piecing the memory together. 'In the central library? Always curled up with a book until you moved somewhere?'
Koichi shrugged. 'I've got a memory like a train-wreck,' he admitted. 'We might have, but I'm afraid I don't remember.'
'You have,' Zoe, beside him, laughed. 'Remember when you couldn't reach the science fiction books because they put them on the top shelf?'
The boy blinked, before shaking his head. 'No. I don't.'
The blonde sighed. 'You wouldn't. That train-wreck analogy is an exaggeration though.'
'It's not,' Rosa corrected. 'Head injury. Funny thing is, it's only personal memories. Academics are fine.'
Zoe glared at the boy in question. 'What else did it do?'
He shrunk slightly under the gaze. 'Nothing.'
The girl in the cocktail grinned. 'He can still speak five languages fluently.'
'Five?' Takuya gaped, and all save the two who had known him for years looked surprised. 'Seriously?'
'Yep.' Both girls grinned as Koichi blushed. 'Japanese, English, German, Italian and Spanish.'
'German?' Tommy asked. 'I thought you came from Mexico.'
'I'm one quarter German,' he explained, still blushing, and much to Koji's surprise. 'Maternal grandmother.'
'And why Italian?'
'Zoe and her parents taught me. Then I continued it in Germany.'
'How come I never knew any of that?' Koji asked, interrupting Takuya's tirade of questions.
Everyone save the twins shrugged helplessly, and the married couple parted.
'You two might as well play twenty questions,' the brunette grinned. 'You've got how many years to catch up on?'
Koji rolled his eyes. 'Why waste time on the past? It's bad enough my little family suddenly doubled in a night.'
'You know,' JP commented. 'You seem...well, happier, than I expected. I would have thought you'd blow a casket with getting a stepmother, not to mention the whole 'brother-you-didn't-know-about' fiasco. But you're rather cool.' He gave Koichi a bit of a knowing look. 'I would have thought you'd be more level-headed.'
Koji shrugged. 'Well, I wasn't the one who thought my father abandoned me,' he pointed our reasonably. 'But I've always wanted a brother I could protect.'
'I'm older,' the other deadpanned, giving him an odd look. 'That's my job.'
'And he can cook,' the younger grinned. 'Unlike me or Dad. So we finally got a home-cooked breakfast, seeing as he spent the night. And for your information Takuya, we spend practically the whole night talking...that is, after we finished with Dad.'
'You know,' the goggle-wearing brunette missing his goggles commented. 'That's the most you've talked, even with us. Having a brother has already turned out for the better. And it's only be a day.'
'Don't worry,' Koichi sighed good-naturedly. 'I'm not creating a monster.'
'Nope.' The boy grinned. 'You're creating a human being.'
'Hey!' the boy under scrutiny exclaimed, as the others chuckled.
'By the way,' Zoe grinned, taking the 'teasing Koji' a step further. 'I saw you dancing with Kari later. The white sphinx. Forming a crush?'
'Then why the exclamation?'
She smirked, satisfied at the flustered boy, before turning to his twin. 'You find a girl?'
'Rome wasn't built in a day Z,' Koichi returned. 'What's with the sudden obsession between you two and me finding a girlfriend anyway?'
The two looked at each other, before simultaneously replying. 'It's fun to tease,' they said, before Rosa added something in Spanish.
'She said 'what happened to the water nymph I danced with twice?'' the multilingual boy translated, before anyone asked.
Zoe immediately groaned. 'You danced with Chiaki? Twice?'
'Chiaki?' he repeated. 'That girl you're rivals with?'
He flushed slightly at that. 'She didn't seem as bad as you made out. She was actually quite nice.'
'Because you were getting the biased view,' Teppei Inari popped up suddenly. 'Chiaki paints Zoe in the same colours.' He started suddenly, realising he didn't recognise the other. 'Who are you anyway?'
'Koichi Kimura.' He bowed in introduction, and the brunette bowed back.
'I'm Teppei Inari. I'm on Takuya's soccer team.' He exchanged views with his captain, before letting a smirk grow on his face. 'I hear you're a drifter. Staying in Japan?'
The twins exchanged glances, before he nodded. 'Yeah, I think so.'
'Good.' The smirk widened, before he suddenly crossed personal boundaries and grabbed the other's wrist. 'Chiaki can't stop talking about you. So let's go and get you two lovebirds set up.'
This time Koichi was blushing. Which sent Rosa into peals of laughter, as Zoe wasn't quite sure where she should sit with the situation.
Koji however groaned. 'If she becomes my sister in law, I'm getting insurance.'
'You'll need it,' Takuya agreed. 'Unless those two stop their ongoing cat-fight.'
Zoe snorted. 'Like that'll ever happen.'
'Oh come on, can't you at least try?' JP protested. 'And besides, they just met.'
'So did you and her,' Zoe countered, pointing at Rosa. 'And the two of you were almost down each other's throats.'
The two went red. 'We were nothing of the sort.'
'Oh, so you didn't kiss?'
Not that anyone believed them, especially as Rosa turned to take a step towards a passing waiter and a cool drink and tripped over her heels.
Right on top of JP.
'Well,' the blonde grinned, internally chortling at fate's hand. 'That should fix it.'
And it did. Whether that counted as a first kiss or not was anyone's guess.
That was, of course, assuming the unofficial couple had been telling the truth.
All right, grades:
6th grade: Kari, Davis, TK, Catherine, Meng Poi, Tommy, Nat-chan
7th grade: Takuya, Zoe, Koji, Chiaki, Teppei
8th grade: Ryo, Rika, Takato, Jeri, Henry, Yolei, Kazu, JP
9th grade: Tai, Sora, Mimi, Matt
Shinya is still in elementary school (4th/5th grade), but he was only mentioned as a side in any case.
As for Koichi, no idea. Since he's crossed three time zones in the past fourish years. It depends on how their schools work as to what grade he's in. But as he's not technically a Japanese student, it doesn't matter.
I think Ken would apologize whether or not it was his fault. He was dressed as Wormmon. You know, bird (Yolei) eating worm analogy? I just thought it was cute.