Disclaimer: This is purely fan made, no profit will be made out if this. I don't hold the rights to Hanasaku Iroha or any of its characters.

Family Matters – Chapter 5

As expected, in the next morning a lot of people came to visit Satsuki. She recognized a few faces as being friends or acquaintances of the family, but there were quite a few other faces and names that she couldn't really say she remembered. Yet, she put up with the formalities, politely making chit-chat, and all in all tried to be in the best of her behavior. She knew her mother would not be pleased if she pulled up one of her typical jokes or witty remarks. She did not want to spoil the good mood that had been set with her mother after her "incident".

Ohana and the other girls were at school and they would only return late in the afternoon, but at the Inn the service continued as normal. Madam Manager had indeed kept her word that she would be the one "serving" (she refused – out of pride maybe – to call it "taking care of" ) her daughter and Satsuki was quite pleased with that. Somehow, she felt like a little child being pampered, just like those extremely rare times her mother had done the same back when she would get sick as child. All in all, Sastuki felt that the day was going well, despite the nuisance of the visits. Unfortunately and unknowingly to her, that was about to change, thanks to Enishi's plotting.

Enishi was determined to make his friend Takashi meet with his sister. He had tried to convince him to come to visit her, but he had sounded reluctant. So Enishi decided to give him a call again for a bit more of persuasion (that is the same as to say "annoying him until he agrees"). Hopefully he would be in his lunch break by now. So he picked up his cell phone and dialed Takashi's cell phone number. After a few rings, he picked it up.

- "Hey Enishi, what's up?"

- "You tell me. Aren't you going to pay Satsuki a visit?"

- "Oh, that again... you are a persistent one. I told you, there is no point in doing that. We haven't talk in years, so coming to visit her now out of the blue would be weird and not to mention extremely awkward."

- "Sorry, but that's not how I see it. She has received a lot of visits today, and we are only at lunch time. She probably will be getting more visits in the afternoon. Most of them are complete strangers to her. It would be nice for her to see some friendly faces. Besides, you are my friend as well. It wouldn't be "out of the blue".

- "That may be so, but it would still be awkward. What would we talk about?"

- "Well, Ohana is a good topic of conversation. You're her homeroom teacher after all."

- "Yeah, I guess..."

- "Com' on, what's the hold up? Don't you want to see her?"

- "I do b-"

- "No "buts". I thought you had more guts than that. This is a good opportunity to put that past of yours behind your back for good, in a good way. "

- "You're right. It's surprising to hear you giving good advice, for a change."

- "Hey! What's that supposed to mean? Geez, what kind of best friend are you?"

- "Sorry, sorry. I was just kidding. Anyway, thanks Enishi. I'll follow your advice. I'll visit her. Today maybe. "

- "Great! You do that. I'll be waiting."

- "Oh, but... don't tell her anything. I want to surprise her. If she knows in advance that I'm coming to visit she might refuse to see me or find a excuse not to."

- "Yeah, yeah. I want to see the surprised look on her face too. It's gonna be gooood!"

- "You are having fun with other people's misery, aren't you?

- "What, me? Of course not. I just want what is best for my beloved sister and for my best friend."

- "Ah, I'll pretend that I believe that."

- "Anyway, I have to go back to work now, before my mother catches me slacking off."

- "Alright. I need to go too. My lunch break is almost over."

- "Ok, bye then, see you later".

- "See ya".

Enishi felt like doing a victory dance. Even if nothing out of the ordinary happened during that visit, it would be a good pretext to confront Satsuki about the postcard. It was no good for things to continue this way. Ohana needed to know she had a father, one that wasn't dead; Takashi deserved to know he was the father of a cute young girl and Satsuki needed to take this enormous weight off her chest. Of course, he didn't expect for everything to go smoothly, in the worst scenario possible, both Ohana and Takashi could end resenting Satsuki for hiding the truth. But that could be amended if all parts sit down to talk things over and let time heal the wounds.

Back at the school Takashi went back to his classes, but all the while thinking of the huge step he was about to take to finally put an end to his unresolved issues concerning Satsuki. Obviously he didn't plan to go further than the normal topics of conversation of how was she doing, if she was feeling better, how was life treating her back in Tokyo, if she was happy with her work, that sort of thing. He wasn't going to bring up the subject of their break-up or of the time they dated. He just wanted to see her again, most likely for the last time, so that he could finally move on with his life. People call this closure, right? Yes, that was all he wanted.

Ohana was heading to the staff room where to she had been called. She didn't think she had done anything to be in trouble, but still, she was a bit afraid. Besides, she had always thought her homeroom teacher to be a bit of a weirdo. A nice guy, but a weirdo nontheless. That was probably one of the reasons for her feeling a bit nervous with the prospect of being alone in his presence. Taking a big breath, she readied herself and knock on the staff room door.

- "Come in."

- "Excuse me, did you wanted to see me, sensei?

- "Oh, Ohana. Yes, I was expecting you."

- "So... Why did you called me here?"

- "Ehehe, no need to be so nervous. I don't bite."

- "S-Sorry, sensei."

- "No need to apologize. Well, the reason why I called you here was to talk about your mother."

- "Uh? My mother?"

- "Yes. You came here as a transfer student in the middle of the year, and you are the only student whose parents I haven't met and talked to yet. I know your mother lives in Tokyo, but she's here in town now, right? For health reasons?"

- "Yes, that's right sensei. She's staying at the Inn where I work."

- "Yes, I know. And that's why I was thinking of coming for a visit."

- "Eh? You want to visit my mother, sensei?"

- "Yes, it's probably my only chance of talking to her."

- "Yes, I suppose."

- "So that's settled then. I'll be visiting later today. I just wanted to let you know so that you wouldn't be caught by surprise. "

- "Oh... alright. But I'm not supposed to be present, am I? I have to work on my shift at the Inn."

- "No, of course you don't have to be present. Ehehe, don't worry, I won't force you to go through that embarrassment."

- "Thank you, sensei." Ohana blushed realizing that her teacher could so easily see through her true reason for not wanting to be present.

- "You know, if you want, I can give you a ride home, seeing that we are heading to the same place."

- "Ah, I appreciate the offer sensei, but I always go with my friends and co-workers. It's the only time we have to hang out outside of school and work."

- "I understand. It's a girls thing, I get it."

- "Sensei, is that all?"

- "Yes, yes. You may leave now."

- "Thank you sensei. Well, if you excuse me..."

Ohana, took a huge breath of relief as soon as she left the staff room. It hadn't be anything serious, but now she was worried for other reasons. What would her homeroom teacher think when he met her nutcase of a mother? Hard to say, since he was a weird fellow himself. She definitely was relieved for not needing to be in the room during that meeting. She was sure her mother would embarrass her, so she preferred not to know how.

Takashi stood before the imponent building of the Kissuiso. It hadn't change at all since the last time he had been there, more than sixteen years ago. Back then he and Satsuki were still dating. He used to pick her up with his bike and they would go to have fun in town. But somehow the building look more threatening now that it had ever looked before. Maybe was his anxiety that was getting the best of him. He honestly shouldn't be this nervous. He would probably end up making a fool of himself if he didn't get a grip. Taking a shaky breath he walked inside the Inn.

Enishi knocked on Satuski's bedroom door before sliding it open. Now it was time to play innocent and let things just happen.

- "Sis, are you up for one more visit?"

- "Eh... another one? I thought that this nightmare was over for today. Who the hell would come this late? I need my rest you know..."

- "I know, sis. But he's an old friend and he couldn't come to visit any sooner, because of his job and all."

- "An old friend? Who is it? I thought I didn't have any friends is this God forsaken place anymore."

- "Ah, sis. Don't be like that. You know that you were pretty popular back in the day. Specially among the male population, right?"

- "Yeah, yeah. So it's an old admirer or something? Geez, the kinda of stuff I have to put up with. Oh well. Let him in. Since he went to the trouble to come, it would be rude not to receive him."

- "Alright sis. That's the spirit. Well, I'll tell him to come. So good luck!" With that Enishi quickly exited the room.

- "Good luck? Wait! What do you m- " Satsuki sighed. Now she knew that her brother was up to something, and that usually meant more troubles for her.

A few minutes passed since Enishi left Satsuki's room. She didn't moved from her position. She was sitting at a small table idly awaiting for her next visit. She was fed up with all this, so she intended to get this one last visit over with as soon as possible.

- He sure is taking his sweet time to come here. Did he got lost or something? This guy sure is getting on my nerves already.

As soon as she ended this inner dialogue with herself, a knock was heard at the door.

- Finally! "Come in."

The door opened and she heard the soft thuds of the person coming towards the center of the room where she was still sit, looking at the empty cup of tea she had in front of her – remnants of her afternoon snack – not rising her head just yet, her way of showing that she was not happy with this late visit.

- "Satsuki."

Her eyes bulged from their sockets. Surprise taking over her body that went rigid at the sound of that smooth deep voice calling her name. It had been a long time since she last heard it, but there was no way in hell she would not recognize it. The voice that she longed to hear so many times during the last sixteen years, was now still echoing in her ears, and calling up her name no less. Slowly, she raised her head and a pair of dark brown eyes met with a pair of light brown ones.

- "Hey." Takashi's nonchalant greeting did well to hide his own turbulent emotions going inside all his being. She had changed quite a bit from the image he had of her in his mind. But of course that was to be expected. Almost twenty year had gone by. She was a mature woman now. But she was still as beautiful as ever, if not more.

- "T-Takashi.. W-What are you doing here?" She really hadn't see that one coming... She wasn't mentally prepared to met him again, not now at least.

- "What does it look like? I'm visiting you, of course." He was still trying to playing it cool. So far it was working so he grew a bit more confident. - "I couldn't miss this opportunity of visiting the only parent of one of my students that I hadn't met yet."

- "Uh? What do you mean? You're Ohana's teacher!"

- "Yeah. I'm her literature and homeroom teacher."

- "..."

- "I know, this really is a small world, huh?"

- "Yeah, it really is". Satsuki was stunned. To think that Ohana and her biological father would meet and see each other on a daily basis without even knowing the depth of the bond that connect them together... It was just a great twist of fate, to say the least.

- "I knew she was your daughter as soon as I saw her. She looks a lot like you. She's your spitting image of when you were her age."

- "But our similarities end there. She's a lot more level headed, down-to-earth and responsible than me."

- "Yeah. I can't disagree with you on that one. She must have picked that from her father then."

- "Y-yeah." I was her lame reply. It was true, Takashi had always been a responsible young man. Until they started dating that is. She would always find a way to drag him into her adventures and into doing the kind of wild things that normally he would never dare of doing. But talking about Ohana with Takashi like this was only increasing her nervousness tenfold.

- "She's a good kid, her grades are above average too, despite the fact that she works here. You must be proud".

- "I am. But I know the feeling isn't mutual. I'm not a good mother. I've disappointed her a lot throughout the years. "

- "Everyone makes mistakes. But I'm sure you tried hard to be the best you could, given the circumstances. Being a working single mother must be tough."

- "Yeah..."

- "I'm surprised you didn't remarried. A woman like you could get any man she wants."

- " Replacing Ohana's father in my heart is not that easy."

- "I see... He must have been a great man. No wonder you dump me for him."

- "Please, don't go that way. I told you before, what we had together was just a fling. A juvenile passion that was fun while it last, but nothing more."

- " Sorry... I guess I was the only one who felt that what we had was something more than that."

- "..." Satsuki felt like screaming at the top of her lungs that it wasn't true. That she had also felt the same, and that she still did. Otherwise the pain she was feeling right now at the reaffirming of the lie which burden she had carried all her adult life wouldn't be there, making her heart throb and not because of the bullet wound.

For a minute that felt like years to both of them a tense silence filled the room. Both looking away from each other.

- "Anyway... I've heard what happened to you in Tokyo. How are you feeling now?"

Satsuki was relieved by the change of subject. She had to get herself together. If Takashi had insisted on discussion their past together and their break-up, she wasn't sure if she would manage to keep her facade. So she took the opportunity to take a deep breath and to reply to him while looking at those deep brown eyes of his.

- "I'm doing ok. I'm still not 100% back into shape yet, but you know me, I don't break that easily. I'll be as good as new soon."

"Yeah, I know you will. You were always a force of nature."

Satsuki was annoyed at how a simple compliment from him could still get to her. She always mellowed down whenever he said something like that. Not because of what he said – many men would try to win her over with soft spoken words and cheesy pickup lines – but the truth is that with Takashi those words never felt empty or insincere. And often his eyes told more than just his words. Those dark brown eyes, used to be so soft and so full of love whenever he looked at her. Now that love was gone. She was sure of that. She had hurt him deeply, she knew. Yet, now she tried not to look at those eyes she has loved for too long, afraid of what she might see in them. She only needed to get through this meeting and then it would be over.

- "Somehow I'm grateful it happened. Because I was shot that I'm here now, spending some time with my family. And my mother and I became closer. So it's not all bad. "

- "Yeah, and I had the chance to see you again."

- "Yes, it's nice to see an old friend's face again."

- So that's all I am now huh? Well, it's better than nothing. There was bitterness and sadness in Takashi's thought, but at the same time he was glad to be considered more than just an acquaintance. At least he would be able to remember the times they had together with fondness more than sadness from now on. And he was happy for that.

- "Well, we could have seen each other more if you visit more often. Don't you miss this pace? It's not as fun as in the big city, but this is still the town where you grew up. "

- "Of course I missed this place. The countryside, Kisuisso and my family. I miss them all. But life get's in the way. My work takes a lot of my time and energy. And the complicated relationship I have with my mother didn't help either. Until a short while ago I was a persona non grata in here. If it wasn't for Ohana, I would still probably be. "

- "Yeah, your daughter is really something. She's the kind of girl that bringthens a room when she comes in. Ohana is very popular among her classmates."

- "Yeah, even my mother can't resist Ohana's charm. I can tell how proud of her my mother is. She's like the daughter she wanted but that I couldn't be."

- "Hey, don't say that. I'm sure your mother is proud of you too."

- "Nah, that's not true. She resents me for not wanting to continue the family business, for leaving this town, for getting knocked up before being married, for working on the line of business that I do – in sum – in her opinion, I've only brought shame for the Shijima family name. I disappointed her greatly. It's no wonder she disowned me."

- "What are you saying? Things came to this point because you are both stubborn. You refused to follow the plans she had for you, but she also refused to accept that you had your own dreams. She might have been disappointed, sad even. But that doesn't mean she's not proud of what you accomplished."

- "Yeah, and what was that? What did I really accomplished? My job is nothing worth of taking pride in, my private life is a mess, and as a mother I'm nothing but a failure."

- "Stop that. Why do you keep putting yourself down like this? As far as I've heard you are one of the best at your line of work, you raised a kid on your own, and she turned out quite alright. So what if you don't have what others considered a stable love life? At least you are enjoying yourself and making the best of what life trows at you. "

- "*Sigh* Only you to put me on a pedestal. You still think too highly of me."

- "No. I just see what's is right in front of my eyes..."

There he was again, making her feel all awkward with his flattering. He was too kind for his own good. She had to change the subject of the conversation to something else than not herself.

- "Enough speaking of me. What about you? How's life treating 'ya?"

- "Me? Well, there's nothing much to tell. My life is just normal and quite dull."

- "You like teaching?"

- "Believe it or not, I do. Sure, it's not the most exciting or well-paid job in the world. But it has its good side too. I proud of what I do and don't regret choosing this career."

"That's good... And what type of teacher are you? The boring type, the strict type or the cool type? Now she was teasing him. An old habit of hers that she couldn't restrain right now.

- "Eh? I don't know, but I hope it's the later."

"I put my money on the cool type."

"Eh, thanks, I guess." Takashi couldn't help but to blush at the compliment. Well, at least he had taken it as a compliment.

- "Well, it's getting late. I should be going now. You are probably tired. Sorry for coming so late. But with my schedule it was difficult to find a better time."

- "Don't worry about it. You were my last visit of the day, but also the one I enjoyed having the most. I was tired of plastering a smile to my face for old geezers and people I barely remember their names or faces."

- "Your mother is very respectable person around here, people come to see you also out of respect for her. You have to be the good daughter and play or part."

- "I know that, but it's still boring. God! I can't wait to get into top shape again. I need to get out of here."

- "You are in a hurry to leave, huh? You really dislike this place that much?"

- "What? Not, it's not that. I just want to move around on my own, see the sights, breath some fresh air. I want to get out of here, this room. Not the town."

- "Oh, I see. That's good then. Are you planing to stay for long?"

- "I don't know. For now I'm here until I heal, but since the Festival in not far away, and if my mother don't kick me out of the house in the meantime, I might stay until then. It's a good chance to spend some quality time with Ohana too. I guess it would be nice to take her to the places where I used to go when I was her age."

- "Yeah, that sounds like a good plan. And if you stay for a while we might get the change to talk again."

- "Ah, y-yes. We might do that."

The prospect of meting Takashi again was something that she was both anticipating and dreading. She had forget how nice it was to just chat and hang out with him. Even if they only talked about banal stuff, just being in his presence was pleasant and fun. But she didn't want to stir old feelings back to life. She knew that deep down she still loved him. No doubt about that. But if they were to see each other more often from now on, she wasn't confident enough in her ability to leave things be as they were. She might not resist to the impulse of pour her heart out, and that would be bad, very bad.

- "..." Takashi was happy. She might have only said that only to be nice and polite, but to know that she wasn't completely against them getting in touch more, hanging out as friends, was enough to make him rejoice. - "Well, I really should go now. You make sure you get well, ok?"

- "I'll do my best. And thanks for coming."

- "No problem. It was nice to see you again."

"Yeah, likewise."

Takashi stood, abandoning the siting position he had before. She also stood but with a bit more difficulty. For a few seconds they only looked into each others eyes, with a small smile in their faces. Awkwardly Takashi extended his hand, expecting Satsuki to do the same. She took his hand but at the same time she closed the distance and kissed him on his right cheek, pulling back right after. He stood there a bit stunned. That unexpected gesture made a small blush creep up his neck. Like a fool he just took a step back as well, bowed and left hurriedly without saying another word.

Satsuki was shocked at her own actions. She wasn't thinking when she kissed him on cheek, her body had moved on its own. It was nothing outrageous, but by all standards she had acted quite boldly. Even between old friends or even between ex-lovers, in the Japanese culture a kiss on a cheek was very informal, and frown upon by most people. She felt like a fool. Poor Takashi had practically run away. Good thing she was probably not going to see him ever again, otherwise she was not sure how would she face him after this.

Enishi had been sitting on the break room sipping a cup of tea, anxiously waiting for Takashi to make his leave. He would probe his friend later. First he had to see how was his sister was doing. What kind of emotions had this visit stirred within her. Takashi had been inside with her for a while now, so things were going well, or at least they weren't going bad. No shouting or yelling could be heard so that was a good sign too.

After a few more minutes of waiting and casual tea-sipping, Enishi heard the oppening and closing of a door, followed by rushed footsteps that didn't took long to get out the front door. Takashi had left in a hurry. Well, that probably was not a good sign, Enishi noted with a frown. Maybe he had hoped for too much. He had wanted to give these two another chance. Not to make them both even more miserable. Well, there was no point in jumping into conclusions on his own. First he had to evaluate the "damage". He needed to talk to his sister first. With that in mind, Enishi stood and made his way over to his sister's room. Reaching her room quickly, he cautiouly and lightly knocked and waited for a response. None came. Was she ignoring him or didn't she heard him knock? Well, he was not going to give up with just that. Well aware that he was putting his health at risk, Enishi just opened the door and stepped inside. He had expected for Satsuki to bark at him for entering without her consent, but what he saw was her, sitting on the floor against the wall, staring at the ceiling apparently lost in thought.

- "Satsuki? Are you alright?"

- "Uh!" Satsuki looked genuinely surprised to see Enishi there. She had not noticed him come in at all, it seemed.

- "I asked if you are alright. You seemed lost in thought. Has the meeting with Takashi gone that bad?"

- "Wha-? No, not at all. It was nice to see him again, after so long."

- "But he seemed to have left in a rush. Did something happened?"

- "Er, well... no, not really."

- "Uhm, you hesitated there for a bit. And you blushed a bit. That doesn't happen often. Something must have happened. "

- "Arg, yeah, I did something stupid but it was no big deal."

- "Oh, really. And what was that, if may I ask?"

- "Leave it. I told you, it was nothing important."

- "If it was something not important than it's ok for you to tell me, right?"

- "Geez, you are a nosy annoying bastard, you know that?"

- "Family trait, can't help it. Now spill it."

- "I kissed him, alright? Satisfied now?"

- "Kiss- You what?" He had thought something had gone wrong, but apparently it was the other way around. This was great news, in his opinion.

- "Don't make such a big fuss. It was only a goodbye kiss on the cheek."

- "Oh..." Enishi's enthusiasm drastically dropped a few notches. He had hopped for a passionate kiss on the lips, but a kiss on the cheek was still good as well, he supposed.

- "Well, it must have been a big deal because you have your mind in the clouds and Takashi was affected by it too, judging by his quick departure."

- "Yeah, he couldn't wait to get away from me... Arg, I'm so stupid..."

- "Don't be like that. He probably was just a bit surprised and feeling a bit embarrassed. You know how he is. "

- "Yeah, well, no point in over-thinking things now. I won't be seeing him again so that's irrelevant."

- "What are you saying, of course you will see him again! You have to!"

- "Geegz, Enishi, what is wrong with you? Why do you care so much anyway?"

- "Of course I care. I only want my sister and my best friend to be happy again."

- "Don't be silly, what that has to do with anything? Don't tell me that you were expecting us to fall into each others arms again, like when we were two teenagers driven by hormones. Grow up, Enishi. That all belongs in the past. Now we are practically two strangers."

- "Yeah, two strangers that also happen to have a daughter in common."

- "Wha-What nonsense are y-"

- "Don't bother denying it. I know it's true. I read that precious postcard of yours. You know, the one you risked your life for?"

Enishi had not wanted to reveal what he knew like that, spurting it out almost in an accusation tone. But there was no way in hell that he would let Satsuki throw her chance away to make things right. Possible romantic implications aside, Takashi and Ohana deserved to know the truth.

For a moment silent fell into the run. Brother and sister stared at each others eyes. Satsuki in schock and something close to panic, and Enishi with fierce determination burning in his eyes. After a while, Satsuki was the first to break the silence.

- "So you know..."

- "Yeah. Enishi replied back, softening his expression. "I was curious on what was so important about that postcard for you to risk your life for it. I was shocked when I read it. I somewhat understand your reasons for what you did. But I won't sit by and watch while you go through your life suffering in silence. Besides, it's not fair to Ohana, neither it is to Takashi. They deserve to know the truth."

- "*Sigh* Don't you think I know that? That's why keeping this secret is killing me. But... but if I tell them the truth now, they are going to hate me forever. I can't loose Ohana... She's my reason to live."

- "I know that it's not going to be easy. They are both going to be hurt. But it's worth the risk. Besides, Ohana loves you. She will forgive you, eventually."

- "I wish I could believe that. But let's face it. She already thinks so little of me, no wonder considering how much of a bad parent I've been, but if she finds out about this, she will absolutely despise me."

- "You underestimate the bond you both have, and Ohana's feelings for you. She's just like you and mom. You all have weird ways of showing you care for each other."

- "You know, that doesn't make me feel any more confident. Are you forgetting that mother and I have been in bad terms for years up until now? That's not the kind of future I want for me and Ohana."

- "Then make sure that doesn't happen. Your stubbornness was what got you and mom in that position. Same goes for mom. It took you almost dying for you two to get over it. If Ohana tries to put distance between you, use your stubbornness to make sure you get her back. "

Satsuki released a short laugh at Enishi's comment. - "Only you to make me laugh at a time like this."

- "That's what I'm here for. You are not alone. I'm going to support you all the way. Dammit, I just want everyone to be happy."

- "You are so naive, little brother. But that's one of the things I love about you. "

A blush flared on Enishi's face at his sisters honest confession. We loves her, and he knows she loves him too, but hearing that was definitely an unexpected but pleasant surprise. Embarrassing too, of course.

- "Yeah, don't try to change the subject. So what are you going to do? I don't want to hear anything about leaving things be as they are. Don't force me to take matters in to my own hands. I'll tell them myself, if you refuse to do it."

- "What? You wouldn't dare?"

- "Oh, but I would. And I will if you don't take action. I don't care if you end up hating me for it. I'll do what I think it's best, for you, for Ohana and for my friend Takashi."

- "Arg! Ok, I'll do it. I'll tell them the truth. But give me more time. I'm not mentally or physically prepared yet."

- "Alright. I'll give you some time. You have until the Festival to tell them the truth. And before you ask, I'm not giving you the postcard until then. If you back away, I'll need some sort of proof to support my story."

- "Why you... You're a blackmailing bastard, you know that?"

- "Sorry sis, but I need to do this. It's for a good cause. The means justify the ends.

- "Fine! But I'll do it, so you won't have to worry... It's just that... I'm really afraid."

- "I know. But everything will be alright, you'll see."

- "I really hope so. But I'm definetely not confident about it."

- "Yeah, it will be more than alright. Ohana and Takashi will be ecstatic with the good news. Ohana will finally have a father, and Takashi will have the family he wanted. And you two... There's a chance of you getting back to each other."

- "Now you are deluding. Even if he forgives me for lying and hiding the thruth for so long – and I doubt that will happen - that doesn't mean we are getting back together. "

- "Ah, I know you still have feelings for him. I read the postcard. He's the love of your life. And I know he never got over you. That's why he's still single, you know."

- "Even if that was true, there are some wounds that can't be healed. I hurt him too much. I had my chance and I blew it. And I definitely don't deserve a second chance. "

- "You think to little of yourself. I 'm sure Takashi would be glad to give you another chance. In truth, you are the one who needs to give yourself a second chance."

- "..." Satsuki considered the possibility of Enishi being right. But honestely didn't think she deserved another change at happiness.

- "Anyway, I guess you have a lot to think about so I'll leave you alone for now. And try to rest too. You had quite a day. So, if you prefer, I'll bring you dinner here. You don't need to drag yourself to join us."

- "Thanks. I appreciate that."

- "Alright. I'll be back later then."

" Mhm."

Satuski was already lost in thought again. And with good reason. She had a lot to think about. How was she going about giving the news that would change their lives forever to Takashi and Ohana? Who was she going to tell first, or should she do it with both of them together? There was also her mother, she had to tell her too. How would the Sui react to such news? Not well, she was sure. Her mother would probably be very disappointed, if not angry at her daughter's bad judgment and life choices. But that was nothing new. The rest it was better not to think about at all. She would deal with the consequences when the time came. All this thiking was making her head hurt already, and she barely noticed the sound of her bedroom door closing, signalizing that Enishi had just left.

Enishi went back to his own room. He was worried about his sister, but at the same time happy for the developments so far. Tomorrow he would probe his friend some more. He had to see for himself what kind of emotions had the little peck incident stirred within Takashi. Enishi was confident that his friend and Satsuki still had a chance of being happy together. The fact that both still had feeling for each other was obvious. Hopefully things would turn out alright. But if problems arose, he was ready to play Cupid and help them out. He wanted a happy ending, dammit.

Author's Note: A super fast update this time to compensate for the long wait for the previous one. I hope you liked this chapter. I won't be able to make another fast update anytime soon because I'll need to figure some things out about the plot. So please be patient.

Anyway, as always, I appreciate if you read & review.