Kashino: Aren't you on vacation...?
Me: Yeah, except... I finished my tour and there's nothing to do. So I'm leeching off the wifi where I'm staying.
Ichigo: You're so... productive :P
Me: IKR? Anyway, since I'm far far away in the magical world of Asians (The Philippines xD) I wrote this on the 15 hour plane ride. This is officially the end to Romeo and Juliet. And as the title implies, it's a tragedy. Don't like? Don't Read. Simple as that.
ANYWAY, to those of you who DO wish to read, go ahead. I've read this 3 times and I love how it turned out. :)
I do not own Yumeiro Patissiere.
Romeo & Juliet
Chapter 8: Infinite
What does it mean to be in love? Is love sacrificing your own life to be with the one you love? Or is that obsession? Is that lust?
The blond's eyes opened wide, there he lay in a bed. The room was blindingly white. He squinted to make out a figure standing at the foot of his bed.
She smiled, "The one and only."
There was no bandage on her head. There was no sorrow in her eyes. She wore a pure white dress and her long brown hair cascaded down her back. Graceful white feathered wings fluttered behind her, "What's going on?" Kashino asked.
"It's finally over my darling," She whispered, her voice hushed. She walked toward him, and lay a finger on his cheek, "I love you."
"I love you too," He replied dazedly, "So... We... Are we dead?"
She shook her head and spread her arms out wide. Ichigo looked to the ceiling, that was so high, you couldn't see the top. "No. We're something better than dead. We are infinite."
"You said you'll love me forever, right? That's why you jumped into the lake with me," Ichigo asked, dropping her arms to her sides.
"Of course, I'll always love you," Kashino responded slowly, "Infinitely."
Ichigo's angel wings began fluttering, and she was lifted off the ground. She soared above him, as he sat in that bed of his. He watched her majestically fly over him, her warm presence ever melting his heart. She laughed soft and sweet like the sound of a fairy bell.
She floated up higher and higher, "Wait, Ichigo!" He called, "I can't... I can't follow you!" Kashino tried to get up, "Wait! Wait!"
Ichigo didn't seem to hear what he was saying, she was flying up, "Infinite," He heard her say over and over again, "Infinite."
"Wait for me!"
Everything was dark. Kashino could feel his presence inside his body, but it was like he wouldn't move. He felt like he was hollow. Inside his own self, yet unable to do anything.
He willed his eyes to open, but they refused, remaining heavy and shut. He heard voices all around him, so many questions he knew the answer to, yet couldn't say anything.
We wanted to be together.
"Kashino and Ichigo jumped into the lake at the edge of the campus... I don't understand."
You do understand. You just don't want to admit it.
"They were drowning."
But we were together.
"Why didn't they save themselves?"
We had given up trying to save each other.
"I... I don't know."
Stop lying. You do know. You just don't want to admit it was all your fault.
"So what's up with Ichigo? She took it harsher than Kashino since she was already hurt in the head."
She's scarred. You've ruined her.
"She's in the other room."
By herself. I need to be there. I need to be there with her.
"Can I see her?"
No. She's mine. And she's mine alone.
"Of course you can."
Kashino knew he had to be alive. He was breathing, thinking, yearning, loving; who had taken Ichigo and him out of the lake? Why did they have to keep putting him through misery? Couldn't they just leave him and Ichigo be?
"They suffered much trauma."
A doctor. Where the hell am I?
"What's going to happen to them?"
What is going to happen? It's all over. There's nothing more to live for. We are not wanted here. We don't need to stay.
"Makoto-sama should be fine, just give him time. I can't say the same for Amano-san..."
Makoto-sama? I must be at the family hospital. No one else calls me that. "I can't say the same for Amano-san..." What does that mean?
"What are you talking about? That's my best friend! She can't be gone... She can't be. She's too strong for that."
Best friend? What kind of friend forbids her friend from seeing someone that makes her happy? How can you say she is strong? You broke her. She is broken.
"She already suffered head injuries. I can't guarantee anything. She's been through a lot."
You're damn right. It's all because of you. Your poison that seeped into her blood; your words that caused that blood to bleed all over her, she's been through hell just because of you; you've killed her.
"But she's not dead. She can't be dead."
She's dead inside.
"She's not dead, but she's close."
I tried to keep her alive. I tried.
Stop saying that. She isn't strong anymore.
Kashino felt as though his mind was starting to reconnect to his body. His fingers twitched. He had control over them.
"Even strong people die."
Was I ever strong? Was I going to die strong? Or weak?
"But Ichigo is different."
"She isn't," Kashino found himself croaking. His eyelids lifted finally, he stared at the ceiling with blurry eyes.
Two figures, one with orange hair and another with blond like his. One was Rumi, the roommate. The other was a family member of his, the doctor.
"She isn't different," He said again, "She's a human being, just like you and me. She had feelings. You all broke her down. No one understood her. No one except for me."
There was silence in the room. Kashino tried to sit up, but found his head spinning. The doctor hovered over him, "You don't know what you're talking about. You are delirious, your system is full of pain killers and antibiotics."
"I know what I'm talking about," He argued, "Let me see her. I swear on all the sweets I've ever made, I will kill you if you don't let me see her."
The doctor sighed, "As you wish. Katou-san, would you so kindly get a wheelchair for me? Makoto-sama would like to see his..."
"Girlfriend," He replied steadily, this was the first time he was ever admitting to anyone he and Ichigo were together. "I don't need your help thank you." He sat up, ignoring the dull ache in his head, he found his arm attached at an IV, "What is this?"
"Painkillers, as I've already said," The doctor said, "You've suffered greatly Makoto-sama."
Kashino let his feet slip from under the blanket and hover over the cold linoleum, "You wouldn't understand."
"But maybe I would."
His feet touched the ground, sending shivers through his strained, fatigued body. With great difficulty, he got himself standing; gripping the IV stand like his life depended on it.
"It's no use. Don't try. I can take you to her room if you are really that insistent."
"No," He responded coldly, "I don't need your help, or anyone else's. No one wanted to help us. I'm not willing to take help now, only because you think we are pitiful."
He took one step, wobbling, shaking like a leaf. Kashino breathed heavily, but took his next step. Then the next and the next. The door was then in front of him. From where he stood, he could see across the hall, to where Ichigo laid on her own hospital bed.
His darling Ichigo. The Angel.
He glanced down both the left and right of the hallway. It was dead silent. He inhaled thinly, gasping for air and shuffled across the hallway, the IV squeaking along beside him.
It took 10 minutes, but he found himself standing at the foot of Ichigo's bed; his breathing shallow and rapid. He stared at her for a moment, her chocolate brown hair flowing over her shoulders, her long bangs covering the hideous scars on her head. She was his bruised angel. In between life and death.
Her face was pale, not even her cheeks were flushed. She was like a porcelain doll, ashen and fragile. Kashino took a deep breath and pressed on, continuing his walk to be at her side. She didn't make any movement. There was no sign that there was life inside of the body of the angel who lay attached to wires, her friends praying that she would live, while they were the cause of everything.
He reached for the chair that was placed against the wall and slid it to sit right beside her. He sat down, his knees buckling as he did. She too had an IV attached to her, hers right beside his own. Was there such thing as flowing life into someone? Kashino didn't know.
His fingers found their way to her hair, soft silk that he remembered too well. The gazebo in the forest. The braid he wound her hair into. The mark of love he had left on her lips.
He brought his lips to her hair and softly kissed it. Through the smell of the lake that soaked her hair, he still smelled the faint scent of strawberry shampoo. His Ichigo, hidden beneath what society had transformed her to be.
The window streamed the sun into the room, filtering through the curtains and shining across his shoulders, like the warmth of Ichigo's arm 'round him.
He reached forward and brushed a finger to her cheek. So cold. So cold was his porcelain angel.
"Ichigo..." He finally muttered.
The doctor stood in the doorway, staring intently at the young lovers. Cruel fate bestowed upon them, how young they were to be put through this.
Rumi had been sent off to inform their friends of both Kashino and Ichigo's conditions.
"I love you," Kashino told her, continuing to his her hair and arrange it across her shoulders, "I love you."
He turned his gaze to the doorway, his eyes like steel, "Yes?"
The doctor could not bare to tell him the news he had. Unbeknownst to the chocolatier, he was missing an important piece of information. "... it is nothing."
Most of the Kashino hospital was aware of the sixteen year old lovers by the end of the week. Day after day, Kashino Makoto would sit at Amano Ichigo's side. He didn't say a word, but sat there, almost as if he were as lifeless as her.
No one could bring themselves to tell him what needed be told. As they watched him, his eyes silently pleading her to wake, yet at the same time telling her not to rush, they could not crush him as the news would.
The blond turned, his older sister stood in the doorway, replaced by the usual doctor. He said nothing to her but looked toward the window, "What is it?"
"I... They want me to tell you something."
"Who is they exactly? They as in the friends that betrayed me and made things turn out like this? They as in the doctors that watch me like I'm a lunatic? Or they as in those who don't understand?"
She had nothing to respond for a while, but rather watched her brother, withering away until he would be nothing. "The doctors," She said finally.
"What did they say?"
"Makoto... There is no easy way to say this... But... Amano-san..."
"Kashino-san," He cut her off, still staring out the window, "When she wakes up, I'm going to secure her as mine. She will be Mrs. Kashino Ichigo."
She had to bite down on her inner cheek to keep herself from crying, just for her brother's sake, "That's the thing Makoto... She... She might not wake up."
There was silence on the boy's part. He continued to stare out the window as though he had not heard anything his sister had said. His sister watched him closely, "... Makoto?"
"You're lying," He said finally, turning around to face her. Innocent, clear tears filled his eyes; his expression so helpless, his sister could feel her own tears prickling in the back of her eyes, "You're lying."
She shook her head solemnly, "Makoto... I'm afraid... I'm afraid I'm not."
He stood, much stronger than he had been when he first walked into Ichigo's room. Dragging the IV along with him, he brushed past her and back into his own hospital room, shutting the door behind him. He would not speak to anyone for the rest of the day.
That night, Kashino went into traumatic shock. Doctors of all different specialties rushed in, trying to free the boy from his cycle of illness and heart brokenness. He was revived, but for how long was not sure. He was as fragile as possible; worn down by medication and at the same time trying to nurse a broken heart that would not heal.
The next day he was found missing from his room, only to be found in none other than Amano Ichigo's own. He sat still as a statue, not showing any signs that he acknowledged the doctors coming in and out of the room.
Kashino replayed the dream in his mind over and over as he sat there, holding onto Ichigo's hand, gently rubbing his thumb on her knuckles, Infinite? How can we be infinite if you aren't even here with me?
Ichigo made no signs of improvement; she was hovering over the edge of being classified as officially brain dead. There was debate as to what to do if that were to happen. She would have to be taken off life support, once a person is brain dead, they are gone. However, what was most concerning was what would happen to Kashino if they took Ichigo away.
He had nothing left. His friends would not come in. They were not willing enough to face him. Ichigo was the only thing left. If she was gone, they felt he would never get well again. He would never be willing to live anymore.
Kashino's throat was sore from yelling. Why won't she hear me?
"Ichigo!" He called again, "Please listen to me! Wait for me... I want to feel infinite too! Wait..."
Kashino went into traumatic shock 3 more times in the same week. Ichigo was still unreachable. The doctors were getting concerned, Kashino suffered when Ichigo suffered, but as of then it didn't seem like Ichigo was going to stop suffering, meaning Kashino never would either.
It was 3 weeks after Kashino first woke up when Ichigo was finally considered to be gone for good. No one dared say it aloud. Everyone knew once Kashino was told of this, he would be broken.
He still sat at her side. Through the 3 weeks, he never failed to be at her side. His sister was in awe of his devotion to her, even when she could not return the favour.
Kashino stared at her with lifeless eyes. He was tired of everything. Tired of life; at least, without his love by his side.
"I need to talk to you Makoto," His sister said slowly.
"I don't want to hear it."
"But you need to," His sister walked into the room, what she had not done previously. She knelt down in front of him and put a hand on his shoulder. How tiny he seemed, helpless; drained of life, nothing but sorrow flowing through his veins.
"I can't," He said, his voice breaking, "Please."
His sister had tears in her own eyes, as she stared into her brother's broken ones, "She's gone for good, Makoto. They don't think she'll ever recover."
A single tear trailed down his face, nothing more. "Think? They can't just think! They have to know!" He cried, frustrated, "They have to know! They have to!" His sister took him into her arms and he finally broke down into tears, "Don't let them take her away from me. Please. I'm nothing without her."
"I know... I know."
"I don't want to be there," He murmured quietly, not daring look his sister in the eye.
Today was the day they would take Ichigo off life support. She would be gone forever, only her memory left. The memory of the sad porcelain angel, lying lifeless in the hospital with her broken lover at her side.
"You have to be there," She responded, "It's the final good bye."
"I don't want a final good bye," Kashino said, "I can't do it."
But none the less, he found himself in her room once more. For the last time, he sat there beside her, a strawberry blossom in his hand. It was the flower of a strawberry, right before it started to grow into the fruit. It would be forever like his Ichigo, beautiful and in bloom, but never living long enough to grow to its fullest potential.
His sister stood behind his chair, watching him look upon her for one final time. "Makoto..."
"She was always so happy," He murmured, "That's why I grew to love her. If I had just kept my mouth shut and hadn't told her anything about how I felt, she could still be here."
"You couldn't have guessed this would happen."
He laid the strawberry blossom in her grasp and let her hands rest gently on her chest, "I should have. Ichigo, I'm sorry I couldn't save you. I'm sorry I'm so helpless. I'm nothing without you."
Her face remained blank, unmoving, lifeless.
"My beautiful Ichigo, live in infinity; I'll join you some day. I promise. Whether that be soon or not, I promise, I'll join you in infinity. We'll be infinite together."
Tears streamed down his face, softly landing amongst her hair, like dew drops in the morning, "I love you."
With this final image of her in his mind, hair spread out, shining with his tears, holding a dear strawberry blossom, Kashino's sister, who was also crying for her brother whispered to the doctor, "Pull the plug."
The life support machine stopped with a groan. Amano Ichigo was no more. The beautiful angel, the strawberry blossom, forever floating in infinity, waiting for her love to join her.
The night was cold, stars twinkled above the blond's head, though they seemed dull in comparison to the sparkle that had resided in his lover's eyes.
"I'm not talking about it." He responded, "I have nothing left."
"You still have your whole life ahead of you," She tried, "You're only sixteen."
He sat on the lawn chair they put out for him. Still attached to the IV he asked his sister, "Do you know what it's like to lose someone you love?"
She shook her head, "No... But..."
"Don't say a thing if you don't," Kashino said quietly.
That night, Kashino went into his last traumatic shock. No matter what the doctors did to try and save him, it did not work.
He died surrounded by doctors, all trying to salvage the broken pieces of his life and say they could put it back together.
But they could not. It was already ground into dust, powdered and tossed away into the wind, never to be found again.
"Don't leave me here alone!" Kashino yelled hoarsely after Ichigo. She was vanishing, flying up so high that he couldn't reach her. But then he felt his own wings grow, spreading out from behind him and felt himself lifting up. He could fly. Higher, he raced upward. "Wait for me Ichigo! Wait for me, I'm coming."
She hovered in the air for a second, waiting for him to catch up. There she was, smiling and in all glorious splendor. This was the girl he had fallen in love with. She had the strawberry blossom tucked into her hair, no more scars of hurt marred her body. "Seems you found your wings," She said.
Kashino nodded before taking her hand and pulling her into a class, "I love you, infinitely."
She smiled and pulled him in for a kiss. Right before their lips met, she whispered softly for him to hear,
"Together, we are infinite."
Me: Most likely this is my only update until I get back from vacation. I've just really been dying to get this out into the fanfiction system xD
So, I've got about 2 more weeks here, then I go home... Back to school. Bleh.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading R&J, I know it took forever for me to get chapters out and they always came out at the most random times... But thanks for reading. You guys are amazing. You are all so dedicated to my stories and even months after an update continue to ask for one. I am blessed with amazing readers. Thank you so much :)
LOL. So I realize now that the last time I updated this story was in July... Of last year. That's horrible. Ahaha... My writing style has really changed since then, it's kinda weird. Oh well.
(I love you all to the moon and back :D)