Almost 4 years later...
A number of things have changed in Bokuto since Natsumi's return although the main core of the happy group of friends remained intact.
Always remembering why she enlisted in the police, Natsumi joined forces with Miyuki once again in the Traffic Department hunting down all kinds of criminals and helping the good people in the district. With such excellent service records, she has been promoted to Lieutenant on the same day Miyuki received her promotion. At times, Natsumi worked alongside Toukairin as an assistant instructor in rescuing techniques, accident management and hostage rescue situations. She also recently joined Toukairin's joint-service event security team working part-time as his second-in-command.
Promoted to the rank of Captain, Toukairin still travelled back to the mountains in the Toyama prefecture from time to time, mostly on his vacation. But he remained most of the time in Bokuto to work as a chief instructor with his unmatched knowledge of rescuing techniques ranging from accident management to hostage rescue tactics. Toukairin also became the chief coordinator of police and security services surrounding all major events in Tokyo. Upon a call from HQ, his job is to come over to coordinate police activity and security measures around events such as musical concerts, carnivals, sports events, and visits of foreign dignitaries as well. Despite his new position and the multiple responsibilities related to his job, he always works by leading the people he trained on the field. Natsumi always felt he is at the right place when he's not sitting behind a desk all day.
Shortly after Natsumi's emotional return in Bokuto, Toukairin asked her in marriage and she didn't waste any time before she said "yes". The two of them have a son who is now 2 years and a half old, and the bond between them kept on growing stronger every day since.
About the relationship between Miyuki and Ken, it took them just a little longer to push their relationship to the next level. Still, Ken finally gathered his courage to ask Miyuki's hand in marriage and it didn't take a few seconds before she accepted his proposal as well. Miyuki gave birth to a daughter who is almost 2 years old now.
Miyuki was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and she recently became Kachou's chosen apprentice with the hope of becoming Kachou's successor as Chief of the Traffic Department. As qualified as she is, everyone in Bokuto knows she will make a very good Chief despite her role as the mother of a young child.
Ken was also promoted to Lieutenant. He became the senior bike officer and instructor in Bokuto. Although he had to adapt to his new life as a father, Nakajima remains very supportive of his wife's career aspirations. He was also a strong figure advocating Miyuki's and Natsumi's common idea of opening a child care center inside the station for all officers who want to have their own children spending the day close enough to them. The idea was well received by Kachou and the approval decision was most welcome by everyone.
Surprisingly, Yoriko and Aoi took over as Bokuto's number one regular patrolling pair in the streets of the Sumida Ward after Miyuki and Natsumi moved up the ladder. It took them some time to match the legendary effectiveness seen with the Miyuki/Natsumi duo, but they found a way to get the job done in their own manner. Recently, people at the station started to suspect that the Yoriko/Aoi partnership might be more than just professional, and it was now Yoriko's turn to be the target of all the gossip.
On that day in late October, it was a special day for two people who had very fond memories of their time in a specific place in the Kita Ward.
"The riverbank hasn't changed at all. And today is the day when we first met each other after I lost my memory." Natsumi said.
"Indeed. Whenever I come here, I feel it's as if I just met you here yesterday at the pre-school camp, Natsumi."
"Me too, Shouji... You dropped your wallet on that day and you immediately called me "Natsumi" when you turned to look at me."
"It was the turning point in my life as I found the strength to love someone again, get all the negative thoughts out of my head and finally discover you were still alive 2 months later. Since then, everything I wished came true beyond my wildest dreams."
"So did my dreams as well." Natsumi said before she kissed her husband.
"Mommy!" Natsumi's and Toukairin's son said as he ran towards his mother after Miyuki and Ken watched him and their own daughter playing together for a few minutes. Naomi was also here for this special day.
"Mommy's here, baby." Natsumi embraced her son before she turned to Naomi.
"We sure both share the same feeling of joy when we are walking around children. That's what I tell the children and their parents when they look the group picture they took with the both of us at the end of that school year and ask if there's more than just physical resemblance between us." Naomi said.
"I'm pretty sure a few of them thought we were twins separated at birth."
"They sure did." Naomi said before both women laughed about the story.
"Hey, guys! Daimaru and Sena told me they will make dinner tonight at their place to celebrate this special day. Sena will probably love spending time with our kids and have them to get along with her own kids." Miyuki said. "You're invited as well, Naomi. Would you like to come with us?"
"I would love to!"
"That's great, let's go!" Natsumi finished before she came back to Toukairin now carrying their son in his arms. As Natsumi looked at her child, she played all the flashbacks in her memory and reflected on everything that happened exactly 4 years ago from her second first encounter with Toukairin leading up to this day. "Shouji, we really came a long way to build this dream together, didn't we?"
"And nothing's going to stop us now from building it even further, Natsumi. There's always more to come and the future is really bright when you are with me."
"At least nothing is going to stop me anytime soon, honey." Natsumi took Toukairin's hand and put it on her belly. He immediately understood what she meant by that: the couple is expecting another child! The news created another vintage moment in their love story as Toukairin and Natsumi shared one more kiss with hearts full of happiness and hope. Finally, they joined the rest of their friends on their way to the big happy family reunion happening soon. They would keep the big announcement for later in the evening. Standing strong forever, nothing is going to stop them at all.
And we can build this dream together,
Standing strong forever
Nothing's gonna stop us now
And if this world runs out of lovers,
We'll still have each other
Nothing's gonna stop us,
Nothing's gonna stop us now.
Final comments: The idea that came up to complete this story just came to me in a flash from the moment I read Leona Magnus' original draft from 9 years ago. When Naomi arrived in the picture, the prospect of a story with Natsumi being hit with amnesia, turning into a kinder self and how her friends would get her back to normal was immediately appealing to me. I was most proud of writing the scene with the kids in chapter 12 when Natsumi started crying and then the kids said they all believe in her. I shed a few tears myself; it was a really beautiful and powerful scene.
When I wrote in the foreword that I was dissatisfied with the 3rd season, I was mostly disappointed with Natsumi's & Toukairin's love story being absent in the series. For that reason alone, I really felt I needed to write something doing justice to them, something which could have been a rightful closure for their story since we had one for the relationship between Miyuki and Ken in the anime series.
I really hope you enjoyed the ride. Please write any positive feedback comment if you have any.