Disclaimer: All rights to the name "Lucky Star" belong solely to Kagami Yoshimizu. I neither own this franchise nor do I profit from the writing of this story.
Author's Note: Not much at all. Just want to still give appreciation to all those who have read and reviewed. Writing this has been a blast and I hope you all enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing this. Thank you and enjoy.
Miki found herself immersed in the emotions that she was feeling at that very moment. Such feelings of love, understanding and acceptance. It was here that she found her worth; a place where she was held precious, a sanctuary in hard times. Only here with her husband could she feel this way.
She felt Tadao soon pull away from her lips, leaving her flushed and breathless. Her face was beginning to sweat and her heart felt like it was going to pop out of her chest. The last time Miki felt this level of exhilaration from her husband was far back in the beginning of their marriage when they were both still so young and energetic.
Miki now could acknowledge that those periods of exhilaration then were very lustful in nature. They were young adults it was to be expected.
Yet this moment of exhilaration differed from those during the times of her youth. While she did feel arousal by Tadao's act she could not help but feel that the kiss and feeling of exhilaration afterward felt more...substantial than before. Not just driven by lust alone but by something deeper and more meaningful
Is this what they call "making love?"
"M...Mom? I-Is that you?"
Miki nearly gasped as she heard the voice of her eldest daughter suddenly call out to her. The voice that sounded so full of longing, pain and defeated hope.
Not wanting to make her eldest wait longer than she already had Miki soon got up, with Tadao assenting, and soon walked over to the now trembling form of her eldest daughter. Miki went forward and placed her hand on the cheek of her oldest daughter. Inori instantly leaned into her mother's daintily hand feeling the cool touch soothe her skin.
With Inori in sight Miki could suddenly recollect the pregnancy in which she carried Inori to term over twenty years ago. The look of utter elation and shock on Tadao's face when she announced that she was pregnant. The romantic dinner the very same night. The warped cravings for calamari and eggs she developed that caused Tadao to hate squid even to this day.
Most of all the day when Inori was born. She had been in labor for twenty hours and when she finally delivered she could felt like her eyelids were going to shut and never open again. She was so exhausted.
But Miki refused to go to sleep until she held her baby in her arms. Just once to let her know that all of this was not a dream.
Then the moment when baby Inori was soon in her arms Miki felt as if all the happiness on Earth was suddenly bundled together and was now sleeping in her arms. This was their child. A product of their love and devotion to each other.
She remembered Tadao's eyes brimming with tears in joy and pride. That he too had a part in creating this beautiful creature and now it was in their care. This small mite of life would soon grow up to have its own hopes, dreams and ambitions! And they, as this creature's parents, would have a part in molding this new life.
None of this significance was lost on Miki and as she looked over the trembling eyes of her eldest daughter she could not help but think how time had gone by so quickly. That Inori, who had once fit into Miki's very arms, was now larger than her. Despite that Miki could see nothing more than her little girl standing before her especially with those eyes of disbelief and hope.
Suddenly Inori lunged at her mother and grasped her so tightly that Miki was quite startled and nearly fell back from the force. There Inori clung to Miki's white jacket with maniacal desperation as the young woman began to sob loudly.
Miki could only feel the most wretched pain when she felt the utter desperation coming from Inori.
To think that I had wanted to commit suicide. To put myself out of my own misery. How foolish of me to think that I was alone in bearing these pains when the whole time my daughters were desperate for me to come back. What would my death had done to them?
So selfish of me.
I pray that my daughters never find out my horrible secret. That even if it were one time I had put myself before them. A mother should never do that.
I know I won't. Not again.
"I know that Inori is the favorite and all but that doesn't mean you can ignore us."
Miki's eyes widened as she heard the familiar, sarcastic voice and looked up to find Matsuri standing at the entrance of the dining room with a grin on her face. Kagami and Tsukasa were also there though they seemed to be in complete disbelief at the sight before them.
For some reason Matsuri's words struck a chord inside of Miki. While it was spoken in jest and there was no harm from it Miki could not help but feel a terrible sense of guilt. In some respects Matsuri was right. Throughout the entirety of their marriage both she and Tadao had doted on Inori so much and had been so horribly unfair to Matsuri in return.
While all of this had been forgiven and put behind them Miki still felt as if she had let Matsuri down. That if only she had paid more attention to her then perhaps Matsuri wouldn't have turned out the way she did.
"Even if you are joking what you said is not funny Matsuri. I would never consider one of my daughters any more valuable then another. I cherish all of you." replied Miki softly her head hung down a bit.
"Then where were you then?" asked Kagami suddenly, in almost a hostile tone.
Miki was quite surprised at the tone of voice that Kagami had used to address her. She saw the look on Kagami's eyes and found that there to was a look of near infinite yearning. That she desperately missed her own mother and wanted her back. But those eyes also held anger.
Don't tell me that they're...
"I-If you cherished us so much then why did it take so long for you to come back?" asked Kagami in a trembling voice.
"Kagami you have to understand that-"
"Understand what? That you don't care?"
The room was totally silent.
Tadao did not know what to do. So desperately did he want to go over and reprimand Kagami but he remembered the ordeal she had suffered and decided to stay quiet and watch. Perhaps this was necessary in order for all the hate, lies and jealousies to finally go away once and for all.
He loved his wife but he knew that Miki wasn't blameless. As he had to suffer the accusations of his children and forced to confront his own mistakes in order for their relationship to improve so would Miki despite all the pain and suffering she already had to endure. As unfortunate as it was this was necessary.
Tadao could only pray that Miki was strong enough to weather this last trial.
Matsuri and Tsukasa looked over at Kagami in total shock. This was supposed to be a happy time. A time when their family was finally going to be back together again. Yet here was Kagami doing her best, it seemed, to drive them apart.
Inori reacted the most hostility to Kagami's words as she stood up in a flash and immediately glared into her younger sister's eyes.
"How dare you Kagami! Mom just came back into our lives and here you are whining about it! What the hell is wrong with you!" retorted Inori fiercely.
"What's wrong with me you say? How about the fact that she decides to up and leave during a time when we all needed her the most. That she had not shown up even once during our graduations Inori. Has that even occurred to you? That our biggest accomplishments in our lives so far had been blatantly ignored by our own mother? That every night Tsukasa cried for our mother to come back and the only one who even bothered to give a damn was me? That I had to hold her in my arms and tell her everything was alright?"
"Tell me mom were you so ashamed with what you did with Matsuri and Inori that you couldn't even summon the courage to call us? To at least let us know that you still cared for us? That you had not decided to leave our lives."
Miki stood stoically as she watched her second youngest daughter spill her heart out and release all these frustrations that had built up in her over the past couple of months. It hurt Miki to know that she had caused so much pain to her children and resolved to accept any form of rebuttal from her daughters even if it tore her apart to do so.
"Most of all is why did you leave mom? I know about what had happened but still. Were we so unimportant to you that you couldn't stand up to dad? To tell him that you loved us and that you would never leave no matter what?"
It was at this point that Kagami's anger was beginning to fade and was being replaced with sorrow and pain instead. Already Kagami's eyes were watering and her body was trembling all over.
It was then that Tsukasa decided to step forward and end this once and for all. She placed her hand on Kagami's shoulder causing her older sister to turn to her.
"We all missed mom very much. I know I can be a bit of a cry baby sis and you try to stay strong for me. I'm sure that all those times you held me in your arms you probably wanted to cry too but didn't because you didn't want me to worry. That you held everything in to make sure that I felt better. I'm so sorry. I should have been strong too so that I could hold you and make you feel better but I never did. But you don't have to stay strong anymore. There is no shame in crying when you have to. I know that you have been suffering just as much as the rest of us. So let it out already. Stop being strong for me and let it go." said Tsukasa with a kind smile.
Kagami looked into Tsukasa's eyes and could see that everything was alright. That right now she no longer had to put up an act. The dam was crumbling and Kagami could hold it no longer as she felt her legs give way beneath her and she started to weep. Miki's face softened as she made her way toward Kagami and held her daughter close to her. For a moment Kagami resisted and attempted to pull away. Miki did not relent and held fast until Kagami soon gave up and succumbed to her tears once more as she cried loudly onto Miki's chest.
"There, there my little angel mommy's here. Mommy's here." said Miki soothingly as she stroked Kagami's hair.
It was then that Miki felt three pairs of arms suddenly embrace her out of nowhere. Soon Miki found herself nearly being smothered by her daughters all of whom were holding on to her with the same amount of desperation that Inori had held her with just moments ago.
"H-Hey don't hog her all to y-yourself K-Kagami. I miss m-mom too you know." stammered Matsuri light heartily though her eyes were streaming with tears.
Throughout the entirety of her exile Miki had become accustomed to feeling only pain, hate and sorrow. There was a time when she was completely submerged in a pit of sorrow so deep that it felt almost impossible to escape. So much so that she felt that death was the only way to finally be free.
Such a complete and utter contrast now where Miki could only feel the utmost joy and happiness being in the arms of her beloved daughters. That all these girls loved her unconditionally just as she did for them. It was here that she was truly happy. So much so that she could hardly breath though that could be accounted by her daughters holding on to her so tightly.
However she would have it no other way. Miki almost wished time could stay still and that she could remain in her daughters' arms forever.
To think I was willing to throw this away. That I had valued my daughters' love so little that I was willing to endanger it to fulfill my selfish needs.
"Girls...I'm so sorry..."
"It's alright mom. We're together now and that is all that matters." whispered Inori in response.
With that Miki finally was able to let go as she too wept alongside her daughters.
In the meanwhile Tadao had happened to watch the entire interaction between his wife and their daughters. It was nothing short of amazing to him. Though initially frightened due to Kagami's outburst he was glad that he did not interfere. This torrent of emotions was bound to bear turbulence but soon coalesced together in unity and from that a new peace was born with Miki at the very center.
It is so hard for me to believe that we have been married for over twenty years. Never did I imagine that I would be able to experience such joy and elation when I had proposed to you. Then I was sure of my love for you Miki and your love to me in return.
But who would have guessed that by our union we were able to create four beautiful daughters whom I cherish above all else? That we now no longer had each other to love but the love of our own children as well. Such a beautiful gift I had been blessed with. Often times I feel as if this is all just a dream. A wonderful dream that I will wake up out of and I'll find myself sleeping back in that stinky college dorm I used to live in when I was nineteen. Because all of this is too good to be true.
Sure we have had our trials and tribulations and each and every time we got through, together as a family. This last ordeal nearly tore us apart but I am happy to see that our bond persevered even through that. Even so the pains and sufferings pale compared to the utter joy I feel to know that I am loved by four beautiful daughters and my loving wife.
We are together again as a family and I intend to keep it that way.
With his thoughts settled Tadao soon strove forward toward the group. Miki saw his approach and gently nudged herself to get up. Seeing this the four young women relinquished their mother from their grasp. Seeing herself free Miki soon rose and met the amber eyes of her husband.
"You're so beautiful Miki. Even to this day I cannot believe that I let such a blessing such as yourself go. I am ashamed of the way I acted." said Tadao mournfully.
"Dear listen. We were all under so much stress when that event happened. I do not blame you for trying to protect the girls. If anything I was happy you reacted the way you did. That you were so willing to end our twenty year marriage for the sake of keeping our girls safe. It proved to me that you are a real man. That you would do anything to see our daughters safe and sound. I knew that if I ever had to go then I would at least be assured that my precious girls girls would always be kept safe and provided for because they were with their father. Even if I never got to see them again at least the thought of them living with you, Tadao, would make me happy." replied Miki softly.
"It doesn't take away from the fact that I said those horrible things to you. You have been so good to me Miki, so patient despite my stubbornness and flaws, and yet I took it for granted and was willing to fling it aside and discard it because of my pious beliefs. The moment I realized that I was willing to forsake the greatest blessing in my life for my quaint beliefs was when I knew I was a total idiot. Marriage is supposed to be about communication and compromise. And many times you cried out to me Miki and I ignored you. So narrow minded. So blind. Then to top it off I banish her never to return. What kind of husband am I to do that to the woman who has given me everything for the past twenty years? Nothing but an ingrate is what. For that I am so sorry Miki that you had to marry a worthless husband like myself. You deserved far better than what I could give you." responded Tadao sadly.
Miki soon made her way forward and could see that her husband's form was trembling. She placed her hand on his chin and drew his face to her so that their eyes made contact.
"I was so frustrated Tadao. Every day I felt that you cared less and less about me. That you were compelled to work so much because you were bored of us. Or that you had an external affair. So paranoid and vain of me to have entertained such thoughts. That I accused you of having a mistress. When all this time you had suffered on our behalf so that we could live the comfortable lives that we do. I was such a foolish woman Tadao. I was so wrapped up in my own sexual frustrations that I never bothered to see your torment. That I was even willing to wish for the nonexistence of our babies just so that I could have spent more time with you. I was such a horrible woman Tadao! If anything it was I that was the ingrate. You took care of me to the best of your ability and I have only hurt and betrayed you in return. If anything I am so happy that you are willing to forgive my horrible sins and take me back."
The girls' faces were all read as they saw the moment of anticipation. Never had they seen their parents so lovey dovey toward each other and were eagerly awaiting the climax.
Just as Tadao and Miki were about to kiss Tadao's stomach suddenly rumbled loudly completely destroying the mood.
"Geez what a bummer!" complained Matsuri.
"Same here." pouted Inori.
Miki smiled at her husband as she pecked him on the cheek.
"Sounds like birthday boy is hungry. Should I start cooking?" whispered Miki into Tadao's ear sultrily.
For the first time in a very long while Tadao felt aroused. It had been such a long time since his wife had spoken like this. He loved it when she bantered with him like this when they were younger but had abandoned the practice once they started to have their children.
"If is all the same I already see my main course is finished." replied Tadao.
"Oh really? Pray tell."
"Never knew you were so naughty birthday boy."
"You have no idea."
"And you're a priest?"
"Only in title."
"And not even ashamed. What has society come to?"
"In you my dear."
With that Miki pushed Tadao hard to the wall behind them and gave him a predatory look. Tadao nearly did not rise to the challenge but gathered his wits and grabbed Miki by the waist and dragged her to his chest roughly. Miki responded by clawing at his shirt before looking up into her husband's eyes. They both could feel each other's breath on their faces further stimulating the situation.
Both Tadao and Miki were distracted from their banter and looked over to see the reactions of their daughters.
Kagami had her hands over Tsukasa's face. Inori was blushing deeply and with her expressions ranging from arousal, joy, envy, and interest all at once. Matsuri had her phone out already and had no doubt recorded the whole thing.
Tadao and Miki blushed deeply in embarrassment. They were so caught up that they forgot that their daughters were there. Both wished they could rewind time and undo this event. This was something in their relationship that they never wanted their daughters to see. With that Tadao broke the ice tentatively.
"Well now that we are on the topic of food how about we go out to eat?"
Later that evening saw the whole family at an expensive sushi restaurant. Knowing that their parents wanted time alone Inori had offered to pay for Matsuri, Kagami and Tsukasa's meal and sit at another part of the restaurant. Matsuri took the hint and agreed that this was a good idea.
Tadao and Miki, though wanting to spend time with their children, had wanted to be alone for some time first before doing anything else. Seeing that Matsuri and Inori knew this they took the offer gladly.
So it was that the girls were seated at one end of the restaurant while Tadao and Miki were seated at a bar at the other end of the restaurant.
It was dark in this restaurant with only a faint blue ambiance that filled the restaurant. The atmosphere was perfect to fit the mood of the newly reunited couple who had decided to sit down and spend some much needed time together.
"So how have the girls been doing. You know after I had to leave." asked Miki as she took a drink out of a cup of sake.
"I am not going to lie. It was rough. So many problems that I normally left to you I suddenly had to address. Often times I felt so lost and confused it seemed that I could never resolve any issues. There were some nights that I laid in bed and questioned my own ability as a father. That I never had the answers to anything. It was on those nights that I realized just how much you have guided me in parenting our own children. That so many of my decisions would never have come to be if I had not had you to fall back on."
"Eventually, however, I overcame it all and was able to be the parent I wanted to be. It was tough sledding but in the end everything turned out okay. Tsukasa has been doing really well in her classes and managed to actually graduate in the top half of her class. If she just graduated, period, I would have been happy for her but she exceeded my expectations of her. Kagami...went through an ordeal but was strong enough to persevere and maintain her grades and graduated in the top five percent of her class."
"Inori also graduated and got her bachelors in business. Despite everything she had to go through she too kept at it and was able to graduate well in her class. However I'm really proud of Matsuri. She, out of all the girls, has improved the most. She was able to pass all her classes with A's with a part time job on top of that. I'm so proud of her. To see her so motivated and driven. If there was anything good to be had after this whole ordeal is Matsuri. If none of this had happened we would still be living that lie, covering all our secrets and pretending to be this happy family while in reality we had serious problems. It was a tough journey for all of us." said Tadao.
Miki smiled the whole time she heard her husband speak but still she could not keep the tears from her face.
"I was right Tadao. I knew that if the girls were under your care they would flourish. To hear that they are all doing well, even Matsuri. It makes me think that perhaps you didn't need me anymore. Or that you never needed me to begin with..." said Miki sadly as she waved the cup of sake before her face dully, her hand under her chin as she rested her arm on the table.
"That's not true. I do not take all the credit for the way the girls turned out. You had a huge hand in making the girls into the wonderful adults that they now are. Never underestimate your worth here Miki. I love you nothing will ever change that and believe me when I say this. I will not make the same mistake twice. The next time you are out of my life Miki will only be because YOU want to leave ME. But I renew the vows I made to you on the day I proposed to you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you Miki. I will not let you go. Not again. Never."
"Tadao...of course. I could not imagine living the rest of my life without you ever again. I too will renew my vows. That I will dedicate the entirety of my being to you. That I will stay by your side no matter what. I give you my heart, soul and body. Do with it as you wish." replied Miki.
Tadao moved his head forward and whispered into Miki's ear.
"I'll cherish you."
With that Tadao moved forward and kissed Miki deeply on the lips renewing the vows and strengthening the bonds they had forged since they day they got married. It was a long time in coming and the path was riddled with strife, sorrow and pain but in the end it got done.
Tadao and Miki withdrew from their kiss and looked at each other deeply in the eyes and knew from that point forward that they truly were in love with each other and that they would spend the rest of their lives together as husband and wife.
Neither would have wanted it any other way.
Author's Note: So ends my story. End of a long journey I can't believe I have been writing this for over a year now! Even so I just want to share a big thanks to all those who have stuck through and read/reviewed. Shout outs especially to Major Mike Powell who has been one of my most faithful readers. Thanks alot man I really appreciate it! Anyway I hope you all enjoyed reading as much as I had writing.