Chapter 23: Cheating Chara Part 2

Wednesday came around quickly. Amu hadn't told anyone else about Easter's real plan yet. She decided she would talk to the other guardians at lunch time. She had to tell them so that they wouldn't sign the contract. After she dropped Ami off at Easter's training academy she walked to school. Thoughts of Easter occupied her mind the whole time. What was going to happen at the start of next term? After all, she would be studying at Easter's training academy full time. They wanted her to be a symbol for Easter. Surely that meant she would have to debut soon. She would be a famous idol. She had dreamed of this more than a few times; she never wanted it to happen like this, though.

When she entered the classroom she noticed Rima sitting at her desk. Suddenly thoughts of yesterday came rushing back into her mind. Yamada hadn't gotten the full scholarship. He began crying and ran out of the auditorium. Rima ran after him. Amu mentally scolded herself. She had been so caught up with Easter she didn't even think about her best friend. She looked at Rima again and, this time, looked at her eyes. They seemed so blank, empty of emotion. Her body was still, lifeless. She looked so apathetic. Amu immediately ran up to her and hugged her. They didn't talk. There was no need for words. They simply held each other. Neither of them knew how much time passed but soon other students began coming into class and before long Nikaido walked in. Finally the two of them parted and Amu dragged Rima to the front of the class where she told Rima to sit in Tadase's seat. He only nodded at Amu, understanding.

Amu didn't know when it had happened but as she looked back she saw that Yamada had come into class and was sitting in his seat. He had that same apathetic look in his eyes that Rima had. They were both dying on the inside. Amu sighed. Why did they have to be so stubborn?

Nikaido began talking, but Amu wasn't listening to anything he said. Then, one thing he said caught Amu's attention.

"Tomorrow during third period everyone will have class off. The physical education class is doing a 10km run assessment, and the teachers have decided that since it's the end of the term we should all watch."

Amu had totally forgotten about the 10 kilometre run. She remembered the bet she had made with Yamada. Perhaps she could somehow use the bet to get Rima and Yamada back together? Suddenly she thought of an idea. She knew whos help she would need, too.

When recess came around Amu quickly rushed to the cafeteria. She looked around and saw that neither Rima nor Yamada were here yet. That was good. She made her way over to Shouta's table and grabbed his hand, dragging him off the seat. A shocked look passed his face before he looked up and saw it was Amu. She quickly dragged him away and into the girl's bathroom.

"I'm not sure I should be in here…" he said nervously.

Amu dropped to her knees, ignoring the fact that it was a bathroom and the floor was probably filthy, "I need your help, please. I probably sound like the most insincere person ever. I want your help to get Yamada and Rima back together. I know that's wrong but… please."

"Of course I'll help you," Yamada told her.

"But… isn't it better for you if they aren't dating?" Amu asked. She was confused at his immediate acceptance.

"Love doesn't always mean you're together. Sometimes you have to love someone enough to let them go."

Amu got to her feet and stepped forward to embrace Shouta. She wrapped her arms around him and rested her head on his shoulder, "I'm so sorry. You'll fall in love one day, and that person will love you back."

"Thanks, Amu," he said slowly before his face brightened and his spirit lifted, "Anyway, how are we gonna get them back together?"

"Well, we currently have a bet about which one of us is going to win the 10km run. I was thinking I might have to raise the stakes. If I win I'm going to make them date again."

"Are you sure you can win, though? If you demand that from him he'll probably have a pretty harsh demand as well."

"Well… that's what I wanted your help for. We're pretty even. I'm sure that it'll be close. That's why, in case he's winning near the end, I was hoping we could have a distraction. I hoped you'd be able to create one somehow."

Shouta thought for a moment before he spoke, "Yeah. I think I have something that would work."

"Okay, I'll leave that up to you then. Anyway, we better get out of here. Rima's probably waiting for me by now."
"Yeah, and Yamada is probably waiting for me."

They both walked out of the bathroom and went in their separate directions, ignoring the glances people gave them after seeing them walk out of the bathroom together.

As Amu sat down at the table with Rima she decided it was time to be hard on her. "Listen up," she began. Rima's eyes moved up from the table to Amu's face. Her eyes were still emotionless and empty, "You need to get yourself together girl. I know you're sad but you need to tell me what happened when you chased after him."

Rima's mouth opened slowly but no words came out. She closed it before opening it again. She still sat there in silence. Finally she began talking, her voice hesitant and distant, "I was chasing him. He kept running. Then I fell over. My face smashed into the ground. Hearing the thump he turned around and saw me lying on the floor. He quickly ran up to me and cupped my face with his hand while asking if I was alright. I ignored his question and just told him that I loved him. When I said that he looked away. I looked away too. I can't believe I actually said that. We'd only been dating a few days. How could I say that? I ruined it. His eyes were looking into mine and he began talking. He said sorry that he didn't make it into Easter. He was sorry that he was a failure and that we could never be together. He lifted me onto my feet and then he turned around again. I grabbed his arm and he spun back around to face me. I pressed my lips against his and wrapped my arms around him. He didn't respond at first but then he began kissing back. After a while we both pulled away and he looked down at me and began laughing. I looked down too. My clothes were all dirty. He picked me up and began carrying me back to my dorm. I just let myself rest against his body and I felt safe. He carried me back to my dorm and I told him he could come in for a bit."

Rima paused for a moment. Amu was confused. She wasn't sure how this could turn bad. From what she'd heard so far, it sounded absolutely perfect.

"What happened after that?" she asked.

Rima breathed in before talking again, "Could we go somewhere a bit more private? Some people started looking at us."

Amu looked around and saw that, indeed, people were looking at them, "Yeah, sure, let's go to the royal garden."

The two of them got up and, picking up their bags, walked out of the cafeteria. The walk to the royal garden was silent. Amu was thinking the whole time. What could have possibly happened? So far it sounded like they had been perfect. The two of them saw the royal garden in sight and Amu felt relieved, although she didn't know why. Perhaps it was because she would find out what happened. As they entered they each sat in their chair and Amu prompted Rima to continue talking.

"Well… after that I went into my room and got changed. When I came back out I saw him sitting on my couch. I sat down next to him and asked him where we were going to go from here. He apologised again for not getting the full scholarship and I told him it was no problem. We'd still see each other two days a week, anyway. I told him that I still wanted to date him, and he agreed. We kissed, but the kiss turned more passionate after a while. I began to run my hands through his hair, and his hands were behind my back. He slipped them under my shirt and began to run them across my back."

Rima paused again. Amu took a deep breath. They couldn't have, right? They couldn't have done it… it was too soon…

Rima looked away from Amu and began talking again, "We parted after a while. We were both panting; we didn't get enough air. All he said was 'umm…' Then I kissed him again. My hands travelled down his back this time, and I grabbed his ass. He jumped in surprise before his hands moved up my stomach and grabbed my breasts. All I could think about was that time… When those men grabbed me… I freaked out and I pushed him off of me. I kept moving back on the couch and he moved closer, asking me what was wrong. I freaked out. It was totally irrational, but I didn't trust him for a moment… I thought he was going to rape me. I screamed at him, yelling at him to get out. He asked what was wrong and I screamed at him again. I said 'Get out you rapist! I hate you!'"

Amu's face went pale as she listened to the story. She got up off her seat and hugged her best friend.

"I hate myself… It was all my fault… What can I do, Amu?"

"Don't worry…" Amu said as she patted the girl's back, "I'll make things better."

At that moment the bell rang and the two of them collected their stuff and began walking to their classes. Their classes passed quickly; Amu was thinking of what she could say to the other guardians at lunch. When lunch came around Amu made her way to the cafeteria and she sat down at a table with the other guardians, Suzuki and Yua.

"We need to talk in private, let's go to the royal garden," she said sharply, "Suzuki and Yua, you guys can come too."

She turned on her heel and began to walk out of the cafeteria. The other guardians were confused, but picked up their bags and followed her nonetheless. They walked in silence on the way to the royal garden. When they got there Tadase pulled up a chair for Yua and Suzuki and they all sat down.

"Okay, you two," Amu said, pointing at Suzuki and Yua, "Have missed out a lot. I'll just be blunt and get to the point; Easter is an evil organisation planning to take over the world." The two of them blinked, as if what she had just said did not register to them. "I'm not joking or over exaggerating. They want to buy out companies so they have a monopoly over, well, everything."

"What…?" Suzuki began.

"Are you sure?" Yua asked.

"Yes, we're sure," Rima interjected, "We've even been to court against them, but unfortunately we lost the case."

"Oh god…" Sakurai began, "Stop joking around guys, this is serious."

"They aren't joking…" Tadase assured them.

"I always knew there was something off about Easter… but this?" Suzuki was astounded. Nevertheless, he fully believed what they were saying.

"Anyway, why did you bring this up now?" Kairi asked.

"I'm not sure exactly what Easter is planning, but I know there's definitely something fishy going on. You can't seriously believe it's a coincidence that they happened to be offering four full scholarships and all four of them happened to go to the guardians?"

"What are you suggesting…?" Tadase asked slowly.

"There's something I haven't told you guys except for Rima yet," Amu said slowly, "The reason they fired Utau is they decided on a new symbol for Easter, namely Ami and I."

"What?" Yaya asked incredulously, "That can't be true, right?"

"Unfortunately, she's not joking…" Rima added.

"Right, so I'm pretty sure the reason that you guys were chosen is so that they have more leverage over me. That's why you can't sign the contract to join Easter. You'll just be walking into their trap, and you'll be in danger. I can deal with this myself."

They looked at her, different emotions crossing their face. They each sat in silence for a moment. Rima was the first to speak up. She scoffed, "Please. You're my best friend, Amu. I'm not going to let you do this alone."

"Yeah, Rima's right," Yaya added in, "We're not going to abandon you. We'll be fighting Easter right alongside you!

"Yeah, we're not children that you have to take care of," Tadase told her.

"We'll be here to support you," Kairi assured her.

They went silent for a moment before Suzuki spoke up, "Well, this is all pretty overwhelming, but you're one of the nicest people I know. I'm not going to abandon you."

Yua was the last to speak, "I remember when we first met. I was so jealous of you. But despite all that, we still managed to become friends somehow. I'm not going to leave you now."

Amu looked at all of the people that were sitting there. Tears began to form in her eyes, "Thanks guys, that means so much to me…"

"Anyway, nothing good is going to come out of it if we just go crazy and rush in to Easter. I think we should just take things as they come for now," Tadase told them.

"I, too, think that would be the best plan," Kairi added.

"Yeah, we still have the musical to get out of the way first," Suzuki told them.

"That's true," Yua said, "It's only 2 days until we perform in front of an audience…"

"Oh, god, time has gone by so quickly!" Tadase said.

"Speaking of time going quickly, the bell is going to ring any second now," Kairi told them.

As if on cue, the bell rang and they all picked up their bags and made their way to their separate classes.

After school finished Amu made her way to the auditorium. They were doing a full dress rehearsal for the musical today. She was nervous. It was only 2 full days before they had to perform the musical. Before she got into her clothes she went to the male dressing room. Without bothering to knock she walked in. She knew no-one else would be there by now since she had gotten out of class early. Tadase, William and Jack walked in. They were surprised to see her in there.

"What are you doing in here, shouldn't you be getting into your costume?" Tadase asked.

"I'm waiting for Yamada," she said simply. It was at that moment that Yamada walked into the dressing room. Amu quickly walked over to him, "You and me, talk outside."

He obeyed, and walked back out the door he just came in. Amu followed him out. "Rima told me what happened."

He looked as if he was about to break down in tears. At least it was an improvement from his emotionless face he had during the day.

"I'm so sorry. I'm the worst… I bet she hates me now. I didn't want to make her uncomfortable… I'm so stupid. I hate myself."

"Yeah, you're both stupid…" Amu said softly, "Well, I want to propose a deal for you. You know our little wager? I want to up the stakes. If I win you and Rima have to sit down and seriously talk about what happened, then kiss and make up."

"I can't face her… I can't…"

"What do you want me to do if you win? I'll do anything," Amu told him.

He thought about it for a moment, "I have absolutely no idea."

"Well… what about I'll owe you something? If you win I'll do anything for you at any time you want at your request."

He smirked, "You're on. I'm not going to lose, Amu."

"Well, we have the musical to focus on first. But, I'm going to beat you tomorrow."

With that, Amu walked off and went to the female dressing room to change into her outfit. She prepared herself for the dress rehearsal. It was definitely going to be a challenge. After all, this was almost the real thing.


The next day came quickly. They didn't do much work in any classes, since it was the last day of term. Before long recess came around. Amu and Yamada made their way to the gym and got changed into their gym clothes before they began stretching, preparing for the big race. It was going to be a long one. 10km is nothing to scoff at. When they both got out of the changing room they greeted each other.

"Try not to die out there," she told him.

He rolled his eyes, "You just focus on keeping up with me."

"I'm sure that won't be a problem."

They grinned at each other before shaking hands and continuing with their stretches.

The school began gathering at the oval, the beginning and ending point of the race. They had a few T.V screens set around the place with extension cords running into the gym. The T.V screens would show live streaming of some of the runners. Of course, it was a very long time, so most of the time people would just be chatting to each other. It wasn't until the end of the race that people would get excited. Recess quickly passed by, people chatting to each other. The start of third period was nearing, and the gym students began to walk out from the gym onto the oval. As they walked out everyone on the oval began cheering. Amu heard her name called and looked over to see the Rima, Tadase, Kairi, Yua, Suzuki and Shouta cheering for her. Yamada looked over too, and noted that Shouta didn't even cheer his name.

"Geez… it's nice to see where my 'best friends' loyalties lie," Yamada said with an annoyed tone.

"He's cheering for me for you, if that makes sense."

"No, that did not make any sense at all."

"Well, if I win then you and Rima will get back together, so you'll be happy."

"I don't think we can ever get back together," Yamada told her honestly.

Amu frowned, "Don't think that way. You guys are perfect for each other. Remember what I told you? If she ever opens up to a guy, I'm sure that he'll be the one. You're so special to her, Yamada. You just have to be patient with her; she's still afraid and scarred from her experience. It'll take some time, but, trust me, she feels just as guilty as you do."

Yamada looked at her, "Thanks, Amu. You always know what to say."

"Right back at you," Amu told him, "We have a pretty weird friendship, wouldn't you say?"

He smiled at her, "Yeah. I'm definitely going to sort things out with Rima after this race."

Amu smiled at him. Perhaps she had achieved her goal without even needing to beat him? She wasn't sure how that just happened, but she wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. She still needed to beat him, anyway. She wasn't about to let him get one up on her.

The participants all lined up at the starting line as Mr. Anderson explained that the participants would run through the track. There would be officials stationed at points to direct them. He reminded them not to get too worn out at the start. 10 km was a very long distant.

"Ready, set…" he paused for a moment before holding his gun to the air and firing. Everyone took off from the starting line, starting with a jog. Amu knew if she went too fast at the start she would regret it later. Amu remained at about the middle of the group as they ran. Yamada was leading the pack.

As they ran further and further the pack began diminishing as people got tired. Yamada, as the leader, controlled the pace. When there were about 6 or 7 people left he decided to step it up a bit to shake them off. As he increased his speed, he began to break away from the rest of the crowd. Amu knew that if she let him get too far ahead she wouldn't be able to catch up. She, too, stepped up her speed and ran around the others. She quickly caught up to Yamada and continued running just behind him.

They continued running, just the two of them leading for a while. They were both getting very tired, and their pace slowed considerably. As Yamada slowed down he was worried. While there were only two of them, he couldn't really control the pace. If he slowed down and then Amu decided to speed up she could easily overtake him. Luckily, Amu was obviously tired as well. When he slowed down she, too slowed. They continued running together.

They had been running for an extremely long time already and Amu and Yamada were really feeling it. Amu's legs began to hurt with each step she took. As the ran past an official he called out "Only 1 kilometre to go."

In that instance Amu's eyes locked onto Yamada's and a smirk appeared on their faces. They began to run faster, pushing themselves to the limit. Amu knew that she would barely be able to walk after this. Yamada had more energy left then Amu. He began to run faster, and slowly he started to inch away from her. Amu willed herself to go faster, but her legs wouldn't listen. Yamada got further and further away as they kept running. By now, he was about 10 metres in front of Amu. Amu just hoped that Shouta could distract him for long enough.

Amu and Yamada turned a corner past a building and they were out onto the oval. It must have only been 200m now until the finish line. Shouta better bloody act fast. As they appeared on the oval the whole crowd went wild. Screams erupted. Yamada heard one in particular, though. Someone was calling his name out of desperation. He looked to the side and saw Shouta. He was currently lying on the ground, a big guy standing over him. Yamada's eyes widened as the guy stood on his back. Shouta cried out in pain. Without thinking, Yamada quickly rushed to the side and pulled the guy off Shouta. Yamada's sudden movement caused everyone in the crowd to look. They obviously hadn't noticed it before.

Amu gasped. What did Shouta do? This surely couldn't have been his plan, right? He can't have gone so extreme just to distract Yamada. Amu, too, began to run over to where Shouta and Yamada were. After Yamada pulled the big guy off, the big guy towered over Yamada and pushed him in the chest. Yamada pushed him back and the big guy grabbed his arms. He pulled Yamada's right arm towards him, while pushing his left away. This sudden movement caused Yamada to be almost side on in relation to the guy. The guy then stepped his body in front of Yamada's, and let Yamada roll over his hip before slamming him onto the floor. This definitely was not planned.

Rima rushed to Yamada, and leant down beside him. Finally, some people from the crowd realised what was going on and teachers quickly rushed to Yamada's aid. Seeing the arrival of teachers, the big guy quickly fled the scene.

"Yamada!" Rima shouted, looking down at him. His only reply was a groan. "Are you okay?"

"Shouta…" he mumbled. Amu couldn't help but smile. Even while he was so injured his thoughts were on his best friend. Amu leaned down besides Shouta and asked if he was alright.

"This… wasn't what I planned…" he mumbled.

Soon enough the nurse came through, "C'mon! Let's get these 2 onto the beds. Straight to my office!"

Some students came through the crowd and lifted up Shouta and Yamada onto 2 wheelie beds. They then began to wheel the beds out, as the students cleared the way.

Rima was left sitting on the floor, right besides where Yamada had been lying. Amu came up to her, "C'mon, let's go to the nurse's office." She held out her hand and Rima took it. Amu pulled her up onto her feet and before long the rest of the guardians along with Yua and Suzuki were at their side. The group began walking to the nurse's office. When they arrived they knocked on the door before walking in quietly. The nurse was currently tending to Yamada. She looked up and saw the guardians enter.

"I'm pretty much done here, you can talk to your friends if you want. There's not much I can do except supply pain killers and suggest you get a lot of rest," she told Yamada and Shouta.

"Thanks…" Yamada and Shouta mumbled in unison.

"Okay, you have a lot of explaining to do," Rima said, directing her statement at Shouta.

"I'll begin…" Amu said slowly, "I made a bet with Yamada about which one of us would win the race. I said if I won then he'd have to dress up as a girl, and if he won I'd have to write a love letter to a teacher. Then, you and Yamada broke up and I saw how miserable both of you were. I wanted to get you guys back together so I made a new bet with Yamada. If I won, you two would have to sit down and talk, and hopefully kiss and make up. If he won, I'd owe him a favour of whatever he likes. Anyway, I really wanted to get the two of you back together, so I asked Shouta for help…"

"What kind of help?" Rima inquired.

"I knew that me and Yamada would be about equal, so I asked if Shouta could distract Yamada for a little bit at the end so I could just beat Yamada…"

Yamada's eyes narrowed as he looked at Amu, "You dirty little cheat."
Amu rolled her eyes, "If you two weren't so bloody stubborn in the first place! Anyway, I don't know what happened after that, though."

"Well, I guess I'll have to take over then," Shouta coughed out, "I hadn't planned this to distract Yamada. I just planned to hold up an embarrassing photo of him…"

"Not that photo?" Yamada asked in horror.

Shouta smirked, "Yeah, that one. Anyway, last night I was with Jenny Jackson…"

"What?!" Yaya, Tadase, Kairi and Suzuki all asked at once.

"That's Adam's girlfriend…" Tadase said slowly.

"Who's Adam?" Amu asked.

"The one that just beat these two guys up," Kairi explained.

"Oh…"

Yaya interrupted, "WHY WERE YOU HAVING SEX WITH A GIRL THAT ALREADY HAS A BOYFRIEND?"

"It's complicated…" Yua said slowly.

"That's not an excuse!" Yaya yelled again.

"No, don't worry, he's gay," Rima said calmly.

Yaya, Tadase, Kairi and Suzuki all went silent and blinked twice. A look of confusion washed over them.

"You had sex with a girl…" Suzuki began.

"Even though you're gay?" Tadase finished.

"Uhm, no they didn't have sex," Amu assured them.

"How do you know so much?" Yaya asked her.

"Because I slept with him too."

That was obviously the wrong thing to say at that time because the four of them screamed in outrage again.

"But he's gay so they didn't have sex, get it?" Yua said.

"I'm totally lost now…" Tadase admitted.

"Okay, shut up!" Yamada screamed, "Let me explain from the start. Shouta is gay but he always invites girls into his room. He makes them beautiful and then he paints pictures of them so they feel loved. He does it whenever there's a girl that's feeling really down."

A chorus of "ohhh" was heard throughout the room.

"Why do you do that?" Kairi asked quizzically.

"Because he's in love with Yamada," Rima said calmly.

The room fell silent.

"How did you know that…?" Yamada asked her.

"Isn't it obvious? I've known from the beginning. The way he looks at you, the way he treats you. It's obvious he thinks of you as more than just a friend."

"Rima…" Shouta began slowly.

"Don't worry. You're obviously not a threat, so I didn't worry about it," she said bluntly.

Amu cringed at the way she worded it, "You could have worded it a bit nicer…"

"Well if he's going to try and steal my boyfriend off me, don't expect me to be nice."

"Boyfriend?" Yaya questioned happily.

Rima cursed at herself for her use of the word, "Ex-boyfriend I meant."

The room once again grew silent. Yamada closed his eyes in defeat. He looked so sad.

"Rima, he never tried to steal him from you…" Amu began, "He always helped me get you two together, even though he was in love with him…"

Rima looked at Amu. She was telling the truth. Her eyes then moved to Shouta and rested on him. She looked down for a moment, "I'm sorry. I misjudged you…"

Shouta smiled at her, "It's alright. Smile. Girls look more beautiful when they smile."

Rima smiled. It was a true smile. It wasn't something you saw everyday on Rima.

"Anyway, we got off track a bit," Amu told them, "How did the guy end up bashing you up?"

"Well, he came to confront me. He somehow found out that we spent the night together…. Anyway, I tried to explain the situation and I told him I'm gay. That was a bad idea. He screamed at me, calling me a fag. Then he punched me in the gut and threw me to the floor before standing on me. Then Yamada came rushing to my rescue."

"Just like a prince would come to his princess' aid…" Yaya said dreamily.

Rima glared at her, and then at Shouta.

"Or like a guy would come to his best friend's aid…" Amu added, hoping to calm the situation down.

"Anyway, my work better not have gone to waste. I'm expecting you two to sit down, talk, kiss and makeup," Shouta demanded, looking at Rima and Yamada. The two looked at each other.

"C'mon. Let's get out of their way," Amu told the rest of them. Everyone other than Yamada and Rima filed out of the room, leaving the two alone.

The two sat in silence for a moment, unsure of what to say. They looked into each other's eyes and then at the same time they apologised. They began laughing and it broke the ice.

"You can go first," Rima told him.

"Well, I'm really sorry. I didn't want to push you into anything you're not ready for… I'm so stupid, I just thought that… I don't know what I thought. To be honest, I probably wasn't thinking much…"

"Oh, you idiot," Rima told him, "It wasn't your fault… I was the one who initiated it, and then I pushed you away and even called you a rapist… I'm so sorry… I was just scared. When you touched me all these images came back into my mind."

"I know… I'm sorry… I just want you to know I'll wait as long as you want. You don't need to feel pressured into anything with me."

"Thanks… it means a lot. And it will be hard, I mean since we'll only be able to see each other twice a week."

"Does that mean you'll take me back?" He asked.

"Of course, idiot."

"Can I hug you?" He asked.

"Of course, idiot."

"Aww! So sweet!" Yaya said as she burst into the room and the two of them saw everyone fall into the room.

Rima narrowed her eyes at them before just sighing.

"You know we would've told you what happened anyway," Yamada sighed.

"Eavesdropping is more fun though," Amu told them playfully.

Rima nudged Amu playfully and they all laughed.

"Oh by the way," Kairi told them, "They decided to just add 1 minute onto each of your times to give you your final time. And since they went from when you reached the 200m mark, Yamada won the race by the way."

Amu mentally cursed at herself while the others began laughing.


The big day arrived. Their first performance of Wicked was tonight. Amu was currently in the dressing room getting her clothes on. She would then have to have her green make up done. Suddenly, Utau came bursting into the dressing room. Amu turned around at the sudden opening of the door and Utau marched right up to Amu before slapping her across the face. The slap echoed throughout the room and Rima, the only other girl in the room at the moment turned to see what happened.

"You bitch…" Utau snarled.

"What…?" Amu asked slowly.

"I trusted you. Even though I loved Ikuto, I trusted you to look after him."

"What are you talking about?" Amu asked, confused about the situation.

"Don't play dumb," Utau warned her, "I know Ikuto went to you after he rebelled against the director. I was so jealous, but I thought that you'd take good care of Ikuto so I decided to ignore it. Then I found out that you just let him walk right into Easter!"

"What…?" Amu asked quietly.

"I got a nice picture in my mail today. A picture of Ikuto being held in the the director's cells. He was starved and beaten. How could you do that?! I thought that you loved him…"

"Ikuto… Oh god…" Amu said to herself. The last time she had seen him was when she cursed and screamed at him after he came out when Tadase was at her dorm. She had been so dumb. It all made sense to her now. He came out because he didn't want to make things hard for her. He knew that she was going to pay for his hotel, and he didn't want her to spend her money so he made her angry on purpose. Of course the easiest way to do that was through Tadase who was conveniently there at the time. He had done it to protect her…

"I need to fix this. It's all my fault…" Amu said slowly.

"Amu… we only have a few hours before we need to perform," Rima told her.

"There are some things more important than performing," Amu told her.

Rima smiled, "I'm glad you agree. How on Earth are you going to help him though?"

"I don't know… I don't have a plan. I'm just going to march into Easter and demand that fucking director gives him back."

"I'm coming," Utau told her.

"No, you aren't," Amu said firmly.

"What?"

"The audience have all paid for a ticket, they're expecting a show out there. It won't be much of a show without Elphaba… You need to act as Elphaba," Amu told her.

"But…"

"No buts," Amu told her, "This is my fault. I caused this, I'm going to save him."

"You aren't going without me," Rima told her.

"What?"

"This is one bloody crazy plan, someone needs to come with you to make sure you stay alive," she said playfully.

"Rima…"

"Besides, Yaya is just as good as me. She'll do fine."

"Okay… Utau, tell Yaya that she's up. C'mon, Rima, we better go."

Rima nodded. They both got changed back into their clothes and then Rima followed Amu out of the dressing room. They quickly slipped out of the auditorium building and out of school grounds. They then began to walk North.

Their goal; the heart of Easter.


A/N: NEXT CHAPTER: The climax of the 2nd arc. Ikuto is in danger, Amu and Rima confront Easter, and they are finally performing Wicked! Also, an old character will be returning…

Sorry for the long wait… Have a lot going on at the moment. The next chapter should be up in 2 weeks time!