A/N AMUTO FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER! Please try not to gag during the forced moment of Tadamu, unfortunately, it's necessary to the plot line, so bear with me folks. Enjoy!
"Amuuu! Why is there a boy over?" a horrified voice called out to her from under the stairs.
Eyes crinkling in confusion, the short rosette glanced curiously at the lounging teenager on her bed. Boy? She mouthed to him curiously. What boy? She didn't invite anyone over did she? Said teenager shrugged carelessly before returning back to the shojo manga that currently stole his attention. Rolling her eyes, Amu quickly jumped off from "her" side of the bed and walked out of her room. Bounding down the stairs she knocked into an invisible wall and gasped, shell-shocked at just who was at her front door.
Standing on the worn out welcome mat stood Hotori Tadase. What the HELL was he doing here? Stuttering her hellos, she couldn't tear her eyes away from his frozen pink nose, the wind-swept golden hair and those shining ruby eyes that glowed with happiness. "Ohayo Amu-chan. I'm sorry I just dropped by unexpectedly, but there's something I need to tell you…" a rosy blush danced along his cheeks and he gazed meaningfully into her eyes.
Mouth hanging wide open, Amu quickly snapped to attention. Tadase shouldn't be here! Ikuto was upstairs! What if he found him-what if something happened-what if-! "Amu-chan! Why don't you take Tadase-kun upstairs to your room to talk? I'll bring up some tea and cookies!" Midori's cheerful voice pierced through her cloud of worry.
Panic flooded in the rosette's mind as she waved her arms around madly. "NO! He can't!" confused and hurt looks guilt-tripped her into clarifying. "My room is…dirty. I'll just go clean it up! One second Tadase-kun, don't go anywhere!" she cried as she bounded up the stairs two steps at a time.
Throwing open her door violently, she could practically feel the steam puffing out her ears. Surprised, Ikuto looked up curiously at the fire truck red girl in front of him. "Amu?" he asked hesitantly.
Without answering him, she grabbed him roughly by the cuff of his shirt and threw him into her awaiting closet along with his chara. A cry of, "Ow-nya!" led her to pause before rushing out the door again. "Sorry Ikuto!" she called out off her shoulder.
Running down the stairs again, she grabbed hold of Tadase's hand and half dragged him, half carried him up to her room. Finally alone, or as alone as she could possibly get, what with having an annoying cat boy in her closet, she fell onto her bed and stared at Tadase intently. Looking around carefully, he flashed her that princely smile of his that made her go all gooey on the insides. "You're room's very pretty Amu-chan. It reminds me of you." He told her sweetly.
Tilting her head the side, she didn't even notice the stars in her eyes. "Really?"
"Mhm." He nodded curtly.
An awkward silence ruled them for a while before she opened her mouth. "So Tadase-kun...you said you wanted to tell me something?" she asked carefully.
Blushing madly now, he stuttered over his words, "Amu-chan, I'm just going to come out and say it." He still refused to look at her and from the way his hands were shaking she wondered if that was a good thing.
But…was he going to confess to her? Was he going to sweep her off her feet and maybe…No way! But maybe…maybe she'd finally have her first kiss…After all; she'd been waiting for this moment ever since she met him! For him to finally be in her room-almost about to confess! But wait, if this is what she was waiting for, why did she feel like this wasn't what she wanted? Something wasn't right…well of course it wasn't! Ikuto was in her closet for God's sake! But…
"Amu-chan…back then, I only liked Amulet Heart. She was shining so brightly, I didn't even see the real girl, Hinamori Amu shining at all." Oh that hurt, what a slap in the face, trying not to cry, she kept on listening, not looking at his face. "But later, I realized, you two really are one and the same. I've rejected you twice now, so that's twice I've hurt you and I'm…I'm sorry for that."
Blushing madly, Amu flung her arms all over the place, laughing awkwardly. "Oh no! No, that's all in the past, its fine now!" hell even Su could tell that that was a total lie…she hoped Ikuto didn't call her out on that later…
"I'm not my strong chara right now but I'm going to try anyway! Is it alright if I start liking you as I am now?" he looked up at her then, an intense gaze boring into her own honey eyes.
Amu looked away; she didn't know what to say. Tadase liked her? That…that was what she always wanted right? So then WHY did she feel this way? Like this isn't what it should be, like something was wrong, out of place. A piece of the puzzle just wouldn't fit. Did she really like Tadase? Did she really even know him? "I'm sorry! You probably didn't want to hear this-"he started rambling before se shut him up.
"No! No! I'm just surprised that's all. I've been longing for you ever since you rejected me, I…I guess I'm happy?" she finished hesitantly.
"Yeah." But was she?
Suddenly, he leaned in close to her, his breath brushing against her lips. "Thank you." He murmured. "I'm happy too, I-"suddenly, a dark glare overtook his face and lurched back from her like she were diseased. "What is that?" he yelled angrily.
Twisting her head frantically, her eyes scanned the room avidly but not finding anything outrageous. That is until she took a second look at the corner of her room. There, lying there forgotten and unloved lay Ikuto's battered violin case. The blood drained from Amu's face. Oh no… "Amu-chan?" Tadase asked a hurt tone in his voice.
Trying to come up with an excuse, she didn't even notice the blue spade clip that suddenly appeared in her hair. "….I has been learning to play the violin! My mother insisted on me playing because my grandfather used to be a spectacular musician." Already bounding up to the case, she carefully unclasped the locks and pulled out the sleek instrument. Setting it gently under her chin, she lifted the bow and brought it onto the strings. A beautiful, albeit short, melody filled the air and even Ikuto admired the precision of the notes and the odd, but alluring rhythm. Setting the violin back in its case she quickly closed the box only to find Tadase right next to her with a furious look on his normally sweet face. "Don't lie to me Amu-chan, that's Tskiyomi Ikuto's violin." He muttered darkly.
For some unknown reason, a little flicker of anger erupted in her heart and she jumped up from the floor defensively. "And what if it is?" she asked challengingly.
Mimicking her movement Tadase reached out for her hand. "Amu-chan, what is Ikuto's violin doing in your room?"
Stuttering, Amu tore her eyes away from his face and looked pointedly at the violin. "Ikuto left and asked me to keep his violin safe for him." There, that sounded decent didn't it?
Shock registered in his red eyes before he let go of her hand. "You're lying. That violin is the only thing in this world that Ikuto actually cares about. He wouldn't just leave it." The silent "with you" still reverberated in her head.
"Well maybe Ikuto trusts me." She retorted, crossing her arms.
"Ikuto doesn't trust anybody. He can't love anybody and nobody can love him either. He's an evil black cat of misfortune and anybody who associated themselves with him just gets hurt. You should stay away from him Amu-chan." Ruby red eyes suddenly seemed blood red and Amu wasn't so sure he looked quite as handsome as before.
Fury roared in her veins and she clenched her hands into fists. How dare he? How dare he? What the hell gave him the right to say those things about Ikuto? He didn't know him like she did! "That's not true!" she yelled, right in his face. "Ikuto's not heartless! He's….he's…" she struggled to find the words, not finding anything right to say.
Tadase smirked knowingly. "What? He's your friend? Don't be naïve Amu-chan. Ikuto doesn't care about anybody and sooner or later he'll just hurt you."
"Get out Tadase."
"What?" an oblivious cry from Tadase made her all the angrier.
"I said get out! You have the nerve to come to MY house, sit in MY room and tell me who and who aren't my friends? Ikuto may be annoying and perverted, and sure he knows exactly how to get on my nerves and he teases me a lot but he's saved me more times than I can count. Whenever I needed cheering up, he was there. Don't say that nobody can care about him because I do!"
Fully red in the face now, she clasped his arm harshly and pushed him out the door. "Now get out." She glared coldly.
"Hinamori-san." She replied, turning her back on him before slamming the door shut in his face.
The banging on her door finally ceased and she heard the front door slam. Knowing he was gone, she collapsed on the floor in front of her bed and buried her face into her arms. "Amu-chan?" her mother poked her head in hesitantly. "Did something happen?"
Looking up, she wiped the few tears that had leaked out on her sleeve before answering. "Nothing mama, I just realized that people are never what they seem."
"I just want to be alone mama." She murmured tearfully.
The door closed softly and only when she knew her mother had returned downstairs did she start to cry. Rocking herself back and forth she looked to her charas for support. "Did I do the right thing?" she sobbed.
Miki flew in close to hug her cheek. "I'm proud of you Amu-chan. Sticking up for what you believe in."
"Yeah! Go! Go Amu-chan! Tadase shouldn't have said those things." Ran cheered, smiling.
Suu nodded her head in agreement. "We're sorry Amu-chan; we know how much you like him, desu." She looked mournfully at her.
"Liked, Suu, liked…I can't like someone I never knew. I guess…I guess I only liked his outer character, I didn't take into account the Kiseki part of him." She tried to laugh, but it only came out like a miserable sob.
Heaving into her arms she didn't notice Ikuto walking out of the closet until he wrapped his arms around her and put her on the bed. Leaning on the headboard, he placed her comfortably on his lap so that she was sitting sideways and her legs were dangling off his thighs. Wrapping his arms tightly around her waist, he buried his face into her hair and nuzzled her affectionately. Still crying, she didn't react at all but just pressed her face to his chest and let her tears wet his shirt slowly. "Thank you." He whispered softly into her ear. "You didn't have to."
Shaking her head, she brought her arm up to her chest and clenched her shirt in her hand. "I was mad. What right did he have to say those things? It's not true and I know it. I wasn't going to let him tell me what to do either. I can be friends with whoever I want to. So if I want to be friends with you, then by God I WILL be friends with you!" her cool-and-spicy personality leaking through she lifted her face from his chest and stared pointedly at him.
Looking back at her, Ikuto couldn't help but chuckle in amusement. Confusion sparked in her eyes before being replaced by annoyance. "Ikuto! What exactly is so funny? I just lost my first crush and here I am crying for God's sake and you're laughing?" she screeched indignantly.
Squirming out of his lap, she tried to get out of his iron hold, but he merely tightened his arms around her and pulled her closer. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It's just…you looked so adorable right then, it was funny. I'm sorry; I know how much you liked him."
Amu was quiet for a moment. "No…I don't think you did. You thought I liked him a lot more than I really did. But now I realize, I really didn't like him at all. I liked the Prince, not Tadase, so I guess…well, I guess that's that."
"Hmm." He murmured.
"But…what Tadase said made me think a bit…" she could feel his body stiffen beneath her and the hand that had been casually playing with her hair stop. " When he said you could never love anyone, it made me think, who do you love?"
Looking incredulously at the curious girl in his lap, Ikuto could only shake his head in bewilderment. Man this girl was dense. "You." He said simply.
Now it was Amu's turn to freeze. "I just got my heart broken you jerk, at least be honest with me." She squeezed her nails into the palms of her hands.
Grabbing her chin, he tilted her face towards his; bring them together so that there was barely any space between the two of them. "Have I ever lied to you Amu?" he asked huskily.
The question left the rosette gaping. Had he? No…she didn't think he did. He was always honest with her. Always there for her…why is that when Ikuto confessed, she got that warm fuzzy feeling, the one she was expecting with Tadase. Why did the puzzle pieces suddenly fit? Why was she suddenly very, extremely happy? "No." she murmured, embarrassed.
Closing her eyes, Amu looked deep within herself. Deep inside where all her charas lay in her heart. Did she love him? Was the holder of the Dumpy Key who she truly loved? Ran's cheery voice echoed in her head, "I'm the chara for honesty and I know what you truly want to say Amu-chan! Go for it!"
"I've known for a long time who you've truly loved, I'm your chara for calm and level-headedness, you've thought this through, now just listen to your heart." Miki smiled.
Su appeared, twirling around in giddiness. "I'm your chara for following your heart's instincts! You long to care for a certain someone and show them that."
A new character suddenly appeared and Amu gasped internally. She was dressed in yellow and to Amu, it seemed as though she glittered. "You haven't met me yet, but I'm in your heart Amu-chan. I'm your radiance and you can only shine your brightest with one person. I hope you've finally realized who you really love." With a flash, she was gone until one by one, all her other charas slowly disappeared as well.
Back into reality, she looked up at Ikuto and smiled cutely. "Hey Ikuto?" he looked down at her curiously, "If I were to say that I might love you too would I be a liar?"
Shock coloured his usually expressionless sapphire eyes before she smirked teasingly. "Only one way to find out." Grinning devilishly, he lowered his lips towards hers and smirked in his head as she fluttered her eyes closed. Stopping just a centimetre away from her lips he paused, did she mean it? Did she really love him? Was she-he was interrupted with a kiss.
Tired from waiting, Amu pulled at Ikuto's face and brought him in for a kiss so innocent yet passionate it curled his toes. Breaking the kiss for the need for oxygen, Amu grinned. "I love you Ikuto." Her eyes brightened with the words and she felt as though everything was set right in the world. Like everything was okay.
Ikuto's face softened and he felt a weight that had been tying him down for so long, break free and he was sent soaring in the sky. Pulling her in to his chest he hugged her tightly. "I love you too…Amu-koi." He added slyly.
Amu froze. Amu…koi?
"Ikuto!" she screamed ear-splittingly.
"What? We're dating now aren't we?" he asked cutely, tilting his head to side and widening his eyes.
Amu blushed scarlet. "D...d...dating?" she squeaked.
Nodding seriously, he leaned in close to kiss her on her nose. "Yup, you're mine now Amu-koi."
"Just because I love you does not mean you can call me Amu-koi!"