Last chapter. How sad is that?
I'm proud of myself. The rating stayed at T.
X: The Man Who Can't Be Moved :X
Months passed with no sign of Tsukiyomi Ikuto.
Utau was still in America, selling her album, but she was trying to come home to Japan as soon as possible. She was worried about her brother. She called Amu once a week to see if there was news of him, most of the time in the middle of the night when a nightmare woke her. Amu was getting used to the late-night calls and didn't even mind anymore. Besides, it was nice to have someone to talk to who shared her concern for Ikuto. To the Guardians, it was a relief that he hadn't turned up lately to bother them or interfere. They didn't miss him and were happy to be rid of him.
But Amu missed him.
She worried about him, too.
It had been so long since she had seen him. What if he was dead? What if Easter had hurt him? What if he was locked up somewhere, starving to death? And most of all, she needed him. Without Ikuto around, she didn't have anyone she could just be herself with. She was only herself when she was with Ikuto and she was missing that relaxed home-like feeling. She missed the strange cat-boy she considered her best friend, even if it was a little ridiculous that she even considered him a friend at all.
She sighed heavily, tossing and turning in her bed.
The night outside the window was vast and dark, heavy with rain-bearing clouds and strong wind. Amu pitied anyone who had to spend the night out in this black weather. The phone on her nightstand rang loudly. Amu groped around for it, pressed it to her ear, and said, "Hey Utau. What's up?"
"Any news?" Utau asked, getting straight to the point.
"No," Amu murmured. "I'm sorry. I haven't heard anything and I haven't seen him."
Utau's voice broke. "I'm worried about him, Amu."
"I know," she said soothingly. "I know."
"I want you to find him, Amu, to make sure he's okay."
"I'm trying, Utau," Amu promised.
"Good," Utau whispered. It sounded like she was crying.
Amu smiled softly. "You should get some sleep."
"I know," Utau murmured.
"Goodnight," Amu said.
"Wait!" Utau gasped and there was a moment of silence. "Thank you, Amu…"
"For what?" she asked.
"For caring about Ikuto," Utau whispered.
"No problem," Amu murmured. "Get some sleep, Utau."
"Yeah," the idol whispered. "Night." Then, she hung up.
Amu rolled over, burying her face in her pillow and trying to chase away the images of Ikuto's handsome face that kept filling her mind, drowning out Tadase's smiling expression. What had happened to Ikuto? Where had he been for the past few months? Amu's throat tightened, a stone in her throat, and her eyes burned with tears. "Ikuto," she whispered, but he didn't answer.
Hinamori Amu was sitting in study hall, absently staring out the window at nothing. The day beyond was so darkly cloudy that it almost looked like nighttime. The air smelled like rain and it was clear that it was coming very soon. Amu twirled some hair around her finger, wondering if Ikuto had an umbrella wherever he was. She wondered if he even had shelter from the rain. Hopefully he did.
Then, she heard the conversation.
"My dad wouldn't let me watch Bala-Balance last night," a younger girl was complaining to her friend. "So I sat in the living room and watched the dumb news with him, but—" her voice rose to a squeal "—there was a beautiful boy on the news!"
"Really? What for?" her friend asked. "Is he a model?"
The other girl shook her head. "No! No one knows anything about him actually. They're calling him 'The Man Who Can't Be Moved' because he doesn't know what his name is."
"Can't be moved?" she asked. "Can't be moved from where?"
"Some rundown amusement park," the girl said. "He's sitting in the teacups and refuses to move. They even had to stop demolition because he won't move. He says he's waiting for some girl, but he doesn't know who she is. All he has is a picture of her and a sign that says, 'If you see this girl, can you tell her where I am?'"
"That's so sad," the other girl said.
"I know, but he's gorgeous. I wish he didn't have that picture of her. I'd love to be his girl," she said with a heavy sigh. "He's dreamy."
Amu didn't know why her heart was suddenly pounding. She had no reason to think that this 'Man Who Can't Be Moved' was Ikuto, but… her heart throbbed. The teacups, the amusement park, a girl… It all sounded so similar. What if it was him? Amu lurched up from her desk and bolted from the school, uncaring for the teachers that shouted after her. It began to rain as she ran home and threw herself inside. Soaking wet, she turned on the television without a care that she was drenching the sofa. She flipped desperately through the channels and then spotted the headline the girls had been talking about.
"The Man Who Can't Be Moved," the news anchor was saying, "is still causing a hold up at the demolition site of the old amusement park. He's got himself holed up in the teacups and refuses to move at all. There's nothing the police can do to move him either. He's stuck there, waiting, for a girl who'll never come. Let's take a look."
The screen changed, panning to a beautiful face that was achingly familiar to Amu. He was crowded in the small brightly-colored teacup, his long arms and legs hanging over the sides, dressed in ragged black clothing. His hair was like night, his eyes a shade of the sky, and his skin like porcelain. It was Ikuto!
All he said to the camera was, "If you see this girl, can you tell her where I am?"
Then, he held up a small worn and creased photograph and Amu's heart skipped a beat. It was a photo of her, taken on the sly, but Amu had never thought her own face was beautiful until she saw that picture in Ikuto's hand. Her hair was like cotton-candy floss, her eyes like gold coins, her lips curved into a smile, and she looked lovely in the summer sun.
"Please," Ikuto whispered to the camera, desperately.
Amu's heart throbbed. She found herself reaching for the phone to call Utau, but stopped dead. Before she called Utau, she should get to Ikuto and make sure he was alright. Outside, a jagged bolt of lightning split the sky and the dark clouds once again devoured the world. Amu grabbed her rain coat, yanked it on over her already-soaked clothes, and raced towards the old amusement park… and Ikuto. She had found him. She had finally found him.
The nameless youth huddled in the bottom of the teacup, not that it did anything to shelter him from the storm. The cup was merely beginning to fill with rainwater, soaking him into a shivering mess. He sheltered the photograph beneath his body. If it was destroyed, he would have nothing left and no way to find out anything about himself.
Hopefully, the girl in the photo would find him soon. His unwillingness to leave the demolition scene had gotten him on the news. There was no way she wouldn't be able to hear about him, but… what if she didn't want to see him? What if she was running from him? What if she hated him? What if… he was a bad person?
He curled up tighter, shivering in the cold rain. Thunder and lightning danced a dance of death overhead.
"Ikuto!" a girl's voice shouted. "Ikuto! Where are you?"
Her voice was so beautiful that there was no way she could be looking for him, some nameless street urchin.
"Ikuto! It's Amu! Where are you?" she shouted again.
He sat up, looking around. At the very least, if she was looking for someone, he should help her look. After all, it was raining hideously and maybe he could show her the picture her carried. Maybe she knew the beautiful girl in it. Maybe she could offer him something. And at the very least, he was doing something good for someone.
"Ikuto!" she screamed again. "Please answer me, Ikuto! I know you're here!"
He saw her, her thin body drenched and wrapped in a raincoat. Her wet hair was plastered to her face, but he froze, staring at her.
"Ikuto! Please, this is our place! Answer me!"
It was the girl from the photograph with rose-petal hair and bright golden eyes, her face was creased with worry and flushed. She spun towards the teacups, mouth open to shout again, but she stopped dead, staring at him. Then, she pushed back a curtain of hair and smiled desperately at him.
"Ikuto," she whispered. "It's you…"
He stumbled from the teacup, slipping in the mud, and ran to her. She met him halfway, her thin arms wrapping immediately around his lean body. She buried her face in his soaked chest and he squeezed her closer, breathing in the scent of her hair. It was so tantalizingly familiar—strawberries and cream. He clung to her tightly, unwilling to ever let her go.
"Ikuto," she whispered.
"Is that… my name?" he asked her.
She pulled back a little and looked up into his face. "You don't remember?"
He caressed her face gently. "Who are you?"
"Hinamori Amu," she whispered to him.
He stared into her eyes, waiting.
"You're Tsukiyomi Ikuto," she told him.
"Ikuto?" he repeated. "Amu?"
He hugged her close against his chest again, uncaring for the cold rain pelting them. He twisted his fingers through her hair, ran his hands down her back, crushed her small body to him, and cuddled into her neck. He whispered her name softly and then whispered his own.
"Come on," she offered. "Let's get you out of the rain. You can come back to my house, okay?"
He nodded, but hesitated.
She slipped her hand into his and smiled at him. "Ikuto," she whispered.
At the sound of his name, a familiar chord being struck in his heart, he followed her.
Closed tightly in Kazuomi's desk drawer, Your suddenly felt a surge of warmth go through his little body. Ikuto's heart was beating, the strings of his heart were beginning to play, his soul was coming back to him. His frozen empty heart was thawing out. Yoru bashed the side of his egg into the drawer, rattling it violently. Now was the time he escaped his prison and made his way back to Ikuto's side. He bashed harder, not even caring if he broke apart his egg's shell.
Kazuomi cursed and opened the drawer.
Yoru rocketed out at him, shrieking wildly. The little cat launched himself towards the window, found it to be locked and closed securely, bounced off of it, and flew wildly around the room. Kazuomi did what he could to catch the little guardian, but Yoru was past that point. He would not be caught. He would return to Ikuto's side and he would do it—now! He yanked on the doorknob, found that locked too, and returned to the window. He heaved at the latch.
Kazuomi grabbed at him, cursing loudly.
Yoru hissed, scratching with his little claws, and finally tore the window open. Outside, immediately thrashed by the rain, Yoru let out a cry for the alley cats. They met him on the street below and he asked them about Ikuto, learning all the boy had gone through in the past months. The surge of power Yoru felt was because Amu had finally found Ikuto and spoken his long-forgotten name. He smiled faintly, shook some rainwater off, and headed for Amu's house.
Amu brought Ikuto home with her and they were both soaked to the bone. She peeked inside, looking for her mother or father, but there was only a note on the table. She skimmed it quickly. Apparently, Ami had gone over to a friend's and they had left to pick her up. They would be back in about an hour. Perfect, that was enough time to get Ikuto into a hot shower and some clean clothes. Then, Amu could bottle him up in her bedroom and shower as well.
"This way," she said to him and led him to the bathroom by the hand like a small child. "Take a shower and I'll get you some clean clothes. Okay?"
He clung to her hand, his eyes desperate and tragic. "But…"
"I'll be back," she promised. "I'll tell you everything you want to know, everything you've forgotten."
He nodded, smiling softly.
Amu gently peeled his fingers from hers and pushed him gently into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. She got one of her father's old shirts and a pair of sweatpants from her dad's closet, tucked in a fresh towel, and brought them into the bathroom for Ikuto. She glimpsed his silhouette through the frosted glass, blushed, and turned away. She ducked out of the bathroom and stood in the hallway, waiting for him to finish and come out.
The nameless youth was no longer nameless. He had found the girl in the photograph, or more accurately she had found him and she knew him. She knew his name—Tsukiyomi Ikuto. He had a name now, even if he could remember nothing else from his life before he woke up in that alley.
In the bathroom, he stared at all the fixtures and then at the stall. This was nothing like the grimy bathroom in the gas station that the old man had shown him. Experimentally, he spun the knobs until water came out, adjusted the temperature after a few tries, stripped of his filthy clothes, and dunked himself beneath the warm spray. It felt so good—so warm, so gentle, the pulse of the water massaging his tense back. He relaxed, a sound not unlike a purr escaping his mouth.
He heard the door open and saw the shadow of Amu's body on the other side of the glass as she set something down on the vanity. For a moment, she hesitated, seeming to be looking his way. Then, abruptly, she fled the bathroom, practically slamming the door behind herself.
He smiled, somehow pleased with her embarrassment and the fact that she had been looking. Was that the kind of person he was?
Amu waited and, after a moment, Ikuto emerged. He looked stunning now that he was clean, his dark hair hanging down in his eyes, but his face was still gaunt and pale as a skeleton's visage. He smiled at her, reaching out and Amu let him take her hand, squeezing his fingers in return.
Then, she saw it.
By now, the hideous gash the old man had seen on the side of his temple had turned into a pearly white scar, but still, it was ghastly. The wound was huge, about the size of an egg, and had clearly been the cause of his memory loss, turning him into the man who couldn't be moved. Even worse, it looked like a wound someone had inflicted on him purposefully. Someone had caved in the side of his skull, opened his mind like a present and thrown it away. Ikuto's mind and memories had been purposefully destroyed.
Tears welled in Amu's eyes. "Oh, Ikuto," she whispered and reached up to cup his face. She laid her fingers over the large scar and was surprised to find it several degrees cooler than the rest of his body. Gently, she stroked the old wound.
He laid his hands over hers, gently threading their fingers together. "What is it?"
"Who hurt you?" she asked.
He shook his head. "I don't remember anything, Amu."
She looked into his eyes and then whispered, "I bet it was Easter."
"Easter?" he asked.
"Awful people that forced you to work for them," she explained. "They were always hurting you. I bet they're the ones who did this to you."
"But why?" he asked her.
"Because… you were always helping me and I'm their enemy," she confessed.
Ikuto stared at her, his blue eyes soft and honest. "Then it was worth it," he whispered. "It was worth it."
Amu's eyes filled with fresh tears and she wrapped her arms around him tightly, holding him close. Ikuto embraced her in return, clinging to her smaller body. He realized his words were the truth. Whoever had hurt him… if they had hurt him because of her, it had been worth it to protect her. This girl… she was someone unbearably desperately precious to him. Maybe he even loved her, if he could remember what that word even meant. What was… 'love'?
Since she had finally found Ikuto, Amu called Utau as she had promised the youth's sister months earlier. Utau answered on the second ring, her voice exhausted and a little bit grouchy, but the moment Amu spoke Ikuto's name, Utau perked up.
"You found him? Where is he? How is he?" she asked, spitting out questions like a machine gun. "Is he okay? Is he hurt? What happened to him?"
Amu broke into the string of questions. "Utau, something bad has happened to him."
She was silent for a minute, barely breathing. Then, she whispered, "What?"
"I think… Easter destroyed all his memories. He doesn't remember anything."
"Nothing?" Utau whispered.
Amu nodded, remembered she was on the phone, and said, "Yeah."
"Help him, Amu," Utau pleaded after a moment of stunned silence. "Please, help him."
"I will," Amu promised. "I will."
"Good," Utau said coldly. Then, a moment of silence stretched between them and Utau whispered. "Amu?"
"I'm glad that Ikuto has you."
Coming from Utau, that meant a lot. It was a better blessing than if an angel had come down from heaven and told Amu she was meant to be with Ikuto. Utau was so hard, but deep down, she cared for Ikuto more than anything in this world. For her to relinquish her protection of him to Amu… it meant a lot.
"Thanks Utau," Amu said with a smile.
"Y-yeah, whatever," Utau said and hung up sharply.
Amu chuckled and closed her cell phone.
After she showered, Amu spent the next few hours telling Ikuto everything she knew about him. She recounted the things they had done together, explaining to him why his body had brought him to the broken-down amusement park and the teacups. She told him about the time Tadase had confessed his love to her while Ikuto had been hidden in the closet. She told him about his little sister, Utau, who loved him so much and was heartbreakingly worried about him. At length, she told him everything she possibly could.
Then, she asked, "Where's Yoru?"
"Yoru?" he repeated.
"Your guardian," she explained to him. "Like my Ran, Miki, Suu, and Dia."
Ikuto looked around her room. "I… I don't know. I haven't seen him."
As if on cue, there was a harsh knock on the window and they both turned to look, shocked. Speak of the Devil and He shall appear. There, meowing on the other side of the glass, was Yoru. He smiled at Ikuto, tears gathering in the corners of his little eyes.
"Ikuto, nya," the little guardian meowed.
Amu got up from the bed where she had been seated with Ikuto and let Yoru in. The little guardian shot past her and flung himself against Ikuto's throat, burying his face into his master's neck. He was crying, meowing, and shivering with damp cold. Ikuto gently cupped the little creature, stroking his soft blue-black fur.
"Yoru," he whispered and cuddled his little guardian. "Yoru."
"Ikuto, what happened while we were apart?" Yoru asked.
Ikuto looked to Amu and, together, they went through the story again. Amu was pleased to know that Ikuto had remembered everything she had told him about himself. Maybe since there were his memories and they were the truth, they had attached themselves inside his damaged mind. Maybe, with time, Ikuto might even start to remember things on his own. But, as Amu stared at that large wound on his temple, she had a feeling his memories of the time before were gone forever.
"Ikuto?" she asked.
He looked at her, his eyes crinkled up into a smile.
"Do you… remember anything… about me?" she asked.
For a moment, he stared at her. Then, he shook his head and Amu's heart clenched painfully.
"Oh," she whispered.
He took her hand though and pressed his lips to the back of it. "My mind doesn't remember anything, but my heart is beating like this when we're together," he said softly and pressed her hand to his chest. Beneath her palm, she could feel his heart thundering. "I think… my body remembers something," he whispered. "Tell me, were we…?"
Amu's cheek flamed.
She didn't know what to tell him. She thought she loved Tadase, but Ikuto was… without him, she felt like something was missing inside her chest. It was as if a hole had been punched through her heart. She never felt that way about Tadase, or Kairi or Kuukai for that matter.
Ikuto leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her cheek. Since Amu's hand was still pressed over his chest, she felt his heartbeat leap into racing rataplan. Timidly, Ikuto lifted his hand and pressed it over her heart and found that her heartbeat matched his own. And he had only kissed her on the cheek. He leaned back and stared into her eyes, until she looked away, embarrassed.
"Are we anything, Amu?" he asked. "When I woke up, I found your picture close to my heart where I could protect it. I think… maybe, I must care deeply or you. Even if my mind can't remember, my heart can. I've never felt it beat so hard or so fast as it is at this moment."
"But Tadase…" Amu whispered because she was always truthful with Ikuto.
He pressed his forehead to hers, closing his eyes. "Just tell me," he whispered.
And because she was always honest with him, she whispered, "My heart only feels like this with you, Ikuto."
His fingers slid under her chin and lifted her face gently. For a moment, he stared into her eyes, seeing himself reflected there in her golden depths. Then, he pressed a soft kiss to the corner of her mouth. Much to his surprise, Amu turned her head almost immediately and met his lips.
Ikuto wrapped her in his arms, cradling her close. She pushed him down on the bed, lying beside him in a comfortable embrace. She kissed and kissed and kissed him, unable to pry herself away. She was drunk off of him, off the scent of his skin, off the texture of his lips, off the feeling of his warm arms around her. He was purring deep in his chest, like a big cat, and she rubbed his back, clinging to him. She never wanted to leave this embrace, but after what felt like an eternity, he gently broke the kiss.
"Amu," he whispered. "You can't move me."
She gazed at him, uncomprehending.
He smiled at her. "From your arms, I'm not going to move."
She hugged him closer, her fingers gently brushing the scar at his temple. "Good," she whispered. "I never want you to."
X: The Man Who Can't Be Moved :X
I didn't want the big cliché ending where he remembers everything. He had his skull caved in. No one comes back from that. So I'm extremely happy with the ending of this. Did everyone else like it, too?
Classic important author's note. Please, read!
First, drop a REVIEW and let me know what you think! Are the characters way out of character? Think I tormented Ikuto too much? Are permanently disgusted and can no longer even watch Shugo Chara thanks to me? Loved it? Hated it? Are scarred for life because of Ikuto's memory loss? Think there was way too much angst? (Flames will be used to roast marshmallows and weenies!) Think I need to do more editing before I post chapters? Post to slow? Chapters are too short? Too long? Yada, yada, yada…
Second, I own nothing except my original characters: like… the old man and the policeman. I do not own The Script's song, "The Man Who Can't Be Moved." But I do own my angsty plot. So there, now I can't be sued!
Third, there will be no sequel… at all, so don't ask!
FOURTH, please, check out my first ORIGINAL NOVEL! The Breaking of Poisonwood by Paradise Avenger. (Summary: People were dead. When Skye Davis bought me at a slave auction as a birthday present for his brother, I had no idea what my new life was going to be like, but I had never expected this. It all started when Venus de Luna was killed and I was to take her place, to become the new savior… Then, bad things happened and some people died. In the heart of the earth, we discovered the ancient being that Frank Davis had found and created and used to his advantage. The Poisonwood—)
Fifth, stay tuned for my next story (Deafening Silence) or go read one of the others I have written!
Finally, thank you for making it this far! All the way to the end! Woot!
And so, I bid you adieu.
Questions, comments, concerns?