A/N I'm so happy! I finally have a ending for this story. Yes dear readers, this story is coming to close very soon. I estimate two to three more chapters, but who knows. Yes, this is kind of a filler chapter, but it's a kind of necassary filler chapter if you can read between the lines. It kind of occured to me that I should I have written the scene where Setsuna told him the address, but I didn't think it was that important, and besides, I honestly really hate writing her. She's just a really, really annoying character.
Inside his five by four cell, Tsumugu shivered in anticipation as an insane smile of malice spread across his stained face. All around him, inmates moaned and screamed as the horrors of their crimes appeared in their nightmares, yet Tsumugu grinned through it all. Tomorrow would be the day. Revenge. Justice. Murder.
After waiting for so long and planning for so many sleepless nights, the day was finally coming. The day he would finally kill his daughter. And he had that pathetic social worker to thank for it. If she hadn't come by, if she hadn't been such an idiotic fool, if she hadn't unwittingly given him the address to his pathetic daughter's home, he would never have been able to feel this kind of happiness. District Yaoso 108. District Yaoso 108. He repeated the address over and over in his head, rumbling them around with thoughts of blood and gore and pain and suffering until his lips split from the smiling and cackles erupted from his throat.
It was a mantra, something to murmur underneath his breath, day and night in order to keep him sane. To keep some shred of purpose. Some ounce of emotion. Because without the burning hatred and fury bubbling in his heart, the emptiness and misery he would feel otherwise was almost too much to bear. He wouldn't be able to survive the hollowness of his own soul, wouldn't be able to bear the echoes that cried in his blackened heart. Anger, hatred, revenge; anything was better than the overwhelming loneliness he felt in his broken heart.
It was the irrepressible anger and hatred in his heart that fuelled his need for revenge, that allowed him to concoct a vicious plan and allowed his heart to be numbed. So that when the time came and the knife was at Amu's throat, about to pierce smooth flesh and slice open rivers of red, he would feel no remorse. Amu was the enemy. It was her fault they died. She deserved to die.
Those were the lies he told himself.
Amu sighed, her hand brushing her pocket lightly before pulling it back in annoyance. Ikuto had invited himself over the other night and had coincidentally left his phone in his room. She could have sworn his eyes had skimmed over it before he walked out the door. Stupid cat, always going out of his way to make trouble for her.
But she had to admit, she was slightly curious about his school. She had never been to a high school before, let alone been inside. She wondered if it was any different from a middle school. Well, besides all the older girls with their promiscuous chests and long legs and commercial worthy hair. Shaking her head out of those thoughts, Amu contented herself over the idea of finally having something to tease Ikuto about instead of the normal way of things until she found herself in front of a large gate.
Pausing, Amu gazed up at the somewhat familiar gates before pushing them open slowly and stepping through warily. Utau had told her that Ikuto generally lounged around on the lawn when school was over so to check over there before heading into the office to call for him. Heeding her friend's advice, Amu walked briskly down the lawn and peeked behind the corner of the wall before breathing out a sigh. Yup, not a blue haired boy in sight. Running her fingers through her bangs, Amu considered leaving and waiting for him to find her until she heard several loud giggles coming from behind her. Freezing, Amu hoped they wouldn't spot her and almost thought she got away with it until a light hand reached out to tap her on the shoulder curiously. "Hey, are you looking for someone?" her voice was melodic and deep and before turning around, Amu already knew who it would be.
Bright turquoise hair popped out from behind deep gray eyes as the girl's hand pulled back. Beside her, two equally attractive girls in the custom miniskirt and jacket smiled kindly and waved cutely. Pulling her fist up to her chest, Amu forced herself to snap out of it. Those were the girls, the girls from after the trial, the ones who were throwing themselves on HER boyfriend.
But then again, it's not like they KNEW he had a girlfriend, it wasn't really their fault. Sighing, Amu briefly wished she could be the bad guy and just throw a hissy fit, but instead, she swallowed her pride and smiled her Cool and Spicy smile, throwing her hand around in an unimportant gesture. "I'm looking for Tsukiyomi Ikuto; do you know where he is?"
Eye brows now raised and curiosity peaked, the turquoise haired girl leaned in warily, an odd glint in her eye. "Ikuto-kun? Why do you need him?"
Amu snorted internally, Ikuto-kun? Really? If there was one thing he hated, it was someone putting a kun at the end of his name. But only she knew that.
The thought made her smile goofily for a second before she fished out his phone from her pocket and held it out for display. "He forgot his phone again." She drawled, as though it was an everyday occurrence.
Relief gushed from the three's eyes like fountains and the obvious leader of the group laughed. "Oh! That makes sense. You're Ikuto-kun's little sister?"
"Awww, kawai." The brunette chirped, leaning in to get a closer look.
Face practically cracking; Amu could feel the rage bubbling deep inside of her. Sister? Sister?! There had never been a sisterly moment between the two of them in the entire history of their relationship. In fact, their first meeting had been nothing short of perverted! He put his HAND in her pocket! And WHY was she suddenly proud of that?! Practically feeling the insanity crawl into her, Amu strode frozen as she tried to come to terms with what they were saying when like an angel's call, her name was sounded in the air.
As sudden as always, Ikuto was suddenly next to her, phone now in his hand and a certain cautious expression on his face. "I forgot my phone again didn't I?" he stated bluntly, taking great delight in the expression of utter disbelief on his little girlfriend's face.
"Don't even try. We both know it was on purpose." She crossed her arms and glared knowingly, her eye-brow cocked in an all-knowing manner.
"Can you really blame me...Amu?" in some unknown phenomena, Ikuto's voice seemed to be wrapped in silk and tied with a bow of pure beauty and Amu seemed to find her legs shaking just a bit more than necessary.
Trying her best not to keep gazing into his eyes, Amu pulled herself away. "Utau said that you were trying out for the orchestra today and-"
"And you're not even going to wish me luck? That's harsh Amu." Faking an expression of deep pain, Amu cracked a smile before patting him on the arm exaggeratingly.
"Good luck, Ikuto."
Butting in and completely ruining the moment, the turquoise haired girl smiled widely and clutched Ikuto's arm affectionately. "Aww, you're so lucky to have such an adorable little sister." Unable to bear the rare expression of surprise on his face, Amu turned away before walking as fast as she could away from the older quartet. "W-well, I gotta go, ja-ja ne!" she called out shakily, still trying hard not to feel the thump of the Humpty Lock against her chest.
She was fully intent on just high-tailing it out of there when Ikuto's voice stopped her. "Oy Amu! Don't forget our date tomorrow! I didn't buy those tickets for nothing!"
She turned around just in time to see his shining smile before she grinned back brightly and ran off to the road, not caring that there were three high school girls screaming and Ikuto was snickering somewhere in the background. She didn't care how many times he forgot his phone; she wouldn't trade him for the world.
The burning sun pierced through the glass of the high rise office as Yui glanced at the phone curiously before picking it up briskly. Cocking it between her cheek and shoulder, she busied herself with finishing the notes for her next presentation as she answered. "Moshi-moshi? Oh, Isowasa-kun! How are you?" Swivelling around in her office chair, Yui leaned back casually, staring out the window before bolting upright in shock, kicking her chair back against the desk. "What?! No, that can't happen. That can absolutely not happen. What am I supposed to tell Amu?"
From the other line, Isowasa's deep voice permeated the air. "I'm sorry Yui-san, but Hinamori-san was deemed mentally unstable by the doctors and they're moving him to an asylum tomorrow evening…The trial's being called off. He's escaped prison time." Isowasa murmured mournfully, allowing Yui time to let it all sink in before continuing. "You can pay me the money due to the bank as usual and…I'm sorry it didn't work out."
Before she could respond, the dial tone burned her ears and Yui dropped the phone on her desk, burying her face in her palms. Insane. It was hard to believe that Amu's father could possibly be crazy, but here it was, the medical reports that stated mental instability in the very man that Yui wanted so desperately to punish. Did it matter, honestly, if a man was insane or not? Does having a mental handicap really justify beating someone near death?
How did the doctors even know though that Tsumugu was always crazy? What if he was just drawn into insanity in his many days in a prison cell? Or maybe the stress of being on trial drove him over the edge. How could they drop all charges against a man who might have been perfectly sane during the actual time the damage was done?!
How was Amu ever supposed to heal when she could never get closure? Children always needed a bad guy. Whether it's in fairy-tales, injuries or just when things go wrong. And with the villains, there always has to be a solution, a judgement passed on those who have wronged so that the good guys will be made clear and everyone can live happily ever after.
Except this time, the big bad wolf was getting away with blowing down his child's dreams and life and he was going to get away with it all because some big fat men in white jackets decided he was unfit for trial.
Gripping the sweaty phone in her palm, Yui's finger danced shakily over the buttons as she struggled to dial the number she knew would put her foster child through the line. She should tell her, no, she had to. It was the right thing to do, the ONLY thing to do. But somehow…somehow…she couldn't bring herself to do it. To call her and tell her over the phone, miles away, that her father was going to a mental hospital? No. She couldn't do that.
Oh who was she kidding? She wasn't some noble woman who believed in telling her face to face. Yui had broken bad news to several different people in worse ways before. No, the real reason was more complex than that. She would never be able to bear seeing her crushed expression and miserable eyes. How was she supposed to tell her, the little girl who had slowly endeared herself in her heart the one piece of news that was for sure going to kill her?
Ever since she and Motoki had found out that they couldn't bear children, they had struggled to find the perfect child to fit their family of two. But every foster child they had either went home or was sent away. But Amu…Amu was different. She was the kind of girl people wanted to protect, the kind of girl you wanted to hug until she finally smiled and embraced you back. She was the kind of girl you wanted for a daughter.
And she supposed that… that maybe she was just afraid. She didn't want Amu to leave. This happy family life she had gotten used to, she never wanted it to end. She never knew how amazing it was to come home to a lively house, a little pink haired girl curled up on the sofa, school books in hand and notebook on the table. She's look up and smile sweetly, welcoming her home and asking her how her day went. She'd ask to help make dinner with Motoki sometimes, and Yui was always fascinated by how they threw things in pots and pans and stirred them just right so that when everything was all done and good, it melded together into something magical.
She was the daughter they could never have and they were the family she'd always wanted. She never wanted to lose that. That feeling of unity and peace. She wanted to keep those feelings, those memories, in her heart forever.
Gritting her teeth, Yui pumped her fist on the desk and sucked in a breath. She would tell her. Of all people, Amu deserved to know and she needed to have more faith in her daughter. If they wanted to make this work, then they had to weather this storm. Tomorrow night, when they finally take him, she would tell her.
A knock on her door startled her focus and Amu glanced to side curiously. "Come in." she cried, turning back to the many albums scattered all across the floor.
The tall door creaked open and Motoki walked in, somewhat awkwardly, before letting the door shut closed behind him. "You do realize what time it is right?" he reprimanded her gently, smiling to let her know he wasn't being harsh.
Nose scrunching up in surprise, Amu shook her head embarrassedly. "I guess I lost track of time." She shrugged her shoulders, gesturing to the piles of albums on the floor.
"Can I take a look?" he asked softly, not quite sure if was alright or not.
Smiling softly, Amu patted the space next to her and picked up an old, weathered album from the floor and placed it in her lap. Opening the leather cover, Motoki widened his eyes as dozens of pictures of Tsumugu and Midori's wedding popped into view. "Sugoi! Your mother looks beautiful Amu-chan!" he whisper-cried admiringly, flipping over the pages one at a time.
Smiling now, Amu pointed towards a group photo of her and her family at the beach, her father making a silly expression in the camera. "I remember that day. Papa woke us all up suddenly and said we were going to the beach. He was always spontaneous like that. So one hour later, we arrived at the beach but it had started to rain and mama's clothes got lost and Ami sprained her wrist and all in all, it was the worst trip ever. But then papa took us all to some fancy restaurant and pretended to be a rich businessman from Europe and suddenly, we were laughing hysterically and the really bad trip became something fun." She was quiet for a moment, fingering the photo with tentative fingers, flipping pages as more and more photos of a smiling father and his beaming daughter greeted them.
Tears wet her eyes but refused to fall as the two of them encountered more and more family photos. But it wasn't until they reached the photo of Tsumugu hoisting Amu up onto his shoulders when she was younger and spinning her around that the first tear fell. "I miss him." She murmured quietly. "I miss my papa." Tears sprinkled the edge of her eyes and Motoki's eyebrows softened. Pulling her in, he held her close to his chest, letting her light tears dampen his shirt and her sobs shake his arm. "Why did he have to change? What did I do to make him this way? I just want him back. I want my old papa back!" she sobbed, hugging him to her and trying to understand.
Unable to do anything but hold her tight, Motoki smoothed her hair across her head and kissed her forehead. He didn't know how she felt, he would never know the pain, the loneliness she must have felt before, but he still had his heart. He would never be able to replace her papa, but if she let him, he could become her dad. It wasn't fair for someone as young as her to have to suffer like she did.
And as he held her, and the tears augmented in intensity and volume and his shirt became wetter and wetter, it suddenly occurred to him that his foster daughter had probably been holding in these tears for a long, long time. Clutching her tighter, Motoki squeezed his eyes shut. "Let it out Amu-chan. It's okay to be sad, it's okay." Rocking her back and forth, Motoki didn't stop until she had passed out from exhaustion and had fallen asleep on his chest.
Picking her up from the floor, Motoki tucked her in soundly before staring one last time at the albums on the floor. He would have put them away, but he figured that could wait until tomorrow.
Tomorrow. It was such a funny thing. We all just assumed it would arrive even though we had no guarantee we would even make it through the night. Was it just ignorance, impatience or was it just an unconscious confidence? It could be a lot of things really, humans are rather bizarre, but as the narrator of this story, I'd like to think its hope. That maybe, somewhere deep down inside of all of us, is this beautiful ray of hope that allows us to wish for another day, another chance to fulfill your dreams and goals. Another chance, another day. A new beginning.
Except that sometimes…sometimes, tomorrow's just another word for the end.
A/N Yeah so I kind of experimented with the whole third person p.o.v but I hope that's all right. So yes, Tsumugu is being sent away but that isn't the end of him as he so promised us. Until next time!