Hey guys! :) I actually updated. Was I even quicker than usual? O_O

Pucca: Don't trust this new punctual Rashel!

Ching: Seriously! This will never last -_-

Me: ... No arguements here :P

Garu: Are you actually going to get to the damn party yet? You've been building up for the past two chapters or so.

Me: Yeah, yeah. I got to the party scene but... Its not finished :)

Pucca: I don't like the sound of that O_O

Garu: Me either...

Abyo: At least she's not depressed over her massive workload :D

Ching: Abyo, since when did you care?

Abyo: I don't know... She's brain washed me! :O

*Everyone gasps*

Me: *In corner playing with a choochoo train happily* Doo doo dooo... Pucca loves Garuuuu... Hmm hmmm hmmmmm...

Ching: Enjoy this chapter :)


Garu paced the living room.

What did he plan to do when he saw her? Should he…? No.

What about..? God no.

Garu groaned in frustration and threw himself on the sofa covering his face with his hands. His heart was thudding through his chest as he thought of Pucca. He felt hot and irritated. He hated being so unsure. He's never been so unsure of what to do; even when he had to rescue Pucca he was still capable of forming a plan, but now? His mind was blank with panic. He'd slept when he actually left Pucca's side, visiting time being over for a few hours around dinner, and came home thinking he should train for a while to clear his head but when he lay down on his bed for a second he had fallen asleep within moments.

He woke a couple of hours later, feeling refreshed even with the minimal amount of sleep, had went straight outside to train. He was, after all, the most calm when he was running from tree to tree, pounding his fists into the dummies and throwing kunai with excellent precision into the wooden targets.

Garu sat up rubbing his temples. He glanced out of his window, since he didn't have a clock, to check the time using the sun's position. He should get moving or he won't be there to see Ching arrive with Pucca. He stood gracefully and straightened his white dress shirt and tie. He decided against a jacket, seeing as he hardly got cold in the first place, and walked to the door. Setting the elaborate alarm system he walked out into the forest, glad to be absorbed by the darkness.

...

Pucca blinked into the darkness. They had walked through the town and she had assumed they were going to the new hall that had opened up but they had walked right past it. Where on earth was this party? Pucca was dragged towards the forest. Her thoughts began to fly as memories flooded; her running blindly, her heart shattering, Tobe's men jumping her. She wanted to stop walking but she didn't want to show any sign of weakness with Ching and Abyo besides her chatting happily.

Abruptly, Ching and Abyo stopped to look back at her and Pucca's eyes widened involuntarily. Had they noticed her weird behaviour? Did they realise she was having nightmares despite the fact that she was conscious?

"Pucca?"

She swallowed, "Yeah?"

"You have to be blindfolded from here on," Ching looked apologetically at her. Ching could only imagine what Pucca was feeling and now she had to be blindfolded and led into the forest.

Pucca nodded. "Okay," she said softly. She badly wanted to out and out refuse, but how could she? Being blindfolded and led into a surprise party was normal and she was striding to appear as normal as possible. Abyo produced a long thin folded piece of fabric. Pucca stood still, her whole body ridged, but she allowed Abyo to walk behind her and place the fabric in front of her face. She closed her eyes and felt the fabric, from her forehead to the bridge of her nose, be pulled and secured into place. Pucca was glad that she had taken her painkillers before they had left the house as at least she wasn't in agony even if she was now blind.

"Pucca, grab my hand," Ching spoke softly. Maybe she was worried about scaring her? Pucca thought.

Pucca stretched out her hand; limp in the air till Ching's hand grasped her fingers. Pucca let out her breath, not knowing that she had being holding it, and she gripped harder onto Ching's hand like a lifeline. Ching gently pulled on Pucca's hand telling her she was to walk forward. Abyo stayed by Pucca's side, his warmth assuring her of his position, and Ching stayed in the lead. Abyo helped steady Pucca when she stumbled over roots and tripped on jagged rocks.

What on earth do they have planned? Pucca thought but it was a distant thought as all she wanted now was to rip off the blindfold and find somewhere to rest her already weary legs. This is going to be interesting...

...

It was eerily quiet, not even birds or crickets made a noise. The only thing Pucca could hear was her own slightly ragged breath as she tripped again. She cursed the blindfold for what felt like the hundredth time.

She suddenly felt Ching's hand slip away from her tight grip. She panicked and stumbled forwards. As she did someone slipped off her blindfold and she was blinded by a sudden burst of lights. She blinked against the White spots in her vision as she heard a collected voice call out to her.

"Happy birthday Pucca!"

Pucca, having steadied herself, looked at the entire villages smiling faces. Everyone had came to wish her a happy birthday? She felt a smile tugging at her shocked face. Or they came for the free booze, she thought catching sight of the bar that had been set up. The thought made her smile slip firmly into place.

Ching was just off from the group. She ticked her head to the side and with a wink slipped off towards the bar, with a still a little star struck Abyo, who after checking Pucca was alright, followed in Ching's footsteps as if in a trance. Once Abyo had left her side, Pucca was surrounded by villagers who were wishing her happiness and asking where she got such an amazing dress.

None mentioned her being hospitalised for which she was grateful. Someone must have warned them off the subject, she thought as she awkwardly hugged Master Soo's female companions who then held out a silver covered flat box. Pucca thanked them and was about to put it with her other pile of gifts that had become a ridiculous size. People had gone a little nuts on her, she thought a little guilty. But before she could the women insisted for her to open it now.

Politely Pucca smiled and nodded as she lifted the lid. Inside sat a thin chain with a diamond in the shape of a small heart. Pucca looked up shocked, "I couldn't possibly accept this." Pucca tried to hand back the box but the women folded their arms and shook their heads in sync.

"Don't even think about giving that back to us," one threatened.

"After all you've done for us this is the least we could do." Pucca looked back and forth between the women but neither seemed to be yielding so she looked to Master Soo who had went quiet during their conversation after he had wished her a happy birthday.

One of them caught this glance and quickly backtracked, "She should take her gift gracefully shouldn't she Master Soo?"

The master blinked at his woman a little dazed. "I- Er..."

"Shouldn't she?" the other snapped.

"O-Of cause! Pucca, it would be incredibly rude and disrespectful if you returned such a gift especially given from the likes of myself."

Pucca dropped her eyes to the beautiful gift and gave a small nod of reluctance, "Okay. Thank you so much for your generosity." Pucca gave a small awkward bow and the women, satisfied, began to walk off with Master Soo following.

They paused for a moment and one of the women called back to Pucca. "You should get a drink. It's your eighteenth after all; time to get trashed!" She yelled and flung her arm up like a teenaged girl as she gave a big "woooohooo!" noise that her fellow companion joined in with. They have certainly have been enjoying the open bar, Pucca rolled her eyes. A drink did sound good though... It may even take off the painful edge she was beginning to detect coming on. I am eighteen after all, she echoed in her head.

Pucca excused herself as she slipped out of the crowd who began to chat amongst themselves. She wanted to see her uncles anyway. She barely got a glimpse of them before she was suffocated by villagers.

Pucca slipped into one of the bar stools, noting Ching hanging by the edge of the bar on the other side seemingly teasing Abyo. Ching caught Pucca's raised brow and she winked with a mischievous glint in her eyes. Pucca smiled encouragingly before she called for Linguine to come over. He came over with a huge smile, "Pucca! Happy birthday darling." He leaned over the bar and gave her a kiss on her cheek. "You've grown up so fast. I'm guessing you want to try your first alcoholic drink?" He smirked as Pucca gave a shy questionable face.

"I am eighteen," she said as a way of apology for growing up so fast.

"Yes you are. So what do you fancy the sound of?" Linguine gave a wide gesture to the blackboard behind the bar showing all of the possible drinks.

"I like mint so..."

"A Mojito then?"

Pucca nodded hoping that it tasted as minty as it sounds.

"Are you sure you don't want the fruit cocktail?" a voice asked behind her. Pucca grinned at Ho who had come up besides her with a plate of sushi. Pucca plucked one off and popped it into her mouth. Delectably salty yet not so overpowering as foreigners would make it out to be.

"I would imagine that'd be Uncle Dumpling's choice of drink."

"Did someone say my name?" Uncle Dumpling strolled out from behind Ho and slung an arm over Pucca giving her a gentle hug. "Happy birthday sweetheart. Are you enjoying the party?"

"It's amazing," Pucca spoke a little louder as the music had just been put on, the sounds booming throughout the small party area into the dark woods, as she hugged him back. "But may I ask something?"

"What?" Ho asked worried. Were the lights and decorations not as she expected? Was the food not as delicious as they had thought? Was she in too much pain to be up and about?

"Why is there a Christmas tree in the corner?"

Ho's mouth dropped. Pucca cracked up at the sight of her uncle pulling his mouth closed. "I honestly don't know. Santa put it up since we left him unattended."
Pucca grinned. Uncle Dumpling smiled, so glad that Pucca seemed to happy, "At least Ching hasn't noticed it. She's freak out-"

A deafening screech of outrage over the loud music made everyone jump. Pucca stood to see a steaming Ching storming towards the flashing christmas tree. She reached the lush green tree and whirled to glare at the entire party. "Who the heck put this... This... This up at a meant to be spectacular party for my best friend?!"

Abyo rushed to be besides Ching and he whispered to whisper for her to calm down as he tried to pull her into the now still crowd, which were dancing a few seconds ago. Pucca laughed. Ching had obviously had a drink or two herself and had gained double her usual confidence and ferocity.

Someone, who thought Ching's small outburst was over, called over the silence for the music to be put back on. A moment later a heavy beat was pumping through Pucca. She watched as Abyo clutched Ching's hips and swayed trying to loosen her back up. Ching, unwilling, tried to wriggle free and push past the crowd but Abyo wasn't letting her go so easily. Dancing was the perfect opportunity to be so close to Ching that it was almost indecent.

Abyo caught Ching's hand and tugged her making her spin into his arms. She looked up at Abyo's hardly flushed face which was grinning. "Let me go Abyo," Ching somewhat slurred.

"Make me," Abyo purred as he twirled her to be then crushed against his hard body. Ching's eyes became heavy as she peered up at Abyo from under her dark eyelashes capturing him in her spell. She ran a hand from dangling besides her up his hip over his chest to dig into his shoulder. Her other hand glided its way up to hook onto his neck.

"Never dare me Abyo," she chanted. She pulled his head down and just as his lips were about to touch hers she twirled out if his arms and began to dance to the heavy beat gesturing for Abyo to come and get her. She licked the top lip seductively and Abyo was hooked all over again, like a chocoholic. And Ching was some fine white chocolate, he mimicked an American gangster in his head but shook the thought away, scolding the stupid things some men came out with these days to degrade women, as he joint his temptress in her courtship dancing ritual.

"Here you go Pucca." Pucca blinked back at Linguine who was sliding a mint green drink towards her.

"Thank you," she said as she delicately picked up the bright coloured drink. She swirled the liquid contents before taking a sip. As expected it had a strong mint covering but when Pucca swallowed it left a sweet almost chocolate flavour. Though this was her first alcoholic drink Pucca still thought Linguine was a genius. She hadn't heard of anyone else capable of making a drink that had two totally different levels of taste?

"May I have this dance?" a young voice asked tentatively.

Pucca looked down to her side to see Akihiko fidgeting, dressed in a neat black child tux and bow tie, baby face bright with colour. Pucca smiled down at him, remembering him as a baby of a few weeks. She had baby sat him for years on her free days, days she wasn't working at the restaurant, and she always felt like he was her little brother. And to think now he's six years old and all grown up asking for me to dance with him, Pucca giggled in her head.

"I'm sorry Akihiko, but I don't feel like dancing right now."

His little face dropped as he stared at her, "Please Pucca?"

"Why don't you ask one of the girls over there for a dance," Pucca gently suggested, pointing at the group of girls that were in the primary school with Akihiko.

Akihiko glanced over to where Pucca had directed and made a face. "I don't want to dance with them though," he wined ever so slightly. He reminded Pucca of how Abyo used to be before he hit his eighth birthday and how Garu was... Since she saw him. That reminded Pucca, where was Garu? She had totally forgotten about him when she was attacked by villagers. Pucca took a long sip of her drink absently. Did Garu still dislike her enough to ignore her birthday party? He had acted strangely before he left. Maybe he was having major doubts about giving her that crystal masterpiece? I have to remember to get that from Ching by tomorrow, she thought. "Please Pucca-che?"

Her nickname that she had been given by Akihiko since he could talk snapped her out of her whirlwind of a mind. She sighed and gave an affectionate smirk at the little boy. She finished her drink, needing the alcohol to erase the pain that had returned. "Come on then, bright prince," she said as she took Akihiko's hand and steered him into the dancing crowd.

Akihiko then took both of Pucca's hands and began to dance. He looked up grinning, his whole face alight with joy that of a child. Pucca lifted one of her hands for Akihiko to twirl around which he did blushing. Maybe he was expecting to be the lead and slow dance with her, she thought amused. His head was barely at her belly button. Akihiko tried to extend his arm to allow Pucca to do the same but she had to stoop low to go under. Friendly gazes were turned upon her as she danced with the child whom Pucca tried her best to ignore as she enjoyed watching Akihiko trying to bust a few moves he saw on the music channel back home. He's always been an enthusiastic dancer and he could even take Abyo on at this age and win. But of cause Abyo thought he was much better than he was and Ching loved to tease him about that.

It was nearing the end of the song when a hand tapped Pucca's shoulder. She stopped and looked begin her to see a tall young man with sandy blonde hair.

Fang bowed formally and politely said about the quieting noise, "May I have the next dance?"

"No! She's with me," Akihiko protested. Pucca smiled at him fondly.

"My prince in black denies me of associating with other men," Pucca tried to say with as much of a serious face as she could. Fang smirked and winked at Pucca before addressing the child who was now puffing his chest out like a insect trying to increase its size to intimidate predators.

"My good sir, may I please steal away you're maiden for a fleeting moment so I can express my happiness to be here to help commemorate the birth of this angel from above?" Pucca smothered her free hand over her mouth to stop from laughing. Clinging to her other hand, Akihiko stood, a puzzled expression clearly on show as he contemplated Fang's words.

"Okay," he said at last. "But for one song."

Fang bowed again before offering his hand to Pucca. Pucca gave a small squeeze on Akihiko's small hand before letting go. "Go invite one of the girls to dance. I'm sure they'd love to," Pucca suggested before she was pulled into Fang's embrace. The music smoothly ran into the next song and it was a slow beated one. Pucca saw all around her people pairing up and beginning to stare into each others eyes. Where is Garu?

"You have a feisty prince there Pucca," Fang joked.

Pucca smiled delighted. "Well he is first born in along line of royal designers." Fang flashed his grin s he as he twirled her around.

"So how does it feel finally being eighteen?"

Painful. "Unrealistic."

Fang frowned, "What do you mean?"

Pucca lapses. "It's like a dream," she answered. That's what girls sometimes said right? And she had stayed somewhat close to the truth, which was it was more like a nightmare with a sugar-coating of... Well, of a party full of family and friends.

Fang twirled Pucca again, letting his hand slide to the small bare part of Pucca's back, letting his fingers tingle the delicate skin before no if further down to rest at the small of her back drawing her closer.

"You look exquisite tonight."

"Thank you..."

"Garu is more of a fool than a jester on cider."

Pucca turned her wide eyes from watching someone fumbling with music selections by the speakers to Fang, "What?"

"Garu is a fool," Fang repeated. "He didn't realise what a gem he had in his hands." Pucca blinked at Fang. Fang had never made such a remark before, he'd always joke about to make other laugh. He'd never sounded as serious as he did then. Flushed, Pucca placed a hand oh Fang's chest pushing away gently.

"I think you've had a little too much to drink," Pucca muttered. Fang's eyes blanked as he realised what he'd just said and was back to being the jokester.

He laughed awkwardly, "Sorry Pucca. It's just always bugged me how he could ignore such a great girl like you. What other girl can beat the entire wrestling team because she was sick of them dropping their litter on the floor?" He chuckled at the memory. Pucca relaxed into Fang's arms again, enjoying his warmth. Maybe I should have chosen a red jacket to go with this dress, Pucca thought off handily.

"Pucca have you ever thought about anyone else?" Fang timidly asked.

"Thought about anyone else?"

Fang flushed, searching for the words. "As in someone for a potential partner?"

"Oh..." Pucca looked down at her feet through the small gap between their bodies. Now that she thought about it she had always dreamed about being with Garu, who was in fact skipping out on her birthday party but had also saved her no more than a day ago, that she hadn't even considered anyone else. "No," she answers truthfully.

"So only- Garu?"

Pucca blushed and nodded.

Fang shook his head at her and looked beyond her as he repeated, "Garu."

Pucca twirled around to see an emotionless young man in black bottoms, a white dress shirt and black tie. He strode forwards, dancers parting like the red sea at his approach, towards Pucca and Fang. "Garu?" Pucca spoke so quietly that he didn't hear over the music. He was staring intensely at Fang, daringly. Fang raised a brow questionably. Fang smiled and stepped back.

Pucca looked at him surprised. "I best go and see if my little sisters okay. Seems your little prince has seeped her off for a dance." Pucca looked through the crowd and caught a glimpse of Akihiko dancing with a little girl in a sugar pink dress.

"Don't embarrass him though," Pucca smiled at Fang who grinned back.

"Wouldn't dream of it."

Pucca watched as Fang swerved his way around the crowd till he melted into the blur of bodies.

"Pucca, may I have the pleasure of your next dance?" Garu gruffly asked. Pucca turned to see him shifting from foot to foot with his hand out stretched. Though Pucca's insides were screaming at the idea of another dance she took his hand. Garu pulled her close only to sweep away her tired legs and lift her into his strong arms. The relief in her legs didn't stop her from protesting at Garu's sudden actions.

"Put me down! You said you wanted to dance!"

"I do but not here," he smirked down at her as he carried her towards the forest. Even though they were heading into the forest Pucca felt no fear. Was Garu that much of a reassurance to her? No wonder he thought she was a burden, she thought sadly.

"What?" Pucca gawked at him just registering his words. If it wasn't Garu she would had said this was spontaneous and romantic. Now she was thinking what on earth is he up to? Pucca looked over Garu's shoulder and spotted Ching who was grinning and Abyo who stuck up a thumb. Where they in on this too? She thought outraged. She was surprised Chung could keep this a secret. She told Pucca everything, even about the details of her 'surprise party'.

Letting out a breath into the slightly chilled air, a puff of white swirled from her mouth. She relaxed into Garu's arms, his warmth taking away her chill, his cradling her relieving her crying legs. She didn't know if she was so damn happy because she was in Garu's embrace or because she was finally able to rest her legs. She closed her eyes and whispered, "You know being late isn't really fashionable, right?"

A deep rumbling laugh echoed inside of Pucca's figure from the rock of a chest she was against.

"I'll remember that."


:D I know I added two random characters I made up but you have to admit Akihiko is just plain adorable.

Pucca: He really is :)

Ching: And him trying to be a big person ^_^

Fang: Hey, what about me? I'm cute!

Akihiko: I am a big person! I'm taller than everyone else in my class.

Me: How did he- Who let him in? Who let you in?

Akihiko: You're locks aren't that complicated... *Whistles innocently*

Fang: *Rolls eyes* He slipped in before letting me in when Ring-ring stormed out before you started this chapter.

Akihiko: Fang! That's the last time I help you out-

Me: Seriously, what are you two doing in here? U_U

Garu: Guys, what's all the racket for? *Wipes away sleep from eyes*

Me: You were sleeping?!

Abyo: Shhh... *Covers face with arm and begins to snore*

Me: *Face reddens* RIGHT!

-These scene's were determined too violent for public view. Please enjoy these fluffy bunnies (^x^) (^x^). We are sorry for the inconvenience and we hope to be reconnected to your beloved show again soon-

Me: That's better :3

*Fang and Ching cuddled into a corner petrified while Pucca covers Akihiko's eyes and ushes him outside*

Me: Please review! I may spare Garu and Abyo if you do ;)