A/N Okay, I'm sorry, I know I should be updating Safe and Sound but I was on the bus and I suddenly remembered that scene where Ikuto tucked Amu into his chest during that one episode and this just occured to me. I hope you all like it, I seriously love alternate endings, they're so much fun. Enjoy!
A world without Ikuto…
But as we zoomed down to the earth, free-falling in a cruel world that didn't care that Ikuto hadn't even learned to live yet or that I was still wandering around not knowing who I really was. A world that twisted and morphed when the need arose and didn't let us cheat Fate and try to steal our happiness using something that only existed in fairy-tales. Maybe this was meant to happen, maybe the Embryo was never meant to be found. Maybe it wanted to remain free and untouched. People should fight for their dreams, try their hardest and-
How hard had I tried to break my facades? To shatter the lies and walls that surrounded my heart and bear my soul to the world. How many times had I tried…and failed. Heart breaking too many times to count, multiple characters slamming smiles from people's shining faces, I've tried, I did. You couldn't say I haven't, because I did. I did.
I've tried to hard and I still had nothing to show for it. Was it horrible then to want to grab hold of an egg that could grant me any wish? Was I selfish? Was I weak? Clenching my eyes shut to halt the tears, I felt like screaming. It wasn't fair, it wasn't! And just when I felt like crying, like stopping trying, giving up and screaming until my throat broke, I was wrapped in an embrace that shielded me from the cruel, cold wind and held me tight against a warm chest that beat with every breath it took.
And suddenly, tears welled in my eyes but refused to pour out. Instead choosing to burn my irises and remind me that things weren't okay and they never would be. Looking down, I cringed as I spotted the enraged Director, hatred bubbling in his eyes and his fists clenched tightly to his sides.
I had almost forgotten Ikuto's outstretched arm begging to be the one to snatch the Embryo from the air and hold it close to his heart. How could I have been so stupid? The one who really needed the Embryo wasn't me or Tadase or even Utau. It was him, it was always him. The boy who sacrificed himself so his family wouldn't have to suffer. The boy who hid behind an evil face, hiding the kindness within. The boy who's biggest wish was to live like his own chara would.
Why hadn't Ikuto take the Embryo when he had the chance? Why didn't he save himself? And Utau and his mother and everyone else who was ensnared in Easter's cold grip? I would've given it to him, I would have. If that missile hadn't hit us, if that missile hadn't shattered our dreams and maybe our lives, if things were different, if we weren't falling to our deaths, I would have given it to him.
What was Tadase's stupid dream to rule the world compared to Ikuto's freedom? How many times had I seen that sad glimmer in his far-off gaze, or the way his face fell every time he was forced to shatter the dream of some poor soul. I would never know how much Easter had hurt him, but all I did know was that Ikuto had the chance to make things right. To set the wrongs back to how they should be and press the reset button. Be able to live his own life by his own rules and finally, finally, be happy. He didn't have to carry the entire world on his shoulders, but he did anyway.
Why Ikuto, why?
I could have gotten away, I could have, I swear. Maybe I would have gone higher, or fallen lower on purpose. I don't know, but I know I would've done something, I wouldn't have died! Why would you save me, why didn't you save yourself? Why can't you let yourself be happy? You could have reached out and grabbed it, grabbed the Embryo, grabbed your salvation, you could have taken it and wished for Easter to be gone. Gone from this world, your life, your business, your soul.
You could have wished for anything, anything at all, but you chose me instead.
Why would you do that Ikuto?
Clutching tighter to his shirt, I sobbed lightly into his neck, hoping not to make too much of a sound. But when he hugged me tighter and tucked my protectively into his chest, hoping to protect me from the furious wind and the inevitable truth that we were falling, I choked emotionally and tried to look into his eyes, to try to see his expression, his face-one last time- but his arm held me fast. "It's alright Amu." He squeezed me tighter than, and in my ear I could hear, but just barely, a desperate whisper, "I won't let you die."
Squeezing my eyes shut, I tried to swallow my screams, my shrieks of utter desperation and anger and unfairness and horror and misery and agony and every emotion that wanted to express itself to this cruel, cruel world who hadn't let Ikuto smile a true smile in such a long time and who let a girl who still had so much to say, so much to discover, let them both just-
We were falling.
It hit me like a thousand bricks. We were plummeting at who knows how fast two hundred feet from the ground. We'd splatter to the ground like pancakes and we'd never recover. Our eyes would close and we'd never wake up. We would die, Ikuto and I, we would die together.
No, it couldn't end this way, it couldn't. We had worked too hard, been through so much, grown so tall, we couldn't die, not like this, not now. Please.
Please God! Don't let it end this way, I didn't want to die!
And then it happened. Ikuto pulled me lower down his body and twisted in midair so that he would take the hit. With me on top, I would be alright. With a cushion to absorb the shock of the impact and take all the broken bones and torn muscles and blood and cuts and sores and death; I'd be alright. I'd be alright and he knew it. I would survive and he would die. He would let me take his life in exchange for the continuation of mine.
Unable to believe it, unable to accept that this was happening, that this was real, that were were about to crash land into Earth and Ikuto was going to DIE, I looked up, hoping to catch a glimpse of his face. Please God, don't let it be for the last time, and looked up just soon enough to see him look affectionately down at me before his beautiful, beautiful sapphire eyes fluttered closed and a neutral expression overtook his face.
No. No, please, not this, anything but this. We weren't supposed to die, he wasn't supposed to sacrifice himself for me, this wasn't supposed to happen, this wasn't supposed to happen! Nearly delirious now, I didn't know what to do, I couldn't flip us back into our vertical positions, I wasn't strong enough, I didn't have enough power, I didn't have anything. I was weak. And Ikuto was paying the price for it. My heart squeezed.
A life without Ikuto.
No. I would not let that happen. I was going to save him, I was going to bring us back; together.
Because that was the only way I was coming back down.
And suddenly, all the reasons why Ikuto was important, all the reasons why he was special, what he meant to me, what he'd done, what he'd said, it all came rushing back into one big emotional wrecking ball that set off an explosion in my churning heart.
He bit my ear, the first time he met me on my balcony. It was the biggest shock of my life, but whenever I look back on it, I laugh with a stupid smile on my face. He jumped in front of me when Nikaidou stole Suu and took the brunt of the beating for me, he caught me when I fell off the wall. We shared an ice-cream together and he let me sing a duet with him and his violin. He was the first boy to hold my hand and he was the first boy who ever looked at me like I meant something. Like I could be who I wanted to be and he'd still smile at me like I was the whole world.
He took me on a date…my first real one…to the abandoned amusement park, abandoned…just like him, like me. We spun around in the teacups and he laughed and smiled and I remember thinking that if he kept on smiling, then everything would turn out okay. Easter lured me there, to that amusement park, because that was our special place; the place no one knows about. But if he…if he died. Then it wouldn't be ours, it would only be mine, a place where I would cry and scream and mourn for the boy who had cat ears and a wild smirk and a perverted sense of humor, who loved to tease me and see me blush but who was always there to cheer me up and show me the true beauty of the world.
And it was because he was special, because he was there, somewhere in my heart, because he had saved me and smiled at me, and stopped me from screaming when my own heart felt like breaking that I found it. I found the bubbling, exciting saviour within my heart and called it out to save us both from a doom undeserved.
Clenching my eyes shut and holding Ikuto tight, I screamed, letting loose a wave of passion and power and emotion and colourful sparks. "HEART SPEEDERS!"
Suddenly, pink light swirled around my cheerleader sneakers and I watched in amazement as bright pink wheels grew on the bottom and the tops rounded into pink roller blades. "Roller blades," I murmured, the beginnings of a hopeful, crazy smile blooming on my face, and suddenly, before I knew it, we were rising-rising!- into the air and I whooped loudly. "Flying roller blades!" I cried, clutching tightly to the shocked boy in my arms as I zoomed around in the air before landing somewhat clumsily onto the road opposite to where the rest of the Guardians stood.
We stood there, my arms still wrapped desperately around him as my transformation faded away and I was back to being plain old Hinamori Amu and Black Lynx was back to Ikuto.
Gentle hands pressed my lower back and I heard a deep chuckle rumbling from in his throat. "Are you ever going to let go Strawberry?" he joked, pulling lightly at a stray hair near my neck.
Stepping back, I spared one moment to stare into his curious eyes before snapping my fist to my side dramatically before letting it fall.
Cocking one eye-brow up, Ikuto stared. "Were you just going to hit me?" he asked incredulously, shock running through his system.
Unable to look at him, I frowned. "You…you idiot!" I yelled, brining my head up to face him head on, watching as his eyebrows shot up and his mouth curled in confusion. "You utter, total idiot! Why did you do that?! You could have died! You WOULD have died! Why did you…why?!" I begged desperately, my voice falling away miserably as though lost in the wind.
Softening his brows, Ikuto stepped forward, somewhat hesitantly, as though thinking I would jump him and try to claw his eyes out. And some part of me did want to hit him, hit him until he realized how stupid he was and how much he hurt me and…and…
"What would you have done Amu?" It was meant to be a trick question and I knew it. He knew what I would have done, of course he did. But instead of backing down, I burned forward anyway.
"You should have taken it, the Embryo. Why the heck didn't you take it?!"
And just like lightening or blackouts or fire-alarms during class, his calm face exploded into that of unexplained anger that seemed to surprise even Ikuto himself. Eyebrows slanting downwards and eyes that pleaded for me to understand, Ikuto's fists threw themselves to the sides as he glared at me. "Baka." He muttered, "Would you rather have died Amu? Would you rather I had let you die?" every time he spat out the word "die" his fist would clench and he would bite his lip hatefully.
"I would have been okay!" I pleaded, "I'd have found a way. But you could have been free! You could finally have your wish!" I cried, trying desperately to get him to see what was so obviously there.
Falling back on his heels, the anger evaporated from his form and only the vulnerable, soft side of the cat-like boy remained. "Would you trade someone you loved for a wish?" his hair fell over his eyes and his clothes rippled in the breeze. Sincerity and triumph glowed in his jewel-like eyes and I stuttered, unable to respond.
Without me fully realizing it, a blush had blossomed on my cheeks and my palms had turned sweaty.
Smiling softly at me like I was some sort of exotic treasure, he smiled. "Didn't think so." And just as suddenly as he always did, he whipped around and shot off into the sky, cat ears and tail flailing in the wind.
"Wait! Where are you-" I tried calling out to him, to get him to wait and stay, but all I got was a wave and small smirk.
"See you later Strawberry! You can confess later!" winking before he disappeared out of sight, I swore I heard his amused laughter from behind the buildings before what he said sunk in.
Hold on. Confess? Would you trade someone you loved for a wish? Oh my God.
Oh my dear sweet Lord.
My blush intensified and I pressed my palms to my chest in an effort to calm my erratic heart down. Typical Ikuto, making my heart pound even when he wasn't there.
A life without Ikuto…
Shaking my head, a small grin on my lips, I turned towards my friends, already making my way back towards them. Thinking back to that moment, the moment where the power surged inside of me and Ikuto's arms wrapped tight around me, hoping beyond hope that he'd at least be able to save me, I felt my heart thump just a little louder in my chest and the heat seem to rise.
I was right, a life without Ikuto was definitely out of the question.