A Dance with the Cat

A light click was heard and the power of the amusement park was cut off. The lights decorating the walls flickered shut, the merry-go-round stopped spinning, and the teacups gradually slowed to a stop. Sitting in the small teacup, Ikuto looked up to the shining stars in the night sky, illuminating the dim amusement park with their glistening radiant. "Time to go home, Amu."

Following his glance, she smiled lightly and nodded. "Yeah."

Neither of them spoke as they walked down the empty streets in a peaceful silence, enjoying the occasional gust of gentle breeze in the summer air that swept all their worries away temporarily. Amu stole a glance at Ikuto. He was walking with his hands in his pockets, the usual blank expression on his face. The wind was blowing through his messy midnight blue hair, which gleamed under the moonlight showered upon them. There was no denying that Ikuto was far beyond attractive, although Amu would never admit that out loud. Finding herself unable to look away from the boy, she decided to distract her attention by starting a conversation.

"Hey Ikuto."

"Hmm?" He responded without turning to look at her, eyes still set on the path before him.

"Are you going to the ball tomorrow?"

He stopped and turned to meet her gaze, looking slightly surprised by her question. "Ball?"

Amu looked up to his questioning face and grinned, her honey-gold eyes shone with a hint of excitement. "Haven't you heard? Seiyo is hosting a ball tomorrow night. It is open to public as a kind of school promotion I guess." She explained, "All the students of Seiyo must attend to help out and show support to the school, so I must go anyway."

He simply stared at her. Confused as to why he was looking at her in such a way, Amu tried to read the expression on his face, but before she could come up with any conclusion as to what was crossing his mind, he turned and continued to walk towards her house without a single word.

Amu frowned and caught up to him with a few quick steps, her eyes on the back of his head. "Hey! So you are going or not?"

All she got as a respond was a light 'hmm' that was barely audible.

Twitching her eyebrows in annoyance, she pointed an accusing finger at him. She was just about to yell at him for his half-hearted response when his husky voice interrupted.

"We're here."

Amu shifted her glance from his back and looked ahead. They were already standing in front of her house. She blinked unexpectedly, realizing that she was too caught up in trying to get a proper answer from Ikuto to notice her surroundings. A moment of silence passed as they just stood there beside each other in front of her house, both not exactly sure of what to do. Finally, Ikuto decided to break the silence.

"Guess I'll see you next time than." He sent her one of his rare sincere smiles and Amu immediately felt her heartbeat speeding up, her heart thumping furiously in her chest as heat began to rush to her cheeks uncontrollably. 'Why is my heart beating so fast?'

"R-right."

He widened his smile ever-so-slightly, almost unnoticeable. Giving Amu a soft pat on the head, he disappeared into the night sky.

Slowly, Amu raised her hand and placed it on the spot where Ikuto had just pat her, feeling the remaining warmth from his hands on her hair spread through her body. More blood rushed to her face as a strange feeling formed in her heart.

'What's with this warm feeling?'

x x x

'Ring-ring'

A sudden ringing pierced through the silence in the room, waking the girl from her deep slumber. Muttering incoherent words, Amu flipped onto her stomach in her bed and pulled the blankets over her head.

'Ring-ring. Ring-ring'

Groaning, she dug her head under the pillow, pressing it tightly against her ears in an attempt block out the disruptive noise.

'Ring-ring. Ring-ring'

"URGH!"

She leaped up from her bed and snatched the ringing phone from the night stand beside her bed, flipping it open with such force the poor machine was almost broken.

"WHAT?" She roared.

"Whoa whoa, calm down Amu-chi! What happened?"

Recognizing the voice of the caller, she took a deep breath and plopped back down onto her bed, closing her eyes once again while trying her best to sound as calm as possible.

"What do you mean what happened? What time do you think it is right now Yaya?"

"Uhh… 1:37 in the afternoon?" Yaya answered carefully, sensing the hidden annoyance in her friend's voice and not wanting to further provoke her, even though she had utterly no idea why Amu was so pissed. She was greeted with a long silence before Amu yelled through the phone yet again.

"1:37 in the afternoon?! Oh gosh Yaya you should've called earlier! I have to get ready for the dance! See you later!"

Amu started to panic as she shut her phone and tossed it aside, not caring that it hit the wall with a loud thump before crashing onto her bed. As a member of the Guardians, she was supposed to reach school at 3 to help out with the preparations of the ball, and considering all the work that had to be done, Amu doubt she would have any time to spare before the ball officially started, leaving now the only time for her to prepare for the ball. Dashing into the bathroom, she quickly washed her face and made herself presentable. After considering different hairstyles, including a pony tail that she concluded would be too lively for a ball, she settled with the fifth hairstyle, tying her hair to a low side pony tail loosely and clipping it with a black rose hairclip. She left her bangs gracing her forehead and proceeded to put on light make-up. She was never a fan of make-up, but she thought it'd only be polite to dress-up a little considering the formalities of the ball.

She smiled approvingly at herself in the mirror and danced her way to her room. Sending a glance at the clock, she relaxed and flopped down on her bed.

'Glad that it's only 2:04 right now, I won't be late.'

The thought of getting to dance with Tadase, her long-time crush, made her look forward to tonight's event even more than she already did. She closed her eyes, the image of Tadase holding her dearly as they glided across the dancefloor appeared before her. But when she looked up, expecting to see his kind ruby eyes, she was met with a familiar pair of sapphire eyes, staring deeply into her eyes as if reading her soul. She looked down and realized she's no longer held by Tadase's petite figure, but instead in the strong arms of Ikuto, leaning onto his slender yet well-toned body, a soft smile gracing his flawless features. Her eyes snapped open as her thoughts finally sank-in. Strong? Well-toned? Flawless? Why am I thinking of him in such a way?

She unconsciously lifted her hand and placed it on the spot that Ikuto had patted her the previous night, caught in a daze as she remembered how comforting his warmth was, and how his smile had sent her heart fluttering uncontrollably. Finally realizing what she was doing, she jerked her hand away and shook her head fiercely, trying to clear her mind and the heat that had risen on her cheeks. Why am I even thinking about him?

Standing up abruptly and pushing aside the same strange feeling again, she decided that she should continue with her preparations if she didn't want to be late. "Now now, time to pick a dress Amu."

She cheered for herself as she made her way to her closet. Opening it, she dug through the messy pile of clothes she never bothered organizing and grabbed every dress she found, laying each of them neatly on her bed. She tossed those informal ones aside and came down to two ball gown. She tried each of them on and studied herself in the full-length mirror, after some mental debate, Amu decided that she would go with the pink one.

The dress was a strapless floor-length ball gown with a black ribbon tied around the waist. The surface of the bottom part of the gown was meshed white, with pink fabric underneath. The gown was elegant, the pink and black theme matching Amu's hair and her black hairclip.

Amu grabbed a silver bracelet and put it on. She swirled in front of the mirror while examining herself. Satisfied by her outfit, she smiled while she undressed herself and threw on casual wear, placing the dress and a pair of black heels inside her bag.

'I can't be dressing like that while working to decorate the school hall, I might as well try to finish earlier and get changed.'

She also threw in some make-up supplies and a comb, almost certain that she would have to fix up her appearance after all the work in order to make herself look decent at the ball. She slipped her phone and wallet inside her pockets and picked up the bag.

2:41 p.m.

"Good job Amu, you made it just in time!"

She left her room and went down the stairs into the living room. Her mom was sitting on the sofa reading a magazine, while Ami sat beside her, cheering for something on the television.

'A typical Saturday.'

"I'm leaving!"

Midori looked up from the magazine and smiled sweetly at Amu, "Have fun sweetie!" She stood up and followed Amu to the door. Ami turned away from the television and waved at her sister, "Good-bye onee-chan!"

"Bye guys!"

She slipped on her sneakers and blurted out the door, dashing all the way to her school, feeling surprisingly excited. She was thrilled by the idea of getting to decorate and transform the school hall, she had always wanted to put colours into that lifeless place which had the power to bore whoever that entered. And tonight, she had the chance to transform it into a romantic, british-style hall, and just thinking of that sent chills of enthusiasm through her whole body. Arriving at the school gates, she met up with the rest of the Guardians and started their busy afternoon.

x x x

Climbing down from the ladder, Amu looked up to see the grand chandelier she had just hang up with the help of the others illuminating the hall dimly, creating just the right atmosphere they had planned. She dusted off her hands and sighed in relief when she realized she still had enough time to fix her appearance before the ball. Leaving the hall without a second thought, she pushed past the crowd of guests already waiting by the double doors of the hall and hurried into the changing room. Just as Amu was pulling her gown out from the bag, her phone started ringing. Groaning, she fished it out from her bag and flipped it open.

"Hello?"

"Hello, Hinamori-san!" A cheerful voice answer.

Amu froze upon hearing the voice.

"T-tadase-kun? I-is there anything you need?"

"I was just wondering where you went. Everyone is here in the hall."

"Oh umm…I'm just changing in the changing room. I'll be quick, give me a few minutes and I'll be there." She answered, struggling to unfold the dress single-handedly.

"Oh it's alright, take your time! We're not in a rush. We'll be waiting for you outside the changing room, take all the time you need." He responded.

"All right, see you later."

She dropped her phone inside her bag and slipped into her gown, adjusting to a comfortable position. She pulled out the pair of heels and put them on. Unlocking the door, she fixed her hair and make-up a bit in the mirror before stepping out of the changing room.

Her friends were all waiting for her outside, changed out of their previous casual clothes and into formal wear. Even Kukai was there. Rima wore a light-yellow gown with her hair decorated by a white ribbon and untied as usual. Yaya had her usual two pigtails and a white ballet dress. Tadase, Nagihiko and Kukai were all wearing black tuxedos. All her friends looked amazing.

Everyone just stared at Amu while she stood there awkwardly.

"W-What? D-Do I look that bad?"

Rima was the first one to come back to her senses. "Amu, you look stunning."

Yaya grinned and jumped onto Amu, wrapping her arms around her in a suffocating embrace. "Yaya loves Amu-chi's hairstyle! It's pretty!"

The three boys just smiled at her while she laughed nervously.

"Thanks guys. Now let's head to the hall, the ball is going to start."

They nodded in agreement as they made their way to the hall, noisily messing around along the way. Yaya was telling everyone about Amu's reaction when she called her earlier, and they all laughed while Amu looked away, a faint blush colored her cheeks in embarrassment.

"Speaking of which," Nagihiko raised an eyebrow, "Why were you still sleeping in the afternoon? Stayed up last night?"

Amu's brain was running fast. There's no way she would tell them she slept late thinking about Ikuto, wanting to see his smile again, wanting to feel his gentle yet reassuring touch again, and trying to figure out what that weird feeling she had when Ikuto was around was. Just no way.

Everyone's eyes were on her, anticipating her answer. She gulped nervously.

"Uhh… you could say so. Was just doing a little thinking."

Rima and Nagihiko pushed open the double doors of the hall while eyeing Amu questioningly, aware of the way she shifted uncomfortably under their glance. They entered the crowded hall and was instantly drowned in the classical music played by the orchestra on stage softly in the background. A few pairs of couple were already dancing on the floor, while the others stood around and have conversations with their friends.

The group ignored all the attention directed at them upon their entrance and followed Yaya's lead towards one of the dessert tables. Amu hoped her answer was enough for them to drop the topic, but unfortunately, it wasn't.

"Yaya wants to know what happened!" She said as she stuffed down another cheesecake despite her already full mouth. "That's right Hinamori! You can always tell us your problems!" Kukai added as he gave Amu a thumbs-up.

Amu waved her hands in the air frantically like an attempt to shoo an invisible fly aside. "N-No it wasn't something big or important! It's just some r-random thoughts stuck on my mind!"

Tadase smiled at her. "If Hinamori-san doesn't want us to know, we shouldn't invade her privacy."

Yaya pouted as Rima and Nagihiko sent suspicious glances towards Amu. But no one said another word as they all watched Yaya munched on the desserts in an unlady-like manner, which was a huge contrast to her elegant outfit. Kukai can't help but chuckled. "We're here at the ball, Yaya, not a buffet party. Let's go dance!" And without bothering to wait for an answer, Kukai dragged a full-mouthed Yaya towards the dancefloor and disappeared into the crowd.

Nagihiko turned to Rima and bowed politely. "Can I have this dance, milady?" Rima sent him a glare, but nodded nonetheless. Nagihiko grinned and led her to the dance floor.

Amu smiled as she watched her friends enjoying themselves. Tadase was already surrounded by a group of girls, so there's no way her can ask her to dance with him. Surprisingly, she found herself shrugging nonchalantly and not at all bothered, wandering around the hall aimlessly. A few guys asked her to dance with them, but she turned them all down because she didn't know any of them.

Her mind drifted back to the previous night, recalling all the moments she had spent with Ikuto as a wave of contentment washed over her. Upon realizing that she was once again thinking about the boy, she let out a defeated sigh, not bothering to hide the fact that she actually missed that annoying perverted cat anymore.

'I wonder if Ikuto is coming here today…'

"Oh? Isn't this Hinamori Amu?"

Amu turned and came face to face with the girly voice's owner, one of her not-so-favorite person, Yamabuki Saaya. Saaya faked a disappointed face. "If only I knew you were coming, I'd invite you to ride in my limo with my friends!"

'Your slutty friends, you mean.' Amu thought to herself.

The gang of girls behind Saaya started to compliment how comfortable and luxurious the limo was, making Saaya flipped her professionally curled hair arrogantly. Amu rolled her eyes, she knew very clearly that Saaya was just showing off. Saaya knew that all Seiyo students had to attend, not to mention Amu was a Guardian. But well, limo or no, she didn't really care.

"Is that so? But I'd rather burn some fat by walking. You know why rich girls have fat butts? Because they're always sitting around." She retorted, smirking.

The girls stopped talking as Saaya narrowed her eyes. She opened her mouth to protest when a wave of high-pitch squeaks washed over the hall, drawing the attention of the two arguing girls.

"KYAAA!"

Amu turned to find that tons of girls, almost all girls in the hall, had crowded around the entrance of the hall, surrounding someone who had just arrived. She watched as the person being surrounded difficultly made their way through the love-strike girls into the hall. And when that person was clear to her view, she immediately recognized that face.

Tsukiyomi Ikuto.

He wore a dark blue tuxedo, matching his eye and hair color, and a tie with a slightly lighter blue, with a black shirt underneath. His hair was as messy as usual, with both of his hands in his pockets and his tie around his neck loosely, clearly showing the first button that was undone, and his signature poker face.

Amu blushed. He looked hot.

His mysterious eyes scanned the hall as if in search for something. Whispers and murmurs spread across the hall like wild fire, everyone's attention on Ikuto as he continued to look around the hall. Curious as to why Ikuto would cause such a commotion upon his entrance, Amu couldn't help but eavesdropped on Saaya's gang's little discussion.

"Isn't that Tsukiyomi Ikuto? Sakuya High's number one popular guy?"

"Of course! Everyone knows who he is, but he is even hotter than what the rumors said!"

"But have you heard? He's not interested in girls at all, rejecting every confession. He doesn't even hang out with any girls."

"He is always keeping a low profile and never attended any public events before! Why is he here today?"

Amu stared at Ikuto in awe. She never knew Ikuto was famous and popular among the students, hell, she never expected anyone to know him at all, considering how he always lingered in the shadows and hid in the most unexpected places. To her, he was always the person who's somehow always there for her when she needed him, saving her from nasty falls and brightening up her day.

Ikuto's turned around and Amu felt her heart stopped as his glance met hers. They locked eyes for a moment before he started to make his way towards her. The crowd parted and made way, as if he's a king strolling on the red carpet.

Amu heard Saaya squeak beside her, thinking that Ikuto was going to ask her to dance with him. The crowd watched in silence as he made his way across the hall, even the orchestra had stopped playing, everyone anticipating who the chosen one would be. Amu and Ikuto however, paid no attention to their surroundings, entering their own world as they held each other's glance, drowned in the deep sea of emotions in each other's eyes. Everyone else in the hall had disappeared, and the only thing they could see was each other.

Still maintaining eye contact, Ikuto buttoned his shirt and tightened his tie around his neck as he stepped closer and closer. Amu found herself getting more and more nervous with every step he took, perfectly aware of how good Ikuto looked even when he was wearing his suit like a proper gentlemen, despite his usual rebellious image. Damn perverted cat and his ability to look good in anything he wears.

Saaya started to clear her throat and brushed off non-existent dust on her dress, running her fingers through her curls and combing them over her chest, preparing to accept Ikuto's offer. The girls behind her tensed up in excitement as the most popular boy in the area walked closer and closer. Out of the corner of Amu's eyes, she saw Saaya smiled in triumph.

Finally, after what felt like eternity in Amu's opinion, Ikuto was standing in front of her, with a smiling Saaya beside her.

Amu totally did not expect Ikuto to flick her nose. "Yo."

"H-Hey! Ikuto! What was that for?" She yelled, covering her nose while sending daggers through her glare, completely forgotten about her 'Cool n' Spicy' façade as she rubbed on her red nose. It wasn't until gasps were heard everywhere that Amu had realized they were not alone, and what she had done was completely out of character, at least, to those who didn't know about her true self. She was so used to spending time with Ikuto alone that she had forgotten to maintain her character the moment he appeared.

"She called him Ikuto? Hinamori Amu knows Tsukiyomi Ikuto?"

"Aren't they from different school?"

"The intimacy!"

The expression on Saaya's face was priceless. Trying to cover up for making a fool of herself, she attempted to catch Ikuto's attention by stuttering a 'hey'. Ikuto just stared at her, and without responding turned his attention back to Amu.

Now that Saaya had completely embarrassed herself, she shut up with a red face and watched the pair.

Ikuto continued to stare at Amu without a single word, while Amu shifted uncomfortably under his intense gaze.

"Q-Quit staring! Would you!" Amu exclaimed with a blush clearly visible on her face.

Without hesitation, Ikuto replied smoothly without taking his eyes off her. "Nope, you're just too beautiful."

This made Amu's heart skip a beat. Surprised gasps were heard, again, since that was very out of character for Ikuto as well, at least for the people who didn't know his true self.

Amu suddenly realized how they both acted very differently towards each other than when they were in public. Both having a façade to maintain and an image to uphold, they could only be themselves in front of each other, which was probably the reason why Amu had enjoyed spending time with Ikuto so much. She could be her nervous self and Ikuto wasn't about to judge.

Feeling a million pairs of eyes on her, she took a deep breath and composed herself, trying her best to ignore the heart that was thumping fiercely in her chest.

"Well," Amu put a calm face and crossed her arms in front of her chest, "Thanks, Tsukiyomi."

Upon seeing her slip on her 'Cool n' Spicy' façade, Ikuto's beautiful sapphire eyes shone with a hint of amusement. "No problem my strawberry. Although I feel like something was missing."

Amu raised an eyebrow and ignored the fact that he just called her strawberry, curious about what he was talking about. "And what wou-"

She didn't have the chance to finish her sentence as Ikuto leaned in, her 'Cool n' Spicy' mask broke immediately the moment his hot breath brushed across her forehead. A dark blush raised to her cheeks as she stood there frozen, unable to move.

"There. Now you look completely gorgeous."

Snapping out of her daze, Amu looked down to see a beautiful necklace around her neck. A decoration of a cute blue cat hugging and licking a large strawberry dangled on the silver chain, glittering under the dim lights of the chandelier. If possible, Amu's blush darkened.

'It's so pretty. And it fits us…'

The orchestra started to play again, recovering from the entrance of a certain walking perfection. The slow, gentle song played was as if they were still in a daze, under the spell of his charm. Ikuto bowed, extending his hand as he looked up at her with a light grin. "May I have this dance, Hinamori Amu?"

Amu nodded and placed her hand on his. He smiled and kissed the back of her hand, leading her onto the dance floor.

As they danced, couples started to pour onto the dance floor. Ikuto and Amu danced in perfect harmony, gliding gracefully across the dance floor as Ikuto twirled Amu around, then pulling her back into his arms. He held onto her firmly yet gently, one arm around her waist and another holding her hand. Amu could feel the warmth radiating from his body as she had one arm wrapped around his neck, her small hand fitted perfectly in his as if they were made for each other. His gaze found hers as she once again drowned in the depth of his sapphire sea, unable to tear her eyes away.

They were finally able to enjoy some alone time when the guests all resumed to what they were doing before Ikuto's grand entrance, chatters filling the hall once again. Amu relaxed and sighed in relief when she no longer felt pairs of eyes watching her closely, feeling as if a huge weight was lifted off her shoulders. She couldn't help but giggled. "I never knew you are that famous."

Ikuto chuckled slightly in respond. "Not a good thing at all. I bet you see how difficult it was for me to enter the hall."

Amu laughed. "Of course I did Mr. Popular." When Ikuto remained silent at the nickname, she continued, "It was certainly pressuring to be the center of attention, I can't imagine you going through that every single day, simply being the center of attention for a few minutes just now almost made me suffocate."

Ikuto gave out a small laugh as he twirled her around again, this time pulling her back in his arms with her back leaning against his chests, both his arms wrapped tightly around her waist as they swayed from side to side slowly.

"Hey Ikuto."

"Hmm?"

"I heard that you never went to any public events before, is that true?"

Ikuto nodded ever-so-slightly.

"Then why did you come to this one?" Amu asked while looking up at him, interested by his reason.

That famous mischief smirk of his returned to his lips. "You'll see."

As they glided across the dance floor, Amu spotted all the other guardians standing aside watching them dance. Kukai grinned at her while Yaya waved at her excitedly beside him, a cupcake in her hand. Rima had her usual emotionless face, which was a complete contrast to the smiling Nagihiko as he watched his best friend enjoy herself. Tadase didn't look happy, but Amu decided to ignore the dark look on Tadase's face and gave them a wink.

The dance came to an end as the music stopped. Everyone clapped as the couples on the dance floor bowed. Ikuto turned to Amu.

"I'll be right back."

"Ikuto?" Amu watched as Ikuto released her hand and walked away. Feeling the missing warmth on her hand, a wave of disappointment washed over her when he disappeared into the crowd.

'It just doesn't feel right when he is not by my side.'

She made her way to her friends, who were standing near a table full of food so that Yaya could eat all she wanted while watching couples dance. And when she saw her, she waved her arms in the air with a mouthful of food. "That's splendid, Amu-chi! You and Ikuto-kun were just perfect!" Yaya jumped onto Amu, causing her to almost lost her balance. Tadase twitched at the comment.

"A-Ah, ehh…thank you Yaya." Amu laughed nervously.

Kukai grinned, "Good job Hinamori! You gu-"

He was cut off by the sound of a violin. Amu turned to find Ikuto standing on the stage playing his violin. His expression reminded Amu of the first time when she had saw him play, the look of genuine contentment always managed to make her smile. She liked seeing Ikuto happy. There was always a hint of loneliness and pain in his eyes that made Amu's heart ache.

'I've never heard him play this song.'

The hall went silent as people closed their eyes and enjoy the heavenly music. The sweet melody echoed through the hall, yet a hint of sorrow could be heard in the bittersweet song.

The song ended as Ikuto drifted his bow across the strings slowly, letting the sound of the last note linger and fade into the air. Claps and cheers filled the hall as Ikuto bowed politely. After a few moment, he silent everyone by speaking into the mic.

"Hinamori Amu."

Every head in the crowd turned to Amu. Amu stared at Ikuto, eyes widen. She didn't expect this coming. They locked eyes once again as Ikuto started to speak.

"Hinamori Amu. The song I played was written for you, only you. We were fated to be enemies, to fight against each other. Yet you cared about me like no friend ever did. You tore my mask away and demanded to see the real me. When I had showed you all my scars, you didn't run away, but instead accepted me as who I am and offered to share my burden, easing my pain. I love you. I love you since the day I laid eyes on you. In my eyes, you are the most beautiful girl I have ever laid eyes on. Being with you was the happiest times I've ever had in my life. Would you change our fate together and be my girlfriend?"

Amu tried to search for a hint of playfulness in his eyes, but she found none. Instead, there were only passion, love and truthfulness. Then it clicked. Now it made sense why she had felt like that. The warm feelings, the urge to be with Ikuto, and mostly, why she's feeling so happy and touched right now upon hearing his confession.

The hall was dead silent as every attention was on Amu, waiting for her answer.

"No."

Everyone gasped.

Amu dropped her head.

"No, I don't want to be your girlfriend, Ikuto. I hate you. I hate you for haunting my mind, I could think of nothing but you at night. I hate you for always coming to save me when I needed help. I hate you for I'm only able to show my true self in front of you. I hate you for always teasing me and making my heart beat so furiously. I hate you for making me fell in love with you! I hate you, Tsukiyomi Ikuto! I don't want to be your girlfriend," She looked up, staring right into his eyes with determination, "I want to be yours forever!"

The hall burst into whistles and cheers as people celebrated for the new couple. Tadase's expression was darker than anyone else's. The Guardians were clapping and cheering the loudest, except Rima who remained silent, but anyone could tell the happiness hidden in her eyes and the small smile on her lips.

Ikuto was in great shock. He never knew he had such an impact on this girl. She was too good at hiding her emotions.

'That was a very clever way to confess without saying those three words.'

But then he smirked. 'Guess I should play along.'

"Very well, Amu. I hate you too." He announced to the crowd.

"I hate everything about you, Amu. I hate you for being so annoyingly pretty, I hate your cute blush, and I hate your ability to brighten up my day with just your mere presence." He smiled, not a smirk, but a true smile, "I hate myself for loving you so much, Amu."

Amu couldn't help but dashed onto the stage and jumped into his arms as a few tears of happiness slide down her red cheeks. She hugged him as tight as she could while he did the same.

"Don't tell me this is the reason why you came here today."

He smiled as he gently pushed her off slightly to wipe away her tears. "This reason is enough for me to travel around the world just to reach to you."

Amu's face broke into a huge smile as she once again snuggled her head into his chest. "You big idiot."

"Yeah. I am an idiot." He cupped her cheeks and gave her a sweet peek on the lips. "Your idiot."

The crowd cheered ever so loudly as Saaya gritted her teeth in jealousy, storming out the hall with her hands clutched tightly into a fist. Tadase looked in shock, eyes wide open as he watched the couple on stage with disbelief. The rest of the Guardians however, flashed Amu a huge grin, glad that their friend finally found her happiness.

Ikuto wrapped an arm around Amu's waist as they stood side by side on stage, watching everyone enjoying themselves before turning and sending each other a genuine smile. The night ended in a huge success.

xxx

"I'm home!"

Midori poked her head into the hallways from the kitchen and smiled at her daughter. "Welcome home, sweetie! Did you have fun?"

Amu smiled. "Much more than fun."

Her mum nodded as Amu went pass the kitchen and into the living room. Out of the corner of her eyes, a shiny object around her daughter's neck caught her attention.

"Amu-chan, I don't remember you have such a beautiful necklace!"

Amu looked down at the necklace and carefully clutched the blue cat in her palms. The decoration glittered and shone under the lights.

"Of course! This necklace is the most precious gift I've ever received."