Disclaimer: I do not own Peach Girl and I am not making any money from this. It is just for fun!
Author's Note: I've wanted to rewrite the ending of Peach Girl ever since I first saw it about two or three years ago. It took longer than I hoped it would take, but it is finally here! I used some dialog directly from the episode to get it started, but then they run into a couple who changes everything. They are both OCs from my other stories, so if you want to get to know them better you can check out my Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfiction.
Also, I am basing this on the anime and not the manga just in case there are any major differences between the two. I have never read the manga, so I don't know.
Music Lover's Alert: If you like to listen to music while you read, I recommend "Torn Between Two Lovers" by Mary MacGregor.
Warnings: Suggestive themes, mild language.
Chapter 1 Splash!
Momo sighed with a heavy heart as Toji and she traversed the river. Had she really made the right choice? Toji was the man she wanted all her life, so dignified and smart. However, there was a spark of excitement she missed about being with Kairi. That just wasn't enough, though. Toji grounded her and made her feel whole… almost. If she had never met Kairi she would not know that anything was missing from her life, but now she just could not get him off her mind.
She and Toji had been discussing their relationship endlessly since they boarded the small wooden craft. The other passengers seemed content to sit in romantic silence, but Momo felt too unsettled to enjoy the ride. She kept her voice soft for the benefit of the other passengers, but inside she wanted to scream. Why does it have to be this way?
Toji was speaking now. His deep chocolate eyes absorbed her sentiments and radiated them back to her in a clearer, but still not complete picture. "Are you thinking that if you hurt Kairi's feeling then… karma will eventually catch up to you?"
"Maybe." It's the same with you. If I hurt your feelings I'm doomed as well. However, I have no intention of breaking your heart. I've already done enough damage breaking his. "I just can't stand the idea that I'm so happy and he's not."
"You think he'd be happy seeing you down on yourself when you could be having a good time? I'll admit I was shocked when you started dating Kairi. I guess I just didn't see it coming. The only thing that would have made me even more unhappy is if you'd been alone, so I was glad you had someone even if it was Kairi."
Momo's hazel eyes widened. "Huh?" A thousand questions flashed through her mind. Does that mean he loves me less or more? If he loves me so much he would be willing to let me go - he already let me go once and took me back - would he do it again if - no, Kairi won't take me back now - or would he? I'm the flaky one, really. What if I couldn't commit to Kairi? What if I still can't commit to Toji?
Toji continued talking while Momo listened closely, hoping to find answers to her questions. "And I think Kairi would feel the same way. I also think you're afraid of hurting people like Sae's done so many times. That just shows-"
"Come on, kid! You can do better," a woman's voice called from the river bend.
Toji and Momo turned their heads to see two kayaks moving at high speed towards them, apparently racing. Momo watched in petrified horror as one smacked into their boat head-on and the other grazed it. The first kayak flipped over instantly, and their boat tipped in slow motion until the flailing hands of the kayak's passenger found the edge of their precarious vessel and pulled it the rest of the way over. All the passengers plus the three men who were paddling the boat were dumped into the water.
Momo felt the frigid water envelop her, but knew better than to panic. In fact, she knew that she was probably better equipped to handle this situation than any of the other passengers. She grabbed hold of a body and swam with it to the surface. It was male, hopefully Toji's.
Their heads broke the surface and they gasped for air. Her companion seemed to be breathing fine and taking some initiative to swim on his own, but still relying on her for support.
Momo looked up to see a lean, muscular middle-aged woman laughing down at them. Her ebony kayak was still afloat and her long braid of graying blond hair was still dry. Her fiery amber eyes slid over Momo. "Nice catch, or did she catch you?"
Momo quickly realized that she had not fished Toji out of the water, but the red-headed occupant of the first kayak. She looked around frantically until she saw that Toji was safe in the arms of one of their river tour guides.
The red-headed man grinned. He had dark chocolate eyes very similar to Toji's and could not be older than twenty. "I don't know," he told the older woman, "but I like her. Let's keep her."
By this time, Toji had spotted the ruggedly handsome young man with Momo. "Hey! That's my girlfriend!" Although he was several meters away, he reached his arms toward her and tried to escape the grip of his rescuer, but the burly man held him firmly.
The blonde rolled her eyes and tossed a rope to a flailing passenger who still needed help. "Relax. My boy Patrick's got her."
Toji spoke through gritted, slightly chattering teeth as he bobbed in the water with the guide. "Listen, lady. Momo's a certified lifeguard. She doesn't need your son groping her."
"Boyfriend," the woman clarified as she reeled in a passenger who had trouble swimming, "and you don't have to worry about him He doesn't put his hands where they aren't welcome."
"And since she was the one who grabbed me first - ouch!" Patrick yelled as Momo slapped his face. He let go of her instantly.
"I don't even know you!" She swam against the current to reach Toji. "I just saved you because I thought you were going to drown and nothing more."
"Rejected! Better luck next time, darling." The mature blonde pointed to a thin green vessel that had lodged itself between some nearby reeds. "In the meantime, grab your kayak before you lose it, too."
Patrick grunted and let the river carry him downstream until he reached his boat. With grace and strength, he hauled it out of the water and started draining it. Momo watched him for a few seconds and deduced that he had been faking his need to be rescued, and perhaps even attempting to rescue her before she got to him first.
The dry woman towed the passenger she had rescued to shore and the others followed. "I'm sorry about that," she said to Momo, "My boyfriend can be a little… playful at times. I think he may have been distracted by you and accidentally-on-purpose capsized you."
Toji climbed onto dry land and started wringing water out of his clothes. "How do you tolerate that? If he's really your boyfriend, why did you let him hit on my girlfriend?"
"Tolerate? I don't tolerate it, I adore it! Patrick has one of the biggest hearts of all the men I know. I don't want to place an arbitrary limit on the number of people he can love."
Momo gasped and put her hand over her mouth. Now that she was standing on dry land again, she was not sure whether she was trembling from her cold wet clothes or from the implications of this novel concept.
"Momo, what's wrong?" Toji asked.
"Us. All of us, I think," she whispered. Momo looked at the woman and spoke louder, but still timidly. "Does he feel the same way about you?"
The woman chucked. "Always has and always will."
"And he's not afraid you'll leave him for someone else?"
"Dear, I am with someone else. I have been ever since before I met him. It's not a question of leaving anybody."
Momo's jaw dropped. Maybe I didn't have to choose. Why didn't I stand my ground?
Toji butted in. "OK. Fess up. Is this some sort of hidden camera trick? Who are you?"
The woman tossed her head, and her long silvery golden braid swung to her other shoulder. "You kids don't know your history."
Momo and Toji stared at her hard. There was something familiar about her fiery amber eyes and striking black-clad figure. The woman started humming and old tune from the revolution twenty years ago.
Toji snapped his fingers. "You were a Noelite!"
They stared at her blankly.
"Kids these days! I swear!"
Patrick paddled his green boat up beside her black one. "Yo Tam! Rested your old bones enough yet?"
Realization struck Momo like a lighting bolt. That's Tamara Rakitan, the first Prime Minister's bodyguard. I guess even heroes need to get out and have fun every once in a while, but who knew she'd turn into such a couger? Then again, I've been called worse. Actually, I wish I could be like her. She's so confident and sure of herself, and she seems happy with how her life turned out.
Tamara and her youthful boyfriend exchanged playful banter while Momo and Toji gaped at them.
"Really now? I thought the real reason you capsized was to get a closer look at this here tanned beauty," Tam teased.
"That too," Patrick admitted.
Momo put her hand on Toji's forearm and addressed Patrick. "I appreciate the sentiment, but my life is complicated enough already. The thing is that I'm in love with two guys and-"
Toji exploded. "Don't tell me you still love Kairi after what he put you through!"
Momo set her jaw firmly. "He didn't put me through anything. I put myself through it because I was insecure. I doubted his love for me because he cared for someone else, but I should have realized that his heart was just big enough for both me and her, like my heart is big enough for both you and him. I don't know who invented these crazy rules about dating, but I'm done playing by them." Whoa! Where did that come from?
Patrick pulled his boat closer to Tam's and whispered, "It looks like you made and even bigger splash than I did."
Tam chuckled softly, but said nothing. She continued to observe the young lovebirds as they reevaluated their relationship.
"But Momo! Then you'd just confirm all the old rumors about you. People respect you now," the short-haired boy said.
"What good is respect if I'm not being true to myself? I'd be just like Sae, pretending to be a helpless doe all the time."
"Sae pitted people against one another, Momo. That's what you would be doing with Kairi and me. We would be constantly competing with each other for your love. Don't do that to us!"
"It's not like that. That's what you were doing, but not anymore. You both won my heart. It's clear that both of you love me, too. With what you said on the boat earlier about wanting to see me happy, I thought you would understand."
Toji turned away from her with tears in his eyes. Strangers were watching him from all angles. There was nowhere to hide, and nowhere to run, either. On one side of him was the river, and on the other was a group of passengers and bystanders who had gathered to watch the live drama.
"Ditch the bitch!" someone yelled.
"Forget that slut!" someone else called.
Murmurs about Momo's red dog collar short skirt, which now clung to her body more than ever due to the water, spread through the crowd.
Then, Patrick spoke in a voice loud enough to silence the hecklers. "Don't throw away a good thing, man! Momo's honesty with you means that she will love you and stick with you no matter what. Who cares if she loves someone else at the same time? That's the way it works for most people. I bet there's not a single person here who can honestly say they've never been attracted to someone besides their primary mate. Half of them will bottle up their feelings and pretend they don't exist. This will only serve to make them feel miserable and guilty. The other half will cheat, eventually making their loved ones feel bitter and betrayed. Is that the kind of life you want to lead?"
The bystanders looked down at the pebbles under their feet, worn smooth by hundreds of years of being tossed around in the river.
Patrick continued, "Pinning your own shame on her won't make things any better. Listen, Momo. If this guy ditches you - even if he doesn't, actually - I'd love to get to know you better. Of course that's all up to you, but I'm just saying."
"I'll take you, too!" another man shouted from the crowd.
"And me!" several more chorused.
Momo blushed heavily. "That's very kind of you all, but I already know who I love. I can't just start going out with a complete stranger. Toji, please! I'm asking you and Kairi, not all of them."
Toji glanced at all the people around him, and then at Momo. She seemed to be on the verge of a breakdown. He put his arms around her and drew her close with her head to his chest. The crowd clapped and cheered.
"Let's go somewhere quiet to talk," he said softly to her, "I can't think like this."
Clinging together, the two of them eased their way through the crowd. Unfortunately, not every individual present showed them respect. The men slapped or pinched her posterior while the women hurled insults about her strawberry blond hair and told her that she would never get away with this if she did not dress like such a slut.
Momo whipped around and grabbed an arm that had grabbed her ass. She twisted it hard, bringing the sorry excuse for a man attached to it to his knees. Four more men started to close in on her.
Tam and Patrick docked their boats and were out of them in a flash. They dashed up the shore and wedged themselves between Momo and the men.
"You don't want to do this, boys," Tam said.
One of the men laughed. "What's an old bat like you got on us?"
"Don't underestimate her," Patrick warned.
Toji faced the men as well, pressing his back to Momo's. "We don't want any trouble, but I sear if you try to hurt Momo your own mothers won't recognize you tomorrow."
"Who said anything about hurting her? We just want to have a little fun with her," one of the pricks cooed.
Tam's amber eyes gleamed. "That's Momo's choice, not yours or even her boyfriend's. If you want sex, save your money and find a prostitute. However, I suggest that you approach her more respectfully. They still have the right to refuse service to-"
The man's hand shot out to strike Tam, but she blocked it deftly. After a few swift mixed martial arts maneuvers, he was lying flat on his back on the rocky river bank.
"Oh dear! What's that someone was saying about bats and oldness?"
"Can we go now?" Toji wondered.
The men stepped aside and let them pass. Patrick and Tam walked with them, escorting them until they were out of sight of the river.
Closing Note: Please review! I have another chapter in the works, so stay tuned.