Hey! Well, I decided that what happened last time with the taking oh-so-long-to-get-the-chapter-out thing wasn't going to happen with the last chapter... So here it is! I hope you enjoy it, and watch out for more stories from me! (That's when I get to them.) ^_^
I think we all know what the outcome is going to be, right? That was obvious since the beginning of the fic. But be ready for a surprise! Cause even if you knew what was going to happen... How it's going to happen... well, you'll just have to read! I just blew myself away, coming up with the idea for this chapter. Not to be bragging or anything... But I myself love this chapter, and I'm sometimes I'm unsatisfied with what I write. So... but then again, it might be too much.... Darn.
Disclaimer: I'm just a dreaming writer who's writing a story for fun, and for the enjoyment of others. So I don't own these characters, comprende? ^_^
Chapter Ten: An Explosion of Love
By Enchanted Pink Jade
Damn it all.
Asuka had been sitting on his bed, receiver in hand, and beeping that annoying sound that said "Put the darned phone down already!" Ever so slowly, he put it down. The girl obviously didn't want to see him anymore. That was obvious when he saw her come out, hidden in the bushes. And she didn't want to talk to him, this fact confirmed by her ignoring him. When she did have to confront him, she looked through him, not at him. He shouldn't even be pursuing her anymore.
Asuka, he told himself. Just give her up. Don't bother with her anymore. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Maybe this was destiny. Fate. Predestination. Whatever. But she'll never be with you now. Maybe I shouldn't have gone straight to shunning when I found out that she was Saint Tail. I should give up. After all, there are plenty of other fish in the sea, as they say. I can find some other person. I can.
But even as he said this to himself, it just wasn't enough to convince his heart. If that was what his mind was thinking, then shouldn't it be right? He was- IS one of the most smartest students at their school, but then again, if he is so smart, why didn't he have Meimi still at his side for him to tell her that he loved her, and always will? Why did his heart tell him otherwise? Why did he still yearn to hold her in his arms and pretend that there was no tomorrow, just here and now? His mind told him to give up- and...
Hold on... Give up? Those two words were never put together in his vocabulary. Never in his life had he given up. There was never a problem that he couldn't solve, an obstacle that he couldn't overcome. So why start now? A math problem, done in seconds. A mystery, solved in record time. He had vowed to himself that he would find out who Saint Tail was, and he did... And then, a sudden burst of inspiration hit him.
"That's it! I've been going about this the wrong way all along!" Asuka exclaimed suddenly. He got up and paced excitedly in his room. He was NOT going to throw in the towel and admit defeat. That wasn't his style.
I've been chasing the so-called-thief, Saint Tail, for YEARS. Meimi is Saint Tail. So naturally, Saint Tail's traits would also be Meimi's, a part of her. Trying to confront her head on isn't going to work because she'll get away. I have to this like I've always done, anticipated down to the very second. Why didn't I think of this before? he asked himself as a plan formulated in his mind. This time, I know it will work. I can be just as stubborn as she is. Fate didn't make me chase her all over Japan for years just for nothing...
Time passed by fast today, Meimi reflected, then sighed. She looked to her right at the sound of laughter. A group of people gathered in a circle. Asuka was there, he wasn't laughing, but he was smiling and listening intently to some girl. Meimi bristled with indignation as he leaned closer to hear the girl better.
Well, he looks happy. Then she walked away before he caught her staring. Today, the day after the phone call, he had completely ignored her. Hadn't acknowledged her at least once. He didn't even approach her. It was as if they never even met. That's good. This is exactly how I would like things to be, she told herself.
By the next day though, he still wasn't trying to talk to her. In the halls, he looked straight ahead. His gaze never flicking off to the side, and never even glanced at her to see if she was watching. Not even when some other guy had approached her did he once look her way. And she wasn't really that angry with him for telling Rina. She knew that Rina wouldn't say anything. She was only peeved that he told someone when he said he wouldn't. Shouldn't she be happy now? Like he said she should be? He had gotten off her case.
On the third day, she was puzzling over his behavior. As she headed towards her locker before she headed home, she bumped into, none other than Asuka himself. Well, speak of the devil, she thought when she realized who it was.
"Hi," he said, sounding for all the world very reserved.
"Um, hi," she responded, making no effort to hide her confusion. After ignoring her some, now he was going to be cold and polite and say 'hi'? What, for Kami-sama's sake, was wrong with the guy? She had a small temptation to ask him if he was hit on the head recently because she couldn't make heads or tails of him.
He didn't even walk away, he just stood there, looking at her. Realizing that he wasn't going to move from the spot any time soon, she spoke up first, to stop the uncomfortable silence.
"Well, I can see that you've finally taken my words to heart. To tell you the truth, I was relieved. I just couldn't take much anymore at that time. I wanted space and room to think things over. And about us-" she said and paused.
She noticed that a glimmer of emotion flashed in his eyes. Although it was only a second, what she saw in them spoke volumes, and that she still cared. That couldn't be true because his face was still granite hard. It could have been a figment of her imagination...
His heart beat wildly at the mention of this. Us? What is she trying to say? Hope filled inside him, but was soon crushed when he heard her next words.
Meimi took a deep breath before continuing. "I don't think that there ever could be an 'us' again. Demo... I'd really like for us to be friends." And this was the truth, at least, the truth that she believed. They'd known each other for years, and it was such a shame that they had parted on not so good terms. She didn't want to be with him as in with him with him. Just as friends. She was honest about this at least.
She thought that he would never answer her, as he just stood there. But a few seconds later, all he did was mutter a "Whatever," and then moved aside to get by, then walked away.
"Whatever... Did that mean a 'yes'?" she asked herself quietly. And did she really feel that way? Did she really only want to be friends? Yes, she decided. It was better this way.
The next day, at lunch, right after another encounter with him, Meimi told Seira and Rina about her confrontation and what's been going on. After they listened to her story, Rina decided not to tell them what she had said to Asuka, after he gave away Meimi's secret. Asuka no baka. It's not supposed to be this way, they're supposed to be together, she thought heatedly.
It was no secret that she had cared deeply for Asuka. She even thought that she loved him, and that she would keep on loving him, until Meimi came into the picture. That was what she thought back then. Looking back now, it was she who came into the picture. They had had feelings for each other way back then, even when they didn't know about it. Meimi was part of the reason that she was able to let go of her love for Asuka. She was so kind. She just couldn't hate her, no matter how hard she tried. She jut took her anger out on Meimi. Sawatari was the other reason, although only Kami-sama knows why. She wanted for the two to be happy together, not be happy with other people. It just didn't seem right.
"So, wait. Let me get this straight. On the phone, you told him to leave you alone. And he did. This makes you feel depressed-" Seira said.
"It makes me relieved and happy."
"And after one day of being ignored, you're still saddened and repented that he wasn't trying to chase after you anymore," Rina offered.
"No, I was elated that I didn't have to deal with him anymore! You're both twisting everything I said!"
"And then yesterday," Seira cut in, unperturbed.
"He talked to you, said hi, and you told him that you wanted to be friends," Rina finished.
"Yes. That's exactly what happened," Meimi said, and was about to say something more when Seira interjected her.
"But as you said it, you felt a twinge in your heart, telling you that you're still in love with him, and that it's pride that's keeping you from going back to him."
"And then today, just a few moments ago, you met again, and he was smiling and acting chummy like you were the best of friends. He even clapped you in the back and gave you a one-armed hug." Rina went on, relentlessly.
"Yes, but don't-"
"As as he did so, you were wishing for something more than a friendly hug. You regretted what you said to him the other day, and you are also at a complete loss as to what his behavior might mean," Seira finished.
"No! You've got the truth mixed up with your own opinions! Stop it. It isn't funny," Meimi cried out.
"No, it's the truth you say, mixed in with the truth that we see," corrected Rina.
Seira continued softly. "Yes. I've said so before, and I will say it again. You're as easy to read as an open Bible. And we know you better than others. You still care about him, for him."
Meimi sighed and looked into both their eyes. No mercy. They were serious. Had she not been sitting down already, she would have collapsed, her knees loosing the strength to support her. Why do I get this dreadful feeling that they're both right? She grumbled something under her breath that neither of her so called friends could hear.
"What was that?" they asked in unison.
Meimi clenched her jaw together. She was surprised that her teeth hadn't fallen off yet. They were being so difficult! "I said, maybe. It maybe that way, and it might not. How would you know, when I don't know myself," she grumbled.
'Maybe,' could mean a thousand things, but then again... "Hmmmm..." was all Rina could say.
"What was with that 'hmmmm'? What did you mean by that?" Meimi demanded as she glared at the policewoman-to-be. "Well?"
"Well what?" Rina asked innocently.
"What did that 'hmmmm' mean?"
"Oh, that. Nothing really."
"No, it meant something. What did it mean?"
"I told you, nothing," Rina said, smiling.
"Just tell me."
"I won't get mad."
And it went on like this throughout the rest of lunch break, while Seira stood by, smiling, all the while knowing without having to be told what the 'hmmmm' meant.
"I don't get it."
"Don't get what, Sawatari?"
"You're all happy, and she seems a little glum, though she's always smiling. And yet, you two haven't made up yet. What could have possibly happened that made you two... so indifferent to each other? Usually when you two fight, you just bounce right back from it."
"I'm not at liberty to discuss it," Asuka said absently, as he stared at the clock, wishing that the time went faster. Five more minutes. Five more minutes. Four more minutes. Four more minutes. 30 seconds. 20 seconds. Ten seconds. 1 second.
Asuka quickly got up and headed for the door with Sawatari one step behind.
"Have you found another girl already? Man, that was quick."
"No, I haven't found another girl already. I don't even want another. Do you think that years of loving someone will all be nothing after just one argument?"
"Huh?" Sawatari stopped in his tracks, but Asuka kept on going.
"Time to set my plan in motion," he muttered to himself quietly. I might not be able to pull any magic tricks, but I just might be able to make miracles. Let's hope this works.
"What was that all about?" Sawatari wondered as he turned and walked into the direction where he knew Rina would be waiting. I think he's lost it.
"Hey Rina, did you have any plans for tonight?" he asked, when he got there. She had been talking with Seira.
"That's exactly what I was going to tell you," she said, a mist of enigma surrounding her. He cocked one eyebrow up in questioning.
"Come on! Let's go!" she said and dragged him off.
"Go where?" he asked.
Seira just followed, with a spring in her step.
It was only 6 o' clock, but it was already dark outside as the night can get. Meimi was just finishing a glass of water when there was a knock on her door.
But when she opened the door. No one was there. Only a hooded figure, probably a man, was passing by. No one else. Then she looked down and gasped. It was just lying there, at the foot of her front door. The pink journal. How did it get here? Oh! It must mean that... the other person has found out who I am!
Leaning against the frame of her door, she read the last entry.
You're probably wondering how this journal ended up at your doorstep. I'll answer that later. For now though.... In these past weeks, with writing in here, you let me get a glimpse of your heart and soul. Telling me your innermost secrets and deepest feelings. Now, I want to have the heart that I have come to know, and have known for a long time now. Though I never really knew it at first. But now I do. There was something I've done, and I'm really sorry for it. I acted before thinking of what I was doing. Do you remember that person I told you I'm in love with? Well, it has to do with that, and I wish so badly that I could change what happened. I'm an idiot, and I admit it. I'm really sorry for the things that I've done, and I wish with all my heart that the person I love could forgive me.
Meimi paused in her reading at this moment. It just... touched heart deeply so, shaking her to the very core of her being. Then she wondered who could this person be.
The love I feel is beyond all reason. It makes me feel like I could reach the moon, or catch a falling star, if only that person would ask, and make everything right between us. Yes, it makes me feel like doing all those crazy things that others say is cheesy and cliché. But it's true. Anyone who says something like that never knew what it felt like to be in love. I do. But I have this fear that I've lost what is so precious to me. I still think there's a chance, though. Wish me the best. I'll be waiting for your reply.
That's it. That's all there was. There wasn't anything else written, but the next page was torn out, she noted, as she ran a finger down the middle. He's waiting for my reply, huh?
Finally, she looked up and was about to close the door to write back, when she got another surprise. There was a trail of red and white roses, each equally spaced from each other, that started at the base of her doorstep and led to.... Led to somewhere. But where? It seemed like she was supposed to follow it. Her parents went out on a dinner date with friends so... Quickly, she turned off the lights, grabbed a light jacket and pocketed her keys along with the journal before heading out. The streetlights showed her the way.
She picked them all up one by one. As she got crossed the street, she looked around. No one was there. If the roses were in the middle of the rose, an oncoming car should have crushed it, and yet there weren't any as far as she could see, save for the ones that were parked on the sidewalk. She continued as she puzzled about this. Little did she know about the great pains it took for the person who placed those flowers there to assure that no one or anything would ruin it. It was his only chance after all, albeit, a little showy.
By the time she had picked all of them she had at least three dozens of red and white roses with one pink rose. The trail had stopped at the bench in the park where they had always left the journal. On the bench was a torn page. The torn page from the book? She picked it up and read.
Red is for Love.
White is for Friendship.
Pink is for You.
Huh? Meimi thought. What's this all about? Red is for love... White is for friendship... And pink is for me? What did all this mean? she asked herself as she looked at the flowers in her hands. Then she began to count. One... two... three... four.. five... There were 25 red roses, 10 white roses, and 1 pink rose. Red is for love. White is for friendship. Pink is for me. More reds than whites. More love than friendship? Pink is for me? This was when her head started to spin, along with the scene around her.
Quickly, she scanned the page to see if there was anything else. Nothing else. Then she turned it over. There was something written there. But....
A=1 B=2 C=3 D=4 E=5 F=6 G=7 H=8 I=9 J=10 K=1 L=12 M=13 N=14 O=15 P=16 Q=17 R=18 S=19 S=20 U=21 V=22 W=23 X=24 Y=25 Z=26
Just a bunch of letters and numbers, right? Wait wait wait wait wait. 419119. The coded name. Why didn't I think of this before? It's so simple!
Okay. I can figure this out, even though there's a combination of numbers. 4. The first letter is D, because there isn't 41 in the alphabet. The next one could be S... 19. But that wouldn't make sense, so it has to be an A. 1. Next after is an I. 9. The last three letter could be one of three...Next ones could be two A's and one I.
Was there ever such a name? What was another possibility? It could be one A, and an S...
Nope. What's 11? K....
Oh my God.
Asuka! He was the one! Meimi turned on the spot looking for him. She knew he was there, somewhere. He had to be there
That was when the sky lit up like a candle in the dark. Fireworks of every color flew up and exploded in the night sky. Her eyes widened when she realized the fireworks were spelling out a message.
I'm sorry. I love you Meimi,
OhmyGod.OhmyGod.OhmyGod.OhmyGod.OhmyGod.OhmyGod.OhmyGod.That message is there for the whole city of Seika to see! What is that Baka thinking! Where is he? And as an answer to her question, all the street lights in the park went off, save for a couple that looked to be headed towards the middle of the park, where the fountain was. She wasted no time in thinking, just ran.
She was right, he was there. Sitting on the edge of the fountains' design. As she neared him, she slowed down. He smiled and stood up when he spotted her, as if this was something he normally did everyday.
"What's all this about?" she demanded when she was close enough.
"That, should be very obvious."
"No, not that. Why all this- this extravagance?" she said, the flowers still in her hands.
"I meant everything, you know." He stepped closer to he so that she was an arm's length away, though she didn't budge. That was a good thing, right? "Red is for love," his hand stroked a red rose. "White is for friendship," he touched a white one. "And," he reached in for the pink one, broke off some of the stem and tucked it behind her left ear. "Pink is for you."
By then she was crying. Still he made no other movement, waiting for her answer. He knew she knew, and gave her time to think. He could wait. Forever if he had to. Then-
"I'm so sorry, Asuka." she said softly.
The smile on his face saddened, but was still there. He had hoped, even a little, for just a small chance. He really blew it. Big time. He lowered his head. "I understand, I guess. And I promise not to turn you in or tell any other. I won't break this promise. I swear-"
"BAKA!" she cried and threw her arms around him, the roses, along with the journal falling softly onto the ground around them. "Will you listen to what a girl has to say first before you go jumping to conclusions! That's exactly the reason why we're in this situation in the first place!" she sobbed onto his shirtfront.
Things were happening so fast. Too fast for his mind to comprehend. So... she wasn't mad at him? She was hugging him, but crying, too. Tears of happiness? Now his mind was starting to catch up. He slowly put his arms around her, still wary and unsure of what was going to happen.
"Baka," she said again, this time more quietly. "I love you, too."
His shirt muffled the four words, but he heard them. The same four words were the ones that made him the happiest man alive.
She pulled away a little, just to be able to look at his face, and smiled up at him. He wasn't crying, but his eyes did glisten with unshed tears.
"Can you forgive and forget?" he anxiously wanted to know.
"You're already forgiven, but this is one night I am most definitely not going to forget," she said.
He smiled and pulled her in for his embrace. He kissed her ever so softly, slowly, wanting to memorize her. Know her. Wanting never to forget this time in his life. She was his. Nothing could change that, he knew. This is how it was meant to be.
The fireworks still exploding into the night....
Somewhere in the distance... three pairs of eyes turned away from the loving couple. All three were grinning from ear to ear.
"A job well done I say. Let's go congratulate ourselves and get a snack!" A male voice declared.
"You're paying Sawatari!" Rina said.
"Nani? Why is it always me? And besides, I didn't bring any cash or cards with me. So HA."
"Not to worry my dear, I have them right here," Rina said, while patting her side pocket. She pulled them out and waved it out in front of his face.
"Hey! Where'd you get that!? Give it back!" he made a grab for it, but was a little too slow. Then, to his horror. She stuffed them down inside her front shirt.
A soft 'Oh, my' could be heard as Rina narrowed her eyes into little slits. "If you even try to get them, I'll scream, right before committing homicide."
Point taken, he took a step back. Her face brightened and she turned to Seira. "Well, let's go!" After taking a few steps away, they looked back. Sawatari was still standing there, dumbstruck. "Well, are you coming or not?"
"Uh, hai, hai. Jeez, woman, you'd think that you'd be a little nicer to your charming boyfriend," he chuckled and followed. Rina rolled her eyes and Seira giggled.
Next morning, clad in their uniforms... "Why was I the last to know? I want to know! I forgot to ask last night. Why was I the last to know about the plan?" Sawatari exclaimed.
"Maybe because you weren't around when Asuka came up to us that one night. We did try to contact you, until some friend of yours told us that you were away, taking pictures of scenery," the nun-in-training explained.
"Yes, but still-"
"No buts," his girlfriend interrupted.
"I have a cell phone, you know."
Rina was about to say something, and then thought the better of it. "Whoops, I forgot. Hehehe."
"Look, they're coming over," Seira said.
"Well, speak of the devil himself," Sawatari said as Meimi and Asuka approached. He was grinning while she was blushing. It looked like the red tint was going to be permanent for the next few days.
"Hey, did you read the paper? Word travels fast," Rina asked. This made Meimi even redder. She had read the paper. And now everyone in the city knew of her and Asuka. Seira giggled.
Sawatari pulled out said paper. There, on the front page, was the headline:
Love is in the air, really, it is
And right next to the article were two pictures. One was of the fireworks display, with the message. The other was a picture of them, near the fountain, though only showing their silhouettes.
"I couldn't have written this better myself. Absolutely spectacular," Sawatari said, scanning the paper. Then he looked slyly at Asuka. "I never knew you had it in you."
Before anyone could say anything else though, Meimi interjected with an accusation towards her two friends. "The both of you knew about this, didn't you? You knew all along when I was talking to you yesterday, and recounted everything I said into a whole knew story."
"Welll. Maybe," Rina said nonchalantly. "But I wouldn't be concerned about this if I were you. You both still have the rest of the day to go through...." she cackled evilly and then walked to their homeroom class. School was about to begin.
Meimi sighed, she was right. Everyone knew everything. So did the teachers, who cooed on about young love. Their peers teased insistently, some others congratulated them for working out their differences. The girls swooned over the way he had done things, and the boys just grinned knowingly.
This whole day isn't going to be easy, nor the days after, but then again... She turned to Asuka and smiled. As long as he's here, everything will be alright. He smiled right back and kissed her on the lips.
"Uh-uh naughty boy! Get to your class," a friend shouted. A girl's sigh could be heard.
"Oh Meimi-chan!" voices called out in unison, and Meimi winced. It was Ryoko and Kyoko.
Yup. It was going to be one very, very, long day.
Author's Note: Wheeeeeee! It's done. Oh my gosh. I can't believe it though. *Sigh* I love this chapter! At first, I thought that this part of the story was going to be really short, but I guess I got carried away. That's a good thing, right? Well, tell me what you think!
Oh, and have you all read the last book of Saint Tail? The way they met, and then the Christmas for both Meimi and Seira. Seira and Sawatari would have made a great couple, don't you think? But then she wanted to become a nun.... Though I think that Rina and Sawatari make a good pair too, although, a weird one. ^_^
Okay, now I'm running out of things to say... and I'm nearing the end. Noooooooooo!!!!
Well, I guess that show time is over, ne? I thank you all and I want to say that I love all of your reviews, it's what keeps me going. Gosh, I think I'm gonna cry...
I'll see you all again in other stories! Ja! (Whoa, it got kinda emotional up there. Hehehe)
~Enchanted Pink Jade