A/N: This story had ended at chapter 2 for me. However, your guy's loving and supportive reviews spurred me to finish this story properly. This final chapter is dedicated to my sister in angst OfAmethystEyes who, after some late night literary counsel, is the true brain child behind the concept of this chapter. If you have appreciated my story, even in the least, I suggest you read her work. I personally guarantee you will not be disappointed! Thanks again to all of you for your loving support of this story!
Yuki walked quickly with great purpose. Alcohol. He needed alcohol. He peered over his shoulder every so often to make sure Shigure had actually listened. Yuki never felt more alive then he did right in this moment, and had to laugh to himself over the irony of his own emotions. He spotted a small convenience store along the way to his destination, and his eyes flickered with exhilaration. Yes, alcohol. He entered the store in a flurry, startling the cashier as he approached.
"Hey." Yuki announced himself, slightly out of breath.
"Hello." The cashier responded slowly, a little unnerved by the gentleman on the other side of the counter.
"I would like one of those." Yuki pointed to a 1.75L bottle of vodka in the display behind the cashier.
"Is that all for you?" The cashier asked dubiously, eyeing Yuki to check for sobriety.
"No…I'm throwing myself a party and no one is invited." Yuki replied flatly, countering the cashier with the raise of an eyebrow.
"Uh-huh." The cashier finally responded, begrudgingly handing the bottle to Yuki. "That'll be $15.99." Yuki completed the transaction in silence.
"See you around, man." The cashier called after Yuki, though the look on his face said he knew this would never happen.
Yuki stopped where his morning had begun. The beginning to his undoing. A fourth of the vodka bottle had already been consumed, and he felt the calm warmth of it rush through his body. Finally, as he slid the length of the gravestone to the ground, he found the words to say.
"I understand now." He began in a low murmur. "I believe I finally understand the lesson you were trying to teach me all of these years." He closed his eyes and leaned the back his head on the gravestone, feeling the chill of the of the ground creep up through his body.
"I know my place now." Resignation filled his voice. "It's with you. It's always been with you." He sighed, feeling the cold night breeze on his warm cheeks.
Yuki fished for something in his coat pocket, finally finding what he was looking for. Oxycodone…Hatori should have known better. He was a terrible physician, Yuki chuckled to himself. What doctor in his right mind would have given any prescription medication to his potentially suicidal patient? And Shigure…he was just and idiot's ass for letting him leave. The more Yuki thought about this, the more violently his body shook with laughter. Or was that the alcohol? Yuki took deep breaths in between his laughing fit, finally gaining a level of composure. He opened the prescription bottle and placed half of it's contents into the palm of his shaking hand. Placing the medication in his mouth, he chased it with a mouth full of vodka.
He smiled lightly, as a memory entered his mind. A nursery rhyme he use to sing to his daughter on days that it would rain. He began to hum lightly, changing the words in his mind before singing aloud.
"Pain pain, go away,
Come again some other day.
With your wicked grin,
I just can't win,
So I kill the devil that's within."
He gave a light chuckle over his morbid rendition, taking another drink of vodka before continuing.
"Pain pain, go away,
Come again some other day.
No longer me,
Please set me free,
With these pills I'll cease to be."
Yuki placed the rest of the contents of the pill bottle in his hand, pausing briefly. Nausea swept over him, and Yuki vomited in his mouth. By shear willpower he forced himself to swallow it down, as tears streaked his face. He could, and had, endured worse…and had come too far not to succeed now. He waited for the nausea to subside before placing the rest of the medication in his mouth. Yuki could feel his heartbeat slowing down, or was that in his head too? He sighed, giving in to the desire to sleep. As his breath grew shallow he whispered two words.
Yuki's body went lax, as his head drooped to rest on his chest, unconsciousness finally claiming him.
Tohru woke early to a glorious morning. She smiled to herself, always looking forward to the days where she had time to say hello to her mom before going to work. She just couldn't wait to tell her mom about the man she had met the other day. Tohru skipped out the door, hoping that she would see the man again sooner rather than later.
She sang to herself lightly, her face turned towards the sun as she entered the cemetery. A gasp escaped her lips as she stumbled along the walkway and fell to her hands and knees. Tohru let out a small whimper, more from embarrassment than pain. She quickly lifted her head to see if there had been any witnesses. She thought she saw someone in the distance, and slowly got up.
"Hello?" She called, watching for any sigh of movement. "Hello?" She said again louder, wondering if the person was…sleeping?
Tohru inched her way towards the person cautiously, clutching her bag in front of her for self defense. A lady alone could never be too careful, after all. As she got closer, Tohru became convinced that she knew the person.
"…Mr. Sohma?" She asked, almost certain she was right, wondering why he was here…again. "Is that you?" She finally reached him.
Tohru knelt down, eyelevel with the young man. He looked as if he were sleeping, and she gently brushed his bangs away from his face. His forehead felt cold. Had he been out here all night? She looked around and immediately saw the vodka bottle. That certainly explained a lot, a small smile involuntarily playing at the corner of her lips. How had she met such a…colorful…person? Whatever it was that he was going through, Tohru found herself wanting to help him in any way she could. An emotion she did not quite comprehend. She reached out to touch his face, so peaceful, when something else caught her eye. Next to his hand she saw an empty pill bottle, and quickly put the two together. In a moment of panic she grabbed Yuki by the shoulders and began to shake him.
"Yuki!" She shouted in horror. "Somebody! Help!" Tears streamed down her face.
Tohru frantically dug through her bag to find her phone, and dialed the emergency contact number. As she waited for the ambulance to arrive Tohru gently moved Yuki to cradle his head in her lap. She caressed Yuki's hair and began to sing to him, more as an attempt to hold herself together. Her voiced finally faltered as she began to sob.
"Why did you leave me?" She choked out. "I just found you." Tohru stifled her sobs and looked around helplessly, her eyes focusing on the gravestone.
"…A…kito…" She whispered, wondering why that name seemed so familiar, the feeling soon fading with the arrival of the ambulance.
Shigure sat on his front porch with the morning paper, cigarette in mouth, taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather. Yuki had not come back home, which did not necessarily surprise him. He pushed the ominous feeling from the night before to the back of his mind, and continued to read the news. His preoccupation with the classifieds was broken by the sound of a car pulling up. Shigure peeked over his newspaper, expecting Hatori's black vehicle. What he saw shocked him as the police car pulled to a stop in his driveway. Kyo was in the house, so Shigure knew this matter had nothing to do with him. He had to stifle a laugh at the obvious alternative of Yuki being escorted back home by the police. Always being held up as the model of perfection, Yuki would never live this one down. He placed the paper down and began to stand up. This was going to be good, and he simply could not wait to tell Ayame. The police man exited the car and opened the back passenger door. The cigarette fell from Shigure's lips as he watched Tohru get out of the car. The look on her face made his knees instantly weak, and all he could think was 'He didn't…'. She walked up to him slowly, and with each step the voice in his head began to scream, louder and louder 'He didn't…he didn't…he didn't!'.
"I…" She began, trying to hold back her tears. "I didn't know where else to go." And all Shigure could do was nod his head once in response.
"I'm so sorry…" She whispered, looking up at Shigure.
Suddenly the floodgates opened and she began to sob. In a flurry she closed the gap between them and slid her arms around his ribcage burying her face into his chest. Shigure stood in momentary shock, unsure of what to do or how to feel, falling unresponsive in the embrace. As the muffled sobs and apologies continued into his chest he slowly put his arms around her, unconsciously rubbing her upper back comfortingly. The sobs subsided into small hiccups, and Tohru finally looked up at Shigure to see him peering down at her through his reading glasses with a mixture of love and sympathy. Without even thinking she reached her small hand up to his cheek to wipe his tears, as he realized for the first time that he too was crying. But for who? With a sigh, and a weak smile, Shigure finally spoke.
"I think we need something to drink." And Tohru nodded in agreement.
Shigure came back out onto the porch several moments later with a tea set, and placed it on the ground as he took a seat. Tohru followed suit, taking a seat next to him in silence. Shigure lit another cigarette as Tohru poured two cups of tea. She put the cup to her lips as Shigure exhaled a puff of smoke. They sat in silence, both in deep contemplation, before Tohru finally spoke in a soft tone, putting her cup down.
"Why did he do it?" She whispered, not looking at Shigure, as he considered her question for a moment.
"Yuki endured a great deal of torment from an early age." He said, thinking over his words as he took another drag of his cigarette.
"Oh…" Her gaze fell to the ground as she heard this.
"But…" Shigure continued, looking up at the clear sky. "I can guarantee that all of the happiness he ever had he shared with you." And Tohru found herself blushing.
"I really don't see how that's possible." She stated incredulously, looking at Shigure. "He only just met me…" She murmured.
"That may be true…" Shigure conceded, deciding to keep his promise to Yuki for the moment. "But in all these years I had never seen him as happy as when he was with you." He finished, a smile playing across his face as he saw her blush deepen.
They finished the rest of their tea in silence. Shigure gave a dramatic stretch, stiff from sitting on the hard surface of his porch for such a long time. He looked at Tohru and began to rub the back of his head, a sheepish grin on his face.
"I'm so sorry." He began hesitantly. "But we have a rather large family, and I should probably start notifying the others. I have a feeling the whole process will take quite some time." He paused for a moment before beginning again. "But, you are more than welcome to stay a while longer if you want."
"No. I should be going." She smiled at the offer. "I should probably make a phone call to my work. I'm sure they are pretty worried about me by now. I should let them know I'm okay." She said as they both stood up.
"Keep in touch." Shigure called as Tohru walked off the porch.
"I will." She said, smiling over her shoulder as she walked away.