Chapter 11.

Operation Final Destination

After things finally settled down a bit, the three girls finally told everyone about why I wasn't allowed to tell Sayuri the wonderful news. We finally took our places, and the lists were taken forth and I'll tell you now, the list of wishes was... Well if I say miles long, I'm still pretty far away.

"Great, this just gets better and better I guess..."
"Hope you're ready to pay us for the overtime bro!"

Tamaki's well met joke was right to the spot, and everyone was rolling in laughter.

"Alright! Let's get this started already! Tamaki, you get started!"

Tamaki rose to speak accordingly, and he enlisted the whishes he felt were the more interresting ones. I'll admit, at some of them even I made wide eyes.

"For real? People sure have some wicked wishes..."
"Yeah, but losing their virginity here... ?"
"That's what he said, so I took it onto the list."

I looked around with the question of the day on my face and Yuuki cleared her throat.

"Well... The thing is... I did meet someone who happens to have the same wish and happens to be a girl actually."
"And what kind of girl is she?"
"Kind of cute if you ask me!"
"Is she at least pretty?"

Yuuki folded her shoulders.

"To me, she looks okay. I mean not that I don't think of her being particularly ugly or aything, but I'm straight."

We all knew that, but her thinking she was okay was enough for us.

"Well that's two out of more than 300 down."

Everyone nodded.

"Alright, so what's next?"
"Well we have 6 or 7 people who just want to fly. The conditions are not really important."
"I think Yuuki and I can take care of that, right?"

Yuuki nodded and now Yuta rose to speak.

"We have a couple who... Well.. Want to get married..."

It didn't take long for us to realise who those were.

"So you guys too?"

Yuta just whistled away and Riku was wildly blushing, but there was no denying it. It was them alright.

"No worries! It'll be as you wish."

Yet another check on the list, and now it was Yuuki's turn.

"We have two guys who Want to play a huge Soccer Match in front of a really huge crowd."
"And the twist is... ?"
"One of them is a Real Madrid fan, and the other is a Barcelona fan..."
"So they want to make an Afterlife version of the legendary 'El Classico'?"

Yuuki nodded, even though she apparently didn't know exactly what I was talking about.

"Alright I guess not even that is impossible! Let them have what they have!"

However Yuuki wasn't done yet.

"I also have two people, who have been arch rivals every since they knew eachother and now want to settle their differences in a Boxing competition."

Can you resist not facepalming at stuff like that.

"It would almost seem like idiots such as these keep finding you..."
"So, is that a no?"

I sighed and shook my head.

"Of course it's a yes. Let them have it if that's what makes them happy! Nothing we can't handle, but we'll need a trio of judges."
"I think we can handle that!"

Kanna and team voluteering was great news.

"And the Ref?"
"I'll do it if noone else has any objections!"

Tamaki agreed, point made, one more down.

"Any other mad ideas?"
"We have this strong man competitor, who wants to do Tug of war with all the boys in school."
"Great... Fine, so be it!"

I had high hopes for this to be the end of it, and luckily it was. The rest of the wish list were all but difficult. A Balerina wanted to perform her final dance, a soccer player who wanted to show his mad skills with controlling the ball an entire hour long and in front of a large crowd, and it went on and on, deep into the night. Finally Sayuri reached the end of her list and tried her best at hiding her own emotional thoughts.

"Guys... It's nice that we thought about everything... But what about us? Don't we have any dreams?"

That was straight to the point and we all nodded in silent agreement. We didn't really know how to put our thoughts into words.

"For me... You guys might remember, I was a gymnast... I trained so hard and I never got a chance to perform my Floor Exercise. If nothing else, at least I want to do that, because I really gave my all at it."

We all smiled at her, and now Yuta rose.

"So... Well I always wanted to perform my favourite dance, the Blue Danube... I guess you know..."

I nodded and truely it was a wish that was well worth while, and looking at Riku, she agreed with him.

"And why the hell not? I mean, we were planning on getting you wed after the final operation. I guess your first dance as a wed couple will be your last here too."

Now was Tamaki's turn.

"I really have nothing else on my mind, but having a chance to fight alongside you guys one last time, before joining Rika in the new life. That's not really a big thing to ask, right?"

We all shook our heads. It really was nothing short of our common wishes after all.

"And you, Yuuki?"
"Me... ?"

Yuuki let her hand fall into her lap at Sayuri's gentle question and took a while before answering.

"Well there is one..."
"Let's hear it then!"

She shuffled around a bit nervously, and finally spat it out.

"I wanted to talk to my love for one last time..."

Well that was out of the blue. Yuuki had a loverboy? I'd say that was a shock.

"So you've been in love before, Yuuki?"

Yuuki turned burning red at my question. Sayuri hugged her close to comfort her a bit, and she finally came to words.

"Well... Yeah, but I'm afraid that boy doesn't remember that anymore..."

We all nodded with a wide smile, and watched poor Yuuki nearly crunching her own fingers out of nervousness.

"Alright, let's start a new topic, shall we?"
"Why? Don't you have any dreams, Yamato?"

At this, even I shunt my eyes, and had to think for a bit before answering.

"Well I do have one, but it's impossible to fulfill unless I pass on!"

Everyone's faces lit up in a smile.

"You mean... ?"
"Yeah. I want to be with Sora, what else? And I'm hoping to be just as good of friends with you guys in the new life as I am now."

Everyone smiled away at that. Of course I had long term plans, and I felt nothing can szop me in fulfilling them. All I wanted most here, was to make sure every one of my dear friends passes on peacefully. We took another hour off to clarify the details and we took our depart on the note of everyone being completely exhausted and needing some sleep. Another week at least. Yuuki and I walked back to the dorms while talking a bit more.

"So you said, you had someone you loved, right? What was he like? Or rather what is he like?"
"A Top notch sportsman, a true soccer star!"

Really now? Yuuki had a liking in soccer players? Something I'd never have imagined of her.

"Anything else, like his appearance?"
"Err... About 6 feet tall, Brown hair, blue eyes, and really handsome... Deep, manly voice, strong, dedicated person."

Wow... If I didn't know better, I'd say she just described me... Silly thought...

"Lucky bastard for finding you then!"

Yuuki smiled brightly at that, and waved back as she entered the dorms. I think she was even blushing a bit. Before I went to sleep, I tried to picture Yuuki's boyfriend and no matter how much I tried, I could only think of an innocent looking version of me... Kind of creepy, but it at least made me smile, while I fell asleep.


A good week passed and the preparations were almost as good as ready. As always, we put posters out all around school for everyone to know what we were working on so hard. The preparations for the great soccer match, the boxing match and mostly everything else were all done. The soccer field was likely turned into a small stadium, thanks to all the hard work done by the Guild guys and even though it wasn't nearly the same as Santiago Bernabeu or Camp Nou, it was still more than enough to make give a monstrous mood for the match. The Arena was ready for the Boxing too, and the two competitors were preparing at full steam. The stage for the balerinas was also set to go, and I still had a few more things to check over, before the great night began, when the whole operation would begin.

"Alright guys, good job! Take some rest, and at 6 PM, it's show time! I.."
"Excuse me!"

Someone tapped my shoulder lightly and as I turned around, my jaws almost dropped...

"You're..."


That night the soccer match was first to go. I took the duty of the Referee, and my two assistants were also players in their former lifes. The game was on, and I'd say it was fair play all along. No really harsh faults, and the crowd were cheering on both sides equally. The first goal fell at the 5 minute mark and they didn't stop until both had 3. The end was a draw, and a fair and square outcome. One outcome that would satisfy anyone, including the 24 people who disappeared from among us almost instantly as the final whistle came. Yes, even my assistants... I guess this was about enough to satisfying them. Next was the boxing match that was held indoors in the Cafeteria, which was plenty big enough to host an event like this. I don't know who designed it that big, but it was that big. I stepped into the middle of the ring, with my Mic, to announce the match the way I loved hearing it on TV from Michael Buffer.

"Ladies and Gentleman! Are you ready for tonight's main event?"

The Crowd's response was a clear scream.

"Tonight, right here, right now, the Lightweight Afterlife World Championship title is... at... Stake!"

No word can describe the response to that.

"Ladies and Gentlemen! It's time!"

I took a few seconds to increase the tension slightly.

"Llllllllet's get Ready to Rumbleeeee!"

This was the last straw. Good thing, the windows were reinforced. The crowd exploded into a huge applause.

"Now for the Contestants! Fighting from the red corner, the challanger, of a height of 5' and 4", weighing 157 pounds, The Iron Titan! Nakoshita Kenmi!"

At that que, the challanger, as he was entitled entered the arena, followed by his chosen piece of music. He took a few rounds around the ring and humbly accepted the attention and cheering he recieved.

"And from the Blue corner, With a height of 5' and 7", a wight of 152 pounds, Tokyo's Fist of Iron! Kanoko Tenma!"

The ovation was just as great as in Kenmi's sake, and some bets have already been made, of which the standings we even wrote on a table large enough for everyone to see. Tamaki now put the basic rules out and when both were ready they ounched their gloves together as a sign, that they were ready for the fight. The bell rang and the 12 round competition began. I'll say now, that it was quite even on scales and even though the fight was really tough and harsh, Tamaki barely had any work to do. As it was expected, both fighters stood through the 12 rounds and when the final bell rang, they gave eachother one last iron stare in the eye, before returning to their corners. After some while I entered the ring again and Tamaki called the two fighters to him again, holding their wrists, ready for the results.

"Ladies and gentlemen, after an astoundingly Exciting match, the jury has brought the final results as following."

The crowd now turned totally silent.

"First judge: Mizore Kanna: 117-115 for Kenmi!"

The Kenmi Fans screamed out in joy.

"Second Judge: Kanoriha Miko: 116-116, in other words, a draw!"

Everyone's eyes and ears wide open, the crowd awaited the final result like the messiah:

"And the third judge: Tsukuro Himiko: 118-112 for Kenmi!"

The entire Cafeteria nearly exploded from the crowd's ovation, and the two fighters, exhausted and flustered, as Tamaki lifted Kenmi's hand up in the air, Tenma walked over to the other side and lifted his other hand, as a sign of his acknowledgement. As the two walked out of the hall, they gave eachother one last Brofist and disappeared in the usual bright flash, and they left to the new life awaiting them, possibly to carry on wih their friendly rivalry. Next was the Ballet performance in the Gym, and while everyone was staring at the three balerinas dancing from the utmost of their hearts, the Guild guys were working hard in the background, preparing an extra special gift for a certain someone.

"This is really beautiful..."

Yuuki Whispered that into my ear as we watched the three balerinas perform a part of the Nutcracker. I remember watching this once in ground school, but it wasn't anything that could keep me busy at that time, but now it was different: The Prima Balerina, and her two companions who joined her were truely awe inspiring as their movements were soft and incredibly delicate. It was a rare sight to see three such beauties on stage who simply told the story, the emotions, and the tension with their very movement. It was ruely beautiful, and I admit, I enjoyed myself. At the end, Tamaki, and Yuta went on stage and handed the three girls a bouquet each, and the three left while waving their last goodbyes, and disappearing never to be seen again in this world.

Before the last and probably the most important part of the grand night was set into motion, we took a 30 minute break. Tamaki came to me and informed me, that the 12x12 metre elastive Foam carpet, fixed to the floor and ready to be used.

"Good job! Is our VIP guest here?"
"She is. Hope they don't meet before the surprise happens!"
"Don't worry! I set Yuuki on the case!"

Tamaki also handed me a small package, and he left abruptly to make the finishing touches. Two tables were set up, with a total of 8 seats, and one extra for me, the honorary judge, even though I had really no idea, how or what I was supposed to do, so I decided to be the speaker instead. Soon the 10 seats were taken and everyone took their reorganised places and everyone was hushed until due time. Soon enough, Sayuri walked into the deaf silent Gym, followed by Yuuki, who was covering her eyes with her tiny hands.

"Come on Yuuki, tell me, what the surprise is already!"
"Not until we get there! Just a bit further!"

They walked straight to me, and I was standing on the edge of the carpet, and Yuuki finally let her go.

"You can look now!"

Sayuri opened her eyes and her expression turned from excited to stunned and to competely flushed away. She was standing on the verge of a fully prepared Floor Excercise area.

"This... Oh my god... For real?"
"Yep, it's all yours! And this too!"

I handed her the package and while still not believing this was actually happening to her, she ran off to the Dressing rooms. I took my place on my chair, awaiting her return and truely she didn't take any longer than about 3-4 minutes, wearing a dress in the Japanese National colors, and her hair in a small braid to not hinder her in anything. I never thought anyone could get changed this fast and take their time for even stuff like this, but she did it. I now stood, took the micrphone from Tamaki, and Walked to the center of the mat.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, for tonight's main event: Please Welcome miss Daitokouji Sayuri!"

Sayuri walked to the edge of the mat and with the formal handsign, she signaled, she's ready to get started. I quickly rushed off the mat and sat, only to get to see her every move. The spotlight shone onto her and her every move was clearly made visible. She started with some flips, and a sommersault, marvelous. She was truely great at this, no doubt, and she enjoyed every single bit of it. The illustrative music was chosen especially chosen for her liking and as she was ready to put up the final moves, she stopped for a bit, closing her eyes, mumbling quietly, which only thos would understand if they could read one's lips, and she raised her hands, a flip with only her right touching the ground, then another one with the left, a move I've never seen before, two more regular flips and sommer sault with a twist and a beautiful landing, finally straightening out and raising her hands in the air one last time.

"Marvelous... Simply marvelous..."

That was about all I could hear from the jury and everyone were dazed by how incredibly Sayuri pulled this off, I now walked up to her, took her wrist in my hand and lead her to the middle.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Daitokouji Sayuri!"

We slowly turned around together with me hlding her hand up in the air.

"Now, for the Points. First the technical Points please!"

The first part of the jury now showed their point counts one by one:

"8.8, 7.8, 8.2, 9.0 and 8.8. That's a total of 42.6 points. Now for the performing points!"

True, one of the jury members went a little too strict on the technical points, but still it was amazing. Now for the second set of points:

"9.1, 8.9, 8.8, 9.1 and 8.6, and that is a total of 44.5. Overall that is 87.1 points!"

The crowd's loud cheering and all the wonderful atmosphere were plenty enough for Sayuri to start crying, and whisper to me:

"I've never had points this high!"

I just patted her shoulder before answering:

"Wait till you see what else we have just for you!"

The surprise was, an actual podium, which now rolled in with help from the guild guys, all for her, all completely the same as what they usually used at the olympic games.

"You mean.. Oh my god! This all for me... I..."

Sayuri was in an extatic state, constantly crying, as she climbed to the top of the podium, I hung the fictional gold medal around her neck and while the Japanese national anthem played, she held the flag that was held out to her close to her heart. This was about all we could do for her to finally have part of her wishes come true. But this wasn't the end of it just yet. When everyone left, we all remained behind, and Sayuri broke up into crying again. Tears of joy were a special thing to see from her, but now it all happened in front of our eyes.

"Guys... I don't know how to thank you for this all..."

She tried wiping her tears away, but they failed to stop even now.

"I... I just wish... My mother was her right now... If she was..."
"I bet she'd be really proud of you, Say-chan!"

Sayuri's head rose and her eyes widened at the nickname only one person ever called her. She turned around and saw a female looking figure slowly walk into the circle of light coming from the lamp above us. If we didn't know better, we'd easily have thought she was Sayuri's twin sister, except she had hip length hair. She folded her arms, and stopped right next to me.

"And that I sure am!"

Sayuri's eyes widened more and more with every second, but ultimately she came to words:

"M.. Mo... Mom..."

The long haired Sayuri nodded and extended her arms to her, and Sayuri flew right into her loving arms.

"Mommy! I can't believe this... It is you!"

Daitokouji Mei... Yes, it was her no doubt. The two of them just hugged for long minutes and Sayuri was crying her eyes out like a small child. I waved at the others and we left to give them their time to be together after such long time. For one thing, Hayuka, Sayuri's elder sister was right, Sayuri really was completely the same as her mother when she was the same age. Almost in a creepy way. Sayuri's only person she ever loved enough to actually die, because of losing her sanity over her loss, now she was here and they finally had the time to talk for a bit. The others left me to get to bed after a hard and tiresome day, and I was left to wait for Sayuri to come out. It took over half an hour before she finally emerged from the Gym, her eyes cried out, her face still soaked with tears and when she reached me, she finally smiled, in the most honest way I've ever seen her.

"So?"

She shook her head and her smile widened.

"She passed on. It was her time."
"What about you? Are you gonna be alright?"

She finally wiped all her last tears away and nodded.

"I'll be just fine. I don't want to pass just yet! I'm here to help you in the last and most important battle ever."

I never expected her to ever say that, yet she gave me a reassuring stare and she pulled me closer to give me a kiss on the cheek.

"And thank you for everything. This is when it showsm that you truely are a man of your words."

She wanted to leave, but she stopped just for one more thing:

"Do you know what she did, before she passed on?"
"What?"
"She kissed my forehead... Just like the old days... just before turning to light."

She turned around one last time.

"I know what you want to ask, and the answer is, I was surprised myself. She came to me this morning. A forst I thought it was you playing tricks on me, but then she told me things only a mother can know about their daughter..."

She smiled again and wanted to walk away to get to bed, but I stopped her just for a few more words:

"What I'm trying to get to is... She appeared just in the nick of time, and I thought her appearing to you tonight would be the best present to show you just how important you are to all of us! I hope you know that."

She just nodded and waved goodbyes, and I had my best hopes of her not passing on during the night out of nowhere. I still had one more task to take care of before heading to bed. I had a meeting at the Office building, and that with a tall and quite handsome guy.

"Yo Yusuke! Well, are you ready?"

He slowly nodded.

"Yeah, I'm just kind of nervous..."
"No worries, the girl we found for you wants the same thing, and is equally nervous herself."

As of que, a girl approached us. Truely she was cute and quite attarctive too, wearing glasses even, and yet she was rumoured to be the most beautiful girl among the civilians. Her hair in two shy braids and a blush painted face, she slowly appraoched us, and now the two of them stood face to face. Yusuke was a Basketball player in his life, so he was quite a bit taller, but with his burning red hair and the same color eyes, he was also a handsome young man to recon with.

"Yusuke, I'd like you to meet Miyuki."

Miyuki was a bit shorter than me, with brown hair and eyes now peeking over her glasses shyly, looking up at the giant in front of her.

"And Miyuki, this is Yusuke!"

For a few seconds they just stared at eachother and when Miyuki finally let away a shy smile, Yusuke started blushing too, but at least now they had enough courage to shake hands. I now backed away from them to give them space.

"I'll leave you to your stuff then. Good night!"

As I walked away, I head them start talking. Things were finally going the way they were meant to be for the two, who wanted to lose their innocence this night. I soon went to bed and hoped nothing would come inbetween and stop them from passing on happily.

The next day was the time for the less ceremonial events. Yuuki and I took everyone for a flight, whoever wanted, even those who were just kind of curious. I took to the extremes at times, diving to dangerous depths almost hitting the ground, yet always pulling it up just in time. All the fun and the strange events tok their forms even the tug of war contest, into which I was forced to join in, even though I knew, due to the passive Maximum overdrive skill I could easily beat him, so I just held the rope for a bit, before letting go, literally letting him win with ease. I wanted to make sure he has his fun. That day, I lost count of all the people who passed on. Only us, the now fully fledged SSS members remained behind.

The next morning, everyone armed themselves to the teeth and got ready to get goind to finish the war once and for all. The old Guild had two entrances of which we sealed one, the one in the Gym, weeks earlier, and decided to take the one in the library, which was considerably smaller. Before we took off, there were still two more things to go, and one was giving Kanna, Miko and Himiko the final orders.

"Alright girls, you're the bosses starting now. Make sure you come back in one piece!"

All three of them nodded and Kanna, who in the mean time was elevated to Captain's rank, put a hand on her heart, reassuring us of her trustworthyness.

"Alright then, we're off!"

We watched the army of over 300 armed men and women leave, before turning around to head down into the endless maze people usually refered to as the old Guild. However, we were greeted by an unexpected sight in front of the main building. The ones who were the loudest among those who objected against the whola operation were standing there in line.

"What is the meaning of this? You're not trying to obstruct us, are you?"

They all shook their heads and one of them stepped forth to speak.

"We just wanted to appologize for everything we said and did. We were unright abut judging you the way we did."

That brought a smile on my face and I finally lent him a hand.

"It's alright, everyone has a weak spot, even those, who thik of themselves as invincible. I hope you'll have a safe new life!"
"Why do you say that?"

I pointed at his hand, which was now glowing, and then at the others. It was clear, they were ready to pass, no matter how or with what they found their peace.

"Well... I guess this is goodbye then!"
"Go on, Walk out of the school, as if you were graduating.. Make it stylish!"

They all nodded and they made their way quickly to the front gate, and as they stepped out of the gate, they all turned to light particles and passed on successfully.

"Now you're a true leader bro!"

Tamaki said that, as he walked past me, patting my shoulder one last time before entering. I looked at Sayuri who painted the markings of war on her face, much like her three friends, and we both nodded. We entered the building, only to go straight to the library, entering the passageway through the shutter hidden in the floor, and sealing it behind us. This was it, we were ready to go.

"Alright you guys! Ready for this?"

Everyone raised their weapons high yelling:

"Yeah!"