Act XII: Repossession
Author's Notes: Okay, I think this is it. Maybe I'll add more to it later, but for now this is the official last chapter.
Blind Stitch 7 – it'll be a while longer. Just need to add the final scenes, a couple more pages at least and it'll be done.
Reviewer Lily mentioned an erratic plot, how true. I just couldn't peg this one down with something. I'm really working on the plot thing since I have a tendency to wing it' and see where it goes from there, chapter to chapter. Anybody else do that?
"If you don't practice you can't get better, it's a fact. I'm not making it up."
She sighed heavily, taking one look at the bare floor before turning away.
"I'm sorry, I just don't feel like it right now. My heart isn't in it." the girl replied turning away from her long time friend.
"It's okay, I guess, but our final recital is coming up soon. You'll have to practice sooner or later; Masaharu-sama isn't going to put up with this for very long, we both know it. Did you really work this hard to give up?"
"I'm not giving up," Kagome protested, turning back to face Sango. "I just... don't feel it. The inspiration, the feeling... the happiness I got from this just doesn't come to me anymore."
"Are you sure there's nothing else bothering you?"
"It's all wrong." she looked up meeting her friend's gaze. "What if... you look back on something and realize you weren't doing it because of something you thought you were?" she sighed. "I mean... this dancing, I've done it a long time. First I did it because I adored Masaharu when my own father was gone and I wanted to spend time with him... and then I met Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha. Then I did it to prove I wasn't clumsy. Then things changed and I kept dancing to make myself ... to be... pretty."
"Ballet is beautiful, ballerinas are beautiful. Around them...Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha... I never felt like that, I always ... I couldn't be pretty enough; I was always just clumsy little Kagome. If I'm not dancing for Masaharu, and not to prove myself, and not because I feel the need to make myself feel pretty then, what am I doing it for? I'm not sure that I'm doing it because I enjoy it."
"This has to do with Sesshoumaru, doesn't it? I mean, with him being gone for so long, I've noticed it for a while but didn't want to say anything. It's been a couple years Kagome... how long are you going to hold on?"
"I'm not holding on!" she snapped defensively. "What about Kouga, doesn't he count?"
"I'm not sure he does... not to you. You're distant with him, like you're not all there." Kagome half glared and Sango shrugged. "Okay maybe not, but... if that is what's happening you both deserve better."
Their conversation was abruptly cut short as their instructor came into the room, holding a stack of papers in hand, paying little mind to them. As he turned back from the table on his way back out he smiled at them before leaving them alone again.
"If that's what I decide to do... to leave dance, how am I ever going to tell him?"
He watched her as she stepped past him silently, taking no notice of him. The realization that he had been utterly overlooked was downright unpleasant and left a bitter taste. Although it wasn't particularly unusual for her to be oblivious and she was clearly deep in thought.
Just as she'd disappeared from view into the darkening skies beyond the studio did his brother stomp back inside scowling for all he was worth.
"What'd you say to Kagome?" his younger, forever brash brother demanded.
"Nothing." Sesshoumaru replied feeling suddenly patient. He hadn't been exposed to his ridiculous antics for almost a year, the boy was probably in dire need of a proper set down since their father paid no heed to them most of the time.
"What'd you say to her before you left?!" Inuyasha continued apparently refusing to be satisfied with the answer.
"That was almost three years ago... either way I only said what needed to be said, you should be happy. I gave you the chance you wanted, what happened? Nothing?"
The brief tense paused between them was taut with barely controlled anger on one side and well-hidden humor on the other.
"You shouldn't be surprised, brother. She's never wanted you"
He watched as the gold orbs that matched his own hardened in response. "Coming back here is cold, even for you. Leave Kagome alone."
A corner of his mouth quirked up in amusement at the impetuous statement. "Are you warning me?"
"She was preoccupied enough when you left, if she finds out you're back she'll be even more distracted, and it's not me you'll be upsetting. Don't forget, it's father who'll be breathing down your neck then."
As though to confirm the statement his father suddenly stepped up, only a hint of a challenge upon his features as he gazed at his son.
The past few years had been a positive hell for him. All in all he'd never been farther away than an hour from home and had not visited often. He had felt duty bound however to periodically call, and the tension that had been between them had suddenly snapped leaving a void between the father and son.
"I care not for your insipid competition provided it does not get in the way of what I want."
The warning was declared and heard, and perhaps well taken because his father chose not to reply to it, but they remained silent in their stand off.
Inuyasha watched puzzeled at the behavior of his family members and those around them were taking a wide berth around the group.
He father scoffed suddenly. "What you want? Well, why the hell not, you're certainly not concerned about what anyone else wants, are you?"
"Not surprising, I must have picked it up from you." Sesshoumaru growled lowly in reply.
Inuyasha, as though realizing just how close to very nasty situation he was suddenly stepped back.
"Your time away from home has done little for your attitude, a pity."
He straightened suddenly and turned away, eager to be rid of his father's presence. He hadn't missed it.
His father, sensing he'd won the little confrontation called back to him as he retreated. "See you at home then, son."
He didn't stop, turn back, or at any point even think of pausing until he reached the comfort of the night air. He inhaled deeply wishing it were cold out to match his melancholy mood. He wanted the cold air to sting his throat and burn his lungs, but alas there was to be no cold air this night.
Thusly he ended up walking, searching. The same search that had brought him home again. The same reason he'd dragged himself back to this hell, he'd come to loathe so much over the last few years, with the notable exception of her.
She could be anywhere right now. Home, with friends, with a boyfriend the possibilities were endless in this large un-searchable city. He'd never find her by walking; not even driving would aide him.
And yet he didn't desire to see her, not to speak with her, only to view her. To see that she had been well, that she had accepted what he'd forced himself to do for her own good. It had been an act completely void of the selfishness his father had accused him of before he left. His mind strayed back to that week, that evening before his final departure. The final argument he'd had with his father, once again over trivialities based far in their past.
His father, to his disappointment or not, had become a person he reviled. The tension between them had been brewing for years, from the moment his father had brushed him off refusing to explain what had happened so long ago. To explain what had transpired between them, what was the basis of all this familial hatred and yet he knew he'd never find out. His father would never tell him.
Finding answers to the questions that had haunted him since his youth was impossible but it didn't quench the bitterness that had sprung up within him because of it. He'd tried. He'd attempted to get the answers from other family members, to find out what was so horrible that he'd be so utterly despised simply by association, but there was no luck upon that avenue. No one knew and if they had, they weren't speaking of it.
He repressed the thought, the memory; he no longer wished to be burdened with it. His mind skipped away from the haunting images of the past and back toward the object of his search. Where was she? Perhaps back at the shrine? He wouldn't be going there, not to the shrine.
Further onward he pressed, passing lit storefronts and crowded walkways. Past the park where he'd spent time with Rin, until he found himself standing before his own house, the place he'd lived all his life that served only to remind him of unhappiness.
It was an odd, disturbing cross between happiness and discontent, this place. His brother, however annoying had never been a significant source of trouble and had never made him deliberately unhappy. Why then did the place make him harbor such bad feelings for it?
The deteriorating relationship between himself and his father was one such reason to be sure. His father's refusal to acknowledge him as an equal on any level infuriated him to no end and yet there was nothing he could do about it. He tore his gaze from the dark house, he hadn't found her, although maybe he hadn't really meant to.
It was the second time he'd used her as an excuse to do something. The first had been returning here, the second had been the walk, which was now, ultimately, at its end. He heaved a heavy, tired sigh and proceeded up to the house. Home sweet home, what a disagreeable expression.
"What do you want?"
One cold, gold gaze met another in a silent clash of wills. The room in which they stood was bathed in silence, but apprehension was strung tight between them.
"Kagome is here." Inutaisho announced his gaze flickering out into the garden a moment before turning back to rest on his son.
Sesshoumaru half shrugged and turned away looking back out into the elaborate garden at the back of their extensive property.
"She's been significantly distracted as of late, perhaps you should drop by and say hello. I'm sure she'd be happy to see you, perhaps cheer her up a bit?" he suggested.
"There's nothing I can say that would change anything."
"I'm asking you to say nothing, just stop by and be your normal cheerful self. It's been quite a while since you've seen her." He didn't bother waiting for a response. "I have to go out, Inuyasha is with Kikyo at the archery range about this time."
He heard the footsteps as they faded away and then the distinct closing of the front door and frowned. The not-so-subtle hints and actions of his father were not welcome, working on another's timetable and playing to their agenda's was not something he was inclined to do. Especially in a situation like this one. First his brother was trying to keep him away from her and now his father was trying to set them up? What was the world coming to?
Kagome's distraction could have been caused by something other than him; he wasn't vain enough to believe he held that much sway over her. Or so he wished to believe. To hell with them both, he was feeling bitter, he wasn't talking to anyone, and he damn well wasn't going-
"Oh, I'm sorry I didn't mean to disturb you."
He turned, and silently cursed him, her, and everyone else. He was completely without luck; the worst always befell him. Naturally she had to show up and ruin his perfectly good avoid her' plan and he thusly determined to say nothing in reply. Maybe she'd go away.
"Do you know where Masaharu-sama is?"
"He left." He replied, unable to avoid answering. It would only have led to her being angry or insulted, him getting yelled at by her and then her stomping off fuming mad at his lack of cooperation. He didn't want a conversation, he just wanted her gone. Didn't anyone respect another's need for solitude and privacy every now and then?
"Oh." She was disappointed by this news that was plain enough on her face. "I see, never mind then." She turned without hesitation and walked off leaving him staring back at her.
He watched her retreat silently, staring at the tight bundle of hair at the back of her head. He'd always liked her hair that way but he had always fought the urge to pluck the band from her hair and let it down from the tight restraints. Liked it and hated it, he thought off handedly. Her hair that way was a part of her dancer's grace, her image. He wanted nothing more than to snap that annoying band from her head and run fingers through her hair, but at the same time he wanted it pulled up again just so he could have the little pleasure of snatching that band away once more. He shook his head; being obsessed with her hair bands was beyond pathetic. He really needed to get out.
He turned away once more and redirected his gaze out the window. He'd come to a conclusion on this, but it required more thought. More consideration, more... planning.
He watched the scene before him with thinly veiled contempt. The runt was either gutsy or incredibly stupid to dare to attempt to usurp his property. He barely suppressed the growl of displeasure, the last two days at home had been unpleasant, yet enlightening.
Higurashi Kagome was a part of his life, a part of his memory; she was, plainly, a part of him as a whole. He had cut her forcibly from his life, and was no longer willing to allow himself to bleed. He raised his cup to his lips, sipping elegantly at his tea as he watched.
Across the small, nameless establishment the object of his curiosity, perhaps his obsession, sat. She was smiling awkwardly at her guest who was seated across from her chatting about something the girl clearly could care less about. Hadn't he told her to cut back on some of the idiots?
The interest of the male across from her was plain enough. It was the same shabbily dressed male he'd seen her with before, Kouga something or other. The entire situation was sickening. The way he looked at her, the way he would occasionally wink or made wild gestures, especially the way he leaned across the table.
His gaze wandered briefly when he saw her glance toward the door. Just within the doorway was his brother, standing arrogantly and glaring contemptuously toward Kagome's table. Just behind him was Kikyo, following like his shadow. His path was clear, Inuyasha stalked directly toward their table and the moment the other caught sight of him, he rose and a heated, senseless argument had begun.
Kagome visibly sighed, closing her eyes, and turning her head toward the windows, gazing out tiredly. She had apparently witnessed this many times before, given her reaction. The other female, Kikyo, made no move to interfere and stayed quietly off to the side.
He stood, leaving his tea, and proceeded toward them. Kikyo was the first to notice his approach and eyed him silently while the others bickered. In mid insult, Kouga paused in notice of his approach and gazed up at him, as he towered over both. Inuyasha tossed a glance his way, and at their lengthy and abrupt silence, Kagome too, turned back and all gazes were upon him.
"Do you always behave so badly in public, brother?"
He swept an absent glance over Kagome's male companion, Kouga before turning his gaze toward her. His prize, the only one in this rag tag group worthy of his attention.
She stared up at him uncertainly before stumbling over a greeting to him. She nervously glanced at her companions who were either staring at him, her or between the both of them.
"Haven't taken my advice I see..." he commented tossing a pointed glance toward Kouga and was disappointed by her lack of heated reply. Or any reply as she sat there, staring down at her hands after having looked away when their eyes met again.
Inuyasha apparently took this as his cue to attempt making him leave.
"What do you want Sesshoumaru?" his tone was challenging, albeit resigned, as though he knew the effort was useless but that he had to say it for show.
Kouga looked as though he might speak up before thinking better of challenging him and settled for sticking his challenges to the younger brother. Sesshoumaru ignored Inuyasha and cast his gaze toward her once more; she had yet to move and had refused to look back up.
"I came for what is mine."
Inuyasha clearly got the point and after a moment, Kouga seemed to pick up on the fact he meant Kagome. While Kagome herself seemed not to realize she was what they were talking about and remained still and withdrawn.
Kouga foolishly stepped forward and Inuyasha lashed out, grabbing the back of his shirt, halting his progress causing him to whirl around, insulted.
"Don't delude yourself into thinking you've got a shot. At either," Inuyasha replied resentfully, keeping his gaze on his brother before releasing Kouga and turning. "Let's go Kikyo, there's nothing interesting around here anyway."
They watched as the other two retreated, leaving the building entirely before Kouga turned back to him. The point seemed well taken as he stepped back once and looked toward Kagome.
"I'll see you later, Kagome."
She finally looked up and as though realizing just who she was about to be left alone with him and stood hastily, but not quick enough to stop him from leaving. When he too was out of the building, she turned grudgingly toward him.
"Sesshoumaru... it's... nice to see you after so long." Her voice was steady, even her gaze was so. She had composed herself well, he noted, as he observed her a moment before taking the vacant seat across from her calmly.
She sat down again and he noted there was a new grace to her. Something perhaps in the way she moved, maybe it was just because he hadn't seen her in so long.
"Shameful, you should demand more of your companions, at least when they are in public."
"I can't help the fact that Inuyasha and Kouga are combustible in each other's company. Is there something you wanted from me?" Her tone, like Inuyasha's had been, was more resigned, than hostile.
She kept her eyes away from his as much as possible, but that reaction wasn't unexpected.
"I came to visit you."
She looked up directly, and he noticed she seemed resolved, as though she had finally made up her mind about something.
"You came to see me?" she smiled suddenly. "Well that's a nice change from having me come to see you."
Her sudden change of attitude was baffling.
"It was only fitting," he replied wondering what her next response would be.
"I hope things have been well for you." she smiled again. "How is college life?"
"Well enough. How is your dancing?"
She shifted. "Dance is okay, I've been doing a lot of practicing for the upcoming competition. It's just two weeks away now. I think I'm... I think I'm going to stop... dancing. I think this will be my final competition performance."
He glanced up sharply but her gaze was toward the windows, staring out into the afternoon sky.
"Why?" It wasn't shocking exactly but he hadn't anticipated such a response.
She shook her head. "I don't think I want to do it anymore." She laughed abruptly. "Wouldn't it be funny if I won a scholarship to that Russian dance school after having deciding to stop dancing after this competition?" Her tone was light, but tart.
Aside from that she was quieter than he remembered her to be. It had been three years however, three long years in which many things could have transpired.
"What were you doing with the idiot?"
"I assume you mean Kouga," she replied dryly, not bothering to look back at him. "We were actually here on a date, some boyfriend he is though if he up and abandons me like that."
Date? His eyes narrowed slightly, so she did have a boyfriend. Still though she certainly didn't look heartbroken over the other's exit. He set the thoughts aside however and gazed at her.
Her raven colored hair was loose, pooling over one shoulder while the rest trailed down her back in elegant waves. Her clear, blue colored eyes were directed toward the window and her full pink tinted lips were turned down in a slight frown. This was it, the reason he'd come back here. He was sitting before his singular justification for returning home.
He hadn't anticipated her to be this way when he came back. He had expected... he sighed inaudibly. What had he expected?
"Not that it isn't nice to see you or anything, but I really should be going."
He met her gaze squarely, and she didn't glance away this time. Either a great deal of her shyness had worn off or perhaps her feelings toward him had faded. He frowned suddenly realizing he had never considered that possibility.
He'd thought maybe she'd acquired a boyfriend but never that it would have any impact on her feelings for him. This stark brush with reality left him feeling slapped.
"To Masaharu's... he's been worried about my practices lately so he wanted to see me today." She replied gathering her things.
He took care of the bill and was annoyed to find himself paying for Kouga's meal as well since he'd run off. He brushed it off however and followed Kagome out the door. He spent most of the trip following behind her; if this bothered her she didn't say so.
They didn't speak until she reached the door and stopped, while he instructed her to go ahead inside, following her up the stairs and into the house. It was eerily silent within and relatively apparent no one was home.
"Weren't you meeting my father?"
She shifted. "I must be early."
Early, he thought musingly. He wasn't used to her being early for anything, so either she had changed or she was simply trying to get away from him.
She padded down the hallway thankful that Sesshoumaru had disappeared somewhere else in the house. Shock couldn't even begin to describe her surprise at seeing him again. What should she say? It was hard enough not to run the moment he'd shown up. She wasn't entirely sure she even wanted to see him anymore, but the racing of her heart betrayed her. Lying, she shook her head. It was one thing to lie to everyone else; it was another to deceive yourself. She *had* wanted to see him. Hadn't Sango accused her of missing him?
Three years and he couldn't so much as – no, she wouldn't think of it. Sesshoumaru was not worth her attention, even if her little crush hadn't quite faded yet.
She slipped into the room dropping her bag onto the floor and quickly stripping away her outerwear and grabbing her toe shoes. She quickly, but carefully slid them onto her feet and secured them into place before adjusting her hair up into a bun and out of her way. She walked quietly to the table turning on the CD player and pressing the 'play' button before moving to the center of the room. She stared at her reflection in the mirror as she waited for the song to start. Disappointing.
She was still a disappointment to herself. Not pretty enough, not graceful enough, not perfect enough to be a dancer, she thought sourly staring at her reflection, lowering herself out of her set position. She could do this no longer, she thought dismally. She blinked when rapid, bouncy; techno tones began to emanate from the speakers. She turned around and stared incredulously at the CD player pounding as the music assaulting her ears. What was this?!
She almost laughed as she walked over and removed the CD busying herself with her task while she wondered whom it belonged to with amusement. She turned to move back to the center of the room, but stopped short when she found Sesshoumaru standing in the middle of the open doorway.
"... Is there something you wanted, Sesshoumaru?"
This felt familiar, she thought absently as he stepped inside closing the door behind him.
It had been over three years since their parting. She wasn't the same girl anymore, no matter what she told herself about her wanting or not wanting to see Sesshoumaru. She was a stronger person, she thought staring up into his golden orbs. She could handle him; he was no longer going to be the one with the upper hand. She could do this, she reminded herself and forced a smile.
"Come to dance?" she teased, her eyes twinkling.
She had been hoping to disconcert him or at least set him off guard a bit but it appeared ineffective, but she didn't frown.
"How long are you going to stand there?"
"All you've done since you came in here is stand around. Should you not be dancing?"
She frowned slightly. Where did he get off with the condescending attitude all the time? Like she was his lackey to be ordered around on his whims. She should give him a good piece of her mind, she thought darkly.
"It's really none of your business. Maybe I don't feel like dancing." she replied primly crossing her arms.
"Then you simply wished to prance around me in your skimpy outfit then?"
She blushed heatedly. "What?! No! It has nothing to do with you!"
He raised a brow. "Does it not?"
"No, it doesn't!" she persisted. "Now if you don't mind-"
"Dance," he interjected.
"Excuse me?" She snapped.
"I came to see you dance... so dance for me." He murmured, and she could barely hear him over the melodious tones of the classical music that had since begun to play.
"Dance for you?" she repeated as if in shock before shaking her head slowly, uncertainly giving him her negative answer. She couldn't do that. Not for him, not like this, not with him as her private audience.
So what if she had finally become the near perfect principal dancer of the studio. No, didn't he have any idea what that gaze of his did to her confidence? She could dance before an entire theatre full of people, but if she knew that he was out there One person in a crowd, but if she even suspected it was him, her composure, her confidence, her very ability to concentrate on her dancing was gone.
And now... now... now her heart was... clearly out of control as it pounded away in her chest. She couldn't dance for him.
What if she fell? That would be unbearable... no, she couldn't do this. Why had she ever thought the time between them would change anything? Just because she had grown up, matured, become a more emotionally stable person... No, it hadn't helped! He still loomed over her, weaving his seductive spell that made her doubt everything.
The only person who could single handedly break all her defenses with the mere sound of his voice and touch of his gaze. She was such a loser, she chided herself. Weak. She was weak, he had never liked weak people. They were too easily broken, she recalled him saying at one point.
"I came to see you." he spoke up, breaking the silence once more. "Your last two season end performances. I've never missed one."
His gaze was now tracing images reflected in the mirrors.
It was too much, she couldn't take this. Sesshoumaru was such a... a burden. He hung heavy on her; everything with him was tense and difficult.
"What do you want from me, Sesshoumaru? I have things to be doing." Her voice was surprisingly clear despite having put little effort into making it sound that way. She was worried her voice would come out low, and stressed. Perhaps she could conquer him after all?
"I already told you. Dance for me."
That hopeful notion was quickly squashed.
Despite what appeared like clear irritation his face was passive, expressing his near limitless patience. Sesshoumaru had always been so patient while she lost her temper every other second for one thing or another. Usually it was something Inuyasha had done, she thought almost smiling, almost allowing herself to be distracted.
"But I can-"
"Just do it," he interrupted.
She looked up and their gazes locked. "No."
The corner of his mouth lifted up into a smirk. "No?"
"No," she repeated firmly and smiled victoriously, perhaps prematurely.
Then as the look in his eyes changed, she corrected herself. Definitely prematurely.
It had all been worth it, he realized staring down into those twinkling, defiant eyes. Coming back home and arguing with his father and dealing with his over emotional brother, he grinned down at her.
"No?" He repeated.
He'd been wrong, he thought, thinking his brother Inuyasha had been her lapdog when it had been him all along. He had clearly been the one leashed by the young woman who stood before him.
Still yet, he thought, perhaps it had been reciprocal. Kagome had been his far longer than he had been hers. He had never doubted but briefly her loyalty to him, though they were young, he'd had faith in her. It was that faith that brought him back here, seeking her out once more.
"I suppose it is unimportant for the moment. I just remembered something far more important anyway."
She was blatantly curious but hesitant. "Such as?"
He stepped forward, and to his surprise she did not move away but did eye him nervously. Reaching back and around he grasped the navy blue band in her hair and tugged. It didn't come quite as easily as he'd expected and her head was jerked back. She yelped in surprise or pain he wasn't sure which.
"Hey! What do you think you're doing?"
He ignored her even as she reached back trying to get him to release his hold on her hair barrette. He slipped a finger under the elastic band and slid it down under the loop of hair pulling the first coil out. The second one fell as he twisted it and slid easily from her raven locks. It had been a tad bit more complicated than he thought but not less satisfying.
"What exactly was so important about that?" she snapped, trying to smooth out her hair.
He stepped forward eyeing the girl who was still tinkering with her hair in the mirror.
She was shifting under his gaze again. He almost smiled. All this time and he still had this much sway over her it was really quite amazing. She was still Kagome, and that, was exactly what he wanted; accepting, warm, optimistic, Kagome.
He tipped her chin up, and she leaned away slightly, looking startled.
Oh, no. He was not about to let her ruin his perfectly happy moment with her inane chatter.
He interrupted her, pressing his lips roughly to hers. He gripped her tighter than intended hoping to dispel any thoughts or ideas she may have had about some misguided loyalty to that moron from the café. She was his, he determined, if she liked it or not, he thought possessively. Yet the force proved needless as she melted against him, sighing. He wondered why he had ever thought this would be difficult.
Neither noticed the figure that watched silently from the doorway. Inuyasha stepped away from the glass entryway, stalking back down the hall where he was to meet Kikyo in a few minutes. Maybe some wounds took longer to heal.
-Final Chapter. The End.
Author's Notes: *sigh* - I pieced this together from two different chapters of this story that I was writing although both were really going in the same direction minus a few details here and there. Anyway, for now, this is it. I may scrap this chapter at a later date and completely rewrite the ending but not unless I'm inspired.
I really wish the Sesshoumaru/Kagome/family secret thing had worked out better, it started out so well, but I just couldn't make it work the way I wanted. In the end I just didn't want to get into it and left it as it was but put the falling out between Kagome and Sesshoumaru when he abandoned her at the New Year's Festival. That didn't work out as well as I wanted either
I'm so glad it's over since I lost my desire to write this several chapters ago. Anyway, thank you to everyone who reviewed and everyone who read and didn't review. (I'm very guilty of that.)
Oh, and one last thing, someone who didn't leave their name in a review mentioned it supposed to be a happy ending' just for future reference, I almost always have happy endings. If they aren't, I try to mark them at the beginning of the story since I usually plan those things out. Funny thing is, it starts out and unhappy' story and by the time it's finished, I've worked out a happy ending for it. ^_^