by Jacquey-san
Oh man, I do look good. God, I’m so in love with myself! I think I’m spending to much time with Mikagami. Fuuko chuckled as she put the finishing touches to her outfit. Fuuko was slightly narcissistic, but the rest was the truth. She did look fantastic. Her brown hair had finally decided to obey her, and was resting just slightly above her eyebrows to fall sideways to her chin, not obscuring at all. And blow dried to perfection! I didn’t even have to use any gel at all. Her cream and peaches complexion was accented by a slight application of pale blue eye-shadow, sparse use of blusher, and a lip shade of ‘Glossamer Silver.’ Which was exactly like it was named; the almost exact pink of Fuuko’s lips and the whole effect was more of just applying a gloss to reflect light off her lips than actually covering up with a colour. Fuuko didn’t look like she wore make-up at all; Be natural, that’s what Daddy had always said. A sky blue sleeveless silk top was the order of the day, with an excess of material hanging from the collar cut, so that a perfectly frail platinum chain with a quaint solitaire pendent was shown against a back drop of perfect skin. A exquisite bracelet of the same material adorned her left wrist, and she decided against any watches, for fear she would destroy it if the need to wear the fuujin arose. It wasn’t that Fuuko wasn’t comfortable in skirts, it was she had a premonition which she didn’t like to ignore. If anything was to happen, any fights breaking out, I would rather face them in pants than in a skirt. I certainly can move around a lot more easier in pants than in skirts. That’s why bringing up the rear (pun not intended) was a night sky blue, tailored made loose pants. Hmm, looks like the same cut as the suit that I wore to that prestigious weather convention. It’s really funny that my clothes would be of opposing shades. Day blue against night blue. But they really do look great together. Goes to show that opposites can work side by side. And very well indeed. A small voice wickedly added, Just like you and Mikagami.  Fuuko angrily banished that thought. She looked at her footwear. Adding the finishing touches was Hush Puppies zip black-coloured ankle boots with a velvet covering. If Fuuko was expecting trouble enough to wear pants, then she would also definitely have the sense not to wear stilettos or high-heeled shoes. These puppies (pun again not intended) serve as well as combat boots, and can double as formal wear. Good thing I brought these babies, or else I would have ended up wearing that! Shuddering, Fuuko looked at what the maid had brought in along with her clothes; platform shoes 4-inches high. As if I’m not tall enough. Fuuko scoffed as she scrutinized her image one last time. Although Mikagami is taller. I wonder what he’s wearing? And what he thinks of my outfit. Will he think it’s not girlish enough? That I’m a tomboyish brat? Girl, why should you care what he thinks? In fact, why care about him at all? Angry at her heart for betraying her mind, Fuuko angrily slipped her fuujin into her pocket but still couldn’t stop thinking about an angst-filled someone. 

Oh come on, give him a break. And a chance, for that matter. 
Her mind retorted, But will he take it at all? Or just laugh at me for being sentimental. That’s his strongest point. He has no emotions to tie him down. 

Nope, that’s what made Mikagami what he is today. No emotions, no love, no caring, no nothing. Only hate. And that can kill someone. Give him a chance. You saw that he’s not all ice today, he can be fun and sweet when he wants to… 

Her mind had to agree. Tokiya had saved her from a fall today. Sure, it was only a fall, but it was his thought that really mattered. After the soccer match, they had proceeded to the library, where she had  manage to squeeze out Tokiya’s favourite reads. She wasn’t very good an analyzer, but when someone reads Shakespeare, Euriphides, Voltire Plath and Hemmingway, and recite all of them in their native languages, you’d figured that they’re pretty intelligent alien beings with a confused mind. If I can remember correctly, Plath was suicidal and she eventually killed herself by sticking her head into an oven. Fuuko shivered involuntarily. Weird. Right at that moment, there was a knock on her door. No prizes for guessing who. Fuuko walked to the door, and for some reason, her heart was beating like never before. 

Tokiya stood outside Fuuko’s door, poised to knock, the same position which he had adopted for the past 10 minutes. Damn, why can’t I even knock? Okay, fine. I’m getting involve when I know it’s dangerous. An afternoon of soccer and books can’t do any harm, can it? Oh come on, Tokiya. You look great! Just knock! And looked great Tokiya sure did. He never liked ties, so with only a white turtle neck, and a gray suit (you know, the usual, so I won’t have to go into details…), and typical black men’s shoes. With his long hair tied up and his ensui in the pocket, Tokiya was ready. Not that he felt ready, though. Taking in a deep breath, and before he regretted his actions, he knocked 3 times. 

The door opened and Fuuko came out, a sunny smile on her face. 

“Hi Mikagami, you ready?” My gosh, he looks magnificent! 

“Yes. Do you want to go down together?” She looks beautiful, so natural; not like some other women with make-up so thick I could fry a fish on their faces. 

“Yes, sure. Looking good, Mikagami. But isn’t that what you always wear?” Damn, Kirisawa, you do not flirt with Mikagami… 

“You notice what I always wear?” Tokiya’s eyebrows went up slightly. “But you also look good, Fuuko. The pants are really you. It’s unique. No other women I know would wear pants to a formal dinner.” I haven’t met anyone like you, either. 

“It’s not that I want to stand out. It’s just that I feel something’s going to go wrong tonight. Not that my intuition is always right. I just want to make sure.” 

Once things got into ‘serious’ mode, all personal thoughts were pushed aside as Fuuko and Tokiya tried to concentrate on the present problem. 

“You mean to say something is going to go wrong tonight?” 

“I told you Mikagami, it’s just a feel. That’s all. But what if something was to go wrong? Then what should we do? We don’t have back-up and I can’t contact Recca.” 

“Is there any escape routes from this place?” 

“Not that I know of, but we could…” 

Both of them were so deeply engrossed in their plans that they did not notice their feet taking them past the bodyguards, the many rooms, the many servants, straight into the immense ballroom. Crystal chandeliers overhead, real candles flickering alongside elaborate lamps, Roman and Greek columns supported the room, paintings worth millions adorned the walls, French windows with real silk curtains by the sides, the ballroom was an architect’s dream, and a constructor’s nightmare. Fuuko and Mikagmi were slightly jolted when Taketo suddenly appeared with a few words. 

“Mikagami-chan, Ms Kirisawa, please to see you here. Both of you look fantastic. Some of my guests have not arrived, so dinner will have to wait. I’d trust you’re comfortable in my house. I’d love to stay and chat, but I have a few business associates I’d must meet. The orchestra’s playing a waltz, perhaps you’ll both take a turn on the floor. Ah, Daimaru-chan! I’m coming over now! If you’d both excuse me.” 

Fuuko and Tokiya both watched the retreating back of Taketo and gave each other that kind of You-must-be-thinking-what-I’m-thinking-so-I-won’t-bother-explaining looks. But both of them also had personal thoughts which they didn’t convey. 

Mikagami is really melting. A day ago he wouldn’t even laugh with me; now we’re both trading looks and making fun of other people. I like this Mikagami. I’d bet he’s the real one, the one that existed alongside Mifuyu. I just hope he’ll stay for good. 

What’s wrong with me? I’m treating Fuuko as a buddy and actually having fun criticizing my clients?! Something is wrong here. But why am I feeling so at ease. Like I’ve been doing this everyday of my life? 

“Mikagami, do you know how to dance?” 

“Sure. Why do you ask?” Although he already had this sinking feeling in his stomach. 

“Good. Because I sure don’t.” 

“Umm, Fuuko, you’re not thinking what I think you’re thinking. Are you?” 

Fuuko just gave Tokiya the evil eye. 

“…No, that’s not the way. You follow my lead, not the other way around.” Tokiya was exasperated,  they had bumped into another couple for the 10 time in a mere 15 minutes. 

“Why should I follow your lead?” Fuuko shot back. 

“Because I know how to dance and you don’t!” Tokiya retorted. 

Fuuko was silenced by that perfectly logical answer. Her hand resting on Tokiya’s shoulder was sore, and her other hand clasped with Tokiya’s was burning her. His hand was warm and comforting, and for some reason, she didn’t want to let go. His hand on her waist was also causing her some discomfort. She wasn’t ticklish, it was she felt too sensitive. Literally that is. It’s just a dance, Kirisawa, nothing more. Concentrate… Tokiya, on the other hand, was trying his best to navigate their way through the dance floor, when it became pretty obvious after the 1st minute and a couple of collisions, that Fuuko, regardless of her ability in martial arts, was a dunce when it came to dancing. Of course, it also had to do with Tokiya’s mind constantly wandering… Fuuko can’t dance, but she sure feels good. Tokiya mentally slapped himself. You bloody pervert!!! Fuuko’s your friend! Besides, remember Mifuyu, the pain, the anguish. Do you think Fuuko will even consider you? The times you fought and yelled at each other? She hates you. She’ll hurt you…This caused Tokiya to reshuffle all his priorities. He donned his ice mask again. Fuuko somehow felt the difference. What’s happening? Mikagami’s so stiff. It’s like he became cold again. Damn, why does he feel that having fun is wrong? Just because Mifuyu is 6 feet under and he’s alive and dancing, I mean kicking? Fuuko winced at her harsh words. Okay, that was mean. But Mikagami’s actually feeling guilty about dancing! What is the world coming to? What is his brain coming to? Fuuko tried to lure Tokiya out of his frosty shell by engaging him in small talk, to no avail. He only answered with monosyllables, with made Fuuko ever so frustrated. Instead of giving up, this only had an adverse effect. It spurred her on. Sorry Mikagami, but you asked for this. Fuuko suddenly stamped on Tokiya’s foot, eliciting a yell of pain. 

“Yeow-ouch!!! Fuuko?!” 

“Sorry. You did look a bit distracted,” she lied, “I wanted to get your attention.” 

“Well, you did. What’s wrong?” Tokiya was glaring at Fuuko. 

Tokiya, the only one of the two who could dance, was thoroughly distracted, and Fuuko was no help at all; and what could happen did happen. Another young couple crashed into them. A blond woman, in a dress with a plunging neckline, and an equally low IQ, lashed out at Fuuko, while making eyes at Tokyia. 

“Woman, if you can’t dance, then don’t! Leave men who can dance,” she flashed a seductive smile at a disgusted Tokiya, “To women who can dance.” Battering her eyelashes at her uninterested prey, she moved back to her partner. Fuuko was really peeved. That was an outright challenge, and she never ever refused one. She never ever lost one, either. “Come on Mikagami, I need a partner to beat that dance showgirl.” 

“But you don’t know how to dance!” 

“Isn’t dancing just like fighting?” 

“Well, yes… I guess you could say that.” 

“Than what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!” 

And get started, they did. To a disastrous beginning, that is. In her bid to dance better, Fuuko danced with so much enthusiasm, she was worse off than when she started. She stomped on Tokiya’s feet, swirled and bumped into other dancers, and all while keeping a cheery smile throughout her ordeal. Even her poor partner was impressed. It wasn’t until her challenger moved closer, and purposely tripped her, that things became much more interesting. Only through Tokiya’s quick reflexes, and Fuuko’s trained balancing maneuvers was she able to maintain her dignity. But what was most important was that something in Fuuko suddenly just clicked, and grabbing Tokiya’s hand, she moved into the first position of a waltz. Fuuko felt right, somehow. Everything that Tokiya had been trying to explain became crystal clear. 

“Fuuko,” Tokiya whispered, “Don’t fall into that woman’s trap. She wants you humiliated.” And even I can’t stop you from tripping over other people’s shoes.” 

“Don’t worry,” Fuuko grinned back, “You lead. I follow.” 

“But you can’t…” 

“Hush, don’t say anything…” The string section of the live orchestra begin the first stirrings of ‘Blue Danube Waltz’ and Fuuko quieted down. All she did was flashed Tokiya a familiar grin with a twinkle in her eyes. The music started. Fuuko slid across the dance floor, perfectly  in time to Tokiya’s steps. Their shoes made no noise as both wind and water cut through gracefully, twirling in and out, arms and feet flawlessly coordinated. Gliding elegantly in Tokiya’s arms, Fuuko was surprised that she was enjoying every moment tremendously. Slipping like the wind through the crowd, and spinning in Tokiya’s arms was pure bliss. Her mind had no space for thoughts as she gave herself up to the exquisite music and her dance moves. Suddenly, she head a murmur by her ear. 

“Are you sure you don’t know how to dance? Was the beginning just an act?” 

Fuuko looked up into Tokiya’s laughing blue eyes. “I promise you I never once told a lie. Well, I can’t dance, but I can fight. I just pretended I am Wind, gliding through the sky, and that I had to make sure I don’t crash into other people, because in my mind, they’re brick walls, which Wind can’t pass through.” 

“You’re pretty smart, you know, Fuuko. And you dance wonderfully well. Look there, your enemy is glaring daggers and knives at you.” 

Fuuko didn’t look, she didn’t want to. She was so close to Tokiya, their hands locked together, body close together, faces only mere inches apart. We aren’t going to… Are we? 

Fuuko couldn’t be bothered anymore, and threw all caution, and rational thoughts to the wind (Pun not intended for the 3rd time). Their lips were only about an inch apart. Fuuko could smell Tokiya’s scent, clean and fresh. It’s another cologne, ‘Forget Woes’. Fuuko mentally chuckled. I think I can figure out Mikagami’s moods from his scents from now on. Tokiya was extremely confused. He wanted to kiss Fuuko. But she’s a friend, and she’s going to hurt you! A friend would never hurt you. A voice cut through. And can’t you see that Fuuko holds something for you too? Tokiya blanked all thoughts save the last one out, and impulsively, lowered his mouth to clear the last inch between them. 

“Bang!” Screams came from around the room. Fuuko and Tokiya spun around from their embrace, and immediately leaped to the nearest shelter, which happened to be a pillar, and crouched. 10 feet away was Taketo, banishing a gun at a tanned man of the same age, with gray-streaked hair. 

“That’s Itowa. What’s he doing here?” Tokiya was puzzled. 

“This is Taketo’s house! Itowa must have been mad to come.” 

“Itowa wasn’t.” The reply came from a new voice. Fuuko and Tokiya stared at the young servant girl, who was obviously terrified, but bravely struggled against it. 

“I heard some of the other servants say that Boss had invited Itowa over, so that he could show off a new weapon or something. They’re always doing that, trying to put each other down with a new addition to the collection.” 

“If that happens all the time, then why are you so scared?” Tokiya queried. 

“There’s been some rumours around the mansion that Boss had awaken the powers of his grandfather’s weapon, and is planning to use it against Itowa. Furthermore, there’s been many new servants, since many of the old ones have ‘disappeared’. Furniture has also been destroyed in the weirdest way possible. I’ve actually found one scorched sofa on the roof! And it is a large sofa.” 

Tokiya and Fuuko listened to the girl, everything already clicking in place. 

“There is no doubt about it. Taketo must have discovered a way to use the madougu.” 

“Look Mikagmi, Taketo is holding a small silver ball. It sure looks like a madougu. We’ve better do something. Taketo’s already ordering his men to hold Itowa to the ground!” Fuuko saw Taketo holding up the madougu to Itowa and decided to act then. Slipping on her fuujin, Fuuko sprang out, calling on her Kazesume, and knocking around 5 men to the floor. Tokiya cursed, he didn’t expect Fuuko to move out so soon. She’s vastly outnumbered, she needs help! At that moment, a goon had managed to get behind Fuuko, who was grappling hand to hand with another goon, and was aiming a gun. Tokiya rushed forward, and with a blow the neck, toppled him. Out in the open, and identified as Fuuko accomplice, and probably Itowa’s spies, Tokiya had about 10 more men rushing at him. He leaped into the air, and with a somersault, landed beside Fuuko, who had managed to knock out her previous attacker, now lying out cold by her feet. 

“Fuuko, that was a very bad idea to come out so soon.” 

“You think I didn’t notice?” 

“How many do you think you can handle? “ 

“Both of us should be able to take on all of them.” 

“I, er, would like to point out I don’t have my ensui.” Tokiya slightly coughed. 

“What?!” Fuuko was basing the odds on Tokiya managing most of the goons. “I thought you never went anywhere without your ensui!” 

“I did bring it. Umm, but can you point out a water source for me now?” 

Fuuko suddenly understood. Without first drawing power from water to form a blade, which was rather difficult to get now, Tokiya’s ensui would be not help at all. 

“Are you confident in your unarmed combat?” 

“Fuuko, when I have the ensui, do you think I would major in unarmed combat?” 

“Well, it’s a good time to major in that now!” Fuuko moved off to intercept a few goons. Without his powerful ensui, Fuuko suspected that even she would be able to defeat Tokiya. Fuuko slammed a fist into a face, commanded her Onitsume into a few others, leaped into the air and delivered a round kick to fell another enemy. She watched Tokiya out of the corner of her eye. He’s doing just fine without his ensui. Guess I go concentrate of my share. Fate decided to rear its ugly head at that moment, and like the time in the alley, a comment from Fuuko caused Tokiya his downfall. Like it did now. For the goons had finally, and unluckily, grown smarter, and Tokiya was cornered, faced with guns. 

Tokiya saw Fuuko moving off, and a few goons coming over. He grabbed the arm of one, slammed his knee into the stomach and flung the groaning body into his other croonies. He managed to do away with a few more before what he feared most came into few. Faced with over 10 guns, and even with his ensui, he had to surrender. Some of his bad luck apparently rubbed off Fuuko, as she was forced to hand over her fuujin, and was brought together with Tokiya, hands pinned behind in a vice-like grip, to Taketo. Where Itowa was, they didn’t know. 

“Mikagami-chan, you have betrayed my trust. I thought you were working for me.” 

“I was. Until I discovered you were planning to use your grandfather’s madougu to destroy your rival. That is wrong.” 

“I know. I had you followed. I knew you were righteous. I never expected less.” 

“Then why did you hire me in the 1st place?” 

“Do you actually think that I hired you because of your reputation. True enough, I do admire your skills, but I admire something else you own even more. Your ensui.” 

“I should have known.” Suddenly Tokiya’s eyes darkened. “The 5 men who ambushed me. They took my ensui away. They were your men, weren’t they?” 

“Very clever, Mikagami-chan. In fact, I must also thank you for leading your lady friend to us. Her power is indeed incredible. So good that I am thinking of a proposition.” 

“What?” Fuuko was mad at Taketo, at Tokiya, at herself for getting into such a fix. 

“You know how to control your madougu very well. So does Mikagami-chan here. You both would prove to be valuable body-guards. So how about it, you both work for me, and you can have anything you want. Money, power, status, anything.” 

Fuuko and Tokiya looked at each other. There was no use pretending. Taketo was a smart man; he had built his entire empire with his own hands from nothing. In fact, he knew that both of them would never defect. Oh, it was just a test. 

“No. No way. We’ll never work with you. “ Tokiya stared straight into Taketo’s eyes. 

“You are smart. No matter how good we are, you’ll never accept us if we come from the other side. You don’t take in traitors; they’re too risky too handle.” Fuuko chipped in. 

“Good!” Taketo was actually smiling with approval. “You’re both extremely talented people. A pity I’ll still have to kill you both. But you expected it, already, I’d bet. So, for passing my test, I’ll grant you both a quick death. A bullet to the brain. No mess, no fuss.” The signaling to another bodyguard, he added, “Remove their weapons and take both of them into the cells. I’ll come for them after I finish with Itowa.” Fuuko and Tokiya were then lead to a small room with only 2 chairs. The walls were all white and bare, with no window and only a security camera at a side. After they were put in, their handcuffs were removed by an extremely puzzled bodyguard. 

“Don’t know why Boss ordered them to be removed. Never done that to others before.” He shrugged. “Oh well, just a reminder, try anything even remotely funny, and we’ll pump in nerve gas. Get it? And we don’t do ‘toilets’ or ‘stomachaches’ either, understand?” Both of his prisoners nodded and the door slammed shut. 

“Oh well, if you don’t have a will, you’d better start one now.” Fuuko attempted a half-hearted jest. They were sitting on the floor, against the wall, and somehow, it fell flatter than normal laws of physics allowed it. She sighed and went into ‘serious’ mode. 

“There’s no use escaping. Taketo’s smart. He trained his goons well.” 

“I told you he was clever. So, Fuuko, any last words?” Am I ready to meet Mifuyu? 

“Maybe you should start first.” Fuuko’s voice was soft. “I think it high time you told me how you actually feel about Mifuyu’s death, Mikagami. I know it hurts, but that is actually my last request from you.” Please, I want to die knowing that I tried to heal you. 

Tokiya closed his eyes. He’d never told anyone how he actually felt. He’d never told anyone any of his feelings either. It hurt too much. He didn’t want to. So, he was surprised when his mouth opened and words came tumbling out. “I loved her so much. More than any younger brother could love his older sister. You know my parents died when I was a baby, and Mifuyu single-handedly brought me up. Sure, out parents left a large inheritance, plus the insurance money. But we didn’t have love or care, just each other. Mifuyu sacrificed so much for me. Her social life, her studies. I can even remember once, her crush of 2 years finally asked her out. But I was running a high fever that day, and she turned him down. He never spoke to her again. Mifuyu was so upset, but she never blamed me. She just said she was happy with me.” Tokiya was shock when her felt wetness on his cheeks. I can’t be crying, can I? It’s been 16 years, it shouldn’t be affecting me anymore…Fuuko, who had been silent all these while, spoke. 

“It still hurts because you’ve never talked about it, nor accepted it. Yes, let it out. Cry, if necessary. It’ll help ease the pain.” Mifuyu’s death must have ate at his heart like acid. 

Tokiya regarded Fuuko with surprise from his teary eyes. It took him a moment to figure out that he had spoken out loud. Fuuko’s right. I should let the past die. 

“Not eat your insides away.” Seeing Tokiya’s dazed look, she nodded. “Yes, you spoke aloud again. Mikagami,” Fuuko shifted herself nearer. “I read a poem of yours. I think I understood everything that you said. Mikagami, you’re WERE going mad. Grief and guilty were eating you away like acid. You needed to let it out. Tell me, do you feel better already?” Does he want to say anything else? Because if he doesn’t, I sure do. 

“Yes, I do. I don’t know why, but facing death makes things much more clearer.” 

“You’re the most correct. A day ago when we had a similar conversation, you yelled your lungs out at me. So, you’re finally admitting that you were afraid to love from then on?” 

“Yes. I guess I do. So far, nobody has ever managed to touch me.” Except you… 

“You mean melt that frozen heart of yours?” Fuuko chuckled. It’s stupid, but I must know. “Mikagami, are you sure nobody has melted your heart, not a single bit?” It was a dead-serious question, one of the most serious Fuuko had ever asked, and Tokiya ever had to answer. Their gazes locked; Tokiya struggled to answer. 

“Never. Not even once.” Tokiya’s bland face didn’t betray anything. It certainly had to. Being a lawyer certainly has it’s plus points. Like lie without flinching or feeling guilty. 

But Fuuko blew up, like the day before. “You’re not going to lie again, are you, Tokiya Mikagami? Not when you’re about to die?! Admit it, you love me!” I sure do love you… 

“You’re out of your mind Fuuko. How can I love you, when we’ve barely had a decent conversation for the past 8 years, and we’ve only reconciled for like 24 hours?” I want to know if she loves me…But please, let the answer be no… 

“ Time does not mean anything, you idiot! And what the hell would you call what we shared on the dance floor? We nearly kissed, for heaven’s sake! Even if you don’t love me, you are attracted to me! Damn you Mikagami, I love you!!!” There, I’ve said, it’s now up to him to make this relationship work, even if it’s only going to last a few hours. 

“You might love me, I might be attracted to you, but it makes no difference when both of us are going to die. Give it up for once, will you Fuuko?” She loves me… Don’t acknowledge it Tokiya. It’s easier and less painful to see a friend die, than a lover die. I told you not to get too close. See what happens? She’ll hurt you like Mifuyu did. 

“NO, I WON’T!” Fuuko was burning in rage. “You may say you’ve gotten over your sister, but hell no! You’re still paranoid at getting hurt! You love me, damn you, but I’m going to die, and that’ll tear your heart apart, wouldn’t it?” Fuuko’s tone softened as she saw Tokiya’s pained expression. “That’s it, isn’t it? You do love me, but you don’t want to see another love one die… You also probably think you’re a jinx, any woman who loves you will die. That’s not true, Mikagami… You don’t have to…” 

Tokiya’s heart was about to burst. He managed to trick his mind into believing he was attracted to Fuuko, but with each word, Fuuko was getting into him, making him relive the pain once more. “NO!!! I don’t know where you got the idea, but I never loved you.” You don’t love her, you don’t love her, you don’t love her… 

Fuuko couldn’t take it any longer. I need a way to let his feeling out…And she did what her heart instructed. Raising her hand, Fuuko struck Tokiya squarely across his cheek. The loud slap echoed through the empty room. Tokiya was so shocked he stared at Fuuko, totally speechless, mouth agape. 

“Why did you slap me? Are you mad?” I thought Fuuko just said she loved me… 

“I’m not the crazy one here; YOU are. Fancy throwing love away even when it hits you right in the face!” I love you, you stupid dolt. Can’t you even make me happy before I die? Before Tokiya could recover from his shock, the stinging blow, and deliver a word in edgewise, Fuuko had yelled at him again. “You may not admit it, but you love me. And I sure as hell do love you!!!” Before she could chicken out, Fuuko grabbed the collar of Tokiya’s suit (his turtleneck didn’t have one, oh bother!), and yanked him towards her, their lips meeting in a crushing kiss halfway. Tokiya was too stunned to respond or pull away, but his mind had finally admitted Fuuko as his love. Fuuko, on the other hand had put her hands around Tokiya’s neck to prevent him from jerking away. 

If he doesn’t respond to this, I don’t know what will… Wait, he’s not pulling away, he’s even kissing me back… 

Damn you Kirisawa, I love you, you little windy vixen… 

A minute later, both of them emerged, faces red with embarrassment, but clearly happy and thoroughly satisfied. Fuuko put a hand on Tokiya’s cheek. 

“You do love me, don’t you?” 

“You finally got me. Yes Fuuko, I do love you. But we’re going to…” 

“Hush! Don’t talk about it. But is it too late to get to know each other better?” 

“No. You’re right, time is precious. Okay, so what’s your favourite colour…” 

The doors swung open at about 11 pm; Fuuko and Tokiya scrambled to their feet. Taketo walked in, a gun in his hands, a smile on her face. 

“I had the most enjoyable time playing with my madougu, and Itowa of course. But don’t worry. I won’t break my promise to you both. Okay, let’s make this snappy. Any last requests?” 

“Yes. I want to tell Fuuko something.” Taketo gave Tokiya the go-ahead. 

“Fuuko, I just want to tell you how thankful I am for melting this heart of mine.” Tokiya put Fuuko’s hand on his chest. “And I’ve discovered, loving you, is worth all the pain to lose you once more.” 

“Mikagami, you’ve intrigued us Hokage members for 8 years, and my only regret is I can’ t them who you really are. They all deserve to meet this wonderful, warm and caring, funny and charming, Mikagami I’ve discovered. But it’s my honour that you should love me.” Saying that, their lips met for one last, quick peck. 

“That’s it Taketo, we might as well get it done and over with.” Tokiya sighed. 

“Wait, I have one small request.” Fuuko looked Taketo. “Could we die holding hands? 

“Sure. Makes no difference to me.” Tokiya and Fuuko smiled as they turned around, hands together. Taketo did the count-down. “3-2-1!” Fuuko squeezed her eyes shut as she heard Taketo cocked the trigger, her fingers interlaced tighter with Tokiya’s. Suddenly, Taketo yelled out in pain and Fuuko felt flames lick her. What the…?! She turned and stared at Tokiya, was met with the same question and then saw… 

“RECCA!!!” Fuuko scrambled over Taketo’s scorched body to her friend. “Like you came just in time!!!” 

“Sorry, we took so long. Do you know how many guards there are in here? Even with Kuu and Kurei’s help, we had trouble finding you people. Besides, I told you both to stay alive for just 24 hours and we’ll be here.” 

“And it was the most horrible and longest 24 hours I’ve ever went through.” Then remembering Tokiya, Fuuko grabbed him, “Recca, I want you to meet someone. This is my boyfriend, the new Tokiya Mikagami.” Needless to say, Fuuko wished she had a video camera to capture Recca’s resulting expression. 

Fuuko yawned as she awoke from her deep slumber. She had only vague and foggy memories of the previous night, and that included Yanagi placing a healing spell on Fuuko and Tokiya. Then I was fed with my own special tea. Fuuko chuckled, it did work well, for she had slept for around 12 hours straight. She felt movement by her side, and turned around, to face a very awake Tokiya, smile playing around his lips. Fuuko couldn’t help it. She bent forward and kissed him. Tokiya was taken aback at first, then he started competing with her. Fuuko looks like a baby when she sleeps. Wonder if she know that… “Fuuko, I want you to call me Tokiya. Not Mikagami. Mifuyu always called me Tokiya. I want you to do the same.” 

“But I’m not your sister… Tokiya!” 

Tokiya just laughed as he pulled Fuuko towards him for another kiss, a laugh full of warmth, love and tenderness. Fuuko laughed along as she kissed him. The real Tokiya. MY Tokiya!