Disclaimer: I don't own Gakuen Alice.
My Happy Ending
by Little Miss Giggle
Chapter Forty-Two: The Finale
I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know
I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you
— The Reason
November was less than a week away, and the weather was turning grey and cold. Ruka, from the window, which looked over the city, gazed rather blankly outside, watching with tired eyes the sun rise, slowly yet surely over Tokyo. Tearing his eyes away from the world outside, the cruel world, Ruka looked into the depth of his apartment (that he shared with his friends). Koko and Kitsune-me were sleeping in their rooms respectively, yet on the couch, slept Natsume Hyuuga.
Life had been rough on the boys for the whole of October, so far, and Ruka knew very well things would stay this way until the hearing was over and even some time after then. The past weeks had been filled with meetings after meetings—meetings had been a common occurrence ever since Natsume announced, back in the Summer, he wanted to break from Serio Records, as after that followed meetings with Tobita Yuu, their manager, and Serio Persona. Soon, Takeshi Hyuuga came into the picture, and when Persona and Takeshi's negotiations (plea, more like) failed (for the band not to break), things turned dark as they turned to threatening Crimson Abyss.
It was done, however. They were no longer part of Serio Records, and the whole world now knew of their felony and could openly call them all a disgrace.
The effect it had on the Serio Records could not be underestimated and Takeshi Hyuuga's reputation as a moral lawyer who fought in the name of justice was now in flames, ironically. The two were also to be prosecuted, yet for reasons of corruption, which seemed less serious, in comparison to something that could have robbed someone's life.
The boys were drained from the past few weeks. They had all become hermits, to a great extent, especially after Natsume was hounded viciously just down the streets earlier in October. The only time they went out was at night, to a rather dingy recording studio down in Kichijoji which they rented (of course, they were no longer entitled to use Serio Record's swanky studio), along with Yuu.
Natsume, by far, was the most condemned, and his hearing's date was set: 20th of November, scheduled in Sapporo. Natsume, since the summer, and still now daily was apologizing to the boys for everything that was happening as he felt responsible for it, and selfish to a great extent. Selfish, because it was he who initiated the break, and he who was determined to make it happen. The boys, however, understood and stood besides Natsume, a place they had been occupying since everything happened anyway. Besides, despite the fact they now right in the centre of storm, they knew that they were doing the right thing, as the contract to begin with was, as the press said, a blood contract.
This was justice.
No matter if they had lost many of their fans (who claimed that Natsume's hands were dirty, and supporting a criminal was an act of crime itself), no matter if the press started to dub them "Crimson for Prison", they tried to stay strong and optimistic, especially for Natsume's sake. And there were remnants, fans who declared their support for Crimson Abyss, even new fans, who expressed their amazement and respect for Crimson Abyss for breaking off, even when knowing the consequences that would follow.
Natsume will pay back karma on the 20th of November.
Ruka watched his friend, asleep on the couch, with a very tense expression on his face, and couldn't help wish the days would just roll on faster to a place in the future where Natsume could sleep peacefully, without anything plaguing his mind.
Ruka was the only one awake; he had been watching Tokyo below from a time before dawn, and continued to do so until he heard the doorbell ring at eight o'clock. By eight, the sky still looked rather dark, yet he could see from up above that the city was awake. Ruka's first instinct was to glance at Natsume (when he heard the doorbell), to see if he had woken up by the sound of it, yet was relieved to see that Natsume continued to sleep.
Ruka made his way to the door, already knowing who it would be—"Hey Yuu," he greeted, "come in." Hachi, who had been asleep in his bed, awoke at the sound of the bell, and also had made his way over to greet Tobita Yuu.
"Good morning!" Yuu brightly said, yet when he saw there was nobody behind Ruka, he asked, "Is everyone else asleep?" When Ruka nodded, Yuu continued, his voice considerably lower, "I've got the sample track—it's done, ready for release . . ." he held up a CD case, with a blank CD in it, that read (written, in Sharpie), Crimson Abyss: Finale, "but shall I come by later?"
The reason to why Crimson Abyss had rented that dingy recording studio in Kichijoji, very discreetly, was because they, after two years, had finally decided to release a song, now that they were no longer under Serio Records. Of course, no recording company in their right mind would take on Crimson Abyss, as their name was now seen as a synonym for scandal, and that is why they had to rent an unassociated recording studio for the spam of two months.
Crimson Abyss, well, Natsume, had decided back when he decided to break from Serio Records that they, together as Crimson Abyss, would release a song after they were free from the clutches of Serio Persona. Of course, now, the mere idea of doing such a thing terrified the boys (because of their poor reputation), yet they didn't back away from the idea, mainly because they knew it was their last shot and go at making music together.
The boys decided that this would be their last song, their finale, together as Crimson Abyss.
And there Yuu was, in front of Ruka, holding up the CD which contained their last song, which they put all their remaining efforts in.
But remembering Natsume's tired face, Ruka was indeed about to ask Yuu to come back an hour or so later, yet before he could voice his request, he heard a voice from behind him, the voice that belonged to Natsume. "No, Yuu, you're here, don't go—I'll go wake the other two up."
Natsume rather sleepily even waved at Yuu, who wholeheartedly returned it, before he mumbled a good morning at his best friend who too returned the sentiments.
Yuu nodded, "Right. I'll go to the living room to set this," he lifted the CD, "up, so you can listen to it." Natsume, after nodded, made his way to wake up Koko and Kitsune-me, much to Yuu's happiness (Natsume Hyuuga was finally acting like the band leader he knew back at the Academy after all!), and which spurred Ruka to announce, "I'll make some coffee."
Just like coffee, it was bittersweet that the band was finally acting like a band on the brink of its end.
All of the members' faces were contorted in concentration as they listened to their final song. Koko and Kitsune-me, for example, initially had very sleepy expressions hanging on their faces, yet once the chords rolled out, that all changed. This song, a song that Natsume had written both the music and lyrics for, was hauntingly addictive and undeniably very, very good. It had taken the boys much longer to record than it usually would have, solely because they had to keep recording instruments on top of each other, without the help of other's.
But it worth it, in the sense, this song was completely their's. Not Persona's, just their's.
Until the music had completely stopped, all of the boys just listened to the instruments and Natsume's passionate yet equally empty voice. And when the music did indeed stop, they all looked up, to meet Tobita Yuu's very proud smile: "Best song yet."
This comment brought a smile to Koko, Kitsune-me and Ruka's face, who then passed it on to Natsume, with a little boyish punch to the shoulders, "Congrats, mate."
Natsume nodded before saying, "It's ours, so congratulations to all of you too—even you, Yuu."
Yuu smiled. "It was done last night, late last night, and I couldn't stop listening to it. Really. It's . . ." the problem was, with such song, it was hard to describe how good it was, as the word 'good' seemed to insult such song—any song could be good . . . yet this song, this song was . . . hauntingly exquisite. "I think I'll just end it by saying how much of a privilege it was to work with you all. You're all so talented, and I am certain that I will never have the luck to ever work with anybody in the league of all of you."
This wasn't goodbye—there were still days left until the band really were at its end, but Yuu's very kind words made the boys realise how soon their end was. They all wanted it to end, but Yuu's words definitely evoked melancholic sentiments too. Tobita Yuu had been completely supportive of the boys since their time together in the Academy. Tobita Yuu was the first person to know, outside Crimson Abyss, of their wish to break from Serio Records, and he was also the first person (except for Mikan, of course), who Natsume had told the truth about his past (thus the 'blood contract') directly. And again, he was surprised by the understanding response. Natsume couldn't help feel guilty knowing that an end to Crimson Abyss meant an end to Tobita Yuu's career with them but these were sacrifices he needed to overcome for the sake of his sanity and well-being.
Despite the fact he had told himself that, Natsume couldn't help such feelings of guilt bubble at Yuu's words. "I'm sorry, Yuu," Natsume lowly apologized, again, "but . . . the old is always replaced with the new. Greater things will come to you."
Koko nodded before he comically prophesied, "You're going to one day be the manager of the next Rolling Stone. I mean, with all your guitar skills, how could you not!"
They all smiled and laughed, yet once that stopped, Natsume made his way over to the CD player, and looked back at the boys, asking, "Do you mind?" They all shook their heads, and with their approval and permission, Natsume pressed the play button again, desperate to hear the song again.
It really was their best work, he could admit, yet Natsume couldn't help think that despite that it would probably do embarrassingly badly in the charts and in the music world in general—after all, who would want to listen to a criminal?
Criminals have the right to remain silent. That was because nobody wanted to listen to them in the first place.
"I did manage to sign a contract with iTunes," Yuu also informed them, "and the release date has been set to the 16th of November . . ." from then, all Yuu continued to explain were the legal issues surrounding the song, and how the band will receive less profit for this song than they would have done if they were associated to a recording company . . . but that was all okay. It was never really about the money on their part after all.
Mikan Sakura put the newspaper she had been reading down on the bed of a hotel she was staying at in Yokohama. Her national tour had begun, and that is the very explanation to why she was in Yokohama at that moment. Her concert in Yokohama was on the night before, and come tomorrow morning, she'd be in Sapporo, as she had a ticket booked with all her tour up to there, where she were to have a concert. Ideally, today was really there for her to rest and to rehearse for her concert tomorrow night, but she had requested to her manager whether it'd be okay if she just rehearsed tomorrow morning and afternoon instead, to which the manager had replied with a warm smile, "You've worked so hard, I don't see why you can't have a day of rest."
And so there she was, in her room, resting supposedly. She was still in her pajamas despite it being past noon, which of course, is normal, yet Mikan had tears in her eyes, after she had put the newspaper done. The newspaper, which coldly sat beside her, in bold titles read: "The Crimson Days Are Nearly Over!"
At times like this, Mikan was glad her friends were not with her, as she was sure they had seen enough of her tears being shed in the name of Natsume Hyuuga.
Mikan just couldn't believe what had happened these past few weeks to Crimson Abyss. It was completely out the blue, really, and of course it wasn't just her who was so shocked that Natsume had come out with the truth—the whole world was, really. But perhaps the people who were most shocked were the people who knew the truth about the whole scandal—her friends, including Hotaru, were absolute gobsmacked when news of Crimson Abyss' past came into light and known to the whole world on the 30th of September.
From that day on, Aoi Hyuuga had gone from being unknown to being the poor sister of the diabolic Natsume Hyuuga, and ill-fated daughter of the conspiring Takeshi Hyuuga in the eyes of the media.
The past few weeks had been crazy, and days after days, more and more dark information of Natsume Hyuuga's past and family relations were revealed. Aoi had found it very difficult for the whole of October to do anything at all, and since the beginning of November, she had left Tokyo to be with her brother, who was up in Sapporo with his bandmates.
The girls (and Youichi too, of course) often called Aoi, to check up if she was alright and on many occassions Mikan found herself calling Aoi to not only check that but often with hopes to hear about Natsume's wellbeing. After all, knowing the truth, Mikan knew what all of this must have meant to her ex-boyfriend.
And for some reason, despite that fact she should be ecstatic that she was touring and singing, Mikan found it very hard to be happy—guilty, even—as she knew that somewhere out there Natsume, Ruka, Koko, Kitsune-me and Aoi were, enveloped by their problems.
And Mikan resented herself for that; she really did, as it really made her question what happiness really was, and what it meant to her.
All of her friends had come to her concert in Tokyo (including Kaname, Tsubasa, Misaki and co. and even Mochu) back in October (thus, even Aoi, as she had not left yet), and back in the presence of her friends she was distracted, yet in Yokohoma, she did not have the same thing as none of her friends could follow her to every single venue of her concerts. They had jobs and lives too which definitely did not revolve around Mikan.
So in Yokohama, Mikan read and googled the news alone.
And it was just heartbreaking to her, and she felt so weak, then and there, crying for them as she couldn't even begin to fathom how they felt. For this show, she was only the spectator.
It wasn't like Mikan was sobbing uncontrollably in her pillow, cursing life of its injustice, no, it was just Mikan couldn't help the odd tear, or two or sometimes three, leak out from the corner of her eyes.
And there she was, due to leave to Sapporo, the centre of the storm, the very next day on the 16th, the place she knew Aoi was, waiting for her. With her manicured nails, Mikan pressed the corner of her eyes lightly for relief, but then, as if on cue, her mobile started to ring—it was Aoi.
"Hello?" It did not sound at all as if she had just been sniveling.
"Hey you—ready for tomorrow?" came the happy and excited voice of Aoi.
Mikan laughed, "You bet!"
Aoi then went on to say how she had made a banner for Mikan (she was coming to support her friend after all)—"Just like the good old days in the Academy, huh?" Mikan agreed, and hummed contentedly. The two chattered for the next five minutes, and Mikan told Aoi how the concert went last night, before they then started to make plans for tomorrow. As suggested, Aoi was indeed going to Mikan's concert in Sapporo that was to take place the next day, and two were also making plans to meet after the concert (despite the fact that it'd be quite late), as tomorrow morning and afternoon, for Mikan, consisted of rehearsals. They both knew Mikan had planned to stay a few days after her concert in Sapporo before heading back down to Sendai for her next concert, but Mikan wanted to exploit her stay there and see Aoi as much as she possibly could.
"So . . ." Mikan coughed, before she rather subtly asked, "how is everything over there?" She didn't explicitly say it, but Aoi immediately knew what Mikan was instigating.
"Oh . . . well, you can imagine . . . I'll tell you at dinner tomorrow, okay?"
"Alright." Mikan agreed, as she bit her lip. And then, before she could help herself, she asked, "Will it just be us for dinner?"
There was a slight pause before Aoi answered, "Yeah, but I can invite Natsume if you want—"
"No, no, no!" Mikan quickly reacted, "That's not what I meant—I just . . . I mean . . . sorry, forget it." Her sentence died rather pathetically, mainly because Mikan herself didn't know what her intentions were by asking such questions, nor did she have any idea what she really meant.
"Okay." Mikan could hear the smile in Aoi's voice. "Either way, I'll see you on stage tomorrow!"
The 16th was completely jam-packed for Mikan—she had hardly had anytime to herself (if anything, it was only in the toilet where she felt she had her own space) as the flights to Sapporo were very early, the rest of the day was spent rehearsing and then getting ready for the concert itself.
It was no surprise that her concert was a success and Mikan's adrenaline was still sky-high when she was done, at around ten forty-five p.m. Whilst usually after a concert, her and her tour team would go out all to eat, Mikan excused herself (after getting changed into normal clothes and washing off all her stage make-up), and left her tour team money for dinner, as a thank-you. They all said goodbye to her, and her manager asked of Mikan kindly to let him know of her plans for tomorrow and the day after as Mikan was only scheduled for rehearsals three days from then.
Mikan promised, and told everybody that was involved in her tour to have a good rest before she would see them in three days time.
Even when stepping outside (through the inconspicuous back door, where she had arranged to meet Aoi) Mikan didn't feel the full effects of the cold northern air thanks to her high adrenaline. Sapporo was cold—it was not due to snow until at least mid-December, but one could just feel that the frost was to come.
Mikan especially didn't feel cold as she was suddenly encased by the warmly dressed Aoi Hyuuga—"Ooof!"
"You were brilliant, Mikan!"
"You scared me, Aoi!"
The two girls laughed—their laughter took form of white feathery wisps as they breathed out into the cold, cold air. Then, it was Mikan's turn to give a bone-crushing hug to her friend. "I missed you so much, Aoi!"
Before they got into conversation however, the two friends suddenly heard people (who had obviously go to Mikan's concert by their topic of conversation: Mikan's third outfit) walking in their direction and agreed quietly it'd be best to start walking to the ramen restaurant.
"You're going to love this ramen place, trust me!"
"I don't doubt you for a minute!"
Not more than fifteen minutes later, the two were sat down in the brightly lit ramen restaurant. There were not many customers, to Mikan's relief, and soon after, they each had a bowl of steaming sho-yu ramen placed in front of them.
They talked, and talked and talked and it was after all that talk, Mikan finally gained the courage to ask what had been plaguing her mind: "So . . . how is it?"
Aoi immediately knew Mikan was not talking about the ramen—which was indeed delicious, but about everything that had been happening in Sapporo.
"Well," Aoi tiredly sigh, her eyes dimming slightly, "it's as hectic as you imagine it to be, really." Her tone was sombre, and she was speaking in a very low voice. Mikan crossed her arms on the table, and leaned in towards her friend. "Especially today, of course, with the release of their new song . . ."
"Wait, what?" Mikan demanded, shocked. "They're releasing an album?" Why had she not heard about this? Surely such news would have circulated around the press very quickly, considering the situation.
"Didn't you see the news?" Aoi inquired. Now Mikan thought about it, her whole day had been extremely busy and she really didn't have much time to see or check the news, let alone her phone. "And no, they're not releasing an album—they're just releasing a song . . . their last song, apparently."
Mikan was not only digesting her food, but also all this news. "B-But, why haven't I heard of this?"
"Well, they considering the situation, they just decided to release it out of the blue—not under a record company, of course, just straight to iTunes. They didn't announce they would be doing so, so you could imagine the attention they've been getting today. The song went to sale early this morning."
Mikan blinked, absolutely stupefied. After two years of silence, Crimson Abyss were finally making a noise? Why now, why now when their end was so near? Was this their goodbye present?
"Mikan? Are you okay?"
Mikan shook herself out of her reverie—"Yes. Yes. Yes." She thickly swallowed before she continued, look straight at the worried eyes of her friend, "I'm sorry. I'm just surprised."
"I suppose I was too when they told me. The whole of Japan seems surprised, really."
The two stayed silent for a while, and just finished off their ramens. Once done, Aoi asked, "What hotel are you staying at again? I'm sorry, you told me, but I'm having a complete mind-blank."
Mikan giggled and teased Aoi before she answered, "The Price Hotel."
"Ahhh yeah, now I remember!" Aoi paused and thought for a second or two, but then she burst out, "Oh, brilliant! That's actually really close to the hotel we're staying at!"
Mikan cheered before she really processed what Aoi had said. "You're staying at a hotel?" Sapporo was Aoi's hometown after all, she expected Aoi would have stayed back at her family's house, but it was only after Mikan had voiced out her question did she realise how stupid the question was and stupid she was for asking such thing.
"Yeah, we're staying at the Okura hotel, which is around 15 minutes away from you. By we I mean Natsume and me—the others," which obviously meant Koko, Kitsune-me and Ruka, "are back at their own homes respectively . . . their families haven't practically disowned them after all . . ."
Mikan guiltily bit her lip. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked such a stupid question . . ."
"Nothing to be sorry about!" Aoi cheerfully reassured Mikan. "Really, I mean, it's understandable. Most families aren't like mine after all, so it's hard to imagine. Besides, Natsume needs this. It's all for his own good, so there's really nothing to be sorry about. And everything will be fine in the end," she smiled, "—I saw the others today, and they all seem to have an idea on what to do next!"
"Oh yeah?" Mikan inquired, as she interlocked her fingers so her chin could rest, with a smile upon her face.
Aoi nodded before she explained how Ruka was thinking about becoming a vet; how Koko wanted to volunteer and how Kitsune-me wanted to travel to the south, to the sea, with his new qualifications of scuba-diving and such. Mikan tinkered with laughter—good for them! But she noticed how Aoi didn't mention Natsume. "And Natsume?" she prompted.
She felt her heartbeat quicken, and her heart itself drop when Aoi bit her lip—a habit which told one that Aoi didn't know the answer. ". . . I'm sure he'll be fine too."
Mikan blinked, before that same expression crossed Mikan's face for the second time. However this time, only after a few seconds, Aoi was able to finally recognize it. She was shocked (but didn't voice or show it) and primarily unable to believe what she was seeing, but it was written so evidently across Mikan's face. Mikan's eyes were the windows to her soul after all, and Aoi heard that little heartfelt sigh too . . .
There was no mistake about it.
"Our room is 107," Aoi said, pulling Mikan out of her second dazed trance, ". . . Room 107, Hotel Okura. Just in case you want to call or something."
"Oh, okay!" Mikan smiled, before she started to rummage through her bag, "Let me write that down just in case . . ." Yet, as Mikan wrote the number 0, she realized how odd it was Aoi had told her this—after all, surely she could have just called Aoi's mobile if she wanted to contact her? Why was Aoi giving her the hotel room, where her and Natsume were staying?
"I'm also going to a sleepover tonight at an old friend's house." Aoi added, rather pointedly.
It was not strange that Aoi would tell Mikan such thing, as it was the norm, yet it was the inciting tone that Aoi had said this statement that confused Mikan slightly. Nevertheless, Mikan let it pass and answered, "Oh, that's nice! But this late?" It was already past eleven, after all.
"I told her I'd be there by at least midnight!"
"Ooh, look at you, cheeky!" The two giggled, enjoying their moment of acting like silly fools.
The two stayed in each other's company till around twenty to twelve, and parted with a big hug, and a promise that they'd call each other the next day to make more plans. "Have a good night," they bid each other, as they kissed each other's cheek, "text me when you're back safe!"
Mikan took a taxi back to her hotel, and in the taxi, she could think nothing more but of a hot, steaming shower.
The exhaustion was finally creeping up on Mikan, as her high levels of adrenaline were stooping down low. It was past midnight when she got out the shower, and whilst at dinner all kind of thoughts were shooting through her head, right then, she could think of nothing but sleeping. She felt sparkly clean and very snug in her sweat pants and brother's jumper (which she had stolen, mwhaha), and she was in the midst of towel-drying her hair when she rather mechanically turned the radio on with the remote control that sat on her beside table. At first, she did not really register or even hear, for that matter, what they were saying on the radio, yet when she heard "Natsume Hyuuga" been said by the host, immediately, her ears perked up and her sleepiness left her.
Her heart beat increased and her adrenaline seeped back into her system.
Mikan let her towel drop to her bed, as she quite clumsily fumbled for the remote control (of the radio), to put the volume up . . .
"—they just keep surprising us, don't they?"
"Yes, well," the other voice said, "I think I much prefer this surprise of theirs."
"Yes, that's right folks—this single, which, Tobita Yuu, manager of Crimson Abyss, has announced to be their last single was released earlier today and is currently holding the place of number 1 on iTunes, Japan. It's one of the fastest songs to climb the chart! That's right, I'll say it again, Crimson Abyss' new and final single is one of the fastest climbing tracks in three decades! Not surprising either as it is a very good song. Haunting, passionate and damn depressing. Quite hypnotic, wouldn't you say, Mr. Souma?"
"But do you think that it is only because of these circumstances," and by circumstances, the host meant nothing more than the trial of Natsume Hyuuga, "that the song has done so well?"
"Well, I think that did play a part in it. After all, I think we all want to know what Crimson Abyss, especially Natsume Hyuuga has to say. He's been silent for two years, and even when his past came out, he still keep his mouth shut, refusing to take part in any interviews. So of course I think these situations did play a huge role to why this song has shot up but you can see from the reviewers of iTunes who have bought this song and by the praises from music critics, such as myself, that the circumstances are not the only reason. This song wasn't branded to be Crimson Abyss' best song for nothing, in my opinion. It's honest and heartbreaking and from it, there is no doubt we can assess that Natsume Hyuuga is a musical and lyrical genius."
"Yes—he wrote the music and the lyrics, I heard? Is that correct?"
"Well folks, that was Mr. Yuuta Souma, famous music critic of Classical Life, and here is Crimson Abyss' new and last single, their finale, Karma Police. You're listening to Radio 1, enjoy."
By then, Mikan was kneeled on the floor, looking at the radio box with wide eyes, as the music started.
Karma police, arrest this man
He talks in maths
He buzzes like a fridge
He's like a detuned radio
Karma police, arrest this girl
Her Hitler hairdo is
Making me feel ill
And we have crashed her party
This is what you get
This is what you get
This is what you get when you mess with us
I've given all I can
It's not enough
I've given all I can
But we're still on the payroll
This is what you get
This is what you get
This is what you get when you mess with us
And for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
And for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
For for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
For for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself.
Mikan admitted after hearing the first few words, she missed Natsume's voice so much, and hearing his voice alone already was too much for her, but when she listened to the lyrics, especially when he sang, 'I lost myself', she couldn't help tear up again. The Karma Police finally caught up with Natsume Hyuuga, he was trying to say, and Natsume's declaration of that, and even acceptance of that tore Mikan's heart apart. He had given all he could, but it was still not enough, it was still not enough.
By the end of the song, however, Mikan could finally see the truth. The truth to why she had been acting they way she had been since she saw him back in the Summer. The reason to why she always feel somewhat incomplete and the reason to why she regretted what she did in the Summer too. She missed Natsume—not only his voice, no, but Natsume himself, all of him.
She missed him.
And she needed to see him.
(play A Thousand Years by Christina Perri)
Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I'm afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow
Hearing Aoi's voice ringing in her head ("we're staying at the Okura hotel, which is around 15 minutes away from you…room 107…"), Mikan stood up and rather maladroitly and dashed to the door, and slipped on the nearest shoes in sight (which were heels). There was no time to think rationally, and Mikan flew out the door with her coat, and bag (which thankfully for her contained her phone, purse and door keys).
On the elevator down to the lobby however, Mikan calmed down a bit, and remembered to wipe the tears on her face. That was when she realised she had no idea where the Okura Hotel was, even if it were only fifteen minutes away, so when the elevator dinged, she went straight to the concierge, and asked for directions. After getting all she needed, (but deciding getting a taxi would be faster and better, mentally) she bid the man at the desk a goodnight, before she ran out into the streets of Sapporo, wearing heels, sweat pants, and a trench coat. There was no doubt she looked foolish (the concierge didn't seem to recognize her) especially as her hair was still damp. There weren't many in the street (it was past midnight after all) but the odd locals did look at her strangely, but Mikan didn't care. Remembering to head south, she did, before she look a left.
One step closer . . .
There was no taxi in sight, so Mikan kept on running in her heels, to the place where she knew Natsume Hyuuga would be.
Mikan had to see him.
His voice, his haunting voice was ringing and echoing in her ears.
She had to tell him.
Perhaps Mikan really did need Natsume as much as he needed her.
I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more
End of Chapter Forty Two
A/N: If you don't like or (worse) don't know Radiohead then … I have nothing to say to you. I'm just kidding, but if you didn't know of them, then I suggest you check them out. You have seen a wide range of music in this story, but Karma Police is my favourite by far.
Thank you to Devilish Dream for suggesting the song, 'The Reason' by Hoobastank. I always wanted to use it, but I had completely forgotten about its existence before you reminded me of it—so thank you!
Oh and despite the title for this chapter, it is NOT the Finale...it's just Crimson Abyss' finale, geddit?