Waking Up: Ending #2

By: tomieharley

Author's Notes/Disclaimer: First, I do not own any of the S-Cry-ed characters, even lovable Cougar-san! Second, this ending is not the original ending I had planned. I will post that one soon, but I want to see the reaction to the action scenes I put in this one because I hate writing action scenes. They're so tricky. Third, please review if you have the time. I want to know which ending is the best.

As Mimori ran toward the room lit with a strange white glow, she prayed silently for God to give her a second chance with Cougar. Over and over she repeated her mantra until she hit the white light.

What she saw in that room stopped her in her tracks. Mimori clamped her hand over her mouth to keep herself from screaming. In the center of it, Cougar, apparently clothed in a protective shining metal armor, dangled in the air before Mujo who was wiggling his arms in front of him; he too appeared to be glowing also. Cougar didn't—or maybe couldn't—fight back. He just kept screaming over and over, causing the hair on Mimori's arms and the back of her neck to stand on end. And Mujo simply stood there laughing manically, clearly enjoying his opponent's pain.

Then something even worse happened.

This time Mimori really did scream. Cougar's armor began to break apart as piece by piece disintegrated before her very eyes. It looked as if it was being stripped away slowly revealing the man inside, while Mujo's body only began to grow brighter.

She truth slammed into her hard causing her to stagger forward. OH NO! He can't be! He's absorbing Cougar's alter power, draining him dry. But if that happens…Mimori never finished the thought. She clenched the pendant tight in her already injured hand, whispering her mantra for the last time, before launching herself across the room towards the two men.

She ran toward Mujo's turned back. Without hesitation, she drew back her hand holding the only weapon she had fully preparing to thrust the crystal's pointed tip deep into his back. She began to swing downwards.

However, Mujo, sensing the approaching danger somehow, whirled around and tried to swiftly side step the attack at the last moment, but Mimori was just a little faster. The crystal grazed the front of his suit. It ripped through the fine material from shoulder to chest cutting the smooth flesh beneath enough to make it bleed. The alter user looked down in disbelief. Slowly, a dark stain began to spread across the front of his tattered suit.

Unfazed, Mimori wrenched her arm back to strike again, but Mujo, empowered with Cougar's uncanny speed, moved faster this time grabbing the wrist, preventing her from attacking or making a possible escape.

"Let me go, you bastard!" Mimori yelled as she attempted to tear herself free.

With his other free hand, Mujo seized the bloodied weapon. Before turning his attention to her, he studied it: turning it from side to side, tossing it up in the air, or spinning it skillfully through his fingers. A small smile played on his lips, ceasing Mimori's struggles momentarily.

He looked at her but didn't see her. Perhaps contemplating his plan on how he was going to use her against the mainland, Mimori wagered. She took a chance and cast a brief look over to where Cougar lay unmoving on the floor. She felt the blood drain from her face.

She couldn't tell if he was still alive or not. Not too far from where he lay, she noticed his pink sunglasses lying discarded on the ground. She heard Mujo's laughter rang yet again in her ears; she remembered the way Cougar's body dangled helplessly in the air like a puppet. Mimori gritted her teeth, fighting back her tears. A sudden rage swept through her casting away the last of her fear.

Defiantly, she stared into her captor's eyes, prepared to accept her faith as long as it meant death. I'm ready, Mujo. Do your worst, you scumbag, but I will never work for you. I rather die. At least…At least, I'll be with Cougar again.

His eyes unreadable behind his green shades, Mujo murmured, "I see. So it's like that."

Before she could react, Mujo thrust his hand forward, impaling her on her own weapon. The blow lifted her briefly off of her feet. Almost immediately, Mimori spat out blood on the floor choking off her shout of surprise. She noticed some of it landing on Mujo's expensively polished shoes and the bottom of his pants legs, but the white searing hot pain filling her entire body, kept her from enjoying that fact.

Helpless, Mimori watched her feet dangle in the air just like Cougar's. Then Mujo released his grip on the end of half-embedded crystal shard, and Mimori staggered backwards, fighting to remain on her feet.

The bastard watched her silently. She too studied him.

The air around him began to shimmer. As he approached her, the glow surrounding his body grew brighter and expanded around him until he appeared only a faint black outline within the white light. Blinking, she took a few more steps back, trying to escape, but the mysterious light engulfed her nearly as fast.

Blinded, she could not see but she could still feel her body though she could not move it on her own accord. Also, she could not feel the floor. Mimori realized then she was simply floating in place. The pain in her chest abruptly disappeared. A new sensation replaces it instead and takes control over her whole body, pulling it deeper into the bright golden light. Faster and faster she speeds. She didn't feel nauseous, but this new feeling did remind her of the one she got whenever she rode with Cougar. As if she was speeding along fast like a bullet until…

She's staring up at a sterile white ceiling. No one seems to notice the princess as she awakens from her mysterious slumber that had plagued her for so many days. The other room's occupant is fast asleep in the bed near hers, snoring softly and mumbling inaudibly. Listening, she can hear no one else in the room with her. Odd, she thinks until she realizes just how quiet the room is. I must have been moved to a semi-private room, she decides.

Mimori closes her eyes. Lying there, she focuses on recalling her fleeting dreams once solid enough to compose her reality but now slipping through her fingers like smoke. What she managed to hang onto were pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to the enigma of how she ended up here, in HOLY's medical ward? As each piece fell into its rightful place, another would follow until the puzzle sat almost completed with the exception of a final missing piece, the most important one since it connected the whole thing together.

She remembered going after Kyouji Mujo, a powerful alter user from the mainland. He had kidnapped a small girl named Kanami, and both Ryuhou and Kazuma went to save her. Both Scheris and she followed them but ended up going separately. Something went wrong. She never found Ryuhou. Why?

What went wrong?

Try as hard as she could, Mimori couldn't remember. The missing piece, she groans. She slaps her head hard in frustration.

She then notices the bandage around he right hand. Words, her words, a promise she made, returns, echoing in her ears, "This time, it's my turn to save you Cougar. I will save you and then you'll know how much I love you."

Cougar! She'd forgotten about Cougar. I can't remember what happened to him, she realized with tears streaming down her face. All she could remember was his unmoving body lying on the floor where Mujo dropped it. I've got to find him. I've got to-

Suddenly, the other patient giggles, interrupting Mimori's chain of thought, before blurting out, "Oh, Miss Minori, you know you shouldn't be in the men's shower room. Now, what did you do with my towel, you saucy little minx? Grrr."

Mimori gasps, jerking her head over at the other patient: Straight Cougar.

Too surprised to be angry, Mimori stopped struggling with her tangled bed sheets and covers in order to watch Cougar for a minute. She furiously blinked several times unable to believe what she was seeing. A perfectly healthy-looking Cougar laid atop the covers of the only other bed in the room wearing his uniform except his coat which rested on the back of the chair sitting between their beds. He giggled again and mumbled something about her dropping the soap before finally wrapping his strong tanned arms around his pillow, pulling it close to his chest, and snuggling with it like you would a favorite stuffed animal. Using her uninjured hand, she stifled a giggle as he planted a light kiss on his pillow playmate.

She smiled softly at him. Taking a break from your HOLY duties, I see. Same old Cougar, she thought.

And yet, not the same, for the first time, she saw him as a man, her man, her Prince Charming. Her eyes trailing over his body, she never realized how fit Cougar really is. Taking in his hard abs peeking out beneath his black tank, she found herself wondering if he spent as many hours in the gym as Ryuhou? Probably not, but then again, Cougar could always make the time.

After awhile though, watching him sleep so soundly no longer contented her. She wanted to feel those strong arms wrapped around her, squeezing her so lovingly. Throwing off her covers, Mimori scooted over to the edge of the bed and began working on getting the metal safety railing down. She pressed the button several times, which was suppose to release the locking mechanism, but nothing happened. Grunting, Mimori leaned over the railing to see if she was doing it right; when without warning, the railing fell away. Mimori screamed before she tumbled over the side toward the hard linoleum floor below. She shut her eyes instantly.

But she never hit the floor.

"What the…?" Mimori asked herself, peeking at the floor barely an inch below her. Both arms outstretched in front of her ready to break her fall her fingertips gently brushing across the cold surface.

That's when she became aware of strong hands holding her on either side of her waist as well as the empty bed in front of her. She looked back and found herself nose to nose with the wide-awake alter user. "Cougar! You're really alive!"

He said nothing at first but blew out a deep breath he appeared to have been holding. "Not for long, if you keep these antics up," he scolded, shaking his head the entire time he spoke. "You're going to have to take it easy on me. I'm not as young as I use to be."

Instead of hoisting her back up onto the bed, Cougar continued on scolding her in rapid succession.

As Mimori listened, she started to feel shy around him and could not interrupt him, even if she could find a pause or break in his tirade. She stared hard at the floor, wishing she could sink into it. She'd never seen Cougar so mad before. Of course, he has a right to be mad. He risked his life for me and here I am trying to break my neck by getting out of bed. But what if that's not his only reason? Maybe he's upset about what I did in Mujo's fortress? So many things could have gone wrong and we would both be dead now. He wanted to protect me and I came back anyway. Stupid! There's no way he'll forgive me now.

Resigned, she pushes away all thoughts of a future with Cougar, attempting to tune back into what he's saying. It seems he's winding down or so she hopes.

He knocks on the cast for her right leg. "You are aware of the fact you have a broken leg, don't you? Such recklessness! I don't know what I'm going to do with you. You refuse to go back to the mainland, try to destroy HOLY, fight dangerous alter users, and now attempting to escape from the medical ward." He bends back down to her so their faces are now level. A devilish grin slowly spreads on his face, causing Mimori to blush and hastily turn her gaze back to the checkered floor. She peeks back once at him.

With a cocked eyebrow, he says in all seriousness, "I'm going to have to chain you to your bed at this rate if I plan on getting any sleep. Let's put you back…"

His voice trailed off. Mimori waited for him to speak again or at least finish pulling her back up onto the bed, but nothing. "Cougar? Cougar, what are you…" Mimori, balancing on one of her hands, whipped around to see what was wrong, and froze.

Cougar's eyes were trained on her butt. Apparently, her gown had slipped up when she fell and now her butt lay exposed for the entire world to see, along with her pink silk panties. He kept opening and closing his mouth though nothing would come out. She could almost see the drool inching down the side of his mouth.

She grabbed her gown and pulled it down over her panties, breaking the spell over Cougar who had the decency to at least blush guiltily. "YOU PERVERT!"

With catlike speed, almost capable of matching his alter power of Radical Good Speed; Mimori twisted herself around to slap him with one hand while the other kept her gown down.

"Too slow, Miss Minori," he whispered to her, easily catching her attacking hand while his other arm kept her from hitting the floor again—this time head first.

Before she could say anything again, he scooped her up in the manner of a man taking his lover to bed just like in the movies. On instinct, her arm goes to wrap itself around his neck. Mimori's heart began to race. Now what, she asked herself as he laid her gently in the center of the bed. They stared at one another breathing hard and neither speaking.

Hating to be unsure of how to feel, Mimori grabs onto the easiest emotion, anger, caused by her recent embarrassment. The entire time she thought he hated her when he was really just using the time to look at her butt. What a jerk! She glares at him, her face red with embarrassment, while Cougar's face remains completely emotionless, except for his twinkling eyes. She couldn't be sure if she saw it exactly, but she was sure he just winked at her. How dare he! She balled her hands into fists.

He called her 'Miss Minori,' she recalled suddenly, the anger instantly draining from her. Forever, it felt like since she heard him so blatantly disregard her name's pronunciation. She burst into fresh sobs.

Cougar, who usually never could keep his mouth shut, said nothing but simply pulled her to him, wrapping those big strong arms she'd been fantasizing of a few minutes ago, and hugged her tightly. Mimori encircled his waist with her own and cried softly while he held her and occasionally stroked her hair. Neither spoke or moved for a long time. They simply sat there on the bed, enjoying their shared warmth and comfort.

Finally, Mimori yawned loudly. Again, the spell broke over them. Both pulled apart although they remained touching each other one way or another: a brushing of fingertips across bare shoulders, a thumb rubbing circles into a palm, a hand running up and down a forearm.

Again, she yawned. Flushing in embarrassment, Mimori covered her mouth, attempting to muffle a third one. Instead, Cougar gave a loud yawn. They both laughed.

"Sorry, I appear to be contagious," she told him.

"In that case," Cougar started, stretching out on his back beside her, "I probably shouldn't go back to work until the doctor comes, which should be"—he studied the clock on the wall—"another hour and fifteen minutes. Doctor Kurosawa likes to take long lunches, you see. He's a good guy but lousy taste in neckties." And with that last bit of information, he shut his eyes and folded his arms behind his head as he prepared to fall asleep again.

How come he always does this to me? Now what? She'd never had a man in her bed before, especially someone she was very attracted to. What do I do? Should I kiss him? Or maybe, I should lie down beside him and see what happens? Mimori turned away, occasionally sneaking a peak at him; unsure of whether he really was asleep or not as she watched his chest slowly rising and falling. She clutched the sides of her nightgown twisting the ends worriedly. Cougar said the doctor wouldn't arrive for at least another hour so they would be alone until then. This would be the perfect opportunity to tell him how she felt about him, or at least, try and explain why she came back to help him in his fight with Mujo. He deserved that much. Or maybe-

A hand grabbed a handful of her gown jerking her forcefully backwards onto the bed.

Bewildered, she turned her head towards a grinning Cougar, who peeked at her with only one eye opened.

"Or maybe," Cougar said, echoing her thoughts, "you should rest here beside me where you belong, my love."