I . . . Just please read the note below. Chapter twenty was rewritten completely, so it's very different from the original.

Whispering Fireworks

Chapter 20

"Tetsuya," Akashi called, having just dressed into a pair of training clothes. He walked into the kitchen, only to find Aomine struggling with the coffee maker. "Where is Tetsuya?"

"He's," Aomine grunted. Damn, why did they have to buy a complicated coffee maker? "Outside. Wanted to train early. Told him—damn it! Stupid machine! Kise's the one who usually . . ." his voice faltered, catching what he just said. With a swallow and a shake his head, he pushed the machine away and opted for instant coffee instead. "I told him not to overdue it, since he has his regular training menu, too."

Ignoring Aomine's slip, Akashi grabbed the coffee maker and easily started up his own cup. "I see."

"Aka-chin." Murasakibara slouched his way in, only wearing a pair of boxers with discontent. Aomine almost choked on his coffee. "Mido-chin stole all of my clothes."

"I didn't steal them!" came Midorima's snappy voice. "You practically had a large pile of dirty clothing overflowing from your room! Of course I would put them in the laundry."

A tick mark appeared on Murasakibara's forehead. "Mido-chin should have minded his own business and leave my clothes alone! I didn't ask for the help, carrot!"

Midorima stomped his way into the kitchen, obviously offended by the giant's comment. "Carrot? Your room is right next to mine, and I don't appreciate having to see dirty clothing in the hallway every morning." With a large exhale, he pushed up his glasses and turned away. "I don't have time to deal with you. The bulk order of medical supplies just came, and I need all the time I have organizing them." Angrily, he yanked open the front door and left in a hurry.

Murasakibara blew a raspberry behind his back until Akashi told him it was enough. "Mido-chin left me nothing but a pair of jeans and a shirt~I can't wear that to practice."

"We don't care what you wear, just put on some clothes," Aomine snapped.

Obviously disgruntled, Murasakibara reluctantly went back to his room, but not before muttering a smart reply back to Aomine. Akashi heard the door slam, pinched the bridge of his nose, and reached for his light sweater on the rack. He slipped into some worn sneakers. "It's morning, and Kagami Taiga and Ryouta are our main concerns as of now. There's no time to be arguing." He was already halfway out the door, easily dressing himself with the sweater. "I'm going out to Tetsuya. Don't be late for training."

"What about your coffee?" Aomine called.

"Throw away that distasteful instant coffee. I made the cup of coffee for you."

~Setting Skip~

Kuroko slumped against the tree, too tired to make his way back to the house. He had considered Aomine's advice seriously, he did, but he found himself being carried away as he continued to practice. If only he could perfect one of his abilities—no—if only he had the stamina to perfect one of his abilities. Akashi was not downsizing his words. Elemental abilities drained your energy in an instant.

Which made him question: How much pain did Akashi have to endure in order to get to the level he was at today? Just how much training did he have to do as a child? How much did Jingo push him until he became something worth acceptable?

The thought of it turned Kuroko grim. With one more attempt in his mind, he braced himself against the tree, lifted his arm, and felt another familiar wave of nausea in his gut. Still, he pushed forward. Molecules of water formed, then its actual shape revealed above the grass. Slowly, delicately, with strain, he inched the water painfully to the left. When he succeeded in that direction, he flipped his hand, and attempted to increase its height from the ground. The moment he tried, the water rained down on the dead grass in a fluid motion. What was left was a panting Kuroko.

Irritated and tired, he stared at the wet blotch on the ground.

He had only managed to be able to move the water left to right, slowly, and that was it. Nothing else has been successful. With a exasperated and tired sound, Kuroko covered his face with his hands, peeking now and then at the failure he displayed. Each time he did, he internally cringed. Kise was gone, and he couldn't figure a way to use his own ability.

Suddenly, two arms coiled around Kuroko's waist and pulled, making the latter stumble. His short legs tangled with someone's, and his body collided against a warm body. He first stiffened, the stranger unknown to him, until a familiar smell wafted into his nose. Kuroko relaxed, but frowned, taking hold of the restraining arms.

"You startled me, Akashi-kun."

"You should have known I was there in the first place." Akashi grabbed Kuroko's hands, raising an eyebrow at the temperature. "You're underdressed for this type of weather."

Kuroko looked at his own hands, then at his training ground. "I don't feel cold."

Akashi followed his gaze. "I would think so. Are you tired?" He looked down at the shorter boy, now with narrowed eyes. "You just recovered. The adjusted training menu for you might be too much today."

"I am fine," Kuroko said. He brushed off the redhead, uncomfortable with how close they were, and instead focused once again to his task. His hand shook in front of him. It was pointless, sensing how his energy was spent for the time being.

Akashi watched, amused, before coming behind softly and gripping onto Kuroko's raised wrist. "Your energy levels are being used more than it needs to," he murmured. "The first time I studied you, your energy's natural path drew outwards, which was how your first ability was developed. Elemental abilities, however, require more energy, but even more so for you, because you have to change your energy's path."

"You're confusing me."

A smile tugged onto Akashi's lips. "Here." With gentle guidance, Akashi navigated Kuroko's hand towards the ground. "Don't think about it. Just picture it."

"Akashi-kun, what-"

"Picture it, Tetsuya. The water; how do you want it to look?" Akashi's lips hovered centimeters away from his ear. Kuroko could feel the warm breath against his cold skin. Involuntarily, he shivered. "How much do you want there to be? How powerful do you want it to be?" Each word turned huskier than the next, and the soft murmurs had Kuroko focusing more on their physical contact rather than his actual task. "Don't think about the process of putting energy to it. Don't think of a goal, or the nauseous feeling. Listen to my voice."

I am. The world spun around Kuroko.

"The only thing you should be focusing on is my voice. Listen to it as you imagine the element you want to appear. Is it powerful enough, Tetsuya?"

Kuroko couldn't answer, but he certainly saw the results.

Droplets of water formed. Slowly, at first, but as Akashi's low whisperings repeated themselves over and over in his ear, the image in his mind grew stronger, and so did the liquid. No pain nor exhaustion entered his body. He watched amazingly as the water retained its form until a sturdy, wavering ball appeared. It hovered inches off the ground steadily.

Then, in abrupt movements, just as Kuroko was about to attempt to control it, Akashi threw Kuroko's outstretched hand aside. It was swift, almost too fast for his shoulder to take. The water followed the direction, its path headed straight toward a tree. Kuroko stared at it with blank eyes, waiting for it to splash down to the floor, dead. After all, his water creations couldn't go in one direction for long without his concentration. It, however, collided powerfully with the tree. The impact by which the water's speed and form made had part of the tree's trunk damaged.

As soon as the water vanished, Kuroko felt excruciating pain and fatigue overtake his body. He sagged against Akashi, and the latter graciously caught him. It took several minutes for him to form words. "What . . . ."

"It's a form of practice for elemental abilities," Akashi answered easily, setting him gently on the floor. "I used this method in my earlier trainee days while practicing my ability, except my distraction was with fear, instead of pleasure.."

"My body," Kuroko croaked. Moving felt like a marathon.

Akashi raked his fingers through Kuroko's teal locks. "That is the flaw with this method. The distraction takes your mind away from the pain and exhaustion. Once you're done, however, your body will take on the energy you have suddenly spent in one sitting. Don't overdo it to the point where you pass out."

"Mm." Closing his eyes, he focused on the warm brushings against his forehead and hair. "You will make my hair look bad if you keep doing that, Akashi-kun."

"You never cared to fix your bedhead from this morning. I assure you it will not look worse." Akashi ignored the stare directed at him and reached in the pocket of his shorts, feeling his phone vibrate. That was strange. He didn't normally get or take phone calls during the days they had training. The Miracles knew where Akashi was, so who dared to call him? He glanced at the number, but didn't recognize it. With his tone guarded, he answered, "Who is this?"

"Akashi-kun!" a girl's voice came from the other end. She sounded panicked, but hushed.


"I can't talk long. I'm in trouble."

Kuroko furrowed his eyebrows. Akashi gave him a warning look and continued the conversation calmly, "Where are you, Satsuki?"

"With the enemy. I found one of Haizaki's bases. And before you ask, no, Ki-chan isn't here."

"Why are you calling from the enemy's base?"

"Two of my spies and I are trapped in some sort of cellar on their lower floors. There are sixteen guards surrounding the premises. We can't get out without being caught." Momoi's voice sounded breathless. "Tell us what to do."

The leader's face hardened. "What are the positions of the guards?" Kuroko slowly sat up, wincing as he did so, but concentrated on the seriousness of Akashi's tone. Momoi? Was she in trouble? Akashi lifted up his free hand, quickly glanced at the number on the screen, and pulled out his spare phone that was not for personal use. Short and sweet, he texted Aomine with directions to track down the location of the number.

"I only got a glance before we hid. Four are at the entrance that leads into the building, two on each side. At least two are at the back exit. The rest, I think, are scattered." A large bang rang through the line. Momoi hissed, and the shuffling of feet whispered through the phone. "Take cover! Now!"

Akashi stayed quiet, attentively listening for noises and chatter. Distant echoes of men's voices appeared, but nothing else. He heard a grunt, then a scoff, until footsteps echoed faintly. Seconds later, Momoi came back on, more desperate than before. "They're onto us. We can't stay here forever. We're out-armed."

Slowly, Akashi laid out his instructions. "What kind of shoes are you wearing, Satsuki?"

"Shoes? Soft-padded heels. They don't make a sound, but they're sharp."

"With your shoe, cautiously open the door wider. Then have your men take cover."

"My shoe-"

"Do it, Satsuki."

Akashi immediately heard the hurried whisperings as they settled in their positions. A soft creek of the door emitted from the phone. "They're going to check it out. Stay quiet and still as they do so. They'll be sending one to two guards upstairs to ask about the open door. Once that happens, stab the closest guard near you with your shoe."

"How do you know they'll have guards go upst-"

"They will send guards up." Akashi said coolly. His shoulders, tense just a minute before, was now relaxed and at ease. Kuroko, however, was frowning at the predicted plan. There were times where he couldn't help but doubt the redhead. The Miracles, even though they've been proven wrong each time, found it hard to follow through every plan the redhead dictated. No human, not even one with an ability, could know and win everything, right?

Sure enough, men's voices obnoxiously came closer to the door. Momoi must have been holding her breath, since Akashi couldn't hear her heavy breathing.

"Oi, is this door supposed to be open?"

"How am I supposed to know? I just started this shift. Aren't you supposed to know?"

"Somebody better know! You know how Boss gets when he thinks we're snooping around."

"What if this door is supposed to be open for a reason? Like there's some kind of gas that he'd been preparing in there . . . He'd be mad if we closed and locked it again!"

"Agh! Katsumi, Kenzo! Go call the boss about this."

"Why the hell should we?"

"Because I'm in charge of this shift! Get your ass upstairs before I give you something to complain about."

Akashi couldn't help but shake his head at their stupidity. Leaning back, he supported his body with one hand against the grass and nudged Kuroko's foot with his own. Kuroko, having heard the echoes from the phone, nudged the foot right back. He puffed his cheeks and blew out a sigh, watching the hot air accumulate with the cold temperature. His energy and strength were already coming back to him, further showing how much his endurance improved.

"Should we check if there's a mouse or something? Remember when Boss screamed when he saw one?"

"Shut up! He told us we were never to speak about it again."

"Both of you, shut up. Check it out already."

Akashi drummed his fingers on the grass and then murmured, "After you attack him, grab his weapon to kill off the second closest to you. Grab that man's weapon and give it to your best fighter." Momoi didn't answer, but for good reason. The next few actions for her had to be done fluidly and swiftly.

"Looks like there's nothing-shit!Katsuri!"

The phone must have dropped, because there was a sudden distortion of noise. The noise rose up to an uncomfortable level, and Akashi, who disliked anything that was loud, held the phone away from his ear. Shouts and stomps came in succession before silence waved through. Static erupted, and Momoi's soft voice came.

"The room is empty, but it's not going to be for long. Should I go out the back exit and take my chances with the guys?"

There was something about her voice. Akashi pressed his lips together. "You're injured."

Momoi clucked her tongue. "Just a bit. The guy swiped at me in the thigh with his knife."

"Tie something around your wound. Take the back exit, but have your two spies take the guards. You flee to safety."

"Akashi-kun, if you think I'm going down because of this stupid wound-"

"Momoi-san." At Akashi's baiding, Kuroko took the phone into his own hands. Puzzled, he watched Akashi mouth the chosen words and let his soft voice flow through the line. "This is very important, Momoi-san. Please listen to Akashi-kun."

There was a hitch of breath, then some stutters, and then, "T-T-Tetsu-kun! O-Of course, since Tetsu-kun asked." Kuroko returned the phone.

The redhead took it back with an air of satisfaction. "They should be coming soon, Satsuki. Get out of there now."

"Before I go: Akashi-kun, the information I was able to pick up . . . It's not something I can explain now. One of my spies about a half hour ago escaped to deliver the information to you. It's-it's not something good. And tell that Ahomine not to do anything stupid. I'll probably be hiding the next few days, but I'll come when I can." With that, the line disconnected.

Akashi stared at the phone. His eyes flashed a low, vibrant color, and his red eyebrows arched neatly in curiousity. The winds had died down quite awhile ago, so now the two were comfortable in their clothes. It didn't stop the goosebumps that dared to rise on their arms, but it had less to do with the cold, and more to do with Momoi's words.

Kuroko ran a tired hand over his face and shook his head. If Momoi's news were to become even more of a burden than Kise's capture and Kagami's exposure, he wouldn't know how to deal with it. Ah, a random thought burst into his mind, I miss the others. Riko-san, Hyuuga-senpai, Teppei-senpai . . . Basketball.

Heavy running shattered their silence. Kuroko turned toward the source, almost irritated by his or her interruption. Akashi caught onto his annoyance and had to turn his head to keep a straight face. The way those blue eyes held displeasure deep within made the redhead discreetly amused. He instead focused on Aomine, who held a larger scowl than usual.

"Oi, Akashi, you can't just text me all of the sudden with information like that! I was only in my boxers when I got it! You know how weird it is to run to the computer with only half my pants on?"

Akashi ignored his complaint. "Did you get the location from the number?"

"No." The ganguro grimaced. "Whenever I tried to, wherever Satsuki was, her signal bounced off several different networks and lines. It was impossible to pinpoint the location, and there wasn't enough time. When she hung up, the signal ended. The bastard has that place well-hidden."

"Not well enough, if Satsuki was able to find it."

"Is she coming over today to tell us where? Is she okay?"

"One of her spies should be coming over to deliver something today." Akashi checked the time on his phone and tilted his head. "She'll be in hiding for a few days."

Kuroko, tired from the conversation, stood up with wobbly legs. His breath became short pants, but he was stable. Aomine gave him a weird look. "I'm going inside now. I don't think I have the energy to continue personal training if we have a scheduled training in the afternoon."

The strong wind that suddenly came convinced Aomine to start hurrying back as well. "Yeah, oh, and Tetsu, you should shower, too. You smell."

The tealhead stopped short. He smelled? Sniffing subtly into his shirt, he frowned when no distinct odor was detected. "I don't smell."

Aomine held in a snigger as he watched Kuroko smell himself, and Akashi threw a dangerous glare at him, daring Aomine to even choke out a chuckle. Kuroko, unaware of the two, continued to sniff his shirt with furrowed eyebrows. He stopped when he felt a hand on his head.

"Let's go inside," Akashi said.

Confused, but agreeing, Kuroko was led into the warm house.

~Setting Skip~

"Holy shit, it's freezing."

Merciless wind blew in the central part of Tokyo. There wasn't snow, yet, in this part of Japan (and thank goodness, because if there was snow, the trains would have been delayed), but the icy air that enveloped the cities made up for it. Many people spared odd glances at him on the two-hour train ride, probably wondering why the hell a teenager was dressed in nothing but a torn shirt and pants in the middle of winter (he should have stolen the clothes from the place before he sneaked out).

Kagami gripped his upper arms in a weak attempt to warm his upper body. If his lips weren't turning blue, he knew for sure another part of his body was. He had no money for taxi, as he used his remaining money for a train ticket, and the walk to his house from the station was a pretty far one (not especially, but in this weather, he had the right to exaggerate).

"Don't we have practice tomorrow or something, too?" Grumbling, he swiftly crossed the street, barely able to avoid the Tokyo pedestrian traffic. "Not like that damn Kuroko is going to attend, anyway." A flash of anger welled up in his chest before it quickly cooled at the blast of cold air. He had no time to think about that invisible passer right now. He needed to get home, save himself from hypothermia, and call his old man to straighten things out.

It's not as if he needed to call his old man, though. What the Generation of Miracles said was crazy, anyway. He was just making sure.

By the time his apartment was visible, Kagami's muscles were frozen stiff. The stairs that led up to his door seemed impossible to climb, but the agitation to call his father overwhelmed him. Knowing his original key was missing from the struggles between the mafia (he had concluded the people who had attacked him were the mafia) and the Miracles, his hand shakily reached for the spare key that was always hidden in the crevice of the wall.


Confused, he bent down to the crack to reconfirm its disappearance.


It was only then his numb senses ignited to life, and the realization gave Kagami such a shock, he almost stumbled against the door. What the hell? When had they gotten here? Why were they here?

Camouflage boots had come into his line of vision, but there were too many to count how many pairs belonged to how many men. Parts of their weapons peeked from their hiding spots. It was almost painful how bad they were hiding their presence (or they were making their presence known on purpose). If it weren't for the cold storm, he'd probably have sensed them the minute he stepped onto his property. His instincts weren't tuned enough to know the numbers, but there were several of them, to his right and left; watching him-hidden. Were they in his house? He didn't sense any of them inside. There was no escape anyway. The men had probably blocked off the exits.

With a deep, slow breath, Kagami crouched and grabbed his second spare key, wedged between a potted plant and underneath the building. Alex and his dad had nagged at him to have two spare keys ready, just because he was known for losing keys. Now, he wasn't sure to be grateful or to be resentful towards the two. A scuffle of feet had Kagami tensing, which was a feat for his frozen muscles. Inserting the key, he felt the men move ever so slightly as he unlocked the door.

No one inside. He didn't sense anybody; his furniture were in the same position as he left it. Knowing the action was useless, he locked the door anyway. Then he cautiously walked to his kitchen with a third eye on the glass door to his patio. They were definitely out there; he saw a part of them, they saw all of him. What was their next move?

Deciding not to waste time, he grabbed the home phone he rarely used and dialed a number. After, he made sure to turn his body away, so that the men couldn't see what he was doing from outside. Then he prayed (yes. Kagami prayed.) the receiver of his call would pick up.

He did.

"Little busy here, Taiga. Can I call you back?" Always busy. Never a hello.

Kagami didn't bother with a 'hello' either. "Is it true?"

"What's true? Taiga, I'm serious, I'm in a middle of a-"

"My real identity. The program. The energies or whatever shit all the countries were after. Is it true?"

He could hear his father swallow. There was a long, uncomfortable silence. "How did you learn this? How much do you know?"

"Answer the damn question!" he snapped. He was getting agitated. The men were more restless now, and he needed answers fast before he could make his move . . . if he had a move.

"Who told you? Were you attacked? Are you alright, Taiga? Where are you?" His dad suddenly sounded panicked. "I was hoping I had more time . . ."


Kagami Takeshi took a deep breath. In the next few seconds, his voice came out slow, firm, yet wary. "Taiga, listen to me. Right now, you're not safe there. If you're already hearing rumors or information about the project, it's time for you to get out. Listen to me: book the next flight out to America immediately. Pack only your essentials. You need to go, understand?"

"No, I don't fucking understand," Kagami said. He dared to take a peek at the window and cursed a whole lot more in his mind. "And, Dad? It's too late."


The patio door exploded open. Kagami had to drop to the floor and brace his back against the kitchen's wall to avoid flying glass shards. His house phone dangled by a cord from the counter, and he tried to dive for it. Tried. Gunshots thundered through the air, and by instinct, he flattened against the floor again. Realizing he was in clear aim, he scrambled to find cover.

"Ah, fuck, couldn't you have waited for a few more minutes?" He attempted to swallow his fear, but he wasn't trained for this. Damn it, he was a basketball player.

"Taiga! Taiga, can you hear me? Answer me! Are you hurt? Who's in your house?" His dad's voice blared from the hanging telephone. Kagami grimaced, but stayed put, feeling and hearing the enemy's footsteps. "Taiga, Taiga, listen, if you can. Fight, hear me? Taiga, you have to; you can. You can fight them. You can beat their guns. It's possible . . . It's possible with you. Taiga, Taiga, listen, did you hear?" Kagami's name was continuously rolled off the Japanese-American's tongue. His father was speaking so quickly, it was hard to catch the muffled words, especially when trying to stay low from bullets. But a few words stimulated his brain: survive. it's possible with you. beat their guns. survive.

"We don't want to hurt you, American!" A rough male voice jeered. The gunfire paused. "The Boss just wants to talk to you. Maybe roughen you up a bit, but nothing bad for an American giant like you." A few other men laughed.

"Fight, Taiga, fight, you can. You're able to, your body is made for this. Fight . . ."

Ah, what the hell was the old man talking about? A body trained for basketball isn't going to beat , it was better than just sitting and waiting to be killed.

"Come on, American! We don't want too many holes in you!"

Here goes. "Screw you, asshole. I was born here!" Kagami jumped out from his hiding spot, tense and clumsy. The men stumbled back from the sudden outburst, and he took advantage of their surprise. Charging, he went straight towards a guy in his line of sight.

At that moment, something changed.

Something clicked.

His mind took over-


His body took over.

~Setting Skip~





"Tetsuya, I said yes."

"And I said no."

"Drink it!"

"I will not."

Akashi slammed down the the cup of water next to a small cup of vitamin medicine. Heterochromatic eyes glared down on stubborn, blank ones. Spectators, Aomine and Midorima, swallowed carefully and scooted their chairs further away from the two. As far as they knew, Kuroko was the first to blatantly defy Akashi.

Kuroko didn't seem to be affected by the stare. He crossed his arms and stared back down on the red-head. "Liquid vitamins are disgusting, unneeded, and my body is healthy as it is."

The captain hissed, "You were out there for hours, practicing, in the cold, and you have just recovered. I will not have you catching a cold because of your carelessness!"

"And I refuse to die from the taste of that medicine."

"You won't die, Tetsuya."

"Yes, I will."

Midorima rolled his eyes at this point and tentatively stood, wondering if the noise would bring Akashi's temper towards him. It didn't. The red-head was too busy glaring at Kuroko, daring him to leave the kitchen without drinking the liquid vitamin. Kuroko didn't even bother to glare back, but instead burned holes at the medicine as if it would disappear. If it came to it, the two would seriously stand in their positions for the rest of the day-comfortably- if neither of them backed down, or compromised.

"Akashi-kun-" Kuroko's next threatening words were choked back. The sudden crash had everybody jumping from their seats, even Murasakibara who had been taking a lazy nap on the couch. Akashi was the only one that kept still, his eyes forever locked onto the back of Kuroko's head. The latter had spun around and parted his lips in surprise, unsure how to take in the scene before him.

"What the hell . . ." Aomine's voice cracked. "Our door . . ."

"Uh," Kagami rubbed the back of his neck and winced. Bruises and faint scratches covered him from head to toe, but there were no gunshot wounds nor life-threatening injuries. He leaned a little more heavily on his left leg, and his breathing was little heavier than it should have been. In his right hand, held their door knob, unattached from the door. "Sorry, I-I don't know how to control, it just-the men, and-yeah."

Akashi crossed his arms. From the beginning until now, his eyes still never strayed from Kuroko. "Before you grovel onto your knees and beg me to accept you into the Miracles and train your sudden ability, as well as provide you a safe house, look behind you, Kagami Taiga."

"Huh? Uh, I-No, wait, what?" Still dazed, the tall basketball player whirled around. His line of sight went to the driveway. "Who is-Alex?"

A curvy, obvious foreigner leaned against a sleek, black car. Her blonde hair gleamed and would've attracted many locals just from the color. Unaware of the weather, she was dressed in a T-shirt and capris, unfit for the harsh winter of Kyoto. Her large breasts stretched the T-shirt, but she covered them with her crossed arms, shivering. When she spotted Kagami, she smiled broadly. Several guns were strapped to her right thigh, while a knife was secured against her waist. A letter was flapping wildly in the wind, held by her hands:

I would've never expected to come to a situation where I would ask an American for help. But your property is in our country, and he has caught the attention of a common enemy. It is up to your supervisor's decision whether to send you to train him here in Japan, but I strongly advise you to have your country take responsibility for Kagami Taiga. It is not our responsibility to secure his safety in the dangerous situation we have been put in, and his ignorance is more than enough to be a liability.

Akashi Seijuro


I don't even know how to explain myself. I'm sorry; extremely sorry that it's been months since I have updated. This month, in the beginning, I told myself I would update before the end. I was able to, but it's been too long. I'm sorry.

It's just been harder to write recently (well, I guess not recently). I also rewrote the whole chapter twenty, as you can see, because I was so unsatisfied with how I originally wrote this chapter. It's been stressful. Life, in general. People whom have talked to me on Tumblr know a bit, but I've broken down crying once or twice just from the pressure of school. I'm almost done with this semester, sigh.

I hope I will be able to update more frequently. I tried to make this long, haha. The next chapter will be significantly shorter, because I have only one scene planned for that chapter. I hope everybody is still with me, and thank you for being so supportive. I've received so many messages throughout my AWOL time, and those were the messages that made me not give up on this story completely.

I am still in love with this story, so I hope that love will overcome anything that will hold me back from writing.

Sorry for the typos! And thank you very much,