Fruits Basket Fan Fiction ❯ Seasons of Sorrow ❯ Memories of Spring = Is It So Wrong? ( Chapter 16 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

DISCLAIMER: I can breathe, I can see, I can hear, I can eat…life is good. (Sniffles) Then why can't Takaya-sensei give this up to me?!
NOTE: A little indiscreet language from a strong character up ahead…just a little heads up!
Memories of Spring
Is it So Wrong?
`Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.'
Thus Yuki's resolve evaporated with the wind. He'd only been there five minutes and already his nezumi instincts are telling him to run for cover.
`Being the rat can really mess you up…' he thought with a frustrated air while leaning back and forth from one foot to the other. He had long disposed of his gear to one corner of the porch he was under, and currently he was in front of a door he couldn't bring himself to open. Having a staring contest with a door was not what he had in mind when he strode onto the grounds.
`Maybe a call would have been better. I have Kureno's cell number…why didn't I just call?' thought Yuki dismally as he stilled in his actions. `Nice timing to think of that now! (Sigh) I'm so losing it.' With that thought, he softly thumped his head against the door in utter dismay.
“Um, Yuki, that's not normally how you open that door,” was Kureno's reply from out of the blue.
(Gasp) Startled, Yuki whirled around to see Kureno standing just around the corner of the building. If anyone else had been there, they wouldn't have recognized the Kureno that stood there.
Kureno was well known (to those close to him—not many at that) for his rigid, uptight posture plus his lack of any semblance of emotion to show across his face. Yet, around Yuki, he carried himself in a completely different manner—standing there wearing an old pair of khakis with a long sleeve shirt rolled up, with gardening gloves in one hand, and one very wide grin on his face were proof of that. The fact that Kureno shows this side of himself only to Yuki made him feel very appreciated.
Smirking in response to Kureno's reply and returning the grin with a wide smile of his own, Yuki remarked, “What are you doing out here? I thought you'd be inside getting some `homework' out of the way.”
“Lie, I took a day off today from my `homework', as you so eloquently put it. Family business can wait one more day,” replied Kureno lightly. His tone turning somber, he continued while looking down to his hands, “It's been a long week.”
Catching the meaning behind his remark, Yuki stared grimly at the floor. He asked quietly, “Is she asleep?”
“She was when I left her earlier in Hatori's care. She was having trouble sleeping, so he's been giving her some sedatives for it,” replied Kureno tiredly. He remarked dryly, “You know how she is about taking any more medication, so you could imagine how `complicated' it was with trying to get her to take those sedatives.”
`I can definitely sympathize,' thought Yuki despondently. He then glanced toward Kureno and saw that he was giving Yuki a knowing smile. `Perfect. Why doesn't it surprise me that he knows about my own little problem with medication in all its forms?'
With his smile growing wider upon guessing (and a pretty good guess at that) Yuki's thoughts at the moment, Kureno changed subjects suddenly and remarked, “Well, putting that aside, I'm actually a little surprised that you'd be here. Not that I don't mind your company or anything like that. You know you can always come by and visit anytime you want.” Pausing, he suddenly turned just a bit frantic and hurriedly replied, “Where are my manners—you must be tired. Let me get you some tea and some snacks…you just came from school, right?” Having asked that, he hurried forward to go in the house before Yuki interrupted him.
`So much like Tohru-san,' thought Yuki as he inwardly smiled at Kureno's fuss over him. Stopping him from going further, he went up to Kureno and softly replied, “It's all right—I'm okay for now. Really.” Looking back at Kureno's gardening gloves, Yuki kindly asked, “Do you need any help with your gardening?”
Kureno smiled at the offer and replied, “Actually, yes. I've been trying to follow your instructions from before, but it's not working out.” Thinking about it, he remarked wryly, “Then again, the problem could just be me. My mind has been a little distracted recently. Come on over to the back…”
Kureno walked on as Yuki followed. Crossing a small bridge and several gardens later, they found themselves in Kureno's personal garden that he kept for himself. It was actually a basic shrubbery area until Yuki taught him about all the different plants he could grow there. Kureno was a little shy at first about trying his hand at gardening, but upon seeing Yuki's face of serenity every time Yuki helped him out in his garden, Kureno felt motivated to keep it up. He was still a bit of an amateur and recurring to books was something he's had to do from time to time, however, for him, it was much more preferable having Yuki around …both for his expertise in the hobby and his company.
“Ano, Kureno, how did you know I was even here? We're quite a ways from the entrance, and I was pretty sure I didn't make a sound when coming in…” was Yuki's perplexed reply as he settled himself next to Kureno's recent gardening activity.
“I have friends in high places…literally,” was Kureno's reply as he glanced upwards to a tree branch.
Spotting a few birds watching them, Yuki blushed at realizing what a silly question he just asked. “Oh. Right.” He then turned back to Kureno, and he saw that he had one book in one hand and a small hand spade in the other. Yuki could clearly see the confusion across Kureno's face as he tried to figure out his problem.
Smiling warmly, he gently took the book from Kureno's hand and asked him, “What's the problem?”
“Oh,” grinned Kureno sheepishly, “well, this one book talks about the depth of planting this seed but another book talks about a totally different depth for the same seed. I was trying to see if there was some fine print I missed somewhere…”
“Let's take a look then,” replied Yuki as he put on the gloves Kureno had given him. While inspecting the work Kureno had done, he calmly pointed out the differences between the seeds, type of soil, and what needed to be done to care for them. Kureno took note of all this, but as he observed Yuki's demeanor, he noticed how fatigued Yuki seemed to be.
“Yuki, we don't have to do this now. We can do this some other time,” replied Kureno with concern.
Yuki's head snapped up at this remark. Knowing what Kureno meant by that, Yuki bowed his head, his eyes hidden under his bangs, realizing only then how much his exhaustion was starting to show.
Yuki honestly hadn't meant for his situation to get out of hand. He kept promising to himself that he was going to have a break from his hectic schedule, only to be bombarded to do the exact opposite. He should have just realized just how bad everything was if Kakeru was on his case, but he had convinced himself that Kakeru was overreacting as usual—Kakeru was known for that.
Yet, now seeing the worry in Kureno's eyes only gave Kakeru's concern validation, something Yuki wasn't willing to admit. Still, this did bring back to mind his silent vow to not be a burden to those he cared for, especially his family. It was quite obvious that he wasn't doing a very good job of it.
Sighing quietly, he replied solemnly, “Gomen nasai—I don't mean to worry you. (Smiling wryly.) Hmph, I must be a sight.” He then brought one hand to the side of his face as he tried to appease a throbbing migraine.
`This won't do…I can't have Kureno see me like this. I won't be a burden.' Regaining as much of his composure as he could, he swallowed his pain and smiled brightly. “But really, I'm all right. Tired…but I'll survive. Please, let me do this. It's been the one small pleasure I've had all week. Onegai?”
`He's hiding again, just like his mouse counterpart,' thought Kureno, sighing inwardly as he gazed at Yuki. Being around Akito long enough taught Kureno how to read pain in a person, and Yuki was indeed in pain. Knowing this, Kureno didn't want Yuki to exert himself anymore than he already has, but Kureno also knew that Yuki rarely asked for anything, especially concerning himself. What was he to do?
Ultimately, it wasn't hard for Kureno to make his decision…after all, Yuki was the closest he has to a best friend. (Sigh) “Fine. When we're done, though, we'll go inside and have some snacks, then rest up. Would that work for you?” asked Kureno as he consented to Yuki's request.
Smiling widely was Yuki's answer to Kureno's suggestion. He continued pointing out the different variety of plant and how to care for each of them. During his impromptu class, Yuki remembered a question he wanted to ask Kureno.
“Kureno, will you be able to go to the tournament? I had asked Shihan about all the family members invited to this tournament, and your name and Akito's was on the list as tentative,” remarked Yuki as he pulled on a weed.
Kureno paused in his work and gave it some thought before answering. “Well, that's actually rather complicated to decide. The main reason being Akito's health…plus a certain someone will be taking center stage, and I'm not sure how well Akito may react to that,” replied Kureno with consternation. He then softly smiled and continued with a hopeful air, “But since you'll be there, maybe it won't be too bad and Akito won't mind it all.”
Yuki blinked at this remark and replied a little bashfully, “I seriously doubt Akito would care either way if I'm there or not. But if it helps with making things easier on everyone, then I'll try my best to help you with her.” Thinking more about the event, Yuki replied, “Hm, come to think of it, I better do my best, too, with helping Shihan. I'd hate to make a mistake and let him down. Maybe if I do a good job with this, I can help out at other tournaments.”
Kureno saw Yuki's hopeful smile as he said this and couldn't help but feel pleased at how well the situation had turned out for Yuki.
Yeah, he knew about the little meeting of the minds between Kazuma and Akito and what was said. Kureno still felt just a little guilty for putting Kazuma through that.
Why? Well…
“That's all right Yuki, just set that pile on that side, okay?” replied Kureno serenely as he shuffled through some more documents. He was busy going through mounds of paperwork while Akito rested quietly in her futon nearby, and Yuki, of course, volunteered to help him with the mundane tasks. Yuki's talent for running the family business was pretty obvious to Kureno during these kinds of sessions.
“Sure,” remarked Yuki. Setting the papers over to the side, he sat down in front of Kureno, and he proceeded to stare off in the direction of the gardens through the open doors in Akito's room. As he did this, Kureno noted the soft forlorn expression Yuki held for a fleeting moment before he shook the emotion off.
“What's the matter?” asked Kureno gently without looking up.
“Hm?” asked Yuki distractedly.
“You looked a little sad there for a moment. What were you thinking?” clarified Kureno as he looked Yuki in the eye.
Turning away from Kureno's inquisitive gaze, Yuki mumbled, “It's nothing.”
Feeling like he just violated Yuki's privacy, Kureno hurriedly apologized, “Gomen, I didn't mean to pry. I shouldn't be asking what's not my place to ask.” He quietly regarded Yuki for a moment, and then turned away to occupy himself in his work. He was still berating himself for going above his station and asking about matters that were none of his business when Yuki started speaking.
“Well, it really isn't anything of importance. I was just thinking about a conversation I had with Haru this afternoon,” reflected Yuki as he leaned back against the wall. “He seemed so happy about the tournament, and so I asked him what they did at those events. He looked at me a little weird and asked me why I would be asking that. I didn't talk about it anymore with him and dropped the subject. (Half-hearted smile.) Hm, I guess I'll never know the answer to my question.”
“Why wouldn't you know? I mean, you've been to these events before, right? I would think Kazuma-dono would have you first in line to participate at those tournaments,” remarked Kureno with a little confusion. It was obvious to all the family that Yuki far outranked any of the students training with Kazuma. He would be the pick of the family to represent them in any tournament—practically a guarantee win. However, Kureno had to admit at this point how little he knew of Kazuma's handling of the tournaments. It wasn't exactly a priority in Akito's mind, and therefore, Kureno wasn't familiar with particular details pertaining to Kazuma's business.
Yuki had remained silent. He then gave Kureno a small smile and proceeded to stare out the doors again. Kureno knew at that point that Yuki wasn't willingly going to talk about it anymore. `Now I know how he dropped the subject with Hatsuharu.' Then the idea hit him.
“You've never been to one of the tournaments, have you?” inquired Kureno quietly.
Yuki continued to stare off without acknowledging Kureno's question. It was unheard of for Kureno to pry even more than he already has, but, for once, Kureno did not feel like backing down from a conversation. He just had to know what was troubling Yuki…and this tournament issue had to be it.
“Why not?” asked Kureno more directly to the point.
Closing his eyes to the bright outdoors, Yuki let out a soft sigh as he responded, “Like I said, it's not important.”
Kureno knew that he was crossing that thin line of being concerned and prying into matters that were private. All of Kureno's instincts told him to just leave well enough alone, yet he couldn't bring himself to comply. `I can't drop it…I won't.' With that resolve, Kureno did the least likely thing he thought he'd ever do.
Tentatively, he held his hand up and very carefully reached out to have Yuki face him. Yuki's eyes snapped open upon contact and gazed at Kureno quizzically. Kureno gathered what little courage he could find within himself, and for once, he spoke what truly was on his mind.
“Yuki, whatever involves you, no matter how small it may be, is important…to me, at least,” replied Kureno with conviction.
Yuki was beside himself at hearing this revelation from Kureno. He felt the tension he was starting to feel fade away upon hearing such a heartfelt expression, especially from Kureno—Kureno is not one to express himself so openly.
“Arigatou, Kureno,” remarked Yuki softly. Smiling with a resigned air, he continued, “It really is kind of silly… I just didn't say anything about it before now because it's sort of my fault. I…never asked to go before to these types of things. So it's understandable that I'm not invited to go to this one.”
“Why would you need to ask for permission or be formally invited? You should already have earned a spot to be there,” commented Kureno incredulously.
Yuki shook his head at that remark. “I haven't been training with Shihan for a while now. I may be family, but it wouldn't be fair to the team if I just show up at the tournament and expect to have a spot with them,” replied Yuki reasonably. Pausing in reflection, Yuki softly remarked, “Besides, Shihan already has his system in place. And that's all right with me…anyway, I wouldn't want to be a burden to him. My presence there would…'complicate' matters for him. It's better that I don't be in the way.”
Kureno pondered on this admission from Yuki, and strangely, he felt something growing within him. It was such a foreign feeling that Kureno was a little troubled at first to find that he can have such an emotion. Yet, it was there, as plainly as ever, and he didn't hesitate to allow himself to completely feel it.
Kureno was actually…mad. Just utterly mad. He couldn't help himself and tried to appease it somehow, but he ended up just getting a tad bit more frustrated. He could guess what those `complications' were that Yuki spoke of, and he tried to reason with himself that it's an acceptable excuse. Yet, the other half that was completely biased when it came to Yuki didn't want to acknowledge this.
Being this conflicted, Kureno compromised between his two halves. “Yuki, you should not have to hold back in living your life just so that others may live theirs as they please. You deserve to be there and anywhere for that matter—if it `complicates' matters for someone, then so be it. That's not your problem because you've done nothing wrong.”
Glancing downward in an effort to stem the emotional tide, Kureno quietly replied, “You should never have to feel that you're in the way. You can never be in the way…and certainly, never a burden.”
Yuki could only stare wide-eyed at Kureno. Surprise was evident in Yuki's face as he tried to assimilate Kureno's rather emotional speech. He hadn't counted on Kureno reacting the way he did. But Yuki was glad to hear such an emotional outburst from the normally quiet Bird of the Zodiac. For Kureno to express himself in a manner so unlike him…well, it truly spoke volumes about how much Kureno cherished his friendship with him. Knowing that truly touched Yuki.
Yuki blushed softly and couldn't help but smile widely at Kureno. Kureno was a little dumbfounded at first at Yuki's reaction, but he could then tell that what he had said made Yuki feel much better about himself. Now, if Kureno could only arrange it so that Yuki goes to this tournament…
Before Kureno had a chance to speak again on the matter, Yuki conclusively closed the topic. “It's okay, Kureno. Really…I'm all right with the way things are now. It's truly not that important anymore,” replied Yuki as he reached over to pat Kureno's hand comfortingly.
Just as Kureno started to protest, Yuki thwacked him on top of the head with a stack of documents. THAT really surprised Kureno…was it supposed to be some kind of reprimand?
Yuki laughed quietly and shook his head upon seeing Kureno's face reflecting his bewilderment. Yuki then good-naturedly replied, “Come on, let's go to the kitchen. You said there was some cheesecake I could have.”
Kureno knew then to not push the matter anymore, so he smiled at Yuki softly and got up to exit the room. He remarked on his way out, “This cheesecake came from an American store, too. I hardly go there, but I was glad that I did. Those desserts sell fast. I also made some hot cinnamon tea to go with it.”
“That sounds good. What else did they sell at the store?” asked Yuki as he, too, exited the room. With a quick peek to be sure Akito was still resting peacefully, Kureno closed the door quietly.
After having their snack, Yuki had to leave to study for his college entrance exams. As Kureno waved good-bye to Yuki, he remembered that he had left his paperwork in Akito's room. Deciding to stop for the evening and clean up instead of continuing with his work, Kureno went to Akito's room to retrieve the paperwork.
Upon entering Akito's room, Kureno saw that the clan head was standing by the open window…staring outside. He immediately bowed in deference and quietly replied, “Sumimasen, I was mistaken in believing that you were still asleep. Shall I get your dinner started?”
Akito made no sign of acknowledging Kureno's comments, so Kureno softly padded over to Akito's side and watched out the window to see what she was staring at. All was very peaceful inside and outside, with just the birds bidding their good evenings to the day outside, while inside Kureno heard Akito's raspy breathing, a side effect of her latest bout with the flu.
Kureno saw finally what she was intently focused on…he hadn't realized what a good view this particular window offered. Its view consisted of the grounds as well as the street beyond their private gate. He could clearly see Yuki calmly going down the street in the direction of Shigure's home.
Kureno then glanced back at Akito and saw how quickly the peaceful air around them was consumed by her fury. She was so furious that her body was shaking with her pent up anger, and her fists were clenched so tightly on the windowsill they were white.
Kureno truly hoped she wasn't mad that Yuki hadn't said good-bye…they both thought Akito to be asleep. She was very particular about people being formally introduced or released from her presence, no matter if they were family (yes, another quirk of hers). Inwardly, Kureno blamed himself—he should have at least expected this…she's testier than usual (and that's saying a lot) when she's aggravated by one of her many illnesses.
You will bring that BASTARD to me immediately! This will NOT be tolerated while I'm still alive! So help me if I don't break him…I don't care what he is!!! I will damn all his family if I have to, but he won't get away with it…HE WON'T!! lashed out Akito angrily as she tried to steady herself against the windowsill.
Kureno tried to help her, but she slapped his hands out of the way while trying to get to her bed. She then whirled around and faced Kureno heatedly, “What the HELL are you doing still standing there?! BRING THAT SON OF A BITCH TO ME NOW!!!!!!!
She then stumbled forward and fell, but Kureno caught her before she hit the floor. Before she had a chance to protest, Kureno carried her over to the bed and laid her out. She was breathing heavily once again, no doubt overexerted from her angry outburst.
Kureno was hoping that she'd calm down enough, so he could explain why Yuki hadn't said good-bye to her. Before she had a chance to stop him, Kureno hurriedly replied with a low bow, “Please Akito, I had thought you were still asleep, so I refrained Yuki from bidding you good evening so as not to disturb you. It's my fault for assuming you'd still be resting. Please forgive me.”
Akito was busy regaining her composure when she heard Kureno pleading for Yuki. She gave a disbelieving glare to Kureno when Hatori rushed into the room.
“Akito, I heard the shouting. You shouldn't overexert yourself…you'll only aggravate your illness further. Lay still while I examine you,” was Hatori's orders as he tried taking her temperature.
Akito was not in the cooperative mood apparently since she slapped the thermometer out of Hatori's hand. She glared past Hatori and icily replied to Kureno, “You WILL bring that dim-witted teacher Kazuma to me IMMEDIATELY! GO!!!
Hatori was confused as to what Akito wanted with Kazuma…she rarely gave the teacher much notice (anything related to the cat usually is ignored—on her good days). He glanced at Kureno's panic-stricken face hoping to find an answer, and when he found none, he turned his attention back to Akito. “Akito, you can't handle any visitors at this time. Do you truly wish to appear weak in front of your visitors?”
Hatori knew that what he said would get Akito's attention. Almost immediately, Akito calmed down and looked away in a defeated glare, as her raspy breaths were calming down. She then looked at Kureno and with a frigid tone, remarked, “Set up a meeting as soon as `this' (gestures to her body in disgust) is done. That imbecile will learn his place in this familyjust like his bake-mono.”
Kureno's mind was still reeling from Akito's previous remarks. He couldn't even reason with her that she should wait a little while…Hatori was the one to finally convince her to wait a few days so that she could have her interview with the teacher. Shame overcame Kureno as he realized how bad this could get due to his carelessness.
“Hai, Akito, once you regain your strength, I will bring Kazuma-dono to you at once.” That said, Kureno went immediately to pick up the paperwork strewn about the room…he was so nervous, his hands shook the papers he was picking up.
Hatori noted this and wondered what exactly had transpired to rattle the Bird of the Zodiac so much—this is after all Kureno, the most guarded of all the Jyuunishi. Hatori also wondered what Kazuma had done to upset Akito so much. He had heard Yuki's name mentioned but not much else.
As soon as Kureno was done with picking up his work, he turned to Akito with some of his composure back, “Akito, please allow me to get your dinner started. It will help with regaining your strength faster.”
Akito by then was quietly (with the occasional raspy breathing) regarding the window she was just staring through while Hatori took her blood pressure. She made no protest, a good sign for Kureno, and seeing that she had Hatori with her, Kureno went to exit the room. As he crossed the doorway, he heard Akito call out to him in the most serious of tones, “Kureno, you will refrain from speaking this matter with Yuki. He is to never know…are we clear?”
Kureno stilled in his hasty retreat, and turned to look back at his `god'. She wasn't even looking at him…just staring blankly through the window, no doubt thinking about the nezumi that was the reason for her emotional outburst. Only this time it was completely different…the air around her was not of aggression towards Yuki as in the past…but that of being protective.
One could only speculate if that was a good thing.
“Absolutely. Yuki will never know of this matter,” replied Kureno affirmatively as he bowed low and left the room.
(End Flashback)
A few days later after that incident, Akito ordered Kureno to stay in a nearby room as Akito very `subtly' indicated to Kazuma the `error of his ways'. Using far more restraint on her part that many would have doubted she possessed was actually more effective than an all-out tantrum could ever have been. Physical scars pale in comparison to just simple words spoken from Akito. She truly was a master of the art as Kureno heard and felt in Kazuma's tone just how deeply those few words from Akito struck Kazuma's conscience.
Kureno didn't understand why Akito wanted him there to hear it all. Guilt had plagued him then, but when Yuki happily commented to him later on that Kazuma asked for his help in the tournament, it lifted Kureno's spirits very much. Did that make Kureno a bad person for getting Kazuma in trouble in the first place, seeing how well it turned out in the end?
`Perhaps I am…perhaps not. Nothing can ever be completely right or wrong in this family,' thought Kureno dejectedly. He then gazed at Yuki busily and serenely gardening the flower patches. `But one thing is for certain…'
With an affectionate smile, he reached over to remove some dirt that flew up to Yuki's hair. `I would do anything to keep Yuki from being hurt by anyone…even if it means that the truth of certain matters will always be hidden from him.'
“You certainly know how to fix a hopeless mess, Yuki. Are you ready to head in and have some snacks?” asked Kureno happily while dusting off his khakis.
Yuki smiled back in response and replied, “It wasn't that hopeless. But you're right, I'm about done here. Let me just cut some flowers to take inside.”
“Sure.” Kureno then picked up his tools and started toward the house while Yuki cut some roses and tulips from the garden.
Both headed inside as they talked of what snacks were available, all the while unaware of the pair of eyes that stared at them from a distance.
`Intriguing. Birds of a feather do stick together…in this case, a rat and a bird.'
Edited by: Seiren-no-Kaze 02-23-07
Author's Squawk (11-09-04):
Wow…it has been a while! I'm sure my readers are wondering what the heck I've been up to. Or rather, when is the next chapter coming out…this is probably more true.
Well, as I mentioned before in my bio page, I cleaned up my story quite a bit, including changing the status of our beloved Akito. I'm being blunt here because my one dear reviewer was a bit confused with my `adjustment'. Let's get started with that first.
Pika318 - Thank you for enjoying my story despite being a bit confused—hopefully what follows will help. It's a boost to my morale to know my story is still holding your interest as well as other readers. Regarding my adjustment, I had mentioned in previous author's comments that I was considering making the adjustment, and then finally, went with making the adjustment to Akito's character. To all who haven't read my rather lengthy bio (not that I blame you—it is long v_v—sigh), I mentioned that my fic will include the latest info from the manga—that includes the version out in Japan that has yet to be translated by TokyoPop. You will see in my news headlines under the same bio my personal thoughts upon learning this new development when it happened back in August. Unfortunately for me, like many others, this rather blaring detail to Akito's character threw the story a little askew. I was grateful that my story hadn't moved along too far ahead before I could go back and ultimately make the adjustment correctly. As I mentioned before as well, the storyline in and of itself will NOT change. Akito's character adjustment helped me out in the end anyway, so I'm happy thus far with the story. If I offended you or anyone else that was also was in the same dilemma as you were with trying to keep up with my twisted mind, I'm so very sorry. If I ruined Furuba for any reader, I'm ready to be lynched on a daily basis…first time I'll actually receive your flames with open arms (just this one time!). Thanks again for your review, Pika318!
Alcapacien - Thanks for the kind review! We have to know how good Kyo was doing in training Tohru…Kagura sparring with her certainly proved that he's doing just fine! And yep…the plot is thickening…hopefully my other readers caught this!
Furthermore, I want to give a big HELLO to all my readers and reviewers that are following me in this quest of finishing the story.
I'm tired…a lot of work went into this chapter particularly because of the deepening relationship being developed between Kureno and Yuki. Needless to say, this will be important later on. Kureno's thoughts on the `behind-the-scenes' is especially important…keep an eye out for them.
At least, one small mystery was solved…how Akito knew of Yuki not going to the tournament and the reason why. Akito's behavior with dealing with the situation from an outside perspective is important…in fact, much of this will be touched on again in the next chapter. Yep, I'm finally bringing Akito into the present timeline instead of in flashbacks.
Talk about flashbacks…I honestly am trying to cut down on these to avoid confusion, but for this chapter, it gave more of an impact to critical aspects of my storyline. Again, my hope is to never confuse or mislead my readers.
I would have had musical moments around here, but I'm too tired to really give it more thought. I'm sure my readers can make suggestions for themselves or maybe post me a suggestion. I'd love to read them!
Thanks to all for your patience with me! Keep reading and reviewing—your passing thoughts keep me pumped up!
Thanks a bunch…ja ne!