“I…” Helena took a deep breath, “I want to see my daughter and I can’t think of anyone to help me but you…two…”
Ibiki and Rebecca looked at each other then eyed their friend, “What brought this on Helena?” Rebecca asked.
Helena bowed her head to hide the tears that started falling from her eyes, but she wasn’t successful since the couple did see them falling, “I know I wasn’t the model mother everyone expects me to be, I know I let Shizuru down…but that doesn’t stop me from feeling for her,” She looked up and eyed the two, “I am her mother and nothing in this world can change that, I’ve wronged her and that’s something I want to rectify.”
Ibiki smiled, “I just wish my old friend Tome-kun could learn something from you Helena, you made a mistake and it takes a lot of guts to admit it and then make efforts to amend.” He saw his friend’s head nod and a small smile graced her sad face, “I don’t mean to be rude, but I want to know if this decision really comes from you and not just a ploy to find my god daughter and hurt her?”
Helena shook her head no, “I don’t want to make another mistake Ibiki-kun, I’ve done a great damage between me and Shizuru and I want to bridge that gap and be part of her life.”
“Even if you find out that your daughter is with another woman?” Rebecca wasn’t able to stop herself from asking that one question that was in her mind.
Helena looked contritely at Rebecca, “Is she happy?”
“I haven’t seen her yet since she was banished from your house, but from Haruka-chan’s story, Natsuki-kun makes Shizuru a very happy woman.” The other woman replied
“I think my Haruka-chan learned so much from Natsuki-kun, my Haruka felt different when she called us about Yukino’s pregnancy, and was sounding more different on her later calls.” Ibiki said smiling, his eyes full of pride for her only daughter.
“I just can’t get it why Shizuru hid to me her pregnancy. It hurts to hear things like that from someone else Ibiki-kun, to have your plans be ruined. If I’ve known then that she was pregnant, I would not have arranged for Kanzaki-san to be her omiai and save myself from embarrassment.” Helena took a deep breath when she found her friend’s faces marred with frown, “It was what I felt Ibiki-kun, Rebecca-chan, and I now know that I made a huge mistake.”
Rebecca sighed, “Well I arranged an omiai for Haruka too, but when I noticed her not paying attention to any men in her school, I already doubted my action so I let Haruka-chan decide for herself.” Rebecca said smiling, “And I was just glad that Ibiki understood.”
The jolly man laughed, “Oh you have no idea how happy I was that I won’t have to barricade my daughter from those pesky boys when I heard Rebecca’s assessment of my daughter’s sexuality!” he said still laughing,
Helena smiled, “How I wish me and Saotome had that relation with Shizuru.” The chest nut haired woman looked down at her hand that was now being held by Rebecca.
“We all make mistakes Helena, but what matters in the end is the fact that you are willing to correct it.” The blonde haired woman said,
“I’m doing this without Tome’s blessing and I don’t think I could change my husband’s point regarding Shizuru.” Helena explained and then another bout of tears fell on her face
Rebecca started stroking Helena’s back to calm the other mother down while Ibiki silently watch. “If Tome-kun can’t get his self out of that stupid notion, then he can’t and it won’t be your fault Helena, what matters to Shizuru is that at least one of her parents will be there for her when the time comes for the children to come out.” Ibiki said in his usual soothing voice.
That earned a nod from the crying mother.
“I got a call from my friend Takamura and he told me about my daughter giving his staff headache.” Ibiki said breaking the silence, “I was also informed that the kids were there and they brought a wounded patient there.” He sighed, “I think Shizuru was hurt, though they did not informed me as to how she’s gotten hurt.”
That news brought Helena’s heart to constrict, “Kami…” she then lean her head to Rebecca’s shoulder and cried, “I’ve been having this feeling of dread since last night, I know that something’s wrong with Shizuru and that’s the reason why I came. I know in my heart that I have to see my daughter!” she said crying once again.
“Don’t cry now Helena, from the report we got earlier from Haruka-chan, Shizuru is out of danger now though she was advised to stay at the hospital for further check up. They were all afraid that Shizuru almost lost her babies…”
“I want to see her Rebecca…”
“We are actually on our way to the hospital to see Shizuru and Haruka. I was informed that all of them were in the hospital so I was imagining it to be crowded, but still I thank Kami for giving our daughters that many friends who will stand by their sides in times of trouble.” Ibiki said standing up, “So if you are ready Helena, we all could go.”
Helena didn’t stand, “I’m scared…”
“It is normal to be after all that happened between you and Shizuru. But I know Shizuru and she love you very much, she’s very much like you and I know in my heart that Shizuru will forgive you.” Rebecca said
“I do hope your words be carried by the wind Rebecca.” Helena said before standing up, “Thank you for giving me this second chance to make right with Shizuru…” Helena smiled, “…and her partner, Natsuki-kun.”
Ibiki turned around and faced Helena once again, “But I want to warn you, Shizuru maybe forgiving at once, but I’m not sure about Natsuki-kun, and I’m not even guaranteeing my daughter’s temper on this, but whatever happens, stay true to your feelings towards your daughter and I’m sure all of this will pass.”
Helena stepped forward and hugged the big man, “Thank you Ibiki. I will heed that warning.”
Rebecca smiled, “Okay stop hugging my husband Helena, he’s already taken!”
Laughter echoed in the room, and soon the three adults move out to go to the hospital.
“Shizuru!” Natsuki called out a little louder than usual when she found a pair of crimson orb directed her way. The blue haired HiME was sitting on the chair beside the bed where Shizuru was sleeping. The bed was not as big as the bed Shizuru got from the medical wing of Fuuka Gakuen University so she decided to just lounge on the chair and rest.
The chestnut haired woman smiled sweetly at her partner, “Ara…” she said in a hoarse voice, “My Natsuki should be resting too…you are wounded.”
Natsuki frowned, “But I’m not the pregnant-wounded one here, I feel fine so close your eyes and sleep.”
“No buts Shizuru, you are going to sleep because you and our babies need rest.”
“You need rest too Natuki, the bed could still load one person so why not join me here?” the crimson eyed HiME said teasing
“You’re such a tease Shizuru, but I’m not getting on that bed. That’s not as big as your bed from before, so I won’t make you uncomfortable by joining you.”
“And we are all tired to watch you two make out!” Midori shouted from where she was resting
Shizuru’s head went up to look at her surroundings. She laugh softly at what she saw, at the room where she was situated was a large couch that’s occupied by Midori, Youko, Haruka and Yukino. The four were sitting; their heads were all resting on the backrest. Youko has her body draped over Midori; their hands were joined and were resting on Midori’s enlarged abdomen. Yukino on the other hand has her arm wounded around Haruka’s midsection, while Haruka has one arm around Yukino. The blonde haired protector was asleep and was snoring a bit loud for a lady.
“Ara…is everyone still here?” Shizuru asked her smiling partner
“Of course we are!” Haruka suddenly replied
“I thought Haruka-chan was asleep!” Shizuru said, her eyes smiling.
“What made you say that?” Haruka asked without opening her eyes
“You were snoring…” Natsuki
That made one blonde head to straighten and a pair of purple eyes to open, “Hah! I don’t snore Kuga!” Haruka said sounding a bit offended.
“You snore like a wild boar Haruka!” It was Midori this time
“I could hear your snore here!” This one was Nao who was sleeping on the couch at the receiving room. Her head was lying on Miyu’s lap while the humanoid was sitting, content on stroking the red head’s mane.
“OI I do not snore!” Haruka stopped when Yukino tapped her mid section lightly
“You do snore Haruka-chan, so stop arguing and let me sleep.”
“I was able to record your snore Suzushiro-san, do you want me to replay it?” It was Miyu
The blonde haired woman scuffed, “You are all gagging up on me!”
The boisterous laugh came from the kitchen part of the suite room where Takumi and Kazuya were sleeping on top of the table
“Haruka-sempai…I think you mean to say ganging…” It was Erstin. The smaller blonde woman was resting together with Shiho on the extra mattress that was brought by one of the hospital aides. They were sharing the mattress with Akira and Akane who were sound asleep.
“Don’t go Yukino on me Ers-chan!” Haruka growled
The interchange made Shizuru and Natsuki laughed. “Are you all here?” Shizuru asked
“Well, Yukariko-sensei and Fumi-chan along with Kanzaki went back to the mansion to inform Himeko-sama and Alyssa about the things that transpired. Aoi, Chie, Mai and Mikoto went with a police officer.” Natsuki explained
“Of course, we all know that the blast in that building will alert anyone.” Midori explained
“Yes…but why asked Chie-san and Aoi-san to come?” Shizuru asked worriedly
“What we didn’t know was that there was a surveillance camera near the building and some of us were caught coming in and going out before the explosion.” Midori, “The only reason they did not threatened to take all of the protectors away was because of Kanzaki. I think he did promise them a juicy report regarding to what transpired inside.”
“So you mean we are actually telling the police about SEARRS?” Takumi asked bewildered
Youko who was taken out of her sleep straightened up, “Well, Kanzaki believed that it will be easier for him to hunt down Smith if we could narrow SEARRS’ area of activity and we could only do that if we involve them.”
“That’s a sound idea.” Shizuru, “Besides, with all the children that was recovered from the other building, plus the 7 children still missing, this case is their responsibility.”
“And it will help boost their status in the community.” Kazuya
“So Ers-chan was the only one left here? Where did Arika and Nina go?” Shizuru asked again
“They went back to Fuuka, I asked them to make sure the students there are okay.” Yukino said, now that she has no intention of going back to sleep.
“So why don’t you all go back to the mansion and rest. I’m happy that you are all here but I don’t want to make you all uncomfortable…”
“Shut it Shizuru!” Nao said, “We won’t be comfortable at the mansion anyway since we will all be worried about you!”
“Nao has a point.” Shiho said smiling, “Besides, we’re not all safe from SEARRS, they are still out there and since Natsuki is hurt too, we all agreed to be here just in case another attack comes.”
“The protectors being here is a much safer place for you and for the rest.” Miyu,
“Besides, the doctor said that you might just be here for 24 hours, so why bother returning to the mansion then coming here again to get you?” Midori
The sentiments sent Shizuru into tears.
“Shizuru…” Natsuki said then stood up to hug the crimson eyed HiME
The ex-Kaichou’s words were cut by the knocking at the door.
“Could that be Mai and the rest?” Shizuru asked
Natsuki and the others frowned, “They wouldn’t knock if it was them.”
Haruka’s face then changed into an excited one, “It must be my father and mother, they told me they’re coming to visit!” she said standing up, and taking with her Yukino
“Oh…” Shizuru and Natsuki said simultaneously
Ibiki and Rebecca were excited after finding the room assigned to Shizuru, for a while Helena shared the same emotion but it died down and was replaced by nervousness when the three finally arrived in front of the suite room.
Rebecca noticed this and she held her friend’s trembling hands silently assuring the nervous woman that it will be okay.
Ibiki bowed her head towards the two women at his back and when Rebecca, then Helena nodded their heads, The Suzushiro head turned his attention to the door and knocked.
He was all smiles when he heard the door knob being turned and his smile widened when it was his Haruka, hand in hand with her Yukino who opened the door.
At first, the blonde headed Head Executive was smiling as she saw her parents at the door but the smile was suddenly replaced by a frown when Haruka saw the third person with her parents, “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT BUBUZEKE DOING HERE!!!”
Everyone inside the suite room was alerted as soon as they heard Haruka’s scream of anger. Even the deeply sleeping Akira and Akane were awoken, while every protector including the still wounded Natsuki prepared themselves for another battle. Damn hospital rules, if SEARS is here to attack…to hell we will fight back! The blue haired woman thought.
The others thought of the same thing, perhaps in another wording but the idea was the same.
Kazuya and Takumi ran towards Haruka and Yukino and were already on their fighting stance. The two men decided that before SEARRS could go in, they would have to kill them first.
The pregnant HiMEs on the other hand except for Yukio were on alert, just in case their partners needed their kisses to summon their elements and fight off these wenches.
“Haruka-chan! Have you forgotten about your manners?!!!” The reply of the person before Haruka left the room’s occupants bewildered
“Who cares about manners Otousan! That woman should not be here!” Haruka screamed again
“HARUKA!” It was Rebecca this time
Helena’s nerves went wild and her tears began falling, “Kannin na, I just…” she said after every sniffs
“Don’t mind my rude daughter Helena, we are here to visit your daughter and…”
The conversation was halted when Natsuki shoved the people at the door and stood in front of their visitors. She then looked at Ibiki, at Rebecca and lastly at the still crying Helena. “My Shizuru is sick; I don’t want you making any scene here and make her condition worst. ”Natsuki said flatly, her eyes never leaving the chestnut haired woman behind Ibiki. The woman who looks very much like the woman now lying on the bed , “You…” she said pertaining to Helena, “…are not welcome here.”
That brought Helena to cry harder.
The HiMEs and their protectors realizing who the woman is did not make any sound of protest.
“I believe that you are Kuga-san?” it was Ibiki and he was answered by a nod
“Please come back when you two are alone.” Natsuki said before turning her back on the three people at the door.
“Please Kuga-san, I know that my friend had hurt Shizuru but she’s here to right her mistakes.” Ibiki said loudly for Natsuki to hear.
The blue haired woman stopped walking, “It’s too late already.”
“Isn’t it acceptable to be late than never? My god daughter needs her no matter what…”Ibiki
Natsuki turned once again, she was wearing a frown and the people inside the room could feel the temperature inside going down.
Oh-oh, Kuga-san is gonna freeze this room if she can’t control that anger! Youko said and then looked at Miyu who confirmed her suspicion when the humanoid nodded her head in understanding.
Akira and Akane felt the sudden drop of temperature as well and the ninja’s eyes accidentally shifted to a nearby flowers and on its leaf was a frozen moist.
“You have no idea how much pain that woman has put Shizuru in. She almost died out there with my babies!” Natsuki said in a growl and the temperature keeps on going down.
“Kuga-san,” Miyu called out
“NO! That woman has done enough! I’m not going to let her come near Shizuru or my daughters!” Natsuki said, “Get out!”
Silence and the continued dropping of the temperature
“No one’s going anywhere…”
Every head turned to where the voice originated.
“SHIZURU!” Everyone called out in a panic when they saw the chestnut haired HiME standing at the back of the anteroom. She was panting from exertion and she was dragging the I.V. stand with her. Her face was pale and everyone knew that the woman’s body must be trembling from all of the emotion.
Shizuru held up her palms towards her companions, “I…I…”
“You should not be standing! Complete bed rest remember?” Youko said after coming to Shizuru’s aide.
“Let them in Natsuki, we don’t want to look rude aren’t we?” Shizuru said smiling, despite her eyes bearing all that pain that she had buried with the help of her Natsuki and the rests of the HiMEs. She was now leaning on Youko’s shoulder and Miyu stepped closer to her after Nao urged her to.
“Shizuru…” Helena whispered and the tears just kept on falling, and she knew that it won’t stop especially now that she’d seen her daughter’s situation.
“She’s not going in.” Haruka said stubbornly and Natsuki nodded her head in agreement. This time though, the coldness of the room changed into a more welcome warmth.
“You should just get back to bed Shizuru, you need to rest.” Natsuki said in a pleading tone
Shizuru weakly shook her head, “I’m not going in unless you come with me and let my god parents and my mother come in Natsuki.”
“You don’t need more stress Shizuru-sama.” Kazuya said looking sadly at Shizuru then turned his head to glare at the crying woman.
The ex-Kaichou laughed softly, “I am very honored that all of you cared for me much, but can there be any stress greater than SEARRS?” she asked and everyone contemplated on their answers before nodding, except of course for Miyu, “I already am stressed about my relation with my parents, I don’t think my mother coming will add anymore to that.” She said looking at her crying mother who nodded at her as a sign of thanks.
“Okay, I’ll give but I’m not letting that woman out of my sight. She cannot be with you alone in any way!” Natsuki agreed and then stepped closer to Shizuru who automatically hugged her Natsuki.
“I agree! I’m not letting that hag out of my sight as well!” Nao said frowning
“So do I!” Shiho said
“Me too!” Akira and Akane shouted simultaneously
“Well Shizuru needs a mediator for sure so I’m not leaving Shizuru alone too…” Midori said then looked at Youko who was looking at her with a raised brow, “What? Just in case they need a referee ne?” Youko sighed and shook her head
Ibiki tried hard to contain his laughter, I see, my god daughter is well taken care of, I don’t think there’s a need for us to be so worried after all. “Then perhaps me and my wife could leave Helena here with you all?”
Haruka looked at her father, “Tou-san, I thought you’re here to visit me and Yukino and Shizuru as well?”
Rebecca smiled sweetly, “We do, but we think the four of us should have some private time first then we’re coming back to see if Helena here remains alive once we disappear.” The blonde haired mother said in a teasing voice
“Rebecca-chan…” Helena said with wide eyes.
“Come on Helena, they have a mediator I’m sure they will not do anything to harm you!” Ibiki said before pulling her daughter into a hug, then pushing Haruka to Rebecca and pulling Yukino after. “Come on, let’s go out for a while before your Aunt Helena got the idea of running away.”
Haruka nodded then looked at Helena, “Don’t think that you could use this opportunity to hurt Shizuru again Aunt Helena. I don’t care if you and your husband are my parent’s friends and that I regarded you two as my second parents, hurt Shizuru again and I’ll make sure to make your life a living hell.” She said with conviction before pulling Yukino to her and escorting the pregnant HiME out of the room, passing her shocked parents.
Helena looked at Haruka and nodded her head in understanding. Her heart was running miles per minute from nervousness, these people are just kids, but there is something in them that makes my skin crawl, they got this look that says they know how to hurt people. “Thank you for…”
“Don’t thank us yet, you still have a long way to go.” Nao said huffing then walking towards the main room where Shizuru and Natsuki were now settled.
“Come on in.” It was Erstin who politely lead the older woman inside.
-End Chapter 24-
A/N: Since tomorrow is my nativity day, I updated this and I might continue updating this until this saga is through. Please pray that I get muse to do so!
Sorry that this chapter was almost about Helena, but I wanted to make some things in Shizuru’s life right before she gives birth to her daughters.
Next: Helena learned about the HiME project, about what Shizuru did during the Carnival. Her reaction to things and the HiMEs will face their last battle before this arc end.