Author's Note: Konnichiwa minna-san! I'm so happy! This is the FINAL CHAPTER of this story!! I can't wait to finally finish it! I should now stop my fangirl babbling and get to the main moment. Everyone, the time has finally come! The time has come for this story of mine to finally be complete at last! I give you all the final chapter of The Princess In The Land of Snow!

FINAL PAGE: The Eternal Light(1)

Although the girl in white finally succeeded in tracking down her beloved prince in black and finding him, she was appalled to find that he is in a terrible state. Bruises covered his body. His black cape and clothes were ripped in various places. A big bloody scratch was on his lower knee. The girl was appalled, but she decided to take everything into her own hands. Although the blizzard howled and roared with all it's might, the princess clad in white held up her prince in black and decided to finally take him back to her sanctuary.

The princess finally found her prince,
But he was in a terrible state.
He had been brutally attacked,
By the cruel outsiders.
They had engaged in battle,
And both sides were injured.
Including the black prince.
The princess was happy that he was alright,
But she knew that something could go wrong,
If she did not act quickly.
So she helped him up,
And decided to take him to her utopia.
Because she was ready.
...To finally let him in.

What was supposed to be a quiet, idyllic, halcyon, early Christmas night turned to nothing but a horrible nightmare. Towa was still stricken with nothing but shock. She was frozen. She sat on the other side of the road, her blue eyes wide and looking like they're about to explode, her mouth wide open, her whole body trembling with not just cold, but with realization and fear. The car that hit Hikaru sat there in front of them as the person who drove it pulled out his cell phone and called 911. Hikaru's body lay on a pile of snow-covered bushes that seemed to cushion the impact. Towa couldn't handle all the sensory overload that was violently amassing on her like a big pile of hard bricks had hit her head really hard. Towa's parents, Sasami and Yukihiro, and Hikaru's grandmother, Rina, also witnessed Hikaru's valiant and noble deed but were stricken with shock at what came out from it as a result. Yukihiro saw that Towa was still sitting there, looking at Hikaru's limp body laying on the bushes. He slowly walked up to her, kneeled in front of her, and grasped her shoulders with his large hands.

"'s going to be alright. The bushes may have saved him from a concussion. He's going to be alright!" Yukihiro tried to be rather euphemistic and reassuring in this blatantly appalling situation, but it seemed that Towa wasn't buying it. The only response that came out of her were her shaking her head and murmuring "No..."

"Towa...let's get in the car. Once the paramedics come, we can see him at the hospital. He's going to be al--" Yukihiro tried to tell her, but it seemed Towa finally snapped and pushed Yukihiro's hands away.

"NO HE WON'T!! HE WON'T BE ALRIGHT!! HIKARUUUUUU!!!" Towa screamed louder than she thought she was even capable of. She pushed Yukihiro away, ran to the bushes where Hikaru lay, and shook his limp body over and over again, crying.

"Hikaru!! Hikaru!! Hikaru!! HIKARU!! DON'T DIE!! I'm begging you, don't die!! It's bad enough you have lung cancer but please! Please don't die!!" Towa screamed and wailed and howled relentlessly, even when a surprised Yukihiro successfully managed to pry her off of Hikaru. But Yukihiro was mostly stunned with hearing Towa wail, "It's bad enough you have lung cancer!" To be perfectly honest, Yukihiro had been very suspicious about whether Hikaru had some kind of lung problem or not, but he didn't have evidence, nor did he ask Hikaru about it. It was his private business.

'So my suspicions are confirmed...' Yukihiro thought as he held onto his crying daughter.

Soon, flashing red lights and the echoing sound of an ambulance permeated the night. More and more people came out to witness the terrible scene. Paramedics dressed in white, black, and red came out and put Hikaru's limp body on a gurney, attached an IV bag to him, and put him into the ambulance. Towa tried to get out of Yukihiro's grasp to get inside the ambulance, but he wouldn't let her.

The entire Izumi family, Hikaru's grandmother included, all got into the car. Towa and Rina were both in the back seat.

"Alright everyone! Hikaru's being taken to our local hospital, so we'll go there too!" Sasami exclaimed as she decided to drive them to the hospital where Hikaru is being taken. Towa is still crying and Rina is silently trying to mollify her.

About 10 minutes later, they finally arrived at the hospital. The ambulance, which had Hikaru in it, arrived long before them. People dressed in blue were running around all over the hospital. Towa, Rina, and the rest of the family sat in the waiting room. Towa could smell the faint aroma of medicine and she didn't like it one bit. She hated being surrounded by the white walls, the bright lights on the ceiling, the voices and crackling coming from the PA system, and, worst of all, having to put up with the vociferous, crying babies that howled in the waiting room. Towa kept her hands on her ears and lowered her head down. It wasn't just because she didn't want to hear the crying babies. It was mostly because she ever so strongly wanted to believe that everything that had happened was all a dream. All a dream and nothing but a dream. She had a hard time believing that something good could turn so bad in a split second without warning. She had put all her effort into finding Hikaru safe and sound only to have him end up in a hospital...because she recklessly dashed into the street without looking both ways! She cursed herself and blamed herself for all that had happened. Silently, because she was afraid to anger her parents. But it seemed no matter how hard she pressed her hands against her ears, no matter how much she prayed, and no matter how much she tried to close herself up and be sealed very deep and tightly into herself and her fantasies, the harsh, somber reality, along with the crying babies, could never be blocked out no matter how tightly and securely the barrier was set up. All the sound and harshness permeated her mind like the H-bomb. Rina looked down and saw Towa trembling.

"Towa-chan? What's wrong, dearie?" Rina asked, but Towa didn't say anything. Towa remained still and perturbed with her hands on her ears and her blue eyes wide open. Sasami and Yukihiro turned to look at their trembling daughter.

"It's probably the crying babies that are bothering her. Rina-san? How about you take Towa outside for a bit?" Sasami asked.

"Sure, I'd be--" Rina was about to respond, but Towa cut her off.

"NO! I'm fine! Let me stay like this!" Towa screeched.

"But...Towa-chan, you've already had to deal with--" Sasami tried to reassure her, but it seemed Towa wanted no reassuring at the moment. No reassuring AT ALL.

"NO! I'm fine! I don't care! I need to deal with all this noise! I deserve it! It's my fault that Hikaru's stuck in a hospital bed anyway!!" Towa yelled both angrily and sadly. Sasami was getting a little aggrivated.

"Towa! It's not your--" Sasami tried to do it again, but Towa snapped at her, cutting her off.

"YES IT IS!! I wanted to help him! I wanted to save him! But what do I do!? I get him hit by a car! That's what I did! I condoned it! I never should've met someone like him if I knew he was going to end up like this because of me! Maybe that teacher from that program I was taken out of was right! Maybe I deserve to suffer eternal loneliness and misery!! Let those babies cry! Let all those sirens go off! Let all those people out there play their durned rap music for all I care! It serves me right for hurting him!"

Towa didn't realize it, but she was acting just like Hikaru when he ranted and vented in front of her as he slumped on the tree. She knew what the word condone meant because she learned it on TV and understood how it was used in a sentence. To condone means to allow a bad act to be done. Towa thinks she condoned Hikaru's being hit by a car by dashing in front of it without looking and putting his life on the line right now. Tears literally spilled from her blue eyes like a waterfall. The other people in the waiting room were getting annoyed by Towa's rant, but at this point, nobody in the Izumi clan seemed to notice, let alone care.

Sasami became heartbroken, seeing her daughter cry and blame herself the way she's doing now. Sasami did have to silently admit that she kept trying to teach Towa not to cross the street when cars are coming. In fact, she had been trying to teach her this for 3 years now. She knew that Towa did a reckless thing, but she knew in the bottom of her heart that Towa's recklessness and Hikaru's being hit by a car wasn't a willful act that Towa herself condoned. Sasami kneeled in front of her crying child and hugged her.

"Towa...please don't blame yourself. Please don't ever say you deserve to suffer eternal misery and despair. Nobody should go through that. You and Hikaru both have been through enough of it. Don't ever believe that horrid woman's words. And besides, you didn't do it on purpose! It was an accident!" Sasami told her, trying to mollify her.

"But...but still! I got him hurt! He's still hurt and he's not gonna get better! He won't survive! He..." Towa wailed sadly and loudly as she was being embraced by her mother. But as Sasami tried to coax her and mollify her, a man in a white coat and green pants walked up to the four.

"You four must be the Izumis, right?" The man asked. Towa stopped crying when she saw the doctor, and all four of them stood up from their seats.

"Yes! We are! Well...except for Rina-san, here. She's Hikaru-kun's grandmother," Yukihiro explained. Towa couldn't wait to ask him.

"Hikaru! Is Hikaru-kun okay? Or is he dead?" Towa asked. The last sentence seemed rather inappropriate, but all four of them were so worried that they didn't bother to rebuke Towa about it. In response, the doctor...smiled. Optimistically, to be more precise.

"I must say, this is quite unexpected. He's lucky to be alive!" The doctor exclaimed.

Just that very sentence made Towa beam brightly and become giddy with nothing but absolute joy. Everyone else, too.

"How can this be?" Rina asked.

"The car that hit him was only going 20 miles an hour, so it didn't hit him very hard. His vital organs are in tact, surprisingly. The bushes he landed on saved him from a concussion. Aside from a few broken ribs, he's just fine," The doctor explained with the smile glued to his face.

Sasami and Yukihiro hugged each other. Although Rina and Towa were happy, their smiles faded because they knew...that even though Hikaru had successfully survived the hit by the car, they knew that Hikaru's time could run out any minute. It was Towa who decided to explain.

" I appreciate your telling us that he's fine. But the truth is...he's not all that fine. We...we need you to help him! He has lung cancer! He needs to be saved! I know he's only here because of the car crash, but still! Can you save him, please? I'm begging you!" Towa explained. Sasami was shocked.

"WHAT!? Lung cancer!? Wha...Towa! Where did you hear that!?" Sasami exclaimed with shock.

"That big yellow bag...inside, there's a medical report that confirms it! Please, doctor! Can you help him? Can you save him? Please?" Towa pleaded and importuned. The doctor didn't know what to say. Sasami and Yukihiro didn't know what to say either.

"Hmmm...well, the least I could do is run a scan on him and see how much the cancer has progressed. If it's progressed to a state where we can't save him, well...that pretty much explains it. But I'll initiate it anyway," The doctor said. He finally decided to leave the Izumis and Rina alone. Sasami was quite aggrivated.

"TOWA! How come you never told me this from the beginning!?" Sasami exclaimed.

"I didn't know about it until earlier today! He never told me!" Towa retaliated. Yukihiro tried to mollify Sasami.

"Now now, don't blame Towa. How would she know Hikaru had an illness?" Yukihiro whispered.

"Even so! If it does turn out to be curable, how would we be able to pay for the chemo!? We don't have that kind of money! We blew most of it on the renovations! Remember!?" Sasami screeched angrily.

Towa looked down at her feet, crestfallen. Chemotherapy costs a lot of money. She knew that very well. How would she be able to help Hikaru and save his life if she can't pay for the cure? And what if the cancer isn't curable? She would lose Hikaru! If the latter would to have happened, Towa would've contradicted herself and given herself a false hope.

But then...a sudden remembrance struck Towa's mind like a bolt of lightning.

"The insurance policy money!!" She cried out with a smile.

"Wha? What insurance policy money!? We don't have that!" Sasami exclaimed. Towa became quite ardent and determined now. Just like she was when she went looking for Hikaru.

"Yes we do! Hikaru does! That big yellow bag he keeps with him? It's full of money that his parents left him when they died! It's part of this thing they took out on him called an insurance policy! We can use it to pay for the chemo in case the cancer is curable! Right, Rina-san?" Towa explained brightly.

"Y...Yes. It's true," Rina said.

"But it's at home! Mama! Papa! Can we run home real quick so I can get it and come back here?" Towa exclaimed as she clung to her pregnant mother and looked up at her with her wide, bright, blue eyes.

"But...Towa! That's a bit too much to ask, don't you think? Plus I've done too much driving today!" Sasami replied sternly.

"Pleeeeeease? I'll be super duper quick! I promise!" Towa exclaimed. Sasami didn't know how to respond, but it seemed she didn't need to. Yukihiro walked between Towa and Sasami.

"It's quite alright. I'll take her. You can stay here with Rina-san and let us know if the doctor comes back and tells you the results," Yukihiro told her. Towa immediately started jumping around, giddy with joy.

"Yay! Yay for me! Yay for Hikaru-nii! Come on, papa! Let's go! QUICK!" Towa exclaimed happily as she snatched her father's arm and dragged him out of the hospital. Yukihiro couldn't help but laugh at his daughter's ardent plight. He was actually very happy and proud of her.

'Oh, my little in the world did you get to be so compassionate and kind?' Yukihiro asked himself in his thought. But then he remembered something else.

"Oh! Towa-chan! I just remembered! We didn't have dinner yet!" Yukihiro said as he got into the driver's seat.

"Ah, dinner shminner! My appetite isn't the main issue right now! Drive drive drive!" Towa replied proudly. Yukihiro, although he silently cursed himself for being slightly obeisant to the demands of a little girl, held no objections to Towa's ardent answer.

A few minutes later, Yukihiro and Towa arrived home. Yukihiro unlocked the door so Towa could get in. She quickly gathered the money that was scattered on the floor and put it in the bag along with the medical report. She also put in her "A Little Light" CD, her own CD player, and one of her stuffed animals. The stuffed animal she wasn't going to use for herself though. She and Yukihiro then drove back to the hospital just in time, right before the doctor who talked to them arrived again.

Towa ran up to him and eagerly asked him how bad the cancer was. Much to her, and everyone else's, surprise, the cancer Hikaru has is not as bad as they originally thought. In fact, the doctor said that Hikaru is actually very lucky because he has contracted the slowest progressing lung cancer in the world...and the most treatable. The cancer Hikaru has only takes three years to really become truly fatal and deadly. With a few months' worth of chemotherapy, Hikaru could easily be cured. Though the chemo he has to be on has to be rather strong. Towa didn't mind. Hikaru being alive anyway is good enough for her. She quickly presented the money to the doctor.

"Here! We'll pay with some of this! Anything is fine! Hikaru-kun being alive is more than enough for me! I'll be forever grateful!" Towa beamed happily.

The doctor couldn't help but smile at not just the plethora of money that the girl presented him, but at the ardent little girl herself. Rina spoke for the first time in a while.

"Ummm...can we see him, doctor?" Rina whispered.

"Yes! He's rather weak and can't talk much, but you're more than welcome to see him. Follow me, if you please," The doctor told them with his smile and allowed the Izumis and Hikaru's grandmother to visit him.

Hikaru's room wasn't very far from the waiting room. In fact, his room was Room 4B. Towa was the first to burst inside, and what she saw stunned her a little bit. Hikaru lay asleep and motionlessly in a hospital bed, gently wrapped in a thick white blanket and with an IV needle in his arm, which was covered by the blanket. Some band-aids were on his face because of the bush's branches scratching his tender cheeks a little. A fluffy white pillow raised Hikaru's head of thin, jet black hair off the bed. Towa slowly walked up to him, clinging to the pale yellow bag. She could see Hikaru's long, thick, black eyelashes flutter slightly. His emerald eyes finally peeled open and he turned his head to see Towa looking at him. He smiled just a little bit. Towa couldn't help but smile back at him, even though he was quite weak, languid, and emaciated.

"Towa..." Hikaru croaked in a soft, weak, almost inaudible whisper. But Towa heard it no doubt.

"Hikaru..." Towa whispered back. Towa decided to talk to him some more.

"'re safe. I'm...sorry I dashed out in front of the car like that. I didn't mean for you to get hurt. But you're safe and that's all that matters to me. Oh! And...I told the doctor about your lung cancer and you know what he said? He said you're very lucky because the cancer you have isn't as bad as we all thought it would be. You have the slowest progressing lung cancer in the world. Plus, it's curable! You'll have to go through a lot of chemotherapy to get it cured, but it'll be worth it. Don't you agree?" Towa beamed very softly and gently so that she wouldn't intimidate Hikaru. But it seemed he didn't mind. But then...Towa's face went from joyous and happy to dejected and despondent. Hikaru looked confused.

"Hikaru...please don't be angry with me, but..." Towa hesitated a little, but she gathered both the mettle and audacity to confess. "...I saw your bag of insurance policy money. Please don't be angry with me, but...I decided to use some of it to pay for the chemotherapy. My family has no other way of paying for it. I know it's wrong of me to go through your things, but...I just didn't want you to lose your life! You're too important to me to die. Maybe your parents left you that money because they thought you would need it in order to live a good and happy and safe life. Hikaru...I don't want you to go. Because I'm finally ready..." Her fervent confession made tears swell up in not just her eyes, but Hikaru's as well.

"...I'm finally ready to accept you into my world!"

She finally did it. She finally trusts Hikaru enough to let her into her world. To confide her innermost soul into. Towa, at long last, had finally succeeded in finding her true love.

Hikaru was silently overjoyed by Towa's fervent, tearful confession. He let the tears stream from his emerald eyes and fall onto the bed. Towa climbed in a little and hugged him. Hikaru felt warm and secure as he was being embraced by this little girl.

'Towa...Izumi really are an angel sent from heaven. No, I'm not angry. In fact, I'm truly happy. Happy that I met someone as kind and munificent and innocent as love. Mother and father were absolutely right about you. They knew you would be the one who would be my savior. I did not use the money earlier because I didn't want to. I didn't use it because...I thought it was already too late for me to be saved. But...that doesn't seem to be the case. Towa...thank you. I am eternally grateful. I wonder if we're even again? Will this be the last time we save each other from misery and despair? I wonder... thought Hikaru as he smiled as bright as a sunflower under the warm, cozy embrace of his savior, an angel in the form of a little girl named Izumi Towa.

The princess in the land of snow,
Has finally decided.
She broke down her barriers,
Helped her black prince get inside,
And made him a part of her sanctuary.
She confined him in an egg-like chamber,
Because she used it to heal people,
In times like this.
She felt bad about keeping him in there all the time,
But she had no other options.
The black prince seemed rather content with this.
He got to be with his princess after all.

The girl in white decided,
To let this man in black be a part of her world.
She finally deemed him worthy,
To come into her innermost sanctuary.
He is going to be a big part of her world.
He was finally deemed the title,
The Prince in the land of snow.
He confessed his love for the princess,
And asked if he could be her eternal prince.
She happily accepted and tended to his wounds.
They were now.
The prince and princess in the land of snow.

The months that Hikaru had spent on chemotherapy had been quite painful and tough. The chemo was so strong that Hikaru lost all his hair, got sick more times than not, and he couldn't even speak! He was so weak, languid, and emaciated that he couldn't even get out of bed. He wore a nice, light yellow hat that Sasami knitted specially for him to cover up his bald head. Towa visited him every day, even on Christmas. She let him have her stuffed animal, the one she brought with her that day in the hospital when he got hit by the car. The stuffed animal happened to be...Popo! Her beloved angel imp! She let him have it because she didn't want him to be lonely all the time while stuck in that hospital bed. She also got him some other nice Christmas presents too, such as some books. She also let him listen to "A Little Light: All Renditions" on her CD player. He was very happy that he got to hear it. His father wanted to hear it, but he died before he could. Hikaru felt satisfied with his gift anyway.

During that time, Towa was very scrupulous when it came to taking care of Hikaru. She fed him, helped him with his clothes (Yukihiro helped too), gave him what he wanted and needed, and made sure he was comfortable. Even when school started she visited him and tried to make him as content and happy as possible. She made absolutely sure to NEVER make Hikaru uncomfortable nor do a cursory job with taking care of him, and her parents and Rina were very proud. Her friends helped out too. They decided to visit whenever they could. Towa and Hikaru's intimacy grew stronger and stronger each day. It was totally blatant to everyone that they were in love.

Thankfully, while there were bad days, there were good days as well. And a myriad of good things happened while Hikaru was stuck on chemo! Rina decided to let the Izumis take care of Hikaru while he's in the hospital because she has some things she needs to do, but she has decided that Hikaru will go back and live with her once he's robust and discharged from the hospital. Hikaru even inheritted some of his late grandfather's belongings and savings, which was a surprise for the entire family. Soon, more and more people became aware of Hikaru's existence, not just as the son of Nonoko and Takuma, but as Hikaru the human being. Bouquets, gifts, and other things were delivered to his hospital room like crazy. A plethora of them occupied the room. It almost looked as if they were going to make Hikaru suffocate! But it didn't. Hikaru felt happy to feel so appreciated again. He became known as a shining inspiration to those who fell through the cracks of despair. Once they heard his story (which was broadcasted on the news), they came to him for support (even though he was mute the whole time) and befriended him. Hikaru felt warm and happy and appreciated.

Of course, lots of good things happened on Towa's end of the bargain too. The school finally got the authority to have Hiroaki sent to the local juvenile correctional facility with the consent of his mother, who got custody of him, while Kaori was taken out of Eien to be sent to an all-girl's seminary in Sapporo. Hotaru became not just hall monitor, but a member of the student council for Eien Middle School! So did Karin a little bit. Also, Hino-sensei's class was given an assignment to write an essay on someone they love and hold dear to them for a contest being held by a charity that saves homeless people of all kinds. Towa did hers on Hikaru and she won first prize! Of course, all the other students who participated got smaller prizes of their own, and they felt proud of themselves. They didn't envy Towa. Hotaru and Toyokazu became very intimate with each other, and Hotaru was even smiling a whole lot! Alisa got second place in the contest but still managed to make a good impression. She wrote her essay about her late homosexual friend Cain and she had gotten many e-mails and letters from LGBTs all over Japan! She even found a lover among them! A bisexual boy named Amano Seiya opened his heart out to Alisa once he read her essay. Soon, Alisa and Seiya were exchanging e-mails and letters all the time. Then, the time came that they met in person, and both of them became very very close. Like glue, everyone said. Towa was happy for not just herself, but for everyone. Yoshio was sad that Alisa was already dating someone, but he found another girl he liked and began dating her, so he felt satisfied anyway.

Then, on January 12, 2010, Sasami gave birth to a little girl. She is a cute, cuddly, and plump little baby with a mass of curly black hair, cute rosy cheeks, tiny hands and feet, and big, beautiful green eyes. Towa commented that she looks like a little girl version of Hikaru! At Hikaru's suggestion, they decide to name her Noriko, somewhat after his mother. The "No" and "Ko"in Noriko's name shares the same kanji as the "No" and "Ko" in Nonoko's name. Best of all, Towa didn't seem to fear Noriko as much as she did other babies. Admittedly, she became a good big sister to little Noriko. They became rather close. Even Hikaru thought she was adorable. Noriko liked people, but in her book, Towa and Hikaru always held the number one spot on the chart. Sasami suddenly got an abundance of inspirations for new story ideas, so she went back to writing books while raising her children. Yukihiro and Towa supported her ambitions and contributed to raising Noriko while she was busy.

And best of all, the police finally caught the gunman that killed Hikaru's parents!...or should we say, gun WOMAN!

Yep! Of all things, it was a woman in her late 30's who massacred the concert and killed Hikaru's parents. Her name was Sawanaga Mami, and she was a classmate of Nonoko during their time at Nishijou Music Academy. Mami was the person who bullied Nonoko the most violently and mercilessly. It was through her that Nonoko met Takuma! Mami had always envied Nonoko for her musical talent and vowed to "ruin her" completely so she could be the best musical prodigy in the school. But her efforts failed. Plus, her parents put a lot of pressure on her and Mami couldn't take it all anymore. Finally, her parents lost hope and disowned her, deeming her a disgrace to the Sawanaga name. She was homeless. Her affluent family didn't leave her a penny. This made her hatred for the Ikumas grow even worse. She pre-meditated the murders once she found Nonoko's whereabouts. She went to the recital and intentionally massacred the concert in cold blood. She was also the one who had been stalking Hikaru and sending him all those threatening yet poorly constructed death threats and notes.

A court session had been arranged. When Hikaru became well enough to speak, he presented his testimony in front of the jury and everyone else that was in court. The Izumis, including Towa, and Rina came to the court. Towa had never been to court before, but she steeled herself and watched everything happen before her eyes. She watched with eagerness and excitement as the lawyers and prosecutors drove the woman with dark red hair, the grey eyes, the bony complexion, the abundance of freckles on her face, and the tattoo of 666 written on her neck over the edge. Soon, Mami finally confessed, her strident, angry, cantankerous voice filled with nothing but rancor and volatile hatred.

"That retarded woman took my life away from me!! She deserved what she got!! She took my chance at success and crushed it! My family disowned me because of her! She got what she deserved! She and everyone else who's an Ikuma are nothung but worthless human trash!!"

The notorious woman laughed and ranted and belabored like a maniac while confessing her crimes. Thanks to her fingerprints being on the note that Towa found last autumn, and a few other pieces of evidence, the jury of the court found her guilty on the counts of first degree pre-meditated murder, violation of privacy, and many other charges. She was sentenced to life in prison with absolutely no possibility of parole. EVER. But nonetheless, the woman laughed like she was high on marijuana as she entered the jail cell. The Izumis celebrated in Hikaru's hospital room.

Then, one day, Hikaru's chemo results were in. The cancer is finally gone!

The Izumis celebrated once again. How many celebrations was that now? Well, one can only wonder at how many good things can happen to certain people in certain circumstances. Hikaru was finally off chemo and allowed to return to his grandmother, who tended to him and helped him. He somehow managed to graduate from Wakeshima High School even though he was on chemo throughout most of his senior year. Some classmates who had been secretly fond of him finally decided to come out and give him the work he needed, but not before helping him with some of it so that he could keep his grades up. The Izumis celebrated yet again. Weird, isn't it?

Of course, not EVERYTHING the Izumis, the Ikumas, and everyone else experienced was good. Life can't be lived without hardship, and if we didn't have sadness and hardship, we wouldn't be able to cherish happiness and triumph. Karin's grandmother died of a stroke shortly after Noriko was born. Alisa's sister, Mindy, had to be sent back to America because her parents were angry with her acting out during her time in Japan. They thought it was best for Mindy to live with her aunt and uncle in Rhode Island to return to American life. Towa's beloved cat, Nyanko, also died when Towa entered the 7th grade. But it was due to old age and failing kidneys. They buried her in Towa's backyard and Sasami decided to plant a pretty little crocus bush in the cat's grave. They got two new cats, both of whom Towa named Nonoko and Takuma.

When Hikaru was finally robust again, he returned to his grandmother's house. It wasn't very far from Towa's house, so he visited a lot. He even got a job as an assistant teacher for a kindergarten for special needs kids. He loved the job, even if some of the children he helped were somewhat vociferous and slightly difficult. He loved the efforts he put into it, the kids he helped, the teachers that supported him, the money he gained, everything. He felt proud and appreciated for the first time in two years. Hikaru also managed to get accepted into a community college to major in subjects like art, music, theater drama, and creative writing. He used some more of the insurance policy money his parents left him to pay for the tuition. He found that he has quite a talent for writing and acting and play writing, so he decided to tackle those subjects. And succeed he did.

Everything seemed to be going great.

Three years later...

Monday, April 6, 2013

Towa is now 14, and she, along with Alisa, Karin, Hotaru, Yoshio, and Toyokazu, are two days away from starting her freshman year at Wakeshima High School, the school that Hikaru went to. Hikaru is now 20 and has graduated from the community college. He has started his first year at Kushirou College and is very happy with himself. Towa has gotten much better not just with drawing, but with socializing and her speech. Everyone says she has quite a wide and vast vocabulary now. But she still hasn't changed from when she was when she was 10. She is still the kind, gentle, innocent, and munificent little girl that everyone knows and loves.

Now, Towa, along with now three year old Noriko, is sitting in the park where she found Hikaru that cold winter day. Her hair is still the same length as it was years ago, only Towa still looked quite genteel and sophisticated. It is now spring. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom all around, and Towa and Noriko sat still in order to absorb it's rare, sublime beauty. Towa is wearing a light blue sweater over a long-sleeved white ruffled blouse along with long black jeans, black and white sneakers, and purple socks with yellow ducks on them. Little Noriko is happily frolicking and gamboling under the cherry blossoms, wearing a cute pink and white silk dress with a cherry blossom on the bottom of it along with white socks, matching pink shoes, and two little pink cherry blossom accessories in her curly black hair. Her hair is short and boyish, but it's still thick, dark, fluffy and curly. Towa watched as her adorable little sister gathered cherry blossom petals and ambled around playfully while imagining things and ruminating to herself. On Towa's shoulder is a beige-colored purse. Her old red one got tattered and ragged so she had to throw it away, much to her dismay. Inside of that purse are three books. One is Takakage Eriko's Blessing of the Tamayura, the second is Kathryn Erskine's Mockingbird(2), and the third is called What's From The Heart written by none other than...Sasami! Towa's mother! Yes, Sasami returned to writing and she is very happy about it.

Towa's blue eyes were scanning the park. She is apparently waiting for someone, only that particular someone hadn't exactly arrived just yet. They arranged to have a date together before school started. Towa was very nervous about starting high school. She remembered that cases of bullying and harassment were very high and severe, sometimes even deadly, in high schools, and she wanted absolutely no part of typical teenage angst and drama. She wanted to avoid that at all costs. Towa had a great many thoughts and fears roaming and frolicking around in her head. Would she be stuck in classes where none of her friends would be? Would she be bullied again? Would she have teachers who understood nothing about autism and were ignorant and cruel? Would anyone even like her? She had other thoughts, but she was pulled out of her reverie by none other than sweet little Noriko, staring up at Towa with her big green eyes, plump rosy cheeks, and innocent smile as bright as a sunflower. She held an abundance of cherry blossom petals in her tiny arms and hands.

"Towa-tan! Wookie! Chewwy bwossoms! Ant (Aren't) dey (they) pwetty?" Noriko exclaimed in a cute, high-pitched but dulcet voice typical of a little three year old. Towa smiled, got off the bench, and kneeled in front of Noriko.

"Yes. They're very pretty. You like them, don't you?" Towa asked in her sweet, dulcet voice. Her voice only got a little lower than it was when she was 10.

"Yeth! I do! I do! Yay! Pwetty fwowers (flowers)! Wanna pway, Towa-Neechan?" Noriko beamed cutely and happily as she threw the petals around and danced under them. After that, she asked Towa to play with her. Towa picked up her little sister, sat back on the pench and put Noriko on her lap.

"I would like to play, but he's not here yet. We'll play when he gets here, okay sweetie?" Towa told her gently and softly. Noriko clutched her sister's blouse with her tiny yet soft, tender hand.

"Okie dokie," Noriko murmured softly as she clung to her big sister. About a few minutes passed and a strong wind blew by just a bit. When Towa opened her eyes, she saw a tall figure approaching them.

The person has long, thick, jet black hair with his bangs stretching down to his shoulders. His emerald green eyes were very striking. They looked as if they could pierce your soul. He was tall, robust, erect, and dignified and he smiled brightly when he saw the two girls. He is wearing a long, dark red coat over dark blue jeans, a black shirt, and brown shoes. Towa's big blue eyes got big as she caught sight of the man. He looked to be about 20. Towa put Noriko down and she ran to the man.


Yep. This man is Ikuma Hikaru, 20 years old and looking as good as ever.

"Hello...Towa. It's been a long time, hasn't it?" Hikaru asked softly, in a low but rich voice. His voice had changed drastically, but it was still soft and gentle sounding. Towa felt nostalgic inside just from hearing it. She looked him straight in the eyes.

"It has. It's been about a few months since we last saw each other in person," Towa told him when Hikaru felt a tug on his jeans. He looked down and saw Noriko with big eager eyes, looking up at him.

"Hikawu! Hikawu-Niichan!" Noriko chimed cutely. Hikaru smiled and hoisted the little girl in his arms.

"Nocchan! Hello there, Nocchan!" Hikaru beamed happily as he held the little pink-clad girl in his long, slender arms. Noriko was enjoying every minute of it. She giggled and laughed as she was hoisted in the air by Hikaru.

"I'm fwying! I'm fwying! Yay! Yay! Yaaay!" Noriko chirped sweetly. Hikaru then decided to stop playing as he set her back down on the ground. He decided to talk to Towa again.

"You look great, Towa!" Hikaru told her.

"You look great yourself, Hikaru! How's college?" Towa replied.

"Great! My composition in creative writing won first prize. I even got an award for my performance in the play!" Hikaru told her with a big smile on his face.

"Your college put on Henrik Ibsen(3)'s A Doll's House(4), right?" Towa asked, her blue eyes beaming with curiosity.

"Yes. I played Torvald," Hikaru replied. Towa clasped her hands together.

"Wow! That's wonderful! Congratulations! I'm happy for you!" Towa beamed again with joy. Hikaru chuckled a bit.

"Oh. That's right. We're going on a date today, aren't we?" Hikaru asked. Towa's cheeks became a trifle rosy.

" that okay?" Towa whispered. Hikaru smiled sweetly at her.

"It's perfectly okay! I'm very happy to go on a date with you, my beloved Towa!" Hikaru said again. Towa smiled again until Noriko started speaking.

"A date! A date! You two wuv (love) each ofer (other)! Wuv ith in the air! Yay! Hearts and chocolate? You gonna hash (have) hearts and chocolate?" Noriko chimed again. Towa and Hikaru chuckled at Noriko's understanding of love.

"Yes. Yes we are. You're coming with us on our date, Nocchan! How's that?" Hikaru told her.

"Yaaaaay!! I get to be with Towa-Neechan and Hikawu-Niichan! Yay! Yay! Yay!" Noriko became giddy with joy and began gamboling again.

"So...where are we going first?" Towa asked.

"I know a very good cafe that just opened. I tried their food a few times and it's very delicious," Hikaru explained softly.

"Wow! Sounds like fun! I'd love to go with you!" Towa said.

But the response she got was nothing she ever expected.

Hikaru hugged her, pulled her close, took her face in his hand and...kissed her very softly on the lips. Towa couldn't believe what just happened. She had never experienced this before. But when he pulled away, she couldn't help but feel extremely happy that it happened. Noriko did not see the heartfelt kiss because she was too busy scattering cherry blossoms around.

"Shall we depart, my princess?" Hikaru asked. But before Towa could respond, he sweetly and gently pecked her on the cheek. Towa knew she had found love.

"Yes! My prince!" Towa exclaimed, then turned to see Noriko playing.

"Noriko! Come on!" Towa called out to her little sister. Noriko heard her big sister and happily trotted over to her and Hikaru.

"Date! Date! Date! Wuvey duvey!" Noriko chirped cutely again as she wrapped her soft, tiny, plump little hand around Towa's tender one. Towa held Hikaru's hand, so both her hands were occupied.

The three of them slowly but happily ambled away from the park. The wind picked up and more cherry blossom petals embraced the happy and joyous threesome.

Towa and Hikaru were very happy together.

The white princess,
The black prince,
They vowed to be together,
Forever and ever.
They were no longer outcasts.
They were no longer misfits.
They were finally recognized.
They were finally accepted.
They were finally able to go outside.
But they made love in private,
Mostly inside of the snowy sanctuary.
Both of them were known as,
The prince and princess of the land of snow.
The eternal light of happiness shone upon them,
Signalling their future,
Filled with happiness and joy.


Author's Note: THIS. GOSH. DURNED. STORY. IS. FINALLY. FLIPPING. FINIIIIIIIIIIIIISHED!!! Yep! I completed my first story here on FictionPress for the first time ever! Woohoo! It took me, what? Two years!? But I did it! Yaaaaay!! I'd like to thank all who reviewed it and read it, even though it wasn't all that recognized. For those who are seeing this story for the first time, welcome and please enjoy the story you're reading right now. Oh! Just so you all know, I decided to scrap Stargazer. I took a good look at it and I decided that it's sloppy, poorly constructed, didn't make sense, and just seems unrealistic. So I'm gonna scrap it. Sorry guys. I still have the chapters saved on my hard drive. I just don't have the inspiration and solid information to continue working on it. I'm still gonna work on Oria of Araceli and Requiem of the Hummingbird! I'm also gonna try and remake at least ONE chapter of The Catalyst's Rebellion before the year ends! Or maybe make a new chapter of it! I also managed to get inspirations for other stories I wanna make here. Oh, the possibilities are endless! Well, it's time to finally end this story. See you all in the next story! Bye-bee!


1. This title is a pun on Towa and Hikaru's name. Usually in Japanese, it would be written as "Eien no Hikari", but the kanji is changed a bit so the literal title of this chapter is "Towa no Hikaru", representing the main characters!

2. This is a real book. This isn't Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockinngbird. I read this book and I think it's absolutely wonderful!

3. Henrik Ibsen is a Norwegian playwright who is often referred to as the father of modern drama. He is mostly known for his liberal themes and his play called An Enemy Of The People.

4. A Doll's House is one of Ibsen's plays. It was mostly infamous for it's critical view of 19th century marriage and having a notorious heroine. It's considered a feminist play.