Characters: Ohno Satoshi and Kawashima Umika
Genre: Family/ Drama
Summary: Ohno decides to adopt a child as a promise for his deceased wife. He filled out the forms to adopt a Japanese child from America, only to realize he adopted a 17 year old and not a 7 year old!
a/n: sorry it took me a while to update. been busy update my community with the solo battles (which btw you should check them out)
anyways, this the FINAL CHAPTER!! OMG!! but it's reeeeally long. About 7700 words.
Found this picture on Tumblr!! :DD
Chapter 5 - The Best Dad Ever
After a long day at work, Ohno wanted nothing more than to go home and have dinner with his daughter and go to sleep. He just finished filming the first episode for the new drama that'll air in late summer/beginning fall. He was used to seeing famous actors and actresses, but he was quite shocked at the first day of filming.
"Good work, today," Matsumoto Jun nodded to him. Ohno tensed up and bowed.
"Good work, Matsumoto-san. You're acting was excellent as always!" Ohno smiled.
"Thank you," Jun smiled. "Please continue to work with me. I wanted to ask you if you like to come drink with us. The producer knows a great place to eat."
"Ah, I'm very sorry," Ohno bowed. "But I have to get home to make dinner for my daughter."
"You have a child?" Jun asked. "Congratulations! How old is she?"
"She's seventeen," Ohno grinned. Jun's eyebrow twitched.
"Eh? Seventeen? But...you're not much older than I am."
"Ah," Ohno chuckled. "I adopted her."
"Oooh," Jun nodded slowly. "For how long?"
"It's been five chapters, I mean, five months."
"You adopted a seventeen year old girl?" Jun frowned. "Wait a minute, I think I've heard of you. You're the one who adopted a teen for perverted pleasure."
Ohno shook his head.
"It's not what you think!" Ohno defended himself. "I simply adopted out of the good of my heart. I swear! Whatever the others told you is a lie. Was it Nino?"
Jun smiled anyways.
"I'm just teasing you. Your name is Ohno, right?" Jun patted Ohno's shoulder. "Why don't you bring your daughter to the studio. Next week I'll be a guest at the variety show upstairs. Why not let her come and see?"
"Really? Thank you! I'm sure she'll love too!"
"Alright, then. I'll see you tomorrow," Jun winked like the idol he was and walked—or rather strut—his way out.
Ohno felt his steps had a little bounce of excitement when he left the building, but when he got to his car, his phone rang. He didn't recognize the number, but he answered it anyways.
"Hello? Excuse me, is this...oh, how do you say it, Ohno Satoshi?"
"What?" Ohno frowned. It was a woman, speaking in English. "Who is this?"
"I'm sorry. Here let me hand over to Mrs. Takagi." There was a pause. "Hello?"
"Hi, this is Takagi Mio. Is this Ohno Satoshi?" It sounded like an old woman.
"Yes...how may I help you?" Ohno leaned against his car, still frowning.
"I believe there has been a mistake with the documents., Takagi said. "I'm Umika's aunt. I'm calling because I would like to adopt her to my house and under my name."
Ohno thought his world went blank.
"H-how is that possible?" Ohno said, running his hand through his hair. "The orphanage told me she had no living relatives."
"Yes, I was at fault there," Takagi explained. "I was living in Europe majority of my life, but I have a permanent address in New York. I heard of my sister's death, but I was never told she had a child. I couldn't attend to her funeral for business purposes. And so I would like to take Umika in for child custody. By right, she must live with me."
"By what right?!" Ohno yelled. His voice echoed in the car garage. "I signed the papers already. I am now her rightful guardian and parent!"
"Yes, but she is my heir written in her mother's will."
"Eh..." Ohno said quietly.
"I own a well established business in Europe which I am now expanding to America. But my health isn't what it used to be. My assistants found that I had a niece who lived at this orphanage, but you took her away to Japan."
"I adopted her! I didn't steal her!"
"I'm already having a flight ready for Japan next week. It's not like you have a choice," Takagi said, not losing her cool even once. "I will come and collect her and take her back to America."
"Y-you...you can't do this!" Ohno shouted. "You have neglected your own niece for seventeen years! And now you expect her to come with you!"
"Ohno-san," she sighed. "She's in her final year of high school, right? She's going to move out anyways. I'll come and pick her up next week on Saturday. Please have her bags ready by then. If you don't cooperate, I'll call my lawyer."
She hung up and Ohno slowly lowered his phone to his side; the dial tone was still ringing. Out of pure frustration, he slammed his palm on his car roof.
"How can this happened?" Ohno sobbed.
* * *
In the weeks of preparing for the summer festival, Umika stayed most of her time at school helping her peers and new friends. The school yard and field was large enough to hold many events such as comedy skits, band performances, food stands, and many other fun activities. Umika was finally having fun.
And best of all, more students would talk with her.
"Do American high schools have festivals?" Kutsuna asked as they painted the welcome sign.
"No," Umika shrugged. "We have pep rallies for our sport teams. Not a lot of students participate in something like this."
"So, you prefer Japanese schools?"
"Yeah," Umika nodded. "I'm really interested in the rock bands too."
"I heard Sato is playing in a band," Kustuna mentioned, "He plays the guitar."
Umika hasn't spoken with Sato Takeru since that day of the incident. At first, students still thought that she was going out with their teacher Sakurai Sho, but she refused and explained to all what really happened. She was grateful that Sho also told the teachers and students what happened, but he didn't add Kiritani into the equation.
In the end, everyone believed her and loathed Kiritani and her cronies. Hopefully, Sato understood as well. But he has been so busy, Umika hasn't seen him in a long time.
"Hey, Umika. Have you decided what college you're going to?" Kutsuna brought up.
"College...?" Umika said, her eyebrows raised. "Have you decided?"
"Of course. I hope I get accepted to Keio Universtiy. Either that or I'd try Meiji."
"You're so smart, Shiori," Umika sighed. "I don't even know what's a good college here in Japan."
"So, you're staying here for college?" Kutsuna asked, excitedly. "You can try Keio with me!"
Umika crossed her arms.
"You know, when I was in America, I didn't know what I wanted to do for my future. And I still don't know what I want to do here in Japan."
"You're good in English. Why not try a career in language?"
"Maybe. But there is one college I wanted to go to."
"New York University."
"What? Why New York?"
"The orphanage told me that my mother was born there and went to that college," Umika said, staring off into space. "Since then, I had this urge to go there one day."
Just then, Sato appeared around the yard and carrying his guitar case. Umika felt her heart leaped for a second, and as he started walking towards them, she felt butterflies fluttering around her stomach.
"Hey," he nodded, looking shy. "I'm sorry I didn't talked with you sooner. I've been busy."
"Mmm," Umika shook her head, feeling her face turn red. "Not at all."
"Were you practicing?" Kutsuna asked.
"Yeah," Sato sighed. "But now it's useless. Our band broke up."
"Our pianist broke his wrist, and our singer caught a sore throat," he said. "So we dropped out for the rock band contest."
"Why don't you find new members?" Kutsuna asked.
"Where can I find a good singer and a pianist?" Sato shrugged.
"Let Umika sing!" Kutsuna suggested.
"Eh?" Sato and Umika said.
"And I know how to play the piano. Oh! This will be fun!"
"Shiori, I've never seen you so excited. You've always been so shy and quiet," Umika said.
"Well, it's because I met you," she smiled. "After such a long time, I finally have friends."
"....okay then," Sato nodded. "It'll be interesting having girls in the band. But that means we'll have to make a new song. What's a good song for a girl to sing?"
"You know what would be cool...if Umika's dad brought a camera and recorded us with his camera," Kutsuna said.
"Hey, yeah! Ask your dad to bring his camera," Sato nodded.
"But it's not like he-"
"It would be cool too if he brought a director or a producer or someone important too. What if we get scouted?"
"But, he can't-"
"Then it's decided! Bring your dad and his co-workers to the festival."
'Oh, boy,' Umika thought.
* * *
Ohno chopped the carrots rather slowly that night. His mind was still on that dreaded phone call. The old hag's voice was still nagging in his mind.
'If you don't cooperate, I'll call my lawyer!'
"Bitch," Ohno grunted low.
"I'm home," Umika called. Ohno heard her close the door and walked into the living room.
"Umm, Dad. Can I ask you something?" Umika said, her head peeking into the small kitchen.
Umika bit her lip. Ohno waited but she looked like she was pondering what to say.
"Uh, n-never mind," she smiled and disappeared.
"Umika," he called her back.
"Uh..." he mumbled. Should he tell her about her aunt now? "Uh...d-dinner's almost ready. Go wash up."
"Oh...okay," she said, awkwardly.
Dinner was quieter than usual. The television was on, but aside from that it was just the sound of food munching and chopsticks clicking on bowls. Ohno wanted to break the silence first but so did Umika.
"Ah, you go first," Ohno offered.
"Okay...I was thinking, since we were discussing it in class," Umika started off, "what college should I go?"
Ohno choked on his rice.
"I don't have to, of course," Umika rushed. "I'm fine with finding a job first and then go later."
"No, no. It's fine," Ohno coughed. He drank water, and he was able to breathe better. "Whatever college you want to go to is fine."
"Well, I've been thinking of one for a long time."
He resumed back to eating. "Really?"
"New York University."
Ohno's chopstick stopped midway to his mouth. He looked up and saw that Umika was serious. He slowly got up and carried his empty bowl to the kitchen. Umika followed him.
"Are you mad?"
"No, I'm..." Ohno said. "That's fantastic, Umika. I'll...I'll support you in every way I can. Why don't you ask your teacher and see if your credits can transfer back to America."
"You mean it?" She smiled. Ohno pulled off his best fake smile.
"Sure, why not."
"Thank you!" She hugged him and ran upstairs.
She sounded so joyful while Ohno's fists were shaking, He tried his best not to cry. They say that kids grow up so fast, but Ohno never imagined it like this. As much as he wanted to be happy for his daughter to go to college, he felt his heart was broken.
* * *
"Is that even legal?!" Nino asked one day at work.
They ate lunch at the lobby, and Ohno just informed Nino and Aiba what happened. Somehow, Ohno didn't felt like eating.
"She can't do that! You already signed with the orphanage that you'll take care of her," Aiba added.
"This morning, when Umika left for school, I got a fax from Takagi's assistant to sign the documents for rightful child custody."
"What?! That sounds like a load of bull!" Aiba said."Takagi planned to come and pick her up this Saturday anyways," Ohno said, his shoulders drooped and depressed.
"But Umika wouldn't go with that woman," Nino said. "That old hag neglected her niece all her life and now she wants to take her in? That's stupid and weird."
"Yeah," Aiba nodded. "You should take this to court."
"I can't afford a court hearing now," Ohno said, frowning. "I can barely manage the housing payments. Besides...it's probably for the best.""You're not seriously thinking of giving her up, are you?" Aiba gawked.
"Umika wants to go to college in New York," Ohno added. "It's the perfect opportunity. Her aunt will look after her and pay for her tuition. While I can only afford to feed and clothed her. I have no college plan for her.""Why can't you convince her to stay here?" Nino asked.
"I don't know," Ohno said, packing away his bento. "I promised that I will provide for her in every way I can. And if this is one way...then so be it."Ohno got up and walked away, but Aiba quickly ran up to him and blocked his way. His hands grasped tightly on Ohno's shoulders.
"You can't give up like this, Ohno!" Aiba said, looking upset and angry. "She is your only daughter. You have to fight this!"
"Aiba is right," Nino appeared behind Aiba. "Think about you wife. Remember how hard she tried to adopt a child. Are you going to just let it go like that?!"
Ohno finally let out his anger.
"You think I don't know that?!" He yelled. "You think I don't care about this situation?! I do! It's tearing me up inside, but what other choice do I have? I want what's best for her. You should understand that, Aiba! You're a father!"
Ohno shoved off Aiba's hand away and pushed his way through them. His frown was deeper than ever.
"Ohno, you idiot!" Aiba yelled at him.
Truthfully, he didn't want to admit defeat. Ohno originally planned to not let Takagi take away his daughter, but after what Umika asked him that night, he couldn't say no. College was too expensive, and there was no way he'll be able to pay off an out-of-state tuition. He'll be in debt for life.
But Ohno weighted his options carefully and decided it was best for Umika to have a good education. And she will have a life where she'll won't have to suffer college debt.
When dinner was over, Ohno and Umika sat together in the living room watching television. Matsumoto Jun was on a game show and promoting his new drama that Ohno was filming.
"Oh, that's right," Ohno spoke. "Umika, are you busy this Friday?"
"Not really, why?"
"I'm going to be recording a variety talk show, and Matsumoto Jun will be the guest. I've talked with him and he offered you to come see the show."
"Really?!" She smiled.
Ohno felt a little relief to see her smile. "Yeah."
"Oh my god! I'm going to see Matsujun!" She squealed and flailed around in her seat.
Ohno just watched her express her happiness by hitting the armchairs. Ohno smiled faintly but he couldn't help but frown sadly afterwards. He had to break the news to her sooner or later.
"And also," Ohno cut her off with her squealing. "There's...someone I want you to meet afterwards."
"Matsujun?!" She asked eagerly.
"No," Ohno chuckled. "Someone...important."
"Sure. No problem," Umika nodded, as if it didn't matter. "Oh, and I was wondering if you can come to my school's summer festival. It's this weekend."
Ohno felt his guilt turn his insides.
'I'll come and pick her up on Saturday. Please have her bags ready by then.'
"This weekend? Like...this Saturday?" Ohno asked.
"Yeah," Umika said, oblivious to Ohno's broken heart. "I'm going to be in a band as the singer. Can you believe it?"
"You'll sing?" Ohno's eyebrows shot up. "Wait a minute, is it that the rock band contest I saw on the flyer?"
"Yeah. Will you come?"
He sighed heavily. Ohno leaned forward with his elbows resting on his knees. He couldn't hide the truth any longer. He reached for the remote and turned the television off. He imagined Umika must be confused, but Ohno kept his eyes to the ground.
"I'm sorry, but you won't be able to go," Ohno said.
"W-what are you talking about?"
"After the recording, you're going to meet your aunt," Ohno said, looking up at her.
Umika blinked. Then she smirked but looked uncomfortable. "You're joking, right? How's that possible? I don't have an aunt."
"Yes, you do," Ohno said. "She was away in Europe and came back to New York. She wants you to live with her.""You can't be serious?" Umika said, looking upset.
But before Umika could go on, Ohno continued. "You'll live with her in New York, and you can go to the university there." He said, his voice soft and quiet. It took all his strong not to make his voice crack. "She'll help you get into that school. I've already talked with her. And she agreed."
"But...w-what about you?" Umika asked. "You're my dad."
Umika didn't say a word. Her mouth was slightly open in shock. Ohno stood up.
"You're almost an adult now," Ohno smiled. "You're old enough to make your own decisions now. I only want what's best for you."
"On Saturday, you'll go back to America and finish high school there," Ohno said. "I'm sorry. But we won't be able to go to the school festival."
And Ohno walked upstairs to his room.
A part of Ohno hoped that Umika will change her mind about New York University, and a part of Ohno wanted to take Umika far away to Okinawa just in case. But his better jugdement made him stay and bite his own tongue. It's the first time he felt so torn apart since his wife died.
Ohno called the school to explain the situation, but they were already informed. Apparently, Takagi Mio already called them. They were upset they have to transfer a new student so soon. And even Sho called him after school hours.
"What are you thinking, Ohno?" He said, almost angrily. "You've been through so much already, and you're ready to just let it go."
"As a teacher, you should agree with me," Ohno argued. "I want her to have a good education, and-"
"She can have a good education here. Make her stay here."
"Why are you so persistant?" Ohno frowned.
"Ohno, I have seen many students graduate in this school," Sho said. "And I hope I would hand her diploma myself here in Japan where she belongs."
'Where she belongs, huh,' Ohno thought.
"Thank you for your concern, Sho," Ohno sighed. "But I believe this is the right choice for her. To be with her real family."
Ohno was about to hang up when he heard Sho yell one last time. "You are her family!"
As Friday drew closer, Ohno and Umika talked less and less. One day, she came back from school with her eyes red and swollen. Ohno guessed she had to say goodbye to her friends. Just the thought made him feel like the bad guy. Slowly, they went back to being strangers again. She would lock herself up in her room and only come down for food.
Friday came faster than he expected, and Umika took her sweet time getting ready for the variety show. Ohno waited downstairs ready for work. He also carried the legal documents from Takagi in a blue folder. After the show, Ohno will introduce Umika to her aunt at last.
"Umika, hurry up," Ohno called, looking at his watch.
Umika came downstairs in a simple but nice one piece dress. It was probably the first time Ohno saw her dress so formal and nice. It might just be the last time he'll see her like this as well.
"Come on," he smirked.
They drove to the studio at night, and Ohno pointed Umika towards the audience seats. He left her there, and he went backstage to help the other technicians. Just when he was about to go back to the area where they placed the large cameras, his phone rang.
He saw the number was from that old hag. He went to a quiet corner and answered the call.
"Ohno-san? I'll be waiting at the second floor lobby of your studio," Takagi said. "I understand you work here. So when you are finish, please bring Umika with you."
"I know," Ohno grunted, and hung up his phone.
But just when he did, he realized he forgot the blue folder in his car back in the parking garage. But he had to finish work first; he'll have to get it later.
When he returned to the audience area, Nino came up to him and whispered low.
"I saw you brought Umika."
"Yeah, I did. Just to let her see Matsumoto before she leaves."
"And I saw her walked off set and she hasn't return yet," Nino informed him.
Ohno frowned, feeling guilty yet again.
"If she doesn't come back, we can't let her in once we start," Nino reminded him."It's alright." Ohno nodded.
Matsumoto and the host hadn't come to the set yet, so they still had time to prepare. Still, Ohno wondered where she had gone.
* * *Umika originally planned to runaway, but she couldn't even bring herself to walk outside. The thought that she could go to New York means a lot to her. Umika's mother was born there; she wanted to find someone that knew her mother for once.
She had been wavering her options the past week, but they all seem to point to New York. Out of her frustration, she leaned against the wall and slid down, feeling tears about to leak out.
She wished she wasn't so selfish, and she wished her dad wasn't so kind. But Umika really wanted to go, but she didn't want to leave at the same time. Her heart was stuck between two worlds.
Umika lowered her head and wrapped her arms around her knees. Thankfully, the hallway was quiet and no one seemed to walk down here. For the matter of fact, she was lost, but Umika was scared to meet her aunt.
"Are you alright?" Someone asked her.
She looked up and gasped.
"M-matsumoto!" She said, her voice so small and high.
He knelt down and offered a handkerchief with a kind and sypathetic smile.
"T-thank you," she bowed her head and dried her tears. He eased himself down and sat next to her.
"What's your name?"
"Do you want to tell me what's wrong?" He asked, kindly.
"Oh, I don't want to trouble you."
"No trouble at all," he waved his hand. "I couldn't help but noticed you looked so depressed all by yourself and alone in this hallway. So, is everything alright?" Jun asked again.
"I'm just...having a hard time choosing."
"Oh, choice decisions. I'm good with these. Tell me more."
"W-well...I'm not sure what I want to do with my life. I'm faced with a decision to either go to America for college, or stay here...my home," Umika said.
"Hmm, I see. You're deciding which is the right path for you," Jun summed up amazingly. "I'll let you in a little secret. I didn't know I was going to be an idol. I had no plans to be one when I was young. When I joined Johnny Jimusho, I was ecstatic," he nodded. "I wanted to continue and not because it's a cool job title. But because all my friends and family are here to support me."
"But what if you had an opportunity to make it big in America?"
Jun laughed. "If that was my case now, then yes I would give it a shot," he said. "But if that happened when I was your age...probably not."
"Because I would've been scared," he answered. "And you know what. If I was given the opportunity to go or stay, I'd rather stay here in Japan. There are people here supporting me and cheering for me. People who I hold dear, and I don't want to lose that if I went away."
Umika felt another tear slide down her cheek.
"Well, I hope I was of help to you, but I'm about to record for a show," Jun stood up. "Would you like to come?"
Umika sniffed and wiped her face as best as she could before she stood up.
"Yes, thank you."
Together, they walked down the hallways toward the set. They saw a few technicians and assistants running around in a panic. Then, one assistant ran towards them.
"There you are, Jun. We've been looking all over for you."
"Hey! It's you!" Umika pointed.
Nino stared down at her and smiled. "Ah, the girl from under the slide. I knew you were Ohno's daughter."
"Really?! This whole time!"
"Eh! You're Ohno's daughter!?" Jun gawked at her.
"Go on back to the audience seats. We're about to start," Nino directed her.
"Okay. Thank you very much," she bowed to Jun one last time and left.
"She's a sweet girl," Jun said, wanting to start a conversation with Nino.
"Yeah, well, she'll be gone soon," Nino sighed. "Ohno is losing his custody to Umika's randomly-appearing aunt."
Nino returned back to work, leaving Jun thinking to himself...
* * *
Ohno was already positioned behind the main camera when he looked over his shoulder and saw Umika squeezing her way through the audience. He sighed with relief and faced back to the camera. Jun and the host appeared, and the show began.
Throughout the show, Jun talked miscellaneous topics about his lifestyle, working with Johnny idols, eating, and working with his drama co-workers.
"As expect of such a great actor," the host praised. "And no one feels tense when you're around? They won't go, 'Ah, it's Matsujun. Quick! Look like you're working!' "
The audience laughed, but Ohno kept his eyes on the small viewer in front of him, focusing in on Jun's face.
"It's not like that," Jun smiled, charmingly. "I actually get a lot of people come to me for advice."
"Really?" The host nodded. "Like dealing with their personal problems and such?"
"Yeah, personal problems," Jun nodded.
"So cool. What do you tell them?"
"I would tell them to never give up." Suddenly, Jun looked at Ohno's camera. "I'd tell them that no matter what happens, there must be an explanation for this. And that it can't end like this so easily."
Ohno leaned his head to the side and stared at Jun instead of looking through the viewer screen. Jun stared right back at him, as if telling him a hidden message with his eyes.
"That's so cool of you!" The host said, breaking their eye contact.
'There must be an explanation....?' Ohno thought.
* * *
Umika waited outside the set for Ohno to finish his work. She was nervous, and Jun's words kept repeating in her thoughts. Finally, Ohno stepped out and sighed.
They didn't say anything to each other. It has been awkward ever since they've stopped talking to each other properly. Ohno led her upstairs to the second floor lobby. There were still a few employees working late at night, but there was one old lady sitting by the coffee tables. The old woman raised her hand as if she was royalty, and they walked towards her.
"Takagi Mio?" Ohno asked.
She had a long cigarette in her hands and she puffed out smoke. Her hair was gray and tied to a tight bun. Her eyes were only half-open—the expression of always looking down on someone.
"Finally," she said, "You expect me to wait this long?"
"I'm sorry," Ohno bowed and moved aside. "This is Umika...your niece."
Takagi stared up and down at her with a raised eyebrow. She flicked her cigarette and ash fell to the floor. Umika frowned, already not liking her.
"A pleasure to meet you, dear," Takagi said, not sounding at all pleased. "Have you brought the documents?"
'Well, yes. But I left them in my car by mistake. I'll go get-"
"Enough," she sneered. "I am a very busy woman. I had hoped that I leave tonight if you had been more prepared. I could easily order a flight to send us to New York. But no. I guess I'll spend another night in Japan. Just get those documents signed and faxed back to my assistant's number."
"Madam, with all due respect," Ohno started. "I wish for Umika to finish her high school here before sending her off. It'll be too much-"
"There is no need for that, Ohno-san," she cut him off. "I have already arranged her a school in America. She'll be just fine."
"Yes, but I have-"
"And I have told you that I am not in the best of health," she said, her voice raised. "I want my only heir close to me and teach her the ways of my company."
She stood up and her male assistant suddenly appeared next to her with a coat and a walking cane.
"Now, since there is nothing else for me to do here, I'll take my leave," Takagi said, putting her coat on. She turned to look at Umika. "I'll see you at the airport tomorrow at 12 o'clock. Do not be late."
"You didn't even let me choose if I want to go," Umika brought up.
"Umika," Ohno whispered, but Umika stood her ground.
"I won't go!"
Ohno felt his heart swell, but Takagi stared down hard at her.
"My dear. I have already paid for your college tuition," Takagi said. "If you dare think of abandoning me, I'll see to it that this man," she pointed at Ohno, "won't ever have a job again."
"You...you can't do that!" Umika yelled. "He has nothing to do with this."
"Oh, he does," Takagi yelled over her. "He stole what is rightfully mine-"
"I was never yours!"
"But it was in your mother's will," Takagi smirked.
Umika went stiff. "It was..."
"Originally, I had no intention to take you in," Takagi smiled, wickedly. "But now I'm growing weak. What other choice do I have? But you do. You can stay here with you adoptive father and live a poor life, suffering to make ends meet. Or come with me, and I'll tell you everything about you mother and provide you everything you need. When you think about it...it's an obvious decision."
And the old hag walked away with her head held high and snobbish.
* * *
Ohno laid on his bed, wide awake, with only his sweatpants on. In a few hours, he'll have to say goodbye to his daughter. He rolled to his side, but he still couldn't get himself to sleep. He hit his pillow in frustration until finally his bed got too hot and he sat up.
Without turning on the lights, he quietly walked downstairs and sat in the living room couch. Despite the darkness, the alter incense sticks still glowed. He knelt down before the alter and stared at his wife, smiling peacefully.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "I just don't know what to do...I'm trapped in a corner, and so is Umika."
But his wife just smiled at him. She was only a picture, gone forever. And soon so will his daughter. He worked so hard to be a good father. All he wanted was to raise a family of his own, and now he's going to lose all of it. Again. He tried not to cry, but he couldn't take it anymore...
* * *
The morning sun shined as if to mock their mood, and Umika came downstairs with her suitcases packed. Ohno quietly loaded her bags into the car trunk, unable to say a word.
"I really want to stay," Umika confessed.
Ohno closed the trunk.
"But I don't want you to lose your job," Umika continued.
Ohno turned to look at her, and he put on his best smile. "I'm happy that you worry about me," he said. "But I don't want you too. I want you to go to New York and have a good future."
Ohno could see her eyes were still red but dried up. Probably from crying last night. Ohno sniffed and tried to act cheerful.
"Let's go," he nodded.
Somehow, the drive to the airport seemed so long, and yet Ohno wished it stayed that way. All he could think of was the good five months they've spent. When he first met her, she was such a delinquent and a rebel—an annoying teenager from America. Ohno tried not to laugh at the memory. And then there was the time he was scared when she didn't return home and thought of the worse. He was so glad she was alright when Nino texted him. He remembered the first time he hit her and how he hugged her close afterwards.
They arrived at the drop zone area, and Takagi's assistant was already there waiting for them. Ohno helped the man load Umika's bag onto a trolley.
"May I see her off to the terminal?" Ohno asked the assistant.
"I'm sorry," the man spoke. "Takagi-sama has ordered for you not to go with Kawashima Umika."
"As of now, the documents are in affect. You are no longer her father."
The sudden shock was overwhelming. To suddenly hear he was not her father anymore shattered his heart. Still, he swallowed the lump in his throat and looked at Umika one last time.
It was Umika who hugged him first.
"I'll miss you," she sobbed. Ohno hugged her back. "I'll write to you. And I'll come visit you."
Ohno let her go and lightly brushed her tears away, smiling sadly. "If you do visit, there is always a place for you here."
Ohno watched them enter the airport, and Umika looked back at him. She waved and Ohno waved back, trying his best not to cry. Then, she was out of his sight. He lowered his arm, feeling all alone once again. How long was he going to stand there, as if he hoped she would turn around and run straight towards him.
After a good ten minutes, he opened his car door when another car screeched in front of him. He almost thought he was about to be hit, but it was just the taxi driver being careless.
But then, Nino and Aiba climbed out the back seat.
"Heh?" Ohno frowned. "What are you guys doing here?"
"Stopping you, of course," Nino said, hastily. "Did you just dropped Umika off?""Yeah," Ohno said.
"You've got to stop her!" Aiba said, frantically."I told you guys already," Ohno sighed. "There's no point. I've accepted it even if it hurts me-"
"But she's not her aunt!" Nino yelled.
Ohno felt his world turn cold. "What...?"
"She's just faking!" Aiba explained. "Nino and I did some research on this Takagi Mio lady, and she doesn't exist!"
"What!?" Ohno had his mouth hung open.
"Her real name is Kiritani Miko!" Nino said. "Don't you understand? It's all a set up! She's just following her real niece's orders."
"Kiritani Mirai," Ohno gasped. He whirled around and sprinted inside the airport.
How could he have been so stupid? It never made sense from the beginning. The orphanage would never be so stupid as to forget that Umika had a living relative, or that her mother had a will mentioning an aunt. Why didn't he listen to Jun's advice sooner?
Ohno ran up and down the stairs, trying to find the terminal heading towards New York. Just then, the speaker called out its regular departure.
"Airline 516 is ready to board. Airline 516 to New York is ready to board."
Ohno stared up at the large bulletin and saw the gate number. His heart pounded hard as he dashed down the crowded hall towards the terminal. There was no way he was going to lose her daughter just yet!
Then, he saw them.
"Umika!" He shouted.
She didn't hear him and was about to walk down the terminal gate.
Finally, she looked behind her. Takagi looked as well, and her face turned bitter. Umika looked shocked as Ohno came up to them, panting hard. Ohno could hear Nino right behind him. Where was Aiba, he doesn't know but it wasn't in his mind at the moment.
"I won't let you take her!" Ohno growled.
Takagi was furious as well. "What is the meaning of this?" She said, all high and strung up. "You are not allow to see Umika. I will make you lose your job!"
"I don't think so," Ohno smirked. He pointed her accusingly. "You are a fraud!"
He quickly grabbed Umika's wrist and pulled her towards him. He stood in front of her, protecting her like he should have done since the beginning.
"What are you doing?" Takagi demanded.
"You stole what was rightfully mine to care for!" Ohno said. "You are not her real aunt. You never were!"
Takagi scrunched her nose as if she smelled something foul.
Nino stepped forward. "I've heard of you...Kiritani Miko."
Umika gasped. "Kiritani?"
"When I was in America, I've heard rumors of you and your company expanding," Nino frowned. "They say your family lineage is a ruthless bunch willing to do anything for money. But the fact of the matter is that you aren't really a Kiritani by blood."
"How dare you," she sneered but Nino continued.
"You married into the family because you were about to lose all your fortunes," Nino said. "So in order to save your precious company, you kissed feet with your niece Kiritani Mirai. Since her father is the owner of the facilities, he can spare you and save your hide from bankrupt."
The old hag's blood vein was practically popping out of her forehead.
"Enough!" She yelled. "I don't care for that old fool!"
"You're admitting this is true?" Nino said slowly and carefully.
"So what?" She smirked. "I did what Mirai wanted. All she wanted was for that girl to leave this country and maybe fire that man. Such a selfish thing to want, but I decided to help her. It wouldn't matter to me. Mirai has already sent her good word of me to her father, and the deal has been made. Last night, I receive a grand sum for my company, and I intend to disinherit Mirai. Her father has no busy in foreign affairs or the company that I'm practically running. It should belong to me! I've had it in my palms all these years and soon I'll overthrow Kiritani as well."
She stared at Ohno. "Keep you insignificant daughter. I have no use of such filth."
"You're not going anywhere, madam," Nino shook his head.
Suddenly, the police surrounded them, but they were glaring at Kiritani. She looked shocked, and Ohno knew she was busted. Aiba appeared next to him, looking smug and pleased with himself.
"Where were you?" Ohno asked.
"Nino is rigged, and I called for the police to listen," Aiba said. Nino lifted his shirt to show a mic taped to his belly. "They listened to Nino's mic from my end, and they came right away."
"Kiritani Miko, you are under arrest for kidnapping and company fraud," a police officer reported. They handcuffed her and her assistant.
"This can't be!" She screeched. "How dare you lay hands on me! I'll have my lawyer hear about this!"
"No need to defend yourself," Nino said, pulled the mic off and handing it to a police officer. "You're finished."
The old hag screamed and kicked, but she was carried away and gone for good. Ohno warpped his arm around Umika, smiling ear to ear. Umika hugged him.
"I'm so glad," she said.
"So am I," Ohno said. "I'm so sorry I didn't acted sooner. Perhaps, someone was watching over us."
Ohno looked up at Nino and Aiba. "Thanks, guys. I'm grateful for your help."
"You have really great friends, Dad," Umika smiled. But then she gasped loudly. "Oh my god! The festival!"
"Oh, that's right! You're suppose to sing!" Ohno gasped.
"Leave it to me!" Aiba smirked. "Ohno, let me drive your car. I know a shortcut."
* * *
Ohno wouldn't really call it a shortcut, more like a dangerous roller coaster ride. Aiba was speeding like crazy down the highways, cutting in front of other drivers, and zooming pass traffic lights. He turned so sharp, Ohno thought his car was about to tip over.
Finally, they arrived at the school, or rather, Aiba parked right on the school yard. Nino quickly got out as if he was about to hurl.
"Where is your band?" Ohno asked, looking around.
"At the field," Umika pointed. "I think they're about to start!"
"Well then, go! Hurry!"
They raced down the hill and saw a large stage was set up at the middle of the soccer field. One band was playing and rocking out already. The contest had started, and Ohno could see Umika's friends Sato and Kutsuna.
Ohno stopped running and watched from a distance. Kutsuna gasped and cried immediately. Sato just stood there dumfounded. Umika looked so happy to see them too.
Ohno felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Sho.
"I'm glad you came back," Sho smiled.
"I had help," Ohno said, nodding to his co-workers behind him.
Sho looked, but when he saw Nino, his smile vanished. "Uh oh."
"Sho!" Nino gasped, suddenly clinging onto his arm. "Where have you been? You never answer my calls!"
"Please. Not here where the students will see me," Sho hissed, but Nino wouldn't let go.
"I've missed you so much. Do you know how hard it is to wait?" Nino whined.
Sho smacked him in a very comical way, but Nino took it well.
"By the way," Ohno said, "have you seen the girl Kiritani Mirai?"
"Yeah," Sho said. "They're over there."
Ohno looked over the crowd and saw three girls glaring at Umika. They stood behind the comedic skit stage just underneath a small catwalk. Aiba helped Nino get on his feet and whispered in his ear. They smirked evilly and then Nino whispered into Sho's ear.
"I can't do that!" Sho said, apalled. "It goes against my privilege as a teacher."
"Then, you won't mind if it's to teach a lesson, right?" Nino smirked.
"What are you guys talking about?" Ohno asked.
"Ohno, you wait here," Aiba said. "Your daughter is about to go on stage. Just leave this to us."
Sho, Nino, and Aiba disappeared into the crowd as Ohno turned to look up at the stage. He watched Umika nervously got close to the mic in front of her. She closed her eyes, but when she opened her eyes, then they made eye contact.
Ohno smiled at her, and she smiled back.
The drummer stared off the beat. It was a good song, and Umika had a talented voice. Ohno watched the crowd sway to the beat, raising their hands in the air.
"Even if someday, the two of us
Get hurt, and cry."
"Love (love) is everything (is everything)
As long as we are together, it's alright!"
They looked like they were having fun. With such an upbeat song, Ohno danced a little himself. Umika was looking right at him. He liked this song. It may be a love song, but it could go either way. It reached Ohno's heart, as if she sang to him. The words were more meaningful then the crowd knows.
"The truth is, I knew.
That I loved you this much.
All the sleepless nights are because of you.
I was lost until now.
But still I thought
This unchanged promise I want to tell you
So it's only you
The song ended on a soft note, and yet the crowd went wild. Ohno clapped, his heart pounding strong and feeling so proud of her. Then, someone stood next to him. He wore large sunglasses and a hat.
"What a nice song."
"M-matsumoto?" Ohno gawked.
Jun lowered his sunglasses. "Shh! No one suppose to know I'm here." Jun winked.
"Why are you here?"
"Nino told me a little about you. And I happen to be friends with you daughter Umika."
"And I'm glad I came here," Jun nodded. "That band is really good. I think I might tell my manager about them, and maybe help them launch a career."
"Wow! You'd do that?"
"Why not?" Jun shrugged.
Just then, everyone heard girls scream. The crowd turned around and saw Kiritani and her cronies covered in ink. The crowd laughed at them as they ran away in utter shame. Then, white feathers showered the three girls and stuck to their inky skin. Ohno laughed as well, and then he saw Nino, Aiba, and Sho high fiving each other with buckets in their hands.
The rest of the festival was spetacular. The contest ended with Umika's band as the winner. They played games and won prizes and ate good food. Ohno told the band the good news that a celebrity enjoyed their performance. Sato was especially happy and promised to head for the studio first thing tomorrow.
"Hey, Dad," Umika said, pulling him away from the crowd. "I've been thinking about my career."
"Ah, yes," Ohno nodded. "You still need to go to college."
"I've decided to stay here," Umika said. "And I want to be an announcer at your studio."
Ohno's eyebrows shot up. "R-really?"
"I'm really good with English, so I can work as a translator too," Umika said. "I'll work really hard to get into Keio and get a scholarship."
"Umika...that's great!" Ohno smiled. What happened next shocked Ohno even more.
Umika gave him a quick peck on the cheek.
"Thank you," she said, looking shy. "For being the best dad ever."
As if too embarrassed, she ran off to join her friends. Ohno was still shocked, and his face was a little red. He quickly wipe away a single tear and took a deep breath.
"I'm finally a dad," he sighed.
awwww!!! i'm so tired! XDD
it's late as i'm typing this, and i wanted to update this really fast.
yes, it's over. it's short because, well, it's based from my dream so i had little to go with. but nonetheless i hope you enjoyed it :3
if you want to know, the song that umika was singing was from 'ikemen desu ne' futari. if you want to here it, you can find it on youtube, or watch episode 2 when they perform at the end. that's basically the song i used (i really like that song and drama!)
thank you all for reading!
after this, i'm not sure what's next. but i'm always coming up with wild ideas!
See you then!