It happened so suddenly. Hatori had been called over to Shigure's to check up on Yuki. The check up went normal as usual; it wasn't until he called up a friend to meet up later that night. He got to the location they had agreed to meet at but as soon as he tried to step out of his car, some other vehicle smashed into the opposite side of his car.
Cassie brushed her blond bangs out of her eyes; the heat of the day was taking its toll on her. She pulled down on her pale pink shirt. She had about two blocks till she arrived to her destination. Only eight minutes ago she got a phone call from an old friend. It was Hatori Sohma, the family doctor, and cousin of Ayame Sohma (who she met through her male friend). She noticed that a black car sped by her to park in front of the café that Hatori had agree to meet her at. "Hatori!" She rushed over to see him getting out of his seat, but another vehicle pulled out of the alley and smashed into the other side of Hatori's car. Cassie screamed as she saw Hatori shoved out into the middle of traffic and hit by another car; his body tumbled over the vehicle. She rushed over as soon as everything stopped. "Hatori! Hatori! Oh god, please be okay!" She kneeled down, pulling his head. "Please be okay! Hatori, please be okay." Cassie bent over to whisper in his ear. "I love you, Ha'ri. Please don't leave me like this." She squeezed her eyes shut, tears running down her flushed cheeks.
Cassie rode in the back along with Hatori, gripping his hand tightly between her own. Tears poured out of her emerald eyes, desperate to see him live. The paramedics had almost completely refused to let her ride with them but she made up a white lie to stay with him.
A few weeks ago she had met up with Ayame at some ritzy place. He had told her that her chances of being with Hatori were slim. He warned that Akito was not in favor for any Sohma to find their "happy" ending. Just like the rumors she had heard floating around before about Hatori and his previous assistant Kana. The two had a whirlwind romance only to be broken once Hatori went to ask Akito to marry her. The end result was always the same no matter the speaker; Akito grew outraged and attacked Hatori with a broken sliver of glass, almost taking all sight in his left eye. Ayame spoke of how distant Hatori grew after the incident and it was said that Kana fell deep into depression until one day she just seemed as if nothing ever happened between herself and the family doctor. Ayame gave her warnings that something seemed eerie with Akito lately, especially since he noticed that Hatori was more relaxed around her in their more recent outings. He gave her his class ring, much similar to Hatori's own, which he never wore, with the Sohma name inscribed clear as day for her to wear.
It was because of that very ring she was able to convince the paramedics that she was indeed engaged to Hatori and allowed to go with him. Seeing him lying there, almost peacefully, his body covered in blood and scratches from head to toe broke her heart. Just minutes ago hearing his voice through the phone he seemed to alive and happy as he spoke to her. And now, he seemed close to the end as if the light was shining desperately at the end of his endless tunnel. She didn't know what scared her more. The broken form lying in front of her…or the warning that Ayame made so clear.
Fear flooded her nerves as she woke to hear the flat line of the heart monitor. Her brain flung into action shocking her nerves to jump over the dead body of her secret love, to him that is, pressing the emergency button and shouting at the top of her lungs for help. It took three tries before his heart finally beat on its own. She couldn't stop her trembling as she watched outside of the room. One of the nurses had gently swept her out of the room cooing assurances, as if her words would come true and all would be fine, keeping a supportive arm around her shoulders. The nurse had spoken so softly that Cassie barely registered that the woman said it was alright to go back in and that he was stable again. She wobbled, nerves bunched up and tightly wound ready to burst at any wrong movement, back into the room. The nurse had been kind enough to help her along seeing how stiff she was. Cassie hardly remembered blinking as she took her seat next to Hatori. Grasping his hand tightly in her own, subconsciously praying to whoever would listen to her prattle not to scare her like that ever again. Eventually with a few nurses watching a little more closely at his progress she fell into a pitiful sleep. The sound of the flat line haunting her throughout the whole of her dreams.
The urge to open his eyes grew until he finally cracked them open only to meet with the blinding white light. For a moment he thought it was the end…until he heard the familiar sounds of a heart monitor. The constant and repetitive beat soothing compared to what he remembered hearing. Fluttering his eyelids hoping to adjust to the bright light, his chest expanded filling his lungs with much needed oxygen. However, he realized that the air he openly took in came from a small mouth fitting mask instead of the open, not so clean, air he was used to. Cataloging his pains he took notice of a pleasant and warm tingle that came from his hand and travel lightly up to his elbow. Lifting his head, cautiously as to not gain any sort of mild pain from moving too quickly, his eyes traveled down his side to see a blond head perched upon his bedside, a hand loosely twined almost intimately with his own. Feeling his eyes eager to close he left himself succumb to the edging darkness and sleep.
It was three days after his heart stopped, an approximate 2 minutes that it had, when he finally woke up to find Cassie sitting beside him reading a book and at his other side was Ayame and Shigure. Ayame was the first to realize that he had indeed woken up. "Ha'ri!" Ayame beamed as he gently squeezed his cousin's hand. Shigure, who had been close to nodding off, snapped his head up. A sharp pain entered his skull; he groaned heavily cupping the back of his head. He opened one eye slightly as he grinned over at Hatori. "Heya cuz. How ya feelin'?" Hatori registered his aches before rolling his eyes at the deep grin his cousins offered. "Like I was hit by something." To him it still felt like something was crushing his hip and his leg itched like crazy but after he noticed that there was a cast over it he sighed. What he didn't notice was Ayame and Shigure hustling out of the room, leaving a stunned Cassie. Her eyes wide, pupils dilated, mouth slightly agape. "Ha'ri?" He glanced at the empty seats wondering what those two were up to, but squashed the thought as he replayed the breathy tone he learned over time was Cassie Williams. His eyes turned to gaze upon her silky blond hair and amazing, out-of-this-world green eyes. Before he would get a sound passed his lips, the air in his lungs gushed out as he felt the soft contours of flesh press tightly up to his own. Blond hair tickled at the nape of his neck and her nose brushed against his collar bone; Lips ghosting over his chest as she whispered something unintelligible. A shiver passed down his spine as her warm breath caressed his skin. "I thought I lost you." Hatori didn't know what brought the sudden thought but he briefly recalled a heart shattering cry and the same breathy tone only watered down saying something along the lines of 'I love you'. He wrapped his arms around her tightly, careful of the wires and tubes placed on him. After the faint memory of her voice he came to wonder what exactly happened. That he wasn't too sure of. However, the sudden thought occurred to him as he realized that without thinking straight he had hugged someone of the opposite sex, and yet he was still a man, not a seahorse as his family's curse made it so. "Cassie," his voice sounded hoarse yet soft, having been unused for a few days and bruised from his accident, "wha…" His question was cut off as Cassie pulled out of the hug only to glide her lips over his leaving him breathless with clouded thoughts. "You do remember being hit, right?" Hatori nodded dumbly, his vocal cords still frozen from the brush of silken lips. Cassie giggled, eyes twinkling yet still held the dim quality from the experience she witnessed days ago. "They said that you could leave after tomorrow. But you would be stuck to bed rest for the rest of the week and on crutches until you get that cast off. Which they said would be in about six to seven weeks, depending on how well you take care of yourself and how well you'll heal." Hatori soaked in her words, wondering in the back of his mind why he did transform like he usually did with all women. He and Cassie chatted, watched tv, had lunch together, and before she had to leave she kissed him once more full on the lips before saying confidently, "I love you, Hatori. I'll come by tomorrow." He didn't get the chance to say anything more as she walked out before he could form a syllable.
Over the six weeks Cassie would visit him at least once a day, bringing him something to eat as she usually came around lunch time. They would talk about anything that came to mind. Cassie found that Hatori had no only reading material in common with her but musical taste, favorite foods, places, and memories that she could relate to. While he spoke about his job, of course not breaking the confidentiality clause, and his family; he asked about her job, family, and other hobbies he never got to see when he was too busy to hang out with her. Throughout the whole time when Cassie would leave she would kiss him gently on the lips, almost as if it didn't mean anything but a peck with a friend, and quietly whisper I love you. Hatori never said anything but then, Cassie didn't really leave much of a chance to respond in kind as she vanished before he could pull himself out of the daze from her kiss each time. Then again, he could say so casually in conversation but he was afraid of Akito doing the same to her as he had done with Kana, his first love, though in his opinion that was a faded memory and certainly not as strong as he felt for Cassie Williams.
It wasn't until Hatori was able to remove the cast on his leg before he finally said something to her.
Hatori swallowed dryly, feeling his nerves getting the best of him. It had been three days since his cast was removed and he was able to move freely. But it was also three days after Cassie had become overwhelmed with her job and had no time to visit him. He had one phone call between then and now, and that was to set this meeting up. She finally get everything under control to the point she wasn't going in for 18 hour shifts. He had told her before that they should meet up tomorrow but Cassie had reassured him that she was able to get the amount of rest needed the day before, she admitted to falling asleep at lunch, and that she wouldn't wait a day longer to see him. He watched her as she closed the distance from the door of the café to the table he sat at. "Hey." She slid in across from him, not bothering to order something for herself. Hatori smiled, grabbing her hand that laid on the table and twining his fingers with hers. "For the past six weeks you've left me with a kiss and love you, but you never let me say anything." He gathered a deep breath, eyes closed, relaxing his slightly tense body before slowly opening his eyes staring straight into her own. "I also know that I haven't brought up this in the past but I was afraid. Afraid you'd end up hurt like Kana was after I went to Akito. Can I assume you all ready know that story?" Cassie looked away for a moment. "I may have heard about what happened but I wanted to know what really happened from you. Most have just been a bunch of rumors and I bet some have been exaggerated."
And so, Hatori told her what happened from his point of view between him and his first love, Kana and his cousin, the head of his family, Akito. Their happy relationship, how he had a secret that she found out on accident but brushed off as if it was nothing more than a sneeze. He spoke of her fondly but held a distant gleam in his eye that expressed love and lost feelings. He spoke of how he wanted to marry her and had gone to Akito to ask him permission to marry Kana. How when he did finally speak with the Head of the family, he reacted violently, throwing a fit like a child and scaring Hatori with a sliver of a broken vase. He told her that he almost lost all vision in his left eye. How shortly after Kana sank into depression thinking it was all her fault he was injured; and finally how one day they had to hypnotize Kana into forgetting everything before she tried to harm herself in some way.
"It really hurt to be the only one who remembered all those days and to see her move on so easily. But I realized later that it was for the best. She would have only hurt herself afterwards and all the relaxed times we had vanished after that. We hardly spoke without her breaking down crying and begging me to forgive her." Cassie gripped his hand lightly letting him know that she was still there. He seemed to have traveled back reliving some of the memories. His eyes, once glazed over, dilated to normal finally looking at Cassie. "I've to been scared to doing anything about falling in love since, but I can't ignore it anymore and you have shown the feeling is reciprocated." Before he went any further he slid out of his seat, hands shaking as he dug into his coat pocket, kneeling beside her chair; a feeble smile on his trembling lips. "I love you, Cassie Williams, more than I've ever imagined I could love someone. And these past few weeks felt like a glimpse of what could always be…though I figure you'd see me more often. If it's not too much to ask," he opened the velvet box revealing a stylish white gold band embedded with a center piece diamond flanked with two smaller yet equally dazzling diamonds, "Will you marry me?" For the most part Cassie was stunned. She never imagined that right after he'd confessed that he loved her too, that he'd ask her to marry him. Though that was something she was hoping to follow of course. "Yes!" She squealed, jumping up to hug him tightly.
The day of Judgement, well, at least it was for Hatori and Cassie. Hatori still had a duty to Akito and no matter how much he didn't want to do, he felt as though he had to. Over the entire time he spent with Cassie he had pondered why he didn't transform. Then he remembered the one way out, true love. He knew that if Akito noticed that he no long was under the troubled teen's control he might be susceptible to violent behavior; which is why he took caution and asked the others to stick close by so they could be close if he or Cassie needed help.
Akito was wrapped in his think kimono, knees bent tucking his feet underneath, sitting on his bed staring out the window. Hatori guided Cassie inside the darkly lit room. Both sat with their feet tucked under them, tradition style, Cassie only hoped to be able to stand soon for when she sat like that for long she'd begin to lose feeling in them. "Hatori, care to tell me the reason of this visit? It certainly doesn't seem to be another check up." Hatori almost felt his breath catch in his throat. He was beginning to wonder if bringing Cassie in with him was a smart choice. Akito stood up, languid movement, unpredictable, and dangerous.
"I…I want to marry Cassie. We've spoken with her family and they've given us their blessings. Cassie wanted to ask for your blessing as well." Akito's lips curled into a deadly smirk. "And what makes you two idiots think I'd ever give my blessings?" He had gripped Cassie's chin tightly, nails sinking into her cheek, small drops of blood trickled from the scratches. His dark eyes staring deeply into Cassie's gentle green orbs, as if trying to find the darkest part of her soul. "Hatori, haven't you learned your lesson? First, poor Kana leaving you with not a memory of you in her mind and then your brush with death seven weeks ago." Cassie's eyes widened a fraction. ~ No one but those who were there knew about his heart stopping. How does he know that? ~ "H-h-how do you know about that?" Akito turned his dark gaze from taunting Hatori with hurtful memories to face the shock-shelled Cassie. "How do I know what?" He sneered, disgusted from her lack of fear. Cassie wiped a trickle of blood from cheek gaining confidence seeing Akito's faltering body language. "How did you know about his "brush with death seven weeks ago"? Only the doctor's, myself, and Hatori know what happened." Akito straightened up, dark smirk returning. "You mean when his heart stopped for two minutes?" Hatori and Cassie stilled in a mixture of fear and shock. "Why, I wanted to make sure Ha'ri learned a lesson. I've noticed that the two of you had gotten too close in my opinion weeks ago. So I had some connections try to instill a thought or two. Seems as though they didn't do the job as I'd hoped they would." Akito dropped his smirk, his face void of emotions, before he reached out to Cassie again and gripped her long blond hair tightly in his fist. "I don't understand what the two of you had in mind, but let me be clear with you on one thing…I won't ever let Hatori go!" He yanked Cassie by her hair sending her into the rice paper door only to have her back hit a pole outside of the room. Ayame and Shigure appear shortly after, after overhearing the commotion, helping Cassie up. "As it seems you won't be able to succumb to Hatori's memory suppression the only way to get rid of you will have to be through death." Akito gave a dark dry laugh. "Huh, you get to go through marriage without even planning for months. Till death do you part. Ironic, no?" Akito had shoved Ayame and Shigure to the side ready to beat Cassie to death. "NO!!!" Akito stopped, having gotten one or two punches in, turning to Hatori enraged at his disturbance. Hatori stood several feet away, hands clenched in tight fists, teeth grit, eyes narrow, and shoulders squared. "If you kill her…I won't hesitate to follow."
"Do you Cassie Williams take Hatori Sohma, to have and to hold, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part?" Cassie, dressed in a beautiful white gown, made for a princess, smiled from under her veil lovingly at her handsome groom. "I do." "And do you Hatori Sohma take Cassie Williams, to have and to hold, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part?" Looking devilishly handsome in his dark press tuxedo Hatori gazed deeply into Cassie's veiled eyes. "I do." "With the power invested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss your bride." Hatori slipped the thin white veil from Cassie's face, revealing a natural beauty that could only be the woman he fell in love with, before wrapping his arms around her waist pulling her into a deep passionate kiss. Cheers echoed in the background, however, neither Hatori nor Cassie heard them as everything melted till it was just them in the world.
~Lesson number One- A man in love is a man who will fight to the very end. ~