El Hazard: Fire and Thunder

By Lane Kramer

Epilogue: Moving ON

Makoto stood over the grave of his beloved Ifurita. It was his first time here in a long time. He put a red flower on her marker. They had buried her in a garden that she loved on the castle grounds. Makoto felt the need to talk. "Hey Ifurita it's been a while. I am sorry that I haven't been around lately but things have been hectic the last few days with the birth of Shayla's child. I wanted to say I understand why you didn't tell me about your dying. Nanami told me a few days later and I understand why you did what you did for Shayla-Shayla. You should know that the baby was a girl and Shayla named her after you. She calls her Ifurita. I think the name suits the little one. I miss you so much." Makoto said as he looked at her gravestone overcome with emotion for a moment. "However I did make a promise to you that I would try to be happy when you were gone and I owe you that much. I wanted to say thank you for everything. I will love you till the end of time, but also I will try to move on as well. Today is a big day, I hope you are watching over me." He then turned and head into the palace to do the most difficult thing he could ever imagine.

Shayla was in her bedroom with Nanami watching Nanami holding the 4-day-old baby Ifurita. "You know already I can tell she has Makoto temperament and not yours." This caused Shayla's face to change into one of fury for a moment.

"HEY!!! That was rude. You're just lucky I don't have my lamp of fire to roast you."

Nanami smirked and then launched another verbal attack "Yeah I heard your replacement Crayna-Crayna is actually doing quite well. Afura Mahn has been raving about her."

Shayla just put her arms up and went "Humph! She would say anything just to make me look bad."

Nanami then looked at Shayla-Shayla. "Ya know Ifurita is really cute. You better just make sure you take good care of her."

Shayla-Shayla just looked a little annoyed "I will be if you would give me MY baby." Emphasizing the point in it being her baby. Nanami then sweated for a minute and then handed the little Ifurita over to Shayla-Shayla who held the baby and glowed when her little Ifurita smiled up at her.

Makoto was watching this and could only think how whatever happened in Shayla's mind back nine months ago really changed her. She was still impulsive and could be rather violent at times, but now was more emotional and open with her feelings. The look of tenderness he saw in her eyes while looking at the little baby was touching to Makoto. He then knocked on the door and opened it.

Nanami then saw Makoto and replied "Makoto-chan there you are."

Shayla-Shayla seemed to look up a little nervous. Makoto entered and then spoke to Nanami "Could you take Ifurita out with you for a few. I need to talk with Shayla-Shayla." Namami complied while a reluctant Shayla gave up Ifurita. Nanami then left the room.

"Ifurita is so beautiful." Makoto commented.

"Yeah she got my hair and your light-skin. I like she got your wonderful eyes." Shayla then gasped for a moment realizing what she just said. Shayla was still nervous about what had happened upon her return and about how Ifurita was conceived. Makoto had helped her with much of the pregnancy. He even had defended her after the whole incident involving her and had vehemently said she was not responsible for stuff that had happened with Ifurita. He had been distant for a long time after her death. In all the time though they had not been a lone like this.

"Shayla ya know Ifurita made me promise once to be happy even when she was gone. I told her I would somehow move on. I still love her very much, but realize she is gone. I owe you so much. You gave Ifurita and I so much time together and gave me a beautiful daughter, no matter the circumstances on how she came to be. She is all I could ask for." Shayla sat quietly not sure what to say.

"I am sure that you will want to take her now Makoto. I know you probably still blame me for what happened and I am still sorry." Makoto sat down on the bed and grabbed Shayla's arm.

"You aren't listening are you Shayla-Shayla. I need to know something. Do you still love me? You told me before you entered the portal that is why you did what you did. Now is it still true?" he asked more forcefully.

Shayla was not sure how to respond. In these situations she could knew what she wanted to say, but ususally sputtered. However she was far different then she once was. The merging with Ifurita had made it easier for her to express her deeper emotions. So with great effort she managed to get out "YES! I do still love you Makoto. Very much." That caused Makoto to smile.

"Good. I was hoping you would say that. I want Ifurita to have a mother and father. So I guess what I am saying is..." Makoto then looked her straight in the eye "Shayla-Shayla will you marry me?"

Shayla was flabbergasted. She never expected this. She thought Makoto was going to never speak to her again after Ifurita was born. She could only manage "Why? What about Ifurita?"

Makoto just looked intently into her eyes. "I am not asking you to compete with her, Shayla. She is always a part of me. I will never forget her, but I also know that in these past months I have come to care for you as well. In helping with preparing for baby Ifurita's coming and I got to spend time with you. I realize know you gave up for Ifurita and me to be together. I want to take care of you Shayla. I want someone who is strong and can watch out for me. I want someone who is totally out going and totally open about her feelings. You have given me a daughter when you didn't have to. I see how much you care and I feel its time to move on with my life. I want you and little Ifurita to be part of it. So say yes."

Shayla-Shayla just looked at him, this was the moment she had wanted for so long. She thought she was dreaming but she also knew she was awake. Her response was classic, yet not classic Shayla. She slapped him. "HOW CAN YOU PUT ME ON THE SPOT YOU IDIOT?" Makoto reeled back taken back by her response.

Makoto though put his hand onto the left side of her face right over the scar on it. "Makoto don't look at that...how can you stand to look at me with my face so ugly?"

Makoto merely smiled "Its not your pshical outside of your body, but your innerself that is so beautiful. Besides I still think you are lovely as when I first met you. You are still the fire the living fire that now burns within me." he put his face to the scar on the left side of her face. He then brought his lips to the scar and kissed it carefully making his lips try to make the wound heal if by merely because of his kiss. "Now will you answer my question or..."

Before he could say anything though she grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him inches from her dark-skinned face. "But I still say yes because I love you."

Makoto smiled and then slowly kissed her on the lips. It was the first time he voluntarily had done so to Shayla-Shayla. Her eyes went wide for a moment but she then settled into the kiss giving all the passion she had built up. Someone then knocked on the door causing them to break it. Nanami then entered with a mishcieouv smile. "Hey you two-time for that later, take Ifurita. I need to get back to my restaurant."

Makoto took Ifurita from Nanami and then held her in-between him and Shayla. As Nanami exited she looked at the three and sighed a little wondering exactly what life was gonna be like for these three.

The End....