Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... [Yukari + George]
Author: Grasshopper (A.K.A. The Undertaker's Muse)
Warnings: Het, angst.
Fandom: Paradise Kiss
Spoilers: Various through the series, but mainly the end.
Pairings: Yukari Hayasaka + George Koizumi, mentioned Hiroyuki Tokumori x Yukari Hayasaka
Summary: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...
Author's Notes: Because I'm a George/Yukari fan in denial (of sorts) in regards to the ending, my muses decided to wreak havoc with my emotions and make me write this bit of post-series angst.
Disclaimer: All things Paradise Kiss belong to Yazawa Ai-sensei. The poem used in the fic, title, and summary is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Grassy can only lay claim to the plot.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
It was so strange, these days. When Yukari was younger - long before ever being dubbed "Caroline" - she'd never thought much of the future. The present was difficult enough and, though she fooled everyone, including herself, to the contrary, no thoughts of the future really came to mind other than going to college. Despite crushes on certain classmates, she'd never thought of marriage or children or anything like that.
Even now, at the age of thirty, it was still difficult to imagine. No college, but a successful career. Several close friends. A great husband. And now...
Slim fingers curled against the slightly-rounded flesh of her abdomen. And now a child. Her life was wonderful; she was more than happy, she was content.
...but still. There were moments, more now than in the days work stole all of her time, that she wondered how things might have been. That she turned excitedly to look whenever she spotted a certain shade of blue in a passerby's hair. That the body next to her in bed was positioned wrong. That her lover's body was too cool and his fingertips too warm. The wrong cologne in the air. The wrong clothes in the closet. The wrong smile on the wrong face. The wrong words from the wrong lips.
The wrong everything.
And then Yukari felt guilty, because she loved her life; she'd chosen the road to travel long ago and it had more than met her expectations. It was probably the pregnancy messing with her mind. Occasional thoughts of what might have been came part and parcel with living, but it wasn't until she'd found out she was having a child that her thoughts turned more toward the past than ever before.
Not too many months from now, she'd be giving birth. A new life would be trusted into her care. It didn't seem like all that long ago when she, herself, had been born again; brought to life by a blue-haired whirlwind named George. She wondered where he was now. Still in America? Who was he with - Isabella? Kaori? Seiji?
Did he ever think of Yukari at all?
Did he ever wake up next to a person that was facing away from him? Did he wonder why there was no beaded butterfly on the ring finger of the left hand intertwined with his own? Did he think the figure wearing his designs was the wrong one?
Did George have moments like she did, where everything was completely wrong?
Maybe. But, just like her, he didn't regret. Their paths had diverged, never to cross - or even tread side-by-side - again. Still, there were no regrets. This was what they'd chosen and they were happy.
That didn't mean she didn't cry sometimes, just because the man at her side was loving and accommodating, rather than sarcastic and aloof. That time in Arashi and Miwako's presence didn't make her wonder what had taken George and Isabella so long in arriving. That the sight of dyed blue roses didn't make her heart race.
That she didn't wonder why he still hadn't called.
But no, Yukari had no regrets.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.