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Author Topic: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 4 Part 2  (Read 44371 times)

Offline Hitobo

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Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 4 Part 2
« on: March 20, 2012, 10:05:48 PM »
Chapter 1 - Minami
Chapter 1, Part 1 - Below
Chapter 1, Part 2
Chapter 1, Part 3
Chapter 1, Part 4
Chapter 1, Part 5 (Chapter End)

Chapter 2 - Atsuko
Chapter 2, Part 1
Chapter 2, Part 2
Chapter 2, Part 3
Chapter 2, Part 4 (Chapter End)

Chapter 3
Chapter 3, Part 1
Chapter 3, Part 2
Chapter 3, Part 3 (Chapter End)

Chapter 3.5

Chapter 4
Chapter 4, Part 1
Chapter 4, Part 2

Today’s special is a serving of Atsumina with a hint of Kojiyuu.

Author’s Note: In order for you, the dear reader, to have a better [less confusing] reading experience:
1-   Important note:
-This work does allude to some factual events (i.e. activities mentioned in blogs, subunit establishments, concerts, etc.) and established songs.  Published songs may be used at times in the story that are set before the real-life release of the song.  That being said: For fiction’s sake, within the story most of these alluded to events have been altered (people added or deleted, or the outcome has been changed, etc.) and also may appear out of the order in which they occurred in real-life. This was done to make the story [flow] better.
2-   Story format:
-The first two chapters of this story correlate with each other.  They both start at a generic beginning and end at roughly the same time.  They also share some scenes.  Therefore, in reading Chapter 2, some scenes will seem very familiar.  However, I suggest not skipping over said scenes, as they are presented from a different POV (and you might learn something new!).  Also, if a scene in Chapter 1 does not make sense or seems to have been cut short, please be patient and wait until Chapter 2.  There are some scenes that start in Chapter 1 and end in Chapter 2, as well as scenes in Chapter 1 that are more understandable when reflected on with knowledge gained from the POV of Chapter 2.  (Unfortunately, there were occasions when I was too lazy to write any more and the scene just kind of ends. If this happens to be one of the scenes you were hoping to see extended, umm… sorry!)
3-   How to read this story:
-First and foremost, italics indicate the narrative.  These segments are usually bookended with five underscore marks, like so:

 _   _   _   _   _

     Sometimes time will flow in the narrative, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Generally, if the narrative says something like, “Then, nearly a year later,” followed directly by a scene, it’s now a year later in the story.  If the narrative states, “Throughout the next few years,” then the scenes that follow all occur in those few years, not after those few years.  It’ll likely make more sense as you read.
_   _   _   _   _

-Scenes in italics that are preceded by ///// are either a dream or flashback sequence (easily distinguishable when reading), and their endings are marked in a similar fashion.  Thoughts in such scenes are placed between pairs of slash marks.

Dream/flashback sequence; “Dialogue.”
//Thoughts in dream/flashback sequence//

-When used within a present-set scene, italics indicate thoughts.

Underscore marks: Used to separate scenes.
_   _   _   _   _ : As stated above, five such marks signify the beginning and end of the narrative.
_   _   _ : Three marks separate the unrelated scenes between narratives.
_ : One mark separates related scenes that occur consecutively.  Most commonly used with a change of setting or the slight passing of time.

A note on RPF: When I write for these characters, I don't imagine the real people in these situations. Instead, I view them as fictional characters, and those characters are based on the personas that the members portray as idols.  In other words, I don't ship the real people themselves and I'm happy for them to go about their lives, get married, have families, etc.

(Yeesh. Long author’s note is looooooong.)

If a picture is worth one thousand words, then imagine the scenes are photos, snapshots, or even …

     How did things come to be this way?
     Minami stared with teary eyes at the figure sleeping peacefully before her.  Hesitantly, she reached out and took one of the girl’s hands, pressing a soft kiss to its palm before holding it against her cheek.
     “I’m sorry.  I never meant for this to happen.  Thankfully you’ll be okay; all you need is some rest.”  Setting the hand she held back to the sleeping girl’s side, Minami used her free hand to brush aside the girl’s bangs.  “You’re most beautiful when you’re sleeping, Atsuko,” she whispered, not wanting to wake the resting figure.  “I’ve always believed that.”
     Hearing the door open behind her, Minami turned to face the newcomers with a guilty conscience.  Slipping her hand from Atsuko’s she stood before her fellow no3b members with weary eyes, having fought back tears for the past half an hour.  She spoke hesitantly in a whisper, not daring to meet their eyes.
     “Haruna, Mii-chan, I-”


An AKB48 Fan Fiction
Chapter 1, Part 1
Though all characters contained herein are based on actual persons, this story is purely fictional, and the persons on whom it is based are to be considered fictional characters.
Monetary profit has been neither sought nor gained with the writing of this story

     At the age of thirteen, Takahashi Minami had no clue about what love really was. (And, nearly a decade later, those closest to her would testify that she was still ignorant.)
     The person she [later] believed to be her first crush had been her hometown best friend, a girl that remained dear to her still.  They were always together; whether it was games, studying, or shopping, Minami had wanted to spend as much time as possible with the girl.  She enjoyed the time they spent together; she was happy just to see her friend happy.
     (Wasn’t that a prerequisite to love, wanting to spend as much time as possible with that person?)
     When Minami moved away the passion that she was vaguely aware of feeling toward her friend quickly faded.  (Perhaps it wasn’t love after all?)  They still kept in contact, and the girl remained as one of Minami’s most important people; she was her best friend outside of AKB48.  She loved her friend dearly and it never occurred to her until later on that what she’d felt in their days together could have been romantic love.   For Minami at the time, it was the love of a best-friendship, and friendship was something that she would never turn away.
     When Minami was chosen as one of the founding members of Akihabara 48, friendship was something that came to her easily.  She quickly grew close to the other members, though there was one in particular with whom she was especially close.

_   _   _   _   _

     Minami smiled at her good friend beside her, the two having just left one of their favorite restaurants.  The other girl linked her arm in Minami’s, leading her on the start of another favorite activity: shopping.  (Though, admittedly, it was more one of the other girl’s favorite activities, as Minami was usually made a bag carrier.)
     Takahashi Minami and Itano Tomomi; they were inseparable.  Tomomi was Minami’s first good friend in the group and the two quickly became close.  They were an unusual pairing, to be sure.  Tomochin was quickly growing into a fashion queen, while Minami was, by all accounts, a fashion failure.  Their tastes in music, movies, and manga were entirely different.  Despite this, though, they were always together.
     It didn’t take long for the teasing to start.  The others in the group would often joke that Minami was the “boy” and Tomochin was the “girl” in a forbidden relationship.  The two would laugh along, seemingly unaffected by the others’ teasing.  Minami acknowledged the fact that she loved her friend dearly.  She couldn’t deny the fact that some of the ways she acted around Tomochin were similar to the way a boyfriend would act.  If Minami were not so slow when it came to such matters, she would probably have begun to notice the growing romantic tension between her and her best friend.  If she were not so dense, she would probably have noticed that how she felt towards Tomochin was similar to how she had felt towards her hometown friend but at a more mature level.

     If she hadn’t been so ignorant, her life in AKB48 would have been dramatically different.
_   _   _   _   _

     Tomochin had been her first kiss (if you could call it that).  It was done on the spur of the moment, quite possibly on accident.  (Or so Minami had come to believe, so she didn’t consider it a kiss.) It was a quick peck that had lasted no more than a second.  It had been long enough, however, for Minami to feel a strange sensation within her.
     However, before Minami had a chance to properly reflect on her growing feelings, the duo suddenly became a trio and the teasing stopped almost immediately.  On the very day that Minami decided to consult Tomochin about her confused emotions, her agenda was expunged at the sound of a mere question, just three simple words.  About a year after AKB48 began, Minami became friends with the girl that would eventually become another of her best friends in the group.  (And, not long after, this girl would naturally grow close to Tomochin as well.)

_   _   _   _   _

     Dance practice had ended for the day, and Minami sat down with a sigh on a bench opposite the mirrored wall of the studio.  She had left her home in a rush that morning and in doing so had accidently grabbed the wrong athletic bag, a mistake she hadn’t noticed until it was too late.  On the bench beside her sat her brother’s red soccer equipment bag and Minami dared not open it in fear of the stench it held.
     Why did this have to happen today, of all days?
     Minami was torn from her thoughts when a bottle of water and a small towel were thrust before her then, and she looked up to see a familiar girl about her age offering her the much needed items.
     “Th-thank you,” she said, taking the offered items with a nervous, grateful smile.  It was a simple, polite response.  The whole exchange could have ended then.  Yet with the next three words, Minami’s life would drastically change.
     “You’re Takahashi, right?” the girl asked with a tilt of her head and a radiant smile gracing her lips.
     Minami involuntarily drew in a breath.  She knew this smile; she was enraptured by it.  It was the same smile that she had secretly been watching ever since the group began.  She had first seen it from across the building; an expansive dance floor separating the two, the other girl chatting happily with some of the other members, a small blue flower tucked behind her ear.  Minutes later Minami had been caught staring into space by Tomochin, the other girl with her brow furrowed questioningly.
     Remembering how she’d felt in that moment, Minami believed that the girl standing before her now held great potential because of her blessing of a smile.  Yet, it was a smile that had never chosen her as its target, and she’d remained too afraid to talk to its owner, until now.
     “Yes. Takahashi Minami,” Minami answered, taking a sip of water after wiping her face.  “You’re… Maeda, correct?”
     The girl gave a small laugh.  “Yes; Maeda Atsuko.”
     Minami gave a slight bow and then took another sip of water.  “Thank you, Maeda-san.”
     Atsuko smiled again.  “Please, call me Acchan.”
     She really does have a great smile.  “Then please call me Minami, Acchan.  But, how did you know I needed a towel?”
     Taking the opportunity to sit beside Minami, Atsuko pointed to the bag at Minami’s other side.  “Though the red is more suited to your outward personality, you normally have a pink bag, right?”
     “Eh?  You noticed such a thing?”
     A small blush rose to Atsuko’s cheeks.  “I think your pink bag is cute.”
     “Is that so...”
     “The way you’ve been avoiding that bag all day, I assumed it’s not yours and you brought it by mistake,” Atsuko said, receiving a nod from Minami in confirmation.  “I thought that might be the case and I wanted to help you out, so I brought you some water and a towel.”
     “That’s amazing!  It’s like you’re Conan!”  Minami’s outburst brought another radiant smile to Atsuko’s lips.  “Thanks, Acchan,” Minami said, doing her best to return the smile in kind.
_   _   _   _   _

     No longer alone, the atmosphere around Minami and Tomochin seemed to fade.  While the friendship between the two remained strong, Minami’s friendship with Acchan would grow stronger.
_   _   _   _   _

     “You want to go to a movie later, after rehearsal?”
     “Yeah, sure.”
     Minami looked to her left to find a happily smiling Atsuko standing beside her.  This would be the third movie in a month, the two of them spending large amounts of time together and quickly growing closer as friends.  Both could sense that AKB’s popularity was growing exponentially, and there was an unspoken agreement between them to spend as much time together as possible.
     Returning Atsuko’s smile, Minami looked down at her watch and frowned.
     Where’s the instructor? She’s ten minutes late already.
     Mumbling incoherently to herself, Minami yelped as a finger poked her in the side.
     “Whatcha grumbling about?” Atsuko asked innocently with a tilt of her head.
     “The instructor,” Minami stated flatly.  “She’s late.”  The two looked around the large room at the dozens of girls that stood around chatting, none seemingly having noticed that their dance lesson should have started nearly fifteen minutes ago.  “We’re wasting good time sitting here doing nothing.”
     “So, why don’t you do something about it?”
     “Huh?” Minami glanced up at Atsuko, staring at her as if she’d suddenly grown a second head.  Atsuko laughed at the typical overreaction.
     “I said, why don’t you do something about it?”
     Minami nodded her head firmly.  “You’re right; I should,” she said, trotting to the front of the dance hall.  “Everyone!” she shouted.  “Line up in formation; we’re going to go ahead and start.”
     A few of the members did as they were asked, including Atsuko, who’s eyes Minami sought as most of the members seemed to have ignored her.  Atsuko gave her a reassuring nod and Minami spoke up again.  “Alright, everybody, right now I’m in charge, so let’s get started!”
     Despite a resounding chorus of “ehs” and “huhs” the other members didn’t question the declaration and did as instructed.  Minami looked over the crowd of energetic girls and received an approving nod from some of the other members and a proud smile from Tomochin.  The practice began swiftly and was well underway when the instructor showed up nearly an hour later.
     After the rehearsal Minami quickly returned to Atsuko’s side.  “How’d I do?”
     Atsuko smiled.  “They listened, didn’t they?”
     “Hey, Takahashi!”  Minami turned to find one of the elder members, Akimoto Sayaka, headed in her direction.  Fearing retaliation, Minami stiffened as the intimidating girl grew closer.  “Nice job today, Takahashi,” Sayaka stated, giving Minami a light jab before resting a strong hand on her shoulder.  “I was wondering if I should do something, but I didn’t have the mettle to get up there and do what you did.  I didn’t want the other members to be even more afraid of me.”  Sayaka laughed lightly, and Minami finally relaxed enough to laugh with her.
     “No, thank you.  You have the makings of a good leader; I hope to match up with you someday.”  Sayaka smiled again, nodded to Atsuko, and withdrew as quickly as she’d come.
     “She’s right,” Atsuko stated, earning Minami’s attention.  “I’ve always felt that you’d be a good leader.  Like… whenever I’m in trouble, I know I can come to you for help.  And I know that you only want what’s best for AKB.  We need a captain like you.”
     Minami ducked her head to hide her blush.  “Aww, c’mon, Acchan, you’re embarrassing me.”
     “But it’s true.”
     “Well then, I’m glad I could impress you,” Minami admitted, sticking out her chest proudly.
     Tomochin ran up to them then, a broad smile on her face.  “Good job, Takamina,” she congratulated with a slight jab to Minami’s shoulder.  “Just when I was wondering who was going to organize things, you stepped up to the task.  I always knew you had it in you.”
     “Eh?” Minami squeaked in disbelief.  “You too, Tomochin?  Why do you all have so much faith in me?  I fail at everything, remember?”
     Tomochin and Atsuko looked at one another and gave only small shrugs in reply.
     “We’re your best friends, Takamina, of course we’d see your potential,” Tomochin offered as an explanation.
     “We’re going to the movies, Tomochin, would you like to join us?” Atsuko asked, grabbing Minami’s hand and easily changing the subject.
     “Sure.”  With a smile Tomochin reached out and grabbed Minami’s other hand.  Giggling, the two stepped to either side of the still bewildered Minami and lead her to gather her belongings.  Smiling, the trio left on their way to the movies, hand in hand in hand.
_   _   _

     Minami picked her phone up with a sigh.  Today was a day off, and though she hated to admit it, she was bored.  The morning had been spent reading the latest chapters of her favorite manga, an activity which had ended all too soon.  Now it was just after noon and her stomach was protesting.  Lunch was necessary.  Hoping to get out of the house and have some fun, Minami typed out a simple mail.
     [It’s probably meaningless to ask you this, but would you like to get a bite to eat? Let’s meet for lunch.]
     Seconds later she received a reply.
     [I’m going to ignore that not-so-subtle insult.  Of course I’ll meet you for lunch.]
     Smiling, Minami eagerly made her way off the couch and out the door.  It was time for another lunch date with Atsuko.
_   _   _   _   _

     And then, while the dynamics of Minami’s various friendly relationships continued to morph, she met her
_   _   _   _   _

     Minami shifted in her seat as the group’s bus rolled over another bump, though she tried not to move too much.  Glancing at the sleeping girl beside her, she thought about the day’s events.  It had been a long day of crowds and performances and they were all tired.  Everyone had swiftly piled onto the bus, hoping to quickly return to the hotel and their warm beds.  No one took the time to choose their seats; they were all too tired to care.
     That was how Minami found herself with a sleeping beauty using her shoulder as a pillow.
     This is… Kojima, Minami thought, remembering the girl’s name from her everyday observations.  After landing in her unofficial leadership position that day, Minami had felt it to be her responsibility to learn the names and faces of all of AKB48’s members, shold something like that ever happen again.  Kojima Haruna was no exception to that self-instigated rule.  As Minami sat staring at the girl beside her, she noticed Haruna’s face scrunch into a small pout in her sleep.
     Cute, thought Minami and a small smile breached her lips.  The bus rolled over another larger bump, and this time Kojima’s head slipped from Minami’s shoulder.  Reacting quickly to catch her from falling, Minami felt her cheeks grow warm when she noticed that Haruna had indeed awoken.
     “S-sorry,” Minami whispered, releasing her hold on Haruna’s shoulders and quickly averting her eyes.
     “For what?  I should be the one apologizing,” Haruna said sleepily with a confused tilt of her head.
     “I slept on your shoulder without asking.  I’m sorry.”
     “No-no!  I mean, I don’t mind!” Minami stammered, raising her voice just a bit but not enough to wake those around them.
     Haruna smiled at Minami’s awkward, wide-eyed reaction.  “Thank you,” she said, her smile growing wider.
     “You’re welcome.  Anytime,” Minami recovered.
     “Kojima Haruna,” Haruna said with a simple nod.
     “Takahashi Minami.  It’s nice to finally speak with you.”
_   _   _   _   _

     …and grew to know her
_   _   _   _   _

     Minami sat at attention and watched the man across from her with nervous eyes.
     Akimoto Yasushi was a brilliant mind in the idol industry with the keen ability to cipher out individuals with strong potential.   Before him now sat one such individual, one of his hand-picked prodigies.
     “AKB48 is very successful; thank you very much for your hard work, sir,” Minami said with a polite bow.
     Akimoto returned the gesture with a slight nod and a kind smile.  “It is I that should thank you.”  Minami looked up at him in confusion and a gentle laugh escaped his lips at her expression.  “Don’t think I haven’t noticed how you hold the group together.  You’ve placed yourself in a leadership position without any incentive, and you’re doing a splendid job.”
     “Th-thank you, sir!” Minami stuttered, nearly falling out of her chair as she gave a slight bow.
     The door clicked open then and Minami turned to see Minegishi Minami step into Akimoto’s office.
     “Sorry for the intrusion,” Miichan said with a polite bow.
     “Come in and have a seat, Minegishi-san.  We’re still waiting on one more.”
     The two Minamis exchanged nervous glances as Mii-chan sat down next to Minami.  The two, and apparently a third member, had been summoned to Akimoto’s office for yet unknown reasons.
     No sooner had Miichan sat down than the door opened again and an angelic, “Sorry for the intrusion,” filtered into the room.  Minami’s eyes widened at the realization of the identity of the voice’s owner.
     It’s her.
     “Kojima-san, thank you for joining us,” Akimoto greeted as he gestured to the empty seat at Minami’s other side.  “Now that we’re all present, I’m sure you’d like to know why I’ve called you here today.”
     “You betcha!” Miichan exclaimed, clasping a hand over her mouth at the realization of her outburst.  Minami and Haruna stared at the youngest member in disbelief.  “I mean, yes, sir, we are very curious, and would you please enlighten us as to the reason you’ve summoned us?”
     “With pleasure,” Akimoto replied, not bothering to hide his amusement at Miichan’s enthusiasm.  “The three of you have been chosen to form a new subunit within AKB48.”  He paused a moment to allow the girls the opportunity to process what he’d said.  As the reactions became evident on their faces, he continued.  “That being said, we’ve arranged for the three of you to star in a late-night drama to promote the new unit.  You’ll be seeing a lot of one another; I trust you’ll get along well together.”
_   _   _   _   _

     …and came to like her.

     She was someone with whom Minami spent hours working.  Neither noticed it at first, but there was an unaddressed tension between the two, the kind of chemistry that flowed between two compatible persons.  The atmosphere that Minami shared with this girl was similar to the atmosphere that she used to share with Tomochin, a fact which, surprisingly, Minami had not failed to notice.

_   _   _   _   _

     “H-hanako-san,” Minami squealed, jumping from her seat as she heard the door to the drama set’s break room open behind her.
     “Haruna, actually,” a gentle voice corrected her, and Minami turned to find Haruna dressed as Riku.  A teasing smile quickly graced the older girl’s lips.  “Somebody must be nervous about her upcoming kiss scene.”  It was a guess, one that was confirmed by a wincing Minami.
     “Shut up.  What would you know?”  Minami was obviously uncomfortable discussing the subject but still Haruna’s teasing continued.
     “First kiss?” she ventured as she sat down, another guess confirmed with a flinch.  “I see.  Well, I don’t think it’s anything to fret over.  Let me guess: you wanted your first kiss to be with someone special.”
     There’s more to it than that.  Minami sat down across from Haruna with a huff.  “But… this is different.  I may be dressed as a guy, but when all is said and done, I’ll be kissing another girl.”
     “Technically, she’s going to be the one kissing you.”
     Minami looked over at Haruna’s coy smile and sighed.  “Please, enough with the teasing,” she huffed.  “I’m genuinely worried about things.”
     “What kinds of things?”
     Hesitantly, Minami succumbed and whispered her fear.  “What if… what if I like it?”
     There was a brief pause before Haruna laughed melodically, earning a scowl from Minami.  “That’s what this is about?  You’re worried about whether or not you’ll like kissing another girl?”
     “Well, yes.  Haven’t you ever thought about that kind of thing?”
     “Not really,” Haruna replied coolly.  “I can’t say that I’ve ever found myself in a situation that required such ponderings.  I don’t think it’d bother me, though.  Is it really something so important that it has you this nervous?”
     Minami stood with a start, taking the opportunity to look down on the seated Haruna.  “Look… until you’ve kissed another girl, you’ve no right to tease me.”
     Haruna looked up at Minami with an unreadable expression.  “You’re right,” she stated with a shrug, slowly standing up after a momentary staring contest.  Seconds later she gracefully guided Minami’s chin upward with a slender finger and kissed her.  Breaking apart, she glanced down to meet Minami’s eyes.  “Now I have every right to tease you.”
     Despite her words there was no mirth in Haruna’s voice, and as Minami looked up at Haruna she found the teasing smile had disappeared.  Instead, she found another emotion, one that matched what she was currently feeling.  Minami hesitantly reached a hand out to grasp Haruna’s collar, and as the two drew together in another kiss Minami’s worries were confirmed.
     Indeed, she'd have enjoyed the kiss with Hanako, acting or not.  Now her first ‘real’ kiss had indeed been with someone she liked.  And though it was a kiss between girls it was no act.  The feelings involved were genuine and mutual.  Knowing what a true, sincere kiss felt like, Minami knew that she’d be able to shoot the scene with no trouble.
     As the two parted from their second kiss, both slightly out of breath, Haruna sent Minami a smile which was returned in kind.  No words were needed; a new understanding had been reached.
     They had both felt something between them.  But what, exactly, had it been?
_   _   _   _   _   _

     From that point on they kept what had happened between them a secret while their friendship grew stronger.  After that first incident they had decided to attempt a secret relationship.  They spent some time together, going to the movies and out to eat.  However, they made sure not to spend too much time together, a settlement that resulted in them spending more time with others than with each other.  This was done not only to avoid raising suspicions, but also because each had her own good friends within the group and wanted to spend time with them as well.  Neither realized the impact that such a decision would have on their future relationships.
_   _   _   _   _

     Haruna and Minami were not the only members of no3b.  Minami also grew close with the girl that shared her name, Minegishi Minami.  The two were sometimes inseparable, spending the night at each other’s house, going shopping together, and visiting nail salons together, among other activities.  Minami found it very easy to talk with Miichan, a girl a bit younger and ten times more energetic than she.
     “Hey, Mine-chan…”
     “What is it?” Miichan asked, glancing out from behind the manga she stood reading in the bookstore.
     “I need a favor,” Minami asked sheepishly, pointing to the top row of manga wherein sat the book she sought.
     Understanding Minami’s unspoken desire, Miichan assumed a mock aura of, in her own later words, an ikemen, and swiftly acquired the book in question.  Minami’s chivalrous manners well-known, Miichan couldn’t help but to find humor in the situation.

     Shopping was not the only pastime the two Minamis enjoyed together.  Their one true weakness (as was most of the members’) was food.  The two often went out to lunch or dinner together, where they would talk comfortably with each other for hours.  Minami quickly discovered that while Miichan could be trusted with any information, she was also one of AKB’s resident gossips.  She knew everything, and were it not for their almost weekly outings together, Minami would have been completely out of the loop on the happenings within the group that was growing more successful by the day.
     Indeed, Miichan and Haruna were very important to Minami.  The three shared a bond which grew stronger with each performance.  However, despite her secret relationship with Haruna, there was another member of AKB that occupied a large percentage of Minami’s heart.
_   _   _

     “I’m home!” Minami called out upon entering her family’s house.  “Mom, I’ve brought a friend home!  She’s going to spend the night!”  Behind her, Atsuko hesitantly stepped into the Takahashi home.  Seconds later Minami’s mother appeared from around the corner, a warm smile gracing her lips.
     “Oh, who have we here?” she asked curiously.  “I was expecting it to be Minegishi.  I swear, that Minegishi might as well live here with all the times she spends the night.”  Touching a finger to her chin, Mrs. Takahashi struck a thoughtful pose.  “That Kojima that spent the night once was nice.  Bring her home again, Minami.”
     “Mama, this is Acchan,” Minami offered, rolling her eyes at her mother’s comment.  A slight blush rose to her cheeks but went unnoticed by the others.
     “Maeda Atsuko,” Atsuko stated as she stepped forward to give a polite bow.
     “Oh, so you’re the Acchan I’ve heard so much about; it’s nice to finally meet you.”
     Minami blushed a bright red, this time the involuntary reaction not going unnoticed by her mother.  Her blush grew impossibly brighter as she felt Acchan turn to look at her as well.  While Mrs. Takahashi stood laughing at her daughter’s discomfort the two girls quickly took their chance to escape to Minami’s room.
      “It’s overwhelmingly pink!” Atsuko gasped.   “But, it’s definitely you, Minami.”  Atsuko had heard the stories from Miichan, but Minami could tell by Atsuko’s tone that the stories had not done her room any justice.
     “Thanks,” Minami said with an impish smile.  “Go ahead and look around if you want.”  Seeing Atsuko accept the invitation, Minami took the other girl’s bag and sat it beside the bed.  Stepping over to her dresser, she returned to Atsuko’s side a minute later with clothes in hand.
     “Here, for you.”
     “What are those for?” Atsuko asked, eyeing the typical-Minami black “One Piece” t-shirt.
Minami raised an arm behind her head sheepishly.  “Well, we came here straight from practice, so I figured you might need something to sleep in.  There’re new toothbrushes in the cabinet above the sink,” she continued as Atsuko’s lips formed a small ‘o’.
     “Thanks,” Atsuko replied, accepting the generous offer.
     “No problem.  Go ahead and change.  When you come back you can tell me more about your crush.”  Minami accompanied her last word with a teasing wink, and she couldn’t help but to smile at the honest blush that adorned Atsuko’s cheeks soon after.  As Atsuko left the room, Minami shook her head to rid herself of the peculiar, foreign feeling that overtook her when she mentioned Atsuko’s love interest.  As the topic reminded her of her own situation, she fished her phone from her pocket and sent a quick ‘goodnight’ mail to a certain other no3b member, receiving a similar greeting in a quick reply seconds later.
_   _   _

     Minami and Haruna stood underneath a preparation tent, talking quietly with each other as other members filed past.  There were small touches here and there, but nothing that would invoke questioning stares from the others.  A handshake event had just ended and the two were taking advantage of the rare opportunity to speak together without interruption.   Moments later, however, a panicked Miichan ran up to the two, out of breath.
     “Has either… of you… seen Acchan?” she asked, glancing worriedly between her fellow no3b members.
     “No,” Haruna replied with a small pout and a shake of her head.
     Sensing the urgency behind Miichan’s question, Minami’s demeanor changed as she stood up straighter to look the younger girl in the eyes.  “Miichan, has something happened to Acchan?”
     Miichan nodded quickly.  “She was next to me for the handshake event.  Towards the end she just took off running.   Nobody knows why she did or where she went, but… she was definitely crying.”
     Minami quickly turned to Haruna, who gave her an understanding nod.  “Alright, Miichan, we’ll help you look for her,” Haruna offered.
     They found her not long after, crying in the corner of the technical equipment room.  Minami paused for a moment, studying her friend’s trembling figure from a few yards away.  Shaking her head with a sigh, she walked up and squatted beside the crying girl, draping her arm on Atsuko’s shoulders comfortingly.
     I’m right here beside you, Atsuko.
     She said nothing; she knew not what was wrong nor what to say.  Her heart ached at the sight of her friend weeping so openly but she could only hope that her presence was enough.
     Atsuko, you once said that you believe me to be someone you could rely on when in trouble.  Please, rely on me now.
     Almost as if she’d heard Minami’s unspoken hopes, Atsuko turned and wrapped her arms around Minami’s neck, her tears unending.  Minami embraced the distraught girl tightly about her waist, almost toppling over in the process.  Regaining her balance, she rubbed Atsuko’s back soothingly, but still she did not utter a word.
     With her back to the door, Minami could not see Haruna’s smile.  It was not a grim smirk of jealousy or anger, as would be expected from the girl with whom she shared a secret relationship.  Rather, Haruna’s smile was one of pride, almost (oddly) maternal, and there was a great understanding behind it.  Turning from the scene, Haruna shut the door and asked the other members and staff to let the two inside be alone for a while.

End Chapter 1, Part 1

Phew.  I’m such an introvert it’s not funny.  My nerves have been racing since I posted.  This is probably a good time to state that I’m also rather awkward when it comes to forums and online communication.

I’m not great with writing fantasy, so I was aiming for a more realistic feel to the story. (Well, about as realistic as a seemingly battalion's worth of lesbian idols can be, anyhow.)  I’m relatively new to the AKB48 fandom (I’ve maybe a whole 10 months under my belt), so please forgive me if you think I’ve done them any injustice.

I write rather slowly so I can’t guarantee when updates will be made.  I do have the first two chapters finished, but if I burn through my supply too quickly there’s bound to be down time.  I also have three other stories that I should be working on so my writing time must be shared evenly.

My greatest hope is that my humble story has inspired all of you to keep writing.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 02:13:37 AM by Hitobo »

Offline Nakamii

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1, Part 1
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 10:50:30 PM »
First Comment! xD Hmm, The Story was really AMAZING! I Love it... Even if it's some kinda like... Triangle Love? First, She Likes Tomochin, Then Acchan, Third NyanNyan... (I wonder where's Yuko) Thanks for the update, anyway! I want the next chapter! Update soon!
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Offline sakura_drop_

  • サクゲキと読んでください | Sakugeki to yonde kudasai~ | Please call me "Sakugeki"
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  • YukoRena(Geki) & AtsuYuu shipping all the way! ♥♥♥
Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1, Part 1
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 11:08:14 PM »
It's like reading how it really happened, hehe. This is awesome, keep it going!  ;)
"人間みんな変態だから" - 古川愛李, SKE48 新高柳チームKII 「シアターの女神」千秋楽公演, 2014.04.18 <"Because all people are perverts." - Furukawa Airi, SKE48 New Takayanagi Team KII [Theater no Megami] Last Stage, 2014.04.18>

My Blog: J-Pop and K-Pop Abode   The list of my fics in JPH!P: My fics   Let's have fun here: Acchan48   My home and family: United Nations Society of Adorkable Writers

My KamiOshis: Yuuko-sama, Rena-sama  Oshimen: Yuihime Other favorites: Mirukii, Juri-tan, Ripopo

Offline chuppachup

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1, Part 1
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 02:49:10 AM »
This story is really awesome^^

and takamina relationship with tomochin acchan and even haruna it's interesting.

i'm waiting for your next update.....

Thank you:)

Offline Haruko

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1, Part 1
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 04:47:49 AM »
yeah this story could be happen.. but my kojiyuu T_T

Offline Tanchan

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1, Part 1
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 07:20:24 AM »
So this is like...a square love? How could Minami have feelings for so many girls :lol:? But I like it, keep on updating  8)

Offline Hitobo

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1, Part 1
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 03:17:40 PM »
Thank you, everyone, for reading my story.  I'm glad that so many of you have enjoyed it.  (Awesome, amazing; I like these adjectives.  Please, keep 'em coming!)

@Nakamii: Woot!  First comment! +50 points to you!  No worries, Yuko will appear.
@sakura_drop_: That's exactly the effect that I was going for; thanks for realizing that.
@Haruko: Don't worry; I wasn't lying in my first post.
@chuppachup, Tanchan, Nakamii: Love polygons? Hmmm... not quite.  How should I put it... the only one that she's acknowledged her feelings for thus far is Haruna.  While she had felt something more with Tomochin, Atsuko entered the picture before Minami had a chance to act on them and said feelings died out.  As for Atsuko, in Minami's eyes she's still only a good friend, but...

To all those thinking, "This is Atsumina?"  Be patient; the story and characters need time to grow.  Besides, I'm sure some of you have enjoyed the bits of TakaTomo and TakaHaru.

As I post more of the story, especially Chapter 2, I believe a lot of questions will be answered.  If Chapter 1 is about Minami, then Chapter 2 is about...

I'm surprised nobody asked about the identity of Atsuko's crush.  (Was that line too subtle?) Not that I'd tell you anyway. :P

Offline kahem

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1, Part 1
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 08:48:41 PM »
Oh a great one! I like the fact that we can see Takamina's evolution ^^

Offline Hitobo

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Important note regarding Acchan's graduation
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2012, 11:20:03 PM »
So... Acchan is graduating.  I could sense this was coming, which was why I wanted to begin posting my story.  However, it seems that I was a bit too slow.

Due to this announcement, I've decided to go ahead and post what I have already written.  I feel that my story may hit a bit close to the mark, as you may discover as you read it.  Please note that everything within the first two chapters was written weeks, if not at least a full month, before the news of Atsuko's graduation.

Please be patient as I upload the rest of the story.  I do wish to upload it in parts still, as it is rather large.

Acchan, we will miss you.

Offline Hitobo

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Important Note Regarding Atsuko's Graduation
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2012, 12:34:25 AM »
     With her back to the door, Minami could not see Haruna’s smile.  It was not a grim smirk of jealousy or anger, as would be expected from the girl with whom she shared a secret relationship.  Rather, Haruna’s smile was one of pride, almost (oddly) maternal, and there was a great understanding behind it.  Turning from the scene, Haruna shut the door and asked the other members and staff to let the two inside be alone for a while.

An AKB48 Fan Fiction
Chapter 1, Part 2

_   _   _   _   _
     Minami and Haruna were each other’s first ‘real’ relationship. And, consequently, they were each other’s first ex, as after only a few months of an attempt at a secret relationship they realized that the strong feelings they felt in that first moment were not strong enough after all.  Indeed, it had not been a love of the proper caliber to be considered romantic.  Ultimately, it was the love of immeasurable friendship spurred on by teenage physical desire and curiosity, and their time apart told them more about their true feelings than their time together.
_   _   _   _   _   _

     “We should end this.”
     “I agree; this isn’t love.  Well, not that kind of love, anyhow.”
     “Exactly.”  Minami sat beside Haruna in a small bakery, two half-eaten desserts on the table before them.  “For some reason, in that moment when we k-ki-…”
     Haruna giggled and rested a hand on Minami’s arm.  “It’s alright; I know what you’re trying to say.”
     “Ehe,” Minami laughed nervously, embarrassed by her ineptitude to speak of even the most remotely affectionate things.  “Well, when we did that, I think I- we- were just caught up in the moment.  Because of that we hastily made a foolish decision that we should date.”
     “Again, I agree,” Haruna said, shutting her eyes as she crossed her arms and nodded vigorously in mock seriousness.
     Ignorant to Haruna’s words, Minami continued rambling beside her.  “I mean, it’s not like I don’t like you.  I enjoyed spending all that time with you.  It’s just that-”
     “Minami.”  Haruna said her name with such seriousness that Minami couldn’t help but to look up at the other girl.  Seizing her chance, Haruna grabbed Minami’s face and forced the girl to focus on her eyes.  “Minami, listen to me.  I’ve been agreeing with you this whole time.  You don’t have to apologize for anything.”
     Minami shook her head in understanding, and Haruna released it with a pat.  “Even if we’re not- you know…” Minami said, her voice trailing off at the end of her statement, earning a shake of the head from Haruna.  “I want you to know that you’re still a special friend to me.”
     Haruna nodded.  “And you are to me.  But… I think we’ve both realized these past few months that what we felt was not love.  The facts are undeniable.  We haven’t even done anything the least bit couple-like since that first incident.  Well, except for a few flirty touches here and there.  It’s been over three months and all we’ve done is hang-out like normal friends would and send a few extra mails to each other.”  Haruna couldn’t help but to laugh when she saw Minami’s face glow red at the word ‘couple’, only to grow brighter as she’d continued.  “We just convinced ourselves that we were in a special relationship, that’s all.  In the end we’re just really good friends.”  Never one to pass up the chance to tease the younger girl, with her voice just above a whisper, she continued, “Good friends that happen to have once shared a couple kisses.”
     Minami nearly choked on her drink.  “As long as we both feel that way, then it must be true,” she said after a moment of coughing.  “I didn’t think that the ‘hardly spend time with or talk to each other outside of work’ relationship that we had could really be called love.  Then again, it’s not like I’m an expert on the subject.”  With a relieved sigh she bit into her remaining dessert happily.
     “Besides,” Haruna said, readying a bite of cake on her fork.  “I don’t think I’m the one that has stolen your heart.”
     “Huh?” Minami squeaked, looking up at Haruna with a confused pout and a cream moustache.
     “Nothing,” Haruna chuckled as she wiped Minami’s lip with her napkin, an act which earned her another blush from her companion.
     “Kojiharu, now that we’re not… you know…” Minami began, still unable to bring herself to speak the words, “I feel that I can safely tell you that you’ve sounded surprisingly knowledgeable throughout this conversation.  Ow!”
     “Just because we’re back to being nothing more than friends, that doesn’t mean that you can insult me.”  Haruna pouted as she retracted her hand from Minami’s head.
     Rubbing her newly acquired bump, Minami bowed apologetically and turned back to her almost finished treat.  The two chatted amicably for a few more minutes as they finished their desserts, each trying a bite of the others chosen snack.  When the time came to leave, Haruna gently placed her hand on Minami’s arm, stopping the other girl in her tracks.
     “What’s wrong?” Minami asked, her eyes filling with worry.
     “Say, Takamina,” Haruna started, a small, teasing smile breaching her lips.  “If this is the ‘end’, do you think maybe…?”  Leaning down, Haruna finished her question as a whisper in Minami’s ear.
     “EH?!”  Minami exclaimed, earning glares from the bakery employees and the few other patrons present.  After a moment’s contemplation, she gulped and nodded hesitantly.
     Glancing around quickly to make sure that no one was watching, Haruna overlooked three familiar faces before leaning down to briefly kiss Minami.  Giggling at her now frozen counterpart, Haruna left the bakery with a smile.  Recovering from her stupor, the red-faced Minami left a moment later and the two went their separate ways without looking back.

     “I’m home,” Minami announced as she set her bag down beside the door and slipped off her shoes.  Hearing the soft footfalls of her mother quickly approaching Minami looked up to see a distraught look on her mother’s face.
     “Mama, what’s wrong?”
     “You have a visitor Minami.  I’m afraid she’s rather upset about something.  I sent her to wait in your room.”
     “I see,” Minami replied with a puzzled frown.  “Is it Kojiharu, by any chance?”
     Expecting the answer to be yes, Minami was taken aback when her mother’s head shook negatively.  “No, dear, it’s Maeda-san.”
     “Atsuko?” Minami exclaimed, panic suddenly present in her voice.  “Thanks, Mama,” she said as she rushed past her mother to her room.  As stated, Atsuko sat waiting in her room, leaning against Minami’s bed as she hugged her knees.
     “Acchan, what’s wrong?” Minami asked, kneeling before her obviously upset friend.  She was disappointed to only receive sobs in reply.  “Atsuko,” Minami whispered, resting a hand on Atsuko’s shoulder.  “How can I help you if you won’t tell me what’s wrong, Acchan?”  The fact that Atsuko stiffened under her touch did not go unnoticed by Minami.  It was an unusual reaction from Atsuko, as she was the one that usually initiated such contact.  However, the reaction faded soon enough, and Atsuko wiped at her eyes with her sleeves.
     “I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have come here,” she whispered, attempting to stand.  Minami prevented her from doing so with a strong grip on her arm.
     “Acchan, there’s obviously something upsetting you.  Won’t you please tell me?”  Atsuko remained seated on the floor, refusing to meet Minami’s gaze.  With a sigh Minami positioned herself on the floor beside Atsuko and hung her head on the edge of her bed, her eyes focusing on the ceiling above them.  Slowly she slipped her hand down Atsuko’s arm to grab her hand.  “Please tell me what’s wrong, Acchan.  I don’t like to see you crying like this.”
     Still she only received silence.  Racking her brain for possible issues, Minami’s own experience from earlier influenced her first option.
     “Is this about your crush, by any chance?”
     It was purely a guess but it hit the mark as Atsuko finally responded to Minami with a simple nod of her head.
     “Did you confess to her?  Did she reject you?”
     A slow shake of the head ‘no’.  Minami sighed, having no more ideas, when a faint whisper reached her ears.  Caught off guard, she shot her gaze back onto the girl beside her with a curious pout.
     “I’m sorry, Acchan; could you repeat that?”
     “I realized today that… I don’t love her anymore.  At least, not… like that.”
     Minami’s lips formed an ‘o’ as she took in the new information.  Still, is that any reason for her to be crying like this?  Heck, I’m the one that just broke up with someone, albeit mutual.
     “What makes you say that?” Minami asked, hoping to keep her unusually morose friend talking.
     Atsuko wiped at her eyes again before answering.  “Due to certain circumstances, I spent a good deal of time alone with her today.  I even held her hand more than once.”
     “And I didn’t feel anything!  No kind of excitement at all!  If she’s the person I like, then why didn’t I feel some sort of reaction from holding her hand so tightly?  Isn’t that how love works?  Besides…” she mumbled with a small pout.  “It turns out that she has someone she likes, and it’s not me.”
     “I’m sorry, but… I don’t really know how love works, Acchan.” Come to think of it, Haruna and I never held hands. “Wait, what now?  What did I say now?” Minami began to panic as Atsuko’s sobs grew.  “Atsuko, there’s more behind your tears, isn’t there?” she asked, releasing Atsuko’s hand as she wiped at the other girl’s tears, though Atsuko still would not meet her gaze.
     Atsuko shook her head affirmatively as she heaved a sigh.  “I realized that… there’s someone else… that I like but…”  She sobbed as she began to speak a bit more quickly, her emotions beginning to take over.  “I don’t want to resign to the fact that I like this person because my heart hurts so much already and I don’t want to have my heart broken again.   But… I really like this person, Minami.”
     Minami sighed, relieved that Atsuko was finally opening up about what was bothering her.  “More than you ever loved her?” she asked.  Atsuko replied with a quiet ‘yes’, flopping to her side to rest her head in Minami’s lap.  “How so?”
     “When I’m with this person I feel all the things you’re supposed to feel when you’re in love.  My chest tightens and my heart flutters.  There’s electricity when I hold this person’s hand.  I can trust this person with my life.”
     A small confused pout appeared on Minami’s face.  “What’s the problem then, Acchan?”  Minami felt Atsuko stiffen once again before she answered in a low, monotonous voice.
     “This person I like is already in a relationship.”
     “Oh.”  There was a brief silence and then Atsuko’s sad voice filtered up to Minami’s ears.
     “I can’t help but to think that I need to bring myself to fall out of love with this person.”
     The two sat quietly for a few moments, both taking advantage of the opportunity to gather their thoughts.  Minami quietly sang a song as she absentmindedly stroked Atsuko’s bangs.
     “Chiisana asa no hikari wa…”++
     As Minami sang the familiar song, Atsuko’s sniffling began to subside under her soothing touch.
     “Feeling better?” Minami asked, ceasing her song when she sensed Atsuko’s change.
     “Un,” Atsuko grunted, not daring to meet Minami’s eyes.
     “About what you said… I don’t think you should do that,” Minami said, reflecting on her recent experience.  “I think that you should spend time with this person.  You should make sure it’s not just another crush but that it’s really a love deserving of your tears.  Then you can decide what to do.”  Atsuko said nothing so Minami continued, sadness once again tinting her voice.  “Besides, some relationships just aren’t meant to be.  If you really do like this person then don’t grow apart from them.  You might still have a fighting chance in the future.  If you two are meant to be, then something will happen eventually.  Until that time… if you truly love this person, then you should be happy for them.  Besides, even if they have someone special, only a crazy person would turn down having you as a friend.”  Minami gave a stiff laugh and then mumbled, “We’re not supposed to have romantic relationships, anyways.”
     Atsuko nodded in appreciative understanding and the two were bathed in silence yet again.  As Minami pondered her own situation a small whisper reached her ears.
     “I love you, Minami.”
     “Haha.  I know, Acchan.  You tell me that all the time.  We’re best friends, remember?” Minami replied with a small smile as she reached down and took a hold of Atsuko’s hand once again.
     “You know, speaking of best friends,” Atsuko began teasingly, “I think Tomochin and I were wrong about you.  You can actually be pretty smart when it comes to these matters.”
     That’s only because I just broke up with Haruna.  Minami feigned offense to Atsuko’s statement.  “And what’s that supposed to mean?” she asked with a playful scowl.
     “Nothing; nothing at all.”
     Minami couldn’t help but to return the honest smile that graced Atsuko’s lips.  “You want to spend the night?  It’s already pretty late.”
     Another nod from the unusually quiet Atsuko sealed the deal.  The two pried themselves from the floor and quickly prepared for bed.  Content to peacefully fall asleep, Minami was surprised when the no longer as upset Atsuko started conversation yet again.
     “Hmm?” was her tired response.
     “Have you ever been in love? I mean, I’ve burdened you with my love troubles; don’t you have any of your own?”
     Minami thought carefully before she answered.  Though her best friend in AKB, there was a limit to how much she could admit to Atsuko.  Minami’s story was intertwined with Haruna’s, after all, and though they were friends, Atsuko was not as close with Haruna.  Deciding on a happy median, Minami answered as honestly as possible, sensing that the sincerity in her voice was what Atsuko most needed to hear.
     “I thought I was in love once,” Minami whispered, and her answer was enough for Atsuko to roll over and look her directly in the eyes.
     “Only once?”
     “Well… looking back on it, not even I was immune to childhood crushes.  But… I thought I might have been in love more recently.”
     “I see,” Atsuko stated, biting her lower lip in thought.
     “But…” Minami mumbled, her voice trailing off as she left her thought unspoken.
     “But?” urged Atsuko.
     Minami sighed.  “It was merely an illusion; a misconception, really.  We both agreed that what we felt between us wasn’t really romantic love.  But the person I felt these things toward is still very dear to me.”
     There was a silent pause as the two refused to look at each other, both unsure of what to say next.  Finally, Atsuko spoke in a voice barely above a whisper.
     “Are you seeing anyone right now, Minami?”
     “No, of course I’m not!  We’re idols, remember?” Minami answered a bit too quickly, though yet again there was a hint of sadness hidden in her voice.  Not anymore.  “What gives you that idea?” she asked, red-faced.
     Another pause, and then, “It’s nothing.  I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.”
     “Acchan?” Minami stated the other girl’s name cautiously as she watched Atsuko settle back into her covers and turn her back to her.
     “Minami,” Atsuko stated firmly.  “I wish you’d let me help you with your burdens, just like you helped me tonight.  You don’t have to do everything by yourself.”
     Minami smiled a warm smile, though it went unseen by her companion.  “Thanks, Atsuko.”  Minami maintained her smile as Atsuko soon fell asleep, but her thoughts attempted to prevent her from obtaining any sleep that night.
     To be honest, I don’t think I ever want to fall in love.  Not after seeing how ‘real’ love has affected Acchan.  Besides, romantic relationships are forbidden, after all, and I don’t want to jeopardize my career. I wouldn’t call what Kojiharu and I shared a mistake, but it’d be dangerous to do that again.  I think… I’ll swear off love and focus only on being an idol.  From here on I’ll close that part of my heart and not let anybody in.
     As the hours passed by Minami found that she was only able to put her rambling thoughts at ease by watching Atsuko sleep peacefully beside her.
     Acchan’s pretty even when she’s sleeping.
     What Minami had failed to realize was that in closing the door to her heart that night she had trapped a certain person that was already inside.

End Chapter 1, Part 2

++ This song's legal information will be disclosed at a later time.  It's a good song, though, so if you know what it is, kudos to you!

Acchan graduating... damn.  I saw it coming, and yet...  I knew I should have shared my story sooner.  Her announcement came at a convenient time, though.  I was having trouble thinking of a conclusion, and it's not too late to alter Chapter 3 of this story.  As stated before, Chapters 1 and 2 were completed well before Atsuko's announcement, as well as most of Chapter 3.  I apologize if they prove to hit uncomfortably close to the mark for any readers.  Again, please have patience as I continue to upload my story.  Chapters 1 and 2 are both 40+ pages long in MSWord.

Please don't let this announcement prevent you from writing any stories or finishing what you've already started.

Acchan, we'll miss you.  Thank you for sharing so many years of your life with us.  Best of luck in following your dream.  And until you've actually graduated (and after), we're all behind you, 100%.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 01:00:06 AM by Hitobo »

Offline Kid_Alpha

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It's funny how reading this is having a soothing effect on me, considering the still lingering feelings of Acchan's graduation.

Really interesting and enjoying your story so far. :thumbup

Offline Megumi

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Hearing the news about Acchan made me depressed  :cry: but not any more. I will still continue to support her after the graduation. And that she will continue to be her own self and continue to shine like she always do.

Now to your fic: It seems that Takamina will eventually know what LOVE is (with a little help from Acchan)
Your writing style is  :thumbsup I like it.
Thank you for your update!
Arígatou! :kneelbow:
Have tumblr have twitter. Just ask ^^

Offline okiedokie

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Yay! Even tho Acchan going to graduate,but i don't think it's problem, i mean she leave akb for her next life, her career ,that's new begining, not mean that she'll leave her friends ,they're still could meet when day nvm i'll always keep going ship atsumina, at least to the time takamina have a new wife...?! Lol just k (atstumina always best)

Offline Hitobo

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Here's Chapter 1, Part 3.  Please enjoy.  And if you don't like dream sequences, too bad.  There's one in here.
    //To be honest, I don’t think I ever want to fall in love.  Not after seeing how ‘real’ love has affected Acchan.  Besides, romantic relationships are forbidden, after all, and I don’t want to jeopardize my career. I wouldn’t call what Kojiharu and I shared a mistake, but it’d be dangerous to do that again.  I think… I’ll swear off love and focus only on being an idol.  From here on I’ll close that part of my heart and not let anybody in.//
     As the hours passed by Minami found that she was only able to put her rambling thoughts at ease by watching Atsuko sleep peacefully beside her.
     //Acchan’s pretty even when she’s sleeping.//
     What Minami had failed to realize was that in closing the door to her heart that night she had trapped a certain person that was already inside.

An AKB48 Fan Fiction
Chapter 1, Part 3

_   _   _   _   _

     Time passed and Minami and Haruna both continued to develop close friendships with other members.  There were no awkward feelings; they remained dear friends and to their knowledge no one else knew of their past.  However, in the end, Takahashi Minami’s brief crush had been a fellow idol.  Though they both agreed that it had not been love, Minami could not deny the fact that she had, at least in that original incident, been physically and emotionally attracted to the other idol.
     Realizing the implications behind such feelings and the consequences that a future relationship could have on her potential career, Minami decided to block all romantic desires from her heart, body, and mind, a defensive reflex that would render her even more clueless to the feelings of those around her.  She did not want to raise any suspicions, though sometimes her actions had the opposite effect.  The members would often tease her about her masculine character traits, and her refusal to bathe openly with them only fueled the fire.  The other girls in the group would fool around, sharing kisses and hugs carelessly. “I love you”s were tossed around like candy, especially among close friends.  (Ever since they became friends, Minami was Atsuko’s main victim for such treatment, as well as a target of many others.)  Minami often stiffened at the others’ touches and did her best to avoid anything more personal.
     Over the next few years Minami’s life would change dramatically.  She and her career would blossom beautifully. Eventually she’d move out on her own, make special appearances overseas, and even guest star on television shows.  Within those years, throughout it all, she didn’t fail to grow closer to her friends. Her friendships were something that she would never abandon. However, through her self-imposed restrictions Minami grew ignorant to true love.  Due to this ignorance, the heart she had unintentionally captured would struggle daily throughout the years.

_   _   _   _   _

     “Hey Miichan, what are you doing this weekend?” Minami asked, stepping beside the girl that was one of her best friends.  They were in the dressing room, one of their performances having just ended.
     Miichan started answering without looking up from her magazine.  “I have Saturday off, since no3b’s recording was rescheduled.  Ah, but you know that,” she reasoned, tossing her magazine aside to see that it was Minami that had addressed her.
     “So your Saturday’s still open?” Minami asked for clarification.
     “Yup!” Miichan chirped.  “I haven’t made any new plans yet.  Why?”
     “Let’s go to the amusement park.  I’ve been itching to go lately and I finally have a full day off.  Seeing as how you, my good friend, also have the day off, let’s go together.  It’s even more fun with friends, right?”
     Miichan smirked as Minami’s childish side began to break through her captain’s persona.  “Alright, I’m in.”
     “Great!  Now let’s go ask Kojiharu; I bet we can make it a no3b adventure!”
     Miichan’s amusement did not dwindle as she watched Minami fist-pump the air.  “Are we only asking Kojiharu, or can we invite some of the others?”
     “Ask me what?” a sweet voice asked from behind them, and they turned to find Haruna and her ever-present attachment.
     “An adventure at the amusement park this weekend, what do you say?” Minami asked with glistening eyes as she glanced between Haruna and Yuko.
     “Okay,” Haruna answered in her typical air-headed tone.
     “Count me in!” Yuko shouted with a wide grin, releasing Haruna long enough to trade shoulder blows with Minami.
     A confused pout formed on Haruna’s features.  “Eh?  Yuu-chan, don’t you have a photo-shoot this weekend?”
     Yuko stared at her incredulously.  “You think I’m gonna pass up this chance?  I’ll just have it moved to an earlier time.  That way I can spend the whole afternoon with you.”  Yuko turned from Haruna to find the two Minamis staring at her slack-jawed.  “What?”
     “Wow, Yuko, you are dedicated,” Miichan said, recovering from her stupor.  Yuko nodded and turned to Minami with a strange look which Miichan quickly interpreted.  “Oh, and she was just copying me,” she explained, elbowing the still slack-jawed Minami back into reality.  “It’s not like she’d ever be able to pick up on those love vibes.”
     “So, who else should we invite?” Minami asked while rubbing her side, choosing [wisely] to ignore Miichan’s insult.  “Acchan can’t go; she’s filming.”
     Minami’s three companions quickly traded curious glances before continuing the conversation.
“I’ll ask Mariko.” Haruna said, though her voice rising at the end made it sound more like a question than a statement.
     “Sure, but rather than picking specific people, I have a better idea,” Yuko said, grinning as she leapt up onto a nearby chair.  She cast one last wink at her companions before cupping her hands to her mouth.  “Everyone is this room is invited for a group party at the amusement park this Saturday!” she shouted, earning the attention of all the members present.  “Takamina will mail all of you with details later today!”
     Seeing the smiles on the faces surrounding her, Minami didn’t mind the extra bit of work Yuko had just assigned her.  Saturday was sure to be a fun day spent with the people she held dear. 
     It had been the third consecutive week in which she’d invited Atsuko to the park and it was the third consecutive week in which Atsuko had to refuse her invitation due to work.  Minami was slightly perturbed by the fact that Atsuko’s work had seemingly taken over their time together, but she knew acting was Atsuko’s dream.  Besides, her drama would be ending soon enough.  She’d just have to catch up with Atsuko some other time.
_   _   _

     “That movie was awesome!” Minami shouted, running from the theater into the cold night air.  She threw kicks and punches at imaginary enemies, antics which earned a small laugh from Atsuko.  “Don’t worry, Acchan,” Minami said, leaping onto the low wall of a small garden area and posing dramatically, her breath a vapor cloud before her.  “If anybody should pose a threat, I will protect you.”
     Atsuko looked up at Minami’s serious expression and laughed again.  “I’m glad you enjoyed the film so much, Minami.”
     “Yeah, the movie was great, but… I mean it,” Minami stated, jumping down from the wall as dramatically as she’d leapt onto it.  “You mean a lot to me, Acchan.  I will never let anybody hurt you.”  Minami looked at Atsuko earnestly and watched as a blush crept across the taller girl’s cheeks.
     “That movie got you really fired up, didn’t it?” Atsuko asked, turning from Minami’s intense gaze with a chuckle.  “We’ll have to catch another one sometime soon.”
     I’ve missed this, Minami thought suddenly as she looked at Atsuko’s smile.  Six weeks apart was too long.
     “Yes, let’s,” Minami replied, moving to the edge of the street to watch for vacant taxis.  That familiar old melody drifted to mind and she began to hum it unknowingly.  She smiled when a moment later she felt Atsuko step beside her and take her arm with a whispered, “It’s cold.”  As they stood waiting Minami took the opportunity to chat about the action movie they’d just seen.  Based on one of her favorite manga, she’d been elated when Atsuko had mentioned going to see it together.
     Minutes later a taxi drove by and Minami flagged it down valiantly.  As it drew up to the curb she was struck with an idea.  It was rather late now, the film having been a late night showing, and the two idols had to be at the theater early in the morning.  At this point she would only get a few hours’ worth of sleep after seeing Atsuko off at home, and she’d be lying to herself if she didn’t admit to wanting to spend more time with her.  Taking a deep breath, Minami opened the cab door for her friend, and as Atsuko stepped into the cab the words flowed eloquently from Minami’s lips.
     “Care to spend the night?”
_   _   _

     Minami smiled at Haruna as they took the stage.  They were the first act; the show opener.  It was the beginning of AKB48’s Karaoke Competition and the two had eagerly volunteered to go first.  Rolling the whiteboard to the middle of the stage, they shared another quick smile before stepping to their respective sides.  The music started and Minami felt her heart grow warm as she began dancing.  The two began to sing, their voices blending easily.
     “Kimi ni deaete yokatta. Setsunai keredo yokatta.  Hitori no yoru mo soba ni itekureta.  Sekai ni tatta hitori no kimi ni deaete yokatta.  Omoide wa yoruno sora hoshi ni nari kagayaku yo.”*
     Haruna began singing the female part, leaving Minami, naturally, the male part to sing.  The words were a reflection of their relationship.  They were dear friends, irreplaceable in each other’s heart.
     I am glad that I met you, Haruna, she thought, not missing her next line in the song.  I’ve never regretted it.
     “Si oretachi wa itsu demo futari de hitotsu datta jimoto ja makeshirazu sou daro .”**
     Minami stood backstage quietly singing the song she’d finished performing with Sae not long ago.  It was another song with reflected her relationship with a friend, this time her brotherly bond with the tall Genking.  Ever a catchy tune it had not ceased to plant itself in her head.  And now it was stuck there.
     “Si oretachi wa mukashi kara kono machi ni akogarete shinjite ikite kita.”
     The competition had since ended and the members were loitering around, waiting as the crew diligently prepared the stage for the concert portion of the day’s event.  There was a chill in the air as the day quickly approached evening, bringing Minami and the others to seek cups of warm tea with the provided refreshments.  Wrapping her hands tightly around the cup Minami made her way outside the tent.  Finding a suitable area to rest she sat down and glanced up at the sky above her.
     “Naze darou omoidashita keshiki wa tabidatsu hi no kirei na sora dakishimete.”
     Today’s sky is not so beautiful, she thought, noting the grey clouds gathered above.
     “Hey, Takamina!” an angry voice called.  Minami was soon presented with the sight of its owner accompanied by Haruna and Atsuko.  Yuko stopped before Minami with her hands on her hips looking none too pleased.  “What’s the big idea, huh?”
     “What this about?” Minami asked, taking a sip of tea as she cast a glance for help at Haruna.
     “You know very well what this is about!”
     “Actually, I don-”
     “You tried to steal my Nyan Nyan!” Yuko accused, staring down at Minami.
     Minami cast another glance at Haruna, but the tall girl only shook her head in response.  “Umm, I’m pretty sure I didn’t do anything of the sort.”
     Yuko crossed her arms with a huff.  “Then what was up with that duet, huh?”
     “It was just a song, Yuko; a performance.  As I recall, she returned to you quickly enough for your Melodies*** duet.  What was with that song, huh?”
     “I like it!” Yuko defended.  “But our performance was different!  It didn’t have the whole lovey-dovey vibe that yours did!”
     Shaking resignedly, Minami decided to try a different tactic to get rid of Yuko’s misguided persistence.  “Paru, would you please-”
     “You’ve been too quiet, Acchan!” Yuko scolded, turning to the younger girl beside her.  “You tell her what you think!  You felt it too, right, the lovers’ atmosphere?”
     Atsuko said nothing.  She looked down at Minami with a strange expression, one with which Minami was not familiar.  Standing up suddenly, she took Atsuko’s hand in worry.
     “Atsuko, is something wrong?” Minami asked, searching Atsuko’s eyes for an answer.
     “No,” Atsuko replied quietly a moment later, shaking her head as if trying to rid herself of some ill thoughts.  “I thought it was a good duet.  It deserved better rankings than you received.”
     Good.  I thought she might have been upset with me.
     Minami released Atsuko’s hand with a scoff and crossed her arms.  “Yeah, well, Miyazaki was a judge.  It was to be expected.”
     “Would you sing a duet with me next time, Minami?” Atsuko suddenly blurted, catching Minami and the others off-guard.  They stared at her curiously as she quickly turned away.
     “Yeah, sure,” Minami answered after a few seconds’ recovery.  “I’d love to do that, Acchan.”
     There was a brief silence during which Yuko glanced from Minami to Atsuko with a wise grin, Atsuko and Minami refused to meet each other’s gaze, and Haruna stared at nothing in particular.
     “There you all are!”  Miichan shouted, running up to the quartet.  “They’ve just given us a fifteen minute warning.”
     “Alright, Takamina, I’ll let you off the hook this time,” Yuko stated threateningly as she latched onto Haruna with one hand, waving the other at Minami in a fist.  “But don’t think I’ll forget this.”
     “I missed something, didn’t I?” Miichan asked as she followed the others back to the staging area.
_   _   _

     Minami cringed at the sound of the approaching voice.  It was the third time today, and this time Minami was too tired to fight her off, having gone through a day’s worth of filming for their drama.  First her head would be grabbed, and then her hair swept aside, and finally-
     Minami squirmed as a pair of lips was planted on her ear.
     “Mocchi, it’s not that I don’t appreciate your affection, but please get off me,” Minami said, trying to wriggle out of the other girl’s grasp.
     “Mem mo memom…” Asuka mumbled, her mouth full of Minami’s ear.  Ten more seconds.  Minami began to sigh when Mocchi’s nibbling was suddenly cut short with a yelp.
     “Hands off, Mocchi,” the newly arrived Atsuko said with a scolding stare.
     “It’s fine, Acchan,” Minami said, hoping to cool the situation.  “I’m used to it by now.”
     Mocchi cast Atsuko a challenging grin.  “You know, Acchan, Takamina isn’t yours, and you ought to learn to share.  I’m not the only one that likes Takamina.  She has her own fan club of members that love her.”  Bringing her hand up to Atsuko’s eye level, Asuka began counting on her fingers as she listed names.  “Amina, Kojiharu, Shii-chan, Tomo-…”
     “Ah!” Atsuko gasped suddenly, grabbing Minami by the collar.  In one swift movement she turned Minami’s chin away and swept her hair to the side.  “Minami, what is that?” she demanded, staring at Minami’s jawline.
     “What is what?” Minami asked, confused and a bit unnerved by Atsuko’s panicked behavior.
     “… at least half of the kenkyuusei…” Mocchi continued, not paying attention to the other two.
     “That!” Atsuko said, fishing a compact so that Minami could see.
     Looking in the mirror, Minami stared at the offending lipstick print for a few seconds before the answer dawned on her.  “Oh, that,” she started sheepishly.  “Atsuko, i-it’s not what you think,” Minami began nervously.  Wait, why am I panicking?  What’s it matter to me what Atsuko thinks?  “Yukarin was here earlier, a-and she was fooling around, ‘proving how much she missed me’, so-”
     “Ah, Yukarin,” Mocchi piped in with a triumphant smile.  “You can add her to that list.”
     Atsuko shot Mocchi a cold glare in which the other girl found her cue to leave.  Turning back to Minami she hurriedly wiped at the offending mark with her thumb.
     “Acchan, cut it out, that kind of hurts,” Minami said, batting Atsuko’s hand away.  “It’s fine, really.  I was about to go wash it off.  Why does it bother you so much, anyway?”  Minami looked up at Atsuko curiously, only to see the other girl turn away uncharacteristically shyly.
     “You’re right,” Atsuko whispered.  “I don’t know why I reacted that way.”
     What’s gotten into her? Minami wondered with the shake of her head.  “I had covered it with my hair hoping to avoid a misunderstanding like this, but then I forgot about it.  Another failure, huh?” Minami chanced with a laugh, hoping to lighten the mood.  Sensing Atsuko’s discomfort she reached out to take her friend’s hand.  “Come on, let’s go change,” she said, walking towards the dressing room.  “I’m hungry.  Let’s invite the others out for dinner, what do you say?”
     “Yes, let’s,” Atsuko replied with a nod, following happily behind Minami.
_   _   _

     “Hey, Takamidget, ya ready to go?” a cheerful, teasing voice asked from her left, and Minami turned to find Yuko grinning eagerly from ear-to-ear.
     “Of course I’m ready,” Minami asserted, meeting Yuko’s grin with an excited smile of her own.  “I’ve been waiting all week for this.”
     “Then let’s go!” Yuko shouted, pumping her fist into the air and drawing the attention of the other members in the room.  “Nyan Nyan!” she continued shouting, unbothered by the others’ stares.  “Captain’s good-to-go; let’s get this outing started!”
     “Yuu-chan, please be quieter,” Haruna’s calm voice replied, much to the relief of the others present.
     “Where are you going?”
     Minami jumped with a small yelp as an unexpected hand gripped her shoulder.  She quickly turned and came face-to-face with her assailant.
     “Acchan,” Minami greeted with a small, startled whisper. Why did my heart just skip a beat? “W-we’re just going out for a bit of fun this evening.”
     “Fun?” Atsuko repeated the word accusingly with a rise of her brow.
     “Yeah, fun; f-u-n,” Yuko iterated teasingly, the statement accompanied by a wriggle of her brows and a cunning smile.
     “May I join you?” Atsuko asked, sparing a quick glance at the newly arrived Haruna.
     “Gee, I don’t know about that, Acchan,” Minami stated a bit hesitantly, a hint of blush on her cheeks.  “It’s not exactly your kind of thing, and I don’t want you to be bored to death.”
     “Eh, let ‘er come, Captain,” Yuko mildly persuaded with a shrug.
     “Nyan Nyan’s will be there, too.  It’ll be fun.”  As if to emphasize her statement, Yuko latched onto the tall girl beside her enthusiastically.
     Yuko was hinting as something but Minami was unsure as to what that something might be.  With a sigh she nodded and gave in to the stares of her companions.  “Alright,” she said.  “But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
     “Alright!” Yuko shouted with another fist pump.  “It’s a double date!”
_   _   _

     On lunch break from filming, Acchan was sitting happily in Minami’s lap, Minami’s arms wrapped tightly about her waist to keep her from falling.  The two were talking with their heads close together, Minami resting her chin on Atsuko’s shoulder, oblivious to those around them.  To most people it would look like two close friends having an innocent albeit private conversation, but to a certain duo observing them from across the room…
     “They’re doing it again,” Mariko said, peeking out from behind a pile of the girls’ various belongings with her hands encircling her eyes like a pair of binoculars.
     “They’re simply oozing lovey-dovey couple,” Miichan observed, her own hands mimicking the older girl’s as she lay on her stomach, she too hiding behind the pile.  “It’s usually just Acchan, but this time Takamina is certainly giving off love vibes of her own.  Look how protectively she’s holding Acchan.”
     “To be honest, I don’t think Acchan fully realizes how obviously head-over-heels in love she is with the captain.  I mean, just watch the way she looks at anybody that comes near Takamina; could she be more transparent?”  Miichan nodded her agreement to Mariko’s words, her focus not leaving the couple before her.  “Then there’s the way her smile lights up when she simply sees Takamina; the small, personal touches whenever she can; the way she mentions Takamina in most of her interviews…”
     Miichan again nodded her consent.  “I know, right?  Acchan’s been crazy about Takamina for years now, but Bakamina couldn’t be any more clueless about Acchan’s feelings, let alone her own.  I love her dearly, but I swear she’s denser than a brick sometimes.”  The spying duo shared a disheartened sigh.  “I wish she would do us all a favor and give Acchan even just a small sign that she’s interested.”
     “You know,” Mariko began slowly, releasing her “goggles”, “it’s kind of like Takamina is trying to not show any affections.  It almost seems as if she doesn’t want to fall in love.”
     Miichan finally turned from the scene before her to look at Mariko with disdain.  “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.  Why wouldn’t she want to fall in love?”
     “Well, it is Takamina.” Mariko stated with a shrug, as if the other idol’s nickname alone was a suitable answer.
     Miichan narrowed her eyes and stared at Mariko skeptically for a moment before sighing concededly and casting her sights heaven-ward.  “I pray to the powers that be: please don’t let this drama drag out any longer. Please do something to make Takamina realize her feelings and just how much Acchan loves her.”
_   _   _

     A group of them had agreed to go out to eat after rehearsal.  It was an activity that always proved enjoyable.  They could drop their idol images (to a certain degree) and simply be themselves, a group of young ladies out having fun together.  They engaged in conversations within earshot at the table, all of them friendly enough with one another to tease and joke their companions.
     Minami sat with Atsuko to her left and Mariko to her right, the ever-fashionable Tomochin and Tomo~mi across from her.  Miichan was seated down the table conversing with Sae, though Minami would have sworn the girls were right next to her, judging by how energetically they were chatting.  Yuko was next to Tomochin, Haruna, naturally, beside her, and Sayaka to Haruna’s other side, shaking her head at Miichan and Sae’s ‘conversation’.  Glancing around the table, Minami couldn’t help but to feel content, surrounded by her friends. 
     As the evening dwindled on, the night owls said goodbye to the others as they left.  First the early-to-bed crowd took off, as was to be expected.  Then those that had morning appointments took their leave.  Finally, it was only those members that had a night to waste that remained.  Even they, too, had to leave at some time, and that time was quickly approaching.
     As the remainder of girls left the restaurant Minami turned to Atsuko behind her with a warm smile.  “Want to spend the night, Acchan?” she asked.  Atsuko had turned down her previous invitation, catching Minami by surprise, but not altogether unexpected.     “Sorry, Minami, not tonight,” Atsuko replied, a twinge of guilt in her voice.
     Momentarily unperturbed by Atsuko’s answer, Minami turned to Miichan beside her.  “What do you say, Mine-chan?  Want to spend the night?”
     “Alright!” Miichan chimed.
     Happy enough to spend the rest of the evening with the girl that was one of her best friends, Minami was ignorant of her other best friend’s conflicting emotions.


    //It’s cold.//
     Minami studied her surroundings as best she could, but truth be told, there wasn’t much to study.  It was pitch-black as far as she could see, save for a small pinpoint of light shimmering in the distance.  The ground was rough and unpaved.  Reaching out to her sides, she determined that there were no walls.
     //So I’m in a large, freezing cold area,// she thought, trying to reassure herself as she wrapped her arms tightly about her body for warmth.  //This is an awful dream.//  The light was the only other thing present, so with a sigh she began walking in its direction.  She hummed a song in an attempt to distract herself from her nerves.  She conversed with herself, made fun of herself, and berated herself.  Despite it all, no matter how long she walked, the light never grew closer.
     Suddenly she paused.  Her foot had brushed against something small and soft.  Stooping down, she felt around her feet until her hands grabbed hold of the offending object, pulling it from the ground with just a small amount of birr. Through touch alone she was able to recognize the familiar shape of a stem and petals.
     “It’s a flower,” Minami stated aloud, though there was no one there to hear her.  “You’ll be my new companion,” she whispered to the flower, tucking it behind her ear as she stood and continued her trek, humming yet again. As she focused before her she found to her surprise that the light appeared to be a few meters closer.  Still, no matter how long she walked, it never again grew closer.
     As her body grew weary from walking, an important question that had eluded her finally filtered to mind and her humming ceased.
     “Where am I?”


     “In bed, when you should be on the way to work!  C’mon, Takamina!  I don’t want to be late because of you!”
     Minami awoke to the familiar feeling of a pillow meeting her face, and opened her eyes soon after to find an unhappy Minegishi Minami standing before her, said pillow in hand.  Phew.  It really was a dream.  Wait…
     “Mine-chan, what are you doing here?  And did you have to hit me that hard?  Ugh, my whole body hurts.”  Minami sat up and groaned as the harsh sunlight met her eyes.
     “I spent the night, remember?”  Miichan explained with a huff, hands on her hips.  “Now get up!  We’re recording for a television show this afternoon; we can’t afford to be late!”
     “Yes, yes.  Now get out of here,” Minami commanded, slowly pushing the younger girl through her bedroom door.  “I’m going to take a quick shower.”
     “It had better be quick!” Miichan managed to shout before the door was shut in her face.

     “You’re late!” Minami winced at the harsh tone in Atsuko’s voice as she glared between the two dawdlers.
     “Sorry, Acchan!  Aww, did you miss me, my wife?”
     Atsuko shook her head as Miichan gave her a quick hug before walking past her and further into the dressing room.  Turning back to Minami, she caught the small girl in the midst of a yawn.
     “Long night?” She asked, tilting her head curiously.
     “Not really,” Minami answered with a shrug.
     “You look more tired than usual.  Did Miichan keep you up too late?”  Minami quickly stared up at Atsuko.  There was an unusual tone to the other girl’s voice.  Teasing? Interest?
     No, Minami thought with a slowly growing smirk.  I think that’s … jealousy.  Moving to pass Atsuko, she paused as she stood next to the ace.  “You’re just jealous that I had spent time with your ‘wife’ and not you.  Mine-chan’s one of my best friends, you know.  She spends the night all the time, unlike someone else I know that suddenly started turning down my invites.”  Pausing, Minami struck a thoughtful pose, touching a finger to her chin.  “Miichan usually makes off with a pair of my panties the next morning, too.  And doesn’t give ‘em back, now that I think about it.”
     “I’m not jealous,” Acchan retorted, giving Minami a light shove.
     “Well,” Minami started, continuing her walk and setting her bag down in the designated area.  “It’s not like I didn’t invite you, you know.  You turned down my offer.  Again.  So you can’t be upset with me for something that is not my fault.”
     Crossing her arms sternly, Atsuko looked to the side as she formed her defense.  “I never said I was upset or jealous.  You just assumed that I was.  And I didn’t accept your offer because I-” Atsuko ceased her words, a slight blush rising to her cheeks.  Turning quickly, she started to walk away as Minami put down her hairbrush (albeit a bit too forcefully) and grasped Atsuko’s arm.
    Oh, no; that wasn’t jealousy?
     “Because you what, Acchan?”
     Did she somehow learn my secret?
     “Because she knows better than to accept a guy’s invitation to spend the night!” Mariko scolded, entering the conversation with a slight jab to Takamina’s shoulder.  “You don’t have time for this lovers’ quarrel,” the older girl scolded, bringing a blush to both of the younger girls’ cheeks.  “Talk about it afterwards.  Right now you need to get changed.”  Poking Takamina’s forehead, Mariko then took Atsuko by the arm and turned to walk off towards the set.  “Ah,” she squeaked, pausing in her step.
     “What is it?” Atsuko inquired, following Mariko’s gaze.
     “Pink panties,” they both stated flatly as they caught a glimpse of Miichan changing into her costume.
     For a fleeting moment, Minami couldn’t help but to think that perhaps there was some depth to Mariko’s teasing words.  However, there was one thing about the recent interaction that confused Minami, something that had never really bothered her previously.  If she was the one on whom Atsuko was always pouring her affections, then why was it Miichan that was Atsuko’s ‘wife’?
     Shaking the strange thoughts and feelings from mind, Minami sighed as she began changing into the day’s outfit.
_   _   _

     Minami and Atsuko sat together behind a small hedge, hidden from the sights of a certain couple in a small bistro across the street.  Atsuko sat content with an amused smile on her face as Minami leaned against her shoulder.  Minami wore a bewildered look, having just a few minutes before witnessed something she found to be astonishing.
      “You knew this whole time, didn’t you?” Minami whispered accusingly, breaking her few minutes of silence.
     “Guilty.” Atsuko answered with a grin.  “Everyone else in the group knows, too.”
     “Wait, how did I not know this?” Minami asked, her classic failure expression adorning her features as she pushed off Atsuko’s shoulder and stood.
     “Because you’re you, Minami,” Atsuko said quietly as she stood, and Minami swore she heard sadness in the other girl’s voice.  “Like Miichan’s always saying, you probably wouldn’t recognize love even if it hit you in the face.”
     “I would too!” Minami protested with a stomp of her foot.  “Why does everybody always say things like that?  I’m not that cluele-”
     “Quick, get down!  They’re leaving!” Atsuko said, pushing Minami back down behind the bushes though accidently socking her in the eye in the process.
     “Geez, Acchan; that hurt.”
     “I’m so sorry!” Atsuko gasped in terror.  “Here, let me see.” She gently took Minami’s face in her hands, eliciting a small hiss of pain from the other girl.  Minami soon felt her face flush as she realized Atsuko’s close proximity.
     Why is my heart beating so quickly?
     Ignorant of Minami’s discomfort, Atsuko lightly blew on the wound she’d caused, not noticing as the other girl froze in reaction to the gesture.  “It’s just a scrape and a small bump, though you might end up with a bruise.  I’m so sorry, Minami.”
    Why is my chest so tight?  And why does my stomach feel so strange?
     “A-Acchan, I think I need to r-rest; my heart it beating pretty quickly and I-I don’t feel so well.”
     Atsuko looked at Minami with worry filled eyes.  “I’ll help you into one of those chairs. C’mon, stand up.”
     It was the familiar sound of a displeased person clearing her throat to gain attention.  Minami and Atsuko both froze in their ministrations and slowly looked up to find a certain couple looking down at them disapprovingly.  Caught red-handed, the two cast sheepish, guilty smiles at the pair.

End Chapter 1, Part 3

* “LOVE FOREVER,” copyright Kato Miliyah, Shimizu Shota, and Sony Music Entertainment Japan.  Released May 13, 2009.  The opening stanza was used here. “I'm so glad I met you. Even though it's painful, I'm glad you were by my side when I was alone at night.  You were the only person in the world I was glad to meet.  Our memories are shining, becoming stars in the night sky.”
** “Seishun Amigo,” copyright ‘Shuuji to Akira’ and Johnny’s Entertainment.  Released November 2, 2005.  The lines of the initial [and ultimate] refrain are used here.   “Si, the two of us were always one; at home we were invincible, weren’t we?  Si, we had longed to come to this town for a long time.  For some reason, I remember the scenery, embracing the beautiful sky the day we left.”
*** “Melodies,” copyright GAM and Hachama.  Released October 18, 2006.

And there's Part 3.  I hope you've all enjoyed it.  There are two more parts to Chapter 1; both are a bit shorter than the others.

Until the next time.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 01:18:05 AM by Hitobo »

Offline ilovecandiedapples

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1 Part 3
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 02:37:43 AM »
Great chapter :)
Is the flower in the small room supposed to symbolize takamina's unknowing
 blossoming love for acchan? ( I think that I'm put to much thought into this :nervous)
And, is the unsuspecting couple that takamina and acchan are stalking marimii  :? ?
Okay, enough with my insinuations, can't wait for your next update and
Good luck in surgery  :cow:

Offline Haruko

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1 Part 3
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2012, 05:48:41 AM »
wow atsumina :D i love them

Offline saeyukilover

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1 Part 3
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2012, 06:37:31 AM »
 :)Ahhhh!!!! Takamina u need to realise love is just beside you!! :panic:

Plssss.... Update thank you its a very good fanfic :bow:


Offline badsaints

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1 Part 3
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2012, 12:35:06 PM »
I can't help but wonder, in that breakup scene between Kojiharu & Takamina, who were the 3 people who saw the 'last kiss'. My guess is Acchan, Tomochin & another girl (Tomomi? Miichan?). Acchan had a crush on Tomochin previously but realised she didn't feel the same as when she held hands with Takamina. That's when she realised that she liked the chibi captain but then found out that Tomochin had a crush on Takamina, the same reasons she gave up on Tomochin too. I'm guessing thats why she was behaving weirdly when Takamina did a duet with Haruna.

I just guessing the above or maybe I'm reading too deeply into your story. Either way, I do like the way you write & since the story was using actual happenings made it easy to visualise.

Do take care & hoping for more updates once you are better  :)

Offline kahem

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1 Part 3
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2012, 03:25:26 PM »
Lol Takamina is so hopeless with love xD
I wonder who is the couple

Offline Nakamii

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 1 Part 3
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2012, 03:55:09 PM »
I would wonder that "IS THIS REALLY ATSUMINA?!"
But, I guess, It's just that you want to Add some other pairings(?) Maybe... Or you want to make some rivals(?)...
Oh man, So many Question... But, I know that this Fic will goin' to end with A Happy Ending of AtsuMina... Horray! xD
And, Bakamina must be really Confused, and that seriously will always Fail... For Suberi Queen Who's surrounded by many Girlfriend and Crush, I do really know how she feels... It must be so Difficult to choose between those Pretty Girls... (But, Takaminie Sure is Lucky!) ;D.. She must be manly and all. Usually, for any Playboys, There will always Broke up... Jealousy or somethin' like that... But, In this case, It's completely Different from what Couple usually Got...
For Haruna, .... Damn! She's so lucky... She can duet with Bakamina... But, I can't even imagine how it was... :nervous And, It's like that this fics going to be TakaHaru... Instead of AtsuMina... Hopefully, Not.
For Tomochin, .... Eh? It's like she's slowly disappear from the story... But, I'm glad because now Acchan just have One Rivals!
For Acchan, .... Oh, My Oshi! I'll do anything for you! I'll support you to win Takamina Heart! Yeah! :yep:
MariMii <3 I like Miichan's Personality here...
Btw, Update soon! ;D

And Sorry For My Bad English... (Since My native language isn't English) :sweatdrop:
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