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Author Topic: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 4 Part 2  (Read 45663 times)

Offline Haruko

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 1
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2012, 06:33:18 AM »
I wanna a friend like takamina.. :D such lovable and loyable :D


Great chapter!.. My atsumina is grewn up soon :D


but who is the atsuko´s crush.. i think is SAE.... could be..

Offline kahem

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 1
« Reply #41 on: May 10, 2012, 12:35:17 AM »
I also think Acchan's cruch is Yuko.
I like how you show Takamina's kindness in your fic ^^

Offline Kid_Alpha

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 1
« Reply #42 on: May 10, 2012, 01:16:14 AM »
My first guess was Sae but then you used 'lecher' to describe Acchan's crush so I figure it's Yuko. Good job on making it kind of hard to guess lol

It's interesting to read from different perspectives, I like that. :thumbup

Don't mind that it was noticeable that you rushed that last chapter, it can't be help; things like that tend to be noticable when you read plenty of books and other people's works. I'm guilty of it too considering.

Offline saeyukilover

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 1
« Reply #43 on: May 10, 2012, 03:43:44 AM »
Yeaheyyyy!!! :) an updAte  :mon angel: :mon angel: :mon angel:

''HARD WORK WILL ALWAYS PAY OFF''

Offline Hitobo

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 1
« Reply #44 on: May 16, 2012, 10:32:36 PM »
Apologies for the wait.  Enjoy.
     Atsuko’s breath caught in her lungs as she felt Minami’s hand against her cheek, the shorter girl’s thumb gently wiping away her tears.
     “There.  Now that’s the Acchan that I love,” Minami said, beaming up at a stunned Atsuko beside her.  Just as Atsuko began to recover from her shock, Minami grabbed her hand and laced their fingers together.  “Believe me, I know the real you.  You’re not an ugly person.  You’re beautiful, Atsuko.”
     In that instant, Atsuko felt a peculiar sensation wash over her.  Her chest grew tight, her stomach filled with butterflies, and she felt her face grow warm.  This was the first time that Minami had ever initiated any kind of intimate contact between them.  Maybe that was why Atsuko suddenly felt embarrassed looking into Minami’s eyes.
     Or maybe it was because of Minami’s kind words.  It was the first time that Minami had ever used the word ‘love’ so loosely, as Atsuko and many of the others often did.  And who wouldn’t blush after their best friend called them beautiful?
     Or perhaps it was because of something deeper, something more personal, and something that Atsuko could not quite comprehend.
     “C’mon, Acchan, let’s go join the others.  Everyone’s worried about you; I want them to see that a minor thing like this isn’t enough to bring you down.  Remember, Acchan:  I’ll always be beside you.”
     Nodding, Atsuko granted Minami one of her classic, brilliant smiles, and the two quickly made their way to the others hand-in-hand, their fingers still intertwined.

Portraits
An AKB48 Fan Fiction
Chapter 2, Part 2


_   _   _   _   _

     In the prime of her youth, Maeda Atsuko discovered first hand that love is cruel.  In the same series of events that led her to eventually discover true love, Atsuko experienced the pain of heartache for the first time in her life.
_   _   _   _   _

     Something is bothering her.  Acchan watched as her crush sat brooding in the corner, one of the few members still remaining after practice.  The girl was mumbling and making strange faces, and from time to time she would stand up with a fierce determination, only to quickly sit down again in dismay.  Faced with the possibility of being nearly alone with the girl that was her crush, Atsuko was a bit put-off to find that she was not so nervous after all.  Convincing herself to make the most of the opportunity, Atsuko stepped toward the object of her observations.
     The idea that she was no longer crushing on the other girl flashed through her mind so suddenly that it went unnoticed. 
     “Yuko…san,” she said quietly, causing the other girl to look up at her.  Almost immediately a large smile played across Yuko’s face.
     “Acchan!” she exclaimed, flinging her arms around the younger girl.  “Tell me, to what do I owe the honor of your speaking with me?”
     With a deep breath and then a heavy sigh, Atsuko averted her eyes before whispering, “I know your smile today is fake.”
     “What was that?” Yuko asked with a tilt of her head, releasing her grip on the ace.
     “I know that something is upsetting you,” Atsuko said, at the same time trying to reign in her emotions.  Here she was, alone with her crush, the girl’s attention focused solely on her.  Her mind was nervous, afraid that she’d let her secret slip.  And yet, even though Yuko was hugging her, Atsuko was surprised to find that her heart was remarkably calm.  Perhaps Yuko’s playful friendliness was to blame; she was always hugging the other members, which is why Atsuko knew there was nothing special behind the current contact; she’d been hugged innumerous times before.
     “Is it that obvious?” Yuko asked, not trying to deny anything as she sat down with a sad sigh.
     Only to me.
     Before Acchan could reply, Yuko spoke again, though she refused to look up at the other girl.  “Acchan… do you have someone you like?”
     “Well… with the no relationships rule and only being around the other members all the time-”
     Yuko gave a wry laugh and lightly jabbed Atsuko in the shoulder.  “Don’t worry about that, not around me.  Now be honest.”
     Atsuko felt her face grow warm as she answered with a quiet yes.
     “Another member, perhaps?”
     Another whispered yes.
     “I see,” Yuko said with an understanding smile, resisting the urge to further interrogate the matter.  “Now tell me, what would you do if you thought that person was dating someone?”  Yuko stared up at the uncomfortable girl standing in front of her before she spoke again.  “The thing is, the person I like… I think she’s dating somebody, and I’m torn between following her to find out whom or just letting it be.”
     So she has someone she likes, too.  And it’s not me.  That’s disappointing to know, but… why am I not upset by that?
     Atsuko sat down next to Yuko, biting her lower lip in a bid for time to think the older girl’s question over more thoroughly.  She found it hard to imagine the situation as Yuko, the person she liked, was obviously not yet in a relationship.  As she sat trying to comprehend such a circumstance among her friends Minami drifted to mind, and Atsuko suddenly found she was able to answer without any further hesitation.
     “If I were you, I’d follow her; the person you like, that is.  If it turns out she is dating someone, then I’d want to see with my own eyes that the person she’s dating is treating her right.  I’d want to know that that person was good enough for her.  She’s risking her career by being in a relationship so if you don’t believe that person is worth the risk, you should tell her.”
     Feeling Yuko jump off the seat beside her, Atsuko looked up to see the older girl offering her a hand.  Seeing Atsuko’s confused expression, Yuko explained her actions with a small smile.
     “It’s settled; we’re going to follow her.”
     “We?”
     Yuko smiled shyly then, a smile which Atsuko realized she’d never seen before.  “I don’t have the courage to do this on my own.”
Atsuko stood up slowly, her thoughts racing furiously.  With a small nod she met Yuko’s eyes, took her hand, and smiled.
     “Great!” Yuko exclaimed, turning to leave with Atsuko in tow, but stopping as she realized that Atsuko had not stepped forward.  “Acchan?” she asked worriedly.  “Is something wrong?  If you’re having second thoughts then you don’t have to go.  I can ask Sayaka, or Sae, or-”
     “No,” Atsuko whispered.  “I’ll go.”  Yuko nodded as Atsuko stared at their conjoined hands, her mouth agape.  Holding Yuko’s hand had never ceased to make Atsuko’s heart flutter…

     …until now.

     She was at a loss for words.  Here she was holding hands with the girl she’d had a crush on for years and yet…. Her cheeks were burning red, she was sure, and she tried to convince herself that it was because she was holding Yuko’s hand and not from the embarrassment of her momentary stupor.  Yet the involuntary reactions she read about in love stories didn’t come; no butterflies, no heart flutters.  From her limited understanding of being in love Atsuko’s body was acting the complete opposite of how it should, given the circumstances and the knowledge that she was about to spend time alone with the girl she liked outside of work.
     Her body was reacting completely opposite of how it had when Minami had led her by the hand just two weeks earlier.
     “Acchan, are you sure you’re alright?” a concerned Yuko asked, nudging Atsuko back to reality.  Casting aside her ponderings, Atsuko nodded affirmatively and motioned for them to leave.
     As the two raced out of the theater and down the city streets, Atsuko had begun to touch on an important revelation.  However, the thought was quickly cast aside as she tried to keep pace with Yuko.  Here she was, tightly grasping Yuko’s hand with their fingers entwined, elated that the older girl had been comfortable enough with her to confide in her.  Even if she wasn’t the person that Yuko liked, in this moment Atsuko was still happy.
     Her happiness was, sadly, short-lived, for reasons that seemed to appear suddenly but, in hind-sight, were always present at her side.
_   _   _

     Yuko likes Haruna.
     This sole thought occupied Atsuko’s mind for the past twenty minutes as she and Yuko walked a few meters behind a clueless Kojima Haruna.  Stealing a glance at the girl beside her, Atsuko searched her memories for any signs of Yuko’s attraction to the tall idol, and everything suddenly made sense.  Yuko was always hanging around, if not on, Haruna.  Her cries of, “Nyan Nyan!” reverberated throughout the theater hallways on a daily manner.  No matter how many times Haruna had smacked her over the head, Yuko always returned to her side.  She had declared her love constantly but the others, including the object of her unrequited love, had always assumed she was playing around.
     It had always been the truth, and now Yuko was on the way to having her heart broken.  Stealing another glance at Yuko, Atsuko could see that the older girl’s normally carefree smile had been replaced with a grim one.  It was obvious that Yuko knew she was about to witness something most people would try to avoid seeing.
     “This way,” Yuko said simply with a nudge on Atsuko’s arm.  Atsuko looked up to see Haruna turning into a crowded entertainment area filled with shops famous for their pastries, among other things.  A small movie theater stood next door, another popular location among youth.  They hid themselves behind the ticket queue, watching as Haruna waited against the wall of a quaint bakery.
     “Look, it’s the midget captain,” Yuko whispered, grabbing Atsuko’s hand to gain her attention.  Atsuko looked up to see Minami greet Haruna with a hug.  She felt her chest tighten as she watched the scene, though she was unsure as to why.
     “I guess she’s meeting with Takamina before she meets her date,” Atsuko offered, though she knew the words wouldn’t bring Yuko any comfort.
     “I guess… you’re right,” Yuko said with a sigh.  “We’ll have to wait for them to leave, and then we’ll pick up tailing Nyan Nyan again.  Is something wrong?”
     Atsuko’s brow was furrowed in thought, and she hesitated a moment before shaking her head no.  It couldn’t be, could it? No… I’m one of her best friends; Minami would definitely have told me about something like this.   Watching Yuko move away to wait on a nearby bench, Atsuko gathered her nerves and sat down beside the older girl.  Unknowingly, she began playing with the hem of her skirt.
     “There really is something bothering you, eh?” Yuko teased with a kind smile, propping her arms on the back of the bench.  “We have some time, so spill.”
     Ceasing her ministrations, Atsuko stared at the ground between her feet.  “It’s just… why did they come here separately?  It’s late; why didn’t they just leave the theater together?  It feels like they’re hiding something.  If Kojiharu really was dating a guy, I don’t think Minami would support it.”  It feels like my heart is sinking deeper in my chest.  Is this… jealousy?  Why?
     There was a moment’s pause before Yuko jumped up from her seat, causing Atsuko to look up quickly.  “You’re right, again,” Yuko said in a sad matter-of-fact tone before looking down at Atsuko with a thin smile.  “I knew there was a reason I brought you.”
     There it is again, her fake smile.
     “Pardon?” the younger girl said, looking up in confusion.
     “Takamina is the answer.”
     “Huh?” Atsuko gasped and she could feel her chest tightening.  “Takamina is the answer to what?”
     Yuko shook her head negatively before she spoke again.  “It’s not something I can tell you; you’ll have to see with your own eyes.”
     Following Yuko curiously, though a bit reluctantly, Atsuko stopped in a position where she could see through the bakery’s window.  Haruna and Minami were seated side by side in the corner, smiling over their conversation.  The two stalkers outside watched as subtle touches, smiles, blushes (mainly Takamina), smacks in the head (received by Takamina), and bites of food were shared amongst their prey.  And then…

    …and then, Haruna and Minami stood up.  Brief words were exchanged, Minami again turned bright red, Haruna glanced around quickly (though a bit too quickly, as she didn’t spot the spies in the window), and then they shared the shortest of kisses.  Haruna laughed and left the bakery, followed by an embarrassed Minami a moment later.  The two went their separate ways without second thoughts.

    …and then, Atsuko reached an unsteady hand up to her eyes to wipe away the tears that had gathered there.  Her heart was racing and her knees were weak.  Why am I crying?  Why do I suddenly feel ill?  The sound of someone sniffling reached her ears, and immediately Atsuko remembered why she was standing outside a café spying on two of her good friends.

     “Yuko…” Atsuko began, her voice failing her as she felt herself begin to lose control of her tears.
     “Heh,” Yuko laughed with a wry smile, wiping the tears from her eyes.  “I suppose that if anyone were good enough for Nyan Nyan, the captain would most certainly qualify.”
     Yuko sure is strong; it’s one of the reasons I like her.  “Yuko…” Atsuko repeated, reaching a hand out to comfort the older girl.  She was shunned as Yuko stepped out of her grasp.
     “Sorry, Acchan, I kind of just want to be left alone now, na mean?”  Atsuko could only nod in reply.  “Thanks for coming with me,” Yuko continued, her voice beginning to give way to her emotions.  “I’m not going to give up, though.  Your captain’s a tough rival, but I’m just going to try even harder.”  Yuko turned and took a few steps before pausing.  With a visible sigh she stopped and turned back around to face Atsuko.
     “Acchan, don’t tell anyone what we saw today, okay?”
     There came another nod as Atsuko dropped her gaze to the ground.
     “And Acchan,” Yuko said, regaining the younger girl’s attention.  “You don’t give up either now, ya hear?”
     “Huh?” What does she mean? Isn’t she the one that just had her heart broken?
     With a small laugh at Atsuko’s ignorance, Yuko granted the other girl a coy smile and a wave before turning around and leaving.  It was then that Atsuko realized she had since lost control of her tears.
     Why? she wondered, yet again reaching a hand up to her eyes.  Why am I crying?  Why does my heart hurt so much?
     Her mind tried to reason with her.
     Perhaps it was because she had seen Yuko, her crush, cry so honestly.
     Or maybe it was because she was not the one that Yuko liked.
     Not satisfied with those answers, Atsuko’s heart quickly took over.
     Or maybe, just maybe, it was because she was not the one that Minami liked.
     Images suddenly began to flood her mind as she watched a tear slide down her finger.  As Yuko had always done to Haruna, Atsuko had always done to Minami.  Minami, who was nothing short of kind, caring, reliable, funny, protective... the list was endless.   Minami, who had always been beside her, supporting her.  Atsuko had laden her best friend with the burden of her unrequited crush, as well as hugs, [attempted] playful kisses, ‘dates’, and friendly declarations of love.  At those times, Atsuko had never considered the possibility that her heart had truly meant something more.
     Now she began to wonder.
     If those things meant that Yuko loves Haruna, did that mean that I love Minami?
     Minutes later, amidst her tears and confusion, Atsuko switched over to auto-pilot, and she did the first thing that came to mind:

     She ran to Minami.
_

     Atsuko found herself in Minami’s room, her knees held tightly to her chest as she sat waiting against Minami’s bed.  She had apparently beaten Minami home, as Mrs. Takahashi had invited her inside and allowed the visibly distraught Atsuko into her daughter’s room to wait.  The elder Takahashi had cast the same worried look that Minami usually did, and Atsuko couldn’t help but to smile at their similarities.
     “Thank you; I’ll be fine waiting here,” Atsuko had whispered, and Mrs. Takahashi left after one last worried glance.
     In truth, Atsuko was anything but fine.  Her heart and mind were in turmoil.  Yuko, the girl that Atsuko had liked for years, had a crush on another girl that was not Atsuko.  In the wake of this revelation, Atsuko had come to doubt her own feelings, and was hesitant to admit that she no longer harbored a crush for Yuko.
     Atsuko rested her head on her arms as she felt tears begin to build up in her eyes yet again.  She was afraid of her own feelings, because if it was not Yuko causing the pains in her heart then there was only one other person it could be.  She was afraid because if it was indeed that person that she liked, she was again out of luck, as that person also had someone special already.  She was afraid because her newly discovered feelings could, if found out, bring an end to something that over the years had blossomed into a beautiful friendship.
     Most of all, however, Atsuko was afraid of how weak she was, because in her moment of sadness and confusion she had once again come to rely on Minami.
     Minami had always supported her, no matter the circumstances.
     Minami had always stayed strong, no matter the challenge.
     Minami had, quite possibly, always been the one dearest to her.
     And now, she had to prevent herself from falling completely in love with Minami, because her best friend was already taken, swept from right under her nose.
     No, Atsuko thought with a sad shake of her head.  That’s not right.  I don’t have to prevent myself from falling in love with her.

    I need to fall out of love with her.

     Sighing, Atsuko glanced around the room as she quickly deemed such a thing impossible.
     Why did I come here, of all places?  Why did I run to the source of my problem?
     “Acchan, what’s wrong?” she heard a newly arrived Minami ask.  However, Atsuko could not bring herself to look at her friend, and could only let out some quiet sobs in reply.  “Atsuko,” Minami whispered her name this time, and Atsuko grew stiff as she felt Minami place a hand on her shoulder.  “How can I help you if you won’t tell me what’s wrong, Acchan?”
     Atsuko furiously wiped at her eyes with the back of her sleeves. “I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have come here,” she whispered, attempting to stand.  However, a strong grip on her arm prevented her from doing so.
     “Acchan, there’s obviously something upsetting you.  Won’t you please tell me?”  Minami’s voice was pleading but Atsuko remained seated on the floor and refused to meet Minami’s gaze.  She heard Minami sigh and sit down beside her, and a moment later Atsuko’s heart skipped a beat as Minami’s hand slipped into hers.
     Minami…
     “Please tell me what’s wrong, Acchan.  I don’t like to see you crying like this.”
     Again Atsuko could not trust herself to speak.
     “Is this about your crush, by any chance?”
     It was purely a guess but it hit the mark.  Atsuko gave a small nod, partly impressed that the love-ignorant Minami would be able to sense such a matter.  Minami quickly reacted to her simple gesture.
     “Did you confess to her?  Did she reject you?”
     Slowly shaking her head ‘no’, Atsuko could feel her heart tightening in her chest.  Minami was being overly nice to her, as expected.  Her caring actions did little to help Atsuko with her woes, however, because they only served to remind Atsuko of just how much she had likely fallen for the smaller girl.
     “I don’t love her anymore,” Atsuko had whispered, a sound barely audible.  It was better to start discussing her reasons for being there rather than bring Minami to worry even longer.
     “I’m sorry, Acchan; could you repeat that?”
     “I realized today that… I don’t love her anymore.  At least, not… like that.”
     There was a small pause before Minami spoke again.  “What makes you say that?” she asked, her voice a bit more at ease, though it hid a hint of sadness.
     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.”  The frustration in Atsuko’s voice could not be denied.
     “And?”
     “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?  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.”
    Liar.  You’re in love with Haruna.  As an image from earlier drifted to mind, Atsuko could no longer control her sobs.
     “Wait, what now?  What did I say now?” Minami asked in a panic.  “Atsuko, there’s more behind your tears, isn’t there?” Minami released her hands, and before Atsuko could grieve the loss of touch her heart skipped another beat as she felt her friend gently wipe her tears away.
     Please stop, Minami.  You’re too kind.  I can’t be in love with you.  You already love someone else and I don’t want to lose your friendship.
     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.”
     “More than you ever loved her?” Minami asked with a sigh, and Atsuko replied with a quiet ‘yes’, flopping to her side to rest her head in Minami’s lap.  It was a position they had been in many times before, but this time Atsuko’s heart was beating wildly.  The realization of her feelings now made all of their interactions different.
     “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.”
      “What’s the problem then, Acchan?”
     Atsuko stiffened once again.  The problem is that it’s you, and you’re taken.   “This person I like is already in a relationship,” she managed to reply in a low, monotonous voice.
     “Oh.”  The simple answer and Minami’s unspoken thoughts behind it hit Atsuko’s heart with a thud.
     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…”+

     The familiar song reached Atsuko’s ears and her sniffling began to subside under Minami’s soothing touch.  The song was an older one, but one that Minami would often sing, and Atsuko always believed that it was perfectly suitable to Minami’s voice and style.
     “Feeling better?” Minami asked, ceasing her song.
     “Un,” Atsuko grunted, not daring to meet Minami’s eyes.
     “About what you said… I don’t think you should do that,” Minami said quietly, regaining Atsuko’s attention.  “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 before mumbling, “We’re not supposed to have romantic relationships, anyways.”
     Acchan nodded and it grew silent yet again.  Minami’s words brought to mind the conversation she’d had with Yuko.  Acchan herself had advised Yuko to wish for the best for her secret love.  After their adventure, Yuko had returned the favor in advising Acchan to never give up.  Acchan had not understood the older girl’s words at the time, but now she knew.
     “I love you, Minami,” she stated confidently.  I really do; thank you for always being so kind to me.
     “Haha.  I know, Atsuko.  You tell me that all the time.  We’re best friends, remember?” she heard Minami reply.  Right; just best friends.  Atsuko let a small, guilty smile grace her lips as she felt Minami reclaim her hand.  Again her heart leapt against her chest.
     “You know, speaking of best friends,” Atsuko began teasingly, “I think Tomochin and I were wrong about you.  You can actually be pretty helpful when it comes to these matters.”
     “And what’s that supposed to mean?” Minami asked with a playful scowl.
     “Nothing; nothing at all,” Atsuko replied, an honest smile gracing her lips.
     Minami returned the smile in kind.  “You want to spend the night?  It’s already pretty late.”
     Atsuko gave another nod and the two pried themselves from the floor and quickly prepared for bed.  They were settled for only a few minutes before Atsuko’s curiosity took over.  Whether or not she chose to pursue Minami, she still had unanswered questions.  She had told Minami all of her love troubles, and yet she had not noticed when Minami had experienced love herself.  Even more importantly, Minami had not told her.
     Does Minami not trust me?
     Should I give up on this one-sided love while I can?
     “Minami…” she whispered.
     “Hmm?” was Minami’s 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?”
     There was a long pause before Minami finally answered.  “I thought I was in love once,” she whispered.
     Hearing this, Atsuko rolled over to face Minami directly.  “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.
     So… she won’t tell me after all.
     “But…” Minami mumbled.  Her voice trailed off, so Atsuko urged her on.
     “But?”
     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. 
     What does she mean?  I saw her with Haruna; doesn’t she consider what they have love? 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 there was a hint of sadness hidden in her voice. “What gives you that idea?” she asked, and Atsuko sighed as she watched Minami grow red-faced.
     Her face tells the truth, and I saw them together.  Why can’t she tell me?
     Does she really not trust me?
     “It’s nothing.  I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked,” Atsuko apologized as she settled back into her covers and turned her back to Minami.
     “Acchan?” Minami’s voice was tinged with remorse and curiosity.
     “Minami,” Atsuko stated firmly.  This isn’t good; now I’m jealous and a bit angry and she thinks I’m mad at her.  “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.”
     “Thanks, Atsuko.”
     Atsuko didn’t have to look at Minami to see the smile on her friend’s face.
     It’s still all so new to me, but I think that I really do love you, Minami.
     But you love Haruna, so I'll just have to find joy in simply being your best friend.
End Chapter 2, Part 2
+This song's legal information will be disclosed at a later time.

Thank you all for reading!

Woohoo, an update. (And there was much rejoicing.)

Indeed, Atsuko's crush was Yuko.  That was my lame offering to all the AtsuYuu fans out there. (This story has everything.  A little TakaTomo, a little TakaHaru, a little AtsuYuu; but ultimately, it is Atsumina with a touch of Kojiyuu.)

It will likely take just as long until the next update as it did this time.  I've had a bit of inspiration for one of my other stories (not AKB), so I've been working on it a lot more than Portraits.  Don't worry; I'll never abandon this story.

Until next time.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 12:49:38 AM by Hitobo »

Offline Haruko

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 2
« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2012, 07:20:30 AM »
well well yeah new chapter.. oww so many things happen.. cute atsumina scene now atsuko you need to fight for your husband.. like yuko :D..

I wanna know what takamina and haruna talk.. and why haruna kiss minami.. just curious..

Updated soon thanx

Offline iloveakb48

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 2
« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2012, 01:31:46 PM »
@haruko i think the haruna and takamina's talk is in chapter one part 2:-)






I love how you write !!!please update :bow: soon.
i love akb48!!!!

Offline kahem

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 2
« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2012, 04:51:48 PM »
Poor Acchan and Yuko T_T
I'm with them! Ganbatte!

Offline Hitobo

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 2
« Reply #48 on: June 04, 2012, 09:13:35 PM »
     “Minami,” Atsuko stated firmly.  //This isn’t good; now I’m jealous and a bit angry and she thinks I’m mad at her.//  “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.”
     “Thanks, Atsuko.”
     Atsuko didn’t have to look at Minami to see the smile on her friend’s face.
     //It’s still all so new to me, but I think that I really do love you, Minami.
     But you love Haruna, so I'll just have to find joy in simply being your best friend.//

Portraits
An AKB48 Fan Fiction
Chapter 2, Part 3

_   _   _   _   _

     Atsuko took Minami’s words to heart; she would take time to decide her true feelings.  She dedicated herself to spending even more time with Minami (though work often hindered her plans), hoping to determine whether or not she really did like her best friend as something more, and if so, whether she ever stood a chance with her.  They would only grow closer and Atsuko stood determined to always be with Minami, even if only as her friend.
     Then, just a month after Atsuko’s love revelation and subsequent yearnings, (a month believing that Minami would never, could never, be hers) she received positive news from her ex-crush, a girl that had since become a closer friend, confidant, and relationship advisor.

_   _   _   _   _

     For Atsuko, today could not grow any worse.  She had woken up late, only to discover that it was going to rain all day, meaning her bed head hair was not going to behave.  Leaving her house in a hurry, she missed the first train and was subsequently late to the studio.  Worst of all was that when Atsuko arrived, Minami was already busy organizing the start of practice, so she would not be able to spend those few precious moments alone with Minami.
     “You’re late,” a voice teased from behind her as Atsuko entered the studio.  She turned around to find a grinning Yuko with her hands on her hips.
     “Hey, Yuko,” Atsuko greeted glumly.  She couldn’t help but to spare a small smile, however, at the irony of their friendship.  Yuko was the very girl on whom Atsuko had had a crush for years, and throughout that time the two were merely friends.  However, the two were now very close friends after having their hearts broken together.
     “Wait, why are you here?” Atsuko asked, mildly confused, only to immediately realize the idiocy of her question.  Team A had a scheduled performance today, which gave Yuko a 99% chance of seeing (and harassing) Haruna.  “Kojiharu must be around here somewhere,” Atsuko stated as she glanced around the room.
     “Believe me, I’ll see to Kojipa in due time,” Yuko said, wriggling her brow.  “Right now, though, we need to talk.”
     Atsuko, startled by Yuko’s serious tone, headed for a more secluded location.  “What’s wrong?”
     “Nothing, actually.”
     “Explain,” Atsuko demanded, crossing her arms on her chest.
     Yuko beamed, her eyes sparkling.  “They’re not dating.”
     “Who?”
     “You know very well who.”
     Atsuko shook her head in disbelief.  “A kiss like that and they’re not dating?  That’s a bit too optimistic to think, even for you, Yuko.”
     Yuko gave a small snicker.  “That’s just it, though.  What we witnessed last month was the break up.”
     “How do you know this?” Atsuko asked, mildly shocked.  Her arms dropped to her sides.
     “Eh, I have my methods.”
     “So…”
     Yuko grabbed Atsuko’s hands excitedly.  “So, in other words, they were dating, but now they’re not.  And for what reasons did they break up?”
     “I don’t know; why?”
     Yuko faltered, and dropped Atsuko’s hands with a sheepish smile.  “Well, actually, that much I don’t know yet, but do you know what this means?”
     “Not really,” Atsuko sighed.
     “This means that not only are both of our respective crushes available, but both of them are obviously open to dating another member!  This is super good for us!  Acchan, it’s time to chase after love wholeheartedly!”  Yuko hugged Atsuko tightly before running off with a big smile, no doubt in search of Haruna.
     Atsuko was stunned, but she couldn’t help but to let Yuko’s excitement and enthusiasm get the better of her.  Most importantly, Minami had been telling the truth that night when she told Atsuko she was not dating anyone.  Atsuko’s doubts that Minami did not trust her were without merit.
     Perhaps today won’t prove to be so bad after all.
_   _   _   _   _

     Atsuko couldn't help but to wonder how fond Minami was of her.  The other idol proved to still be rather dense when it came to matters of the heart.  Though not wanting to be too obvious, since unwanted feelings could push Minami away from her, Atsuko would give small hints from time to time.  Unfortunately, those hints went seemingly unnoticed. 
     They went to see many movies together, Minami’s smile afterwards never ceasing to bring one to Atsuko’s face.  (After all, Atsuko was happy simply to see Minami happy.)  Meals were often spent with each other, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Shopping trips multiplied.  Atsuko took it upon herself to subtly show Minami more affection.  The touches increased; the hugs increased; the smiles meant just for Minami increased.
     Atsuko had no doubts about her feelings; she felt her heart growing ever fonder of Minami.  Through her affections, she wanted to prove to Minami just how much she appreciated her.

_   _   _   _   _

     On an ordinary spring evening the members of AKB48 found themselves at a resort, spending time there to record one of the documentaries for their latest release.  All day they’d been followed by camera crews throughout their activities.  Lunch, games, meetings; even the bath changing room was no longer private.  Last night they had been filmed until the last one fell asleep.
     Tonight, however, belonged to them.  Being young girls, the number one activity they all had in mind was gossip.  Music, fashion, shopping, and, dare they say, love; they could spend hours chatting about anything and nothing at all.  As soon as the last staff member had left, they quickly grouped their futons together and piled atop one another.
     Atsuko sat between Tomochin and Mariko, the three eager to commence gabbing.  All were equipped with the latest editions of their favorite fashion magazines.  Others gathered around the three, armed with their own magazines and gossip.  Glancing around the growing group, the three fashionable members shared whispers and then a devious smirk before standing up and gathering the others’ attention.
     “Hey, everybody, listen up!” Atsuko shouted, successfully gaining quiet in the room.
     “We officially declare tonight a girls’ night!” Tomochin added, earning cheers from those gathered around them.
     “That being said….” Mariko initiated.
     “You,” Atsuko said, pointing at Minami.
     Instantly Minami’s classic fail expression adorned her features.  “Eh?  Me? What did I do now?” she whimpered.
     Ignoring her questions, Mariko pointed out the next victim.  “You.”
     “This can’t be good,” the indicated Sayaka grunted, granting the others a glimpse of her gorilla characteristic.  “I think I know where this is going.”
     Tomochin smirked and pointed a sultry finger in Sae’s direction.  “And finally: you.”
     “Nope; this isn’t good,” Sayaka confirmed as Sae stood as dumbfounded as Minami.
     “Sorry, you three, but…” Atsuko started with a shrug.
     “… No boys allowed,” the three instigators chorused.  They stood with their arms crossed, denying the three access to the gossip group.  The other members gathered around them quickly erupted in laughter as they watched the scene unfold.
     “Ah, c’mon, I’m not a guy!” Minami pouted, collapsing to the ground.
     Sayaka studied the three women before her.  “Are you really not going to do anything until we leave?” she asked, testing the waters.
     “That’s correct,” Mariko answered as the other two nodded their agreement.
     “Alright, fine.  We’ll leave.  It’s obvious you’re up to no good.” Sayaka conceded, not wanting to make matters worse.  “Let’s go, you two.”
     Minami stood and glared at the opposition.  “Fine, but I go under protest.”  She turned and took two steps toward the door before quickly turning back around.  “You, come with us please,” she said as she pointed at Yukirin, who quickly overreacted.
     “Me?  Why?”
     Sayaka stepped up beside Minami.  “I see where you’re going with this, Takamina.  A three captains’ meeting while we have the chance, huh?”  Seeing Yuki’s confused glance at Sae, Sayaka quickly thought up an excuse for the other exiled girl’s presence.  “Just ignore the fact that she’ll be with us; we can’t leave her unsupervised, unfortunately,” she said with a teasing smile.
     “Hey!”  Sae shouted as she jumped up, having finally recovered from her initial stupor.
     “Alright, I’ll go,” Yukirin agreed, standing from the main group and walking to join the ‘boys’.  “But, Sayaka, we don’t need to ignore her.  On the contrary…”  She paused, turning to Sae with a sinister smile.  All present gulped in fear for Sae’s safety.  “There’s no need to ignore her when we can put her to good use.”
     “Great idea!” Sayaka exclaimed happily, grabbing Sae by the collar before she had a chance to flee.  “She can start as our runner.”
     Shaking her head at their childish antics, Minami turned to the door with a sigh.  “Alright, let’s go.  The ‘ladies’ have requested their alone time.”  The others watched as the quartet walked away, Sayaka dragging a pleading Sae behind her.  Conversation began once again soon after the doors slid shut.
     “Wasn’t that a little harsh?” Yuko asked quietly, plopping down on a futon beside Atsuko.  “Here I thought Takamina was your best friend and more, and now you’re sending her away so easily?  It’s only natural that I’d believe you’d enjoy a sleepover with her.  Ostracizing her is what you call chasing after love wholeheartedly?”
     Realizing Yuko’s implication, Atsuko felt her face flush before answering.  “She is my best friend.  And it’s not what you think.”
     “Then what is it?” a newly arrived Haruna asked, visibly upset with the three for their treatment towards her friends.  Despite Haruna’s frustration, Yuko was soon attached to the spacey idol.
     “It’s a surprise party planning committee for Takamina’s birthday,” Tomochin answered.  “We needed an effective method to get her out of the room.”
     “And the others?”
     “Unfortunate but necessary victims,” Mariko explained with a smirk.  “I’m sure they won’t mind after we fill them in later.”
     Yuko shot a scolding glance at the three plotters.  “I don’t think Sae-chan is going to be okay.”
     Tomochin shrugged.  “She can blame Takamina for that later.  She’s the one that requested that black Yukirin join them.”
     “Yes; that was an unexpected development,” Atsuko stated with a shake of her head, casting aside disturbing thoughts about Sae-chan’s safety.  “I’m sure that Yukirin and Sayaka were just playing around, and if they weren’t, then I trust Takamina will keep them from doing anything too awful.  Now then, let’s get to planning, shall we?”
     “I leave the planning to you all,” Yuko said, detaching herself from Haruna with a mischievous smirk.  “I’m curious to see what the ‘boys’ are up to.”  With a proud smile she patted Atsuko on her way out of the room.  The pat was a message: I’m glad to see you haven’t given up.
_

     “Hey Takamina, would you come with me for a second?” Atsuko asked with a nervous smile as she glanced around at the others at the party.  She was relieved to see that no one was paying any attention in their direction.
     It was two weeks later, and the party had proven to be a success.  Many of the other members had come to celebrate, and Minami was elated to have some many friends with her on her birthday.
     Minami beamed up at Atsuko.  “Yeah, sure.  I still can’t believe you organized this, Acchan.  I never suspected a thing!  It was great; thanks!”
     “You’re welcome.”  Taking advantage of the opportunity, Atsuko led Minami by the hand towards a secluded corner, away from the curious eyes of the others present at the party.  She was happy that Minami was happy; the shorter girl’s excitement and bright smile were more than enough reward for her hard work in organizing the party.
     “Really, thank you!” Minami replied happily, looking up at Atsuko curiously as the two stopped in a secluded corner.  “So, what did you need?”
     Atsuko shook her head.  “I don’t need anything.  I just… have another present for you.”
     “Ah, this party was more than enough; you don’t need to give me any…thing...else.”
     Minami stood shocked as Atsuko leaned down and kissed her, her lips grazing the corner of Minami’s.
     “Happy Birthday, Minami,” Atsuko whispered red-faced, unable to look Minami in the eye.
     “Wh-what was that for?” Minami asked, recovering from her stupor a few seconds later.
     Atsuko gave a small smile and stuck out her tongue teasingly.  “I told you, it was a birthday present.  C’mon, let’s get back to the party.”
     “Yeah, let’s!” Minami agreed with a nod and a small laugh, accepting the excuse without a second thought.
     The two returned to the others, and even though Minami was her normal self the rest of the night, seemingly unperturbed by the ‘gift’ she’d received, Atsuko’s heart raced wildly throughout the evening.  She had chickened out in that moment, her lips coming to rest only at the corner of Minami’s, but for Atsuko it was more than enough.
_   _   _

     The evening, in Atsuko’s opinion, had been nothing short of wonderful.
     Due to her busy film schedule, nearly two months had passed with nothing more than impersonal contact with Minami, but tonight Atsuko finally had an evening free to spend with her secret love.  Seizing the chance, she invited Minami out to see a movie, one she was sure the other girl would not turn down.  Once together, Atsuko let the actress in her take over.
     It began in the theater.  Early on in the film Atsuko had jumped at a particular scene, an honest reaction.  However, Minami had reached a hand over to grab Atsuko’s, and from then on the crafty Atsuko was “frightened” by the film as often as possible.
     She had been acting after the film as well.  It wasn’t particularly cold outside, but there was a small chill in the air, and Atsuko had used it as an excuse to cuddle with Minami as they waited for a taxi cab.  //“It’s cold,”// she had whispered as Minami stopped humming and smiled up at her.  They stood chatting as they waited for a cab, which Minami flagged down effortlessly.  And then, just as she was getting in the cab and thinking about how late it was, Minami had surprised her, as if she’d read Atsuko’s mind.

     // “Care to spend the night?”//

     Atsuko had answered yes in a heartbeat, and now here she was in Minami’s room, its owner fast asleep just inches away.  Minami had given in to slumber not long after they’d arrived; a fact which was directly related to Atsuko’s still being awake.  She’d spent the past two hours staring at Minami’s sleeping face, studying every contour.  Her heart was pounding, because for two hours she’d been debating with her conscience.
     Atsuko’s was a tough love to have.  She loved Minami, of that she was sure.  However, as far as she knew, Minami remained clueless about how she felt.  Despite all the hints she’d given thus far, and the many more to come, Atsuko was afraid to admit that Minami had not and would not realize a thing.  More frightening was the idea that perhaps Minami had realized how Atsuko felt and was not interested.
     Why did I fall for her, of all people? Atsuko began to ponder but the answer came instantaneously.  Minami was always kind, funny, dependable, protective, and forgiving.  In Atsuko’s eyes, she possessed the best traits of humanity all rolled into one little vessel.  And while Atsuko was certain that Minami had her not so favorable points, as Minami was only human, she was certain that she would still love her.  Atsuko had heard it said that true love was indescribable, and she felt compelled to agree.
     However, Atsuko’s worries over the future state of what was at this point only a hoped for relationship were not the biggest issue plaguing her.
     No, for two hours, more than anything else, Atsuko was kept awake by the irresistible urge to kiss the girl sleeping beside her.
     Sure, I gave her a kiss at her party months ago, but…
     Atsuko returned her focus to Minami, and in that moment her resolve was broken.  Leaning over to the sleeping girl, Atsuko pressed her lips against Minami’s in a chaste kiss that sent electricity throughout her body.  The sensation was not to be enjoyed, however, as Atsuko pulled back suddenly, her hand covering her mouth in fear and disbelief.  She stared at the still slumbering Minami as tears began to form in her eyes.
     What did I just do?
     Burrowing beneath her covers, Atsuko turned her back to Minami, panic strewn across her features.
     I can’t believe I just did that.
     She heard Minami shift behind her and Atsuko’s breath caught in her throat.  That was all Minami did, however.  The other girl was still in a deep sleep, oblivious to what had occurred.

     While this love remains one-sided, I don’t think I can ever spend the night again.
_   _   _   _   _

     Despite it all, Atsuko was still a young woman in love, and young love never came without trials.  Atsuko couldn’t help but to feel jealous at times.  At other times she felt possessive.  But, did she really have the right to feel such things when the object of her desires was oblivious of it all?
   Did she have the right to love a girl that, as far as she could tell, did not love her?

_   _   _   _   _

    //“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, Atsuko.”//
     I can’t believe I asked her like that.  It’s so obvious that I was jealous.

     Atsuko sat behind stage with her head in her hands, angry at herself for being so transparent.
     But… she agreed.
     This thought brought a smile to her face.  She had taken a chance and been kindly rewarded.
     But, she thought, a sad sigh again escaping her lips, Minami probably didn’t think anything strange about it.
     “What’s up with you?” Atsuko looked up to find Tomochin standing before her, looking down at her curiously.  “I can’t tell you how many times you just switched from happy to sad in a minute.”
     “Tomochin…” Atsuko whined, reaching out to hug her friend.  “I slipped up.”
     “Takamina again?” Tomochin asked and she felt Atsuko nod in reply.  “How so?”
     “I asked her to sing a duet with me the next time.”
     Tomochin scrunched her face in confusion as she patted Atsuko’s head.  “I’m missing something.”
     “What’s there to miss?” Atsuko huffed.  “I was so obviously jealous.  And despite that, Minami remains clueless about how I feel.”
     “Ah, I see now,” Tomochin whispered, detaching Atsuko so she could sit beside her.  “I wouldn’t say you slipped up.  To be honest, it’s probably a good thing.  It helped you to finally get something off your chest.”
     Atsuko frowned.  “Yeah, but… Yuko and Haruna were there.  I’m so embarrassed.”
     “I wouldn’t worry about those two,” Tomochin stated wisely, earning a confused stare from Atsuko.  “They have their own issues to resolve.  And it was a jealous Yuko that probably instigated this whole thing somehow, am I right?”  Atsuko only stared at her in wonder now, causing Tomochin to laugh.  “Don’t worry; any jealousy you showed was probably miniscule compared to Yuko’s rant.  I’m surprised Takamina was still alive when I bumped into her just now.”
     They sat together quietly, neither really needing to say anything more.  They understood each other without relying on words.  Silent companionship was the best option; it allowed both to ponder their own situation.
     “Tomochin,” Atsuko said after a few minutes.
     “Hmm?”
     “Thank you.  I think you’re the only one that can understand the frustration I feel sometimes.”
     Tomochin looked at Atsuko’s honest smile and returned it in kind.  “You’re welcome.  Now let’s go, we’re going on soon.”
_   _   _

     Miichan watched Atsuko with eagle eyes.  In doing so, she was easily able to determine a couple things.  Atsuko had arrived that day with her head held high, her resolve strong.  There was no hesitation in her eyes.  It was obvious that she had made an important decision.  Not long after she arrived at the studio, she had pulled Minami aside to speak with her.
     Following closely behind the two, though unnoticed, Miichan was able to make her second determination.  Atsuko had since lost her courage.  She was nervous, playing at the hem of her skirt.  At this point, though, it was likely too awkward to back out.
     Not good, Miichan thought, peeking around the corner.  You can do it, Acchan!  The stalker cheered her prey, hoping that Atsuko would be able to sense her encouragement.  “Of course, I don’t yet know what it is, but I’m sure I’m about to find out.”
     Crap.  I just said that aloud, didn’t I?
     “You mean you don’t know, either?” someone whispered behind her and Miichan jumped three feet in the air, covering her mouth to prevent a yelp from escaping.
     “What the hell is wrong with you?” Miichan hissed, regaining her composure as she turned to face the intruder.  “Why are you here?”
     “I’m here for the same reason you are,” Mariko stated in a matter-of-fact tone, flicking Miichan in the forehead.
     “Damn it, that hurts!”
     Mariko smiled at Miichan’s complaint.  “I saw you sneaking after those two so I thought I’d follow.  That said, give me the low down,” she commanded, peering around the corner through a set of ‘goggles’.
     “I’m not yet sure what’s going on,” Miichan admitted, rubbing her forehead.  “They were just about to get to the serious stuff when you decided to scare the crap out of me.”
     “Acchan’s giving something to Takamina,” Mariko observed flatly, ignoring Miichan’s accusation.
     “What is it?  A kiss?  Let me see!”  Miichan demanded, pushing Mariko aside to peek around the corner.  To her dismay, the two girls being spied on were not in the midst of a lip lock.  Instead, Atsuko was pressing something small into Minami’s hand.  “It’s a key,” Miichan mumbled, “but to what?”
     “Isn’t it obvious?  It’s a key to Acchan’s house.”
     Both Miichan and Mariko jumped this time as yet another person joined the conversation unexpectedly.
     Yuko pointed across the hallway.  “I was over there, hiding around that corner,” she said with a playful smile.  “I had to creep around and do a couple backflips just to get over here unnoticed.”
     Mariko rolled her eyes at the blatant exaggeration, but Miichan seemed to have bought it.  “So it’s a key to her house, you said?”  Mariko asked, smacking Miichan out of her state of awe.
     “Oh, that’s right!” Miichan exclaimed a tad too loudly and two pairs of hands flew up to cover her mouth.  She gave a small nod to indicate that it was safe and the other two released her, though a bit hesitantly.  “I forgot Acchan just recently bought a house.”
     Mariko gave a consenting nod.  “This is a good thing.  It’s a big step forward in what some call their ‘relationship’.”
     “Exactly,” Yuko agreed, mimicking Mariko’s nod.  “Earning the key to a girl’s house is the same as earning the key to her heart.”
     “Except…” Miichan whispered, the one word enough to kill the happy atmosphere.  “This is Takamina.  She probably doesn’t think anything special about it.”
     “Oh, right,” the other two grunted in dismay. The sound of footsteps reached their ears then, and the three immediately tried to seem as if their presence there was normal.
     “Oh, hey guys,” Minami said as she rounded the corner, her voice indicating that she was a bit surprised to see them there.  “What are you doing here?”  Atsuko followed behind Minami, her face stoic.
     “We were on our way to find you two,” Mariko offered as an excuse, and the other two nodded in confirmation.
     “I see.  Well, congratulations!  You found us.  Come on, we should head back now,” Minami proposed without any hint of suspicion.
     Yuko gave a small shake of her head.  “You go on ahead without us.  We’re going to stop in the restroom.”
     “I’ll go with them,” Atsuko stated, earning worried glances from the three spies.  She watched as Minami nodded and then disappeared around the corner.
     Yuko stepped forward to look Atsuko in the eyes.  “Are you mad?” she asked in a small voice.
     “Please don’t be mad!” Miichan begged, wrapping her body around Atsuko in a tight hug.
     Atsuko shook her head.  “I’m not mad,” she said, taking her time to smile at each of the others individually.  “Knowing that you all were there helped me to go through with it.  Thank you.”
     “And?” Yuko prodded.  Miichan continued to nuzzle against Atsuko’s shoulder as Mariko raised a brow at her actions.
     “And… nothing, really.  Actually,” Atsuko paused and gave a small laugh, earning stares from her companions.  “She was embarrassed because she didn’t have anything to give me in return.”
     “Typical Takamina,” Mariko stated and the others agreed.
     Atsuko sighed.  “She wants to give me a key to her apartment now.”
     “That’s great, isn’t it?  What was the sigh for?”
     “To Minami it’s just a fair trade; a key for a key.  She thinks I gave her a key simply for use in emergencies.”
     “Well, we’ll just have to change that way of thinking,” Yuko stated, resting an arm across Atsuko’s shoulders.  “In the meantime, we really should be getting back to the others.”
     The other three agreed, and the four walked back together, goofing off as only good friends can.
_   _   _

      I shouldn’t have come here.  Minami was right; I’m bored.
     Atsuko glanced around the stadium.  It was crowded; Japan versus China had proved to be a popular match.  The players on the pitch were playing to the best of their abilities, working hard towards their dreams, and she could relate to their determination.  However, watching a soccer match was not her idea of fun.
     She sighed.  The fans that filled the stadium were screaming and cheering, but none more loudly than the trio she’d accompanied to the game.  They were seated in a section reserved for persons of their status, the midget duo jumping excitedly in the row before her.   Cheering beside her was one of the reasons Atsuko invited herself into this nightmare of an outing.
     Another sigh escaped her lips.  Atsuko thought back to earlier, when her emotions had gotten the better of her.  She (as well as everyone else present) had overheard Yuko and Minami’s intent to go out that evening.  However, Atsuko was not interested until she realized that Haruna would also be going with them.
     Though Atsuko knew there was no longer any special relationship between Minami and Haruna, and that there hadn’t been for a while now, she couldn’t help but to fear that there might be lingering feelings.  After all, the two were still very close friends.
     Atsuko liked Haruna.  She was an impressive idol.  Though she gave the impression of being a dunce, she was also intelligent in her own way.  She was fun to hang around with, surprisingly good with advice, and one of the kindest people that Atsuko had ever known.  It was because of this that Atsuko hated these occasional instances in which she was jealous of Haruna.  She hated this stewing jealousy, of which Haruna remained completely oblivious.  Through these instances, however, Atsuko was beginning to discover that where Minami was involved, her heart always won over her mind.
     It was because of said impulse that Atsuko reacted the way she had earlier.  At the time she asked to join their outing, she had cast a glance at Haruna which Yuko noticed.  It was Yuko that had convinced Minami to invite Atsuko. 
     Is Yuko also uncomfortable with seeing Haruna and Minami together?  Or… is she trying to help me, to allow me the chance to see that there is no longer anything between them?
     “Darn it, they were so close that time,” an out-of-breath Haruna said as she sat beside Atsuko.  Atsuko couldn’t help but to look at the other idol as if she were some sort of alien.  Never had Atsuko imagined Haruna to be the type to enjoy a soccer match to this extent.  “Is something wrong?” Haruna asked, noticing Atsuko’s strange stare.
     “No, not really, it’s just… I never took you to be a soccer fan, Kojiharu.”
     “Is that so? I suppose most people would think that way.  As it is, though, I’m the one that usually invites Yuu-chan to the games.  She started bringing Takamina a couple matches ago.”
     “Oh.”
     “Feeling out of place?”
     “A bit, yes,” Atsuko admitted with a shy smile.
     “Well, Takamina did warn you,” Haruna said with a teasing smile.
     Atsuko nodded.  “I know; I should have listened.”
     Haruna gave a small, melodic laugh.  “Don’t worry.  I used to simply enjoy watching a soccer match.  Now I love it.”
     The admission didn’t surprise Atsuko.  “I can tell; you were just cheering louder than anyone else here.”
     “That’s because I want to do all I can to help them win. Believe me; I’m sure that you’ll grow to enjoy a match just as much.”
     Atsuko shook her head. “I don’t think so.”
     A sly grin graced Haruna’s lips.  “Just wait; when Japan scores, the rewards are definitely worth it.”
     “Huh?”
     Just then the stadium erupted in cheers, and the midgets one row down jumped up from their seats excitedly, joining in the celebration.
     “We scored!  We scored!”
     “Japan is winning!”
     Atsuko watched as Haruna’s gaze shifted from the players on the field to the two girls celebrating in the row before them.  It was then that she realized a few very important things.

     Firstly, Haruna didn’t come to the games simply to watch the match.

     Secondly, Haruna was focused on Yuko’s radiant smile, not Minami’s.

     Lastly, Atsuko knew she wouldn’t mind attending another game with Minami.
_   _   _

     Atsuko was staring at the picture on her phone in disbelief.
     Despite her devotion to Minami, Atsuko was no stranger to the skinship that was prevalent amongst the members.  The desire to give and receive attention was only natural.  Though most of her affections were directed towards Minami, Atsuko had a lot of love to share with the other members.
     There were certain members that she frequented: Sae, Miichan, Jurina...  and she had her occasional victims as well; Tomochin and [perhaps ironically] Yuko were a part of this group.
     To her dismay, Minami never reacted the way she’d hoped.  Just once she wanted Minami to react when she caught Atsuko being overly friendly with other members, but it was almost as if Minami didn’t care.  For her part, Atsuko was always a little jealous when another member engaged in [attempted] skinship with Minami.

     All of that now seemed to have changed, however, with a certain ‘marriage’.

     Though Takahashi Minami was Atsuko’s secret true love, Minegishi Minami was quickly becoming Atsuko’s pretend love.  The two had once declared their marriage, playing at being newlyweds as they posed for pictures of the happy ‘occasion’.  The other members had joined in the fun, congratulating the two on their union.  Even their fans had played along, wishing the two the best of luck after Atsuko mentioned the ‘marriage’ on her blog.
     It had all been done in fun without any seriousness behind it.  Atsuko had decided to relive the memory and began looking at the pictures again as the group waited backstage.  There was nothing out of the ordinary in the images until something in the last picture caught her eye and Atsuko’s heart skipped a beat.
     There she was in Miichan’s arms, the two of them posing for the camera.  Minami was in the scene as well, kneeling in the foreground with an unhappy scowl.  Atsuko had seen the picture a dozen times before, always thinking that Minami was putting on an act for the camera.  Yet as she looked at Minami’s image once again, this time she somehow instinctively knew Minami was conveying something else.
     In the picture they had taken right before the one in question, Minami was absent.  Reflecting on when the photos were taken, Atsuko could remember that while the first photo was being taken, some of the other girls had tried to convince Minami to join in the fun by crashing the picture.  She had adamantly refused, and by the time the second photo was taken they had only succeeded in getting her to squat in the foreground. 
     Why hadn’t I noticed then?  She didn’t want to be in the picture.  She didn’t want to be near us.
     Atsuko felt a strange, tingling sensation run down her back.
     No way... She was…
     “…jealous.  Well, maybe not quite jealous, but displeased, at least.  Congratulations,” Tomochin said after Atsuko had sought her out for a second opinion.  She hadn’t wanted to get her hopes up only to have them quickly dispelled.  After hearing Tomochin’s statement, however, Atsuko could not control her excitement.
     “You think so too?”
     Tomochin simply nodded and patted Atsuko’s head.  Atsuko stared back down at the photo in wonder.
     Perhaps, she thought as a smile crept across her lips, I might just stand a chance at love with her after all.
_   _   _

     The similarities were too strong to ignore.  Here stood Atsuko, being offered a hand by the girl she liked to go follow a certain other girl to see if she was or was not dating someone.  There was one important difference, however.  This time, when Atsuko took the hand of the girl she liked, she felt all the symptoms of love she expected to feel.  Despite how long it had been since she realized that Minami was the one that she likes, Atsuko never failed to feel her heart flutter at the touch of Minami’s hand.  (After all, the occasions when Minami was the one to initiate any such affection were few and far between.)
     As the two followed behind a clueless Kojima Haruna, watching in awe at one point as she tripped and rolled forward only to stand back up as if it was planned, Atsuko decided to ask one of the questions that had been nagging her from the start.  She knew that Minami was not the one that Haruna liked now, but Atsuko was uncertain about Minami’s feelings towards Haruna.  It was entirely possible that Minami still had feelings for the spacey idol.
     “Minami, why are we stalking Kojiharu?”
     Minami cast a glance at Atsuko before answering.  “I’m curious.  And worried, I guess.  I wonder what has brought such a smile to her face.”
     And there it is; the start to another heartbreak adventure.
     “Do you love her?”
     The question was blunt, but Minami’s step didn’t falter as they continued after Haruna.  “Of course I love her.  I love her just as much as I love you and all the others.  She’s a very dear friend.  That’s why… I care about her too much to let her risk her career for some guy.”
     This is almost exactly like last time.  Except… I don’t think I’ll have my heart broken this time.
     No… I know I won’t.   I can feel it.

     Atsuko looked down at their conjoined hands and gave Minami’s hand a light squeeze.  “Don’t worry,” she stated, pointing ahead at Haruna, who took a seat at a small bistro.  “See?”
     Minami looked forward to see Haruna greet a newly arrived Yuko, both smiling brightly.  “Oh, good.  She’s just meeting Yuko.  But… that doesn’t mean she isn’t dating somebody.”
     “Oh, she’s definitely dating somebody,” Atsuko said with a melodic laugh, finding enjoyment in Minami’s ignorance.
      “What?  Who?  You know?” Minami asked, surprised by the sudden disclosure.
     A grin graced Atsuko’s face as she pointed back across the street to the couple at the bistro.  “Yuko,” she stated simply.
     There was a silent pause between the two, and then,
     
     “WHAT?!”

     “Shh!  Be quiet!” Atsuko hissed, clamping Minami’s mouth.
      Minami batted away Atsuko’s hands.  “You mean to say that the two of them are really dating?  It’s not just fan service?”
     “It’s real.”
     Minami slowly slid to the ground behind a small hedge, a position in which she was hidden from their two friends across the street.  Atsuko sat down beside her and it didn’t take long for a bewildered Minami to rest her head on Atsuko’s shoulder.  They sat quietly for a few minutes, Minami in too much shock to speak and Atsuko not wanting to end the moment any sooner than necessary.
     “You knew this whole time, didn’t you?” Minami whispered accusingly, breaking her few minutes of silence.
     “Guilty.” Atsuko answered with a grin, finding amusement in Minami’s reactions.  “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 answered truthfully as she also stood.  You haven’t even realized how much I love you in all these years. A slight frown appeared on her face for just a fleeting second. And from what I’m told, it’s pretty obvious.  “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-”
     Movement across the street caught Atsuko’s attention and she reacted instantly.  “Quick, get down!  They’re leaving!” she said, pushing Minami back down behind the bushes while accidently socking her in the eye in the process.
     “Geez, Acchan; that hurt.”
     Oh no.
     “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 small girl.
     I can’t believe I just hit Minami.  What do I do?
     Atsuko allowed instinct to takeover, and she lightly blew on the wound she’d caused, not noticing as Minami froze in reaction to the gesture.  She cupped Minami’s cheek gingerly as she spoke.  “It’s just a scrape and a small bump, though you might end up with a bruise.  I’m so sorry, Minami.”
     Please believe me.
     “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.”
     “Ahem!”
     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.
_

     “And that’s basically it,” Atsuko neared the end of her explanation to her unhappy audience.  Yuko nodded in understanding while Haruna stared at her in disbelief.  “Minami just wanted to make sure that you hadn’t made a bad choice.  You know how she is; she worries too much for her age.”  Minami sat beside Atsuko, hiding her face in embarrassment behind a small bag of ice.
     “So, let me get this straight,” Yuko began, glancing eagerly between the two younger girls.  “Everyone in the group knows that Kojipa and I are really dating?”
     “Yuuchan, I don’t think that’s the topic that needs to be discussed right now,” Haruna scolded, smacking Yuko in the back of the head.  “What’s more important is what Takamina thinks.  She was worried enough to follow me.”
     Minami studied her hands in her lap as the other three turned to her.  After a moment to ponder, she spoke up quietly with an honest smile on her lips.  “While the rules of the group do prohibit relationships, it’s apparent that what you two share could simply be played off as fan service.  And… you two are happy together.  I don’t see any reason to not support you.  I’ll turn a blind eye, but please… be careful.  I don’t want to see either of you expelled.  I’m happy for you, honest.”
     “Alright!” Yuko exclaimed with a fist pump before latching onto Haruna.  “See, Nyan Nyan?  I knew she’d understand.”
     Atsuko felt her heart jump at Minami’s answer.  If she can support the two of them together, does that mean that I might have a chance?  Smiling innocently, she reached her hand under the table to grab Minami’s.  To her surprise, instead of pulling away, Minami responded by first going stiff and then tightening her grip.  The four lingered around, chatting amicably over the din of passersby.  Atsuko played with Minami’s hand, enjoying the strange reactions she evoked from the other girl.  When it came time to leave Atsuko released Minami’s hand begrudgingly, but Minami surprised her by reaching down and reinstituting the contact with a small blush on her face.
     “So, Acchan,” Yuko began with a teasing smile as she walked up beside Atsuko, catching the stunned idol off-guard.  With Haruna on her other side, she leaned towards Atsuko to whisper, “You’re becoming quite a seasoned stalker, eh?”
_   _   _

     “Ahem.  Maeda-san?”
     “Eh?”  Atsuko’s face immediately grew red as she realized that she had spaced out yet again, on live television, no less.
     “Oh, good.  You are still with us,” the middle-aged male host joked with a chuckle.  “We were beginning to worry that you’d been spirited away.”
     “I’m sorry,” Atsuko offered with a small bow.  “I got caught up in my thoughts.  What was the question?”  She was embarrassed, to be sure.  Her appearance today was meant to help promote her latest show, yet the interview so far had been more about her personal life than the drama.
     “I asked if there was anyone that you liked.  Your character is a young lady in love, but as everyone is well aware, within AKB48, mutual love is prohibited but unrequited love is acceptable.  Is there anyone that has unknowingly managed to capture your attention, Maeda-san?”
    That’s why I spaced out; he asked about Minami.  Well, not by name, but still…
     It used to be that Atsuko could keep a straight poker face when anyone mentioned love in her interviews.  Lately, however, she’d had trouble staying focused at the mere mention of Minami’s name, never mind the girl herself.  She blamed this issue on Minami, too.  When they had spied on Haruna and Yuko a while back (and been caught), Atsuko sensed something rather promising.  While Atsuko sat playing with Minami’s hand under the table that day, whether intentional or not, Minami had sent signals back. 
     That alone had been enough to send Atsuko’s mind into chaos, but there was also their movie ‘date’ not long ago.  After the reactions she’d gained spying on Haruna and Yuko, Atsuko had decided to be a bit more forward in her affections during their ‘date’, even calling it as such.  Minami’s behavior in response to her actions had been rather… peculiar, and her reactions in the cab had been unusual.
     “No.  I haven’t met the ‘one’ yet,” Atsuko lied, giving her standard answer to the question.  After all, nobody wanted an idol whose heart was no longer available.
     “I think that smile on your face tells otherwise, Maeda-san, but we’ll move on.”  The host gave a small, teasing smile, and Atsuko could only reply with a blush and a grateful nod as she watched the eccentric host shift in his seat before posing his next question.  “You’re a very successful actress now, but everyone needs to start somewhere.  One of the first dramas that you ever starred in was AKB48’s “Majisuka Gakuen”.  Please tell us:  As a new, young actress, which scene from that drama did you find to be the most difficult to film?”
     “The most difficult?” Atsuko repeated, tilting her head cutely as she pondered the question.
     “Was it perhaps one of the big fight scenes, with all the choreography?”
     Atsuko shook her head.  “No, it wasn’t that.”  The answer had come to her naturally.  “There was a scene in which I had to run into the hospital crying and watch helplessly as my best friend died before me.  I didn’t like that scene, having to see Takamina die before me.  It was too realistic.  All I could think at the time was, ‘Please, don’t ever let me have to go through this in real life.’  It took a lot of focus to actually get through that scene.”
     “And by ‘Takamina’, you mean fellow AKB48 member Takahashi Minami, correct?”
     “Yes.”
     “We’re going to take a short break.  When we return, Maeda-san will talk more about her new drama.”
     Did she even know she was doing those things?  Does she remember?  Do I actually stand a chance?  Should I somehow inquire about it?  It is Minami, though; perhaps it would be safer to just leave things as they are.
     As the host stepped away to speak with the director, Atsuko watched as the image of Minami super-imposed on the screen before her was removed.
       I miss her.  I haven’t seen her since that 'date'.  Thankfully the ‘thank you’ party is tonight, but since it is…
     The host returned to his seat then and Atsuko gave him a polite smile.  The two watched as one of the staff began a countdown.
     …this is going to be a long interview.

End Chapter 2, Part 3

Long time no update.  I hope the wait wasn't too agonizing.  How are all of you?

Nothing too terribly exciting this time; basically just a lot of everyday scenes for character development.  There are quite a few scenes in this Part 3 that correlate with Chapter 1 Part 3.

The next update will end Chapter 2, so it might prove to be a bit more entertaining.

I thank all of you for waiting patiently for this update.

P.S.@ iloveakb48: "I love how you write !!!"     Thank you very much!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 12:48:43 AM by Hitobo »


Offline Kid_Alpha

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 3
« Reply #50 on: June 04, 2012, 11:53:49 PM »
Ahhh I love how detailed your story is~! /o/

Also I really love how you write too.

Offline kahem

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 3
« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2012, 12:30:17 AM »
Hahahahah!!!! Poor 'boys', especially Sae. Wé don't know what Sayaka and Yukirin dix go her lol

Offline Tanchan

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 3
« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2012, 03:48:21 AM »
To me your chapter is exciting enough to keep my mind from worrying the election's results tomorrow while reading it. I was happy to find that you've updated your story. I check the fanfic section every day to see if you've updated and now, I can't wait for your next update since it's promised to be entertaining.

Offline Haruko

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 3
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2012, 07:24:40 AM »
Funny, interesting, lovely fics..

love the part when they kick out all the boys :D so funny..

my kojiyuuu finally together...

love you fic.. Im waiting for the next chapter

Offline Megumi

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 3
« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2012, 11:53:28 AM »
I was so into reading when it ended I was whining *moreee.

 :rofl: Hahaha Takamina,Sayaka and Sae - guys  :mon lmao:

What I like about this fic was not of Acchans tough and her journey of back&forward thinking about Takamina.
But there are hilariously moments as well!

Miichan stalking and then came Mariko the troll and then the ninja squirrel Yuko  :rofl:
Haruna fallin of the stair and then gloriously standing up again ah I remember seeing that from somewhere  XD

Thank you for your update! Can't wait for next!
ArígatoU! :kneelbow:
Have tumblr have twitter. Just ask ^^

Offline Hitobo

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 3
« Reply #55 on: June 21, 2012, 09:40:39 PM »
Apologies for the wait.  Life caught up to me.

Chapter 2, Part 4 correlates with both Parts 4 and 5 of Chapter 1.
     //Did she even know she was doing those things?  Does she remember?  Do I actually stand a chance?  Should I somehow inquire about it?  It is Minami, though; perhaps it would be safer to just leave things as they are.//
     As the host stepped away to speak with the director, Atsuko watched as the image of Minami super-imposed on the screen before her was removed.
     //I miss her.  I haven’t seen her since that 'date'.  Thankfully the ‘thank you’ party is tonight, but since it is…//
     The host returned to his seat then and Atsuko gave him a polite smile.  The two watched as one of the staff began a countdown.
     //…this is going to be a long interview.//

Portraits
An AKB48 Fan Fiction
Chapter 2, Part 4 (Chapter End)


     Atsuko heaved a jealous sigh as she watched the couple across the room.  Yuko was harassing Haruna, as was typical.   Haruna, though pushing Yuko away, was doing so with a happy smile.  It was, in their own, quirky world, their way of flirting.  Despite the different methods, each was paying attention only to the other.  The looks they cast each other throughout their interactions were filled with nothing but love.
     A love of which Atsuko was envious.  A love the likes of which she was beginning to believe she would never experience with Minami.
     “How did your meeting go?” a gentle, familiar voice asked and Atsuko felt her heart grow tight as the object of her ponderings sat down beside her.
     “Look at them,” Atsuko stated dryly, not taking her eyes from Yuko and Haruna as she avoided answering Minami’s question.
     “What about them?” Minami asked, playing along with the subject change for now.
     “I’m envious.  A love like theirs doesn’t happen every day.”
     Minami nodded.  “I suppose not.”
     Atsuko held her knees to her chest and buried her face. Her body trembled slightly as she spoke again.  “Akimoto-sensei has brought up the prospect of graduation.”
     “Eh?!”  Minami stared at Atsuko in shock, her desire for an explanation clearly evident.
     “He said that he doesn’t want me to go, but fans have been accusing me of abandoning AKB for acting, and he agrees that they make a strong argument.  I haven’t done much with AKB lately because of my film schedule.  And when was the last time I did a theater show?”  She sighed before continuing.  “He mentioned how AKB is only a stepping stone to achieving one’s dream, and that I’ve achieved mine.”  Atsuko could feel the tears threatening to fall from her eyes.
     “Well, he’s right,” Minami said quietly.  “You’ve become an amazing actress, Acchan.  What reasons have you to stay?”
     Atsuko’s breath caught in her throat as she fought back her tears.  You’re my reason, she thought.  It hurts to hear you ask me that.
     “He’s advised me that the time will soon come for me to make a decision: AKB, or acting.”  Minami sighed upon hearing the statement, and Atsuko refused to believe that she had sensed some relief behind it.  Hearing her own voice say it, Akimoto-sensei’s words replayed in Atsuko’s mind.
     /// “If you wish to remain as Maeda Atsuko, the ace of AKB48, then you must focus more on AKB48.  If you wish to be Maeda Atsuko, the actress, then perhaps the time has come for you to graduate.”///
     “And if you can’t make a decision?”
     “I suppose one will somehow be made for me.”
     Minami hung her head, hiding her face from Atsuko.  “Acting is what you’ve always wanted to do, Acchan.  Is it really a hard decision?”
     “Do you think you’ll ever have a love like theirs, Minami?” Atsuko asked, her attention returning to the couple across the room as she bit her lip nervously.
     Minami looked from Atsuko to the others, a bit confused as to the abrupt subject change.  “Honestly, I… don’t know.”  A light blushed tinted her cheeks.
     “I see,” Atsuko mumbled sadly.  I was hoping you’d say yes.  Gathering her nerves, Atsuko spoke again in what was almost a whisper.  “What would you do if I told you that I love you?”
     There was a pause before Minami answered, “You tell me that all the time, Acchan.”
     Minami was blushing feverishly now, but Atsuko remained ignorant to her friend’s honest reaction.  Minami’s answer was a disappointment.  It was a devastating blow to her already weakened spirit.  I wish that just once you would tell me that you love me, even if it’s not as I love you.  Atsuko stood quickly, freezing as she felt Minami grab her wrist, preventing her escape.  She remained with her back to the other girl.
     “Acchan?”  It was obvious that Minami was worried about her.
     “I think…. I’ll graduate.”  It was a bluff, one made out of desperation in an attempt to beckon Minami’s true feelings from hiding.  Please… tell me to stay.
     “If that’s what you want to do, then I’ll support you one hundred percent.”  Minami’s voice was firm, an indication that she truly meant what she said, but there was a hint of sadness in its tone.  However, the honesty behind Minami’s words was more than Atsuko could handle.  Before she had the chance to think her emotions took control, and what occurred next Atsuko would quickly grow to regret. 
     “You just don’t get it, do you?  And you never will!”  she yelled, her tears now flowing.
     “Get what?  What did I do now?”  Minami panicked as Atsuko tried to pull free of her grasp.
     “Please… just let go of me!”  Feeling Minami’s grip loosen, she broke from Minami’s hold and fled, not listening as her friend called after her.

     For three full months, Atsuko did not see nor speak with Minami.
_   _   _   _   _

/////
     //Not this dream again.//
     She huffed as she sat down in the hard wooden chair, but not until after she moved it into the warmth of the light.  She’d been here enough times before to know that there was no point in wandering around.  Over the past few years she’d had this reoccurring dream, though it had been appearing more frequently of late.  Nothing about it ever changed, though.
     That is, not until the last time she’d had the dream.
     Looking down in her hands, she was only mildly surprised to find the small flower remained in her palms from last time.  When she was younger, around the start of AKB48, she would often tuck one behind her ear.  It was a forget-me-not, if memory served correctly. 
     As long as she could remember, nothing ever happened in this dream.  She always sat in the hard wooden chair, simply waiting for hours until she woke up.  She knew that she was waiting for someone; it was a gut feeling that she easily recognized.  Yet no one ever came.  In the meantime she’d explored the small, round window behind her.  She was tall enough to be able to look out the window, but the light was so bright that she was unable to see anything.  What she could see, however, was that to the sides of the window were letters, seen only at just the right angle.  She’d only discovered them a few dreams ago.

     The small window with light shining through it was, in fact, the ‘O’ from the word ‘LOVE’.

     The flower, though, had only just appeared the last time she had this dream.  She found it on the floor, as if it had fallen to the ground forgotten by someone else, just outside the light of the window.  Now she cradled it gently.  It was a sad attempt to console her in this mysterious dream.
     Again she sat waiting.  How many hours passed, she didn’t know.  It felt like days, even, and she briefly wondered if perhaps that much time had passed in the real world as well.  For who or what she did not know, but still she sat and waited.  It was the one thing required of her in this dream.  She fiddled with the flower in her hands before sighing in frustration.  Standing to stretch, she suddenly froze. 
     //What was that sound?//
     She strained her ears as she listened again, and she could make out the sound of hurried footsteps.  They grew closer, and she instinctively placed herself behind the chair, gripping its back.  As the footsteps grew even closer still, a familiar sound became audible, and she softened her grip.  Backing up below the window and out of the light, she felt her breath catch in her throat.
     //No; it can’t be.  That’s impossible.//
     A familiar tune carried in the air, the voice humming it unmistakable.
     The song faded then, and with it the footsteps.  Their owner stood still just yards away in the shadows, invisible to the girl hiding in the dark below the window.  The hiding girl heard a small huff and then rustling, and somehow she knew that the newcomer was looking for the flower she’d found in her last dream.  The singing began yet again, right where it’d left off.
     Gulping nervously, the hiding girl then quietly whispered the next line of the song as she ran her fingers over the flower in her hand.  She stretched her hand out into the light, allowing the newcomer to see the flower she held.
     The newcomer froze for a second and then stood slowly, stepping into the light as she reached for the flower and the hand that held it.  As their hands met, together they sang the last words of the song.
     // “…chiisana wasurena kusa.”*//
     Atsuko gasped, for she had been correct.

     “Minami!” she exclaimed as she, too, stepped forward, wiping away her tears that began to fall.  “All this time, I’ve been waiting here in this light for you.”
/////


      “Huh? What?  What’s wrong?” Minami jolted awake to find Atsuko still slumbering before her.  Taking a minute to regain her senses, she realized that she was still sitting by Atsuko’s bed, the other girl having not moved an inch since Minami had sat down beside her.  She slipped her hand from Atsuko’s with a sigh.  “That’s weird.  I swear she just called my name.”
     Atsuko was out like a log, sleeping off an illness that Minami was convinced was the result of over exertion.  Atsuko’s frantic schedule had finally taken its toll on her body.
     They had been avoiding each other for nearly two months now, neither sure of how to apologize nor what to apologize for, and Atsuko’s busy schedule had helped to ensure they didn’t see each other.  For her part, fight or not, when Minami had heard Atsuko was bedridden she had gone to her house immediately, taking the rest of the day off from a rare light work day to care for the ill girl.  She’d let herself in only to find Atsuko sleeping away.
     Minami reached down to brush the bangs from Atsuko’s face.  “You’ve worn yourself out, Atsuko.  You’re working too much.”
     While Atsuko was resting Minami had taken it upon herself to tidy up the house.  There were dishes to be washed, laundry to be folded, and animals to be fed.  Not to mention a sick girl that constantly needed the damp cloth on her forehead to be replaced.
     “Why did you run away?”  Minami whispered as the memory of their misunderstanding replayed in her mind. (She refused to believe it was a fight.)  “I miss you, Atsuko.”  Standing with a stretch, Minami took the cloth from Atsuko’s forehead and retreated to the bathroom to soak it in cool water.  She returned quickly, placing it on the slumbering idol with utmost care.  Noting the time on the bedside clock, she reclaimed one of Atsuko’s hands and brought it to her lips, then, without thinking or realizing, she leaned down and placed a lingering kiss on Atsuko’s cheek.  “Goodbye, Atsuko,” Minami said, stealing one last glance at her friend.  “I hope you get well soon.”
     Minami escaped the house quietly, leaving no trace of ever having been there.
_   _   _

     All she wanted was a glimpse; just one little glimpse.  Perhaps she could even see a smile, even if it was not directed at her.
     In the end, she gained nothing.  No glimpse; no smile.
     Atsuko sat brooding on one of the couches in the dressing room.  She had finally earned a day off from filming and, after hours of self-debate, stopped by the theater.  She had hoped to spy on Team A’s rehearsal, her dream from a few weeks ago having reignited her desire to see Minami.  She’d come just wanting to see her, not to be seen.  Watching from the shadows seemed a fool-proof plan.  Until her arrival, however, when she discovered that Minami had arranged for Team A an impromptu day off from rehearsal as a reward for a job well done the day before.
     Here she was at the theater.  No Team A, and no Minami.
     So much for hoping to catch a glimpse.  When did she stop sending me messages regarding Team A’s activities?  She sighed, hanging her head.  My acting has really kept me away that long, huh?
With nothing better to do, Atsuko had stayed and watched Team K’s practice, the kinship in the team’s atmosphere enough to lift her spirits.  And, despite the discovery of Team A’s absence, Atsuko still held onto the hope of Minami appearing at the theater.  The unofficial AKB captain was truly dedicated, and Atsuko had witnessed occasions in the past when Minami had come to the theater on her days off.  It wasn’t guaranteed, though, and it meant a bigger possibility of her being caught by Minami.
     It seemed like forever since she’d last seen Minami, and they had not parted on the best of terms.  They’d been apart in the past but never like this.  For months they avoided each other, not only in person but also by mail.  Neither sent the other a message or mentioned the other in their respective blogs.  Despite it all, however, Atsuko still believed that theirs was a strong friendship, strong enough to eventually get through this low point.  All she had to do was gain the courage to speak to Minami and apologize, something more easily said than done.
     The squeak of a door reached her ears and Atsuko quickly glanced up from her thoughts.
     “Minami?” she gasped a bit fearfully.
     “Yes, though I doubt the one you were hoping for.”
     “Oh, Miichan,” Atsuko stated, sighing as she looked at the girl in the doorway.  “I’m sorry, I-”
     “You don’t have to sound so disappointed,” Miichan replied teasingly as she made her way over to the sofa to sit beside Atsuko.  She wrapped her arms around the older girl without a second thought.
     Atsuko shook her head with a small smile. “I’m not disappointed.  I’m relieved, actually.  I’m not ready to face her.  I do miss her, though; a lot.  So much that it hurts.”
     “You should call her.”
     Atsuko’s eyes grew wide in mild panic.  “I can’t! Not after the way I acted.  She didn’t deserve that kind of treatment.  Besides…” she started with a heavy sigh, hanging her head in shame, “apologizing is something better done in person.”
     Miichan smiled mischievously.  “Well, you’re in luck, because she’s on her way here to meet me; we’re going out for dinner.  I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if you joined us.”
     “That would be impossible right now,” Atsuko whispered, hiding her head in her hands.  There was a pause in which neither spoke, and the silence was broken a moment later when the door to the room opened again and Tomochin entered.  Quickly deciphering Atsuko’s morose state, Tomochin made her way over behind her friend to wrap her in a tight hug.  The close contact was meant to comfort her, but Atsuko responded with tears instead.
     “Ahh!  You broke my wife, Tomochin!” Miichan screeched.  Tomochin rolled her eyes at Miichan’s outburst and leaned closer to Atsuko, whispering comfortingly in her ear.  Atsuko’ tears slowed a moment later, and she wiped at her eyes with the back of her hand.
     “I… really need to talk to you two right now,” Atsuko began hesitantly.
     Miichan nodded.  “About what?”
     Atsuko’s breath caught in her throat for a second before finally whispering, “I’m really in love, right?  I mean… I’ve gone three months now without any contact with her… I still love her, right?”
     “No doubts about that.  It’s obvious that you came here today, the first chance you had, to see her,” Tomochin said, patting Atsuko’s head.  “How is that not ‘love’?”
     “Yeah, you’re kidding, right?”  Miichan added, her eyes having since filled with worry.  “Spat or not, you still have the hots for that midget, Acchan.”  Atsuko cast a serious stare and Miichan pondered silently a moment before finally asking, “What’s this about?”
     Atsuko stared at her hands in her lap and blushed.  “You’ll think it’s stupid.”
     “Try us.”
     Sighing, Atsuko began her explanation.  “I had a dream recently.  It’s one that I’ve had numerous times.  I sit waiting in a chair under a window in the middle of nowhere.”  Atsuko didn’t notice Miichan’s eyes widen in recognition to what she’d shared as she continued.  “Until the last couple times I’ve had it, nothing ever happened.  Then things changed.  Ultimately, Takamina showed up in my dream.”
     “Big surprise there,” Tomochin joked.
     “How do you know it was Takamina?” Miichan asked curiously with a tilt of her head.
     Atsuko gave a small laugh.  “There’s no doubt about it.  I saw her, and she was singing the same song she always sings.”  This time it was Tomochin’s turn to react unnoticed.
     Miichan tilted her head the other direction with a small pout.  “Acchan, what exactly is the problem?”
     “The problem is that, just like in my dream, I’m tired of waiting.  I need your help.”
     Tomochin and Miichan exchanged glances.  A few other members of Team K trickled in then, offering small greetings but leaving the three otherwise alone.
     “What is it you need our help with?”
     “Minami,” Atsuko stated.  No further explanation was necessary.
     “A confession would probably be most effective,” Tomochin offered.
     “After an apology,” Miichan added.
     Atsuko hesitated a minute before speaking.  “I’m not sure about a confession.  It’s Takamina.  She blushes and starts stammering if I look her in the eye for more than a few seconds.  She’d run away before I could say anything, and I’d never get to hear her answer.”
     There was another shared glance between Miichan and Tomochin, this time accompanied by a roll of their eyes.  It was obvious to everyone in the group but Atsuko that Minami’s answer would undoubtedly be positive.
     “I say seduce her,” Miichan stated simply with a shrug, albeit a bit loudly.  The Atsuko, Tomochin, and a few of the others that overheard her stared at her incredulously.
     “Were you not listening?” Tomochin scolded.  “This is Takamina.  If Acchan did that she’d have a faint idol on her hands.”
     “No, no, it’ll work.”  Miichan dismissed her friend’s criticism with a wave of her hand.
     “How?”
     “Simple.  With seduction, even if her mind is too frazzled to answer, her body will.”  The other two stared at her blankly, so Miichan sighed in frustration.  “Here, I’ll demonstrate.  Acchan, you’re my wife, let me ravish you for a moment.”  As Atsuko’s eyes followed her curiously, Miichan straddled her friend with unusual ease.
     “Miichan, you’ve been hanging out with Yuko too much,” Atsuko teased.
     “Yeah, yeah, but seriously; pretend I’m Takamina.  If Takamina leaned in like this, then you…”
     “Would close the distance in less than a heartbeat,” Atsuko finished.
     “Exactly!  If Takamina has any interest in you, she’d respond the same way if you did this to her.  Even if she can’t say anything, her body would answer for her.  So now, I’ll be you,” Miichan instructed, planting chaste, playful kisses on the now giggling Atsuko’s face.  Tomochin and some of the others were laughing as well as Atsuko squirmed under Miichan.  “And you can be-”
     “Minami!” Atsuko shouted and all laughing ceased immediately.  An eerie silence enveloped the dressing room as all present slowly turned to see a flabbergasted Minami in the doorway, her hand still on the door’s handle.
     “S-sorry.  I seem to have interrupted something.  Please… continue.”  Minami shut the door quickly, her face the reddest it had ever been.
     Atsuko stood to chase after her, Miichan falling from her lap with a thud.
     “Wait,” Tomochin said, grabbing Atsuko’s wrist.
     “Tomochin, let me go!” Atsuko panicked.  “I need to chase after her!  We’ve avoided each other this long… if I don’t go now I might not get another chance!”
     “I realize that.  But there’s something you need to know first.”
     “Can’t it wait?”
     “No; this is important, Acchan,” Miichan answered, rubbing her now sore backside.  “When did you have your last dream, Atsuko?  The one with Takamina.”
     “When I was sick, so about a month ago, I guess. But what does it matter?  Right now I really need to follow her!”
     Tomochin looked Atsuko directly in the eyes before she continued.  “When she heard you’d fallen sick, Takamina left rehearsal immediately and went straight to your house.”
     “Minami left rehearsal… for me?”  Atsuko asked, her tone softening a bit.  “Are you certain?”
     “Positive.  You slept the whole time, so you wouldn’t know it, but she stayed by your side the whole day.  You know what that means don’t you?  What you two have between you… it’s not over, Acchan.”
     Atsuko nodded her head in understanding and Tomochin released her grip.  “You’re still in love Atsuko,” Tomochin whispered, watching as Atsuko ran out the door with Miichan on her heels.  “And your love will succeed.”
_

     Minami quickly slammed the door shut in her face and turned around, her back now pressed to the door.  She slumped slowly to the floor, her face pale, eyes wide in shock.  Hearing footsteps, she looked up to see Yuko flanked by the Twin Towers, with the rest of Team K behind them. 
     “What’s wrong, Takamina? You’re blocking the doorway.”  Sayaka grunted, staring down at the quivering lump that was Minami.
     “C-c-con…”  Minami stuttered.  “They were c-c-“
     “Oh, spit it out already!” Yuko huffed, the curiosity killing her.
     Minami’s eyes met the others’ with the utmost seriousness.  “They were c-consummating their m-marriage.”
     “What? Who?” Yuko asked, her eyes now sparkling.  Before she could step past Minami and look inside, however, the door flew open and Atsuko came running out…

     “Minami!”

     …only to trip and fall on Minami.  A worry stricken Miichan came to a pause in the doorway behind them.
     “Woah, Acchan!”  Yuko shouted merrily, bending down to grasp the fallen Atsuko by her shoulders.  “As expected of our ace!  You just finished with Miichan and already you’re onto Takamina!  You’re my hero!”
     The sound of Sayaka’s hand meeting Yuko’s skull pealed through the now crowded hallway.  “Would someone please explain what exactly is going on here?”  she demanded.
End Chapter 2, Part 4 (Chapter End)
*This song's legal information will be shared at a later time.
First and foremost, thank you very much to those that replied and left such kind words.  I've spent a lot of time writing and editing this story, so your opinions and encouraging words are greatly appreciated.  Believe me, I read every reply and I'm thankful to each and every one of you.  Perhaps when Portraits is complete I might be able to thank all of you properly.

Now to business:
1: What do you think of my dream writing skills? Haha.
2: The last scene, while important on its own, serves the main purpose of setting up Chapter 3.
3: Honestly, Chapter 3 is a royal mess right now.  It's going to take quite some time to get it to an acceptable state.  That said, please wait patiently.
4: As always, please don't hesitate to ask questions.

I hope this update has not disappointed.

P.S.: I've posted a couple Majisuka one shots.  Check 'em out if you're bored (and haven't yet done so.)  Warning: They're rather different than Portraits.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 12:47:52 AM by Hitobo »

Offline miayaka

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 4 (Chapter End)
« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2012, 09:56:09 PM »
ohai!! an update!!
gahhh... confessions
i'll be waiting for the next chapter  :twothumbs

Offline Tanchan

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 4 (Chapter End)
« Reply #57 on: June 22, 2012, 04:16:19 AM »
Yeah an update! I'm so happy. Even though it's shorter than last time but I'm still satisfied. Your dream-writing skill is good. I like how their dreams are related to each other. So the whole group knows that Minami loves Acchan too? These two need to get over their shyness and the thought of "she doesn't love me" and confess to each other.

Offline Haruko

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Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 4 (Chapter End)
« Reply #58 on: June 22, 2012, 06:57:53 AM »
wow amazing!! love it..

jaja they are consumming the marriage jaj so funny.. takaboy are jelousy maybe?...

good plan miichan :Dseduce her wifey :D

Offline Keisthename

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  • Keep Calm! Don't Sleep! I love- I ship! AtsuMina!
Re: Portraits (Atsumina) Chapter 2 Part 4 (Chapter End)
« Reply #59 on: June 22, 2012, 03:34:02 PM »
Oh wow! Finally I found new fic of ATSUMINA to wait for updates!
At first I was a bit confused on how the story was written [I'm so sorry I don't read the author's notes Heheee] but as I read it thoroughly I was amazed by the story. It was well written, giving elaborate point of view by the main characters. I LOOOOOVE IT!!!  :luvluv2:

Also, I always love the story wherein Acchan always fell in love first and TakaMina's the last one to realize it. And that dream they have in common.. Gaaah it was priceless!!!! great story to add! GREAT JOB on this fic!

Please continue updating!! I'll be waiting for your updates!!!  :nya:

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