Thank you for your comments! I always love reading them.
Here's chapter 3. I hope you don't mind drama, because I love it!
When Rena wakes up this morning, she has a bad headache, a sore throat and is coughing way too much. She tries to get up but feels dizzy, and her feverish body fails her. Her eyes widen slightly as she suddenly recognizes these signs, and a groan leaves her lips in annoyance.
She can't be sick, not today. She has to finish recording the new song. People are expecting her. Jurina didn't do so well yesterday, and even if it surprised her to see the girl so nervous, she wants to be here to support her.
Rena takes a peek at her alarm clock and notices she still has an hour until the beginning of the recording. She turns towards her bed and lies down, her eyes immediately shutting as sleepiness takes hold of her. "I'll just rest a few more minutes," she mumbles to herself and before she realizes it, she's already fast asleep.
It's the ringing that wakes her up. Rena opens her eyes with difficulty and looks for the annoying sound, lifting herself up to catch her phone on the bedside table. A name flashes and she slowly opens the device. At the girl's voice on the other side, she quickly discovers that her headache has not disappeared. It's even worse. Her voice is weaker than she expected when she answers.
"Rena? What are you doing? It’s 10 AM!"
At first, Rena's foggy mind refuses to register her friend's words, before they progressively sink. That's right. She was supposed to meet Airi before going to the recording studio. Taking a peek at the alarm clock she immediately widens her eyes in horror when she realizes the girl is right and she overslept. This new discovery prompts her to quickly get out of bed but forgetting her current weak state she stumbles, a thumb echoing in the room as she ends up on the floor.
"Rena? Are you okay? What was that noise?"
Rena tries to answer but her phone slips from her grasp as she falls, preventing her from giving any explanation. Her digits caress her forehead as her headache intensifies, and a desperate groan leaves her lips as she sits up and lays her back to the side of the bed. Her eyes unconsciously close again, and she fails to hear the sound of her front door opening. Rena is drifting off when a soft knock on her bedroom door prompts her to slowly open her eyes.
"I'm sorry for coming uninvited," Airi says tentatively as she pushes the door, her eyes immediately falling on her friend, "Rena! What are you doing on the floor?"
Airi's footsteps distract Rena who looks up, before raising her hand when she sees her approaching.
"Don't!" Rena exclaims, trying her best to get up, in vain, "I'm sick!"
Airi immediately halts at the girl's alarming tone, before a soft sigh leaves her lips. A quick look at her friend is enough to tell her that, indeed, Rena is awfully sick. It's a very rare sight as the older Matsui takes really good care of her health. Airi takes a step forward to help Rena get up, but her action doesn't go unnoticed.
"No Airin!" Rena protests, her eyes back on her.
"Fine, but you need to see a doctor," Airi sighs, frustration washing her at her friend's refusal to cooperate.
"I can't. I have to go to the recording studio," Rena retorts, her voice full of determination contrasting with her current weak state.
Airi watches her a few seconds and ponders her options, before taking her phone out of her pocket and dialing a number.
"What are you doing?" Rena asks, surprised.
"I'm calling the doctor," Airi replies.
"No, you're not," Rena protests.
Airi listens as the girl's protest continues for a few seconds but ignores it, making an appointment when a masculine voice answers on the phone. She knows Rena is not approving her decision when she sees her waving her hand at her, but she still calls the recording studio a minute later to inform them of the girl's sickness.
"I can't believe you did that," Rena mutters, staring at her when she hangs up.
"It's for your own good. Now go back to bed," Airi says.
"You're not my friend anymore," Rena replies, averting her gaze in annoyance.
Airi's eyes widen slightly at her friend's harsh words, before understanding it's only the sickness speaking, and she doesn't really mean it. She then follows Rena's movements as she clumsily gets back into bed a minute later.
"How did you get in my apartment anyway?" Rena asks, her words muffled as she buries her head in her pillow.
"You gave me a spare key. Remember?" Airi answers gently, but her words don't seem to have much an effect as Rena barely reacts.
Airi sits on a chair while watching the girl who's dozing off. Her protectiveness towards Rena emerges as she watches her friend in such a weak state, a small smile inadvertently moving to her lips. Even sick, Rena is still beautiful.
The doctor arrives an hour later and examines the poor sick girl. Unfortunately, it seems she caught a very bad cold, and she has to stay at home until the end of the week to rest. Rena tries to protest, arguing that she has work to do, but the doctor refuses to hear any of it. He has been her doctor for years now, and is quite used to the girl's tenacity. He usually gives her pills and tells her to rest, knowing full well she won't listen and go to work anyway. However, as she sees her in such a weak state, he chooses to insist greatly.
"Don’t worry doctor, I’ll make sure she stays in bed," Airi assures, getting an annoyed look from Rena in return.
The doctor leaves shortly after and Airi goes to buy medicine. When she comes back a while later Rena is still laying in bed, trying hard not to fall asleep.
"Go away. You have work to do," Rena mumbles.
"I will, once I make sure you took your pills," Airi answers.
Opening her eyes, Rena watches as Airi places two white pills and a glass of water near her bed. She clumsily sits up, before extending her arm to take the medicine.
"Promise me you'll stay in bed," Airi says, shooting Rena a hopeful look. She knows the older Matsui can be quite stubborn when she wants to, but she really hopes her current weak state will prompt her to do the right thing.
Rena nods weakly when she's done taking the medicine, before silently laying back into bed. Airi releases a small sigh of relief, watching her friend as she's now closing her eyes anew. She knows it won't take long before she falls back to sleep. Airi takes a peek at the time and suddenly realizes she's going to be late for her photoshoot if she doesn't leave now. She casts a last worried look at Rena, before turning on her heels and heading towards the door.
Airi halts at Rena's words, before glancing at her over her shoulder.
"Any time," Airi smiles, briefly meeting Rena's eyes, "I'll be back later."
Friday arrives, and Jurina has now finished recording her parts of the song. Without Rena around, it was easier to focus on her work and her memory didn’t fail her this time when she sang the lyrics. She got a bit worried when she heard about Rena’s sickness. She had sent a message to Airi knowing the girl was taking care of her, and felt relieved to know it was just a bad cold. She may be herself sometimes careless, Rena was worse.
She left the recording room with a smile on her face, looking forward to the week end. When she heard music from the dancing room, she stopped, the situation feeling familiar. It was 7 PM, and everyone had already left. She approached the door curiously and was surprised to see Rena dancing. Jurina frowned. What was she doing here? Wasn’t she supposed to be at home resting? She sighed, looking at the girl repeating the choreography of the new song. This time, she didn’t back up, and pushed the door.
Rena jumps in surprise when she sees her reflection in the mirror and she quickly turns around, the action making her almost trip. Jurina approaches and stops the music, watching Rena who’s trying to catch her breath. She’s also sweating profusely, from exercise or sickness, it's hard to tell.
"What are you doing here?" Rena asks, looking behind Jurina, half expecting to see someone else coming in.
"I should be asking you the same thing. Weren't you supposed to be back on Monday?," Jurina asks, worried.
As Rena averts her gaze Jurina knows she just got her answer, and she has to muster all her willpower to not let her anger show.
"I was feeling better and didn't want to waste anymore time," Rena explains, her eyes now back on her, "I heard the recording went well."
Jurina knows the girl is trying to change the subject, but she is not about to fall in Rena's trap.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Jurina asks, her features contorting worriedly as she notices how much the girl is sweating, and she takes a few steps forward.
"Don't worry. I'm fine," Rena replies swiftly.
Jurina stares at her for a minute, pondering her words and trying to decipher Rena's expression to see if she's lying. The action doesn't go unnoticed, and Rena extends her hand.
"I promise," Rena nods, taking Jurina's hand and rubbing it gently. The gesture seems to work on the younger girl as her features soon relax.
The dancing room's door suddenly creaks and both girls turn around, noticing Churi who's looking at them questioningly from the doorstep. Jurina immediately remembers that she has plans with her friend and turns on her heels, swiftly approaching her.
"I'm sorry! Have you been waiting for me?" Jurina asks, worried.
"No, I've just arrived," Churi replies, smiling in amusement when Jurina releases a small sigh of relief, "I'll wait for you outside."
Churi diverts her attention to the older Matsui and waves at her in recognition, before taking a step back and leaving both girls alone.
"Don't stay too late," Jurina says, turning to Rena again.
Rena's eyes widen slightly at her scolding tone, not used to hearing it. It's usually the other way round. Her mouth tugs into a small smile as she joins the younger girl and places her hand on her shoulder.
"Go on. Akane is waiting for you."
Jurina watches her a few more seconds, hesitant, before nodding and turning on her heels. Rena follows her movements as she opens the door, shooting her small reassuring smile when Jurina turns around to glance at her. When the girl is gone Rena feels her chest slightly warming up, moved by Jurina's caring attitude.
Churi is talking a lot and clinging to Jurina tightly. They're making their way to the cinema, and Jurina can't help but notice how happy Churi looks. She doesn't really mind their closeness and pats the girl's head from time to time when she says something funny. The action always makes Churi blush, and Jurina can't help but laugh in amusement at her reaction.
The room is filled with people when they get to their seat. The movie is about to start and Jurina finally relaxes when she sits in her comfy chair. They've opted for a comedy as it's the best way to forget about their stressful week. Jurina has a box full of popcorn in her left hand and starts to eat some, while absently watching the advertisement on the screen. Churi is commenting a really stupid one when their fingers suddenly meet as the older girl tries to take some popcorn. At this action, Jurina turns around in surprise, before smiling in amusement as Churi's slight blush. When the last advertisement is over the room goes dark and Jurina focuses on the screen again, missing Churi's sudden discomfort.
The movie is really funny and Jurina laughs a lot. So engrossed in the movie, she doesn't notice how Churi is awfully quiet by her side. The older girl hasn't even tried to take some popcorn since the last incident. When Jurina turns to her once during the movie they share a brief smile, but because of the dark, Jurina fails to see the shyness in her friend's one.
Jurina is really enjoying herself when she suddenly feels a weight on her shoulder. Startled, she tilts her head to the side, watching as Churi's head is now resting on it. She's about to divert her attention to the screen when she feels a hand into hers. Her eyes widen slightly in surprise, and she lowers her gaze to watch their joined hands. She can't help but notice that Churi's hand is slightly trembling inside hers and she squeezes it a bit, failing to understand why the older girl is acting so nervous around her. Her attention gets back to the screen as she focuses on the movie again, not missing the way Churi's trembling hand progressively relaxes a few minutes later.
When the movie is over a while later they leave the cinema and head home, both sharing their experience of the comedy they just saw. Jurina can't help but notice that Churi is suddenly very talkative but she doesn't mind, listening in amusement as the older girl narrates cheerfully her favorites moments.
Churi is now awfully quiet as they arrive at the train station. The night is getting a bit chilly and Jurina tightens her scarf around her neck, a faint plaintive sound leaving her lips as the cold wind hits her face. Tilting her head to her companion she notices her shivering and moves forward, stretching her hand to pull her the zipper of her coat all the way up. Churi watches her silently, before nodding when the young girl gently scolds her.
Their eyes meet briefly before Churi looks away, Jurina not missing her friend's slight discomfort. She frowns at her attitude, failing to understand where it's coming from, before stepping aside to wait for the train to arrive. They don't have to wait long before it enters the station and Churi takes a step forward, while Jurina stays back, as she's taking the next one. Jurina watches Churi's back, her mouth tugging into a smile as she thinks about the nice evening they spent together. They really should do this more often.
"See you on Monday," Jurina exclaims when the doors open.
Jurina watches her as she takes a step forward to enter the carriage, before frowning when Churi turns on her heels and moves towards her. Jurina's eyes widen when she feels a sudden soft kiss on her cheek and she freezes, staring back at the girl who's avoiding her gaze and retreating swiftly to the train. Words stay stuck in her mouth as she tries to catch a glimpse of the older girl to understand the meaning of her action, but Churi is now moving in the carriage and taking a seat, her back turned to her. The doors close and Jurina lifts her hand to her cheek, intrigued. She may be used to kissing and hugging her fellow members, this kiss felt different. Very
TO BE CONTINUED