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Author Topic: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (19/?) [WMatsui] (24/03/2017)  (Read 78649 times)

Offline genkingblack

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Hello there, it's been a while since my last comment.
Looks like i missed quite lot chapter

Look! My hunch was right  :lol:
Now i am getting worried again, in real life of course they won't touch Jurina if she is really having scandal.

Let's see how those two cope with this problem.

My Projects :
Buciq's Vault [OS/Short Stories] Last update 17-Oct-16
Brave Enough On Going Last update 8-Jul-16
Love is Serious, When War is Involved   Hiatus Last Update 12-Mar-17
Hidden Vault | Perv Section
Heartsmith | On Going Last Update 11-Mar-17

Offline Minami-chan

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Happy 20th birthday Jurina!

Offline sophcaro

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Please, if Miichan hunted her out of an guy's house to spend the night!

I'm sorry, but I didn't understand that sentence...  :?

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

I know right  :angry:

Why suspend her? The group is in such a delicate situation already.  :?

Because it's not a small issue and they need to address it in some way?

Jurina must be feel so guilty about the news. I kinda expected her to blame herself :nervous and it's not too hard to imagine how broken she is :cry: sometimes I wanna give this kid a pat on her back but I know she'll be happier if Rena were the one who did that xD

Well, yeah... Obviously, she feels responsible for it.

Thankfully our older Matsui is always there to help her through the rough time. Our typical cool headed Rena. I'm not surprise with the way she reacted to the news.
Somehow I can feel it how Rena is the biggest support for Jurina.

I love how Rena could take the problem calmly; at least in front of Jurina. That's exactly what Jurina needed at the moment.

It's not easy for Rena either, but she's trying to be a good moral support for Jurina. She knows Jurina is more likely to have difficulties dealing emotionally with the situation.


The good news is...Jurina could spend more time with Rena?
Or it could be worse. Jurina wouldn't want to meet Rena until the chaos is over.  :err:

Or maybe it could be the reverse? Rena putting some distance with Jurina?  :?

Let's not forget that Churi also played a good role as her friend.
I kinda wondered what Churi was doing when both Matsui were in a room of her apartment.  :on lol:

Yep, Churi is a good friend  8)
What was she doing? Preparing dinner, of course!  :P

Hello there, it's been a while since my last comment.
Looks like i missed quite lot chapter

Look! My hunch was right  :lol:
Now i am getting worried again, in real life of course they won't touch Jurina if she is really having scandal.

Let's see how those two cope with this problem.

Let's get worried again  :sweatdrop:
My WMatsui fanfics:

HEARTBEAT trilogy
- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Ongoing

OTHER FANFICS
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- Warriors | On hiatus (will return in December 2017)
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline sophcaro

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CHAPTER 18



It had now been two weeks since Jurina was suspended, and management still hadn’t specified – whether officially or informally – how long SKE’s ace suspension was going to last. It was evident that this scandal had taken them by complete surprise, and they were still unsure on the best way to deal with those unexpected pictures revealed by the magazine. The general opinion remained divided on the subject, and it was still too soon to measure the possible consequences on the group’s image.

As of Jurina, she had been terribly affected by her suspension. The minute Rena received the text from Jurina announcing her suspension she had called her back immediately, and had spent more than an hour over the phone trying desperately to comfort her girlfriend who proved to be completely inconsolable.

The weeks following the suspension’s announcement, the 19 years old girl was not allowed to participate in any official SKE or AKB events, including live performances and handshake events. Since that evening Rena went to see Jurina at Akane’s apartment after her return from Osaka, both Matsui did not meet again. In the light of Jurina’s suspension, Rena had thought it best that they keep their distance, at least until management had officially made a decision regarding Jurina’s future in the group.

One thing was for sure: Jurina wasn’t delighted in the slightest when she made such suggestion. In fact, her immediate reaction was to protest, and to try and change Rena’s mind on the subject. The older Matsui somewhat expected such response and – even though she didn’t like this option any more than her - believed deep down it was the wisest thing to do given the current circumstances. There were so many impending issues, and too many things at stake. They simply couldn’t afford having a paparazzi taking more pictures of them when management was currently deliberating on Jurina’s fate.

Rena exposed all those arguments to Jurina who – although she abhorred the idea of a physical separation and didn’t fail into voicing loud and clear her disapprobation – ended up agreeing reluctantly to limit their contacts to chats and phone calls. More than a few times, Rena realized how hard it was to stick to such resolution, especially when she listened with great pain to her girlfriend’s disarray over the phone, and was incapable of giving her all the comfort she needed.

Everyday, they talked on LINE, and Rena was well conscious that Jurina was not in a right state of mind. As she feared, this suspension was having a real negative impact on her mental balance. Much as Jurina never liked showing her vulnerability in front of others and believed she ought to act strong, the truth was very different. In reality, Jurina was a very sensitive person.

Throughout her career as an idol, Jurina had definitely been through a few rough patches, especially when she saw the people she was the most attached to leaving her side and graduating. However, Rena was starting to wonder if this suspension was not affecting her to an even higher level. Jurina always felt very frustrated when she wasn’t able to perform, whether because of her young age, or because of health issues. But never until that day had she been prevented from doing – and for such a long period of time - a job she adored and enjoyed so much.

Even if it was a very small consolation, Rena knew Jurina was surrounded by people who cared about her, and who could give her the physical comfort she currently couldn’t. During those two weeks, Jurina lived mostly at her mom’s house, even though she frequently liked to stay and sleep at Akane’s place.

Much as Jurina was having a very hard time accepting her suspension, Rena refused to be too pessimistic regarding her future. Even though management still hadn’t made a decision, she was convinced Jurina was not going to be asked to graduate, or transferred to a sister group. In fact, she was even a little hopeful Jurina would simply be reintegrated in SKE48 once the storm would have finally passed.

During Jurina’s absence, her center position had been occupied by the 5th gen member Nao Furuhata. The 20 years old girl was thankfully not alone to assume the heavy burden of leading the group. She also had a WCenter with her, yet not the one who had played that role along Jurina’s side those last few months. Indeed, Ayuka had unexpectedly been demoted from her position, and replaced by Rara Goto.

Rena had no idea what motivated management to make such a change and place their faith in Rara, but she was unfortunately well aware of Ayuka’s fragile position within the group, especially after the commercial failure of SKE’s latest single.

It seemed management was trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation, and trying out a completely new combination. From the echoes Rena received, it appeared the pair Nao and Rara formed worked quite fine - which was undeniably good news for SKE - but far less reassuring when Ayuka’s fate was concerned.

Of course, when Jurina had heard about Ayuka’s replacement, she immediately put all the blame on herself, stating it was the direct consequence of her suspension. Rena knew how protective Jurina was of Ayuka, and how much she had fought to preserve her position as WCenter. If management ended up being completely satisfied with Rara, then it was very unlikely Ayuka would ever be offered the position again.

Considering Jurina’s current fragile state of mind – clearly aggravated by Ayuka’s recent ousting - Rena seriously feared she would go back to her old patterns, and neglect her health again. Until now Akane, who was keeping a cautious eye on the younger Matsui, had – each time she had manifested her concern about it - always reassured her that Jurina was taking care of herself and eating properly. 

Nevertheless, Rena couldn’t ignore a small voice inside her head warning her that the tide could turn at any moment. If there was one thing Rena certainly didn’t want, it was to see the past repeat itself. If Jurina started neglecting her health again, the older Matsui feared she would have a hard time stopping the infernal spiral. In the past, all her attempts had always failed miserably one after another.

And the odds of this happening were unfortunately very high, especially if Jurina’s suspension didn’t soon reach an end…

Since Rena graduated, she had kept her distance with the 48 group, rarely taking pictures with active members, and even less making appearances at 48 group events. It was part of a strategy she had carefully elaborated with her agent months ago, an attempt to progressively get rid of her idol’s image.

Rena didn’t regret her passage in the idol industry, but she didn’t want to be forever known as a former member of SKE48. Of course, she wasn’t naïve: she was perfectly conscious it would take time until people would stop viewing her as SKE’s eternal Nagoya princess. However, Rena was pleased to note the strategy was starting to gradually pay off.

Very rarely, interviewers would question her about her former activities as an idol, or ask her to comment on SKE related news. Moreover, her solo career as an actress was doing very well; better than what she would have anticipated. However, this Thursday of February, Rena had decided to make a small infringement to her own rule.

This afternoon, she had an appointment in Tokyo with someone she had not seen nor spoken to in several months. Someone without who SKE48 would purely and simply never have existed.

As she was sitting quietly in the waiting room - and replying politely to the few people addressing her now and then to check if she needed anything - Rena’s mind was anything but at rest. It had taken her several days to make the decision to meet this person in particular and, after weighting the pros and cons, she knew she had to try to make herself heard for Jurina’s sake.

Rena didn’t know how her request was going to be received. It was a bold move; and she guessed it was going to go very hard to sway her interlocutor, no matter how well she had improved on her communication skills these last years. However, Rena guessed that if there was one person who could have any influence on Jurina’s current situation - and possibly put an end to her suspension - it was the man she was about to meet in a few minutes.

Out of precaution, Rena had not said a word to Jurina about it. Not only was she conscious Jurina would probably not approve of her actions - and would dislike the idea of her pleading her case on her behalf - the outcome of this meeting was also very uncertain. She didn’t wish to give the younger girl false hopes if her request ended up being unfortunately dismissed.

Rena looked up when she heard the sound of a door opening, and she locked gaze with the man in a black suit who had stepped out of the office. Immediately, she stood up from her seat, and inclined her head slightly. “Akimoto-san.”

“Rena-san,” the man in his fifties reciprocated the polite gesture, and took a small step aside. “I apologize for the wait. Please come in.”

The former idol did as she was told and entered his office, taking a seat when the producer motioned the empty chair in front of his desk. “Thank you for accepting to receive me under such short notice.”

“It has been a while, Rena-san,” the producer commented, crossing his arms over his chest in a nonchalant way once he was comfortably seated in his chair. “I’ve heard your solo career is going well. Destiny received many good reviews and had great ratings.”

“It’s true,” Rena confirmed with a polite smile. “I’m lucky to have a very good agency. I’ve been working on several interesting projects since last July.”

Their producer had always been a man hard to decipher, and Rena was reminded of it when she tried to analyze his body language, and his legendary composure gave nothing away of his true feelings and thoughts. The platitudes continued for a little while, Rena playing along and replying obediently to everything she was asked. 

The motive of her visit still hadn’t been broached, and the older Matsui wondered if the producer suspected anything. He was an intelligent man, and it was obvious she had not come all this way to Tokyo for the sole purpose of catching up with lost time. Rena waited for the moment the producer would give her any sign their small talk was finally over, her patience soon rewarded. “Why did you wish to see me today, Rena-san?”

“Jurina,” Rena replied, refusing to beat about the bush any longer. “I was hoping we could talk about her current situation.”

The man readjusted his glasses on his nose and leaned back in the black leather chair, his expression remaining completely unreadable when he spoke up. “Ah yes, Jurina-san. Her suspension is really regretful.”

“Jurina is being very affected by it,” Rena started. It was no news that Jurina had always been one of the members the producer favored the best, and she was hoping the information would strike a chord.

“It was not an easy decision to make,” the producer assured. “But some pictures were unfortunately too explicit to ignore. I know it must be difficult for her, but I hope she understands.”

Rena kept quiet when the pictures were mentioned, thinking carefully about her next move. She knew the man was not going to delve more on the matter; it was just not like him to intrude into people’s private lives. However, even if the idea displeased her tremendously, she felt she had no choice but to address the article. Her goal was to persuade the producer to have Jurina reinstated as soon as possible, and she was ready to say anything that could possibly tilt the scale.

“Lately, Jurina has been putting a lot of pressure on herself because of SKE’s current difficult situation and Ayuka’s uncertain fate,” Rena explained. “That evening, I think emotions just got the best of her. I was leaving for Osaka and as we were saying goodbye, she unfortunately went a little too far.”

“I see,” the producer nodded. “You were only trying to be a good friend and comfort her.”

“Yes,” Rena confirmed without hesitation. The older Matsui was well conscious of the lies she was telling, but confessing the true nature of her relationship with Jurina was inconceivable. Did she manage to make herself convincing enough? It was hard to tell, considering no emotions transpired on the producer’s face. Nevertheless, she kept on with the little story she had studiously rehearsed inside her head. “Jurina immediately regretted the kiss and apologized afterwards, but it was too late. Pictures had been taken, and the whole scene was wrongly misinterpreted.”

“It led to many rumors,” the producer conceded. “Are you thinking of making a public statement about it? It may be helpful.”

“I haven’t decided yet,” Rena admitted. The producer’s suggestion wasn’t that surprising and to be honest, she had thought about it a few times these last two weeks. Indeed, she could declare through a short and neutral tweet that those rumors were false, and deny any romantic involvement with Jurina. In fact, her agent had advised her to do exactly that but until now she had not followed such advice, ignoring instead all questions surrounding the pictures revealed by the magazine, or the status of her relationship with SKE’s ace. 

Somehow, she was hoping for time to be their greatest ally, and believed the best action to take was to patiently wait for the storm to pass. Over time, the issue would solve itself naturally, as people would progressively lose interest in those pictures and move on to another more interesting and juicier subject.

There was also another reason why Rena wanted to use that solution as a last resort. If she made the decision of releasing a public statement, then she and Jurina would evidently need to be consistent about their declarations, which implied Jurina would also have to lie about the nature of their relationship.

Rena didn’t want to put her into that kind of situation, knowing in advance the younger girl would feel very uncomfortable about it.

“I just wanted to make sure you didn’t believe in those false allegations,” Rena spoke up again, “and that they were not the reason for Jurina’s suspension.”

“I’m touched you came all this way to clarify the situation in person,” the producer answered. “But my personal belief doesn’t have the slight importance. As you’re well aware, appearances are everything in this business. It’s only a temporary setback and I know Jurina will bounce back from that. This evening, I’m having a meeting with SKE’s management and I’m going to suggest her reinstatement.”

Rena widened her eyes slightly at the new piece of information. “You are?”

“Of course,” the producer replied, a small smile falling on his lips for the first time since the beginning of the meeting. “It may not be immediate, but I can’t imagine SKE48 without her.”

A knock on the door was suddenly heard, and the producer diverted his attention to his assistant who had opened the door, and was announcing him the arrival of his next visitor. Once the door was closed again, the actress understood their meeting was coming to an end, although the man showed no sign of being in a hurry as he didn’t move an inch from his chair. “Is there anything else you wished to discuss?”

“No,” Rena shook her head slightly. “I’m thanking you again for receiving me.”

After that, the older Matsui followed the producer as he moved towards the door, a little startled when – as he was in the process of turning the handle – he suddenly halted midway and turned instead to face her. “Jurina-san is really lucky to have someone who would go to such length to protect her career. She made an unfortunate judgment error, but people are willing to forgive her because it was her first mistake. However, I fear they may not be so lenient if it ever should happen again.” 

The producer’s tone was as even as usual and not alarming in the slightest but Rena read between the lines easily, and understood perfectly well the message he was sending. The moment after, he was opening the door, and she gave him one last polite bow as she made her way out. The last words he had uttered refused to leave her as she walked away from his office, her face darkening little by little at the producer’s clear warning.

 



 
 

When Rena arrived in front of her apartment late that evening, her fingers paused midway as she was about to turn the key in the lock, startled to perceive some strange noise coming from the inside of her apartment. Only very few people had access to her place, and it definitely didn’t sound like Airi to come to her place unannounced, even less to enter her apartment in her absence and without informing her beforehand. 

Rena listened attentively – almost believing it may only be the fruit of her imagination when the noise had suddenly ceased – before realizing she had definitely not imagined things when she clearly heard footsteps. Saying she was very confused would be the understatement of the year, and great curiosity added itself to her initial confusion as she finally penetrated her apartment. The key almost slipped from her fingers when she pushed the front door and saw Jurina, her 19 years old girlfriend, standing in the living room.

Before she had time to process the incredible scene she was witnessing or even utter a single word the latter was already reducing the distance between them, a beaming smile on her lips when she pulled her into her arms. “It’s finally over,” Jurina exclaimed cheerfully, “One more week, and I’m reintegrating the group.”

Rena let the piece of information sink in, understanding by her statement that the producer had succeeded in influencing positively SKE’s management during his meeting. Relief filled her chest at the undeniably very good news, but she soon pulled away when she remembered Jurina’s unexpected presence in her apartment. “Jurina… What are you doing here?”

Surprise flashed through Jurina’s eyes as she was visibly caught off guard by her question, but it was only brief as her initial enthusiasm quickly resurfaced. “It was such good news,” she explained, “I wanted to tell you in person.”

“It is very good news,” Rena confirmed. “But why didn’t you tell me this over the phone?”

This time, Jurina’s smile vanished completely. “I don’t understand what’s the problem,” she confessed. “Are you not happy to see me?”

“Of course, I am,” Rena’s features softened, and she slipped her fingers inside hers, giving her hand a light squeeze. “But you’re taking some risks by coming here. We agreed not to see each other until things have settled down.”

“Didn’t you listen?” Jurina frowned in perplexity. “I just told you management was lifting my suspension… We have nothing to fear anymore. It’s over.”

“No, it’s not,” Rena argued, shaking her head in a mixture of disapproval and incredulity. “It’s not over until you’re officially reinstated and got your position back. It’s not over until people keep talking about the pictures. It’s not over until there’s a risk of some paparazzi still following us and invading our privacy.”

Considering Jurina’s speechless expression Rena could tell the younger girl was completely taken aback by her words, and it was obvious they were not on the same page right now. The older Matsui let out a small frustrated sigh and turned on her heels, feeling a certain pair of eyes watching her every move as she removed her coat and shoes in the hallway. The atmosphere of the room had suddenly shifted and became way heavier, but none of them dared to speak. 

Rena was doing her best to keep her composure, but she still couldn’t believe Jurina had acted in such a reckless way. To top it all, she didn’t even seem to realize at all she had done something wrong. Had she already forgotten the pictures had been taken only a few minutes away from her apartment?

“You’re acting strangely,” Jurina murmured tentatively after a little while. “Did… something happen today? Did someone talk to you about the pictures?”

Rena had her back turned when the silence was broken, and her previous meeting with Jurina’s producer immediately submerged her mind. For an instant, she thought of disclosing the content of their conversation - believing it may help Jurina understand her point of view - but in the end, she decided to stick to her initial resolution, and not mention her meeting with him. 

“No,” Rena replied, finally turning around to face her. Jurina’s lost expression didn’t go unnoticed and she walked towards her, bringing them closer by wrapping her arms around her neck. “I’m really happy for you, Jurina,” she murmured softly and sincerely. “But as you said yourself, there is still one week left. I just think we need to stay very cautious. Do you understand?”

Rena’s question didn’t receive an immediate answer, until Jurina’s small voice resonated in the quiet apartment, “You’re right, I shouldn’t have come…” she uttered in realization. “I’m sorry. I didn’t… I didn’t think. Do you want me… to leave?”

Rena pulled back at Jurina’s words, astonished she would make such a suggestion. When she read the remorse inside her eyes, she knew her girlfriend had now truly realized her mistake, and was obviously trying to find a way to correct it. It’s too late now, Rena thought inwardly, but she didn’t see the use of voicing such thought out loud. It would only serve to increase her girlfriend’s culpability.

“It’s fine,” Rena shook her head at her, her mouth tugging into a small reassuring smile as she cupped her cheek gently. “Stay. Stay for the night.”

Despite the offer, the older Matsui didn’t miss SKE’s ace hesitant look, and she knew she was now truly considering leaving when her eyes flickered a few times to the front door. Nevertheless, the thought of letting Jurina go didn’t even occur to her now that she was here, and they had not met in two weeks.

The older Matsui reached for her hand and – after a first light tug during which Jurina’s feet refused to move – managed to successfully lead her where she wanted after another more insistent one. Once the bedroom door was closed behind them Rena made her intentions clear by pushing her gently towards the bed, and pressing her lips against hers. Even though Jurina didn’t show any real opposition to her actions it took her couple of seconds to reply to the kiss, and a few other more to have her relaxing completely beneath her.

Tomorrow, Rena knew her mind was going to be filled with a few worried thoughts – the producer’s recent warning clearly among them – but she refused to think about any of that right now. Tonight, she had a completely different goal in mind. It was hard to tell when they would be able to see each other again, that’s why Rena was well decided to take advantage of Jurina’s unplanned visit to take care of her and shower her with affection.






TO BE CONTINUED
My WMatsui fanfics:

HEARTBEAT trilogy
- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Ongoing

OTHER FANFICS
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- Warriors | On hiatus (will return in December 2017)
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline Genkikid

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I'm happy that Jurina is going to be reinstated soon. But since the ark has not yet done, that means the problem has not yet done  too

Offline Minami-chan

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Thank you very much for the new chapter.
I am very glad that Jurina is reintegrating the group.
Although I'm afraid that Rena has gone to mediate for her with Akimoto-san.

Offline Guacamoolee

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Wow I never thought that Rena would go this far for Jurina's sake though she knew that Jurina might not approve of what she done. I wonder what will happen if Jurina find out about what Rena did. I hope Jurina will never find out about it :sweatdrop: :bow:

I thought Jurina would leave Rena's apartment immediately after she had told Rena about the "good news" but....  :kekeke:
Can't wait to read the new chapter!
See you S!

Cheerio~

Offline sophcaro

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    • sophcaro
Author's note: This is not the full version of the chapter, I had to cut out a portion of the first part in order to publish the chapter on JPHIP. If you wish to have access to the original version, you can read it HERE.

As usual, feedback is always appreciated and motivates the writer  :)





CHAPTER 19



Rena had been awake for almost half an hour now, but she had fallen deep in thoughts the moment she opened her eyes. Yesterday, when she had pulled Jurina into the bedroom she had successfully managed to brush all worried thoughts aside, but they were now surfacing progressively as a new day was starting. Jurina was supposed to join back SKE in a week or so, and her deepest wish was to see her reinstatement happening smoothly and without any unplanned delay.

In a couple of hours, they would unfortunately need to part, without truly knowing exactly when they would be able to meet again. Today, Rena had a few engagements, but for now she decided to stay a little longer in bed, not wanting to leave nor to wake up her girlfriend who was sleeping peacefully beside her, and whose left arm was currently wrapped loosely around her waist.

It was way past 9 AM and, as the morning light was illuminating the room through the window’s black curtains, Rena’s attention fell distractedly on the familiar clothes scattered on the floor. Memories of their previous lovemaking submerged her mind, and a small sigh left her lips in content. A few years ago, she would definitely have been very frustrated – and admittedly also a little upset - at such a terrible mess. After all, Rena Matsui was a neat and organized person who disliked disorder to a great extent.

This morning, the view didn’t provoke any of these usual negative feelings. Instead, it only managed to provoke amusement, and bring a small knowing smile to her lips.

Rena got distracted from her musing when she felt the hand that was until now resting casually on her stomach starting caressing her skin, the hold around her waist suddenly tightening. The subtle change in Jurina’s breathing was the last indication that the girl behind her was stirring up progressively, and she replied to the gesture when Jurina found her hand easily, and laced their fingers together.

“Hi…” Jurina’s small, groggy voice sounded behind her as she pressed their naked bodies closer together.

“Morning,” Rena murmured back, humming lightly in approval when a kiss was placed against her shoulder, followed by a few lingering ones against the nape of her neck.

The older Matsui definitely didn’t mind the morning attention her girlfriend was giving her, but soon got alarmed when teeth replaced the sweetness of Jurina’s lips, the latter making her intent very clear as she started nibbling softly onto the exposed skin of her neck.

“Jurina,” Rena tensed a little, clutching Jurina’s fingers in warning. “I have a photoshoot today.”

“Oh…” Came Jurina’s pensive reply. “I’ll make sure your skin stays absolutely pristine, then.”


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After taking a warm shower and putting a pair of fresh clothes on Rena stepped out of the bathroom, her eyes falling instantly on the younger girl who was still lying in bed. The view made her pause in thoughts, and she contemplated letting her rest a little more. Unfortunately, Rena was well aware that Jurina had not been sleeping very well lately. Her suspension had had a terrible impact on her emotional state, and she suspected she may have had more than a few sleepless nights these last two weeks.

Rena approached her side of the bed to check if she was indeed still sleeping, but a pair of sleepy eyes fell on her as soon as she was close enough. “You can still sleep a little longer if you want,” Rena offered gently, “There’s no rush.”

“No,” the younger girl shook her head slightly, pulling the bedsheet up with her as she rested her back against the headboard. “I just need a shower… I’ll be fine.”

“Alright…” Rena relented, even though the small yawn escaping Jurina’s lips clearly indicated she could definitely afford a little more sleep. “Join me in the kitchen when you’re ready?”

After placing a kiss on her lips, she turned on her heels and moved towards the door, but didn’t have time to make her way out that Jurina was already addressing her again. “What happened to your ring?”

Rena stopped dead in her tracks. Even though she knew in advance that her ring was indeed not on her finger as it should be, she couldn’t help but look down to her hand out of reflex. Rena nibbled on her lower lip nervously, now realizing the tricky situation she was unexpectedly facing. Jurina’s innocent question was nothing but legitimate; she wore everyday Jurina’s ring since she gave it to her as a present in Kyoto.

However, the recent unfortunate events had led her to make a few changes in her daily routine; removing her ring being one of them.

“It’s… in my drawer,” Rena replied unconvincingly.

Rena squeezed her eyes shut in frustration at her poor attempt of an answer, knowing very well her explanation was never going to satisfy her girlfriend’s curiosity completely. A prediction that got confirmed a few seconds later when Jurina spoke up again, her confusion manifest. “Why? Is there a problem with it?”

This time, Rena turned around to face her, suddenly feeling very tense. For a while, she simply locked gaze with her without saying anything, pondering on the best way to broach this conversation. Jurina was currently looking at her in concern, and Rena knew she owed her a better explanation. However, much as she mulled it over in her head, she deeply feared the younger girl was not going to appreciate very much what she was about to divulge.

Rena retraced her steps back to the bed, a little ill-at-ease when she took a seat on the mattress next to her. “There’s something I forgot to tell you,” she started tentatively. “When the magazine revealed the pictures and I came back from Osaka, I thought it was best to take my ring off for a little while. You see, I didn’t want-”

“Wait,” Jurina interrupted her. “Are you telling me you haven’t been wearing it at all these last two weeks?”

“Yes…” Rena nodded cautiously, not missing the way Jurina’s face had suddenly darkened at her admission. “I didn’t want to draw more attention on us. If they noticed we were both wearing matching rings, it could have made things worse, and I didn’t-”

“So… you removed your ring,” Jurina repeated as if to make sure she had understood well, staring in bewilderment at the absent jewelry on Rena’s index. “When were you planning on informing me about this new… strategy?”

“Jurina…” Rena murmured, clearly seeing that her girlfriend was now very displeased, even though she was doing her best to keep her emotions in check. “You don’t need to take it off as well; I know how much it means to you. It’s only temporary. I’ll put it back once things have settled down.”

“How much it means… to me?” Rena realized her terrible mistake when Jurina stared back at her in incredulity. “Please tell me you didn’t just say that.”

“No, I didn’t…” Rena cursed herself for her very bad choice of words, and she quickly tried to backpedal. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. Of course, it’s important to me. What I meant is; I was just trying to be careful. For both of us.”

As Rena kept talking, she realized progressively that nothing she was saying was having any positive impact on her girlfriend. In fact, the latter was not even looking at her anymore and, even though she kept quiet the whole time, Rena could practically see her fuming inside. Now very worried, Rena reached out for her hand, hoping the physical contact would help where the words were failing, but Jurina quickly retracted her hand at her approach.

“I get it,” Jurina snapped. “You don’t need to explain it.”

Rena watched in astonishment the younger girl who was now getting out of bed, and retrieving with a certain haste her clothes from the red carpet. “I’m going to take a shower.”

“Jurina,” Rena stood up in alert, following the younger girl who was now moving towards the bathroom. “I’m sorry, I didn’t want to make you upset. I promise I’ll put it back soon. So please-”

“It’s alright,” Jurina replied back instantly. “I’m not mad.”

“Yes, you are…” Rena refuted, pained by her refusal to meet her gaze. “And I understand, it’s my fault. I should have warned you about my decision, and I shouldn’t have said those words right now. I love that ring, you know that…”

The older Matsui extended her arm to try and touch her, but the other girl had already pushed the bathroom door and stepped inside, only pausing a brief moment to address her one last time. “Once I’ve finished my shower, I’ll head home. I just remembered that I have a few things to do.”

“Wait…” Rena tried desperately to hold her back, much in vain as the younger girl had already shut the door close behind her, making it more than clear that she didn’t wish to pursue that conversation.

Rena stood speechless in front of the door, not believing how badly the morning had brusquely turned when it had started so nicely. She didn’t blame Jurina at all; she was the only one responsible for what had happened. For an instant, she thought of following Jurina inside the bathroom to seek forgiveness. She didn’t wish to let their conversation end in such a bad way; even less see Jurina leave her apartment much sooner than planned, and while being still angry at her.

However, if there was one thing experience had taught her, is that little you could say or do could sway Jurina when she was so worked up about something. Much as she disliked that option, Rena knew she had no other choice but to leave her alone for now, and resume that conversation later when she would have hopefully cooled down a little.

To her biggest surprise, the bathroom door opened slowly. Rena raised her eyes in expectation to the younger girl who had appeared and who now seemed a little more appeased, and far less upset than before. “I understand why you’re trying to be cautious, and I’m not mad at you for not wearing it,” Jurina murmured, letting out a small sigh. “I just wish you stopped hiding things. I know you don’t mean to hurt me but… it does.”

Rena reduced the small distance between them and wrapped her arms around the younger girl, knowing she had already been forgiven when the embrace was returned without hesitation. Guilt washed over her at the mixture of frustration and pain in her girlfriend’s voice, knowing deep down she was perfectly right. It was one bad habit of hers; one she wished she could get rid off easily. 

Patterns were sometimes so hard to break.









Rena let her gaze wander around the street absent-mindedly, waiting patiently for the person she was supposed to meet to arrive. Frankly, it had taken her by complete surprise when she had received that call, and her interlocutor had voiced her request to meet her. Despite having no idea why the older woman wished to see her, she had accepted quickly, and they agreed to meet this afternoon in a small café of Nagoya.

It wasn’t the first time they saw each other; they had met on many occasions when she was still a member of SKE. However, never had they been completely alone during one of those meetings. Besides, she believed the timing to be a bit… strange. It had now been almost three weeks since Bunshun released an article about she and Jurina, and the latter was supposed to reintegrate the idol group in a few days.

If there was one thing that experience taught her, is that coincidences were very rare.

The older Matsui got pulled out of her thoughts when she heard a feminine voice calling her name, and she studied the elegant woman now standing in front of her. Long dark hair falling down her beige jacket. A youthful face that deceived people easily about her age, and made her look in her thirties when she had in reality already reached 47.

Rena inclined her head respectfully, the woman’s smile so contagious that she couldn’t help but reply to it. “It’s nice to meet you, Matsui-san.”

“How long have we known each other?” the woman chuckled softly. “Please call me Yumiko.”

Rena followed the older woman inside the café, both settling down at a small table in a secluded area at the back of the room. There were never many people on a Thursday afternoon, so Rena was not really surprised by the peacefulness of the place.

In general, Jurina’s mother great kindness always put her at ease very fast when she found herself around her. It was so easy to engage in a conversation with her, and the woman was nothing but friendly and charming. However today, Rena was feeling unusually stressed. Indeed, as they both looked down to the menu to order something to drink, Rena couldn’t help wondering why Jurina’s mother had requested to meet her today, and alone.

“When was the last time we met?” Jurina’s mother questioned once they both made their choice, and the waiter left with their order. “Wasn’t it a little after you announced your graduation?”

“I think so…” Rena replied thoughtfully.

“Yes, it was,” Yumiko nodded in assurance. “I remember it now… It was such a terrible period. Jurina was so affected by your graduation.”

The statement was followed by a pregnant pause, and the older Matsui’s unease increased a notch, having no idea what she was supposed to reply. Why was Jurina’s mother suddenly mentioning such a painful memory? She was already aware of all those things; and eight months had already passed since her graduation. Those difficult times were behind them, now. At least, that’s what she hoped.

“I tried to tell her that you would still be able to see each other but she was completely inconsolable,” Yumiko continued after a little while, her eyes not leaving the cup of green tea that had just been placed in front of her. “I had never seen her in such a devastating state; not even when Mariko-san left AKB. It was as if her whole world had just crumbled down. Of course, I knew how attached she was to you, but I had never seen her crying so much for a friend before…”

Rena held her breath when Yumiko lifted her gaze, praying this conversation was not taking the direction she was beginning to fear. Her fingers clenched tightly around her own cup, the pleasant warmth emanating from the beverage failing completely to alleviate her nervousness. She was doing her best not to let her emotions transpire nor to look away, but it was getting harder to maintain eye contact.

She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt so terribly uncomfortable in someone else’s presence.

“I love my daughter,” the heavy tension was broken at last when Yumiko spoke up again. “As a mother, there’s nothing more terrible than seeing your own child so sad, and being incapable of truly comforting her. I’ve been through this difficult time when you graduated, and again a few weeks ago when Jurina got suspended. This suspension really impacted her hard. I can’t imagine what would happen if she was forced to graduate from SKE.”

“Jurina’s suspension got lifted,” Rena frowned, a little confused by her interlocutor’s last words. Why was Yumiko bringing up the possibility of a graduation, when her daughter was already in the clear? There was no way Jurina had not informed her by now of management’s decision to reintegrate her. 

“She told me,” Yumiko replied, a faint smile grazing her lips. “Management is giving her a second chance, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. But what if she makes another unfortunate mistake in the following weeks… or months? My deepest fear is that she won’t manage to get away with it so easily next time. And if she’s forced to graduate… You and I know perfectly well the terrible consequences a graduation would have not only on her emotional state, but also on her future.”

“Rena-san,” the young actress got a little startled when the older woman extended her arm on the table, and placed gently her hand around her fingers. “Jurina still hasn’t accomplished everything she wished in SKE. She’s not ready to leave the group.”

“I know…” Rena whispered back. Her gaze faltered, desperation entering her small brown orbs as she was now having a good idea of the message Yumiko was subtly trying to convey. Without realizing it, her fingers started to tremble around the cup, and she knew Yumiko had noticed it when she squeezed her hand lightly in comfort.

“You don’t know how much I wish there was another solution,” Yumiko confessed her helplessness. “The last thing I want, is to see my daughter hurting again. But she needs to take care of her future. So please… Please help me make sure she doesn’t graduate before the right time has come.”

The moment after, the fingers surrounding hers retracted, and Rena noticed the older woman getting up from her seat, and putting slowly her vest back on in the obvious intent of leaving. Incapable of formulating a single word in reply she simply listened as Jurina’s mother apologized to her, before telling her goodbye and disappearing entirely from her sight.

Rena didn’t know how long she remained motionless seated at the table. Eyes boring into her untouched and cold tea, her chest tightened in pain as Yumiko’s words rolled over in her head again and again. She had no idea what to expect when Jurina’s mother asked to meet her this afternoon. At some point during their conversation, she feared she was going to question her about the nature of her relationship with Jurina.

But it wasn’t that, because Yumiko already knew.








TO BE CONTINUED
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 02:53:31 PM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

HEARTBEAT trilogy
- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Ongoing

OTHER FANFICS
- Back in Time | Ongoing
- Warriors | On hiatus (will return in December 2017)
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline Genkikid

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That moment I realized Rena was meeting Jurina 's mother I have a bad feeling about what Jurina' s mother going to discuss with her. And now, Rena has another secret she's going to keep from Jurina. Well, she won't just say something like "nee, jurina. I met your mother sometime ago and she implicitly told me to break up with you so you won't have to graduate from SKE"

Offline Minami-chan

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  • Posts: 539
  • Still Love You
Thank you very much for the update.
Wow ... Rena is starting to have serious problems.
Tell the truth to Jurina or hide again what is happening?

Offline thepiedoctor

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Ah meeting Jurina's mother means Rena has more things to hide once again unfortunately.
I wish she would just work everything out nicely sometimes. :(

Offline Bukiyou Taiyou

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  • Posts: 33
Patterns were sometimes so hard to break.

Rena never meant to hurt Jurina's feeling, but in the end, she did the opposite by hiding things from her girlfriend. As far as I remember, it started with her not telling Jurina about her plan to graduate from SKE48, then Rena didn't tell Jurina about the kiss with the actor Yosuke for their drama, she also didn't immediately tell Jurina about the ring, and now there are two more things she has to hide from Jurina: her meeting with Akimoto-san and another meeting with Jurina's mom.

I understand that Jurina was NOT mad at Rena for not wearing the ring, she was mad because Rena kept hiding things from her.

I can't imagine if Jurina herself would later find out about both meetings Rena did. She would be angry, that's for sure. But there's one bigger problem: what if Jurina couldn't trust Rena anymore? No relationship could work without a trust.

I also understand that it's a tricky situation for Rena. But I believe that sooner or later, Jurina would eventually find out especially about Rena's meeting with Akimoto-san. I mean, Jurina would somehow meet him in some event and he could just casually mention that Rena went to his place to discuss about Jurina's situation and that she was being such a good friend.

Anyway,
I read chapter 18 and it affected my mood that I took time to comment. :on cloudeye:

The storm is strong, and it's only the beginning. They didn't meet for two weeks when Jurina was suspended from SKE48, then spent their time together for only one night only to part without knowing when they could meet each other again. The only good news is that Jurina would be back to SKE48, but it doesn't mean the storm is over yet.

I'm so curious to read what would happen in the next chapter.

Thanks for the new chapter, author-san!

Ps. :on gay: At least we also have this.

“I have a photoshoot today.”
 “I’ll make sure your skin stays absolutely pristine, then.”

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