There are three bothersome things that could happen if you’re suddenly awoken from a loud ringing sound.
First, you fell from your sleeping place.
Second, accidentally pushing away stuff near you.
Third, being so sleepy that you couldn’t find out the source of sound that had successfully disturb your slumber.
Every single of that happened on Nishino and she was sleeping on the desk instead of her comfortable futon. So she had actually fallen out from a chair and after that successfully bumped her head on the desk in her attempt to sit up.
She rubbed her throbbing head making sure that force doesn’t actually change her skull structure as her eyes scanning her surrounding and she realized that the stuff that she had accidentally pushed away is apparently not a normal stationary but rather her HD Cintiq companion drawing tablet that Shiraishi had given her for her 19th birthday present.
She harshly stands up and grabbed her phone that’s ringing, she inspects the name on the screen before hitting the green phone area to answer.
“Okaa-san, what is it?” she spoke, clearly could not hold her irritation.
‘Are you watching the news?’
“I was sleeping, your call wake me up,” Nishino replied- tilting her head to one side so she could use her shoulder to stick the phone close to her ear, her free hands carefully picking up the fallen drawing tablet while her eyes inspect every single inch of it, making sure that it’s still flawless. Well, it bumped a little on one corner. That should not ruin its function, yet she couldn’t help to grumble irritably.
‘-bout it. Nanase are you listening?’
“Sorry, Okaa-san, what was it again? I was still half sleeping,” Nishino didn’t mention what had happened knowing that if her mother knows the woman will blame herself and fuss over it. Even though it is technically her fault but Nishino does not want to trouble her.
‘Turn your TV to afternoon news and take a seat.’
She frowned upon the strange order yet she still obeyed and walked out, she glanced at the clock on the wall once she stepped out from her room, it’s a quarter past twelve. Nishino mentally judged herself from being careless and overslept.
“Afternoon, would you like a lunch?” Wakatsuki voice suddenly came from behind the kitchen counter.
Their apartment was a small but comfortable 2bedroom + 1 bathroom with kitchen and living room that basically mixed in one open space, Wakatsuki and Reika got the main room since there are two of them and she got the other room, which is not small but still cramped because of her art related stuff.
She used to live alone, but a few years ago after what happened to Shiraishi, her worried parents were trying to drag her to her grandmother place in Osaka, thinking that she needs a change of view. However, that is not something that she wanted. Fortunately, Wakatsuki offers to share the apartment with her as well as assuring her parents that she will definitely keep an eye on her. She and Wakatsuki are best friends since they had started to go into preschool and the fact that she came from a good family who lives 4 house away from hers make Nishino parents keen on the girl, so the choice grows into two; move to Osaka or stay in Tokyo but live with Wakatsuki and her girlfriend.
“Maybe later, I’m on the phone with Okaa-san,” Nishino replied after placing her phone away from her mouth for a moment. Wakatsuki nodded and walked to the refrigerator, opening the freezer and took out a container of ice cream.
Nishino was seriously tempted to join the other girl but remembers that her mother still on the line, she sits on one of the cushions of the room chabudai and turn on the television- changing the channel from one to another to find the news program that her mother mentioned.
Wakatsuki sits next to her placing the container on the table and handed one clean spoon to her.
“Thanks. Anyway, Okaa-san I’m with Yumi-chan, do you want to say hi?” Nishino said as she put the phone on speaker.
‘Yumi-chan, thank you for always taking care of Nanase…’
“It’s a pleasure, she’s a great friend after all,” Wakatsuki replied after gulping down a spoonful of ice cream in her mouth. She looked to Nishino who is watching the news intently, her eyes slanting in a bad way towards the screen.
The headline of the news is capitalized in white bold letters with the words ‘Breaking News!’ on top of it, the sentence said ‘NOGIZAKA LATEST INVENTION. REVIVING COMATOSE PEOPLE?’
The screen shows 2 panels each with different videos, one is what looks like a recorded scene of a press conference which has Ikuta and Hashimoto explaining the happenings to a mass media, and the other is a live situation inside the news studio where apparently they are gathering several people to talk about the topic, including Ikuta as the director of the research division.
“-Course a very breaking progression, since until now we have never found a solution for those in a comatose state. With this there are many people could be awoken and hopefully goes back to living normally,” says one of them which has been identified as a doctor, “which is why I don't understand why would Nogizaka rejects the help that the government is trying to offer them?”
“With all due respects doctor, this project is really complicated and the project leader herself has stated that she do not wish to involve anyone else in this. Because we need to keep everything monitored and having more people would lead us to much deeper trouble and confusion.”
“Ikuta-san, the subject is also a human being. A project with a human as a subject should be fully supervised by the government. How can we be sure that your method is not pushing her human rights aside if you’re keeping everything for yourself? ”
“We do not prevent her from speaking to one of yours to confirm her condition, are we not?” Ikuta said calmly.
“But we can’t be sure because she could not express her emotion, not that she could feel it from the first place. We ca-”
Nishino was surprised because of the television got turned off suddenly, she look at the hand beside her and realized that it was Wakatsuki who had pressed the red power button on the remote.
“That’s not something that we need to hear, we know exactly what is happening and I believe Ikuta-san knows the best for her sister,” She stated- glancing at the phone that still connected with Nishino’s mother, the woman seems to be immersed in the television as well that she forgot to cut the line. Nishino just realized this as well and grabbed the phone.
However, before she could hang up her mother voice came again, ‘Nanase, are you aware of this?’
“I know. I’ve known for a while.”
‘So you two are… um, back together?’
Nishino bit her lower lips, bracing herself to put her mouth into motion, “No.”
For a moment the mother-daughter stays silent.
‘Nanase, are you okay?’
“She thinks that’s for the best- two years wasn’t a short after all. You don’t need to worry,” thankfully she managed to say that without hesitation albeit the flat tone, “Okaa-san, Is there anything else that you want to say? Because I still have a lot of key-frames to work on.”
That wasn’t a lie, she really has to do those key-frames because someone from the animation production is going to come to collect them in less than 7 hours. She realized that she had fallen asleep while working on it and now it’s piling up and screaming for her hands to finish them.
‘Okay then. Before you hang up. Nanase I love you, just remember that I’m here okay, don’t hesitate if you ever feel like going back home. I’m proud of you, you’re a strong girl, I know that.’
That’s not the first time her mother said that kind of statement, in fact, the woman has said that almost every time before ending a call or a face to face conversation with her. She used to wonder about the meaning behind her words but later finds out that someone probably told her to say that or she probably had read about that somewhere. But for whatever the purpose is- Nishino never felt like its working, not that she consider herself strong from the first place.
“Yeah, talk to you later…” she mumbled before pressing the hang-up symbol stronger than she needs to.
Wakatsuki is staring at her as her serious expression slowly melt into a softer one, “want to dig in the ice cream? Before Reika comes back and eat everything by herself.”
Nishino grabbed the spoon that Wakatsuki had given to her earlier and eat 3 or 4 spoonfuls of the ice cream in a rapid manner. It’s not good, she felt like her brain is freezing and her stomach seems to grumble as if it wants to throw the substance out of her system.
“You can have the rest- I’m going to be in my room, still have lots of work to do,” she stood up while trying not to look like a person who’s holding herself from throwing up.
“Wait a moment, you haven’t eaten lunch. You had also skipped breakfast,” Wakatsuki said, clearly worried about her roommate wellbeing.
“It’s fine. I’ll do that after I finished.”
“No, you need to eat. Now I’m going to prepare your lunch while you go do your work then when I’m finished you need to eat- no buts.”
Sometimes she forgot how Wakatsuki is pushier than her own mother, she wanted to argue but know that it won’t get her anywhere and she couldn’t afford to lose more time to work on her job since she’s already far behind the schedule by now.
“Fine,” Nishino muttered. Wakatsuki could only sigh at her roommate attempt to skip her meal and finished the last drop of ice cream in the container before standing up and goes back to the kitchen.
After inspecting the refrigerator for short while she decided to make a chicken curry, so she took out the chicken meat, sweet potato, carrot, and some other things that she think is appropriate to be put into the dish. She cooks the rice first, before actually getting into the curry.
Around the time she had started to put the chicken into the thick broth the front door is opened.
“Welcome home~,” Wakatsuki said after giving the newly arrived girl a quick glance, the girl smiled as she walked passed the kitchen. She entered her bedroom where she quickly changes her skirt into a short checkered pants and making her way out of the room with the skirt in hand as soon as she’s finished.
Sakurai made a slight grumble when she failed her attempt on throwing her already worn skirt into the laundry bin- basketball style, huffing in irritation as she walks into the laundry room to pick up the skirt and properly put it in the bin.
Wakatsuki watches as the girl walked passed the kitchen counter to approach her, “Wakachuu, you’re home early.”
“Reika, today is Saturday,” she said while trying not to pay her mind to the girlfriend who is now hugging her from behind, which is totally limiting her movement in cooking.
“Right, Saturday, I forgot. Law firm closes on Saturday and Sunday.”
“So does psychiatric clinics.”
“Actually, not all of them, mine opens every day. I’m just choosing not to work on weekends since if I ever do it will totally leave me with no spare time with you,” Sakurai corrected and slowly lean her lips forward so it touches Wakatsuki jawline.
“I’m cooking,” she warned the other girl as she tried to shrug her off.
“I miss my Yumi, you’ve been extremely busy ever since you got your lawyer license.”
Wakatsuki sighed and turn off the stove, she stirred the curry once more before turning back to face the girl that she has been in a relationship with since high school. She smiled a little and give her a quick peck on the lips, “I’m sorry.”
For a moment Sakurai seems to be lost in thought, leaving Wakatsuki free to start preparing the curry to be served, then out of nowhere she squealed really hard and basically tackle-hug Wakatsuki who almost lost her balance because of the girl antiques, she had also almost dropped the plate that she is holding, “Seriously Reika, can you please see what I’m trying to do here.”
“Sowwy,” she said while widening her round eyes and made a slight pout with her lips.
“Just how old are you? Geez,” Wakatsuki complained as she grabbed the empty plate that Sakurai is holding in fill it with the dish, “go get Naa-chan.”
“Does she know? About the news? Do you know?” Sakurai asked, a little bit hesitant to leave her girlfriend side.
“Kind of impossible not to, it’s quite big you know.”
Sakurai nodded she was lost in thought for a moment before shaking her head right and left as if it could actually get those thoughts away from her mind, then she pranced to Nishino’s room.
From where Wakatsuki is seating she couldn’t see the other two but she could hear them talking, well at least she could hear Sakurai voice since that girlfriend of hers is actually pretty loud in contrast to her childhood friend.
“-you don’t need to worry, she’s completely fine. She doesn’t even know that people are talking about her in the news,” Sakurai said as she dragged the tired looking Nishino to where Wakatsuki is, both of them take their seat on the 2 other empty stool of the counter and started eating.
Nishino nodded while eyeing her lunch, trying to gain her appetite back. Knowing that it's really hard she resort to basically shoved the food inside her mouth and tried to gulp it down as fast as possible, “Are you going back to Nogizaka after this?”
Sakurai finished the food in her mouth before letting out her reply, “Maybe after dinner, there’s not much to do since there is no progress at all. Not to mention, Shiraishi-san has her schedule full today, someone from government decided to pay a visit.”
“Yep, again,” Sakurai sighed before going back to eat.
Nishino pull her attention back to the food in front of her, she had glanced briefly at Wakatsuki who sits on her other side and found that she’s is staring at Sakurai while eating her food, but Sakurai doesn’t seem to notice at all.
“Naa-chan, I don’t think you should force yourself to join Reika today. Shiraishi is going to be okay, they would never leave her alone with the visitor so you don’t need to worry. Besides, they will give you a call in case something happens,” Wakatsuki tried to persuade Nishino knowing what’s on the other girl mind at the moment.
Nishino thinks about her options, whether she will go out or not she still needs to finish the key-frames in several hours, which is a little bit impossible since there are still around a dozen left and if she couldn’t get a miracle for her to be able to work faster than usual she’ll need to ask for more time. But even if a miracle happens it wouldn’t guarantee that she will actually manage to finish it with an acceptable quality.
It seems like after quite a long time today is the day where she will totally tick off the production staff.
In the other hand, she’s having a hard time to concentrate because of her mind is keep going to Shiraishi, enough a reason for her to go out and check it by herself. But by doing so she’s preventing herself from a proper night rest which is something that she should have pay attention to.
She was getting lost in thought and before she realized it she feels like the food inside her mouth is turning bland and harder to swallow. All of the sudden she feel her stomach churning, she immediately jumps from the stool and runs to the bathroom while covering her mouth with her left hand.
Then she did it, ducking her head into the toilet bowl as she retched and her stomach started to throw out what it seems to be every single bit of food inside. She doesn’t even notice that she forgot to turn on the lights when Sakurai barged in and turn the lights on.
Stress and anxiety.
Nishino tried to get the two words out of her mind as she presses the flush button as hard as she can, as if by cleaning the bowl she could also clean herself from her problems. But of course, she can’t. Her mother was wrong, she is not a strong person and was never one in the first place.
~To Be Continued~
Okay so this is Nishino centric chapter, and also a little bit WakaRei as an ice-breaker. I hope you'll like it.
In the other hand. NANAMIN CENTER OMG ASJSAKJDSADSA, I'm so happy I was basically preventing myself from sleeping to watch it straight away lol. Congrats Nanamin, perhaps if I got time and inspiration I will make a one shot of Nanamin (HashiGawa perhaps) hmmm... I really love the new senbatsu, Nishino and Shiraishi on Nanamin sides which somehow makes me think that it's a great chance for them to make Nanamin the thirdwheel center lol also Ikuchan and Kazumiin front. Ringo and Miona is also in the juu-ichi(?) fukujin. I really hope the new single is going to live up to my already sky-rocketed high expectation Replies: chocolatepandastarlight:
hope this one is up to your liking C:
I'm sorry about Ashu.
And I understand what do you feel about HashiGawa aaarghh I need moar of them, lol despite the shipping reason Maimai was the most suitable one to send the email since she's the one closer to Nanamin and understand more about the biological organs (Takayama is supposed to be more of a modeller in the project)
Yep I agree that Nogi varieties are funny, I just can't seem to get enough of them
Yes, exactly like Sukima with WakaNanaRei on the front. I so want this to happen for real! lol
Let's hope they got something like that for the 16th single ミサキ:
Again I'm really sorry about Ashu death
About the new senbatsu well I have kind of expected them to put either maiyan, nanase or nanamin as center and made the other two on the side because from what I've seen in kidzuitara kataomoi and inochi wa utsukushii the three made a good trio and their different personality just completes each other. And I've read the thing about Nanamin selling the most at the last handshake event and I feel like it's her time to be the center. But what's surprising is the formation, which is similar with Harujion and this make people speculates about Nanamin graduation. It will be sad if it's true, but for now I will choose to not think much about it so I could be more excited for the upcoming single. wakaten:
I hope this update is soon enough, I was typing replies when yours came
Of course a Nanamin special just in time before she became a center
It's hard not to fall into her charm
*how to be the window* lol