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Author Topic: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)  (Read 44593 times)

Offline OTN1

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Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« on: June 02, 2007, 05:47:22 AM »
This picks up where Love x ∞ left off in the "other world" Aya was thrown into.  What if at that point, Aya returned to her own world, but another copy of her remained in the other world?  One answer to such a question, told from Miki's POV.

No huge plans for this one.  A few chapters of exploration.  Let's see where this one winds up...

Restart

Chapter 1


I woke up suddenly.  My eyes just snapped open and I saw a sight completely different from what I usually saw in the mornings.  I was lying beside someone I'd only met two months ago.  A girl with long, dark hair and light, creamy skin that most people in the world would only ever see in moisturizer commercials.

Dear god, what did I do??

I panicked and started to hyperventilate as I rolled onto my back and looked at the unfamiliar hotel room ceiling.

I had cheated on my boyfriend, my almost-fiancé, with a famous idol.  Willingly.  And she was a girl.  I had stayed overnight in a hotel where guests of guests were not allowed to do so.  And I'd forgotten to call my parents to tell them I wouldn't be home for the night!  Somehow, even that last one seemed vitally important to note during my crisis.

My parents.  Oh, my poor parents!  If they ever discovered what the precious baby of the family was secretly doing behind closed doors, they'd never forgive themselves (or their precious baby).  I'd be disowned, ridiculed, shamed, gossiped about, run out of town...

But wait.  I was being selfish.  What about Aya?  Her career would be destroyed.  Her life would be even more ruined than mine.  I was just some country daughter, but she was nation-wide famous.  She wouldn't be able to walk to the store without being stared at or whispered about.  Her face would be plastered on all the gossip magazines and the newspapers.  Maybe they'd say she'd been seduced by some crazy Hokkaido delinquent whose goal was to tarnish the reputation of her most hated idol.

No, wait another minute.  That would hardly seem fair.  If anybody had been seduced, it had been me.  She was the one who had come here to this town, gotten to know me, kissed me, and then had made me stay overnight after she wouldn't let me get up from her bed.  She had led it all.  The attack.  She knew exactly what it all meant, and she knew exactly what to do with me and how to keep me there all night without a complaint.

Okay, so I had asked for it.  I had wanted it.  At the time.  I was feeling sad because she was leaving, confused because Hiroshi had proposed, and bewildered about a million other things.  But it had to have been a momentary lapse in judgement.

What am I going to do? I thought in desperation.

I blinked.  Maybe it had all been a hallucination.  But no, she was still there, curled up under the covers and facing away.  I couldn't see her face.  It was covered by her hair.  All I could see was the back of her head.  I knew she was asleep because of her breathing.  It was slow and steady, hardly making a sound.

What time is it? I wondered.

I looked at the bedside table at the standard hotel-issue alarm clock.  It read eight-thirty-eight.  Considering her flight time, I did the math and figured out that she'd probably want to be getting up in an hour to get ready to leave.

What was I supposed to do?  Stay?  Maybe I could sneak out and just let her go back to Tokyo, pretending this had never happened.

That's what I decided to do.  I'd leave before she woke up.  It would be perfect.  Nobody would ever find out.  I'd tell my parents I'd stayed at a friend's house, and Aya could go back to Tokyo peacefully without having to exchange any awkward words and excuses with me.  We'd never have to meet again.

That's what I would do.

And yet I continued to lie there on my side and stare at the back of her head.  I found myself wondering what would happen if I stayed.

If I stayed, I could find out her true reaction.  If I stayed, I could ask her all the questions in my head about what it all meant to her and why she did it.

My heart lurched when I thought of Hiroshi.  What would he think if he saw me now?  Or worse, what would he have thought if he had seen me last night, wrapped in someone else's arms as she said things to me that made me want to forget every point of my comparatively miserable existence until I met her.

What if I didn't really care what he thought?

That struck me as an oddity because I still really loved him.  Very much.  He was a lot like me.  Normal, but with a hidden quirky streak (although he was much weirder).  Raised in a small town but yearning to break out of this enclosed life and strive for something more.  He'd tried to do that by going to university in Sapporo, but somehow we both knew that he'd wind up coming back here to this rundown town to live.

For a brief moment as I lay there, I wanted nothing more than to marry him.  I had to.  We were a perfect match.

But the uncertainty came back.  If we got married to each other, we wouldn't escape that thing we both hated.  We'd be clinging onto each other because it would be the safe thing to do.  What we wanted, though, was to reach out and grab a bit of excitement, and we weren't able to provide that for each other.

With Aya, that had changed for me.  The minute she came to town, everything changed.  The time we spent together was the best I'd ever had.  She had piles of things to offer me.  She had a way of connecting with me that made me want nothing else.  Being with her may not have been safe or secure, but it felt more like living.  Maybe Hiroshi would understand that I couldn't marry him.  It would be for our own goods.

Just then, Aya stirred and my thoughts came to a halt.  Was she going to wake up?

She turned around and settled onto her side so that she was facing me, but her eyes were still closed.  She didn't seem ready to wake up.  She was teetering on the edge of consciousness, just barely there.  Her face looked radiant to me, even in such a state of sleep.  It looked like she was smiling.

I grew impatient, and with a bout of self-confidence that flew at me from nowhere, I reached my hand out and tapped her wrist, which was curled in front of her chin.

"Good morning," I whispered.

The first half of my greeting came out nice and strongly, but the confidence slipped out of my grasp in mid-word, and so the second half ended up weak and mumbled.

What was I doing??

Aya's eyelids fluttered open slowly, and I shrank back a bit as she focused on my face.

"Hmmm.  Good morning," she purred back with a sleepy smile.

How did she do that?  She sounded so at ease.  As if this was the most normal thing in the world.  It was baffling.  I smiled warily at her, and the smile dropped from her face.

"Bombs away!" I heard a little voice in a fighter plane yell as Aya's expression quickly sped from content to something closer to the opposite end of the spectrum.

"I'm sorry," she said quickly.  "I got a little carried away."

A little?  I'd say a lot.  She got so carried away that there I was in bed with her the next morning, completely naked, might I add, and I'm sure with not just a few red marks here and there.

I didn't say anything to her because I had no clue what to say.  What was I supposed to say?  I didn't even know how I felt.  How could I get her to try and understand anything in my brain when I couldn't understand it?

She must have mistaken my silence for anger or discomfort.

"But you kind of asked for it," she said, giving me a pointed look.

I certainly had asked for it after she'd stirred up my curiosity.

"I'm not upset," I said quickly.

I was clear on that much.  I wasn't upset.  Just confused.

"You look upset," she countered, sounding so sure of herself.

I wasn't upset.  She was wrong.  But then it struck me that maybe this was her method of trying to give me a way out.  I could leave and it would all be okay.  We wouldn't have to talk.

But that would be cowardly.  The truth was that I wanted to stay.  Stick it out.  Figure it all out.

"I'm not," I said firmly.  "I just want to ask you a question.  What does this mean?"

I had done it.  I had asked a good question.

"What does what mean?"

I didn't get annoyed by the question being thrown back at me because I knew she wasn't trying to be difficult and skirt the issue.  There were many ways my question could be interpreted.

"Well, do you usually sleep with your friends?" I asked in a blunt and perhaps far too sly tone.

I couldn't help it!  The idea of Aya being that type of person was foreign to me.

"No," she said, a look of surprise on her face.

Strangely enough, that was all she said.

"Then tell me why you did it," I demanded, gaining back my confidence.

"Couldn't you tell?" she asked so quietly that I had to strain my ears to hear her.

"Tell what?" I mumbled.

"Couldn't you tell last night why I did that?"

Her eyes pierced me with a look that I had seen the night before just as we had started down that long road that had led us here.  It had been erased early on, but now it was back.  A lost and needy look that was so out of place on her beautiful face.

I shook my head, and her gaze only intensified in its sadness.

The truth?  I knew.  Deep down inside, I knew.  I saw it in those eyes the night before.  Why she had made me - no, let me - stay over.  It was because she needed me.  She wanted me.  I didn't know how long she'd felt that way, but it was pretty obvious, especially after she'd almost uttered a confession during a very quiet moment we had shared.

She really almost had.  We were lying facing each other.  I was looking at her, and she had a hand on my shoulder, running her thumb lightly over my skin.  A look came over her face and she took a breath to say something, but she never said it.  She resigned herself to letting it go, and then distracted me from asking any questions (such as "what were you going to say?") by casually pushing me away and onto my back.

But that look.  I knew that look.  I'd seen it before twice.  Once was when Hiroshi had uttered the words "I love you" for the first time.  The other time was when Hiroshi had asked me to marry him, which had just been the other day.

The sheer absurdity of the latter being Aya's reason to almost speak, I assumed it was the former. 

No, I didn't assume.  I knew.  There was no doubt that what was in her eyes was love, and I stupidly ignored it, brushing it off as a facial expression brought on by the heat of the moment.

The next morning, though, it was clear.

And what did I feel?

I didn't know.  It couldn't be love.  Not after two months.  But chemistry?  Yes, there was a whole lot of that.  I couldn't deny it.  But I needed to know something first.

"Why do you like me so much?  You've only known me for a few months."

She stayed silent, her eyes downcast.  I had to fill up that silence.

"Is there something you want from me?"

I shouldn't have said that, but it just tumbled out of my mouth in a clumsy, unplanned way.  Aya looked at me with a glare, under which I withered.

"You think I'm trying to get something from you?" she asked sharply.

In my weakened state, I only shook my head.  She huffed out a breath of air.

"I knew this was a mistake.  I should have sent you off home before it happened," she snapped self-admonishingly.

What was I?  A kid that had to be told when to go home?  What a condescending girl.  She started it.  I just asked her to continue it, and she most certainly did continue it.

Living with my mother for twenty-five years, however, had forced me to learn how to not explode with anger.  (My mom could be a scary woman when aggravated, and I sensed some of that in Aya.)

"I didn't mean it like that," I said evenly, but with a hard tone.  "I guess I can't imagine why someone like you would be after someone like me."

I thought what I said was supposed to console her, but it had the opposite effect of making her angrier.

"Will you stop it with that?" she bit back.  "Stop saying 'someone like you' as if we're from different worlds.  Just because I'm on TV and people know my name, it-"

"Wait a minute," I interrupted.  "I never said anything of the sort.  I meant a person with a strong heart and mind like yours.  I wasn't talking about fame or whatever.  I don't give a crap about that."

She looked positively embarrassed for having misinterpreted my words, but she quickly relaxed

"Anyway," I continued.  "My first question still stands.  Why do you like me so much?"

"I can't explain it well without sounding crazy," she sighed, dropping the last vestiges of her guard.  "I just know you and your heart better than you think.  You complete something in me."

I couldn't deny that I felt something like that in the air between us.  The feeling that together, we made an ultra duo.  A perfectly working, well-oiled unit.  We were in tune.  I wouldn't call if love, but the potential for it was almost smothering.

"Oh," I said softly.

Her eyes flickered up to look at my face and gauge my true reaction.  She saw me looking probably a little bewildered and shy.

"Anyway, forget it," she said quickly, rolling up to get out of bed.  "It's crazy talk.  I have to shower."

She grabbed the top blanket and covered herself to get out of bed, but I grabbed onto the edge because the rest of the sheets were tangled at the foot of the bed.  I didn't want to be left lying there, exposed to the cold.

I also did it to entice her to stay for a moment.

She mumbled a distracted apology and reached for the other sheets, but I quickly took her wrist and forced her to lie down again, covering her up with the blanket I'd yanked away from her.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Let's stay here together a bit more," I said with newfound courage.  "You don't have to get up this early."

But as usual, the courage left me and must have gone into her, because a look came over her face and she scared my by slithering up to me and planting a big, sleepy kiss on my lips.  We'd done more than that the night before, yet it surprised me and froze me up.  I thought that despite all our talk this morning, last night would have been it. There would be no continuation.  We'd return to what we were before.

Then I thought, Screw that.

It was us.  We weren't computers that terminated programs and started new ones according to system and order.  We were human beings with feelings that led us down winding corridors of discovery and excitement.

I wrapped my arms around her and let her climb onto me lazily.  Before anything got very serious, however, she lay herself back down beside me, her chin on my shoulder.

I want her to stay, I thought suddenly.  I want her to stay here with me so that I can figure all this out.

She must have seen my look.  Read it.

"I'm leaving today, you know?" she reminded me.

Everything inside me deflated.  So she wasn't going to stay.  I wasn't a good enough excuse to stay.  I couldn't believe how much I suddenly wanted her here.

"Are you sure?" I asked.

"Yeah."

I grew curious.  She'd come here a few months ago claiming that she used to have family that lived here.  She told me about the big project she'd abandoned, and how coming here was her escape.

But why here?  Even if she once had had family here, what was the point?  They seemed to all be gone.  She didn't know anybody around here other than me, my family, and Baachan's family.  If she had really wanted to escape, she could have just as easily gone overseas, or at least she could have gone somewhere with a more hospitable climate in the winter.

And why had she suddenly quit that Italy project?  It didn't seem all that bad, and she wouldn't have been alone.  Her best friend from her Hello! Project days would have joined up with her there along with another former co-worker.  Aya avoided talking about it, though, and whenever I brought it up, she'd skilfully change the subject, although not without my noticing it.

"What was your point coming here?" I asked.

Maybe a bit forward, but then again we'd slept with each other the night before, so I assumed I held a bit of a privileged position that would allow me to be so direct.

I pulled away a bit so that I could see her face.  She looked down.  At first I thought she was just staring at my body and trying to make me feel uncomfortable, but then I realised it was because she was thinking hard.

"I came to find this," she finally answered, looking at my face as she spoke.

"Find what?" I asked, frowning.

"This," she repeated, and she put her arm around my stomach and hugged me to her.

She came to find me?  This closeness?  What did she mean?

"What do yo-"

She cut me off by putting her face right up to mine.

"Do you want me to leave?" she asked.

Was that a trick question?

"No," I mumbled.

"Do you want to come with me?"

I wondered if I had heard her properly.  Come with her?  To Tokyo?  No.  She must have just meant the station.  Or the airport.  I'd told her the night before that I'd wanted to go to Tokyo with her, but I'd gotten the sense that she hadn't taken me seriously.  I didn't even know if I had been serious.

"The airport?" I asked, pushing her away from me to see her face clearly.

She shook her head.

"Tokyo."

She meant it?  Go to Tokyo with her?  I wanted to.  So desperate was I that I would have jumped up from the bed at that moment and run onto a plane completely nude if it was the only way.

I nodded my head, but then stopped.

"I don't have a job there.  I'm in school.  My parents-"

She cut me off with one of her special, fiery kisses, leaving me a bit dazed and embarrassed.  Did she have to be so... touchy-feely?  I was still trying to get used to being naked in front of her, even with a bed sheet covering me.

"Forget it all.  Just come with me.  We'll find you a job.  You can stay with me until then.  And we can... we can hang out."

Hang out?  She meant do this every night, right?

"And Hiroshi?" I asked.

I saw her cringe as I said his name.  I hadn't wanted to bring him up, but I wanted to know what she thought.  I'd been going out with him for two years, and I'd been friends with him for even longer - about twelve years.  I did have a sense of loyalty and commitment.

"He's not invited," she said, eyeing me carefully.

I looked to the side, staring at a tiny brown mole on her arm.

"Do I just leave him?" I asked her.

And I really did ask her.  I wanted her opinion.  Her advice.  Biased or not.

"You do what you want.  If you want to marry him, fine.  I'll be going back to Tokyo.  You can forget that this happened and I'll never bring it up again.  If you want to leave him and come with me, then we'll be in it together."

Why did she want me in her life so badly?  How could I have impressed her after two months of friendship?  Was I really that great?

"What if you get bored of me?" I asked seriously.

It could happen.  The underlying reasons for her coming here could have been to find a distraction from the pressures at work.  Maybe she'd wanted to go somewhere that was familiar enough to her (within Japan) but far away enough from Tokyo so that she couldn't be traced as easily.  The trip would have been an outlet for her stress.  By finding some form of highly different entertainment - in this case, me - and amusing herself for a few months, she could work everything out of her system before going back and restarting her career.

Maybe she was a mind-reader, because she looked at me like I was a rare specimen of amoeba.  She laughed, hugging me tightly and kissing my ear in a sloppy and wet way that kind of grossed me out, kind of made me feel mushy.

"You don't get it, do you," she giggled into said ear.  "We're meant to be together.  It's destined.  It's written in the stars.  It's not a question of getting bored of you."

"There's no such thing as destiny," I frowned, avoiding the issue for a moment.

She drew herself up and looked down at me again, smiling.

"I knew you'd say that.  I just mean that I'm positive I want you to come with me.  Last night changed everything."

It certainly had.  I hadn't seriously thought of following Aya to Tokyo until that morning.

So dump Hiroshi.  Say goodbye to mom and dad.  Let Baachan give someone else a chance to work in that wonderful environment.  Drop school.

"Okay," I said.

"Okay what?" Aya asked.

"I'm coming with you."

Her face broke out into a smile, and she hugged me, putting her forehead against mine.

"See?  It's meant to be."

I smiled back.

"But I can't leave this afternoon.  I'll need a few days."

I would have to pack, fill out forms to officially drop my classes, talk to my parents, talk to Hiroshi, buy a plane ticket...

"Take your time," she said.  "I'll be waiting for you in the capital."

"A few days only.  I promise," I said unnecessarily.

In a few days it would be a new year.  I wondered if it would be possible to get a flight or a shinkansen ticket on such short notice.  Probably not, but I'd try.

"Do you have the money?" Aya asked.

A painful and potentially awkward question.  Obviously, my family wasn't rolling in riches, but we were doing all right for ourselves.  I did have enough money for a plane ticket and initial daily needs, but not enough to start a new life in a new city, especially a city that was said to be one of most expensive ones in the world.  The rent would eat me alive.

I hesitated for too long.

"Just worry about your plane ticket.  I'll take care of the rest."

"No," I protested.  "I ca-"

"I still owe you for all that cooking at Baachan's"

"That's her place, not mine," I mumbled.

"And you know you're staying with me," she went on, ignoring me.  "My bed's big enough for the both of us."

At my look of mortification, she made an exaggerated show of correcting her sentence.

"Oops.  I mean my apartment's big enough for two."

Her eyes twinkled wickedly.  Living with a beautiful devil child?  It could be very fun.  But I still had to turn down her offer.

"Aya-chan, I can't impose on you like that.  You have a life.  A job.  You're busy.  I'll get in the way.  You-"

She put a hand over my mouth, and my words came out muffled and unintelligible.

"If there's anything I want from you," she started, making a pointed reference to my earlier stupid question, "it's for you to be beside me all the time."

I pulled her hand away with both of mine and rested those three hands on my stomach.  I gave up.

"Okay."

A simple word and her face broke out into a radiant smile.

"But I'm going to find a job as soon as I land.  Or, uh, maybe the next day," I insisted.

"Fine by me.  I'll probably be getting fired while you're being hired," she laughed.

With that statement, I remembered that she was going to be in very big trouble when she got home.  She had told me she'd probably be out of work, but I wondered what kind of company would be dumb enough to fire such a popular idol.  She had come such a long way since her Hello! Project days and was arguably even more stable in her position as a familiar face than she'd ever been before.  Unless they planned to deliberately sabotage her reputation so that no other agency would take her, they were better off keeping her.

She stayed like that for five minutes, breathing being the only sound that could be heard.

"I have to call Hiroshi," I said out of the blue.

"What will you say to him?"

"That I'm moving.  That I can't marry him."

A deep silence greeted my reply.

"But not break up with him?" Aya asked curiously, betraying no other emotion.

"I'll do that, too," I said quietly.

Did she realise how painful it was for me?  Did she really understand what I had with Hiroshi?  He was first and foremost a childhood friend, and no matter how mysterious and weird he was, he'd been there with me during the big moments in my life.  It was going to be difficult cutting off ties with a part of my history, especially such a safe one.

But Aya had a way of comforting me that nobody else had.  Her hand tightened over mine as though she could sense the pain and the struggle in me.

"I'm really glad you're coming with me," she said quietly in a near whisper.

"Me too," I whispered back.

Breaking up with Hiroshi would be easier if I could hold Aya's hand while doing it.  Maybe she did offer me some semblance of security after all.  I felt like I could do anything if she was around.

When the time came, I helped her pack.  We took showers, and I had to borrow more clothes from her.  I knew, though, that I would be able to return them soon.  I offered to go to the airport with her, but she told me to go home and start working on my parents.  I was afraid they'd be hard to convince to let me go.  I was the baby.  They were used to having me there.  My mother would miss having me around to shop together, to cook dinner together, and to have incredible disputes together.

We said goodbye in the hotel room.  I would leave a few minutes before her to avoid the front desk's suspicions.  Aya could have gotten into trouble for having a guest over against the rules, and walking out together would make it quite obvious she'd broken the rules.

The goodbye was uncomfortable on my part because I wasn't very good at that sort of thing.

"See you in a few days," I said, holding a bag with my still-wet clothes from the previous night's romp in the snow.

"I'll contact you when I land," Aya smiled brightly.

There was an awkward pause.

Were we supposed to hug?

I settled for nothing but a tight smile and a nod.  I turned around and put my hand on the doorknob.

"Hey, Miki.  Wait," Aya called out, making me stop instantly and turn around expectantly.

She studied me seriously for a moment and then smiled.

"Bye bye," was all she said with a loving look on her face that was starting to become familiar.

I smiled a big, relaxed smile.

"Bye bye."

I waved my hand, turned on my heels, and walked out feeling like a shooting star during its blaze of glory.  I went down the elevator and strutted out of that hotel as if nothing were amiss.  Nobody at the front desk said a word as I walked by, and I smiled secretly to myself.  Maybe I could make it in Tokyo.  If I toughened up, nothing in the capital could take me.

And I knew for certain that if I had Aya there to help me, I'd surely go a long way.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2007, 01:20:12 AM by OTN1 »

Offline Amarghetta

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2007, 06:30:26 AM »
Don't you tire? Lol! You're... everywhere!

[Good news for you, probably bad for me: that thing you asked about, it might happen this month... *groans* Remember, it's your fault!]

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2007, 06:43:17 AM »
I do tire.  I'm physically exhausted from staying up late at night this past while.  But my imagination doesn't seem to care.  Hahaha.

And oh!  Good news, good news.  ^-^

Offline Estrea

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2007, 06:45:07 AM »
Wow. :D I love you. XD

I always wondered what would happen if that so called alternate universe continued. XD

Now we get to see what happens with Miki ver.2 XD I can't wait. :D

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
- Lilium-related things. God save my soul.

On Hold:
- Everything Else. Too many to list.

I'm also on AO3!
http://archiveofourown.org/users/Estrea

Offline iacus

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2007, 07:00:08 AM »
Yay! :shakeit: Shake it baby!
This picks up where Love x ∞ left off
No huge plans for this one.  A few chapters of exploration.  Let's see where this one winds up...

I'm not too worried. Your fics always end up somewhere interesting.

Offline coachie

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2007, 09:04:18 AM »
YOU ARE CRAZY!!!  :lol:

Offline Ren

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2007, 09:29:13 AM »
Will Miki ver.2 become an idol too? XD

Offline Mikan

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2007, 09:33:56 AM »
Yes. You are crazy. But who am I to talk? Im far worse.

*buys front row tickets to OTN1's new story - RESTART: Miki's adventures in Tokyo*

I definately want to hear this one because Im sure its going to be good. A cheerful/angsty tale with no death. Unless Aya dies on the way home...but Im doubting it.

I like how its started - on the right foot. You seem to have Mikis character nailed and I dont know how you can keep in mind that she is still a country girl and not a Tokyo Idol like you have been writing her as for the last..oh god I dont even know how many stories. Because when you just look at it on the surface they both have the same personality, just different experiences.

Bring on the next chapters!!!!


Read the complete Doki Doki!!

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2007, 12:30:14 PM »
YOU ARE CRAZY!!!  :lol:
Hahaha, I know!

Mikan, be careful.  Never say never.  I might kill them both.  Hah!

So I take it from this positive feedback that you guys aren't absolutely fed up with the Love x 2/∞ world yet?  :lol:  I hope I can keep some sort of decent and consistent standard throughout this story.  I know that in past stories, I've wavered a bit in the last chunks of chapters. 

Chapter 2 is coming along smoothly. 

Offline Mikan

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2007, 01:42:06 PM »
Mikan, be careful.  Never say never.  I might kill them both.  Hah!

Dont even joke! :O If anything of the sort happens Im going to your apartment to beat you senseless till you change it...or I might just hang around till you write up another 10 chapters of pointless fluff as a punishment.

Actually can we make that a rule?
One character dead = 10 chapters of fluff

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Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2007, 04:12:43 PM »
Haha, you're the crazy one, Mikan!

Chapter 2

It was a bitterly cold morning.  My hands froze within minutes of being outside.  I tried my best to cover them with the sleeves of my jacket.  The rest of my body, though, felt warm, partly because I was thinking of Aya and the past seven hours, partly because I was scared out of my wits about facing my parents and Hiroshi and explaining to them my decision to leave home.

Despite my frozen fingers, I took out my cell phone and checked my messages.  There were three from my mother.  The first asked when I was coming home.  The second asked where I was.  The third stated that she was going to sleep, but to please get in touch in the morning.

I sighed and typed a quick message to her saying that I was on my way home from my friend's house and that I was sorry if she had been worried.  I continued to walk, and my mind started to prepare different thing to say.

"There's nothing for me here anymore.  I'm moving."

No...

"I'm moving to Tokyo and becoming a celebrity."

I laughed in my mind.  Silly.

"I'm moving to Tokyo and sleeping with a celebrity."

No, no, no.  No good.  I cringed at the thought of slipping up and saying that by accident.

"I can't marry you, Hiroshi.  I'm sorry."

My phone rang and mercifully pulled me away from my thoughts.  The message was from my mother.

Get home quickly!  There's a surprise for you.

A surprise?  I wondered what sort of surprise awaited me before noon.  Maybe my dad had gone out early to the bakery and gotten a loaf of that good bread we sometimes liked to buy on the weekend.  For a moment, I forgot about Aya, Tokyo, and Hiroshi, and I thought of nothing but eating yummy, warm bread fresh from the oven.

When I got home, there certainly was a surprise waiting for me.  It came in the form of a pair of old, but well-cared for sneakers.  They were very familiar to me, and when I saw them after opening the door, I tripped over my own feet and did a face plant on the floor in the entrance hall, alerting the whole family with a loud crash that their recently-turned-clumsy daughter was home.

"I'm home," I muttered into the chilly floorboards as several people gathered around me.

"Are you all right?" my mother asked worriedly, although I could hear the laughter that was masked by her tone of concern.

I groaned and nodded while getting up and slipping off my shoes.

"Are you sure you'd like to marry our daughter?" I heard my father say in a joking tone.

I cringed inwardly and turned around.  There was my father standing a metre away from me, and just behind him, a head taller, was Hiroshi.

What was he doing there?  And how did my dad know about the proposal?!  Had Hiroshi come here to elicit my parents' help in getting me to marry him?  If so, I was going to wring his neck.

I caught his eyes and sent him a death glare.  His eyes twinkled back, seemingly unconcerned with my irritation.

"She has her good moments," he told my father with a confident laugh.

I decided that the second we had a bit of privacy, I would throttle him.

"Hiroshi, what are you doing here?" I asked, trying to cover up my annoyance for the time being.

Hiroshi looked at my father first, then my mother, and then me.

"You left early and he missed you, so he called to ask if he could come over and surprise you late last night," my mom said for him.

That, I decided, was very, very sweet.  He had lousy timing, but he had a good heart.

I became cold with fear, though, after that warm and fuzzy moment.  This threw my whole plan off.  I couldn't just up and leave with him there.  Also, the fact that not even an hour ago, I'd been kissing someone else made me feel like a low life.  I was a cheater.  I hated people who cheated on their lovers.  Now I was one of them.

"Oh," I said reluctantly, and then added, "That's sweet."

Hiroshi and I exchanged glances, and I realised that I couldn't very well talk to him in the house.  The walls were paper thin.  My parents did not need to know the intimate details of our relationship.  I sucked in my guilt and smiled.

"Let's go," I said, reaching my hand out to him.

With a puzzled but easygoing look, Hiroshi took my hand.

"Where are we going?" he inquired.

"Out for a walk," I replied

We slipped on our shoes, said goodbye to my parents (who were somewhat bewildered by my behaviour), and set out towards the mountains.  It was the same walk I'd taken with Aya countless times during the past few months.  Hiroshi and I used to do it a lot when we were younger and he still lived in Takikawa fulltime.  We hadn't done one of these walks in a while, though.

I held Hiroshi's hand tightly as a million different phrases ran through my mind.  I wanted to explain everything to him, but I needed to find the right words because he deserved at least that much.  I also wanted to know why he'd told my parents he'd asked me to marry him.  Why would he do something like that when he knew me and my unwillingness to be swayed by other opinions?  Why would he try to get outside help?

We didn't talk while we walked, which wasn't unusual.  Sometimes we waited until we got to where we were going so that our conversation could be completely private.  Just between us and the trees, not the buildings, streets, and post boxes that we passed by.

We reached the edge of a cliff and stood to look out at the land below us.  Nothing but hills and pastures devoid of sheep.

"I need to talk to you seriously," I said, still holding his hand. 

Hiroshi continued to look forward, but his hand squeezed mine in a comforting way.

"You can't marry me," he said.

A...amazing, I thought, rather flabbergasted.

I looked down, my hand tightening around his.  He must've known from the moment he asked on Christmas Day.  The moment I said I needed to think about it.  And he'd been able to read me well enough just now to predict what I was going to talk about with him.

"I can't," I confirmed, my hand tightening around his, afraid that if I let go, I'd lose him forever.

Funny.  That's what was happening.  I was losing him - pushing him away voluntarily by breaking up.  And it hurt.  It hurt more than I could have imagined.  When I'd told Aya I'd break up with him, I hadn't imagined how much my heart would ache.  It was awful.  If only she could be here to tell me it was okay.  To hold my other hand and to comfort me...

"Can I ask why?" Hiroshi asked quietly, looking down at me.

I set my jaw in a hard way and tried to make a grim line with my mouth, but my heart wasn't in it.  I gave up, and I just rested my head on his chest as if listening to his heartbeat.  I couldn't hear it because of the thickness of his jacket and the layers he was wearing underneath.

"You and I aren't going anywhere," I murmured just loud enough for him to hear.  "We match well, but I know you can feel it too.  We're digging ourselves into a rut."

I spoke truthfully.  It was the only way that I could with him.

A few weeks after we'd started officially going out, Hiroshi had sat down with me and started a serious talk.

"If you're going to break my heart, just do it honestly," he had said to me.

At first, it had put me off.  He sounded so weak saying that.  Like a wimp signing a prenuptial agreement just in case.  Like he was accusing me in advance for doing something terrible like cheating on him.

The more I had thought about it that night and all through the next day, the more I had realised that he was stronger than any of the other boys I'd known.  He had had the courage to say that to me just as we were starting our relationship.  He'd wanted to set things right from the get go, and that was admirable.  It had made me fall for him just a little more.

From that day on, I never beat around the bush with him.  I was already a direct person, but with him, I could be myself and not have to worry about how hard I stepped on his toes.  If he was bothering me, I'd tell him.  If he was wrong, I'd tell him.  I expected (and received) the same treatment from him.  It was a mutual respect that I knew a lot of my friends hadn't been lucky enough to discover yet (if ever), and it was love of the real kind.

Fast forward through a few years, and there I stood, leaning against him and telling him that I couldn't marry him.

"Do you still love me?" he asked in a wavering voice.

Once I would have thought a wavering voice a pathetic display for a man.  But when you loved someone, that outlook softened and changed.

"Yes," I said honestly, looking up at him.  "I do.  But I can't marry you."

He looked down at me and I could swear that I saw unshed tears in his eyes.  They didn't spill out, though.  He was good at controlling that sort of thing.  The fact that I could see tears at all meant he was far more upset than I had imagined he would be.

"Will you ever be able to?"

I sighed.  This was it.

"No.  And what's more, I can't be with you anymore.  Like this.  I just can't."

He let go of my hand, and I suspected that he'd push me away from him, but instead, he hugged me closely.  I hugged him back.  There was no harm in a final moment with him.  We'd dated for two years.  You didn't just shut off your habits in one day.

"And I'm moving to Tokyo," I added in a small voice.

This caused him to suck in a surprised breath of air and push me away to get a clear look at my face.

"What?" he asked in disbelief.

"I haven't told my parents yet," I continued, looking away from him, "but it's pretty much a done deal."

"I... What?"

I looked down at the snow-covered ground between our feet.  I was shattering a life.  I was breaking it up into tiny fragments.  I was ripping apart his heart.

"You met someone else?" he asked in a tiny voice.

No, he didn't really ask.  He said it.  He could tell.  Maybe he'd seen one of those marks on my neck.  Aya had left a few. 

Come to think of it, she probably did that on purpose...

"It's complicated," I started, and he put a finger under my chin and forced me to look up at him.

His eyes were gleaming with emotion.  A lot of sadness and confusion, and a touch of anger.

"Don't avoid the question," he said to me.

"I'm not," I said defensively, shaking his hand off my face.  "I was just starting.  Yes, I met someone - a friend - who opened my eyes to the world out there, so now I have to go and see it."

Just at that moment, it started to snow.  Out of the blue.  Small flakes fluttered down on us, making the scene look unnaturally beautiful.  It would have been a confession scene in a movie, not a break up.

Hiroshi, indifferent to the snow, looked hurt, but when he spoke, he sounded so much more controlled.

"I thought that having each other would be enough, you know?" he sighed.  "Even if we moved here and became shepherds, at least we'd be together.  We wouldn't need fancy things."

This was Hiroshi, ace of the basketball team, frequently voted by his classmates as the handsomest boy in the school, and on his way to getting his doctorate.  A man who appreciated the simple things in life.  A man that loved me so much that he'd let go of all his dreams of playing basketball professionally or being a professor in a Canadian university just so that he could be with me.  That was why I loved him.  I loved his loyal heart, his gentleness, his carefully pursued ambitions, his way of thinking, his quirky habit of wandering off and disappearing in his own little world, the amount he loved me... and okay, yes, the sex was fantastic.

And for a second - a long second - I asked myself why I was throwing all that away for an idea of a glamorous life in Tokyo with a girl I hardly knew.  Why toss out this kind of love for something that was still floating in murky, unclear waters?

But when Aya's face came to mind, and I remembered the way she looked at me the previous night and that morning, it defeated all my senses and launched my feelings up to a whole different level.  Hiroshi was stable, Aya was not.  She was like a flame.  A flame that burned on and on, but that flickered constantly, leaving you guessing where it would jump to next.  She made me feel excited and invincible.  She filled me with hope, dreams, and optimism.  She filled me with the need to be beside her all the time.

"I love you, Hiroshi, but I need more.  So much more," I said softly.

Neither of use spoke.  The snow continued to fall, and I could almost hear each flake hitting various surfaces.

"So that's it for us?"

By the time Hiroshi spoke those words, the tops of our heads and shoulders were white with snow.

I nodded.

"That's it for us," I said with an air of finality.

He sighed.

"I just wish you hadn't told my parents that you had proposed to me.  They're going to worry now," I added in.

He looked up at me with a frown.

"I didn't tell them anything," he said.

Huh?

"But my dad-"

"Oh," Hiroshi interrupted me with his revelation.  "You thought he was... Okay.  No.  He was making a joke.  I never told him a thing."

That made me feel better.  Hiroshi was let off the hook.  He hadn't been trying to get my parents to force me to marry him.  It made everything a little bit better.

"Are you upset?" I asked.

"Do you even need to ask that?" he asked back in a sombre tone.  "Are you upset?"

I looked down.

"Yes," I said honestly.  "I'll miss you.  But I'm happy that I know what I want."

He tried to force a smile to come out, but it was gloomy.

"You're just going to quit school?"

There was definitely disapproval in his tone.  My silence told him that that was indeed my plan.

"Miki, if there's one last piece of advice I can give you as someone who loves you, it's to not quit altogether.  At least just take a semester off.  Ask them to hold your spot.  If you go to Tokyo and don't like it there, then you'll have something to come back to.  You're so smart, you know that?"

He reached out a hand and gently brushed the snow out of my hair, letting his fingers run through the dampened strands.

His advice made sense, but it seemed to dull the excitement of taking off for a new city and going in blindly with no safety net.

No, I would have a safety net.  Aya.  Nothing could go wrong if she was there.  That heightened my desire to drop school.

But I owed Hiroshi a lot, including comfort, reassurance, and trust.  I reached up and took his hand in mine, entwining my fingers with his and looking at him directly in the eyes with a soft smile.

"Thank you.  I can always trust your advice."

He put his hands on my shoulders, bent his head down, and without hesitation, he kissed me.  With our last kiss, I gave him everything that was his.  I sealed up my history with him, gave him the last ounce of love that I could, and said goodbye.

When he pulled back up, he wiped at his cheek hastily.  A tear had managed to work its way out of his eye.  Hiroshi.  A tough man on the courts.  A sensitive soul on snowy mountain paths.

"I'll go by your house and pick up my things later," he said quietly as if not to interrupt the concert the falling snow was putting on.

"You're not going to come now?" I asked with a frown.

He shook his head.

"I'm going to stay up here for a bit.  You go on ahead."

I gave him a concerned look, but he smiled.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything stupid," he said, touching my shoulder comfortingly.

I nodded, told him not to catch a cold, and then as if nothing heart-shattering had happened mere moments ago, I turned around and walked down the hill.

This was a pivotal moment in my life.  The era of Hiroshi had ended.  The era of Aya was about to begin.  When I finished walking this mountain path and entered my home, it would be time to talk to my parents and tell them about my plan to move.

So for the entire walk back home, I thought of Aya and pretended she was right beside me, holding my hand and giving me that unique strength of hers that warmed me up and made me indestructible.

With an image like that, there was no doubt in my mind that I was doing the right thing.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 04:31:16 PM by OTN1 »

Offline Mikan

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2007, 04:29:44 PM »
*stretches and rolls out futon*
Yes. Lamely enough I stayed up to read the update. But it was worth it!
Im sorry I sound so psychotic. Please forgive me! My bizzare humour is lost on the internet

Read the complete Doki Doki!!

Offline Gomaki

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2007, 05:24:26 PM »
Nice Nice Nice~ can't wait for the next part! :w00t: :lol:

Offline Amarghetta

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2007, 06:55:51 PM »
Eh, this Miki seems more stable than the one I'm used to... And I really like the idea of Aya being the seductress.

Offline len.chan

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2007, 07:57:50 PM »
I can't believe you did it again XD oh, wait.. I do.. It's you after all.. and I'm so glad you'r writing what happened with that alternate dimension. I was dying to know how that Miki was going to react the morning after. thank youuu :heart:

**edit**
thinking again... you're not going to kill one of them in the plane back to Tokyo right?  :frustrated:
« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 08:18:08 PM by len.chan »

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2007, 01:07:58 AM »
Quote
This picks up where Love x ∞ left off in the "other world" Aya was thrown into.  What if at that point, Aya returned to her own world, but another copy of her remained in the other world?  One answer to such a question, told from Miki's POV.
SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!! :rockon:


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I had cheated on my boyfriend, my almost-fiancé, with a famous idol.  Willingly.  And she was a girl.
The heart knows what it really wants. If Miki really did truly believe that she was meant to be with the BF, this wouldn't have happened.


Quote
My parents.  Oh, my poor parents!  If they ever discovered what the precious baby of the family was secretly doing behind closed doors, they'd never forgive themselves (or their precious baby).  I'd be disowned, ridiculed, shamed, gossiped about, run out of town...
At least it would give her the chance to get out o fthat town, which, from what she had said previously, seemed to be something that she had wanted anyway.


Quote
But wait.  I was being selfish.  What about Aya?  Her career would be destroyed.  Her life would be even more ruined than mine.  I was just some country daughter, but she was nation-wide famous.
And here we see why Aya and Miki just click when they're together. Miki might be panicky and surprised and have a crapload of adrenaline going through her right now, but even with that her thoughts are of Aya's well being and how HER life could be affected by what had happened.


Quote
Maybe I could sneak out and just let her go back to Tokyo, pretending this had never happened.

That's what I decided to do.  I'd leave before she woke up.  It would be perfect.  Nobody would ever find out.  I'd tell my parents I'd stayed at a friend's house, and Aya could go back to Tokyo peacefully without having to exchange any awkward words and excuses with me.  We'd never have to meet again.

That's what I would do.
That could very well work, but Miki knows that she could never really forget this, nor would Aya.


Quote
That struck me as an oddity because I still really loved him.  Very much.  He was a lot like me.  Normal, but with a hidden quirky streak (although he was much weirder).  Raised in a small town but yearning to break out of this enclosed life and strive for something more.  He'd tried to do that by going to university in Sapporo, but somehow we both knew that he'd wind up coming back here to this rundown town to live.
That last bit is what Miki is terrified of happening to her if she were to try and make it out on her own. She's scared that she either won't be able to cut it out there in the big city, or that she'll just get scared or intimidated and just return home in defeat.


Quote
We'd be clinging onto each other because it would be the safe thing to do.  What we wanted, though, was to reach out and grab a bit of excitement, and we weren't able to provide that for each other.
You can't play it safe and still be able to "grab that bit of excitement". Miki does, in fact know this, and it looks like she's finally starting to accept that.


Quote
"Bombs away!" I heard a little voice in a fighter plane yell as Aya's expression quickly sped from content to something closer to the opposite end of the spectrum.

"I'm sorry," she said quickly.  "I got a little carried away."
Aya, no doubt, is probably terrified that Miki might now hate/distrust her for what happened.


Quote
The truth?  I knew.  Deep down inside, I knew.  I saw it in those eyes the night before.  Why she had made me - no, let me - stay over.  It was because she needed me.  She wanted me.  I didn't know how long she'd felt that way, but it was pretty obvious, especially after she'd almost uttered a confession during a very quiet moment we had shared.

...

I was looking at her, and she had a hand on my shoulder, running her thumb lightly over my skin.  A look came over her face and she took a breath to say something, but she never said it. 

...

But that look.  I knew that look.  I'd seen it before twice.  Once was when Hiroshi had uttered the words "I love you" for the first time.  The other time was when Hiroshi had asked me to marry him, which had just been the other day.

The sheer absurdity of the latter being Aya's reason to almost speak, I assumed it was the former.
Even after only "knowing" each other for 2 months, Miki can still read Aya and know what she thinks without having to hear her say it. She may not get it immediately at first, but she can still piece things together.


Quote
"My first question still stands.  Why do you like me so much?"

"I can't explain it well without sounding crazy," she sighed, dropping the last vestiges of her guard.  "I just know you and your heart better than you think.  You complete something in me."
It doesn't sound crazy, not to me at least. It sounds like love. People in love can often sound like they're completely off their rocker. It's part of what makes the whole thing worth it.



Quote
"Forget it all.  Just come with me.  We'll find you a job.  You can stay with me until then.  And we can... we can hang out."

Hang out?  She meant do this every night, right?
Would that be such a bad thing?  8)


Quote
"You do what you want.  If you want to marry him, fine.  I'll be going back to Tokyo.  You can forget that this happened and I'll never bring it up again.  If you want to leave him and come with me, then we'll be in it together."

Why did she want me in her life so badly?  How could I have impressed her after two months of friendship?  Was I really that great?
Damn right you are.  :pimp:


Quote
"What if you get bored of me?" I asked seriously.

It could happen.  The underlying reasons for her coming here could have been to find a distraction from the pressures at work.  Maybe she'd wanted to go somewhere that was familiar enough to her (within Japan) but far away enough from Tokyo so that she couldn't be traced as easily.  The trip would have been an outlet for her stress.  By finding some form of highly different entertainment - in this case, me - and amusing herself for a few months, she could work everything out of her system before going back and restarting her career.
Unfortunately, instances like that have been known to happen. Miki's just trying to protect herself from getting hurt.


Quote
"You don't get it, do you," she giggled into said ear.  "We're meant to be together.  It's destined.  It's written in the stars.  It's not a question of getting bored of you."

"There's no such thing as destiny," I frowned, avoiding the issue for a moment.
Doesn't matter, to borrow a line from a well-admired and respected writer, they are "cooler than destiny".


Quote
"But I can't leave this afternoon.  I'll need a few days."

I would have to pack, fill out forms to officially drop my classes, talk to my parents, talk to Hiroshi, buy a plane ticket...
The actual moving is easy, being able to leave your safety net...THAT's the hard part.



Quote
One character dead = 10 chapters of fluff
That works for me. Considering that he's killed off BOTH Aya and Miki in his stories, that means he owes us 20 chapters of fluff!!!!  :w00t:


Quote
My phone rang and mercifully pulled me away from my thoughts.  The message was from my mother.

Get home quickly!  There's a surprise for you.
Okay, either the BF has come home (no doubt wanting Miki's answer), and/or something else has happened which will make it harder for Miki to leave home.


Quote
When I got home, there certainly was a surprise waiting for me.  It came in the form of a pair of old, but well-cared for sneakers.  They were very familiar to me, and when I saw them after opening the door, I tripped over my own feet and did a face plant on the floor in the entrance hall, alerting the whole family with a loud crash that their recently-turned-clumsy daughter was home.
Door number 1 it is. Man the shit's gonna fly.


Quote
"Let's go," I said, reaching my hand out to him.

With a puzzled but easygoing look, Hiroshi took my hand.

"Where are we going?" he inquired.

"Out for a walk," I replied

...

"I need to talk to you seriously," I said, still holding his hand.

Hiroshi continued to look forward, but his hand squeezed mine in a comforting way.

"You can't marry me," he said.

...

He must've known from the moment he asked on Christmas Day.  The moment I said I needed to think about it.  And he'd been able to read me well enough just now to predict what I was going to talk about with him.
Granted, guys can be incredibly dense at times. However we do have moments of intuition now and then (often occurring at situations like this where we know we're going to get hurt).  We hope to death that we're wrong, but unfortunately our initial instincts are right on the nose.


Quote
A few weeks after we'd started officially going out, Hiroshi had sat down with me and started a serious talk.

"If you're going to break my heart, just do it honestly," he had said to me.
That shows a strength of character to be able to have the guts to say that. Most guys don't like beating around the bush about most things anyway. Often, we prefer to be as direct as possible to avoid confusion as much as possible. However, the fact that he told her this about THIS...it shows that he indeed loves and respects her a whole lot. He doesn't want Miki to go trying to be "gentle" if she ever wanted to break up with him. He knows that's not her and that if she tried to do that it would probably just make the whole thing much harder for her than it needed to be.


Quote
"And I'm moving to Tokyo," I added in a small voice.

This caused him to suck in a surprised breath of air and push me away to get a clear look at my face.

"What?" he asked in disbelief.
Now THIS he obviously wouldn't have been expecting. Even if they were no longer together as a couple, they could at least see each other around town and be friends. The problem with this is, this is yet another example of how he and Miki were using their relationship as a safety zone. He had figured that he'd always be able to see her in one way or another, and that gave him comfort.  To hear this must really scare him.  After all, to no longer be able to see someone that has been a part of your life for so long...  :cry:


Quote
I met someone - a friend - who opened my eyes to the world out there, so now I have to go and see it."

...

"I thought that having each other would be enough, you know?" he sighed.  "Even if we moved here and became shepherds, at least we'd be together.  We wouldn't need fancy things."
I really wanted to reply to this part, but I spent something like 10 min just staring at it...wondering what to actually say.   

As much as Miki is a homebody, she's also been a dreamer.  At some point in her life in this reality, she must have resigned herself to the fact that her dreams were unrealistic/impossible, and that she shouldn't bother with them anymore. It's again all about that little safety net that had been established in the relationship she and Hiroshi had, as well as in her day-to-day life in Takikawa.  She stopped reaching for her dreams because she was scared of falling (figuratively speaking) and getting hurt. Now she has another chance to try those new things with Aya, and at least this time, if Miki falls, there will be someone there who'll be with her and who will encourage her to keep trying. No offense meant to Hiroshi, but if he was there, he'd probably try and convince Miki to give it up and go back home, and that's not what she wants.


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This was Hiroshi, ace of the basketball team, frequently voted by his classmates as the handsomest boy in the school, and on his way to getting his doctorate.  A man who appreciated the simple things in life.  A man that loved me so much that he'd let go of all his dreams of playing basketball professionally or being a professor in a Canadian university just so that he could be with me.  That was why I loved him.
Sometimes, the nice guys CAN get the girl (though in this case, he doesn't keep her, sorry Hiroshi).

Nice touch with the Canadian University bit too, BTW.  :canada:


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I loved his loyal heart, his gentleness, his carefully pursued ambitions, his way of thinking, his quirky habit of wandering off and disappearing in his own little world, the amount he loved me... and okay, yes, the sex was fantastic.
Okay, I'll be honest. That last part, I didn't need to know. 


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"I just wish you hadn't told my parents that you had proposed to me.  They're going to worry now," I added in.

He looked up at me with a frown.

"I didn't tell them anything," he said.

Huh?
He didn't??? :O


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"But my dad-"

"Oh," Hiroshi interrupted me with his revelation.  "You thought he was... Okay.  No.  He was making a joke.  I never told him a thing."
Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan...aren't parents incredibly annoying when they do that? 


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"You're just going to quit school?"

There was definitely disapproval in his tone.  My silence told him that that was indeed my plan.

"Miki, if there's one last piece of advice I can give you as someone who loves you, it's to not quit altogether.  At least just take a semester off.  Ask them to hold your spot.  If you go to Tokyo and don't like it there, then you'll have something to come back to.  You're so smart, you know that?"
Not to sound like a broken record, but again, this is another example of that "safety net" that Miki has to get away from if she's really going to start reaching out and trying new things. What Hiroshi is saying is by no means unreasonable. In many ways it would definitely be practical and the smart thing to do.  In most situations, having something to fall back on can be a good thing. However in this case it isn't, because in this case Miki would again be giving up like she did before.   To live with no regrets, she needs to completely walk away, she needs to take those steps completely on her own.


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A tough man on the courts.  A sensitive soul on snowy mountain paths.
Hey girls, that's a good thing, right?


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This was a pivotal moment in my life.  The era of Hiroshi had ended.  The era of Aya was about to begin.
No, not the era of Aya. It's the era of Miki that we're talking about here.  Sure she's doing this because she wants to be with Aya, but that's only a part of it. Above it all (or beneath it all, depending on how you like to express it), Miki's doing this for Miki. It's something that she's wanted to do for a long time, but up until now didn't have the courage to actually do. Aya just helped bring that courage forward, and now Miki's using it.


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When I finished walking this mountain path and entered my home, it would be time to talk to my parents and tell them about my plan to move.
The shit's really going to fly here.  As Miki herself has stated, she's the baby of the family and it will be hard for her parents (as it naturally would be) to come to terms with her wanting to go.  They won't be as calm as Hiroshi, that's for sure, but hopefully they'll understand like he did.

JPH!P :heart:'s Fushigidane, ChrNo, Jab & marimari. Always.

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2007, 02:22:43 AM »
Mikan, I thought it was funny.  But there's just no way I could give you fluff for each character killed.  I mean, in Aya's plane crash alone, there would have been about 250 people involved, and 250 x 10 = a number of fluffy chapters that I do not want to write.

In other words: Shiba-chan, you're safe for now.

I also like Aya in the role of seductress.  Never mind wine and sexy lingerie.  All you need is Aya being Aya.

Len.chan, in this case, I think I'll give away a tiny bit of what will happen: Nobody is going to die on/in/beside/under/because of a plane.  I think it's safe to say that Aya and Miki will both be alive to have more conversations in later chapters.  Hahaha!
 
Doesn't matter, to borrow a line from a well-admired and respected writer, they are "cooler than destiny".
:lol: :oops:
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After all, to no longer be able to see someone that has been a part of your life for so long...  :cry:
This is where I feel very sorry for Hiroshi.  Hah, I need to write a happy ending for him one day.  One that doesn't end with him as a Catholic priest in Rome after the death of his sister.

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No, not the era of Aya. It's the era of Miki that we're talking about here.  Sure she's doing this because she wants to be with Aya, but that's only a part of it. Above it all (or beneath it all, depending on how you like to express it), Miki's doing this for Miki.
You're absolutely right.  Thank you for pointing that out.  Miki's her own, strong person.  She looks out for the people she cares about, but she also looks out for herself.

Amarghetta points out that Miki is more stable in this story/universe, and yes, that's true.  Maybe in the other world where she had gone to Tokyo and become disillusioned after being bounced around by UFA, she wouldn't have done something drastic like this (a complete life change) for herself.  She would have thought that it was only worth doing if it was for Aya or someone else.  She went off on her own at a young age, and while she initially had the confidence and the self-esteem, she was screwed over and lost it.  Being at a more impressionable age, it had more of an effect on her.  Aya helped pull her out of that well, but it took time.  And when she lost Aya, things just got very very bad for her.

But in this world, she's lived with good people like her parents, Baachan, and Hiroshi, who have treated her with love and respect.  She has a more developed sense of self-worth because of it.  She may have lost some great opportunities (missing the Morning Musume audition, missing her university entrance exam the first few times), but she wasn't toyed around with in the rest of her life.  Or at least she didn't receive more than the "normal" amount of curve balls life throws at us (nobody's got a spotlessly perfect life, after all).

...I kind of forgot where I was going with this... but thanks, guys, for making me think, and sorry to kind of chatter incoherently about it.

Offline black velvet

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2007, 02:45:14 AM »
Oooh, nice! I'm glad that you continued this, especially in Miki's POV. Her character definitely is different from what we are used to reading. Of course, this is Takikawa country bumpkin Miki, not Tokyo idol Miki. Also, it's strange to see her being so submissive, but we all know that Aya is a . . . nice girl. Haha.

I was expecting Hiroshi's reaction to be sensible. He's definitely shocked, but he's a great guy. I find it sweet that he wants to be her "safety net", although she has already stated that Aya will be just that. Still, he really does care, but I think that whenever childhood friends or highschool sweethearts get married, they're stuck in a boring rut. It's the same, old thing, I guess. Some might say that Miki is making a selfish decision, but we all know that Miki (in this story specifically) has a wild taste for adventure. This could be good for her, and it could help her grow as a person.

Oh, and there's also the simple fact that she and Aya are soulmates. :heart:

Offline iacus

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2007, 08:45:12 AM »
This is where I feel very sorry for Hiroshi.  Hah, I need to write a happy ending for him one day.  One that doesn't end with him as a Catholic priest in Rome after the death of his sister.

Dude! I totally missed that! Now I have to go back and read that whole story again...

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2007, 12:49:50 PM »
Damn, I always wondered about Miki's side!

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