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Author Topic: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]  (Read 37855 times)

Offline Aisacchan

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [11/26 - Answer (END)]
« Reply #180 on: March 24, 2010, 05:11:11 AM »
This is the fic that made me addicted to H!P fanfics  :heart:

After finishing read the whole chapter of this fic, I turn into emo mode for days  :(
It makes me cry and frustated

You write ReinAi so well  :thumbsup

ReinAi's relationship is very complicated
I feel bad for them. No happy ending for ReinAi in this fic  :(
But I guess that is the right choice

Nanchatte Renai was epic. An awesome story, very deep and emotional
It's definitely one of my favorite fic, though it's so sad and heartbreaking  :cry:

Good job Estrea-sama  :twothumbs
~ jurina & mayuyu oshi
~ wmatsui, jurimayu, mayuki

Offline kano-chan

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [11/26 - Answer (END)]
« Reply #181 on: April 07, 2011, 09:04:56 AM »
THIS. FIC. IS. SO. AWESOME. GOOD.! :farofflook:

But throughout the reading, I was in denial. I couldn't bring myself to believe that they can't be together and I FREAKING HATE REINA'S STUPID PRIDE! So like many others, I was EMO FOR SOOO LONG! :on cloudeye: :fainted: Even now, I'm kinda sad. :mon tantrum: :badluck: I mean your fic was really gooood and that's probably the right way to end it, but I can't get used to sad endings! :frustrated: :pleeease: :tantrum: :imdead:

Please, if you ever write another ReinAi fic again, which I hope you would, give it a happy ending so I can move on! :mon pray2: :mon angel: (You should write more since you're so good with ReinAi) :heart: :yep:

I want to read it again, but I'm afraid of the ending :bleed eyes: so I'll go read Destiny Love. :grin:

Thank You for the fic(s)! :twothumbs

« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 11:27:20 AM by kano-chan »

Offline aya-chii

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [11/26 - Answer (END)]
« Reply #182 on: April 09, 2011, 08:01:11 AM »
 :fainted:

do you know how much this fic drove me insaneeee?!
i actually hated ai's character! i actually wanna slap her hard and so so so and blab how evil she is!!!
i felt pity for gaki-san.. but then, it wavered easily as soon she disappeared out of the scene...

I FELT MORE HEARTBROKEN FOR REINA!!!  :gyaaah:

i wish i could say more, but it feels like i'll say the same things over and over again
this fic is just... heartbreaking. full of.. saddening emotions.. it had set me rolling off to the floor..
it is good. yeah. very very good.

why it seems i felt like this recently...

then i realized, yeah. it is estrea and her Destiny Love.

Offline astro18

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [11/26 - Answer (END)]
« Reply #183 on: April 11, 2011, 09:06:29 AM »
I read this fic after I started Destiny Love haha.. :sweatdrop:
Anyway, this was one of the best/saddest fics I have ever read :bleed eyes: It literally made my heart hurt :on speedy:

I actually didn't feel bad for Gakisan in this fic.. I feel like she should have known their relationship wasn't really going anywhere :smhid

But Reina and Ai!!! :frustrated: I love how Reina came with Ai's schedule book after their phone call and the aigaki fight. She just knew she needed her :farofflook:

Why must they hurt each other so :bleed eyes: :bleed eyes: The ending makes me cry :on cloudeye:

They're both prisoners of love~
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 11:55:53 AM by astro18 »

Offline Estrea

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [11/26 - Answer (END)]
« Reply #184 on: July 24, 2011, 06:24:39 PM »
SURPRISE!!!! Almost 2 years later, and I return with one last hurrah!

Put on your seatbelts people, let's rock and roll!


-==============================================

Sing with me.

The note, with its familiar sloppy scrawl, had been delivered to her via manager along with a sealed manila folder. Reina had waved away any explanatory words from the man before he could even speak. It didn't seem necessary.

This was the first and only communication coming from that person ever since that night when everything ended. Reina had been prepared to close that chapter of her life, even though a little voice within her pleaded with her to not give up, to give things a chance, to give herself a chance to heal.

She chose distance instead. I need to grow up. That was her excuse to herself. She had spent too much time crying over one person. There was more to the world than that, that woman. That insufferable, bewitching, frustratingly beautiful example of a woman. It had taken a few months more after that to effectively seal off her external reactions to sight or sound of her. Which had been challenging -- she liked watching TV and that woman was on half of her favorite dramas. Then again, it helped her to build immunity. She refused to let even a memory dictate her life. She would move on. She would prove she could.

Eventually she had come back to the industry. There was no keeping her from it for long. She had not been idle in the interim though. Reasoning that she couldn't rely on modelling forever (diversification!), she fell back on training her vocals, and met up with a few of her acquaintances to make the necessary contacts for good songs to throw her way when the time came. She did not sleep with them though. That part of her life was over. If she chose to bed someone, anyone, it would only be because she wanted to, not because she was running from something. She would prove that she could do things her way. No more hiding.

Her return had been carefully orchestrated. Her comeback had made a huge splash in the headlines, the proverbial return of the prodigal child. She gave the image of the penitent sinner, but gave up nothing of the dangerous edge that made her so wilfully attractive, even wanton, to her fans. The contrast struck a chord, and the choice of songs made available to her had given her the opportunity to enhance that image.

She became a hit. She had still been relatively unknown before -- her scandal had merely caused a big enough ripple to require public banishment -- but now people really sat up and took notice. People knew her name now. She was actually actively recognized on the streets. She had billboards and posters over half of Tokyo. She was popular, the wild child redeemed but still untamed. She was successful, driven, and happy in her work...

...until now. The note seemed to burn in her hand and she crushed it, dropping it without a second glance into the waste paper basket. She was about to toss the manila folder after it, but hesitated. The weight of it was insignificant, but it felt like a ton for all it meant. Without really knowing why she did it, she put it back down on the table, unopened. Her manager watched without comment until Reina turned back to him, and they began talking shop like nothing had happened.

When Reina left the room, the manager wordlessly picked up the abandoned folder before leaving to trail after his moody charge. It was too good an opportunity to waste, regardless of what Reina herself thought of it. He had to find a way to make the girl at least glance through the contents. With that in mind, he made a call to his colleague about the inevitable delay.

~*~*~

An end to yet another busy day, and Tanaka Reina was inordinately grateful to finally be home. Her manager had disappeared on her shortly before the recording ended, leaving just a note and a neatly written list of her engagements for the following day. Reina scowled at the packed schedule, but felt a surge of energy at the prospect of juggling everything. She had turned into a workaholic, to the delight of the company, and the dismay of her manager, who fussed over her like a mother hen. Reina thought that Sasaki needed a break. The plump man's entire life revolved around his job -- her, in other words. She did not pause to consider the irony in that statement in regards to her own life.

Tossing her things down with nary a thought, she jumped into the shower and emerged refreshed a satisfying half hour later. Lightly dressed in t-shirt and shorts, she padded around her living space with a sense of purpose, fetching food and drink for herself.

It was only until she settled down in front of her TV that she noticed a suspiciously familiar folder, this time with a note from Sasaki.

Proposal for a new collaboration. Read it and give me your input asap.
-- Sasaki


Reina narrowed her eyes. She wasn't that stupid. Pointedly ignoring the folder, she grabbed the remote and aimed it at the TV. She was determined to be a couch potato for the rest of the night. Work be damned...at least until tomorrow morning.

An hour and a drama episode later, Reina had her hand on the remote again. Channel-surfing had its moments, but not for any longer than a few minutes. Her attention drifted back to the innocent-looking folder lying on her coffee table.

Flip. Some boring variety show. Flip. News. Flip. Food show. She watched for about 2 minutes before changing the channel again. Sports, boo.

"Oh fine!" She tossed the remote and reached for the folder, tearing off the top and pulling the contents out.

Music. The bars and notes stare back up at her, accompanied by annotations in a familiar hand. Fussily precise, the personality of the previous owner positively screamed up at her in every correction and comment. Not that she needed much help identifying her.

Despite herself though, Reina paid attention. Even though her first reflex was to thrust these papers away, burn them if possible, her eyes were fixated on the soaring notes and the lyrics they carried. She hummed the bars, feeling how they vibrated in her chest.

Her voice wavered as she tried the chorus. To her surprise, unbidden tears sprang to her eyes,  and she blinked them away fiercely. The individual parts were neatly highlighted and underlined. Already, she had some idea of how it was meant to sound.

It was not a song to sing alone. At the final page, there was another short note.

I can't sing this with anyone else. Do with it as you wish. You know where I am.

Again, unsigned. Not that Reina needed further identification. She sang a few more lines, experimentally. Her voice caught. She couldn't sing this alone. She couldn't sing this at all.

If I told you that I'm nothing without your love
If it's not you, it's meaningless


Reina put down the papers carefully, closing her eyes as she leaned back on the couch. The song itself was no less than a confession, a desperate plea to be heard. She felt her own pain rising to echo the screaming between the lines. She could already imagining singing this, not alone, but not with just anyone either.

Her. It had to be her. She understood now why this came to her. It did not make things any easier. This was too intimate, too personal. She would have to bare her soul to make this song work. It wasn't just about hitting the right notes and harmonizing with the other party. It was...

Reina's hand had already closed around her mobile, the knuckles white on the shiny shell. She swallowed hard as she texted Sasaki.

I'll do it.

~*~*~

The following whirlwind of activity unrelated to this special collaboration took up all her attention after that, for which Reina was eternally grateful. Naturally, it did not postpone the inevitability of facing her partner eventually. It simply made it easier to not think about it.

The first practice venue was set, the dates confirmed. They had to meet up to discuss the parts, decide the harmonies and the like. The technical details of the song, along with actually practicing it. It would take many gruelling hours, even not considering who it was doing this with her. Reina sighed. Best to just get it over with, now that she had agreed against all common sense.

She was already there, when Reina entered. Sasaki hurried forward to greet the other manager, leaving Reina to nod at the crew around the area. She did not purposefully slow down, but she did take her own time before deigning to turn her attention to the source of her current anxiety.

The woman in question was engaged in quiet conversation with a bearded man, their heads bent over what Reina recognized was the songsheet. More notes covered this copy, and Reina had to suppress an instinctive surge of irritation at the closeness between the two.

"Ah, Tanaka-san, good of you to join us." The bearded man greeted her as he glanced up. He gave Reina a perusing gaze, as if trying to get a better profile of her. Reina ignored him. Her eyes were fixated on his companion, who was only now slowly looking up.

The jolt as their eyes met was palpable, but it subsided when Reina forcibly yanked her gaze away, trying to pay attention to what the man, who was apparently the songwriter, was saying.

"...as I was saying to Takahashi here, this song requires a lot of cooperation and chemistry. After all, what duet doesn't?" His chuckle was sincere, his eyes twinkling in good humor. He sobered a little as he gave a piercing look to Reina.

"I have high hopes for you, Tanaka. I knew I wanted Takahashi for this song, and I allowed her to choose her partner. I had expected a man at least, so this is unexpected." He stared seriously at Reina. "I hope you understand what's involved here. I won't tolerate any tardiness."

Reina looked sharply at her partner, one Takahashi Ai, who looked away uncomfortably.

"Let's just get started." Ai's voice was soft, surprisingly in control despite her obvious discomfort. Reina carefully schooled her face to rid it of any unwanted emotions, and sat down at the table to begin.

It was surprisingly easy once they put aside their personal feelings to focus on the work at hand. Both of them were throughgoing professionals, so perhaps it was to be expected. They were even able to debate whether certain parts were more suited for either one of them, but that was just the beginning. The real test came in actually singing it and finding out as they go.

It was the songwriter Hiro who made them get up to try it at last. He needed to hear them, well, he needed to hear Tanaka most of all. He had heard her other work, and while she really wasn't that bad, but she wouldn't have been his first choice for the song. But he respected Takahashi's choice, and if they worked well together, it would be enough.

And so it began.

~*~*~

BANG!

The clatter of discordant chords shocked the room to stillness. The two girls did not move. Ai looked strained. Reina's face was set in a scowl. Hiro glowered at them, his hand flat on the keyboard where he had just smashed it there.

"What the hell is wrong with the two of you? Where's the chemistry? You two barely look at each other! So what if you hit all the notes? It means nothing!"

He stared first at Ai. "You, Takahashi! You sound like a damn robot! That's not how you sounded when you first tried it alone! Where's your passion? There's no emotion at all!"

He turned angry eyes to Reina, who was staring at her sheet with a blank expression.

"And you, Tanaka! I don't know why Takahashi picked you. You call that singing? If you don't care about what you're doing here, you better leave right now."

Reina was about to bite back with a retort, but Ai clamped a firm hand around her wrist, giving a quick shake of her head. Reina swallowed her words, her jaw set defiantly. Hiro gave them both an irritated glance.

"Take a break, you two. Don't come back until you sort things out."

He turned back to his keyboard. Reina shrugged, then looked down at where Ai's hand was still attached to her wrist. Ai also looked down, and they shared a look. Reina shook free of her grasp, turning away, but stopped when Ai reached forward to lay a hand on her shoulder.

"Don't go." Reina shrugged.

"I just need something to eat." She continued walking. When she reached the door, she glanced over her shoulder.

"Aren't you coming?"

A shocked pause. Then hurried footsteps, and the door opened into blinding daylight.

~*~*~

"You've been doing well."

"So have you."

That was the extent of their opening conversation. The rest of it was taken up by an exaggerated attention over their food. It was ridiculous to anyone who knew anything about them. To any other unobservant stranger though, it would appear that they were getting along  just fine. Unfortunately, Baachan was not just anyone.

"It's been so long since you two came together! Reina-chan, you're so thin now! You must be working too hard! Come, eat more...and Ai-chan, stop picking at your food or I'll think you don't like my cooking anymore!"

Both girls shared a mutual glance of exasperation. There was no escape from the fussing. Baachan busied around them and her other customers, still sprightly despite her age. She made passing comments about anything and everything, determined to not let her two favourite girls act so distant towards each other. They had been such good friends, it was a pity to see them be so strained around each other.

"Really, Ai-chan, you always come alone so I was glad when you finally found a friend, and then you proceed to come alone again for the past two years..."

Reina looked at Ai, who seemed fully intent on her food, not even making a sign of acknowledgment at Baachan's inadvertent revelation. When the old woman puttered off again, Reina said lightly.

"So did you choose that building because it was close to this place?"

"Maybe..." Ai looked up. She was struck by how both of them had changed, sitting here at the table. Two years was comparatively short in the grander scheme of things, but it felt like longer. She held up some noodles with her chopsticks.

"Some things never change." She proceeded to slurp up the noodles, leaving Reina alone to her thoughts. They did not speak again for the rest of the meal, but walked side by side when they went back.

Outside the door, Reina stopped, making Ai pause in her tracks as well.

"If we're going to do this, we'll have to do it right."

Reina did not look at Ai as she said this, her hand already turning the handle to enter.

Ai hesitated at the entrance, her voice a whisper that Reina barely caught.

"I was always only waiting for you to look at me..."

~*~*~

The pendulum still swaying
The thread which follows my last hope
Why did it snap and break off?
This kind of heartbreak
Is the realization that comes from trial and error
I understand but still I am lost
Is this really for the best?
We've might have had the possibility


Their eyes never left each other's towards the end. They barely noticed when the music stopped, their gazes dropping from each other as both tried to recover from the emotional exertion.

"Now I know why Takahashi picked you." Hiro's voice broke the silence. He seemed happier now, since he finally got the effect he was looking for. "I'm glad you two worked things out. Now, let's work on this part, I thought that..."

He ignored the lingering awkwardness between the two leads, his voice intent as he went into the technical details. After a moment, they too put aside their personal hangups and went into the discussion in earnest.

~*~*~

They kept their lives separate, as separate as they have been since that night. The weeks flew past, and save for the times when they sang together, they remained resolutely apart. Yet those barriers were slowly diminishing, and they both knew it. Every look they exchanged, every impassioned note rising in tandem, the air between them smouldered when they sang, and everyone around them could see it. That they remained outwardly aloof to each other off stage might have seemed strange, but the staff were used to such disparities, and made no issue of it.

The first live performance came and went, and suddenly the song was everywhere. Bad enough that two girls were singing what was obviously a love song, but to others with a longer memory, it seemed particularly ironic that it was these two. They were invited for interviews. When asked about their chemistry, they gave polite answers that said nothing of substance. Just two girls who were good friends. The lie was just a thin veneer that could barely hide the raw emotion raging between the two the moment they hit the stage.

One night, Ai even cried. Don't be so gentle, I don't need your pity.

Reina soothed away her tears. Don't cry... don't cry, Baby...

The next day the tabloids printed a freeze frame of their performance, their foreheads almost touching, their intimacy almost like lovers. They ignored it. The fans loved it.

The publicity lasted for weeks. Even when the next interesting thing came along, the tabloids seemed reluctant to give up on the couple. There was always a small article of something about them tucked away in a corner, just waiting for something to trip the trigger. Not even the media knew what they were waiting for, only that there was news somewhere there.

It was impossible to ignore the rekindling flames. They found every excuse to stay away, but somehow ended up exactly where fate (or their managers) intended them. Sasaki and Moriya appeared to have some sadistic instinct when it came to finding work for them together. Reina even threatened to fire him, but Sasaki just smiled and went on with his work. He knew Reina wouldn't really do it. He was right.

Everything remained unspoken between them. They already repeated everything they would have to say to each other in that damn song anyway. Every single damn time. The more she sang it, the more Reina felt doubts about having left that night. It hurt to have Ai so close now, but  yet so terribly far away...and it was a distance of her own making.

She pushed you away first. Her pride reminded her. Reina clung to that pride, all that was left to her. It was perhaps foolishly stubborn, but Reina was like that. Ai seemed content to wait, patiently devoted to the one person she still felt so strongly for.

It seemed like nothing would break the stalemate. Reina was too stubborn to back down, and Ai was too stubborn to give up. Like two angry bulls, they remained separated by a mere fence, glaring each other down. It seemed like the twain would never meet.

~*~*~

It was really only a matter of time before something broke. Reina was headed to yet another production meeting, that somehow had Ai involved somewhere too. Reina was beginning to have her suspicions about their managers. Ai seemed too passive to have arranged all this, and Reina knew Sasaki well enough to expect some scheming on his part.

Well, it wasn't as if it was detrimental to her career, quite the reverse, actually. Reina hummed to herself as she turned a corner. It wasn't like seeing Ai was so bad now...

She stopped. There was a man and a woman by the far end of the corridor, the man towering over the much smaller woman. They were almost close enough to be touching, but it was clear that the woman had her back to the wall and was clearly shrinking still smaller. Reina watched dumbly as the man reached forward to touch the woman's hair, only to have her flinch away and say something, trying to back away from him.

Reina found herself walking quickly over, her mind red with a rage she hadn't felt in years. When she got closer, she could see the hidden terror in Ai, like a highly coiled spring that was about to break under the tension. She reached out and pulled Ai away, towards herself.

"Leave her alone." Reina growled. The man blinked. He was some kind of movie star, with his exotic good looks, Reina remembered vaguely. Tachi-something. Whatever. She didn't care.

"See you around Ai-chan. I look forward to our next production." He waved jauntily, pointedly ignoring Reina who was still standing guard in front of Ai protectively.

"Thanks." Ai said quietly. Reina whirled around, pushing a stunned Ai into the wall.

"Don't just stand there and let everyone walk over you! You're not a damn doormat! I won't always be around for you!" Reina cried out angrily.

"He didn't mean anything by it." Ai averted her gaze. Reina scowled.

"He was touching you and you hated it. You hate it, it's all over your face!" Reina threw up her hands in exasperation. "I can't rescue you all the time!"

"Then don't." Ai said quietly. Her eyes were full of hurt. "You stopped already. Why did you start again?"

Why, indeed. Reina was silent for a moment. When Ai made a movement to leave, Reina spoke up suddenly.

"Because I care."

Ai stopped. Before she could say anything, Reina had already come up to her, sweeping up her hand in a quick gesture, tugging her along.

"Come on, we're already late."

Baby steps. They did not let go of each other until they reached their destination, and parted only with reluctance. Reina did not look at Ai after that, but Ai was watching. Despite herself, she smiled. There was hope.

~*~*~

Reina tried to remember when she stopped loving Ai. She even drew a rudimentary timeline on her notes, fully illustrated with cartoon caricatures of significant events.

First meeting. First time at Baachan's. First time she stayed over. The little things came effortlessly to her. Even the time when Ai accidentally walked in on her in the shower. Or the first time they baked pastries together. The ensuing flour fight. Little things.

Then, the bigger things. Yamashita. Reina drew him with horns and a tail. Fuji she drew with more reverence, and regret. She had lost her best friend and the rest of them due to her vendetta with the devil. She reminded herself to visit the grave, making a note on her calendar.

The time when Ai left her. She left a huge blank in the timeline, the only part not illustrated. She couldn't remember it clearly herself, only that it was full of pain. She did not like to think of that time. Even after Ai returned, they never spoke of it. It was just one more thing that went unsaid between them, during that time.

The transition from friends to best friends to sort-of-lovers and then back to friends with benefits was murky at best. Reina remembered the first time she kissed Ai. Even with the drunken haze, it had been electrifying. A moment to remember. Their first time, that happened because Ai was not drunk enough, and Reina more drunk than she thought. Drunk on her. Reina shivered, and it wasn't because of the cold.

And then there was Gaki. Reina's hand hovered uncertainly. Viewed in hindsight, she felt bad for the girl. She had no business getting involved in this whole mess, and Reina knew keenly that if she had not run from Ai after hearing about the Yamashita affair to begin with, perhaps one less person would have gotten embroiled in their drama. The blank of those months was when Gaki had slipped in, and gotten caught in the tangled web they wove.

The end had been accelerated by Gaki's sudden appearance in Tokyo. In a way, Reina was grateful. It gave her a chance to shatter the farce that she had gotten herself into with Ai. They had gotten too comfortable with hurting each other. Reina wondered why she allowed Ai to do it to her. She wondered why she couldn't have forced the issue herself, sooner.

But it was too late for regrets. This was where the path had led her; a path paved with bad choices and the best of intentions. There were too many "if only"s in her life.

She came now to the present, and couldn't think of a single instance that told her that she had stopped loving Ai. She merely...took a break from thinking about it, when she had left that time. She reviewed the time she spent away; a time spent on work, on distractions, on anything and everything that kept her busy and not focusing on how she felt.

The realization came crashing down: she had never stopped loving Ai. She had known it all along, of course. She had merely chosen to ignore it. Time would create enough distance for that intense emotion to become manageable, perhaps regressing to a faint affection and an attachment to the woman she once loved. Or so she assumed.

It might even have succeeded, given enough time. The sharp pain had faded to a dull ache as the months rolled by, so that she was able to gaze upon Ai in various media without feeling too terrible. Give her a few more years, and she might even be able to be friends with Ai again. Well, maybe friends is too optimistic a term. Friendly acquaintances, able to work amicably, but without the personal attachment.

It wasn't such a bad plan, if Reina had anything to say about it. However, even the best laid plans were not immune to life's machinations, and Ai had been swept back into her life with all the courtesy of a typhoon. Reina cursed Hiro for writing that song, for presenting it to Ai. She couldn't very well blame Ai for sending it on to her; it would have killed Reina to see Ai singing that song with some other man. She didn't think her indifference could have carried that far. Perhaps in public, but she would undoubtedly have ended up seething inside.

Reina was roused out of her musings by a firm hand on her shoulder. She looked up to see Sasaki peering curiously at the various figures on her notepad. She covered them deliberately with one hand and glared. He got the message and shrugged, but not without a smarmily knowing grin first. Reina had to resist punching him in the face. It really didn't help that his nose was such a tempting target...

She almost really did hit him when he told her her plans for later. Somehow she had been manipulated into dinner with Ai and her manager. A meeting sans Sasaki, who had another ongoing engagement. Reina had no doubt that Moriya, that evil bespectacled woman with all the tenacity of a Jack Russell and the discipline to match, would disappear at the last minute as well. If she had any doubts of an ongoing conspiracy before, she was under no illusions by now. There was such a thing as being too obvious.

Reina tossed her notepad in the air, catching it on its way down as she went on her way. So she still loved Ai. What was she going to do about it, since Ai obviously wasn't going to go away anytime soon -- not if their managers had anything to do about it?

The answer was obvious. She would go along with it, and see where that path led.

Was not life an adventure? Since planning led her nowhere, perhaps it was time to leave it to fate and see what happened. Reina smiled as she headed out.

Time to make peace with herself.

~*~*~

Dinner was less awkward than she expected. Moriya really did abandon Ai at the restaurant, and judging from the expression on Ai's face, Reina figured that she too had realized by now that their managers were up to no good. In fact, the first words out of Ai's mouth had been "you too?", and then they both laughed.

Admitting to herself that she still loved Ai made things easier for Reina. Acceptance gave her a peace of mind she had not had in a long time. She smiled and laughed more genuinely, and felt the reciprocation from Ai. Actually, Ai had not altered her behavior in any way, that much Reina noticed. It was only her, always had only been her, all this time. It was funny how the tables had turned. Reina could laugh at the irony she now saw, and she did.

"What's so funny?" Ai, a little anxious, a little amused. Reina looked at her, then smirked.

"You. Me. Us." Reina pointed with her fork for extra emphasis. They were already on dessert. Strawberry for Ai, mango for Reina. They stole forkfuls of pudding from each other, just like old times. Another wry smile curved Reina's lips. Ai had been honest. She would do no less herself.

"Nothing's changed at all, has it?" Reina raised her water glass reflectively, taking a sip. Ai said nothing, idly prodding at her pudding with her fork, but her eyes were intent on Reina.

"We still feel the same about each other...you do, right?" Reina stared straight at Ai, who looked half-strangled by the pudding that went down the wrong pipe, choking a little at the unexpectedly direct question.

"Yes. Yes I still do." Ai dabbed at her lips with the napkin. "But you knew that."

"Not until that night at the charity event. You never said a word before." Reina scowled at the memory. "At least I was open about my feelings."

"Do you still feel the same then?" Ai asked softly. Her hands were knotted around each other, under the table. Reina shot her a sardonic look.

"Didn't I just answer that earlier?"

"What? Oh...oh." Ai stuttered adorably, flushing under Reina's amused glance.

"So what do we do now?" Ai asked, avoiding direct eye contact for the moment.

"I was just wondering that myself." Reina admitted freely. Ai chuckled.

"Isn't it strange? Just talking about something like this."

"Better than not saying anything." Reina countered. They look at each other, and then smile.

"I should get home now."

"Me too."

"I won't be seeing you home, you know."

"I didn't expect you to."

"Good."

"Good."

"Okay...now what."

"Now we pay the bill and leave."

"Sounds like a plan."

"So are we leaving?"

"I guess so."

"..."

"..."

"This is ridiculous."

"I know."

"Well...goodnight."

"Sleep well."

"Sweet dreams."

"You too."

"...we need to shut up somewhere or else we'll never leave."

"Yeah, let's just...go."

"I'm leaving."

"Me too."

They only just managed to not miss the last train in the end. In their respective empty carriages, two girls smiled at the same time, and thought of the days to come.

~*~*~

They visited Fuji's grave together. Reina put down a pack of his favourite cigarettes. Fuji wouldn't have appreciated flowers, though that was what Ai brought.

They made time for each other. Little things, really. A meal in between busy schedules. Sometimes they even ran into each other in Shibuya and went on shopping sprees.

Reina went home. She didn't tell her mother about Ai. She didn't have to. Simply turning on the TV and some rerun of a music program ended up airing their duet. "You two look good together" was the only comment her mother made. Reina said nothing, but she didn't change the channel. Later that week the three of them had dinner together. All things considered, it went rather well.

Ai went home to Fukui. Reina went with her. The time spent persuading (re: forcing) Ai to actually go back home was almost equivalent to the time spent on the Shinkansen. Needless to say, they didn't get much sleep at all, and Ai even managed to postpone the trip back one night with that excuse. She didn't get away with it for long. The next day she ended up on her own doorstep with Reina all but holding her iPhone hostage.

Things were awkward. Ai had not been home in years. She had not left home on good terms. Her mother had been happy to see her, and greeted Reina like another daughter. The father was another issue. He had been gruff, bordering almost on hostile, but Reina had caught him regarding Ai with what looked like tears in his eyes when he thought that she wasn't looking. She made sure that Ai stayed long enough to get a good talk with her father. She was excluded from it, but nothing was broken. Ai's eyes were red when she came back out, but she hugged Reina at first sight. Their first real hug, ever since they had come to terms with each other. They stood still for a long while, neither willing to let go, until they had to be prised apart with a cough from Ai's mother.

They spent more time together after that. It was mostly unspoken, spontaneous and unplanned. One of them would show up somewhere near where the other was working, hang out a little, maybe pass them a drink or food. They never discussed anything important, but every moment felt precious. Their hands brushed often, and they sat close by each other.

It was perhaps months later, when Reina showed up at Ai's doorstep before midnight, and hauled the sleepy-eyed woman out despite the mumbled protests. Reina certainly didn't mind when Ai leaned on her shoulder and dozed while they were in the cab, and their fingers remained entwined throughout the journey.

They ended up on a familiar hill outside of the metropolis. The sky was overcast, and Ai rubbed at her eyes sleepily as she took stock of the place.

"Isn't this...?"

"Yes." Reina rummaged around her bag. "Close your eyes."

"Why?" Ai yawned. Reina turned the groggy Ai in the other direction.

"Just listen to me for once, alright?"

Ai murmured her assent, feeling vaguely intrigued by all the mystery. It took an effort to not fall asleep with her eyes closed, but the bite of the night wind was enough to keep her awake.

"Okay, now open up."

Ai opened her eyes. Overhead, the sky exploded into colorful starbursts, whizzing brightly before burning out. Ai put a hand to her mouth, overcome.

"Happy birthday, Ai." Reina came forward, holding lit sparklers that fizzed merrily, one in each hand. "There wasn't a meteor shower, so I had to improvise." Paying someone to set the fireworks off at her signal was worth every yen. The look on Ai's face was beyond price.

"You..." Ai was speechless. Reina grinned, handing Ai one of the sparklers.

"I wanted to do this. For you." That was all the explanation Reina needed. It was also everything Ai needed. Her smile was radiant in the fading light of the sparklers.

"I love you, Reina."

"I know."

Their lips met as the sparklers went dark. The only fireworks that remained were the ones that continued on in their hearts. It was never too late to hope.

Dare to dream. Dare to love. They had finally come full circle.

In every end, a new beginning...


=======================================================


Would like to thank Junki for moving it out of the library for me. :heart: Thanks Junki!


The real final ending. The ending they deserve. It took me two years to recover from the trauma of writing NR. Lmao.

The song used in here is Possibility, the duet between BoA and Miura Daichi. It's a great song. Go listen. XD

And so, full circle. These things take time. XD

I hope now, we can lay old ghosts to rest. :)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 03:23:29 AM by Estrea »

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。

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Offline astro18

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #185 on: July 25, 2011, 02:27:54 AM »
 :on gay: I could cry happy tears right now :farofflook:

What a wonderfully long happy chapter.. From Reina's denial to her acceptance :wub: The ending was so incredibly sweet and romantic :ptam-wub:

Thank you so much for this :mon angel:

Offline strawb3rrykream

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #186 on: July 25, 2011, 06:24:40 AM »
I know I already told you what I think but I thought I should comment here...since I'm rarely seen in the fanfic section these days. >_>;; :lol:

I thought it was perfect. I love to imagine Reina and Ai baking together, hanging out at home together...Ai walking in on Reina showering... :drool: You did a great job wrapping up this amazing story!!

Now...Nocturne? :D hehe

Offline gracula

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #187 on: July 25, 2011, 08:57:49 AM »
2 years seem about the right time to regroup. Seems about the same time one would take to recover after a breakup with a great love.

You know, I intended to put off reading this til later, because I knew it would affect me (good/bad ending aside) emotionally enough to want to immediately tell you what I thought of it. And I was right. (Damn you, Essy! *shakes fist*)

It's pretty easy getting emotionally entangled in the story whilst reading it, so I can only imagine what writing it must feel like. You have to throw your entire being into the effort, immersing yourself entirely in the story and characters. You once said that there were similarities between ReinAi (the both of them) with certain facets of your own personality which made it possible for you to write them with such passion. I would say 'ease', or joke about outsourcing Ai to you in my stories, but it is never truly that easy, is it?

So in the process of writing your protagonists, you face very unpleasant truths about yourself and how you would probably react to the situations you've placed the characters in. You have to discover the protagonists' strengths and weaknesses- they can't all be fluffy Mary Sues (and we can't always be foreign exchange scholarship students with the ability to fight off polar bears and live with the Inuits). Reina and Ai in NR are in essence, an extension of yourself which goes beyond merely identifying character traits and putting it into words.

'Write your heart out', is what Joyce Carol Oates said in The Faith Of A Writer and I think you've achieved it with NR. Thanks for sharing each moment with us.

"I'm still blaming Sayu for my lolicon tendencies now." ~Essy

Offline kano-chan

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #188 on: July 26, 2011, 12:48:55 PM »
Oh my god, Thank You! :mon money: Now I can finally go back and read Destiny Love then Nanchatte Renai! :mon roll: Even though there was that "make-you-totally-EMO" period, I got the "happy ending" I wanted! :luvluv2: :farofflook: That was probably a couple of chapters combined. :P Soo long, but I love it! :heart: ReinAi cuteness! :nya: :mon inluv: They've finally found each other! :mon lovelaff:

Any chances that you're going to write more ReinAi?? :w00t: :hehehe: I'll be your loyal reader! :on asmo: XD

Excellent writing! :twothumbs

Offline nighell

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #189 on: July 26, 2011, 10:04:56 PM »
Wow, how long has it been. I honestly did not hope to see continued. previous finale was too ... emotionally a heavy Suddenly a surprise in the form of continuing.
First thought after reading: wow, that was awesome!
I'm pretty choosy in terms of fanfiction, and so few things can catch me. There are some interesting things, there are just good, but there are those in which you slowly but surely gets bogged down, as in the spider's web.
But... It's sensual, deep, emotionally, and at the same time serene, a tangle of many different feelings. I do not have enough epithets and language skills to convey all the sensations  :sweatdrop:
Hehe, seems I got too emotionally.  :nervous Sorry for my slurred speech.
Estrea, thanks so much for a new ending.
Sorry for my bad English

Offline Estrea

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #190 on: July 27, 2011, 07:23:09 AM »
Hey guys! Thought I could do an afterword and reply to your thoughtful comments. XD


astro18: Well I technically could have split that final chapter into different chapters with more detail. But I wanted to get it over and done with, and condensed it into a single mass. XD It felt right too. Just little snapshots of what happened in the aftermath. I'm glad you found it sweet and romantic. It took a lot of work. :P Happy that you enjoyed the story and hope to see you around on my threads again! :D

ichigo-chan: Awww kream~ Didn't expect you to comment. :3 Yes I felt that I finally was able to give NR the ending it deserves. I needed to heal too. From writing this. From the events in my life. I feel like I grow stronger with every crisis. XD Thanks for the support, and what is this Nocturne you speak of? :P

grac: I think the time spent in recovery was more from the emotional torture I was experiencing both during the time of writing and after. If I'm not wrong, looking at the dates on the chapters, I was suffering from clinical depression at the time of writing and was on a combination of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. Which I ditched somewhere before the final few chapters of NR. Which might have accounted for the kablooey ending where everyone dies doesn't get anything. Haha.
BUT at least we finally came to this. It's been a long 2 years. Haha I'm glad I could elicit an emotional response. :3 I HAVE NO REGRETS. :lol:
Writing it was like tearing my soul out and laying it bare on the page for everyone to gawk at. I'm not sure where I began and where they left off. Did writing it make my condition worse? Was my condition the reason why it all went to hell? Perhaps a combination of both?
Writing Ai has always been a challenge. I feel a greater resonance with Reina. Reina's a good kid. She doesn't get enough credit for her goodness, only on her bratty character. XD Ai is so incredibly frustrating and whimsical and serious and practical and a dreamer and I love her and hate her and I think there won't be anyone else quite like her. XD But that's completely redundant. No two people are the same. XD
Also, lol at the mention of my fictional alterego. XD I wish I were that awesome, but I must contend myself with the grubby reality. Sadly. :/
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I really appreciate every word. :) I'm glad I was able to meet everyone, through the forum, through my writing. It's a blessing to have crossed paths with all you guys and girls out there. :)

kano-chan: Thanks for reading! I am glad that I could finally give you the happy ending you wanted. :D Yes, Reina and Ai finally found their way back to each other. :) Oh my dear, I've been writing nothing but ReinAi for a couple of years now. XD Dunno if you've been following my latest series, My Stupid Family. I think you'll be quite happy with the plans I have in mind then. XD Thanks for the vote of confidence!

nighell: I didn't think I'd continue it either. It just randomly happened one morning that I got an idea in my head and had to do something with it. XD So you guys benefited from my spur of the moment ideas. XD I'm glad that despite your select taste in fanfiction, I was able to grab your attention. :) Btw I could understand your English after some thought, so no worries! We're all improving. :) And you're welcome. The new ending is as much for myself as for all my readers. I think we all agree that this is so much more gratifying, no? XD




Awright people. This is the most definitive, final end of NR and I do not intend to change it. XD However, that does not preclude me from writing spin offs. :lol: Well, not really. MSF is taking up the bulk of my time and energy now (disregarding work :P). Hands up from all you people who want to see more of the happily ever after between Ai and Reina of this ending. :P I know I kind of want to too. :lol: I believe I still have a few chapters left of the 10 chapters of fluff I owe Fenfen...assuming she still reads this at all. XD

So tell me what you think! Oh and, thank you to everyone who suffered through the whole of NR, the sugary soup of DL, and then persevered to see this final conclusion. XD You guys are great. I wouldn't be much a writer without my readers. :) Thanks again everyone! Love you guys.

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 aussie

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #191 on: August 07, 2011, 11:48:14 AM »
I read this a few days ago but didn't have the time to leave a proper comment so I had to come back.

 :bow: Thank god there was an alternative ending. The original ending was too painful to digest, as I was hoping for a happy resolution after Ai had finally come to her senses and realised her true feelings towards Reina. Just as she was ready to be true to her feelings and utter those three words Reina had been wanting to hear, it was then Reina's turn to push Ai away, and the 'they had their chance but it was too late' resolution was just damn depressing (while very realistic).

So to come in one day to find a bonus ending has been updated, and to find out it was a happier ending a few years on from the original ending, was simply :wub:

See Reina, just give it time, kill your pride a bit, and give Ai the chance......and it's all rabu rabu :D
Though, when you eventually return to updating Destiny Love *coughcough*, I do hope some of the twists in NR are fixed up for the better. For example, it was a bit of a shock to read that Reina's friends had to be sacrificed in the battle against Yamashita here in NR. I hope this is one of the ripples that has a better turn in Destiny Love, seeing as Reina finding out about Ai and Yamashita turned out in a much better scene than in NR (at least Reina got to see for herself the assault scene for what it was, not the tail-end of it and then run away from Ai when she tried to explain).

Which also gives me hope that perhaps Gaki wouldn't be making an appearance in Destiny Love?? :D

Anyhoo. Thank you for the bonus ending, and the sub-title is just fitting - they indeed came full circle, and having finally come to terms with each other there only lies a bright future ahead of them :twothumbs
(I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you continue to write the awesomeness that is ReinAi~~ :lol: )

Oh, a happily-ever-after epilogue would always be welcome. Well, anything ReinAi would be welcome in my books :P


Offline Sora-chan

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #192 on: August 16, 2011, 01:44:14 AM »
Beautiful you know whats funny...Im not a fan of ReinAi because i've never really pictured them together like SayuAi (i dont even though if thats their name together xD) But It was really good and i think it just made ReinAi my new 3 favorite coupling.. (With my number one being the awesome Tanakamei and the second being the most popular TakaGaki) :thumbsup: good job! <3
Tanakame!<3333 ReinAi<333 TanaGaki!<33 TakaGaki!<33 TanaShige!<33 AiSayu!<3 JunSayu!<33 SayuKoha!<3 AiEri<3

Offline Fushigidane

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #193 on: August 18, 2011, 05:24:43 PM »
I'd like! I'd like to read more fluff stuff whatever u got up your sleeve of this! :w00t:
Cool, actually increddible. Finally we can/have the possibility to let go of the ghosts of the earlier ending :rockon:
It's been great to read all this. Thank you! :thumbup :hand:

Offline sakura_drop_

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #194 on: March 11, 2012, 09:30:24 PM »
God, I finally found the time to read the whole thing in one go..

And I have to say...


LOVED.EVERY.BIT.OF.IT.

Thanks for the best ReinAi fanfic!!!  :wub: :wub: :wub:
"人間みんな変態だから" - 古川愛李, SKE48 新高柳チームKII 「シアターの女神」千秋楽公演, 2014.04.18 <"Because all people are perverts." - Furukawa Airi, SKE48 New Takayanagi Team KII [Theater no Megami] Last Stage, 2014.04.18>

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Offline Tian_Yuan

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Re: Nanchatte Renai [25/7 - Bonus Ending: Full Circle]
« Reply #195 on: April 11, 2012, 07:28:46 PM »
I finished this story yesterday and i loved it! I always want to read Ai paired with anyone but Risa, so thank you!!! I am now looking around for more of your work! Thank you for sharing this and others in the forum ^^ :twothumbs

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