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Author Topic: [N46] ALL THAT GLITTERS ( NANAMAI | CH.02 — 01.04.18 )  (Read 508 times)

Offline 7ROYAL

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[N46] ALL THAT GLITTERS ( NANAMAI | CH.02 — 01.04.18 )
« on: December 28, 2017, 04:29:40 PM »
Hello! This is my first post here and the first time I post any of my writing anywhere. I'm not the best writer, but I love doing it, hopefully you guys enjoy it as well and get to see me improve along the way! As a fan of angst, the enemies-to-lovers trope, and the "exes that still have feelings for each other" trope, I present to you, All That Glitters. The pairing is Nanase x Maiyan, of course. :cow:




CHAPTER 1. UNHEALTHY OBSESSIONS

Nanase was well acquainted with the glitz, the glamour and the glossy pages of the fashion world; she’d been thrust into it since birth, thanks to her mother’s career. As the daughter of the editor in chief of Influencer Magazine, Nanase learned the ins and outs of the fashion industry from a young age.
She had rubbed shoulders with big-name designers, received pieces from unreleased collections as birthday presents, attended Paris Fashion Week and worn vintage Chanel to her high school graduation – she loved every second of it, every little aspect of the world she’d been born into.

And, though her lifelong dream had been to work at Vogue; she had grown to love Influencer, and with that love came the ambition to take over as editor in chief. With her mother’s retirement just around the corner, many people speculated she would, in fact, be the one to take the position. Despite being fresh out of college, she had the experience, the contacts and the vision to back it up.

However, a great deal of people, the majority, really, were betting that the one to take over Influencer Magazine after chief editor Nishino’s retirement wouldn’t be Nanase, but the editor’s personal assistant, Shiraishi Mai.
They weren’t wrong – Mai was, objectively, a better choice. She walked fast and talked faster, she was charming, confident and had an air of authority; the strong, commanding aura characteristic of all great leaders. Being the personal assistant, she had first-hand experience at the chief editor’s job, as well.

Plus, she’d been working at Influencer for four years – Nanase had only been given the Art Director position six months ago. Not to mention, the entire magazine’s staff loved Mai.

Well, everyone except Nanase; but she liked to believe she had very valid reasons for it.



FLASHBACK

She had first met Shiraishi Mai when she was eighteen, at Influencer’s annual New Year’s Eve gala. Now, Nanase had never been one for parties – but New Year’s Eve was a special day, it called for socializing and drinking and pretending she wouldn’t rather be home with her dog.

Instead she was at a five-star hotel’s ballroom, decorated in gold and silver and multiple large banners, emblazoned with the words “Happy New Year!” hanging from every other corner. Japan’s fashion elite mingled on the dance floor and in reserved tables – sipping expensive champagne and boasting of their wealth and status.

The party was quite exclusive, most people either knew each other, were highly important to the magazine, or served a purpose in chief editor Nishino’s interests. The woman who had just entered the room was none of those things, as far as Nanase knew.
“Who’s that?” She’d asked Nanami, one of the magazine’s photography interns.

“Shiraishi Mai, I think. She runs that blog your mom’s interested in.” Even as she spoke, Nanase’s gaze stayed fixed on the stranger.

She didn’t look out of place for a second, in fact, she fit right in amidst the crowd of statuesque models, arrogant designers and other fashion industry elites. She wore a long black dress (Versace, noted Nanase) and a diamond necklace, tight enough around her neck that it could’ve been mistaken for a choker. Her hair fell in long, soft waves past her shoulders, and she walked gracefully, with her head held high. Shiny black Louboutins clicked against the tile floor.

“Stop staring like that, she’s gonna notice and you’ll look like a creep.”

When Nanami spoke, Nanase snapped out of her trance and very obvious staring; a bright blush rising to her face.

“She doesn’t look like much of a journalist,” chimed in Takayama Kazumi – Nanase’s best friend, through a mouthful of cake.

Both Nanase and Nanami startled at the loudness of Kazumi’s voice.

“Jesus, Kaz!” Nanami practically shouted, though she burst out laughing shortly after. Mostly at Nanase’s mortified expression. “Don’t sneak around like that, you’ll give poor Nana here a heart attack.”

Kazumi threw her arms around a pouting Nanase. “Sorry, Naachan~”

“I’m forcing you to wear a bell from now on,” Nanase mumbled, jokingly while she returned Kazumi’s side-hug.

“Anyway! Back to the well-dressed elephant in the room, she’s not a journalist. At least, not for another year or so, she’s a student, still.”

“And she says I’m the creepy one,” Nanase added with a chuckle.

Nanami shrugged. “We attend the same university, it’d be weirder if I didn’t know these things. Plus, Girls’ Rule is a pretty popular blog, most of her info is on there, too.”

“Who’re we talking about?” Asked another voice, unmistakably Sakurai Reika.

“Nanase’s girlfriend,” responded Kazumi, a little too quickly.

“I don’t even know her!” Nanase whined, in protest.

“She’s coming over. Quick, scram!” Nanami said, grabbing Kazumi and Reika by the arms and dragging them away. Leaving Nanase to deal with the attractive stranger on her own.

“Ah, excuse me, do you happen to know where chief editor Nishino is?” asked the stranger with a polite bow of her head.
Nanase’s heart practically stopped at the sound of her voice – it was gentler and sweeter than she’d imagined, didn’t match her intimidating appearance at all.

“She s-stepped out for a bit. I could let her know you stopped by, if you want.”

“Oh,” the older girl said, a look of disappointment gracing her pretty features.

“Stick around and enjoy the party. She shouldn’t be long; I’ll come find you when she gets back, yeah?”

A bright grin stretched across Mai’s face. “Yes, that sounds good. Thank you…uh…”

“Nanase. Nishino Nanase,” she bowed politely, then held her hand out to the other girl.

“Nishino? You’re the chief editor’s daughter, then.” She stated, her eyes wide, while reaching a perfectly manicured hand to shake Nanase’s own. “Shiraishi Mai, I write for Girls’ Rule.”

Contrary to what she’d promised, Nanase ended up spending most of her night with Mai; the two proved to get along better than she’d expected. They talked for hours, about things they loved and things they didn’t; they spoke of fashion and of their love for Influencer as a magazine and a business, they spoke of ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends. Of Mai’s deadly fear of snakes, and of Nanase’s endless love of them. Among other pointless and not-so-pointless things.

Neither Kazumi, Nanami nor Reika showed themselves around her for the rest of the night, probably thinking she’d only want to spend the night with her new friend. Her mother never came back, either – just around 11pm, she’d called saying she’d have to fly to Hong Kong last minute, and wouldn’t be back until the end of the week.

When it was roughly a minute left until midnight, Nanase had started dragging Mai all around the place, trying to find Kazumi, Nanami, Reika or just…anyone. She needed an excuse to not be alone with her, she feared she’d do something stupid if not under the gaze of a friend.

It was all to no avail, by the time she’d spotted Kazumi and Reika (sneakily sipping champagne in a corner, thinking no one would notice), the countdown was at six.

Still, she tried.

 “There’s my friends, I’ll introduce you!” She’d said, taking the older girl by the hand and pulling her along. Mai was, obviously, not in as much of a hurry.

Five…

“Why the rush, it’s almost midnight we should just –”

Four…

“They’d never let me hear the end of it if I didn’t wish them a happy new year first!” Nanase interrupted, her words blurring together with the speed of her voice.

Three…

Mai stopped running, and gave Nanase’s hand a light tug, causing her to stop and turn to look at her. She stepped closer, placed a hand around her waist and used the other to tilt her chin up, making Nanase look at her. “I’m sure they’ll live.”

Two…

The world around her spun and blurred, alarms blared in her mind, her heart pounded so hard against her chest that it felt like it would burst.

One…

Then Mai’s lips were on hers, soft, gentle. The sweet taste of some fruity, alcoholic drink lingered on her mouth.
She heard Kazumi, Nanami and Reika cheering in the distance, and heat rose to her face, tinting her cheeks bright red as Mai finally pulled away.

“Happy new year,” she said, as though it was the most normal, natural thing in the world, and beamed a charming, pearly-white grin.

Nanase had been too flustered to even look her in the eye, let alone speak to wish her a happy new year, as well.
Back then, Nanase had thought of that night as the beginning of something good. Something special. She thought Mai was the sweetest, funniest and most charming human being she’d ever met.

She had been naïve, weak, too young to know better.

END FLASHBACK



The editor in chief’s office was a large space, painted white, the wall behind the desk was nothing but a large, clear window that overlooked Shibuya; the rest of the walls decorated with the most beautiful and memorable covers of Influencer. The desk was made of glass, an atop it sat a desktop computer, multiple folders and binders, and several picture frames, most of the pictures featuring Nanase and her older brother.

When she was younger, Nanase used to think of entering her mother’s office as the highlight of her days. As she stood there, now, in front of her desk, with her demon ex-girlfriend at her side; she felt weak, helpless, like she was waiting for judgement and expecting a death sentence.

She kept her gaze fixed on the dark grey carpet.

“As you both already know, I’ll be retiring next spring. I can’t choose on my own who will take my place afterward, but I can make a heavy suggestion to the board.”

Both she and Mai nodded in understanding, but neither of them spoke.

“I haven’t yet decided which of you two I’ll bring up as my suggestion just yet. So, until I do, I’ll need both of you to work together in a trial of sorts. You’ll both fill in as editor in chief for the January, and February issues – but it’ll be a team effort. Understood?”

Nanase’s eyes widened, anger boiling in her chest at the thought of having to share any form of responsibility with Mai of all people.

“You know I can’t work with her.”

She glanced to the older girl beside her, there was an amused smirk on her lips.

“Nanase, this whole thing you have against miss Shiraishi is childish. If you truly believe you can’t work together, then you can always back out and I’ll make her my final decision, instead. It’s up to you.”

Nanase lowered her gaze again, knowing nothing she said would make her mother change her mind, that she’d pretty much already lost. She wasn’t about to go down without at least trying, though, no matter how much it angered her.

Her mother took her silence as agreement.

“Can I count on you two, then?”

“Yes,” muttered Nanase.

A grin stretched across Mai’s lips before she responded, as well. “Always, Mrs. Nishino.”

God, how Nanase wished she could slap the cocky smile off Shiraishi’s pretty face.



“She’s got a point, Naachan, you’ve been holding this grudge for too long. Most people get over their exes in under a year, but it’s been, what, three now?” said Kazumi that afternoon, at lunch break, as she brought a spoonful of rice to her mouth. She was sitting at the chair in front of Nanase’s desk.

Nanase could only poke at her own food with her chopsticks, making no attempt to actually eat it.

“Most people don’t get played like I did, Kaz. It’s hard to move on from something like that.”

“Well, I mean, you were nineteen. It probably felt worse than it was.”

Reika stepped through the door of Nanase’s office, unannounced, and quickly picking up on the topic of conversation. “I hate to be that bitch, but she’s right.”

“No one asked, Reika.”

“The point is,” Kazumi spoke again, her voice raised, “you should just put up with this without whining. If you mess up just because you two dated and things went south, you’ll lose your chance.”

“Things did more than just go south! She–” Nanase started, only to be interrupted by Reika speaking once again.

“You are obsessed. It’s time to move on, Nana.”

Nanase slumped back on her seat, groaning in defeat. “So, I’m just supposed to play nice, pretend nothing ever happened? That can’t possibly be good for my mental health.”

“Neither is bitterly holding grudges, but there you are.”

Kazumi nearly choked on her food laughing, and lifted a hand to high-five Reika for the savage response.

There was a long moment of silence after that, besides the sound of Kazumi’s chewing and the usual noises from outside the office.

“Does Waka know?” asked Kazumi, breaking the silence.

She meant Wakatsuki Yumi – Nanase’s assistant and girlfriend of the past eight months.

“Know what?”

“That you’re obsessed with Maiyan,” said Reika, matter-of-factly. Nanase almost cringed at the nickname.

“I’m not obsessed! If you mean whether she knows I hate her, though, then yes; it’s no secret.”

“Does she know you two dated, though?”

More silence followed, and Nanase heaved a long, weary sigh. She wished Nanami was the one chewing her out, instead, she had a way of making tough love feel less…tough.

Before quitting just over a year ago, Nanami used to be the voice of reason at Influencer, her word was practically law, as far as life advice went. She told the truths everybody hated hearing, but desperately needed to hear, anyway. Since she left, all anyone knew of her was that she was constantly vacationing at exotic locations with her fiancée. Lucky bitch.

Nanase could’ve used her harsh-worded wisdom just about now.

“How are things with the wicked witch going, anyway?” You see, Reika had her own ex-related bitterness to deal with. Her and Yumi hadn’t left off on the best of terms.

“Still very much the light and love of my life, thank you.” Saying that out loud felt wrong, somehow, like she’d just lied – which she hadn’t. Had she? No, she hadn’t. She was in love with Yumi, god, she had to be.

That seemed to calm Reika’s bad mood, for her expression softened and she gave Nanase an apologetic look, one Nanase understood – she knew far too well, the feeling of anger that would build up when thinking of someone who’d hurt her. She couldn’t blame Reika for her occasional rudeness toward her, she was, after all, her ex’s new girlfriend. The fact that she’d even still talk to Nanase was a feat all on its own.

Kazumi watched back and forth between them, pouting at the fact that she had so suddenly been excluded from the conversation.

“Sorry, Kaz, we know you and Noujo can’t relate to messy relationships. I’m jealous, really.”

Kazumi beams at that, the kind of smile that lights up her whole face, reaches her eyes causing them to form the shape of crescent moons. A pure, beautiful smile, untainted by the world. Watching her, it became hard for Nanase to hold back from smiling, too.

As if on cue, there was a knock at the door, and it was opened shortly after – not even waiting for a response. Mai peeked from behind it.

“Nanase, we have a meeting in five. Don’t make me look bad by being late.”

Speak of the devil…




Author's Note:

That's it for chapter one! A bit long, a bit slow, a bit of a pain to get through, I know. I promise the pace will pick up starting with the next chapter, as well as finding out just what Maiyan did to Nanase that she's still so bitter over. I'm still unsure as to what my updating schedule will be, though, so for now it'll stay as "whenever I get the motivation to finish each chapter" heh~ :deco:
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 06:59:06 PM by 7ROYAL »

Offline four4four

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Re: [N46] ALL THAT GLITTERS
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 10:46:28 PM »
I wonder what Maiyan did to Nanase to make her so bitter. :?

Looking forward to read the updates.

Offline clin-nolan

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Re: [N46] ALL THAT GLITTERS ( NANAMAI | CH. 01 — 12.28.17 )
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 02:39:26 AM »
I will wait for each update  :D  :heart:
The history is very interesting. NanaMai and WakaRei are ex-partners that I did not expect but that makes it somehow better   :twothumbs
It would be funny if Reika and Maiyan ever flirt and see the reaction of Waka and Naachan  :lol:

Offline 7ROYAL

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Re: [N46] ALL THAT GLITTERS ( NANAMAI | CH. 01 — 12.28.17 )
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 06:58:14 PM »
A/N: Back at it again with another chapter! I may have lied when I said it’d be shorter, heh…sorry.  :nervous You may notice that the fic’s timeline is lagging slightly behind ours, so this chapter specifically takes place in mid-December, in case you’re wondering~




CHAPTER 2. NOT THE TYPE TO FORGET

Mai had a hard time letting go of her mistakes and failures, she carried them everywhere she went; excess emotional baggage, like she didn’t already have enough. She carried them physically, though, as little tokens that reminded her to tone it down if she were to think too highly of herself.

One was a small, bright pink notebook, no bigger than a cellphone, that sat at the bottom drawer of her desk. A notebook in which she had carefully and diligently written down her entire life plan, while sitting in her bedroom when she was only seventeen. The same life plan that had fallen apart within her first year in Tokyo.

The second, a gold charm bracelet, with a single charm hanging from the chain: a flower, more specifically, a camellia. Camellias were Nanase’s favorite flower.

She remembered this, mostly, because she’d once worn a pretty pin in her hair that Mai had mistaken for a rose – only to stand corrected. “It’s a camellia, actually! It’s madame Chanel’s favorite flower, and mine.” she’d said, her eyes glowing with pride, as if that single fact meant the world to her.

The third was the framed art print on her wall, which consisted only of a sentence, written in black ink: Not all that glitters is gold.

The first reminded her of how it all started, the second reminded her of what she’d lost, but the third, those six words, summed up who she was, how she saw herself.

She’d first heard the saying, ironically enough, from Nanase one night. She’d read it out loud from a fortune cookie in plain English. Having a fair grasp of the language, Mai had translated it for her.
They’d looked it up just to know what it truly meant, but laughed at it then, brushed it off as fake deep American nonsense, as most things often were. But somehow, it stuck with Mai, it seemed to follow her everywhere, especially after the breakup.

It was a saying meant to warn of lies, deceit and disappointment, to warn that, if something looks too good to be true, it most likely isn’t. It was strangely accurate as a description of the kind of person she’d become, the kind of person Nanase thought she was.

Shiraishi Mai glittered and sparkled, dazzling everyone who crossed her path. But she was a liar; a brilliant, ambitious one – but a liar nonetheless. And Nanase realized this far sooner than Mai had hoped for.



From a young age, Mai had dreamt of writing for a high-end fashion magazine. She had watched and re-watched The Devil Wears Prada so many times she could recite the lines by heart, and she had hoped that, one day, she would be like Miranda Priestly. Until she learned Miranda was based on Vogue’s editor in chief, then she decided she wanted to be Anna Wintour.

Neither her friends or family were particularly supportive of her the day she said she’d be moving to Tokyo to study journalism. They believed it was a waste of her potential and intellect – she was too good, too pretty, too smart to be wasted as a no-name writer, typing away news for the local paper. Yet they didn’t believe she was good, pretty or smart enough to one day work within the high ranks of the fashion industry.

“You’d make a better lawyer,” her father had said.

But Mai wouldn’t budge; she was filled with radiant optimism, enthusiasm and raw ambition. She was determined to become someone, to prove everyone wrong and show that she was so much more than what they liked to believe.

She’d drawn out a whole plan, the steps she’d follow and the things she’d do in order to become the best of the best, and she’d written it down in a small, bright pink notebook, which she’d carry everywhere she went, at all times.

To her dismay, this perfectly thought out plan had started falling apart within only her first year of university. Things were bad, then, by the beginning of her second year she was top of her class, had outstanding grades, did the best work; but unlike her peers, she wasn’t receiving internship offers, or getting love calls from minor news outlets begging her to write them a piece.

It was disheartening, for lack of a better word, like all life and motivation had been drained from Mai’s very soul. That’s when she met Matsumura Sayuri, and she realized that what she needed wasn’t skill, or even talent – what she needed was contacts, and that was something Sayuri had plenty of.

Sayuri was a bright, sociable, bubbly girl from Osaka who majored in news broadcasting, though Mai could never imagine her delivering breaking news on morning television. She would likely speak of murders and robberies with a smile on her face, as she often did most bad news. (Mai could never tell whether she was happy or sad about failing exams – her smile was always bright, either way.)

The two just clicked, almost instantly. The term “best friends” almost didn’t do them justice, they were practically sisters.

With her, Mai re-thought her plans, a plan that included internet fame and local recognition; so, they started a blog. Girls’ Rule was a little zine, updated several times a week in which they’d write about the local fashion scene, among other things. Sayuri was particularly keen on food criticism.

Sayuri knew people, who knew people, who knew people that mattered. Mai had the charm and the talent to get them interested, and, soon enough, their little blog had reached the eyes of the chief editor of Influencer Magazine.

Mai saw the chance, and she lunged for it with all her might. She borrowed vintage Versace from a friend of a friend, cashed in a favor from one of Sayuri’s contacts, and snuck into Influencer’s New Year’s Eve gala in her glittery disguise.
Every move had been calculated, every word had been rehearsed, every expression had been planned. The night Mai first met Nishino Nanase had all been a performance, worthy of a standing ovation.

Not all that glitters is gold, but she had been so damn convincing.


 
The head of each department sat at the long, rectangular table at the center of the meeting room. Mai stood at one end, looking through the last draft of the January issue. Nanase sat at her side, intently focused on the pages in front of her.

Mai had never been one to get easily distracted – but, somehow, the closeness of Nanase’s face to her own, at that moment, was making it incredibly difficult to focus on the task at hand. Her gaze stayed fixed to the younger girl, closely watching the way her eyes scanned the pages, the way her lips slightly parted when she concentrated…

She shook her head, as it that would help her push away every thought unrelated to the current discussion.

Not that there was much to comment on; the issue had already been edited and re-edited enough times for Mai to be, for the most part, satisfied with it. If she had it her way, she would’ve just approved it for printing right then and there, then moved on to the next point of the meeting.

Nanase, however, seemed to have an issue with the photography in a specific spread.

“The yellow in these is too saturated, tone it down and blow up the pinks a bit more. Also, here,” she continued, “the background looks darker, so the colors just don’t balance out. It may look okay on digital, but on print it’ll be too noticeable, and it’ll look bad. Fix it.”

Mai had noticed none of those things; but then again, art direction was Nanase’s department. She was about to add something, but Nanase beat her to it.

“Or just change it altogether, actually. Marika still has all the photos from the shoot; pick one that’s not so…difficult. I’ll meet with you to decide which shots, later.”

Marika nodded, from the other end of the table, acknowledging her orders.

“You could’ve said this in the last meeting…” mumbled Mai, only loud enough for Nanase to hear, but received a glare in response.

“I tried, but you were feeling especially talkative that day, weren’t you?”

Mai didn’t answer – she was right, there had been some…communication issues. Issues meaning they’d been arguing minutes before the meeting and, as a result, Mai decided she’d lead it on her own, given Nanase’s temper at the time.

A smirk tugged at Nanase’s lips, seemingly satisfied with the older girl’s reaction.

“Everything else looks good, if we get this fixed by tonight, we can get it to the publisher tomorrow and it should be out by next week.”

Everyone nodded in agreement, and Nanase glanced at Mai again, expectantly.

Mai cleared her throat before addressing everyone again. “Now, about the progress on the February issue...”

It was Shinuchi Mai, head of the advertising department who spoke first. “All the new ads are in, we’re still waiting on Armani to confirm, but besides that, all the ad spreads are set.”

Mai turned to look at Nanase, just to tell her to add a call to Armani’s reps to their to-do list, but she already had.

“Have we heard from Miu Miu’s sales reps, yet? We still need their pieces for the Shanghai shoot, I’ll go pick them up myself, if needed, but we need to make sure they’re there.”

“I called this morning, they’ll be delivered to the style department by tonight, Higuchi said she’d stay behind to receive them,” answered Nanase while glancing at some notes on her tablet.
 
“The shoot locations are confirmed, the models confirmed as well – Umezawa said she’ll be a day late due to a conflicting schedule, but she’ll be there. Assuming Miu Miu’s reps keep their word, wardrobe should be set, as well. Do we have backups in case anything goes wrong?” Mai directed the last question at Reika.

Usually, contacting backups and making sure they wouldn’t have anything to fuss over at the last minute was Mai’s job. Reika was public relations, but through Nanase and Mai’s trial period, she’d been having to juggle her job, as well as certain parts of Mai’s previous job. It was a nightmare.

“We have two backup models on standby, if needed and, in case Miu Miu doesn’t pull through, we have Gucci’s collection on hold,” answered Reika.

“That’s set, then. Our photography, style and beauty people fly out on the 20th, Nanase and I on the 21st, the photoshoot itself is on the 23rd. If everything goes along to schedule, we’ll be back by Christmas morning.”

“Yumi will be directing the Valentine’s Day themed shoot while we’re gone, but we’ll still be in contact in case anything’s needed. Questions?” Nanase added.

Everyone around the table looked at each other, but no one raised any questions.

“Meeting adjourned, then,” said Mai, finally.

Everyone rushed out of the room, clearly relieved to not be under Mai’s gaze, and, most likely, happy to not be in the same room as her and Nanase for another second. Just as Nanase had started making her way toward the door, she gently reached to touch her shoulder.

Nanase shrugged it off, but turned to look at her, anyway.

“You know this whole cooperating thing would work better if you would actually talk to me instead of just dropping things on me suddenly. You’re making it look like I’m not letting you do anything.”

“Hm…discussing things with you, being in your presence…not a fan of it, really.”

“I thought we agreed you’d make more of an effort to put your…personal issues away at work.”

Nanase reached a hand to fix her bangs, though they looked perfectly okay. Mai knew this to be a nervous habit. “I’m trying…”

“Then try harder,” Mai sighed in annoyance.

“I’m not a child, Mai, scolding me won’t get you far.”

“Oh, aren’t you? Last time I checked you were very much acting like one.”

Nanase didn’t respond, but merely rolled her eyes; she did this when she knew she was wrong, but refused to acknowledge it.

Mai knew these things by now through experience – they argued so many times a day, she’d picked up on all of Nanase’s little habits. One needs to do such things when the person on the other end refuses to say what’s on her mind. Since she was nowhere near a psychic, it was the next best thing.

“See? There it is. Don’t make things so difficult, you’ll cost me my job.”

“A job, that you, may I remind, got through me.”

So, it begins…

“You give yourself too much credit. Your only role in me getting this job was convenience,” she hissed.

“Convenience,” Nanase huffed.

“I could’ve gotten here all on my own, you just saved me the time and effort.”

Nanase stared, eyes blazing with anger, her hands were balled into fists, her fingernails digging into her palms. Mai knew she’d struck a nerve.

“You used me to get close to my mother so she’d hire you, hurt me so badly that I couldn’t trust anyone around me for years in the process, and still have the nerve to stand there so proudly, pretending like you’d be anything without me. Unbelievable.”

The anger seemed to fade halfway through her rambling, and instead she stared up at Mai like a lost puppy, eyes filled with tears, her lips quivering. Mai felt her heart ache at the sight, she regretted fighting back, forcing her to relive the one thing she knew they both wanted to forget.

Nanase raised her hand, clearly to slap her, but Mai grabbed her by the wrist before it came close enough to her face.
Defeated, shaking with anger, and reduced to a crying mess, Nanase collapsed into Mai’s arms.

A few moments passed, and Mai could only hold onto her tightly, as though that would help hold her together, as though it would keep her heart from breaking all over again.

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled, knowing well that, by now, apologies meant nothing to her.

“No, you’re not,” Nanase replied as she steadied herself, and wiped her tears with the sleeve of her jacket.

“For what it’s worth,” Mai said after her before she walked through the door. “I really was in love with you.” I still am. She had already told her this, of course, enough times for Nanase to decide she was lying.

Mai might as well have been speaking to the wall, because Nanase showed no reaction, no sign of acknowledging that she had even been spoken to. Mai could only stare at her back as she walked away, knowing she’d lost, knowing she may have just set what little progress they’d made thousands of steps back.

Nanase slammed the door behind her, and Mai found herself feeling the same heaviness in her chest she had felt the night she first walked away.
 
 

That night, after the offices had emptied, and the only people remaining were those few who had deadlines to meet, Mai sat at her desk, staring at the little charm that hung from her wrist. And she did the one thing she’d been holding back from doing, since the day she’d first started working at Influencer.

She cried.

Whether they were angry tears, tears of sadness, tears of anxiety – she couldn’t tell the exact cause behind it all, couldn’t identify the reason she’d just let herself break. Actually, that was a lie, she did know; but she would rather force herself to believe she didn’t than to admit she would ever cry over a woman, let alone Nishino Nanase of all people.

So, there she sat, hopelessly and pathetically sobbing into her white McQueen scarf and silently hating herself for it.

She was interrupted by a light knock on the door.

“Come in,” she called out, trying her best to keep her voice steady, and desperately trying to pull herself together.

To her relief, the one who opened the door was Misa, junior assistant – a job that could easily be summarized as Mai’s errand girl. She had what they called The Book, a bright purple binder in one hand, which Mai knew to contain the fixed mockup of the magazine.

“It’s done,” she said with a small smile, placing the binder onto the desk.

Mai picked it up and mindlessly flipped through the first few pages, not really bothering to properly look at anything at all.  “Thank you. We can send it to the publisher tomorrow and–“

“Have you been crying?” Misa interrupted.

“What? No, it’s – it’s allergies.” The excuse clearly went over Misa’s head, because just as Mai said it, she raised an eyebrow. She had never in her life been allergic to anything, and Misa knew this.

“C’mon, tell me what’s wrong.” She sat at the chair in front of her.

“Nothing, it’s dumb. Not important.”

“It must be important; you’ve never been the type to cry over nothing. But fine, if you’re not gonna tell me, then at least let me cheer you up.”

Mai rolled her eyes, already knowing where this was going. “On a work night?”

“Yes! Come on, let’s go for drinks. My treat.”

Mai only stared at her, reluctantly.

“Please?”

“Fine. Just one, though, I can’t afford a hangover.”

Misa beamed at her response and hopped from her seat, rapidly clapping her hands as she did so. She looked like an excited child.


Loneliness, sadness and alcohol always proves to be a terrible mix, and Mai learned this that night. One drink turned to several drinks, several drinks turned to drunkenly making out with Misa in the back of a cab, and that led to the most predictable of endings.

The next morning, Mai awoke three hours late for work, with Nanase on her mind, one hell of a hangover, and her assistant in her bed.




A/N: Aaaaand there you have it! Hopefully this chapter answered some of the most pressing questions and maybe raised some new ones! Also, thanks to those who’ve read and commented! You’ve given me motivation to actually work on this.  :heart: :deco:

Offline four4four

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Re: [N46] ALL THAT GLITTERS ( NANAMAI | CH.02 — 01.04.18 )
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2018, 03:45:59 AM »
Wait, I'm confused. Does this mean that Maiyan cheated on Nanase? :? :shocked

I hope they can patch things up soon.
It looks like Maiyan doesn't regret anything on the outside, but it looks like she regrets it on the inside.
Maiyan seems to still love Nanase, and I get the feeling that Nanase still loves her too even after what happened.



Offline clin-nolan

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Re: [N46] ALL THAT GLITTERS ( NANAMAI | CH.02 — 01.04.18 )
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2018, 04:12:33 AM »
Do not worry I like long chapters so I have no problem   :twothumbs 
Maiyan hurt Nanase a lot but I hope she knows how to remedy it because it is remarkable that they still love each other  :heart:
I'm anxious to see the role of Waka and I hope that Maiyan does not get more in trouble although that is very difficult  :lol:

Offline finiarel

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  • Maiyan is life Maiyan is love!
    • finiarel24
Re: [N46] ALL THAT GLITTERS ( NANAMAI | CH.02 — 01.04.18 )
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 05:27:15 AM »
Finally I find time to leave a comment on this masterpiece. OMG I'm actually loving every single bit of it  :cathappy: :cathappy: :cathappy: I like how you started the story after their break up instead of the normal meet-> trouble-> fall in love -> plotline, it's really refreshing for me  :deco:
From the second chapter, I think Nanase is still deeply in love with Maiyan, but still she has Wakatsuki now... Things are really getting rough for them...   :cry:
Maiyan getting drunk and making things even more complicated with another affair  :banghead:
I can't wait to see what will happen next  :cow: :cow: :cow:

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