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Author Topic: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)  (Read 60587 times)

Offline OTN1

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Ask and ye shall... not receive?
« Reply #240 on: September 30, 2007, 03:12:09 AM »
Chapter 26

Everything has returned to normal.  We've all gone back to our proper dimensions.

I don't know how I learn about the accident, but it's shocking.  I just look up at the ceiling and suddenly know that Aya has died in some kind of accident.  A tragic, painful way to go.  I sit up and start to cry.  I haven't received a phone call.  I haven't read the newspaper.  I just know that she's gone.

And when I've cried enough to soak sleeves of my shirt, I stand up and get my phone.  I call Shibata.

"Shiba-chan," I say in a strangely calm voice.

"Miki-chan," she replies in a quiet one.

"Aya-chan," say I.

"I know," says she.

How she knows, I do not know.  I still do not know how I know.

"By the way, turn on the TV to channel twelve.  NHK news."

I do as Shibata asks, and there is footage of the remains of a riot.  I hang up the phone without saying goodbye.

"...the head of the government has been usurped by disgruntled social activists who claim all rich people should be shot.  Once considered one of the richest and safest countries in the world, Switzerland has fallen victim to a radical group that has operated underground for, some say, the past ten years.  Amidst gunfire an hour ago, it was unknown whether all the members of the federal council were still alive or not.  More on this story later.  Now, we turn back to the latest address from the new fascist government of the Kingdom of Shikoku, where sovereignty was declared two and half hours ago. It is in keeping with tradition that..."

I watch the seven o'clock news on television in shock.  How could all this have happened?  I could have sworn that Switzerland had been peaceful just a few minutes ago and that Shikoku still belonged to Japan.

A more pressing matter comes to my attention, and that is the incessant pounding at the door.  It sounds desperate, so without thinking, I get up to go and open the door.

When I do, a tall man pushes his way in, puts a gun up to my chest, and pulls the trigger.


I woke up just as the bullet pierced my sternum.

I was breathing hard and sweating.  I'd somehow turned around and was facing the back rest of the couch.  I whipped my head around to look behind me.  Aya was still there, still sleeping, still alive.  I let out the breath I'd been holding and turned around again, trying not to move the couch too much.

Was that what would happen if we all returned to our worlds?  Utter chaos and our deaths?

Ludicrous.

There was no reason for the world to descend into such pandemonium.  We weren't that important in the grand scheme of things.

But something about the thought bothered me.  Maybe my dream meant something more than what it seemed to on the surface.  I would bet that in most worlds, Switzerland would remain peaceful, happy, and out of NHK news flashes.  But maybe there was a world out there where a revolt like the one I'd seen on the news in my dream would occur.  If so, coupled with the fact that I was seeing it in my dream, then something... strange was happening...

... and I started to laugh.  What a stupid idea!  I laughed so hard that Aya woke up.

"What are you doing...?" she murmured, rubbing her eyes.

"I'm sorry.  I just had a really funny dream," I giggled.

I felt like I was losing it.  Slowly losing it in a comical way.

"Well, at least one of us did.  I dreamt about some country in Europe being overrun by crazy revolutionaries, and then I was somehow killed in a crash just before I woke up."

I stopped laughing and froze. 

"Switzerland?" I asked in a frightened tone.

She shook her head.

"No.  The UK, I think.  Why did you think Switzerland?"

Could it just have been a coincidence that we'd both dreamt about countries falling?  That we'd both been killed?

It had to have been.  I didn't believe in things like shared dreams, prophetic dreams, and those sorts of mystical phenomena.  They were plot devices in badly written novels.  They were scary stories made up by people who wanted attention on TV.  They were not things of this world.  I didn't care if people went dimension travelling.  People simply could not share dreams.

"No reason.  Just that my dream was about Switzerland," I said nonchalantly.

She looked mildly curious, but I didn't share.

"Miki," she said after a while of lying there contemplating our own dreams.

"Mhmm?"

"I feel like I haven't seen you in weeks."

She spoke in a sad tone.  One that asked me for many things.  She inched closer and I looked at the ceiling resolutely, trying to control my breathing so that I wouldn't give off a sigh that sounded frustrated.  She held onto my arm and put her chin on my shoulder.

"I've been busy," I said carefully.  "So have you."

I turned my face to look at her and give her a small smile.  She didn't smile back.  Just stared and tightened her grip on me.

"I'm here now," I tried.

That just seemed to make her appear antsy, and I looked back at the ceiling, feeling tired and just wanting to go back to sleep but without the unpleasant dreams.

"But I'm sleepy."

I closed my eyes.

"Then go back to sleep," she said lightly.

This surprised me and made me open my eyes.  I thought for sure that she'd get angry at me for wanting to sleep when we finally had a moment of time longer than one hour to ourselves.

"But I'll be waiting for you right here when you wake up," she tagged on saucily.

Oh, you crazy lady.  Always knowing what you want, I thought to myself amusedly, considering not taking a nap.

Then the strangest sensation came over me.  It was like somebody had injected a sedative directly into my bloodstream, because I became inexplicably exhausted.  So much so that I couldn't keep my eyes open for a second longer.  I needed to fall into a deep sleep that moment or I would die of weariness.

I saw Aya's eyes looking droopy, too, and her hold loosened completely.

Maybe... she's sleepy... too...

Sleep came a little too instantly.

Offline Amarghetta

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #241 on: September 30, 2007, 05:47:07 AM »
Shiba-chan seems to know a lot of things, all the time. She's like Ochiai junior!  XD
Also, I sort of imagined her in military gear this time... 8)

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #242 on: September 30, 2007, 07:09:56 AM »
Quote
Everything has returned to normal.  We've all gone back to our proper dimensions.
EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH???  :scared:

How the HELL did THAT happen?!?!?



Quote
I don't know how I learn about the accident, but it's shocking.  I just look up at the ceiling and suddenly know that Aya has died in some kind of accident.  A tragic, painful way to go.  I sit up and start to cry.  I haven't received a phone call.  I haven't read the newspaper.  I just know that she's gone.
EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH??? :OMG: :OMG: :OMG:



Quote
"By the way, turn on the TV to channel twelve.  NHK news."

I do as Shibata asks, and there is footage of the remains of a riot.  I hang up the phone without saying goodbye.

"...the head of the government has been usurped by disgruntled social activists who claim all rich people should be shot.  Once considered one of the richest and safest countries in the world, Switzerland has fallen victim to a radical group that has operated underground for, some say, the past ten years.  Amidst gunfire an hour ago, it was unknown whether all the members of the federal council were still alive or not.  More on this story later.  Now, we turn back to the latest address from the new fascist government of the Kingdom of Shikoku, where sovereignty was declared two and half hours ago. It is in keeping with tradition that..."
Holy fuck, the world's gone crazy!  :stunned:



Quote
A more pressing matter comes to my attention, and that is the incessant pounding at the door.  It sounds desperate, so without thinking, I get up to go and open the door.

When I do, a tall man pushes his way in, puts a gun up to my chest, and pulls the trigger.
MIKI NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  :shock: :pleeease:



Quote
I woke up just as the bullet pierced my sternum.

I was breathing hard and sweating.  I'd somehow turned around and was facing the back rest of the couch.  I whipped my head around to look behind me.  Aya was still there, still sleeping, still alive.  I let out the breath I'd been holding and turned around again, trying not to move the couch too much.
FUCK that scared me! Thank god it was just a dream.  :sweat:



Quote
Maybe my dream meant something more than what it seemed to on the surface.  I would bet that in most worlds, Switzerland would remain peaceful, happy, and out of NHK news flashes.  But maybe there was a world out there where a revolt like the one I'd seen on the news in my dream would occur.  If so, coupled with the fact that I was seeing it in my dream, then something... strange was happening...
That's an interesting way to look at it, especially when you consider that many people who believe in the possibility of multiple realities do say that because of "the odds", every single possible occurrence DOES happen in at least one of these realities. Under this theory, while 99% of the time Switzerland will remain peaceful, there's that 1% that says that it would go down the crapper.  Everything happens...somewhere. In one reality, Aya dies. In another, Miki dies. There's one where Miki gets FRIDAY'd, and she and Aya don't speak to nor see each other for 10 years. There's another one where Miki gets FRIDAY'd, and Aya forgives her.  There's one where Miki never made it to her MM audition, but where Aya still manages to find her...



Quote
I started to laugh.  What a stupid idea!  I laughed so hard that Aya woke up.

"What are you doing...?" she murmured, rubbing her eyes.

"I'm sorry.  I just had a really funny dream," I giggled.

I felt like I was losing it.  Slowly losing it in a comical way.

"Well, at least one of us did.  I dreamt about some country in Europe being overrun by crazy revolutionaries, and then I was somehow killed in a crash just before I woke up."

I stopped laughing and froze.
Uh-oh...:o  Now, under other circumstances this would be hella cool that they had the same dream because it would show just how "in-sync" they are with each other. Now in this case, they're still "in-sync", but the fact that they both dreamt about Aya getting killed in a plane crash is really disconcerting. :scared:



Quote
I didn't believe in things like shared dreams, prophetic dreams, and those sorts of mystical phenomena.  They were plot devices in badly written novels. They were scary stories made up by people who wanted attention on TV.
* JFC looks at OTN1.



;D




Quote
"Miki," she said after a while of lying there contemplating our own dreams.

"Mhmm?"

"I feel like I haven't seen you in weeks."
Well, with how awkward things had been recently, it's not entirely surprising that she'd feel this way. Things aren't the same as when Miki first moved to Tokyo from Hokkaido. They've both seen, heard, and learned things (especially Miki about her "other selves"), that just made things...different from how they first were when the two of them were still in a state of utter bliss.



Quote
"I've been busy," I said carefully.  "So have you."

I turned my face to look at her and give her a small smile.  She didn't smile back.  Just stared and tightened her grip on me.

"I'm here now," I tried.
That didn't stop them before. Despite their work schedules, the two of them still found time to have "their time" together (and no, in THIS instance I actually DON'T mean the sex).  There was never any doubt that they'd spend time together, it was just natural, it was part of the rhythm they had.  With what they've recently learned, that rhythm has definitely been affected. That time they would spend together just doesn't seem to get prioritized as high as it used to.  :cry:

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

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #243 on: September 30, 2007, 12:11:13 PM »
Shiba-chan seems to know a lot of things, all the time. She's like Ochiai junior!  XD
Spinoff series: Shiba-chan and Occhi vs. the world.

Quote
I didn't believe in things like shared dreams, prophetic dreams, and those sorts of mystical phenomena.  They were plot devices in badly written novels. They were scary stories made up by people who wanted attention on TV.
* JFC looks at OTN1.
I would have highlighted the second sentence about badly written novels and then pointed at me. :lol:


The time has come to end this story.  It was started almost 2 years ago on a cold winter morning and it ends now on a rainy autumn night.  The audience has changed over this time, but everyone has always been very nice and willing to offer encouraging words.  Thank you.  I hope this ending is appropriate, and I hope that you've enjoyed the ride.

With that, I bring you the last few chapters of Love x 2:
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 12:28:29 PM by OTN1 »

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #244 on: September 30, 2007, 12:19:01 PM »
Chapter 27

I was back in the same dream I'd been in moments before.  I was sitting on the floor watching the TV.  On the screen was footage of war.  Peruvian citizens being ambushed by Norwegian soldiers, then a quick cut to Egyptian air forces bombing Beijing.

"What's going on?" I demanded out loud.

I posed the question to the TV, to the world, and to anyone who cared to try and answer.

"Miki?" a voice asked from behind me.

I turned around and saw Aya sitting on the couch.  She looked like the one I knew, but who knew what she would do.  In dreams - or at least mine - people rarely acted like their true selves.

This Aya, however, reacted in a very Aya way.  She stood up looking concerned.

"What's going on here?" she asked.  "Why did all these world problems start?"

I stood up as well.

"You mean you don't know?"

"Huh?  How would I know?" she asked with a frown.  "You're the dream.  You should know."

Me?  I was the dream?  No I wasn't.  She was the dream.  Unless...

I reached a hand over and touched her arm.  It felt very real.  I pinched it a few times, making Aya brush my hand away with a frown.

This Aya wasn't some dream.  She was real.  Very real, and I could feel her arm as clearly as the sun shone in the sky on a fair day.

"Wait.  Aya?  You're real?" I asked.

"Yeah.  So are you...?" she trailed off, looking confused.  "Are we in a dream together?"

"No!" I scoffed.  "That's stupid!"

She looked at me in awe.

"Oh my god.  We are."

"But I just said-"

"But why?" she cut in, not letting me continue protesting.  "How?"

As if in response to her questions, the room melted away.  I had never seen a room melt away, never thought it possible, but that's exactly what it did.  Like paint washed away by rain, the features of the room ran down, down, down and left us in a black void of emptiness.  As the colours of our previous setting faded, so did the light.  It grew darker and darker, and a claustrophobic kind of fear gripped my heart when we were plunged into total darkness.  I couldn't see a single thing.  I felt like I'd been buried in dirt and would disintegrate from existence.

"Aya," I rasped out, frightened.

She couldn't reply.  All she did was let out a squeak of terror that was probably supposed to be my name.  I reached out with my arms and groped around blindly in the dark until I found her hands.  I held onto them tightly and shut my eyes.

It's all in my head, I told myself.  It's all in my head.

"It's just a dream," I reassured her in a trembling voice that could hardly be said to be comforting.  "We'll wake up eventually.  Just a dream.  You're okay.  Okay?  You're all right."

I could hear her trying to keep a check on her breath and I could feel her shaking.  Or maybe that was me shaking.

Who knows how long we stood there.  It felt like forever and a half.

And then we saw it.  One of Aya's hands tightened on mine and she brought her other hand up to turn my head in the direction in which she must have been looking.  In what appeared to be "the distance" was a faint light.  It was moving towards us.  I turned my body so that I could keep an eye on the approaching light source.  It grew bright enough to be able to see my immediate surroundings, and I saw Aya looking paler than usual.  I tried to smile at her, but it must have come out as a grimace of fear because her hand squeezed mine in such a painful way that I wanted to cry.

The light grew brighter and brighter as we watched.  There was nothing else we could do.  Whether what came with the light was helpful or malicious, we had nowhere to go and no way to move.  We were in the middle of nothing.

I noticed something after a few seconds.  There was something in front of the light.  A silhouette.  It drew closer as though it were walking.  Walking on air?  I couldn't tell.  It came closer and closer as it got brighter and brighter.

This person... This person will know what's going on.  He has to.  Maybe we'll even know him.  Maybe he'll be... Tsuyoshi-kun.  Now that would be funny!

I began to giggle to myself and Aya looked over, all fear erased from her face and replaced by disbelief.

"What are you laughing about?" she asked in a strong voice.

I cleared my throat and settled down.

"I was thinking about Tsuyoshi-kun," I said, still grinning stupidly.

"You're thinking about some nineteen year old kid at a time like this?"

"Eh..."

My face fell as I tried to explain.

"I just thought it would be funny if-"

The approaching person interrupted me.  No, not the approaching person.  He had finished approaching and now stood before us.  No, not he.  She.

"There has been a mistake," the woman said.  "This was never supposed to happen."

She spoke in a soft voice, but one that commanded attention.  Her face, like her voice, was lovely and gentle-looking, yet its perfectly symmetrical beauty couldn't call attention away from the incredible hardness in her eyes.  They were eyes that belonged to one much older than the twenty-five years she looked.

She was tall, or at least she appeared to be.  Maybe it was an illusion.  It was hard to judge height when we all seemed to be floating in nothingness.  She had dark black hair that fell as far as the middle of her back.  Perhaps, however, the strangest thing about her was the absolute lack of whacky clothing.  I had imagined someone wearing a cloak and holding a staff, but this woman was dressed in a fashionable skirt suit that looked like it had just been ironed and put on.  She looked like a model for an office lady recruitment poster.  The only thing that was off about her professional attire was a set of four ear piercings, two in each earlobe.  Nothing extreme.

For an insane moment where I lost all sense of perspective and purpose, I focused on the meaning behind keeping those earrings in.  Why hadn't she removed them?  She would have looked like the perfect OL if she had.  Instead, she kept them in.  Maybe to make those around her question her moves.  Maybe she was making a statement.  A rebellious statement.

And as I stared at this woman's ears, Aya poked me.

"Say something," she hissed.

"Wha...?" I asked, startled out of my contemplation.

"She's not talking.  You're not talking.  It got awkwardly quiet for a minute."

I looked at the newly arrived woman's face.  She was watching us with an air of interest, but she was making no move to explain herself or her statement.

"What's going on?" I asked abruptly.

The woman blinked once calmly.

"I'm here to explain.  Things are not supposed to be like this.  Time has gone wrong."

Great.  We were stuck in a nightmare-ish dream with a woman who wanted to get her enigmatic game on and confuse the hell out of us.  Nothing could have sparked more irritation in me than that at the moment.

"Who are you?  Father Time?" I asked sarcastically.

The woman did not look amused.  She pierced me with a glare that made me shudder and re-evaluate my first impression of her.  Not so kind.

"I'm here doing you a favour," she said icily.  "I've brought you to this dream world to try and fix what's gone wrong."

Ashamed to have snapped at someone claiming to help us, I broke eye contact and looked at Aya, who was still squeezing my hand.  We shared a look.  We both didn't know what was happening.  We both didn't understand this woman or this situation.  Was she real like us?  Or part of the dream?  Maybe if we could touch her we would be able to tell.  We could try touching her ears.

Stop it with the ears, I scolded myself.

Fear brought out the most irrational fixations.

"What's gone wrong?" Aya asked, sounding a lot calmer than expected.

Now that we had light and we could see who we were dealing with, she must have gotten over her initial fear enough to start searching for answers.

"The fabric between the worlds has been chafed, worn down.  Holes have appeared and caused incredible flow between all realities.  One incident set it off."

She didn't seem willing to share any more information with us.  Any warmth that I had seen in her face before was gone.  She was all business now.

"Well?" I asked impatiently.  "What was it?"

Aya put a hand on my arm to calm me down.  It worked somewhat, but the woman standing in front of us was starting to rub me the wrong way.  Where had she come from?  What was she going to do?  Was she going to separate me and Aya?

"In your terms of measuring time, it would have been about four and a half months ago."

Four and a half months ago... Four and a half months ago... Four and a half months ago was...

"When we met?" I asked her and pointing between me and Aya.

The woman nodded sternly.

"We weren't supposed to meet?" Aya asked in a frightened tone.

The woman said nothing.

"What was it?" I pressed again.

"I don't wish to cause any more harm to this stream of time," she said resolutely.

That meant "no".

"I'd say it's messed up just as badly whether you tell us or not," I muttered.

She looked surprised and then thoughtful.  For a moment I felt enormous pride for having made a useful point.  Also, for a moment I thought she was going to tell us.  Alas, she still refused.

"All I can tell you is that something terrible and inexcusable happened in the main dimension four and a half months ago."

"The main dimension?" Aya asked.

The woman nodded and took a breath and pointed to Aya.

"You are from the main dimension."

That certainly didn't explain anything.

"But what do you mean by main dimension?" Aya asked as I stayed silent and listened, trying to form a theory of my own.

"A term I use to help me define dimensions.  You don't have to understand completely.  All you need to know is that there is one dimension that is considered the most likely and ideal.  It takes the most-likely-to-happen possibilities and moves forward in that way."

"Huh?  Like a paradise?" I asked.

If Aya was from some paradise-like dimension, I wondered if humankind's literary interpretation of paradise had been a little skewed.  It didn't sound like everything was dandy in her world.  There was still war and hunger and poverty...

"Oh, no," the woman chuckled (was that a condescending chuckle or was she amused by something else?).  "Perhaps for you, 'ideal' means 'joyous', but in greater terms, 'ideal' comes to mean something more inclusive of other feelings and outcomes.  There may be death and misery, but it is ideal for the dimension to experience those things as opposed to some other courses of action that may lead to the destruction of that world.  Do you follow me?"

"In Japanese, please," a nonplussed Aya said.

This dream was turning into a university seminar.

"She's saying that perfect doesn't necessarily equal happy," I summarised for her, and she nodded in understanding.

"If she's from the main dimension, what am I from?" I asked, feeling a little offended that my world wasn't considered one hundred percent "correct" by... whoever this cold lady with the ears was.

"You're from one of the infinite branches.  The main dimension takes the main road, and at each junction - that is to say at every single moment of time - the infinite number of decisions that can be made are made.  They occur uninhibited along paths that branch off from the main road.  They may run parallel to the main road at some points or they may twist away wildly and become completely different.  You are from one that runs fairly parallel to the main one."

Geez, seriously.  Next time I dream about this lady, remind me to bring a gun with me.  First to shoot her and then myself..

"Then what happened?  Why did we meet?" Aya asked, pointing to me.

Why did we meet?

Her question echoed in my head. 

Why did we meet?

So it all came down to this most important question: Why in the world would we have met?  Because we weren't supposed to have met.  So why did we?

I had secretly wanted to believe all of Aya's silly "it's destiny!" statements, but now I knew that I had been right in brushing them off.  Unfortunately.  Our meeting was not fated, but a big mistake.

A mistake.

So that meant that I'd never had a chance.  Not since we met.  All the decisions I had made from the moment I met Aya had all been based on a mistake.  None of it was supposed to have happened.  It was all a waste.

"Something happened four and a half months ago in the main dimension because of the eroded walls.  It caused you," the woman nodded at Aya, "to be thrown into the present Fujimoto's world just before the event occurred again for the first time - and don't bother trying to figure that sentence out.  That action was that world's natural defence mechanism against the situation from worsening.  Unfortunately, the situation proved very difficult to find, so up until now, the passageway between worlds has been widening."

"But if this is my world then why are my people reacting to me like freaks?" I demanded.

Even if this woman was telling the truth, it made no sense.

"The present Matsuura was not the only person to be moved or affected," the woman said matter of factly, making me feel stupid.  "I'm aware that you have met with another dimension's Ochiai.  As for the people of your world, they were affected by the flow of ideas between worlds.  It's not simply a physical problem.  Ideas and beliefs have been circulating through realities by way of these holes.  People have suddenly been coming to know things that they have not in fact learned.

"So that's why," I mumbled, feeling enlightened and depressed simultaneously.

"Yes.  There was a large spill of knowledge, which, I have come understand, has caused you great distress, no?"

I didn't answer her question because all present knew what the answer was.  I had a feeling she was just trying to irritate me further.  Make me blow up so that she could take the moral high ground and treat me like a rambunctious child, putting me in my place with condescension.  I wouldn't let her.

"What was it that happened in my world?" Aya asked, probably hoping to stop a round of abuse from me to the self-proclaimed guardian of time.

The woman fixed Aya with a stoic look that scared me.

"You don't need to know that."

The nerve of this horrid woman.  Scaring us half to death in the darkness and then coming with her lifesaving light, telling us bits and pieces while making us scramble around for the rest.

What could have happened that would have gotten Aya thrown out as part of a natural defence mechanism?  It must have been something terrible.

I suddenly had a bad feeling that I knew what it might be.

"She was going to die, wasn't she," I stated.  "Aya-chan was going to die."

The woman didn't acknowledge my words.

"Why would you say that?" Aya asked, sounding hurt, sounding scared.

"I don't know," I said quietly.  "I just get this feeling.  And those dreams we had before coming here.  Mine also, um, had you dying in it."

There was silence.

"But didn't you say you had a funny dream?" Aya asked in a dangerous tone.

I gulped.

"Uh, yeah, but not that part.  No, that part was not funny," I said quickly.

She glared at me.

Way to inject humour into the situation, I thought.  There we were being told that the entire universe was out of balance and she was scolding me for laughing at her death (which was a misunderstanding seeing as how I'd never laugh at the idea of her dying).

"But am I right?" I asked my nemesis.

She didn't answer my question.

"I'm in charge of fixing things.  Restoring everything and everybody, repairing the holes, and making sure none of this ever happens again," she stated.

That wasn't what I had asked.  That did not answer my-

Wait, I thought, timidly working through my idea in my mind.  If lady with the ears here is in charge of fixing everything, that means she'll return everyone and everything - like ideas - to their proper worlds.  If she does, then she'll probably restore everything back to the time just before everything went wrong.  That would place us in... hmmm, late October.  That would mean that winter would not have started yet and that I would not have met...

"Wait!" I yelled.

The woman had raised a hand.  Aya looked at me, startled.

"Miki, what is it?" she asked in an alarmed voice.

"You can't!" I yelled at the lady, who was tracing something I couldn't see in the air.

"Can't what?  Fix it?" Aya asked.

I grabbed her shoulders, turning her to face me squarely.

"She's taking you away," I said through grit teeth.  "I'm not gonna meet you."

I dug my fingers into her flesh, holding on in fear that she'd suddenly disappear.

"But she has to restore everything back to normal," Aya said calmly.

Of course.  She had her own world and her own Miki.  Her perfect, ideal world where she had the best of everything.  She had another me, another set of friends, a dream job...  She wouldn't miss anything. 

But me?  I would miss out on everything.  I had no Aya of my own.  At least not one that I knew.  I'd be back where I started in my crummy town where I was forced to live my parents' life and become the wife of a farmer.

"How can you stand there and say that?!" I screamed at her, shaking her.

I looked up desperately at the lady.  Some sort of green light had started to trail behind her finger's movements.  She was tracing words, but not words in any language I knew.

"At least you have something that you're going back to.  I've got nothing!"

Angry tears dripped down my cheeks one by one.  Aya's face turned sympathetic.

But I didn't want her sympathy.  I just wanted her to stay.  Or say she would miss me.  Or help me stop the nasty woman who was going to tear us apart.

"You won't remember me," she said confidentially.

No!  I could never forget her.  Never ever ever.  Not in a million years.

"Don't say that," I bit back.  "That's a lie."

"Miki, let go.  You're hurting me."

But I didn't pay attention.  I hugged her tightly so that she couldn't get away.

"So this is how it ends?" I asked.  "Role reversal?  I'm the one that needs you more?  And you don't care?  Aren't you going to miss me?"

I felt her squirm at my bombardment of questions, but then she miraculously stopped and hugged me back.  Tightly.

"Of course I'm going to miss you," she said, her voice finally cracking.  "But I'm trying to be strong for both of us.  We have to let go."

I pulled away and looked at the woman.  Her earrings had started to glow a light violet.  A strong wind started up.  I looked back at Aya and noticed a thin, wet trail going down her cheeks.  Tears.

"I don't wanna leave you," I stammered.  "I can't.  I can't go back to living that way.  Don't let her take you away."

I looked at the woman who was now writing furiously in the air, green characters appearing and disappearing and appearing again.

"Stop it!  Stop what you're doing!" I screamed.

I lunged for her, but Aya caught me and held me back.  I struggled to get to the woman, screaming profanities at her while at the same time begging for her to stop and let us wake up.  I was thinking of all the things in the past four and half months that I'd experienced.  The good and the bad.  The moments I'd shared with Aya, with Kuniko, with Tsuyoshi, with Katherine. The things Aya and I had overcome and the times when we'd been at our happiest.  All of that would be stolen away from me by this woman.  It would be like dying.  Worse than dying.

"You don't know what you're doing!" I sobbed, clutching Aya's shirt in my hands, burying my face in it, gritting my teeth.  "You're going to ruin everything.  My life..."

The wind picked up.  I looked up and saw Aya looking down at me, tears in her eyes.

"I'm sorry, Miki.  I really am."

I could barely hear her voice.  It was so soft, so apologetic.

"You know that thing they say about it b-being better to have loved and lost than to-to never have loved at all?" I stammered, the noise from the wind almost swallowing my words.

She nodded and I almost couldn't go on because I found it hard to breathe through my crying.  I opened my mouth to tell her what I thought about that phrase when suddenly there was an impossibly bright flash of white light that made me close my eyes.

I lost consciousness.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 12:41:50 PM by OTN1 »

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #245 on: September 30, 2007, 12:19:31 PM »
Chapter 28

My eyes crack open a fraction of a centimetre.  I let out a cranky groan and open them all the way.  I roll up to sit and stretch my arms above my head.  My back cracks in a few places and makes me wince.  I stand up and go to my window, pulling the curtain aside just a tad.

"First frost," I mumble sleepily but happily.

The ground and plants outside are covered in a barely visible layer of white frost.

I get dressed quickly and go downstairs.

"Good morning," my mom greets me.

"Morning," I reply.

I pour myself a cup of tea and go to sit in front of the TV in the living room.

"... though there are still two months to go before Christmas, some people have already started ordering their cakes from this famous bakery..."

The news doesn't interest me at all.  I finish my tea and decide to skip breakfast.  I'm not feeling hungry.  I go upstairs, brush my teeth, and put the finishing touches on my face.  I head out, saying goodbye to my mother on the way out the door.

I walk down the street.  At the back of my mind, I think I hear someone call out my name.  It sounds like Nakanoko-chan.  I turn around but see a group of children playing off in the distance.  Maybe I just heard them yelling something that sounded like my name.  I shrug and keeping walking.

I reach the outskirts of the town and keep going, walking up a hill, descending, and then walking up the next.  I reach a point where I can see my whole town.

I feel rejuvenated.  It must be the fresh air.  I'm bored in this town, but I know that there's a lot more out there in the world.  I'm filled with hope.  Maybe I'll suggest to Hiroshi that we move in together in Sapporo when we finish school.  There's more to do there in the big city.  There are far more opportunities than in this crumbling town.  I'll bring up the subject with him soon.

I look up at the cloudy sky.  The first snowfall will be coming soon.  I can tell.  One of these days I'll wake up and the ground will be covered in a beautiful blanket of white fluff.

Bring it on, I think with a smile.

I picture Hiroshi's face grinning back at me, and I'm filled with that amazing tingly feeling that one usually feels during the first stages of a relationship.  I get that often with Hiroshi even though we've been going out for two years.  That's how I know that everything's still okay.

I spend a long time looking up at the sky.  It makes me feel small but free. 

Life is grand.

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #246 on: September 30, 2007, 12:20:48 PM »
Chapter 29

My eyes crack open a fraction of a centimetre.  I let out a cranky groan and open them all the way.  I roll up to sit and stretch my arms above my head.  My back cracks in a few places and makes me wince.  I touch my jaw.  It hurts.  What the...

Oh.  Right.  I look beside me.  I'm alone.

What?  Where's Miki?

I stand up and shuffle out of my bedroom.  I look in the living room and the kitchen, but there's no sign of Miki.  I frown.  Where has she gone?

I hear running water, and I smile, walking over to the washroom.  I poke my head in and see Miki washing her face.

"Morning."

"Morning."

I join her at the sink and clean my own face.

"So," I say conversationally.  "Today I leave."

Miki nods stoically.

"Will you miss me?"

She says nothing.  She cups her hands under the water and suddenly splashes it in my face.  I gasp in surprise.

"Yes," she says in a sweet and innocent voice.  "You'd better bring me back some cool souvenir."

I wipe my face with an annoyed look.

"I will," I deadpan.

The nerve of the girl!

"Hey, I forgot to tell you yesterday, but Shige-san e-mailed and asked me to pass on a heartfelt good luck.  She's in Saipan now, but she's thinking of you."

"Thanks," I smile.

My heart warmed, I go off to get dressed.  Miki joins me a second later.  Her attitude has changed entirely, and she drapes herself onto my back.

"Do you have to go?" she whines.

But under the bratty act that she's putting on, there's a genuine plea for me to stay.

"I think it'll be good for me, Miki-chan," I tell her, trying to retain my calm.

If she tempts and pushes me too much, I'll end up quitting my job.  I'm this close to doing it.

She knows it because she smiles, gives me a kiss on the nose, and speaks of it no more.  She would never want to come in the way of what I love to do, even if I have to go somewhere far away.

We say goodbye that evening.  It's a tearless farewell like we earlier agreed to do.  Three months isn't too long.  At least Italy is still on the same planet as Japan.

I go downstairs.  As I'm riding the elevator down, there's a moment where I think I can't do it.  I want to stop the elevator and go back up, lock myself in my apartment and not let my boss get me.

The moment passes, and soon enough I'm loading my things into the taxi.  Just before we go, I look up at my apartment window and see Miki standing there and watching.  I wave cheerfully, and then we drive off. 

See you in three months, I think as we head to the airport.

A the airport, I meet up with my manager and a helper.  We go through all the motions of taking an international flight.

As we're walking to the gate, a girl drops her passport holder and doesn't notice.

"Excuse me!" I call out, rushing forward to pick the valuable item up.

The girl doesn't notice my voice in the din of the busy airport.  She keeps walking.  I look at the holder and see her given name written on it.

"Naomi-san!" I call out.

She turns around, and I wave the passport at her.  She smiles brilliantly and walks to me, taking her passport back.

"Thank you so much!" she says with a grateful bow and the smile.

"You're welcome," I say, returning the smile.

We part, but a few minutes later, I notice that she's also taking the same flight as me.  We smile knowingly at each other when I walk by her sitting at our departure gate.

As I sit and wait for boarding to start, I write Miki a last message.  I'm not sure what to say.  I've never really been tongue tied around this girl until now.  At least not when we're on good terms.  I don't know what's appropriate, so I stick to light.

Just wanted to say thank you for helping me pack all my things. My plane takes off soon.  This is the last chance to contact you before I get to Milan.  Behave yourself.  I promise to call you tomorrow.

I insert the meanest little face I can find into the message.

And water my plants!!  Goodnight, Miki.  Talk to you tomorrow.

I finish it with a red heart and press send, closing my eyes and leaning back.

A reply comes soon.  I read it and try to imagine Miki's voice speaking the words.

I'll be good if you send me cool souvenirs.  Take care.  I look forward to your call tomorrow.  Call at four am if you want to.  No matter how grumpy I get, you know I still kind of like you.  Later.

Big red heart.

What a joker.  I giggle to myself and turn off my phone just as the first boarding announcement is made.

We board the plane and we take off.  I watch two movies and then fall asleep when I can no longer resist.

Bad turbulence wakes me up.  The seatbelt sign is turned on, and I double check to make sure that I'm wearing mine.  I look out the window.  It's cloudy and I can't see a thing.   No, wait.  I can.  Poking out from the clouds below us, I see peaks.  Mountain peaks.  They are all capped with ice.  It's a breathtakingly beautiful sight.

The plan gives a few terrifying jerks, and the co-pilot comes on the air with an announcement, reassuring us that we're going through a patch of stormy weather but that it will pass.  The turbulence, however, gets worse, and my knuckles are now white from gripping my blanket in my hand.  My manager looks rather pale-faced, too.

Then as soon as it started, it's over.  The rest of the flight is smooth.  We land without incident.  I step only Italian soil for the first time in my life.

I take a deep breath in.  I'll be here for three months.  I'd better get used to everything quickly.

I go through customs, pick up my luggage, and am whisked away to my hotel before I can have a moment to take in this new, foreign land. 

A million things happen at the hotel, but it ends with me being escorted to my (very large!) room and shown how to place international calls.  Once everyone leaves my room, the first thing I do is pick up the phone and dial.  It takes me three tries to get it right, but once the phone starts ringing, I feel so excited that I can barely contain myself.

Five rings later, a sleepy voice answers.

"...'lo?"

"Miki?" I ask.

"Hey!" she exclaims, perking up.  "Took you long enough."

I laugh.

"Sorry for waking you up," I apologise.

She brushes it off quickly.  For once, I'm deemed more important than her favourite pastime - sleeping.

"Everything okay over there?" she asks.

"Mmhmm," I say with a nod she can't see.  "The people seem pleasant, but I haven't had much time to talk to anyone.  Everything okay over there?"

"Hmmm," she hums cheerily.  "Work is work.  Busy, but it's all good."

"That's good," I say with a smile.

There's a knock at my door.  That's my manager coming to pick me up.

"I have to go, Miki.  My reception..."

She snickers through a yawn.  I say goodnight, and she mumbles back quickly that she misses me, hanging up before I can reply.  I smirk at her shyness.

I go and open the door.  There's my manager as predicted.  She's looking just as sleepy as I feel.  I can't help but laugh at her.

"Ready to go and pretend you're awake and aware?" she asks me.

"Yeah, sure," I drawl.

Then together we head to the elevator in the hotel in a city in a foreign country that is thousands of kilometres away from my home.

But despite the distance, I've never felt so close to Miki.  Maybe something has been awakened in me, but I feel like I have to treasure every second that I know her.  I guess distance really does make you appreciate the things you have. 

I can't help but let a big smile take its place on my face.  I ignore Keiko's inquisitive look while I lean back and realise how good my life is.


The end of story 12 and of the entire series.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2007, 12:40:26 PM by OTN1 »

Offline Nana Oosaki

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #247 on: September 30, 2007, 01:08:20 PM »
O_O  ...

Offline Yuuyami

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #248 on: September 30, 2007, 02:10:00 PM »
I apologize for not commenting o____o; I've been reading, but I couldn't really formulate words into comments >_>;







All I can say is O__________________O...

So what, Aya actually survives this dimension...?

...

...

...

This is going to be another branch of Love x 2, ain't it? xD I dunno, even though you say you're going to end things, I can't help but feel that you're just going to write more based on what you last wrote or what you last wrote two stories ago xD...

Anywho, in regards the the recent final chapters, I was clinging to a piece of wood in the maelstrom of emotions D< But you're the master of this anyway so xD... I love how you made God a chick in trendy clothes xD I wonder if that's supposed to say something about you in general :]. I love Miki's character development over the weeks from a simple country girl to a city girl, and that was most evident in the final chapter where she misses the life at Tokyo and wants to bring Hiroshi to it :B But now, I feel horribly sad for her because now she's the only one suffering from it all. Aya is back to the life she loves, and Ochiai's no different. But Miki.... MIKI~! -clings to her- ;____;

Can't wait for your future works :B

Offline g4rfield

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #249 on: September 30, 2007, 02:22:51 PM »
HUUUUUUH????!!!!! Okay, I'm completely lost here. How?!! Why??!! What happened??! I need to re-read and think about it more..... :banghead:

Offline coachie

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #250 on: September 30, 2007, 02:38:34 PM »
So this is it? The END
And we've heard that how many times from you before?  XD
Reading the Love Series was like playing a videogame, you play it over and over until you finally get the 100% HAPPY HAPPY GOOD ENDING!

I know I've been somewhat lazy with comments for the past few months but I was always there lurking around waiting for a new chapter and laughing, crying, hoping and falling into despair with your characters.

Now all I can say is THANK YOU!


edit: Ms-I'm-here-to-fix-things sounds suspiciously like she's inspired by Setsuna Meioh aka Sailor Pluto  XD
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 04:44:20 PM by coachie »

Offline Kei-Br

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #251 on: September 30, 2007, 06:48:43 PM »
THE END????!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO  :banghead: :bleed eyes:


at least aya survives...and miki survives....does ochiai survive too? what about shiba-chan? xD
jk


Good Job!
Waiting for more of your works ^^ 8)

Offline Amarghetta

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #252 on: September 30, 2007, 07:00:03 PM »
Shiba-chan seems to know a lot of things, all the time. She's like Ochiai junior!  XD
Spinoff series: Shiba-chan and Occhi vs. the world.
Hahaha! Interesting idea, but completely unnecessary. You've done too much for the past two years, asking for more without some kind of retribution is certainly unfair.  :oops:


"There has been a mistake," the woman said.  "This was never supposed to happen."

Yeah, the whole series was supposed to end a year and half ago, or something like that. It's just that we kept bugging OTN1 , and therefore we had to be punished for interfering with the creative process.  :lol:

In any case, I'm very grateful to you for making these past nine months very entertaining. Time never passed by so fast before.  :P Seriously, thanks for sharing all this.  :yep:


Now wait for JFC, the honorary president of your non-existent (I presume) fan club, to do the honors. I bet it'll be sobfest. *pokes JFC's cheek*   <--- I'm talking about the face, btw.  XD
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 08:49:03 PM by Amarghetta »

Offline len.chan

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #253 on: September 30, 2007, 08:37:08 PM »
correct me if I'm wrong but, after re-reading again the last three chapters I've reached a conclusion...
The big mistake four and a half months ago wasn't Aya meeting Hokkaido's Miki right? It was the plane accident. If Aya's dimension was the paradise-like, then she and her Miki should be together and happy forever and ever because that's why that's the main and perfect dimension. Then something happens, Aya dies and everything goes nuts XDDD
So, the only way to repair the damage was to go back and repair what went wrong.

I LOVE the way you ended it. Thank you ^^

Offline Yuuyami

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #254 on: October 01, 2007, 01:16:04 AM »
Lenny-chan brings up a good point O_O!

What wasn't supposed to happen was Aya's death...

...But wasn't supposed to happen was Miki's death too!

So the final dimension is supposed to be the Perfect Ending where they both live! <3

Thank you, Ms. Trendy Fashion God(dess) for making that happen! <3
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 01:17:27 AM by Yuuyami »

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #255 on: October 01, 2007, 03:23:42 AM »
Quote
The time has come to end this story.
Damn, late to the party.

Oh well...here we go.

OSSU!



Chapter 27
Quote
I was back in the same dream I'd been in moments before.  I was sitting on the floor watching the TV.  On the screen was footage of war.  Peruvian citizens being ambushed by Norwegian soldiers, then a quick cut to Egyptian air forces bombing Beijing.

"What's going on?" I demanded out loud.

...

"Miki?" a voice asked from behind me.

I turned around and saw Aya sitting on the couch. 

...

"What's going on here?" she asked.  "Why did all these world problems start?"

I stood up as well.

"You mean you don't know?"

"Huh?  How would I know?" she asked with a frown.  "You're the dream.  You should know."
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh...waking dreams, and even more interesting, it looks like they're now sharing the same one!

Maybe now they can finally clear a few things up with each other. Stuff that they didn't have the courage to say to each other while they were awake, they might be able to say it now in this dream.



Quote
I reached a hand over and touched her arm.  It felt very real.  I pinched it a few times, making Aya brush my hand away with a frown.
Ummm...you're supposed to pinch YOURSELF to wake yourself up from a dream. I doubt that it also works by pinching someone else that's already IN your dream. :P



Quote
And then we saw it.  One of Aya's hands tightened on mine and she brought her other hand up to turn my head in the direction in which she must have been looking.  In what appeared to be "the distance" was a faint light.  It was moving towards us.
The "light at the end of the tunnel"? But why here? Why now? Miki and Aya aren't going to die here, are they??? :cry:



Quote
I noticed something after a few seconds.  There was something in front of the light.  A silhouette.  It drew closer as though it were walking.  Walking on air?  I couldn't tell.  It came closer and closer as it got brighter and brighter.

This person... This person will know what's going on.  He has to.  Maybe we'll even know him.  Maybe he'll be... Tsuyoshi-kun.  Now that would be funny!
Gotta admit, it WOULD be funny if it was Tsuyoshi. :lol:  In any case, hopefully whoever it is has some answers that can help.



Quote
The approaching person interrupted me.  No, not the approaching person.  He had finished approaching and now stood before us.  No, not he.  She.

"There has been a mistake," the woman said.  "This was never supposed to happen."
Okay, what "This" is this woman referring to? It's probable that Miki and Aya weren't supposed to learn the details about their other selves. After all, knowing it all hasn't exactly enriched their lives. So then, what does this woman mean when she says "This was never supposed to happen"? Was Miki never supposed to disappear from Aya's world? Was Aya never supposed to find Miki back in Hokkaido? Was Miki not supposed to move to Tokyo?



Quote
She spoke in a soft voice, but one that commanded attention.  Her face, like her voice, was lovely and gentle-looking, yet its perfectly symmetrical beauty couldn't call attention away from the incredible hardness in her eyes.  They were eyes that belonged to one much older than the twenty-five years she looked.

She was tall, or at least she appeared to be.  Maybe it was an illusion.  It was hard to judge height when we all seemed to be floating in nothingness.  She had dark black hair that fell as far as the middle of her back. 

...

The only thing that was off about her professional attire was a set of four ear piercings, two in each earlobe.  Nothing extreme.
As I read the description, for some reason I couldn't help but picture her as Kaori. :D

The earrings though, do seem to be a little out of place though.



Quote
The woman blinked once calmly.

"I'm here to explain.  Things are not supposed to be like this.  Time has gone wrong."

...

"Who are you?  Father Time?" I asked sarcastically.
Yeah, we kinda figured that one out on our own. Questions that we need answered right now are...exactly HOW has it gone wrong and WHAT can/is going to be done to fix it?



Quote
"The fabric between the worlds has been chafed, worn down.  Holes have appeared and caused incredible flow between all realities.  One incident set it off."
Okay, the way that she describes the problem makes sense.  The logical course of action would then seem to be to go and rectify that triggering incident (either by reversing/changing what happened, stopping it from happening altogether, or if something went wrong the first time, ensuring that it actually occurs as it was supposed to). 



Quote
She didn't seem willing to share any more information with us.  Any warmth that I had seen in her face before was gone.  She was all business now.
Well, part of the problem right now is that Miki and Aya know too much, and it's confusing the hell out of them. To tell them even more now could just compound that problem even more. 



Quote
"In your terms of measuring time, it would have been about four and a half months ago."

Four and a half months ago... Four and a half months ago... Four and a half months ago was...

"When we met?" I asked her and pointing between me and Aya.
Oh god no... :OMG:



Quote
"All I can tell you is that something terrible and inexcusable happened in the main dimension four and a half months ago."

"The main dimension?" Aya asked.

The woman nodded and took a breath and pointed to Aya.

"You are from the main dimension."

That certainly didn't explain anything.
Actually, if we look at what happened, it just might.  The woman says that Aya is from the main dimension, and that four and a half months ago something terrible happened. Well, if we're looking at who's involved, then the "something terrible" MUST be something big that happened in Aya's and/or Miki's life, and that something was probably NOT supposed to happen.  Assuming that THAT is the case, and taking what this woman said earlier about what happened with the dimensional barriers, it was probably something that happened to Aya, since she was the one that was shifted into this Miki's dimension, where the latter never made her H!P audition.

That would mean that all this time Miki and Aya (and also Ochiai-san) have been in Miki's dimension when they weren't supposed to be. By coming into her dimension, they brought thier memories of the "other Mikis" from their world, which was why people here have been giving THIS Miki the strange/funny looks. That, subsequently mean that in THIS dimension, Miki's life is no longer proceeding as it normally would have had she never met Aya and Ochiai-san. For all we know, in this dimension Miki was meant to stay in Hokkaido, marry Hiroshi, have a few kids or what not.



Quote
All you need to know is that there is one dimension that is considered the most likely and ideal.  It takes the most-likely-to-happen possibilities and moves forward in that way."

"Huh?  Like a paradise?" I asked.

...

in greater terms, 'ideal' comes to mean something more inclusive of other feelings and outcomes.  There may be death and misery, but it is ideal for the dimension to experience those things as opposed to some other courses of action that may lead to the destruction of that world.  Do you follow me?"

"In Japanese, please," a nonplussed Aya said.

...

"She's saying that perfect doesn't necessarily equal happy," I summarised for her, and she nodded in understanding.
Another way (albeit a pretty morbid one) to put it would be that given the choice, the lesser evil is the one that's chosen.  It's never about finding "the happy ending", rather it's about finding the ending that allows for the world to continue existing as smoothly as possible.  However, there will still be other dimensions where "the other option" is the one chosen. Should I go left or right? Coffee or tea? Should I take a chance or not? Events can unfold drastically different depending on the choices that people make.



Quote
"If she's from the main dimension, what am I from?" I asked, feeling a little offended that my world wasn't considered one hundred percent "correct" by... whoever this cold lady with the ears was.

...

You are from one that runs fairly parallel to the main one."
That might explain why Aya slipped into her dimension (if that is indeed what happened). It does seem more likely that she would shift into a place that's fairly similar to her own.



Quote
So it all came down to this most important question: Why in the world would we have met?  Because we weren't supposed to have met.  So why did we?

I had secretly wanted to believe all of Aya's silly "it's destiny!" statements, but now I knew that I had been right in brushing them off.  Unfortunately.  Our meeting was not fated, but a big mistake.

A mistake.

So that meant that I'd never had a chance.  Not since we met.  All the decisions I had made from the moment I met Aya had all been based on a mistake.  None of it was supposed to have happened.  It was all a waste.
Miki can't say that for sure. Granted, it's pretty obvious now that THIS Miki and THIS Aya weren't supposed to have met, but what about the Aya that was originally from Miki's dimension?  There's no way of knowing that the two of them wouldn't have ever met.

As for Miki thinking that all of her decisions have been mistakes, that's not necessarily true either.  People are presented with different choices based on the actions they take. Depending on where you are (both literally and figuratively) in life, there will be different choices to make.  Miki thinking that she might be able to make it in the entertainment industry isn't a mistake, it's the natural choice that would have been presented to her because she was now living in Tokyo.  Given her potential and her surroundings, it's only natural that this opportunity present itself to her at this time. Had she stayed in Hokkaido, her decision wouldn't have been whether or not to try to make it in showbiz, but rather they would be ones more appropriate to the setting and to the people that surrounded her there, such as should she finish university, should she accept Hiroshi's proposal, and so forth.



Quote
"Something happened four and a half months ago in the main dimension because of the eroded walls.  It caused you," the woman nodded at Aya, "to be thrown into the present Fujimoto's world just before the event occurred again for the first time - and don't bother trying to figure that sentence out.
Wait, when "Aya's Miki" had disappeared, that was NOT the  event that triggered all this, but rather, it was the result of it?  If that's the case, then we still don't know what this "terrible incident" was. Miki and Aya were merely sleeping, and when Aya woke up, from her perspective, Miki was gone.  We now know though that this is only partially true. Miki hadn't disappeared from Aya's life. She shifted from her dimension into another one were Miki wasn't in her life to begin with.  If we go back to the main dimension, then it's actually Aya that's disappeared from THAT Miki's life.

Oh, BTW, I TOTALLY called the fact that Aya was the one that shifted from one dimension to another. Damn my ass is good sometimes.   :grin:  :shakeit:



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As for the people of your world, they were affected by the flow of ideas between worlds.  It's not simply a physical problem.  Ideas and beliefs have been circulating through realities by way of these holes.  People have suddenly been coming to know things that they have not in fact learned.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSHIT my ass called this one too!  :shakeit: :shakeit:



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There was a large spill of knowledge, which, I have come understand, has caused you great distress, no?
Maybe just a tad.  :roll:



Quote
"What was it that happened in my world?" Aya asked, probably hoping to stop a round of abuse from me to the self-proclaimed guardian of time.

The woman fixed Aya with a stoic look that scared me.

"You don't need to know that."
That doesn't sound good. :O  If she had said it to both of them, then we might be able to assume that she's just choosing to not tell them. The fact that she focused on Aya when she said it though...something big (likely bad) must be destined to happen to her.   :k-sad:



Quote
What could have happened that would have gotten Aya thrown out as part of a natural defence mechanism?  It must have been something terrible.

I suddenly had a bad feeling that I knew what it might be.

"She was going to die, wasn't she," I stated.  "Aya-chan was going to die."
I was afraid it was something like this. The dimension must have been faced with the options of Aya living or dying, and for whatever reason, in the "grand scheme of things" it was, to use the woman's own words "more ideal" to have Aya die.  In the main dimension, this was what was supposed to happen, but instead she was shifted into this Miki's dimension, thus preventing that from happening. The fact that Aya didn't die must have started to throw everything out of whack even more than how it already was.



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"I'm in charge of fixing things.  Restoring everything and everybody, repairing the holes, and making sure none of this ever happens again," she stated.
She must therefore have the ability to make changes in time and space. To "restore" everything, she'd have to put everyone back in to where their were in their native dimensions, and allow events to continue to unfold as they had originally done.

That means...Miki will have never met Aya, and Aya's going to die.  :gyaaah:



Quote
"You can't!" I yelled at the lady, who was tracing something I couldn't see in the air.

...

"She's taking you away," I said through grit teeth.  "I'm not gonna meet you."

I dug my fingers into her flesh, holding on in fear that she'd suddenly disappear.

"But she has to restore everything back to normal," Aya said calmly.

...

"How can you stand there and say that?!" I screamed at her, shaking her.

...

Angry tears dripped down my cheeks one by one.  Aya's face turned sympathetic.

But I didn't want her sympathy.  I just wanted her to stay.  Or say she would miss me.  Or help me stop the nasty woman who was going to tear us apart.

"You won't remember me," she said confidentially.
Aya realizes that as much as she and Miki want to stay together, it's just not right. She's basically an intruder in this dimension, she was never meant to be here. Miki's life was moving along pretty smoothly until Aya came and turned it upside down.  It's painful for both of them, but Aya's right, once things are "reset", neither of them will remember anything that happened in the past four and a half months since Aya was first shifted here.  They will continue living out their lives the way that they were meant to.

Still sux though.  :mon waterworks:



Quote
"I don't wanna leave you," I stammered.  "I can't.  I can't go back to living that way.  Don't let her take you away."

I looked at the woman who was now writing furiously in the air, green characters appearing and disappearing and appearing again.

"Stop it!  Stop what you're doing!" I screamed.
Miki's often said that Aya's the stronger one between the two of them, and that she herself is usually the more selfish one. Considering their personalities, Miki just wouldn't be herself if she weren't fighting to keep what she and Aya have now.   :pleeease:



Quote
"I'm sorry, Miki.  I really am."

I could barely hear her voice.  It was so soft, so apologetic.

"You know that thing they say about it b-being better to have loved and lost than to-to never have loved at all?" I stammered, the noise from the wind almost swallowing my words.
There are two ways of looking at this. The first is that Miki's trying to tell Aya that she's helped make her a better person. Meeting Aya helped awaken parts of Miki's personality that she didn't realize she had been ignoring. She's opened her eyes in many different ways and in the long run, her life is better for having known her.

The other is that Miki thinks that the saying is a lie. To have loved and lost means that you not only remember the joy of that love, but that you also remember the pain of when it was lost. We know that Miki doesn't take loss (especially when Aya's involved) well. If Miki's thinking in THIS manner, then she's saying that forgetting Aya completely would be less painful than remembering what they had. If she doesn't remember Aya, then she never has to be reminded that she was once a big part of her heart, and that now she's gone.



Quote
I opened my mouth to tell her what I thought about that phrase when suddenly there was an impossibly bright flash of white light that made me close my eyes.

I lost consciousness.
And now we see just what the woman had planned to do.  :shocked:




Chapter 28
Quote
My eyes crack open a fraction of a centimetre.  I let out a cranky groan and open them all the way.  I roll up to sit and stretch my arms above my head.  My back cracks in a few places and makes me wince.  I stand up and go to my window, pulling the curtain aside just a tad.

"First frost," I mumble sleepily but happily.
As is expected, Miki's back in Hokkaido. Question is, is she exactly the same as she was before this all happened, or might there still be a little bit of the influence that Aya had on her?



Quote
I feel rejuvenated.  It must be the fresh air.  I'm bored in this town, but I know that there's a lot more out there in the world.  I'm filled with hope.  Maybe I'll suggest to Hiroshi that we move in together in Sapporo when we finish school.  There's more to do there in the big city.  There are far more opportunities than in this crumbling town.  I'll bring up the subject with him soon.
Reading this, I'd like to think that it's more likely that option 2 is true. :)  Miki had told Aya that she was scared of getting in a rut in Hokkaido, but she hadn't had the guts nor the initiative to even think about trying to leave it. It had always been her safety net. Looks like this Miki now has a little bit more ambition in her.



Chapter 29
Quote
My eyes crack open a fraction of a centimetre.  I let out a cranky groan and open them all the way.  I roll up to sit and stretch my arms above my head.  My back cracks in a few places and makes me wince.  I touch my jaw.  It hurts.  What the...

Oh.  Right.  I look beside me.  I'm alone.

What?  Where's Miki?

I stand up and shuffle out of my bedroom.  I look in the living room and the kitchen, but there's no sign of Miki.  I frown.  Where has she gone?

I hear running water, and I smile, walking over to the washroom.  I poke my head in and see Miki washing her face.
And now Aya's back where she was supposed to have been all along.  :cry:



Quote
"So," I say conversationally.  "Today I leave."

Miki nods stoically.

"Will you miss me?"

She says nothing.  She cups her hands under the water and suddenly splashes it in my face.  I gasp in surprise.

"Yes," she says in a sweet and innocent voice.  "You'd better bring me back some cool souvenir."

...


We say goodbye that evening.  It's a tearless farewell like we earlier agreed to do.  Three months isn't too long.  At least Italy is still on the same planet as Japan.
Fuck, knowing what's supposed to happen makes this scene really hard to take.  :bleed eyes:



Quote
As we're walking to the gate, a girl drops her passport holder and doesn't notice.

"Excuse me!" I call out, rushing forward to pick the valuable item up.

The girl doesn't notice my voice in the din of the busy airport.  She keeps walking.  I look at the holder and see her given name written on it.

"Naomi-san!" I call out.

She turns around, and I wave the passport at her.  She smiles brilliantly and walks to me, taking her passport back.

"Thank you so much!" she says with a grateful bow and the smile.

"You're welcome," I say, returning the smile.

We part, but a few minutes later, I notice that she's also taking the same flight as me.  We smile knowingly at each other when I walk by her sitting at our departure gate.
Oh crap, you just had to throw that in, didn't you?  :mon cry:



Quote
Bad turbulence wakes me up.  The seatbelt sign is turned on, and I double check to make sure that I'm wearing mine.  I look out the window.  It's cloudy and I can't see a thing.   No, wait.  I can.  Poking out from the clouds below us, I see peaks.  Mountain peaks.  They are all capped with ice.  It's a breathtakingly beautiful sight.

The plan gives a few terrifying jerks, and the co-pilot comes on the air with an announcement, reassuring us that we're going through a patch of stormy weather but that it will pass.  The turbulence, however, gets worse, and my knuckles are now white from gripping my blanket in my hand.  My manager looks rather pale-faced, too.
Oh god, you're not gonna make us live through this, are you???  :pig cry:



Quote
Then as soon as it started, it's over.  The rest of the flight is smooth.  We land without incident.  I step only Italian soil for the first time in my life.

I take a deep breath in.  I'll be here for three months.  I'd better get used to everything quickly.
Eh? The plane didn't go *boom*?

YATAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!  :banana:



Quote
A million things happen at the hotel, but it ends with me being escorted to my (very large!) room and shown how to place international calls. 

...

Five rings later, a sleepy voice answers.

"...'lo?"

"Miki?" I ask.

"Hey!" she exclaims, perking up.  "Took you long enough."

I laugh.

"Sorry for waking you up," I apologise.

She brushes it off quickly.  For once, I'm deemed more important than her favourite pastime - sleeping.
AYA'S ALIVE!!! SHE'S ALIVE AND TALKING TO MIKI!!!  :nya:



Quote
despite the distance, I've never felt so close to Miki.  Maybe something has been awakened in me, but I feel like I have to treasure every second that I know her.  I guess distance really does make you appreciate the things you have.
Having to go through a time when you think that you've lost something/someone important like that might have something to do with that too.  :wub:


Quote
The End
This was one HELL of a climax that you had set up here. I've called your stories emotional rollercoasters before; dude this one had the biggest rise and the biggest drop yet.  To say that this was tugging at the old heartstrings (especially when the dream woman started that ritual to set things back the way they were and Miki was pleading with her to stop it) is a GROSS UNDERSTATEMENT.  In the end, it looks like both Aya and Miki got their "ideal" possibilities.  Miki might have forgotten Aya, but she's by no means unhappy or worse off. As for Aya...well, she's got her Miki back in her life, so to speak. Also...not dying in a plane crash is DEFINITELY a good thing. 
:mon sweat:


Thank you for the happy ending (specifically, thank you for NOT killing either of them off this time).  I seriously hope that you continue writing. It doesn't have to be really frequent nor does it have to be GAM-based. As long as it's something, it's more than likely going to be good. At the very least it'll be heartily welcomed by those of us that have gotten hooked on them anyway.  ;D You're definitely a big part of the fanfic community here at JPH!P, and we hope that you stick around for a while.   :thumbsup



Now wait for JFC, the honorary president of your non-existent (I presume) fan club, to do the honors. I bet it'll be sobfest. *pokes JFC's cheek*   <--- I'm talking about the face, btw.  XD
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  :shakeit: :shakeit: :shakeit:



correct me if I'm wrong but, after re-reading again the last three chapters I've reached a conclusion...
The big mistake four and a half months ago wasn't Aya meeting Hokkaido's Miki right? It was the plane accident. If Aya's dimension was the paradise-like, then she and her Miki should be together and happy forever and ever because that's why that's the main and perfect dimension. Then something happens, Aya dies and everything goes nuts XDDD
So, the only way to repair the damage was to go back and repair what went wrong.
I was actually thinking that myself, especially after reading the last parts of Chapter 29. At first I thought that Aya was supposed to die (which wouldn't have been surprising, considering how OTN1 has written is previous works).  It would appear though, that the ACTUAL ideal situation in that dimension was for Aya to have lived, and that her dying was the mistake.  So to rectify the situation, the only way that "fate" could keep Aya from dying on that plane was to keep her from boarding it in the first place, and to so to do that, it shifted her into another dimension where she would be prevented from doing it (remember that losing Miki, and wanting to find her was enough for Aya to cancel the trip).  To make such a drastic change must have meant that the situation was such that the action had to be taken quickly (perhaps it would be harder to save Aya from dying if they waited too long).   But while the intentions were obviously good, the damage it caused between the dimensions sure gave a lot of people (like Miki) a hard time.



Quote
...But wasn't supposed to happen was Miki's death too!
Oh god, let's not try bringing THAT up again too. Having to deal with one death is hard enough.  O0



Again, completely, utterly awesome ending OTN1! :bow:
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 03:28:57 AM by JFC »

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

Offline Sevii

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #256 on: October 01, 2007, 04:21:39 AM »
@#($&@#$&@#$&@#)($&@(#)&$)@#$!!!!!


WHOAAA!!!

 XD XD XD XD XD XD XD XD


Damn, way to go.

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #257 on: October 01, 2007, 09:37:48 AM »
I woke up this morning and still couldn't believe this story was finished.  The sense of relief I felt all day was incredible.  Hahaha!  The pressure's off and it feels great.


O_O  ...
Hahaha, I'm not sure how to interpret that, but I supposed the story was kind of messed up enough to inspire that kind of reaction.

I love how you made God a chick in trendy clothes xD I wonder if that's supposed to say something about you in general :].
That I like to see my characters in trendy clothing?  Or perhaps that I'm super trendy myself? :lol:

Now all I can say is THANK YOU!
You're welcome!  Thanks for reading.  Every time I think of another song to add to the unofficial soundtrack, I think of you.  Hahaha!

*pokes JFC's cheek*   <--- I'm talking about the face, btw.  XD
Oh god.  The mental image I had before reading that last sentence...

I'm glad I was able to provide you with nine months of entertainment.

Thank you for the happy ending (specifically, thank you for NOT killing either of them off this time).
Well, I figured that you'd all kill me if I killed them off again.  I value my life.  Hahaha!

And thanks, man.  I feel really welcome.  I'm glad you enjoyed the rollercoaster of emotional (and cheesy) terror.


@#($&@#$&@#$&@#)($&@(#)&$)@#$!!!!!
Coincidentally, this is the missing dialogue from the story.  This is what Miki was screaming at the trendily-clothed-sailor-pluto-god-with-the-ears(?) lady.

len.chan, yes, your theory's right.  It was Aya's death that was the mistake.

Thanks, everyone.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 12:45:49 PM by OTN1 »

Offline Novaforever

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #258 on: October 01, 2007, 01:06:06 PM »
No freaking way!  I go away for a weekend and you finish Restart!  I never had a chance to complain and tell you to write more!

But I do love the ending.  For a second there I was really worried that you would be your normal mean self and make the plane crash again anyway, just to be spiteful.  It does make me wonder though... Is the universe where Miki cheats on Aya (which would technically be the one that we are living in) a branch off the main universe?  I sort of hope it is, because then Miki and Aya do get a happy ending.  I guess it would be since that is the universe Ochiai is from and that was stated to be a separate one.  Hah, now that I've typed this out I see I have answered my own question! 

Although now that this series is over I feel just a little empty inside.  You better start writing some other epic.  I need something else to look forward to reading!


And a billion thanks for writing these, they are far and away my favorite fics ever!  Although I feel like I've said that a million times before.

Offline ChiruChaCha

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #259 on: October 01, 2007, 03:10:06 PM »
That was... wow...

I didn't know the real meaning of "ending it with a big bang" until now...
I really really like how you ended it. I always beg for happy endings but this bittersweet(okay maybe more sweet than bitter) ending was even better and more OTN-ish xD Actually it's the first of the (many) times you've 'ended' the story that I don't feel like asking for more. This time it feels final and well-rounded. I still want to read other stories of yours though xD(but since you seem so relieved about finishing this I'll give you some time to relax until I come back with requests again. Different characters maybe? xD)

And now some questions I've wanted to ask you for a long time(feel free to ignore me if you don't want to answer xD): Do you write professionaly or plan to? Are there any other fics/writings/whatever of yours somewhere not posted in this forum? If so where can I find them? Will you dissappear from the face of the Earth now that you don't have to continue this story(or...)? xD

Finally, a BIG thanks for this story, it's my favourite fic by far too, and I believe I learned a lot of English reading it xD

P.D: do you understand the crazy time girl's blabbering yourself? xD

Quote
I noticed something after a few seconds.  There was something in front of the light.  A silhouette.  It drew closer as though it were walking.  Walking on air?  I couldn't tell.  It came closer and closer as it got brighter and brighter.

This person... This person will know what's going on.  He has to.

For a moment there I thought it was Tsunku xD

« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 08:32:14 PM by ChiruChaCha »

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