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Author Topic: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (30/?) [WMatsui] (07/11/2017)  (Read 106945 times)

Offline Bukiyou Taiyou

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Quote from: Sophcaro
Because there was no way Rena could have just walked in her hospital room.

I innocently scrolled down after that sentence above - wondering what would happen by the time Rena stepped in Jurina's hospital room - and when I found this infamous caveat below

Quote from: Sophcaro
TO BE CONTINUED

I was like :shock: :tantrum: :fainted:

.


.


.



I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

I hope it's not only Jurina's imagination. That would be sad for me her.
Rena might seem indifferent to her for two months after their break-up and she sometimes made a foolish decision, but I believe she would eventually fix it.

Thank you for the update, Author-san. I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter.

Offline Minami-chan

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Because there was no way Rena could have just walked in her hospital room.




TO BE CONTINUED

WHAT!!!

 :shock: :shock: :scared: :scared:

Has Rena gone to see Jurina?
That I did not expect.
I suppose the fact that they hospitalize to Jurina when they publish an article of Rena and Yosuke. This has made Rena react.

Offline Goodoldday

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I hope it's not her imagination  :cry: :cry:
I wonder how would Rena react to Jurina's condition :? guilty maybe? :? :?
Waiting to the next chapter author-san  :twothumbs :twothumbs
Ganbatte  :onioncheer:

PS : You are my favorite author, i love your writing style  :inlove:

Offline Guacamoolee

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Hi, S!
It's been a while! :P
It's really great to see Jurina again though she's not in a good shape. But I'm not surprise :cry:

When I reached the cliffhanger in the end, I was like "Eeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhh......."
This chapter felt so short and ended just like in a blink of an eye yet makes me so excited about what will happen next. But that's what I like about this chapter!

Though I'm still not certain about someone who's about to enter Jurina's room, I hope the person (whoever she is) will make Jurina feel better :fainted:

(Plot twist: someone who's about to enter Jurina's room is actually her mother :v)
Ok it's not funny haha I know hehe ._____.

UPDATE SOON AUTHOR-SAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MERCI BEAUCOUP!

Offline Genkikid

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The  moment I read the new visitor  didn't open the door or walk away and just standing there in silence, I knew it was Rena

I think Jurina ignoring her health had become a bad habit she need to break soon  :cry:

Offline sophcaro

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REPLIES TO COMMENTS


I innocently scrolled down after that sentence above - wondering what would happen by the time Rena stepped in Jurina's hospital room - and when I found this infamous caveat below
I was like :shock: :tantrum: :fainted:

What can I say? That 'innocent' scroll down was not wise  :P

I hope it's not only Jurina's imagination. That would be sad for me her.

I hope it's not her imagination  :cry: :cry:

Her temperature has dropped, no? So, she couldn't be desillusional because of it, could she?  :?

PS : You are my favorite author, i love your writing style  :inlove:

I'm so glad to hear that! It makes me very happy. Thanks for commenting   :oops:

I suppose the fact that they hospitalize Jurina when they publish an article of Rena and Yosuke. This has made Rena react.

Well, what's for certain is that Jurina was not feeling well at all, and hearing about that article probably didn't help, emotionally speaking  :nervous

It's really great to see Jurina again though she's not in a good shape. But I'm not surprise :cry:

I think Jurina ignoring her health had become a bad habit she need to break soon  :cry:

Yeah, poor Jurina  :( But I want to believe she learned the lesson, and it won't happen happen. Let's be hopeful!  :yep:

When I reached the cliffhanger in the end, I was like "Eeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhh......."
This chapter felt so short and ended just like in a blink of an eye yet makes me so excited about what will happen next. But that's what I like about this chapter!

Yeah, that's the cliffhanger effect   :grin: :grin:

Though I'm still not certain about someone who's about to enter Jurina's room, I hope the person (whoever she is) will make Jurina feel better :fainted:

(Plot twist: someone who's about to enter Jurina's room is actually her mother :v)
Ok it's not funny haha I know hehe ._____.

 :lol: :lol: Jurina confusing her mother for Rena would be the worst  :lol: :lol:

UPDATE SOON AUTHOR-SAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MERCI BEAUCOUP!

Merci pour ton commentaire, K!  :thumbsup
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 01:52:06 PM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

HEARTBEAT trilogy
- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Ongoing

OTHER FANFICS
- Warriors | Will return in February 2018
- Back in Time | Will return in February 2018
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline sophcaro

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CHAPTER 27




“Hello, Jurina…”

Jurina stared at the new visitor in disbelief, following closely her every step as she walked inside the room and slid the door close carefully behind her. “I heard what happened during handshake,” Their gazes locked across the room when Rena turned around to face her. “I wanted… I wanted to see how you were doing.”

Jurina opened her mouth to reply, but words desperately refused to come out. Despite comprehending it wasn’t an illusion and Rena was indeed there in the flesh and blood a few feet away, she remained deeply entrenched in a state of denial. A silence that lasted an eternity surrounded them, until Rena’s light footsteps resonated on the floor as she approached. When she paused by the side of her bed, Jurina was struck by the range of emotions reflected in her eyes.

Rena was trying her best to appear calm, yet she was doing a poor job at concealing her true feelings, her deep concern utterly unmistakable. It was such a sharp contrast to their last interaction - Rena’s emotionless voice and unreadable expression when she broke up with her a painful memory impossible to erase - that she found herself destabilized.

“Are you… alright?” Jurina felt like an electric shock ran down her spine when Rena extended her arm, and her fingertips brushed the back of her hand gently. “They said you passed out during handshake. What… What happened?”

Extremely distracted by the feeling of Rena’s soft fingers laying on top of hers, it took her a couple of seconds to process what she had uttered. “Who told you?” She asked in bewilderment when she came back to her senses, immediately cursing herself at her silly question. The incident had occurred right in the middle of a handshake session; many fans had witnessed the whole scene. Evidently, it had been reported swiftly.

“It was all over Twitter.” Rena answered, confirming her deepest fears. “They said you were at the hospital, but I couldn’t get more details. When I heard about it, I sent a message to your manager to ask where you were staying. I thought… I was afraid it could be serious.”

“I’m fine.” Jurina looked away, embarrassed to hear the incident had caused such an unwanted commotion on social media. “It was only a bad fever.”

“So, you are not injured?” Rena asked. Jurina shook her head in reply, and witnessed the great relief spreading instantly across her face. “That’s good news… That’s really good news. When will you get discharged, then?”

Jurina heard the question well, but too many conflicted feelings were currently being juggled inside her head to formulate a coherent answer. Rena’s unexpected appearance had provoked a multitude of questions, and she was still failing to fully grasp the situation. However, something became gradually clearer as she attempted to make sense of it: a complete misconception deeply ingrained inside her mind these last two months, that Rena’s current presence inside her room contradicted.

“You still care about me.” Jurina’s eyes lit up in realization. “All this time, I believed you didn’t want me in your life anymore. You never made contact after that day. But… you came to see me today. It means… It means you still care.”

Rena stared back at her in astonishment. “Of course I care about you.” She slipped her fingers quickly inside Jurina's. “Jurina, I…” she gave her hand a strong squeeze. “I never stopped caring about you.”

A glimmer of hope lightened Jurina’s heart for the first time in two months. Their breakup had assuredly devastated her, and she still couldn’t erase from her mind those dreadful words Rena had uttered on that fateful day of April. However, and despite the tremendous pain and countless tears their separation had provoked, she could never bring herself to harbor feelings of resentment towards the other girl.

Day after day, Rena’s image persisted stubbornly in her head, making her seriously question her capacity to forget about her, and doubt that her heart would ever stop beating for her. Rena’s unexpected visit had caused her feelings to resurface, making her consider the possibility that those feelings might be shared, and the older girl hadn’t completely stopped loving her after all.

Maybe it was a sign: a sign that it wasn’t too late to mend things up between them.

Jurina snapped out of her daze when she felt Rena slowly removing her fingers from her grasp, noticing the older girl casting a glance in the direction of the door. All of a sudden, Jurina feared she was considering leaving. But how could she let her go when they had barely been reunited? If there was the slightest chance of repairing their relationship, then she wanted to seize it.

Hastily, she grabbed Rena's hand again. “Wait, don’t leave… I want to talk to you.”

Two small brown orbs looked back at her, and Jurina easily read the uncertainty in them. A few times, Rena opened her mouth as if she wanted to say something, but no words ever left her lips. When the older girl still appeared undecided about her next course of action, Jurina knew she absolutely needed to find a way to tilt the scale in her favor, and she gave her hand an encouraging, light tug. “Please. Stay with me a little longer.”

When her perseverance bore its fruits and she received a small nod in reply, Jurina relaxed instantly, scooting further away on the mattress to grant Rena sufficient space on the side of the bed. Once she was seated, Jurina’s attention fell upon their joined hands and, as she relished the pleasant feeling of Rena’s warm fingers inside hers, she realized how much she had longed for the physical intimacy.

This morning, she hadn’t stopped lamenting her powerlessness, cursing her weak body and fragile health for continuously failing her. Filled with a great sense of guilt - she had missed performing her duties during handshake - she now viewed this incident from a brand-new perspective. Unknowingly, it had led to the most unpredictable positive outcome: it had caused Rena to come out of her silence.

Overwhelmed by a feeling of pure bliss, Jurina couldn’t contain herself any longer. Closing the distance between them, she pulled the older girl into her arms without hesitation. “I missed you.” The confession left her lips naturally. “I missed you so much…”

The body grew rigid against her and, for an instant, she feared the other girl would not accept the affectionate gesture and would reject it. Jurina waited in anticipation, reassured when Rena didn’t push her away and returned the embrace, albeit a bit clumsily. “I should have trusted my instincts,” Jurina berated herself, a certain article on her mind. “I should have known it was ridiculous rumors.”

“What… are you talking about?” Rena asked, in a small hesitant voice.

“The Bunshun article.” Encouraged by Rena’s compliance, Jurina decided to push her luck and nuzzled her nose against her neck, appreciating the delicate scent of her familiar, sweet perfume. “Now, I know it. Nothing in it was true.”

They stayed quietly into each other’s arms until Rena slowly broke free from the embrace, Jurina noting her troubled expression when they came face to face and the latter examined her figure attentively. “Are you sure you’re fine? You still don’t look well…” Rena murmured worriedly. “Maybe you should lie down.”

Jurina was about to proclaim that she was feeling much better and she surely didn’t wish to rest – especially not during such a crucial moment - when it occurred to her that the other girl hadn’t said anything about the article. Trying to figure out the possible reasons for Rena’s silence on the subject, she felt a tinge of insecurity.

“It’s not true, right?” She stammered, swallowing a nervous lump in her throat. “You’re not dating…” She couldn’t muster the courage to utter the actor’s name. “You’re not really dating him?”

“Nothing is going on with Yosuke-san.” Rena replied in a serious tone. “I enjoy spending time with him and he’s a talented actor, but he’s never been more than a co-worker.”

Jurina released a breath she didn’t even realize she'd been holding. “You don’t need to explain.” Her mouth tugged into a small, pleased smile. “I… I believe you.”

Jurina raised her arm tentatively to caress her cheek, catching a flash of unease in Rena’s eyes the instant her fingertips came in contact with her skin. Uncertainty filled her chest and she lowered her hand, trying to grasp the meaning of Rena’s discomfort. Could she be moving too fast? Was it too soon for affectionate gestures? But how could it be wrong, when she was only following her heart’s desires to reconnect with Rena?

“You have no idea…” Rena started, getting Jurina’s whole and undivided attention. “You have no idea how incredibly relieved I am that you’re feeling better and it’s nothing serious, but…” Rena’s voice dropped to a whisper, and she averted her gaze. “I think I'd better go now…”

Jurina’s heart pounded inside her chest at her last, alarming words. Dreading that she might lose her for good and never see her again if she didn’t stop her, she knew she needed to act fast when the older girl put words into action and began moving up from the bed. Resolute, she caught her hand in a firm grip, and didn’t think twice before pressing her lips hastily against hers.

Rena’s lips grew still at the impulsive kiss, Jurina noting the stupefaction plastered all over her face when she pulled away. “I love you.” She stated without delay. “And after you came today, I’m sure you still have feelings for me too.”

Jurina waited in expectation, but grew apprehensive as the seconds went by and the other girl remained desperately silent. Wishing to prove that she meant strongly every word she had uttered, she made a move to claim her lips once more, but halted a few inches away from her lips when timid fingers clutched her shoulder. “D-Don’t. We can’t… We can’t do this.”

The atmosphere became tense as Jurina let the words sink in, helplessness gradually overcoming her. “Why? I don’t… I don’t understand.” She gazed back at her in incomprehension. “You came to see me because you were worried about me. You just admitted caring about me.” A wave of doubt swept through her. “Was it… Was it just a lie?”

“Of course not!” Rena exclaimed. “I care about you. I really do, but you don’t understand that-”

It was all the reassurance she needed to hear. Jurina leaned forward and wrapped her arms around Rena's neck, determined not to let go of her until she had conveyed her feelings properly, and Rena was fully hers again. “I just want to be with you.” Sensing Rena’s frail body shuddering slightly, she tightened her hold around her. “So, can we just… Can we just go back to the way it was before?”

Maybe was it extremely naïve of her to believe they could go on with their lives as if nothing had happened, but those two last months without Rena by her side had been a living hell. If this separation had taught her anything, it’s that she needed Rena’s love, just as she needed air to breathe. If she couldn’t have her, then she wanted no other: that was a certitude deeply anchored in her heart.

Because no one else on earth but the beautiful and dear to her heart twenty-five-year-old young actress would ever manage to make her heart race uncontrollably.

There was an endless silence.

Jurina placed some tender kisses on Rena’s hair, in the hope the small demonstration of affection would loosen her up, and show her she wasn’t ready to give up on her. Revive Rena’s belief in them; a faith that their relationship still stood a chance. The feeling of Rena’s fingers squeezing the back of her hospital gown made her pause in her ministrations, and she held her breath in anticipation.

“This was a mistake.” Rena’s voice sounded weak and tremulous in her ear. “I shouldn’t… I shouldn’t have come.”

Jurina was too stunned to react when the older girl pulled slowly out of her arms, the mattress shifting as she left her side. At last, when it dawned on her what had been said, Jurina stared back at Rena's standing form in alert, her instincts screaming at her not to give up and reduce the distance at once before it was too late. Removing the bedcover and quickly taking a seat on the side of the bed, her feet had barely touched the ground that the other girl had already taken a cautious step back.

“No… stop.” Rena desperately pleaded. “I’ll always care about you, but nothing you can say or do right now will change the situation. We just can’t… We can’t be together.”

Rena’s final words crushed her hopes and broke her heart all over again. Helpless tears sprang to her eyes, understanding there was no going back when the other girl looked so decisive and the moment after slowly turned on her heels to head towards the door. As she watched her walking away, she progressively realized her heart would never be able to recover if she had to meet Rena once more under such painful circumstances.

Her decision made, her soul tore apart at what she was about to say.

“If we can’t be together…” A tear began rolling down her cheek. “Then it’s best if we don’t see each other again.”

Rena froze, her eyes glimmering with pain as her feet paused instantaneously in front of the door. For a moment, Jurina believed the older girl would turn around one last time in her direction, but their eyes never met again. The faint sound of the door sliding open was the last thing she heard, Rena’s silhouette vanishing out her sight as she stepped out of the room, and the door closed behind her.

 





Churi took a deep breath, trying desperately to calm her nerves. A few seconds ago, she had arrived in front of Airi’s familiar doormat, but she was facing real issues with controlling her agitation. Deciding it was wiser to wait until she was a little calmer to ring at the doorbell, she chose to delay a bit more the announcement of her arrival, instead recalling the painful scene she had witnessed less than an hour ago.

When she had walked into Jurina’s room and found her in bed with tears streaming down her face, she immediately feared the doctor had visited her recently and given her bad news about her health. Unexpected news that was forcing her to stay at the hospital much longer than originally planned. Jurina never made a secret her complete distaste of hospitals, and she certainly never enjoyed being forced to stay idle because of an unfortunate injury or a troubling health problem.

Not being able to do her job for even a single day was already way too much for the full-of-life, and strongly committed idol named Jurina Matsui.

That day, never would Churi have foreseen the true reason behind Jurina’s tears. When the words had fallen from her quivering lips, and she had revealed that Rena had visited her, Churi had stared at her in incredulity for some long, pregnant seconds. When she had finally gotten over her initial shock at the news, she couldn’t help but analyze the situation carefully, and draw her own conclusions. Not only was Jurina’s distress a clear sign that this meeting was definitely unplanned, it was also evident to her that it hadn’t gone so well.

Churi had listened worriedly as Jurina had disclosed bit by bit the content of her conversation with Rena. Churi was a little startled when, after finally calming down a little, Jurina had let out with a somewhat resigned look that there was truly no hope anymore of them getting back together. It’s over; she made it more than clear. I need to accept it now… I need to try and forget about her… Deep down, Churi knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task to accomplish; not when she had been so deeply in love with Rena through all these years.

Nonetheless, hearing those unexpected words coming from her made her hopeful that the time of tears might finally be coming to an end. Those last two months, it had been awfully painful to observe Jurina’s daily suffering: an agony that showed no sign of stopping, not even when she cleverly attempted to disguise her true feelings behind a fake smile. Today, Jurina had visibly come to a crucial decision, and Churi wanted nothing more but to support her.

If there was absolutely no chance of repairing their relationship, then there was no point of clinging to false hopes.

When, a little while later, she had left the hospital and Jurina’s side, her thoughts had drifted towards Airi, the urge to meet her friend impossible to resist. Remembering that she was spending the afternoon at her apartment, her steps had led her naturally in that direction. And so here she was now, staring at Airi’s doormat, and trying to figure out how she was going to broach the subject with her. Believing she'd calmed down sufficiently, she raised her arm to ring at Airi’s door.

Hearing light footsteps approaching from inside the apartment, Churi looked up towards the door in expectation. All the way here, she had barely been able to contain her frustration, a multitude of questions piling up inside her head at Rena’s baffling behavior. Much as she mulled it over in her head, none of it made sense. Why on earth would she go and visit Jurina at the hospital, if she had no intention of making things right between them?

Churi was really counting on Airi’s help to decrypt the complete mystery that Rena Matsui represented.

Churi held her breath in anticipation at the sound of the key slowly turning inside the lock, her gaze falling instantly upon Airi as she appeared. Her friend’s great surprise was an evident sign that she was definitely not expecting Churi's visit, which was a predictable reaction considering not only that they were not supposed to meet today, but she hadn’t warned her of her arrival either.

“Rena came to see Jurina at the hospital.” Churi spoke plainly, realizing she wasn’t in full control of her emotions when she failed to keep the irritation out of her tone. “Did you know she would do that?”

Airi’s initial astonishment vanished, giving way to a manifest awkwardness. “Yes, I know she visited her.” She nodded slowly. “But, I had no idea she would. I didn’t even know she was back in Nagoya until a few hours ago.”

“Why would she go and see her?!” Churi exclaimed, her incomprehension resurfacing with great ease. “Do you know what she did? What she dared to tell her?”

The atmosphere shifted between them, growing incredibly tense as both stared deeply into each other’s eyes without uttering a single word.

Given the total absence of curiosity in Airi’s expression, Churi had no doubt anymore the older Matsui had confided in her and she knew perfectly well what she was referring to. The more she pondered over the situation, the more it occurred to her that Airi might have been keeping some information from her these last two months. Not only had she been a little distant, the fact that she had never mentioned Rena a single time during their conversations hadn’t escaped her either.

Could she have been trying to avoid broaching this tricky subject on purpose?

Up till that day, she hadn’t paid much attention to Airi’s behavior, too occupied was she with keeping an eye on Jurina, and making sure she didn’t collapse out of exhaustion. Hearing that Rena had abruptly reappeared in Jurina’s life after two months of silence - only to achieve such terrible results - appalled her at the highest level. She badly needed answers, and a little voice inside her head was telling her the one who could likely provide them had been standing in front of her nose the whole time.

“When Jurina saw her, she was so hopeful that they could fix things.” Churi continued when it didn’t appear like her friend was ready to speak. “Instead of that, Rena only managed to make her feel even worse. What kind of person would do that? How insensitive can she be?”

Her last words managed to strike a chord.

“Don’t say that.” Airi shot her a disapproving look. “She went to see her because she heard what happened during handshake, and was terribly worried about her. She never meant… She never meant to upset her or hurt her.”

Churi heard the retort well, but she couldn’t help thinking it was solely Airi's protective side speaking. It was no secret that Rena and Airi had always been very close; to the point the latter had even boldly confessed her feelings for her more than two years ago. Even if she faced Rena’s rejection, it hadn’t tarnished her attachment for her over the years. Churi always viewed Airi as a collected, hard-headed person, who always managed to keep a clear head no matter the circumstances. But, on this issue in particular, Churi was afraid Airi wasn’t being completely neutral.

That, unfortunately, she was letting her feelings affect her better judgment.

“I know she’s your friend and it’s natural for you to defend her but, you need to face reality.” Churi deplored, hoping her friend would listen to reason. “Two months ago, she broke Jurina’s heart in the most devastating way. No matter what you think, you can’t deny it was inappropriate to go and see her at the hospital.” Churi refused to back away. “She should have anticipated what her presence would do to Jurina; how badly it would affect her emotional state. So, if you can figure out what’s going on inside Rena’s head then I beg you to tell me, because I don’t have the remotest clue.”

Airi nibbled on her bottom lip nervously. “I’m sorry, but I can’t betray Rena’s confidence. She trusts that our conversations stay private, so I can’t-”

“Airin!” Churi cried out, incredulous in the face of such obstinate loyalty. “Do you know how awful it makes me feel to witness Jurina’s distress every day, and not being able to do anything about it? Can you imagine how powerless I felt when I saw her lying on the floor unconscious? The last time she ended up at the hospital, I promised myself to take better care of her, and make sure it never happened again. I failed her. I failed her, Airin.”

“I know what Jurina means to you.” Airi’s features softened at the vibrant manifestation of Churi’s torment. “I know how much you care about her and that you’re only trying to protect her.” She gave her trembling fingers a brief, light squeeze, before making a short pause, searching carefully for the adequate words to continue. “But they are both adults. What happened is between them; it’s not our place to judge or to intervene.”

“You wouldn’t be saying that if it was the other way around.” Churi interjected. “If it was Jurina who had broken Rena’s heart, and your friend had been crying in your arms day and night, you would have done the impossible to fix the problem and get them back together. The impossible.”

“You’re being unfair…” Airi whispered hurtfully. “I understand; you’re mad at me because I’m not giving you the answers you want. But trust me...” She looked straight into her eyes. “I want them to be both happy as much as you do.”

Guilt spread through Churi’s chest in remorse, realizing that she had inadvertently gone too far. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.” She murmured apologetically. “Can you let me in so we can talk about it?” She looked up with hopeful eyes. “I promise not to get angry. I only want to try and understand things better.”

“It’s really not a good time.” Airi clutched the side of the door, and avoided her gaze in unease. “I was… I was about to go out anyway.”

Churi could recognize a lie when she saw one and right now, Airi was definitely not telling the entire truth. Frowning a little at her odd behavior, she chose not to insist. Still feeling bad after what she had said to her, she didn’t want to take the risk of making things worse by being too forceful. As she was about to leave, she reconsidered, and faced her friend anew.

“When you see Rena, please try to make her understand that her actions are torturing Jurina.” Churi spoke up softly but seriously, noticing a brief flash of surprise in her friend’s eyes. “If she doesn’t want to be with her anymore, then… she must let her move on.”

Airi didn’t reply, not that Churi really expected her to say anything. Sending her a last weak, thankful smile, she turned on her heels, hearing the front door of Airi’s apartment slowly closing behind her as she walked away.

 



Airi listened as Churi drew away in the corridor, her last words resonating in her head as she slowly closed the door behind her. For a little while, she remained paralyzed in front of the door, rattled after her last tense exchange with Churi. Maybe she should have anticipated her friend to come and see her one day in search of answers. These last two months, Airi had cautiously avoided bringing up the topic of their mutual friends’ breakup. Not only had she figured that they would have more than a few points of contention, she feared it wouldn’t take long for Churi to see right through her, and deduce that she knew more about it than she was willing to admit.

Unfortunately, it appeared Rena’s impromptu visit to the hospital had been the last straw for Churi, triggering her strong protective side and need for answers.

Airi was never one to raise her tone or get unreasonably upset or angry at someone, yet it had been a daunting task to keep her composure while listening to Churi’s harsh criticism regarding the young actress. Of course, it was out of the question to betray her friend’s trust and divulge her real motivations behind the separation, but the urge to claim that Rena was hurting just as much as Jurina from this painful situation – if not even more - had been hard to resist on more than a few occasions.

At the sound of footsteps behind her, Airi turned around in mild apprehension, discovering a feminine silhouette standing in her living room. They looked quietly at each other, the expression of discomfort in Rena’s eyes enough indication that she had most likely overheard her whole talk with Churi. Imagining easily how affected she must be after hearing such hurtful words directed at her, Airi couldn’t help but curse Churi’s terrible timing.

Rena averted her gaze and moved towards the window, concern spreading through Airi’s chest as she slowly joined her side, and pondered over the appropriate words to say in such a situation. Giving her silent friend a nervous side glance, she diverted her attention to the window, watching as rain came down in sheets and lightning flashed every few seconds in the streets of Nagoya.

“I’m so sorry you had to hear that.” Airi lamented. “She had no right to say all these things. I’m not even sure… I’m not even sure she really meant it.”

“She’s angry at me. I can’t hold it against her.” A sad smile crossed Rena’s face as her eyes remained glued on the torrential downpour outside. “I shouldn’t have gone to the hospital. I realized my mistake too late. I never meant… I never meant to hurt Jurina and give her false hopes.”

“I know you didn’t.” Airi shook her head slowly, placing a comforting hand on Rena's shoulder. “You only wanted to make sure she was alright. It’s completely understandable; I would probably have done the same thing.”

“Akane is right.” Rena’s face darkened, her voice falling to a deadly whisper. “If I can’t make Jurina happy, then I need to stay away from her.”

Airi tensed, fearing the consequences of such an irrevocable decision. Hearing Rena wishing to protect Jurina’s wellbeing didn’t come as a surprise, yet it wasn’t the only thing to consider and at stake. What about her own happiness? Airi was aware of how remorseful she already felt for breaking Jurina’s heart, and a part of her was afraid of the damages a permanent separation would do on the actress’s mental balance. Would she ever be able to ease her guilty conscience without receiving Jurina’s forgiveness?

“Are you sure about this? Maybe things will soon quieten down with the paparazzi,” Airi offered tentatively. “When that happens, I’m sure you’ll have an opportunity to meet Jurina again, and explain to her why you chose to keep your distance from her.”

“You saw what happened in Tokyo. I have no idea why Bunshun is harassing me, but it’s not safe to be with me.” Rena’s distraught eyes met Airi’s compassionate gaze. “If we were to get back together, I would only be putting Jurina in danger. And if she was forced to leave SKE and graduate because of me, I…” Her voice cracked. “I would never forgive myself.”

“I’m worried about you…” Airi confessed, pained when she heard emotions submerging her. “I don’t want you to make a decision you’ll risk regretting later.”

“I’m already regretting it.” Rena’s throat constricted, tears gathering in her eyes. “But I refuse to witness her suffering once more because of me.”

Tears spilled down Rena’s cheeks, and Airi felt a small weight on her shoulder when she leaned her head the following moment. As the drops of water beating loudly against the window covered the sound of Rena’s crying, Airi feared a grim future awaited her friend’s tortured soul. Maybe it was her optimistic side emerging, but she decided nonetheless to cling to a glimmer of hope. Because, no matter the hard struggles one person could go through in their life, she had one certitude anchored deep inside her heart.

There was always a light at the end of the tunnel.







TO BE CONTINUED
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 03:22:25 PM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

HEARTBEAT trilogy
- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Ongoing

OTHER FANFICS
- Warriors | Will return in February 2018
- Back in Time | Will return in February 2018
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline Genkikid

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It's not good. It's really really not good. Both are losing hope of being together and Churi's over protectiveness is not helping at all


And here I am still blaming bunshun for everything that is happening

Offline MaYukiIsLife

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  • #Furumarion XD
    • taengoosone
I feel bad for the both of them, but also feel bad for Furuyanagi. They're trying to do what's best for the two of them but everything just turns the other way and makes things harder for the four of them.

Offline Minami-chan

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Jurina has been totally destroyed.
But Rena is just like Jurina.
I understand Churi's anger with Airin. Although Airin is being very good friend with Rena.
I'm very intrigued by how you're going to continued the story.

Offline RenaHaruka

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Author-san, please stop breaking all our hearts, we CAN'T take it anymore for all the agony  :pleeease:...Hopefully there is really a light behind all these suffering soon... Thank you for your great work...

Offline Bukiyou Taiyou

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Author-san, please stop breaking all our hearts, we CAN'T take it anymore for all the agony  :pleeease:...Hopefully there is really a light behind all these suffering soon... Thank you for your great work...

Author-san, please give us mercy. We can't take this pain any longer. :on kimbo:

I was so happy when it's really Rena (not Churi OR Jurina's mom) who came to the hosptital. Rena showed that she still cared and Jurina didn't miss the opportunity to win her heart back. BUT then my heart was broken when Rena left Jurina without any single word.

Why??? :gyaaah:

Rena's visit brought more pain to Jurina. She lost her hope and she believed it's time to move on. The wound is too deep now.

I don't ignore the fact that Rena is also broken but at least it's her own choice. She chose to break up with her despite having a chance to explain the whole situation. Rena was trying to secure Jurina's future as an idol by breaking her heart at the moment.

Meanwhile Jurina didn't have any options. She had NO IDEA why Rena left her. And I think that's the saddest thing that could ever happen to her. I feel like giving her a hug but then I remember even Churi couldn't protect her heart.

Both Churi and Airi were being a good friend and it's expected they defended their own best friend. Churi was a bit too much but Airi's silent didn't help.

Maybe all we need is just...



.





.





.






.






.






...a miracle  :on speedy:

Anyway, despite the gloomy mood, I like the very last sentence in this chapter.

Quote from: Sophcaro
There was always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Let's hope that storm would eventually calm.  :prayers:

Thank you for the update!
 

Offline Guacamoolee

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Woaaaa..... what can I say :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

I used to thought that everything would be better if Rena came to see Jurina but unfortunately it never happened. Everything between them is getting worse instead.  :banghead:

I think both of them are clumsily making conclusions too fast; Jurina tought that Rena would make everything between them right again and Rena thought that Jurina wouldn't think that far for asking her to get back together immediately. And that is not so wise, young ladies~  :glasses:

And for Airi and Churi..... I hope that wmatsui's bad term won't affect their friendship (or seems like it already did?!!!!).

I'm so agree with Bukiyou Taiyou-san that the last sentence of this chapter is kinda relieving for the reader after the "storm".
So, cheer up readers!!!! :mon fyeah: :mon roll: 

Thank you for the update, author-san!
See you soon! :thumbsup   

Offline Bukiyou Taiyou

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So, cheer up readers!!!! :mon fyeah: :mon roll:   

Hi Guacamoolee, I like what you did there! :on woohoo:

Offline Rena-chan Daisuki

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it's been awhile since i last read Destiny
i miss out from chapter 23 and read it in one go till 28
and.... all of the feels is just  :cry: :cry: :cry:

Anw always love this fic!!!
can't wait for the next update

*ur lovely silent reader

Offline sophcaro

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (27/?) [WMatsui] (24/07/2017)
« Reply #615 on: September 04, 2017, 06:59:53 PM »
REPLIES TO COMMENTS



And here I am still blaming bunshun for everything that is happening

Yep, you're totally right. Bunshun triggered this whole mess in the first place by exposing their relationship. It burst their little bubble of happiness and served to remind them that they are public figures and, as Jurina is - contrary to Rena - still an idol, all that this implicates...

I feel bad for the both of them, but also feel bad for Furuyanagi. They're trying to do what's best for the two of them but everything just turns the other way and makes things harder for the four of them.

Both Churi and Airi were being a good friend and it's expected they defended their own best friend. Churi was a bit too much but Airi's silent didn't help.

FuruYanagi are both being good friends and trying to serve the interest of their mutual friends, but they are no miracle makers: they can't always solve every issue...


Jurina has been totally destroyed.
But Rena is just like Jurina.
I understand Churi's anger with Airin. Although Airin is being very good friend with Rena.
I'm very intrigued by how you're going to continued the story.

Yes, both Jurina and Rena are hurting right now  :(
I think Churi is more frustrated than anything because she feels she's missing a piece of the puzzle, so she's taking it out on poor Airi who can't really do anything about it  :nervous

Author-san, please stop breaking all our hearts, we CAN'T take it anymore for all the agony  :pleeease:...

Author-san, please give us mercy. We can't take this pain any longer. :on kimbo:

Sorry for breaking your hearts and making you sad :(
Those last ten chapters were not an easy narrative arc for me to write either, emotionally speaking. Trust me  :sweatdrop:


I was so happy when it's really Rena (not Churi OR Jurina's mom) who came to the hospital.

Well, I did say it was Rena coming to see her in the final lines of the previous chapter, so it couldn't have been Churi or her mom.
Jurina was not dreaming or being delusional because of the fever; I made sure to make that last point very clear. Although, I guess Rena's presence was so unexpected, it's natural it gave readers certain doubts.


I think both of them are clumsily making conclusions too fast; Jurina tought that Rena would make everything between them right again and Rena thought that Jurina wouldn't think that far for asking her to get back together immediately. And that is not so wise, young ladies~  :glasses:

I completely agree with your interpretation.
Jurina jumped to conclusions too fast whereas Rena was so worried about her after hearing what happened during HS that she acted impulsively by going to see her at the hospital, and failed to realize what her presence would look like to Jurina. Once she did realize her mistake, she knew she needed to keep her distance and leave the room before making things even worse, but it was already too late...

And for Airi and Churi..... I hope that wmatsui's bad term won't affect their friendship (or seems like it already did?!!!!).

No, I wouldn't worry about that. They disagreed (but they had at some point to talk about that tricky subject, right?), but it won't affect their friendship.

it's been awhile since i last read Destiny
i miss out from chapter 23 and read it in one go till 28
and.... all of the feels is just  :cry: :cry: :cry:

Anw always love this fic!!!
can't wait for the next update

*ur lovely silent reader

Thank you for your support! And I think you meant 27, as I haven't written chapter 28 yet  XD


Anyway, despite the gloomy mood, I like the very last sentence in this chapter.
Let's hope that storm would eventually calm.  :prayers:

Hopefully there is really a light behind all these suffering soon

I'm so agree with Bukiyou Taiyou-san that the last sentence of this chapter is kinda relieving for the reader after the "storm".
So, cheer up readers!!!! :mon fyeah: :mon roll: 

Yes, let's stay positive and keep faith, right?  :)



Thanks everyone for reading and commenting! Chapter 28 will be coming up this month  ;)
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 07:16:49 PM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

HEARTBEAT trilogy
- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Ongoing

OTHER FANFICS
- Warriors | Will return in February 2018
- Back in Time | Will return in February 2018
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline sophcaro

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (28/?) [WMatsui] (15/09/2017)
« Reply #616 on: September 15, 2017, 09:32:10 PM »
Author's note: Thank you everyone for waiting patiently. I hope you'll enjoy reading this new chapter. On a side note, this is the longest chapter I ever wrote for Destiny.




CHAPTER 28


Two years later.

Jurina pulled the curtain and looked out the window, her brow creasing in worry as the rain fell in abundance in the streets of Tokyo. Yesterday again, the weather forecast was promising a beautiful and sunny day, so why had it taken such an unpredictable turn? As if she wasn’t already feeling anxious enough, the weather had to interfere in the worst possible way. Since lighting had struck a little after 7 am and woken her up with a start, she hadn’t been able to find sleep again. Somehow, she couldn’t help dreading the terrible consequences this bad weather could have on today’s event.

Why did it have to rain this Saturday out of all days?

This is not happening.

Jurina prayed internally for a miracle.

It wasn’t usually like her to be pessimistic, but the clock was ticking.

Glancing in the direction of the Ajinomoto Stadium - where the 2019 Sousenkyo was supposed to take place in only a couple of hours - she refused to imagine the idea of the event being rescheduled because of the weather. It would be a catastrophic scenario. Every girl participating in the election had been marking June 22 on their calendar and waiting in anticipation for this special day to arrive.

Tickets for the Sousenkyo and the concert following the event had been sold out a long time ago. Fans had voted for their favourite member diligently; the most devoted ones even going as far as voting more than a few times, and until the very last minute. This annual event was a big operation, that required a lot of staff and intense organization. Yet, the possibility that this detailed logistical planning had been all for nothing appeared more and more likely as the minutes went by, and the sun refused to resurface in the sky of Tokyo.

“You’re already up?”

At the sound of a hoarse, feminine voice addressing her, Jurina tore her eyes away from the window and looked over her shoulder, her gaze falling on the older girl lying in bed, and sharing her hotel room for the occasion. “It’s pouring hard, Churi.” A helpless sigh escaped Jurina’s lips. “And it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon.”

“What… time is it?”

“7:30.” Jurina replied without needing to look at the alarm-clock. She already knew the time by heart: she had been checking it almost every five minutes since she woke up. “You should go back to sleep.” Jurina couldn’t help but bring her attention back to the window in concern when she heard the rain intensifying. “It’s still early.”

“I could tell you the same thing.” Akane struggled to keep her eyes open. “You should get some sleep. It’s going to be a long day.”

“With this rain?” Slight despair entered Jurina’s voice. “Just wait: there might not even be a Sousenkyo.” 

“Since 2009, there has been a Sousenkyo every single year. Please stop worrying so much and come back to bed.” Akane patted the mattress softly. “You need to rest, or you won’t last all day.”

Jurina let out a resigned sigh, knowing deep down her friend was entirely right. More than a few times, she had felt her eyelids trying to close without her consent. Last evening, the stress caused by the imminent event had prevented her from sleeping properly - waking her up every now and then in the middle of the night – and the unforeseen bad weather had only been the icing on the cake. It was a terribly frustrating situation, but what could she do about it? If the staff chose to cancel the event, then she would have no other choice but to accept their decision.

Jurina closed the curtain and turned around.

Moving towards the bed and slipping between the sheets, she was startled to meet Akane’s closed eyelids when she laid by her side and faced her. Jurina observed Akane and listened to her soft, constant breathing, impressed by her astonishing capacity to fall back asleep so fast and easily. After a little while, Jurina laid on her back and stared at the ceiling above her head, hearing the rain beating hard against the window.

I need to stay positive. Jurina tried to cheer herself up. The weather will not ruin this important day.







Jurina had been staring at her plate of food for the past five minutes, incapable of eating or touching anything. Her cup of coffee, that she had poured herself a little while ago, had remained equally left aside. What could she say? Her appetite had been overridden by her nerves the moment she had stepped inside the restaurant room to have breakfast with Akane. At some point, it was obvious she would need to fill her stomach with a minimum of food to help her go through the day, yet her fingers still didn’t appear decided to seize those chopsticks.

Distractedly sweeping the place around her, she noted how awfully quiet the restaurant room was, despite being filled with so many group and staff members. “The tension is palpable.”

“Of course, it’s an important day. Everyone is nervous.” Akane nodded in agreement, while sipping her glass of orange juice. “Some girls’ future will change drastically after today.”

“I think you’re probably one of the most relaxed persons in the room,” Jurina said, amazed by her friend’s calm. Contrary to her, Akane hadn’t hesitated to start eating as soon as they had settled down at a table, and even to engage in small talk the moment after. “Now that I think about it, you were not stressed last year either. Before the ceremony, nor during the announcement of the results. How come?”

Akane pondered thoughtfully over her question, before replying. “You’re right, I wasn’t. There wasn’t much at stake for me that year. My only hope was not to drop in the ranking, so I was pleased when I stayed at the same position.”

“Were you already thinking of graduating back then?” Jurina asked. “When you participated in the Sousenkyo?”

“I realized I had already accomplished mostly everything I wanted in SKE.” Akane conceded willingly. “But the thought didn’t cross my mind seriously until the following month, when I came to talk to you about it.”

Jurina recalled vividly that day of July in particular.

To be perfectly honest, she had seen it coming. In 2018, Akane had been busier than ever with her extra activities and was less present on stage with them, or during SKE-related events. Even if it took Akane a while to voice out loud her desire to move on, Jurina could sense her older friend had now grander ambitions, that couldn’t be fulfilled in the idol group anymore. That’s why, when Akane had opened up to her one evening and revealed the thoughts crossing her mind, she had supported her all the way.

Yes, she was losing another one of her greatest allies in SKE, and no one would ever be able to replace Akane. But if there was one thing she wasn’t losing, it was a close friend. Even after Akane’s graduation in 2018, their precious friendship didn’t fade away. They kept on seeing each other as frequently as possible, the strong bond they had forged within the idol group never being severed.

“I wanted to thank you for coming.” Jurina played with her food nervously. “I wish I wasn’t feeling so stressed about it, but it means a lot to have you by my side today.”

“You don’t have to thank me.” Akane reached across the table to take her hand. “I would never miss an opportunity to support you.” She gave Jurina's fingers a light squeeze. “Besides, you’re finally getting that first place you fought so hard for during all these years. How could I not be present to witness such a meaningful moment of your life?”

“We’re still not sure I’m going to win.” Jurina replied cautiously. “Preliminary results were promising, but anything can happen. Each election brings its share of surprises.”

“There have been some unpredictable outcomes the previous years, but I honestly don’t see who could beat you.” Akane frowned a little. “Sasshi and Mayu have graduated, and the rising members cannot possibly match with your popularity. As for Sakura, she’s way behind you in the numbers.”

“Absolutely.” Jurina was caught off guard when she heard a familiar voice behind her, and felt a light tap on her back. “Don’t you dare let that HKT girl win, you hear me?”

Jurina turned around instantly: her mouth dropped open when she discovered Mayu and Yuki standing behind her. “W-What are you two doing here? Didn’t you say you would watch the Sousenkyo from home?”

“I never said tha-” Yuki started, before glancing back at her girlfriend in shock. “Wait. You told her that, Mayuyu?!”

An impish grin spread across Mayu’s face. “I might have lied a little… Surprise!”

Jurina’s eyes flickered between them in incredulity, grasping by Mayu’s mischievous expression that she had been totally played. “H-How could you!” Jurina protested but the reproach failed to convince anyone, as she immediately broke into a wide, open smile. “I really believed you!”

It definitely wasn’t the first time Mayu played a prank on her, so why didn’t she see it coming? Yes, it had startled her a little when the latter had informed her over the phone that she would be following the Sousenkyo on TV, but she hadn’t thought too much about it. After all, Mayu didn’t have any obligations to be here, and they had agreed to meet for dinner once the ceremony would be over.

Jurina’s face brightened and she stood up to embrace them. “Join us!” She offered enthusiastically, pleased when Yuki and Mayu accepted the invitation and took a seat at their table. However, Jurina’s expression stalled and grew serious when she recalled Mayu’s previous words. “About the Sousenkyo, it’s not as if I can do anything about the results anymore. All I need to do now is wait, and pray for the rain to stop.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Yuki intervened, and brushed it off with a rapid wave of her hand. “I checked the weather forecast a few minutes ago: they promised it wouldn’t last.”

“They did?” Jurina grabbed her phone hurriedly.

“Absolutely.” Yuki confirmed confidently, before shooting Akane a confused look. “Airi isn’t here? I thought she would be present for the Sousenkyo.”

“That was the initial plan but…” Akane shifted in her seat in unease. “She couldn’t make it, she had another event to attend.”

“You don’t need to be so mysterious.” Jurina smiled faintly and left her phone aside after checking the weather. “Rena is receiving a prize for her role in her latest drama. That’s why Airi couldn’t be here today, right?”

The table fell silent and, after witnessing the embarrassment and awkwardness on her friends’ drawn and tense faces, Jurina wished she had held her tongue. She didn’t hold it against Akane for mentioning it: her friend was only being polite and replying to Yuki’s innocent question. Besides, Akane’s sensitivity as she had avoided with precaution mentioning the actress’ name in front of her had been noticed and appreciated.

However, it was a futile attempt to try and preserve her from the truth: she was already aware of this ceremony. It might have been two years since the last time she had spoken or even crossed path with Rena, it didn’t mean she didn’t follow her actuality from afar.

It might not be as prestigious as the Television Drama Academy Awards, yet it was the first major prize Rena Matsui was ever receiving in her career as an actress. Jurina could imagine how proud the older girl had to be feeling deep inside about this award. It was the kind of recognition she had been longing for. It made more than perfect sense that she would want Airi, her caring and loyal best friend, to be present by her side during such a significant turning point of her life.

Jurina diverted her attention to her untouched plate and, grabbing her chopsticks, took a tentative bite at her food. “Ah, it’s already cold...” She winced in displeasure. “I’ll go take something else.”

Jurina rose to her feet and cast a glance in the direction of the breakfast buffet, before looking back at the quiet table. The tension was still palpable amongst her friends, and she wished nothing more but to alleviate it. This Saturday was supposed to be one of the most important days of her life. If she managed to finish in first position at this year’s Sousenkyo, then she would have accomplished one of her greatest ambitions.

“I’m terribly nervous about today but…” Jurina got her friends’ undivided attention when she spoke up. “You have no idea how deeply touched I am that you all came to support me. Even Mariko texted me earlier on, and promised to join us later at the stadium. All my friends will be with me on that special day: I couldn’t be any happier.”







Airi caught her breath in admiration.

On the other side of the door was standing her twenty-seven years old best friend, dressed elegantly in one of the most dazzling dresses she had ever seen on her. Airi couldn’t help staring at the young actress for some long, pregnant seconds, mesmerized by the view. Her red, sleeveless lace dress, stopping just above her knees. Her long, shining brown hair falling down her back and slightly curled for the occasion. The subtle eyeliner highlighting and enhancing the shape of her beautiful small brown eyes.

Today, Rena was exuding such incredible beauty.

“Hi, Airin. What do you think?” Rena’s eyes darted nervously back and forth between her red dress and her new visitor. “Is it… Is it too much?”

“No, you look perfect…” Airi said affectionately.

Relief flooded the actress’ features. “Thank goodness… I was afraid I had gone overboard. Come on in, I’m not quite ready yet.”

Airi stepped inside Rena’s apartment and removed her shoes in the entrance, before following the other girl as she entered the bathroom and settled down at her dresser. Airi watched her attentively as Rena didn’t wait to resume what she was previously doing and she seized the makeup brush, noting how Rena’s gestures were slightly clumsier and less assured than normal as she dabbed makeup on her pale skin.

It would appear she had underestimated Rena’s level of stress.

Airi placed a comforting hand on Rena’s shoulder. “Can I help you with anything?”

“Yes, please help me choose a colour.” Rena motioned three different kinds of lipsticks laying in front of her. “I’ve been going over it for the last ten minutes, and I still can’t manage to make up my mind.”

Airi giggled a little at her discouraged expression. “Of course... You know, I haven’t seen you acting so nervous in ages.”

“I don’t know why I’m behaving this way…” Rena murmured as embarrassment crept over her. “It’s ridiculous, right? It’s only an award ceremony.”

“It’s not ridiculous.” Airi shook her head negatively. “It’s what you’ve been waiting for all these years. You were wonderful in this drama: you deserve that award.”

“Thank you for saying that…” Rena’s expression softened. “It means a lot coming from you.”

All of a sudden, both girls got distracted by the sound of Rena’s phone beeping and the latter immediately diverted her attention to the white device placed on the table. “It’s Yosuke.” Rena revealed, going through the text she had received. “He just arrived at the venue.”

At the mention of Rena’s co-star in the drama and other award winner, Airi felt a flicker of doubt. “Are you really sure it doesn’t bother you me accompanying you? I wouldn’t want to be in the way… Am I even dressed appropriately for this?”

Rena glanced at her through the mirror in confusion. “What are you talking about? You don’t need to change anything: you’re great just as you are. Besides, you’re my best friend. If there’s one person who always believed in my success and supported me from the start, it’s you. I’m proud to know you’ll be watching me from the front row.”

“And I’m proud of you.” Airi smiled warmly. “You fulfilled one of your ultimate dreams. Today, your talent is finally recognized by your peers. You have everything you ever wanted.”

Airi was taken aback when her words didn’t exactly receive the expected reaction, and Rena’s expression darkened with an unreadable emotion. Airi searched her mind for an explanation - wondering what she could possibly have said wrong – but she didn’t have the opportunity to question her that the light had already returned in Rena’s eyes.

“You’re right, I couldn’t be any happier.” Rena managed a small, tentative smile. “I should better finish getting prepared, or we’ll be late for the ceremony.”







“Matsui-san: it’s the third time you’re playing alongside Masada-san, and today you’re both receiving an award. Would you call it destiny?”

“I don’t know if I would call it that.” Rena replied politely to the journalist’s question. “But I consider myself privileged to have had the chance to work with such a talented actor as Masada-san.”

“Do you think you’ll have the opportunity to work together again?” The same male journalist from TV Tokyo continued.

“That will depend on the script but if it’s an interesting role, then I see no reason why I should refuse,” Rena said, tilting her head towards her silent co-star standing by her side.

“And before someone asks me the same question...” Yosuke chimed in and addressed the group of journalists. “I’ll give the same answer. I would be honoured to work a fourth time with Matsui-san if the situation presented itself.”

Just as another journalist was about to ask a question, a member of the staff stepped forward and intervened. “I’m sorry, but there will be no more questions. I’ll ask journalists to please clear the room. Another conference will take place after the ceremony: journalists with accreditations will be communicated the time schedule.”

Rena bowed in respect and exited the room, feeling a little relieved that it was finally over. Half an hour ago, she had barely arrived at the venue with Airi that she had been informed about this conference and - after shooting her best friend an apologetic look - had obediently taken the direction of the conference room. Press conferences had always been one of the aspects of her job that she enjoyed the least, but it wasn’t as if she had any say in it.

She was a public figure: staying out of the spotlight was not an option. Besides, it was part of her obligations as an actress to promote the shows and movies she played in. Even when she was still a member of SKE, she had swiftly grasped the significant role of medias.

“I know what I said in front of the journalists…” Yosuke, who had been walking quietly by her side, spoke up hesitantly once they were finally alone. “But I don’t really think we should play in another drama together.”

Rena regarded him quizzically for a moment. “Why are you saying that? Why not?”

“Really, Rena?” Yosuke gave a strained laugh. “Do you believe those rumours have any chance of stopping if we star in another drama together?”

Rena paused in her steps and turned to look at him in concern. “Does it bother you? Because it doesn’t matter to me.”

“It-It doesn’t?” Yosuke’s eyes widened in perplexity. “Two years ago, I remember how worked up you felt about it, even if - I’ll admit - you tried to hide it well. When journalists made up that same story again two months ago, I was afraid this new TV show would be the last straw for you.”

Now, Rena understood better why the actor appeared so refractory to renew the experience. After the shooting of their detective drama, they didn’t get the opportunity to work together for two years, yet their paths often happened to cross. Since the beginning of her career as an actress, Rena had always maintained a professional distance with all her previous co-stars, whether male or females.

Yosuke was the first exception.

It was useless denying that she had always enjoyed spending time in his company, and that they had grown even closer during the shooting of their detective drama. This positive outcome had only served to reinforce the idea that she didn’t view the actor as a simple co-worker anymore. They kept contact after the end of the shooting, and it’s very naturally that a genuine friendship developed between them.

From time to time, paparazzi enjoyed making up false assumptions about the nature of their relationship, but Rena always did her best to ignore them. To be honest, she understood some of the reasons behind the tabloids’ persistence in matching Yosuke with her. It was not common to see an ex-idol showing herself in public in the company of another man. If proof was not given that it was merely a professional acquaintance or a member of the family, then people immediately came to the conclusion that it had to be a boyfriend.

After denying the rumour for the umpteenth time, and realizing to her dismay the limited impact of her declarations, Rena stopped fighting altogether and resigned herself. “People believe what they want to believe.” Rena smiled wanly. “I understood a long time ago that I was powerless about it. Let them speculate as they wish. You and I both know the truth, and that’s well enough for me.”

“You’re right.” Yosuke nodded. “I just wanted you to know that, if you wished to keep some professional distance with me, I would perfectly understand given the circumstances.”

“No, I don’t…” Rena was astonished by the actor’s suggestion. “I don’t want to do that and I will not do it. I shouldn’t have to justify my relationship with you.”

“Alright.” Yosuke relented, conscious he had no chance of changing her mind when she looked so determined. “I have a confession to make.” His voice dropped a fraction lower. “I dislike those kinds of official ceremonies. They make me feel so awkward, and I’m always afraid my discomfort is showing on my face.”

“It’s only an impression you’re having.” Rena reassured him. “You look handsome and confident as usual. Except when you’re playing with your bow constantly as you’re doing right now.”

Caught red-handed, Yosuke stilled his fingers at once.

Rena did not bother to hide her amusement and she studied him - admiring the chic black tuxedo he was wearing for the occasion - her gaze lingering next on the bow around his neck. “And now it’s all crooked.”

“No, it is?!” Yosuke blanched.

“It’s alright.” Rena yanked his hand away gently when he made a poor attempt to adjust it. “I’ll do it for you.”

Yosuke let her proceed without a word, curiosity getting the best of him when Rena’s face spread into a smile. “What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing, it’s just…” Rena’s mouth curved with tenderness. “You’re reminding me of someone.”

Yosuke opened his mouth to speak, but he didn’t have time to say a word that Rena had already taken a step back. “There, you’re all ready now.” Rena inspected her work one last time, before raising her eyes to him. “Do you mind if I leave you for a moment? I wish to speak with Airi before the beginning of the ceremony.”

“Of course not.” Yosuke replied. Exchanging one last smile, he followed her retreating form as she turned on her heels, wondering pensively who could be that mysterious person responsible for triggering such fondness in Rena’s voice.







It was indeed a miracle.

Jurina couldn’t believe her eyes as she stood on the main stage of the Ajinomoto stadium and looked up to the grey sky. Just as Yuki had said, rain had stopped falling merely a few minutes ago, the sun making a progressive and shy appearance behind the clouds. This positive turn of events filled her heart with undeniable relief, now positively convinced the 2019 AKB48 General Election had no risk of being cancelled anymore and would take place today as originally planned.

Her attention fell distractedly on the staff members hard at work. While some were finishing installing chairs and preparing all the necessary equipment, others were moving back and forth on the stage, cleaning the floor actively and wiping away the water. In only one hour, the stadium would be opening its doors and welcoming its first visitors. It was a short time frame, yet Jurina had no doubt everything would be ready in time.

“Looks like there will be a Sousenkyo after all.”

Jurina span on her heels at the sound of a feminine voice behind her, her face glowing with happiness when she saw the familiar thirty-three years old ex-AKB member standing a few feet away from her. Not thinking twice, she quickly reduced the distance between them and pulled her into a hug. “Mariko, you really came!”

The short-haired girl chuckled and returned the embrace. “What are you talking about? I promise I would, didn’t I?”

“But you’re late!” Jurina glared at her with reproachful eyes. “You said you would be here an hour ago!”

“Did I?” Mariko scratched her cheek. “I guess I was waiting for the confirmation that the Sousenkyo would not be cancelled?”

Jurina grumbled at Mariko’s cheeky smile. “I was beginning to think you couldn’t come or had changed your mind.”

“Change my mind? Never.” Mariko ruffled Jurina’s hair playfully. “I wouldn’t miss a chance to see my precious Jurina finally winning the crown.”

Jurina made a face. “Don’t say that… We’re still not sure I’m going to win.”

Mariko frowned in puzzlement. “It doesn’t look like you to lack confidence. I know you were not always satisfied with your ranking in the past, but this year is finally the one.”

“But-”

“I won’t hear another word.” Mariko raised her voice dramatically. “Have I ever lied to you before? No, never. Just trust me on this: I always had wonderful instincts.”

“Fine, fine…” Jurina’s mouth twitched with amusement. “Mayu, Yuki and Churi are already backstage.” She passed eagerly her arm around Mariko’s. “Let’s go and see them?”

Mariko nodded in agreement and began to follow her, until stopping mid-way. At the unexpected move, Jurina stared back at her in bewilderment, unsettled by the serious look her friend was now sending her. “I know you’ve been through some difficult times these last ten years, but I want you to know that I’m very proud of you. Today, you will finally get what you deserve: that victory you fought so much for.”

Deeply moved by her words, Jurina’s eyes shimmered with infinite gratitude. “Thank you, Mariko. Thank you for always supporting me during all these years.”

Mariko embraced her, tightening her hold when she felt the body against her shuddering.  “And you’ll always have my support, Jurina.” She kissed the top of her head tenderly. “Always…”







Jurina’s heart was pounding inside her chest.

She had arrived at one of the most crucial moments in her career, and it was asking of her all the mental strength in the world to maintain an impeccable professional smile for the cameras. The ceremony had now officially begun, the long-awaited senbatsu finally being announced in front of an attentive stadium full of fans. Frankly, she had no idea how she was capable to keep such a brave face when deep inside, she was a ball of nerves. She might have already participated to ten consecutive Sousenkyo, each AKB48 General Election always made her feel terribly anxious.

Jurina never hid her competitive nature.

From the moment she had joined SKE, and witnessed with wonderment Atsuko Maeda’s quick ascent in AKB, she nurtured the ambition to one day match her outstanding popularity. Jurina might have only been an eleven years old child who didn’t know much of the world surrounding her, that first position in the Senbatsu Election represented one of her ultimate goals.

At the 2009 Senbatsu Election, Jurina had already managed to accomplish a real exploit by entering the top twenty at such an early age. The following year, she ranked even higher at the fourteenth position, almost as if the young child that she was back then was trying to prove that no challenge was ever too high for the idol named Jurina Matsui. Year after year, she kept progressing in the rankings, that so coveted crown appearing each time even more within reach.

Inevitably, she experienced moments of disappointment.

No matter how professional and hard-working she was, and all the energy she devoted to her idol career, it felt as if she had at one point reached an invisible barrier: a barrier preventing her from aiming any higher. The adult that she had then become had great difficulty in understanding and accepting this setback. She had fought so hard to obtain that desired first position, so why was it still out of reach?

Nevertheless, Jurina refused categorically to admit defeat.

If there was one truth that Jurina believed at her core, it was that no obstacle was insurmountable. It only meant one thing: she needed to redouble her efforts and be a little more patient. Hard work always paid off: and that was precisely what she hoping to prove on that 2019 Senbatsu Election.









Rena took a seat in the white sofa and stole a peek at the clock hanging from the wall. At any minute now, she expected a staff member to look for her and bring her towards the main room in order to receive her award. Despite the imminence of the situation, Rena couldn’t control her curiosity any longer. Since she had arrived at the venue, she barely had a minute for herself, between the press conference, interviews and all the small talk her status had forced her to indulge into.

Only five minutes ago, she had finally been able to settle down in the waiting room for a short rest and she didn’t wait anymore to seize the remote control laying on the table in front of her. The television was not even switched on yet that she could already feel anticipation building up inside her. As she searched for the adequate channel, her eyes flickered between the closed door and the screen frequently, hoping that she would not be interrupted. More than anything, she wanted to witness that special moment in time. 

That’s when she saw her on the screen.

Jurina.

Rena’s chest fluttered at the view of the SKE member, a fond smile tugging her lips as she observed carefully the girl sitting on the stage of the Ajinomoto Stadium. Even if Jurina was doing her best to keep her composure as she waited for her name to be called, her behaviour didn’t fool her in the least. Rena could see right through her: she perceived with great ease the nervousness lurking behind her calm façade.

When the camera switched to another member and Jurina disappeared from her sight momentarily, Rena used that opportunity to check the number indicated at the right corner of the screen.

3

The countdown was nearing its end.

It was now only a matter of time until the final winner of the 2019 Senbatsu Election would be announced. Rena had been so focused on the event unfolding in front of her eyes, that she failed to detect the sound of the door opening. When it finally hit her that her own name had been called by a masculine voice, she tilted her head in its direction in surprise, noticing Yosuke waiting by the door.

“It’s time.” He informed her kindly. “They are waiting for us.”

“I’ll be here in a few seconds.” There was almost an imperceptible note of pleading in her face. “I only want to see who’s number two.”

Yosuke was caught off guard by her request but didn’t argue, wondering what could possibly be monopolizing the actress’s attention in such a way. When he took a peek at the screen and recognized the live broadcast, a flash of understanding passed through him. These last two years, it had been rare to hear Rena mentioning her past as an idol in front of him, yet Yosuke could sense it had been a significant period of her life.

Yosuke closed the door behind him and came to take a seat on the sofa. When he felt fingers suddenly gripping his arm without warning, he tilted his head left towards the girl sitting by his side. Rena’s eyes were glued on the screen and he was struck by the range of emotions reflected in them. When the speaker opened his mouth to announce the name of the member in second position, Yosuke noticed a flicker of apprehension passing like a shadow across Rena’s features.

He glanced back at the screen and the grip around his arm tightened.

 

95 110 votes.

HKT48.

Miyawaki Sakura.


 

A round of applause immediately followed the announcement and, despite the loud cheering emanating from the television, Yosuke didn’t fail to distinguish the words escaping the actress’s trembling lips.

“She won… Jurina won.”

Yosuke returned his attention to her, the warmth of Rena’s smile echoing in her voice as her face alight with unspeakable happiness.







Jurina’s heart was beating wildly, a constant smile plastered on her face as she made her way back to her hotel room and recalled one by one the events of this June 22. These last hours, she had been through such an emotional rollercoaster. From all her accumulated stress due to the imminence of the Sousenkyo, to her complete disarray after witnessing the rain falling in the streets of Tokyo, before her final explosion of joy after hearing her victory being announced to a full stadium of almost 50 000 fans.

Jurina could still feel the adrenaline coursing her veins when she slid with a shaky hand her keycard inside the lock, immediately collapsing onto the bed once she found herself safely inside her hotel room. Laying on her back, her eyes remained glued on the precious award by her side, her fingers tracing with appreciation the words engraved on the silver sculpture.

Jurina contemplated her price for a little while, well conscious her current excitement would probably prevent her from sleeping properly tonight. A soft sigh escaped her lips in content: it was the least of her concerns. She had finally fulfilled her ultimate dream and this Saturday of June 22 would forever be engraved in her memory as one of the happiest days of her life.

Jurina fluttered her eyes close, and – despite the undeniable joy she was feeling - her smile nevertheless unconsciously vanished. All afternoon, she had received the congratulations of her peers and she would forever remain grateful for having her cherished friends by her side during such an important moment of her career. So why couldn’t she shake the feeling that something was missing?

Unsettled by her conflicted feelings, Jurina slowly straightened up in bed, beginning to feel slightly frustrated when she was incapable to put her finger on the problem. “What is wrong with me?” She murmured to herself.  “I’m happy. I’ve never been happier…”

Jurina jolted out of her thoughts when she heard her phone beeping and she diverted her attention to it. Her mouth tugged into a smile when she checked her messages and noticed all the congratulations messages she had received. Members of the profession, people she had worked with, members… Considering the great number of texts she had received in such a short span of time, she figured it would take her at least an hour - if not more - to go through each and single one of them.

Just as she was about to close her phone and leave it aside, she paused in shock when she discovered one name in particular popping up in the mass of texts. Filled with disbelief, she forced herself to read the name again, as if to make sure she had truly read correctly and it wasn’t a figment of her imagination. However, no matter how many times she checked the name again and again, it was still the exact same four letters that appeared in front of her.

Rena.

Incapable to react, her eyes remained glued on the unread message for an endless eternity, until the name vanished from her sight as the screen faded to black. It took her some long, pregnant seconds to recollect herself and – finally snapping out of her daze – she pressed a trembling finger to the screen. The screen of her Smartphone lit up again and Rena’s name reappeared at once, her growing curiosity now too strong to ignore. Moving her index on top of the message, anticipation built up inside her as she discovered its content.


Hello Jurina,

You have fought so hard to get there…

I always knew that this special day would come.

Congratulations on your wonderful victory.

I hope that you feel very proud for what you accomplished.



Jurina realized how strongly Rena’s words were affecting her when she felt her heart throbbing and tears of joy gathering in her eyes the moment after. She made no attempt to stop them, allowing them to fall freely when they began to wet her cheeks.

Tentatively, Jurina typed a reply.

Thank you, Rena.

She paused a moment - unsure what to add - before remembering that today was also a special day for the other girl.

I heard about your award…

Congratulations to you too.







TO BE CONTINUED
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 03:25:53 PM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

HEARTBEAT trilogy
- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Ongoing

OTHER FANFICS
- Warriors | Will return in February 2018
- Back in Time | Will return in February 2018
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline Genkikid

  • ecchi
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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (28/?) [WMatsui] (15/09/2017)
« Reply #617 on: September 16, 2017, 10:55:04 AM »
How I wish that sousenkyo result comes true...

After 2 years and they still not back together. Yet both still have each other's hearts

Offline Bukiyou Taiyou

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  • Posts: 47
Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (28/?) [WMatsui] (15/09/2017)
« Reply #618 on: September 17, 2017, 04:44:19 PM »
Oh wow...it's a very long chapter! I really appreciate and admire your determination and persistence to write the update. :k-great:
 
When you put the sneak peek on twitter, I had this feeling that Destiny would end soon because it fasts forward to two years later.
You know what, I thought the event was Jurina's graduation concert and Rena surprised everyone with her unexpected attendance. Or maybe it was her last handshake event before her graduation where Rena out of nowhere came to say hi ^^" Or maybe it was an event for national broadcast where she bumped into Rena who also appeared to be there. I badly need WMatsui to meet each other!

:on speedy:

Anyway...
I'm very happy that Jurina finally won the sousenkyo and Rena also got her first award as an actress.
It's a good news! Finally!

I felt warm that Jurina got nice senpais and friends. It gives me assurance that she was never really alone for those two years. She always had her friends behind her back.
Meanwhile Rena... She only had Airi. And Yosuke, probably. She considered him as a friend, I guess? Not really a friend like Airi, but I think you understand what I'm trying to say.

It's such a relieve that Rena texted Jurina. She could make a call, but maybe for now, a text was enough to bring tears of joy.
They should meet again soon! Very soon! I can imagine it's gonna be awkward and full of emotions. And feelings.

Quote from: Sophcaro
Yosuke let her proceed without a word, curiosity getting the best of him when Rena’s face spread into a smile. “What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing, it’s just…” Rena’s mouth curved with tenderness. “You’re reminding me of someone.”

[.....]

“Of course not,” Yosuke replied. Exchanging one last smile, he followed her retreating form as she turned on her heels, wondering pensively who could be that mysterious person responsible for triggering such fondness in Rena’s voice.

I like how small things remind Rena of Jurina. It's actually sweet and make my heart go awww... :heart:

Thank you for the update, Author-san!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 02:07:12 PM by Bukiyou Taiyou »

Offline Minami-chan

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  • Still Love You
Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (28/?) [WMatsui] (15/09/2017)
« Reply #619 on: September 17, 2017, 10:42:30 PM »
Sousenkyo ... is one of the moments that the girls should be more nervous.
We get nervous and we are just fans imaginate them.
It gives me something of pity that you have not included in the fic, the graduation of Mayu, Akane, etc ... I hoped that you really wrote about it.

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