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Author Topic: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)  (Read 60418 times)

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #200 on: September 10, 2007, 04:34:17 AM »
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After a long hiatus, this story will continue.  I'm a bit excited about writing it, but also a little worried that I'll lose track of it midway through.  Good luck, me!
No worries dude! your loyal fans got your back! :rockon:



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I was in bed for two more days.  My fever got worse before it got better, and for a moment while I lay there agonising over the injustices of life, it crossed my mind that my sickness was all some sort of karmic revenge for having laughed at Hasegawa's infection with the bird flu.  Maybe I had it, too.
Karmic revenge? Nah. Hasegawa's a douche.  No way she'd get a smackdown for THAT.




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I woke up after those two days, my head feeling clear and my body wanting to stand up.  There was no dull throb of pain from the constant headache that had haunted me, and I felt genuinely hungry for the first time in days.
Sounds like her fever must have broken. :thumbsup



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I rolled up from bed slowly, careful not to get a head rush, and I slid the door open quietly.  Sitting at the kotatsu were Aya and Shibata, each with a cup of tea, both looking very warm and comfortable with their heater.
Hmmm...Aya likely told Shiba-chan about Miki being sick.  Could it be that Shiba-chan came by to help Aya take care of her? :mon cute:



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"Aya-chan told me you've been down with some sort of flu for a while.  I was worried," Shibata said.

Shibata.  A girl I'd met once and that I hardly knew other than through stories from Aya.  Why was it, then, that when she said this, she sounded genuine?  She didn't sound like she was merely being polite.

"Sorry to have worried you," I apologised.  "And thank you."

I looked to my left at the DVD player to check the time.  Half past nine.

...

"I'm sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable last weekend.  I didn't mean to react that way to you.  I think Aya-chan explained why I did that..."

I felt like I was in a science fiction movie.  The topic we were about to get into - the topic I had decided from there on to push us deeper into - was the perfect subject for such a movie.

"I think I kind of get it," I said with a forgiving look.
Well, Aya's told Miki the "whole story". Shiba-chan's the only other person that knows the "whole story".  So here they are, both with knowledge of how things apparently were before, but with no way of knowing how to proceed.  They both have their own, separate relationships with Aya (who seems to be the lynchpin here), but how are they supposed to act with/to each other?



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"What about me do you find familiar?"

To say I was mildly interested would be an understatement.  I was wildly curious.  Shibata, on the other hand, couldn't keep a flash of discomfort from passing through her eyes.

"Why?" she asked me.

Why?  Wasn't it obvious?  I wanted to know just how similar we were.  Who was this other girl that shared my face and half of my history?
It's only natural that Miki would be curious about this. Aya had told Miki that before, the 3 of them, Aya, Shiba-chan and the other Miki were all good friends. Well, what was it exactly about the other Miki that made her likeable? As she said, how similar were they?  Did Shiba-chan have any expectations on how Miki was supposed to act or be like since they supposed got along before?



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"Well, now that she's awake, I should be going," Shibata said, standing up.

...

"No, don't go," she said.  "You don't have to."

Shibata looked down at me quickly, and I nodded in agreement with Aya.  I still wanted an answer to my question.

"I should, though.  It's getting late."

Shibata would not accept the invitation to stay longer.  Aya got up to see her to the door as I sat and watched from the able.

"Once you recover fully, give me a call.  I'm sure we could find time to talk," Shibata said to me.
Miki's question to Shiba-chan was big, and obviously she's unable or unwillingly to discuss it for the moment. For one thing Miki's still not fully recovered, and still needs some rest to get her strength back.  Secondly, Aya was there. For what she was asked, it should be kept just between Miki and herself.  She's subtly told Miki this, that that coversation they were about to have is something just for the two of them.



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I'd heard of this uncle.  He was a terror.  Nakanoko-chan had always told me horror stories about him back when we were younger, but over the years as she grew up and got to know him, he became less scary and more interesting.  Now he was on his deathbed...
Well, they do say that knowledge is power. Quite often young people will find that their so-called "scary" relatives aren't actually that scary when they get to know them. They also often find that they begin to understand them better too.



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"Why is it that none of this weirdness started until I came here to this city?" I asked.  "I lived the vast majority of my life without being mistaken for some non-existent celeb.  Then I met you, came here, and suddenly the entire city is bowing at my feet."
Well, back in "the other time", even when the rest of Japan saw her as a famous celeb, in Takikawa she was still seen simply as hometown girl Fujimoto Miki.  The way that you're seen in your hometown, amongst the people you grew up with is much different from how the rest of society sees you.  Everyone else reacts to her differently because they were used to seeing her differently.  None of them had seen her growing up as a child, going to school, having her heart broken by boys (and breaking a few herself). None of them saw her working at Baachan's, cooking meals and serving customers.  Likewise, in "the other time" the people of Takikawa, being pretty isolated the way that they were, probably weren't exposed that much to the type of media that people in Tokyo get and thus didn't see her as much in her "celeb" mode.  Two different ways of looking at her leads to two different ways of acting/reacting around her.

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

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #201 on: September 12, 2007, 10:51:21 AM »
Thank you, thank you.  It's nice to be back on this one... so I can get over with it.  Hahaha.  No, I'm not going to purposely turn out half-assed, messy chapter just for the sake of finishing.  I'm just excited about writing the end part.  It's going to be a challenge.

As usual, JFC, you have some interesting things in your break down.  However, there's one tiny little thing that... well, never mind.  You'll see... (hahaha!)

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #202 on: September 12, 2007, 07:16:19 PM »
Something tells me my ass is going to be working overtime on this. :lol: :shakeit:

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

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #203 on: September 16, 2007, 10:38:47 AM »
And now for some more fun.

Chapter 22

I woke up later in the morning around ten.  I was lying on the floor, boiling hot.  A pillow had been placed under my head, probably by Aya when she'd woken up to get ready for work.

I got up, testing my legs carefully.  Still weak but working.  I took a long bath so that my skin was squeaky clean when I got out.  Then I called my first boss.

Fukuda was exhilarated to speak with me.  He told me to come in next on Monday morning if I was certain I was all right.  I told him I could go in earlier than that, but he insisted I take the weekend to finish recovering.  He added in that on Monday morning Kuniko would be working a shift.

"She's been bothering me all week about wanting to work with you.  I told her it was out of my control, but she seems to think I'm a miracle doctor."

I got embarrassed by this and mumbled something half-hearted.  Fukuda sensed my mood, and without pushing that any further, he said he'd send an e-mail as soon as possible with a revised schedule for next week.  A schedule that included me.

We said goodbye, and I decided to wait before calling into my other job.  Once I knew one schedule, it would be easier to figure out the other one.

I didn't have to wait long.  Fifteen minutes later while I was rummaging for breakfast, Fukuda e-mailed me the revised schedule.

Fujimoto-sama-sama
Nice to have you back!


he wrote at the end of it.  I wondered briefly if in the other Miki's world, Fukuda had been someone in an inferior position to her and thus acted so nice to me without meaning to.

Or it could simply be that he was a really nice guy.

I had no idea.

I forgot about breakfast for a moment and wrote the schedule directly on my calendar, calling up U-Con immediately after finishing.  Tsuyoshi picked up the phone, and he shrieked when he heard my voice.

"You're alive!"

He sounded like a girl, that dork.  He quizzed me about my week, asking how I felt and so on.  I give him curt answers because I wanted to ask him questions instead.

"Sekiguchi!" I yelled over his monologue about good cold medicine.  "What's been going on there?"

I craved the gossip.  How disgustingly nosey of me.

"Oh, well, so much had happened while you've been gone."

He sounded like a hairdresser that used to work at the salon I went to get my hair done at.

"Kuniko started trouble with Katherine and got into a huge row with her.  Ohashi came by and joined Kuniko against Katherine.  They were coming down hard on her until Boss came out of his office and demanded to know what the commotion was.  Well, Kuniko and Ohashi sprinted away almost literally, saying Katherine had problems she needed to take up with him.  Of course she didn't, but she was left to explain the mess.  So she couldn't, except that I had heard the entire thing from down the hall 'cause I had been cleaning up Hiromi's desk.  Katherine was really angry, and she said to Boss..."

Wake me up when it's over, I thought, rolling my eyes, suddenly wondering why I'd asked.

"That's great, but how is everything now?"

There was a giant pause.  An embarrassed one.

"It's all okay.  They all apologised to each other.  Even Kuniko."

So then why did you bother telling me anything happened if nothing's changed?! I thought in my head, although not really angry.

"I think you're really bored, Tsuyoshi-kun.  Really bored."

He laughed nervously.

"Is it that obvious?"

"You need a life," I laughed.

He got offended, we argued playfully, and then we got down to business discussing schedules.  Tsuyoshi said he had things covered until the new week started, so I wouldn't have to go in until Monday afternoon if that was possible.  I told him the same thing I told Fukuda - I could go in sooner.  He insisted that I start Monday, so instead of looking a gift horse in the mouth, I accepted the free weekend, and we hung up satisfied to have been able to talk with one another after so long.

The rest of the day I spent watching television, unwilling to leave the warmth and comfort of such a luxurious apartment.  When Aya came home that evening, I was dozing on the couch and had been doing so for the past two hours.  I woke up to a savage jab in the temple.

"You lazy girl.  You're not even dressed," she scolded me.

I looked at her uninterestedly and then indicated my fully clothed self.

"What's this?" I asked her.

Her glare deepened when she saw the track pants I was wearing.

"You look like a yanki."

I continued to stare at her with a look of indifference, and she eventually moved off to put her things away.

"So where's my dinner?" she asked.

Dinner?!

I had completely forgotten about dinner.  How could I have missed the opportunity to cook?

I sprung up and hurried to the kitchen to look through the cupboards.  Aya followed me as I started to get the rice out.

"I was joking," she laughed.

I frowned.

"No, I should've made something."

I continued to prepare the rice, scooping some into a bowl and filling it with water.

"Have you ever thought of pursuing cooking?" she asked.

I stopped cleaning the rice, my hand submerged in the water.

"Huh?" I asked, not comprehending.

"I mean professionally."

"Why would you suggest that?" I asked, swishing the rice round and round in the bowl.

She came to stand right beside me and watch me clean.

"Because I think you would've gotten angry if I'd scolded you about anything else.  But I asked you to cook, and you seem to love it enough to feel obligated to prepare a meal."

I stopped cleaning and thought for a moment.

Me?  Become a chef?  Study the culinary arts?  That would be different from what I'd always dreamed of doing.  But spending all day cooking sounded nice.

"You could take a class and see if you like it..."

For a brief moment I thought this was Aya's way of overcompensating for her earlier high expectations.  However, when I looked at her, she seemed genuine.  The more I thought about it, the more it appealed to me.  I didn't say anything aloud, but my thoughts were probably etched clearly on my face.  I was making no attempt to hide them.

"I'll ask some people I know.  See if they can recommend a good class.  You can work it into your schedule," she offered.

I smiled.  It was nifty knowing someone with connections.

"Thanks," I said simply, returning to washing.  "Sounds fun."

She went off to do something else while I pondered my future as well as what to eat that night.  Cooking sounded much more interesting than bookkeeping.  Studying herbs and spices would be much more fascinating than analysing world economies.

Later on during dinner, we talked about a few winter festivals happening on the weekend.  We were wondering whether to go to one on Sunday when Aya seemed to receive a communiqué via a telepathic line.  She looked up abruptly from her soup, her eyes sharp and open widely.

"Are you free tomorrow?"

I nodded.  Of course!

"I'd like to take you somewhere to meet someone."

And that was it.  No further description.

"Okay.  Where?  Who?"

Aya gave me a mysteriously happy look.

"A very interesting woman who owns a café not too far away from here."

"Let me guess," I spoke with rising suspicions.  "A café that you and the other me went to often."

I didn't mean to speak darkly, but it just happened.  I couldn't control my discomfort.

She caught onto my mood quickly and tried to placate me.

"Just trust me about this one.  She's a unique woman.  I think she'll like you for you.  She's really aware of, um, things.  I'm not sure how to explain it."

"Like Shiba-chan?" I asked.

"Hm.  Probably the best comparison I can think of.  They're somewhat similar.  But Ochiai-san is waaaaay way out there."

I raised sceptical eyebrows.

"In a good way!" Aya quickly amended.

My sceptical eyebrows went down.

"How'd you meet her?"

Aya looked surprised by the question, and then she put down her glass of water to think.  Finally, she spoke.

"I can't say.  I don't remember," she laughed.

Is she being an airhead or was it just so long ago that she really can't remember?

Whichever it was, it didn't really matter.  I'd find out the next day who this woman was.

We spent our evening in.  We were very quiet.  I stayed up late again watching television because I wasn't one bit tired due to all the napping I'd done all day.  Aya went to bed at an early and uncool hour for a Friday night.  Once again, I fell asleep wedged under the kotatsu.

Very early in the morning, probably just before sunrise, I felt something touch me.  I jerked awake.  I hadn't been asleep for long.  My eyes snapped open and there was a figure standing over me.  I started to scramble up as the figure spoke.

"Get out from under there," Aya whispered.  "You're going to get sick again if you don't sleep properly."

She dragged me up and took me to her bedroom, where she pushed me on the bed.  I curled up against the wall and closed my eyes.  Aya left the room and then came back a few seconds later.  I turned around and saw her holding a glass of water and drinking.  She put the glass down on the bookcase and then got into bed.

"Goodnight," she whispered, pulling the blankets up to her chin and closing her eyes.

And so without any pomp and circumstance, I mumbled "Goodnight," and then promptly fell back asleep.


Aya woke me up again at ten.  She looked quite happy.

"Get up and get ready!"

She left, assuming I'd get up on my own.  She was horribly wrong.  I went right back to sleep and didn't move a muscle until she woke me up half an hour later.

"I've been waiting for you all this time!" she screeched, grabbing the sleeve of my pyjamas and hauling me out of bed, making me fall onto the floor with a loud thump.  "I thought you were getting ready!"

"I'm tired," I groaned

I felt a sting where my hip had taken the hit.  I was definitely going to get a bruise.

"Get dressed and hurry," she ordered me in a sharp tone, throwing a pair of socks at me.

I grabbed at the footwear and gave her a cold glare.  She left the room, and despite the need I felt to be rebellious and not listen to a single word she said, I remembered her scary personality and quickly got changed out of my night clothes.

"Breakfast?" I asked, walking out of the bedroom.

"None for you," she snickered from the sink as she washed some dishes.

While I thought she was joking, she proved that she wasn't.  She managed to keep me away from the kitchen with threats, and then eventually with physical violence.  The bruise on my hip became the least of my worries.  At least I forgot that I'd been sick for a week and that I was in a world that was, in short, messed up.

We left the apartment an hour later, my stomach growling.  We were heading to the café.

"Come to think of it, I haven't seen Occhiai-san in a long time.  Not since last year around August," Aya thought aloud.

"Was the other Miki with you?" I asked.

"The way I remember it, yeah," Aya replied with a frown.  "But who knows what version everyone in this world remembers.  Maybe I went alone, maybe with Shiba-chan, maybe with someone else..."

I guess I could always ask this Ochiai woman who Aya had come with.  A strange question to a stranger, but what had to be done had to be done.

We hopped on a train and found ourselves at the café in a matter of minutes. 

When we were about to step through the front door, however, I felt a wave of apprehension pass through me.

"What is it?" Aya asked, pausing with her hand on the door.

What if things got weird in there?  What if I heard something I didn't want to?  What if I was expected to say or do something and I said or did neither?  Was Ochiai going to have any expectations?  Was I going to mess everything up?

"Nothing," I said with a warm smile, sweeping my worries under the carpet.  "Let's go in.  I'm cold."

A wind chime rang out as Aya pushed the door open.  The inside of the coffee shop was peaceful and immediately calming.  It felt like home, which was what I thought the owner was probably going for.  It was designed to look like a clean, neat, upper-middle class European home, but not in an overwhelming way.

We were met by a server who gave Aya a surprised look but said nothing other than her greetings.  It was a look that said "long time no see!" but that had to be kept behind a professional mask.

We sat at a table by the window and had menus placed before us.  Before the server left, Aya made a quick "stay" hand gesture.

"Is your manager around?"

I didn't think it would happen, but the girl smiled.

"Am I in trouble again?" she asked.

"Big trouble," Aya said with a straight face, which made the server laugh quietly.

Some inside joke I obviously didn't get.

"Yes, let me go get her."

The girl went off and disappeared into the kitchen.

"Friend?" I asked.

"No," Aya replied, lifting the stone expression from her face and smiling.  "I just know her from here."

I still didn't get the joke, but oh well.

I had no time to ask about it.  From the kitchen emerged a woman who looked like she was in her thirties.  She was one of those women that didn't try to hide her age, but managed to not look older because of it.  She was wearing casual business clothes, her outfit topped off with a dark blue apron.  She spotted us, and with a face that displayed some sort of emotion that I couldn't read, she walked over to us quickly.

"Oh, thank god," said the woman when she reached us, heaving out a breath of relief and looking right at me.  "You exist."

Aya and I exchanged wide-eyed, puzzled looks.

My life was turning out to be very strange.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2007, 11:57:28 AM by OTN1 »

Offline len.chan

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #204 on: September 16, 2007, 11:07:25 AM »
uhm.. long time no commenting your fics.. sorry

so, ochiai remembers Miki, right? not just like shibata but really knows who she is. that's gonna be interesting XD

Offline Sevii

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #205 on: September 16, 2007, 11:25:49 AM »
Waaaaaaah!

Aya getting Miki back in bed was very adorable and thoughtful, very Aya-ish. It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Hahaha... I am so excited about Ochiai! But.. but.. the end of this newest chapter ... oh my. I'm expecting a lot more fun after this chapter.


OCHIAI, OCHIAI, YAY!

Offline Gomaki

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #206 on: September 16, 2007, 02:43:16 PM »
now this is very very interesting.... ;)

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #207 on: September 16, 2007, 11:10:42 PM »
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Then I called my first boss.

Fukuda was exhilarated to speak with me.  He told me to come in next on Monday morning if I was certain I was all right.  I told him I could go in earlier than that, but he insisted I take the weekend to finish recovering.
Awwww, such a kind boss. :)



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He added in that on Monday morning Kuniko would be working a shift.

"She's been bothering me all week about wanting to work with you.  I told her it was out of my control, but she seems to think I'm a miracle doctor."
:lol:

Miki shouldn't be that surprised though that they all miss her there.  :oops:



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Fifteen minutes later while I was rummaging for breakfast, Fukuda e-mailed me the revised schedule.

Fujimoto-sama-sama
Nice to have you back!


he wrote at the end of it.  I wondered briefly if in the other Miki's world, Fukuda had been someone in an inferior position to her and thus acted so nice to me without meaning to.

Or it could simply be that he was a really nice guy.

I had no idea.
Wouldn't surprise me if he was a fanboy.  :D



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I forgot about breakfast for a moment and wrote the schedule directly on my calendar, calling up U-Con immediately after finishing.  Tsuyoshi picked up the phone, and he shrieked when he heard my voice.

"You're alive!"

He sounded like a girl, that dork.
He missed Miki-sama too!  :wub:



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I craved the gossip.  How disgustingly nosey of me.
Oh come on, it's not that surprising that she'd want to hear all the dirt that happened while she was away. How else is she supposed to make work interesting? :wahaha:




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"Oh, well, so much had happened while you've been gone."

He sounded like a hairdresser that used to work at the salon I went to get my hair done at.

*GOSSIP*

...

"It's all okay.  They all apologised to each other.  Even Kuniko."

So then why did you bother telling me anything happened if nothing's changed?! I thought in my head, although not really angry.
:rofl:

Simple, because Tsuyoshi missed her missed talking with her.  :oops:



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When Aya came home that evening, I was dozing on the couch and had been doing so for the past two hours.  I woke up to a savage jab in the temple.

"You lazy girl.  You're not even dressed," she scolded me.
That could be a good thing. :twisted:



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"Have you ever thought of pursuing cooking?" she asked.

I stopped cleaning the rice, my hand submerged in the water.

"Huh?" I asked, not comprehending.

"I mean professionally."

...

Me?  Become a chef?  Study the culinary arts?  That would be different from what I'd always dreamed of doing.  But spending all day cooking sounded nice.

"You could take a class and see if you like it..."
That'd be cool. Chef Miki-sama.  8)

Considering how much experience she's already gotten from working at Baachan's for so long, it does kind of make sense. We all know that (at least in this universe) she's quite good at it, as if it's a natural talent for her. Why not? Even if she doesn't end up pursuing it professionally, it still sounds like it'd be fun. :yep:



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"I'd like to take you somewhere to meet someone."

And that was it.  No further description.

"Okay.  Where?  Who?"

Aya gave me a mysteriously happy look.

"A very interesting woman who owns a café not too far away from here."
Ochiai-san! :w00t:



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"Let me guess," I spoke with rising suspicions.  "A café that you and the other me went to often."

I didn't mean to speak darkly, but it just happened.  I couldn't control my discomfort.

She caught onto my mood quickly and tried to placate me.

"Just trust me about this one.  She's a unique woman.  I think she'll like you for you.  She's really aware of, um, things.  I'm not sure how to explain it."
Kind of sucks that whenever Aya suggests a place or wants to introduce Miki to someone, she automatically suspects that it's because her "other self" knew these people. If we didn't know better, it would almost appear as if Aya was trying to re-create the "connections" that "the other Miki" had, possibly to try and make things "like they were", even though both Miki and Aya know that THAT would be impossible to do.  From Miki's perspective though, if she suspects that this is what's going on, it again would look like Aya's trying to turn her into "the other Miki", which would eventually lead them both back to the same suspicions and the same arguments that they had before that led to Miki leaving and getting sick and all.



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"How'd you meet her?"

Aya looked surprised by the question, and then she put down her glass of water to think.  Finally, she spoke.

"I can't say.  I don't remember," she laughed.
Something tells me that before, Aya and "the other Miki" had met Ochiai-san at the same time, probably from a time when the two of them were out together and visited her shop.  When "the other Miki" disappeared, so did that first meeting that Aya would have remembered.



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Aya woke me up again at ten.  She looked quite happy.

"Get up and get ready!"

She left, assuming I'd get up on my own.  She was horribly wrong.  I went right back to sleep and didn't move a muscle until she woke me up half an hour later.
:lol:



Quote
What if things got weird in there?  What if I heard something I didn't want to?  What if I was expected to say or do something and I said or did neither?  Was Ochiai going to have any expectations?  Was I going to mess everything up?
See, this is the main problem that's going to be bugging Miki since she knows about "the other Miki".  Even though they both know that Aya's really the only one who knows everything that happened, and that none of these people have ever met Miki before (and thus should have no expectations) the whole feeling of familiarity that seems to happen when she finally meets them is still unsettling.  Miki doesn't want to have to live up to the rep of her "other self", yet she almost can't help it when people look at her as if they know her.



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"Is your manager around?"

...

"Yes, let me go get her."

The girl went off and disappeared into the kitchen.
...

From the kitchen emerged a woman who looked like she was in her thirties.  She was one of those women that didn't try to hide her age, but managed to not look older because of it.  She was wearing casual business clothes, her outfit topped off with a dark blue apron.
Thirties? :dunno: This can't be Ochiai-san, in the other universe she was older than that.  Something's definitely changed here. :o



Quote
She spotted us, and with a face that displayed some sort of emotion that I couldn't read, she walked over to us quickly.

"Oh, thank god," said the woman when she reached us, heaving out a breath of relief and looking right at me.  "You exist."

Aya and I exchanged wide-eyed, puzzled looks.

My life was turning out to be very strange.
EHHHHHHHH? :OMG:

I thought Shiba-chan was the only person that Aya told!  Who's this woman and how does she know Miki?!?!?  :dizzy:

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

Offline Novaforever

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #208 on: September 17, 2007, 01:01:43 PM »
Yay!  Ochiai is back!  I figured that Ochiai would have the same odd feeling of recognition that Shiba had about Miki.  But to blatantly remember her!?  I guess if anyone would break the pattern it would be Ochiai. 

I'm so excited for the next chapter!

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #209 on: September 18, 2007, 09:25:51 AM »
Thanks, and I'm glad you all enjoy the suspense.

JFC, remember that it's Miki's perspective.  She's making an estimate about Occhi's age (which would be in the early forties according to the timeline).

There's lots more fun to come.  Lots of messed up rollercoaster fun.

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #210 on: September 18, 2007, 01:31:11 PM »
 Chapter 23

I don't know exactly what happened in the thirty seconds that followed Ochiai's statement.  Aya and I looked at each other, looked at Ochiai, and then back at each other in an involuntary imitation of a silly cartoon scene.

Aya was the first to react verbally.

"Excuse me?" she asked politely.

The manager of the café - who, with her simple statement, had just freaked me out in a way worse than Aya and Shibata had combined - invited herself to the third chair at our table and sat very straight, her hands folded on the table in front of her in an attempt to demonstrate the calm she had regained.  She looked directly at me, and I found myself squirming under her gaze.   She began to narrate her story.

"About four months ago, I realised everything had changed.  I don't know exactly when it happened, but when you two didn't come here as usual, I began to pry.  I checked up some sources and discovered that your histories had changed.  Well, yours had," she said, looking at Aya and then looking at me, "but yours didn't even exist."

"Wait," I interrupted.  "You actually know me?"

The woman nodded.

"And it's not just that you kind of recognise me or think you know me?" I asked, perhaps feeling a bit desperate.

I wanted her to just recognise me, not know me.  That way nothing would be different from the current norm.  We were already aware of people recognising me, and we were  trying to deal with it.  If this woman actually knew who I was, then we'd have to figure yet another thing out.

Ochiai frowned, and I lost hope.

"Yes, I know you."

"Ochiai-san," Aya said quietly.  "The same thing happened to me."

Ochiai looked at her.

"I woke up in a changed world where Miki-chan didn't appear to exist."

"Hey, I exist," I butted in, getting a little annoyed at my existence being brushed aside.

"Sorry," Aya apologised.  "I mean the one that I knew didn't exist."

"So who is this?" Ochiai asked, looking at me again with a slight frown.

"Who do you think I am?  Didn't you just say you knew me?" I retorted in an exasperated way.

Ochiai and Aya both paused and looked at me.  They must have known how painful it was to sit there and be talked about like that.  They must have realised they were being rude and confusing.  Or something.

"I mean," Ochiai continued slowly, "you're obviously different from the Fujimoto-san that I knew four months ago, but you're also obviously the same person.  I want to know how you got here.  How you met her."

She gestured towards Aya.

"That's Aya's story to tell," I mumbled, hoping that some light would be shed after everything was explained.

Aya looked at me as if getting permission to speak, and I gave her the go ahead: a blank look and a small nod. 

"I woke up one day and she had disappeared.  Nobody here - none of our friends or co-workers - knew who she was.  Only I seemed to have a memory of her.  When I realised she had been erased from the world, I went up to Hokaido to see if I could find her," she explained.  "When I found her, she didn't know who I was.  Not a single memory."

"And yet you still managed to convince her to come here?" Ochiai asked.

Aya appeared flustered at the question, and I, too, wanted to tell this lady to stop being so nosey.  Not that I cared.  But wait.  I did.

"Yeah, but that's not the point," I interrupted, and Ochiai let it be.

"All right.  So what's happened since coming here?"

Aya took another deep breath.

"She got here at the beginning of January, and at first it was okay, but-"

"It was never okay," I continued for her, wanting to tell my side of the story.  "From the moment I stepped off the train to go to Aya's place, people started to react strangely to me.  I've had people coming up to me and then apologising because they thought I was someone else.  I've had people staring at me with strange looks on their faces.  I've also had inexplicable encounters with people who had already judged me and have certain expectations of me.  I've made enemies with people I've never met before in my life.  I've probably received special treatment, too, because of who this other Miki is."

Aya jumped in and quickly explained the situation with Shibata, and by the end of it, I thought Ochiai would think we were crazy and leave.

She didn't, however.  She stayed and continued to talk.

"I'd like to confirm some things if that's okay with you.  Just bear with me."

Aya nodded.

"You've been patronising this shop for many years now."

Aya nodded again.

"At least once a week, sometimes more.  At the end of October, you stopped coming here, and I had a bad feeling about it.  It took me a month to turn to the gossip magazines and see what was happening with you.  What I saw were the usual ridiculous rumours, but what caught my eye was an odd reference.  You and your friend Shibata-san having done a tour together.  I don't consider myself an expert on your life, but I knew that had never happened.  Am I right?"

"Right.  It never happened!"

Aya sounded thankful.

"Well, at least what we know seems to match up."

"It does," Aya mumbled, the relief clearly showing on her face.

Silence for a beat.

"Why do you think this happened?" Aya asked.

Ochiai didn't appear to notice she was being addressed.  She sat in silence for a long time staring at the table, her face expressionless.  I was about to repeat Aya's question when she spoke up.

"I don't know," she started.  "I have no experience with supernatural phenomena.  Excuse me."

With surprising speed, Ochiai got up and walked over to the kitchen where a distressed man in an apron was waving her over.  Maybe there was a cookie emergency.  She went through the door, and Aya and I were left alone again in the empty café.

"I can't believe she knows who you are," Aya said to me in awe.

I shifted uncomfortably.

"I think it's creepy.  Who is she?"

Aya eyed me with a smile.

"See?  I told you she was an interesting character.  Do you believe me now?"

I nodded grudgingly.  Creepy or not, she had my attention.

"So what should we do now?  What if there are more people who know the other Miki?"

"I somehow doubt there's anyone else."

She sounded positive.  I chose to believe her.  The alternative was frightening.  Or at least a fraction more frightening than reality.

"I-" she started to continue, but Ochiai popped out of the kitchen and came back to our table.

"Apologies.  Cake emergency."

Well, I'd been close enough in my guess.

"Frankly, at first when you didn't come here for a few weeks," Ochiai continued as though there had been no interruption, "I thought things had broken down between you two.  Nothing was quite the same since that debacle a few years ago."

Of course I had no idea what she was talking about, but I was extremely curious as to what this "debacle" had been, and I was also a bit put off by the fact that Ochiai knew a little more about me and Aya than most people did.

I looked over at Aya questioningly, but she was looking at Ochiai with a pleasant but clueless face.

"What debacle?" she asked.

Ochiai looked at me and then back at Aya.

"The magazine article..." she said slowly, trying to jog Aya's memory.

Aya now looked confused.

"What magazine article?"

Ochiai looked at her, and then for the first time I saw a look of discomfort appear on her face.

"About Fujimoto-san's indiscretion."

My indiscretion?  Or more like the other Miki's indiscretion?  What had the other Miki done?

Aya's look turned slightly towards the negative side.

"What are you talking about?" she demanded.

What was going on?  Had Aya forgotten about something the other Miki had done?  Or did she not want to talk about it and was trying to convey that to Ochiai?

Ochiai looked at me again and then spoke.

"Tell me you don't remember about three or four years ago when Fujimoto-san appeared in Friday magazine and was revealed to be dating Shouji-san, the comedian, for quite a few months."

"Huh?!?"

Aya's outburst surprised me.  She yelled so loudly that the chef who had called Ochiai over earlier poked his head out of the kitchen door to make sure a robbery wasn't in progress.

"What the hell are you talking about?"

Indeed, I thought.

What had happened?  A comedian?  A betrayal?  A scandal?

Ochiai frowned deeply and then related to us an interesting tale.  Apparently the other Miki had been caught up in a dating scandal and had been fired because of it.  It all sounded ridiculous to me.  Why fire a girl for having a boyfriend?  I began to wonder why I had ever wanted to be an idol so badly in my youth.

"After that happened, you two met here and fought like vultures.  You both eventually stormed off.  I thought that was it.  I thought it was over for you two.  But about a month after Fujimoto-san had been fired, she came to me for help and advice.  Somehow you two started talking again and you repaired whatever had been broken."

Aya stared at Ochiai.  I wanted to reach over and shut her mouth for her.  It was hanging open like she was waiting to catch insects for lunch.

"You don't remember any of that?"

Aya managed a nod.

"Shouji-san?" Ochiai tried.

Aya shook her head.

"Doesn't ring a bell," she rasped out.

It didn't ring a bell in my mind either, but that was to be expected.

"Then I think our problem is a bit bigger than I originally thought," Ochiai muttered.

She sounded almost perversely happy about that.  I wished she wouldn't derive excitement from this situation.  This was my life being screwed up.  It wasn't a game or a TV programme.

A hundred questions ran through my head, most of them starting with "what the" and then descending into foul language.  Aya just sat there looking stunned.

"That never happened.  Miki never did that to me.  She never would.  Never.  Right?"

She looked at me as though I was supposed to know the answer.  I shrugged, which I think did no good to ease her mind.

"Forgive me for sounding strange," Ochiai said quietly, "but I think the three of us are from very different places."

By that she meant different worlds?  Dimensions?  Because that was a whacked out theory, but nothing explained it better.  Aya was from a world where we were happy together until she had to go on a three month business trip and Miki disappeared.  Ochiai was from a world where Miki cheated, Aya forgave, and things were put back together until Miki disappeared.  I was from a world where I'd met neither of these people - nor any comedian.

"How could this have happened?" I asked, taking charge.

Aya looked like she was going through some huge inner turmoil.  She wasn't looking at either of us.

"I can't even begin to guess," was Ochiai's unhelpful answer.

"Ochiai-san, how did we meet?" Aya asked suddenly, interrupting us.

"Here in the café.  You've been a regular for quite a few years now."

"And did we talk much?"

Ochiai tilted her head to the side in thought.

"Not until after the scandal.  Up until then, we chatted about the weather."

Aya nodded, pensiveness etched into every crease in the skin of her face.

"I just thought of something, Ochiai-san."

We both looked at her, but she kept her eyes trained on Ochiai only, not sparing me a single glance.  It made my stomach sink just a bit as an impending sense of doom came over me.

"How did I know your name?"

"Huh?" I couldn't help but say.

"You never learned it?" Ochiai asked curiously.

Aya nodded.

"I've chatted with you occasionally - enough to get a sense of your personality - but I never learned your name.  So how did I know your name?"

Aya and Ochiai stared at each other and I watched.

If Aya had no memory of learning Ochiai's name, then how had she been able to use it the night before to describe to me who we were going to meet?  It was knowledge that she didn't know she had.  Knowledge placed in her mind.

I had a thought.

"Could it be that, like, um..." I trailed off stupidly, unable to express myself coherently.

Ochiai eyed me with the same curious look that had been on her face the past minute.  Aya eyed me with a neutral expression.  I wanted to sink into the ground.

"Could it be like how everyone's been recognising me?  Somehow, somewhere, wires have been crossed and people like Shibata have had this information put into their brains without knowing it?"

What had seemed like a good theory in my mind sounded so stupid spoken aloud that I couldn't believe I've been the one to say it.  However, Ochiai seemed to like the idea.

"That's one way to think of it," she said thoughtfully.  "But the question of how it came to be still stands, as well as why the three of us seem to be a little different."

Nobody knew.  Nobody knew because it was a messed up, impossible situation that only belonged on television and in dreams.

"Hey Aya-chan," I said softly.

She looked at me.

"What do you think?" I asked her, seeking her opinion.

I had come to rely on it.  On what she thought.  Now we needed her thoughts more than ever.

"I think..." she mumbled.  "I think I want to go home."

I blinked.

"Okay," I said.

Ochiai took out a pen and wrote her name, phone number, and e-mail address on a pad of paper that she took out of nowhere.  She slid it over to us.

"I think we'll need to talk some more later."

Aya nodded blankly, took the paper, and put it in her purse.

"Let's go," I said, standing up.

She stood up quietly and we said goodbye to Ochiai.  I told her we'd come back soon.  She saw us off to the door.

The train ride home was deathly silent.  Aya looked concentrated, and I didn't want to say anything out of fear.  We got back to Aya's apartment, and I sat on the couch while Aya went off to her room to do something.  When she came back, she saw me just sitting here and then went to the kitchen.

"You hungry?" she asked.

Surprised that she was talking to me, I turned around.

"Yes."

She asked nothing else and went about preparing lunch.  I didn't dare offer to help.  I could tell she was in a foul mood.  I didn't criticise her cooking technique when she handed me a plate of lopsided onigiri.  I smiled, took a bite, and said it tasted good.

She remained seated on the floor and gave me no reply.

What the hell?  What did I do?  Why was she angry with me?  I suspected she was angry at me about what she'd found out from Ochiai, but that wasn't fair.  That wasn't me in the magazine.  That wasn't me.

"Hey, Aya," I said with a bit of an edge in my voice.  "Why the silent treatment?"

She put her food down and looked up at me.

"I'm just thinking, okay?"

She spoke so defensively that it was obvious something was wrong. 

"You know, the stuff that Ochiai-san told us about was about someone else.  Not me," I reminded her.

I detected a bit of a twitch in one of her eyebrows.

"That other Miki - or other other Miki from Ochiai-san's world - is not me.  Okay?  She's another person."

I spoke maybe a tad too angrily, but I'd had enough of being associated with other people whether consciously or unconsciously.

Aya sighed and picked up a half-eaten onigiri and studied it for thirty seconds.

"Do you think you could give me some time alone?"

She may as well have started chanting in Yiddish.  I might have been less surprised. 

Time alone?  That meant "get out" in a polite way.

I had done nothing wrong.  Absolutely nothing wrong.  And I was being kicked out of the only place I had to stay.  Out into the cold of the streets.

I considered my possibilities.  I could start arguing with her, but then where would that leave us?  I probably wouldn't want to stick around afterwards if we argued viciously.  I could beg for forgiveness, but I couldn't bring myself to do that when I'd done absolutely nothing wrong.  I could try and talk to her in a level-headed way... but if the person I was talking to was being unreasonable, I'd turn unreasonable, too.  I could do as she asked and just walk out.  Find somewhere to stay.

I chose the last option.  Without finishing my lunch, I stood up, grabbed a few things of mine, and walked to the door.

"I can't believe you," I said quietly.

I slipped on my shoes and jacket and walked out.  I hadn't seen or heard her move from her seat.  Obviously I'd interpreted her words correctly.

Stupid idiot Aya! I screamed in my mind.

Why was she such a child?  Why would she blame something like that on me?  Why did she have to keep thinking I was that other girl?  She'd promised me that that's not what she'd been doing, but she was.  She was doing it now as I walked down the hallway, my anger showering me like buckets of water poured from a balcony.

Once I got out of the building, I pulled my phone out.  It was past one o'clock.  It was cold.  I was miserable and pissed off.

I dialled up Kuniko.

She answered the phone screaming my name.

"Fujimocchan!!!"

I held the device a metre away from my head until the screaming died down.

"Are you busy now?" I asked before she could start with any pleasantries.

"You're so rude!" she scolded me.  "You could at least ask how I've been the past week."

"Are you busy now?" I repeated.

"No," she huffed.

"Where are you?"

"I'm shopping in Shibuya," she replied.

She was out in public and answering her phone like that?  How embarrassing.

"Are you alone?"

There was an excited pause for breath.

"Actually, I met this guy on Wednesday at a club and he promised he'd prove that he could go on a shopping date with a girl without falling asleep, so he-"

"Oh," I said, trying to keep the dismay out of my voice.

So much for hanging out with her.

She didn't carry on, however.  She stopped her ramble.

"Are you okay?" she asked quietly, turning serious.

I laughed bitterly in my mind.

"I've been better," I replied truthfully.

"Wait," she said, and I heard her speak to someone before coming back on the line.  "Come and meet me.  I just sent him home."

Now there was friendship.

"Thanks, Kuni-chan," I said gratefully.

"How long will you be?"

I looked at my watch.  I had to get to the station first.

"Twenty minutes."

"Good.  Meet me at the south exit."

I made a sound of consent, hung up, and picked up my pace, walking further away from the source of all my troubles and towards a person that at least didn't purposely blame me for someone else's idiotic mistakes.

The whole short trip to Shibuya I went through bouts of anger, sadness, and even guilt.  I couldn't believe I actually felt bad about something I'd never done.  I would never do something like that on purpose.  Maybe the other Miki had been sleepdating.  Maybe she hadn't been aware that she was going out with that guy...

I shook my brain free of such thoughts.  Why was I justifying some non-existent girl's unfaithful actions with such silly suggestions?  And why was she so important anyway?  It seemed the whole universe revolved around her.  Or around me.  Us.  Each world was defined in terms of what its Fujimoto Miki had done.  That sent shivers down my back.

Kuniko was standing right by the exit of the station when I got there.  She was holding three or four shopping bags and her cell phone and looking cold.  She was easy to spot because of it, and I smiled in relief as I walked over to her.  She watched me the whole time, studying my face and not reacting in any way until I stopped in front of her.  She gave me a knowing nod.

"Ice cream," she said as though a doctor prescribing medicine.

I nodded back with definite gusto.  Four degrees centigrade weather be damned.

"Ice cream."

And so we went for the time-honoured medicine for matters of the heart: chocolate ice cream.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 01:45:23 PM by OTN1 »

Offline Sevii

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #211 on: September 18, 2007, 05:48:06 PM »
One - Ochiai IS god. I swear.
Two - I feel bad for both Aya and Fujimoto. Aya, because it feels like that she's just been backstabbed by this person she loves, and she gets to feel what Fujimoto went through not too long ago, having some weird 'alternate reality' blow up in her face. In her world, all she knew of was Aya<3Miki<3Aya, and then boom! Goddamn Shouji. I feel bad for Fujimoto because... well, it's NOT her. It's not her who chose to date Shouji, and yet, it seems like Aya is having a hard time getting over the fact that her Mikitan would do something like that to her.

Oooh boy, the angst.

And all three from different worlds..

Okay, Ochiai isn't God, OTN is. /cheer.

Offline Gomaki

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #212 on: September 18, 2007, 06:59:39 PM »
Oh wow!
That must be hard for Aya.... I can understand that Aya wants to be alone, but at least she could have said something to Miki...
Ah well^^
Nice chap, I enjoyed it :) ;)

Offline Amarghetta

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #213 on: September 18, 2007, 10:01:30 PM »
And you claim that you want to end this, with this kind of updates? Come on, it's like the whole deal is just about to start... XD


Offline Novaforever

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #214 on: September 18, 2007, 11:15:46 PM »
Oh man.  I can safely say that I didn't see that twist coming.  You really do like to connect all your stories together don't you?  Friday's Children was the only one that didn't technically get tied back into all the others.  And now it's packaged with all the rest. 

Oh I wanna know what is gonna happen next!  You better update soon!  *shakes fist menacingly*

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #215 on: September 19, 2007, 04:56:55 AM »
Quote
JFC, remember that it's Miki's perspective.  She's making an estimate about Occhi's age (which would be in the early forties according to the timeline).
Early 40's? :?

Damn, all this time I've been picturing Ochiai-san as more of a grandmother-like figure (say around late 50's-early 60's). :mon sweat:




Quote
Aya was the first to react verbally.

"Excuse me?" she asked politely.

...

"About four months ago, I realised everything had changed.  I don't know exactly when it happened, but when you two didn't come here as usual, I began to pry.  I checked up some sources and discovered that your histories had changed.  Well, yours had," she said, looking at Aya and then looking at me, "but yours didn't even exist."
What the...Ochiai-san did know about the changes that happened, and she knew that these changes happened to BOTH Aya and Miki?  :shocked: 

Aya's reaction gives the impression that she's just as surprised as Miki is over the fact that Ochiai-san recognized the latter.  Considering the fact that this is the first time that Aya's been back to the tea-house since the other Miki first disappeared, there would have been no opportunity whatsoever for her to have discussed it with Ochiai-san.  She was up in Hokkaido soon after she found Miki missing, was there for two months, and since coming back has been busy hanging with Miki or working.  There's no way that Ochiai-san could have heard about this from Aya...so then how/why is it that she DOES know?


Quote
"She got here at the beginning of January, and at first it was okay, but-"

"It was never okay," I continued for her, wanting to tell my side of the story.  "From the moment I stepped off the train to go to Aya's place, people started to react strangely to me.  I've had people coming up to me and then apologising because they thought I was someone else.  I've had people staring at me with strange looks on their faces.  I've also had inexplicable encounters with people who had already judged me and have certain expectations of me.  I've made enemies with people I've never met before in my life.  I've probably received special treatment, too, because of who this other Miki is."
And here Miki finally gets to talk to someone other than Aya about how awkward it has been for her recently. 



Quote
It took me a month to turn to the gossip magazines and see what was happening with you.  What I saw were the usual ridiculous rumours, but what caught my eye was an odd reference.  You and your friend Shibata-san having done a tour together.  I don't consider myself an expert on your life, but I knew that had never happened.  Am I right?"

"Right.  It never happened!"

Aya sounded thankful.

"Well, at least what we know seems to match up."
So it would then appear that whatever it was that caused the whole world to turn upside-down like this only left Aya's and Ochiai-san's memories fully intact, while everyone else's was altered.  But why? Why just the two of them?



Quote
"Why do you think this happened?" Aya asked.

...

"I don't know," she started.  "I have no experience with supernatural phenomena.  Excuse me."

With surprising speed, Ochiai got up and walked over to the kitchen where a distressed man in an apron was waving her over.  Maybe there was a cookie emergency.

...

Ochiai popped out of the kitchen and came back to our table.

"Apologies.  Cake emergency."

Well, I'd been close enough in my guess.
:lol:



Quote
"Frankly, at first when you didn't come here for a few weeks," Ochiai continued as though there had been no interruption, "I thought things had broken down between you two.  Nothing was quite the same since that debacle a few years ago."

Of course I had no idea what she was talking about, but I was extremely curious as to what this "debacle" had been, and I was also a bit put off by the fact that Ochiai knew a little more about me and Aya than most people did.

I looked over at Aya questioningly, but she was looking at Ochiai with a pleasant but clueless face.

"What debacle?" she asked.
Ohshit, this links all the way back to the FRIDAY incident?!?!? :OMG:

So then what...maybe the universe made all this happen on purpose. The "other Miki" was made to disappear, but Aya was kept "whole", knowing that she would try and find her. Was this to let Aya and Miki have a second chance to be together?  Were they so "meant to be together" that the universe had to re-write history to ensure that "AyaxMiki" happened? :o

But if you look at it, even Aya wasn't completely unaffected.  Ochiai-san has memories of the FRIDAY incident, whereas Aya doesn't. Is the Love x ∞ universe a "re-write" of the universe seen in Friday's Children?  In both stories Ochiai-san is a trusted friend and pseudo-adviser to both Aya and Miki. As such, did the universe let her keep all of these memories so that she could help Aya and Miki from making the same mistakes that their other selves had done in the past?



Quote
The train ride home was deathly silent.  Aya looked concentrated, and I didn't want to say anything out of fear.  We got back to Aya's apartment, and I sat on the couch while Aya went off to her room to do something.  When she came back, she saw me just sitting here and then went to the kitchen.

"You hungry?" she asked.

Surprised that she was talking to me, I turned around.

"Yes."

She asked nothing else and went about preparing lunch.  I didn't dare offer to help.  I could tell she was in a foul mood.  I didn't criticise her cooking technique when she handed me a plate of lopsided onigiri.  I smiled, took a bite, and said it tasted good.

She remained seated on the floor and gave me no reply.

What the hell?  What did I do?  Why was she angry with me?  I suspected she was angry at me about what she'd found out from Ochiai, but that wasn't fair.  That wasn't me in the magazine.  That wasn't me.

...

"Do you think you could give me some time alone?"
Now Aya's the one with the "what if" feeling nagging at her.  This whole entire time, both before her disappearance as well as after she found her again in Hokkaido, there had never been a doubt in Aya's mind about how she felt about Miki, and about how Miki felt about her.

Until now that is. 

Ochiai-san drops this bombshell, and tells Aya that the way she remembers it, there was a point where Miki had eyes for someone else.  Now while the former likely doesn't know about how intimate the two of them really are/were, Aya DOES know, and as such hearing this is a big, devastating blow.  Miki had always been "the only one" for her, but evidently Aya was not "the only one" for Miki.  For the first time in her life, Aya has doubts about Miki, and she doesn't know how to deal with it.



Quote
Once I got out of the building, I pulled my phone out.  It was past one o'clock.  It was cold.  I was miserable and pissed off.

I dialled up Kuniko.

...

"Are you okay?" she asked quietly, turning serious.

I laughed bitterly in my mind.

"I've been better," I replied truthfully.

"Wait," she said, and I heard her speak to someone before coming back on the line.  "Come and meet me.  I just sent him home."

Now there was friendship.

"Thanks, Kuni-chan," I said gratefully.
It's good that Miki has Kuni-chan right now. This is the first time she's seen Aya like this, and the entire situation is just too overwhelming.  All this time, Aya has been Miki's rock. She's been the steady one, the unflappable one, the one constant in her recently confusing life that made absolute perfect sense.  But now Miki sees that Aya does indeed have a chink in her armour, and while she wants to help, Aya's refusal to accept it (more like her outright rejection of it) is frustrating and even hurtful.



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Kuniko was standing right by the exit of the station when I got there. 

...

"Ice cream," she said as though a doctor prescribing medicine.

I nodded back with definite gusto.  Four degrees centigrade weather be damned.

"Ice cream."

And so we went for the time-honoured medicine for matters of the heart: chocolate ice cream.
Works for me.

Assuming she does, it's going to be interesting to see how Miki chooses to tell Kuni-chan what happened. It's going to be interesting to see what she includes and what she leaves out.  Curiously though, I find myself wondering about what Kuni-chan will say in response. She does, after all, know that Aya and Miki are "together". Will she just see this as simply some sort of "lovers' spat"? What will she say if Miki tells her the whole story about "the other Miki" and about the strange happenings that she's been experiencing recently?



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There's lots more fun to come.  Lots of messed up rollercoaster fun.
I think I dropped my wallet on the second loop-de-loop. XD

Can we go again? :D



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

Offline ChiruChaCha

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #216 on: September 19, 2007, 07:24:26 PM »
Hey, you're back writing! I'll comment on the new chapters when I catch up ^^

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #217 on: September 20, 2007, 09:41:44 AM »
JFC, it's actually kind of good that you pictured Occhi like that because her character is supposed to be wise beyond her years.  Means I did something right.  Hahaha!  But yes, she'd be in her early forties.  She mentions her age at the beginning of Chapter 4 of Why, which would have happened a few years ago.

Hey, ChiruChaCha.  Please tell you you didn't predict perfectly what would happen.  That would scare me.  Sevii would have to call you god.

If I'm going to end it, Amarghetta, I'm going to end it with a bang.  So off I go to avoid menacingly shaken fists and to write more.

Offline g4rfield

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #218 on: September 20, 2007, 05:31:49 PM »
OK, so I don't usually analyze or commenting by breaking down the chapter, but I feel like it has to be done for this particular chapter...and also cuz I was too lazy to do so before.  XD

"About four months ago, I realised everything had changed.  I don't know exactly when it happened, but when you two didn't come here as usual, I began to pry.  I checked up some sources and discovered that your histories had changed.  Well, yours had," she said, looking at Aya and then looking at me, "but yours didn't even exist."

ok, someone else had pointed it out, but I'll say it again Ochiai is GOD I tell ya, GOD! How come she think to check some magazines and to noticing something's weird happen is just beyond me.

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"I mean," Ochiai continued slowly, "you're obviously different from the Fujimoto-san that I knew four months ago, but you're also obviously the same person.  I want to know how you got here.  How you met her."
Whooa, since when Ochiai, who's the observer from afar, get so nosy like that. Ah yes, she's from a different world, which I don't remember from which tale, I have to read up on those again to straighten out my jumbled memories.

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"And yet you still managed to convince her to come here?" Ochiai asked.
A good insightful line you got there Ochiai.  :whistle: Let them re-live the last night on Hokkaido. Hohoho....

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"Apologies.  Cake emergency." Well, I'd been close enough in my guess.
:lol:

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"Frankly, at first when you didn't come here for a few weeks," Ochiai continued as though there had been no interruption, "I thought things had broken down between you two.  Nothing was quite the same since that debacle a few years ago."
Debacle?? What debacle??!

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"Tell me you don't remember about three or four years ago when Fujimoto-san appeared in Friday magazine and was revealed to be dating Shouji-san, the comedian, for quite a few months."
Uh oh, I can sense the impeding doom to befall upon our dearly beloved Fujimoto-san. :badluck:

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"That never happened.  Miki never did that to me.  She never would.  Never.  Right?"
What the hell Aya?!! She wouldn't be able to answer that kind of a question. Aaah...I think the doom just got a liiitle bit closer to happening now.

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By that she meant different worlds?  Dimensions?  Because that was a whacked out theory, but nothing explained it better.  Aya was from a world where we were happy together until she had to go on a three month business trip and Miki disappeared.  Ochiai was from a world where Miki cheated, Aya forgave, and things were put back together until Miki disappeared.  I was from a world where I'd met neither of these people - nor any comedian.
I agree. Truly whacked. My mind still can not connect the dots.

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"How could this have happened?" I asked, taking charge.
Good question Miki, I would like to know the answer as well.

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"Could it be like how everyone's been recognising me?  Somehow, somewhere, wires have been crossed and people like Shibata have had this information put into their brains without knowing it?"
Yep and the person responsible for those wires are none other than the evil author, OTN!!  :hiakhiakhiak:

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"Do you think you could give me some time alone?"

She may as well have started chanting in Yiddish.  I might have been less surprised. 

Time alone?  That meant "get out" in a polite way.

I had done nothing wrong.  Absolutely nothing wrong.  And I was being kicked out of the only place I had to stay.  Out into the cold of the streets.
Miki's in the dog house now....or rather, she's a puppy that got kicked out  her owner's warm house. So sad.... Gambare Miki! :cool1:

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I considered my possibilities.  I could start arguing with her, but then where would that leave us?  I probably wouldn't want to stick around afterwards if we argued viciously.  I could beg for forgiveness, but I couldn't bring myself to do that when I'd done absolutely nothing wrong.  I could try and talk to her in a level-headed way... but if the person I was talking to was being unreasonable, I'd turn unreasonable, too.  I could do as she asked and just walk out.  Find somewhere to stay.
This Miki surely is more mature than the disappearing Miki. If it was  the other Miki, she would have start a fight, lose the fight, stomped out of the house, got sick, and blame Aya from being stupid! While of course half of it was her own fault for not thinking her steps throughly. In short, what's different is their process of thinking.  :on lol:

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"Fujimocchan!!!"
How she didn't slaughter the girl for calling her such a cutesy nickname I would never know.

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Kuniko was standing right by the exit of the station when I got there.  She was holding three or four shopping bags and her cell phone and looking cold.  She was easy to spot because of it, and I smiled in relief as I walked over to her.  She watched me the whole time, studying my face and not reacting in any way until I stopped in front of her.  She gave me a knowing nod.

"Ice cream," she said as though a doctor prescribing medicine.

I nodded back with definite gusto.  Four degrees centigrade weather be damned.

"Ice cream."

And so we went for the time-honoured medicine for matters of the heart: chocolate ice cream.

Dr. Kuniko in action. Ice cream indeed. I can see they both turn into this after the first bite--->  :stoned:

Since I'm loving this fic this much,  :mon lovelaff: you HAVE to continue it, shaken fists and all.  :mon determined: Update soon ne?

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #219 on: September 20, 2007, 06:17:54 PM »
JFC, it's actually kind of good that you pictured Occhi like that because her character is supposed to be wise beyond her years.  Means I did something right.  Hahaha!  But yes, she'd be in her early forties.  She mentions her age at the beginning of Chapter 4 of Why, which would have happened a few years ago.
Whoops, guess it slipped my mind.

:mon sweat:

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

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