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Author Topic: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Forty-Six -- Nightmare]  (Read 90509 times)

Loser87

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Five -- Phantom of the Theatre?]
« Reply #200 on: April 30, 2007, 02:50:20 AM »
dibs

Offline Estrea

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XDDDD

Miyabi and Saki make me smile. <3 Wordless communication is such a rare gift, only bestowed to people with a good connection with one another. <3 Ahhhhhh, so Miyabi will be slightly less bitchy? Still evil though, I hope? XD

Yurina and Chinami...hmm, I look forward to their meeting, especially if Chinami actually manages to make it. I have a feeling something might happen...or maybe I'm just pessimistic.

And LOL at Momoko's comment at the end. Maiha is so unimaginative. XD And Risako has no idea how to rebut properly, does she? XD

Write more soon~

-gives you candy floss-

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
- Lilium-related things. God save my soul.

On Hold:
- Everything Else. Too many to list.

I'm also on AO3!
http://archiveofourown.org/users/Estrea

Offline Tanachan

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Wow...nice chappie, srry, gotta run, brother being a tard and is on mky back about the internet cord. I'll let my actions speak for me...

*throws Berryz box*
If Helen Keller falls in the woods and no one is around, does she make a sound?

Official [WHOA] member, master and commander of the Tokunaga Chinami branch.

Offline FeverInducedMadness

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This chapter made me melt *___*

Yurina and Chinami are so cute <33333 Wonder how their meeting will go.

I.

Freaking.

Love.

This.

Miyabi.

x.

Saki.

Scene.

So.

Freaking.

Much.

*_______________________________________________________________________*;;

I love how they communicate wordlessly, and then kiss <3333333333 It's so... them xD

Lmao at Momo teasing Risako about her beloved Maiha's lack of creativity xD I can just imagine it clearly in my head <3


WRITE MORE -cracks whip furiously- WE NEED MORE LOVIN'!!!!!

Lol. I guess I did good then. And, more lovin', you say? Well okay then.

dibs

Lol, I ain't got much to say about that.

XDDDD

Miyabi and Saki make me smile. <3 Wordless communication is such a rare gift, only bestowed to people with a good connection with one another. <3 Ahhhhhh, so Miyabi will be slightly less bitchy? Still evil though, I hope? XD

Yurina and Chinami...hmm, I look forward to their meeting, especially if Chinami actually manages to make it. I have a feeling something might happen...or maybe I'm just pessimistic.

And LOL at Momoko's comment at the end. Maiha is so unimaginative. XD And Risako has no idea how to rebut properly, does she? XD

Write more soon~

-gives you candy floss-

Oh yes. You can never take the evil out of a girl like Miyabi. <3

Well... something's gonna happen alright... probably not expected really, either... I'm not sure. XD

XDD Nah, when it comes to wit, Momoko wins.

Wow...nice chappie, srry, gotta run, brother being a tard and is on mky back about the internet cord. I'll let my actions speak for me...

*throws Berryz box*

XD It's okay, I know how brothers can be.

[wedge... call? -looks around-]
-sig is undah construction because it needs to be pimped out-

Loser87

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wedging dibs =P

Offline FeverInducedMadness

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Well, I think this just might be the longest chapter yet... maybe. I haven't checked.
But it almost reached a full seven pages in Word.
I was in a bit of a funk today, and this almost ended up being a big ball of angst, but I think it turned out to be really sweet.
And I also cut out the "OMGWTFBBQ" part I was going to put in this chapter, and decided to save it for the next one instead, to let you savor the fluff.
So enjoy. <3

[Chapter Twenty-Seven -- Duet]

“Gooooooooood morning, everyone~! It’s finally Friday, and…”

I could have cried right then. What was the point of Risako even having an alarm clock when she were capable of sleeping through a typhoon? I turned my head, making out the symbols that, when put together, read 6:00A.M.

Damnit.

With a tremendous effort, I lifted my hand and slammed it down on the little machine, tugging on it hard enough to pull its plug from the outlet in the wall. I then promptly dropped it on the floor, and was greatly satisfied to hear the loud clatter it made when gravity brought it down.

That’ll show you to wake me up at an unearthly hour of the day…

It couldn’t be helped at that point, though… I was awake, and wouldn’t be getting back to sleep any time soon, especially since the sun was coming into view through Risako’s apartment windows.  I didn’t share my cousin’s heavy napping habits, and so I was forced to roll over and get out of the bed. The room was cold, and I quickly made my way over to the closet, fumbling through it for a few minutes before I found a suitable outfit to pull on. That helped a little bit, but there was no way I was going to sit in that freezing apartment for the next couple of hours, waiting for Risako to wake up.

So I searched until I stumbled upon a dull pencil and a receipt for takeout, and scribbled a little note on the back of it that said I was at the theatre, practicing. I then paused, trying to think of where I could put it so that Risako would be sure to find it…

With a smirk, I reached over to the bouquet of roses that Maiha had left behind, and taking the duct tape from them, I stuck the makeshift note on my cousin’s forehead before sliding out the door.

Now that’s a creative way to get someone’s attention…

------------

Yurina Kumai looked like she had seen a ghost.

Or rather, was seeing a ghost, because the girl that was standing in front of her had been announced dead nearly two years ago. Granted, she had grown since then, and had this lean, slightly wild look about her now, but… Yurina was sure that it was the same person.

“Y-you… you…”

“Hello again, Yurina-chan.”

For someone that looked as though they were holding onto their last bit of sanity… Chinami sounded fairly normal. A lopsided sort of smile appeared on the girl’s face, almost as if it were painful for her to make any sort of expression at all. Yurina felt tears burning in her eyes, and without really thinking about it, she moved forward to pull the other girl into a tight hug.

“B-But… the fire… they said… y-you….”

Chinami twitched a bit at first with the contact, but miraculously, she managed to keep calm and repressed those psychotic instincts of hers. It was a miracle, since if your name wasn’t Shimizu Saki and you happened to touch Chinami, she’d end up bolting or sending herself into a panic attack, neither of which were very pleasant.

“…Nobody’s supposed to know… Saki said that until the ones that did it got caught… I probably wouldn’t be safe if people knew.”

“Saki-chan…? Is this why she left us?”

Chinami felt a guilty pang jolt across her heart. She had always felt bad for the way things had ended up, and even though Saki always told her that none of it was her fault, she usually blamed herself for everything anyway.

“…Yes… She left… to take care of me… even though the doctor let me leave the hospital… he said I was sick… but… there wasn’t any money, so… I couldn’t get any treatment for it. Saki’s been trying her best, but I know I’m a burden… I’m never… myself. Sometimes I start out somewhere, and I end up in places without knowing how I got there or how long it’s been since I was where I began.”

Yurina was listening to the story quietly, stroking the other female’s back gently with her hand. It was more or less to comfort herself, but the motion had a calming effect on Chinami as well.

“…I don’t think that you would, but… I have to ask you to keep what I’ve told you a secret… The other girls at the theatre never met me… and I don’t think they need to know…”

“I won’t tell anyone… I promise.”

Chinami smiled again, letting out a quiet sigh of relief. It felt good to have let all of that go. After not being able to talk about it for so long… it had kind of weighed her down. And then, to have someone accept her for who she was now… well, it had been a while since she had felt so happy.

“What about my letter, though…? Did you read all of it? I wrote a lot on the back, too…”

Yurina wore a smile to match that of the other girl’s, and she tugged Chinami gently over towards the piano bench—ignoring just how badly her leg throbbed in response—and she pulled the other girl to sit down beside her. She placed her slender hands on the keys, and as the music began to flow, she started to sing.

♪ “Hanshin hangi na kurai umaku iku no tte narenai…”♪

------------

I could understand why Miyabi liked getting to the theatre so early when I was greeted by that empty stage. It was quiet, and peaceful, and somewhat nostalgic… And let me tell you, concentration is much, MUCH easier with no one else around.

The words I had etched into my brain after the first day. I could play the music in my head after hearing Yurina go through it on the piano just once. The only thing I was still having problems with… was the dance. I didn’t know how it was supposed to go. And I wanted to do it exactly as my mother had invisioned it. …Which was kind of hard… since I didn’t know how it had been done before.
She had never performed it after I was born, and so the only way I had even found out about the song was through my father, who had told me stories about it. It was one of the reasons they ended up meeting, after all.

“Everything else in comparison to that one dance was dull. When you watched her… it was like she wasn’t singing to anyone particular, and yet, she was speaking directly to your heart at the same time. And if you can do that—no matter what song it is that you happen to be singing—you have truly reached the top. She could have been talking about dirt for all I cared, and I still would have fallen in love…”

The memory made me smile, but then I had to snap out of it and remind myself that I was still angry at him. But that wasn’t important right now. What was important was learning this dance that I had never seen before.

So there wasn’t much else that I could do but start moving, with the foolish hope that maybe the moves would come to me out of thin air. Perhaps she had passed them down onto me when I had been born… Or perhaps I was crazy. Either way… there wasn’t any way to know until I tried it.

And then, as if magic… while I moved and sang the words aloud quietly, a sequence of steps began to come to me…

♪ “suki yo HORA
mite yo SEXY
yabai DEKAI
kitai…”♪

“The music… the words… the dance… all of it is an extension of your body and mind. Once you realize that and are able to tap into that power and project it outwards, everything else comes naturally. You could have the most complicated rhythms… the most soul-grabbing lyrics… the most heart-pounding dance… and yet, if they aren’t powered by what’s inside of you, then they are useless. Learn this… and you will be great one day, Momoko-chan.”

♪ “suki ni SHITE
ii wa DEMO
yasashii HODO
kowai…”♪

For once I stopped to think about the words that I was singing as I danced along to the beat in my head. And for some reason… I couldn’t keep my thoughts from wandering over to her…

♪ “mou dare mo inai
kono umi to sora
fukanou nante arienai to
kanjita yoru datta…”♪

I forced myself to stop, landing hard on my knees. I was breathing hard, and I could feel my heart racing. What exactly am I doing here? Why can’t I just let it go and accept the fact that I am meant to be alone and that I will never ever-

“Why’d you stop? You were just starting to get into it.”

…ever see her again.

I jumped a bit at hearing that voice, and looked up to see Maasa watching me lazily from one of the empty seats in the audience. From the relaxed position she was in, I figured she had been there for a while… but I hadn’t even heard or seen her come in. All of a sudden, I was embarrassed… I wasn’t exactly at my best this morning, and thus, she had probably just watched all of what was a very mediocre performance.

“That song I was talking about… I decided to go through with it… Only I don’t know the dance and so… I’m trying to make something up.”

I smiled at her sheepishly, and she gave me a look that said that she was mildly impressed. Maasa got up from where she was sitting, and slowly made her way up the steps onto the stage, stopping beside me.

“That reminds me of something Saki would say… she’ll come up with this really awesome routine and then tell me that it was crap or that she was just practicing for the real thing.”

She was holding out a hand as an offer to help me up from the floor, which I readily accepted, getting to my feet. I had a question burning in the back of my mind… but I was hesitant to ask it, because I didn’t want to scare her away… still, curiousity won out in the end.

“What are you doing here, Maasa?”

The other girl blinked at me for a moment, before shoving her hands in those jacket pockets and adopting a timid sort of look that I would have thought to be uncharacteristic of her.

“I dunno… I was just walking around… and I saw you come in here, so I kind of followed you, because I wanted to talk… and then you started dancing, so I decided to wait until you were done.”

“Wanted to talk…? About what?”

Maasa brought her eyes up from her shoes to look at me again, and she smiled a little bit, as if she were somewhat amused by something.

“Well… I met this girl a couple of days ago… Actually, she found me, because I was still just a little bit drunk at the time… and anyway… when I woke up, I caught myself watching this girl… sitting there, looking through her photo album. It was a normal thing for a person to do, but I found myself being captivated just by that… I was frightened by that, because never before had someone’s every little movement taken my breath away… And then I got to talk to this girl… and pretty soon after she started to speak I realized that not only was she very beautiful… she was different in that she saw people for what they were on the inside rather than taking them at face value. And that in itself was also very beautiful.

…Then, I kissed her. It was such a wonderful feeling… I can’t even describe it to you properly, because there aren’t really any words. But as wonderful as it was, and as badly as I wanted to stay there with that angel… there was something holding me back. Something, that until recently—with the help of my very perverted, yet well-meaning friend—I wasn’t able to let go. And so I left that girl there… and every minute since then, I’ve regretted walking out that door because I can’t get her out of my mind. I can’t stop thinking about her…”

Optimistic-Horny!Momoko (She resented the latter title by itself, and was only content when I offered to let her use the hyphen.) was cheering in my head, and Rational!Momoko was setting off warning sirens. I couldn’t really hear either of them, though, because my heart was pounding so hard at that point that I wondered if Maasa could hear it.

“…So… if you see this girl anywhere… could you let her know that I’m looking for her?”

She was grinning like a mad fool, and I couldn’t help but punch her lightly in the arm. It wasn’t like it would hurt her, anyway.

“Maasa!”

“I couldn’t help it… Maiha is my best friend, you know…”

I laughed a little bit at that, getting caught off guard when I was lifted into the air all of the sudden by Maasa’s strong, yet very gentle arms. She held me by the waist, so that I was looking down into her eyes, and I had to steady myself by holding onto her shoulders. I smiled at her sadly.

“You know that I’m not going to be here for much longer.”

“If it gets to that point… I’ll follow you if I have to. And you know that… There is something that I haven’t told you yet… that might be a problem later?”

“Well, we’ll deal with that when we get to it.”

And like that… I guess that’s when our fate was sealed. Whatever it is that draws two people like us together is powerful… whether it’s just attraction, or love, or a combination of things… She held me, and kissed me like she had before, and I realized that I was right about one thing: I was crazy.

I was definitely crazy about this girl.
-sig is undah construction because it needs to be pimped out-

Loser87

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Seven -- Duet]
« Reply #206 on: May 01, 2007, 03:05:12 AM »
--dibbers--

*cough* *cough* Houston...we have a problem
It seems like I've caught the cold + Allergies but...
My mom got allergy medicine sooo...it's Cold + Minor Allergies = A slightly less crappy, runny nose, me =]

.....THERE ISN'T ENOUGH TOKUMA LUUUUURRRVVVEEE >w<
Which reminds me...I haven't written about them in a while myself >_>
Anyways, Back to commenting of the chapter

I squeeled, I squeeled more, then I worked out, then I came back and squeeled again =]

I <33 the couples *sigh* So very very cute >w<
I <333 MaaxMomoko >w<
It was so adorable GYAH!

I will die soon because of you =+='

but, I gotta be alive for your next update...WHICH HAS BETTER BE SOON!!!

YAY!!!
UPDATE!!
O_O O_O O_O O_O O_O O_O O_O >_O O_< O_O;;......... >w< >_< >~<;;....>O<!!!

*sneezes on you*
.....Mmm...yummy...asian infested snot..o_o;;...
Update~ XDXD
« Last Edit: May 01, 2007, 09:46:15 PM by Loser87 »

Offline Estrea

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Seven -- Duet]
« Reply #207 on: May 01, 2007, 03:30:50 AM »
Ahhhhh. Many things explained here. :D

First off, Yurina/Chinami <333333333333333 XD

Momoko sticking the note on Risako's forehead. XD

And then Momoko/Maasa <3333333333333

Quote
with the help of my very perverted, yet well-meaning friend
I like this description of Maiha. :D

Sorry for the lack of anything but <3333 reactions. XD You say there's an OMGWTFBBQ moment coming up next chapter? Holy. XD -cross fingers-

Now next chapter kthxplz. XD

-gives you chocolate- ^_^

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
- Lilium-related things. God save my soul.

On Hold:
- Everything Else. Too many to list.

I'm also on AO3!
http://archiveofourown.org/users/Estrea

Offline C60533

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Seven -- Duet]
« Reply #208 on: May 01, 2007, 03:36:54 AM »
Fluff! Now I have something to rest my head on as I go to sleep tonight. And LOL at the makeshift post-it. Variety is the spice in life...or in this case Jam for the Berryz.

So...Chinami go stuck in a fire due to arsen caused by Airi and Koharu who Maasa used to know. Then Captain left to take care of crazy Chinami so Miyabi was pissed. Then Miyabi tripped Yurina which brought in Momo. Who is cousin to Risako who is being pursued by Maiha. And then Ai got drunk and is now in the hospital so everyone is interacting with each other in some way, shape, or form. That is interesting.

Wait..so did Miyabi trip Yurina so that they needed another dancer which would've been Captain?

Everything seems so happy and peaceful now, but I don't know for how long. I mean, they're human teens prone to emotions. So would that mean that when everything is revealed to the characters Miyabi will get angry at Chinami which would make Yurina angry and leave Saki uncomfortable. And Maasa would be feeling guilty so that would make Momo sad. And then Risako would be sad cause Momo's sad and then Maiha'd be sad. Wait...what if Miyabi and Chinami got into a fight? No. That won't happen. I don't want it to. It's the calm before the storm cause they haven't met Airi and Koharu, but they will not get into a fist fight. They already were brooding in the beginning. No more brooding. More happiness and fluff so that I can get a good nights sleep...my body is completely sore. Ack! I just put too much suspense in my head....better use the fluff now...

Offline Tanachan

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Seven -- Duet]
« Reply #209 on: May 01, 2007, 12:40:57 PM »
Awww how cuuuuuute! MaMo is hawt <333333333 and I've actually done a makeshift post-it...except I smashed it down on my brother's family jewels to get revenge for him attacking me with 7 bottles of AXE. And...YURICHINA <333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 *dies of hawtness*

*is watching Godzilla vs Mothra and can't help seeing Saki as Mothra and Miya as Godzilla*

*and Maasa and Momo as the Shobijin xD*

If Helen Keller falls in the woods and no one is around, does she make a sound?

Official [WHOA] member, master and commander of the Tokunaga Chinami branch.

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Seven -- Duet]
« Reply #210 on: May 03, 2007, 03:47:24 AM »
Holy awesome hell-ness! This story is so sweet, that I think three teeth just fell from my mouth. I can't wait to see how you finish this up.

Offline mode107

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Seven -- Duet]
« Reply #211 on: May 03, 2007, 04:15:19 AM »
MomoXMaasa<3 One couple i never really thought of,  but you make it work  well 
looking forward to the next chapter :)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 04:17:27 AM by modesta107 »
"Under the beautiful blue sky"

Offline FeverInducedMadness

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Seven -- Duet]
« Reply #212 on: May 04, 2007, 02:49:22 AM »
--dibbers--

*cough* *cough* Houston...we have a problem
It seems like I've caught the cold + Allergies but...
My mom got allergy medicine sooo...it's Cold + Minor Allergies = A slightly less crappy, runny nose, me =]

.....THERE ISN'T ENOUGH TOKUMA LUUUUURRRVVVEEE >w<
Which reminds me...I haven't written about them in a while myself >_>
Anyways, Back to commenting of the chapter

I squeeled, I squeeled more, then I worked out, then I came back and squeeled again =]

I <33 the couples *sigh* So very very cute >w<
I <333 MaaxMomoko >w<
It was so adorable GYAH!

I will die soon because of you =+='

but, I gotta be alive for your next update...WHICH HAS BETTER BE SOON!!!

YAY!!!
UPDATE!!
O_O O_O O_O O_O O_O O_O O_O >_O O_< O_O;;......... >w< >_< >~<;;....>O<!!!

*sneezes on you*
.....Mmm...yummy...asian infested snot..o_o;;...
Update~ XDXD

-pats- Get better soon, okay master? <3

yeahyeah, why don't YOU write some awesome somethings before you go and nag me about it, HUH? O_O

Haha, lots of squealing. I kind of expected that.

<333

Haha, I was actually slow on this update... and I have a feeling I'll be hated after it. XDD

Ahhhhh. Many things explained here. :D

First off, Yurina/Chinami <333333333333333 XD

Momoko sticking the note on Risako's forehead. XD

And then Momoko/Maasa <3333333333333
I like this description of Maiha. :D

Sorry for the lack of anything but <3333 reactions. XD You say there's an OMGWTFBBQ moment coming up next chapter? Holy. XD -cross fingers-

Now next chapter kthxplz. XD

-gives you chocolate- ^_^

:3

^________^

Momoko is much more clever than Maiha. >D

:3

XDD Yeah... I wouldn't be crossing my fingers if I were you, though... XD It's not a GOOD OMGWTFBBQ.

-nibbles on chocolate while she's still being fed-

Fluff! Now I have something to rest my head on as I go to sleep tonight. And LOL at the makeshift post-it. Variety is the spice in life...or in this case Jam for the Berryz.

So...Chinami go stuck in a fire due to arsen caused by Airi and Koharu who Maasa used to know. Then Captain left to take care of crazy Chinami so Miyabi was pissed. Then Miyabi tripped Yurina which brought in Momo. Who is cousin to Risako who is being pursued by Maiha. And then Ai got drunk and is now in the hospital so everyone is interacting with each other in some way, shape, or form. That is interesting.

Wait..so did Miyabi trip Yurina so that they needed another dancer which would've been Captain?

Everything seems so happy and peaceful now, but I don't know for how long. I mean, they're human teens prone to emotions. So would that mean that when everything is revealed to the characters Miyabi will get angry at Chinami which would make Yurina angry and leave Saki uncomfortable. And Maasa would be feeling guilty so that would make Momo sad. And then Risako would be sad cause Momo's sad and then Maiha'd be sad. Wait...what if Miyabi and Chinami got into a fight? No. That won't happen. I don't want it to. It's the calm before the storm cause they haven't met Airi and Koharu, but they will not get into a fist fight. They already were brooding in the beginning. No more brooding. More happiness and fluff so that I can get a good nights sleep...my body is completely sore. Ack! I just put too much suspense in my head....better use the fluff now...

Mm... Jam. XDD

Haha, wow. That's basically the story in a nutshell. If anyone wanted to know what's going on so far, all they'd have to do would be read that. XDD

And no, Miyabi just tripped Yurina to be mean. T_T She wasn't aware that Captain was still around. :3 (But if she had been, perhaps those would have been her intentions.)

Ah... Yeah, everything is good now... but you're right in that it's the calm before the storm. I don't think that I plan on letting them get into fist-fights or anything, but I can't reveal too much, and I can't promise anything, since the ending keeps changing. I will say that I'm planning for the ending to be happy. (Or at least bitter-sweet. It won't be completely sad, I know that for sure. There will be a rainbow or a silver lining. :3) Enjoy this fluff while you can... because this next chapter is definitely a polar opposite of 'Duet', unfortunately.

Awww how cuuuuuute! MaMo is hawt <333333333 and I've actually done a makeshift post-it...except I smashed it down on my brother's family jewels to get revenge for him attacking me with 7 bottles of AXE. And...YURICHINA <333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 *dies of hawtness*

*is watching Godzilla vs Mothra and can't help seeing Saki as Mothra and Miya as Godzilla*

*and Maasa and Momo as the Shobijin xD*

XDDD I laughed for about ten minutes when I read that 'family jewels' bit. XDD I didn't get it at first, but when I did, OH BOY was it funny. <3

Holy awesome hell-ness! This story is so sweet, that I think three teeth just fell from my mouth. I can't wait to see how you finish this up.

^_^ Thank you so very much. I smiled a lot when I read the first part of this comment. XD

MomoXMaasa<3 One couple i never really thought of,  but you make it work  well 
looking forward to the next chapter :)

Really? Well, that's a relief to know. ^_^; If I was screwing it up, I'd be distressed. lol
<3

[wedge... call?]
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Offline FeverInducedMadness

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Seven -- Duet]
« Reply #213 on: May 04, 2007, 02:57:22 AM »
Mm... I meant to have this chapter done yesterday, but I've really screwed up my back and so it's kind of hard to sit here for a long time and write. I think it's just like a pinched nerve or a pulled muscle or something like that, so it should get better, but it still hurts like crap. XD And I have very little pain tolerance...

Anyways. Enjoy.
(Or, probably not, since this isn't exactly fluffy stuff right here.)

[Chapter Twenty-Eight -- Persuasive Negotiation]

I felt like I was walking on clouds as I left the theatre after that.

And I didn’t even care how mushy or stupid that sounded in my mind. I don’t really think about fluffy, cuddly things, so this was something big, and I was kind of freaked out about it. I didn’t know what was gonna happen next… or what should have been happening next.

I made a mental note to discuss this with Maiha. Despite her philandering ways… and how most of what she does is just like a game to her… when she decides to get serious… she knows what she’s doing.

Like the whole thing with Sugaya.

At least… I hoped she knew what she was doing. It still seemed like she was playing a game… but this one was much more dangerous. Sugaya actually liked her back, I was pretty sure, and if Maiha screwed up, she’d hurt the girl.

And see, I’m smart, so I figured out how that would affect me in the long run rather than just brushing it off. Momoko and her cousin were close, and if one of them was unhappy, the other one probably would have been too.

…Which meant that I wouldn’t be very pleased, either.

I rounded the corner of a nearby brick building, slipping into the comfortable familarity of the city’s network of alleyways. At least… it had felt comfortable at first… until I spotted two shadowy silhouettes a little farther on down the way, standing there silently.

Now… when you’ve been living on the streets like I have for your entire life… it takes a lot to scare you. Being able to fight is a necessity, not a choice, and you get used to seeing things like guns and knives. But… I wasn’t expecting to see who I did when those figures walked out of the shadows towards me, and I felt my blood run cold and my heart stopped beating.

“It’s so very nice to see you again, Maasa.”

My mouth and throat felt dry, and I was finding it hard to breathe. Even if I could have found the right words to say at that point in time… they wouldn’t have made it past my lips.

The taller one out of the pair started walking towards me, but I was paralyzed and rooted to the spot. No matter how loud my mind screamed “run” at me, I was unable to move. And believe me… I wanted to be anywhere but there. She had affixed that predatory stare of hers on me, and it was enough to make my skin crawl. It was as though she had this ability to make a person feel violated with just her eyes.

I felt even more sick when she moved forward to snake her arms around my neck, and with a great effort, I turned my head to the side to feel the kiss that was meant for my lips brush against my cheek. My stomach lurched as I heard that all-too-familiar evil little chuckle, and I closed my eyes shut in a futile attempt to try and make her and her little crony disappear.

She leaned in closer to me, and I could feel her warm breath against my ear as she began to whisper to me in that dangerous, seductive tone of hers.

“My, my… aren’t we a little bit standoffish today… No kiss hello? Not even a hug? …Aren’t you happy to see me?”

If I had been able to answer, I would probably shouted a very loud “hell no” at her. Regardless of the fact that I had suddenly gone mute, she didn’t really seem like she wanted an answer, anyway.

“Well, no matter… I’m not here to talk about that.”

Thankfully, at that point she detached herself from me, stepping back to smirk and look me squarely in the eyes. And I wanted to look anywhere but, though somehow I managed to hold her horrible gaze… Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that her little pet was keeping watch for something, which led me to assume that the police were aware of their presence here in the city…

“Let’s get right to the point, then. I plan on shutting down that stupid old theatre for good. Now… I can do it with… or without force. And even though I’d prefer the latter… I am a diplomatic sort of person, and am willing to give those silly performers a chance to think about it before I strike.”

Diplomatic… sure… if by that you mean manipulative, then I’ll go with that.

“I’ve even already warned them to stop… a little light show and a couple of flames… I think I scared them enough to get them to consider my words…”

That sick, twisted smile had taken over her face, and it only added to my repulsion. …I don’t know what had compelled me to want to be with her before… I suppose that phrase ‘love is blind’ has a lot of truth to it… I just didn’t realize that until it had been too late…

“However…”

There’s a however?

“…There is one girl who seems to be particularly defiant… She didn’t seem to be fazed by my little demonstration at all, and I think she could prove to be a problem if she keeps the rest of the group together… I find it annoying when people get in my way.”

She was moving towards me again, and I wondered how much more abuse my stomach could take before I lost my breakfast or decided to black out.

“…And… you know what happens when people get in my way…” I jumped a bit as her cold fingers slid just under the edge of my shirt, tracing along the length of that hidden,  painful scar on my side. Though it had been healed for about two years now… it burned like fire when she touched it. “…don’t you, Maasa.”

I just wanted her to stop touching me.

She moved away again though, much to my relief, and seemed to be nearing the end of what it was that she wanted to tell me.

“If you care about her at all… which… I think you do from what I’ve seen…”

A chill ran up my spine and I felt an almost animalistic growl start to build up in the back of my throat, as if it wanted to erupt from me in a rage. She had been watching me… watching us…

“…Well, I’d be planting certain ideas in her head to get her to stop… you know… just in case something terrible were to happen.”

Her little pet was looking over at us with sudden interest, as if she wanted to leave as soon as possible. I hoped that maybe the police were snooping around. That would get them to leave…

“Miracle… we should go.”

She nodded, but never once did she take her eyes off of me. It was only when she turned around to leave that I was relieved of that piercing gaze, and I could still feel those orbs burning into me even when the two of them were out of sight. I forced myself to start moving, and soon I broke out into a hard run, heading towards the part of town where I knew Maiha would be.

I wanted to get away from that place as soon as possible.

And those haunting eyes and sinister laugh followed me the entire way.
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Offline C60533

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Eight -- Persuasive Negotiation]
« Reply #214 on: May 04, 2007, 03:13:16 AM »
The storm approaches....I'm very intrigued as to how you made Koharu a evil, crazy pyromaniac. And what's this I read about a scar? Let me guess....Koharu is the daughter of some politician. j/p What makes me wonder most is Maasa's past. I mean...the others are pretty much left open to inference, but Maasa's has more of a veil around it. So...does that mean we'll get a chapter about how Koharu and Maasa tie in to each other?

Offline Tanachan

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Eight -- Persuasive Negotiation]
« Reply #215 on: May 04, 2007, 06:00:15 PM »
ZOMGAAAAAAA!!! *huddles in corner away from evil Koha* This has such a potential to have a completely twisted and creepy ending. Nice job on the horror aspect, btw *thumbs up* Now for your treat...and btw, hope your back feels better!

*throws MomoMaasa box filled with sushi, ice packs and every H!P PB in existance*
If Helen Keller falls in the woods and no one is around, does she make a sound?

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Offline Yuuyami

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Eight -- Persuasive Negotiation]
« Reply #216 on: May 04, 2007, 10:45:17 PM »
Oooohhhh, this is interesting :]

Maasa's obviously connected to Airi and Koharu, that and she seems to also have been involved with the fire those years ago. It also seems that Maasa and Koharu once had something special together, but eventually, they drifted apart (how they did probably has to do with Maasa's scar) and now Maasa's found some lovin' in Momoko, I bet Koharu's secretly pissed and wants to do something about it xD Or Koharu is slightly surprised and puts it away because it's in the way of Airi and Koharu's true intention of taking down the theatre xD

Anywho, I look forward to the evil people of doom :]

That and Saki x Miyabi.

And Risako x Maiha.

Anywho.

-wraps whip around your foot and hangs you upside down over a dramatic rock-with-waves-crashing-against-it scenery- WRITE OR SUFFER

:]

<3

Offline FeverInducedMadness

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Eight -- Persuasive Negotiation]
« Reply #217 on: May 07, 2007, 01:00:16 AM »
The storm approaches....I'm very intrigued as to how you made Koharu a evil, crazy pyromaniac. And what's this I read about a scar? Let me guess....Koharu is the daughter of some politician. j/p What makes me wonder most is Maasa's past. I mean...the others are pretty much left open to inference, but Maasa's has more of a veil around it. So...does that mean we'll get a chapter about how Koharu and Maasa tie in to each other?

XD I dunno how I managed to put Koharu in that role... I think it just sort of happened. For the most part this story has been planned out bit by bit, but her appearance in it was kind of random. And now she's stuck there, so there isn't anything I can do about it but continue on. lol We all know the Miracle's got this dark side to her, though... >D Maasa actually has two scars (besides the one on her side, she's got a really long one on her face). One she got through a rather humorous accident (which will be mentioned eventually, I think. XD) and the other Koharu gave to her. It'll be revealed later on, though. This chapter I'm about to post reveals a little more about Maasa's past, but not enough to remove the veil completely just yet. I'm trying to keep it suspenseful until the very end. :3

By the way, I love your comments. I think you speculate about things more than anyone else, and that makes me ha~ppy! XD

ZOMGAAAAAAA!!! *huddles in corner away from evil Koha* This has such a potential to have a completely twisted and creepy ending. Nice job on the horror aspect, btw *thumbs up* Now for your treat...and btw, hope your back feels better!

*throws MomoMaasa box filled with sushi, ice packs and every H!P PB in existance*

Lol. The ending is gonna be either good or bittersweet. Not twisted. I already mentioned that. XD And yes, my back feels a lot better. Thank you. :3

XDD

Oooohhhh, this is interesting :]

Maasa's obviously connected to Airi and Koharu, that and she seems to also have been involved with the fire those years ago. It also seems that Maasa and Koharu once had something special together, but eventually, they drifted apart (how they did probably has to do with Maasa's scar) and now Maasa's found some lovin' in Momoko, I bet Koharu's secretly pissed and wants to do something about it xD Or Koharu is slightly surprised and puts it away because it's in the way of Airi and Koharu's true intention of taking down the theatre xD

Anywho, I look forward to the evil people of doom :]

That and Saki x Miyabi.

And Risako x Maiha.

Anywho.

-wraps whip around your foot and hangs you upside down over a dramatic rock-with-waves-crashing-against-it scenery- WRITE OR SUFFER

:]

<3

I have pleased the Yuu-chan! :D

The scar really isn't all that important. XD I mean it is, but then again it isn't. lol Koharu is both of what you think she's feeling plus something else. Which you won't find out until a few more chapters have gone by. XD

-suffering- T_____T

[wedgecall!]
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Offline Yuuyami

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Eight -- Persuasive Negotiation]
« Reply #218 on: May 07, 2007, 01:00:47 AM »
-weeedge <3-

Offline FeverInducedMadness

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Re: ::Heartbeat Tempo:: [Chapter Twenty-Eight -- Persuasive Negotiation]
« Reply #219 on: May 07, 2007, 01:08:06 AM »
Woo, this is officially the new longest chapter. XD
Eight full pages of goodness.
It actually feels more like filler to me, but ah well. Some things are explained, some are not. Some of it is just humorous.
Still building up the suspense, you know.
Also... I was kind of disappointed in the lack of comments I got for the last chapter... ;-; It was a big chapter, too... (Yuu-chan, C60533, and Tanachan are my new favorites now. :P)

T-T Comments are what keep me going, you know?
I don't want to have to require a certain amount, so please do review?
I work hard on this, and part of it is for me, but the rest of it is so that all of you can enjoy it.
If I have to, I could just stop updating it for good and send what I continue with to only the people that seem to actually care. XD
But I don't want to do that, either.
I want everybody to be able to read it.

Now I kind of feel like I sound really whiny, so I'm going to shut up. XD
I'm just an ungrateful writer who should work harder. lol

Enjoy.

[Chapter Twenty-Nine -- Restless Calm]

They were back again…

I saw them by accident when I had left Yurina’s house. I was watching the city from the rooftops like I always do… And I heard voices from beneath me. At first, I merely passed it off as nothing more than being one more of those chronic signs that I was slipping farther and farther into insanity… But then I realized that the voices weren’t my own, and so, curious as I was, I decided to investigate.

Stumbling over towards the edge of the brick building I was on top of, I got down on all fours and peered cautiously into the dark alleyway below, able to barely make out the shapes of three figures below. They were talking to each other… or, more like… one of them was talking, one was listening, and the other was standing more towards the entrance to watch out for something.

I couldn’t make out what it was that they were saying, but the sinister tone in that voice had already given me bad feelings about the whole thing. I watched this go on for a few minutes, and then suddenly, the figure that had served as a lookout wandered over to the other two, and soon after left with the person who had the low, manipulative voice. I was kind of concerned about the one they left standing there, but I decided to follow the other two instead.

I’m really kind of on the small side. I don’t mean that I’m short or anything… but I don’t eat a whole lot, and so I’m very skinny. Captain says sometimes that my weight sorta scares her. But at least I haven’t stopped eating all together. I don’t really like food much. It doesn’t seem to have much taste to it anymore…

Anyway, because of this, I was able to maneuver from rooftop to rooftop with ease (it also helped that buildings in this city were so close together) in my pursuit of the strangers, and I almost fell off of one of them when I saw the two figures step back out into the light.

They had changed… they had grown up… and yet, to me, they were completely the same.

Vile, horrible people.

I felt this burning anger flare up inside of me, and yet at the same time my anxiety was brought to new heights and I could feel that flame being smothered by a chilling fear. What were they doing here? Now, after so long? Perhaps it was like the Captain feared, and they had somehow learned that I was still alive… and maybe they had come back to finish the job.

I was starting to feel very sick… The trembling had returned to my body again, and I wondered if I would have some sort of episode right there on the spot. I wasn’t exactly in the appropriate place to start feeling like that…

Nightmarish whispers started flitting through my mind, and I struggled to keep on top of the situation before my body decided to trigger that defense mechanism that would take me somewhere else. But by that point, it was out of my control… I was fading again, and the stronger, more dangerous me was taking my place.

Bad things tended to happen when she showed up…

But there wasn’t any way to stop it now.

------------

“Mm… Practice gets more and more interesting each day…”

“Well, Momoko-chan… in our defense, everything has been interesting ever since you showed up.”

“…Touché.”

Risako, Yurina, Erika (as I finally learned was Umeda’s given name) and I were walking along the city’s sidewalks, enjoying the start of our lunch break after the morning’s practice. So far… this day had gone rather well for me.

Almost as soon as Maasa had left the theatre I started to miss her, but then things began to happen that kept my mind at least slightly preoccupied. Miyabi showed up at about her usual time, and to my surprise, she had brought a guest with her. Saki had tagged along with her to practice, and though I hadn’t expected such a turn of events, I was pleased: both for Saki’s sake and for the fact that perhaps Miyabi would tone down the evil a little bit.

She was in a much better mood, that was for sure. And Saki looked very happy.

Risako joined the three of us about half an hour later, and Erika appeared soon after that, wearing a very confused expression on her face. Yurina wasn’t with her—as she usually was, because with Miyabi’s lack-of-car, Erika had been helping the tall girl get to practice—and when I asked about it, she merely replied that Yurina had called and said not to worry about picking her up, because she would be late.

…That wasn’t like Yurina at all. So naturally, the small group of us worried over it, discussing possible explanations for the most responsible member’s absence.

What we came up with was: 1) She had been possessed by some unearthly creature. 2) She had been hit by a car like Takahashi-san, and had suffered only minor scrapes and bruises… we hoped. 3) The mysterious stranger that we all knew about but had never met had something to do with it.

I personally had been placing my bets on option number three… and my decision had been sealed when Yurina walked in about forty minutes or so late, a starstruck sort of look on her face. It was the same look Risako adopted every time she talked to me about or was around Maiha, and the same look that I suspected I probably got while thinking about Maasa.

She definitely had it bad for someone

But since Saki and I were the only such perceptive ones out of the group, and neither of us would stoop to the level of teasing the gentle, good-natured Yurina, no one really seemed to catch on.

Besides that… a much bigger distraction would arrive to take our attention away from Yurina.

Sometime near the middle of our practice, Maiha had slipped in (perhaps that’s where Maasa had learned such an ability… or maybe vice versa), and she watched us (or, rather, she watched Risako) dance from the audience seats for a good amount of time, never once saying a word to anyone. My cousin seemed to be hellbent on attempting to ignore the intruder, though I was fairly sure that she knew that Maiha was there, and I could have sworn I saw Risako steal glances in the other girl’s direction quite frequently while we worked.

It was pretty amusing, but soon I was immersed in the dancing again.

Once I was exposed to Saki’s godlike dancing skills, I stepped aside for once, and let her help with teaching technique and she even came up with some improvements for the routines that Miyabi and I had put together. Her expertise… would have been very useful if I had known about her talent from the start. I mean, after hearing her story, I was aware that she could perform, but… this had been something else.

I made a mental note to ask her for help with my mother’s dance later on. Maybe she could figure out what it was that I was missing.

But even as I thought about that, I knew that it was probably hopeless… The problem lay somewhere inside of me… until I found it and figured it out, I wasn’t going to make any progress with that solo dance.

And then we had finished. I had lost track of time because I was so focused… Saki and Miyabi slipped out together after assuring the rest of us that they would be back in time for the evening practice, and I couldn’t help but be the slightest bit envious. Maasa was like a cat: she would come and go as she pleased and stay as long as she wanted, with no promise of return…

Perhaps that was one of the reasons I was so drawn to her. She was unpredictable and mysterious, and that intrigued me. …It didn’t hurt that she was dangerously attractive, either, like the stereotypical rebel good girls like myself were supposed to stay away from.

I stopped myself. I was thinking about her more than I thought about anything else lately… I wondered briefly if perhaps she thought about me as often, but then I warned myself that if I wasn’t careful, that I could cross the line into obsession.

…Optimistic-Horny!Momoko didn’t really see that as a bad thing.

But Rational!Momoko hit me in the back of my mental head and I snapped out of my musings back into reality. Risako was staring intensely off into the audience, and at first, I thought maybe she and her sometimes sweetheart were having a contest… but then I followed her line of vision to realize that Maiha wasn’t there at all. She must have slipped in a similar way to how she had arrived… unnoticed.

So, being the genius that I am, I put two and two together and realized that that was the reason for my cousin’s distress. And it annoyed me greatly. I still hadn’t decided whether or not I approved of the flirt, but the way she was acting lately was swinging my opinion more or less towards the latter.

Then again… it really wasn’t any of my business… If worse came to worse I would just beat the little punk up.

Anyways… after all of that, the four of us that remained ended up wandering out of the theatre, and were now walking together in an amicable silence, with the intent to find something to eat. Well, at least, the others had that intention. I told them I had other things to take care of.

So when we reached the end of the block, they waved goodbye to me—Risako was still giving me an unsure look—and I told them I’d catch up later. I waited until they were out of sight before I turned to head towards my destination.

It was time to play Sherlock Holmes and unravel a bit of the mystery surrounding this city and what was going on. Everything seemed to be loosely connected. The threat… the theatre… the dancers… I had it narrowed down: something had happened a couple of years ago to make someone angry enough to kill the previous owners of the theatre. I assumed that that same someone was back, and they were gonna finish the job this time.

The only clue I had to go on was a scrap of newspaper that I had salvaged from the burnt mass left by the intruder, and I couldn’t believe my luck when I realized that the paper’s date was still intact.

My mission was simple now: I needed to find out exactly what had happened on that day, and trace the events back to the people involved. Perhaps then, I would be able to discover who had been responsible and get them put behind bars before a sequel to the first tragedy was written.

I slowed to a stop in front of the doors to the city’s small, one and only police station.

-------------

Maiha knew that she was going to be in some serious trouble if Maasa happened to wander home anytime soon. But being a reckless optimist, she really didn’t care, and figured that it was worth getting yelled at to spend some quality time with not one, but two very lovely young ladies.

See, Maasa had this rule thing… about how Maiha could freeload as much as she wanted as long as she didn’t bring girls into the house. Well, it actually wasn’t much of a ‘house’. A much more accurate term would have been ‘basement’. It was part of what had once been a pretty large apartment complex, that had been condemned soon after it went bankrupt when people started to gravitate towards the center of the city.

The intent was to tear it and a few of the surrounding buildings down to put new ones in their place, but once some of the less… honorable citizens started to take over that part of town and turned it into a makeshift ‘red light district’, the rebuilding part of the project had been abandoned. The city’s limited police force simply could not control the amount of crime in the area, and so it had become a haven for criminals and people who simply had ill intentions.

Anyways, the duo stumbled upon the basement several years ago, and after working hard to clean it out (Maasa took care of that part) it was a comfortable place to live in (Maiha was good at that part). They had furnished it with various things that they had either stolen or found in the other broken down buildings nearby, and thanks to Maiha’s mental library of things most other people didn’t know, they were able to siphon off electricity from some of their oblivious neighbors.

Miraculously, they also still had running water. But Maiha suspected that a certain incident involving one of the city’s officials and a particularly irate young delinquent had insured them that the facilities wouldn’t be shut off ever again. Apparently they had figured out that it was better to keep the crime in a controlled area of the city rather than  forcing them to filter back into the main area where more civilians would be at risk.

Back to the annoying rule thing. It was something that was frequently ignored and broken, since Maasa didn’t really enforce it beyond giving the other girl a long lecture and kicking her out for a night or two. Her ‘probation’ never lasted longer than that, however, because Maasa would always start to feel guilty and would welcome her unrepentant friend back with open arms.

…Which was why Maiha was sitting on the old couch in the underground room with a pair of girls that she had found while wandering about outside. She knew nothing about them other than the fact that they were hot, and that the one that she was currently making out with was particularly skilled at what she was doing.

She probably should have been feeling guilty at that point. But Maiha had learned long ago how to toss away all feelings of remorse about basically everything. It was dangerous, and got her into all sorts of trouble, but in a way, Maasa was her safety net, and so she had never really gotten to experience any of the consequences to her actions.

Just as her hands were starting to wander in an interesting direction, she heard someone enter the room, and knew almost instantly that the other girl was home, and so she quickly slipped out of the compromising position that she happened to be in. Maiha froze as Maasa came into view, but her fear quickly turned into confusion, as she noticed that the taller girl had a distant, distracted look on her paled face, and was surprised when Maasa didn’t even seem to pay her or the visitors an ounce of attention.

This was strange behavior for Maasa, and so (however reluctantly) Maiha ushered the other two females out of the basement-house in order to talk to her best friend.

“What’s wrong with you…? You look like you’ve seen a ghost or somethin’…”

“…Not exactly, but that’s pretty close…”

Maasa’s voice was rougher than normal, like it pained her to say even just one word. This startled Maiha, and for once she was worried…

“Did things go bad with that girl of yours…?”

“No… things are wonderful, actually… Something happened after that. I ran into someone I wasn’t expecting to see.”

“Who? Someone prettier?”

For the first time since she had entered the room, Maasa showed some emotion by flashing Maiha a glare before she slumped down on the couch, rubbing her temples with her fingers in a stressed sort of manner.

“This might sting a bit, but I must inform you that I’m not as shallow as you happen to be when it comes to girls.”

“Ouch,” But the now-grinning Maiha seemed unaffected, and with cat-like ease, she swung her legs over the back of the couch, sliding into place beside the other girl. “So who did you see, then?”

“…Airi… … …Koharu. They’re back in the city.”

If a truck had slammed into Maiha at that moment, she wouldn’t have even noticed. What had just hit her was much, much more forceful than some big semi…

“…Y-you really suck at jokes, Maa-chan… and that one wasn’t funny, so… stop screwing around and tell me what really happened.”

But Maasa wasn’t paying attention anymore. She had her head buried in her hands, and if Maiha’s eyes weren’t playing tricks on her, she could have sworn that the older female was… trembling. That was when the gravity of this new turn of events really hit Maiha.

“But why? Why would she come back after being away so long? What could there be left that she wants? People already fucking died because of what they wanted, and as far as she knows, there isn’t anybody left, so why did she come back?”

“She doesn’t want them to perform at the theatre anymore… she’s even already threatened them by telling them that if they don’t leave, something bad will happen…”

Maasa’s voice was muffled, and there was a slight shake to it, but Maiha could make the words out nevertheless. She had a feeling that there was something her friend had left out, but she decided not to push it, considering the other girl’s current emotional state.

“…So even after everything that happened… she still wasn’t satisfied…”

“Apparently not.”

“What are we going to do?”

The older female slowly sat back up straight, running a hand through her hair with a sigh. “I don’t know. There isn’t much that we can do. Those girls… they won’t leave that place. Which means that they’re all in danger… I have a feeling that Koharu’s taking this time a little bit more seriously.”

“We could find her first and take her out of the picture…”

“I don’t need anything else to make me feel like more of a murderer than I already am!” Maasa snapped, having gotten to her feet, bristling with anger now. The room was dead silent after that, and Maiha cringed at the smouldering look her best friend was giving her.

Really, really bad direction to go in… I need to learn to think about what I say before I say it…

“…You didn’t kill them, Maasa… Koharu and Airi did. It wasn’t your fault.” She tried, using a quiet, cautious voice so as not to further stoke the fires of Maasa’s bear-like anger.

“I’m just as much to blame. You know that.”

“You tried to stop them in the end. That’s what counts. Because of you, they had to hurry, and that might have been the thing that saved Chinami’s life…”

“Because of me, she relives that nightmare constantly, every single day. You can’t tell me that she’s glad she gets to go through what she has to go through…”

“Damnit, Maasa, will you stop blaming yourself for this?! We’ve had this conversation over and over, and it still can’t seem to penetrate your thick skull!”

“That’s because it’s not supposed to! I can’t believe something that isn’t true!”

“You were manipulated, Maasa. There was no way you could have known how things were going to end up!”

The tall girl growled in frustration, throwing her hands up and walking around the couch towards the exit, grabbing her jacket off of the floor along the way. Maiha quickly got to her feet, tripping as she turned to watch her friend leave.

“Where the hell are you going now?”

“Somewhere, anywhere, I don’t even care at this point.”

“If you’re gonna go and get drunk, I’d rather you not come back here. I don’t like to deal with your sorry ass when you get like that, it’s not attractive.”

“Good thing you’re not the one I’m trying to impress.”

And with that, Maasa was gone. It could be days before she ever came back… or it could be just an hour or so… She just needed to cool off before she punched someone in the face. Still, Maiha was very apprehensive about the entire situation. Those two… were the last people she ever expected to see in the city… and were also the last people on earth she wanted to see, period. Maasa was generally a level-headed person, but Maiha had this horrible feeling that she could end up doing something very foolish…

“Momoko-chan… where ever you are right now… I know you can’t hear me, but if by some miracle you do…”

Please… You have to help Maasa. I think you’re the one she’s needed for so long… Even if neither of you ever realize just how much.
-sig is undah construction because it needs to be pimped out-

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