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Author Topic: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)  (Read 50380 times)

Offline Amarghetta

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #60 on: June 21, 2007, 12:33:12 AM »
Where is OTN1 and what have you done with he/she?
This chapter is too much "happily ever after" to be yours XD
Oh, don't be fooled by this happy phase, we'll be in deep angst before we know it. ;)

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #61 on: June 21, 2007, 06:41:06 AM »
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I thought about myself and my own views.  Going to university must have opened up my eyes and allowed me to develop a mind with broader horizons.  I was a small town girl, but I wasn't completely set in my traditional ways.  I could see what was out there and I wanted to taste it.
That seems to be a somewhat common phenomenon with people who grow up in small towns. Those who never go anywhere beyond what they know often don't seek new experiences, while those who do end up seeking more.


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At around half past eleven that evening, I was getting another drink from the kitchen when I decided to check my phone for messages.  I flipped it open and saw that I'd missed a call twenty minutes ago.  A call from Aya.  In addition to the missed call, I had a new e-mail.  It was from her.

Just wanted to hear your voice one last time this year, but I guess it's okay.  Have a Happy New Year!!
Awwwwwwwwww so sweet!  :inlove:


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"And how'd things with work go?"

"My boss calling was a false alarm.  Still no decision yet.  It might take a few days, so I'm not thinking about it 'till then," she replied in good spirits.

There was that optimistic side of her.  I really liked it.

"Good to hear," I said with a smile in my voice.
Indeed, it would really suck if Aya got fired at this time of year. It would be even worse if she had to tell Miki about it (for obvious reasons).


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"See you tomorrow?" she asked in a voice that reverted instantly from loud and jittery to shy and hopeful.

I swallowed hard, pushing my guilt back down into the pit of my stomach.

"I'll contact you when I land," I said quietly.
Despite how much it sounds like she's having fun at the moment, she's probably still go that little bit inside her that's worrying/scared Miki will suddenly change her mind and not come to Tokyo.  :cry:


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When I went downstairs, my mother went on about how she was going to miss me.  She gave me a big, smothering hug, and then pushed me away, telling me to leave quickly or she'd start crying.  My father remained stoic the entire time.  He would be driving me to the train station, so there was no need for him to say goodbye yet.
It's going to be much harder for Miki's dad to say goodbye, especially after the argument they had (even though she said she forgave him).  It is, unfortunately, a male thing; particularly with dads. They don't want to appear weak in front of their kids. Dads are supposed to be that "pillar of strength" that the kids are supposed to be able to depend/rely on.  Miki's dad knows he can't stop her from going, so he at least wants her to go full bore, without any doubt in her mind that she's making the right decision for her. To do that, she can't be burdened with thoughts of guilt or worry about whether or not he could take the fact that she was leaving or about how he personally felt about it.  In the end, both of them would probably know anyway. It's just that it makes it less painful to go through if they don't actually say anything.


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What was my opinion about what had happened the previous night with Hiroshi?

I had been so consumed with worry over what Aya would think that I had barely had time to really decide what I thought.

What happened with Hiroshi was, simply put, wrong.  It had been a mistake - an accident.  It wasn't supposed to mean anything, and in fact, it meant very little compared to what I'd been dreaming about.  Of course I still cared for him, but it was quickly fading as other feelings started to take over my heart.  So in the end, what had happened had been out of my control, and not something that Aya should worry about or blame me for.  The fact that I wanted things to work out with her - work out in what way, I didn't yet know, but if we were going to be living together for at least a small passage of time, I didn't want there to be bad blood between us - clearly made The Hiroshi Incident an unimportant issue.
That's the "rational" way to look at it. And chances are that if they could look at this whole situation in a rational manner (i.e. without getting any emotions involved), not telling would not be problem.  However, as much as Miki can try to rationalize it, in all likelihood the knowledge of that incident would still gnaw at her gradually, perhaps even getting to a point where she couldn't face Aya at all. That's not fair to either of them.


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If only Aya would see it that way.

For the plane ride, I reverted back to worrying about what she'd think and say, and dozens of new scenarios ran through my head, ranging from her slapping me to her pretending not to care and then sabotaging my life to get revenge.
Told you it would gnaw at her. If she keeps this up it'll just continue and get even worse.


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I wasn't completely inexperienced in the ways of the Tokyo train system, having been to the city several times before, but I was generally bad at directions, so I never trusted myself to be right, and that's what caused my delay.
This reminds me of a few people I know. :P


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She appeared a minute later, her hair wet from what I assumed had been a recent shower and wearing a hat and sunglasses, making me smile secretly in amusement.  Her disguise wasn't all that bad since it covered most of her face, but the fact that nobody else was wearing that much head gear made her stand out even more.
Ooooooooooooooh...recently wet Aya. :twisted:

And yeah, disguise-looks usually work when you're not the only one with that particular look.  :D


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I'll tell her when we get to her place.  That way we can have some privacy so that she can yell and scream and throw me out without causing too much public embarrassment, I decided.
The sooner, the better I say. At the very least, it'll show Aya that she's really being honest with her not trying to hide anything from her.


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The lobby was a quiet and pleasant affair, spotless and homely.
I think you meant to say "homey" here dude. "Homely" isn't exactly nice.  :hee:


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Her apartment was clean, and so utterly "Aya" that I just let out a laugh.

"What?" she asked.

"It's so you!" I cried out in delight.  "I mean, it's exactly what I expected."
That just goes to show how much they really do "click" despite having only known each other a few months.  It's almost like instinct.  :yep:


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She hadn't lied before when she had said the bed was big enough for two, but I tried not to keep my eyes on it for too long because I didn't want her to get the wrong idea.  Not that that would be such a bad thing.  It just didn't feel right.  Not yet.  Nonetheless, the bed looked comfortable and warm, and I wondered if I'd ever be allowed to sleep in it.
She will. The real question isn't if Aya will allow her to, but rather, considering the whole Hiroshi situation, can Miki allow herself to.


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I started to decide on the best way to tell her about the incident.  I came to the conclusion that short and to the point was best, and so once I got out of the shower, I would talk to her right away.
Best way to do it. If Aya's going to trust her, Miki has to give her the chance to make that decision.


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I slipped in under the covers without invitation, curling up on my side and facing the wall.  She soon followed after turning out the light, and things got very uncomfortable again for me the minute that happened.

"You're really tense, huh?" she said, crowding me and treating me like a teddy bear, speaking with her mouth a few centimetres away from my ear.  "I know this is all really new and weird for you, but try to relax.  I'm not going to bite your head off or do anything bad to you.  And if I do, you can hit me and yell at me for being a moron."

...

She put her hands on my shoulders and started to massage them, and somewhere in the back of my mind, some crazy statistical information about the high percentage of massages that led to wanton behaviour danced about.
We have to remember here that in this story, to THIS Aya what she's doing is perfectly natural, but to THIS Miki it's all new and sudden. So it's bound to be (at least a little) uncomfortable, even without the Hiroshi incident weighing on Miki's mind.


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I steeled myself and ploughed on through my nervousness, chastising myself for being such a wishy-washy wimp around her.

"Two nights ago I sleepwalked and I kind of went to Hiroshi's room and slept with him."

I said it quickly, purposefully, matter of factly, and with grit teeth.  It was the moment of truth.

Aya, however, did not change her position, her eyes remaining closed.

"Is that so?" she asked conversationally.
  Huh? :stunned:

Aya's not half-asleep, is she?


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"What did he think about that?  About your situation with me?"

I squirmed uncomfortably, sweating profusely under the scrutiny of her gaze.

"He thinks you're just a phase for me," I said in a voice that barely made it past my lips.  "He was really angry.  He felt really cheated."
This is the first time (ever, as far as I can remember), that anyone other than Shiba-chan knew exactly what Miki and Aya's relationship was like.  This is the first time that Aya or Miki knew of anyone knowing what their relationship was like. And while it's interesting that Aya's interested/curious about how someone reacted now that there was actually a someone who knew, it's also worrysome that she seems so nonchalant about it.  One would think that she would be (at least visibly) a little upset by it.
:dunno:


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But why isn't she upset?

"So you're not upset?"

She shook her head.

"Of course I am," she said clearly, and my heart plunged.  "But things happen that we can't control.  Like I said, you're here now.  And it's not like I had any right to demand anything from you before.  I can't be completely upset with you."
Perhaps Aya is blaming herself a bit for this. After all, this may not have happened at all had she not let Miki stay in her hotel room that night, or if she had not told Miki how she really felt, or if she had not asked Miki to come to Tokyo and live with her. Aya must realize how much pressure that would put on Miki and how Miki's life would be turned upside-down so quickly and so forcefully.  While she's undoubtedly grateful to have Miki there with her, she must feel a little bit of guilt at what Miki must have gone through (emotionally that it) in trying to decide whether to come or to stay behind.

There's also the whole thing about the circumstances that brought Aya to Hokkaido in the first place. It could be that she's just so thankful to have Miki back in her life that she's making herself overlook this whole incident.


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"Now that you live with me, however, you'd better not be going off and doing that with just anyone."
Something tells me Aya will take great pleasure in ensuring that doesn't happen again.  :pimp:


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I wanted to tell her that I was happy about the way things had worked out.

A perfect resolution.  Life could not possibly be this good.
As much as I personally wish it to be...somehow...I can't help but wonder at what further roadblocks these two are going to face, and whether or not they'll be able to deal with it together.


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"Thank you, Aya-chan," I said, breaking the silence that had settled over us.  "And I promise you that from now on, I'm yours only.  Okay?"

...

"Okay.  And just so you know, I've been yours since before the first evening I met you."

Ug, how romantic, I thought sarcastically, yet still embarrassed.
Oh c'mon Miki, you know you love it too.  :shy1:



Where is OTN1 and what have you done with he/she?
This chapter is too much "happily ever after" to be yours XD
Oh, don't be fooled by this happy phase, we'll be in deep angst before we know it. ;)
Thing is, we wouldn't have it any other way now, would we?

...


...


...


not including the fluff chapters of course.  :grin:

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

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #62 on: June 21, 2007, 09:44:46 AM »
Has it gotten to a point where I've become this predictable?  Hahaha, maybe that means it's time to stop writing, soon.  The horse has been sufficiently over-beaten. 
(I'd just like to state that contrary to popular belief, I do like things that don't end in the decimation of Hello! Project.  Just look at the Fluff thread!)

Hey, Aya did actually show her the place before anything happened XDXDXD
Hahaha!  That's what I thought, too.  Miki's scenarios were all completely wrong.  Even that one.

Either Miki has a brain tumor or Aya has incurable cancer and this is all just a dream.
Hm, thanks for the ideas.  The forum can blame you when I start writing epic medical dramas about Aya and Miki.

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Just wanted to hear your voice one last time this year, but I guess it's okay.  Have a Happy New Year!!
Awwwwwwwwww so sweet!  :inlove:
Yet more of my life experience.  Awww!
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I think you meant to say "homey" here dude. "Homely" isn't exactly nice.  :hee:
Maybe in Webster's dictionary, but not in the Oxford.

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This is the first time (ever, as far as I can remember), that anyone other than Shiba-chan knew exactly what Miki and Aya's relationship was like.  This is the first time that Aya or Miki knew of anyone knowing what their relationship was like. And while it's interesting that Aya's interested/curious about how someone reacted now that there was actually a someone who knew, it's also worrysome that she seems so onchalant about it.  One would think that she would be (at least visibly) a little upset by it. :dunno:
You've raised a good point.  Maybe Aya trusts Miki's judgement of character, and she might assume that if Miki told Hiroshi, it was because Miki fully trusted him.  But you're right.  But perhaps (as you've said) Aya's reaction was too nonchalant, and that's my oversight, not hers.  Maybe I'll address it later on.

I'm starting to get curious.  What is Aya thinking during all of this?  Maybe this is something to explore later.  Maybe not.  As I said a page or two before, I have a crazy idea for this story, and it might be kind of... big.  It might reveal some answers without having to go into Aya's pov.

And as usual, thank you to everyone for reading and for your thoughtful (hahaha, and prophesying) comments.

Offline iacus

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #63 on: June 21, 2007, 10:09:38 AM »
Either Miki has a brain tumor or Aya has incurable cancer and this is all just a dream.
Hm, thanks for the ideas.  The forum can blame you when I start writing epic medical dramas about Aya and Miki.

I knew it! This was all too good to be true. I just knew it! 

Offline ChiruChaCha

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2007, 11:03:31 AM »
I'm starting to get curious.  What is Aya thinking during all of this?  Maybe this is something to explore later.  Maybe not.  As I said a page or two before, I have a crazy idea for this story, and it might be kind of... big.  It might reveal some answers without having to go into Aya's pov.

Yeah, I was thinking the same. Aya's reaction is too mysterious to leave it like that, actually I kept imagining Aya's thoughts during the whole chapter.

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2007, 02:06:03 PM »

Either Miki has a brain tumor or Aya has incurable cancer and this is all just a dream.
Hm, thanks for the ideas.  The forum can blame you when I start writing epic medical dramas about Aya and Miki.


Go me....

Offline Kei-Br

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2007, 06:35:46 PM »
Aww....nice chapter!!!  :heart:




i think i should probably stop reading this now b4 u make them suffer and hav one of them killed by a giant panda! :cry:

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #67 on: June 21, 2007, 08:13:08 PM »
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As I said a page or two before, I have a crazy idea for this story, and it might be kind of... big. 
Actually, my ass has been stirring up a few ideas too, particularly ones that could directly affect/be affected by Miki and some of the actions she's recently taken.  I'm not going to say anything though, as the big ideas really freak me out. :O

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

Offline Mikan

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #68 on: June 22, 2007, 12:17:45 PM »
Holy crap. If Im getting what JFC is thinking then SHiZzAm! That would be awesome ^^

Read the complete Doki Doki!!

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #69 on: June 22, 2007, 01:50:47 PM »
My idea is kind of way out there, but go ahead and try to guess what I'm planning.  If you get it right... no fluff, but I'll be impressed.

i think i should probably stop reading this now b4 u make them suffer and hav one of them killed by a giant panda! :cry:
Hahaha!

For heaven's sake, you people are all more morbid than me!  :lol:  Not that I want to give anything away, but I've killed off Miki in one story and Aya in another.  Chances are I'm not going to do it again.  (Although if a giant panda's involved, I might not be able to stop myself...)

Offline Kei-Br

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #70 on: June 22, 2007, 03:46:14 PM »
Giant pandas are really nice!!!
You can write about Miki huggin one and being suffocated until she dies...then aya would come fight it...and ended being smashed xD

ok...i should stop having alcohol....sorry ><

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #71 on: June 22, 2007, 09:10:45 PM »
^ :lol:

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

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #72 on: June 27, 2007, 10:51:25 PM »
Chapter 8

Aya lied to me last night in a terrible, unforgivable way.

The instant I opened my eyes - no, even before I did that - I wanted to scream at her for misleading me so maliciously. 

"Uhhh..."  heard her groan beside me as I turned to face her.

"You lied to me," I accused her, my first words of the day coming out in a scratchy voice.

"Eh?" she asked, yawning and rubbing her eyes innocently, turning onto her side to mirror my position.  "About what?"

She didn't seem particularly concerned about anything.

"You told me not to worry about the sun in the morning," I said, my voice gaining a little more smoothness.  "The window may face west, but your curtains suck."

She gave an almost unnoticeable shrug in response and didn't say a word.  She turned around onto her other side and backed into me, grabbing my arm and putting it around her, forcing me to hug her.  She then reached down and tugged one of the thin sheets up so that it covered our heads.  My protests died on my lips as I revelled in the warmth, the freezing tip of my nose quickly becoming a distant memory.  Before it could warm up completely, however, I moved my head and poked it into Aya's shoulder.  She twitched slightly, but she did nothing more to stop me.

I tried to drift off to sleep again, but I found it strangely difficult.  Everything was so new and fresh that I wanted to get up to explore it.  I wanted to see what books Aya had, the kinds of clothes she had, and what food was in the fridge.  I wanted to walk around outside and see what shops and restaurants were nearby.  I wanted to go to Shibuya and Shinjuku and window shop because it had been so many years since I'd gone to those places with my mom.  I wanted to go out and find a job so that I could become self-reliant.  For once in my life, I wanted to take the initiative to get out of bed and go out to do something.  Many things.

"Stop fidgeting," Aya demanded, shattering my giddy excitement.

I hadn't noticed my fidgeting, but I went stone still on command.

"Okay," I said obediently. 

There I went again.  Letting her order me around.  But it didn't bother me for some reason.  It felt nice.  Protective and loving, even.

"Are you asleep?" I whispered after a minute and a half.

"No," she sighed.

"Me neither."

Why did I revert to the mental age of six around her?  I wanted to ask someone that.

"Do you want to get up?  It's only seven," she asked in a sleepy voice that sounded like she needed a few more hours of slumber before she would feel human again.

Maybe one more hour wouldn't be such a bad idea.  It was a precious day off, after all.

"No, let's sleep more," I replied.

I had a feeling that Aya was a grumpy one when she didn't get enough sleep.  That won her this round.  But it was frustrating.  The one time I actually wanted to get up, I had to clamp down on my energy and relax.

It wasn't such a big problem, though, because I could enjoy this, too.  In fact, it was rather nice.  Still weird, but nice.  This was my second time spending a whole night like this with her, and it was different from the first.  Inexplicably different.  Maybe it was the setting.  We were in a real home in a real bed with real sheets.  They were her things, and she felt comfortable here, by default making me fifty percent more comfortable than I'd be in a strange hotel.  The setting was normal.

The weird thing about it all was us.  I couldn't fathom how I'd gotten involved in this situation.  One minute I was a good friend, the next some sort of sex buddy, and then from there it snowballed into a mutual promise to not look at anyone else the same way we looked at each other.  It looked like it was going to work out perfectly.  The only thing left to find out was whether or not we could live together for more than one day without driving each other up the wall.

"Hey, Aya," I said, forgetting that we were supposed to be sleeping.

"Uhh... huh?" she mumbled, already halfway to dreamland.

"Isn't this a little weird?"

I grabbed the sheet from above our heads and tugged it down so that we had some light and some fresh air.

"What?" she asked, her eyes closing tightly to block out the offensive light.

"Our whole association," I forged on.  "I mean, we met by chance in a restaurant, became good friends, and then, um, slept with each other... and then I essentially moved in with you and we suddenly promised ourselves to each other.  Don't you think it's all a little..."

I couldn't find the right word to describe it, and she opened an eye.

"So?  That's pretty much how it works with people and things like this," she mumbled sagely.

"But... I mean, after two months?" I pointed out uncertainly.

Aya opened her other eye.

"Then think of it as being destiny."

I couldn't believe in that.

"How can you be so sure about something?  Why do you have so much faith in your idea of me?"

She rolled her head up a bit so that I got a good view of her contemplative expression.  She seemed to be weighing her answer carefully in her head, deciding what the appropriate thing to say was.  It looked like she was ready to start a speech.  A monologue of epic proportions.

She opened her mouth to speak.

"I just do," was all she uttered.

All that preparation for three measly words?  I wanted to know what happened to the other million words in her head, but I couldn't ask.

"Okay..." I conceded softly.

She looked up at me and smiled comfortingly, telling me not to worry about things like that and to just go with what felt right.  When she closed her eyes to get that extra hour of sleep, I wondered what felt right.

Being here felt right.  Being beside her felt right.  Discovering a new world in Tokyo felt right.

What did not feel right was that it all seemed a little too perfect.  I didn't think Aya was lying about her feelings, but I did think there was more to our relationship than I could see.  I just didn't know what it was.

I stayed awake for an hour thinking about this while Aya drifted off to sleep and rolled away from me, almost falling off the bed.  I caught her before she tumbled over and tugged her back to safety, somehow not waking her up.

That hour passed by slowly, and when eight o'clock rolled around, I impatiently shook Aya awake.

"Ah... ah...?"

"Come on, let's get up," I urged her, pulling on her hand.

"Ahh... hug," she mumbled.

Was she asking me for a hug?

I was jolted out of my thought by an arm being thrown around me.  I think she misjudged the force with which she threw that arm, because it hit me hard and made me wince in pain.  The pain was swept away, though, by her rolling into me and hugging me tightly

"You forgot," she mumbled.

"I did?" I asked in an amused tone.

"Mmmmm.  No," she said after some thought.  "But... every day.  Okay?"

"Uh, okay," I replied at this sudden request.

She rolled away and got up, putting her pyjamas back on before walking out of the room as if completely forgetting me.  I scrambled to follow suit.  When I left her room, I saw her in the kitchen starting to boil water for tea.  I went to the living room and spotted the heater.

"Can I turn this on?" I asked.

The apartment was quite cold.  She called out that it was okay and that I didn't have to ask next time, so I put the machine on the highest setting, standing in front of it to warm my shins as I looked through the balcony window.

"We never did decide what we're going to do today," Aya said, making her way over to me after having finished making the tea.

She put two cups on the table and we sat down.  I was eager to stop being a parasitic presence in Aya's life.  I'd only been there for half a day, but I was already starting to feel guilty for being a burden.  Two cups of tea instead of one wasn't a big deal, but things would only get bigger.

"I need to look for a job," I said, taking a sip of the tea.

It was bitterer than I expected, but it warmed me up.

"I know you're all keen about that, but why don't you take a few days off and get to know this place a little more?  Hang out with me a bit."

Was that her ulterior motive?  To spend more time with me?  I laughed in response.

"Am I really that fun to be around?"

She looked thoughtful for a few moments.

"No, not really," she said seriously, and my mouth dropped open.  "But I'm bored waiting for my bosses to make a decision about my future."

She looked at my surprised face and started to laugh as if she'd just made the funniest joke in the world.

"Of course I think you're fun," she inserted in a scolding voice.  "Since when did you start taking me so seriously?"

I laughed along and took another sip of tea.

"Fine, I'll take a rest for a few days."

"Now that we've decided that, what do you want to do today?"

Because many stores were closed and the streets would be packed with holidaying people, we would hold off on anything like shopping or sightseeing.  Aya told me she hadn't been to the shrine yet this year (I didn't ask, but it was probably because she slept in yesterday and then scrambled to get her apartment ready for me), so we came to the decision to go together.

"But to one far away," she said.  "It's too crowded around here."

I wondered if that was because she didn't want to be randomly approached by fans, or if it was simply that she liked to visit shrines in peace.  I didn't ask.  Instead, I asked her what we were going to do for the rest of the day after that, and she gave it some thought.

"You like hot springs, right?"

I nodded.  Of course I did.  She gave it some more thought.

"Bring a change of clothes.  I'll take you to a nice one."

I wondered if "nice one" was code for "super expensive".  Again, I didn't ask.  It probably wasn't.  She knew I was on a tight budget.

I was excited, though.  A hot spring visit was exactly what I needed.  The tension I'd been feeling non-stop for the past few days had drained, but it had left behind actual physical pain in my neck and shoulders.  Nothing serious.  A twinge or two now and then, but it was an unpleasant reminder of my paranoia.

We got ready once we knew what we were doing, ate breakfast quickly, and made off to the train station.  The weather was beautiful.  Clear, not a cloud in the sky.  It was chilly, but the sun would eventually warm everything up once it was at its peak.

We ended up riding trains for over two hours.  So much for trying to save money.  We talked animatedly during the first two short train rides, but we fell asleep, rocked into a shallow slumber by the steady vibrations coming from the third train's engine.

At some point while I'd been dozing off on Aya's shoulder, four university-age boys had gotten onto the train.  They sat opposite to us and a few seats down, and they kept looking over after I woke up.  Amused, I nudged Aya awake.

"Those boys are staring at you," I informed her in a hushed tone.

Aya's eyes shifted over to the bunch for a split second, and then she looked forward with an unaffected air.

"Oh."

But it was too late.  I'd seen a satisfied light grace her eyes.  She liked the attention and would have been perplexed if she hadn't attracted the attention.  I turned my face slightly away so that she didn't see my amused look.  I put my head back on her shoulder in a territorial way and closed my eyes.

"Mine," I declared to the boys in my mind.  "Look, but don't touch."

I drifted off to sleep with a smug smile still on my lips as I imagined the four boys watching, wishing they were me.  I awoke not long after.  I sensed a change, and I was right.  I had leaned over to the other side, but head now resting against a pole.  Aya was awake, and I could see half of her face.  Curiously, I followed her gaze and found that she was looking at the four boys.  Every time one looked over, she'd casually refocus her line of sight slightly to make it look like she was staring out the window.  It was a well-practiced move, which made it obvious she'd had years of experience.  I wondered if she'd looked at me like that in the past two months without my realising it.

I noticed something just then.  The boys weren't staring at her.  They were staring at me.  One looked smitten, the other looked somewhat puzzled, and the other two had unreadable expressions on their faces.  I imagined they would have spared me some glances, me being "the famous girl's friend", but to continually stare at me was a bit strange.  I knew that I could turn heads sometimes, but beside Aya, I would have expected less attention.

My eyesight locked with one of the boys' by accident, and he immediately averted his eyes.  This alerted Aya, and she looked over at me.

"They're staring at me," I said, not really meaning to say anything.

"I was just noticing," Aya replied, sounding neutral.

I wondered if she would get jealous that I was stealing her spotlight.

"You shouldn't question why, though," she continued.  "You're the cutest girl on the train."

I rolled my eyes to get her to stop from saying anything more, but deep down inside, I had a feeling she wanted to say something more serious but was holding back.  She leaned her head back and closed her eyes.  I leaned my head back, too, and closed my eyes after a last look at our audience.  I fell asleep.

Aya shook me awake when we got to our station.  The boys had gotten off before us, and I found it amazing that we would probably never see each other again.  The world was full of people you saw only once in your lifetime.

We got out in a small town in the middle of nowhere.  It reminded me of home, and I wondered why I'd come all the way to Tokyo only to return to a place like mine minus the snow.  We left the train station and I followed Aya.  She seemed to know exactly where she was going.

"How do you know this place?" I asked curiously.

"I used to come here with a friend," she responded with a smile and no more information than that.

I laughed inwardly at how mysterious Aya could be.  Sometimes I had the feeling that she expected me to be able to read her mind.  While I'd been getting used to her pattern of thinking, I couldn't quite read her like an open book yet.  Nakanoko-chan was still easier for me to predict.  Not a surprise since it was two months of friendship versus eight years.

We chatted about New Year's Day as we walked, and I found out just how busy she usually was.  She was always performing on New Year's Eve, so she hadn't had a real chance to spend that holiday in her hometown for many years.

"But it's okay.  My parents sometimes come up to visit me, and there have always been friends nearby for me to celebrate with."

I told her about my New Year celebrations with my family, but they were all the same every year, so there wasn't much variety.  Sometimes something crazier than usual happened, but the overall format of the get togethers each year was the same.

I wondered where I'd spend my next New Year.  In Tokyo?  Or would I go home?

It's January second and I'm already thinking three hundred and sixty-odd days into the future.  Oh man.

As I spoke about my family gatherings, Aya was all ears.  She listened intently to every word I said.  So intently that it made me shake.  It made me self-conscious about the words and phrases I used because I wanted to sound like I knew how to speak naturally.  Several people had complained to me that I didn't speak well.  It wasn't lack of intelligence, but just the way I phrased things.  It was plain and not very expressive.  I wanted to change that for her, however.  She was just the kind of person that made me want to speak from the heart.  From the evening I'd met her, I'd been open with her.  I wasn't quite spewing out poetry yet, but if someone could make me want to, it was her.

I was talking about my cousins when we arrived at the shrine.  There were people milling about, but it wasn't half as busy as the one I'd gone to the day before.  We walked in and bought fortunes.  As I was about to read mine, Aya took it out of my hands and held it up in front of her face

"I'll read yours and you read mine, okay?"

I nodded, wondering if this was a bit of Matsuura family tradition as I took her paper from her.

"I'll read yours first, though, since this is your first of the year," I said.

Yesterday, I'd gotten a fairly good reading.  Not the highest, but I was guaranteed average success throughout the year.  When I opened up Aya's, I laughed.

"Going a day late was lucky.  You've got the best luck," I told her.

She grinned happily, and I read out the predictions for her future.  Work, money, and love would all go smoothly for her.  If the fortune was true, she wouldn't have to worry about her job.  Even if she lost it, something good would come.  As for love... I had no concrete thought.

Aya opened up my fortune and smiled.

"One down on the luck-o-metre from me," she announced.

One step down from her top luck, but one step up from what I'd gotten yesterday.  Not bad.

She read about how spectacular my year was going to be, but how there'd be a delay in starting with the good things.  I gave her a lopsided smile when she suggested that I'd find my dream job next month as opposed to next week, and then live happily every after.

We tied our papers to the board with everyone else's and left the shrine grounds.

"What do you think?  We're going to have a really lucky year?" she asked me as we stepped over the threshold of the shrine.

"Mm," I thought aloud.  "Looks like we'll both have jobs, money, and each other."

She liked my answer because she took my hand and swung it in an exaggerated way.  We walked down the street like that as she hummed one of her own songs.

We found a warm shop for lunch and ate piping hot bowls of spicy noodles before continuing on to the hot spring.

"This place is great.  They have a natural outdoor hot spring," Aya said, launching into an explanation of the place we were going to.  "The service is great, and the massages I've gotten there have been better than most of the super-elite ones I've had in Tokyo."

The more she talked about it, the more I wished we were there already.  I forgot all about saving money and focused solely on what sorts of things we could get done to relax us.

The place was cheap.  The way Aya had been going on about it, I'd almost expected to be putting down the price of a small car.  It turned out that seven hundred yen was enough to grant us access, and that was what I was used to paying.  The massage cost quite a bit more, but I indulged myself.  We booked them for forty-five minutes later and went off to undress.

Maybe someone would have expected us to feel awkward stripping down and bathing together with people all around us considering what we'd done before when we took our clothes off in the same room, but there was none of that.  The bathwater was far too inviting.  We washed up and then sunk into the hot indoor baths to wait for our massages.

"Do you come here often?" I asked, feeling sleepy from the heat.

"Not often enough," she mumbled in a similarly sleepy voice, closing her eyes in satisfaction at the water's temperature.

"Who introduced you this place?" I asked, wondering if it was someone I had heard of from her before.

"Shiba-chan," she replied without missing a beat.

Shiba-chan.  The best friend.

"I'd like to meet her," I blurted out.

She was spoken so highly of that I felt the need to meet her.  I wanted to know more about Aya, and meeting her friends was a very good way to do that.  Seeing the kind of company someone kept could tell you a lot about that someone.

Aya opened her eyes and smiled at me.

"I'd like you to meet her, too."

I nodded and smiled, wondering if she would suggest a time and place to do that, or if it was one of those things that would be left up in the air until an opportunity spontaneously presented itself.

"I'm supposed to go out for lunch with her next week.  Want to come along?"

It seemed like my first option had been correct.

"If I don't have a shift at the convenience store at that time, then sure," I joked.

Working at a convenience store would be horrible.  I'd have to wear one of those monkey uniforms with those hats and be nice and polite to rude people, telling them to please come again to our lovely store.

Aya chuckled at my joke.

"I'll let her know you're coming along.  She's interested in meeting you, too."

"What's she like?" I asked curiously.

Aya crossed her arms and looked up in thought.

"She's really easygoing.  Well-spoken, friendly, helpful.  Brilliant, too.  She has a brain like you wouldn't believe."

She sounded pretty much perfect, which made me nervous about meeting her.

"Did you, uh, tell her anything about me?" I asked.

As in "me", I meant "us", and Aya knew that.  She shook her head.

"I've talked about you, but I haven't had a chance to go into much detail yet."

"But you would?" I asked in surprise.

"Sure.  She's one of my closest friends.  If I can't tell her anything, then the world is hopeless," she laughed.

I hated jealousy, but for a second, I felt jealous.  I wished that I had known Aya for as long as Shiba-chan had.  I wished I was her closest friend.  I wanted that title for me and me alone.  I didn't want to share it with some other girl.  Besides, I had more than Aya's friendship.  Or at least I thought so.

"What did you say about me?" I asked, trying to get out of what could become a miserable mood.

"None of your business," she shot back with a sly look.

I harrumphed, and then she turned serious.

"But actually, I've been meaning to ask you about Hiroshi."

I turned serious, too.  Maybe even glowered.  I was still sore and a bit guilty over the whole thing.

"Yes?" I asked, trying not to sound upset or angry.

"How much did you tell him about us?  About me?"

I sighed.  I could see why she'd be worried.  An offended ex-boyfriend intent on revenge would not be the greatest career booster.  But she was just worried because she didn't know Hiroshi like I did.  No matter how angry he was, he would never ever do such a  malicious - and I'd even call it childish - thing, whether he knew of her fame or not.

"He doesn't know which of the thousands of Ayas in this country you are.  I told him we spent the night together and that I was going to move here.  And that, uh, I really like you..."

That was enough for now.  There was no need to start going into that while in public.

"I hate to ask you this, but can you trust him to keep his mouth shut?  Because it wouldn't take long for him to figure it all out if he ever saw a picture of us together."

A picture of us together?  When would he see one?  She was just being paranoid.

"I trust him with my life," I said truthfully.  "He may have acted like a jerk that night, but he's the kind of guy that will think things through eventually and is not afraid to change his opinion.  He won't stay stuck on one viewpoint - that I'm evil or that whoever 'seduced' me away from him is evil."

Aya breathed out in mild relief.

"Sorry to ask," she said.

I shrugged.  As long as she didn't ask anything more about that night.  I felt so stupid.

"One more question."

Oh no... I thought, but I nodded for her to go on.

She scooted in a bit closer to me and leaned sideways so that her words wouldn't echo in the room.  She had a look on her face that could only be described as hopeful and enthusiastic.

"Do you usually do naughty things when you're asleep?"

I growled and pushed her under the water while she laughed and inhaled the water, resurfacing with sputtering snorts and coughs.

"Ahem!" came a voice from behind us.

We froze and looked up.  There was an elderly woman walking by, and it looked like she was one of those disgruntled types that did not appreciate a little rowdy laughter during her bath.  We both apologised and settled down, shooting each other looks until the lady had disappeared, at which point we burst into fits of giggles.

"I hope I don't turn into an old woman like her," I sniffed.

"I hope that if I do, I won't encounter any young, noisy girls like us in a bathhouse," Aya retorted cleverly.

I laughed at her reasoning, and we settled down.  Aya looked pensive, and just as I was about to ask her what she was thinking, she turned to me.

"Since chocolate is like an aphrodisiac, if you eat it right before going to bed, do you think that you'll have vivid dreams that'll make you want to-"

"Aya!" I hissed, putting my hand on top of her head and shoving her down under the water.

In the past few days she had shocked me with the extent of her sexual appetite.  It seemed limitless.  We'd never really spoken of such things, but suddenly, after spending one night with her, our conversations were laced with innuendos, and suggestive looks spilled out from her like waterfalls at every opportunity.  I wondered if she'd undergone some sort of transformation over the days, or if it was simply that she'd hidden this layer of her personality from me.  Either way, it took some getting used to, but it was definitely a fun thing.

She struggled under the water, and I let her come up for air.  She was still laughing, not at all showing that she was perturbed about being drowned twice by me until she spoke.

"You are so dead after this.  I'm going to do something so horrible to you that you'll wish you could not just work but also live in a convenience store.  When I'm through with you..." she said with an evil chuckle.

"When you're through with me?" I asked, this time inserting my own suggestive look into the mix.  "Please, bring it on."

She looked surprised that I'd finally raised my fists and started to play her game, but she quickly replaced it with a satisfied smirk.

"Fine, I will."

We nodded at each other in a businesslike way, and I snuck a glance at the clock.

"But not till after our massages.  It's almost time," I told her.

We got out of the bath and got dressed again, making our way down the hall and into the massage room.

We were able to get two cots side-by-side, and after we were asked what parts of the body in particular we needed treated, we lay ourselves down and relaxed.  Sometimes our heads were turned towards each other, and we'd lie there exchanging looks or just staring at each other with no purpose.

After the best hour-long massage I had ever received in my entire life, we stumbled wearily back to the baths and sat outside.  The winter air kept our faces cool, but the water we were submerged in kept our bodies pleasantly warm.  We sat there, chatting and occasionally splashing water on our own shoulders to warm them up.

Before we knew it, the sun began to go down.  Early sunsets in the winter were useful because they indicated that there was still a little more time before one had to go home.  We wouldn't miss our last train.

"Did you have a good day?" Aya asked me as we sat for the final moments of our bath.

I nodded.

"Thanks for bringing me here.  It's just what I needed."

I felt even more relaxed than I had the night before when Aya and I had talked.

"I feel refreshed, too.  Thanks for coming with me."

We watched the sun's light diminish a slight bit more, and with satisfied but slightly melancholic sighs, we got out of the bath and went to get changed.

We took our time getting ready (well, Aya took more of her time, which also meant she took up my time, too, since we were there together), and found our way back to the train station.  It was very cold outside, the temperature having dropped along with the sun, but we were warm from the hot spring and from being together.  We distracted each other from the unpleasant coldness.

When we got on the train, a hush settled over us.  We sat in peaceful, meditative silence before dozing off all the way to our train transfer.  We somehow found our way back to Aya's place without too much trouble.  We didn't oversleep on any of the trains, which was a miracle.

When we got into the apartment and as if by telepathic agreement, we both dragged our feet into her bedroom, changed into pyjamas, and collapsed onto her bed in two exhausted heaps of flesh and bone.  We pulled the warm covers over our bodies and fell asleep.  The combined effects of heat and a massage had beaten the life out of us in a pleasant way, and our journey into the next day passed with no grand statements or actions.

Offline black velvet

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #73 on: June 28, 2007, 02:44:48 AM »
I wasn't quite spewing out poetry yet, but if someone could make me want to, it was her.
[cheesy]This line is so sweet, you could bake a cake with it! :inlove:[/cheesy] Of course, it's not as "sweet" as Aya's chocolate line. :P

Also, I assume that the fortunes are foreshadowing? Or, perhaps they sound too good to be true anyway? xD

Offline JFC

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #74 on: June 28, 2007, 05:43:05 AM »
Quote
"You lied to me," I accused her, my first words of the day coming out in a scratchy voice.

"Eh?" she asked, yawning and rubbing her eyes innocently, turning onto her side to mirror my position.  "About what?"

She didn't seem particularly concerned about anything.

"You told me not to worry about the sun in the morning," I said, my voice gaining a little more smoothness.  "The window may face west, but your curtains suck."
Dude don't SCARE me like that at the start of a chapter!  :sweat:


Quote
It looked like it was going to work out perfectly.  The only thing left to find out was whether or not we could live together for more than one day without driving each other up the wall.
God I love this part! :lol:


Quote
"Our whole association," I forged on.  "I mean, we met by chance in a restaurant, became good friends, and then, um, slept with each other... and then I essentially moved in with you and we suddenly promised ourselves to each other.  Don't you think it's all a little..."

...

"So?  That's pretty much how it works with people and things like this," she mumbled sagely.

"But... I mean, after two months?" I pointed out uncertainly.
Miki still has some doubts about the whole situation. She wants to believe in it wholeheartedly, but that mind of hers (probably from having been in university and from having known a studious person like Hiroshi) just keeps workin' when it doesn't really have to.   :bigdeal:


Quote
"How can you be so sure about something?  Why do you have so much faith in your idea of me?"

She rolled her head up a bit so that I got a good view of her contemplative expression.  She seemed to be weighing her answer carefully in her head, deciding what the appropriate thing to say was.  It looked like she was ready to start a speech.  A monologue of epic proportions.

She opened her mouth to speak.

"I just do," was all she uttered.
There are some things in life that you just can't explain and that you just can't analyze. There are some things in life where you just have to go completely on what you feel. It's one of those things where, when you have it/know it/feel it, that's all you need. Nothing else is required.  For Aya, Miki is one of those things.

Besides, Aya can't exactly say that in another reality she and Miki were already a couple and that THAT Miki went missing and all and that THAT'S why she went to Hokkaido and blah blah blah (you get the point). :D


Quote
"Come on, let's get up," I urged her, pulling on her hand.

"Ahh... hug," she mumbled.

Was she asking me for a hug?

...

"You forgot," she mumbled.

"I did?" I asked in an amused tone.

"Mmmmm.  No," she said after some thought.
"But... every day.  Okay?"
Uh-oh...that was probably something the "other" Miki and her did. Aya's gonna let something slip that she shouldn't, if she's not careful.


Quote
"You like hot springs, right?"

I nodded.  Of course I did.  She gave it some more thought.

"Bring a change of clothes.  I'll take you to a nice one."

I wondered if "nice one" was code for "super expensive".  Again, I didn't ask.  It probably wasn't.  She knew I was on a tight budget.
Aya would probably be more than willing to foot the whole bill so long as Miki's actually there.


Quote
At some point while I'd been dozing off on Aya's shoulder, four university-age boys had gotten onto the train.  They sat opposite to us and a few seats down, and they kept looking over after I woke up.  Amused, I nudged Aya awake.

"Those boys are staring at you," I informed her in a hushed tone.

...

I put my head back on her shoulder in a territorial way and closed my eyes.

"Mine," I declared to the boys in my mind.  "Look, but don't touch."
That's the spirit! Lay your claim, Miki!  :pimp:


Quote
My eyesight locked with one of the boys' by accident, and he immediately averted his eyes.  This alerted Aya, and she looked over at me.

"They're staring at me," I said, not really meaning to say anything.

"I was just noticing," Aya replied, sounding neutral.

I wondered if she would get jealous that I was stealing her spotlight.

"You shouldn't question why, though," she continued.  "You're the cutest girl on the train."
Well, if the guys recognized Aya, then they would suspect that this "mystery-girl" must be pretty damn special to be traveling with her like this. That, and what Aya said.  :love:

Oh, and before I forget...what Aya said? Awwwwwwwww!  :inlove:


Quote
We got out in a small town in the middle of nowhere.  It reminded me of home, and I wondered why I'd come all the way to Tokyo only to return to a place like mine minus the snow.  We left the train station and I followed Aya.  She seemed to know exactly where she was going.
Hakone? It's got to be.


Quote
Several people had complained to me that I didn't speak well.  It wasn't lack of intelligence, but just the way I phrased things.  It was plain and not very expressive.  I wanted to change that for her, however.  She was just the kind of person that made me want to speak from the heart.  From the evening I'd met her, I'd been open with her.  I wasn't quite spewing out poetry yet, but if someone could make me want to, it was her.
Miki shouldn't feel the need to "speak better" for Aya's sake. As long as Miki speaks from the heart, that's all Aya needs.


Quote
"What do you think?  We're going to have a really lucky year?" she asked me as we stepped over the threshold of the shrine.

"Mm," I thought aloud.  "Looks like we'll both have jobs, money, and each other."
AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!  :wub: :wub: :wub:


Quote
I've been meaning to ask you about Hiroshi."

I turned serious, too.  Maybe even glowered.  I was still sore and a bit guilty over the whole thing.

"Yes?" I asked, trying not to sound upset or angry.

"How much did you tell him about us?  About me?"
Well, even though Aya's already forgiven Miki for what happened with Hiroshi after she left, it's still only natural that she'd be curious as to what/how much Miki told him, as well as how he replied/reacted to it all.


Quote
"I hate to ask you this, but can you trust him to keep his mouth shut?  Because it wouldn't take long for him to figure it all out if he ever saw a picture of us together."

A picture of us together?  When would he see one?  She was just being paranoid.
Hah, this Miki still doesn't know/realize how ruthless the world of celebrity is.

Oh shit, dude you're not gonna... :shocked:


Quote
"I trust him with my life," I said truthfully.  "He may have acted like a jerk that night, but he's the kind of guy that will think things through eventually and is not afraid to change his opinion.  He won't stay stuck on one viewpoint - that I'm evil or that whoever 'seduced' me away from him is evil."
And if he doesn't turn out to be that trustworthy, Miki could always just go back and kill him.  O0


Quote
"Do you usually do naughty things when you're asleep?"

I growled and pushed her under the water while she laughed and inhaled the water, resurfacing with sputtering snorts and coughs.

...

Aya looked pensive, and just as I was about to ask her what she was thinking, she turned to me.

"Since chocolate is like an aphrodisiac, if you eat it right before going to bed, do you think that you'll have vivid dreams that'll make you want to-"

"Aya!" I hissed, putting my hand on top of her head and shoving her down under the water.
Oooooooooooooooooooooh naughty, naughty Aya having naughty thoughts in the hot spring!  :whistle: :kekeke:


Quote
"You are so dead after this.  I'm going to do something so horrible to you that you'll wish you could not just work but also live in a convenience store.  When I'm through with you..." she said with an evil chuckle.

"When you're through with me?" I asked, this time inserting my own suggestive look into the mix.  "Please, bring it on."
*whispering* Ohshioki kibonnu!

*does OAD*



Quote
We took our time getting ready (well, Aya took more of her time, which also meant she took up my time, too, since we were there together), and found our way back to the train station.
Aya can't be rushed, after all.  :hee:


Quote
We distracted each other from the unpleasant coldness.
So THAT'S what they're calling it nowadays. No one else was around, right? :twisted:

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

Offline OTN1

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #75 on: June 28, 2007, 10:31:15 AM »
Also, I assume that the fortunes are foreshadowing? Or, perhaps they sound too good to be true anyway? xD
Hmm... maybe.  Hahaha!

Quote
Uh-oh...that was probably something the "other" Miki and her did. Aya's gonna let something slip that she shouldn't, if she's not careful.
Yes!  It was mentioned right here in the first paragraph. (From Love x 2 - 1)  More of my connecting fun.
I feel that this story really needs an Aya POV sometimes.  Hahaha.

Quote
Hakone? It's got to be.
Hahaha, oops.  I accidentally neglected to mention that they headed north, not south.  It's just what I had in mind when writing.  (I briefly considered sending them to Hakone, but that would be better left for a short vacation of a few days, not one afternoon.)

Quote
Hah, this Miki still doesn't know/realize how ruthless the world of celebrity is.

Oh shit, dude you're not gonna... :shocked:
There you go again assuming the worst.  Hahaha!  My lips are sealed.

Offline ChiruChaCha

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #76 on: June 28, 2007, 11:32:46 AM »


"You shouldn't question why, though," she continued.  "You're the cutest girl on the train."



This line reminded me of Miki's typhoon story about the taxi driver :lol: but it was cute nonetheless.

Anyways, yeah, I bet there's some disgrace reserved for these two in the few next chapters, wether it's a panda crushing them or an anvil falling on their heads.

The guys staring at Miki in the train got me curious, was it just because she's cute? did Aya paint a mustache on her face while sleeping or what?

Offline nkca_

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #77 on: July 01, 2007, 02:34:28 PM »
The guys staring at Miki in the train got me curious, was it just because she's cute? did Aya paint a mustache on her face while sleeping or what?

yeah i also found it weird, i mean is Miki it's obvious you would look but considering the situation and that Aya is the famous one....anyway i loved the last chapter, it kind of made me happy, ah  almost forgot....please, bring it on

Offline Kei-Br

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #78 on: July 01, 2007, 10:19:37 PM »
i would feel more complete if you write Aya's POV of this chapter xD :roll:

Offline Tinnygy

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Re: Restart (Love x ∞ Part II)
« Reply #79 on: July 02, 2007, 08:13:52 AM »
@OTN1: your mind is amazing  :lol: . I just thought about why don't you write a story about Aya and Miki without base on their real career? I love your fics so much and I want to see many more of your creative works!
GAM= Great Aya and Miki

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