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Author Topic: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 22 - (10/28)]  (Read 44322 times)

Offline SarangAi

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 7 - (4/23)]
« Reply #160 on: May 22, 2012, 07:28:39 AM »
@KirikomoriHime: oh I'll give you one-sided TanaGaki!  :lol:

@xyukie56: I hope I got the same reaction for ch. 8...  :nervous

@rndmnwierd: hey YOU, my friend, are my tanagaki inspiration! all the angst that will follow in this story is UR fault! XD XD XD

@arisa03: lolol for now though... just continue watchign over reina?  :D

@Eleos: lol really??? i nvr rly noticed too much... meh but i live under a rock  :nervous  ugh i do NOT blame you about math...  :thumbdown:

@Tian_Yuan: sfaksjf;w did you get an email this time???  :shocked

@risa_ai: lol patience~ :P

@kimino-me: aaahhhhh drama :D

@nora_nora: hehehe...  :twisted:

@Haruka: haha sorry for being away!  reasons are mentioned below...  :sweatdrop:

@Kikk4r: actually, I already revealed that Reina is Paris :nervous don't forget, this isn't just Cinderella.  Juliet's story is also weaved in!

okokok yes just go ahead and kill me for all the wait i put you guys through...  :bleed eyes:
If you want an excuse, i was busy the first week, i was away from home and in a different state...
and then i got sick...
and then i got bedridden for like, another week...
and then inspiration left me...
and then it came back...
and now i'm back  XD

So yeah, most of it has to do with the fact that i was sick in bed with multiple medications which put me to sleep basically 24/7.. :bleed eyes:
(I must seem like one of those sickly manga characters to you guys, i get sick too often :nervous)
But i'm back now! :lol:

And i hope you enjoy this next chapter... i did my best! :D


Chapter 8 – “The love reunited yet their troubles were far from over”

   Ai pressed her mop into the large container of muddy water, making sure it soaked up as much water as it could, and slapped it back down on the tiled floor and began to push it back and forth.  Everything was silent, other than the sound of the mop sloshing on the floor and some incoherent tune that Ai was humming while she worked.  The girl had been cleaning like this for the past hour or so, making sure every corner of the Bijou Company lobby was clean whilst constantly changing the song she was mumbling incorrect lyrics to. 

   After working in Tresor during what was another long day, Ai had made her way straight to her second part-time job where she was to mop down the lobby as the janitor.  She could not say the work was easy, considering the fact that the lobby alone was probably bigger than her own home, but the thought of earning more money in exchange for some extra labor perked Ai up right away. 

   Deciding to take a quick breather, the short woman straightened her back and let out a long sigh of exhaustion.  She pressed her cap onto her head more, so that it would not fall off while she worked.  The hat was the same dark blue as the rest of her uniform, which Ai was required to wear during her shift.  She had the leisure to wear her own old jeans that she would not mind getting dirty, but she had to wear a dark blue button-down shirt with a name tag that was clipped over her left chest.  Along with the matching hat on which the Bijou Company logo was printed on and a pair of working gloves, Ai looked just like any other old janitor.  Except for her age-defying youth and beauty of course, if one looked close enough to notice.

   Feeling her eyelids getting heavier, Ai quickly pinched her own arm and jumped from the pain, attempting to keep herself awake.  She found herself questioning again, why the hell was she still working in the building at this time when nobody, not even her own boss, was running a shift?  Well, her boss, meaning the head janitor, a certain Tajima-san who was in his 40s.  He was the closest thing Ai knew as her boss.  Her real boss, the young female president of Bijou Company, was supposedly someone too busy and too high up to spare some time to come meet a new employee.  Ai didn’t have too many complaints about that, actually.  She didn’t expect some big shot businesswoman to personally come to visit a lowly janitor, even if she was technically the one who did the hiring.   

   As she pondered over her own question regarding her extensive work schedule, Ai ended up coming back to the same answer that she had told herself repeatedly throughout the evening: she had chosen this.  Although she was offered a day shift, which would’ve been much easier on her stamina, Ai insisted on taking the night shift so she could continue working at Tresor.  She needed the money, and therefore took on the tougher job.  So she was really in no position to complain.

   As she leaned her chin against the mop handle, Ai’s eyes casted down to the small pocket on her chest.  She placed her hand over it, feeling the slight bump of her earring inside.  She smiled to herself, reminiscing back once more to the night she met a certain lady at a club, and immediately felt some unexplainable energy surge through her muscles.

   Think happy thoughts, Ai, the janitor told herself, grinning.  You can get through the night…

   Clicking her tongue before starting another random tune, Ai sloshed her mop around the bucket of water again and continued cleaning.  But amidst her humming and the wet sound of the mop on the floor, Ai detected another sound being mixed in.  Along with the clacking of heels, the echoing voice of a young woman resounded in the lobby.   Ai looked up towards the direction of the stairs to see a brown-haired woman emerge from the doors.  She was talking on the phone in the quietest voice she could manage.  Little did she realize that the humongous lobby had the capacity to quadruple the volume of everything from the drop of a pin to the roar of a tiger.  So in reality, Ai was able to pick up pretty much everything the woman was murmuring.

   “Don’t worry, I’m on my way home now,” the woman spoke into the phone.  “No, everybody else is gone… I had to stay later because they forgot to assign me a locker… Well, it’s a big company.  Things take time—yes, I’ll pick up milk on the way…”

   Huh.  Must be new like me, Ai thought to herself, noting the part about being assigned a locker. 

   Shrugging, the janitor went back to mopping down the tiled floor.  The woman was coming towards her direction now, still preoccupied with whatever conversation she was having on her phone.

   “Mou, stop apologizing already, Aika!” the woman laughed.  “Really, I appreciate you trying.  It’s okay if you didn’t find—no, don’t feel guilty!  It’s okay, really.  We’ll talk when I get home, okay?  … Alright, then.  I’ll see you soon.”

   By the time she hung up, the woman was passing right by Ai, who had her entire body leaned forward while mopping.  Suddenly, the woman’s heels made a loud screeching noise against the wet floor and Ai caught sight of a body, falling right beside her.  Dropping the mop, she dashed forward to the woman and wrapped her arms around her waist, trying to hold her up.  The woman quickly regained balance with Ai’s help and prevented the worst fall, now instead cradled safely in the janitor’s embrace.  Silence ensued for a while as the two women recovered from the avoided accident.

   “Hey, are you okay?” Ai asked.  “That was a close one.”

   “Yes, I’m fine,” the woman exhaled, fright obvious on her face.  “Thank you so much.  I should’ve been more careful…”

   As the woman turned her eyes towards the janitor, Ai let out a soft gasp.  Short brown hair, small face, deep eyes…  There was much less makeup than she remembered but Ai could never mistake that face anywhere. 

Niigaki Risa.

**  **  ** 

   Risa felt her two feet stably touching the ground again, and the arms that had held her disappeared.  The unknown figure quickly turned away to the side, making it impossible for the bean to make eye contact.  She tried to get one more look at her savior but she couldn’t make out the janitor’s features clearly.  The dull blue cap on her head was pushed down so far that it hid half of her face.  In fact, if it wasn’t for her high-pitched voice, Risa would’ve mistaken the person to be a man because of the short hair and the loose get-up. 

   “You’re not hurt anywhere?” the woman asked, clearing her throat.

   “I’m fine, thanks to you,” Risa answered, still tilting her head this way and that to get a better angle towards the janitor.  “It would’ve been bad if I had fallen… How can I repay you?”

   “Don’t worry about it,” the janitor replied snappily, taking Risa aback a little.  “I, uh… I’m still on my shift so if you’ll excuse me…”

   The woman quickly picked up her mop and started to roll the container of dirty water away, as though she was in a rush.  Risa raised an eyebrow before something caught her eyes on the floor.  She leaned down to take a closer look and picked up the item.  It was a small earring with a tiny chain, connected to a crystal charm.  The light bounced off of its many facets in a way that Risa had seen before…

   “Wait!”  The janitor froze in her spot a couple feet away from the bean, stopped by the suddenly frantic voice calling out to her.  “Please… please stop!”

    Knowing that she had caught her attention, Risa quickly stood back up and marched towards her savior.  As she walked, she reached into her pocket and took out a small piece of jewelry that she had kept safe throughout the entire day.  She walked around the janitor to meet her face to face and held up the two earrings in front of her.  Risa gasped softly, looking back and forth from the matching pieces of jewelry to the woman in front of her.

   “You… you dropped this…” she mumbled.

   The janitor didn’t say anything.  After a long silence, however, she smiled and slowly removed her cap.  Risa’s face brightened at the revelation, happy to see the familiar face she had longed so much for in front of her.

   “That’s the second time I dropped my earring,” the janitor chuckled.  “I really do need to be more careful…”

   “It is you!” Risa exclaimed.  “It’s you, it’s really you!”

   “It’s me,” Ai laughed, a hint of sadness in her voice.  “I suppose… it’s too late to run now?”

   “…Why would you want to run?” Risa asked slowly, unsure of where this was going.  “Did you… not want to see me again?”  Please… don’t say yes…

   “Of course that’s not why!” the woman denied firmly.  “I really wanted to see you again, I really did… but…”

   “But… what?”

   The older woman sighed, biting down on her lips.  “I just… didn’t want you to see me like this…”

   Risa raised an eyebrow in confusion.  “See you… like what?”

   “You know… like me, the janitor,” the woman mumbled.  “Look, I’m normally not the flashy person you met at the club.  In reality, I’m just another human who is just trying to get by.  I’m nothing impressive.”

   “And I am?” Risa scoffed, stretching out her arms to her side.  “I mean, look at me!”

   “Yes, and you’re even more beautiful than I remember…” the older woman sighed, allowing the words to roll of her tongue subconsciously.  When the bean’s eyes widened at the unintentional confession, the janitor quickly shut her mouth in realization and pressed her cap back on in an attempt to conceal her red face. 

   After a moment of silence, Risa broke into a small laughter which only made the older woman lower her head down further in embarrassment.  But the bean found this reaction rather endearing and could not help but continue to smile.

   “… I don’t have a job here,” the younger woman confessed, encouraging the janitor to lift her head a little.  “Well, at least not a full-time job.  I’m only an intern.  I just started today.  Before this, I worked at a small nail salon in Harajuku.  Minimum wage.  Before that, I was a college student with a pipe dream of making it big as a professional fashion consultant.  It didn’t happen.”  At this point, Risa had managed to get the older woman to completely look up and make eye contact with her.  Swiftly yet cautiously, the bean reached over and removed her companion’s hat in order to see her complete face again.  “So you see… I’m nothing impressive in reality either.  Just trying to get by.  Like you.”

   The janitor slowly smiled at the comparison and took back the hat that Risa was holding out to her.  She didn’t put it back on, however, but instead attached it to her belt where it hung loosely.  She would no longer hide herself.  “I’m a night janitor here.  I started today, too.  During the day, I work downtown at a small clothing boutique called Tresor.  My friend owns the place.  I’m just the salesclerk but I have a personal interest in fashion, too.  Before now, I used to sketch clothing designs on the margins of my textbooks, ever since middle school.  I would imagine what it would be like, creating my own clothing line.  It didn’t happen.  But I’m still dreaming.”

   “You forgot something!” Risa pointed out, snapping her fingers.

   “What’s that?”

   “Your name!” the bean laughed.  “You know mine.  I never got yours.”

   The janitor smiled.  “It’s Ai.  Takahashi Ai.”

   “Takahashi Ai-san…” Risa murmured.  “Well, I’ll just say mine again, too: Niigaki Risa, at your service.”  She held out her hand as a greeting and the older woman willingly took it.

   “You don’t have to be so formal,” Ai grinned.  “Just my given name is fine.”

   “Then… Ai-san?” the bean suggested.  “You can call me Gaki-san.  That’s what everyone calls me.”

   “Gaki-san?” Ai giggled.  “That’s a cute nickname.”

   “It’s just something that stuck since grade school,” Risa rolled her eyes.  “Oh, and… I guess I should give these back to you.”

   She held out the two crystal earrings that she had been holding in her hands.  Ai received them and dropped it into her shirt pocket.  She turned back to the younger woman in front of her and, as if she had made a decision, opened her mouth.

   “You know,” she started, “if you’re ever in the neighborhood… you should come visit me in Tresor.”

   “Visit… you?” Risa repeated.

   “I mean, visit the store,” Ai quickly rephrased, afraid that she may have said the wrong thing.  “You know, come take a look.  There’s a lot of cute stuff.  We just got a new collection for the season and... and…”  She paused for a moment and swallowed hard.  “Well, my friend and I usually have coffee in the morning, right before we open.  You can drop by and… maybe we can have breakfast together… or something?”

   “You… and me…”


   “With your friend…?”

   “Yeah—wait, no,” Ai stuttered, “I mean, yes—well, whichever you’d like, you know, I just thought—”

   “It’s okay, calm down,” Risa laughed.  “I’m only teasing.”

   Ai’s face immediately flustered but she couldn’t help but smile back at the girl in front of her.  Her laughter was absolutely irresistible.  “I just… thought that I’d like to see you again.  And maybe… Gaki-san wouldn’t mind seeing me again either…?”

   “… I’d really like that.”  The bean nodded in approval, flashing the same old grin that made Ai’s heartbeat double in speed. 

   “So…” the older woman mumbled in joy, “tomorrow morning… Coffee?”

   “Coffee sounds good.”

   “Coffee it is, then.”

   “Right.  Coffee.”

   The two women held each other’s gaze for a while before they broke into smiles together.  They had finally found each other after the aggravating game of hide-and-seek, and they decided that they would stay together, at least for now.  Hopefully, this development would lead into further happiness in the future.  There was nothing else to stop them now…

**  **  ** 

   Tanaka Reina tapped her foot in a steady rhythm as she watched each floor flicker by on the elevator.  It was irritating to have to go all the way down to the ground floor from her home at the very top floor, but she had no choice.  After all, she was the one who told Junjun to go home since the day’s work was over.  The secretary was more than willing to stay and share the leftover paper work with her boss but Reina would have none of it.  She knew the panda deserved an early dismissal of sort after a long day of giving a company building tour to the newbie interns.  But because Junjun was gone for the night, Reina was now on her own when it came to the petty chores that she usually did not personally attend to.  Tonight, one of these chores included personally picking up a document that the kitten had left at the front desk that morning, requiring her to actually get up and walk.  Alas, Reina had drudgingly managed to haul herself into the elevator as she silently acknowledged the fact that her secretary was a valuable asset to both her business and herself, personally.

   The elevator finally reached the ground floor and a soft ding alerted the president.  She stepped through the sliding doors and continued walking in a brisk and confident manner towards the front desk.  But as she neared the lobby area, she saw two figures, standing together in the otherwise empty space, talking together.  Reina raised an eyebrow: what employee of hers from which department would stay this late in the building?  Although she herself was a workaholic, the kitten had a personal policy that all workers should be able to leave their office by 8 o’clock so they can have a good balance between business life and social life.  And it was most definitely well over 8 o’clock.

   By squinting her eyes, Reina recognized the janitor’s uniform that one of the women was wearing.  She decided that the woman must be the new night janitor that was hired recently.  She vaguely remembered Junjun mentioning it at one point, just so she could be aware of it.  Reina had meant to visit the woman personally at some point, to welcome her to the Bijou company building and to thank her in advance for the hard work she was going to do.  After all, her philosophy was that every employee, no matter what their job, is precious to her and the company.  Well, there wasn’t a better coincidence.  She might as well go speak to her now.

   Then, the kitten stopped short in her steps as she identified the other brunette that was standing beside the janitor.  The same hair, the same outfit, even the same voice that echoed in the spacious lobby.  As Reina faltered for a moment, she heard Niigaki Risa’s laughter that was triggered by whatever the other woman had said.  Why was she laughing like that?  She had never laughed like that in her presence.  This was the first time seeing her smile so happily like that…

   Before she could completely think everything through in her head, like she usually did, Reina made a tight fist and marched forward towards the two women.  Something about those two being together bothered the kitten, as though she had been robbed of something.  And Tanaka Reina was not someone who would stand by idly and let something of hers be taken away.


   Both women turned towards the president at the voice.  Risa made a surprised expression before she quickly gathered herself and stood up straight to appear proper.  The janitor, on the other hand, showed something more of an entertained look, as though she had recognized someone from a newspaper or a magazine.

   “Tanaka Shachou!”  Risa made a small bow as the kitten simply nodded in reply.  “What are you doing here so late?”

   “That’s what I should be asking you,” Reina remarked, smiling a little.  “My home is at the top floor of this building.  Yours obviously isn’t.  So what, may I ask, are you still doing in my house at this hour, Niigaki?”

   “S-sumimasen!” Risa quickly apologized, casting her gaze downward.  “That was rude of me to ask…”

   “No, it’s fine.  I’m only teasing,” Reina chuckled, allowing the bean to relax a little.  She turned to the other woman beside her and held out her hand.  “You must be the new night janitor I’ve been told about.  I’ve been meaning to visit you but my schedule has just been so packed lately, I wasn’t able to get a chance.  If you’ll just remind me what your name is…?”

   “Takahashi desu,” the janitor answered, shaking the president’s hand.  “Takahashi Ai.”

   “That’s right, Takahashi,” Reina nodded.  “Well, you must know my name already.  I know that night shift is tough but I hope that you’ll give it your all, nevertheless.  Yoroshiku.”

   “Yoroshiku onegaishimasu,” Ai replied, bowing a little. 

   “Now then,” Reina sighed, turning towards the intern again, “I assume you’ll be heading home soon?  All other employees have returned to their families for the night.”

   “Ah, um, yes,” Risa mumbled.  “I was just about to leave, actually.”

   “It’s dangerous for you to go back alone at this hour though,” the young president pointed out.  She took out her car keys from her blouse pocket and held it up.  “I’ll drive you home.”

   “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” Risa refused vehemently shaking her head and hands.  “I… I couldn’t impose on Shachou like that.  I’ll take a bus back.  It’s really okay.”

   “It’s no big deal,” Reina smiled.  “I was going to go for a drive to get some air anyway.”  The kitten felt something inside her wince at the white lie she made up, but she took special care in not showing it on the surface.  “It’s not safe for a young woman to be out alone at night.”

   “No, Shachou, really, I could never,” the bean continued, shaking her head.  “Thank you for your concern but I’ll be fine.”

   “Ano… Maybe it’s better if Gaki-san does go with Tanaka Shachou…” Ai softly suggested to the younger woman.  “It is getting late after all…”

   “But…”  Risa hesitated a little as she eyed her boss while whispering back to the janitor, “How are you going to get home?”

   “I have to stay here a bit longer,” Ai shrugged.  “I’ll take a cab back later.  You should go now though, just to be safe.”

   “… Well… okay.”  Risa turned towards the president again.  “Then please allow me to impose on you, Shachou.”

   “It’s no bother at all,” Reina said coolly, the tips of her lips curving up into a tight smile.  If there was anything that bothered her at the moment, it was just that she was unable to convince the bean to be driven by her while that janitor woman was able to.  Obviously, she lacked influence on Risa compared to Ai.  “Shall we go, then?”

   “Hai!” Risa nodded.  She quickly faced her companion and spoke softly, “I guess… I’ll see you around?”

   “Yes, you’ll see me,” Ai grinned.

   The two exchanged a knowing look and a smile together as Reina watched over them.  The kitten’s expression hardened for a split second before she relaxed into her natural business self again.

   “Please continue to work hard then, Takahashi,” she said kindly.  “I’m counting on you.”

   “Hai.  Please leave it to me, Tanaka Shachou,” the older woman replied.

   With that, Reina turned around and started to briskly walk towards the exit.  She heard the quick footsteps of her intern, trying to catch up to her, but she did not slow down.  If she stopped now, she knew she would not be able to hide the displeasure that was clearly written all over her face.  It wasn’t everyday Tanaka Reina lost her composure so easily but for some reason, every action that Risa took could do so.  Reina herself had so little influence over the bean yet the latter had unknowingly claimed so much control over the president.  Why was this?

   Whatever the reason was, things definitely had to change.  For Reina’s sake.  But was that even possible?

   Yes, things will change.


MEHEHE :twisted:

Again, sorry for the wait! :nervous

 :byebye: :sleep:

avii&sig by the wonderful kawaii beam~!

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 8 - (5/22)]
« Reply #161 on: May 22, 2012, 08:39:04 AM »
Eh?! You mean that Tanagaki kataomoi angst will be/is my doing? :O I can't imagine why!

But, you evil, my two favorite pairings lining up for direct conflict! I think, pairing wise, the outcome might be obvious... But I still don't know if you'll manage to turn Reina into a villain or not. More often than not, those with power who are scorned will use that power to get even.

But still! Takagaki? Tanagaki? Takagaki?! Tanagaki?! :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

At least Ai and Risa have found each other, even though all three have found each other... Gah! *begins to pray for AiAi's health* Don't let sickness get in the way of more updates! (also, sickness bad, duh)

Offline risa_ai

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 8 - (5/22)]
« Reply #162 on: May 22, 2012, 11:47:55 AM »
 :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: THE  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: TAKAGAKI FANFIC~!!!!  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: ME WANTS IT!!!!!  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:  :bleed eyes: :bleed eyes: :bleed eyes: :bleed eyes: :bleed eyes:
P.s. That excuse you gave was good. xD
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 12:57:12 PM by risa_ai »

Offline Shiawase_Honoo

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 8 - (5/22)]
« Reply #163 on: May 22, 2012, 11:54:52 AM »
Okay...I'm not TakaGaki neither TanaGaki fan... :nervous
If I'm right, it might be whatever will happen after this.
Still, just a little bit appearence of Aika always makes me happy :wub:

Offline Tian_Yuan

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 8 - (5/22)]
« Reply #164 on: May 22, 2012, 01:59:38 PM »
Wow! I am glad you are okay. Thanks for not forgetting us. I got the email today! ㅋㅋ
This chapter was good~ always waiting for more! :twothumbs

Offline arisa03

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 8 - (5/22)]
« Reply #165 on: May 22, 2012, 11:18:50 PM »
I haven't read yet cause I need to go to work but basing on the comments, it's going to Be a buuuuumpy road, Gaki-san. LOL
Like I’m the most calm... Like, it must definitely be because, Like when we enter, I’ll be hurrying. But Because Junjun is older, I can calm down? I don’t really know, Like I just absolutely want her there beside me. Whenever we go abroad, if Junjun is absolutely not beside me, I absolutely won’t go. Something like that. -- Tanaka Reina about Junjun.

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 8 - (5/22)]
« Reply #166 on: June 04, 2012, 09:33:03 AM »

 hello ! SarangAi!my most favorite author ever!!! im new here!!!i really love-love your stories!!!! :wub: :thumbup hope youre not sick today!!goodluck and more updates to come!!! :twothumbs!

Offline SarangAi

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 8 - (5/22)]
« Reply #167 on: June 20, 2012, 06:34:56 AM »
@rndmnwierd: haha you just happen to be the first person I saw, shipping that couple  :thumbsup  MWAHAHA angst :twisted:

@risa_ai: ahaha :twisted:

@Shiawase_Honoo: aaah i'm curious now, what IS your favorite pairing then? lol XD  And Aika will appear soon, i promise! :nervous

@Tian_Yuan: lol how could i ever forget any of you?  :D

@arisa03: LOL why indeed, it will be :twisted:

@maikeatoot: NEW PERSON!  :otomerika: :yossi: :cow: woot~ awww that's so sweet of you to say! :wub: and i saw your intro in the intro thread too, i really appreciate it! hehe  :twothumbs

YES i know, i've been awol again... ugh and i wasn't sick.... if you only knew the drama my life is right now   :doh:
I won't expand too much but if anybody cares... I've been on two trips this past month, out of state, for many days each, which basically cut me off from civilization again (yes, i take a lot of trips) :panic:  i got a boyfriend and broke up with him within the course of a week (shit happened), and now i feel like joining a convnet and becoming a nun  :banghead:

but ANYWAYS i poured all that stress out into writing so... YEAH here it is XD

It's kinda short because there was supposed to be another section to this chapter, but i chopped it in half because this first part turned out a bit too long to put it together with the next part :P

oh, and please excuse any mistakes... i was too tired/lazy to edit...  :sweatdrop:


Chapter 9 – “Why did Juliet have to be more lovely, more temperate?”

   Risa quickly ran after her boss, being careful not to trip on the asphalt ground of the parking lot.  The president was already nearing a black sports car and walking around to sit at the driver’s seat.  As the bean caught up, she froze in front of the passenger’s seat door and hesitated. 

   This was just too beyond weird.  Why would her boss of less than one day offer to drive her home at this hour?  There was no reason for some big shot businesswoman to personally go out of her way to make sure her newest intern returned safely.  And considering how long they’ve known each other—which was by no means extensive—it was just simply disrespectful and rude on Risa’s part to request a ride like this.

   “Oi.”  The bean snapped out of her trance and looked at her boss who was already sitting in her car, looking at her through the open passenger window.  “I’d appreciate it if you get in the car sometime today.”

   “I… I don’t think I can do this after all, Tanaka Shachou,” Risa admitted.  “It’s very rude of me to burden you with such a trivial thing.  I’ll just take the bus home so please don’t worry about me.”

   Instead of following her employee’s request, Reina sighed heavily and proceeded to get out of the car.  She walked around and opened the passenger’s door and motioned for Risa to get in. 

   “You’re a troublesome one, aren’t you?” the president commented.  “Making your boss personally open the car door for you… You dare to order me around… on your first day of work, no less?  You got guts.”

   Risa’s cheeks flushed red with embarrassment and shame.  “I’m sorry!  Please excuse my actions, Shachou, I—”

   “Instead of hearing you stutter words I can barely comprehend,” Reina interrupted, a small smile hidden across her lips, “I’d rather you just get in the car without arguing with me further.”

   “… B-but I—”

   “Don’t try my patience, Niigaki,” Reina said firmly.  She motioned for the bean to get in the passenger’s seat again.  This time, Risa obediently got in the car, slowly but without complaint. 

   Triumphantly smiling for a brief moment, the president quickly smoothed her face again and shut the passenger’s door.  She walked around the car and got into the driver’s seat.  She turned on the ignition but before she could put on her own seat belt, she reached over and pulled on her employee’s seat belt first, allowing Risa to stiffen in her seat in shock and nervousness.  After securing the straps, Reina worked on her own seat belt.  She then reached over again and opened the compartment in front of the bean and took out a navigator.  She tossed the device onto her intern’s lap and closed the compartment.  She then took a hold of the steering wheel and popped the gear into driving. 

   “Reset the destination and put in your address,” Reina ordered.  Risa immediately obeyed.

   Soon enough, the car moved out of the company parking lot and pulled into the streets.  Risa nervously fiddled with the navigation system as she continuously gulped.  The air was tense and her throat was starting to feel dry.  She couldn’t help but wonder if her boss was actually angry at her for disobeying her before.  Well if that was true, Risa definitely had to fix it.  It had not been easy getting the internship at Bijou Company and she wasn’t about to lose it on her first day.  Solidifying her resolution, Risa quickly secured the navigator onto the tiny holder attached to the windshield and turned towards her employer.

   “Ano… Shachou?”


   “Eto… I’d like to say again that I’m very sorry for my rudeness…”  Risa pinched the tip of her own fingers in uneasiness.  “As an employee, I shouldn’t have disobeyed you like that… I’m sincerely sorry…”

   “You know, it amazes how much a person can apologize in a single day,” Reina said as she turned the handle to round a corner.  “It’s quite annoying, actually.”

   The bean stiffened again as her eyes widened in fear.  “I’m sorry!  I-I mean—excuse me, I just apologized again, I’m sor—I mean, I—”

   Just then, Reina burst into laughter that took Risa off-guard.  This laugh was different from the many serene chuckles and smiles she gave her employees on a daily basis.  This joy was more genuine, more honest, and somehow brighter.  Risa got even more flustered at this, yet she could not help but steal glances at her boss in astonishment at her ability to laugh out loud in such a way. 

   “You make it too easy to tease,” Reina sighed, suppressing her giggles.  “You really are something different.”

   “What do you mean by that…?” Risa asked carefully, still somewhat anxious yet a bit more relaxed after realizing that her boss wasn’t mad at her in the slightest.

   “… Let’s just say I haven’t laughed like that in a long time.” 

   Reina turned to smile at the bean, who had a curious look on her face, before shifting her eyes back to the road again.  Risa blinked a couple of times as she looked down at her hands.  Something about the way her employer had made her previous statement showed that she didn’t mean she wasn’t getting enough comedy in her life.  There was something more to it, something deeper, and Risa wanted to know. 

   “I know this isn’t my place, Shachou,” the older woman said in a low voice, “but if I may ask… why?”

   “Well, I like to keep a professional life,” the kitten answered indifferently.  “Getting too publicly emotional about whatever my feelings are at the moment… that’s hardly professional.”

   “And because of that, you block out all emotions?”

   The car screeched to a halt at a yellow light and a stream of curses from the man who was forced to stop behind the two women was heard.  The color washed out of Reina’s face as her fingers tightened around the steering wheel.  Risa held her ground and kept her eyes on her boss.  Some logical part of her brain screamed at her to turn away immediately and apologize but her stubbornness did not let her.  She had only met Tanaka Reina the morning of that very same day, yet something about her told Risa that she should not leave this woman alone.  Something was eating her up and Risa needed to know what. 

   “Well aren’t you the bold one,” the president remarked quietly, a bitter smile lingering on her lips.  “You were right when you said this isn’t your place.  It’s really not.”

   “Please pardon my manners,” Risa replied, bowing her head a little.  “But… I feel as though you’re suppressing something, Shachou.”

   “And how would you know that?” Reina asked, slightly annoyed.  “You just met me for the first time today.”

   “… I’ve been told I’m quite sharp,” the bean responded quietly.  “I just… It seems like you have certain things that you need to get off your chest.  And I know that I’m just a mere intern of yours but… talking to me has got to be better than not talking at all.  So if you’re open to it, Shachou, then I’m all ears.”

   Risa watched her employer’s face as she narrowed her eyes a little, either in displeasure or confusion.  Although the idea of it still frightened her, all Risa could do was hold her eye contact and remain determined.  Hopefully, her willpower would be visible to the younger woman.

   Just then, a loud honk from behind them startled the two women and made them jump in their seats.  As the series of insults poured out again from the dirty-mouthed driver, Reina stepped on the pedal and sped forward down the road.  A moment of silence followed as Risa began to fidget with her seat belt again while consistently glancing at the kitten.  Just as she thought that she had failed to get her point across, the president opened her mouth.

   “I assume you know how I ended up becoming the president of Bijou Cosmetics?” she asked.

   “You inherited the company from your mother,” Risa answered.

   “Yes, my mother,” Tanaka Shachou repeated quietly.  “Ikeda Reiko Shachou, a single mother with a kid who clawed her way up to the ranks of the fashion world through her own means.  A legend, really.  Too bad all those years of struggling finally caught up to her in the form of a disease.”

   “Disease?”  Risa blinked in confusion.  “I thought Ikeda Shachou passed away because of a car accident?”

   “Oh please.”  Reina rolled her eyes.  “No accident could’ve killed that woman, even if Kami tried himself.” 

   Before the idea could completely sink into the bean, the president continued, “The story was fabricated.  Ikeda Shachou needed to hide her illness so that other companies would not take advantage of her weakness and take over Bijou.  After all, her only legit heir was a ditsy 18-year-old girl who knew nothing about the real world.  And she was hardly a threat to the other big superpowers out there.”

   Risa tilted her head to the side a little, trying to make sense of everything.  “Then how…?”

   “Nothing had been settled, right up until the day my mother was on her death bed,” Reina replied as she turned another corner.  “The whole time my mother had been sick, I had never failed to express my distaste at inheriting the family business.  On the other hand, Ikeda Shachou did not hide her desire to have her only daughter take over the company.  You see, just like any other teen my age, I had my own dreams that I wished to pursue.  And my mother’s plans were constantly getting in the way.  Don’t misunderstand, I loved my mother.  But as child, I thought I loved my own goals more.”

   “What made you change your mind?”

   “… She apologized.”

   Risa looked at her boss once again to see that her face had tightened.  Her lips were pursed firmly together and her grip on the steering wheel had gotten strong enough to reveal her bony knuckles.  This was it.  This was what had been eating Tanaka Reina up inside, the secret that she had been keeping. 

   “You know, I still wonder today… why she didn’t continue to insist I follow her plans like she had done throughout my entire life,” Reina said bitterly, letting out a dry laughter.  “She had always told me that I had to inherit Bijou, that I no choice in the matter, that my future was already set, and it was so easy for me to loathe that and continue to enforce my own desire.  Yet, there she was… on the brink of death by cancer and, and… apologizing.  ‘I’m so sorry, Reina’.  For what, for not making the effort to know me?  For not listening to me, even once?  Well, it was too late at that point.  But she was still… ‘I’m so sorry’… How pathetic…”

   And pathetic was exactly how Reina felt as she bit down on her lip to manage her overflowing emotion.  This was most definitely not professional and the way she was losing control in front of some lowly intern like this was absolutely unacceptable.  It went against everything she believed in, her morals, her values.  She had never talked about her mother’s last words to anyone else before, not even to Junjun.  The idea of admitting how she was essentially guilt-tripped into accepting the position of Bijou Company’s president was not exactly the most appealing thought.  So why was it so easy for her to confess everything right now, in front of this person?

   “I’m listening.”

   Reina slowly turned her head to the woman sitting next to her.  She was staring straight back at her, yet her gaze was not judging.  Her gentle expression showed her honesty, her openness.  Indeed, she was listening.  For once, somebody was listening…

   “And from what I’m hearing,” Risa continued, “you sacrificed your own dreams to carry on your mother’s work.  That’s very brave of you, Shachou.”

   “… Brave?”

   “I spent my entire life thinking that I had to live for myself,” Risa said.  “My parents wanted the same for me as well.  So the idea of living for someone else… I think it’s amazing how you can do that.  I admire your strength.”

   “… My strength.”  Reina chuckled a little at this.  She had thought to herself, all these years, what a coward she was for crumbling beneath her mother’s single apology, what weak willpower she had.  Yet her she was, being complimented on her strength and bravery.  But was it true?  Was Niigaki Risa correct in what she said?

   Well, it didn’t particularly matter, did it?   Many people may believe Tanaka Reina to be a weak and brainless girl but at least this person thought otherwise.  It was enough for now to know that a certain Niigaki Risa believed her to be a strong and courageous person.  It was enough to know she was here to listen.

   “Ano… if I may ask, Shachou…” Risa hesitated.

   “What is it?”

   “… What was your dream, back when you were a teenager?”

   Reina’s eyes widened at the question as she quickly turned away to hide her face.  “Um… it’s not important anymore.  You don’t need to know.”

   “Oh, it can’t be that bad!” Risa grinned.  “Please, Shachou?”

   “It doesn’t matter,” Reina snapped.  “I love my job now so it all worked out in the end.  It’s fine.”

   “Onegai shimasu!” Risa pleaded.  “Just… think of it as humoring a measly intern of yours.”

   “… A s…er…”


   “A s… ger…”

   “… What was that…?”

   “A singer!” Reina yelled, her cheeks turning bright red.  “I said, a singer!  How many times you gon’ make me say it?!”

   “Shachou…” Risa said nervously, suppressing her giggles, “your Hakata-ben…”

   Reina gasped, realizing that her rough accent had come out.  She quickly turned her head the other way squeezed the steering wheel, trying to calm herself down.  Why was she screwing up so many times today?

   “Just get out of my car…” she muttered.

   Risa blinked as she looked around the area.  She only noticed now that they were parked outside of her apartment and the time was already late.  Deciding to follow her boss’ order, she quickly gathered her bag and got out of the car.  But before shutting the door, she bent down a little and smiled at the young president.  She had seemed so strict and untouchable earlier in the morning; now, she just looked like any other woman who just wanted to live their life to the fullest.  Risa felt as though she had gotten closer to her somehow.

   “Shachou,” she called.  “I hope you enjoyed our conversation as much as I did.  And don’t worry, everything will remain confidential!  Perhaps… letting out everything like this made you feel a little bit better?”

   Reina blinked.  She tried to find the weight that had been embedded into her chest but she couldn’t find it anymore.  Sure, she wasn’t as light as a feather but… she did feel better.  She turned her head and looked at her employee, who was grinning back at her fearlessly.  In reaction, Reina couldn’t help but chuckle in amusement as she rolled her eyes. 

   “Go home, Niigaki,” she ordered.  “And don’t be late tomorrow.”

   “Yes, Ma’am,” Risa answered energetically, saluting her boss playfully.  “Otsukaresama deshita!”

   “Un.  Otsukare.”

   With that, Risa closed the car door and happily skipped up the stairs to the entrance of her apartment and disappeared into the building.  Reina watched the closing door for a while before she leaned back into her seat to reorganize her thoughts. 

   One thing was for sure: Niigaki Risa was special.  There was no doubt about it.  In such a short time, that woman had already taken over so much of Tanaka Reina’s heart and mind, it was actually ridiculous to call it reality.  But the next question was supposedly still unanswered.

   Just how special was she?

   Reina closed her eyes and reminisced back to the night at the club, her beautiful feature, that morning, her anxiety, that evening, her frantic nature, five minutes ago, her laughter…

   Oh, yes, she was special.  Very special, indeed.


So who's actually rooting for tanagaki?  just curious?  :D

 :byebye: :sleep:

avii&sig by the wonderful kawaii beam~!

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 9 - (6/20)]
« Reply #168 on: June 20, 2012, 07:25:04 AM »
 oh! after 29 days of waiting!! yes! my favorite writer updateD my favorite fanfic.!!! yehey!!! missyou missyou !! update! update! update!!!
 ah I think Im over-reacting.. :)

ps- KameShige PLEASE!!!
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 07:37:38 AM by maikeatoot »

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 9 - (6/20)]
« Reply #169 on: June 20, 2012, 07:41:27 AM »
It's been so long~! I'm glad to see you survived what has apparently been a hectic month.... Now, about that question...


:panic: :panic: :panic: I don't know~!~! I don't know what I want!! Takagaki?! Tanagaki!? Which one!?~?!?~?! :panic: :panic: :panic:

Though I wouldn't even try to deny how awesome the Tanagaki bonding here was!

Offline risa_ai

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 9 - (6/20)]
« Reply #170 on: June 20, 2012, 07:53:23 AM »
*Puts hands up for TAKAGAKI* ANYONE? Hello?! xD

Offline yellow

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 9 - (6/20)]
« Reply #171 on: June 20, 2012, 08:47:57 AM »
to be frank... i really don't mind it is TanaGaki at first... but as long as it's TakaGaki at the end of the fiction will do :lol:

Offline arisa03

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 9 - (6/20)]
« Reply #172 on: June 20, 2012, 10:20:09 AM »
Oh dear... GO TSUNDEREINA! I'm sure Ai-chan can be a tsundere too but hey alksjdaskldsad recently I've been thinking "omfg TanaGaki is so cute." LOL.

askdjaskd well hi there. And welcome back ; A ; And noooooooo don't become a nun you can't write smut anymore cause it's a sin or whichever. I'm sure everything will be fine, ; A ;
Like I’m the most calm... Like, it must definitely be because, Like when we enter, I’ll be hurrying. But Because Junjun is older, I can calm down? I don’t really know, Like I just absolutely want her there beside me. Whenever we go abroad, if Junjun is absolutely not beside me, I absolutely won’t go. Something like that. -- Tanaka Reina about Junjun.

Offline Shiawase_Honoo

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 9 - (6/20)]
« Reply #173 on: June 20, 2012, 12:25:12 PM »
SarangAi, Welcome back! :welcome
Ahaha, The TsundeReina had come back, too :lol:
Maybe this will lead to something fearsome in the future... :nervous

To answer your question about my favorite pairing....
Actually, I have no favorite pairing.  :nervous It makes me to not be a picky :sweatdrop:

I also have some little researches for my fanfic (Thai) about the 910' pairings. :sweatdrop:

Offline Kuji

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 9 - (6/20)]
« Reply #174 on: June 20, 2012, 02:23:04 PM »
This story... this story has me so conflicted! *SOBSBLOOD* :bleed eyes:
Also, I don't post very much but I felt I had textualize my AK;DJSFKASDJF;ASJ feels this time.

I am and will always be a loyalist of AiGaki and those who know me know that I'm generally not a big fan of Reina but damn me if I don't like her in this story. Also, damn rndmnwierd for first making me enjoy the pairing and opening me to this conundrum. Do I support Tanagaki or Aigaki here? Um... well, it seems with just one car ride, Risa's become the person who best knows Reina (or rather knows something about Reina that no one else does). While AiGaki are still taking those first steps in their relationship, Reina kind of leap-frogged (of course she did) ahead in regards to intimacy. :doh:

I LIKE THEM BOTH. But as usual, I root for the underdog which seems to be Reina right now. Please don't kick me out of the AiGaki/TakaGaki fanclub, guys.

Looking forward to the next instalment whenever you can pump it out. Convents have internet nowadays, don't they? I'm kidding, but for sure, life happens so no pressure.

Offline SarangAi

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 9 - (6/20)]
« Reply #175 on: June 27, 2012, 08:23:10 AM »
@maikeatoot: hahaha awww so sweet of you~  XD XD

@rndmnwierd: arghhhh i must confess... i may be starting to like non-mainstream couples more.... LE GASP no! *self slap* i'm a takagaki fan!  ... or am i?  :panic: :panic:

@risa_ai: omigosh haha XD

@yellow: lol so it doesn't matter how i get there as long as i get there?  fair enough! :D

@arisa03: LOLOL that's a good point actually...  :lol:

@Shiawase_Honoo: aaah i wanna do some 9ki 10ki pairings too!  haha i should go imagine something more... lol  :D

@Kuji: LOLOL that was such an interesting post~ welcome!!! :lol:  exactly my point about RNDY being the one to bring in this whole inner conflict about aigaki/tanagaki!  :P  hehe thanks for textualizing your feelings XD

And here's an update that didn't take me a MONTH to write!  :twothumbs
AND it's quite long so i hope that makes up for the previous kinda-shortish chapter  :P

This chapter is a bit all over the place and switches povs a lot so watch out for that! :D


Chapter 10 – “Juliet and Cinderella were happy… but the rest were not.”

   “No way.  There is just no way!”

   Takahashi Ai frantically paced around the clothing store, ducking underneath the counter and running between clothing racks in search of her lost item.  Her friend, one Kamei Eri, rolled her eyes as she lazily folded up a shirt and placed it on the display set.

   “I can’t believe I left my bag at home!” Ai groaned, slouching on top of the counter.

   “I can’t believe there’s a girl in this world who actually leaves home without their bag,” Eri wittily responded.  “I mean, forgetting to bring your cell phone or something?  Yeah, it happens.  But who actually leaves their house empty-handed and not realize that they left behind their purse filled with everything they need?”

   “… I really must’ve lost my mind this morning to have to hear that kind of speech from you, aho Kame,” Ai grumbled, sticking her tongue out at her friend.

   “Hey, I remembered to pick up the coffee and rolls this morning,” the turtle said proudly, gesturing to the big box-o-joe, positioned on the counter beside the stack of cups and a paper bag.  “I am off the hook today.”

   “Can’t argue with that,” the older woman sighed.  “I’ll just have to quickly stop by at home and grab it before going to my night shift…”

   “That won’t be necessary.”

   The two friends turned towards the direction of the voice that belonged to someone who was definitely no stranger to Tresor.  The tall beauty strutted into the boutique with her long black hair, which was made wavy today and accessorized with a small bow clip on the side, flowing behind her.  On her right wrist clung a small pink handbag.  In her left hand was a medium-size duffel bag which seemed cute enough to pass as a sporty purse. 

   “Sayu!” Eri gasped.

   “My bag!” Ai exclaimed.

   “Way to be a scatterbrain again, Onee-chan,” Sayumi huffed, holding out the duffel bag in front of her.  “You left it in the kitchen.  You’re lucky I was passing through here today coincidentally—”

   The monkey dashed towards her sister and gave her a tight embrace, babbling some extravagantly long stream of thanks.  The bunny froze in her spot, unable to decide how to respond, and unintentionally accepted the hug without protest. 

   “Eto… n-n-nani sore…”

   “Sayumi~ you’re the best!” Ai squealed, taking her bag off the younger girl’s hand.  “Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I could just kiss you right now!”

   “WHAT?  Y-y-yamete yo, b-baka!”

   The bunny jumped back but her older sister was faster.  Ai lunged forward and planted a big playful kiss on her stepsister’s cheek and burst out into laughter as she witnessed Sayumi’s cheeks growing redder and redder.  Eri’s eyes widened in shock at first but she soon couldn’t help but start giggling hysterically as well as she watched the flustered bunny.  It wasn’t every day Michishige Sayumi got caught off guard like this.

   “S-stop laughing, both of you!” she yelled, rubbing the spot on her cheek where her sister had kissed her.  “It’s not funny!  That was… yuck!”

   “Well would you look at that!” Eri giggled.  “So there actually is a good bone in that little viper of your sister!”

   “Shut up, turtle-head,” the bunny grumbled.  “That’s the last time I ever do Onee-chan a favor…”

   “I was just showing my gratitude, Sayu~” Ai teased, grinning.  “Seriously though, thanks.  You really saved me.”

   “Yeah, whatever.”  Sayumi turned her head to the side, either in frustration, embarrassment, or excessive joy from the kiss.  No one could tell, not even herself.

   “Well congratulations, Imouto-chan!” Eri announced happily.  “You just earned yourself a one-way ticket to join us for our morning coffee session!”  The turtle followed it up with a hushed cheering noise.  Ai laughed at this while her stepsister rolled her eyes at the silliness of it all. 

   “You’re such a child,” she muttered.  “But… I guess coffee doesn’t sound so bad.”

**  **  ** 

   “So… where exactly are we going again?”

   Risa sighed and rolled her eyes as she listened to the same question that had been repeated multiple times that morning by her young friend.  Sure, Mitsui Aika was a dog lover but she really was like a puppy herself sometimes; always yapping and whining and on her toes… She was mature yet on days when she was feeling lazy, she became the type that needed to be led around as though she was on a leash. 

   And today happened to be one of those days: Risa was marching forward in the streets as Aika sluggishly followed behind her.  And compared to the older woman who was dressed fashionably yet professionally for work that was to follow after this coffee meeting, Aika was simply wearing a shirt with a certain mouse character drawn on it, as well as shorts, stockings, and converse sneakers.  She also had a light purple backpack slung over one shoulder which carried a notebook, a pen, and a couple of textbooks that was required for a college freshman.  After all, today was Aika’s first day of classes.

   “I told you,” the bean replied, “we’re going to the clothing boutique Ai-san works at, remember?”

   Risa’s mind quickly rushed back to the previous night’s happening when she had been invited to Tresor for a brief coffee meeting by the night time janitor whom she was able to consider a friend now.  When she had retold the entire story to her younger friend, she had truly gotten a kick out of the whole concept: two beautiful women who met and fell in love (Risa had immediately interjected and insisted that saying such a thing was going overboard but Aika persisted), only to separate and reunite in their true, painfully average forms… yet their love undead.  Despite her overly worked up fandom for the connection between the bean and the mystery woman janitor that had been established the night before, the puppy’s inability to be a morning person distracted her from continuing the fervent support.

   “Right, right, for coffee...” Aika murmured to herself, yawning loudly.  “And… why are we going to a clothing shop to get coffee instead of going somewhere else… say, a café… to get coffee?

   “Come on, you know well why!” Risa moaned, turning around to stop her friend in her tracks.  “Aika, I told you everything last night!”  She paused for a second before she whispered the next words, her cheeks blushing ever so slightly, “I… I want to see her again…”

   “Oh right, that was why,” Aika said, grinning.  “Oh, Gaki-san… you really are so inexperienced.”

   “And what does that mean?” Risa asked, placing her hands on her hips.

   “I mean, you’re not even gonna play hard-to-get?” Aika shrugged.  “It hasn’t even been 24 hours since she invited you for coffee and you’re just gonna go see her right away?  You should at least wait three days before responding to the call.  You know, keep her on her toes!”

   “… Oh gosh, you’re right…” the bean mumbled, her face getting flustered.  “I-I didn’t even realize… Am I being too easy?  Um, should we go back?”

   “Oh, don’t bother, I’m half-teasing,” Aika grinned.  “We already took the bus down here anyway.  Besides, I’m closer to campus right now than before.  Let’s just go.”

   Although she seemed unsure, Risa nodded in response and started to walk again.  Perhaps Aika was right; she actually had absolutely no idea how to handle this kind of situation.  Obviously, Risa had had relationships before but that was a long time ago, back in middle school.  Mere child’s play.  It had been long time since she felt the kind of adrenaline that Takahashi Ai had reintroduced her to.  And Risa definitely didn’t want it to stop.

   After checking her surroundings, the bean stopped in front of a small shop and exclaimed, “We’re here!”  She read the sign that marked the shop, “Tresor” in script English and let out a sigh of excitement. 

   “Wait, this is the place?  Here?” Aika questioned, her eyes widening.

   “Yeah, Tresor,” Risa nodded.  “You’ve been here before?”

   “Yeah, once…” the younger girl muttered.  “When I was looking for the owner of your earring… but your girl wasn’t here.”

   “Huh.  That’s funny,” Risa said.  She thought for a brief moment but decided the shrug off her friend’s unsettling comment and entered the store. 

**  **  ** 

   Aika followed close behind her older friend but instead with a very frustrated face.  She really had no desire to return to this shop, after the kind of person she encountered here.  She could still remember that pale porcelain face, demanding the earring like a spoiled little brat… and the flustered face that she made when Aika had called her out on her lie.  Well that part of the memory wasn’t too bad. 

   Anyhow, it was too late at this point.  She had no choice but go into the shop with Risa whether she liked it or not.  All she could do was put on her best game face and march straight through. 

**  **  ** 

   “One for me… one for Eri… and one for Sayu!”

   “Arigatou, Ai-chan!”


   Ai nodded in response as she took a sip from her cup.  Her sister and her friend both took sips as well and unlike the bunny who classily brought the cup to her lips and drank slowly, the turtle jumped a little when she tipped the cup to fast to let the hot drink burn her tongue.  Ai snorted out laughter while Sayumi sighed hopelessly.  The turtle just giggled nervously as she shrugged.  Same old Eri, just like when Ai had first met her years ago.  The girl really never changed. 

   “Alright, alright, you know the drill, Ai-chan,” she said, putting her coffee cup down.  “Mornings are slow so we can chill a bit but Tresor is technically open.  We have to keep working.”

   “I know, I know,” Ai grinned.  “I’ll fix up the shelves on that side.  A couple of costumers left it a bit of a mess yesterday, I think.”

   “And speaking of costumers,” Sayumi said, pointing to the entrance, “I think you got some.”

   Right on cue, the door jingled as it opened to let in two short-haired women into the store.  Eri immediately yelled out a greeting and bowed but Ai turned around and broke into a surprised, but glad, smile instead.


   The darker haired woman turned towards Ai and grinned, happy to find someone familiar in the foreign store. 

   “Ai-san!  Ohayou gozaimasu!” she greeted.  “Well, look at you, all dressed up fashionably.  I guess this is the real you I’m seeing?”

   “Yup, I’d like to think so.” 

   Ai beamed at the younger woman who laughed at her reply.  She couldn’t help but continue to keep the huge smile on her face out of excitement at seeing Risa, right in front of her, in this store.  She had really come, like she had asked her to!  And now that she was here, Ai couldn’t take her eyes off of the beautiful girl’s face, not even long enough to notice the hardened expression of her stepsister.

**  **  ** 

   This can’t be happening.

   Sayumi gritted her teeth as her hands clenched into fists unconsciously.  What was this thing that she was feeling?  Anger?  Fear?  Confusion?  Well she was most definitely confused, that was for sure. 

   For one thing, her older sister was being so familiar with this woman that she herself had never even seen before. Who the hell was this woman and what was her business here?  And what was up with her being all friendly with her sister?

   Second of all, what was up with Eri, standing next to her, giggling to herself like crazy?  She was acting as though she was watching some sappy romantic movie play out in front of her, and she was the number one fan girl.  It was beyond annoying.

   And thirdly, and most disturbingly, that girl was here again, shooting her that same mysterious smile that she showed the last time she was here.  Same old short hair, same casual-styled getup… she really needed to check a mirror or something.  What was she doing back here anyway?  Was she here to show her up again, about that earring?  Well, Sayumi didn’t care if that was the reason.  But if she was going to mention the previous incident, in front of her sister… things weren’t exactly going to end smoothly.

   If you say the wrong thing, you won’t make it out of this shop alive, kid.

   “Eri, Sayu,” Ai called, turning towards the two girls standing in front of the counter, “I’d like you guys to meet Niigaki Risa.  She’s a… um… a friend.”

   “Niigaki Risa desu,” the bean said, offering a handshake.  “It’s nice to meet you both.”

   “I’m Kamei Eri, Ai-chan’s first employer and self-proclaimed best friend,” the turtle giggled out, shaking Risa’s hand.  “It’s nice to finally meet you in person!  I’ve heard a lot about you.”

   “Only good things, I hope,” Risa laughed.  She then turned to the taller woman standing beside Eri.  “And you must be…?”

   But the bunny did not answer.  She just glared back at the woman in front of her as well as the other girl who was standing a couple feet behind.  Eri nudged her a couple times but she refused to speak up.  Something about the way that other girl was staring back at her knowingly was not pleasant.

   Don’t give me that look!  This is my territory!

   “This is Michishige Sayumi,” Eri answered instead before the silent air could get more awkward.  “She’s a friend.  And Ai-chan’s stepsister.  She doesn’t work here, she’s just visiting.”

   “Oh… I see.  Um, nice to meet you, too,” Risa said slowly, sensing that the bunny may not be in the best mood at the time. “Well, uh, I brought a friend as well to join us… I hope that’s okay?”

   “Of course it’s okay!” Ai grinned.  “Anyone’s welcome here.”

   “Well, ah, this,” Risa started, as the girl behind her stepped forward, “is Mitsui Aika.  She’s my current flatmate, I guess you could say.  She’s just entering college now.”

   “Nice to meet you all,” Aika smiled brightly, “Takahashi-san, Kamei-san… Michishige-san.”

   So Mitsui Aika is your name, you little rat.

   “And now that the introductions are over,” Risa piped up, “I believe I have an invitation to a brief coffee gathering?”

   “Of course,” Ai grinned.  She grabbed the box-o-joe and poured two more cups of coffee and handed them to the two new visitors.  “I hope regular is okay?”

   “It’s perfect,” Risa answered, making eye contact with the older woman and smiling.  “Thank you.”

   Stop staring at her, you conniving little—

   “Michishige-san, are you feeling alright?”

   Sayumi whipped towards the college student who had just spoken up.  She was looking back at the bunny with a painfully innocent expression, which only made Sayumi angry even more.  She could feel her blood boiling at this point from witnessing this smug little brat’s face.

   “I’m fine,” Sayumi snapped.

   “Good,” Aika smiled.  “I was just making sure.  Your eyebrows were all wrinkled there and your eyes were so fixed… for a moment, I thought you were feeling sick or something.  We wouldn’t want that now, would we?”

   “Now that Mitsui-san mentions it,” Ai said worriedly, “you do look a bit out of it, Sayu.  Are you feeling okay?”

   Eri nudged Sayumi’s side.  “What’s wrong with you?” she said through her teeth.  “Stop making faces, you’re being rude!”

   “Don’t tell me what to do!” Sayumi snapped back quietly.  She turned back to her sister and her two guests with a sickeningly sweet smile that was so obviously fake.  “I’m fine, thank you.  No need to concern me.”

   “Well, if you start to feel sick or anything, just let us know and we’ll help you,” Aika offered kindly.  “It’s better to let the truth out then to lie about something, right?  Tricking others isn’t a good habit.  Don’t you agree, Michishige-san?”

   Sayumi’s lips twitched.  “Of course.”

   “You know, I’d like to get to know you better, Michishige-san,” Aika exclaimed.  “I think we can become great friends, don’t you think?” 

   She smiled innocently at the bunny, who shot her the same kind of smile but along with a murderous eye glare.  “The best.”


**  **  ** 

   Aika took a slow sip from her coffee cup and sighed contently, looking over kindly at Risa and her new “special” friend, the giddy turtle lady, and the cold bunny.  She was happy to see that her childhood friend/babysitter was obviously pleased to see her mystery club girl again and to meet Miss Bad Liar again and show her up… again.  Life was good.

   But honestly, what were the chances?  How did this even happen?  The lady that had pissed her off so much back then when Aika was looking for the owner of the earring had actually turned out to be the stepsister of the owner of the earring, a.k.a. Risa’s new possible love interest.  This Takahashi Ai woman must have a strong stomach to stand living with such a brat of a younger sister. 

   And why had Michishige Sayumi lied back then and claimed that the earring was hers?  Had she not realize that the jewelry was her sister’s?  Had she honestly tried to steal it?  Or… did she know that it was her sister’s and claimed that it was hers so that she could give it back to her?  Well, she certainly didn’t seem so nice of a person to do such a thing but… maybe if it was for her sister…  Maybe it was only for her sister…?

   “Sayu, are you sure you’re feeling alright?” Ai asked again, a concerned look obvious on her face.

   “Will you stop with the questions, Onee-chan?” Sayumi retorted.  “I’m fine!  Gosh, I drop your bag off for you out of the kindness of my heart and this is what I get?  Ugh, I’m out of here!”

   The bunny flipped her hair and shot Aika one last dirty look before storming out of the store.  Silence ensued as the other four women stood in place, staring at the swinging door, before Eri spoke up.

   “I… uh… I’m gonna make sure she’s alright,” she laughed nervously.  “Watch the store, Ai-chan!”

   Aika followed the turtle with her eyes as she also ran out of Tresor in chase of the rampant bunny.  She rolled her eyes a little before she took another sip of the coffee, feeling incredible respect for the courageous turtle who volunteered to run after the spoiled lady yet at the same time, horrified by Miss Bad Liar’s attitude.  Really, the way she had spoken to her older sister was just…  Aika quickly downed some more coffee before she could finish her thought but her fury wasn’t suppressed too easily.


**  **  ** 

   “I’m really sorry about that,” Ai apologized, chuckling nervously.  “She must not be in a good mood today… She’s really not all that bad…”

   “Oh no, it’s fine,” Risa replied quickly, shaking her head.  “We all have those days.  I understand.”

   “Well, that was still kind of embarrassing,” Ai smiled apologetically.  “But… I’m still glad you came by.”

   Risa grinned.  “I’m glad I came by, too.  I have to say, it’s kind of nice to see you like this.  It’s like I’m seeing all different sides of you.”

   “And which one do you like best?” Ai asked.

   “All of them,” Risa answered, smiling.  “Because they’re all you.  There’s no difference from one to another.”

   Ai bit down on her lips, trying to keep herself from smiling like an idiot.  She could feel the temperature of her cheeks rising but she did not look away to hide her face.  Every second she had to look at this person seemed too precious to waste.  Niigaki Risa was looking at her right now for who she was; Ai wanted to give her the same respect and attention.

   “Well,” Risa sighed, “I actually have to go now.  I can’t be late for work, so… I’ll see you later?”

   “Yeah.  Later.”  Ai nodded firmly.  “Thanks for stopping by.”

   “Thanks for inviting me,” Risa answered.  She held her gaze for a couple more seconds before she smiled and turned around.  Ai stared at her back until she disappeared through the glass door.  But before her mind could fall into a wave of subconscious happiness, a voice brought reality back to her.

   “If you space out anymore than that, Takahashi-san, you wouldn’t notice if I robbed the whole store right now.”

   Ai jumped a little, startled by the realization that one Mitsui Aika was still in the shop with her.  Had she been standing there the whole time, listening to them?

   “Oh, right.  Um.  Sorry,” Ai mumbled.

   “No need to apologize,” Aika shrugged.  “I can tell you really like her.”

   The older woman’s eyes popped wide open.  “Like?!  Psht, no!  Who?  Gaki-san?  No, no, no, no, no…”

   “Takahashi-san, I may be younger than the rest of you,” the student grinned, “but I’m not blind.”

   “… Is it that obvious?” Ai squeaked.

   Aika nodded.  “But it’s okay.  I’d say she thinks of you in the same way.  Besides, I approve of you two.  If Gaki-san is happy this way, then I’m happy for her.  Also, I can tell you’re not a bad person.”

   “Um… thanks, I guess,” Ai chuckled.  “It’s reassuring to be told you don’t seem like a bad person.”

   “Yeah, I think you’re a pretty good person,” Aika shrugged.  “But I think you’re a pretty dumb person, too.”

   “… Ha?”  Ai blinked a couple times, completely caught off guard by the younger girl’s nonchalant comment.

   “You’re, what, 24-25 years old?” Aika sighed.  “You’re definitely nice, Takahashi-san, but… you’re pretty blind, too.  You don’t seem to understand the feelings of the person closest to you.”

   “Person closest to me?” Ai questioned.

   “Mou, it’s not really my place to say something like this anyway,” Aika yawned, stretching out her arms.  “Well, I’m off to school.  Wouldn’t want to miss my very first college lecture on psychology.  It was nice to meet you, Takahashi-san!”

   Before Ai could inquire further about her comments, Aika skittered out of the shop and disappeared down the street.  The monkey stood in place, coffee still in hand, her head cocked to side in confusion. 

   Person closest to me…?

**  **  ** 

   “Sayumi!  Will you please wait up?”

   The bunny groaned as she continued to stomp down the sidewalk, mumbling incoherent words of fury.  She could hear Eri running behind her to catch up, drawing closer and closer.  Sayumi could tell she only had a few seconds left before she was no longer walking alone.  After all, Eri always had been a fast runner.  And just like she predicted, Sayumi soon found the turtle strutting right alongside her, keeping up with her pace. 

   “What do you want, Eri?”

   “Hey, hey, hey, hey.  Look at me.  Look at me.”

   The turtle swiftly turned and blocked off Sayumi’s way, forcing her to stop walking.  The bunny huffed in disbelief and tried to go around the older girl but Eri wouldn’t have any of it. 

   “Come on, look at me now.  Look at me.”  After a second of deliberation, Sayumi met Eri’s eyes with a deathly glare.  “Now tell me what’s wrong.”

   “Nothing’s wrong!”

   “Well, something’s definitely wrong,” Eri said.  “What happened in there?  Why are you so paranoid today?”

   “Nothing!” Sayumi insisted again.  “It’s just… just that girl came in and… and…”

   “Which girl?”

   Sayumi paused at the question, her mind rotating between the woman who was flirting with her sister and the woman who had played her like a fool.  She could feel her cheeks heating up from fury.  “Just… just both of them!”

   “… Okay, let’s go one at a time,” Eri sighed.  “What did Mitsui Aika ever do to you?”

   “… That’s none of your business,” the bunny muttered, crossing her arms across her chest.  “You think she’s such a sweet little angel, don’t you?  Well, she’s not!”  That proud little brat is gonna get it one day.

   “… Okay, what did Niigaki Risa ever do to you?” Eri asked, deciding to simply move on.

   “She’s annoying me!” Sayumi shot back.  “She thinks that she can just… just waltz in wherever she wants a-and start being all friendly towards my sister?  Like she’d known her for her whole life or something?  No, no, no, nobody knows her better than I do!  I know Onee-chan the best!”

   “So this is about you being jealous that your sister is being taken away from you?”

   Sayumi froze as she stared at the older girl.  Eri did not look away and instead held her gaze with a solid expression. 

   “… Don’t make me laugh, Eri,” the younger woman laughed dryly.  “I just hate people like that, the type that acts like they know everything when they don’t.  It has nothing to do with me losing Onee-chan—”

   “So you’re happy for Ai-chan, then?” Eri interrupted.  “Happy that she finally found someone that makes her smile more than we’ve ever seen her smile?”

   No.  “Yes.”  No, because…

   “… So you’re okay that Niigaki-san and Ai-chan are becoming close?”

   No!  “Yes!”  Because…

   Eri gazed intently at the younger woman for a while before she sighed and stepped closer to her.  She spoke in a low voice, “Sayumi, you may be able to trick everyone else with that kind of lie but it won’t work on me.  I know you too well.”

   Sayumi felt a muscle in her face twitch but she kept her general stature strong.  “You know me too well?” she scoffed.  “Since when do you know me so well, Eri?”

   “Look, I see the way you watch Ai-chan and Niigaki-san together,” the turtle confessed.  “And… I want to let you know that I understand how you feel.”

   “What are you saying, Eri?” Sayumi yelled angrily.  “You don’t know anything about how I feel!”  Even I myself don’t know how I feel…

   “I know more than you think!” Eri retorted back.  “I know about… about frustration, jealousy, confusion…  I know, Sayumi, and I’m telling you that... it’s better to let it go.”

   “There’s nothing to let go—”

   “Don’t do this to yourself, Sayu!” Eri warned.  “Stop torturing yourself like that.  Run away before you really get hurt.  Treasure yourself more!”

   Sayumi stared at the girl standing in front of her, being more serious than she had ever been in her life.  What was Eri saying, all of a sudden?  She was telling her to… to give up?  Aside from the point that Michishige Sayumi never gave up on anything, because she always got what she wanted, what was there to give up?  What was she supposed to step away from?  Yes, it definitely bothered her that some woman just waltzed into her sister’s life and is now all buddy-buddy with her but that was hardly a serious matter… was it?

   But just watching that Niigaki Risa talking with Ai, making her laugh, sharing coffee…  That was unsettling.  More than unsettling, it was… wrong.  Disturbing.  Frightful.  Sayumi didn’t want that to happen because…

   Because it’s supposed to be me standing next to her.

   “Thanks for your concern, Eri,” she murmured, “but I can take care of myself.”  And I am not stepping away.

**  **  ** 

   Eri felt a harsh shove on her shoulder as Sayumi pushed past her and continued to walk down the street.  The turtle bit down on her lips before swallowed hard and exhaled sharply.  She turned to stare at the corner where Sayumi disappeared at and clenched her teeth tightly.  She closed her eyes for a brief moment as she gathered her breath and sighed deeply. 

   That conversation hadn’t exactly turned out the way she planned but she could fix things up later.  Sayumi acted all tough on the outside but she wasn’t gutsy enough to actually say anything to Ai anytime soon.  So that gave Eri enough time to put everything back in place.  But for now, she had a duty to calm down and get back to her shop.  After all, she couldn’t leave her best friend minding a store alone.


hehe wish me luck on writing the next chapter fast too  :nervous

 :byebye: :sleep:

avii&sig by the wonderful kawaii beam~!

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 10 - (6/27)]
« Reply #176 on: June 27, 2012, 10:56:29 AM »
Hello I'm new here! :nervous
I have read both Chigatte mo iin da yo! and Kokoro no uta some time ago and I liked them a lot! So i was very happy to notice that you have another story going on! XD
About the last chapter I loved the war between Sayu and Aika ;) It was kinda hilarious.
Also the TakaGaki moment was niiice!! :inlove: *ahem* Please let them be together in this fic! (I really don't have anything against the other pairings but Takagaki is just too sugoi... :wub:) :bow: Or at least end this story with Takagaki... Onegaishimasu! :lol:

Keep up the good work!  :kneelbow:

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 10 - (6/27)]
« Reply #177 on: June 27, 2012, 01:18:41 PM »
Coffee time! All five gather and meet. It definitely could have ended in disaster, so I'm glad everything is sort of ok. With the exception of Sayu, of course. That bratty bunny is going to be trouble later, I just know it.

And the plot continues to thicken on all sides!

Offline yellow

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 10 - (6/27)]
« Reply #178 on: June 27, 2012, 01:30:47 PM »
@yellow: lol so it doesn't matter how i get there as long as i get there?  fair enough! :D
yup sure... as long as in the end TakaGaki will do... if not, risa_ai will go on strike with me  against you  :lol: :lol: :lol:
even though Aichan is scatterbrained here.. but she's cute  :)
you should have the turtle join in the fun to kiss the bunny on her another side of her cheek XD

hehe wish me luck on writing the next chapter fast too  :nervous

 :byebye: :sleep:

good luck then for your next update :lol:

Offline risa_ai

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 9 - (6/20)]
« Reply #179 on: June 27, 2012, 03:03:08 PM »
“You know, I’d like to get to know you better, Michishige-san,” Aika exclaimed.  “I think we can become great friends, don’t you think?” 

   She smiled innocently at the bunny, who shot her the same kind of smile but along with a murderous eye glare.  “The best.”


**  **  ** 

   Aika followed the turtle with her eyes as she also ran out of Tresor in chase of the rampant bunny.  She rolled her eyes a little before she took another sip of the coffee, feeling incredible respect for the courageous turtle who volunteered to run after the spoiled lady yet at the same time, horrified by Miss Bad Liar’s attitude.  Really, the way she had spoken to her older sister was just…  Aika quickly downed some more coffee before she could finish her thought but her fury wasn’t suppressed too easily.


**  **  ** 
The best. XD I LIKE IT. Eri likes Gaki? Sayu likes Ai? Ai likes Risa? ZOMG.

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