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Author Topic: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 22 - (10/28)]  (Read 45920 times)

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #180 on: July 06, 2012, 07:38:58 AM »
 OH NO PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!! dont forget TAKAGAKI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   :depressed: :tantrum: :angry: hihi but please update soon and fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I dont want to wait another week to read the next chapter!!! and  :imdead: yeah!! im sorry but yeah  :scolding: update!update!update!!!  please? again dont forget the TAKAGAKI !!!!!! im going to  :bangchair:  :ptam-kill: yeah!!! my gosh im sorry im over-reacting  :nervous !!!!!!!!!!!!!! sorry  :ptam-shy: UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 LOVe,
 MAIKEA..  :ptam-kiss: hehe

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #181 on: July 06, 2012, 07:57:38 AM »
Short, sweet MiySaki kataomoi!

Omg, what? Watch more clips! Watch them!!! You needs OPV's stat!


Offline risa_ai

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #182 on: July 06, 2012, 09:41:59 AM »
YOU CAN'T LOSE IT! Noooo!!! GO RISA. Goooo! xD I see you gonna confess and go out with her, and also us readers here will all get into the lovey dovey mood, and prepare engagement rings, and also- WAIT. WAIT. What am I even saying? xD

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #183 on: July 06, 2012, 11:05:43 AM »
Yay, new chapter!  :cow:
Go Risa and Miyabi!  XD Raise Saki's confidence level and help her see her true feelings! And Risa do that for your Aichan too :P


Okay. So next chapter is TakaGaki.


Awwwww yes.... :luvluv1: :luvluv2:


But i have a confession.

... I'm losing my Takagaki inspiration.....  :fainted:
It's been so long since they graduated.....  :cry: :cry:


Nooooooo!!!!!    :shock: :scared: :OMG: :pleeease:
Don't lose it! You can't! Watch videos and pictures, read fanfics, just do anything not to lose it!  XD
Ganbatte kudasai!


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

Offline arisa03

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #184 on: July 06, 2012, 04:37:55 PM »
You know... You know... please please, PRETTY PLEASE.

Visit this link:
http://satsunyan.tumblr.com/tagged/aigaki

and please enjoy yourself. LOL. I really wish that would inspire you though. ; A ; Like... really! ; A ;

And Captain and Miyabi... I have to see this soon. xD
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 yellow

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #185 on: July 07, 2012, 04:22:43 PM »
 :lol:if there is ever a next time... please let the turtle join in the fun  XD
------------------
Go Risa and Miyabi all the way for your targets!!!  :mon beam:

 :shock: please don't forget TakaGaki...

Offline Fushigidane

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #186 on: July 09, 2012, 04:33:43 AM »
Zup!  :twothumbs :heart: :heart: :heart:


Tho, Tanagaki might work as well. :hand:

Offline sakura_drop_

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #187 on: July 09, 2012, 11:02:20 AM »
Thank you for this update! :bow: :bow:

CapMiya pairing FTW!

And I hope you won't loose your inspiration, coz I love this story! I really wanna read more of your TanaGaki and TakaGaki. And I'm curious about the further development of this fic!
"人間みんな変態だから" - 古川愛李, SKE48 新高柳チームKII 「シアターの女神」千秋楽公演, 2014.04.18 <"Because all people are perverts." - Furukawa Airi, SKE48 New Takayanagi Team KII [Theater no Megami] Last Stage, 2014.04.18>

My Blog: J-Pop and K-Pop Abode   The list of my fics in JPH!P: My fics   My fics can be found here also: AKBlasphemy48   Let's have fun here: Acchan48   My home and family: United Nations Society of Adorkable Writers



My KamiOshis: Yuuko-sama, Rena-sama  Oshimen: Yuihime Other favorites: Mirukii, Juri-tan, Ripopo

Offline Haruka

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #188 on: July 13, 2012, 01:18:50 AM »
OMG Here again *u*

It's been loooooong time since I have internet again XD since February I think o_O

But now I'm back! and In holydays xD

I'm gonna read all today *u*

Hope u r ok =) my dear AiAi XD


God!! She knows she's HOT!

Offline SarangAi

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #189 on: July 18, 2012, 07:56:59 AM »
@maikea: hahaha I'm doing the best I can!!!  :P

@rndy: omg that actually REALLY helped  XD  I went to go browsing for more opvs.  it was great.  :wub: :wub: :wub:

@risa_ai: lol woah there tiger slow downnn  :lol:

@MsSmigge: I did all of those things you mentioned!  They helped~  XD

@arisa03: that was one of the best tumblrs. like, ever. I followed.  :D

@yellow: hahaha i wont!!!  XD

@Fushigidane: aaaahhh so cutee.... love it!  :wub: :wub: :wub:

@sakura_drop_: aahh I hope I don't either!  I hate giving up in the middle, I have to keep going!  XD

@Haruka: yayyy~ welcome back!   :lol: yup i'm doing well~  :D


Thanks so much for all the TakaGaki tributes and stuff!  They actually really helped.  It was like I went on a TakaGaki themed cruise trip and now I'm back refreshed!  :lol: :lol:

So here I am, bringing you a new chapter! :twothumbs

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 12 – “No one can resist when fate is in play.”

   Ai had encountered many peculiar situations before in her life but this current one definitely topped them all.  Rather than peculiar, it was starting to get ridiculous.  Or rather, even pathetic.  Ai could not fathom the workings of her own mind, which only drove her further insane.  Because honestly, who would waste a good half an hour mopping the same spot over and over again because she was too busy daydreaming about a girl?  A special girl, yes, but nevertheless just a girl.  One single person.  And the mere thought of the person was enough to make Ai smile like an idiot and practically shut down the rest of her brain.  And to think that she had only met this woman a couple days ago… This was hardly realistic.

   But nonetheless, it was indeed true.  Ai felt a very strong emotion towards Niigaki Risa which made her go light on her feet.  She wasn’t exactly sure what kind of emotion but she knew it was there and that it was a good kind of feeling.  After all, she had felt so incredibly happy that morning when she saw Risa walk into Tresor.  Just the mere sight of her was enough to shut off Ai’s senses to the rest of the world and fixate her gaze on that single woman.

   The only down side to this recent discovery was that Ai now had a hard time concentrating on everything else in her life.  The current moment was a perfect example: despite having a lot of cleaning to do all by herself in the large lobby of the Bijou Company building (and having very little time to do it), Ai had been distracted again by the thought of Risa as she had been scrubbing only three tiles clean for the past 30 minutes.  Yes, Niigaki Risa made her happy and all but Ai knew that she really had to pull herself together to get this job done.

   “Ai-san!”

   Oh great. Now she was hearing her voice as well.

   “Ai-san!  Over here!”

   Ai blinked a couple times as she realized that the voice she was hearing was not just in her head.  She turned around and spotted the beautiful woman she had been drawing in her head, walking towards her with a bright smile.  An unintentional, yet joyful grin spread across Ai’s face as she put her mop in the water container next to her and took her hat off. 

   “Gaki-san!” she exclaimed.  “What are you doing here so late?”

   “I’m working overtime,” Risa sighed.  “Jun-san had told the interns that we wouldn’t be able to leave today if we didn’t finish our assigned portfolio requirements… and she wasn’t joking.”

   “Oh?” Ai laughed.  “And what made you not finish your portfolio in time?”

   “Um… I’m one of those ridiculously obsessive perfectionists…?” Risa mumbled, chuckling nervously.  “I just can’t hand in work that I’m not completely satisfied with.  And I guess I didn’t really try too hard to finish in time either.”

   “Ee~?” the older woman laughed again, raising an eyebrow.  “Why?”

   Risa’s cheeks blushed sweet pink as she shrugged.  “Well… I mean… I guess I knew that if I didn’t finish, I would have to stay here late… and if I stayed late enough, I’d… I’d have an excuse to see you again…?”

   The janitor’s mouth opened slightly as her lips slowly curved up in a smile. She started to laugh softly which drew Risa’s attention back to her but she couldn’t help it.  It wasn’t very easy to hide her happiness at knowing how much the bean wanted to see her as well.  Ai could only wonder if the younger woman was as distracted as she was when they weren’t together.

   “Stop laughing at me!” Risa scolded.  She frowned but that only made her look cuter in the older woman’s eyes.

   “Sorry,” Ai laughed.  “But… you really don’t need an excuse to come see me.  If you miss me, then just… come.”

   “… Okay.”  Risa nodded in approval as she happily grinned.  “Hey, give me your phone for a second?”

   Without questioning, Ai took her cell phone out of her back pocket and handed it to the bean.  Risa fiddled with the keypad for a while and then gave the phone back.

   “Just in case,” she explained, “if you happen to want to see me as well… you have my number.  Just give me a call.”

   “Of course,” Ai grinned.  “But when I do, you better come running.”

   “I promise,” Risa giggled.  Somehow, it was easy to say such a thing to Ai.  It wasn’t because she thought lightly of the promise, but simply because she knew she would be able to keep it.  She would want to keep it.

   “So… what’s that in your hand?”

   Risa held up the plastic bag that she had been holding on to the entire time that she had forgotten about during the conversation.  “Oh, I just ordered Chinese take-out because I didn’t eat dinner and I was getting hungry… and I thought maybe you’d like to share?”

   “Really?” Ai exclaimed, her face brightening.  “Is that okay?”

   “Un!”

   In the next couple of minutes, the two women were able to find a nice dry spot for them to sit on by the rim of the fountain that was in the center of the main lobby.  Ai placed her hat down before taking off her working gloves and generously applying the sanitizing lotion that Risa had lent her all over her hands.  The bean took out two Chinese paper containers and chopsticks.  She set them down between herself and the janitor and opened them to reveal lo-mein noodles and sesame chicken.

   “Oh god, that smells amazing,” Ai breathed. 

   Laughing, Risa handed her friend a pair of chopsticks before she broke apart her own.  Ai mimicked her actions and rubbed them together to shave the splinters off.  When she deemed the utensil smooth enough, she seized a chicken and popped it in her mouth.  She slowly chewed the food as she closed her eyes.

   “And it tastes even better,” she groaned. 

   “Nothing says ‘late night snack’ like Chinese, right?” Risa grinned.

   “Yeah,” Ai sighed.  “But nothing says ‘extra pounds’ like Chinese either.”

   “Oh please,” Risa scoffed, scooping up some noodles.  “From what I can see, you can use the extra couple pounds.”

   At this, the older woman burst out into laughter.  “Well, look who’s talking!  Gaki-san, you’re much thinner than I am.”

   “That is not true!” Risa fought back.  “You’re so perfectly skinny, you make the rest of the female species look chubby.  Now each your food so you can become like the rest of us.”

   Ai laughed even harder.  “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Gaki-san, but I have to say, you’re very funny.”

   “Wasn’t trying to be,” Risa grumbled, stuffing chicken in her mouth. 

   “Still, very entertaining,” Ai smiled, “but very blind, too.”

   Risa frowned.  “What does that even mean?”

   “I mean, to think that you would even use the term ‘perfect’ to describe me,” Ai explained.  “I’m hardly perfect.  Far from it, rather.  I’m painfully average, if not below.”

   “… Why do you do that?”

   “Huh?”

   “Why do you always do that?” Risa repeated, hint of annoyance in her voice.  “You’re doing the same thing you did when we first met in this lobby; you keep putting yourself down.”

   “I’m just stating the facts, Gaki-san.”

   “No, you’re not,” Risa disagreed.  “Come on, Ai-san, you must look in the mirror once in a while, right?  Surely, you realize your looks are way above average.”

   “Compared to others?” Ai laughed softly.  “Standing beside her, I’m no one special.  She’s the pretty one.”

   “Who’s ‘she’?”

   Ai shrugged.  “You know… ‘she’ being a general term to refer to other women…  Like you… Eri… my sister.”

   The face of the black-haired beauty Risa had met that morning flashed through her head: pink lips, perfectly shaped eyes, porcelain doll face…  Well, she was undeniably good-looking even though it seemed like she had an attitude problem.  Risa could see why the girl may be considered a bijin in current society. 

   “Sayumi has always been the prettier one,” Ai said quietly.  “Ever since we became sisters, we were constantly compared to each other and Sayumi always beat me out in every way.  She was cuter, wittier, smarter… she was just better, I suppose.” 

   “So your sister did this to you…” Risa whispered. 

   “Oh, don’t misunderstand!” Ai said quickly, laughing a little to ease the heavy atmosphere.  “I love my sister.  Sure, she’s got quite a tongue but I never minded giving up the spotlight to her.  She’s more suited for it anyway.  She’s the Michishige Sayumi, princess of everything.  And I’m just… Ai.  And I’m okay with it.”

   Ai shrugged as she stuffed some more food into her mouth.  Risa watched the older woman with sorrowful eyes.  Ai had said she was okay with being pushed to the back but honestly, what kind of person was actually okay with that?  Nobody appreciated being upstaged, especially by their own sister.  Everybody in the world needed someone to notice and admire them for who they are, yet Ai had had no one to pay attention to her.  No one had minded her and no one had cared for her.  And the end result had become that she did not love herself anymore.  She did not know herself and therefore, she could not treasure herself.  That, to Risa, was heartbreaking.

   “Are you pitying me?”

   The bean blinked as her eyes refocused on her friend’s face.  “Why would you say that?”

   Ai shrugged.  “I don’t know.  It just seemed like for a second there, you were feeling sorry for me.”  She smiled a little.  “You don’t need to feel sorry for me.”

   “I don’t feel sorry for you,” Risa said.  “I just feel that it’s… regrettable.”

   “What is?”

   “That… you can’t see yourself through my eyes.” 

   “… Through your eyes?”  Ai raised her eyebrows as she laughed.  “Okay.  Well, what do you see through your eyes?”

   Risa smiled.  “When I look at you, I see a beautiful woman who works hard every day to live life.  The world hasn’t exactly had mercy on you but you still dream big and stay strong.  That’s really amazing of you, you know.  Not a lot of people would be able to do that.  And to me, that’s the Takahashi Ai-san who is so beautiful.  That’s the Takahashi Ai-san that I love.”

   The older woman’s eyes popped wide open.  “That… you… love…?”

   Risa’s eyes also widened shock as she realized what she had just said.  “Seeing!” she blurted out.  “I-I-I meant seeing!  Y-you know, the Takahashi Ai-san that I love… seeing.”

   “Oh… R-right, right, of course…” Ai mumbled, laughing nervously.  “The me.  That you love.  Seeing.”

   “Right.  Exactly.”

   “Exactly.”

   “Right.”

   “So you don’t really… love me,” Ai laughed awkwardly.  “I mean, you can use the word for friends too though—”

   “I don’t love you.”

   “Oh. Right.  Of course.”

   “No!  Oh, I mean…” Risa mumbled, “I don’t… love you, because love is a strong word, but I mean, as a friend—”

   “Right, as a friend, that’s what I mean,” Ai said quickly.

   “Right, as a friend… I mean… I like… you…”

   “I… I like you… too…”

   “As a friend.”

   “Right.”

   “Exactly.”

   An awkward silence ensued for a couple seconds before Ai burst out into laughter, realizing how nonsensical the conversation had become.  Risa blushed a little but she eventually joined in on the laughing with the older woman.  They both had an unusual way of expressing their feelings but at least they were on the same page.  Or, at least, they seemed to be.

   “Well,” Ai grinned, “good friends who like each other don’t use honorifics, or speak formally to one another, do they?”

   “I suppose they don’t,” Risa smiled.  “But… you should drop the formalities first.  You’re older.  It would just make me feel better if you went first.”

   “Fine,” Ai said.  She cleared her throat and spoke, “Ri. Sa. Chan.”

   The bean laughed at the older woman’s adorable execution of her name.  “Na~ni, Ai-chan?” she said slowly, in staccato.

   “I think I’ll keep calling you Gaki-san after this anyway,” Ai grinned.  “I think it’s a cute nickname.  Gaki-san.”

   “Whatever you wish,” Risa approved.  “It’s okay for me to call you Ai-chan?”

   “Ai-chan is perfect,” the janitor smiled.  “… Thank you.”

   “For calling you Ai-chan?” the bean chuckled.

   “No,” Ai shook her head.  “For saying all of that before.  About how you see me.  No one has ever said anything like that to me in my life and… I feel like you said exactly what I needed to hear.  From someone, anyone, that… I might be worth something in somebody’s eyes.  So thank you.”

   Ai smiled brightly at the younger woman, whose eyes were fixated on her.  Risa felt her heart beating faster.  Had she actually managed to get through to the older woman?  Had she changed her outlook?  Even if it was just a little, Risa was happy to hear that she had impacted this person’s life in a positive way.

   “I’m glad that I could help,” she said, smiling.  “If you ever need any more self-esteem boost, you can always come to me.”

   Ai laughed.  “Alright, Doctor Niigaki.  But for now, we better clean up.  I should get back to work.”

   “Oh, right, me too!”

   The two women proceeded to close the Chinese food cartons and put them back in the plastic bag.  Risa wiped down the area with a napkin and tossed that in the bag as well.  Ai looked around for a while, mumbling, “Where did I put my hat…?”

   Risa spotted the blue cap, halfway between her and the janitor.  “Oh, here it is—”

   “Oh, I see it—”

   As the two reached for the hat together, Ai’s hand somehow landed on top of Risa’s. They both paused as the world stopped for them.  Risa felt a shock wave run through her body, caused by the spark that had occurred on the surface of her skin on her hand where Ai had touched her.  Her heart started to race as she couldn’t bear to raise her head.  Ai seemed to be just as shaky.

   “Oh, s-sorry, my bad—”

   Ai tried to take her hand away but Risa unconsciously closed her fingers around the hand and held on.  When she realized what she had done and looked up with shock evident in her face, Ai was already staring at her in surprise. 

   “I-I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that—”

   The bean let go of the hand and slipped away.  But this time, it was Ai who held onto Risa’s hand before she could completely slip away.  The bean looked at the older woman and felt her cheeks heating up.  Ai was gazing back at her with a certain expression, yet there was also some confusion on her part as well.  Why was it so hard to let go…?

   “Friends can hold hands, right? Ai asked quietly.  “Close friends, who like each other and speak informally to one another… right?”

   “R-right,” Risa agreed shakily.  “Friends… good friends… can.”

   “Right.”

   “Right.”

   Ai smiled brightly as her fingers closed tighter around the younger girl’s hand.  Risa stared at the linked fingers between her and the janitor, too embarrassed to raise her head.  She was so sure that her face was flushed like a tomato by now.  She never would’ve thought that she’d be sitting one day, holding hands like this with a woman whom she just met, only a couple days ago.  And the strangest part was that she didn’t feel the least bit uncomfortable.  Their connection, the skin-to-skin contact… everything just felt so familiar and right.

   “I’m really glad that I met you, Gaki-san,” Ai said.  “I usually don’t get close to people this easily but… I’m really glad that I can be with you like this.”

   “Well, that’s something I hear often,” Risa grinned, looking up, “but I’m glad you said it.”

   The two women held each other’s gaze for a while, replaying one another’s messages for a while, feeling nothing but relief and joy from being together.  But before one of them could speak again, a different interruption ensued.

   “You seem to be enjoying your break there, Niigaki.”

   Risa gasped as she jumped up, pulling her hand away, and whirled around to see her black-haired handler strutting towards her.  Ai cleared her throat awkwardly and quickly put her cap back on.

   “J-Junjun-san!” Risa stuttered.

   “Seeing that you seem to be quite lenient with your time,” the panda said with an edge of ice in her voice, “is it safe to assume that your portfolio is finished?”

   “Ano…” Risa mumbled, scratching her head, “almost…?”

   “Well ‘almost’ doesn’t cut it,” Junjun scolded.  “Get to it.”

   “H-hai!”  Risa quickly started to gather her things as her superior swept past her to address the janitor.

   “And you, Takahashi,” she started, “you only started working here yesterday and you’re already slacking off.  We hired you because you said you needed the job, despite you being inexperienced.  But you best remember that we can lay you off just as easily.”

   “… I understand,” Ai answered quietly, bowing her head.  “Please forgive me.”

   “No, wait, this wasn’t her fault,” Risa interjected.  “I was the one who brought the food.  I asked her to eat with me.  I’m the one you should yell at.”

   “Oh I will, believe me,” Junjun said, turning around to face the bean.  “You’re in no position to defend Takahashi.  At least she is considered a full employee here; you’re just an intern.  We could easily replace you with Shimizu or Natsuyaki.  Are we on the same page?”

   Risa swallowed hard as her courage suddenly diminished to nothingness.  She needed this job more than anything else.  It was hard enough paying for the rent and the bills with an internship.  If she got fired right now, that would mean the end of everything.

   “… Yes.”

   “Good.”  Junjun took one more look around at the humbled janitor and intern.  “Back to work, then.  Both of you.”

   The panda disappeared just as quickly as she entered, leaving the two women alone.  Risa immediately went back to picking up her things and getting ready to leave.  Ai also put her gloves back on and adjusted her hat.

   “I’m sorry… about all this,” Risa apologized.  “I shouldn’t have interfered with your work, I… I’m really sorry.”

   “No, why are you apologizing?” Ai chuckled.  “I’m glad we got to be together like this.  Nothing will change my mind about that.”

   Risa exhaled sharply in disbelief before laughing a little.  “Truth is… I’m not too sorry either.”

   “Now there’s that Gaki-san smile,” Ai grinned.  “We better get back to work.  I’ll call you.  Or text you.  Or something.”

   “Okay,” Risa laughed.  “Ja ne!”

   The bean waved a little and exited the lobby.  She hauled all of her things into the elevator and clicked the button for the correct floor.  As the elevator door slid shut, she took one last glimpse at Ai, many feet away, starting up her mopping routine again.  Little did she know that someone else was watching as well. 

**  **  ** 

   Junjun watched the intern and the janitor part ways from behind a wall.  She silently murmured apologies to the both of them as she let out a sigh.  It was her job to chide employees occasionally, and the panda liked to be professional, but never cruel.  And the little warnings that she had just given the two newest employees were beyond cruel.  They were threatening.  And it went against all of Junjun’s morals.

   But the secretary had no choice in the matter.  After all, her own boss had ordered her to keep an eye on Niigaki Risa.  And just that morning, she had received another order to continuously watch Takahashi Ai as well.  Except this time, the underlying meaning was completely different.  Tanaka Shachou had ordered Junjun to make sure Ai kept her head straight and did her job right.  She didn’t have to say anything more.  After spending so many years in service to the young president, Junjun was expected to catch the hidden message.  And she had.

   It’s good that she’s interested in something other than work, the panda thought to herself.

   But was this right?  Separating two perfectly happy people who were obviously more than interested in each other so that Tanaka Reina could squeeze in between?  And more importantly, was it okay for Junjun to play a role in this?

   And the way those two looked at each other…  It was like there was something more than just human emotions.  It was something unbreakable, untouchable. 

   Not even Tanaka Shachou can’t stop something that’s meant to be, Junjun thought.  I hope she realizes this soon… lest she gets hurt. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OKAY announcement here!

I am going on vacation!  In 12 hours, I will be on a plane to Korea!  :cow:
I will be there for 3 weeks, then in Japan for 3 days, then in California for 3 days, then I'll be back home.

So for the next month, my updates will either be SUPER SLOW... or nonexistent  :nervous

I'll still do my best to write in between!  But another thing is, I just don't know how close I'll be to wifi places :sweatdrop:

But keep your fingers crossed!  I'll be doing my best!  :twothumbs

 :byebye: :sleep:

avii&sig by the wonderful kawaii beam~!

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 12 - (7/18)]
« Reply #190 on: July 18, 2012, 08:16:31 AM »
 it was a nice chapter!!  :onioncheer: really!! and for your announcement,  :depressed: :err: :fainted: :frustrated: :gyaaah:  :imdead: yeah.. but please enjoy your vacation and then come back here with mega updates!!!  :hiakhiakhiak: please take care of yourself there huh?? and don't forget your MEGA updates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :byebye:

Offline risa_ai

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 11 - (7/6)]
« Reply #191 on: July 18, 2012, 12:01:03 PM »
        Ai had encountered many peculiar situations before in her life but this current one definitely topped them all.  Rather than peculiar, it was starting to get ridiculous.  Or rather, even pathetic.  Ai could not fathom the workings of her own mind, which only drove her further insane.  Because honestly, who would waste a good half an hour mopping the same spot over and over again because she was too busy daydreaming about a girl?  A special girl, yes, but nevertheless just a girl.  One single person.  And the mere thought of the person was enough to make Ai smile like an idiot and practically shut down the rest of her brain.  And to think that she had only met this woman a couple days ago… This was hardly realistic.

   But nonetheless, it was indeed true.  Ai felt a very strong emotion towards Niigaki Risa which made her go light on her feet.  She wasn’t exactly sure what kind of emotion but she knew it was there and that it was a good kind of feeling.  After all, she had felt so incredibly happy that morning when she saw Risa walk into Tresor.  Just the mere sight of her was enough to shut off Ai’s senses to the rest of the world and fixate her gaze on that single woman.

   The only down side to this recent discovery was that Ai now had a hard time concentrating on everything else in her life.  The current moment was a perfect example: despite having a lot of cleaning to do all by herself in the large lobby of the Bijou Company building (and having very little time to do it), Ai had been distracted again by the thought of Risa as she had been scrubbing only three tiles clean for the past 30 minutes.  Yes, Niigaki Risa made her happy and all but Ai knew that she really had to pull herself together to get this job done.

   “Ai-san!”

   Oh great. Now she was hearing her voice as well.

   “Ai-san!  Over here!”

   Ai blinked a couple times as she realized that the voice she was hearing was not just in her head.
... ...

   Risa’s cheeks blushed sweet pink as she shrugged.  “Well… I mean… I guess I knew that if I didn’t finish, I would have to stay here late… and if I stayed late enough, I’d… I’d have an excuse to see you again…?”

   The janitor’s mouth opened slightly as her lips slowly curved up in a smile. She started to laugh softly which drew Risa’s attention back to her but she couldn’t help it.  It wasn’t very easy to hide her happiness at knowing how much the bean wanted to see her as well.  Ai could only wonder if the younger woman was as distracted as she was when they weren’t together.
... ...

   Ai shrugged as she stuffed some more food into her mouth.  Risa watched the older woman with sorrowful eyes.  Ai had said she was okay with being pushed to the back but honestly, what kind of person was actually okay with that?  Nobody appreciated being upstaged, especially by their own sister.  Everybody in the world needed someone to notice and admire them for who they are, yet Ai had had no one to pay attention to her.  No one had minded her and no one had cared for her.  And the end result had become that she did not love herself anymore.  She did not know herself and therefore, she could not treasure herself.  That, to Risa, was heartbreaking.
This literally broke me.  :cry: :cry:

   “Are you pitying me?”

   The bean blinked as her eyes refocused on her friend’s face.  “Why would you say that?”

   Ai shrugged.  “I don’t know.  It just seemed like for a second there, you were feeling sorry for me.”  She smiled a little.  “You don’t need to feel sorry for me.”

   “I don’t feel sorry for you,” Risa said.  “I just feel that it’s… regrettable.”

   “What is?”

   “That… you can’t see yourself through my eyes.” 

   “… Through your eyes?”  Ai raised her eyebrows as she laughed.  “Okay.  Well, what do you see through your eyes?”

   Risa smiled.  “When I look at you, I see a beautiful woman who works hard every day to live life.  The world hasn’t exactly had mercy on you but you still dream big and stay strong.  That’s really amazing of you, you know.  Not a lot of people would be able to do that.  And to me, that’s the Takahashi Ai-san who is so beautiful.  That’s the Takahashi Ai-san that I love.” BEAUTIFUL.

   The older woman’s eyes popped wide open.  “That… you… love…?”
... ...

   
         Ai smiled brightly as her fingers closed tighter around the younger girl’s hand.  Risa stared at the linked fingers between her and the janitor, too embarrassed to raise her head.  She was so sure that her face was flushed like a tomato by now.  She never would’ve thought that she’d be sitting one day, holding hands like this with a woman whom she just met, only a couple days ago.  And the strangest part was that she didn’t feel the least bit uncomfortable.  Their connection, the skin-to-skin contact… everything just felt so familiar and right.

   “I’m really glad that I met you, Gaki-san,” Ai said.  “I usually don’t get close to people this easily but… I’m really glad that I can be with you like this.”

   “Well, that’s something I hear often,” Risa grinned, looking up, “but I’m glad you said it.”

   The two women held each other’s gaze for a while, replaying one another’s messages for a while, feeling nothing but relief and joy from being together.  But before one of them could speak again, a different interruption ensued.
O_________O OHMAHGAWDWHO?!

   “You seem to be enjoying your break there, Niigaki.”

   Risa gasped as she jumped up, pulling her hand away, and whirled around to see her black-haired handler strutting towards her.  Ai cleared her throat awkwardly and quickly put her cap back on.

   “J-Junjun-san!” Risa stuttered.

   “Seeing that you seem to be quite lenient with your time,” the panda said with an edge of ice in her voice, “is it safe to assume that your portfolio is finished?”

   “Ano…” Risa mumbled, scratching her head, “almost…?”

   “Well ‘almost’ doesn’t cut it,” Junjun scolded.  “Get to it.”

   “H-hai!”  Risa quickly started to gather her things as her superior swept past her to address the janitor.

   “And you, Takahashi,” she started, “you only started working here yesterday and you’re already slacking off.  We hired you because you said you needed the job, despite you being inexperienced.  But you best remember that we can lay you off just as easily.”

   “… I understand,” Ai answered quietly, bowing her head.  “Please forgive me.”

   “No, wait, this wasn’t her fault,” Risa interjected.  “I was the one who brought the food.  I asked her to eat with me.  I’m the one you should yell at.”

   “Oh I will, believe me,” Junjun said, turning around to face the bean.  “You’re in no position to defend Takahashi.  At least she is considered a full employee here; you’re just an intern.  We could easily replace you with Shimizu or Natsuyaki.  Are we on the same page?”

   Risa swallowed hard as her courage suddenly diminished to nothingness.  She needed this job more than anything else.  It was hard enough paying for the rent and the bills with an internship.  If she got fired right now, that would mean the end of everything.

   “… Yes.”

   “Good.”  Junjun took one more look around at the humbled janitor and intern.  “Back to work, then.  Both of you.”

   The panda disappeared just as quickly as she entered, leaving the two women alone.

JUNJUN. OHGAWDWHY. ;________________;

   Junjun watched the intern and the janitor part ways from behind a wall.  She silently murmured apologies to the both of them as she let out a sigh.  It was her job to chide employees occasionally, and the panda liked to be professional, but never cruel.  And the little warnings that she had just given the two newest employees were beyond cruel.  They were threatening.  And it went against all of Junjun’s morals.

   But the secretary had no choice in the matter.  After all, her own boss had ordered her to keep an eye on Niigaki Risa.  And just that morning, she had received another order to continuously watch Takahashi Ai as well.  Except this time, the underlying meaning was completely different.  Tanaka Shachou had ordered Junjun to make sure Ai kept her head straight and did her job right.  She didn’t have to say anything more.  After spending so many years in service to the young president, Junjun was expected to catch the hidden message.  And she had.

   It’s good that she’s interested in something other than work, the panda thought to herself.

   But was this right?  Separating two perfectly happy people who were obviously more than interested in each other so that Tanaka Reina could squeeze in between?  And more importantly, was it okay for Junjun to play a role in this?

   And the way those two looked at each other…  It was like there was something more than just human emotions.  It was something unbreakable, untouchable. 

   Not even Tanaka Shachou can’t stop something that’s meant to be, Junjun thought.  I hope she realizes this soon… lest she gets hurt. 


WOU. WOU. WOW. I know, Junjun. You approve of THAT BEAUTIFUL LOVE BETWEEN AIGAKI, don't you? ;A; THANK YOU JUNJUN.

You going for a holiday~? Well then... ENJOY YOURSELF!!!! **waves** :)

Offline yellow

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 12 - (7/18)]
« Reply #192 on: July 18, 2012, 02:33:18 PM »
i know that you won't forget aigaki  :lol:
it's a great chapter huh
----------------
enjoy yourself in your trip and give us mega updates when you are back will do. :lol:

Offline Kuji

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 12 - (7/18)]
« Reply #193 on: July 18, 2012, 04:21:05 PM »
Really loving all the delicious tension in this fic.

Junjun is basically like the readers: Takagaki are meant to be! Aah!!! Poor Reina!! T^T

Offline kawaii beam

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 12 - (7/18)]
« Reply #194 on: July 18, 2012, 05:04:43 PM »
im just happy u updated! have a fun and safe trip aiai! >3<
please visit kawaii-chan's avie's and siggies!

Offline arisa03

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 12 - (7/18)]
« Reply #195 on: July 18, 2012, 05:16:26 PM »
#wishesjunreisomehow

Thank you for the follow /o/! I wish I knew your tumblr so I can follow back. XD and oh deaaar I feel sad and heartbroken for reina OTl.

On anothEr note, wow that's a very busy schedule. OTL have a nice vacation and take care~! xD pleasebringsouvenirstoo!
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 sakura_drop_

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 12 - (7/18)]
« Reply #196 on: July 19, 2012, 10:48:42 AM »
Thank you for updating! :bow:

I really like the growing feelings and chemistry between Ai and Gaki :-)

And Junjun is becoming one of my favs in this story ;-)

I'm glad you updated and regained inspiration for TakaGaki :-*
"人間みんな変態だから" - 古川愛李, SKE48 新高柳チームKII 「シアターの女神」千秋楽公演, 2014.04.18 <"Because all people are perverts." - Furukawa Airi, SKE48 New Takayanagi Team KII [Theater no Megami] Last Stage, 2014.04.18>

My Blog: J-Pop and K-Pop Abode   The list of my fics in JPH!P: My fics   My fics can be found here also: AKBlasphemy48   Let's have fun here: Acchan48   My home and family: United Nations Society of Adorkable Writers



My KamiOshis: Yuuko-sama, Rena-sama  Oshimen: Yuihime Other favorites: Mirukii, Juri-tan, Ripopo

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 12 - (7/18)]
« Reply #197 on: July 20, 2012, 11:53:56 PM »
Great thing you got your TakaGaki inspiration back!  :) I am very happy to hear that and please never ever lose it! xD

And this chapter was so cute and sweet  :wub: The chemistry between those two is just so...  :inlove: :inlove: :inlove:
I really liked it (of course, it's Takagaki....) and I also liked how those two are so shy around each others when something like " omg we are touching each others hands!" happens. xD


   The older woman’s eyes popped wide open.  “That… you… love…?”

   Risa’s eyes also widened shock as she realized what she had just said.  “Seeing!” she blurted out.  “I-I-I meant seeing!  Y-you know, the Takahashi Ai-san that I love… seeing.”

   “Oh… R-right, right, of course…” Ai mumbled, laughing nervously.  “The me.  That you love.  Seeing.”

   “Right.  Exactly.”

   “Exactly.”

   “Right.”

   “So you don’t really… love me,” Ai laughed awkwardly.  “I mean, you can use the word for friends too though—”

   “I don’t love you.”

   “Oh. Right.  Of course.”

   “No!  Oh, I mean…” Risa mumbled, “I don’t… love you, because love is a strong word, but I mean, as a friend—”

   “Right, as a friend, that’s what I mean,” Ai said quickly.

   “Right, as a friend… I mean… I like… you…”

   “I… I like you… too…”

   “As a friend.”

   “Right.”

   “Exactly.”


Yeah, you two really convince me...  :roll:


   “Friends can hold hands, right? Ai asked quietly.  “Close friends, who like each other and speak informally to one another… right?”

   “R-right,” Risa agreed shakily.  “Friends… good friends… can.”

   “Right.”

   “Right.”


Oh come on you two!  Just spit it out you like each others!

And Reina-San pretty please stay away from this. Don't mess with the love birds and JunJun make your boss think something else xD You know nothing can come between TakaGaki ;)


Have a veeeeeeeeery nice, safe and relaxing vacation  8) And remember to rest and relax! Sometimes it is very good to just do and think nothing. It really cleans your mind sometimes and it's easier to continue with other things :). At least this works for me.... XD But have fun on your trip and see ya next time!  :byebye:


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

Offline SarangAi

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 12 - (7/18)]
« Reply #198 on: August 21, 2012, 05:06:45 AM »
@maikeatoot: well i got one HUGE update? does that count as a mega update???  XD XD

@risa_ai: LOL that is some MASSIVE quoting there :lol:

@yellow: teeheehee i hope you'll enjoy this update! XD

@Kuji: lol I'm actually still not sure what i'm exactly doing with Junjun but... yah  :D

@kawaii beam: yee~ thank you~ (i did have a safe trip btw)  :lol:

@arisa03: lol my tumblr is like, abandoned now :nervous

@sakura_drop_: oooh JunJun is your fav?  why? (honest curious question, i was just wondering what it was about the character made it attractive)  XD

@MsSmigge: lol cuz TakaGaki is like godgiven :lol:


TADAIMAAAA~~~~~  :cow:

That was a LONG trip.  I got back five days ago, and i have SO jetlagged (still am.  I was SO sure i had insomnia) :sweatdrop:
at one point, my plane made an "emergency landing" cuz someone got sick and they had to get the paramedic on the plane but it's all cool~  :P
I bought LOTS of clothes in both Korea and Japan and I of course visited the official H!P shop in shibuya~ and i bought pics of Gaki-san, Sayu, Reina, and they gave me a Eripon polaroid for free  :wub:

Best vacation ever.  :twothumbs :twothumbs

and now i am BACK giving you THIS non-proofread chapter!  :nervous

hope you enjoy~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 13 – “Many fought for Juliet’s hand”

   Ever since the day her monster of a stepsister moved in to her two-bedroom apartment in Tokyo, Takahashi Ai had lived an unchanging daily schedule.  It was her job to wake up early, fix Sayumi’s breakfast, go to work, deal with snobby costumers and their diva ways, and now, go straight to her second job and clean her part of the building until every corner sparkled.  It was a tough lifestyle but Ai had gotten used to it.  She had years of muscle and stamina built up, thanks to all the rotten chores that her stepmother had made her do ever since her father passed away. 

   So it definitely came as a surprise to Ai when she woke up one morning to a clanking sound from the kitchen.  Nobody else was supposed to be awake yet; the monkey was always the first one up.  Could it be that a burglar has sneaked his way in somehow?

   Ai groggily sat up in her bed and tried her hardest to listen for more noises coming through the thin walls of her bedroom.  But instead of hearing more sounds, her nose was alerted instead when the scent of something burning started to spread.  Still not fully awake, the monkey made a face as she tried to fathom what could possibly be burning in the kitchen so early in the morning when suddenly, a loud alarm blared throughout the entire house.   Ai felt her body go on automatic as she jumped out of bed and rushed of her room at lightning speed, knowing at this point that something was, indeed, terribly wrong.  She turned into the kitchen where black smoke was filling up the area, surrounding her stepsister who was waving her arms around frantically in an attempt to fan the smoke away.

   “Open the windows!” Ai yelled over the loud beeps, ending her order with a nasty cough. 

   The bunny did as she was told (for once) while the older sibling rushed towards her, into the smoke.  She quickly removed the burnt frying pan from the stove and onto a wire cooling rack and switched off the fire.  Apparently, Sayumi was feeling especially generous that morning because she was the one who rushed towards the fire alarm controller on the living room wall and shut it off to cease the blaring siren, instead of leaving most of the dirty work to her sister as usual. 

   Determining that the worst was over, Ai felt her body go limp from lack of rest.  Her sleep had only been interrupted for a couple of minutes but to someone as busy as Takahashi Ai, every second was precious when it came to relaxing.  As the smoke started to finally clear out, the exhausted monkey caught sight of the fidgeting bunny a couple feet away from her, avoiding eye contact.  Ai opened the mouth to speak but then she realized that she had no idea where to start. 

   “…Sayu…”

   “Un…?”

   “… Why was the kitchen on fire just now?”  Oh, great question, Ai.  Now you’re going to get her on another rampage—

   “It wasn't my fault!”

   There we go.

   “I… All I did was just turn the stove on!” Sayumi claimed.  “And then it just burst in flames by itself!  It wasn’t my fault!”

   “Sayu… You know that this apartment is old and sometimes, we need to be gentle with things,” Ai sighed tiredly.  “When you turn on the stove, you need to let it heat up to the lower setting first before you turn up the heat.  You can’t immediately switch it onto the highest level…”

   “W-well… how was I supposed to know that?” the bunny snapped.  “I don’t ever use the kitchen!”

   “Yeah, I know you don’t…”  Then, Ai blinked a couple times as she slowly came to a realization, her sleepy eyes refocusing on her sister.  “Now that you mention it, why were you in the kitchen?”

   Sayumi’s eyes popped wide open as her mouth started to open and close repeatedly as if she was trying to formulate the right words.  “I… I was… um…”  Unable to find a suitable excuse, she suddenly yelled in an angry tone.  “What, am I not allowed to be in my own kitchen?!  Just because I don’t go in there often, it doesn’t mean I’m banned from going in there or something!”

   “No, no, no, no, of course you’re not,” Ai said quickly.  “It’s just that… well, you know, it’s a rarity to see you up in the morning so early… before me… in the kitchen… burning food…”

   “I… woke up because I was hungry,” the bunny mumbled, casting her eyes away.  “I must not have eaten enough dinner last night.”

   “So… you tried to make yourself breakfast,” Ai said, smacking her lips dryly.

   “Yes.”

   “Specifically, an omelette.”  The older sister nodded to the rolled up egg product on the frying pan.

   “Exactly.”

   Ai’s face tightened a little as she looked at her younger sibling with doubtful eyes.  “Sayu, you hate omelettes.”

   “I-I know…”  The bunny started to chew on her lips as she nervously twiddled her fingers.  “But… you like them.”

   The older girl’s eyes grew wide as she looked at the omelette and then back at her sister.  “You… made this… for me?”

   “W-w-well, I mean, I didn’t want to eat alone!” Sayumi stuttered, keeping her chin up in the air.  “I was gonna wake you up when my toast was done so I would have company while I eat.  Don’t think so highly of yourself, mou!”

   The spoiled stepsister quickly strutted to the kitchen table and sat down in her chair with her arms crossed and head held high, trying to hide her reddened face from her older sibling.  Ai just stared for a while, still unable to believe that the bunny would cook for her, much less do anything for her benefit.  She caught sight of the slices of bread that was still sitting in the toaster and touched it.  The bread was crispy but cold; it had been long since the toast was done and ready to be eaten.  But omelettes took more time to cook. 

   Smiling, Ai pushed the toaster lever back down and set the level to the lowest setting so that the toast would just be reheated and not burnt.  Then, she took out two plates from the cupboard and scooped the half-burnt omelette on to one of them.  When the bread popped out of the toaster in no time, Ai scooped those on to the other plate and grabbed some utensils from the dish rack.  She then waltzed to the dining table and placed the food in front of her sister and herself.  Sayumi stared at her in disbelief.

   “What are you doing?” she asked.

   “I am about to eat breakfast with my younger sister,” Ai replied, starting to cut the omelette with a knife.

   “Baka, you can’t eat that!” the bunny protested.  “It’s all burnt; you’ll get sick!  You should just throw it away—”

   “How can I throw away something that my beloved sister worked so hard on?” Ai said, grinning.  “I’m going to finish every last bite; you watch me.”

   “But—”

   Before Sayumi could put up more of a fight, Ai popped a slice of the omelette into her mouth and started to chew.  The bunny swallowed hard and watched her sister nervously.  She felt like she should somehow make her Onee-chan spit out the darn thing before she could damage her health but another part of her desperately desired to know if she enjoyed her food or not.  After all the effort she had put in on making the omelette, she sincerely wanted a good response.

   “H-how is it, Onee-chan…?” Sayumi asked quietly.

   Ai chewed some more before she swallowed the food.  She blinked a couple times as she slowly put her utensils down.  “Sayu… did you really make this?”

   “I… I might’ve messed up the proportions a bit…”

   “Well you must’ve done something right,” Ai said, slowly grinning, “because this tastes absolutely delicious!”

   “Hontou ni?!” Sayumi    gasped, unconsciously slamming her hands down on the table.  “Hontou, hontou?!”

   “Un!” Ai laughed.  “It’s only burnt a little on the outside, the inside is delicious!  The cheese really melts in my mouth!”  The woman forked another piece and put it in her mouth as she sighed in satisfaction.  “Oishii na~”

   Sayumi blushed a little as she smiled happily.  Then, as her mind popped back into reality, she crossed her arms across her chest again and leaned back in her chair nonchalantly.  “W-well, I guess if burnt food suits your taste buds… it’s better for you to eat it rather than throw it away.”

   “Then it’s okay if I finish this, right?” Ai beamed.  “Arigatou, Sayu!”

   “D-don’t thank me,” the younger sister mumbled.  “You’re the weird one for liking ruined food…”

   Ai just laughed quietly at her sister’s tsundere attitude and joyfully turned her attention back to her omelette.  Sayumi tore a piece of the toast and started to nibble at it as she watched her older sister scarf down her breakfast.  A smile spread across the bunny’s lips again, an unimaginable amount of happiness taking over her heart.  This was good.  She was doing well so far.  At this rate, she would be able to win over what she wants.  She will prove to Eri that her concern was for nothing.  She knew where her rightful place was and she would do anything to take it from that Risa girl.  This was only the start.

**  **  ** 

   “Shimizu, please say aloud the directions that were given to you for this assignment.”

   “To make 10 different sketches of summer designs, Shachou.”

   “Then why, if I may ask, are the hair styles in your sketches done better than the actual clothes?”

   Miyabi quietly snorted a laughter while Saki turned bright red and scrunched up her body as if she wanted to disappear.  Junjun cleared her throat to stop the blond girl from laughing further as Risa bit down on her lip and stole glances at the president, who was eyeing the youngest intern curiously.

   “I’m sorry, Natsuyaki, did I miss something, by chance?” Reina asked, putting down the portfolio on the table.

   “It’s nothing, Shachou,” Miyabi said quickly, hiding a smile.  “I just… I found it kind of funny that Captain unconsciously focused more on the hair designs than the clothing designs.  It’s just very characteristic of her.”

    “Hm,” the kitten remarked, uninterested.  “I see we don’t share the same type of humor, Natsuyaki.”

   That shut the girl right up as she cleared her throat and held her tongue.  Saki kicked her friend under the table in retribution for speaking out while Risa fidgeted nervously in her seat.  Even Junjun seemed a little bit uncomfortable by the excessive coldness that was being displayed by her boss today.  Ever since this meeting to check the portfolios of the interns had started, Reina had been rather brutal with the comments.  Mind you, she only uttered facts.  However, she had been especially nitpicky this morning, holding far too harsh a standard for mere interns.  Risa could only imagine why.  Just about a week ago, the president seemed perfectly fine.  Had something happened during the past couple days she hadn’t seen Shachou?

   “Well, I suppose that does it for today,” Reina sighed, closing the final portfolio and setting it aside for Junjun to take.  “Your next assignment is to do the same exact thing.”

   “The same exact thing?” Risa repeated.

   “Yes,” Reina answered.  “But this time… do better.”

   Miyabi’s mouth popped open but she immediately closed it.  Saki sighed shakily as though shivers had run up her spine.  Risa pursed her lips tightly and nodded to herself. 

   “Other than this assignment, we’ll be putting a new plan in motion starting today,” Junjun announced.  “Tanaka Shachou wishes to personally analyze each of your characters and visions.  So, each of you will accompany Shachou on her weekly public market scoping and offer your opinion on various topics.  We’ll go in age order so… I guess that means you’re up first, Niigaki.”

   Risa looked up as she swiftly stood up.  “H-hai…”

   “I’ll call for a car so you can leave immediately, Shachou,” Junjun said.

   “No need, Jun,” Reina interjected.  “I feel like driving today.  We’ll take my personal car.”

   “As you wish.”

   “Niigaki.” 

   Risa saw her boss motion for her with her fingers as she exited the conference room.  The bean rushed to gather her stuff as she quickly followed behind, deeming herself quite unlucky to be chosen to accompany the kitten on one of her bad days.

   The president refused to decrease her speed as she continued to walk in front of the struggling bean at all times.  Soon enough, they were in the president’s glossy sports car and driving down the road.  Risa nervously glanced at her boss who seemed to be fully engrossed in her driving.  She didn’t want to irritate the stern kitten but she also wanted to know if something was the matter.  Ever since their previous conversation, Risa had deemed Tanaka Reina a rather fine person who had a soft spot, just like any other human being.  If she was being this cold and stressed, there must be a good reason.

   “Ano… Shachou?”

   “What?”

   “Um… did something happen… maybe?”

   “You’re gonna have to be more specific than that, Niigaki,” Reina said, revealing no emotion.  “A lot of things happen every day.”

   “Well, I mean,” Risa rephrased, “I just thought that you seem rather… upset today.  About something.  And I was just wondering if you would… maybe… like to talk about it?”

   Reina laughed dryly.  “Me?  Upset?  You insult me, Niigaki.  If I was someone who was easily put off by inconsequential things, I would not be able to do my job, would I?  After all, my occupation is quite demanding.”

   “I-I guess so…” the bean mumbled, immediately backing away from the kitten’s cold response.  Hey, if her boss said she was wrong, then she was wrong.  But Risa still could not help but be bothered by the young fashionista’s changed attitude.

   A moment of awkward silence ensued before the kitten spoke up again.  “Rather than worrying about me, I would worry about yourself more, Niigaki.”

   Risa wrinkled her eyebrows in confusion.  “… Hai?”

   “Apparently, a couple nights ago, you were found taking an unauthorized ‘break’ with another employee?” Reina elaborated.  “According to Junjun’s report, that is.”

   “Oh.”  The bean’s body stiffened as she felt guilt and uneasiness swallowing her up.  “Y-yes, it’s… it’s true…”

   “I really hope that you won’t be found being so irresponsible next time,” Reina continued.  “And the janitor that you were found with… what was her name?  Taki… Take…”

   “It’s Takahashi Ai,” Risa instantly corrected as she turned her head towards her employer, a little too assertively.  “Her name is Takahashi Ai.”

   “… Right.  Takahashi Ai.”  Reina forced a natural, professional smile but she could not help her fingers tightening around the steering wheel at the mention of the name.  “You two being lazy together like that doesn’t look too good for her either.”

   “Please don’t penalize her!” Risa pleaded, worry filling her eyes.  “It was my fault, I… I left my post first and interrupted her.  I shouldn’t have done such a thing and I’m sorry.  So please… don’t punish her for something I did.”

   Reina’s face stiffened as her teeth clenched together tightly.  “You… you’re quite close with Takahashi, aren’t you?”

   “Close…”  Risa’s mind flashed back to the night a couple days ago when they had held hands together; the smallest contact that only made them want more.  She smiled a little, lowering her head.  “I suppose you can say that… we’re close.  She’s a good friend.  A very good… friend.”

   Suddenly, the car screeched as it came to a rough halt, throwing the bean’s body forward and back again by the seatbelt.  As Risa recovered from the shock, she saw that her boss at gotten out of the car and walked around to open the passenger seat door for her.  Although she had classy manners, as usual, something about the girl was definitely off today.  The bean quickly undid her seatbelt and got out of the car, not wanting to keep her employer waiting. 

   As Reina closed the door, she said in smooth and controlled voice, “I’m glad you’re making friends within the company, Niigaki.  But… sometimes it’s wiser to make good connections as well, if you know what I mean.  Get to know people who are in the same industry as you.”

   “Oh.”  Risa blinked a couple times while the kitten strutted forward to enter the first store that they were going to explore.  Realizing that Ai was merely a night janitor to Tanaka Shachou, Risa spoke up as she followed her boss into the building, “Well, you know, actually, Ai-chan is—”

   “Irasshaimase!”

   The bean turned to the familiar chorus of voices that greeted them into the store.  She had been so preoccupied with the peculiar conversation with Reina that she had not even noticed which store they had entered.  And the particular store that they were to investigate first and foremost was the ever so familiar Tresor. 

   And when one certain store clerk who was dressed fashionably in tight jeans, a jacket, and a hat raised her head, her eyes immediately connected with Risa’s.  Connected, like magnets, unable to escape each other even if they tried. 

**  **  ** 

   “No.  Way.”  Eri exhaled sharply in disbelief.  “There is just no way!  Are we talking about the same Michishige Sayumi here?”

   “Yes, Eri,” Ai grinned while folding a shirt.  “My younger sister, Michishige Sayumi.”

   “The same Sayumi with the poison tongue?”

   “Yes, the same Sayumi with the poison tongue.”

   “The same Sayumi with the black character?”

   “Yes, the same Sayumi with the black character.”

   “The same Sayumi with the—”

   “Oh for the love of god, Eri!” Ai moaned.  “Yes, yes, yes!  We are talking about the very same Michishige Sayumi!  And that Michishige Sayumi made breakfast for me this morning!”

   “… Did I miss something?” Eri said, wrinkling her eyebrows.  “Is the world ending tomorrow or something?”

   “Come on, Eri, be nice,” Ai chuckled.  “Sayu isn’t all that bad, I’m always telling you.  She’s a sweet girl on the inside.”

   “Yeah, sweet like alcohol, if you know what I mean,” Eri remarked.  “When you’re drinking it, you feel great.  But the next morning, it comes back up because you just can’t hold it down—”

   “Okay, let’s not get graphic here!” Ai interrupted, making a face.  “Point is, Sayu is trying to be nicer, I think.  We should not only be giving her a chance, but also be her biggest supporters as her friends.”

   “… She really is working hard, isn’t she…” Eri murmured.  “You just don’t know when to give up, Sayumin…”

   “Huh?” 

   Ai cocked her head to the side in confusion.  But before she could further inquire the turtle, the doors of the store opened with the chime of a bell.  The two immediately turned towards the door and bowed, yelling out the usual greeting.  But when Ai lifted her head, she immediately caught sight of the face that hadn’t left her mind since the last time she had seen it.  But more alarmingly, a petit woman with a formidable aura stood beside her, staring knives with her eyes.

   “Tanaka Shachou…”

   “Ara, if it isn’t Takahashi?” Reina said in an even tone.  “What brings you here so early in the morning?”

   “I work here, ma’am,” Ai answered curtly.  “This is my day job.”

   “So it is.”  The president smiled amusingly.  “How unusual for such a fashionable store clerk to also be working such a lowly job as a janitor…”

   “It was a necessary action I had to take to survive,” Ai replied, not phasing the slightest bit.  “But rather than speak of my private matters, may I know the reason for your visit to Tresor, Tanaka Shachou?”

   “Ah, of course.”  Reina wrapped one arm around her employee who had been quietly standing by her side until now.  Her hands gently rested on the bean’s shoulder while Risa gasped softly at the sudden contact.  “Niigaki here and I were just on a little… adventure, you could say.  Do you mind if we have a look around?  As costumers, of course.”

   “You are more than welcome to do so, Okyaku-sama.” 

   All heads turned towards the woman who had just spoken up for the first time since the two women’s entrance.  Eri walked forward until she was a step in front of Ai and bowed at a perfect 45 degree angle to Reina and Risa. 

   “Please excuse my worker, Okyaku-sama,” she said, smiling brightly.  “All Tresor employees are required to call our shoppers Okyaku-sama and nothing else, in order to stress the idea that all costumers are of equal standing in this store.  Every last client is precious to us, you see.  From this point on, I will make sure that you are addressed as only Okyaku-sama: nothing more, nothing less.”

   Risa’s eyes grew wide while Ai watched Tanaka Reina’s face harden.  She had to guiltily admit to herself that she was happy that the turtle had stood up for her like that.  It was undeniable that everyone in the room understood the true meaning of Eri’s words: no hotshot fashionista was going to strut into her shop and pull a diva move.  As long as they were in this store, Tanaka Reina was just Tanaka Reina, an “Okyaku-sama”, just like anybody else.  “Tanaka Shachou” would have to back off until she was out on the streets again because in Tresor, Takahashi Ai was Kamei Eri’s employee, not Tanaka Reina’s.

   “Now, if I may make a suggestion, Okyaku-sama,” Eri continued in a clear and preppy voice, referring to her right, “you can start looking around from this side.  If you need any assistance, my employee here will be available to help you.”

   Reina clenched her teeth and revealed a tight smile, refusing to let herself boil over.  She had never been talked to in such a manner before.  As offensive as it was, she had to admire the girl’s guts and professionalism.  “Thank you very much.  I’ll gladly follow your suggestion.” 

   The kitten turned to the direction that the turtle had referred to and waved Risa over, to which the bean responded immediately.  Ai turned her head to look at her friend, her eyes showing a mixture of gratitude and uncertainty.  Eri smiled, not a hint of worry in her expression, and just patted the older girl’s arm as a comforting gesture.  As the turtle lazily made her way back to the counter, Ai noticed that Risa was staring at her.  The bean was obviously troubled because of the previous tense moment, the “silent war” that had occurred.  Deciding that she was going to have to be the brave one, Ai grinned as though nothing had happened and walked towards the two visitors to “assist” them, as Eri had aforementioned.  Risa eyed the older girl warily, reluctant to drop her suspicions, but did seem a bit relieved that Ai seemed very cool about the situation. 

   “Niigaki, are you listening?”

   “H-hai?!”

   Risa quickly turned her attention to the young president who was holding up a cute summer dress.  “I asked, what can you tell me about this dress?”

   The bean breathed in deeply and let it out to calm herself.  Although she wasn’t in the Bijou company building, she was still in the middle of working a job.  She had to focus.  “Well… those summer dresses are quite popular these days… Bijou also has a collection ready… Um, I guess it’s better for the waist band to be higher up so the wearer’s legs look longer and her figure becomes slimmer…”

   “Okay, good enough,” Reina interrupted, putting the dress back on the rack.  “I’ll take that as your warm-up answer.”  She looked around a little bit and then pulled out a simple white dress.  “Talk to me.”

   “Eto…” Risa mumbled, distracted by the mere fact that a certain someone was standing right behind her, watching.  “I suppose that one’s more of what you would call a ‘base’ dress…  It’s meant to be simple so that you can add other accessories and pieces on top of it—”

   “What would you add to it?” Reina cut in.

   “Me?”  Risa blinked, taken aback by the sudden question.  “I… I guess I would wear this denim jacket that I have at home…?  Um, maybe open-toed heels or sandals…”

   “Do you like this dress?”

   “… I… I guess so…?”  Risa quickly bit down on her lips and opened her mouth again as if to reset her switch.  “I mean, in some way, this dress is much more interesting than the flowery one, right?  The summer dress is just the dress itself but this white one… it can become anything you want.  It can change every single day.  One dress, multiple outfits.  So I suppose that means I do like the white one… a lot.”

   “Better,” Reina commented, the corners of her lips curving up slightly.  “Well, I’ve seen a lot of summer dresses but I haven’t seen these in any collection…”  She checked the back neckline of the dress.  Unable to find what she was looking for, the kitten looked up at Ai and frowned.  “There’s no tag.”

   “That’s because all the clothes here are made personally by Kamei-san,” Ai answered.  “If you look closely, you’ll find the word ‘Tresor’ stitched in by the neckline.”

   “Personally made?” Reina repeated, her eyes showing disbelief.  “So… this shop doesn’t import anything?  From any brand?”

   “That is correct,” Ai nodded.  “We’re more of a clothing boutique than a shop; we create what we wish to create at any time we want.”

   “So that’s why everything here is one-size…” the fashionista murmured.  “That must be terribly inconvenient.”

   The older woman stiffened a little at this.  “Why do you say that?”

   “Well, suppose you receive a certain costumer who does not apply to the one-size-for-all rule,” Reina said matter-of-factly.  “Also, in a small shop like this that doesn’t sell any brands, it’s difficult to accommodate to each costumer’s style.  It’d be much more beneficial and efficient for them to visit a real clothing store.  Wouldn’t you agree, Niigaki?”

   “… I-I… um…”

   “Well, when it comes to sizes,” Ai interjected, a determined look on her face, “we do take private orders to resize the clothes for those costumers.  And if I may, I believe that a small boutique like Tresor is actually much better at accommodating to each costumer’s style.  We don’t have a set collection or plan in producing clothes.  We create what we want and what the costumers want, when they want it.  That is what attracts costumers.  Right, Gaki-san?”

   “W-well, I…”

   “But realistically speaking, Takahashi-san,” Reina shot back, a fake smile plastered on her face, “a company like Bijou is also economically better off than somewhere like Tresor.  We’d be able to give that costumer exactly what she wants.  We are capable of making her happy.  Isn’t that true?”

   Ai felt her fingers automatically curling into a fist.  “Just because we are small, it does not mean the quality of our products are any less exquisite than other companies.  We do our best with what we have and we still manage to satisfy that costumer, or at least we’d like to think so.  If we don’t have the resources to make the costumer happy, we’ll personally sacrifice our own to satisfy her.  And we don’t give up.”

   Silence took over the shop as Reina and Ai glowered at each other, neither of them refusing to break the eye contact.  Risa stood between them, nervously glancing one way and the other, unsure of exactly what was going on.  But the person who understood precisely what was going on stood a couple feet away, leaning on the counter.  Eri had a curious smile spread across her lips, thoroughly impressed by her friend’s newfound courage.  Not bad, Ai-chan… This girl really must be something for you to get that far out of your comfort zone. 

   “Well,” Reina finally said, regaining her composure, “I see that we’re not going to agree any time soon.  But the truth is bound to be revealed soon enough… right?”

   “Of course,” Ai agreed.  “Hopefully, very soon.”

   “Yes, hopefully,” Reina concurred, a sweet mask covering her true face.  “I think we’re done here for today, Niigaki.  We should get a move on.” 

   Risa wordlessly nodded to her boss’ order, all the while keeping her eyes on Ai’s stiffened form.  Reina finally turned away from Ai but instead of heading towards the exit, she grabbed the white dress that she had previously discussed with her employee.  “But before we leave…” she mumbled, and headed towards the check-out counter.  She handed the dress over to Eri.  “I’d like to buy this dress please.”

   “Of course, Okyaku-sama,” Eri said sweetly, taking private pleasure in watching the kitten flinch at her title.  “That’ll be 2500 yen.”

   Reina took out her wallet and handed the turtle a credit card.  After a quick swiping, wrapping, and bagging, Risa found her boss approaching her side again.  The president held out the shopping bag to her employee.

   “It’s yours,” she said.  “Take it.”

   Risa’s eyes grew wide.  “Oh, no, no, no, Shachou, I couldn’t, I—”

   “You said you like it,” Reina said, a hint of laughter in her voice.  “So I bought it for you.  It’s yours.”

   “Shachou… I-I can’t just accept—”

   “You really do have a problem with just doing what your boss tells you, don’t you, Niigaki?” Reina remarked, narrowing her eyes threateningly although her tone revealed her obvious playfulness.  “Just think of it as a gift and take it.  Please.”

   Risa looked at the bag and up at her boss again; her eyes were much softer and welcoming than they were this morning during the meeting.  Something told the bean that accepting this “gift” would be of more help to Tanaka Reina than to herself.  So for the kitten’s sake, Risa graciously accepted the dress.

   “Arigatou gozaimasu, Shachou,” she thanked, bowing.  “I’ll make sure to take good care of it.”

   “I know you will,” Reina replied, revealing a bright smile.  That smile.  It was the smile that no one had the good fortunes to witness, yet Risa had already seen it once before on the day she first went to work at Bijou Company.  Why she had been allowed to see that smile multiple times while others have never caught a glimpse of it, she did not know.  But being a fully grown 23-year-old, Risa wasn’t blind.  What if maybe… just maybe… Tanaka Reina was… towards her…?

   “Well then,” the president started, turning towards the storeowner, “thank you for allowing us to look around… Kamei-san, was it?  And of course, Takahashi-san, for your services.”

   “Our pleasure,” Eri giggled.  “Please come visit again… Okyaku-sama!”

   Reina flinched again ever so slightly before moving on towards the exit.  Ai had to bite down on her lips to stop herself from laughing and appreciating her friend’s wittiness.

   The kitten left the store with a jingle of the bells and Risa was right behind her.  But at the last moment, the bean turned around and dashed towards Ai and stopped, seeming to forget the words that she had been rehearsing in her head for a while.  She wanted to make sure that her friend was okay, that she wasn’t offended in any way, and that there may be no…  “misunderstandings”.  Unfortunately, her brain was in such rush to make sure that she caught up to her boss in time that she couldn’t exactly spit out all her thoughts in an orderly fashion.

   “I…” Risa mumbled, “ano… I’ll see you tonight?”

   Ai chuckled.  “Well, actually… I’m not working tonight.  It’s Saturday.”

   “Oh, right!” Risa prattled at top-speed, laughing nervously.  “Right, right, right, of course, of course, I-I-I completely forgot about that, um—”

   “And since I’m not working tonight,” Ai continued, cutting into Risa’s chain of incoherent words, “I have some free time left…  Maybe we can get tea or something later?”

   A huge grin slowly appeared on Risa’s face.  “Tea… sounds great.”

   “I’ll call you,” Ai smiled. 

   “Yes!” Risa laughed awkwardly again.  “Yes, yes, yes, please, call me, do call me, I’ll just, um—I gotta go.”

   Flashing one more bright smile with red blush staining her cheeks, Risa twirled around and pranced out of the boutique.  Ai just simply laughed to herself, finding the bean rather cute today as she lost her usual mature composure.  But she knew that wasn’t the only thing that was different today.

   “You’ve changed.”

   Ai smiled and whirled around to face her friend who was grinning from ear to ear.  “Who, me?”

   “Yes, you!” Eri laughed.  “You just seem more… confident.  Empowered.  Ready.”

   “I think I am all of that today,” Ai shrugged, beaming.  “I don’t know why, I’m just… I feel like I want to become stronger.  I want to work for it.”

   “That’s the spirit!” Eri cheered.  “You just remember that I’m always here to help you too, if you ever need me.”

   “Believe me, I haven’t forgotten,” Ai laughed.  “Arigatou, Eri.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ugh that turned out SO much longer than i planned for... OH WELL.  :P

i need to get the story moving faster!  ragskjfowjer;owiej  :banghead:

:byebye: :sleep:

avii&sig by the wonderful kawaii beam~!

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 13 - (8/21)]
« Reply #199 on: August 21, 2012, 05:43:18 AM »
 ah LOVELOVE-SAMA !!! welcome back !!!  wait i'll be back to comment..  i need to shout in happiness !

EDIT: haha i know you're going to update today ! thanks God it's holiday ! muhaha! and yay ! reina vs. aichan that's great ! and yeah please update again !! remember the mega updates?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 06:26:09 AM by maikeatoot »

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