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Author Topic: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 22 - (10/28)]  (Read 41866 times)

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 14 - (12/18)]
« Reply #220 on: December 18, 2012, 07:48:17 AM »
So much forgiveness!! >.<! OMG, I love this chapter! Love it! Just when Risa thinks it might be better to let go, Ai goes and does something so romantic! Please don't disappear for so long against after this!! XD

Offline arisa03

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 14 - (12/18)]
« Reply #221 on: December 18, 2012, 02:04:47 PM »
I just saw this omg ; A ; I've been busy all day I couldn't even check it. ;___; but omg Ai-chan so cheesy *dies of cheese* Also, welcome back~

On a side not for some lulz, my iTunes was playing on shuffle, and during the part Risa was contemplating between Ai and Reina, Jounetsu no Kiss wo Hitotsu suddenly played. I was thinking "Am I getting trolled by my iTunes like this?" LOL. Then Ai and Risa kissed. <3
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 MsSmigge

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 14 - (12/18)]
« Reply #222 on: December 18, 2012, 07:15:07 PM »
Heeey, you're alive!! Welcome back, it's so nice to see you again!!  :cow:

And especially when you came back with a TakaGaki chapter  :inlove: :inlove: :inlove:

But I didn't like Aika... Damn that girl, stop messing with Gaki's head and don't kill the TakaGaki!! *Ahem. Here my inner TakaGaki shipper goes again....*

And Ai.... You did something so romantic when Gaki-san wasn't sure about her feelings and brought her back to earth. That was so cute scene between those two and hopefully there's more in the future  :wub: And Risa, you better keep your promise....

Aaaaa, I'm so happy now when I got to read some TakaGaki raburabu  :wub: :inlove:

And don't get stressed too much, if you have had some changes in your life recently. Take your time, buddy  :cow:


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

Offline risa_ai

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 14 - (12/18)]
« Reply #223 on: December 19, 2012, 03:44:04 AM »
DUMDEEDUM AM UPDATE. UDPAAAAAAAATE. FILLED WITH AIGAKI LOVE. **sniffles** You go, Guychan. Go make Risa's yours and show Reina. xD
KISSING SCENE~! *runs back to read*

Offline yunagi

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 14 - (12/18)]
« Reply #224 on: December 22, 2012, 04:31:03 PM »
An update! :w00t: And welcome back!

Quote
“Wow, Gaki-san.  I gotta say, I never knew you had it in you,” she breathed, “but you really know how to play the ladies, huh?”

   “HAA?!” Risa remarked, looking at her friend as though she had lost her mind.  “What are you talking about, Aika?  You know I’m not like that.  Besides, it was just a dress; she was doing it out of courtesy.  I bet she’s going to give gifts to the other interns as well when it’s their turn to go out with her.”
Looks like it’s an innate talent, not bad Risa. Anyway… There is no way a boss would buy an intern anything as costly as a dress, that is unless he/she’s into said intern, and Reina is so into Risa.

Quote
The puppy narrowed her eyes.  “How much was the dress?”

   “2500 yen…”

   “Not bad,” Aika nodded, grinning.  “That says, ‘I’m kind of into you but I’m willing to take it slow so you don’t freak out’.”

   “Since when does yen translate into the Japanese language…?” Risa muttered.
Aika speaks money XD

Quote
  “… I... I don’t know…” Risa mumbled, her chopstick busily swimming in the udon bowl.  “I mean, Tanaka Shachou is… she’s nice and all… She seems all tough and unbreakable on the outside but on the inside, she’s very… human.  I like that about her.”

… “But... there’s something between me and Ai-chan…” Risa admitted.  “At least I think there is.  I don’t know, it’s really confusing, but… I feel really safe when I’m with her.  Like I know her.  But then again, there’s also an uneasiness, almost like we’re at a standstill and we’re both too much of a coward to cross the threshold.  I don’t know what to do.  Plus…”

Stuck in a love triangle, that sucks. It’s even worse for Risa since she’s quite aware of the situation (that and she’s smack dab in the middle of it). On another note she should be flattered at the fact that two gorgeous girls are vying for her attention, well at least one of them is visibly trying.

Ai’s gotta step up her game.

Quote
Risa hesitated.  “I’m just… worried about her, too.  I mean, from what I can tell, it seems like… Tanaka Shachou isn’t exactly… fond of Ai-chan.  And if what you said is true about Tanaka Shachou… you know… towards me?  I’m scared that Tanaka Shachou might be even harsher towards Ai-chan.  And I don’t want to be the cause of that.”
And again, that sucks. It’s getting more and more like the tragic forbidden love story of one of its predecessor.

Quote
Aika gazed at the older girl for a while, watching her intentionally abuse the udon noodles now by cutting it off, limb by limb, with chopsticks.
Oh God I can totally imagine this. xD

Risa-Aika talk

Damn, looks like things aren’t in Ai’s favor. Ai, do something! >.< Still rooting for takagaki.

Takagaki moment

Okay… at first I was all there is no way any sane person would go out of their way to climb a building just to speak to a person, its love I tells you! Then I got a little disappointed at the thought that Risa’s actually going to pull away. Then there’s
Quote
  “Gaki-san, I can take anything else you throw at me,” Ai interrupted, staring at the younger girl intensely, “but please… don’t lie to me.
and though it’s a bit uncalled-for I just suddenly though “Ai the walking lie detector”

 :w00t: Yes! Yes! YES! Chuu time~ Ai you sly girl

Quote
“I don’t know what you’re doing but I was just kissing the girl I’m in love with,” Ai said coolly.
  :inlove:

Damn can Risa be any more oblivious? Kinda contradicts my earlier comment… ah well

Quote
“Gaki-san!  Can you come over for a second?”
Noooo… Bad time Aika. Come back later  :lol:

Damn it. Romeo and Juliet. I hope this won’t end tragically as that. More Cinderella influence!  :cathappy:

A though suddenly occurred to me... how did Ai know where Risa lived? ._.
*mind screaming stalker >.>*
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 05:37:23 PM by yunagi »
._.

Offline SarangAi

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 14 - (12/18)]
« Reply #225 on: December 26, 2012, 07:45:21 AM »
@maikeatoot: ehehehe thank you!  yes i wanna update more too!  XD

@kawaii beam: lolll aww i'm glad you dont hate me kiwi~ hehe just a small offering for my mia-ness :lol:

@yellow: haha yup!  everything is fruitful!  well, as good as it needs to be at least lol :D

@rndmnwierd: *takes forgiveness* i won't! i rly won't!  well.  i'll try not to disappear...  XD

@arisa03: Cheesy is ma middle name  XD lol your itunes speaks the truth!  XD

@MsSmigge: hahaha well don't hate Aika too much!  She has her reasons!  I think. lol XD

@risa_ai: hahaha sounds like you liked it! :D

@yunagi: for your last question.... shhhhh just go with it!!!  :nervous :sweatdrop: XD


and i'm BACK!  Sorry I'm a bit late for xmas guys...
But nevertheless, merry christmas, happy holidays, to all!  :cow:

and here is a late christmas gift!  XD

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

Chapter 15 – “The Stepsister hated Cinderella… Or did she?”

   It was quite a rarity for this to happen to Takahashi Ai but for once, she could say, from the bottom of her heart: life was good.  Very good, in fact.  Anyone could tell that she was rather enjoying her days by the way she would make a random full twirl while working in Tresor, the way she had an extra spring in her steps while mopping up the floor, the way she would space out in the middle of the street with a dumb smile plastered on her face…  Indeed, it was quite obvious that Ai loved the way her life was turning out right now.  The phrase, “time flies when you’re having fun” did not even cover the type of joy she was experiencing in her life.  But alas, it was a perfect description of her current state as nearly a month had gone by in a flash since the night that triggered all this bliss: the night she had kissed the girl she loved.

    The past four weeks—give or take a couple days—had been the best Ai had had throughout her entire existence.  And why not?  She had spent most of her time with her “special” friend whenever neither of them were working, doing simple things together such as getting late-night dessert, walking in the park, or window-shopping.  It didn’t really matter what they did as long as they were together, hand in hand. 

   The odd thing was, there had been no confirmation from neither Ai nor Risa as to their current status regarding their relationship.  They obviously weren’t just “friends” anymore… but neither ever used the term “girlfriend” either.  Nothing was ever spoken aloud yet there was still a bond, a commitment.  They didn’t have to say anything or sign anything in blood; they both just knew.  Labels didn’t matter—they could call each other whatever they wanted.  They were in love.  What was more important than that?

   And today happened to be another one of those happy days where Ai was humming some sort of lovey-dovey tune to herself while dressing a mannequin by the shop window of Tresor.  Eri walked out of the back room with a handful of coin rolls as she spotted her friend drifting away to her own world again, and rolled her eyes while grinning.  It wasn’t an uncommon sight to see Ai singing throughout the work day now.  Just the other week, Eri had caught her jamming out to some sort of love song at the top of her lungs in the bathroom.  It was a bit disconcerting at first but the turtle couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous the whole situation was. 

   “Ai-chan, it sounds like you’re having a little too much fun,” Eri teased, unwrapping the coins to let them scatter on the counter.  “No having fun when you’re at work!”

   “Hai~ hai~” Ai laughed.  “My bad, boss!”

   “I don’t understand how it’s possible for someone to be as happy as you are,” Eri said, placing the coins in their respective cartridge in the cashier.  “You like her that much?”

   Ai turned around and put an innocent face on.  “Who?”  Eri gave her a look, allowing her to break into a smile and turn back to her mannequin.  “Of course I like her that much,” she said quietly.  “I love her.”

   “Wow.” Eri sighed.  “The Takahashi Ai.  A romantic.  Who would’ve thought?”

   “You make it sound like I’ve been a robot my whole life,” Ai said.  “I can be sensitive!”

   “Please,” Eri scoffed, “if you were the sensitive type, you wouldn’t have lasted all those years living together with that monster of your stepmother without breaking down.  And you still live with the devil’s child.”

   “Hey, come on, be nice,” Ai gently scolded.  “She may not have been Mother Theresa but she did raise me, you know.  She’s family.”

   “Some family,” Eri muttered. 

   “Plus, Sayu really isn’t all that bad,” Ai continued.  “Actually, she’s been really nice recently.  She gets up early to make breakfast—well, attempt to make breakfast.  She cleans the house and takes out the garbage…  You know, the other day, I came back to clean, folded laundry.  Can you believe it?  Sayumi, doing laundry?  It was incredible.”

   “Yeah, I wonder what’s gotten into her recently…” Eri spoke under her breath.

   “And guess what?” Ai grinned, walking towards her friend by the counter.  “She even said she’ll drop by today with snacks!”

   “Oh, please, you believe that?” Eri laughed.  “There’s no way, Michishige Sayumi is going to—”

   “What is up with this weather?!  It is way too cold today to be autumn!”

   The two friends turned their attention to the front door as the jingle of a bell followed by some loud complaining announced the arrival of their guest.  A high ponytail of curls bounced behind her head as the woman briskly walked into the store, shivering away the cold.  She breathed heavily as she placed a paper bag on the counter.  Eri stared at the black-haired girl with her mouth ajar as the older woman shot a smug look at her.

   “You were saying?” she beamed.

   “Saying what?” Sayumi asked, unbuttoning her coat.

   “Oh, nothing, nothing at all,” Ai hummed.  “I see you brought snacks, Sayu.”

   “Yeah, and they weren’t easy to get either,” Sayumi sniffed.  “The line was ridiculous today.”

   “I bet that wasn’t the only thing that was ridiculous…” Eri mumbled, her eyes plastered on the bag’s logo.  “You got this from Mano Bakery!  That place is super pricey!”

   “What?”  Ai grabbed the paper bag and checked the logo herself before turning to her step sister with a sorry look.  “Sayu, you didn’t have to do that…  A simple melon bread would’ve been fine.”

   “… A-Are you mad?” the bunny asked slowly, anxiety washing over her face.  “You don’t like stuff from Mano?  I can go back and get something else if you’d like—“

   “No, no, you don’t need to go back,” Ai reassured, smiling a little.  “I’m really grateful that you bought this for us.  But… I’m just saying you didn’t need to spend so much.”

   “Well… it’s fine, as long as you like it,” Sayumi shrugged.  “I like their stuff so I… I just wanted you to try as well.”

   “That’s very thoughtful of you, Sayu,” Ai grinned.  “Thank you.”

   “Yeah, thanks, Sayu!  These taste great!”

   The sisters turned towards the turtle whose mouth was already stuffed with a bite of cupcake, making her words barely coherent.  Ai laughed at the sight but her sister wasn’t too entertained.

   “Eri, that’s so rude!” she yelled.  “That pink one was for Onee-chan!”

   “It’s okay,” Ai continued laughing.  “I’ll have some of the other ones.  You better enjoy that cupcake, aho-kame.  It’s probably the last you’ll ever get from Sayu.”

   “Don’t worry, I’m enjoying it,” Eri giggled. 

   “Mou… you just ruined it…” Sayumi muttered under her breath.

   “Oh, you bought cake, too, Sayu?” Ai said, pulling out a small box from the bottom of the bag.  She opened the side and pulled out a cute chocolate cake adorned with pink and yellow frosted roses.  “Oishii sou!”

   “Wow, that looks really yummy…” Eri commented, licking her lips.

   “Step away from the cake, turtlehead!” Sayumi warned.  “This time, Onee-chan gets the first piece!”

   “… Turtlehead?” Eri repeated, raising an eyebrow.  “Never got that one before.”

   “Come on guys, let’s just eat,” Ai proposed.  “Do we have any forks and plates?”

   “There should be some plastic ones in the back room,” Eri answered, pointing to the curtain door.  “You might have to do a little searching, though.”

   “I’m sure the cake will be worth it,” Ai smiled.  “I’ll be right back.”

   As her sister disappeared behind the curtain, Sayumi found her eyes following her movement, longing for her.  It wasn’t until Eri clicked her tongue that the bunny returned to earth.  The turtle smiled wryly at her.

   “So,” she started, “you and Ai-chan.”

   Sayumi frowned.  “What about us?”

   “You like her,” Eri stated.

   “I like who?”

   “Ai-chan.”

   “… Of course I like her,” Sayumi scoffed.  “I have to like her to some extent.  She’s my sister and I live with her.”

   “You know I don’t mean it like that.”

   Sayumi’s face hardened under the older girl’s unwavering gaze.  It felt as though she could see right through her, all her weaknesses, her secrets, her troubles…  It felt like she knew the bunny better than she even knew herself.

   “What are you talking about?” Sayumi huffed, looking away.  “Onee-chan and I are siblings.”

   “Step-siblings,” Eri corrected.  “You guys don’t even have the same family name.”

   “Eri, stop being ridiculous—”

   “No, you stop, Sayumi,” Eri said firmly.  “You’re just running away from something you already know.  Are you really so blind to your own feelings?  Why can’t you just admit it?”

   “I have nothing to admit—”

   “Oh please, it’s written all over your face.”  Eri sighed in frustrated manner.  She walked around the counter to close the distance between her and the bunny.  “You’re making breakfast for her, you do laundry for her, and now you’re bringing dessert for her… Just think, Sayumi.  Who is the person that you’re constantly thinking of?”

   Sayumi paused, letting the turtle’s question sink in.  The person that she was constantly thinking of…?  Was there such a person?  Who had she ever been concerned about more than she was with herself?  She was always ichiban on her own list.  Who else was supposed to care for her if she didn’t treasure herself first?

   Yet, she knew there was one other.  A very special person.  She absolutely adored her, even more than she did herself.  For this person, Sayumi would do anything.  Because this person was the first.  The first one to…

   “… Fine, you’re right,” Sayumi said, quietly but firmly.  “I love Onee-chan.  I love her more than anyone and I’d do anything to have her.  Well, now you know.  I hope you’re happy.”

   “Well, I can’t exactly say I’m happy about this, Sayu,” Eri sighed.  “Didn’t I already warn you last time?  I told you to let everything go.  I told you to run away.”

   “What if I don’t want to let it go?” Sayumi argued back.  “What if I don’t want to run away?”

   “You know she loves someone else already, Sayumi,” Eri reasoned, pursing her lips.  “She loves Niigaki-san.  They’re together.  They’ve been together for the past month.”

   The bunny bit down on her lips, widening her eyes as if to stop tears from forming.  “Don’t you think I know that already?” she said in a low voice.  “I don’t care if—”

   “Listen, Sayu—”

   “No, you listen, Eri!” Sayumi yelled, a sudden burst of desperation engulfing her voice.  “I… I love her.  I love her.  I know I’m a horrible person and I don’t deserve her but… can’t I at least be allowed to chase her?  I can’t even have that much?”  Her voice broke at the last word spoken as she bit her lips to keep from completely losing herself.  “She’s all I have, Eri.  She’s the only one who… who stayed by my side.  I love her.”

     Sayumi turned her head away after making the bravest confession of her life.  Eri looked at her with unwavering eyes and an unchanged expression.  Her face was flawlessly smooth, free of all emotion, as she simply looked upon the younger girl with some sort of remorse in her eyes. 

   “… So that’s what you’ve chosen for yourself…?” she murmured softly under her breath.  “Even though you’ll only get hurt in the end…”  She slowly stepped closer to the black-haired girl.  “Even though she’ll never look back at you… you’re just going to keep chasing her?” 

   Then, the older girl reached out towards her friend, gently placing her hand on her cheek.  Sayumi slowly raised her head to look at the turtle, her face evident of her shock at the sudden contact.  Eri’s eyes were dark and serious, something that had never been seen before in the girl.  Her hand softly yet slowly caressed the bunny’s cheek, as if to comfort her or to pity her.

   “Why can’t you take the easy way out and give up?” she whispered.  “Why can’t you… choose otherwise…?”

   Sayumi felt her cheek growing hot where the older woman was touching her.  She could not hide the surprise in her face no matter how hard she tried to calm herself down.  Her words continued to echo over and over in her head.  Choose…  Choose…?

   “Ugh, that took way too long!  Sorry, guys!”

   Along with the loud voice, Ai stumbled out from the curtains, holding a box of plastic utensils and plates.  Before the bunny knew it, the turtle was already steps away from her, skipping back towards the cake on the counter. 

   “Mou, Ai-chan!” she whined.  “You had us waiting for a while there, you know!  I was starting to think we’d have to eat with our hands!”

   “Gomen, gomen,” Ai laughed.  “Here: plates and forks!”  She then did a double-take as she spotted her stepsister, frozen a few feet away.  “Sayu, come on!  We’re gonna cut the cake!”

   “Yeah, Sayu, hurry!” Eri grinned at her.  “I’m really hungry~”

   Sayumi remained in her place, her eyes plastered on the turtle who was now smiling brightly at her.  Her serious and dark demeanor that had shocked her moments ago was now nowhere to be found.  She was just her old turtle self again, as if the way she had caught the bunny off guard was just a dream.  However, her words could still be heard.  Choose… otherwise…

   “I… I think I’ll just go home,” Sayumi mumbled, casting her eyes down.  “I need to… I have something to do.”

   “Well, at least have some cake before you go!” Ai offered.  “You brought it, after all.”

   “Gomen, Onee-chan,” Sayumi apologized.  Her hands at her side started to ball up into a fist, as if to stay in control of herself.  “I’ll see you at home later.”

   With that, the bunny hurried out of Tresor without bothering to look back.  Ai stood with a blank face, trying to figure out what had just happened.  Sayumi seemed a little odd.  She wasn’t really the type to just run out like that.  Rather, she proudly walked out as if she owned the world.  And she… she actually apologized for not being able to stay.  She apologized.  Either something had happened or she was seriously ill.

   “Nee, Eri,” Ai said, tapping her friend who was already digging into her piece of chocolate cake.  “Is it just me or is Sayu acting a little weird?”

   Eri shrugged.  “I don’t know.  I thought she was being her normal self.”

   “I don’t know…  Something just felt off,” the older woman said.  “Maybe she’s sick…  The weather is getting a bit cold.”

   “She seemed fine when I was with her…” Eri said, forking another portion of the cake into her mouth.  “If you want, you can take some cold medicine with you.  I think I have some in my purse.”

   “Yeah, I think I’ll do that,” Ai nodded.  “Arigatou.”

   “No problem,” Eri chirped, revealing a childlike pure smile.  “I hope… she feels better soon.”

**  **  ** 

   Sayumi jogged down the street until she felt that she had come a certain distance away from Tresor.  She stopped in her tracks and breathed heavily.  She was definitely not the one for exercising.  She moved away from the middle of the sidewalk and took to a small alleyway between two buildings so she could catch her breath for a minute.

   No matter how hard she tried, it was impossible.  She couldn’t get Eri’s face, her serious words, out of her head.  Choose otherwise… Choose…  What the hell was that girl even saying?  She was… trying to get her to give up on Ai.  For her own good, it seemed.  It was a reasoning that someone like Sayumi would never understand yet it was something very logical for the turtle to do.  Or just the rest of humankind.  We were supposed to be a compassionate race: something Sayumi could never comprehend.

   Choose otherwise.  Sayumi couldn’t help but laugh out loud at this as she coughed out a dry chuckle.  Choose?  Eri spoke as if she had a choice.  Well, Sayumi knew very well that if she did have a choice, she would choose not to have such feelings for her older sister.  There was just too many complications involved, too much pain.  It consisted of everything that Sayumi preferred to stay away from. 

   But alas, she had no choice.  From the very day that the two sisters had met, Sayumi’s fate was sealed.  After all, Ai had been the first.  She had been the first to smile at her, the first to attempt at getting closer to her, the first to hold out her hand.  No matter how horribly Sayumi treated her, she was the first to not run away.  She had been the first to give Sayumi a chance to be herself. 

   “I don’t have a choice…” Sayumi mumbled, her legs giving out as she slipped down into a crouch.  She forced a helpless smile but alas, her tears betrayed her.  “I don’t have a choice, you know…  I love you.  I love you so much… Onee-chan…”  I love you, Ai…  I love you.  I love you.  I love you.

   How could anyone choose otherwise?

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

a bit of sad chapter for the holidays... sorry!  :nervous

But i'm planning out the next chapter so i can get this story moving! YER!  XD

 :byebye: :sleep:

avii&sig by the wonderful kawaii beam~!

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 15 - (12/26)]
« Reply #226 on: December 26, 2012, 09:22:18 AM »
Omg an update!  :w00t:  :on gay:

Awwww, cute Ai-chan in her own little TakaGaki world all the time~  :luvluv1:
I kind of figured out earlier that Sayu liked Ai, but what's that moment with Eri and Sayu?  :?  :dunno: I have many thoughts in my head about this, but I think I wont say anything.... Yet. xD

And yes, Sayu, leave Ai-chan alone. She is already taken~
But I wonder is there going to be problems now that Sayu knows who Ai is dating... Maybe she will team up with Tanaka and together they will make some evil plans, so they would get what they want?  :lol:
I hope this wont happen though....  XD

And Aika has no reason to try to stop the TakaGaki love!!  :angry: Damn that kid, if Ai-chan "hadn't been there for Risa" when Aika talked with Risa, that brat would have done some serious damage to Takagaki and then.... *Kicks her takagaki-fan alter ego away*


Anyways, merry Christmas to you too~ :mon santa4:


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 15 - (12/26)]
« Reply #227 on: December 26, 2012, 09:58:51 AM »
All my SayuEri feels -/shot

Poor Sayu tho ; 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 yellow

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 15 - (12/26)]
« Reply #228 on: December 26, 2012, 01:50:14 PM »
Sayu actually did have the choice... just that she did not consider our aho turtle.

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 15 - (12/26)]
« Reply #229 on: December 26, 2012, 05:46:57 PM »
I actually feel a little bit sorry for Sayu. but it sounds like Eri might, potentially be interested in lighting her fire?

Offline risa_ai

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 15 - (12/26)]
« Reply #230 on: December 27, 2012, 04:27:44 AM »
Eri likes Sayuuuuuu~ *wiggles eyebrows creepily* MUAHAHAHAHAHA OKAY SO RIGHT NOW ALL WE NEED IS KAMESHIGE TO GET TOGETHER, AIGAKI TO GET MARRIED AND JUNJUN AND REINA TO... well... *smirks*
Merry CHRISTMASSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! *throws a cake over*

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 15 - (12/26)]
« Reply #231 on: December 27, 2012, 06:11:20 AM »
 oh yeah i knew it !!! ♥SAYUERI♥ !!!!!!!  :onioncheer: :wigglypanda: you go Sayu why don't you choose Eririn ? weeeeeeeeeew !  :on gay: MErRY CHRISTMAS !!!!!!!!!
it's late i know  :nervous ! thank you for the update LOVELOVE-SAMA !  :kneelbow: :luvluv2: please update again !!! yay !  :cow:




 PS : ♥KAMESHIGE♥  :byebye:

Offline yunagi

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 15 - (12/26)]
« Reply #232 on: December 28, 2012, 02:42:24 PM »
Love is in the air~ And it seems like it has spread all the way here. I keep seeing couples going goo-goo over here.

Ai’s totally got the loooove fe-vah! And it looks like Sayu’s stepping it up a notch.

Quote
She gets up early to make breakfast—well, attempt to make breakfast.
:) Point.

Quote
You know, the other day, I came back to clean, folded laundry.  Can you believe it?  Sayumi, doing laundry?
I bet she bribed the Bishoujo Sentai Ramenger to clean up in exchange for a picture of their idol.

God, Sayu going from nervous to feigning nonchalant in a split of a second. Tsundre Sayu~ Admit that you love your dear sister! XD

Eri stuffing *ahem* helping herself to the cake. Adorable.

And there goes adorable… Can’t say I can imagine Eri going all dark-serious like this but it’s a nice change from the normal kawaii-ahoness of hers.

And… she’s back to her old self.

Poor Sayu.  :(

Belated Merry Christmas~  :cow:
._.

Offline SarangAi

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 15 - (12/26)]
« Reply #233 on: January 01, 2013, 08:04:05 AM »
@MsSmigge: lol~ hey hey don't go giving me ideas! :twisted: hehehe who knows? you might like Aika in the near future  :D

@arisa03: lots of feels in general dude... just lots of feels :nervous

@yellow: lolll one way of looking at it XD

@rndmnwierd: hahaha maybe? maybe not? XD

@risa_ai: CAKE. YES.  :twothumbs

@maikeatoot: lol well i know who you're rooting for :lol:

@yunagi: oh god ramenger :lol: hehe well dark serious Eri is sexy too though~ :drool:


Thanks for the comments everyone~!

AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 2013 YAY~ :cow: :nya: :JD:

I hope everyone has an amazing celebrating! :D

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

Chapter 16 – “Cinderella was weak and powerless… and she hated it”

   Something was seriously wrong today.  Either Risa was being much too sensitive to details or the world was about to end.  And since the bean preferred to consider herself intuitive rather than sensitive, she decided on the latter option.  After all, it was quite rare for such an atmosphere to settle in the work room when it was just the three interns together.

   And what kind of atmosphere is it?  The heavy kind.  It was the odd, mismatched, uncomfortable kind.  Like the feeling that you get when you realize that the current day is the date that is printed on a carton of milk, but you’re not sure if that date is the “best if sold by” date or the “best if consumed by” date, and the smell is a little suspicious yet not that bad but you’re still unsure if you should drink it or not.  It was that kind of awkward kind of atmosphere.  Because Risa wasn’t sure if she was just paying too much attention to the awkward distance that Miyabi was putting between her and Saki or if there really was something unpleasant going on between the two. 

   Perhaps a fight?  It didn’t seem like a likely cause.  After all, the two didn’t fight.  They argued, like an old couple or like the childhood friends that they are, but they didn’t fight.  Besides, it was just Miyabi who was acting stiff.  Saki actually seemed as equally confused as Risa.  Throughout the whole day, the older girl had been acting like her normal self until she realized that her friend was being unusually unreceptive today.  She wasn’t attacking her with teasing words and loads of affection as usual.  Once she realized something was off, Saki quieted down and started to contemplate as to what could’ve happened to the younger girl.  As she worked on her sketches, she would glance at her from the corner of her eye from time to time, make an uneasy expression, and go back to work.  Miyabi probably noticed this too but she didn’t even bother lifting her head.  So it couldn’t be helped that this unsettling mood was causing Risa to look back and forth between her two colleagues as she sat opposite of them. 

   “Nee, Miya,” Saki finally spoke up, attempting to make her voice cheery as possible, “are you almost done with your sketches?”

   “… Hm?” the younger girl mumbled without bothering to look up.  “Oh, yeah.”

   Risa raised an eyebrow.  Miyabi, giving a short, uninteresting answer to her dear Saki?  Either the girl was deathly ill or this was an alien in disguise.

   “Oh… um… that’s good,” Saki nodded awkwardly, biting her lips in nervousness.  “Nee, nee, do you want to stop by the bakery down the street later?  I was thinking—”

   “I’ll just go straight home, thanks,” Miyabi interrupted.

   The older girl faltered, obviously taken aback by her friend’s cold manner.  “Oh.  Okay.  Well.  Um.  I gonna go get something to drink…  Do you want something too, Miya—”

   “I’m fine.”

   “… Oh.  Well.  Okay.”  Saki got out of her seat slowly, staring at her childhood friend uneasily, before she directed her attention towards the bean with a forced smile.  “Niigaki-san, would you like something to drink?”

   “No, it’s okay,” Risa answered politely.  “I’m finishing up here anyway.  Thanks, though.”

   Captain gave a curt smile as she walked out of the room, shooting one more worried glance at her friend before she closed the door.  The ticking of the clock took over the silence as Risa started to stare skeptically at her younger colleague who was busily moving her pencil across her sketchbook.

   “Well?” the bean started.  “Come on, fess up.”

   “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Niigaki-san,” Miyabi answered, her drawing hand showing no sign of stopping.

   “Oh, please.”  Risa rolled her eyes.  “You’re obviously not yourself today.  Either your love for Shimizu-chan suddenly turned to hate or this is your new way of showing your affection.  And let me tell you, it’s not really working.”

   Finally, Miyabi stopped her motions and slowly lifted her head.  But instead of the hard glare that Risa was expecting, her eyes showed something more like an apologetic gaze.  “I… don’t hate her.  How could I ever?”

   “Yeah, I know that,” Risa said gently.  “So tell what’s bothering you.  Why are you acting like this, all of a sudden?”

   “It’s just…”  The girl sighed as she dropped her pencil and dropped back into her chair.  “I just don’t see the point anymore.”

   “The point in what?”

   “In chasing her!” Miyabi moaned.  “I mean, I’ve always openly expressed how I feel about Saki-chan.  And we’ve been together for so long… she must’ve noticed by now.  So either she’s ignoring my feelings because she doesn’t feel the same way for me, or she actually hasn’t noticed because she’s just dense.”

   “Um, I actually think it could be that she’s just dense in that area…” Risa mumbled.

   “Even so!” Miyabi continued.  “I just… I don’t think I have the energy for this anymore, Niigaki-san.  Captain is never going to return my feelings.  I’m just a friend to her.  That’s all.  So I’m putting some distance between us so I can get over her.  The sooner this happens, the better.”

   Risa knotted her eyebrows.  “I think you might be jumping to conclusions a little too fast there, Natsuyaki-chan.  You don’t know for absolute certainty if she does feel the same way for you or not.  And there’s no way to know unless you directly ask her.”

   “But there’s no way I can do that…” Miyabi mumbled.

   “My point is,” Risa sighed, “I don’t think you should give up so easily.  If you back away now, you’ll never know what you lost.  You have to keep pushing until you have absolute confirmation.  And who knows?  Maybe her answer will be the same as yours…”  The bean’s eyes traveled down a little as she started to stare off into blank space.  A bright smile appeared on her face as her cheeks blushed ever so slightly in pink. 

   “… You talk as if from person experience, Niigaki-san,” Miyabi chuckled.  “Something you’d like to share~?”

   “What?!” Risa shrilled, starting to get embarrassed by her own thoughts of a certain someone.  “N-no, no, there’s no way that’s true!  A-anyway, I just wanted to say that I don’t think you should give up so easily.”

   “Hm… You think so, huh…?” Miyabi murmured, a small grin spreading across her lips.  For some reason, the way Risa gave the advice seemed to ring very true at the moment.

   Then, the door squeaked open as a short girl slipped into the room timidly, holding a cup of coffee with both hands.  She skittered towards her seat, not daring to look up at her cold friend, and sat down.  Miyabi pursed her lips as though in deep contemplation while Risa looked back and forth between the two younger girls again.  Finally, she let out a deep sigh as she shut her sketchbook.

   “Well, that’s it for me today!” she announced.  “I have a prior engagement to honor.”

   “You’re already done?” Saki asked, alarmed at the thought of being left alone with Miyabi. 

   “It’s due tomorrow morning, right?” Risa winked.  “I’m going to finish it at home tonight.  Besides, I feel like I’ve done my job here.”  She glanced at the taller blond girl with a knowing smile, who smiled back at her gratefully.  “See you guys tomorrow!”

   The bean packed her things in a flash and disappeared just as quickly.  Saki looked down at the table uneasily, nervously moving her fingers around the coffee cup.  She didn’t like the tension between her and her friend; they weren’t supposed to be like this.  Miyabi was supposed to be teasing her for being short and serious and she was supposed to be yelling at her for fooling around again.  They were supposed to be closer to each other than anybody else.  There wasn’t supposed to be silence between them…

   “Well, I guess I’m done here, too,” Miyabi said, closing her sketchbook. 

   “Y-you’re leaving?” Saki asked.

   “Yup.”  Suddenly, the younger girl reached over and shut her friend’s portfolio as well.  “And you’re coming with me.”

   “… Ee?”  Captain looked up at her childhood friend who was grinning at her in the same old way she always did. 

   “You said you wanted to go to the bakery, right?” Miyabi said.  “So come on!  If we don’t hurry, they’re going to close!”

   “Miya…” Saki mumbled, her eyes growing big in surprise at the sudden change in attitude.  A relieved smile started to appear on her face as she realized her Miyabi was back to normal.  Then, her face quickly dropped into a strict expression.  “But we haven’t finished our file yet.”

   “Oh, who cares!” Miyabi shrugged.  “We’ll finish them at home, like Gaki-san.  We just need to get them in by tomorrow morning!”

   “Well, I’m okay with that plan,” Saki grinned, “but are you sure you’re okay with it?  I mean, you always get distracted when you work at home.  You’re not going to miss the deadline tomorrow, are you?”

   “Mou, Captain, what do you take me for?” Miyabi moaned.  “I’m not a kid anymore.  I’ll definitely finish it so don’t you worry.”

   “Hey, I’m just doing my job here,” Saki said, getting up.  “Babysitting you, that is.  Don’t I always do that, little slack-off Miyabi-chan?”  She poked her friend’s forehead playfully as she laughed.

   “Itai!” Miyabi remarked.  “Mou, Saki-chan!  I’m an adult now too, you know!”

   “Hai, hai,” the older girl laughed.  “But you know I’ll always be looking out for you.”

   The younger girl grinned.  “And I’ll always be here for you.  Saki-chan, daisuki!”

   “O-oi!  Let me go!  You’re squeezing me too hard!”

   Miyabi just laughed as she refused to let go of their embrace.  She would take Risa’s word for it, at least for now.  She won’t give up until she knew the absolute truth.  Until the day she has the courage to confess her feelings…

**  **  ** 

   A soft melody played in the elevator as Risa naturally hummed along to it.   She watched the numbers at the top go down, one by one, indicating each floor that she passed through.  Soon, the first floor lit up and flashed out just as quickly.  This was supposed to be the bean’s original stop but her plans had changed unexpectedly.  Her previous intention was to meet up with her companion at the first floor lobby, but since she had left the conference room a couple minutes in advance to give her two colleagues some alone time together, she was running a little early.  So instead of going to the first floor, Risa had decided to go straight down to the locker rooms in the basement where Ai would be getting ready to leave.

   The elevator doors slid open to reveal a long narrow hallway.  After a couple steps, Risa approached a door marked with a sign that indicted it as the female locker room.  She slowly entered the room and looked around in slight confusion.  She had never been in here before.  In fact, she had never been in the basement at all.  As an intern, she had never had the need to use the locker rooms provided for the employees.  So it was only natural that she thought of this place as a sort of foreign territory.

   Keeping a watchful eye, Risa slowly progressed into the locker room, passing each aisle one by one.  Eventually, she did a double take as she noticed the only other person in the room with her, standing in front of an open locker in one of the aisles.  The bean recognized the figure immediately as her lover but one thing kept her from announcing arrival.  Instead of calling out to her, all Risa could do was stare with big eyes with her mouth dropped open.

   There, in front of her, was Ai, wearing her usual janitor uniform… except the top was unbuttoned, revealing her bare upper body that was kept modest with only a black bra.  As the woman pulled the shirt off, Risa couldn’t help but gasp softly at the simple perfection that was her lover.  Her skin looked smooth and creamy, not to mention her flawlessly slim figure.  As Risa felt her cheeks starting to turn hot, she noticed the older woman had started to smile.

   “Having fun peeking, Gaki-san?”  She turned her head towards the bean who flinched, embarrassed at being caught red-handed. 

   “I-I-I wasn’t peeking!” Risa denied, her entire face flushing.  “I o-only just got here!”

   “If you say so,” Ai laughed.  “It’s not like you haven’t seen me shirtless before anyway.”

   Risa looked away, feeling her temperature rising even more at her lover’s words.  It was true, however; this wasn’t the first time she had seen Ai topless.  In fact, she had seen her seminude multiple times already in the past month or so, and vice versa.  The odd thing was, they hadn’t even gone as far as one would think.  It was mostly just kissing and some heavy making out that somehow mysteriously caused them to lose their clothes in the process.  Nevertheless, the tension was always there.  It was just that neither of them had really acted on it yet.

   “Let me just finish changing and then we can head out,” Ai said, reaching into her locker for her shirt.  “Where did you want to go again?  I was thinking maybe we could—”

   She stopped short of her sentence when she felt a gentle tug on her pants, near her thigh.  Ai looked at the younger woman beside her who was shyly avoiding eye contact.

   “I… I missed you today,” she mumbled. 

   Ai smiled at this.  This was one of those rare moments where Risa would put herself in the submissive role, purely for Ai’s benefit.  Of course, she only did it because she knew the older woman appreciated it. 

   Taking her hands, Ai led her lover backwards and gently pushed her against the lockers before leaning in to kiss her.  Her warmth enveloped Risa’s lips as the two made gentle yet loving contact.  “I missed you, too,” Ai replied softly as she parted. 

   There was a slight pause before Risa went in to kiss the older woman again, a little more passionately this time.  She needed this.  Being apart for just one day was too long for her.  She needed her beside her, close, like this.  As they parted, Ai chuckled at her lover’s eagerness.

   “You know,” she said, “if you ever want something from me… all you have to do is ask.”

   Risa grinned, blushing pink.  “I’ll keep that in mind.  Now get changed so we can get out of here.”

   “Roger,” Ai replied, saluting the bean.  As she went back to her locker to grab her shirt, Risa spoke up again.

   “Since when do you say, ‘Roger’?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.

   “Hm?”  Ai pulled her arms through her shirt as she thought out loud.  “Oh, I must’ve caught it from the Ramengers at some point…”

   “Ramenger?”

   “It’s nothing, don’t worry about it,” Ai chuckled. 

   As she continued to mumble something about her nosy neighbors to herself, the older woman started to strip off her uniform pants and threw it into her locker.  As she dug through for her leggings, Risa’s eyes were automatically drawn towards her lover’s thin legs.  She swallowed hard as her eyes couldn’t resist the temptation of traveling up to the woman’s perfectly shaped butt.  She knew she had to look away but it was easier said than done.  Who could ever simply look away from such a perfect view?  Exhaling sharply, Risa flipped her head away forcefully when she started to feel her cheeks getting hot again.  As she tugged on the collar of her blouse—which felt very constricting all of a sudden—Ai found her tights and glanced at her younger lover.  Realizing what had happened, the older woman suppressed a laughter as she quickly finished dressing.  Then, she walked up behind her girlfriend and whispered in her ear.

   “If you want to see, I’ll show you.”  She smiled as she placed her hands on Risa’s thighs.  “But you’ll have to show me something in return, too.”

   Risa gasped as she quickly broke away from her lover’s hold and covered her front in protection.  Her face had gone completely red from being teased.  “Ai-chan!” she scolded, to which she received a laughter in response.

   “Just kidding!” Ai chuckling, holding up her hands in her defense.  “Come on, let’s go!”

   Before Risa could say more, Ai grabbed the younger woman’s hand and hurried out of the locker room and headed straight for the stairs, not having enough patience to wait for the elevator.  Risa kept on yelling out complaints but eventually, she quieted down and instead chose to enjoy this playful moment with Ai.  After all, the rest of the night only promised happiness, with work and chores behind them. 

   In no time, they were up the stairs, past the lobby, and out of the building.  As soon as Risa started to drag her feet from exhaustion, Ai would keep pulling her along.

   “Ai-chan~ wait!” Risa huffed, gasping for air.

   “Come on, come on, I don’t want us to waste any more time!” Ai laughed.  “I want to be with you for as long as possible!”

   Despite becoming more and more tired by the minute, Risa laughed happily at her lover’s logic, thinking she couldn’t agree more.  But before they could further advance in their tracks, the bean’s cell phone rang out.

   “Wait, wait, wait, Ai-chan!” Risa said, forcefully stopping the older woman.  “My phone!”

   “Just ignore it!” Ai said, continuing to pull the bean along.

   “It could be important,” Risa grinned.  “It’ll be just a sec, okay?”

   “Oh, fine,” Ai groaned, finally stopping her movement but refusing to let go of her lover’s hand. 

   “Moshi-moshi?” Risa answered the phone.  “Aika?”

   “Gaki-san!” the voice screamed through the phone, allowing even Ai to hear it.  “You have to come home now!  The people here—I can’t—“

   “Woah, Aika, slow down!” Risa said, confusion taking over her face.  “Where are you?  It’s too loud—”

   “I’m home!  I’m home!” the voice shrilled.  “Come home, Gaki-san—Hey, wait!  You can’t take that!  Drop it!  Didn’t you hear me?  You can’t—Gaki-san, I need help!  They won’t listen!”

   “What help?  Listen to what?  Aika, what’s going on?” Risa shouted back, alarmed by her friend’s hectic tone.

   “Just come home!  Just come home!” Aika screamed.  “Hey—STOP THAT!  WILL YOU PLEASE JUST—”

   A click was followed by a dial tone.  Risa’s eyes widened in fear.  “Aika?  Aika!”

   “What happened?” Ai asked, her face also growing serious.

   “I… I don’t know…” Risa mumbled, staring at her phone.  “But whatever it is… I think Aika is in trouble.”  She turned towards her girlfriend with a sense of urgency.  “I think I should go home, Ai-chan.  I need to go home.  I know we were supposed to hang out tonight but—”

   “Don’t worry, I understand,” Ai said assertively, squeezing Risa’s hand.  “I’ll come with you, okay?  Come on, let’s hurry.”

   Risa pursed her lips together, wanting to find a way to express her thanks to this woman who understood her feelings better than she did herself.  Instead, she just murmured a quick thanks and nodded, hoping that her intentions would still be made clear through her thoughts somehow.  It seemed like it did since Ai smiled at her and squeezed her hand one more time before quickly leading her into the streets.

**  **  ** 

   A series of quick footsteps echoed by the stairwell as Ai and Risa rushed up as fast as they could.  They reached the second floor in no time but as Risa reached for the door, it burst open from the inside as a man carrying a large box walked out.  The bean’s eyes grew wide as she watched the stranger casually walked down the stairs.  Ai blinked a couple times as well, utterly confused.

   “Wha—why—how?” Risa stuttered. 

   She dashed into her home to decipher the situation as Ai followed right behind her.  A gasp elicited from her lips as her mouth dropped open.  “… No…”

   In front of her was no longer the home she always knew.  Instead, the area was completely empty, except for the couple of lingering furniture that was pulled away from the wall and piles of boxes everywhere.  All of Risa’s belongings—television, tables, curtains, picture frames—were nowhere to be seen.  Everything was bare. A group of men, all dressed in the same work uniform, were creating columns with the boxes in the living room as they packed, taped, and tagged all items.  The person that was causing a serious distraction for them like a raging Chihuahua was none other than Mitsui Aika

   “Oi, Oji-san!” she yelled, pulling at the arm of one of the workers.  “I said, you can’t take that!  Stop it, you old geezer!”

   “A-Aika?” Risa called shakily.

   The short-haired girl looked up at the bean, her face growing dark with sadness.  “Gaki-san… and Takahashi-san, too…”

   “What’s going on here?” Ai asked.  “Why is your place being emptied?”

   “They… They said they were just following orders,” Aika answered reluctantly, getting up on her feet.  “Apparently, our bills haven’t been paid in a couple months.”

   “Which bills?” Risa questioned.

   “All of them!” Aika replied.  “Nothing’s been paid, Gaki-san.  S-so… they’re kicking us out.”

   “What?!  That makes no sense!” Risa yelled, visibly getting upset now.  “All of our bills automatically get paid through my bank account.  There’s no way—”

   “Here,” Aika said.  She pulled out a packet of paper from her back pocket, unfolded it, and handed it to her flatmate.  “This is what they showed me.”

   Risa took the papers and flipped through them, carefully going over the numbers.  As Ai looked over her shoulders, Risa slowly shook her head in disbelief.

   “There’s no way these numbers are real,” she mumbled.  “I—we’re not rich, but I know I have enough money in my account!  I always keep enough money for the bills!”

   Giving the packet to Ai for her to hold, Risa quickly took out her phone and went online to log into her bank account.  As she checked her recent withdrawals, Risa felt her heart stop.  Her breath caught as her legs gave out, letting her fall to the ground before Ai caught her along the way to prevent her from hurting herself. 

   “Gaki-san…?” Ai said.

   “What?  What is it?” Aika asked, alarmed by her friend’s sudden reaction.

   Risa couldn’t answer.  Her eyes were filled with shock as her lips trembled, her chest dropping in complete denial.  “It… It’s gone.”

   “What’s gone?”

   “Everything…”  Risa’s breathing caught again before she forced herself to heave in the air. “E-everything’s gone…  All the money… Everything… There’s nothing…”

   Aika and Ai looked at each other, neither of them wanting to believe the bean’s words.  Ai grabbed Risa’s cell phone and took a look at the records herself.  A large number of money was printed next to each date of withdrawal.  The final number at the bottom was zero.  Nothing was left.

   “… How does this happen?” Ai said.  “How can this—”

   “She’s been hacked,” Aika answered, clenching her teeth.

   “Hacked?” Ai laughed dryly.  “That sort of thing still happens?”

   “It’s the only explanation, right?” the younger girl replied.  “Someone must’ve figured out her card number or something.”

   Ai bit her lips, wanting to say something, to say it isn’t true, but she knew Aika was right.  It was the only explanation for this loss.  A terrible one, yet the only possible one.  Choosing to hold her tongue, Ai instead turned to look at her lover who was still frozen on the floor.  She was staring into space, her eyes glazed over, as silent tears streamed down her cheeks.  Feeling a nail drive through her chest at the sight of her lover crying, Ai placed her arms around the younger woman.

   “Gaki-san…”

   Risa didn’t answer.  Instead, she slowly started to turn her head, looking at every area of her home that she could lay her eyes on.  Finally, her dull eyes landed on her lover’s pained face who simply gazed at her in remorse. 

   “… This was all I had… Ai-chan.”  Risa spoke in a soft but hoarse voice, more tears spilling out.  “That money… from high school part-time jobs… working day and night… to now… it was everything.”  Her glass-liked composure finally broke as she cried out.  “How could I have lost everything in one day, Ai-chan?  Just one day!  Everything is gone!”

   As Risa’s cries filled the house, the packed boxes and furniture continued to disappear one by one.  Aika crossed her arms as if it was cold and looked away from her friend, unable to continue watching her scream in pain.  Ai shut her eyes as she simply embraced the younger woman, holding her close to her.  Risa’s tears soaked through her shirt but she didn’t care.  This was the only thing that she could do for her. 

   It was scary how easy it was for all of this to happen, for such horror to crash down on one person like this.  But it was even scarier to Ai how little she could do for the one she loved.  She had no wealth, no power to really help Risa.  All she could do was grit her teeth and hold the crying girl as tightly as she could.  She had never felt so weak and powerless before in her entire life.

   And she hated it.

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

haha.... sorry to start the new year on a sad note :nervous

But happy new year again anyway!

Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu~!  Please take care of me this year too~! :omamori: :kneelbow:

 :byebye: :sleep:

avii&sig by the wonderful kawaii beam~!

Offline arisa03

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 16 - (1/1)]
« Reply #234 on: January 01, 2013, 08:19:54 AM »
... DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD:

This is what my face has been for the past few minutes I was reading. What happened D:

... now Gaki-san has a reason to need on Reina's money-/shot or maybe Aika can go get the mone--/shot

FEELS
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 risa_ai

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 15 - (12/26)]
« Reply #235 on: January 01, 2013, 09:34:40 AM »
Chapter 16 – “Cinderella was weak and powerless… and she hated it”

When I saw this, I went to get a cup of water. Took a few deep breaths, and begun reading.


AND I WAS RIGHT. SO THE WHOLE TIME I SAT HERE WITHERING LIKE  :gyaaah: :kneelbow: :pleeease: :prayers: :tantrum: :stoned: :scared:
And then suddenly  :wigglypanda: Ok now I canNOT die in peace. xDDDD


HAPPY NEW YEARRRRRR. <3 Stay awesome.

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 16 - (1/1)]
« Reply #236 on: January 01, 2013, 10:25:17 AM »
Dang! They took everything! Somehow, I think that it's more than just a random hacking...

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 16 - (1/1)]
« Reply #237 on: January 02, 2013, 05:46:21 AM »

 oh .. so .. what will happen now ?  :dizzy: my gosh ! Reina ! go help your Gaki-san !!! my gosh !! this is it !! THIS IS IT !! please update soon !! please please please !!!  :kneelbow: :prayers: and HAPPY NEW YEAR !!  :cow: don't leave us hanging here !! hahaha !




P.S:  :wub:KAMESHIGE :wub: hihihihihihi .  :on crazygran:

Offline MsSmigge

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Re: Juliet and Cinderella ~ [UPDATE - Chapter 16 - (1/1)]
« Reply #238 on: January 02, 2013, 08:58:19 AM »
@MsSmigge: lol~ hey hey don't go giving me ideas! :twisted: hehehe who knows? you might like Aika in the near future  :D

IDidn'tGiveYouAnyIdeasOk?? Damn me, if you get some ideas with "How to ruin TakaGaki?" from my comment..... XD

   “If you want to see, I’ll show you.”  She smiled as she placed her hands on Risa’s thighs.  “But you’ll have to show me something in return, too.”
:drool: I hope Ai wont be kidding in the future~  :wub:

Noo, Gaki-san lost it all...  :cry: I hope Ai could help her somehow. Or Reina, but only financially... Well, Ai is always there for her loved one, ne~  :wub:

A bit shocking start for this year, but I think things will turn out somehow. Or at least I hope so. And Aika must do domething good for TakaGaki, so that she can gain some positive points from me. XD

Happy new year to you too!!  :cow:
Hope you had a great celebration too! (I was at work when the year changed.....)  :depressed: So much for celebrating.  :nervous


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 16 - (1/1)]
« Reply #239 on: January 11, 2013, 12:04:16 AM »
@arisa03: MWA HA HA I make feels.  :twisted:

@risa_ai: hehehe i shall try to stay awesome :yossi:

@rndmnwierd: hrm we'll see we'll see  XD

@maikeatoot: hehe i will never leave you hanging! this story shall continue!  :lol:

@MsSmigge: awww being at work during the new year must suck  :( i hope you had a chance to do some other things afterwards though!


Thanks for the comments~ hehehe :wub: :wub:

I was gonna update within a week but this chapter is a LOT longer than the other ones so I hope that makes up for it XD

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

Chapter 17 – “It was a sleepless night for all”

   Michishige Sayumi was unhappy.   

   True, most people would say that the bunny was in a pretty bad mood most of the time but this was, in fact, false.  It wasn’t that she was in a bad mood; it was just that she usually didn’t see any reason to particularly be in a good mood.  Of course, the lack of emotion almost always came off as coldness but Sayumi like it that way sometimes.  It saved a lot more effort on her part to be courteous and polite to every little human being in the world.  Courting people wasn’t exactly her favorite hobby.

    Unfortunately for her, however, tonight was going to be one of those nights that she would absolutely detest.  After all, there were just three too many people in her home at the moment. 

   Reason number one to be upset: Niigaki Risa was here.  As if her presence itself wasn’t annoying enough, she was completely plastered to her older sister’s side, staring off into space by herself.  Her red face and puffy eyes showed signs of intense crying, which was understandable since she was going through quite the ordeal, according to her stepsister.  Still, Sayumi’s natural irritation towards Niigaki Risa was much too present at the moment for her to feel bad for the woman.   

   Reason number two to be upset: that dog of a Mittsi-something-or-other was here.  Sayumi’s feelings towards this girl extended far beyond simple irritation: it was actual hatred.  Her first impression of the girl was far from good and she was sure the little brat felt the same way.  Well, no matter.  She didn’t particularly care too much about some little snot-nosed kid.  But she couldn’t help but feel a certain level of anger simmer within her as she watched the girl standing straight beside Niigaki Risa, arms crossed, eyes firm and strong, like she owned the place.  Bitch.

   Reason number three to be upset: Kamei Eri was here.  Normally, she would not have made it to this list since the girl didn’t really feed the bunny’s anger too much most of the time.  In fact, she was considered by Sayumi to be a rather close acquaintance.  An annoying one, but still closer than most.  But their strange and unexpected interaction back at Tresor that morning had made the air between them a little awkward, at least, from Sayumi’s point of view.  So she wasn’t entirely comfortable with the girl being in her house at the moment.  Not to mention the fact that she absolutely had no reason to either.  She had volunteered to come over after getting Ai’s call.

   “So… that’s what happened,” Ai sighed, finishing her story as to what had happened up until now.  “Needless to say, Gaki-san and Mitsui-san are here because they need a place to stay for a couple nights.  We’re doing our best with explaining the situation to the bank but it’ll take some time before we see some results.”

   “I see…” Eri said.  “This must be hard for you, Gaki-san, Mitsui-san.  I’m sorry this had to happen.”

   “Thank you, Kamei-san,” Risa whispered hoarsely, lifting her head to acknowledge the turtle’s caring words.

   “I think we’ll be fine,” Aika said, smiling a little.  “I’m sure things will work out somehow.  But no one needs to worry about finding me a place to sleep: I can just crash at my friend’s place in the dorms.”

   “Are you sure?” Risa asked worriedly.  “Your friend is okay with that?”

   “Yeah, it’s fine,” Aika nodded.  “I’ll crash at different rooms every couple days.  It’s no problem at all.”

   “Okay then, that sounds like a plan,” Eri said.  “And Niigaki-san will obviously stay here, at Ai-chan’s.”  Sayumi flinched at this, which didn’t go unnoticed by her older sister.

   “Well, I want Sayu’s opinion on this, too,” Ai chimed in.  “I don’t live here alone, after all.  So, Sayu… do you mind if Gaki-san stays here for a couple days?”

   Sayumi opened her mouth but no words came out.  She obviously wanted to scream out her disagreement but… this was her sister’s personal request.  If this had happened a couple months ago, the bunny would’ve had no qualms about telling Niigaki Risa to find her own place to crash at.  But things were different now.  She was trying this new thing called “being nice”—not that she had the heart to be cold to her sister anymore either.  And looking around, it seemed everyone expected her to say yes.  Niigaki Risa was looking away apologetically but her bratty buddy was staring straight at her with an eyebrow raised as if she was wondering why she hadn’t already approved of the plan.  Eri just looked at her with big round eyes that half pleaded and half encouraged.  And Ai… well, just looking at her nervous face was enough to make Sayumi come to a decision.

   “I… I don’t mind…” she mumbled, crossing her arms.  “It’s just that our place is small and… I just don’t want us to feel cramped… and stuff…”

   “We’ll manage somehow,” Ai assured.  “It won’t be too bad.”

   “No, no, Sayumi is right,” Eri said suddenly.

   Ai raised an eyebrow.  “She is?”

   “I am?”  The bunny looked at the turtle in confusion.

   “She’s totally right!” Eri smiled.  “Your apartment is way too small to add in an extra tenant.  So instead of squeezing all three of you in here, Sayu should come and stay with me!”

   “What?” Ai remarked.

   “WHAT,” Sayumi growled.

   “That’d be rude of me,” Risa mumbled.  “I could never—”

   “Good plan!  I like it!” Aika exclaimed, clapping her hands together.  “Kamei-san, you’re so smart!”

   “Thank you, Mitsui-san!” Kamei replied, also clapping her hands together.  “I knew I liked you from the start!”

   “Hey, wait a minute, I didn’t agree to this!” Sayumi interjected.  “Why should I have to leave my own house?”

   “She’s right,” Risa agreed.  “That would be troubling Michishige-san too much.  I can’t do that to her.”

   “But Niigaki-san knows Ai-chan better than she knows any one of us,” Eri explained.  “It’s only right that she stays here.  It’ll be less awkward than having her stay with me.  And Sayu and I are close anyway so it’ll be fine.”

   “You’re sounding awfully logical today, Eri-chan…” Ai laughed nervously.

   “It’s terrible logic!” Sayumi disagreed fiercely.

   “I think it’s perfect,” Aika grinned.

   “I guess it’s settled, then!” Eri giggled, linking her arm with the bunny’s.  “Sayumin will stay at my place and Niigaki-san will stay here!”

   “Ano,” Risa started, “I’m not completely comfortable with—”

   “Kamei Eri!” Sayumi growled, “let me go before I—”

   “S-Sayu…” Ai mumbled apologetically.

   Sayumi stopped her struggling, taking a moment to meet her sister’s eyes before complete defeat took over her face.  “I… I guess… if Onee-chan…”

   “Let’s go, let’s go!” Eri continued to urge eagerly, pulling the bunny towards the front door.

   “Hey, I’m trying to say something—” Sayumi started again.

   “Aika, I’m more surprised at you,” Risa murmured softly at her friend.  “I… I always thought you didn’t like me being with Ai-chan…”

   The younger girl simply smiled at the confused bean.  Then, she stepped forward and hugged her friend, holding her tightly.  She whispered in her ear, “I just want you to be happy, Gaki-san.  No matter who you choose, I just want you happy.”  She stepped back and winked.  “Ne?”

   Risa slowly smiled, grateful towards her childhood friend.  Aika was always watching out for her like this, even though she was supposed to be the younger one.  There was no one else who quite understood her feelings the way Aika did.  “Arigatou…”

   “Can’t I at least pack my things?” Sayumi yelled at the pushy turtle who was still sticking to her like a leech.

   “It’s getting late!  We have to leave now!” Eri insisted.  “You can borrow my things!”

   “I should leave now, too,” Aika said, grabbing Sayumi’s other arm.  “Michishige-san~ let’s have a nice friendly chat on the way out, shall we~?”

   The bunny glared distastefully at the brat who dared to touch her as she asked  nervously, “This… This is only for a couple days, right?”

   “Sure~” Eri giggled.  “Days… weeks… months… who knows?”

   “H-hey, wait a minute—”

   “Bye-bye, Ai-chan, Niigaki-san~!” Eri waved.

   “Let me know if the bank calls!” Aika said, also waving.

   With Sayumi’s struggling protests still echoing in their ears, the couple watched their three friends disappear through the door and eventually heard the sound of their voices drown out.  Risa stared for a while, still with a guilty expression for essentially kicking Michishige Sayumi out of her own house, before Ai let out a great sigh.

   “It feels like a tornado passed through here…” she mumbled, shaking her head.  “I guess these people have that kind of effect… especially that Eri.”

   “I feel really bad, Ai-chan,” Risa confessed.  “I don’t think Michishige-san should’ve left for my sake.  It’s really rude of me.”

   “It’s fine, I don’t want you to feel that way,” Ai reassured.  “Even though Sayumi is acting that way, if she really didn’t want to go, she would’ve said so.”

   “Still…”

   “I admit, I feel a little guilty, too,” Ai said softly, smiling sadly.  “But… I also really just wanted to be with you alone.  It’s selfish of me but that’s how I felt.”

   Risa frowned.  “You shouldn’t have done that…”  She lightly punched the older woman’s shoulder as punishment but in truth, she felt incredibly happy that Ai had said something like that.  And of course, Ai realized this too as she grinned.

   “I’m sorry,” she replied.  “I’ll apologize to Sayu later, okay?”

   “Mhm…”

   “You must be tired, right?” Ai said, moving on.  “You know where the bathroom is.  You should take a shower and go to bed.  It’s been a long day.”

   “I’ll do that,” Risa nodded, smiling.  “Thanks.”

   The bean headed straight towards the bathroom and shut the door.  She was pretty familiar with the layout of her lover’s home after visiting a couple times in the past month.  It didn’t completely feel like home but it was no strange territory either. 

   Stripping all the way down, Risa wasted no time in jumping into the bath tub and turning the shower on.  The bathroom quickly filled up with steam as the hot water rained down on Risa’s aching body.  Although she was much too tired to move speedily, she wanted to get through the shower as fast as possible anyway so she could get some rest.  The faster this went, the sooner she would be in bed.  With that in mind, Risa quickly rubbed some shampoo into her hair and lathered her body with soap at the same time. 

   I should still apologize to Michishige-san when I get a chance… she thought to herself.  But… I guess I’m kind of happy that it turned out this way, too.  It’s nice to be alone with Ai-chan.  And she said she wanted it that way, too.  Just me and her, the two of us, alone…

   Stop.  The bean’s motions came to a halt as she stood frozen under the hot water as her mind backtracked.  Ai-chan… and me… alone

   With a loud gasp, Risa subconsciously clasped her arms around her chest as a result of some sort of self-defense mechanism as her cheeks blushed furiously red.  It was just her and Ai.  Here.  For the whole night.  Alone. 

   Panic started to rise.  This had never happened before.  Well, yes, they had been alone together before in both of their homes but it was usually in the afternoon on weekends when their respective flatmates were out for the day.  Since they usually returned by night, Ai and Risa had never been alone together in neither of their apartments after sunset. 

   But what did this mean?  Could Ai possibly be thinking about… that?  She did say she wanted to be alone with Risa… but that could just be a completely casually thing, right?  But then again, Kamei Eri and Aika had both made such difficult effort to empty the apartment for them.  Did they have that in mind as well?  After all, it was not such an unrealistic possibility: both Ai and Risa were healthy women in their twenties who happened to be in love with each other.  It was completely natural for that to happen 

   Then again, if that was really coming into play, was Risa even ready?  There was absolutely no doubt that she loved Ai but… had their relationship really escalated so quickly?  True, it had already been a couple months since they met and about a month or so since they started this whole little rendezvous.  But time just flew by so fast that it felt like it had only been a week, maybe even less.  Were they really ready to carry this to a whole new level?

   As the hot steam fogged up the bathroom, Risa found her mind naturally drifting back to a couple hours ago, earlier in the evening, when she was in the locker room with her flawless lover.  The way Ai had raised her arms to put on her shirt, her perfect frame, the way she turned and smiled, the way she teased her, not to mention her—

   “Gaki-san!” A knock came from the door.  “I’m coming in!”

   “Ee?  A-AI-CHAN?!” 

   Risa whipped her head towards the door and saw a silhouette on the other side of the shower curtains.  She immediately wrapped her arms around herself and tried to gather herself in the corner of the bathtub.  But before she could fully grasp what was going on, she felt her foot step onto a soapy puddle, making her body fall faster than she could scream. 

**  **  ** 

   “This is ridiculous.  Why should I have to leave my own house?  I want to go back!  This is so stupid!”

   Aika let out a low groan of frustration while Eri rolled her eyes.  They had been listening to the bunny complain on and on, ever since they left the apartment complex and started to walk down the busy streets of the town.  Despite her continuous whining, however, Sayumi had made no indication of actually turning back.  After all, it was her dear sister who had asked her of this favor, no matter how much she despised it.  As a result, she had no choice but to keep on venting to the two unfortunate women who were stuck with her in the mean time.

   “I want to sleep in my own bed,” she complained again.  “I hate sleeping in places other than my own house.  Niigaki-san could’ve slept at your place.  I had no reason to—”

   “Oh, will you please just shut it!” Aika yelled, finally exploding.  “Do you ever stop whining?”

   Sayumi blinked furiously at the younger girl, letting out a sharp exhale in disbelief.  How dare this little brat talk to her in this way!  “Excuse me?  I beg your pardon—”

   “Oh, I’ll give you my pardon—”

   “Okay!  Stop right there!”

   Before someone’s fist could land on another’s face, Eri quickly jumped in between the two brawling girls and pushed them apart.  “Let’s not get violent, now.  We’re all mature adults here.”

   Sayumi and Aika glared at each other for a couple more moments before they both stood up straight and calmed themselves down.  Then, Aika smiled curtly as she spoke in a sweet voice.

   “You’re right, Kamei-san,” she said.  “I behaved horrendously.  Will you ever forgive me, Michishige-san?”

   Sayumi continued to glare at the little puppy dog face, secretly wanting to punch it in somehow.  But she also managed to catch Eri at the corner of her eyes, who was raising an eyebrow at her, as if she was telling her to apologize back.

   “There’s nothing to forgive, Mitsui-san,” the bunny replied just as pleasantly.  “It was my fault.  I apologize.”

   “No, no, I completely understand your discomfort,” Aika said, smiling innocently.  “Of course you would want to stay at your own house.  But who can stop true love, right?  Especially a bond as strong as the one between Gaki-san and Takahashi-san.  I apologize in Gaki-san’s place; I hope Michishige-san will be kind enough to forgive her.”

     Sayumi grit her teeth together.  This brat was mocking her now.  But what was worse was that her tactic was actually working.  Sayumi could feel her anger boiling inside her, alone with a strong sense of loneliness that shot through her chest.

   “Well, the dormitories are that way,” Aika said, pointing across the street.  “This is where we part.  It was nice seeing you today, Michishige-san, Kamei-san.”

   “Yes!  We’ll see you around, Mitsui-san~!” Eri said.

   Giving a small head bow to both of her acquaintances (one of them arguably being her enemy), Aika crossed the street and disappeared around the corner.  Sayumi stared intensely at the ground, clenching her teeth and fisting her hands tightly.  She hated that she was letting Aika’s words get to her but she couldn’t deny the fact.  A strong bond, huh?

   “Sayu?  Are you okay?”

   The bunny looked up to find her friend looking at her with big round eyes.  She gasped softly in surprise.  She had been so preoccupied with the little brat that she had completely forgotten that Eri was still here with her!  Which wasn’t a big deal, normally, but in their current situation… Sayumi had no idea how to deal with the turtle.  She still hadn’t exactly figured out what was up with the girl earlier in the day when she was acting… weird.  She didn’t feel very comfortable being left alone with her like this at the moment, not to mention the rest of the night.

   “I… I’m fine,” Sayumi answered quietly, unsure as to how she should act around her friend.  “Don’t worry.”

   “Mou, Sayumin~” Eri said, giggling.  “Stop being so grumpy!  Come on, we can pick up some ice cream on the way.  I think you need it, Nee?”

   The turtle grinned brightly at her, the way her aho-self usually did.  Sayumi secretly breathed a sigh of relief, glad that Eri was being her normal self again. 

   “I don’t want it!” Sayumi spat out, being her normal poison-tongue self in response to the airhead turtle.  “Ice cream late at night will make me gain weight.”

   “Ee~” Eri moaned.  “Sayumin, you’re no fun at all.  I know you’re worried and you want to go home and all, but I thought we could still have a fun sleepover tonight.”

   “I’m not worried about anyone,” Sayumi grumbled, shoving her hands into her pockets. 

   “You’re so cold, Sayu,” Eri said, rolling her eyes.  “Your heart seriously must be made of ice.”

   With that, the older girl started to walk again with the bunny tagging behind her.  Sayumi kept her gaze on the concrete sidewalk, letting her mind drift away into deep thought.

   My heart’s not made of ice, she thought to herself.  It would’ve been better if it was.  At least then, it wouldn’t be hurting this much. 

   I wonder what they’re doing right now…


**  **  ** 

   “A-Ai-chan… Wait…”

   “Gaki-san, you have to stop moving…”

   “But I—Un!  It hurts… and it’s—”

   “Gaki-san, stay still—”

   “Ai-chan!”

   “Gaki-san—”

   “IT’S COLD!”

   Risa jumped at the shock of a freezing sensation on her head.  She flipped around and leaned away from her lover who was holding a lump of ice, wrapped up in a towel.  She rolled her eyes as she grabbed the bean’s wrist in an attempt to pull her in closer again.

   “Gaki-san, your head is going to be swelled up even more tomorrow if we don’t put ice on it now,” Ai said.  “I know it hurts, but just bear with it, okay?”

   “… Fine.” 

   Complying reluctantly, Risa returned to her original position with her back to the older woman, putting her head down.  The two women were sitting on Ai’s bed, trying to treat the wounds that the younger woman had attained in the bathroom.  Ai gently pushed the icy towel to the back of the bean’s head again, eliciting a low groan of pain from her.  Wishing she could help somehow, Ai reached around Risa’s waist to hold her hand.  Risa breathed out slowly, seeming to relax a little.

   “So tell me again how you fell in the bath tub?” Ai asked.

   Risa sighed.  “I already told you… I slipped because you scared me.”

   “I was just coming in to leave you some towels.”

   “You just shocked me a little, that’s all,” the bean mumbled.  “I was… preoccupied.”

   “With what?” Ai laughed, curious as to exactly what had kept Risa so busy during her shower.

   “With… whatever, it doesn’t matter!” Risa said quickly, blushing.  She couldn’t very well tell her lover that she was imagining her half-naked. 

   “Okay, then,” Ai sighed, chuckling to herself.  “Now, take your shirt off.”

   “WHAT?!”  Risa immediately wrapped her arms around herself again and looked back at her lover with a shocked expression. 

   “I said, take your shirt off,” Ai repeated calmly.  “You hit your shoulder, too, right?  We should get some ice on there as well.  Take your shirt off.”

   Risa opened her mouth as if she was about to protest but then she shut it, unable to think of a plausible reason to keep her clothes on.  It was just Ai anyway; it wasn’t too big of a deal to be topless in front of her, right?  It wasn’t like they were going to be doing anything…  It was just so she could treat the bean’s bruise.

   Slowly, Risa removed her shirt, leaving her to sit on the bed sheets solely in her bra and a pair of shorts.  She shivered in the cold as Ai carefully pressed the ice against her bare back where a red mark was visible.

   “I don’t even understand how it’s possible to hurt yourself here, Gaki-san,” Ai said, shaking her head.  “It’s very unlike you to be… clumsy.”

   “I’m a pretty clumsy person, actually,” Risa admitted.  “I’m usually together, I guess, but I’m not perfect.  I have my moments.”  She paused, wondering if she should continue to divulge her thoughts.  “I… I think being alone for most of my life made me stricter.  No one else was going to take care of me except me.  I had to grow up.”

   “Well, I like it that you’re mature and poised,” Ai smiled, leaning in over her lover’s shoulder, “but I like it when you’re clumsy and easy to catch off-guard, too.  It makes teasing you more fun.”

   Risa blushed at this as she mumbled something about Ai being mean or whatever.  Kissing the bean on her cheek, Ai stood up and walked over to her desk where she dropped the wet towel in a bowl filled with ice.  As she headed back towards her bed, she saw Risa reaching for her shirt. 

   “Keep your shirt off,” she ordered, taking the clothing away from her lover’s hand.

   “Why?”

   “Because you saw me shirtless today already,” Ai grinned.  “So now I get to see you half-naked.”

   As the older woman started to make her way back onto the bed, meticulously placing herself on top of the bean, Risa nervously backed away until she realized she had reached the headboard and ended up dropping her head down on the soft pillow.  She stared up at her lover who was now hovering over her with a gentle gaze and a small smile.  She leaned in closer for a kiss to which Risa complied to willingly.  It was embarrassing being the only one without a shirt on but Ai’s actions alone were convincing enough that she could ignore that uncomfortable fact and carry on with what they were doing.

   “Is your head okay?” Ai asked through the lip lock.

   “Un… I’m fine,” Risa mumbled.  She then quickly kissed her lover again, wrapping her arms around her neck, wishing to continue with what they were doing.  Her head was perfectly fine.  She could forget about all kinds of pain as long as Ai was with her. 

   Finding Risa’s daring action rather seductive in a way, the older woman kissed her back passionately before tracing down her neck line with her lips.  As she gently bit on the soft skin, the younger girl let out a small moan, a shiver running through her body.  But Ai didn’t stop there.  She further traveled down to Risa’s chest, kissing the area between her two perfect molds, eliciting another soft cry.  Feeling very charged all of a sudden, Ai raised herself up and quickly removed her own shirt and dove back down to kiss her lover.  Risa could not hide the blush that was rising up to her cheeks, passion and desire mixing together.  She felt a cold hand land on her stomach and gasped, her muscles tightening.  But the gentle stroking motions on her skin that soon traveled down to her thighs were comforting somehow, especially knowing it was Ai who was doing it. 

   The kisses soon got even rougher as Ai took full control of their activity.  Risa’s small moans grew louder by the minute as she felt her sensitive skin being attacked from every part of her body.  Her previous thoughts on having doubts about this were long gone.  Everything went white in her head.  All she knew was that she didn’t want this moment to stop. 

   But then, Ai’s hand slowly started to slip under the waistband of her shorts.  Risa gasped softly but didn’t protest.  However, the hand stopped before reaching its destination anyway.

   “If you want me to stop,” she whispered sincerely, “all you have to do is push me away.”

   Risa’s eyes connected with her lover’s, sending another shock through her body.  The way Ai was looking at her—with love, with caution, with desire—was simply mesmerizing.  Her face tinted pink and her heavy breathing was enough to let Risa know that she was truly wanted by this amazing woman.  And the feeling was undoubtedly mutual.

   “But if I ever want something from you,” Risa said softly, “all I have to do is ask… right?”

   She raised her head a little to kiss her lover slowly and lovingly, trying to convey all her feelings through one single action.  “I want you,” she murmured.  “Can I have that?”

   Ai smiled at this, feeling more than happy to hear those words.  She kissed the bean back with an equal amount of love, if not more.  Nothing could hurt them now.  Ai’s restless days, Risa’s recent losses… nothing else mattered at this point.  They were together, and everything was to be devoted solely to this moment alone.  As Ai started to continue with what she was doing before, she whispered softly in Risa’s ear.

   “Yes.  You can have that.”

**  **  ** 

   Michishige Sayumi quickly splashed the last handful of cold water on her face before turning the squeaky faucet off and looking at herself in the mirror.  Never did she think that she would ever say this about herself but… she looked terrible.  Like, really terrible.  Her pale face was even paler today, bringing her to paleness level of a week old dead body, and it only made her excessive dark circles even more noticeable.  Anybody could tell that the girl obviously had not gotten enough sleep last night. 

   And she hadn’t; all she could do was roll around on the futon beside her turtle companion (who was sleeping like an animal in hibernation), unable to find a comfortable position to sleep in.  She spent the entire night, lying on her back, staring at the ceiling, fighting with her brain that refused to fall asleep.  Something had kept bothering her.  She wasn’t exactly sure what but she couldn’t get the horrible feeling that something bad had just happened out of her mind, which only increased her worry about her beloved older sister.  As a result, the bunny had gotten absolutely no sleep throughout the night, giving her a horribly tired appearance the following morning, which suggested a strange resemblance to Sadako from The Ring. 

   Patting her face dry with a towel, Sayumi left the bathroom and entered the joint living room and kitchen.  She looked around for a while, wanting to feed herself some breakfast.  But she had absolutely no idea where anything was in the unfamiliar kitchen.  Realizing her only choice was to wake up the sleeping turtle, the bunny reluctantly made her way back into the bedroom.

   In the dimly lit area, Sayumi could see a large lump of futon right in the middle.  How did the girl even get under there?  Guessing it was a feeble attempt to avoid the sunlight that was peeking through the blinds, Sayumi marched right up to her friend, crouched down, and started to poke the blanket lump.

   “Eri.”  Poke.  Poke.  No response.  “Eri.”  Poke.  No response.  “Eri, wake up!”  Poke, poke, poke. 

   “Just five more minutes…” the turtle mumbled, barely coherent.

   “Eri, I’m hungry,” Sayumi said, getting slightly annoyed.  “Eri!”  The bunny then pulled off the covers, revealing a sleeping tired balled up in fetal position. 

   “Sayu~!” she whined.  “It’s too bright!”

   “Get up, it’s morning,” the bunny said.  “And I’m hungry.”

   Groaning, Eri unwillingly pulled herself up into a sitting position and started to open her eyes.  “I just wanted five more min—GAH!”

   The turtle fell backwards onto the futon as Sayumi gasped in shock.  “What was that for?!” she yelled.

   “Sayu…” Eri gasped, her eyes big and wide, “what… happened to your face?”

   “What about my face?”

   “Well… you look terrible.”

   Sayumi scowled, feeling something crack within her.  It was probably her ego but she tried not to think about that too much.  “If you won’t get up,” she said, threateningly, “I’m just gonna leave and go home!”

   “Okay, okay, okay, I’m sorry~” Eri apologized, laughing.  “I didn’t mean it.  You’re always kawaii, Sayumin.”

   Putting her arms across her chest, Sayumi looked away from the turtle with a humph, the aforementioned ego refusing to let her accept the apology too quickly.  But she felt a hand on her shoulder and from the corner of her eyes, she saw Eri grin brightly at her.

   “Hey, I’m really sorry, okay?” she said.  “I’ll make it up to you with breakfast.  How does waffles with strawberry sound?”

   Sayumi hesitated a little, the food offering sounding a little too good to pass up.  “… Well, it’s a start.”

   Eri smiled in response as she got up and stretched, getting ready to make the best breakfast that she had ever made for the very special bunny.

**  **  ** 

   “And here are last month’s sales on the Bijou magazine.  There’s was a slight decrease but it’s not too critical.”

   Junjun finished up her morning report as she placed the final packet of paper on her employer’s desk.  She watched her boss go through the papers quickly but efficiently, her eyes landing on every single number printed in a matter of minutes.  How professional.

   But her appearance today was something quite out of the ordinary.  Her outfit today wasn’t as nearly fashionable as other days.  Not that she was underdressed either.  After all, Tanaka Reina didn’t follow fashion, she made it.  She could put on a pair of sweats and still look glamorous, increasing the reputation of sweat pants in the process.  No, she definitely wasn’t poorly dressed today, but she had done better.  Her hair was pulled back into a messy bun—something that the fashionista didn’t do often—and she was only wearing a simple knit sweater with a miniskirt.  The excessive amount of accessories that usually adorned her neck and wrists was nowhere to be seen. 

   “Thank you, Junjun,” Reina said, turning around to remove her reading glasses and put on a different pair.  “Don’t forget to scout candidates for next month’s cover.  We’re going to discuss it in this week’s meeting.”

   Junjun nodded in response, unable to help raising an eyebrow to look at her boss oddly.  Other than the kitten’s unusual outfit, the strangest of all was those glasses.  Tanaka Reina usually wore glasses when she was reading something but otherwise, she didn’t have much use for them.  But today, she would wear her reading glasses while going through her papers and afterwards, she would quickly take them off and put on a different pair of glasses that had no prescription.  True, glasses were a common fashion item but the president hadn’t really utilized them in this manner before.

   “Ano… Shachou?”

   “Yes?”

   “Is there something bothering you?”

   Reina looked up from her computer screen to face her secretary.  “Why would you say that?”

   “It’s just unusual for you to wear glasses, I suppose,” the panda replied.  “While you’re not reading, I mean.”

   Reina sighed and smiled wryly.  “No one knows me like you do, Junjun.”

   She reached up and took off her glasses and motioned for her employee to lean in closer.  Junjun did so and as she did, she realized why her boss was wearing those glasses.  Below Reina’s eyes, under all the thick makeup, was a pair of very noticeable dark circles, heavily weighing down the delicate skin.  Even with all the cover-up, one could see the purple tiredness that was evident under the kitten’s eyes.

   “What happened?” Junjun asked, surprised.

   “I didn’t sleep last night,” Reina answered, putting her glasses back on.  “I just couldn’t fall asleep for some reason.”

   “But for your eyes to get like that…” the panda said worriedly.  “You usually don’t sleep that much but this had never happened before.”

   “I don’t sleep much but I do sleep,” the president sighed.  “I didn’t get a wink of sleep last night.  Something was on my mind.”

   “What was that, may I ask?”

   “That’s the thing, I don’t know,” Reina mumbled, crossing her arms.  “Something just felt… off.  Like something very unpleasant was happening.  I just couldn’t fall asleep.”

   “… Well, maybe you can catch a quick nap later,” Junjun suggested, picking up a couple of the manila folders that were scattered about the kitten’s desk.  “Your meeting will be over by noon.  I’ll finish these up for you so you can rest, Shachou.  You can probably hide out in one of the conference rooms.  I’ll make sure no one finds you.”

   Reina smiled.  The panda could be devious when you needed her to be.  And that’s what was so great about her a secretary.  “You’re an angel, Junjun.  I hope nothing bothers my sleep this time.”

**  **  ** 

   Two naked bodies remained tangled together, relying on each other for warmth under the thin blanket.  Their foreheads were touching delicately, only wish that they could get even closer, if possible.  One soon opened her eyes, followed by the next.  Both lips curved into a smile of bliss and relief.  Relief that they were still there.  Both of them.  Together.

   “Ohayou, Risa.”

   “Ohayou, Ai-chan…”

   Their greetings sounded more liked whispers of love than what they were in reality.  As the sun shined brightly into the room, the two lips met together again in pure oblivion as to what was to come. 

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

omgeezzz i hope that was enjoyable  XD

gosh now i have to go plan/write the next chapter before i forget what i was gonna do  :lol:

 :byebye:

avii&sig by the wonderful kawaii beam~!

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