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Author Topic: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (32/?) [WMatsui] (16/03/2018)  (Read 116054 times)

Offline Genkikid

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (31/?) [WMatsui] (04/02/2018)
« Reply #640 on: February 05, 2018, 01:18:02 PM »
You're back!!!  :jphip: :jphip:

The tension is coming up

Offline Minami-chan

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (31/?) [WMatsui] (04/02/2018)
« Reply #641 on: February 06, 2018, 10:41:46 PM »
The treatment that Jurina has had with Rena has seemed very sweet to me. (I love it)

Rena clearly still has feelings for Jurina, but we really do not know what Jurina thinks today.

I think Churi has reason to be angry at the situation.

Offline Guacamoolee

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (31/?) [WMatsui] (04/02/2018)
« Reply #642 on: February 07, 2018, 12:16:57 AM »
Hello S!
It's been a long time! XD
My inner self jumped in happiness when I saw this update.
Just like usual, I always skimmed first right after I saw the update.
When I was skimming this chapter, I little bit forgot how they ended up like this, so I didn't read this chapter right away. lol
I needed to refresh my memory about Destiny so I read some of the previous chapters to make sure what's going on XD
Their meeting is surprisingly smooth. Despite their separation for three years, Jurina is still sweet as ever! Rena you're so lucky!
So Rena accepted to come just because Jurina invited her, is this the sign she wanted to go back together again???? :huhuh
Talking about Churi, I understand what she felt for her best friend but I hope her anger won't grow any further that will lead to something bad for her relationship with both Matsui. :k-mad:
I really enjoyed reading this chapter.
Just so you know that for me, reading your writing especially this fic is sooo satisfying. I like how detail you put their thoughts and acts into words.
Thank you for being a devoted WMatsui fanfic writer!!
Shall we celebrate your come back with eclair au chocolat???  :cheers

Offline Rhythm

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (31/?) [WMatsui] (04/02/2018)
« Reply #643 on: February 10, 2018, 12:57:06 AM »
Take me 4 hours to finish reading all the destiny chapter. Im glad I can catch up fast enough   :farofflook:
Anyway Rena came to jurina graduation concert fufufu I wonder will they perform kiss datte hidariki together.
it's funny how akane seems irritated at Rena presence while in real life they are close  :on drink:

Offline facarous

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (31/?) [WMatsui] (04/02/2018)
« Reply #644 on: February 11, 2018, 08:42:07 PM »
Hi, Sophcaro.

I'm really happy because you are back.

It's a good chapter but I was so excited that I read it fast and I had this feeling like "oh? that was short" LOL
However I read it twice and this time I could enjoy every part of it.

I can't help but feel some empathy for Churi, I understand her overprotecting feelings because she's afraid of Rena hurting Jurina again, but at the same time I hope Rena take this opportunity and try to reach Jurina's heart and fix all this big mess.

I almost scream at Rena "Come on just kiss her!!" when she and Jurina were talking but I know it's not how it works (regretfully).

Also I'm very curious to know what's happening inside Jurina's head. I don't know if she's feeling the warmth grow inside her chest or if she's being overwhelmed by her nervousness.

Great job author-san and congrats for overcoming your writer's block.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 10:16:31 PM by facarous »

Offline sophcaro

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (31/?) [WMatsui] (04/02/2018)
« Reply #645 on: February 21, 2018, 01:27:33 AM »

Glad you're back author-san :D
I have been waiting for your update
Nice story as always :twothumbs

Thanks for your patience!
I hope you'll keep enjoying the ride  :)

About Rena's song for that day, is it only Ame no Pianist? I hope she will have a duet with Jurina. Or at least, a song with both of them in it.

That's the song she began the rehearsal with, but Rena will of course sing more songs during the concert  :yep:

Rena clearly still has feelings for Jurina, but we really do not know what Jurina thinks today.

It's nice to see what Rena thought of her first meeting with Jurina after a while. Jurina was surprisingly calm, I want to know what happened inside her brain. Did she feel the beating heart like Rena's?

Also I'm very curious to know what's happening inside Jurina's head. I don't know if she's feeling the warmth grow inside her chest or if she's being overwhelmed by her nervousness.

We will know more about what's happening inside Jurina's head in the following chapter  :thumbup

You're back!!!  :jphip: :jphip:

I'm back, and hopefully for good   :prayers:

When I was skimming this chapter, I little bit forgot how they ended up like this, so I didn't read this chapter right away. lol
I needed to refresh my memory about Destiny so I read some of the previous chapters to make sure what's going on XD

Oh wow, that makes me wonder how much you would have forgotten if I hadn't updated in, let's say, six months.  :P

So Rena accepted to come just because Jurina invited her, is this the sign she wanted to go back together again????

Rena was pretty honest when she told Jurina why she accepted to come. She did it to please her, to make her happy. Of course, Rena still has feelings for Jurina, but she didn't do this in the hope that they would go back together. Her intentions are much more selfless, here.
Talking about Churi, I understand what she felt for her best friend but I hope her anger won't grow any further that will lead to something bad for her relationship with both Matsui.

I understand what you mean, but Churi pretty much already said everything she needed to Rena. I don't believe things will escalate any further between them, or dramatically affect her relationship with both Matsui.

Shall we celebrate your come back with eclair au chocolat???  :cheers

Why not try something different this time? I like flans à la vanille too  8) (it's also another popular French dessert)

take me 4 hours to finish reading all the destiny chapter. Im glad I can catch up fast enough 

Did you also read Heartbeat and Partners before? Because all three parts are connected (it's a trilogy), and you don't mention them (and I don't remember you commenting here before). So if you unvolontarily skipped them, I'm afraid you will not understand everything  :?

Anyway Rena came to jurina graduation concert fufufu I wonder will they perform kiss datte hidariki together.

Well no, they will not.
As I wrote in the previous chapter, Jurina will perform this particular song with Churi  :thumbsup

Thank you everyone who commented!

« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 01:36:16 AM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Ongoing

- Warriors | Will return in 2018
- Back in Time | Will return in 2018
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline Rhythm

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (31/?) [WMatsui] (04/02/2018)
« Reply #646 on: February 21, 2018, 06:14:34 AM »
I have read heartbeat and partners as a guest until I decided to make this account.
And yes that was the first time I comment here. :sweat:

Offline Guacamoolee

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (31/?) [WMatsui] (04/02/2018)
« Reply #647 on: February 21, 2018, 04:25:04 PM »
I always happy to read your reply to the reader's comments and thank you for the explanation~
That's what makes you one of my favorite author :D

Oh wow, that makes me wonder how much you would have forgotten if I hadn't updated in, let's say, six months.  :P

Well, please don't do that. Maybe I'll happily read the whole trilogy lol

Why not try something different this time? I like flans à la vanille too  8) (it's also another popular French dessert)
Why not crème brûlée? You don't like it? (I think it's more popular among people. who. are. not. French) :P

Offline vickystar

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Re: Heartbeat (20/20) + Partners (23/23) + Destiny (31/?) [WMatsui] (04/02/2018)
« Reply #648 on: February 25, 2018, 06:44:23 PM »
Its such a long time, i’m back to read your fic, must be 2 years has gone. Nice to see you again:) :cow:
WMatsui in my heart <3
Kamaoshi : M.Rena

Offline sophcaro

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2.55 PM.

Jurina wore a sleeveless yellow cardigan over a white long-sleeved blouse, a red bow around her neck, and a short, red and white pleated plaid skirt. She slowly walked in from the right side of the main stage, her feet only pausing once she found herself at the center of the stage. With her back turned to the audience, Jurina ignored the screams of the fans who had enthusiastically begun to call her name upon her arrival; she gazed instead at the majestic, high staircase looming in front of her.

The camera zoomed in on her intense, focused expression; Jurina taking a deep breath at the daunting task awaiting her, before beginning her ascension of the stairs decidedly. The idol’s determination never once wavered as she progressed and climbed the stairs one by one, the whole time scrupulously keeping her eyes fixed on the top. It was her ultimate goal, and under no circumstances would she let anything or anyone prevent her from reaching it.

Only a couple of stairs were left now and Jurina ignored the growing pain in her legs, acutely conscious that she could not afford to give up right now that she was so close to her objective. With renewed determination, she continued her ascension valiantly, until her feet paused abruptly on the penultimate stair. Stupefied, she saw a silhouette emerging from the shadows at the top of the staircase.

Jurina’s mouth dropped open, watching with unconcealed admiration the twenty-nine-year-old girl, her brown hair tied back in a ponytail and dressed in an elegant long black dress, slowly approaching the edge of the staircase. As her attention fell upon the younger girl below her, a gentle smile plastered the older girl’s features. This unexpected arrival had been observed and received by the audience with exclamations and gasps of surprise, yet neither of the two girls paid attention to any of it, seemingly wrapped up in their own little world as their gazes silently lingered.

“Acchan,” Jurina murmured in awe.

Atsuko Maeda raised her arm and extended her hand in invitation. Jurina forced her legs to move and climbed the last stairs separating her from the former and legendary first ace of AKB48. As they were finally standing on the same level, Jurina looked back and glanced down nostalgically to the path she had taken, before setting her eyes on the older girl before her and placing her fingers inside Acchan’s outstretched hand.

“Congratulations, Jurina,” Atsuko said solemnly. “You made it to the top.”

As soon as those significant words escaped Acchan’s lips, the music of Oogoe Diamond began to resonate, filling the packed stadium with its distinctive upbeat melody. Both girls immediately dropped the rehearsed little act to exchange a casual smile, eager and alive with delight, their hands still linked when they turned their attention towards the attentive audience.

Hashiridasu basu oikakete  Chasing after the bus as it started to leave

Boku wa kimi ni  I wanted

Tsutaetakatta  To tell you

Kokoro no moyamoya ga kiete  The fog has lifted from my heart

Taisetsu na mono ga mietan da  And I’ve seen what’s important to me

The lyrics of the song left their lips as they began to descend the staircase together, this duet marking the opening of Jurina Matsui’s 2020 graduation concert.

The last notes of the 2009 AKB48’s hit song faded in the air, and the two aces disappeared along with it from the main stage. The audience of the Nagoya Dome directed its attention in curiosity towards the message written in large, black letters that appeared on the main white screen. The message was accompanied by the sound of a plane taking off echoing loudly through the speakers of the Japanese stadium. 

Twelve years ago, a young girl started her journey towards her destiny.

The message remained on the screen for a few, long seconds, enabling each fan to grasp the deep meaning of the words, until disappearing gradually from the screen as the two majestic doors of the main stage slid open. A group of fifteen girls could be seen aligned behind the door, but it was only when the lights and cameras fell upon them, that the audience was at last able to discover their identity.

The reaction was instantaneous: it was impossible for the fans not to manifest their great surprise, mingled with evident joy and pleasure. Despite being very familiar with every one of those faces, most of those girls had retired from the idol industry, and as such not participated in a SKE concert since countless years.

Each girl wore a white short-sleeved blouse with a panel down the middle decorated with braid, completed with a sailor’s collar. Their short pleated plaid skirt was several shades of brown; some of the girls had a short tie around the collar, whilst others had a bow tie. Finally, black knee-high stockings and simple black shoes finished the traditional costume. As the first notes of Tsuyokimono yo played in the air and the girls began singing, the audience, whilst still having a hard time believing their eyes, was becoming progressively conscious that they were extremely privileged. They were witnessing a scene they had not seen in almost a decade.

The entire first generation of the Team S: Rena Matsui, Kumi Kagami, Oya Masana, Yuka Nakanishi, Aki Deguchi and all the other girls who had shot this low budget videoclip in the small aircraft hangar of Nagoya were all present, exceptionally reunited on stage on this very special occasion.

Tsuyokimono yo  Be the strong person     

Shin no yuusha  Be the true hero

Tatakai oeta ato  After you’ve finished fighting

Dare no tame  For whom

Nagasu no  Do you shed

Sono namida   Those tears?

Emotion could be seen shimmering in a few girls’ eyes as their names were being called by a crowd of enthusiastic fans, whilst others tried not to be too destabilized by the general euphoria, attempting to remain professional and stay focused on the lyrics and the choreography of the song. As the first verse progressively came to an end, it didn’t escape the audience’s attention that all the girls were now standing at the front of the stage, except for one crucial member.

Jurina Matsui.

The doors began to progressively slide close, but not before the last missing first-generation member made her entrance, joining the other girls already dancing energetically on the emblematic, upbeat music. Jurina stopped her progression once she arrived at the front of the stage and, positioning herself at Rena Matsui’s left side, began to sing the second verse along with the other girls who had marked the beginning of SKE48’s story.

Akane, who was about to complete her Cross outfit and put the black hat on her head, was easily distracted once again as she listened to the music of Tsuyokimono yo resonating loudly in the Nagoya Dome. To be honest, she was still impressed by the prowess Jurina managed to demonstrate. A few weeks ago, when Jurina informed her of her desire to invite as many graduated members as possible on stage, Akane found herself naturally thrilled by the idea.

Jurina had certainly succeeded: not only had she brought the entire Team S first generation back, for the fans’ greatest pleasure, but also many other graduated members were scheduled to appear throughout her graduation concert. Regarding the song Akane would be performing in a couple of minutes now, the former idol was feeling quite impatient, and admittedly also a little nervous, to be reforming the original trio on stage.

Chancing a glance through the mirror of her makeup booth, Akane could see Tomoka Wakabashi and Rina Matsumoto who were finishing adjusting their black and pink satin costumes. While Tomoka was already wearing her jacket over her white blouse, Rina had just finished putting on her pink tiered skirt and was now taking a seat to complete her costume with the usual knee-high patent boots.

Akane let out a small sigh, a wave of nostalgia sweeping over her.

In a few short minutes now, a staff member would enter the dressing room and ask them to join the main stage. Akane was acutely conscious that, once on stage, time would fly by, and the performance would be over in no time. That’s why she was determined to take advantage of the incredible opportunity to savor this magical moment, conscious that she would likely never relive it in her life again.

When Akane heard her cellphone beeping, she diverted her attention from the two other girls and looked down to the device placed on the table in front of her. After checking the time, and discovering she still had a little time left before the beginning of her performance, Akane grabbed her phone in curiosity, discovering she had received a text from Airi.

“Hi Churi,

I heard that Jurina’s graduation concert has begun. I don’t know if you’ve already performed on stage yet, but I really hope you’ll enjoy yourself today!

When I arrived at Junkudo thirty minutes ago, there was already a long queue waiting outside, so I’m guessing the sign session will last a little longer than planned. By the way, a fan asked about you. He was wondering if you would make a surprise appearance during my sign session, like you did in February for my previous book. He looked a little disappointed when I told him it wasn’t going to happen, as you’re on stage today for Jurina’s graduation concert…

Say hi to the other girls for me!


Akane’s mouth tugged into a smile as she read the message, quickly typing a reply back to her friend. She barely had time to press the Send button, when the door of the dressing room opened and a staff member told them they were now awaited on stage. Akane immediately muted her phone and put it away in her bag, before checking her appearance in the mirror one last time.

Putting on her leather gloves, she carefully made sure her black, cross-shaped earrings were well attached, before grabbing her black hat from the table and adjusting it on her head. Over her shoulder, she heard Tomoka Wakabashi asking if she was ready and, once she was sure her outfit was complete, Akane followed the two other girls out of the dressing room in the direction of the main stage.

Rena grabbed her iPod from her backpack and placed each earphone inside her ears; her fingers slid over the screen of the device as she searched for one particular song. Once she found it amongst her tracklist, she pressed Play and adjusted the volume, closing her eyes to concentrate better and not be distracted by the agitation of the dressing room. As an upbeat piano melody began filling her ears, Rena’s lips silently moved in synchronization with the lyrics of the SKE song.

Ame no pianist ga  The pianist of the rain

Ai wo hiite iru wa  Playing with my love

Building no machi ni  From a building in the city

Kanaderu kanashii melody  There’s a sad song playing       

Mado no kenban wo  The keyboard made of windows

Tataku shizuku no yubi  Struck by the fingers made of rain

Watashi dake no concerto  Plays concerto just for me

Earlier on, Rena had studiously rehearsed in the dancing room the choreography of each and single song she was going to perform today, but she also wanted to make sure her memory wouldn’t fail her accidently when it came to the lyrics. Rena couldn’t be more familiar with Ame no Pianist, a 2010 song she had performed plenty of times in the past, yet she was determined not to leave anything to chance.

Feeling a sudden, small tap on her shoulder, Rena fluttered her eyes open and removed her earphones when she saw Yui Matsushita addressing her. “Rena-san, we’re leaving ahead in the direction of the stage.”

“Alright,” Rena replied, watching as she and Moe Yamashita - the two girls with whom she was going to perform that song – left and walked out of the dressing room.

The trio wasn’t due to sing until fifteen more minutes: there were two other songs coming up after Sansei Kawaii, the song the young SKE’s kenkyuusei were currently performing on the main stage of the Nagoya Dome. That’s why Rena knew she had sufficient time to go over the song once again. Placing the earphones back inside her ears, Rena resumed the music and focused her attention on the lyrics once more.

A few minutes later, when the music came to an end, Rena was now certain she knew the lyrics by heart. She put her iPod away, before carefully studying her dark and red outfit in the mirror. If there was one important thing that her career as an idol had taught her, it’s that you were never safe from an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction.

Rena raised her hand to her hair, checking that the large, red rose pinned on the right side of her head was well attached. Once she felt confident enough that the accessory wouldn’t fall, her gaze fell down to the red sleeveless top, then to the black cumberband that she was wearing. At last, her eyes landed on her red skirt, making sure that it was properly clipped around her waist.

Alright, I think I’m all good.

Now that she was all set for her next performance, Rena wondered whether she should use the time left to rest and relax. Soon, the music of Sansei Kawaii grabbed her attention again, and she chose instead to make her way towards the stage. Somehow, she was a little curious to see how well the kenkyuusei were doing with that energetic song. Despite having left SKE a long time ago, Rena followed the group’s activities from afar. 

And if there was one certitude she had anchored deep within her - and this even when she was still a prominent member of SKE – it was that the group’s future lied with the new, young generations.

“Rena-san! Rena-san!”

Rena had barely stepped out of the dressing room when her feet paused on the floor; her eyes widened in surprise as she heard someone call her name. It must have been years since she heard that voice, she would recognize its distinctive feminine, cheerful tone anywhere. Pleasure softened Rena’s face and she turned around, facing the familiar twenty-nine-year-old, former AKB48 member who was approaching her.

“Yuki-san,” Rena threw her a smile. “How have you been? It’s been a while. Aren’t you a little early for your performance?”

“Ah yes,” Yuki conceded willingly. “But I don’t mind waiting. Mayuyu’s duet starts in less than half an hour, so I figured we could arrive together.”

Rena followed Yuki’s gaze as she inclined her head and glanced over her shoulder, noticing Mayu and Jurina chatting together a bit further down the corridor. Even though Rena was too far to catch what the two other girls were saying, Jurina’s whole body language spoke for itself. Her radiant smile grew broader at every word exchanged; a genuine, small laugh occasionally left her lips.

Jurina’s happiness was nothing but manifest.

Rena’s mouth curved with affection; she hadn’t witnessed this kind of scene in years. It was all so familiar, that it brought back many, fond memories. Despite their often, conflicting agendas, she had never seen a friendship more solid and stable than the one uniting Jurina and Mayu Watanabe. The fact that they managed to remain friends throughout the years - even after Mayu’s graduation - didn’t come as a real surprise.

When it came to the friendships she forged, no one was more loyal, reliable and constant than Jurina Matsui. Despite this acknowledgement of Jurina’s personality, it didn’t prevent the moment from being any less touching in Rena’s eyes.

“I see your solo career is going extremely well,” Rena said, bringing her attention back to Yuki. “Congratulations.”

“Thank you very much.” Yuki’s cheeks flushed at the compliment. “There are so many talented artists; I wasn’t expecting my new album to sell so well. I’m going back on tour next month; a few dates have just been added. It might be a little tiring sometimes, but there’s nothing more gratifying and motivating than to do something you love.”

“That’s true,” Rena murmured. How could she object to such a statement, when she herself had embraced an acting career, thereupon fulfilling her ultimate, childhood dream? “I’m sorry, but I think I’d better get going. I was on my way to the stage; I’m expected in less than ten minutes.”

“Oh, sure. I’ll see if those two are done chatting,” Yuki said, swinging her head around to look at Mayu and Jurina. “I guess not,” she let out a small chuckle after discovering the two friends still profoundly immerged in a passionate conversation. “When those two are in their own little world…”

“It’s hard to get them out of it?” Rena offered, a warm note of amusement in her tone. From her peripheral vision, she noticed a staff member approaching her: she knew it was her cue to leave. “It was really nice talking to you. See you later?”

“Of course! I won’t hold you up any longer, I just wanted to say that…” Yuki’s friendly, cheerful voice took on an unexpected, serious tone. “I really miss this. I know it was a long time ago, but I sometimes remember the Summer the four of us spent at Mayuyu’s beach house. We had so much fun together, didn’t we?”

Rena blinked in astonished silence, a little taken aback by the abrupt change of subject. Even though she couldn’t really fathom why Yuki was bringing it up – nor the reason behind the strange, expectant look the other girl was giving her – casting her mind back to that particular week in July 2015 inevitably brought back a sense of nostalgia.

“Yes, we did. Everything about that week…” Rena smiled reminiscently. “Everything was perfect. We really had a great time.”

“Yes, and maybe one day…” Yuki’s voice trailed away.

Rena didn’t need her to finish. She knew perfectly well what Yuki was implying and could even hear the touch of hopefulness in her tone. Rena found herself momentarily distracted when the staff member addressed her, warning her it was time to leave. Rena absently nodded back in return and, after giving Yuki a small, apologetic look, couldn’t resist one, last glance in Jurina’s direction.

Rena was startled to find out the two friends were done talking, and now looking in their direction. Despite being acutely aware of the male staff member’s presence by her side, Rena was unable to turn away when she saw Jurina staring at her across the distance, the young girl making no attempt to hide the fact that she was watching her.

For a moment, they held one another’s gaze and, as Rena let the meaning of Yuki’s previous words sink in, found herself secretly wishing she could one day relive those carefree days of happiness. 

4.20 PM.

Jurina’s 2020 graduation concert was now halfway through. Unexpected guests, exceptional performances. On this day in late September, the lucky audience at the Nagoya Dome was definitely in for a treat. After such a memorable opening and an impeccable first part, it was hard to see how the second part would manage to surpass such a level of perfection. If the fans believed they had already seen it all, then they were definitely not at the end of their surprises.

The team KII had just cleared the stage after Kodoku no na Ballerina; Airi Mizuno rightfully owed herself the cheers of the public with her flawless technic in the title role of the graceful ballerina. A videoclip was now projected on the main screen, showing a short feminine silhouette - dressed in a black, masculine military outfit - energetically running in the woods. Her slightly inconstant breathing, heard distinctly through the speakers, was the evident proof that this little chase had been going on for a while.

“Dammit,” the complaint escaped her gritted teeth when she realized she was having a hard time keeping up the distance with the incredibly athletic, feminine silhouette she was chasing.

Suddenly diverging from her course, she hid and pressed her back to a tree, quickly pondering over her options. The camera - which had until now carefully avoided revealing her identity to the spectator – progressively moved upwards from her black boots to her combat fatigues, pausing and zooming in on her face. The image of a determined Mayu Watanabe flashed on the main screen of the Nagoya Dome.

“Mouse to Team B,” Mayu tried to keep her voice calm and steady when she opened the communication. “Nobunaga is approaching an inhabited area. Do you copy?”

“Team B to Mouse,” a feminine, slightly crackled voice replied in her earpiece. “We’re five minutes away from your location. Please don’t engage the target before our arrival.”

“It will be too late,” Mayu argued. “She will have escaped by the time you arrive. I can’t let that happen. I’m going after her.”

“No, it’s too dangerous,” her interlocutor protested in alarm. “Mouse, I repeat. Do not engage the targ-”

Mayu abruptly cut the communication with the rest of her team, her eyes fired with anger as she stared back at the agile, feminine figure quickly disappearing out of the woods. “Oh no, I’m not letting you escape,” Mayu grumbled, her fingers tightly gripping the pistol attached to her belt. “Not this time.”

The videoclip paused, the image froze and lingered on Mayu’s intense, focused expression, until her features gradually faded as the screen turned black. The audience waited in anticipation, an upbeat pop music filling the silence the moment after. Instantly, everyone’s attention flew to the main screen: large, white letters flashed on the surface, announcing the imminence of the next song.


From a trapdoor carefully hidden underneath the stage, two feminine silhouettes appeared, the lights shining upon them immediately. Gasps of surprise echoed in the stadium as Jurina and Mayu Watanabe, both dressed in the black military outfits taken from the videoclip, were standing back to back at the center of the stage.

Anata wa watashi no raibaruda  You’re my rival

Watashi no eien no raibaru  My eternal rival

Watashitachi wa dochira mo  We both want

toppu ni tōtatsu shitai  To reach the top

Watashitachi hitori no tame  But there is only place

dake no basho ga arimasu  For one of us

Kore wa mujihina sekaidesu  This is a merciless world

Dare ga ikinokoru nodesu ka?  Who will survive?

As the pair began singing together the first verse of the 2015 AKB song - their first and unique duet in the history of the 48group – the unexpected appearance of the graduated and emblematic member Mayu Watanabe caused waves of euphoria among the already misty-eyed spectators of the Nagoya stadium.

Jurina tried her best to clear her head and control her agitation, somewhat frightened by the sound of her own heart beating wildly inside her chest. From the minute the concert had begun and she had stepped on stage in front of a packed stadium for her duet with Acchan on Oogoe Diamond, she had felt a shot of adrenaline course her veins. Her excitement was at its highest level and - as the first part of the concert went smoothly without a single incident to deplore - the electrifying sensation hadn’t left her since.

A few songs ago, they had officially entered the last third of the concert, and a completely different feeling monopolized her senses. Despite her best efforts, the muscles in her stomach wouldn’t stop clenching nervously at the imminence of her next duet. It was true that other SKE members sang that song occasionally in the past - mostly during theater performances - it hadn’t been her case in many years.

Yes, the possibility sometimes presented itself to her, but Jurina had a hard time imagining herself singing that particular duet with someone else than her original partner. Back in 2010, when she listened to the lyrics of Two Roses for the first time, she couldn’t break free from the feeling that song had been written specifically with both she and Rena in mind. Two Roses had always been a significant, special song; one that required detailed, careful preparation before going on stage.

When Jurina finally became fully conscious of her romantic feelings for her WCenter, this song only grew to be even more meaningful.

“Let me help you.”

Jurina came back to her senses when she heard a feminine voice softly addressing her, noticing through the mirror Rena - already elegantly dressed in a red, long dress - approaching her from behind. For a split second, Jurina wondered what the older girl could possibly want to assist her with, until feeling Rena’s fingers on her back, prudently pulling the zipper of her blue dress up to the top.

“Thank you,” Jurina voiced her gratitude, until her smile vanished when she noticed Rena’s slightly troubled expression in the mirror. It was true they hadn’t had the opportunity to exchange more than a few words since the beginning of the concert, not that she expected any less. The first twenty-five songs followed one after another at breakneck speed, even sometimes obliging her to sing a few songs in a row without a single interlude.

Even so, Jurina never missed the opportunity to steal a glance at Rena when she had the chance. When they crossed paths in the dressing room or happened to share the stage together: each and single time, Jurina was struck by Rena’s serious, intense focused expression. Despite the general restlessness and noisy environment surrounding her, Rena’s impeccable professionalism always seemed to take the upper hand: she never let herself get distracted unnecessarily.

“What is it?” Jurina asked in concern, turning around to face her once Rena was fully done adjusting her dress. “Is something wrong?”

“I just…” Rena hesitated. “I was just asking myself if it’s really a good idea to do that song together.”

Jurina frowned, bewildered. “I don’t understand. When I suggested we sing that duet together, you accepted. You don’t want to do it anymore?”

“That’s not it,” Rena nodded negatively. “I want to sing this song with you; I really do. But I also know what this song means to you: how very emotional you can get sometimes when you sing it. Believe me when I say I want nothing more but to please you and make you happy on this special day but when I accepted to come, I promised myself not to do anything to cause you pain or sadness. And this song…”

“I…” Emotion closed Jurina’s throat, trapping the rest of her words.

Unable to speak, Jurina stared back at her wordlessly, struck by the range of different emotions conveyed through Rena’s eyes. Hesitation. Apprehension. Concern. But it wasn’t everything Jurina realized as she desperately tried to maneuver her thoughts and studied Rena’s expression at length. If she wasn’t mistaken, there was also a perceptible note of genuine caring and affection in those brown eyes fixed on her. 

“See, that’s what I’m talking about,” Rena sadly murmured. “The performance hasn’t even started yet and you’re already crying.”

Jurina widened her eyes, startled when Rena delicately brushed away a tear from her cheek: she hadn’t even felt it rolling down. When Rena was about to pull her hand away again, she quickly trapped Rena’s fingers inside hers, keeping them closely pressed to her cheek. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe emotion will get the best of me and I won’t be able to hold my tears back on stage. I don’t care; it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to live with regrets.”

As Akane was pensively removing her Kiss Datte Hidarikiki black and red outfit, she couldn’t help but steal another discreet peek at Jurina who was by her side getting changed, still feeling a little disturbed by what had happened at the end of the song. She and Jurina hadn’t shared a word since they left the stage a couple of minutes ago yet, the more Akane looked back on this strange final spin and the unusual way in which Jurina behaved, the more she was convinced it hadn’t ended exactly as the younger girl originally planned.

A few weeks ago, when Jurina suggested centering this particular song with her, Akane hadn’t seen any valid reason to object and had gladly accepted her invitation. Teasing her friend about the infamous kiss, crucial part of the choreography, was way too easy. When she had confronted Jurina and the latter had proclaimed loud and clear she had nothing to worry about - advancing the fact that she didn’t kiss other members on the lips anymore - Akane had suppressed a knowing smile.

It was indeed true that the kissing monster’s ardors had considerably calmed down over the years, but Akane wasn’t naïve. Jurina’s flirtatious, mischievous behavior was an inseparable part of her personality. No matter her level of maturity, it would never entirely disappear. Moreover, Akane couldn’t ignore the great temptation this particular song always represented throughout the years for a girl as playful as Jurina.

That was why, as innocent, casual and sincere as Jurina tried to appear on the subject, Akane was practically certain her friend would never let such an opportunity pass. It was her graduation concert: the very last time she would ever be performing that song as a SKE48 member.

Kiss Datte Hidarikiki  You even kiss left-handed

Watashi me wo tojite kizuita yo  I noticed while my eyes were closed

Anata sukoshi hidari ue kara  You start a little from the left

Hora ne kuchibiru kasaneru  And there, our lips meet             

Yume wa anata no kikiude  My dream is your dominant arm

When Jurina seized Akane’s hand to make her spin, the latter clearly saw Jurina’s lips quickly approaching hers. Despite being fully conscious of the bad deed Jurina was about to commit, Akane didn’t try to avoid the imminent kiss. Somehow, she couldn’t find it in her to be upset at Jurina’s action, deciding to grant her that last little moment of pleasure.

As Akane was preparing herself to receive Jurina’s lips on hers, she was startled when the contact didn’t happen. Instead of following through with the kiss, Jurina changed direction at the last instant, pressing a chaste kiss to Akane’s cheek. Under normal circumstances, Akane wouldn’t have thought too much about it after seeing Jurina’s mischievous expression, understanding she had been played, and Jurina never had any intention of intimately kissing her.

Today, Jurina’s eyes reflected no sign of mischief, but an unusual flash of hesitation mixed with unease. It only lasted a few seconds: Jurina quickly regaining her composure when the lights went off and the music stopped. Yet, Jurina’s strange expression had spoken for itself: it was enough information to tell Akane that something had happened inside her friend’s head, making her change her mind at the last minute.

When they moved backstage, Akane absent-mindedly noticed the Team E – with the graduated member Rena Matsui at their head – patiently waiting at the entrance of the stage for their turn to perform. She didn’t miss either – although it was quite brief - the visual exchange between both Matsui, as Jurina shyly returned the gentle smile the older girl was sending her way.

Back then, Akane hadn’t thought much of the interaction between the two girls.

In retrospective, and in the light of all those elements, Akane wondered if Jurina’s unexpected change of heart during the final spin of the performance might be linked to a certain, twenty-nine-year-old, brown-haired girl. A girl who shared the same surname as Jurina’s, and who was currently performing Team E’s song Dareka no Sei ni ha Shinai on the main stage of the Nagoya Dome.

Akane couldn’t hold it any longer: she had to know if her intuition was correct. “You were planning on kissing me during the final spin, weren’t you? Why did you hesitate? How come you changed your mind?”

Jurina turned to look at her. “Are you saying you wanted me to really kiss you? I thought you would feel too embarrassed about it, so I changed my mind.”

Akane wasn’t in the least fooled by Jurina’s apparent relaxed attitude, even less by the playfulness in her tone. After more than a decade by Jurina’s side, she was capable of analyzing her reactions: the slight moment of hesitation in Jurina’s voice before she replied was the evident proof that her question managed to destabilize her.

“I don’t think it had anything to with me,” Akane said carefully. “I think you changed your mind for another reason: because you knew Rena was watching.”

“W-What? Why wouldn’t I want to kiss you because of Rena? It doesn’t… You’re not making any sense now.”

No, it doesn’t make any sense, Akane almost replied, but kept her thoughts to herself when Jurina turned her back on her and continued undressing as if nothing happened. Akane remained quiet, beginning to feel slightly concerned by her friend’s defensive tone and embarrassed answers. She was never one to jump to conclusions, yet one thing was for certain: she didn’t like at all how this whole thing was starting to look. 

Jurina hung up after her video call with Mariko, a smile of pleasure spread over her face as their conversation lingered in her memory. Of course, a part of her remained sad that her thirty-four-year-old friend wasn’t present today for her graduation concert. Unfortunately, Mariko had work commitments requiring her to be in Madrid, and she wouldn’t be back in Tokyo until the end of the month. Despite her absence, Jurina was extremely happy they were able to get in touch and exchange a few words on this special day.

Jurina put her tablet away, a small laugh inadvertently escaping her lips when she remembered the funny way her older friend appeared on the screen earlier on, wearing a ‘I love Spain’ tee-shirt, together with a wide-brimmed black Cordobes hat. If it wasn’t for her friend’s noticeably drawn features, Mariko’s goofiness would have easily made her forget about the difference in time zones, and it was barely past 9 am in the Spanish capital.

Distractedly, Jurina listened to the cheerful, KII’s pop song Disco hokenshitsu resounding loudly in the baseball stadium, before setting her eyes on the familiar hat laying on the table in front of her. Reaching out for it, Jurina’s fingers played with the white accessory for a short while, until raising her eyes and checking her matching white outfit in the mirror. In less than ten minutes, she would be stepping on stage for her solo, CENTER.

Feeling the white hat slowly moving between her fingers made everything rush back with vivid clarity. It might have been already five years ago, she would never forget the first time she sung that song in front of a crowd. Between the release of SKE’s new single, her first solo and the shocking announcement of Airi’s graduation, that specific Handshake Day in December 2015 had definitely been emotionally charged.

That time in the dressing room when Rena had gently chastised her as she was playing with her hat nervously. That other moment too, when Rena had noticed her crooked knot and carefully adjusted it, while playfully teasing her about her supposedly legendary issue with ties. But most of all, Rena’s last-minute encouraging, reassuring words after she had confessed to her how terribly anxious she felt about the idea of missing a single step during such an important song.

Even if you make a few minor mistakes, I won’t love you any less.

If there was one person who had demonstrated her unconditional support and successfully helped her get through this stressful day, it was the girl whose angelic face still haunted her days when she cast her mind back to the past and delved into her memories. It was the girl whose soft, lovely voice was currently filling the air of the Nagoya Dome with the first verse of the melancholic ballad Kareha no Station.


As the impressive doors of the main stage closed on her gradually, Jurina let her gaze wander around the Nagoya Dome, taking time to admire the amazing view of forty thousand green light sticks beautifully illuminating the stadium in her honor. As the fans kept chanting her name vigorously, aware of the imminent departure of their favorite idol, Jurina flashed one last smile and mouthed a ‘thank you’ of eternal gratitude to the audience, emotion shimmering in her eyes. The moment after, her face vanished from the screen entirely, the doors shutting once and for all in front of the first and emblematic ace of SKE48.

Jurina remained standing in front of the closed doors, silent, her heart beating wildly inside her chest as she listened to the cheers and the fans still calling her name from the other side. It was almost as if they didn’t want the concert to end quite yet and wished she would come back, surprising them with a couple more songs. But Jurina was perfectly conscious that - even though she would have loved to step back on stage and sing for them again - it was not going to happen.

Her graduation song, the one she had performed a few minutes ago, had marked the end of her 2020 graduation concert irrevocably.

Feeling incredibly moved by this vibrant testimony of their love for her, an unlimited affection that had motivated her to dedicate twelve years of her life to the idol group and to surpass herself at every occasion, it took Jurina a few seconds to capture a male voice addressing her behind her back. When she finally tore her eyes away from the stage she had just left and turned around, she discovered two staff members patiently waiting for her.

Mustering her most polite smile, Jurina was especially cautious not to trip up on her long, satin white dress as she slowly descended the few stairs - clearly appreciating the staff members’ help in the process - and following them when they guided her backstage. After more than two hours and thirty-five songs, numerous guests’ appearances, an impressive mix of AKB and SKE big names on Majijo Teppen Blues and an emotional, final reunion of the Team S first generation on Tooku ni ite mo to complete the picture, Jurina’s 2020 graduation concert had finally come to an end.

On her way backstage, Jurina was approached on many occasions by group members wanting to congratulate her; still she remained in such a daze after such a unique experience, that her voice was locked within her, barely managing to nod and smile back in return to every one of them. As Jurina reached the dressing room, the two staff members accompanying her left her side, Jurina’s steps soon pausing on the floor as she felt her eyes watering.

Startled, she raised her hand to touch the moistening sensation on her skin, wiping away the tear that had slowly found its way down her cheek. She had done her very best not to cry too much during the concert, especially during the last songs. So why were emotions getting the best of her now of all times? When Jurina sensed someone approaching, she tried to conceal her emotional state behind a fake smile yet was immediately caught off guard when she discovered the person’s identity.

Rena was standing by the door of the dressing room, giving her a look of mingled surprise, confusion and concern. “Jurina… what’s wrong? It was such a beautiful concert; you should be so happy and proud of yourself.”

The ghost of a smile flitted across Jurina’s sad features; Rena was entirely right. Everything did indeed go mostly as planned and without any major incident to deplore. Yet, she found herself incapable to answer Rena’s question. How could she give her a semblance of an explanation, when she ignored herself the reason behind her tears? Those inexplicable tears she had quickly attempted to hide, but which had unfortunately not escaped Rena’s keen attention?

And what about this strange, unpleasant sensation of emptiness filling her?

Jurina felt the tears rising unbidden behind her lids, threatening to trickle down her face. In the past, she always felt a tinge of frustration when a SKE concert reached its end, not wanting to leave the stage quite yet and instead sing a few more songs to please the audience. But this sudden aching hollow void inside her wasn’t like anything she had ever experienced before. It was disconcerting and disturbing, even beginning to frighten her.


At the sound of Rena’s hesitant voice calling her name, she stepped forward and reduced the short distance separating them, leaning forward to bury her face against Rena’s shoulder. Tears began falling remorselessly down her cheeks and Jurina fought hard not to weep openly, until her breath caught in her lungs, shocked by her own actions when she realized what she had done.

What on earth was she doing?

Rena was only being nice and considerate; yet she was selfishly taking advantage of it for her own benefit, without thinking about the consequences. A feeling of profound unease mixed with guilt swept through Jurina’s chest, realizing she had completely let herself guide by her emotions and overstepped her boundaries with Rena. She and Rena weren’t that close anymore; she had no right to throw herself into her arms in such a shameful, casual way.

“I…” Jurina’s voice trembled, as she began to pull back. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have-”

Jurina was taken by surprise when Rena refused to let go, instead sliding an arm around her back and keeping her close. “It’s alright, I’m here. Talk to me.”

Jurina shuddered when Rena’s soft fingers caressed her back delicately through the fabric of her dress, her eyes fluttering close as she couldn’t help despite herself but relax in Rena’s protective, warm embrace. “Is this… Is this how you felt when you graduated?” Jurina finally managed to ask, still somewhat distressed by the multitude of conflicted emotions overwhelming her. “This immense happiness when you were singing on stage, then a terrible void inside you when it all… stopped?”

“Ah, I see,” Rena quietly murmured. “This bittersweet sensation you’re having right now; I think every girl who graduated went through the same. But, it won’t last. In a few weeks, maybe months, it will have passed. I promise you that.”

Jurina didn’t say anything, relishing instead the sensation of Rena’s fingers beginning to caress her hair slowly and tenderly. To be honest, Jurina was having a really hard time understanding the reason behind Rena’s patience and incredible gentleness. By now, Jurina would have expected the older girl to release herself from her hold, and make sure she didn’t try to invade her personal space again.

Fearing that another word from her might ruin this incredibly pleasant moment between them, Jurina kept her mouth closed, while desperately attempting to make sense of the situation. Rena was only trying to bring her comfort and ease her worries: it didn’t mean anymore than that, Jurina tried to convince herself. Yet, as Jurina was careful not to jump to conclusions and falsely misinterpret Rena’s actions as more than a simple act of friendliness, she couldn’t deny how happy she had felt all day to have Rena by her side during such a crucial moment of her life.

As the seconds flew by, and Jurina was more than conscious she would at some point have no choice but to extricate herself from Rena’s arms, realization dawned on her that she didn’t want this reunion to be the last. Jurina swallowed a nervous lump in her throat, uncapable of keeping to herself any longer the question burning her lips. She needed to ask. She needed to know. 

“Will I… see you again?” The question left Jurina’s lips in a whisper. In fact, she had uttered those words in such a feeble voice, she wasn’t even sure Rena had heard her at all. A glimmer of doubt that grew and developed within her as she waited and waited for a reply but didn’t receive a single one in return. But she didn’t want to let this opportunity pass, Jurina was sure of herself when she slowly disentangled herself from Rena’s embrace to look at her.

The great surprise plastered on Rena’s face told Jurina she had definitely heard her before, contrary to her initial belief. And Rena’s reaction, coupled with her lack of answer, made her fear she might have been somewhat presumptuous by believing there was a chance Rena would accept to meet her again. Maybe for Rena, this day was a one-time thing; an exception she had agreed to make only because it was her graduation concert.

“I know it’s already been three years and maybe today didn’t mean anything to you but…” Jurina paused, her voice trailing away uncertainly. “But after seeing you today, I realized how much I missed you and I didn’t want this moment to be the last of us. So, can we… can we see each other again? It could be for anything you want: Dinner, lunch, or even a simple coffee.”

Jurina watched Rena’s lips parting, yet she didn’t have time to speak that a staff member interrupted them, informing Jurina she was expected for a short, exclusive interview with Nikkan Sports. Jurina silently nodded back to the male staff member and began to follow him obediently, before abruptly halting when she realized she had no assurance the other girl wouldn’t have already left by the time her interview ended.

Decidedly turning on her heels, Jurina asked politely for the staff member to wait a little longer, before glancing back at Rena in apprehension. She couldn’t wait: she needed to hear her reply at once. She had to know if they still had a chance to mean something to each other. If Rena refused her offer and preferred to keep her distance with her, then she wouldn’t insist and accept Rena’s decision.

But what if she said yes?

What if they had an opportunity to reconnect?

Jurina mustered the courage to speak up. “Rena, can I…” She tried to steady the shakiness in her voice. “Will I see you again?”

Rena’s mouth curved into a smile and gave her a small nod in return; it was all Jurina needed to have her hopes rekindled and feel the tension in her body dissipating. Jurina’s heart leaped inside her chest; joy warmed her from within. On this particular day of September 2020, she had unquestionably turned an important page of her life.

It was now up to her to begin a new chapter.   

« Last Edit: Today at 09:02:24 PM by sophcaro »
My WMatsui fanfics:

- Heartbeat | Completed
- Partners | Completed
- Destiny | Ongoing

- Warriors | Will return in 2018
- Back in Time | Will return in 2018
- One Shot collection: Her Sun | Completed
- Fire and Water | On hiatus

Offline Bukiyou Taiyou

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  • Posts: 49
It’s 3 a.m. in my place but I can’t wait any longer to comment on this touching chapter. You really wrote Jurina’s graduation concert beautifully that my heart is full of gratitude. :farofflook:
It felt heartwarming and nostalgic. (In my wildest dream, I kind of hope some IRL SKE48’s staff really read this and apply some of your ideas for Jurina’s real graduation concert. The plane thingy with those words were cool.) I’d be lying if I said I didn’t expect that “twenty-nine-year-old girl, her brown hair tied back in a ponytail and dressed in an elegant long black dress” in the beginning of the concert to be Matsui Rena. She was on my mind when I read it. And I was like, “Oh wow, their duet is too fast.” What a plot twist when later I found out she was Maeda Atsuko. :stoned:
I don’t know if you did it unconsciously or not to mention the age, but Acchan and Rena had the same age, so some readers (not only me I guess) could mistake the girl to Rena, too. Acchan’s appearance on Jurina’s concert symbolized how important and meaningful Jurina had been for the group as their ace. It somehow showed that you write this for the sake of the story, not only to feed the preferences as a fan.

The presence of the whole original Team S was a nice surprise. I hoped they would sing Kamigami no Ryouiki but I believe you selectively chose which songs to show on this chapter. The fact that you included some lyrics of some songs tell much about it. You even write original lyrics of Rivalry! I super like the concept of military outfit with all the acts between Mouse and Center(?)! :on gay:

Rena’s short conversation with Yuki surely brought back memories. Everything was fine back then. (I’ll re-read those certain chapter of Partners.) I hope they can repeat the moment.

And those affectionate words from Rena to Jurina: “Even if you make a few minor mistakes, I won’t love you any less” make me weak. I’M WEAK FOR THIS. I awww-ed inside that Jurina still remembers it clearly. :on speedy: Jurina did have a memory like an elephant. (This might explain why she was having a hard time to move on even after years.)  :on cloudeye:

Jurina’s empty feeling after the concert was very human. She was a part of SKE48 for half of her life. It’s good that Rena was there for her. Actually it’s not only Rena. Mayu’s appearance and Mariko’s video call gave mental support for Jurina, too. I’m happy she is surrounded by lifelong friends.

This chapter answered most things. Every character had their own path and you showed it; briefly but clear enough for the readers. When Rena said yes to Jurina’s question and you ended this chapter with “It was now up to her to begin a new chapter”, I almost got a tiny heart attack to think that it might be the end of the trilogy of Destiny, that you might intend to write a cliffhanger ending since the very start. My heart is not prepared for a final goodbye when I read this chapter. :on speedy:

Then I saw this infamous “TO BE CONTINUED” and I was so relieved, knowing that a new chapter will come.

After reading this chapter, I watch some AKB48’s songs with Jurina in it and I feel thankful that Jurina hasn’t graduated yet. I think I’m still not ready to watch her graduate in the near future, though I know it’s inevitable eventually.

Thank you very much for this long and well-thought-out chapter. I should give you a standing ovation for this. :kneelbow:

Ps. I’m happy that I can still read your fics on JPHIP because if you only put them on Tumblr, I can’t get any access to read them at all. The authority in my place just blocked Tumblr since a few weeks ago. :k-mad: It sucks, but we can’t do much about it.

Offline Minami-chan

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  • Posts: 595
  • Still Love You
A really good chapter. Of the best I've read.
Thank you very much, you have really put a lot of feeling and dedication in this part and I'm sure we all appreciate it.

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