Finally! Here's the update that you've been waiting for! Well, sorry if there's no Three-Tums story...but hey... I think 'Kuwagata' explained that. I think I want to melt while making this chapter….SO CHEESY!!!! Aherm… anyways, enjoy reading!
“OHAYOU~!” Rika excitedly greeted as soon as she entered their building. Her officemates were stunned because they thought that it’s her day off. They replied back; still surprised by her sudden burst of energy. Rika skipped happily along the corridor going to the elevator while humming along the tune that she was listening to the night before, and early that morning.
“Cry, cry don’t cry watashi wa suki na no~” Rika tried hard to restrain herself from making ‘eye-catching’ dance moves as her officemates were eyeing her. She didn’t mind all the looks for she was busy being happy that time.
“Tonight tonight KISU shinai asobi ja KISU shinai~” Rika looked back at the person singing the next line on Resonant Blue.
“Ohayou Yoshizawa-san! How’s your day?”
“Well, as far as you can see, my day hasn’t started yet. But it seems that yours started for some time now.”
“Yeah! Gaahh!!! I really like Three-Tums’ Resonant Blue song but having their autographs on the CD case makes it really stand out!”
“I thought you said that it’s your rest day today?”
“Yeah.. but I still need to finish some work… then the FANGIRLING will resume!!!” As Rika squealed her secretary came out from another door and stared at her. Rika cleared her throat and made a ‘normal’, much like ‘formal’ greeting to Mari.
“Good morning Yaguchi-san. Let’s do our best today!” Mari blinked before finding the right answer to her boss’ question.
“Hai.. Oh by the way, Ishikawa-san, your father called again.”
“Oh, so what did he say? I hope it’s not another travel in one of our branch? He knew that today’s my day off right?”
“Well, you can relax because he just called to say that someone’s going to visit you.”
“Did he mention who that ‘someone’ is?” Rika stressed the word ‘someone’. She had a feeling that ‘someone’ has already visited her in the form of Fujimoto Miki.
“No. He didn’t say anything about that. He just said that she will be here at lunch time.” With that said, Mari excused herself from the two, and then gave the taller one an extra look before completely disappearing behind the corner. Rika noticed that and at the same time, heard the person behind her letting out a sigh.
“I guess my day’s just started there.” Rika gave Hitomi a bewildered look. “Hahaha, why are you giving me that look? Hey, I’ve got to go now. I’ll be late for a meeting. See you around!” With that said, Hitomi quickly took an elevator, leaving a clueless Rika in the middle of the corridor.
”What was that all about?” Rika shrugged the thought and waited for the ‘other’ elevator. “Is it Miki? But she visited me yesterday? Well, I guess I have to wait till lunch time… Help me, help me, help..”
“Help me!” Rika quickly covered her mouth. She has the dreaded ‘Last Song Syndrome’ for Resonant Blue and somehow, she said loudly Michishige’s ‘yell’. She was relieved that no one heard her. She quickly boarded the elevator and went to her office.
“Yatta!!!! I finished it!!! Cry, cry don’t cry… hmmmm hmm hmm….” Rika happily hummed the tune as she was clearing up her table but before she can put everything away, her phone rang.
“Konnichiwa, Yaguchi-san.” Rika greeted. It was her initial reaction as Mari filters her calls.
“Do I sound like Yaguchi-san to you?”
“EHHHH?!?!? USO?!? Ayumi?!? How did you know my local number?”
“Uhhh, I asked someone… Didn’t your father told you that I’m coming to visit you?”
“EHHHH?!?! He did mention that ‘someone’ will visit me but he didn’t mention that it was you!” Rika heard her friend laugh on the line other line.
“Geez Rika! I thought you like Eri and Three-Tums, but I think you’re beginning to become Risa. If you will become an idol, you’ll absolutely inherit her ‘Reaction Queen’ title.” Rika was about to answer again but her mind told her that at her state, she’ll definitely answer her friend in a ‘reaction queen mode’, so she just decided to change the topic.
“So, where are you now?”
“Uhhm, outside? In a café near your office?”
“You sounded unsure there… I know that place. Be there in a jiffy.”
“Oh yeah.. Don’t forget to bring your laptop with you!” Rika answered a quick yes and closed her phone, but when she was about to put her laptop inside its case, she stopped and place it back on her table.
“I’m a fast reader…” When she checked Kuwagata’s blog, she was disheartened at what she read.
I know a lot of you are checking my blog everyday to read an update ever since I was back from a long hiatus. And I’m sorry to tell you that I think I’m in a writer’s block again. Don’t get me wrong here. It’s not because I can’t write but it’s more that I want the outcome to be… well written, especially with this ‘Searching for the Light’ fic because somehow, it’s been a part of me. I’ll just post it when I’ve finished it, Thank you for your continuing support
“Oh man… that sucks… oh well, I’m expecting a good ending here.” She closed her laptop and swiftly put it inside her bag. She got out of her room, gave her finished work to her secretary and quickly left the office.
“Uhh, Ayumi. I think we should change the venue.”
“Because, they are my officemates and I don’t want them to see me squealing and hyperventilating over whatever files you’re going to give me.” Ayumi felt sorry for her friend. In her work, her officemates knew that she was an anime addict and much like a Maki Goto and Kanjani 8 fangirl, or ‘wota’ sometimes. But her friend was having a hard time being a closet fangirl. Even though her friend didn’t tell her, she can feel the pressure of living the life of what people perceive her to be; where a single ‘dirt’ on her excellent profile wasn’t allowable. She nodded as a response and let Rika lead their way.
“I know of this certain restaurant. It’s just 10 minutes away from here.”
“A..yu..mi… where.. did… you… down…load…that?” Ayumi wanted to laugh at her friend. She was transferring some of the ‘Three-Tums’ files that she downloaded on the net when Rika started ‘hyperventilating’ silently.
“On the net… I was following some Maki Goto links and I stumbled upon a picture of Maki and Reina on a ferris wheel. It was about two years ago I guess, the time when Maki cut her hair short.” Ayumi watched as Rika was trying her very best to conceal her squeal by covering her mouth with her two hands. “Hey, I don’t want you to die because of suffocation. I think you should let go now, we are the only one’s here. Everybody else has gone back to their work.”
“I… can’t… I… don’t… want… someone…. Oh my gosh…OH MY GOSH!!!! Omgomgomgomgomgomg…..” Ayumi face palmed as she heard her best friend’s famous ‘omg’ mantra when Rika saw a TanaKamei picture where Eri looked like she was kissing Reina on the cheeks. “Is it edited? Is it edited? Is it edited????!!!”
“Uhh, I don’t know but it looks so real…”
“KYAAAHH!!!! OH MY GOSH!!!! I’LL MAKE THAT MY WALLPAPER!!!! HARHARHARHAR!!!!”
“So this is Ishikawa Rika at her 100% fangirl mode… Kowaii…” Rika quickly covered her mouth. It wasn’t her best friend’s voice. She looked at her friend and saw that she was having that bewildered look too. They looked back at the entrance of the store and Rika gasped.
“Hi! Just got back from Tokyo.” Miki walked towards their place and pulled out a seat next to Rika. She quickly noticed the picture on the laptop and snorted. “So you’re a TanaKamei fan… I pity you.”
“Huh? What do you mean?” Rika asked. Ayumi was curious too. Miki let out a victorious smile. “Because, the real pairing in Three-Tums is KameShige. They’re best friends, and Eri herself admitted that she always spends most of her time with Sayu…” The two was left dumbfounded for a while and then started laughing like crazy. “What? You don’t believe me? Watch their interviews! There are lots of proofs in there!”
“Hahahaha… so you’re into Three-Tums too…” Miki can’t look directly at Rika’s eyes. Her façade has fallen off and there’s nothing she can do about it but to go with the flow. “And your favorite pairing is KameShige…. I think we just formed a triad..” Rika thought aloud, and then started laughing again.
“Triad? I don’t get it.” It was Miki’s turn to be curious at what Rika said.
“Well, you see. It’s like this… I like TanaKame… then you like KameShige… and then Ayumi here likes TanaShige. Three pairings for the three persons.” Miki looked at Ayumi when Rika pointed to her. Rika got Miki’s quizzical look. “Oh, sorry. I haven’t formally introduced the two of you. Ayumi, this is the co-worker that I’m talking about Fujimoto Miki, from the Hokkaido branch, and Miki, this is my best friend… Shibata Ayumi.” Ayumi smiled at Miki when the other reached out her hand for a simple hand shake. “Finally! The two Maki Goto addict have met!” Miki furrowed her eyebrows… while Ayumi raised hers. Rika noticed that the simple hand shake has turned into a ‘gripping’ fight. “Uhh, guys…”
“SO IT’S YOU!!!” Both of them announced at the same time.
“Rika, remember three years ago, at that Anime Convention that we went in Tokyo a week before our college graduation? Where I found that ‘Goto Maki Premium Best 1 album?” Ayumi questioned her friend without taking off her ‘glare’ at Miki.
“Uhh, yeah. I definitely remember that. You made a scene with that girl on that little CD.” Rika laughed but quickly stopped when she felt that the tension was still rising between the two. And then it hit her. “Don’t… tell… me…”
“COME ON!!! WE WILL BE LATE!!! I DON’T WANT TO BE LATE!!!”
“I know, I know… I’m hurrying! I’m not a fast runner.” Ayumi yelled to her friend who was running ahead of her. They were inside a train station and were trying their best to catch the next train. They reached the platform in no time and in exchange, they were coughing and breathing harder because of excessive running. After a few moments, Ayumi decided to resume their previous conversation. “So what did you tell your father this time? Graduation practice even though it’s Sunday?” Ayumi snickered. Rika playfully punched her best friend’s arm.
“No, I told him, that I’ll help you shop for a nice dress that you will use for our graduation. And as usual, he always falls for my explanations!”
“And you used me again?! Geez… If you honestly told them where you will be going, then I think we wouldn’t have to ‘disguise’ ourselves with these outfits. Ayumi pointed on her black, leather over coat. We look like Nazi’s here and also, THE HEAT’S KILLING ME!”
“They wouldn’t understand it… and besides, we will remove these outfits ONCE we reach Tokyo. Just think that we’re cosplaying right now. ” Rika answered while they entered the train. She fixed her thick sunglass and lowered her cap so as to avoid being recognized. Ayumi wanted to retaliate about their outfits but her friend’s somewhat ‘family’ problem was her main concern for now.
“You haven’t even tried it yet. How did you know that they wouldn’t understand you? Look at me, sometimes it was my father who’s the one buying an anime DVD. And they also watch those with me.”
“You have cool parents. I don’t know whether my parents are cool too, but they see me as a perfect daughter. Though I don’t say it aloud but I love them so much that I’m willing to sacrifice my hobbies for them to be happy.” Ayumi eyed her friend even though she knew Rika wouldn’t see it. She knew her friend has a soft spot for her parents. Ayumi wanted to say that her friend was wrong. Rika made it sound like her parents were forcing her to study hard but in reality, it was Rika herself who were doing those stuffs because of her ‘wrong’ impression about her own parents. Ayumi always spend her childhood days in Rika’s ‘mansion’ so she knew how ‘cool’ Rika’s parents were; though her best friend was too blind to see those. Her father was a joker and liked to make fun of Rika. Her mother was a caring mother; she always makes them cookies whenever they will study, put blankets on them when they fell asleep. All those times that she spent with her family, she never heard them say ‘study hard’ to Rika as the other claims it to be. Of course, are there parents who will not be happy when their child is performing great in school and in life? None. She wanted to tell Rika about the ‘shadow’ that she created but hey, they were going in an Anime Convention and it’s not the right time to be gloomy over life.
“Sacrifice? You?!? You can’t even seem to let go of that first Shounen Jump manga that you bought years ago.”
“It’s different… it’s called Sentimental Value.”
“But it sounds the same to me.”
“OMG!OMG!OMG!!!! COME ON!!! We need to have those cupcakes!!!” Rika pulled her friend towards a certain booth for the Johnny’s Entertainment products. There’s an announcement about the JE booth on a certain blogging community that they will give free cupcakes for the first 50 persons who will visit the booth. Ayumi and Rika were one of the first persons so they received a cupcake.
“I’ll take the blue one. It’s Yassu’s color.” Rika said to the fellow fangirl who manages the booth.
“And I’ll take the green one… I like the green ranger.” Ayumi said while smiling crazily at Rika. “Hey… are we on a role play or what? Is it a coincidence that you’re wearing blue and I’m wearing green?” Instead of answering her friend, Rika chose the ‘indirect’ approach.
“Nee~ Tacchon… I want to taste the green cupcake too. Will you please let me have a bite?” Ayumi suppressed her laugh and decided to give a reply to Rika.
“Of course my dear Yassu… You can NOT have a bite. I’m hungry, you already have your cupcake and most of all, you’ll just get fat.”
“Tacchon~! You’re so mean to me!”
“KYAAAHH~! So the two of you are an Ohyass fan too?” The girl who handed them the cupcakes asked. The two nodded and the girls started screaming… or squealing about their favorite pairing.
“They will have a new drama! It’s called Yasuko to Kenji! MY GOLLY WOW!!! There will be lots of OHYASS hints there!!! KYAAAHH~!”
“Yes~!!!! And did you see their latest DVD? Yassu was kneeling in front of Tacchon and then Tacchon grabbed Yassu’s hair it looked like he was ‘wiping’ Yassu’s face in his front… KYAAAH~!”
“And then, did you see their ‘Wahaha’ PV? It’s PURELY an OHYASS PV!!! KYAAAHH~!!”
“Yassu and Tacchon, alone in a Bathtub!!! MY PERVY MIND’S RUNNING!!! KYaaaAAAHHHHHhhh~~~~!!!!
The two met other JE fans and the booth was suddenly turned into a screaming fest. After a couple of minutes of buying JE stuffs and meeting and getting to know their fellow JE fangirls, Ayumi and Rika bade them goodbye and looked at the other booths. Rika and Ayumi bought a Final Fantasy 8 necklace, various anime DVD’s and posters. Ayumi bought a small ‘Killua’ doll to add to her Hunter x Hunter collection while Rika purchased a ‘Shaman King’ game on PC. The two were enjoying taking pictures with some cosplayers, taking a video at the bands performing and participating in the various games. They were eating some takoyaki and sushi at a certain booth when Rika noticed their ‘next’ location.
“Look! A CD and DVD booth! Let’s check that out.” After eating, they proceeded in the said booth. Rika almost let out a squeal as she learned that the booth was selling different Jpop and Jrock ‘hard-to-find CD’s and DVD’s. They quickly got inside and search for whatever CD they will see.
“KYAAAH~! Three-Tum’s first movie!!! Hoshisuna no Shima, Watashi no Shima - Island Dreamin'! I WILL DEFINITELY BUY THIS!!!” Rika hugged the said item and when nothing answered her, she went looking for her friend. “ Hey! Are you alright over there?” Rika asked her friend as soon as she caught her staring at a certain CD. She can’t see it because Ayumi was blocking her view so she decided to take a closer look. And there it was, the limited edition album of her best friend’s favorite singer.
“Are my eyes playing tricks on me?” Ayumi whispered to herself but loud enough for Rika to hear.
“No, I can see it too.” Ayumi was about to reach for the said album when another hand grabbed it first.
“Yatta! The album with Maki’s Korean version of Suppin no Namida and Daite yo!” The short-haired girl beside Ayumi exclaimed happily. Rika slowly looked at her friend and as expected… Ayumi was pissed off.
“Hey you! I was going to buy that one! I didn’t you see me looking at it?”
“So? You were just looking at it so I grabbed it.”
“But I saw that first! That’s MINE!”
“And I TOOK it first!” The girl examined the CD. “I can’t see your name on it, so it means that it’s definitely NOT yours!”
“Uhh, Ayumi, just let it go. It’s just another CD…”
“IT’S NOT JUST ANOTHER CD!!!” Rika was surprised when the two exclaimed that simultaneously. After glaring at her for a split second, the two realized something.
“DON’T IMITATE ME!!!” Rika wanted to laugh at the scene in front of her. The two were clearly a ‘Wota’ of Maki Goto. If not for the other person who approached the ‘yankii-like’ girl, it may end up it a ‘messy’ way.
“Tan! What are you doing?! Give that back to her!” Rika saw how the other person made the girl change her fierce expression.
“But Ayaya! This is a limited edition! I…”
“Geez, if you want one, just ask.”
“But… But…” Rika and Ayumi were speechless. The girl morphed into a whining 5-year old kid. Ayaya removed the CD from Tan’s hands and gave it to Ayumi.
“Here you go, sorry about that.” She then looked back at her friend. “Don’t worry, I’ll be the one who’ll ask her.” Ayumi muttered a simple thanks and bowed. “Sorry again. It’s just my friend’s really a hard core fan… but she didn’t want to be labeled as one.” The girl sweetly whispered but the other one heard it. She wore again her angry expression.
“Hey! I heard that! Geez, it’s ruining my mood. Let’s just go Aya.”
“OMG!!!! I remember! You’re that ‘Tan’ person!!!” Rika yelled as she pointed her finger towards Miki.
“Yeah… I am that ‘Tan’.” Miki answered between gritted teeth. Rika noticed that the two were still crushing each other’s hand. “Geez, will the two of you stop that?! It’s already been three years!” The two didn’t even flinch. Rika sighed and decided to take the ‘authoritative’ approach. “Ayumi, stop that… and you to Fujimoto.” The two decided to follow this time after hearing Rika’s angry voice. And then suddenly, the two of them started laughing, leaving a clueless Rika staring wide eye at them.
“AHAHAHAHA!!! You sounded like an angry chipmunk!” Miki declared.
“Yeah! It doesn’t fit you! You’re not that scary!” Ayumi followed and then laughed louder. Rika scowled but then, her face lit up. It’s better for them to be laughing even though the source of their merriment was her. She decided to let it slip for now and just enjoy the afternoon.
The three of them spent their day talking about Three-Tums though most of their talks centered with Maki Goto. Rika also knew her but did not have the same zeal compared to Three-Tums. At least, she can relate. Then they gossiped about the latest news like the new musical that the Three-Tums and Futari were starring in, and the latest radio show that Risa and Eri formed to promote the musical. After that, they went for a walk in a record bar to look for some CD’; Rika made sure that the two won’t fight again. All in all, they had fun that afternoon, but all things comes to end. It was almost dark when Ayumi decided to leave. Rika and Miki walked with her towards the train station.
“Thanks for visiting me. Take care!” Rika said as she hugged her friend tightly.
“You’re welcome. We’ll go shopping again as soon as you got home, ok? Well, you can rest first.” Ayumi joked and then looked she looked at the other person beside her best friend.
“You’re such an interesting person. No wonder Rika likes you.” Miki’s eyes widened at the comment and then she grinned back at the similarly stunned Rika.
“So~, you like me huh?”
“Ehh?!? I didn’t say that! It’s not like what it means! Ayumi! What the hell…”
“See… you’re actions are definitely showing it.” Ayumi grinned and then laughed. “I’ll leave you now! Good luck!” With that said, Ayumi ran towards the platform.
“Hidoi!!!!” Rika yelled back. She felt some heat rise on her cheeks. She gathered her courage and faced Miki. “It’s not like what you think. It’s just that when I was in Hokkaido, you’re only person whom I was close with so when Ayumi calls to check up on me, you were always part of my story.”
“Yeah, no need to explain. I was just messing with you. So… are you in for a walk, ‘Kamei’-san?” Rika looked puzzled at first but then smiled when she realized that Miki was just role playing. She decided to play along.
“Yes, ‘Tanaka’-san. It would be nicer if ‘Sayu’ stayed a little longer.” Miki linked her hands with Rika. Rika was somewhat taken aback at the sudden gesture. She felt her cheeks turned hot for the second time. It seemed natural when she was holding hands with Ayumi but a different feeling emerged when Miki was the one holding it. She shrugged at the thought. They were ONLY role playing.
“How many times should I have to tell you, call me Reina.”
“Ok, if that’s what you want, Reina-chan but you must call me Eri.”
“Sure, if that’s what my princess want.” Miki suddenly hugged Rika which caught the other off-guard.
“This is just a role play… a ROLE PLAY… we were just playing a TanaKame scene… nothing else…”
“Uhh… Reina… you’re crushing me…” Rika finally managed to say. Miki wasn’t really crushing her; it’s just that she wanted to get out of their awkward position. The other finally decided to let her go but managed to make Rika’s heart skip a beat when Miki removed a strand of hair on her face and put it back on her ear, making her fingers touch Rika’s cheek. “You’ll look even more beautiful if you don’t hide your face behind your hair.”
“Uhh… UMEBOSHI!!! I want to eat Umeboshi!” Rika suddenly blurted. She can’t stop herself from blushing real hard when Miki accidentally or intentionally caressed her cheek. She was hopeful that Miki didn’t notice that due to the poor lighting. She didn’t like umeboshi but when she spotted some umeboshi being sold in a stall, she used it as a chance to get away from her current situation. After all, she was still ‘playing’ Eri’s character. She ran towards the stall leaving Miki behind her.
“Should I really buy one? I don’t like umeboshi… it’s too sour for me…”
“Let me buy that for you.” Rika was stunned when she recognized the owner of the voice.
“Yoshizawa-san? What are you doing here?”
“Just strolling around… then I saw you. You want that? I’ll buy that for you.”
“I’ll be the one to buy that for her.” Rika saw that Hitomi’s eyes widened when she saw Miki approaching. She thought that there may be some sort of rivalry between the two managers. Miki inched her way towards Rika and hugged her from behind. “Nee~ Eri, how many packs of umeboshi do you want?”
“Miki, this isn’t the right time to role play” Rika whispered but Miki ignored her. Instead, she turned her attention towards Hitomi.
“Eri, who is this girl?” Rika wanted to stop role playing at that instant. She was about to say Hitomi’s name when the other beat her.
“Niigaki Risa. I’m Eri’s office mate.”
“I’m Tanaka Reina, Eri’s friend… well, more than friend type…”
“I think I want to die right now…