Ok, here we go again... I'm so sorry... it's nearly been a month since I last posted this story, and I don't even have much of an excuse... I miss having my laptop and I did lose a big chunk of this story, but I even managed to salvage this... so I really don't know what's wrong with me.
Still, this chapter turned out to be pretty long, and it covers the end of Ayumi's arc... it wasn't as funny as I'd been hoping for, but it did get the job done. I hope you guys like it... or at least, don't hate it...
As you can expect, Ayumi kicked ass at her meet, and Keima got his date, a word which incited both happiness and terror within him. Sure, things were going pretty well with him and Ayumi, but there was a factor that could easily poison whatever flag either of them raised… that one, being Chihiro. The fact that her and Ayumi had been friends for long would just make her words a lot stronger.
Keima didn't bother dressing up… his parameters didn't matter, anyway, so he just wore a pair of grey pants and a light button-up shirt, figuring it was clean and casual enough for their date.
Though he may have creased it a little bit… he'd gone into his God of Conquest mode for two hours, due to his significant decrease in gaming time over the last week, and while he was caught up now, it probably didn't do much for his appearance… again, not that he cared, and as he said, the player's parameters don't matter.
"Nii-sama!" Elsie opened his bedroom door and nearly ran into him as he was leaving, "Chihiro-san wants to talk to you…" she held out her phone.
"I'm not home," he mouthed, "now go away…" Elsie sighed and turned around to leave.
"N-nii-sama left already…" she paused, but the more she talked, the higher her tone got, "no I'm not lying!" another pause, "okay, fine!"
She walked back and shoved it into his hands.
"She said she'll be quick," Elsie begged with her eyes. Keima gave her a dirty look, but answered it.
"So you two will be at Daisuke's Deserts at 04:30, right?"
"Okay, was just confirming… you are talking about the Maijima one, right?"
"No, the Narusawa one…"
"Okay? I guess… why so far?" Keima shrugged.
"Who knows, she just wanted it like that… so is that all?"
"Actually, no…" she paused, "what are we accepting as sabotage?"
"Nothing-physical-it-takes-under-three-minutes-kay-thanks-bye…" he then shut Elsie's clam shell and handed it to her as he walked out…
"Waah, Nii-samaa!" Elsie floundered behind him, but he paid no mind. He had to get going soon if he still wanted to make a stopover at the game shop to get the new releases from Thursday before he met up with Ayumi. He stepped outside the house to only see another unwelcome face.
"Not you again…" he moaned, considering going back. He was already forced to see her later today… couldn't she cut him a damn break?
"Indeed," she nodded curtly, "I had more to say, which is precisely why I stopped here, rather than going into the café, like I'd planned."
"What is it!?" Keima asked irritably. This was why he was looking forward to the ending of this damn bet.
"What are your intentions with Ayumi?" Chihiro asked, a serious look on her face. Elsie, who was just coming from the door, stopped dead at seeing Chihiro.
"If it was anyone else, I wouldn't care, but Ayumi's my friend. So if you win, do you intend to stay with her until nature takes its course, or will you leave her as soon as you win?" Chihiro started walking forward, "Do you even like Ayumi?"
Keima was silent the whole time. For Keima, it was easier to see Ayumi as another heroine… precious, but ultimately fleeting, only to be replaced by the heroine of the next game. Her route had had problems, but he was nearing the ultimate end of it now.
This was why the real was shitty. The end was coming, yet there was no reset… and the last thing Keima wanted was to hurt her and get beaten black and blue in return. Chihiro impatiently pulled out her phone.
"Because I swear to God, if you plan to hit it and quit it, I'm telling her about this bet right now…"
Keima shoved his hand down on the phone. When she glanced up, he was looking irritated too.
"I hate everything about the Real…" he gritted his teeth, "no backspacing… no saves… people creating useless noise… however, I will never hate a heroine… so I have no intention of rejecting Ayumi if she does accept me."
"So you do like her?"
"No… I do not hate her," he clarified, "as much frustration and annoyance her route brought to me, she is ultimately a heroine, and I will take her to the ending, if she allows me."
That… was probably as good as it was going to get, wasn't it? She gave him a wry smile.
"That almost makes me not want to interrupt," she shrugged, and Keima looked a bit too hopeful, "It doesn't mean I won't, but in the meantime…" she stepped to the side and motioned him to pass.
"That doesn't mean I won't act obnoxious enough that she'll start to hate me, by the way," he said as he passed, "now if you will excuse me, there are some important heroines I need to save from the game store…"
Even Chihiro couldn't stop the slight smile as he morphed into a chibi as he skedaddled away.
"Ellie…" Chihiro grabbed Elsie's hand out of nowhere and brought her to the normal girl's side, "now how about we use your discount and treat your friend to a nice slice of cake?"
With an impish smile, she dragged Elsie to the other entrance… she couldn't believe that she hadn't checked out this place before.
When Keima met up with Ayumi about two hours later, he noticed that, like any girl that he'd ever taken out on a date (in games), she was dressed up. He'd only ever seen her in gym garb or school uniform, so the one-piece with a denim jacket over it was a cute look.
"H-hey…" Keima scratched his head awkwardly, "as promised, I left my PFP at home…"
Well, not at home exactly… he had a decent relationship with the cashier at his favourite game shop in Narusawa, so he'd actually left it with that guy, along with the new games he'd gotten today, but she hardly needed to know that...
Or rather, was he setting a bad precedence by having his first sentence be a lie?
God, was he this awkward when he did these in games?
"Sh-should we go inside?" Ayumi asked. It was clear that the nerves were getting to her as well.
"O-of course…" Keima wanted to do something romantic… like take her by the hand and lead her in… but then she'd know exactly how sweaty his palms were.
Why couldn't it just be like games? There weren't any scripts he could run through for this, and that was throwing him off even more than usual.
Ayumi looked especially cute today.
"Katsuragi?" Keima nearly jumped at the sound of his name. Ayumi was holding open the door, and Keima realised that he screwed up. Girls aren't supposed to open the door.
"So-sorry…" he hurried to the door, but his legs felt like lead.
"Man, you are awkward," Ayumi chuckled as he mechanically walked past her. Still, she didn't mention anything more of it until they were seated, and Keima's face had returned to its normal colour. He took a deep breath.
No… he couldn't let this date go like this… the real was backing him into a corner, and it wasn't like him to just take that. He'd gone on at least 2070 dates, so there had to be some experience he could bring up and use.
Like her appearance… tell her she looks cute! Keima opened his mouth.
"You're pretty cute… when you're like that…" Ayumi said in a small voice, with her eyes nowhere near his. Keima screamed internally at being beaten to the punch.
"T-thanks…" he scratched his head, "you look really nice as well."
Though was it really okay to call a guy cute? Isn't that more demeaning than being a compliment? Keima could use that line to change the power balance here.
"Though you know…" Keima's voice held even, "it's better to use the word 'handsome', rather than 'cute'… some people would consider that demeaning."
She looked up, a smirk on her face.
"Nope, 'cute' is definitely the word I mean here… you're just very different than you are at school, and I think that's cute."
"So you consider me cute then…" his face started mirroring hers, "what part of that was cute?"
"That…" she indicated toward his overly confident face, "that is not cute… I like you better when you're bumbling around…"
Keima paused. He was starting to gain his stride now with the whole conquest thing, but she liked him better when he was having trouble. Should he rather switch back to that persona?
Did that make sense, though? He was playing the bumbling nice guy for the earlier part of the week, and that didn't appeal to her at all… but being cocky wouldn't help either…
It was a careful balance. He could probably act like himself and just throw in an embarrassing moment here and there to knock him down a peg. That could be a strategy to appeal to Ayumi.
"Fair enough…" Keima nodded solemnly, "I will try to act more 'cute' then…"
"Much better," Ayumi said with a small laugh, "so shall we order then?"
Keima's eyes narrowed. There was his chance to do something a bit klutzy. While he raised his arm to flag the waitress, he purposefully hit the table with his hand.
Ouch! That hurt!
He had yet another reason to hate the real.
"You okay?" Ayumi asked sympathetically. Keima gave her a nod, but the pained look in his eyes and the fact that he was pressing his lips together made it clear that he was trying to downplay it.
"Are you two ready to order," the waitress came. Ayumi felt her heart jump for a second before remembering that they were nowhere near school.
"Yes please…" Keima spoke with some difficulty, as he sat on his hand in hopes that the pain would decrease a bit. Ayumi found herself smiling a little bit at his antics. After placing their order, Ayumi stretched herself in her side of the booth.
"Though Katsuragi, what did you think of the meet yesterday?" Keima had to pause and think of a way to put it nicely, because "as boring as other real stuff" did not sound very promising.
Besides, he wanted to be boyfriend material, right? Suddenly, he remembered a line which fit quite well.
"Running… walking… falling… we all have to spend our youth someway…" he looked at the light somewhere above him, "running seems fulfilling, but with you, I bet it makes you feel the happiest in the world, doesn't it?"
His highly focused brown eyes fell on her. She didn't break eye contact, but rather, a small smile came to her face.
She did feel like the happiest girl in the world, but it wasn't only the running which brought about that…
Why did he have to be so creepy at school, when he was so decent without his game thing?
Both of them kept it casual… the further the date went, the more frequently Keima's eyes would drift to the door. Did Chihiro not decide to do anything today?
They were approaching the end of their meals when the café doorbell tinkled. Oddly enough, it was Ayumi who noticed it first… Miyako and Chihiro entering the shop…
Wha-what were they doing all the way in Narusawa!?
She gave a panicked look at Keima, who was lost in his own thoughts and was staring at his barely sweetened dark chocolate cake.
"Hmm…" he looked up, before realising that he'd been daydreaming about the game he was currently playing. Now wasn't the time for that!
His eyes settled on Chihiro and Miyako, who were chatting to the cashier. Keima's neck bristled.
He knew that sabotage was allowed, but it was a low move to bring Miyako here to do it. He had no clue how this would play out if Miyako flirted with him in front of Ayumi.
Suddenly, Chihiro's eyes snapped to his, and before he could react or do anything, Ayumi shoved his head down under the table. Keima quickly eased himself under the table so he was more comfortable.
Why was he even hiding?
"H-hi… Chihiro…" Ayumi called, but the dragging quality to her voice made it clear that the last person she wanted to see was Chihiro. The normal girl pretended not to notice as she waved back.
Keima groaned as he noticed a pair of legs approach. Miyako was still standing by the counter, but Chihiro was coming to talk to Ayumi now.
"Yo, Ayumi…" Chihiro hit her hand on the table, the sound made Keima cringe and move further away from both girls, at least to avoid detection, "how rare to see you all the way here…"
Though he was near certain that Chihiro had seen him just now…
He was right too. If Chihiro hadn't known that Ayumi was going to be here with Keima, she'd probably assume that she imagined it. Now, she knew for a fact that Ayumi had just unceremoniously shoved her date under the table.
That worked to her advantage, actually.
"Yeah, I was just looking for a change of pace…" Ayumi stretched casually, her legs moving under the table. Keima held his breath and edged even further.
This view was unnerving to him… seeing Ayumi's bare legs a foot from his head. He instead focused on Chihiro's three-quarter pants and trainers, coz they were a lot less distracting, and he had to hear what she was saying.
"That explains it," Chihiro's body weight seemed to shift to her other leg, "considering this place has another shop just by your house…"
At first, Keima found that information odd… it was almost like exposition, but who would even care?
"Y-yeah…" Ayumi replied nervously. Her legs were starting to twist uncomfortably as well. Keima wanted to curse Chihiro for making this awkward.
Wait, he better time this… she'd be forced to leave in three minutes. He quickly brought out his phone and turned on his stop watch.
"Are you eating with someone?" Chihiro asked. Keima's cake was still visible on the table.
"N-no!" Ayumi burst, her upper body leaning forward as she pulled the cake closer to herself, "I was just hungry, so I ordered it for myself…"
"And you're eating both of them at the same time…" Chihiro asked in an even tone. Keima could only imagine one of her eyebrows in the air, a completely sarcastic look on her face. Chihiro then laughed, "well, you're a growing girl… gimme a bite too…"
Keima backed away further as the other girl climbed into the booth from the other side.
"Come on, just a bite… you know I like dark chocolate…" the plate landed on the table noisily, "though where's your fork?"
Keima looked in his hands. He was still holding it, so he quickly put it on the seat next to Ayumi.
"Seems like I dropped it," Ayumi replied, picking it up from the seat. It did make it seem more plausible that the fork was on her side.
Other than the scrape of cutlery, it was silent, till Chihiro let out an approving sound.
"That is a good cake!" Chihiro exclaimed, "I should ask Miyako to get me some…"
Oi, don't eat people's cake… and don't get other people to buy you cake…
Chihiro got up, and Keima breathed a sigh of relief. In any case, with the minute he'd timed now, and the minute or so that he hadn't, she'd be done now.
"'Kay, I should get back to Miyako," Chihiro said cheerfully, "apologize to your boyfriend for me…"
Another loud clang came, this time originating from Ayumi's side of the table.
"I said that there's no one here!" Ayumi protested.
"You know you can't fool me, right?" Chihiro shrugged, "you've been acting weird, so there obviously is a guy…"
Ayumi didn't protest to that.
"I won't bother you about it, but can you at least tell me who he is?"
Ayumi must've responded by some body language, coz Keima didn't hear an answer.
"Well, I can't force you…" Chihiro replied to whatever that was, before walking off a bit further, "though you know I won't judge, regardless of who it is…"
Keima couldn't tell if she was a lying hypocrite… her voice was a lot less boisterous than what she'd used on Keima normally, and it honestly sounded sincere…
That's a no brainer… it's because him and Chihiro aren't friends…
In any case, what did Ayumi have to say about that… would she tell Chihiro about him?
"Sorry, I can't…" Ayumi whispered, barely loud enough for Keima to hear.
"Considering you can't tell me, and that you purposefully left Maijima to go on this date… I hope you think long and hard before accepting another date with him…"
Chihiro started walking away for good. Her words weren't particularly profound, but Keima felt his stomach sink with them.
Ayumi had chosen a place which clearly had a closer franchise… she didn't want to run into anyone from school… when she did run into someone, she had him hide… and of course, there was his nickname, Otamega…
She was embarrassed of him…
That realisation hurt even more than hitting his hand against the table did.
Keima crawled out of the table, now Chihiro wasn't looking at them. When he stood up, his fringe was casting a shadow on his eyes. Ayumi could tell that he'd put two and two together.
"I'm sorry, Katsuragi…" she spoke softly. Keima sighed.
"I probably should have known that my reputation would have some kind of parameter here…" he shrugged, and his eyes came back into the light. It didn't make it particularly better though. Ayumi had seen him make a few expressions this last week, but none like the defeated one he was sporting now.
He turned to her.
"Sorry I asked you on a date…" he scratched his head for the third time on this date, but the awkwardness was nothing like the other times, "I'll let myself out then…"
Ayumi groaned. This wasn't the way she wanted to talk to him about this.
"No, I get it… you need to keep up your good reputation, and Otamega probably isn't helping…" he turned away.
"No, Katsuragi," Keima paused again and glanced over his shoulder. Ayumi was glaring down the table.
"What is it?"
"I don't know!" Ayumi's teeth gnashed together, "I don't want to be with you… but I can't deny that I had fun with you during these last couple of days… I don't want you to go back to how you acted before this week…"
Keima sighed. While he didn't encounter this kind of bad end scenario often, he wasn't a stranger to this. It was different though… he'd just normally restart the game and do it right… if there was even a reset, he had no clue how he could fix this anyway…
"Can we be friends, at least?" Ayumi dropped the guillotine question on their relationship. Keima shook his head.
"That doesn't solve the biggest issue of me being Otamega," he shrugged, "besides, I have no need for friends…"
As Keima started leaving, a part of him was happy for having spoken his mind… another part was cursing Chihiro for influencing his thoughts as well. Them not having another date seemed to be a mutual decision, but he'd been the one to reject any offer of friendship.
He wasn't wrong, though… Keima didn't need friends… he'd never had friends for most of his life, and he turned out alright…
He didn't like Ayumi that much anyway… all she'd really done was beat him and indirectly force him to team up with the worst person in the world in hopes of actually winning her over…
He internally shrugged. After the initial disappointment, he didn't feel particularly bad. It wasn't like Maijima was running low on girls, and all he had to do was choose someone who stood up to him a lot less. In fact, by the time he'd made it outside, he was already thinking about the game he'd been playing before he'd come here...
Why the hell didn't the real have a Rei-chan imitation?
Rei was so kind and beautiful and loving… yet, he was stuck with people like Chihiro, who was the exact opposite.
Ugh, and she's here again… she was leaning against the wall, watching the door.
"Oh, it's you…" Chihiro said in a disappointed tone, "I was hoping Ayumi would leave first…"
Keima didn't reply, his hands reaching for his pocket, but his PFP wasn't there…
He should have just kept it. It was a waste of fifteen minutes that he'd have to go to the game shop again.
"Though whatcha think of my sabotage?" Chihiro asked gleefully, "I thought it was pretty insightful…"
"Yeah yeah…" he replied in a bored tone, not stopping. Unfortunately, Chihiro wasn't done, considering she was keeping step with him… to gloat, most likely.
"Well, I consider my victory sealed…" she shrugged. Keima paused, but didn't take the bait.
"So you succeeded on messing up one date… how does that mean you'll win?"
"Simple… with your reputation in tatters and your personality being what it is, all I need to do is point out the truth, and any girl will be reluctant to date you…"
"I'd say your personality is way worse," he pointed out, "with my knowledge on girls, I can at least fix my reputation…"
Chihiro gave a wry smile.
"Fair enough," she stopped, "in any case, you better fix your strategy if you even hope to have a chance…"
Keima stopped abruptly, his eyebrows knotting angrily.
"What did you say?" he asked quietly. Chihiro smirked. She'd definitely hit a nerve there.
"You only got so far with Ayumi because I told you what her problem was. If you get stuck with a girl each time, you're screwed…"
Keima was a bit taken aback… while she wasn't wrong in saying she did help, he was the one who noticed that Ayumi was faking being hurt… he was the one who put in the effort and got her to agree on a date.
Thinking like he was playing a galge wasn't wrong. The real seemed to add an annoying parameter to its heroines, and if Keima was to enforce his logic more strongly, he'd be able to trump even that.
Now that he knew that his popularity did play some part in girls accepting him, all he would have to do is just change that… somehow…
"Not only will I continue what I'm doing, but I will win…" he spoke confidently. Chihiro was happy with that.
"Alright," she nodded, "I'm glad you have more reason to win than just getting rid of me."
"No, that is still my primary reason… however, I will do it for the honour of the games that have loved, and kept me safe for all these years…"
"Wait, are you talking about games or your parents?"
"You won't make fun of my games!" Keima screamed. Chihiro snorted. She was actually making fun of him, but okay… at least he wasn't that bummed about Ayumi rejecting his ass.
"Speaking of which, did you stiff Ayumi with the bill?" Keima blushed. He'd completely forgotten about that. From his wallet, he shoved a few bills to Chihiro, "what, you go give them to her…" she pushed his hand back.
"I can hardly go back in there… you're her friend too… just go inside and pass it to her."
Chihiro smirked. So he wasn't as unaffected as he appeared. He noticed the look.
"It's not because I'm scared… If I tried opening the door, I'd get a message saying 'I probably shouldn't go in'…"
That response only got a raised eyebrow.
"Real life doesn't work like that, you know?" she shrugged, figuring that it was far enough anyway, "fine, I'll take it…"
Keima wordlessly passed it over.
"Just so you know, I'm keeping any change," Chihiro warned, folding the notes in her palms. Keima was already walking away.
"Don't care, got better stuff to do now…"
Chihiro smiled slightly, before deciding to go inside. She had originally come to check on Ayumi in the first place. It was a good thing too, because she was looking at her coffee thoughtfully. Ayumi was a pretty spontaneous person, so when she was thinking, it had to be pretty serious. Chihiro slid into the booth from the other side.
"Chi-chihiro… what are you doing back?" Ayumi turned a light pink.
"I came to see how you were dealing…" Chihiro opened her note-filled hand onto the table, "also, Otamega asked me to give you this…"
The blush got a little darker. Ayumi had been worried about that.
"You saw, huh?" she groaned, "Let's get this over with, then…"
"What?" Chihiro replied. Her eyes were drifting to the last third of dark chocolate cake, but they snapped back to Ayumi.
"You saw Otamega was here… don't you wanna yak it up?"
Chihiro shook her head.
"You come first to me, and if you truly liked a guy like that, I would support you…" Chihiro replied. Still, the irony in those words weren't lost in her words, considering Chihiro had actively broken up their date.
No… Ayumi hadn't been ready for it either, and Chihiro had just pointed it out.
The runner groaned, her head falling into her hands.
"Am I a horrible person… for thinking less of Katsuragi because he's Otamega?"
"No way… that guy is as creepy as anything…" Chihiro said with a laugh, before sobering up, "did you actually like him like that?"
"No!" Ayumi shook her head hastily, "just… I don't think he's as bad as I thought before…"
Ayumi stirred her coffee sombrely. Chihiro could see that admitting that was probably a big deal for her, and she needed to respond delicately... Though more interestingly, Keima did succeed in making a good impression on her... not that she'd tell him about that.
"That's not too bad… maybe you can be friends with him instead."
"I tried…" Ayumi replied glumly, "he said he doesn't want any friends…"
Well, that sounds like Katsuragi. Chihiro chuckled.
"I'd say to still go for it… it's hardly like he can stop you from talking to him… personally, I think Ellie is the bet-"
"How come you keep looking at that cake?" Ayumi interrupted. Chihiro pulled her eyes off the dark chocolate cake.
"Come on, you have to consider this a waste," Chihiro motioned to the slice. Ayumi smirked.
"If it wasn't bad enough that you already ate from Katsuragi's cake using his fork, now you wanna eat some more… you sure you're not the one who likes him?"
Chihiro hastily pushed the plate away, a blush coming on her face for the first time this conversation.
"I had no intention of eating that," she replied truthfully, "it was just bothering me…" the malicious smile on Ayumi's face only grew.
"Of course it would… you have the same tastes as Katsuragi on cake…" Chihiro forced her eyes not to waver or drift away and give Ayumi the wrong idea, "So tell me, Chihiro," Ayumi gave her a smug smile, "how was it like, indirectly kissing Katsuragi?"
Chihiro snorted, suddenly a lot more at ease. Ayumi probably was trying to play that card in hopes that she'd get more embarrassed… how childish did Ayumi take her for? A crafty idea came to her mind.
"Pretty lame," Chihiro deliberately cut a small cube of cake with the fork, "considering I've kissed him already…"
That had the reaction Chihiro had wanted. Ayumi's mouth opened to get some details, and Chihiro shoved his fork into her open mouth. Ayumi's face turned a new shade of red as Chihiro pulled the fork back.
"That was evil!" Ayumi shouted, but that didn't stop her from swallowing it. Chihiro smiled mischievously.
"Well, now you know," Chihiro snickered.
"Oh, I was kidding about that…" Chihiro replied with a bored expression, which calmed out Ayumi, "or maybe I'm kidding about kidding about it…"
I'm going to kick your butt, Chihiro…" Ayumi glared at her, but the normal girl was more than ready for that, considering she was by the door already.
"Don't forget to pay for your food, Ayumi!" Chihiro called. Before the money hit the table, she was already out sight. Ayumi sighed and just called it a day.
Monday morning, the new hurdle for the second years came. Unlike the ones Ayumi was used to, it was one of words and deep thought which no amount of brute strength could get her over.
On the worksheet handed to everyone were the four words that all teenagers feared: Plans for the Future.
True, this was handed out every year, but this was more serious, with graduation only being two years away, and university applications starting in about a year. Ayumi definitely had to talk to someone… like her parents or her older brother…
Ayumi turned around. Unlike what Ayumi had been expecting, Chihiro was chatting to Elsie, the other Katsuragi sibling Ayumi didn't have to reject. So Elsie and Chihiro were friends, huh? The class was given time to discuss this during homeroom, so she figured she'd go talk to them and Miyako.
"Done!" Elsie spoke proudly, slapping the paper onto her table.
"Good for you, Ellie," Chihiro cheered, "I should get down to writing my options too…"
"What, you know what you're doing already?" Ayumi asked. By this point, she was already at Elsie's desk, "I can get Elsie-san might know, but Chihiro knows nothing…"
"Rude!" Chihiro pouted, "and for your information, I have something perfect to write…" she mumbled a little as she started writing.
"What about you, Miyako?" Ayumi walked back one more desk from Elsie's. Miyako's paper was filled in in pen; to her surprise… she was certain of her plans for sure.
"For me, it's definitely university…" Miyako passed her sheet over, "I want to do some management or accounting type course…"
"Wow…" Ayumi passed the sheet back, "you seem pretty certain of your future… What about you, Elsie-san?"
Elsie passed her paper to Ayumi as well.
"You can call me Ellie," she laughed, "I'm not certain, but these are some ideas of things I'd like…"
While more numerous compared to Miyako's, Elsie had a pretty good idea too. She was jealous.
"You guys are so admirable…" Ayumi replied, leaning on Miyako's desk, "I have no clue what to write on mine…"
Miyako was about to reply before Elsie beat her to the punch.
"Ayumi-san, what is the name of the class representative?" Elsie poked her thumb at the twin-tailed girl who was pondering over her own sheet a few seats away, "I want to give my sheet in before I forget it at home…"
Ayumi gave a small laugh before shrugging.
"Sorry, I don't know… Chihiro is better at names…" Chihiro's head rose up at the sound of her name.
"I was telling Ellie you were better at names than me," Ayumi replied. Chihiro's chest swelled with pride.
"Oh yeah, I'd say I know our classmates by name," she nodded, "you need a name, Ellie?"
"Y-yeah… do you know the class representative's name?"
Chihiro paused, her eyes settling on the girl's figure… the name was on the tip of her tongue too…
A scoff came from in front of her after a few moments…
"Great proof… ten out of ten…" To Ayumi's surprise, it was Keima, whose sheet was placed upside down on the desk and was playing his game.
"I know her name!" Chihiro interjected, "I just need time to remember it."
"If it's not in your head straight away, you can't boast of knowing everyone's names, can you, Chihiro?"
Ayumi's eyes narrowed. So Katsuragi used Chihiro's first name as well.
"Doubt you can do any better… you could barely remember my name…"
Actually, I can remember any name if they've been called out in class or I've done duty with them… and of course, if I've played their route…" he pushed up his glasses.
"You think so?" Ayumi's eyes drifted to Chihiro, who was starting to get a competitive look in her eyes. Keima turned around.
"I know so," he smirked right back.
"First seat in the second row…" she challenged.
"Matsumiya Hiroko… two seats behind me…" Keima replied easily, sending his own question back. Chihiro glanced over her shoulder.
"Yoshino Asami… back corner seats…"
"Inoue Yukari, and Nakagawa Kanon, whenever she comes to class…"
Ayumi watched the proverbial ping pong match between both teenagers as they questioned and named a good third of the class.
"Nii-samaa… Chihiro-saan…" Elsie interrupted.
"What?" both of them turned to Elsie.
"Instead of fighting, answer my quuuestion!" Elsie flailed. Keima looked confused, while Chihiro glanced at the girl in question.
"She's asking about the class rep's name…" Ayumi supplemented.
Once again, the two fell to silence… even Keima, who actually was pretty good at remembering names, was stumped. Characters who didn't particularly stand out always stumped him.
"I-i-ikarino-san…" Chihiro smacked her hand on the table, "that's her name…" she turned to Keima, "suck it! I'm still better at this…"
The class rep turned around at the mention of her name.
"Ikarino-san… I was wondering if I could hand my form back in…" Elsie replied.
"Sure… let me bring the register so you can sign if off…" she gave a nod and walked up to the teacher's desk.
Chihiro sent a smug smile at Keima.
"If you're so smart, what's her first name?" A disgruntled Keima shot back.
"Beats me," she shrugged, "now turn around so I can gloat in peace…"
"If I get her full name, you don't get to gloat… and you can't speak to me for the rest of the week…"
"Ikarino-saan!" Chihiro raised her hand, "can I hand in my form as well?"
"I'm done too…" Keima gave a wave.
Ayumi groaned. Why the hell was everyone done here? Or rather, why the hell was Katsuragi chatting with Chihiro so easily? Katsuragi had no need for friends, according to his own words.
"Patience, people… let me take these two first…" she stopped at Elsie's desk. Chihiro was staring down the register. All she needed was to find her name, and bragging rights were all hers.
As soon as the register was placed on Chihiro's desk, Keima grabbed it, correctly intercepting the normal girl's plan. Chihiro scrambled out of her desk so she could see the register.
"I-i-I," she repeated under her breath as her eyes ran through the list.
Ikarino… her eyes quickly zipped to the place the first name should be. It was covered in white-out
Keima groaned at the same realisation.
"What, can you guys not find your names?"
"Umm… Ikarino-san… why isn't your name on this list?" Chihiro asked bravely.
"Nikaido-sensei spelt it wrong, so I was going to write it correctly," Ikarino shrugged.
"Now do you write it correctly then?" Keima asked, readying his pen, "the white-out is dried, so I'll write it before I sign…"
"That would be great, Otamega… It's spelt N…I…C…E…T…R…Y… and that is all…"
Keima looked at it for a moment before it sunk in. Chihiro snickered.
"Well played, Ikarino-san…" she laughed and returned back to her seat.
"I'll leave it to you guys to find my actual name by yourself…" she smirked, "also, I can't accept your form, Otamega… You didn't fill in anything other than your name.
Chihiro laughed. This day was just getting more and more perfect.
"Though don't get cocky, Kosaka-san… I can't accept yours either."'
"Why the hell not!?"
"Because 'Mermaid', 'joining a badass team and fighting anti-spirals', and 'the crawling chaos' are not careers you can currently go into…" she laughed, "nice try for you as well, but go consult with your parents before you hand this in… "
Chihiro pouted as everyone around her laughed at her expense… well, everyone except Keima, who'd gone back to ignoring everyone.
Keima was mad at himself… not only had he been the one to join Elsie's and Chihiro's conversation, but there was no reason to do so either. It was hardly like he was getting more information about some real girl or anything…
No, he blamed Ayumi! Her presence was messing with his head, and he couldn't stand being silent.
He sighed and returned back to his game… he'd spent way too much time away from it…
As Keima turned the screen on, he realised why he might have been easy to distract… because he was starting a new game, one of the mob characters were giving him exposition about the school, which was always a dull part of any game…
Though real life was chock full with mob characters too… why did he think talking to real people would be more interesting than getting exposition shoved into his face?
"Oi, Otamega…" Keima cringed at the hand that landed on his shoulder.
"Hands off, Mobuko!" Keima yelled, his head still inside his game. The class rep, who had been trying to give him his career form back, quickly removed her hand.
"Mobuko?" Chihiro repeated, "Is that a nickname?"
"Mobuko," Ikarino half-smiled, "if you want to call me that, sure…"
Keima robotically took the paper back, wondering how the hell she took that as a nickname… well… whatever…
He had better stuff to do now, anyway.
Keima robotically took the paper back, wondering how the hell she took that as a nickname… well… whatever…
He had better stuff to do now, anyway.
As the class rep- now named Mobuko, for some odd reason- was walking off, Miyako's and Elsie's papers, Ayumi's eyes trailed to Chihiro, who was lazing on her table, a shadow of that previous smile still on her face. Clearly, she wasn't bothered at having to refill her form.
"Chihiro…" Ayumi strolled over to the next seat, "I have a ques-"
Suddenly, she stopped… thoughts of that dark chocolate cake… their unashamed indifference for that form… their chummy way of fighting over their knowledge of names…
"What the hell are you guys?" she asked. Chihiro's eyes widened, but ahead of them, the clacking of the PFP buttons stopped as well.
Outside the classroom, a boy leaned away from the window, sullenly shoving his hands into his pockets.
Well, the last scene was actually supposed to be an omake, but it turned out to be more in-depth than I expected... I think mostly because I like watching Keima and Chihiro fight in this story...
Though out of curiosity, does anyone have any ideas about what Mobuko's name should be? I know canon just left it like that, but I kinda feel like she has a more normal name... like even Mappy's real name is Hiroko, and she appears even less than Mobuko does. I already have an idea on the name I'd want, but I wanna hear what you guys think too.
So review time:
xellos540- Man, I actually remember when I read this review... scared the crap outa me.
I do understand your concerns towards Keima's character in this story, but I couldn't really change this arc so much... but a new arc is beginning after this, and I kinda lost the majority of what I'd written, so I'll need to start again... in fact, I may want to use your betaing skills, if you don't mind, because I don't want to derail Keima any further... Keima is supposed to be awesome, and I haven't really been doing him justice so far... however, there's still quite a lot of story for me to redeem myself in, so getting a hand in might be appreciated.
Also, I've been thinking about what you were saying about Chihiro not actively doing anything this arc... maybe from now on, I'll have both parties pursue people at the same time... though I did have plans for at least one arc to go like that, including some sabotaging gambits.
Egee99- Thanks for the kind words... though honestly, Miyako was pretty quiet this date... somehow, Miyako interfering in front of Ayumi would change status quo more than I'd like... she'll be back with something new for the next arc though.
Lol, and you probably haven't seen the last of Chihiro's fake names... while the name choice is a seiyuu joke, I'm hoping the payoff turns out to be good.
NotAnAuthor504- Yeah, Miyako having such power was actually an oversight of mines, and something I will look into more as I write it... I do want her to mess with Keima, but he'll hold his ground next time... and whether Ayumi will find out about it... for the meantime, she's safe, but there's no telling about later...
Shawn Raven- Ah, you guys are always so nice to me... I'm sorry this was so delayed... and I was actually supposed to post this yesterday, but my net turned off...
Chihiro totally had a plan... in fact, she even had a new plan to mess up the date... heck, she's acting even craftier than Keima... Man, I need to fix the power balance in here...
Ok, Apologies are still in order right about now... I've been in a kind of slump which I'm slowly getting out of now... I wrote about 1000 words for the new DMT chapter just today, so I'm hoping that will be out by next week... though I have been writing something else, if you guys have read The Gamer and the Guitarist... it's KeimaXChihiro drabbles, and I post those everyday... not that it's any excuse as to why I'm taking so long on my other stories, but at least there is new stuff if you're interested.
That being said, I've written about 27% of all the KeimaXChihiro stories in this archive... I need help...
I hope you enjoyed this, and hopefully I'll be back with a new chapter soon.