Konnichiwa, minna-san!! May I just say that I'm a total AyaXRei fan, and my frustration about their relationship in the animé (Rei being cold to Aya, notwithstanding the fact that he already knows how much she loves him) lead me to come up with such a story like this, so as to make me feel… happy! I really want them to end up with each other, but the animé kind of hints that Rei'd probably end up with Ran! Err… someone please correct me if my vibes are wrong!! Well, anyways, this is my very 1st attempt to write a fanfic (and an AyaXRei one, to boot!!), so please bear with me. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!!

Disclaimer: Super Gals! Kotobuki Ran is a certified property of ©2001 MIHONA FUJII·SHUEI-SHA·TV TOKYO·GALS! PROJECT… there! I've said it, so don't sue me, okay?

Careless Whisper

By: Sechskies

Chapter 01: Enticement

----------

"Otohata-kun… atashi…"

"Gomen na, but I don't deserve you…"

"Ha, demo---"

"Ja…"

----------

Hoshino Aya woke up only to find herself tucked under the warm sheets of her bed, staring blankly at the ceiling suspended above her. The warm beam of the morning sunshine had already crept in her dimly-lit room, and as she slowly sat up, she put a tired hand on her creased forehead and sighed wearily.

"It's that dream again…" she whispered.

Parting her eyelids, her hazel-brown eyes looked at the blue-bordered picture frame on the table just beside her bed, a sad expression slowly coming across her beautiful face. She then extended her arm to pick it up, and as she stared at the picture it contained, her eyes began to water.

It had been already almost a year since 'that' incident happened. It was all too painful to remember, but would anyone blame her if she had never forgotten about it? After all, it was her very first time to fall in love with someone, yet she got turned down with no apparent reason at all, and now she couldn't help but to weep incessantly for her loss.

"Otohata-kun, doushite?" Aya's voice began to quiver, her shoulders trembling. "Doushite…?"

Up until now, she still could do nothing but to think--- think about all the possible answers why Otohata Rei rejected her like that. Was it because she was too timid and doubtful? That she didn't dress as skimpy and as hip as her fellow Super Gals? What?

True, he was kind enough to date her for several times during their first year in high school, but did he only do that because he felt pity for her and wanted to give her a chance to go out with the 1st placer of "The High School Grand-Prix for the Most Handsome Student"? Surely, she was a bit grateful for he tolerated her like that, and she was sure that any fan of his would be really jumping with joy by now if ever they would be given a chance like what she had. But unlike his groupies, Aya's feelings for him were pure. She didn't like him because of his reputation, but because of who he really was, and Rei seemed to have not ever noticed that.

Maybe for the fact that he was just too insensitive and cold that he couldn't feel such sincerity in her feelings for him… then again, maybe not. Rei was the type that didn't like showing his feelings off, and due to that, no one ever knew what he was quite thinking. Heck, she didn't even know the first thing about his real background, so why was she even contemplating about his way of thinking anyway?

Wiping the tears off her face with the back of her hands, Aya took a deep breath and exhaled silently, finally dismissing her reflection. Things like that were better off forgotten. Besides, it already happened a year ago, so why was she still worrying about it? She was just being overly emotional, and she guessed that Rei and the others must have overlooked that occurrence by now.

"Be happy. That's the ultimate rule of being a Super Gal,"

Kotobuki Ran's voice suddenly reached Aya's mind, making her blink.

"There is a much better use of your time than fretting about such useless matters,"

With this, a small smile hovered on the edge of Aya's lips.

She knew that what her friend consistently tell her was true. Though she loved Rei with all her heart, she shouldn't let her world revolve around a sole person, right? She had been crying over him for almost a year now, and it was already enough for her. She should already stop torturing herself and simply move on. That would be the most appropriate thing to do for her, and as these notions were finally able to squeeze through her mind, a serene twinkle glinted in Aya's copper depths as the bothersome sensation she was feeling eventually subsided.

"Arigatou… Ran…"

-----o-----

"A-Achooo!!!"

"Ran-san, daijoubu?" Asuo Yuuya asked, looking worriedly at the copper blonde lady standing beside him.

"Heiki! Heiki!!" Ran's usual cheerful voice answered him after regaining composure from her sudden sneeze, her confident grin making the 2nd placer of the Grand-Prix blush furiously.

Yamazaki Miyuu, who was next to Yuuya, seemed to have taken notice of this uncanny behavior of the young man. Evidently, Asuo Yuuya still had a crush on her friend after all those times, and as she watched two youngsters near her talked continuously about the beach resort that they were presently going to for their weekend vacation, she couldn't help but feel a little envious at their seemingly 'intimate' situation.

It was just too bad that her own boyfriend wouldn't be able to join them with their gimmick this time…

"Yamato…" Miyuu absent-mindedly sighed. Her daydreaming, however, was immediately cut off when a familiar voice suddenly called to her.

The short-haired girl then came back to herself with a jerk, and only then did she find herself staring back at the pair of Ran's huge, coffee-brown eyes.

"R-Ran!" she stuttered.

Ran let out a mischievous smile. "Yamato again?" she sighed idly. "Miyuu, I know my wimpy brother isn't that good in making promises, and I'm really sorry for that. But you just have to learn to get used to it, you know. After all, you've been together for almost a year now and---"

"Wakatta wa yo, mou!!" Miyuu intervened as she sweat dropped, one eyebrow twitching. She obviously had enough of her friend's constant reprimanding on her about her boyfriend. "Mattaku…"

"Ran!!" Kuroi Tatsuki suddenly called to the blonde lady. He made his way excitedly towards his companions as he held six train tickets in his left hand.

"What took you so long, Tatsukichi?!" Ran boomed at her boyfriend angrily.

"G-gomen," Tatsuki managed to say, backing away as he sweat dropped. "The line was too long and I couldn't manage myself to cut in,"

"Mou!!" she pouted.

Miyuu could only giggle at the sight of the couple quarreling before her. Yuuya, on the other hand, merely frowned at their view. It was pretty much obvious that he was still feeling jealous at the two.

"Maa ii!!" Ran finally snapped, putting her hands on her thin waist. "What is done is done. At least, we were able to get our tickets, right?"

The others nodded their heads in agreement, and she smiled, her frustration disappearing. "Now all we have to do is to ride the train that will take us to our beloved beach resort. But before that, we must first wait for Aya and Otohata,"

"Where are they anyway?" Miyuu wondered. They were actually supposed to meet at the Tokyo Station at 8:00, but it was already 9:00 and they still weren't present.

"I already called Rei-san and he told me that he's on his way right now," Yuuya told them.

"Great. What about Aya then?"

"Maybe she overslept," Tatsuki assumed, putting a hand on his spiky, bleached hair.

"Masaka!" Miyuu butted in. "Aya has never been late in any of our gimmicks,"

"Maa na…"

"Mattaku mou!!" Ran suddenly cried out. Everyone knew that she wasn't a very patient lass, and she disliked waiting a lot, especially during such outings. "Now how are we going to get our way out of here if we're still not complete?! Oh, Aya, of all the times for you to be late, why now?!"

"Shinpai shi nai yo," Miyuu smiled, patting her friend's back. "I'm sure Aya will be here soon before the train leaves,"

"Besides, the train won't be leaving until 10:00. We still have a lot of time to wait," Tatsuki added.

"Sou yo! Sou yo!"

"Hey, why don't I go and fetch Aya-san? Won't that be a good idea?" Yuuya suddenly suggested, and everyone turned to him afterwards.

"You sure?" Miyuu asked.

Yuuya merely smiled and nodded his head in reply.

"Wai!!" Ran exclaimed, and impulsively reached out and hugged the blonde tightly, much to his surprise. His awfully red face was enough to send Miyuu into a fit of giggles and Tatsuki into whole-hearted guffaws.

"Promise me that you'll come back with her, okay, 'Yuuya-chan'?" she asked, releasing him.

" 'Yuuya-chan'…" The young man could only smile stupidly, scratching his head. "H-hai!"

-----o-----

Putting the last piece of her stuffed clothing in her suitcase, Aya checked what she had already packed before shutting her bag's lid and locked the tabs safely into place. She was supposed to meet with Ran and the others at the Tokyo Station at exactly 8:00, but she couldn't help it if she had quite forgotten about it, right? She had just spent almost her whole time weeping again, but now that she was feeling a bit better, she decided to pack her things up for the weekend vacation as soon as she could.

Heading for her dresser, she sat on her cushioned chair and reached for her brush to arrange her hair. She was already fully dressed and was just fixing her hair for the final touches. Soon after, she put her hairbrush aside and stood in front of the body mirror just beside her dresser, looking at her reflection.

Since they were going to a beach resort, Aya had chosen to wear a more casual attire for today's agenda. She had a pink tube under a white blazer with pedal jeans that emphasized the shapely figure of her body. On her feet were the pair of pink sandals that perfectly matched the color of her top, and she wore a complementary heart choker and earrings. She also had her hair neatly down, its silky, black length cascading on her back and shoulders as a cute hairclip was on each side of her head.

She looked absolutely perfect, not to mention very much set for their vacation at the beach, and with this, Aya then took a deep breath and got ready to leave her room.

Just then, someone knocked on her door.

"Aya?" It was her mother. "Aya, someone's here to see you,"

"E?" Aya blinked. "D-daré desu ka, Okaasan?"

"His name was something like Yuuya or Yuuhi, I can't remember," she shrugged. "Well, anyways, why don't you just go meet him in the living room and see for yourself? You wouldn't want your visitor to get bored waiting for you to finish up your morning ritual now, would you?"

After her mother left, Aya then let out a sigh, a sign of skepticism and curiosity apparent on her young face as she got out of her room, carrying her bags. "It must be Asuo-kun. But why is he here?"

-----o-----

Yuuya sat down on the apple-green sofa of the Hoshino's living room, clasping his hands with his fingers as he patiently waited for Aya. He couldn't understand why he was feeling quite nervous about his mere visit, and as he drank the lemonade that Aya's mother gave to him, his gold-yellow eyes looked around the house.

Just then, a familiar voice called to him.

"Asuo-kun? Wh-what are you doing here?"

Realizing that the voice belonged to Aya, he then stood up and turned to her, the usual soft smile planted on his lips. "A-Aya-san," he began. "I just came by to…" Yet, his voice trailed off as he faced her, seeing her stunning appearance.

Aya soon noticed the bewildered expression on the lad's handsome face, and merely creased her eyebrows in worry. "A-Asuo-kun? Daijoubu?"

"Heh?" Yuuya blinked back, quickly removing his stare at her as he looked away, scratching his head stupidly. "A, iya, betsu ni," he murmured, looking at the ground to cover the slight blush on his cheeks.

"Hontou?"

"U-un…" he replied.

"Ja, what brings you here?"

"O-oré?" he blinked. "W-well… We couldn't go to our vacation without you so I told Ran-san and the others that I'll be going here in your place to fetch you,"

"Sou ka…" she whispered, appearing somewhat oblivious to Yuuya's weird behavior towards her. She then took the last step down the stairs and looked at the blonde, smiling. "Sa tte, ikimashou ka, Asuo-kun?"

Yuuya could only nod his head in reply, staring at the young lady before him.

-----o-----

Aya looked up at the clear, blue skies suspended above her, the morning sunlight making her hazel-brown eyes shimmer gracefully. Yuuya, being a gentleman as always, had volunteered to carry her bags for her and as the two of them now walked side by side at the walkway, the people around couldn't help but notice their endearing presence.

"What's the matter with them?" Aya blinked, realizing that most of the people, especially the girls, were looking intently at them.

"Just don't mind them, Aya-san!" Yuuya let out a nervous laugh. He knew what they were exactly thinking about them. A lass walking alone with a young man like him, he was very much certain that everyone in the place were actually assuming that they were dating.

"Asuo-kun, doushita no?"

The young man then came back to himself with a jerk, and soon found himself staring at Aya's beautiful face, her eyebrows creasing with worry. She appeared quite cute for him, and with a slight twinge of scarlet visible on his young, handsome face, he could only let out a wide grin as he scratched his head stupidly.

"D-Daijoubu," he smiled, and the lass next to him then returned the gesture.

Making their way towards the Tokyo Station, the two youngsters walked side by side as they talked and exchanged different stories. Yuuya couldn't stop but share to Aya almost all of the jokes he knew, and she would always laugh at them, no matter how corny they seem, much to the lad's delight.

"E?! Hontou?" Aya giggled again after hearing another of her friend's funny stories. "Omoshiroi!"

"Sou ka?" Yuuya grinned, enjoyment and joy visible on his handsome face. He then turned to the black-haired lass, who already returned her gaze back to the road, and smiled gently. He couldn't believe that Aya could be such a nice and amusing company to be with, and he was feeling somewhat lucky for him to come across it.

"How could Rei-san turn down such a beautiful and enjoyable girl? Man, if only he knew what he's missing…"

"Oh, there you are!!"

Ran's loud voice suddenly interrupted the young man's reflection.

"Asuo-kun, we're here," Aya said, waving a hand to her friends as she tugged the sleeve of his mint-green t-shirt.

With this, Yuuya merely blinked and looked at her, then turned to the copper blonde girl as she approached the two of them.

"Osoi wa yo, Aya!" Ran fumed, her eyebrows creasing. "Didn't I tell you last night that we'll be meeting here at 8:00 sharp?!"

Aya could only stifle a nervous laugh, sweat dropping.

Yuuya, on the other hand, kept his gaze locked on the two lasses before him in astonishment, wondering to himself how fast they were able to get in their spot without even him noticing. Maybe he just got too absorbed with his chat with Aya and so he didn't took such realizations.

Turning to her, he then heaved out a sigh. Surely, he was really excited about their trip, and was even glad that they were finally able to get to their friends… to Ran back so that they could already get to ride the train towards their destination, yet somewhere inside him was surprisingly feeling rather depressed that his "alone time" with Aya would also be over with this. He couldn't figure out why he was deeming of such notions though…

"Yuuya-chan," Ran called, and the blonde lad immediately turned to her, smiling wildly.

"H-hai?"

"Be an angel and help Tatsukichi and Otohata carry our bags to the train, will you?" she winked. "Us, girls, will be following you behind, okay?"

Aya's hazel-brown eyes then widened in surprise after hearing the lass mention Rei's name. "Otohata-kun is here… HE'S HERE?!"

"Oh, sure! Anything for you, Ran-san!" Yuuya said happily, and quickly dashed off to the others.

As soon as the blonde lad left, Ran then looked back at her black-haired friend and noticed the bothered and uneasy expression on her face. "Doushita no, Aya?"

"R-Ran…" she whispered, closing her eyes as her voice began to quiver. "I-I've changed my mind. I want to go home…"

"E?! Demo doushite?!" Ran exclaimed.

"D-datté yo," Aya reasoned out, looking at her yet again. "You didn't tell me that he'll be coming with us and… I don't want to spend my vacation with him…"

The copper blonde girl then shook her head, crossing her arms close to her chest. "Otohata ka? Oh, come on, Aya! Don't let yourself ruin your vacation… OUR vacation just because you're still feeling insecure about that guy being around!"

"Demo---"

"Annoying and arrogant as he may be, Otohata is still part of our group, Aya," she told her sternly. "We've been together for nearly a year and you're still not used with his company?"

"Th-that's not what I mean, Ran…" Aya stuttered.

"We've already talked about this!" she whined. "It's already too late to back out. Come with us, Aya, please?"

The black-haired lass merely blinked as she took sight of the desperate and frantic expression on Ran's face. She covered her mouth to stop herself from laughing at her friend's quite funny appearance.

"Aya? Aya?? AYA-PPE?!"

"Fine, I'm going!" Aya told her, sweat dropping.

Ran was right to tell her that it was already too late for her to back out from their vacation. Everyone was really looking forward to it and she obviously didn't want to spoil the fun for them. Besides, she couldn't just reject Ran's plea. She almost kneeled in front of her just to hear her say yes!

"I'm going," she repeated, a small smile planted on her lips.

"Yatta!!" Ran's coffee-brown eyes glittered blissfully as she jumped up and down with joy, clapping her hands. "Arigatou, Aya! You've made me very happy!"

"Ran, Aya, we're leaving!!" Miyuu's voice suddenly interrupted from the distance.

"Wakatta!" Ran said, waving back. She then hooked her arm with Aya's and ran towards the blonde lass as their three male companions patiently waited for them at the train's entrance.

"I assure you that you'll have much more fun than the rest of us in our vacation, okay, Aya?" she remarked cheerfully, turning to the black-haired lass.

Aya merely sweat dropped, laughing nervously. "God, why do I have to be such a good friend all the time?"

(tsuzuku)

February 21, 2004

So how do you guys like it? Hope you had fun reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Just tell me if you'd like me to continue with this fic. Don't forget to review, okay? I assure you that your comments are suggestions are very much welcomed. Sore ja! Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!!