Believe Your Smile
Thanks to everyone of you who had given me great encouragements. To tell the truth I am quite tired of writing FuuToks already, but don't worry! I will finish this one up, so please leave me comments and such!!
"Thanks for the notes! Wouldn't have passed the exam without it." Fuuko dramatically bowed to one of her closer friends in school, earning an embarrassed giggle from her companion.
"Geez... but you do know that I am not giving the notes to you for free right?" Her friend winked as she extracted a thick pile of paper from her bag. "Here, the law society's flyers. Put it up all around campus okay? I don't think I can do it on my own."
"Oh yeah, you are pre-law right?" Fuuko took the flyers in her hands and casually looked over it. "Let's see... Thesis Defense, 'Excuse and Justification in the Law of Fair Use: Commodification and Market Perspectives'... Mikagami Tokiya!?" Fuuko exclaimed as she saw the tiny picture of Mikagami at the bottom of the page.
"Oh, so you are one of Mikagami-senpai's admirer too?" Her friend excitedly asked. "Be sure to come then... it would be the last time we can see him on campus you know... In fact, part of the reason why I wanted to go into pre-law was because of him...."
As the girl trailed off into her little dreamland, Fuuko just stared at the picture of Mikagami silently. So he has finished his thesis eh. Even in his cap and gown Mikagami looked annoyed, as if he was forced to take the picture.
It had been 3 months since they last talked, and that was when she stayed with him. Fuuko has had urges to call the older boy, but every time she would hesitate and called Yanagi instead. It was always at the back of her mind that there was no reason to call Mikagami. What would he say? What would she say? If she said she just called to say hi he would probably hang up on her.
That's the Mikagami she knew.
Fuuko let out a sigh. Even if I think of him as a friend, he would probably back away anyway. She took the tape from her classmate, and proceeded to hang up flyers.
Although he hated to admit it, Mikagami had waited for her call.
After all, she did say that if she got into trouble she would call right? And being the monkey she was, and always will be, she should have called a million times already. However, his reasoning proved him wrong. No matter how many times he checked his caller-id, there was never one with her name on it.
He could have called. Getting her number would be easy - Yanagi would definitely have it. Then again, why would he call? For what reason? Yanagi would probably ask, and he would not have an answer. Even if Yanagi didn't say anything and gave him the number, what would he say when Fuuko picked up the phone? "Hi, just want to see if you are still alive"? He could imagine how she would burst into laughter and teased him to no end.
So in conclusion, he was not going to call.
That was why he was surprised when he saw Fuuko at the back row of the seminar room at his thesis defense. For a second, he was lost in thought and just walked up to the girl. He could sense the curiosity in other people's eyes - the ice king of Law school, not to mention the winner of the unofficial best looking guy on campus competition, walking up to a girl, it could probably be the title of the student newspaper tomorrow.
Fuuko stared at him with the cheerful grin she always had. They just looked at each other in silence, until Mikagami abruptly asked, "What are you doing here?"
Fuuko blinked. For a second she didn't know whether she should laugh or she should be angry. "What do you think?" She laughed. "My, my... Mi-chan, you are getting more and more offensive by the day!" Fuuko was laughing so hard that her face was getting flushed.
Mikagami narrowed his eyes, a frustrated groan was threatening to escape his lips. Before he could mutter a retort, Fuuko looked up. "Mi-chan, you want to go for coffee or something after this? Haven't seen you in a while."
"Hn." Mikagami looked at the grin on Fuuko's face and absentmindedly brought his hands to his temples. "Stay around afterwards then." He turned to walk towards the podium, wondering why he had accepted the invitation so carelessly.
"FUUKO!" A hissed came from her back, and when Fuuko turned to face her friend, all she saw was jealousy written all over her friend's eyes. "You know Mikagami-senpai? How come you never told me? How long have you known each other? What relationship do you have with him? And most importantly, do you know if he has a girlfriend?" The jealousy in the girl's eyes suddenly turned into all stars and hearts.
"Calm down." Fuuko nervously laughed. She certainly didn't want anyone to strangle her simply because she knew the ice boy. "We went to the same high school, and no, for all I know he doesn't have a girlfriend."
"Really?" The girl looked as if god has just spoken to her, but then she suddenly turned to face Fuuko. "You're not after him, I hope? Inviting him to coffee..." She eyed Fuuko skeptically.
Fuuko's eyes widened out of amazement. "Me? Ice boy? Hell no!" She laughed heartily. "Just to catch up on the old times, my dear." Her laugh soon turned uncontrollable until she heard her friend whispered not so silently to herself. "Yeah, you are still hung up on that old flame of yours..."
Fuuko felt as if she was stabbed and stopped laughing hastily. Her friend seemed to have notice her inappropriate comment and apologized, but Fuuko simply offered a weak smile. She silently thanked the host for announcing the start of the thesis defense at that exact moment.
"So, how are you?"
"Any job offers?"
"Decided on anyone of those yet?"
Fuuko looked at the man in front of her and sighed. Yes, this is the freeze boy I know. She gave up on asking more questions and just sipped her coffee, admitting defeat. I will give a prize to anyone who can actually hold a conversation with him for more than 20 minutes... She thought bitterly.
Mikagami, on the other hand, was still debating with himself why he had come with Fuuko to coffee. When he finally snapped out of his trance, all he saw was the purple haired girl staring silently at her cup with a bored look on her face, as if she was forced to meditate on the remains of her coffee. That atmosphere was weird. "So..." Mikagami tried to find something to talk about, but found nothing in particular.
Fuuko looked up in surprise when she heard Mikagami trying to start a conversation. The irritated look on his face as he struggled to find a topic was priceless and she just couldn't help but smiled. Well, Mikagami was never talkative like Recca or Domon were. "How's your book coming along?"
Mikagami nearly sighed out of relieve. "It's... going."
Fuuko felt like she was on the edge of exploding. Just when she thought that he was making some effort in talking to her, he came back with these 3-words-or-less answers. She was contemplating whether she should start shouting at him or just storm out of the coffee shop when she heard him continued. "Mind if I ask a question for plot development? Seeing that you have read the story without my permission already."
Mikagami looked at the fuming Fuuko quieted down and smiled. It was so easy too read her mind that it made him worried about her. "About the girl, what do you think would be the best ending?" To tell the truth, he didn't really care about Fuuko's opinion. He had completed the story already and it was going to be picked up by his editor tomorrow. Then again, he should try to talk, shouldn't he? She did buy him coffee.
Fuuko thought for a moment and gave her answer cautiously. It's Mikagami she was talking to here, and she did not want to offer a careless answer that would make him shook his head in disapproval. So she gave an analysis of the character and plot, then slowly reached her conclusion.
Mikagami looked at the girl in front of him amazed. Fuuko was really trying to give him a good answer and not one of those stupid jokes she always said. What amazed him more was how close Fuuko's version seemed to matched his own. There were several things Fuuko pointed out that made him think, and when he went into the details, the conversation has turned into a heated discussion.
"Mikagami-sensei, you... err.... don't look so good today. Are you ok?" The editor reached for the manuscript in front of him with a raised eyebrow. For all he knew, Mikagami had never looked anything but perfect. But today's Mikagami seemed to have forgotten to brush his hair and to shave, and to top it off his shirt was wrinkled.
Mikagami remained silent. Thanks to the discussion he had with Fuuko, once he got home last night he had been working on modifying his story until daybreak.
"Hmm... this is a little different from what we have talked about, but it's good." His editor flicked through the pages with a slightly surprised look on his face. "It seems to have a... hmm... feminine touch in it. Considering the reader base, I'm sure it would drive them wild!" His editor was so excited that he now looked as if he was going to suffer a stroke. "So, have you decided on the book's name yet?"
Mikagami looked at his editor blankly. "Actually, I haven't yet." He said tiredly as he reached for his fifth cup of coffee of the day.
"Hmm.... how about Wind Goddess?" His editor suggested excitedly. "Seeing how the main character always stand in windy places to think and all the main scenes happen when there is wind blowing...."
"No!" Mikagami stopped the editor abruptly. Upon seeing his editor's surprised face, he added. "No, Wind Goddess would not be appropriate, I think..." He trailed off as he sipped his coffee again. At the same time, his cell phone rang, which caused Mikagami to nearly choke while picking up his phone.
"Good morning! Guess who?" A cheerful voice came through.
"Fuuko." Mikagami let out a long sigh as he motioned his editor to excuse him.
"Wow! How do you know?"
"There's such thing called caller-id on this Earth, do you know that?"
"Geez.... how harsh, Mi-chan." Fuuko laughed heartily down the phone. "What are you doing now?"
"Sitting with my editor trying to come up with a name for my book. Why?"
"Name for the book? Hmm.... how about Love Letter? The girl writes a lot of letters doesn't she?"
"Yes, but the question is why you ask what I'm doing right now, not what the name of the book." Mikagami covered his eyes with a hand. How silly can this girl get!
Fuuko lamely laughed. "Oh yeah.... hehe.... well, Yanagi is coming out today so I was wondering if you'd want come out with us...." She paused. "But then you sound really tired, so maybe dinner?"
"Whatever. I am busy right now, call me later." With that Mikagami hung up, only to get a text message right the next second, 'Don't you dare hanging up on me, but I'll call you. Of course you're going to pay for dinner as an apology right?'
His editor looked at Mikagami wide-eyed. Never had he seen Mikagami smiled before, and now he saw Mikagami smiling gently to a cell phone? "Eh.... Mikagami-sensei?"
"Oh yeah, sorry about that." Mikagami looked up with his usual poker face, silently noting his editor's surprised expression. "Yes, the title for the book..." He took a sip of his coffee again and looked up, "Love Letter. The new book is going to be called Love Letter."