Gasp! No way! Akane Naomi. Updated. Chapter. 11. Believe it.
Shy at first
Helpful to those in need
The knight on origami paper
Always Yuzu's friend
Madoka stared at them and laughed to their surprise, "Don't be idiots, don't you guys know that Satsuki has a younger cousin to take care of? That's who they were talking about earlier."
The second fan girl nodded, "That makes sense…Ayumi isn't that low to do that…"
"I mean, even if it was true what did you guys think we were going to do? Write a rumor on the school boards?" She looked at the girls who seemed to be sulking, "Rumors last 75 days anyways, it's a stupid idea to even think that."
"T-Then what do you think we should do?"
She closed her locker, "The school festival is coming up soon…"
"Eh?" Kokoro almost dropped her pencil while the two were talking and doing homework in their room, "I thought your class was going to do a haunted house."
The part time model sighed, resting her head on the table, "We were…until Madoka suddenly suggested having a model showdown of the latest fashion trends and before I knew it, almost everyone in the class was up for it. I'm supposed to be one of the models on stage. We didn't even vote on it. "I" didn't have a say in it…"
She watched the younger girl let out another sigh and laughed lightly, "But that shouldn't be a problem for you, you're a model in real life. What's the problem?"
Ayumi sat up, "I guess I'm…just not confident about it yet," she laughed nervously, "Silly me…" To tell the truth, she had a feeling something was up about this last minute plan.
Kokoro noticed the worry on her face, "I wonder if…" she asked herself. She shook her head and continued with her homework.
"Uwah…Kokoro! Look! They have a haunted house! Ah! A cosplay café! A-"
Yuzuyu started to run after him," Ah! Kippei onii-chan! Wait for me!" She stopped running and inhaled and exhaled slowly, "No fair…you're too fast for me!"
"Kippei…" Kokoro glared at the boy who was already far ahead down the hallway like an excited little boy. Sometimes, she wondered who was really taking care of who, Yuzuyu or Kippei? "Yuzu-chan, let's go follow that baka."
She reached for the older girl's hand and smiled, "Okay!"
"What?" The girl asked on her cell phone, she closed her eyes with a soft sigh, "I understand, I'll do my best. Bye." She pressed the end button on her phone and leaned against the wall to think. "Now what?" she thought.
"Seems like everything is working out perfectly," Mitsuki grinned as she adjusted Ayumi's hairstyle for the performance practice, "aren't you glad that you were nominated to be one of the models?"
Ayumi continued to sit in the chair while her friend was adding in the last couple curls in her hair, "Doesn't it seem too perfect?"
"Eh?" The dark haired girl gave her a pouted face, "After I spent the past 35 minutes doing your hair-"
"No no," she laughed, "I meant that how practices and-"
"Good luck Ayumi-chan!"
"Do your best!"
"See?" She pointed the girls in their class, "Practices had no problems and suddenly the girls in our class are talking to me like they lost their memories of what happened before."
Mitsuki observed other girls from their class, they didn't look like they were planning something behind their backs, they were acting…perfectly normal. "Maybe this is their way of apologizing?"
"Hm…." She didn't feel confident about that.
"Madoka hasn't been in school the past couple days," her friend added, "do you think the show will really be alright today?"
"Ah, Madoka…" Ayumi remembered what their teacher told a couple girls in the classroom, "She called because her schedule changed at the last minute, the movie she's working in is taking longer than usual. Which means she won't be appearing until the end of the show…"
"That's too bad." Mitsuki spritzed on hairspray on the girl's hair and smiled, "There! It's done! See?" She wheeled the chair towards the mirror to prove it.
The tall girl looked at herself, "Uwah…it really is pretty!"
"All thanks to Meroko, she taught me." She giggled.
"Excuse me!" A girl in headset walked in," We're about to start the show in ten minutes so please be ready."
"You should change into your clothes," Mitsuki reminded her as they both walked off to the dressing rooms while the fan girls stood by pretending to act normal. Once there were sure that they were really gone, they looked at each other.
"Madoka won't be here until the show's almost over…." One of the fan girls muttered, as the other two nodded, "but it's a good thing I have a plan b."
"Yes?" The girl smiled turning over to the person who called her, "Eh? K-Katakura-kun?" Now was the perfect time to start feeling nervous. She noticed that he also had a headset around his neck, "Are you working backstage too?"
"I'm working upstairs with the lights and sound," he replied. A static sound and a muffled voice was heard from his headset which Ayumi guessed meant he had to leave soon. "Ah, I have to go," he hesitated, "Good luck."
She stood there stunned at those two simple words and grinned, "Let's do our best today."
Before he left the room, a rare smile appeared on his face, "Yeah."
"Katakura-kun!" The second fan girl waved to the boy who just left Ayumi's room, "Is Ayumi in there with anyone?"
He shook his head, "I think she's by herself, I didn't see Mitsuki with her."
"Perfect." she thought as she gave him an innocent smile, "Thanks!"
Once the door closed, Ayumi sighed in happiness, "He said good luck to me!"
Mitsuki peeked out from behind a rack of clothes, "I know, I heard!" she laughed at Ayumi's embarrassed expression. She guessed that her friend forgot that she was still in the room. "As soon as I saw him, I hid behind here, good hiding spot huh?"
She smiled, "Thanks Mitsuki, but you didn't have to hide."
"Oh you know you wanted to be alone with him."
"Alright alright, I give." The tall girl sighed in defeat, "Now let's go before…"
"Ayumi?" The dark haired girl stared at her friend worried, "What's wrong?"
She turned the doorknob and tried to push the door open, "I…I think we got locked in…" she shook her head, maybe she was supposed to pull not push, but the door still didn't budge. She let out a nervous laugh, "M-Maybe I'm just not strong enough," she tried again. Satsuki didn't have a problem with the door, so why was she?
Mitsuki winced at the sudden pain in her throat, but kept quiet. "Why now?" she thought. Being locked in the room was already a problem, hopefully they could get out before she got any worse.
"It's no use!" The girl gave up and leaned against the door.
"Ayumi…" Her friend hated seeing her face like that even though she was right, from the looks of it, they can't do anything about it, "Maybe if we call for help someone will hear us," she suggested pulling out her cell phone, "Uh…."
Ayumi pulled out her cell phone too as they both said in shock, "No service…"
"I don't get it, how could there be no service in the dressing rooms?" Mitsuki was annoyed with that. She winced again from the pain and was glad her friend didn't notice.
Before the taller girl could say any more, they noticed the light beginning to flicker. "Ah…how much I hate horror movies…"
"This is definitely a prank on us."
She turned to Mitsuki, "How can you be so sure?"
The dark haired girl sighed, "You couldn't tell? You did say that everyone was acting suspicious, this must've been a distraction to make us believe that until the day of the show when their real faces appear," she inhaled and exhaled slowly, "and we fell for it just barely…"
Right after her sentence, the lights went out, leaving the two in the dark. Mitsuki inhaled slowly, she was feeling really dizzy and now that it was dark, she didn't have to worry about Ayumi seeing her condition.
Ayumi was scared of what to do. She had to find a way out, she knew that whoever was behind all this wanted her to give up. Sure, she could just wait here until the end of the show, but that would just make things worse. "Mitsuki?"
She heard no reply and started to tense up. This was like a scene in a horror movie, minus the murderer on the loose. Mitsuki suddenly started coughing, making her panic, "Are you okay?"
And to answer her question, she heard a soft exhale before falling to the ground. "Mitsuki!"
Suddenly, the door began to open to reveal a girl with short dark hair, "Hey, what are you doing in a place like this?" But seeing that the other girl looked unconscious, she became concerned, "Is she okay?"
Ayumi shook her head, "No! She's not."
The girl bent down to help, and murmured something, "The nurse just left the infirmary ten minutes ago for a lunch break…"
"T-Then what should we do?"
"Find the paramedics duh!" The older girl answered, "There's one not too far from this building, we should go find them before she gets any worse."
Ayumi sat outside the infirmary room where the paramedics were with emotions running through her mind, she wanted to be sad, worried, angry all at once. Whoever did this was going to far for it to be just a prank.
"Huh?" She almost forgot that she came with a girl she just met.
"Sakashita Miki." She shrugged, "I prefer you call me Miki."
"Miki…" Ayumi repeated, "Kubota Ayumi, I'm fine if you call me Ayumi." The older girl nodded as another question popped in the conversation, "…How…"
"How was I able to open the door?" Miki quickly interrupted knowing what she was saying, she leaned back onto the wall and closed her eyes to rest, "There was a chair propped up beneath the door knob. I know it would be bad to come poking around a school I wasn't from backstage, but as soon as I heard voices," she opened her eyes and looked at her, "I had a feeling someone in there needed help."
Ayumi gazed down at the floor, "T-Thank you…you don't know how much it means to me…"
The girl smiled, "So, what was up with that? It looked like someone was trying to pull something on you guys."
"Ah about that…" Ayumi sighed, "Miki…what would you do…if people in your class started ignoring you and bullying you while the teachers didn't do anything about it?"
Miki looked at her, "I'd dye my hair red, turn rebellious against everyone and just not care about what anyone thinks."
"Er…uh…" Ayumi almost fell over at that type of answer.
"Or at least that's what I did," Miki muttered, "but someone taught me that it wasn't a smart thing to do," she smiled fondly, "There are just some things you don't learn in textbooks and that's a good lesson."
Ayumi sighed in relief, "I'm glad... Who were you going to see at our school festival?"
"I was going to watch my cousin who's in the show," they both glanced at the clock seeing it was already twenty minutes past scheduled time, "it already started…"
"You don't have to stay here, I feel bad that you're not over there."
She shook her head, "My cousin is working with the lights and sound, so it's not like I'll actually see him in the show. Satsuki has always been the type to work backstage."
Ayumi blinked, "K-Katakura-kun?"
Miki grinned, "Ah so you know him," but a frown appeared, "why are you still here? You're supposed to be on stage right?"
Ayumi was about to say something, but hesitated.
The dark haired girl shook her head and patted her shoulder, "I know you care about your friend, if you want, I'll wait right here for you."
"No buts about it!" Miki ordered making the younger girl shut up. She winked, "You don't want those girls to think you're giving up right?"
It was quiet between them until she looked at her with a nod, "Yeah."
"Oi! Kubota-san!" One of the boys working backstage saw her run in from the door, "Where were you?" He shook his head, "Well no time to worry, you've got to get on stage pronto!"
Without a word, she ran towards the curtain of the stage ignoring the other girls and their comments as to why she decided to appear now. The girl with the headset murmured something on the headset about Ayumi's arrival and slightly pushed her on stage, "It's your turn," she said as the other models walked backstage.
Satsuki was relieved to hear from the girl backstage from the telex communication that Ayumi had just appeared. He was worried that something had happened and even if something did, he wouldn't be allowed to leave since the show already started. "Turn the other three switches up," he told the other boy working the light board.
Ayumi walked on stage with the other models and took a deep breath before walking out to the front, "Okay Ayumi, remember what they taught you at the photo shoot. Posture, walk with confidence, look straight…" she told herself and…suddenly, the incident with Mitsuki came to mind.
Madoka ran into the auditorium, wincing from the loud crowd cheers, "Ugh…I hate being in crowds…" she muttered seeing that they were all cheering for Ayumi's appearance. She stood at the back to avoid attention and observed her rival from afar, "Well, it's a good thing I came on time."
The preteen sighed softly as she walked back to the stage with the other models with a short pose and a strut off stage. "Something's wrong…" the maroon haired girl mumbled.
Satsuki took his headset off in disbelief in what he just saw. Ayumi wasn't being herself, he knew it. The real Ayumi he knew had a smile like the ones people saw in advertisements, this time, she looked like she was about to cry.
The girl on headset gave her a thumbs up, "Great job Kubota-san, go and hurry into the last outfit before the show ends."
"Yeah…" Ayumi gave her a small nod before rushing to change.
"She seems down today…" One of her classmates commented. "It's like she lost her smile…"
"Where is it?" The preteen model searched within the rack of clothes for the one taped with her name on it. She looked over at the couple of boxes and found something familiar, "Ah, found it." She rushed over to her outfit almost stepping on the scissors on the floor.
She stopped and looked back, "Scissors?" As she bent down to pick them up and nervously looked over at her outfit laying on top of the box to see it shred to pieces. She laughed softly letting herself sit down on the floor in defeat, "Guess this game is over…"
She went quiet already stressed out from what was going on. She couldn't use the other clothes on the rack since the other models already wore them on stage. This one was specially made to wow the audience as a finale. Now, it was ripped and ruined. Her vision was beginning to blur as she realized that tears were coming out.
"What kind of show was that?"
Ayumi turned to see the familiar maroon haired girl standing beside her, "You don't need to tell me…and what are you doing here? I thought you were coming after the show ended."
"I finished early, but besides that, what happened to your smile? That's not the Ayumi I know," Madoka looked at the outfit and the depressed girl on the floor, "Who did this?!"
She shrugged sadly, "It was ruined by the time I came backstage."
"Ayumi." Madoka said sternly dragging the girl away, "Come with me."
She stumbled in surprise not expecting her rival to suddenly drag her away to one of the trailers, "W-What are you doing?"
Her rival stopped and pulled out keys to open the back door to reveal a collection of outfits, "You!" she pointed, "are going on that stage! Even if it means I have to lend you an outfit."
Ayumi stared at her and sighed tiredly, "Don't bother. I wasn't doing a good job anyways."
Madoka smacked her lightly on the face which shocked the girl, "Pull yourself together! Is this what your friends want to see? Someone who wants to give up when she has a chance to do better?"
She touched the cheek that Madoka hit in slight pain, "Of course not…"
"Exactly! You don't think this is what your friend Mitsuki would want either!" She inhaled and exhaled slowly from raising her voice. "I know…" her eyes softened, "this isn't what you want Satsuki to think right?"
Ayumi blinked. Despite the things her rival had done to her, she was right about one thing. She wasn't the type to give up.
"Now get in there and pick an outfit!"
"That one suits you better," Madoka admitted seeing the current clothes Ayumi had on. A miniskirt with a colorful top over long sleeves with cute boots. Girly and her style.
She looked at the full body mirror and had to agree. It wasn't the exact same outfit, but…"It works…" she whispered, as Madoka smiled, her rival was back to normal.
"Madoka, you should come on stage with me."
Her smile dropped, "What?"
Ayumi smiled, "For helping me, I think you should come on stage with me. You're supposed to be in the show anyways."
"I already said I wasn-"
"Let's show that audience what kind of models we are!"
The maroon haired girl sighed shaking her head at the idea, but a soft laugh came from her mouth. It surprised her, but somehow, she couldn't find herself to hate her right now, "If you insist."
"Eh? Madoka-san just appeared at last minute?" Satsuki asked on his headset.
"Yeah, it turns out we have a change of plans, she's going to appear with Ayumi-chan."
Suddenly, he saw the two appear on stage, waving to the audience in different outfits from what they wore on practice days. Instead of worrying about the new change, he sat down in his chair and adjusted the light settings.
Hand in hand, Ayumi and Madoka were walking up to the front of the stage with their own poses. Ayumi glanced at her so called rival as she looked back with a smile. "Thank you…Madoka-san…" and a genuine smile appeared on the preteen's face.
Like magic, her smile changed the atmosphere in the audience, making everyone else smile and cheer loudly for the two. "Yeah! The show is a success!" One of the crew members upstairs chanted.
"Onee-chan!" Yuzuyu waved from the audience while the other two waved with grins on their faces as in to say, "Good job."
"Her smile came back," Satsuki smiled seeing the two walk off stage as he set down his headset gear and sighed in relief, "I'm glad."
A/N: I know I know...my bad I updated after how long? Aside from hectic schedule and family issues going on, this is a chapter dedication to babyviolin for giving me an idea for this chappie. :) I haven't written Aishiteruze fics in a LONG time, so I'm sorry if my writing is "eh..."
I'm also sad because I couldn't really do more SatsukixAyumi scenes in this one - I kept revising on how the plot would work out and this is the result. Ah, but don't worry! More are to come in the next chapter!
Reviewers: Great, and how LONG do we have to wait for Chapter 12?
Akane Naomi: C:
I want to thank my FAITHFUL reviewers: ATOMIC ORANGE: Hahaha, yeah you did just put Kuya instead of Kya :) Lol! Ramen and Chopsticks: Ah, yes. I'm sneaky like that, glad to have you laughing :) Namixas: Yes it has been awhile, found your password for your login yet? haha, thanks for the line :D Peace Heaven: Glad you enjoyed it, sorry I couldn't update soon, :] Pokkin Choco: Hahahaha! Your review had ME smiling! Automatic Code Red 123: Nah you're not an idiot :P Hoped you liked the chappie. Pandapple: Words cannot express what I needed to say with that type of review. :D A very big T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U! U.W.A.H Squad: Hey it's cool :) kabelly: Sigh, yes they are crazy, sometimes I wonder what I should do to them, haha ;] Apple Bubblegum: Yes the Katakuras are quite popular - sigh, I can't keep up :P Oh and Mitsuki? She's a character from Full Moon - I have no idea why I started using her O.O imuzuok: Eek! Me too! :D And I'm the one writing it, how ironic! Haha. Konoha's Kage: Thanks! I had a hard time remembering his name too :P It's hard writing him in this story because his personality is a quiet type. I don't usually do crossovers so sometimes I wonder how I started doing that for this one? O.O ShadowBlade7330: Hahaha, I agree, but isn't that what makes the story interesting? Well not for Ayumi... babyviolin: Guess what? The day you checked for a new chapter, you get one! :D Thanks for reviewing and giving me an idea for chappie 11 - you're awesome. sassybutt32: O.O First of all, I want to say sorry because I published this chapter and didn't list you on here. (Here I was wondering why your name seemed familiar - dunno how I skipped over your name) :P But THANK YOU for reviewing, I'm glad you liked it :D I can't wait for the next chapter too! (lol)