Hello everyone. I'm back from holidays, had a wonderful time and hopefully the next Everybody Loves Yaya should be out tomorrow. In the meantime, I have a oneshot short story here that falls in the category of 'It just had to be written'. It's a bit of a continuation of the Epilogue to Endless Love, which takes place about 20 years after Stopani ends and this story makes numerous references to the epilogue. I figured there were too few stories with a happy Miyuki, so I wrote one myself. :) I hope you like it.
Rokujou Miyuki was a woman who was a mother of two, divorced from her husband and because of that, disowned by her family. She was cut off from her family wealth and influence, left to fend for herself and her children in an uncaring world.
And yet she was happy. She was happier than she had been ever since she graduated from Miator. Her office was neat and clean, as was her desk. Miyuki was, as ever, a very practical and tidy woman. On her desk she only kept the bare necessities. That didn't mean that everything on her desk was geared towards work, however. On the right side of her workstation stood a clay figure that her little son Hiro had made and which vaguely... very vaguely... resembled a Gundam. Next to it stood an origami daffodil made by her daughter Rei almost 7 years ago. And behind those precious artifacts stood a photograph in a frame. Though an old paper photograph was very old fashioned in today's world where holographics ruled, Miyuki found it soothing to have.
The photograph was of her new family. It was taking on a sunny day just after she had won the ugly custody battle with her ex-husband and was free to be a family again. On the photo, her children were gathered around the picnic basket while her lover Ayaka was overenthusiastic hugging Miyuki from behind and nuzzling her neck.
Miyuki smiled while she watched the photograph. Ayaka was an actress, ten years younger than she was. They had met during one of her ex-husband's boring socialite parties and ended up having a stormy secret romance which contributed greatly to Miyuki's divorce. Rather than the whimsical fop that Miyuki had expected her to be at first, Ayaka was devoted to her and wanted to be a mother for her children. She and Miyuki had moved into an apartment shortly after her divorce and things were going so well that the chance of a marriage in the near future wouldn't be a small one. After almost two years of secret meetings in faraway restaurants, visits to other countries disguised as business trips and secret sexual trysts in anonymous hotels, they could finally be together in earnest.
But Miyuki decided she shouldn't dwell on that at the moment. After all, she had work to do. And that work was serving as Shizuma's personal assistant. Some things came full circle, and taking care of Shizuma the CEO could be just as tiring and frustrating as taking care of Shizuma the Etoile.
Miyuki removed a small mobile computer from her pocket and inserted it into the slot on her desk to become her workstation. Immediately, the device sprung to life, projecting a holographic workscreen floating above her desk and a holographic keyboard in front of her. With her left hand, she waved across the screen to call up Shizuma's appointment book for the rest of the week to implement the latest changes Shizuma had indicated.
Of course, as usual, Shizuma had indicated 'Cancel all appointments'.
'Yeah, when pigs fly,' Miyuki smirked and crossed the appointments which absolutely could not be cancelled, which was in this case all of them, and mailed that to Shizuma. Miyuki then looked at the door to Shizuma's office and counted to ten.
What she had expected, namely Shizuma rushing out of the office asking why these appointments couldn't be cancelled, didn't take place. And Miyuki knew Shizuma well enough to know that there was something else going on.
Without hesitation and without knocking, Miyuki opened the door and stepped into Shizuma's office. And she immediately knew that Shizuma was up to something when the silver-haired woman quickly switched off her holographic monitor and looked up to her in surprise. "Miyuki!" Shizuma said a little too loudly before catching herself. "Something wrong?"
"You tell me," Miyuki said with a smile. "I see the information ledger is still in exactly the same place I left it for you this morning."
"I..." Shizuma sighed. "I was planning on reading it."
"Hm-hmm," Miyuki said. "Is that why you're holding the holo-mote?"
"Oh, uh, this thing?" Shizuma said, holding a holo-mote. The holo-mote was a small part of tiny pocket computers primarily used to play holographic computer games. "It came loose from the computer when I was figiting with it and..."
Miyuki didn't wait to hear Shizuma's excuses and stepped up to the desk. Before Shizuma could do anything, she activated Shizuma's holographic monitor. Immediately, the screen popped up. On it was not only the game Shizuma was playing, but around it were also a series of web pages. It also seemed that Shizuma had been working on non-work related e-mails to one Kenjou Kaname, one Minamoto Chikaru and one Takamura Takashi. Also, in the middle of the projection was a videoscreen... apparently Shizuma was on the phone with her wife Nagisa.
"Shizuma?" Nagisa was quite animated on the video. "Are you back? Why'd you switch off the video-feed? Oh, hi Miyuki-san."
"Hello Nagisa-san," Miyuki greeted and shot a glare at Shizuma.
"I take it Shizuma has been naughty again?" Nagisa smirked.
"Hey!" Shizuma crossed her arms. "So it's two against now, ey? How nice of you. My best friend and my wife... both against me."
"Oh, cut it out," Miyuki shook her head. "You're supposed to be reading up on those sales figures for the board meeting today. Many people are flying in from all over the country for this meeting. The least you can do is take a look at the figures and the business prognosis."
"Oh, my," Nagisa said over the phone. "I'm sorry. Was I disturbing anything important, Shizuma?"
"Don't worry, Nagisa-san," Miyuki smiled friendly. "As always, the fault lies not with you."
"Do you mind?" Shizuma told Miyuki. "Nagisa and I were discussing something very important and we'd like to continue."
"Important?" Nagisa said. "All I wanted to know if we should have shrimp or beef for dinner tonight. How is that important?"
"Nagisa," Shizuma hissed through clenched teeth while Miyuki glared at her.
"Well, it is an important dinner, I suppose," Nagisa turned to Miyuki. "Mariko-chan is home from Astraea for the weekend and she's bringing Ruri-chan with her to stay with us."
"And our precious daughter is requesting that Ruri-chan should sleep in her room for the weekend," Shizuma smirked. "Surprise, surprise."
"If I might make a suggestion," Miyuki told Nagisa with a smile. "Beef is always a good choice and there are plenty of good recipes available. With shrimp your choices are more limited and you'll have to make more side-dishes. I'd go for beef for the class factor as well."
"I was leaning towards beef," Nagisa said. "Thanks, Miyuki-san! Well, I guess I'll see you tonight, Shizuma. I love you."
"Love you too, sweetie," Shizuma replied. "I'll see you tonight."
After Nagisa broke the connection, Shizuma found Miyuki glaring at her. "Well, that's one problem solved. So, you call this is preparing for your important board meeting? Writing e-mails to Takashi-san about Spiderman comics? Playing RPG's? Webpages about... oh my god..."
"What?" Shizuma asked. "What's wrong with that? Our little Aki wants a pet spider. I was just reading up on them."
"Shizuma," Miyuki sighed. "Don't you want to be seen as a professional CEO?"
"Why can't I just wing it like I always do?" Shizuma sighed. "Come on, this is not a public company. I own everything here! I am the Hanazono Industry Group! What are they gonna do? Fire me?!"
"Couldn't you at least have worn a suit today?" she said, referring to Shizuma's usual jeans and shirt which was in stark contrast to the suits worn by the salarymen and women that worked in the company.
"Why?" Shizuma asked.
Miyuki sighed, grabbed the ledger and pushed it into Shizuma's hands. "Now... study."
"No buts!" Miyuki narrowed her eyes. "Study that ledger."
"But this is BORING, Miyuki!"
"STUDY... that... ledger..." Miyuki said with an intensity that could shatter glass. Shizuma rose from her seat and the two women glared at each other for a moment, locked in a staring contest.
Shizuma, however, sat down again with the ledger. "Alright," she sighed. "But I don't have to like it."
Satisfied, Miyuki left the office and closed the door behind her. She sat at her desk and resumed her work. The annual executive personnel evaluations were up and all of those had to come to the head office to have a little chat with Shizuma. It was something that both Miyuki and Shizuma loathed, but for very different reasons. Shizuma loathed it because she considered it a waste of time. Miyuki loathed it because had to deal with people who, for the most part, had massive egos. When she had tried to schedule in an Osaka based financial director, she was yelled at and he went over her head to complain about her at Shizuma. As it turned out, that was a big mistake. Miyuki had no idea what Shizuma had told him, but he had called her back rather timidly to apologize for his behavior. As much as Miyuki and Shizuma fought, they were still good friends and Shizuma would defend her no matter what.
Miyuki looked up at the door to Shizuma's office. On the door was a little plaque which read 'Aoi-Hanazono Shizuma. CEO and President'. Miyuki figured it should say 'Aoi-Hanazono Shizuma. Escape Artist'.
In the year that she had worked here, she had gained intimate knowledge of every nook and cranny in this building, with every possible escape route. She had even struck a deal with some friends at security so that she could access the security cameras from her workstation to track down Shizuma if need be. She had even memorized the floor-plans of the entire building. And despite all of this, Shizuma kept finding new and creative ways to escape when she really wanted to.
At least Shizuma couldn't get past Miyuki easily. For Shizuma, there was only one way out of her office and that meant going past Miyuki. A fact which was proven yet again when Shizuma left her office and headed towards the outer door.
"Ahum," Miyuki said, causing Shizuma to freeze in her steps. "Where are you going?"
"Toilet," Shizuma replied.
"Mind if I join you?" Miyuki said calmly and rose from her seat.
"Why?" Shizuma asked.
"That was not a request."
Shizuma sighed and left the office, turning into the hallway.
"Why are you heading to the elevators?" Miyuki asked. "The toilets are over there."
"I know," Shizuma said. "The toilets on the first floor have seat warmers. You know how much I hate having a cold bum."
"Hm-hmm," Miyuki glared. "And the toilets on the first floor also has a big window which leads into a big alley behind the building. Step away from that elevator, Shizuma."
Shizuma grumbled and headed to the elevator on the current floor, which Miyuki in tow following her like a mother duck. Miyuki sat down in the waiting area next to the toilets and grabbed a magazine.
Shizuma seemed to be antsy and Miyuki knew the reasons. First of all, it was Friday and Shizuma was always laziest on Friday. Secondly, Nagisa-san and Tamao-san would soon start a brainstorming session on the new book they were going to write together and for some reason, brainstorming usually involved a cross-country trip through Japan, lots of shopping, lots of dining and visits to any and all Onsen they could find. Now Shizuma was in no way jealous, but she was probably a bit restless with the prospect of Nagisa-san being away for several weeks in the near future.
Miyuki checked the clock and thought that Shizuma was taking an awfully long time in the toilet. She sighed, put down the magazine and stepped inside the toilet. She walked to Shizuma's favorite stall, reached over the door with her arm and pulled up the latch. Not surprisingly, she found Shizuma sitting on the closed toilet cover... playing a computer game on her mobile.
"Alright, back to the office," Miyuki sighed.
"Oh, come on!" Shizuma protested. "It's friday, why do I have to this stuff?!"
Not even half a minute later, the many salarymen and women tried to stifle their chuckles as Miyuki calmly walked back towards Shizuma's office, dragging the Big Boss behind her by her ear.
"Ow, ow, ow, ooowww!" Shizuma grunted as she tried to keep pace to lessen the pain.
"You know, if you would have spent only half the energy you use for slacking off, you would have been done reading that ledger already," Miyuki said, much to the enjoyment of the salarymen. Of course, there was a reason why Miyuki always dragged Shizuma by the ear along this particular route: she called it the Walk of Shame.
"Khaddafi!" Shizuma retorted. "Kim Il Jung! Hitler! Xerxes! Char Aznable!"
Finally Miyuki and the struggling Shizuma arrived at the office where the silver-haired beauty was finally released from her torturous stranglehold. "Get in there and study that ledger."
"Miyuki, you're fired!" Shizuma narrowed her eyes.
Miyuki simply shrugged. "You fire me at least five times a day on average. This only the second time today, so I guess I'm being way too kind to you today. Come on, in you go."
Shizuma looked defeated for a moment and slowly walked into her office.
"Oh, and don't bother ringing Building Facilities. I already called them and told them there would not be any unscheduled fire drills ordered from you today no matter what you tell them, so that avenue is already closed."
Shizuma sighed. "Drat."
"And don't even try to sneak out through the ventilation ducts again, Shizuma. Remember last time when you got stuck and you had to go through the embarassment of having the fire department come in to knock down the wall and slice open the duct to free you?"
"I had just repressed that from my mind until you reminded me of it," Shizuma glared.
"My pleasure," Miyuki smiled.
Miyuki gently closed the door and knew that there was no way out of that office unless Shizuma had a secret James Bond style passage out of the building put in her office... and Miyuki had been keeping track of Shizuma's scheduled office alterations for that. But things quieted down quickly enough and Shizuma never came out of her office again. After some phonecalls and keeping track of office expenditure, Miyuki decided a bit of a break was in order. Rather than leaving her desk, she opted to sit back and dwell a little.
Her daughter Rei would soon enter her second year at Miator. Her grades were excellent and her spirits were high, but still there was some cause for concern. Rei-chan wrote many e-mails to her mother and from what she wrote, it was clear that Rei completely idolized her roommate Chidori to a point that she suspected that Rei and Chidori were on the verge of becoming more than just friends.
What to do? Jump the gun and take Rei aside for a little chat about the birds and the bees? Or the birds and the birds, in this case. Or just wait it out and see what happens to let their relationship develop without interference.
How knows, maybe Ayaka had already told Rei all about 'You know kiddo, when a girl really likes another girl...' She was definitely the type to do that.
"Earth to Miyuki, Earth to Miyuki..."
Miyuki broke out of her thoughts and found herself staring right at a bountiful cleavage as someone in a leather jacket was leaning over her desk. And that someone was none other than her beloved Ayaka, her long black hair spilling over her shoulders as she leant forward.
"Why, hello there Two-Planets-Colliding-In-A-Tiny-Shirt," Miyuki blushed. Speak of the devil. Or rather, devils.
"Well," Ayaka smirked. "I can see what's on your mind right now, beautiful. Oh, by the way, my eyes are up here," she giggled.
"Huh?" Miyuki looked up and then blushed even more. "Sorry, I was just... I really like your shirt."
And then there was Shizuma, leaning in the door opening and looking on with a sly grin on her face. "No, no, Ayaka-san. Miyuki isn't interested in your T-shirt. She's interested in what's in it."
"Shizuma!" Miyuki protested. Then sighed. "I suppose you called in Ayaka to try and distract me?"
"No," Shizuma said. "First I called Nagisa, but I guess you called her first because when I called home, I got the answering machine saying that you called her and that it is vital that I wouldn't get distracted. Then I called Takashi, but he hold me that you called him and told him that if he'd even spend one minute with me on the phone, you'd come down to his house and set fire to his manga collection. That's not very nice, by the way. Then I called Chikaru. And Chikaru told me that you called and told me that you really didn't want her talking to me today. She actually sounded scared. Then I called my dad. And my dad said that you called him and he told me he wouldn't get involved because he's retired now. Then I called Kaname-san but she was too busy running country. And so..."
"Shizuma-san called me and said you have the rest of the day off!" Ayaka smiled. "Seeing I don't have to shoot today, I figured since we don't have to pick up Hiro from school for another four hours and, well... there's a nice ramen restaurant in town and right next to it is a new love hotel that's just opened. It's supposedly a really classy place. We could... check it out."
Miyuki shuddered when Ayaka was about to start nibbling on her earlobe.
"You?" Miyuki told Shizuma. "This is a new tactic, Shizuma."
Shizuma smirked. "Just call this act of charity a fringe benefit of my shameful self-indulge. But... during all this phonecalls, I was leafing through the ledger and I just realized I just read the whole thing, so I might as well go to the meeting."
"Really," Shizuma said. "So take the rest of the day off and have some stupendous sex with your girlfriend already."
Miyuki shook her head and smiled. "You're incorrigible, Shizuma."
"Don't I know it," Shizuma said. "Come on, out the door you two."
There was no denying it: Miyuki was happy.
Ayaka wrapped an arm around Miyuki's waist as the two walked out of the door, leaving Shizuma to head back into her office and sit in her chair. Now with Miyuki properly distracted, she might just slip out of her office to find Nagisa before the dinner and have a little party of her own.
But just then, the phone rang. Shizuma activated her holographic screen and saw Miyuki on it, apparently still walking with Ayaka. "And, Shizuma, don't even THINK about trying to skip the meeting. Believe me, I'll know!"
That said, Miyuki hung up.
"Drat," Shizuma sighed.