A/N: Well, I'm here again. I can't say I'm back in focus. Why? I'm just making an appearance because I need a break! I feel so tired! For the past few weeks that I didn't post here, in fact, even before I finished my previous story, I already feel worn out. Busy with a lot of things. Plus, it feels like we are being cooked here in the office! The AC broke down and haven't fixed yet (It's been weeks already! Gosh, the bureaucracy here is so irritating!). My head feels like its being hammered! I assume, when summer is over and we're dried up, the higher ups would finally have it fixed! :(
Anyway, how have you guys been? Hope you're in a better situation than me haha ;)
My 20th story is really short, two chapters only. I played around so don't take it seriously but rather have some fun ;). Either way, you read it at your own risk!
And, of course, I don't own the characters created by Konno Oyuki.
Still remember Excapade B's difference with Excapade A? I won't explain it again, okay? Though I think you didn't really need to remember before reading this so never mind haha
"Excapade (B) 02: One Step At A Time"
"What?" Satou Sei asked when she felt the elbow of her girlfriend, Mizno Youko, hit her side.
"Guess there's trouble," Youko said, gazing at the newly arrived couple, namely Ogasawara Sachiko and Fukuzawa Yumi.
Sei followed Youko's gaze and realized that there was something wrong to the usually sweet couple. Both Sachiko and Yumi held serious faces, standing a foot away from each other, which was really surprising because they were usually inseparable. The others at the living room must have noticed it too, because the other couples, Hasekura Rei and Shimazu Yoshino and Toudou Shimako and Nijou Noriko were exchanging furtive looks.
"Must be lovers' quarrel. Yumi-chan might not be satisfied last night. Or probably Sachiko. Yes, that could be it," Sei said rather seriously, only to earn another elbow from Youko, this time harder.
"Satou Sei, stop talking dirty," Youko growled.
"But I am dirty, Mizuno Youko," Sei responded with a chuckle, then quickly moved out of Youko's reach to avoid getting hit again.
"Something is wrong with that two," Yoshino muttered for Rei's ear to hear.
"It's as plain as a day no matter how they try to look casual," Rei said with a smirk, watching at the corner of her eye Sachiko and Yumi talked to Shimako and Noriko.
"Why do they even bother to try to hide it when they know that we can tell?" Yoshino added. It wasn't a question. It was merely an exasperated exclamation of someone who knew the persons in question too well.
"Let them do as they please. Pretty soon that two will make up anyway," Rei answered.
"I know that. You didn't have to tell me that," Yoshino said in mild irritation. Must Rei always tell her things that she already knew?
Shimako and Noriko shared a subdued smile.
"You're not worried that they would start arguing here?" Noriko whispered, her eyes not leaving Sachiko and Yumi who were talking to some of their friends, Torii Eriko, Matsudaira Touko and Arima Nana.
"Everyone here is used to them, I believe. Besides, there are too many of us present to stop them if they get violent," Shimako whispered back with a slight smile, fully aware that there was no way Sachiko and Yumi would get violent. That two just cared for each other so much to even think of physically hurting the other even if just a pinch. On second thought…
"You never know what they do when they are alone," Noriko said, covering her mouth to hide her giggles. She could plainly read what Shimako was thinking when she glanced at her.
Shimako was silent for a moment. "You are right. But I don't think the intention is to hurt the other, but rather, it's the other way round," she said as she too, giggled.
'Hey, hey, I know you're talking about us,' Yumi thought, seeing Shimako and Noriko trying to hide their giggles.
'I'm so glad we're amusing you,' Yumi added as she looked at Sachiko with the corner of her eyes. 'She's really hard-headed, isn't she?', she thought when she noticed Sachiko's posture. The latter's back was so straight as if on the ready for any attack, this time, the attack might come from her. She sighed.
To Sachiko, their disagreement might seem silly, but for her, it wasn't. It was just all about that trip.
Sachiko had a business trip abroad. The last time they talked about it, it was supposed to be a one-week trip only. However, this morning, when they talked about it again, she was surprised to learn that it had grown longer, this time, a month trip abroad. Wasn't it hard already that Sachiko would be away from her for a week? What more if a month? And to top it all, Sachiko had just arrived from another week-long trip two days ago. She wasn't back long yet and was going again? This time a longer trip?
She knew that she couldn't and wouldn't stop Sachiko from her trips because she understood the trips' importance to the business. All she was asking this morning was if it was possible to shorten the time, probably less than a month. But Sachiko got mad.
That was harsh.
Sachiko got irritated by her question.
Sachiko kept on talking with their friends with divided attention. The other half of her attention was on Yumi who was talking animatedly to Rei and Yoshino.
'She can still act like that even if we're having an argument? You're really not giving up, are you?', she thought.
Wasn't Yumi supposed to understand that her trip abroad was important? It was her responsibility.
She too, didn't want to be away from Yumi just right after arriving from a week-long trip. And she had only learned not long after she was back that the trip abroad would extend for a month rather than the first plan to stay there for a week. And when Yumi protested about the month-long trip, she went rather defensive, mostly because of her guilt of leaving Yumi alone again. If it was only possible, she wanted to bring Yumi with her. However, Yumi couldn't leave right away from her job. She had a lot of projects to attend to, because her Yumi was already making a name in her profession, making her heart swelled with pride. Yumi was very good at her job. And people at the society which now Yumi belonged to because of her, had started to realize that she, Ogasawara Sachiko, had a gem in her hands. Leaving that aside though, their jobs were now taking most of their time. But wouldn't they work it out?
She glanced at Yumi who avoided her gaze. She straightened her back. If Yumi was being stubborn, then so be it.
Sachiko and Yumi's quarrel, whatever it was, was affecting the mood at the supposed to be happy gathering at Sei and Youko's house. Even if the others knew how to tread on Sachiko and Yumi's moods, slowly, it was getting on them.
"Sachiko and Yumi-chan, you better fix whatever your drama is about because it's making my head ache," Youko told the arguing couple straightly after another indirect heated exchanged between the two.
Both Sachiko and Yumi were surprised at first, before Yumi's expression turned into an apologetic one. However, Sachiko's reaction was different. The latter's expression turned dark.
"If you're having a head ache looking at my face, Onee-sama, I apologize. Please excuse me."
With that, Sachiko headed to the door, leaving everyone in surprised.
"I think I'm going too. I'm sorry, everyone, Youko-sama, Sei-sama. Please excuse us," Yumi apologized once more, though her face held a serious look this time.
As soon as Yumi closed the door behind, everyone looked at each other's stunned faces. Surely they were used to Sachiko being stubborn most of the time, but for her to leave like that, then it must be really bad. And then there was Yumi too, who looked equally serious.
"I think I got it all wrong. Their fight must be bad this time," Yoshino broke the silence. The others nodded their agreement.
"Shouldn't we go after them?" Nana asked worriedly.
"Not yet," Touko said. "We should give them time to talk alone. That's probably what they need this time."
"Touko-chan is right."
Silence enveloped the room as they pondered about what just happened, before Sei broke the silence with a merry laughter, making the rest roll their eyes, wondering what mischief was on the blonde's mind again.
A/N: Second chapter next time. I won't rush things ;) And don't expect a lot, okay?
Mother Nature, please blow the wind a little stronger! It's so hot!!!
24 March 2009