A/N: Fic follows manga timeline, but also includes original events that happen in the anime. Contains minor manga spoilers. Takes place sometime after chapter 42 of manga (Romeo and Juliet play).
Chapter 1: A Girl from Another Land
She knew something would happen that day.
The rain poured down outside the unusually quiet music room after school. There was neither tea nor cakes served on plates. Mugi had to prepare for an important family event and went home early. Yui visited her grandmother who was bedridden to the hospital, and Azusa helped her mother bake cakes for her father's birthday. Ritsu was told to stay behind in the teacher's office because she had tripped Sawako on purpose in the middle of the corridor.
None of the K-on club members were able to be present in the music room that day, except for a certain long-haired bassist. The girl sat on one of the chairs while holding a pen on her left hand, her eyes staring blankly to a piece of white paper on the table in front of her. She could hear parts of audible voices coming from the earphones she was wearing as she switched the radio station every few seconds.
"...Beat the eggs up to frothy consistency..."
"...And they say, would you believe, girls nowadays spend beaucoup bucks on..."
"...Their new single 'The Bee's Knees' is finally out and..."
"...Want to avoid beefy thighs but you don't believe in taking medicine? Just call..."
Mio switched off her radio and sighed.
She thought that when everyone was not around and there was finally peace and quiet in the club room, she could manage to come up with a new song. On the contrary, nothing really came to mind and she stopped writing before long.
Her brain was befogged by the lack of sleep because of Ritsu staying at her room until late the night before, asking her help for finishing homework ("Well, you said to me on the phone, 'Do what you think best', so I came to you because this is what I think best, reaping the benefits of having a smart girl as a best friend!" ...was what she said to her last night).
That Ritsu. It beggars belief how she could still mess up Mio's brain when she wasn't even there. And Mio couldn't begin to understand why she was willing to sacrifice a good night's sleep in behalf of her childhood friend (when she could easily get the better of her in an argument).
'Perhaps we're gonna be like this forever, huh?' she thought.
Not that Ritsu was a bad company. Although she loved to take advantage of her and make fun of her cowardice and shyness, Mio knew she would manage to do anything if it was for Mio's sake. She completely believed Ritsu's loyalty to their friendship and club, just like how Ritsu believed hers, and their friendship was just as pure as that.
They almost never kept secrets from each other, and Mio knew a lot of stupid and trivial things about Ritsu, so much that when somebody told her about a rumor that Ritsu started to bring her whole drum set to elementary school to avoid it being thrown away by her mom, she could blatantly comment, "I can believe that of her." Mio had hardly ever betrayed a confidence though.
She also entrusted Ritsu with some of her own secrets, and although she didn't really trust Ritsu because of her easy-going nature (she even had occasionally betrayed herself), Ritsu once told her that she trusted her more than anyone else in the world. Mio remembered how she blushed and tried to hide her happiness by pretending to be busily scribbling on her notebook.
'We were such innocent kids back then, weren't we?' she thought, 'And that friendship will never change...'
Just as Mio was considering whether she should go home or wait for Ritsu to finish her detention, she suddenly heard a knock on the door.
'Mugi? Or Azusa?' she thought.
However, before she could say anything, the door was opened and she saw a girl standing there. She had long rich auburn hair and pretty hazel eyes. From the color of the tie she was wearing, Mio knew she was in the same grade as Azusa, but she had never seen this girl before.
To the best of her knowledge, the only new student who had the nerve to enter this room after freshman reception was Azusa. 'So what is this girl doing here...?' Mio thought.
The girl obviously looked confused as her eyes started to wander around the room. Mio felt she should say something.
"Are you lost?" she asked.
"Eh? Umm..." the girl said, "I'm looking for a club..."
'Probably the jazz club or orchestra...' Mio thought plainly. "Uhm...I'm sorry, but perhaps you came to the wrong-"
"I'm looking for the light music club, "she said.
Mio was silent for a brief second. "You're looking for the light music...?"
"Uh, yes!" she said, her voice became slightly louder, "Is this the light music club room?"
"Yes, it is, "she replied.
The girl's face brightened.
"Can you please tell me your name?" the girl asked.
"Uh...I'm Akiyama. Mio Akiyama."
Mio had mixed thoughts about this. If this girl wanted to join, it would be good news for the club. But if she was just an ordinary fan or, even worse, one of the members of her fan club, she didn't really know what to do. The betting was that Ritsu would say that the club stood to benefit from the visit of K-on fans into their club room, and then she would start scheming for ways to bilk money from them.
However, the next thing that came out of the girl's mouth was completely unexpected for her.
"I am looking for Ritsu-sempai, "she said happily, "Can I leave something for her here? It's a belated birthday present..."
The girl pulled out a beautifully wrapped gift from her bag and handed it to Mio.
She thanked her and was about to close the door when she suddenly added, "Oh, and can you pass her a message for me? Please tell her to stop coming late for a date, "she said, "We were always behind schedule and missed the movie because of it!"
Then the door was closed and she left without telling her name.
Mio stared in disbelief at the neat handwriting on the piece of paper that was taped on the present.
"From: Aoi Fujii
To: Ritsu Tainaka
She knew something would happen that day.
'She would never hide anything from me, right?'
That was all she thought when she decided to call Ritsu that night to tell her – and to find out – what the hell was going on.
After a few seconds, Ritsu answered the phone.
"Hey, Mio, I was looking for you in the music room just now!" she heard Ritsu's voice, "You said you would be there until at least three... Why did you suddenly go home early?"
"I need to tell you something."
"What? You seem...annoyed, "she said, "Are you mad? Okay, okay, I'm sorry about last week!"
"No, it's not that."
"Not that? Then...I'm sorry for tricking you to watch a horror double bill with me last month!"
"No, not that either. I will NEVER forgiveyou for that."
"That's mean...So...What do you want to talk about...? Stop beating around the bush..."
"You're the one who talks too much!"
"Okay, so I failed to guess what you want to talk about. Fill me in?"
Mio decided to go straight to the point. "...Today, I met Aoi Fujii."
There was a silence.
"Aoi...?" she said, "How the hell did you meet Aoi?"
"I should be the one who asks you that, "Mio said, "And when and where your relationship has its beginnings while the rest of us don't have any clue about..."
"Wait, wait, wait!" Ritsu bellowed bemusedly, "What ARE you talking about?"
Mio stayed silent for a while, Aoi's happy smile when she mentioned Ritsu's name flashed in her mind.
"...Unless I heard it wrong...she said she's gone a date with you..."
"Hell no!" she bellowed again, "She obviously doesn't know what 'dating' means! She's that kind a girl. And since when do I date girls?"
"Everyone knows what dating means."
"Well, contrary to popular belief, this girl does not, "Ritsu said, "She spent many years outside Japan and she hasn't even finished moving all of her belongings here. Her Japanese sometimes sucks."
"She seems very close to you..."
"Eh? She's a nice girl, right?" she said, "'Kay, Mio, gotta hang up now. Battery's dead. Bye."
And she hung up just like that.
Mio stared silently at her phone.
Aoi Fujii was a second year student at Sakurakou High School. She had long auburn hair and hazel eyes. She misused some Japanese words and had just moved to Japan after living abroad for many years. She went out with Ritsu several times and gave her a belated birthday present.
And she was...for the first time in her life...a friend of Ritsu whom Mio never knew about.
"And only because you know nothing about her, you start to think negatively about her... That's distinctly below the belt, Mio-sempai..."
Just a few seconds after Ritsu hung up, Azusa conveniently called, giving Mio someone neutral enough whom she could immediately talk to.
"I don't think negatively about her..." Mio explained, "It's just... I don't know. I feel uneasy..."
Her discovery of that girl somehow gave her a strange feeling, as if it was a bellwether of change, an omen.
"You're thinking too much..." Azusa said, "She's a very nice girl."
"Eh? You know her?"
"Not really. We're just acquaintances. She's quite a well-known transfer student, and she's rich, too. Maybe you should ask Mugi-sempai. She might know more about her than I do."
"Why are you worried?"
'Worried...So I am worried, huh?' she thought.
Why did Ritsu's explanation hardly sound believable in her ears?
Why did she feel uneasy, when she found out that Ritsu already had a close friend under her belt?
Why did she really felt the need to tell someone about that uneasy feeling, when she usually kept personal things like this to herself?
"...I've had a bellyful of that stupid Ritsu."
Mio knew Ritsu was bent on giving her hell until the bitter end of their lives.
"So Ricchan has a new friend...?" Yui said, stuffing biscuits into her mouth.
"She's a new transfer student in the class next to mine, "Azusa said, "What surprised me is that Mio-sempai seems to know nothing about her..."
After school next day, Azusa, who was sitting at the table facing Yui, somehow told Mio's story to the girl who was the most prone to blab it to the entire club. Well, maybe second only to Ritsu.
"Mio-chan doesn't know...?"
"Yeah, I do believe..."
'Wait, why am I telling this to her...?' Azusa thought. Nobody else was there yet and she suddenly got the mood to talk about yesterday...
"Ricchan might want to make it a surprise..." Yui said innocently, "And when Mio-chan finds out, she'll be really good friends with Aoi-chan, and the three of them will live happily ever after!"
"And here I thought Mio-sempai was the only one who had a bent for creating weird fairy tales..."
"But I like Mio-chan's story about 'The Prince of Correcting Pen'!"
"What's with 'The Prince of Correcting Pen'?"
Yui and Azusa looked at the door and saw Ritsu entering the club room.
"Ricchan! You know that story?"
"No. And I don't want to know."
"I'm quite sure nobody else wants to, "Azusa said.
"But I can guess who wrote it, "Ritsu said, "Nobody else in the whole population of Japan would ever come up with such a stupid idea for a title."
"What are you saying, stupid?"
Ritsu suddenly yelped in pain as Mio appeared and hit her forehead with her fist.
"Oh, Mio-chan is here."
"Like you can create a better story than I can."
"But it's stupid! When we were ten, you wrote something with a bass, an eraser, and a cow on the title!"
"Oh, wow, "Azusa commented.
"But I still won."
"I knew you were drunk when you wrote it."
"You did not!"
Mio was about to hit her again when the door opened and Mugi walked in.
"It's so lively in here, "she said with a wide smile on her face.
"We're not having fun."
"Yeah, Mio is being such an idi-OUCH!"
"I'm gonna give you a lesson later, believe you me." Azusa was almost able to see the raging aura that blazed from Mio's body.
"Mio-chan and Ricchan are getting along as usual, aren't they?" Yui laughed.
Azusa watched the two girls bickering and felt slightly relieved. She had feared the situation would turn awkward like how Ritsu was not in really good terms with Mio back then. She hoped this kind of situation would stay the same no matter what.
"By the way, where's Sawa-chan?" Yui asked.
"I wonder where she is..." Mio said as she and Ritsu sat down beside Yui.
"She shouldn't miss today's crepes, "Mugi said.
"She should be here by now..." Ritsu said. She pulled out her cell phone from her bag. After looking at the screen for a few seconds, she grinned and said, "I guess she's here."
The door opened again with a bang and Sawako was there, standing proudly with a big smile on her face. "Hello, everyone!"
"Whoa, you seem to be full of energy today. Have you finally made up with your boyfriend?" Mio asked.
"No. Why am I besieged with so many questions like that lately?" she exclaimed, "Anyway, that's beside the point. I got the biggest present for you today!"
She opened the door wider and asked the person outside to come in.
Mio could barely hear Azusa gasp as the person walked into the music room.
"Allow me to introduce..." Sawako said.
Mio almost couldn't believe her eyes.
"... Aoi Fujii. She'll be a member of this club from now on!"
"Really? That's great!" Yui cheered.
"Ritsu-sempai asked me to join this club, "Aoi said.
"Is that true, Ricchan?"
"I planned it as a surprise for everyone, "Ritsu grinned.
"It's really nice to meet you, Aoi-chan!"
"Welcome to the club, "Mugi clapped her hands.
Azusa watched Yui shaking Aoi's hands happily and turned her head to see Mio's expression.
"Mio-sempai..." she whispered.
So Yui's predictions really came true, but the latter part of her story...was what Azusa doubted would ever happen.
A/N: First K-on fic!
The outline of this fic is made by my friend. We both love MioxRitsu though.
This fic originally doesn't include an original character, but it does in the end since none of the other K-on characters can really fit Aoi's role. And for why Aoi entrusted her present to Mio when she could just give it to Ritsu a day later, it will be explained later on.
The fic is rated T because of some suggestive little things that will be mentioned later.
Little trivia: The surname "Fujii" is taken from a former member of Japanese band P-Model, just like the rest of the K-on club members, whose surnames are entirely derived from the former members of this band.
(My friend mentioned that P-Model's Fujii play drums. Fujii in this fic won't be able to play drums at all, though.)