THAT SMALL-TOWN GIRL


Summary: "…wait, I think I know who you are."

He smirked, "Yeah, I'd be surprised if you didn't."

"You're the guy from the book store, right?" Two words: FACE. PALM.

To say Shogo Narumi was popular was an understatement. Everyone knew him, everyone wanted to be friends with him. She was just a small-town girl (albeit with extraordinary hairdressing abilities), working in an equally small hair salon. He shouldn't care, but he did. Why? Because she had the uncanny ability to rub him the wrong way.


It was a hot and humid summer's day when Narumi, along with his two best friends, moved to a small no-name town that was conveniently situated in the outskirts of Tokyo.
Sharing a deserted train compartment whilst being decidedly hot-blooded young men, it was safe to say that none of them were in the greatest of moods.

Kazuhiko Ochiai (the brains and makeup artist of the team) was sitting stiffly on the plastic seat, typing away on his pocket computer looking neither tired or flustered, a picture of absolute order that shone with efficiency. However, the same could not be said for the other two, if them sweating bullets was any way to tell.

Kei Minami, nail artist extraordinaire and far-known glutton, was sprawled across three seats, his arms and legs sporadically placed under and over bits of chair – a lollipop sticking out of his mouth, moving occasionally as he muttered inconceivable nothings of food and drink in his sleep.

And last but not definitely not least (he wouldn't accept that), Shogo Narumi, the famous teen hairstylist was also sitting on one of the uncomfortable chairs; his head placed in his hands, a look of defeat and utter despair gracing his god-like features.

Together this magnificent trio made up Team SP – otherwise known as the Scissors Project – the team that usually oozed with masculine charm that was only blessed upon the finer specimens of the male race. But unfortunately, today was just not one of those days. Worn out by the intense heat, Narumi was forced to complain about all of his problems to anyone who was willing to listen. No one was, but because they were in an empty compartment and Kei (the chief noise-maker in the crew) was sleeping, Kazuhiko was forced to listen to the endless whines and grumbles of his best (this was questionable) friend. The thought, 'I should've brought my headphones' coming frequently to mind.

"I cannot believe it, Kazuhiko!" Cried Narumi, "We were just making progress and then our parents decided to move us all to a run-down town that has almost no public attention! What are we going to do?"

What followed was a fatigued sigh and the distinguishable clickity clack of someone typing really fast. "Don't worry, Narumi," he drawled in a bored manner, "I've got it all planned out. Just focus on your new hairstyles and we'll do just fine."

"Do just fine, huh?" Echoed Narumi, "You always got it sorted out, don't you Kazuhiko? So if you say everything's going to be ok, then I guess I believe you." Feeling uncomfortable with the sudden praise, Kazuhiko pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, a habit which occurred whenever he felt nervous or flustered. "I do my best," he replied gruffly before quickly glancing outside the window. They were almost at the station.

"Narumi," he called out, "Wake Kei up, we're almost at the station. I'll grab our bags." He promptly zipped his laptop in its case and grabbed the three duffels from the rack above. Narumi glanced at Kei, taking note of the drool by his head, then gently shoved him, trying to wake the sleeping boy. But it was of no use, Kei was too deeply asleep. Resorting to last measures, Narumi shoved him off the seats, forcing him to get up.

"Ouch," said Kei, gently rubbing his head, "You could've woken me more gently, Naru-Naru." Narumi rolled his eyes, "There was no other choice, you weren't waking up—and don't call me Naru-Naru!" They engaged in easy-going banter until the train carriage came to a complete stop, then briskly made their way out the doors and glanced unsurely around the dirty station.

Narumi made a face. "What the heck is this place? Is this even a station? 'Old Charming Surroundings (!)' my ass," he grumbled, quoting the old travel brochure, "We need to go back, I cannot live in a place like this!"

Kei gave a weak smile, "Well I think it's got personality! I mean, it's not that bad…" He trailed off as he glanced around the town square; at the shabby make-shift stalls and almost deserted market place – even with his happy-go-lucky attitude, there was no denying it – this place was a big dump!

"God, it's worse than I thought it'd be! Look over there," exclaimed Narumi, pointing at what looked like a convenience store, "Komatsu's 88 yen store?" he read out. "This is nothing like where we used to live!" Then he felt a hand connect with the back of his head.

"Shut up, Narumi!" Exclaimed Ochiai. "Think of it like this," he said pragmatically, "Where we used to live there was a lot of competition, a lot of big names that rookies like us had no chance of topping. But now that we are here, there is likely to be no competition and therefore, we should be able to make a name here, and dominate the market without much trouble… And then we can move onto the bigger competition," he added in an afterthought.

But, by the time he had finished his little monologue, Narumi was stalking off grumbling to himself and Kei… well he was nowhere in sight. He sighed, "Why am I always the one stuck with the idiots?"

"Well," he muttered to himself, "I guess I should use this time to research the area." And then he walked off, briefly glancing at the different shops and stalls; filing away any useful information for a time when it would possibly come in handy.

_\|/_

After aimlessly walking around the market square for god knows how long; Narumi finally came to a conclusion. "I have to leave this town." But then he remembered that he couldn't. Why? Because his idiot of a father thought this would be a good opportunity, a 'learning experience' as he had dubbed it. Knowing that man, Narumi didn't bother to think of what this 'leaning experience' would be (he'd probably regret it after), whatever it was. Well, he thought, at least my stupid sister won't be here. Well, that's another great surprise for later…

So caught up was he in his thoughts, that he didn't even think to look where he was going and soon he felt himself colliding with something (or someone) and falling to the ground, fast. Expecting a hard landing, he braced himself for the pain that was bound to come. And when it didn't, he praised his luck, thinking that by some miracle he landed on some soft patch of concrete? And then he froze; he didn't remember concrete having soft lumps, or the ability to breath in and out, and concrete sure as heck didn't smell like oranges! He slowly looked beneath him and saw a girl; to say he was completely mortified was an understatement. All was quiet for a while, and then someone screamed – and it wasn't the girl, in case you were wondering. Then Narumi passed out, how troublesome.

The girl, meanwhile, was cursing her stupid luck and imagining that she was back at home sleeping with her cat not in this situation. She tried pushing him off, didn't work; kicking him off, he groaned but didn't get off her; slapping? That's it, she thought, I can't be bothered anymore, I'm just going to have to wait. She waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, she got too thirsty and decided to wake him up herself. "Uh, excuse me," she called out, to no effect. "Excuse me?" She called out again, still, he did not stir. Running out of options she lifted one of her hands, pushed his fringe back and gently blew against his face, briefly recalling how her mother used to wake her. His eyes flickered open, it had worked; she sighed in relief. He looked dazed for a moment and lazily looked around before his eyes settled on her, they widened.
She rolled her eyes, this guy was so weird. "Hey, can you please get off me? This is really uncomfortable."

Finally noticing the position they were in (his arms on either side of her head with his legs placed between hers, he looked like a total pervert [!]) he blushed a furious shade of red and hurriedly scrambled to his feet. "I- I- It's not my fault!" He said, trying to find the right words to say, and completely failing. But it didn't seem like she noticed, or cared for that matter; in fact, he'd just seen her yawn a few moments ago. How unladylike! Then he took the time to look at her, really look at her and it was safe to say that he wasn't pleased at what he saw. This, this girl had such an ugly hairstyle, she was wearing no make-up and (and!) she dressed like a guy. She's probably one of those people who don't make an effort at all, he thought, those are the people I really hate the most. And before he could stop himself from saying it, the words, "You really need a makeover," came out of his lips. Expecting her to get offended, he shielded his face (his beautiful face!) from the incoming slap. What he got instead was "You are such a weirdo," an unladylike scoff and a total disregard for him, and his person.

"Well, it was nice meeting you, but I have more important things to do than listen to you criticize my appearance…Ja ne, baka," she added in an afterthought.

He was so offended. Never in his life had a girl rubbed him (get your mind out of the gutter!) the way she did; in only a few minutes she had humiliated him, and had insulted him and his pride! The nerve of this girl! Especially one with such an ugly hairstyle, he had to get his revenge!

"You know," he shouted, "Girls with mussy hair shouldn't be so rude and unladylike. Your hairstyle is so unflattering!" There, now he had the last word in! "You should really consider getting a makeover; heck, maybe if you apologize I'll give you one for free!"

She swiveled around, "Well hairdresser-san, the hair on your right nape is five centimeters longer than the one on your left!" He looked horrified, and grasped his neck in shame. Now smirking with satisfaction, the girl turned around and left; leaving an incensed teen hairstylist behind.

And it was at that moment that Ochiai and Kei decided to magically re-appear. The former looking decidedly bemused his eyes shining with mirth and the latter, well he was slightly more vocal with his response. "Hey Naru-naru!" He laughed, "You just got owned by a cute girl! How does it feel? Huh? Huh?"

"Just shut up, Kei… Just shut up…" He said through gritted teeth. "And stop calling me Naru-naru!" Ah well, there are some things that never change. And Ochiai, poor Ochiai, he was always, always stuck with the idiots.

Whoever said moving was easy was a total idiot with no fashion sense (ref. to 'Papa Narumi' [Narumi's dad]).

TBC

Em: Well, this took a while to put up... I remember working on this months ago! Well, this is my first multi-chaptered story and it's obviously AU or AR (whichever one applies). Beauty Pop doesn't have many multi-chaptered stories and after a while, I got tired of waiting for someone to upload one and decided to write one myself. SO tell me what you think, in a PM or a review... And before I forget, I promise I will finish this, I may be a slow updater but in the end, I will finish it.

Feedback is highly appreciated.