A/N: Definition of FanFic: FICTION (a non realistic story) made by a FAN (an ardent follower and admirer) of another person's work, using that person's ideas to make an original story. As such, the only thing that the FAN owns is their respective original story and original characters; NOT the object(s) of their FANdom.
'Lo, everyone! Been a while, hasn't it? Here we are with a new chapter of In Need of Love. Sorry about the long stall, my laptop decided that it had a good run, and was finally time to join the server in the sky. It will be missed. As such, chapters might (more likely will) be delayed, but still posted. Have no fear, I'm not abandoning anything; there are people who are waiting for the new chapters.
On that note, Thanks to everyone who reviews and keeps up with my meager piece of FanFiction. You all are the reason that I'm eager to get a new PC so I can pump out the chapters that you are all looking forward to. Your support is really appreciated.
And with that, on with the show!
Shimako, by nature, was a very observant person. That's why, when objects started flying, she was able to escape to a safer location relatively unharmed, along with Youko. However, being observant doesn't always allow for one to have information. "Um, Youko-sama, do you know what's going on?"
The two of them were currently sitting on a large couch across the room from the action.
"Hm... well, judging from the looks on their faces, it would seem that Sachiko and the girl currently throwing vases at her are acquainted with one another, and probably not on the best of terms at the moment."
"That would be an accurate statement, Youko-chan." Startled, both young women turned to their side to find a certain doctor they had come to know fairly well.
"Ah, Jun-san. Was your flight here pleasant? And shouldn't someone be stopping her?"
"I'm about to. The last thing I want is for Yumi to get riled up in anger. Maybe we can clean up before-"
"Too late." Shimako said quietly, and yet with that one statement everyone went quiet as Yumi moved into the room, her hair everywhere and breathing heavily. Her eyes were locked on to the girl that was currently holding a (Boda) vase above her head. A girl that was now clearly very, very scared.
"Ah. Y-Yumi-sama..." The girl managed to squeak out, attempting to hide the vase behind her back.
If one looked closely, they could've seen Yumi's eye twitch. "...Touko-chan..!"
Jun nodded to herself. "Yep, she's pissed."
"...At any rate, everyone, this is Touko Matsudaira."
With that, everyone let out a sigh of relief. Ever since telling everyone to help clean, Yumi had been eerily quiet, speaking only to the maids that were on standby ready to clean the mess themselves. Yumi had deterred them, stating that the ones responsible would clean up this time. After an hour of cleaning, they were now sitting in a large living room, all very comfortable on the couches. Across from everyone, Yumi was seated on a bean bag chair, Touko sitting very close to her- a fact that didn't escape notice. Tea and snacks were set out for them, smooth jazz playing softly in the background. Everyone was watching Yumi as she swayed back and forth slightly, eyes closed as she subconsciously hummed to the different tunes that played. It was quite cute to watch.
"I'm surprised," Jun spoke after sipping some of the tea in front of her, "I expected you to go ballistic on everyone, especially Touko and Sachiko." Said girls tensed upon being called out, however Yumi shook her head.
"It would be hypocritical of me to yell at them for throwing vases at each other, especially since most of them remember the incident at the medical center." At this statement, Yoshino nodded sagely while Shimako and Sachiko subconsciously rubbed past wounds as they recalled said occasion. "That said," Yumi turned to Sachiko and looked her straight in the eyes, absolutely serious, "Please refrain from throwing breakable and non-replaceable things at people." Sachiko could only nod in response while refraining from responding to Touko, who was grinning smugly at her.
"Y-Yumi-sama!?" Touko cried out, grabbing her forehead in slight pain.
"That goes double for you, Miss Troublemaker! I know you were the one who started throwing things first! What would have happened if that had been Jun-san's things you had broken?" Touko paled. She knew exactly what would have happened. Seeing her nod, Yumi smiled, "It looks like you're going to have to join me in learning to control our tempers," She said, giving Touko a gentle hug that the younger girl leaned into.
"Hoho," Sei grinned as she looked at the pair, "Will you look at that! Only been back a day and you've already picked up a girlfriend! You foxy girl!"
Touko blushed, while Yumi simply sighed and waved off the taunt, "It's nothing like that. Touko-chan was the one who referred me to the medical center a year ago. She and Yoshino are my dearest friends."
If she noticed the look on Touko's face at that comment she ignored it.
While Yumi was still talking to everyone, Shimako had been watching Touko. Therefore it was only she and surprisingly enough, Jun, who noticed Touko's look of confusion from Yumi's comment just before her attention suddenly shifted to Yoshino, an unreadable expression on her face. After a moment however, it shifted to disbelief, clarity, and then settled on anger. Intense anger.
However, before could act upon that anger, Yumi's hand tightly enclosed around hers. Yumi was still talking to the others, but she wouldn't let go of Touko's hand, not that Touko minded. With a sigh, Touko nodded and just moved closer to the older girl, still upset.
'Does she know about Yumi and Yoshino-san?' Shimako thought to herself, "But why would she respond that negatively? Even if she doesn't like her, that was a bit extreme... Then again, she did start tossing vases as soon as she saw Ogasawara-san...'
Jun's line of thinking was slightly different. 'It looks like Touko caught on to the change in Yumi and Yoshino's relationship quicker than I thought. I know Yumi wasn't going to actually tell her, so I figured Touko would speculate and broach the subject within the next week. When it comes to emotional ties, she's sharper than I thought. I wonder how this will play out?' She got up and stretched, "Alright, I need to head to my office to get settled in. Touko, you still need to get set up as well, so you can help me."
"...Yes, Ma'am." Touko got to her feet, "Excuse me Yumi-sama. I will return as soon as I can. Oh, I almost forgot, the chef wanted to speak to you." With a nod from Yumi she followed Jun out of the room.
"Alright," Yumi said, suddenly becoming much more serious as she looked between Sachiko and Yoshino, "What happened?"
"Excuse me? What do you mean?" Sachiko asked. Yumi ignored her and turned to Yoshino, who was unnerved by her stare.
"Ah. When we arrived here, we were escorted in by a maid and led into here. That's where we ran into Touko-chan. The moment Touko saw Sachiko, she went ballistic, chewing her out and stating that Sachiko had no right coming anywhere near here. Sachiko-sama, in her classic form, lost her temper and went off, shouting that the entire estate belonged to her family and threatened to have her escorted off the property. That's when they started throwing things."
"And, for the record, who started throwing things first?"
"Speaking of which," Sei spoke up, "Back at the Ogasawara Mansion you were suddenly worried about your vases and ran over here. How did you know what happened?"
"Because every time Ogasawara-sama and Touko-chan are in the same room, they always end up throwing stuff at each other. Usually stuff that's not theirs. I don't know why, though. They used to get along quite well, from what I've been told."
"How do you know all of this?"
"Because Ogasawara-sama and Touko-chan are cousins, so they have known each other for a long time. She's told me and Yoshino a lot of stories about when they were younger. On a side note..." Yumi turned her attention back to Sachiko, "From the story that Yoshino said earlier I can see that none of you are aware of this, so I'll tell you right now: This estate does not belong to the Ogasawara family. This estate and almost everything in and around it is Honokawa property. Touko-chan resides here as well, so you have no right nor authority to threaten to have anyone escorted off of my property. Only those who reside here and my godparents have that authority."
"WAIT! TOUKO LIVES HERE!?"
Yumi blinked. She had expected Yoshino to question Touko's presence and had suspected Sachiko might get upset, but she hadn't expected Shimako and Nana to be upset as well. Nonetheless she nodded. "Jun-san took Touko-chan on as an apprentice. There are other reasons as well, but they are none of your concern. Now!" Yumi clapped her hands together, all previous sternness gone, "For tonight, I've ordered quite a bit of food for all of us, so let's pick out a movie that we can watch!"
"How about you tell us about your time in America?" Sei more stated than asked, grinning her classic grin, "How little Yumi became the incredible 'Mio-Mio'?"
"Oh. That was by accident."
From the doorway, where she was aware Yumi knew she was listening from, Jun smiled at the memory.
~Several months ago~
"Alright, Ms. Weitz, your recovery is progressing just fine. At this rate, you'll be back on the scene in no time."
Jun smiled at the relieved look on her patient's face. Incidentally, they also happened to be good friends for quite a while now. Thus it was a relief to see her recovery going well.
"That's wonderful. I was scared that something would go wrong."
Jun laughed lightly, "I told you before, I never fail at what I do. Come on Kris, let's go by my office to get the paperwork." The two made their way out into the hallway. "Any idea what you're going to come up with next?"
"No idea," Kris replied, "I've got writer's block. I want to try something different this time; something with a flair or a twist..."
As they reached the office Kris smiled as she heard the very familiar music playing in the room. "You actually listen to those CDs?"
"From time to time," Jun replied as she gathered paperwork, "Recently though, a certain patient of mine has been listening to them. In fact, she's been quite taken with this very song in particular."
"Ah. She likes it that much huh?" Kris stated, a proud smile on her face as the two walked out of the office, paperwork in hand.
"Actually, she quite hates it."
"What!?" That was a shock, and, to be honest, also hurt a bit. "I thought you said she was taken with the song?"
Jun was about to reply when perhaps one of her better ideas struck her mind. "Follow me, and you'll see." Suddenly spinning around, Jun walked off in a different direction, Kris scuffling behind.
As they made their way through several higher security areas, Kris was given a temporary pass that said 'Restricted Area – Visitor's limited access'. 'Where in the world are we going?' She thought to herself. Suddenly, she found them entering a large outside garden that she had no idea ever existed as part of the medical facility. As they made their way towards the center, a beautiful melodic voice became clearer, as well as the sound of an acoustic guitar.
~The man in the moon's got a cold in the back of his head today~
~So dark is the river as the old bridge of lovers finds it's getting washed all away~
~And there the three wise men in the darkness of the desert, still trying to be finding their way~yay~
~The tables have been laid, the food has been set but the cost of the eating is too much for most to pay~
~You think a little love is all ya need~
~But love is such a small thing, can't you see?~
~I think you'll find it sits in a book, changes the words that you read~
Kris was stunned. "That's- that's my song!" Pushing forward, she came to a stop near the center of the garden. There, surrounded by many other people of all shapes and sizes was a young woman, sitting on a bench, strumming an acoustic guitar as she continued to sing, the crowd swaying to her music. But what caught Kris' attention most of all was the happy expression as she sang, like nothing else in the world mattered. As Jun moved near her, Kris whispered, "I thought you said she hated my song? She looks so happy!"
Jun nodded, "Personally, I think it's more that she doesn't care for Dance/Electronica in general. She said that the lyrics were wonderful, but the background music was terrible."
Kris nodded absently. She could feel it. This is what she had been looking for. She was on the verge of finding what she needed for her muse to get back in action. "That's an amazing acoustic cover! How long has she been playing the guitar?"
"About two months. I started teaching her because she was bored staying here doing nothing."
"...You're joking. She's only been playing music for two months!?"
"Oh, no. She's just started the acoustic guitar two months ago. She's been playing the piano for years though, but she'll never tell anyone about it. She's pretty talented."
Talented didn't begin to describe Kris' thoughts about the young girl. "Jun, how long will she be here?"
Jun thought for a moment, "Her recreation time out here in the garden should be for another two hours, unless she gets bored. Why?"
"Because I need to get some equipment and some documents! You try to keep from getting bored until I get back!" With that, she was off, literally running out of the garden.
After a moment Jun walked forward towards, the girl stopping her performance as the older woman drew near. "Quite the performance, Yumi."
Yumi nodded, her face now emotionless, and Jun bit back a sigh. Ever since she had awoken here at the medical center, she was like this, dispirited, blank. She didn't care for anything at all. The only time she would show any emotion at all was when her or Saeko was around, and only because they were the only people that she knew. She had hoped that music would be able to open her up and help her to express herself, and so far it seemed that it was working. But still, it would be a long project.
Jun turned to the others around, "We need some privacy." And with that statement, everyone else immediately left the garden, leaving only her and Yumi. She noticed Yumi relax visibly. "It seems that your cover of the song is coming along nicely. You revised the acoustics again, didn't you?"
Yumi nodded, "Yes. The vocals weren't as fluid as the original singer's but it is still fun to sing. The song would be better if there were more instruments to accompany it, though. Were you able to come up with an estimate of how much my time here is going to cost in the end?"
Staying silent, Jun past the young girl a sheet of paper. After a moment of silence, Yumi looked up straight into Jun's eyes. Yumi didn't say anything, but her eyes said it all. She knew there was no way Saeko could pay that amount. However, looking into Jun's eyes, Yumi could see what the older woman didn't say as well. "You have a plan."
Jun nodded, "The woman who was with me earlier? She was the one who made that album with that song you covered. She took a liking to your acoustic version and asked me to keep you here until she came back with her music equipment."
"You want me to perform." Yumi stated.
"No, I want you to use your talents. You yourself asked me to find a way for you to provide for yourself. You knew Saeko-san wouldn't be able to pay for your expenses without hurting herself. And above all, music makes you happy. We both know you love playing and singing. All I did was let someone else know that you're talented at what you like to do. What happens next is up to you."
Yumi looked at her for a long time before nodding. With a small smile, Jun joined the younger girl on the bench as Yumi strummed softly on the guitar. After a short while, Jun got up and left, coming back a moment later with Kris and a few other women. As soon as she saw Yumi, Kris moved over to her, but not too close as she could see the young woman's wariness.
"Jun told me that she told you a little about me. My name's Kris Weitz. I was walking with Jun when I heard your acoustic cover of one of my songs. To be honest, for a while I've been at a standstill. I've been trying to come up with something new, but kept coming up blank. However, after listening to you playing and singing, I feel like I'm on the verge of finding it. Honestly, I find it amazing that you've only been playing the guitar for a few months. That's why I wanted to ask for your help. I want to remake the original song for a new album, using your acoustic arrangement as the basis. I also want you on the keyboard for the song to help put it all together. Jun told me that you were amazing on the keys."
Yumi looked over to the other women who were setting up the music equipment and her eyes stopped on the electric keyboard. "I...think that sounds fun."
Kris sighed in relief. Jun had told her that the girl was wary of people in general, and honestly she hadn't expected to get her to agree so easily. That was past of the reason that she hadn't brought any men with her to set up the equipment. "Thanks. So tell me, what made you decide to make a cover of this song in particular?"
"I hated the original." Kris inwardly cringed at the blunt response as Yumi continued, "But I loved the vocals. I thought the song would have been wonderful if the vocals had been accompanied by smooth jazz background music. However, I couldn't get it just right with just an acoustic."
"Do you mind giving us a run through with what you came up with? That way, we can have someone switch with you while you get on the keyboard. Then we'll go through it a couple of times, working in the other instruments while I'll handle the vocals. Sound good?"
"It does." Yumi agreed, "Besides, this song sounds truly wonderful when it's you singing it." Without another word, Yumi began strumming her guitar, softly singing the song that she had been singing earlier. As she played, she had her eyes closed, never noticing the others as their eyes widened and shined in delight.
When she finished, Kris was absolutely gushing. "That was wonderful! I think I know exactly what it is I've been missing! Alright Yumi, move over to the keyboard. My girl is going to play your guitar part, but this time she's going to add a bit of a flair to it; a twist. Just listen the first time, and when we start again, join in on the keyboard."
Jun watched as the group went over the piece over and over again. Once Yumi had joined in on the keyboard, and the drums jumped in as well, it all came together perfectly.
'Yes!' Kris thought, 'This is it! This is what I've been looking for! These are my vocals; this is my song, straight up with a twist! This jazz blend is exactly what I've been looking for! And this girl, she's amazing! She heard us go over it once, and she's already got an amazing piano part for it! Jun was right, this girl is talent incarnate!' "I knew it! That was an amazing practice session! Yeah, I can definitely feel it, my muse is back!"
Jun noticed that Yumi was smiling as well. It was a small smile, but that alone was a major improvement. She was glad that she had gotten Kris involved.
"I'm glad that I could help you." Yumi said, the small smile remaining on her face, "It was fun...how do you say..ah! It was fun jamming with you guys."
Kris' eyes were sparkling now as she approached Yumi, "You're even more amazing than I thought! I can see why Jun wanted me to meet you! Yumi... how would you like to sign on with my label, 'Fly Again Music'?"
Jun shook her head as Yumi finished retelling the story. She hadn't expected Jun to make an offer right then and there, but apparently Yumi had more talent that even she had thought. A month later, Kris released her new Jazz album 'Straight up with a Twist' with its song 'Feel what you want' topping the charts. The album was also used to get Yumi or rather, Mio-Mio on the scene and was a major hit.
"...And that's pretty much how it happened." Yumi finished. During story telling, the food she ordered had come and gone. Touko had returned in the middle of the story and had sat quietly, listening to the tale with rapt interest. As Yumi looked around, she noticed that Nana and Yoshino were both drifting off and smiled softly. She couldn't smother the sharp pang in her heart as she watched Yoshino laying in Rei's arms, though she hid it well enough.
"Ah, it's getting late. How about we all retire for the night? There's still a lot that we can do tomorrow if everyone is so inclined. Besides, there are some school papers that I want to go over before the night is over."
"You know," Sei said as she got up, "It's kinda weird how you switch from normal to proper talk in mid sentence like that. You gotta cut loose sometimes!"
"Yumi laughed lightly, "I have to get used to it. Follow me, I'll show everyone to their rooms." Everyone followed her out to the hallway where she suddenly stopped.
"Yumi-san?" Shimako looked at her questioningly, "Is there something the matter?"
Yumi turned to everyone, "In retrospect... this is my first time here as well, so I don't know where the rooms are."
Everyone couldn't help but laugh at the light her face as she admitted it.
"And finally, we come to your room, Shimako-sama. The room further down is the room that I'll be sleeping in tonight. If you need anything, don't hesitate to come to my room and ask me. Goodnight."
"Goodnight, Yumi-chan." If Yumi wanted to refer to her as 'sama', then she would refer to her with 'chan'. With a smile, Shimako walked into her room and examined it. It was beautiful and just it alone tempted her to ask if Yumi might be willing to rent it out to her. As she sat down on the bed, she opened up her bag to find her comb.
"Huh? This is... Yumi-chan's bag?" 'I must have grabbed hers by mistake. Should I go give it to her and get mine? She did say that she was going to go over school papers before she went to bed...' Nodding to herself rose and made her way out of the room.
The hallway was dark save for the occasional lamp that lit the area. Walking slowly, Shimako made her way down the hall towards the room Yumi was residing in for the night. As she got closer, she stopped as she heard voices.
"-accosted you early this morning. You had another attack." It was Jun's voice.
"I..." It was low, but Shimako could make out Yumi's voice.
"There is no reason to hold back your feelings, Yumi. That is part of the reason that we have these sit-downs. Don't keep your feelings bottled up."
"I...I..." There was a small thud, and suddenly Yumi's voice was muffled, "I was so scared! When that man came at me on the way to school, I just froze up! Even if I was shouting at him, I couldn't move at all! If Nana hadn't come and saved me when she did, I don't know what would have happened!"
Shimako stilled a gasp. She remembered Nana mentioning that Yumi had been accosted that morning, but she had no idea had truly shaken her that much. She hadn't shown any outward appearance of it at all. 'She's a performer!' Shimako realized. 'She's performed on stage in front of thousands. Of course she's a master of hiding her emotions behind a mask!'
The room was quiet for a moment save for a few sobs. Then Jun's soft voice rang out. "What happened between you and Yoshino-chan? You hid it well, but I could tell you were tense around her all day. Yet she and Hasekura seemed to be near clinging to you the entire time I observed you."
"..." The reply was muffled, but Shimako didn't need to hear the answer. She already knew what had happened.
"I see. And how do you feel about it, Yumi? What are your initial feelings about Hasekura and Yoshino?"
"I hate her!" The frustrated cry rang out from the room, absolutely shocking Shimako. "I hate her so much! I hate her for taking Yoshino away from me! Why!?" The sobs grew even worse as Yumi broke down. "Why does she love her? Why can't she love me like I love her? Why does everyone I love leave me!?"
Shimako wanted nothing more than to rush into the room and console the sobbing girl. She wanted to hold her in her arms and erase the pain in her heart. But she couldn't. She should never have heard Yumi pouring her heart out in the first place, and if Yumi ever found out, she would never forgive her. Shaking her head, she came back to the present. "I shouldn't be here. I need to leave before I run into anyone."
"I think it's too late for that."
A/N: For the record, I do not own the song 'Feel what you want', although I do own a copy of the album 'Straight up with a twist'.