MBP: Yes, it's been a while. I know. School, then work, then absolute writer's block. Sorry!
Kio: B-but we've got an update now...
MBP: Yes. WE HAVE AN UPDATE! Apparently, the cure for writer's block is waking up in the middle of the night, losing hours of glorious sleep, and writing. Who knew? It certainly explains my lack of updates; I like sleep.
Rini: Oh, get to the point and let them read already! We own nothing, except Mitsuru! He's all ours!
Love at First Sight?
Megumi choked on her tea, seeing both her and Mitsuru's pictures on the papers when she sat down to read that morning. Putting the teacup down quickly, but carefully, Megumi then grabbed at the paper, hoping she wasn't seeing what she thought she was.
Nope. She wasn't just tired from a long night and an early start. Megumi stared in horror at the pictures, then the captions, and then the article itself.
When had she become so famous that her love life (and honestly, lack of a love life) had become worthy to be plastered on actual newspapers instead of normal magazines and internet blogs? Or had this been because it was two familiar public faces involved and that would sell more papers?
Oh no. Mitsuru. What if this caused problems for him? She was already nervous about how her own producer was going to react; how much more complicated would this be for Mitsuru?
Being the only one awake and coherent at this hour wasn't a consolation as it normally was; it just meant that she had longer to wait for reactions. Alisa would probably be pleased, while the S.A. would get concerned and start asking questions. Sakura would very likely jump in and grill Megumi at the same time her brothers were trying to get answers calmly about Mitsuru.
Very predictable, which made Megumi smile. Her friends were always dependable, always there for her. While many people thought she was naïve and innocent, Megumi knew that very few things in life could be depended on completely. She could hope, but she'd always known that nothing was permanent, that everything would change.
She'd just been glad to find out that her friends, however much they would move about or change, would always have her back.
Hours later, she was glad to have that support, not only from her friends, but from fans that swarmed her with emails and commenting on her website with glee. Apparently, they all approved of the match, which meant that her producer did as well, though he did mention how he needed to know about things ahead of time so he could control the press even slightly.
"Wait, so if he approves… then you can totally go on that second date with Mitsuru!" Alisa squealed to herself over the phone, trying unsuccessfully to hide her glee from her friend. "This is perfect! Has he called you?"
"It's only seven!" Megumi protested, watching her tv on mute while she was on the phone. "He's still doing his show, and he…"
"Are you watching him?" Trust Alisa to catch on, even when she's not giving any signs about it. "Oh, you are so going on a second date with him! Okay, before his show's over, spill! What did you guys do after we left?"
"Ate. Danced. He walked me to my car," Megumi tried denying her obviously excited her friend the details, though she knew that she'd tell in the end. It was just amusing to hear Alisa's reactions.
"Okay, that is so not helpful!" Megumi could hear the pout in Alisa's voice and laughed, telling her friend what happened easily, keeping some things to herself.
"Alisa, the show's about to end," Megumi interrupted Alisa's rant about how perfect this all was, sitting up straighter even though no one could see her. "I'll…"
"Call me later! We'll arrange a meet-up and talk in person! Tell me everything!" Megumi blinked when her friend hung up on her, chuckling to herself.
Good old Alisa.
Huh. She should have probably asked Alisa how things went with Aoi. Megumi made a mental note to do that first thing when they saw each other.
An hour and a half later, Mitsuru still hadn't called, making Megumi antsy. Maybe he didn't want anything to do with her anymore. Maybe he'd even been told to stay away from her! She knew she'd caused a problem! She should have just…
Megumi's internal panic was interrupted by the doorbell, causing her to just stare in confusion in that direction. She wasn't expecting company; this was what she was calling her 'vacation time' before she went overseas. This was supposed to be the time where her friends would call, and if she was remembering them right, the first actual visit from anyone besides Alisa would be next week.
The newspaper probably got them moving faster than expected.
As she expected to see one of the S.A., Megumi didn't bother checking out the peephole, opening the door easily with a casual, "I wasn't expecting any of you so… Mitsuru?" The last part came out on a squeak, making her visitor laugh.
"Hello Megumi," Mitsuru handed her a small bouquet of roses, looking amused. "With that welcome…"
"I thought…" Megumi shook her head, relaxing enough to smile. "My friends are a little… overprotective. I figured it was one of them about the article."
"Not expecting me?" Mitsuru looked slightly disappointed when Megumi shook her head, looking a little worried herself.
"I thought that the publicity from the article would be bad for you," she admitted quietly, shuffling her feet nervously. The silence after her admission didn't help matters either.
She blinked and looked up when she heard laughter. "You were worried about me?" Mitsuru shoved his hands in his pocket, grinning widely. "My producers were pleased. They were even talking about sending you presents. People were beginning to wonder about my sexuality; you fixed that problem. I talked them out of it, just so you know."
Megumi frowned, clutching the bouquet closer. "Well, you're welcome for fixing your problem."
"H-hey!" Mitsuru realized he'd made a mistake somewhere and shook his head. "That's not what I meant! I… okay, let's start that part over. Producers are happy, no problem. And while I wish that the press weren't always so invasive, I personally like having you around, so can you forgive me?"
"…Do you want to come in?"
"Huh?" Mitsuru had obviously expected to grovel more, so he didn't quite understand the question.
Megumi lifted the flowers slightly. "I need to put these in water; do you want to come in?"
Mitsuru blinked and then nodded. "Yeah. So, what did you producers think? Of the article."
"The fans were happy, so they were happy," Megumi called over her shoulder, taking a vase down from her cabinet easily. She was used to bouquets coming her way, so she always had a few extras. "Do you want something to drink?"
"I'm alright," Mitsuru watched from the living room, glancing around to memorize the simple but completely welcoming area. He grinned at the childish knick-knacks, and moved closer to examine some of the many pictures in the area. "Your friends?"
Megumi followed into the living room, the vase of roses in her hands. "Yes. They're from my class in school; we're still close."
"I can see that," Mitsuru teased, looking closer. "I don't see Alisa in there."
"Hmm? Oh, she wasn't in our class," Megumi put the flowers on the table, shifting some of her papers to make room. "That picture was from before we started really being friends. Thanks, by the way. I don't think I said that yet."
"The flowers." Megumi stepped closer, grinning at the picture herself. Kei was carrying Hikari, just as he had that whole day, claiming it as his reward for winning a contest. "I never said I liked this color; I'm surprised you knew."
"I didn't," Mitsuru admitted, smirking at an unknown joke. "I figured they were funny, giving the headlines this morning."
"Funny?" Megumi frowned in confusion, glancing back at the flowers.
"Yeah, lavender roses are supposed to stand for 'love at first sight'," Mitsuru's smirk grew when Megumi blushed and stared at the flowers. "I thought, 'hey, why not?'"
Megumi tried to frown, but was unwillingly amused and a giggle escaped. "It's not funny!" she protested weakly, turning to look at another picture. This one had Yahiro and Sakura in it, and it was the only one with Yahiro that was shown in her apartment.
"Yes it is," Mitsuru returned, his gaze following hers to the picture. "You know… you might warn a guy that you've got an ex-boyfriend who's out for blood."
"Huh? B-but I don't!" Megumi turned around, eyes wide. She'd never even officially dated in her life, let alone had a boyfriend. How could she, when she'd been too shy and too in love with Yahiro?
"Really? He certainly doesn't leave that impression." Mitsuru gestured towards the picture with Yahiro. "Everyone knows the Saiga name. Not everyone gets a call practically threatening them with the Saiga power at four in the morning though."
"What?" Megumi was officially confused, and she showed it with a tilted head and furrowed brow.
"You know, the warning call saying that if I got close to you, I'd better not hurt you or do anything… well…" Mitsuru didn't say what could be assumed. "Something about powerful friends, Saiga group, a lot of hype like that. Again, four in the morning, so I was still half-asleep."
"And not paying attention to threats?" Megumi felt her hands trembling, instinctively knowing Mitsuru was telling the truth. It wasn't the first time it had been mentioned, that she had powerful friends. She'd always just assumed they were talking about Kei, but that wasn't true apparently.
Mitsuru, sensing the fury in the girl, attempted to lighten the mood with a shrug. "What can I say? I live on the wild side. Plus…" He grinned at the furious glare she sent him, holding his hands up in fake surrender. "I like you. I don't let people decide who my friends are, no matter how powerful they are."
Fury gone, and Mitsuru mentally patted himself on the back for a job well done. Honestly, he was glad he wasn't the one she was mad at. If she ever was that mad at him…
"You know…" Megumi murmured, glancing at the roses and then back at Mitsuru. "You're different. Than you were on tv and from my first impression."
"What can I say?" Mitsuru shrugged again, not minding the implication, seeing as he was a flirt on-screen and Megumi's first impression wasn't the greatest in the world. "We live in the public eye. Everyone's got a role to play."
"And the nice guy? Is that a role?" Megumi asked hesitantly, biting her lip as if regretting the words. It wasn't her fault that people (Yahiro) would change at the blink of an eye and change everything. She just didn't want Mitsuru to do the same thing.
Apparently he understood that words weren't going to mean anything and reached out to take her hand. "How will you find out if you stay in here all day?"
"I just can't believe it! He hasn't even tried to talk to anyone besides Kei in years and now he's threatening Mitsuru? I just can't see it," Alisa tried to rationalize it in her head, but couldn't. It was just so out of character for Yahiro that it was impossible.
"I couldn't either, but why would Mitsuru lie?" Megumi pointed out, ignoring the fact that she barely knew him and she knew Yahiro much better. "Besides, Yahiro is possessive. Maybe he just assumed I'd wait like I did before and got annoyed when I didn't."
That was a very good possibility and Alisa nodded after a moment. She could buy that. Alisa remembered the one time she'd mentioned setting Megumi up on a blind date back in high school and Yahiro had sent her a look that said if she tried, someone would get hurt.
"Well, we don't need to worry about that, but…. If it's true… that means Mitsuru is serious about you! This is great!" Alisa gushed, bouncing on her couch excitedly. "I mean, going up against Yahiro of all people? It's right out of a romance novel!"
"Let's not go that far," Megumi murmured, smiling to herself. Yes, Alisa never changed, still looking for that happy ending. Not that Megumi wasn't, but…
"But Megumi, this is great! I mean, you're 23 and you haven't had your first real serious relationship yet! Maybe Mitsuru is the one!" Alisa was not in the realm of reality and started ranting about starting wedding plans.
"I don't know…" Megumi teased -because maybe Mitsuru and Yahiro had more of an effect on her than she'd thought- with a grin. "He doesn't like chocolate. That might be a deal breaker."
Alisa squeaked and started protesting, only pausing to glare at Aoi as he walked by the room. No, the end of her night had not gone well by the looks of it. Megumi made sure to ask quietly before Alisa could start again.
Alisa groaned dramatically and shook her head. "Aoi was being Aoi… as usual. But let's be completely serious. Do you think you could be serious about Mitsuru? Because chocolate is not a deal breaker, not with the way he made sure you got some chocolate cake."
"It's only been two days…" Megumi murmured thoughtfully, tapping her leg absently. Could she be serious about Mitsuru? Originally, she'd thought he was like Yahiro, but that wasn't completely true. There were too many differences between the two… differences she'd actually liked. Mitsuru was funny, and while he teased her, didn't actually insult her past the first time. She could relax around him, be herself, let down the composed mask the public saw and just… react.
But Yahiro… he was her first love, the person she fought so hard to prove herself to. There was still a part of her that wanted to be someone he could be proud of, someone he could care about. She knew him, the same way he knew her, almost better than herself. How do you just let something like that go?
But she wasn't, was she? She'd held a torch for Yahiro for over five years and never once had he ever returned her feelings. She'd just been an amusement for him over high school, and as soon as that was over, he left her alone. He'd left them all alone, except for Kei and business.
Megumi bit her lip while Alisa let her think in silence. Chattering wouldn't do her friend any good. Rushing wouldn't do Megumi a service at all.
"Honestly…" Megumi started quietly, staring at her fingers as she linked them together. "I don't know. I don't know if I'll fall in love, or just be friends, or if we'll hate each other. It's not… Mitsuru and I… it could go any way at all. But I'm willing to take the chance. I just don't know what that means."
Except they both knew what it meant. Megumi didn't take chances on relationships unless there was something there. Even if she couldn't explain it right now, or if she just didn't want to, Megumi felt something for Mitsuru and was going to find out what.
Alisa felt something change in the air. Her best friend was asking her for help in her own way, taking a risk that Alisa herself had been too scared to do. Megumi was taking a huge gamble, with her heart on the line.
Alisa wasn't going to let her take that leap alone. "Then you're going to find out. But I'm going to be here for you… every step of the way."
"Have you ever done this before?" Mitsuru helped her into the Ferris Wheel, watched her laugh as she nodded happily.
"It's my favorite!" She chirped in reply, moving in to stare out the window, pulling off the sunglasses she'd donned to avoid catching the attention of fans or press. Mitsuru did the same, sitting next to her easily. "Especially at the top when you can see everything! Alisa and I got on one to escape Aoi once, and we saw him looking for her from the window."
Mitsuru laughed, glancing out the window as they started rising. "Sounds like fun!"
"What about you? What adventures did you and your friends have?" Megumi asked, turning to look at him.
"Not much. Mostly we competed over girls," Mitsuru joked, running a hand through his hair easily. "Normal boy stuff. Girls wouldn't understand."
Megumi tossed her head back proudly with a smile. "Try me."
"Nah, it's been way too long. That's all boy stuff; I'm a man now and that's irrelevant," Mitsuru decided, guessing that Megumi might actually understand if he told her. She certainly wasn't like other girls.
Megumi sent him a glance, telling him that she knew exactly what he was thinking. "Oh, I see. So, what adventures do men have?"
Mitsuru grinned, glad to see her teasing. "Well, we don't brag about girls –women- anymore. At least, the good ones don't. The good ones work on flirting and finding the right woman. Mostly."
"Mostly?" Megumi raised an eyebrow skeptically, folding her hands on her lap.
"Well, we are men. If finding the right woman leads us to a few good experiences before that…" Megumi laughed and pushed Mitsuru's shoulder gently, looking out the window peacefully.
Mitsuru hesitated, then took Megumi's hand in his own, looking out the window with her, relaxing when she didn't pull away. Megumi glanced over her shoulder, slightly taken back by how close his face was to hers, how serious his eyes were when they met her own.
"Of course… being men, we're not ready when the right woman shows up," Mitsuru whispered, staying in place for a moment before drawing back slightly, smiling as he looked out the other window while Megumi was left staring, her heart racing in her chest so loudly she was sure he could hear it.
But she left her hand in his, even after they exited the Ferris Wheel and headed back home.
MBP: Okie-dokie, there it is! In case you're wondering, the italicized section at the end is something that happened when Megumi and Mitsuru went out to prove he's a nice guy. You know, the part I'm being evil about and not showing all the good stuff.
Rini: HEY! What is this? I WANNA SEE THE DATE!
Kio: Anyone else notice she didn't tell Alisa the details?
MBP: That's kind of the point dear boy. This is the turning point. But Yahiro should show up soon. Like... either in the next two chapters soon.
Rini: I'm not seeing much YahiroxMegumi action...
MBP: I PROMISE, THIS WILL BE A YAHIROXMEGUMI FIC! MitsuruxMegumi will not be the end result. But seriously? Five years of no Yahiro and only silence? The boy has to earn back the trust.
Kio: She just likes Mitsuru...
MBP: IGNORE THEM! Anyways, please send in a nice review telling me what you think and if you enjoyed it!