Ueda pulled his car in front of Naoko's apartment.
"Jana, Ueda," Naoko snapped as she grabbed her basket, "After this case I'm definitely not falling into your 'free hot spring' tricks!"
She shot him a heated look.
She pushed open the door but Ueda's hand stopped her from going out. Naoko looked at his hand, and then up at him.
"What's up?" she asked looking surprised.
Ueda was looking at his rear view mirror with a frown.
"Who's that?" he asked. Naoko looked t where he was looking and then sighed quietly.
"My stalker. Don't mind him, he's harmless."
"Is that right?" Ueda asked as he looked at her, "Are you okay with a stalker?"
Naoko blinked at the physicist for this newly found development in his character.
"Ueda-san," she said after while, "Could it be… you're worried about me?"
She gave him a smirk which he returned by making a face.
"I'm just saying," he said after awhile, "Its okay for girls to be liked by boys… but boys should never do stalking. Stalking is not a manly thing to do."
Naoko grinned at Ueda.
"Ueda-san, why are you suddenly worried about me?"
Ueda gave her one of his withering look.
"Are you an idiot?" he muttered in disbelief, "You're a woman living alone in an apartment plus you have no friends. Who else would worry about you except for me?"
Naoko stared at him with narrowed eyes.
"That would've sounded fine if you didn't add about not having friends," she muttered without breathing, "Don't worry about me, I can take care of myself."
Ueda just looked at her but didn't speak. Just then, his cell phone rang and he answered it.
Naoko gave him a frown.
"I'm going," she said as she pushed the door open, "Good evening, Ueda-san,"
Naoko stopped dead for a moment and looked back at the sensei.
"What? Now?" Ueda's eyes flickered even though he was frowning. Naoko saw it. "Alright, I understand. I'm on my way."
And he hung up. Naoko waited for him to say something.
"You," Ueda said after awhile as he turned to Naoko, "close the door already and lock yourself in your room."
"Why did Yabe call?" she asked in curiosity.
"It's nothing," he quickly said. Naoko gave him a straight look.
"You look happy," she mentioned and then pulled the door close with her still inside the car.
"What are you doing?" Ueda asked in confusion, "Didn't you say you're going?"
"I change my mind," she said stubbornly as she sat still in the passenger seat, "Let's go, Ueda."
Ueda gave her an incredulous look.
Moments later, Naoko found herself standing outside the door of a club with Ueda beside her.
"Is this where you were going?" Naoko asked with a sceptical look.
"Yabe said to meet him here," Ueda nodded quietly.
Naoko turned her heels on the opposite direction.
"Sayonara," she said but Ueda's firm grasp on her arm stopped her again. Naoko looked up at him in surprise.
"Are you an idiot?" he said as he looked down at her.
"Hai?" she asked looking confused.
"It's the middle of the night, stupid," Ueda said looking straight ahead, "Walking home is not a good idea even for a flat breast woman like you. Let's go inside."
Naoko looked outraged but he pulled her inside the club anyway.
Naoko was surprised to see a crowd of people inside the club. There was a spotlight for dancing, and there were tables for drinking and all places seemed to be occupied. What more, she was having a hard time trying to look ahead because all she could see were heads of unknown people around her.
"Let's go," Ueda said quietly to her.
"There's so many people," Naoko frowned as she clutched on her bag.
"Are you a hermit?" Ueda asked with a winning smirk on his face as he looked down at her, "Oh, right. Sorry for being so blunt."
Naoko bared her teeth at him.
"Let's go," he said again and then grabbed her right hand. Naoko was then dragged to the crowd. The way was narrow but Ueda proved to be useful as he easily made his way to them with Naoko right behind him.
As they made their way in, she couldn't help but feel a little gratitude at him. She noticed how tight his grip on her wrist was so she didn't worry about getting lost in the middle of the crowd. Ueda turned out to be concerned about her after all.
"Ueda-sensei!" Yabe's booming voice called from a table.
Ueda and Naoko both stopped in front of him as the inspector entertained them.
"You came! I knew it, Ueda-sensei cannot say no to beautiful girls, huh?"
Naoko blinked as Ueda smiled foolishly at the Inspector.
"You said she wants to meet me?" he asked politely that made Naoko look up at him.
"Of course, of course!" Yabe nodded looking triumphant, "Actually, sensei, she's been expecting you all night! I think sensei, this girl has a thing for you."
And Yabe pointed at the table were a beautiful woman was drinking. Ueda and Naoko's eyes rounded to see the woman in her beautiful dress watch the crowd quietly.
"She's definitely my taste," Ueda suddenly murmured and then dropped Naoko's hand. She shot him a look of confusion but the sensei already made his way toward the table.
"Wait!" Naoko said looking troubled as she tried to follow him but Yabe's arm stopped her all of a sudden.
"What are YOU doing here!" he bellowed in outrage,
"That's none of your business!" Naoko retorted back as she tried to reach Ueda.
"You are really a nuisance!" Yabe said quite rudely at her, "Ueda-sensei needs the company of woman, you know! Now beat it and sleep! Do you know what time it is?"
"I'm legally an adult," Naoko argued back as she was pushed back by the Inspector, "And besides, it was Ueda who brought me here—!"
Yabe hit her head with his palm.
"What's with the attitude? Respect Ueda-sensei, dammit,"
"Are you his fan or something?" Naoko muttered as she massaged her head. She then looked up and saw Ueda engross in talking to the pretty girl. Somehow, she didn't like the look of worship in his stupid face.
"Hey, go home already," Yabe was saying but Naoko has already made it past him, "Hey—!"
Naoko made her way toward the table and then stared at Ueda ad the girl.
"I want to go home, Ueda!" she said sounding a bit annoyed. Ueda looked at her while the girl blinked.
"Do you know her?" the girl asked the sensei. Ueda stared at Naoko.
"Uh, yeah, she's my 400th assistant."
"That's exaggerating it," Naoko mumbled.
The unknown woman smiled meekly at Naoko, and then put a hand on top of Ueda's hand. Naoko's eyes rounded and she shot the woman a look. Isn't she clingy?
"Jiro-chan, you want to talk about your books?" she asked sweetly that got Ueda's attention.
"Ahhh… which one…?"
Naoko was outraged.
"Ueda—!" but someone grabbed her from behind and pulled her toward the counter. "Hey!"
"Stop disturbing the sensei!" Yabe said as it turned out to be him, "Can't you see he's having fun?"
Naoko glared at Yabe, and then glanced back at Ueda and the woman who seemed to be talking sweetly.
"Isn't she very fast?" Naoko muttered with a frown. Yabe sat on the counter's stool chair and then ordered a drink.
"Slow women nowadays don't get any man anymore," the inspector said knowingly as he sneered at her, "Oh, sorry for being blunt about you."
Naoko gave him a sharp look. After awhile, she also sat on another stool next to Yabe.
"You gonna order a drink?" Yabe asked, and then turned to the bartender, "Another drink here!"
He then turned to Naoko again.
"You gonna pay for it?" he asked as the bartender placed a glass of wine in front of her.
"It's on Ueda," Naoko said and then gulped the alcohol in one drink.
"Oi," Yabe said as he blinked in surprise, "A kid like you should only be drinking milk."
"I told you I'm legally an adult," Naoko snapped with a frown.
A few minutes later, Naoko saw Ueda still talking to the woman. Feeling in bad mood, she took another shot from her glass and then pouted on the table.
"Neh, Yamada," Yabe started after awhile, "You like Ueda-sensei, don't you?"
"Hai?" Naoko glared at him.
"No need to hide it," Yabe said as he winked at her, "I can see through you!"
"Shut up," she rolled her eyes and then rested her chin on her arms which were on the table, "How can I like that guy… don't be stupid…"
"Ahh, but Ueda-sensei has everything a woman needs," Yabe continued with his eyes on Ueda at the table, "He's famous, rich and quite handsome like me—"
"—so it is understandable that women would try and hook up with him just like this one."
Naoko glanced back at Ueda and the pretty woman. They seemed to be still engrossed in their conversation.
"What's with that…" she muttered in annoyance as she gulped another drink, "Like any woman could last with him…"
"Don't jinx it," Yabe warned quietly.
"But she looks like someone who's not gonna do something good." Naoko found herself saying but then had to press her lips close. How can she say that about someone she doesn't even know the name?
"You can tell?" Yabe shot her a look. Naoko looked back.
"Actually, let's just say her intentions are not that clean," Yabe said that made Naoko frown.
"If you know about that why did you have her meet Ueda?" she asked heatedly.
"Well, she's good at convincing people!" Yabe defended himself but Naoko continued to give him a suspicious look, "Anyway, it's not like she can fool the smartest professor we know, right?"
"You sure want to bet your hair on that?" Naoko asked in disgust as she took another gulp from her glass. "You don't know Ueda well!"
"Do you?" Yabe shot her the question that made her froze. "so you do love him after all?"
"Why don't you just admit it? I'm really confused about the relationship between the two of you. Sometimes you help each other, sometimes you betray each other, and most of the time you try to get back at each other! I mean- what's with that? Can that be considered perfect match? What fools are you?" After his lecture, Yabe suddenly turned away from Naoko and said,"I'm going to the men's room first."
"That's fast," Naoko muttered as she was left to ponder to herself. Just then, somebody tapped her shoulder.
"Ueda, I want to go home," she said, turning to the person who tapped her. But it turned out to be another man that she doesn't know. "Ehh!"
"Hello there, pretty lady," the unknown man said and he gave her a smile.
Naoko blinked at him unsteadily.
"Can… can I do something for you?" she asked with a frown.
"Ah, I was just wondering why a pretty lady like you is alone here," the man said with a charming smile. Naoko blinked while still frowning.
On the other side of the room, Ueda nodded at the pretty woman in front of him, but then he suddenly noticed Naoko and the man talking to him. Frowning, Ueda saw the man reach out and touched Naoko's shoulder. Naoko, who seemed to be a bit drunk already, didn't even bother to tell the guy off. This made Ueda frown even deeper.
"Uhmm… Ueda-san?" the pretty girl in front of him asked uncertainly.
Ueda looked at her and then smiled apologetically.
"I'm sorry…" he muttered as he got up and made his way toward Naoko. When he reached them, he could hear the man persuading her to stand up. Naoko, being who she is, seemed stubbornly trying to stay where she was. When the unknown man tried to pull her, Ueda's hand shot out of nowhere and gripped the guy's wrist tightly.
"Hey," he said with serious eyes falling at the unknown guy, "What do you think you're doing?"
Naoko glanced behind her.
"Ueda!" she said sounding annoyed, "Tell this guy to shut up already,"
Ueda gave her a look and then sighed.
"Why are you drinking?" he asked with a frown, he then turned to the guy again and took a step toward him. That was when their height difference was emphasized.
And the guy immediately vanished from Ueda's sight.
"Ueda," Naoko said behind him that made the sensei look, "Ueda!"
"Bakka," Ueda said as he stood beside her, "Look at you all drunk, are you stupid?"
"Ueda…" she murmured, her head dropping down her arms on the table, "Ueda…"
"Why are you calling me?" he asked, "I'm right here. And why did you drink?"
"You're so stupid," she said after awhile, "Why do you look stupid when you talk to women?"
"What the…" Ueda muttered as he looked down carefully at the magician, "Talking in her sleep?"
"Ueda…" she whispered more, "Let's go home…"
The sensei gave her an exasperated look.
Yabe came out of the men's room and was surprised to see the pretty woman alone in the table.
"Eh? Amy-chan, where's Ueda-sensei!"
"He's gone," the girl with the name Amy-cha snapped as she grabbed her purse, "Why didn't you tell me he already has a girlfriend?"
And she walked out. Yabe blinked.
"Eh? Girl friend?"
Ueda drove the car with Naoko on the passenger's seat, fast asleep.
Ueda glanced at her and then back at the road.
"What do you want, woman?" he finally asked as he drove on, "And why am I talking to a drunk woman anyway? Didn't mother tell you not to drink? What if I'm not there? Who would have save you from those people? And to think they even considered you… what the…"
"Shut up, Ueda…" Naoko murmured in her sleep. Ueda gave her a look, and then she spoke more. "let's go home…"
"I am driving you home, bakka," he answered, "Hey, tell me why do you keep calling my name?"
Silence followed his question and Ueda almost berated himself for even asking. But to his great surprise, however, Naoko answered.
"Ueda's name sounds nice…"
The sensei slowly shot the sleeping magician a look.
"YOU… really think its nice?" he asked with a smirk.
"Hai… it also sounds so stupid…"
Ueda's happy face turned upside down and he went back on driving.
"Ueda… and his big penis…"
"Oi," Ueda's voice was firm, "Children could be reading this, woman…"
"Ueda… is a crybaby…"
"And you are a dull magician," he decided to answer back some real facts too.
"Ueda always faints…"
"And you only have one audience."
"Ueda is vegetarian…"
"You hog everything your hand touches."
"Ueda's car name is Jiro…"
"You own two turtles?"
"Ueda… always knocks his head on the ceiling…"
"While you never follow what you are told."
"Bakka," she muttered after a moment that surprised him. He thought for a moment that she was awake, but then she started snoring.
"Unbelievable," he muttered as he turned on a corner, "There are plenty of things I'd like to say to you too, but I will save all of that when you wake up, you flat breast woman,"
Naoko continued to snore loudly.
After a few moments, Ueda stopped his car once more in front of Naoko's apartment.
"Don't tell me I have to carry you up there…?" he asked the sleeping Naoko, "Really…"
"I… like Ueda…"
Ueda's eyes suddenly rounded. Did he hear her right?
Naoko snored again.
"Stupid Ueda," she added.
Ueda Jiro blinked at her and then after a moment, he sighed in defeat.
"I give up," he said as he opened his car door and rounded to get her, "I'm no match to you after all."
The next morning, Naoko got up and stretched.
"Awake, are we?"
Naoko thought her neck would break as she shot Ueda a look. He was quietly sipping a hot coffee on her table.
"Ueda-san! What are you doing here!" she asked in surprise and confusion.
"Well, I just carried you here last night after you stupidly get yourself drunk," he said with a small frown on his face. Naoko blinked, and then wrapped her arms around her.
"What... what did you do to-"
"Don't be an idiot," Ueda hissed at her with a face, "I wouldn't even dare to touch you..."
Naoko glared at him.
"So why are you still here?"
"Well... you said you have a stalker, right? How can I leave you here all defenceless and drunk?" the sensei asked testily. Naoko felt her cheeks burned at his words.
"...ah... Is that so?" she mumbled, feeling a little bit uncertain, "Thank you... you can go home now, Ueda-san..."
Ueda glanced at her and then sighed.
"I should really go home now since Amy-chan is going to wait for me this lunch..."
That got Naoko's attention.
Ueda smirked at her as he stood up and stretched.
"It's called a date, Yamada Naoko," he said and headed for the door.
Naoko blinked after him and then called him back, "Wait-!"
Ueda glanced back at her and then winked,
"No need to get jealous now," he said after a moment, "I'm just going to ask her to give back the books I left on the table, then we can talk about us."
"Huh?" Naoko looked even more confused. "What do you mean 'us'?"
Ueda opened the door and then stood just outside it.
"Well, you were the one who confessed how much you like me after all, so I'm giving you time to recollect your thoughts. We'll talk about us later. Jana."
Naoko stared after him in disbelief and then made a face.
It's almost time.
Arigatou for sharing TRICK drama... (",)