Oi, I apologize for the slow update. I've been down with a fever since the 9th, but, I tend to stay sick for a long time anyway, and it's not like I'm dying, so… on to reviews!
To Nexus Infinity: Yes, you are absolutely right. If you noticed when Luka was describing the drink to Miku however, she praises and expresses her liking of the bitter after-taste; it's also meant to represent a rather vague concept. Still, I feel like I should change the summary to "…prefer mine bitter"; alas, I'm too lazy.
To Angelia arcangel: Hehe, thanks for the compliment! I'm trying to update this particular series as often as possible. We'll see how it goes.
To vocaloidyurifans21: I love your username! *ahem* Here's your update, by the way.
To Truna: Oh, don't worry. This will become a full-fledged series… eventually… I think. Wait a minute, another review? *gasp* What a sweetie pie poopsy you are! Yes, I just called you a poopsy. Embrace it.
To Unknown: Awww, you're such a sweetheart! I'm fine with the way things are now, but thank you! You reinforced my confidence.
To M'lisss: Hmmm, where have I heard that name before? I actually considered making this a one-shot (or two-shot… is there such a thing, haha?), but decided that multi-chapters not only was a better format, but it's more comfortable for me too. Wow, thanks! It makes me happy to hear you say that; however, I'm afraid "religion" is going to play a bigger role (as you can probably already imagine), just not as much for the moment. I will try my best! Anti-slacking charm please?
To Azure-ZER0: Sounds a bit repetitive on my side now, but thanks! Here's your update!
Thanks to all who review, follow, favorite, and most importantly, read!
Warning(s): One little thing I forgot to mention (I think), but there's swearing. Just thought I should put it out there.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything besides this fan fiction.
I woke up.
I cursed over and over aloud, forcing myself to sit up and clamp my hands over my face to shield my eyes from the annoying sunlight streaming through the window. My head throbbed excruciatingly, the blood rush dulling my sense of hearing and thinking. I wanted to continue sleeping, but my throat was parched like someone had shoved down sandpaper in it, so I staggered off my cozy bed to fetch a glass of water. The effort of shuffling my way past the door with jelly like legs and a vision that could have seriously gotten me killed caused me to grow dizzy, but a sharp pain suddenly clawed at the insides of my stomach, and I bent over hugging my body desperately as if the action would ebb the agony away. As the cliché saying goes, I formed a fist and punched the poor wall supporting my balance, muttering, "I will never drink again." Now, I wasn't a stranger when it came to hangovers, but every time I got one, I swear, it's like you're reliving it all, only 100x worse than the previous episodes.
My feet crept on the tile floor in the tiny kitchen packed in the corner of the living room, the solid touch chilling my skin. I grabbed a cup and poured myself some water, licking my lips in anticipation as I watched the clear liquid gather steadily until it reached the rim. After effectively quenching my thirst and placing the glass in the sink, I slugged my way over to the patio leading outdoors. The sun shone down brightly without any traces of clouds in the blue sky and a gentle breeze greeted me, running through my hair. I took a deep breath and sighed, crossing my arms over one another and relaxing my body as well as settling my muddled thoughts on trying to remember what had exactly happened last night to make sure I hadn't done anything too incredibly stupid (something that I'm prone to doing when intoxicated) that I would have to embarrassingly fix sometime later. Once finished and convinced that I could show my face without paranoia to the public for now, I retreated inside, feeling refreshed and surprisingly free from my earlier torment. Sporting an impulsive and atypical drive to get a somewhat productive day going without wasting my time flopping around indoors, I glanced at the clock: 11:23 P.M. Not as late as I had presumably thought, but it would mean that I'd have to forget about a proper breakfast. I mentally formulated the schedule for today and settled for a morning shower, followed by getting some groceries for the week, and then perhaps walk around town or grab some lunch. All I knew was that I certainly didn't want to get any extra hours in for work, no matter how much they paid me; it was definitely time for a break. Once clean, I dressed in light wear consisting of a loose, plain indigo top, black skinny jeans, and my favorite pair of red All Stars, then grabbed my purse and car keys on my way out the front door.
I drove to the local supermarket that I visited every weekend. Generally because I'd been shopping there for years, I had become quite a friendly and familiar face among most of the staff. Two particularly close people who I'd become good friends with was the store manager Hiyama Kiyoteru, a tall, serious and sensible man with dark brown hair and thin glasses, and the soft-spoken, rather gloomy and insecure albino young woman named Yowane Haku. I rarely crossed paths with Kiyoteru these days since he was cooped up in the staff's quarters most of the time, but I always went to Haku's aisle when checking out the items I had bought. Today was no different. I stocked up on the usual: multiple bags of various vegetables and fruits, a loaf of bread, a carton of milk and juice, condiments, and, most importantly, 50 delicious containers of freshly packed prize tuna, imported from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. I made some small talk with Haku for a while, seeing as how business appeared to be unusually slow that day. While I exclaimed my relief on finishing the "short-term" project, she coolly explained in her characteristically depressed tone how one of her distant cousins managed to finally land a job and how another one of her many cousins would be moving in with her starting next week. Although Haku tended to keep her composure calm and expression dull, I could tell her words were laced with eagerness and her ruby eyes had a minor gleam to them.
We exchanged good byes and I left outside to pack my provisions in the car. As I sat in my seat yanking the door to my side shut and inserted the key in the ignition, I mulled over on what to do next, drumming my slender fingers across the steering wheel. I still wasn't exactly hungry, and I wasn't in the mood to visit any other nearby stores or just loiter around. Eventually, I drove off in the direction of my company workplace out of instinct and lack of any other better ideas. Parking my car in the parking lot upon arrival, I headed for my department building and soon reached my cubicle. I didn't want to work, but I really had nothing better to do and wanted to finish my assignment for next week quickly. It was a simple background scenery of nature for the location of an area in some minor PC game. Wanting to make the process at least a bit interesting, I grabbed my laptop from a drawer along with my usual set and headed back out, intending to walk to Kindan Park, a small and abandoned forestry terrain that I had come to enjoy going to due to its solitude. I didn't bother to use my car since it was just a half-mile's stroll away. On the narrow trail littered leaves, sticks, and stones, the sidelines choked by unkempt weeds and tufts of wild grass. I always disliked this path due to its eerie demeanor; the tall trees everywhere blocking out all light didn't help. Still, I hummed a random tune and continued on my way until I reached the end of the way, which disappeared under a thick layer of earth. My destination was a slim opening between two large trees, which I shimmied on through. The sight that welcomed my eyes never ceased to amaze me.
Unlike the transition I had trekked, the grass here was trimmed down, lush and soft to the touch. It was a natural clearing, a large meadow with a fair amount of sunlight reflecting all it touched. Different fields of flowers developed in patches and many small creatures were no strangers scurrying within them. The only sign of man's interference was a tiny, wooden bench that settled on top of a slight hill, hiding in the shade provided by a large tree. When I reached the peak to sit down and begin working, I didn't expect to see a familiar face, albeit sleeping. I instantly recognized her from her teal locks framing her peaceful face. The young girl, her petite frame curled in a fetal position across the bench seat, wore a white low-cut shirt underneath a long, dark grey cardigan with navy jeans and white casual shoes. After a while I caught myself ogling at the girl from head-to-toe and wrenched my gaze away. A soft breeze danced by, charming the snoozing grass and gathering up leaves and scented flower petals.
"…Miku," I whispered to the air, recalling her cute name. She stirred slightly and I sat down on the ground, my mouth shut and back facing her, not wanting to rouse her from her dreams. I turned on my laptop and connected the tablet, deciding to just begin working anyway with a flick of my stylus. Some time passed and I had gotten just a little bit done, often distracted by the unconscious newcomer. Once I heard her snort loudly, causing me to quickly shove a fist in my mouth to prevent from bursting out in a fit of giggles. As I focused on perfecting the florae, a warm breath tickled at the back of my neck, a rather sensitive weakness of mine. I yelped and dropped my pen at the contact, placing a free hand at the affected area.
"Megurine, Luka," Miku's angelic voice tenderly uttered.
It wasn't until I had turned around to face Miku that I realized how close I was to her, our faces merely inches apart. The tealette's eyes were clouded with fatigue from just waking up, but she seemed to be curious and surprised, probably at my "too close for comfort" presence. We engaged in a stare-down, until Miku looked over my shoulder and cocked her head, questioning, "What are you doing?" I went back to my laptop screen and immediately minimized the page displaying my artwork, which I had suddenly become very mindful about, then closed the device shut altogether. Chuckling nervously, I ran a hand through my hair and answered, "Nothing special." "Hmph," I heard from behind, and could easily imagine the tealette with her arms crossed over her chest with an adorable pout. I snickered and, in an attempt to switch the subject, faced her again and asked, "So what are you doing sleeping in a place like this anyway?" Miku sat upright, making a tiny stretch then straightening out her clothes and slightly disarrayed twin-tails. "As soon as I stumbled upon this place, I began coming here all the time when I'm on my lunch break from work. Today I just happened to snooze off, so I guess there goes my lunch time," she yawned. She looked like a cat just then, an extremely cute one too. So cute I could just squeal if she put on a pair of cat ears on all fours and- God… what was wrong with my imagination these days? Get your head out of the gutter! I thought while my eye twitched annoyingly.
I snapped to attention with a "Huh?" Miku mischievously smirked, a new expression I hadn't experienced. "I asked you the same thing, silly. What are you doing here? And don't think you can sneak away from that secretive picture you were drawing just now."
She propped her porcelain-like elbows up, her hands cradling her face and waited for an explanation. I knew it was pointless avoid the matter any longer, no matter how embarrassed I was about it, and muttered to the side, "I-it's my occupation." Miku's quizzical face turned to that of excitement at my words. She started bouncing in her seat and playfully reached for my laptop, to which I snatched away before she could even touch it. "Lemme see, oh please? That's so cool Luka! I've never met anyone with such fun job before! Oh please, may I see it?" I blushed at her unexpected praise and held my computer to my chest defensively. "Y-you really think so?" Miku paused and made that lovable cock of her head. "Why wouldn't I? There's nothing better than having a creative, successful job, unlike me, who's stuck working part-time at an unknown café with minimum wage," she laughed softly. I stored the sudden knowledge to the back of my head and then drawled timidly, "Well… it's just that… I… uh, find it a little… humiliating that I have such a… "geeky" job, you know? I'm no elaborate artist; I'm just a simple game developer." I hung my head in shame.
All of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain in my cheeks. No, I wasn't slapped (A/N Though even I thought that after reading through this again o.o). It turned out that Miku was pulling on them with a frown directed towards me. She then let go of her deadly pinches and huffed, "Geez Luka, the way you over-think things and space out all the time irritates me but," she made eye contact with me, "I can't help but think that you're just so… so… cute." I stopped rubbing at my sore cheeks and observed Miku hesitate at what she had just said. A pregnant silent permeated the atmosphere, and I watched the blood steadily rush to her face, as well as my own. We sort of just sat there stupidly, not knowing how to break the ice. I coughed but then realized how awkward it must've been for her, since I felt the same; I just wasn't nearly as blunt. I stood up, grabbing my belongings, and sat down next to Miku, who was still flustered and playing with her hair. Smiling gently, I placed my hand over hers to stop her skittish movements. "Thank you, Miku. I think you're really pretty." She gaped at me for a while, but then nodded and smiled brightly, causing a wide grin to etch across my face as well. A soft ringing of what seemed to be bells chimed from within Miku's pocket, interrupting our short moment of bliss. Miku checked her phone and informed me that it was an alarm for her to get back to work soon. She stood up and grabbed a handbag which I hadn't noticed earlier. "Did you eat yet," she casually asked me, adjusting the bag over her shoulder. I focused on my stomach, and after realizing that I was indeed famished, I nodded. Miku's back was faced towards me though, so I sounded, "Mmhmm." She turned and grabbed my hand, jolting me up off the bench with a special glint in her teal irises reflecting the sunlight. "Let's go then!" Miku urged me to walk quickly down the hill in the direction back to civilization, so I followed obediently.
It wasn't until we were passing through the crowded, dark path that I inquired the younger girl with a soft chuckle, "So… where are we going exactly?"
"Back to Common Grounds, of course! I'll pay for your lunch there!" she replied enthusiastically, still dragging me with her small hand at a rapid pace that was hard for me to keep up with.
I couldn't help becoming suspicious of Miku. After all, we had literally only met just yesterday, and that was over a trivial conversation merely between a waitress and her customer. So why did she want to treat me as if we were close friends who haven't met in ages? "I… want to get to know you better," Miku shyly admitted, interrupting my thoughts and clearing my doubts. We were now out of the woods and walking on the grey pavement lining the borders of the city. "Ha, it's weird. I don't know why, but I feel like I just need to be friends with you. After meeting you, I couldn't get you out of my head. Sorry if it sounds creepy." The tealette let go of my hand at that point and allowed me to continue in my comfort. I felt a little disappointed and shoved my now warm hand in a pocket, deciding to stay quiet. The two of us reached the small café in a matter of minutes, but the walk felt like an hour due to the unsettling silence between Miku and me. We entered the building, Miku heading towards the interior of the staff quarters and I making my way to the same corner I was at the day before. I waited patiently for Miku's return, who appeared to be the only waitress available. I marveled at how the shop could function without her presence, but after taking a look at the vacant surroundings, the thought wasn't so difficult to figure out. After stalking the pedestrians outside for a bit, I went through the menu looking for a suitable meal since it didn't seem that Miku would be coming back any time sooner. I was mildly surprised to see that the place actually did sell foodstuffs such as light sandwiches, salads, and soups. It was extremely perplexing for this eatery to be so empty. Maybe I should tell my coworkers about this place, I considered. I decided on a tuna sandwich with a glass of raspberry iced tea then pulled out my smartphone, scrolling through several apps. I checked up for my daily Bible verse: "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." –Psalm 37:4, I read. From my peripheral vision I could sense the girl approaching, so I shrugged off the quote and set my phone aside.
"Sorry I took so long. I persuaded my manager to let me have my lunch break extended. I'll still take your order though, if you've already made your mind," Miku said. She was now sporting a white dress shirt laced with a red ribbon underneath a simple but long black apron, black leggings, and black heels. The conventional outfit fitted Miku well, somehow making her seem much older and more mature than her casual wear. I relayed my order to her and again waited until the girl returned with it and her own lunch in a bento box. She sat down across from me and revealed her meal's contents. Packed neatly in tiny compartments was steamed rice, egg rolls, pasta salad, and a whole 'nother box of grilled… leeks? While Miku recited, "Itadakimasu" and proceeded to wolf down a mouthful of leeks, I made a hasty, silent prayer and began eating as well. As we ate and drank in the peaceful room, we talked about how we had come to live in Sapporo, the fourth largest city in Japan. I learned that Miku had moved from a smaller city located in Hokkaido. She told me that she transferred from staying in community college for only a year into Hokkaido University (which was quite impressive), and now was living with a relative. "How about you," asked Miku, nibbling on a leek stalk. I sipped my lemonade then said, "I used to live in England with my parents and also completed college there, but moved here because there were better job opportunities." Miku cocked her head. "Eh? But… you don't seem like a foreigner. Your Japanese is really good!" I laughed and waved my hand no. "I'm Japanese; I just didn't grow up here." Miku suddenly became very excited. "Can you speak English fluently then?" I nodded. She squealed and requested for me to speak some sentences for her. I thought for a moment, and then joked, "Miku is an idiot. I like tuna." She pouted. "Geez Luka, even I can understand that much! You're mean," she whined. At that point we had both finished eating. Miku leaned towards me with a serious expression. "Interview time!"
"You heard me," she huffed. "Answer all my questions as fast and accurately as you can. I'll reward you with a cup of coffee." Although the proposition was sudden and peculiar, the temptation seemed promising, so I agreed. Who can say no to free coffee? Anyway, this is how the "interview" went:
"Haha, what is this? Female."
"Getting a bit personal now, are we? Well, I think I'm around 5'6'', and my weight is a secret, baka."
"Hmmm, sleeping, reading, drawing, music, etc."
The conversation went like that for a while, and after I received some iced coffee, I asked Miku back the same questions. This is how she answered: "Hatsune Miku; Female… last time I checked, hehe; 19 years old; 5'2 AND ½"; If you're not going to tell me your weight, then I guess I won't either!; Singing, eating, dancing, socializing with friends, the works…" We started pulling out random subjects from then on, ranging from our worst "road rage" experiences to our favorite types of shampoo, just to stay in the other's presence for a while longer. But time was calling both of us; Miku had to eventually get back to work, with or without customers, and I decided I should return my electronic devices then head on home. We managed to exchange cell phone numbers and hinted creating plans to meet up on another weekend. When I was back in my apartment, I locked the door behind me and made my way to the sofa, letting out a small "Oomph" as I sprawled out across the leather material comfortably. I turned on the television and watched some type of wildlife documentary for a good half an hour before my eyes started to slowly close. I was about to take a nice nap before I felt my phone vibrate, temporarily dissipating my drowsiness. Emitting a low groan of frustration, I checked the screen to see that there was a message from Miku. My mood instantly lit up and I opened the digital letter:
Subject: hihi! c:
Ehehe, hello Luka! it's only been an hour or so since I talked to you, but… um, yeah! I hope i'm not bothering you. anyway, I came up with an official date that we can meet up again. How does next saturday sound? if you're not busy, of course.
text back! Oh and stop stressing about work! Baka!
I smiled, rereading the girl's cute text until I could nearly memorize it, capitalization errors and all. Around my third time just creepily going through word by word, I stopped at the word "date" and blushed a little. I knew she hadn't meant it like that, but the mail overall really did seem to be something you'd see between a boyfriend and girlfriend. My fingers started pressing letters before I knew it.
Subject: Re: hihi! c:
Hey, Miku! Haha, it's alright. Yeah, that sounds great! I guess we can plan out what we're actually going to do later though, so give me a call or text if you've got any ideas.
Wow, I think you should stop worrying about me, midget! Just kidding, don't you go mentally hitting me now, haha! But, thanks.
Thanks for today, Miku.
I hit 'Reply' then turned over on my side, and fell asleep.