DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN GUNDAM

CHAPTER TWO

"LET'S GUNPLA!"

"Keiko-chan, did you forget something?" A middle-aged man with a moustache greeted us when we entered the shop. He was wearing a black shirt and a pair of faded jeans. He was taller than Vinny and seemed to be in good shape for a guy his age.

"Change of plans, Juro-chan. I'm gonna fight this guy." Keiko pointed to Vinny.

"Oh." The man smiled as he approached us. "Hello. My name is Juro Watanabe and I am of the owner of this shop." He politely introduced himself in English and shook Vinny's hand. "Welcome to Juro's Model Works." He spoke slowly and carefully but his pronunciation was good. He must have a lot of experience dealing with foreigners.

"He's fluent in Japanese." I said and rubbed the back of my head while looking away.

"Is that so?" He heaved a sigh of relief. "Well thank goodness. Speaking in English can be a pain in the neck." He laughed. "No offense, kid."

"None taken!" Vinny smiled. "My name is Vincent Harvey but you can just call me Vinny."

"And you can just call me Juro." He shook his hand again. "It's a pleasure to meetcha!"

"Same here, dude."

"Aaaaand you are?" Watanabe-san then shifted his attention to me.

"Tachibana." I said softly with my head down. "Tachibana Isamu."

"Oh c'mon! You can do better than that!" Keiko slapped my back hard. "Put some energy into it! Be gloomy in school but not here! This is sacred grounds, buster!"

"Hahahahahahahahaha!" Watanabe-san's hearty laugh rocked the whole store. "Don't be so hard on the kid, Keiko."

"But he's so depressing! He's all doom and gloom!" My classmate rolled her eyes as she sat on the counter.

"Leave me alone." I said sharply.

"I hear you were pretty normal last year. You even had friends. So what happened to you? Did you break up with your girlfriend or something?" Keiko giggled.

"I said leave me alone!" I raised my voice.

"Ooooooooookay now!" Vinny quickly stood between me and Keiko. "Peace, my Gunpla friends. If you really want to go at it then I suggest Gunpla Battle."

"Geez. What's with you, Tachibana?" Keiko frowned and played with her hair.

"I'm sorry." I sighed. "I didn't mean to snap at you like that, Minaguchi-san."

"She's right on the money, isn't she?" Watanabe-san was sharp enough to notice.

I didn't say anything. I just shrugged and looked away. These people should just mind their own darn business.

"Well let's leave it at that." The shop owner smiled and rubbed his hands. "Anyway, lemme set up the battle system. It's time for Gunpla Battle, kiddies!"

"Let's Gunplaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" Keiko got off the counter and did another ridiculous pose.

"Let's Gunplaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" Vinny copied her and raised his arms like a little kid.

"Now you say it." Keiko poked my chest again.

"What?"

"Say it."

"Why?"

"Just do it!" She shrieked.

"What if I don't want to say it?" I smirked and crossed my arms.

Keiko then produced a weird-looking Gunpla. "I'll pull your pants down and this Agg will use its drills to infiltrate YOUR Jaburo."

"That what is gonna what my what now?"

"Just say it, Tachibana-kun." She glared.

"What the hell is a Jaburo?"

"TA-CHI-BA-NA-KUUUUUUN!" Her eyes started twitching.

"Let's Gunpla." I said in a slow and monotone voice.

"Yay." The three of them clapped their hands.

"I hate you guys."


Watanabe-san led us to the back room and I was surprised to see how big and wide it is. There's enough space to fit fifteen to twenty people here. The walls were decorated with Gunpla posters and weird graffiti. There's a large flat-screen TV mounted on the wall and the sound system looked pretty high-end. Next to it was a large shelf containing a collection of neatly arranged Gundam DVDs, Blu-Rays, manga, novels, magazines and other Gundam related merchandise. There were also two large glass cases displaying various Gunpla model kits. I even spotted a small bar near the corner of the room! I mean holy crap they serve drinks and snacks here! The Gunpla Battle table was in the middle of the room as expected and it's big alright. I've seen some in the mall but those can't compare with this one. Watanabe-san sure went all out with this set-up.

"This is pretty impressive." I said under my breath. "You must have spent a fortune here, Watanabe-san."

"Totally worth it." The man smiled proudly.

Keiko sat comfortably on the couch near the bar and crossed her legs. "This place is the best. I play here all the time."

"Isamu-kun, I think I just found my new hangout." Vinny can't contain his excitement. He was so giddy that he can't stop moving around.

"Let's begin." Watanabe-san announced and the two Fighters got ready.

"I didn't bring mine today so I'll be picking one from your collection, Juro-chan." Keiko said. "If you don't mind that is."

"I don't mind." He said and fired up the battle system.

"You feeling it, dude?" Vinny asked me while looking at his Gunpla.

"Feeling what?"

"Never mind." He stretched his arms and neck. "Just watch. I'll give you one hell of a show, man. It'll blow you away."

"Right." I smiled dryly and found myself a chair. "Break a leg."

"Here we go!" Both he and Keiko stood on opposite sides of the table, facing one another. "You ready, Keiko-chan?

"You bet."

"Please set your GP base." The battle system's computerized voice said.

Both Vinny and Keiko carefully set their GP bases. They looked at me almost at the same time and smiled smugly. These two were really getting on my nerves.

"Beginning Plavsky Particle dispersal." Both Fighters were surrounded by various blue holographic monitor screens to make it look like they're inside a mobile suit's cockpit.

Ah, The Plavsky Particles - mysterious particles that revolutionized Gunpla and brought the second Gunpla boom.

Just what the heck are Plavsky Particles anyway, I thought. Its unique properties can breathe life into Gunpla models and make them do amazing things. I tried looking it up on the internet before but I didn't get much. PPSE, the company that made the particles, are keeping their lips sealed. I guess I can't blame them for monopolizing it for obvious reasons. It's just that I can't help but feel uneasy about it but it's really none of my concern so I really shouldn't read too much into it. Bah! Let's just get this over it so I can go home and sleep.

"Field Three, Forest." The computerized voice announced the location of the fight and a holographic image of a forest appeared on top of the Gunpla Battle table.

"Field Three is good." Vinny said. "A good balance of open spaces and cover. In my humble opinion this field is perfect for beginners or when you're testing the waters."

"Please set your Gunpla." Both Fighters nodded and carefully placed their Gunpla on the table.

Vinny's Gunpla sported a gold color scheme and it was quite eye-catching. Gundam is supposed to be about realistic war stories, right? I mean who in their right minds would paint their giant war robot gold? I mean that's like asking for attention! It's too conspicuous! You might as well paint a giant frigging bullseye on your chest and wave around like an idiot. I mean they're in space, right? Can't they just paint their mobile suits black or something? That's strategy right there. Wait, wait, wait! Maybe this is just a custom color, right? Maybe the original didn't have such a shocking and fancy paint job. Being imaginative and going beyond the source material is what Gunpla is all about, right? But why pick the color gold? For attention? Does Vinny-san want to taunt his opponents or something? Aaaaaaargh! I'm doing it again! I'm reading too much into it! Just watch, Isamu! Just watch!

"Heh. That Hyaku Shiki sure looks snazzy." Keiko smiled. "I noticed the wing binders look kinda different. I think it's bigger and is packing more thrusters. The rifle is also new - it's longer and has a revolver-style grenade launcher attachment. The barrel sure has a peculiar shape. Is it an assault rifle? Looks like one. I mean it has to be judging from the shape and design. Interesting. Very interesting, Vinny-san. Oh and I just noticed it now! The forearms look bigger too and, if I'm not mistaken, this thing packs quite a punch. Literally! Maneuverability, firepower and melee. The whole shebang! The modifications are pretty subtle but there is absolutely no doubt your Gunpla is a monster."

"Crap." Vinny was shocked by Keiko's insight. "Isamu, your classmate is one scary chick."

"You have no idea." Both me and Watanabe-san said at the same time.

"Anyway, what about yours, Keiko-chan? Looks like you're using an Adele Cannon. Pretty basic and straight-up. No signs of modifications."

"Simple is best, no?" She waved her finger. "Okay not really but I'm fond of the Adele's design even if I didn't like Gundam AGE."

I stood up and took a closer look. The Adele's design was simple and clean alright but I guess I can see why Keiko likes it. The head was pretty round and the face of the Gunpla was covered by some weird visor. Two cannons were mounted on both shoulders and they looked pretty powerful. It's also armed with the usual rifle and shield. I just nodded my head and went back to my seat.

"Battle start." The computerized voice announced the start of the fight and a pair of yellow orbs appeared in front of the Fighters. These floating holographic orbs were used to control the Gunpla. I found the design quite odd but ingenious at the same time.

"Vincent Harvey. Hyaku Shiki Opera. Launching!" Vinny yelled as his Gunpla launched from the catapult and landed on the forest.

"Minaguchi Keiko, also known as the Smiling Merciful Panty Hunter-

"Oh brother." Watanabe-san sat next to me and shook his head.

"What!?" She gave the shop owner a puzzling look.

"Just launch." I said. "What's with the weird nickname?"

"Minaguchi Keiko. Adele Cannon. One day I will create a harem of beauties-

"JUST LAUNCH ALREADY, YOU IDIOT!" I screamed. "Holy crap! Minaguchi-san, just what the heck is wrong with you!?"

"Boooooooooo!" Her Adele launched from the catapult.

Aaaaaand here we go!

"Okay, okay, okay!" Keiko licked her lips. "Where the heck did you go?"

Vinny came out from behind a large tree and squeezed off a shot. "Yahallo!"

"Nope!" The Adele turned around and blocked the shot with its shield. Keiko then quickly used the Gunpla's back thrusters to jump and fired both of the cannons at the Hyaku Shiki.

"Damn!" Vinny managed to avoid the blast in time thanks to the Hyaku Shiki's extra thrusters. He aimed the assault rifle but Keiko already fired the Adele's left three-tube missile launchers the moment her Gunpla landed on the ground. She's definitely not giving him any breathing space. "Damn it." He used the Gunpla's...uh...head...uh...head machine guns or something to shoot down the missiles. Oh I remember now! I think I overheard some of my classmates calling them vulcan guns. Yeah. Let's stick with calling them vulcan guns then. "Geez! Keiko-chan, you're frigging relentless!"

"I close my eyes and think nothing but panties!" The Adele picked up momentum before using the back thrusters again to charge forward while the Hyaku Shiki was busy shooting down the incoming missiles. "Because panties give me strength!" She then used the Adele's shield to bash the Hyaku Shiki's head and quickly turned around to deliver a round house kick that sent Vinny's Gunpla crashing into a nearby tree. Holy crap! Keiko is on a roll here! "Especially Onee-sama's panties! They smell like warm sunflowers and strawberries!" She grabbed the Hyaku Shiki's head and smacked it again with the Adele's shield. "I know because I already stole a pair!" She screamed. I just covered my face with my hands and shook my head while Watanabe-san grunted uncomfortably. Seriously, what the heck is wrong with this crazy girl?

"Oh man, oh man, oh man." Vinny was getting nervous.

"Warm sunflowers and strawberries!" Keiko swung the Adele's shield again.

"Warm sunflowers and strawberries, eh?" Vinny saw the attack coming this time and blocked the shield with the Hyaku Shiki's left arm. He then punched Keiko's Adele right in the face with the other arm, cracking the visor.

"Onee-sama's warm sunflowers and strawberries!" Keiko's eyes were twitching and the Adele took a step back before regaining its balance.

"Well shit." Vinny fired the vulcan guns again but the Adele quickly ducked. "Now I wanna smell her panties too." He laughed as he jumped back. He aimed his assault rifle and fired a grenade. "Wait, who's Onee-sama again? Is this some sort of incest thing?"

"Tch!" Keiko managed to jump out of the way before the grenade exploded but it was a fragmentation grenade and the Adele's upper body was hit by several shrapnel. The Gunpla's visor was now completely shattered, exposing its inner face. "Oh good one! Now eat this!" The Adele knelt down and fired both cannons. "And this!" She jumped again and fired her rifle wildly. "And this and this and this and this!"

"Oh crap!" Vinny's Hyaku Shiki got hit in the left shoulder before he could find cover behind a large boulder. The ground then shook as the Adele landed and unleashed its remaining missiles. He quickly fired both his assault rifle and vulcan guns to intercept before he got hit but Keiko was already going for the next attack. She tossed her shield aside and pulled out her…uh…I believe it was called a beam saber. Man, all these Gundam terminologies sure are weird and me knowing them is weirder. I guess Gunpla is so wide-spread these days that even a normal dude like me are kinda familiar with some of the terms and not to mention I'm surrounded by classmates who talk about it non-stop in school. They even build Gunplas during free time so it's no wonder I unconsciously pick up some Gunpla-related things. Anyway, she pulled out one of the Adele's beam sabers and was ready for the kill. I gotta give her credit though, she may be weird but she sure knows how to fight.

"Vinny-san, look out!" I warned.

"I see her, buddy!" Vinny said as Keiko brought the beam saber down, hoping to slice his Gunpla in half but he managed to avoid the attack in time. "Shit! That was frigging close! That was really frigging close!" She then turned around and swung the blade again, this time she's aiming for the neck. The Hyaku Shiki quickly grabbed the Adele's arm in time before it could slice the Gunpla's head off and punched it in the face again. Keiko's Gunpla stumbled for a bit and Vinny was now going for the counterattack. He repeatedly punched the Adele and sent the Gunpla crashing down to the ground with a thundering knee to the cockpit. "Payback time!" He chuckled as he approached the downed Adele and planted the Hyaku Shiki's right foot on the Gunpla's face, hoping to crush the head. I cringed after hearing the plastic snap. Man, this is getting intense.

"I'm…not…gonna…lose that easily!" Keiko was still holding the beam saber and stabbed the Hyaku Shiki right in the face! "Hahahahahahahaha!" Her laugh was almost like a roar and I shuddered after hearing it.

"Damn it." Vinny gritted his teeth and fired the vulcan guns again. The bullets completely tore the Adele's head off and the Gunpla was now headless. "Hah! How do you like that?"

"You'll pay for that!" Keiko growled and fired her beam cannons. The Hyaku Shiki managed to pull the beam saber out of its head and dodged the incoming shots but lost its right arm in the process. Both Gunplas were now heavily damaged.

"Whoa…" I can't believe it. This is getting way too intense. I saw one match before years ago and I thought it was nothing special but this one is different. They're going at it like there's no tomorrow! Oh crap. I think I'm actually enjoying this. I can't believe I'm enjoying this fight. I mean they're just fighting with toys but for some reason I can't help but feel really excited. I know it's kinda silly but I just can't deny this feeling. This is just too awesome!

"You want some snacks?" I was so captivated by the fight that I didn't notice Watanabe-san offering me a bag of potato chips and a glass of soda.

"Uh…I...well..."

"It's on the house, kid." He smiled.

"I see. Well I did make it a personal rule to never turn down free snacks." I said and accepted his offer.

"I'd offer you beer but you're still in high school." He laughed. "Anyway, these two are really into it. Keiko really goes wild when she fights."

"You can say that again." I opened the bag of chips. "But she's wrecking your Gunpla. Is that okay with you, Watanabe-san? She's going all out like she owns the thing."

"I would be disappointed if she didn't."

"What do you mean?" I took a sip of my soda. "I'm pretty sure you worked hard building that Adele and you're cool with it being destroyed just like that? Now that I think about it, why do you Gunpla fanatics do this? You guys spend so much time and effort building these awesome models but then you wreck them just so you can recreate and enjoy your favorite battles from the Gundam anime? I guess that's pretty cool at first but I dunno. It feels like a waste if you ask me even if the fights are fantastic and intense. So why? For the thrill of it? I mean it's practically an international sport now, eh? I'm sorry but I'm sure I'm not the first guy to ask this question."

"Well, that's just how Gunpla Battle is, kid." He crossed his arms. "Yes, we compete and sometimes completely destroy our Gunpla but that's the very reason why we work so hard in building them. Back in the old days, we build Gunpla merely as a hobby but now, we build Gunpla to prove our strength. Even if our models get trashed beyond recognition, we'll still keep repairing and building until we prove our machines are the strongest. That is Gunpla Battle."

"To prove your strength?" I chuckled. "No offense but that sounds like something from a shounen manga."

"Hahahahahahaha! Okay, how about this then: unlike in the anime, our lives are not at risk. There is no war for independence or human reformation. No politics or discrimination or any of that complicated crap. We do it only for fun and pleasure. That's why we can take it seriously. That's why we can be passionate about it. That's why we can let loose and go all out!" He clenched his fist. "No regrets, kid. No regrets."

"I…never really thought about it that way. That does seem…"

"Not my words, by the way. I just heard it from some old guy but ya gotta admit he makes a good point, right?"

"Gunpla Battle." I said under my breath and turned my attention back to the fight.

"Keiko-chan, are you still thinking about panties?" Vinny asked while smiling. The Hyaku Shiki's face was nothing but a big hole now.

The Adele slowly stood up. "Of course! I'm always thinking about panties!" She pulled out her other beam saber and was now dual wielding. The monitor screens around her flashed warning signs but she ignored them. "It's just a head. No biggie." She cracked her knuckles. "I still got the back-up camera running."

"My Gunpla is still good." Vinny also cracked his knuckles.

No it's not, you idiot. The monitor screens around you are going nuts too.

"You sure?" Keiko asked in a mocking tone.

"Oh hell yeah, baby!' He screamed in English and pulled out his assault rifle with the Hyaku Shiki's remaining arm. "I'm still good to go!" He fired.

"Hahahahahahahahahahaha!" Keiko laughed like a maniac again and fired her beam cannons as she retreated.

Vinny easily dodged the beam shots and fired back. "You're not even aiming anymore, are ya? You're just going crazy with your attacks, are ya?" He dodged another shot then fired his grenade launcher.

The Adele jumped as high as it can to avoid the grenade and continued its beam cannon barrage. "Whoa, whoa, whoaaaaaa!" The Gunpla suddenly went out of balance mid-air and crashed into the forest.

"Now's my chance!" Vinny rushed towards her location but he gasped when he saw her Gunpla suddenly charging towards him at full speed. "Holy shit!"

"Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaakeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Keiko screamed in English and swung both blades. "Are you having fun, Vinny-saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!?"

The Hyaku Shiki managed to avoid the first beam saber but the second one completely decapitated the Gunpla. "Of course!" A small beam bayonet appeared under the muzzle of the assault rifle and stabbed the Adele's left arm. "I'm having so much fun right now, Keiko-chaaaaaaaaaan!" He pulled the trigger and the left arm was obliterated along with the left beam cannon.

The Adele then used its remaining functioning thrusters to turn around and quickly severed the Hyaku Shiki's remaining arm. Vinny's Gunpla turned around too and kicked the Adele's remaining beam saber out of the Gunpla's hand. "Well let's say it together now!"

It was like a messed-up ballet dance or something. They just kept turning around and hitting each other like crazy. I was totally on the edge of my seat during that moment.

"Let's…" The severely crippled Hyaku Shiki took a step back and is now going for the final charge. The head and the arms are now gone so I doubt it could do anything besides a tackle or a kick but Vinny was still going for it anyway. I gotta admire his tenacity at least. He definitely wanted to end this fight with a bang.

"….Gunplaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" Keiko screamed and fired the Adele's right beam cannon, completely destroying the Hyaku Shiki. Watanabe-san stood up and started cheering and before I realized, I was cheering too.

"Battle ended."


After the match, we came back to the shop's front area. My heart was still racing. I could still feel the adrenaline and excitement but I really didn't wanna show it to the others. I was just too embarrassed since I acted like a jerk a while ago. Anyway, so that was Gunpla Battle. I guess I kinda understand the people who enjoy this stuff a little better now. I looked at Watanabe-san and thought about what he said to me a while ago. Their lives are not on the line and that is why Gunpla Fighters can go all out and enjoy this whole thing to the fullest. Maybe I should humor Vinny and give this Gunpla thing a shot after all. Heck, maybe I could even recover from this stupid depression and…

No regrets, kid. No regrets.

My mind suddenly went back to yesterday's scene with Kaede and I cried a bit. I sighed and glanced at Vinny and the others. They're still happily talking about the fight and I was glad they didn't notice me wiping my tears. No regrets, huh? Did I regret confessing to Kaede? I don't know. I wonder what would happen if I just kept my feelings to myself and didn't confess to her. Would things have stayed normal or would the inevitable happen anyway?

What the hell am I thinking? Don't be an idiot, Isamu. There's no point dwelling on it now. It happened and whether I regret it or not, nothing can be done anymore. I can't be her childhood friend anymore. She's gone. Kaede is gone. I have to accept the truth and face it like a man. She's never coming back and I can't be with her. I can't just run back to her and force the whole thing - it will only end in despair. I know that very well. I knew it since day one. So the best thing for now is to just give up on her and move on from this madness. Move on from this personal hell I made for myself. I realized that these eccentric and annoying people showed me something that day and that something will soon be the center of my life.

I just stood there and watched them talk for a while. These people are living their lives to the fullest and I should too. I should move forward.

So yeah. Just like what you said, Watanabe-san. Just like what you said.

"No regrets!" I suddenly cried and everyone gave me weird looks.

"Jaburo time?" Keiko's face lit up. "Juro-chan, hand me that Agg over there."

"Noooooo! No Jaburo!" I glared at her. "Stay away from me, you crazy person. You're messed-up, you know that?"

"Oh lighten-up, Isamu-kun." Vinny laughed. "It's just friendly Gunpla sodomy. You should be thankful she's not using the Apsalus to infiltrate your Jaburo. That's gonna hurt like hell."

"I'm sorry but my alignment is pretty low so I can't use the Apsalus. We have no choice but to make do with Agg-kun." She said sadly.

"Vinny-san, please translate." I said dryly.

"Pretty sure she just referenced the Gihren's Greed games." He chuckled.

"I don't know what that is."

"Wassup." Someone entered the shop. "Hey Juro-chan, I'm here to buy more decals." It was a boy around my age and he was carrying a large paper bag. His hair was bleached and about shoulder-length. He was also wearing glasses just like Keiko.

"Mii-chan!" Keiko waved.

"Oh God…" The boy was horrified to see her.

Keiko pointed to his paper bag. "Oh did you buy another eroge?" (AN: Eroge is erotic game or hentai game for non-weaboos)

"N-N-None of your business, you freak!" He took a step back and hugged the paper bag. "Oh and don't call me Mii-chan! I hate it when people call me Mii-chan!"

"But Onodera-san always calls you Mii-chan."

"Suzume's my childhood friend. Only she can call me Mii-chan."

Childhood friend, huh? I frowned and sighed.

"Booooooooooooooooooooooo!" Keiko puffed her cheeks. "Anyway, I wanna see your new game!" She suddenly tried to grab the paper bag but the boy resisted. "I wanna see your new eroge! I wanna see! I wanna see!"

"Oh crap! Juro-chan, help me!" The boy wailed.

"Staying neutral here." He patted the counter. "This area around here is now the Orb Union." He smiled and scratched his head. "Okay, that was kinda lame. You kids enjoy."

Good job, Mr. Adult. Good job. But then again, I can't blame you.

"Juro-chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" His scream was full of misery and hopelessness that I flinched. Vinny made an uncomfortable expression and just looked away.

"Hah!" Keiko managed to overpower him and placed her hand inside the bag. "Let's see here…" She licked her lips. "Ohohohohoho!" She pulled out a game case with really explicit images and read the title aloud. "My Childhood Friend is Now My Step-Mother."

"Hot damn." Vinny whistled. "Boy, it's been a while since I last played an eroge."

"Give that back!" Mii-chan struggled to get his game back but Keiko just pushed him away with ease. Just how weak is this guy?

"Hey the girl on the cover looks like Onodera-san." She giggled.

"Oh God no." He sobbed. "Please don't tell her about this! I'm begging you!"

"You two are so cute!" Keiko squealed. "Last time I saw her, she was complaining about you always being late for school but I can tell she's really worried. Now you're buying eroge with characters that resemble her. These two are straight out from a romantic comedy series, I tells ya."

"This is youth!" Watanabe-san laughed and did a thumbs-up.

"This is depressing." I sighed.

"Naaaah! This is funny." Vinny patted my back.

Funny, huh? Yeah, what a joke this is, I thought bitterly. I was just crying about Kaede a while ago and now this guy shows up. Last thing I need right now is a foil to show me how things could have been with Kaede. Yeah. Thanks a freaking lot for that. Rub it in my face.

"Oh Mii-chan!" Keiko tossed the game away but Vinny managed to catch it before it hits the floor. "I want you to meet these guys. This is my classmate, Tachibana Isamu, and this is his friend, Vincent Harvey."

"Pleasure meeting you, dude. You can just call me Vinny." Vinny was looking at the back of the game package and checking out the naughty pictures. "Man, this is pretty lewd. It says here this game has a total of forty sex scenes. Is this a Nukige?" (AN: Nukige is a kind of eroge that focuses more on erotic content than story and characters)

"Y-Yes." Mii-chan nodded. "Anyway, can I have it back now?"

"So you're one of those guys who are only into 2D girls or something?" I didn't know why I asked that since it was pretty obvious this dude was in love with his childhood friend but what the heck.

"Heck no! I like 3D girls too."

"He also watches regular AV." Keiko put her arm around his waist. "Nobody is safe from this naughty boy! From lolis to cougars!"

"W-What are you doing, Minaguchi!?" He blushed.

"Mii-chan, you're so soft and you smell so nice even if you're a pervy otaku!" Keiko rubbed her face against his chest.

"Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" His scream sent chills down my spine. Poor guy must be really terrified of her.

"Youth! This is youth!" Watanabe-san laughed again and this time it was louder.

"Anyway, this guy right here is Arakaki Mitsuo. He's also a skilled Fighter like me." She squeezed the poor guy's cheeks. "But please, just call him Mii-chan."

"Please don't call me Mii-chan." He whimpered.

"Hi Mii-chan." Me and Vinny waved our hands.

"Don't call me Mii-chaaaaan!"

"So Mii-chan…" Vinny offered his hand.

Mii-chan adjusted his glasses first before reluctantly shaking his hand. "Please call me Mitsuo. Mitsuo-san or Mitsuo-kun or Mitsuo-chan even. Just not Mii-chan."

Vinny cleared his throat. "So you're a Fighter too?"

"Yeah. I also build." He nodded. "My main machine right now is a GN-X but I'm thinking of switching to a GOUF Ignited soon."

"Nice."

"Your Japanese is pretty good by the way."

"Thanks." Vinny blushed after being praised. "My mom is the one who taught me."

"Eeeeeeh? Is your family here too?" Keiko asked.

"Nope." He shook his head. "I'm staying at his place." He pointed to me.

"You…two are living together!?" Keiko gasped. "I didn't know you are-

"Oi. Don't get any funny ideas." I frowned. "His mom is friends with my mom. When he decided to live here in Japan, my mom volunteered to look after him."

"And now I'm gonna show him the joys of Gunpla." Vinny grinned. "Any recommendations for a beginner, Juro-san?"

"Hmm…" Watanabe-san rubbed his chin. "Lemme think for a moment."

"H-Hey now…I don't have any money to pay for-

"No worries, buddy." Vinny leaned against the counter. "I'm paying out of own pocket."

"That's not necessary! I can't let you do that!"

"Why not?"

"I…"

"Did you enjoy the fight, Isamu-kun?" Vinny raised one of his eyebrows.

"What fight?" Mii-chan was confused.

"Oh me and Vinny had a match a while ago." Keiko told him. "It was awesome!"

"Yeah and she totally kicked my ass." Vinny showed Mii-chan his wrecked Hyaku Shiki.

"Wow…" Mii-chan studied Vinny's damaged Gunpla. "Minaguchi really did a number on you, pal."

"Vinny-san's pretty tough too. Only a few people managed to corner me like that." Keiko said and rubbed Vinny's shoulders.

"So Juro-san, any recommendations?" Vinny turned his attention back to him.

"Here." He handed Vinny a Gunpla box.

"Ooooooooh." Vinny then handed the box to me. "An HGUC RGM-79 GM."

"Oh a Jimmy." Mii-chan crossed his arms. "Not a bad choice."

"Vinny-san, I don't think I…" I felt nervous for some reason. "I don't think I can accept this."

"Think of it as a gift." Vinny smiled. "For letting me stay at your place."

"But my mom is the…one…who…" I mumbled.

"Oh just take it, Tachibana-kun." Keiko was getting irritated. "Never turn down free stuff. That's always a golden rule."

"You did say you made it a personal rule to never turn down free stuff." Watanabe-san sat on the chair behind the counter and rubbed his forehead.

"Snacks, Watanabe-san. Snacks. I made it a personal rule to never turn down free snacks. This is…not a snack."

"Oh c'mon! Don't be such a stick-in-the-mud, Tachibana-san." Mii-chan said. "It's free Gunpla! Take it!"

"Are you going to be like this forever, Tachibana-kun?" Keiko's expression grew serious. "You know, I watch you everyday in class."

"That's creepy, Minaguchi-san." I said in a monotone voice.

"He's right." Nodded Mii-chan.

"Shut-up, Mii-chan." She retorted.

"Mitsuo."

"My Childhood Friend is Now My Step-Mother."

"Noooooooooooooooo!" He cowered.

Keiko sighed. "Okay, I guess we're being a little forceful here." She then went behind me and rubbed her face against my back. "But Tachibana-kuuuuun!" She purred.

"What are you doing?" It was my turn to blush.

"Tachibana-kun…" She said my name again.

"Yeah?"

"It's sad being alone, you know."

"Yeah." I smiled sadly. "Yeah, it is."

"Then why do you choose to be alone?"

I didn't answer. Vinny and Mii-chan just exchanged looks.

"You don't have to answer if you don't want to."

I continued to stay quiet.

"Every time I see you in class, I just feel like punching Fujioka-san in the face. You know Fujioka, right? Guy sitting next to me? Big eyes and kinda lanky?"

"Please don't hurt Fujioka. He's actually a nice guy. He gave me melon bread once."

"You do know our classmates talk a lot smack about you behind your back, right?"

"That goes without saying." I chuckled. "I ignore them after all."

"Are you a masochist?"

"No."

"Are you an idiot?"

"Yeah."

"You idiot."

"Yeah."

"Tachibana-kuuuuuuun!" She pinched my butt.

"H-Hey!" I blushed again.

"Your butt is so soft." She giggled and rubbed her face against my back again.

"Seriously. Please stop." I said.

"Tachibana-kun…" Her voice was low and serious again. She then drew her face closer until it was only inches from mine. "If you don't take Jimmy-kun home, I'll cut off your balls and feed them to Mii-chan." She smiled.

"Eeeeeeeeeeeeeh!?" Mii-chan trembled. "Why me!?"

It wasn't her usual sadistic and crazy smile. It was…sincere and warm. I gulped and my heart started racing again. I then looked at the Gunpla box and made a deep sigh. You know, I've been sighing a lot these past few days and I think yesterday was a record breaker.

I looked at Vinny and he just nodded. Slowly, I began to laugh. "Okay, you weirdoes win. I give up. You got me. You win."

"We won?" Vinny scratched his head.

"You win!" I said in English.

"They won?" Mii-chan finally retrieved his game and put it inside the paper bag.

"You won too, Mii-chan." I said.

"Mitsuo."

"We won!" Keiko spun me around and hugged me tight. "Now let's do this properly. My name is Minaguchi Keiko. Please take care of me! There I finally introduced myself."

"But I already-

"No, no, no, no!" She cut me off. "You only know me by reputation. We never really talk in school until now so I never really properly introduced myself to you."

"Y-Yeah." I smiled and remembered the first day of the second term where she boldly told everyone she's a lesbian. Boy, that sure was…awkward. My class was speechless for five minutes and didn't react until Keiko kicked her chair. I tried my best to completely avoid her as possible after that weird incident.

"Now say it." She closed her eyes.

"Do I have to?"

"Yes. You lost and we won. You don't have any rights anymore."

"Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!" I laughed again. "Oh boy…"

"Say it." She ordered me again.

"Let's Gunpla!" I shouted and raised my hand.

"Youth! This is youth!" Watanabe-san flexed his muscles.

"This is…getting weird." Mii-chan said and adjusted his glasses again.

"But we're having fun, right?" Vinny said. "Isn't that what's important?"

Yeah.

You're right, Vinny-san. You're absolutely freaking right.

Let's Gunpla indeed.


It was around seven when we got back to my neighborhood. Vinny was opening the front gate of our house when he noticed me standing in front of Kaede's house, staring at her front door. "Maybe you should show Jimmy-kun to her?" He said.

"So you do know about us." I said without glancing.

"Uh…kinda. I don't wanna pry though." He smiled sheepishly.

"Did Mom tell you?"

"Yup."

"That old hag." I chuckled and shook my head.

"Your mom begged me to help you out but I don't really know anything about romance. So I thought maybe I'll help you the only way I know how." He looked away and rubbed his hands. I guess he's feeling kinda embarrassed and I don't blame him.

"Gunpla."

"Yep."

"That's stupid." My voice came out sharper than intended.

"It's working, right?"

I sighed and handed Jimmy-kun to him. "So you gonna teach me, Sensei? I don't know anything about building Gunpla."

"Leave it to me, dude."


AUTHOR'S NOTES:

If chapter one was nothing but melodrama of epic NTR proportions then chapter two makes up for that by going full-on Gundam.

I hope...

Someone once told me I make decent action scenes but I dunno about this one. I think I fudged it up. That's what I get for not writing for three years. Anyway, again thanks to Yopee and Shiro for the proof reading. I probably would have posted a jumbled mess if it weren't for those two.

Also, Mii-chan was voiced by Tomokazu Sugita in Muffin Head Canon.

Enjoy the chapter and please post reviews.