Natsuki slightly opened her eyes and looked at her surroundings. She sat up and stretched her body.
Damn...how did I get from the table to the sofa?
She heard footsteps near her bedroom and smiled. She rose from the sofa and found Shizuru changing into her nightwear.
"So where did you run off to?" Natsuki asked.
"I had a meeting to go to. Nothing fancy or important," Shizuru responded, "Sorry we couldn't go out on that date."
"Hey no worries, maybe we can go tomorrow?" Natsuki asked.
"Well that's the other thing I need to tell you. I have an appointment tomorrow so I'll be gone all day."
"Oh..." Natsuki looked disappointed.
Shizuru saw this and smiled. She walked over to Natsuki and hugged her. Natsuki blushed feeling Shizuru's body on her's.
"But I'll finally be free after tomorrow."
"Okay..." Natsuki responded.
"Let me make it up to you for disappearing." Shizuru began to attack Natsuki with her lips.
Natsuki was taken aback by the action but went with it as they fell back onto the bed.
Chie was looking at her phone reading a text message from her girlfriend Aoi. As she read the text a smile came to her face. When she heard the train come to a stop she closed her phone and walked onto it. The train was slightly stuffed, barely leaving enough room for someone to move around.
Damn...today was rough.
Chie sighed to herself but the thought of going back home to Aoi put a smile on her face. She was slightly dozing off when she heard a small whimper next to her. Her eyes opened up as she turned to see a girl next to her who looked frightened. Chie noticed that the girl was blushing but had a disturbing look on her face. She realized what was going on when the girl was about to cry. Chie looked behind her and saw a smiling old man. Glaring at the old man, Chie kicked him in the target area. A loud scream could be heard in the next cart. When the train stopped Chie grabbed the girl and walked her out of the train. The girl slightly bowed to Chie.
"Thank you so much for rescuing me."
"Why didn't you say anything? You can't let dirty old men do that to you." Chie put her hands on her hip.
"I was...afraid...I'm sorry for causing you trouble."
Chie slightly smiled at the face the girl was giving her.
She almost reminds me of Aoi...
"No problem, I'll walk you home so nothing else happens to you."
"I can walk home myself, don't worry about me." The girl said.
"I'm walking you home, no exceptions," Chie smiled, "Besides you remind me of someone I love so if you get hurt, I probably won't forgive myself."
The girl slightly blushed as she walked alongside Chie.
"My name's Chie by that way. What's your's?" Chie asked.
"My name's Tomoko Kobayakawa." The girl smiled.
"Nice to meet you. So where do you live?"
"Actually we got off the train too early." Tomoko smiled.
"Natsuki! Time to wake up! Don't want to miss class do you?" Shizuru was fully dressed and waiting for Natsuki to get up.
She looked exhausted as she looked up at Shizuru.
How come I'm so tired but she always manages to behave like a little kid on an energy drink after we do it?
"Nat-su-ki!" Shizuru teased.
"Alright, alright, I'm getting up." Natsuki groaned as she tried to get up.
"I have to go, but don't skip class today alright?" Shizuru smiled.
"When will you be back?" Natsuki asked.
"Does my Natsuki miss me already?" Shizuru chuckled.
"Not yet." Natsuki blushed.
"Hmmm...I should be back say 7."
"Okay, I'll be here."
"Okini Natsuki," Shizuru placed a small kiss on Natsuik's forehead, "I'll be back."
"Be safe." Natsuki said before Shizuru left the apartment.
As soon as she heard the door close and Shizuru's footsteps grow faint, Natsuki laid back down on her pillow. Just as she was about to drift off to sleep, her cellphone began to ring. She groaned as her hand grabbed her cellphone from the nearby table. With the buttons memorized by her mind and hand, she answered the call and put it to her ear.
"Nat-su-ki, you really should get out of bed."
"I am out of bed." Natsuki blushed as she sat up.
"Of course but my Natsuki's not a very good liar." A chuckle could be heard.
"Alright fine I'm getting up." Natsuki had a blush on her face.
She knows me a bit too well...
Shizuru walked to her known destination. She passed the people as they passed her. The thoughts in her head began to pile on in her mind.
I really hope that this time...
Someone passed her and Shizuru was torn from her thoughts. She looked back and her eyes widen. She ran to that woman and grabbed her shoulder.
The woman turned around and looked at Shizuru who blushed due to embarrassment.
"I'm so sorry, I thought you were someone I knew." Shizuru slightly bowed.
"It's alright." The woman smiled and went on her way.
Shizuru took a deep breath and continued to her destination.
That was embarrassing...
A picture of a girl smiling at her came to Shizuru's mind. She looked up at the sky and looked sad.
Where are you...?
"What's going on Natsuki?" An orange haired woman asked.
"Eh, I think Shizuru's hiding something from me." Natsuki responded.
"What makes you say that?"
"Mai, remember back during and before the Carnival she would disappear for a while and then come back?"
"Wasn't it because she was looking out for you?" Mai said.
"I thought so too, but its happening again. She's going somewhere but for some reason..." Natsuki let the sentence die.
"But what?" Mai asked as she grabbed a bowl.
"I think the mask is back on."
Mai looked at Natsuki for a moment before filling the bowl with ramen. She handed Natsuki the bowl and sighed.
"Well then you should take that mask down again."
"But how?" Natsuki grabbed a pair of chopsticks.
"I don't know, your her girlfriend you should know how better than anyone else." Mai wiped her hands on her apron.
"Yeah..." Natsuki slurped as she ate her noodles.
Shizuru arrived in a smoke filled bar and sat down in a booth. Nearby men were about to flirt with her but a death glare sent them on their way. A man with a hat covering his head and some of his face sat down on the opposite side of the booth. Shizuru kept her guard up just in case something happen.
"So what do you have?" Shizuru asked.
"Several targets in this city." The man said.
Shizuru sighed as she began to think. The man brought out a file and opened it.
"It may be a lot but at least you have some way of finding her," The man laid out five pictures, "They look the same but you can notice different features."
Shizuru looked at the pictures and perused each one. Indeed all the girls looked the same, given some differences. Though each had raven hair, Shizuru lost a since of hope. She pushed the pictures away.
"They all look like her..."
"It has been 10 years, all you have is that one picture."
"True but I will know her when I see her."
The man stayed silent as he took the pictures back and put them in the file.
"Have you said anything to...him?"
"Not a word."
The man stood up and handed Shizuru the packet.
"Here's some payment." Shizuru handed the man an envelope.
The man took the envelope and tucked into his jacket.
"Best of luck to you, if they're not her then I'll keep searching." The man walked away.
"The same to you."
Natsuki arrived at the apartment and put her things down. Knowing that Shizuru wouldn't be home yet, she raided the refrigerator for something edible. When she closed the door she felt gently hands wrap around her waist causing her to jump high.
"Yes?" Shizuru winked.
"Please don't do that. You know my reflexes are sharp, I might of gone berserk on you," Natsuki's heart began to calm down, "And besides, you know how much I hate being snuck up on."
"Kanin na Natsuki, but my appointment didn't take as long as I thought so I came home earlier." Shizuru held Natsuki closer to her.
"So...does that mean we can go on that date?" Natsuki asked.
"Of course." Shizuru smiled.
"Okay, let's go." Natsuki turned her body and wrapped her arms around Shizuru.
Shizuru hugged her back and let go when Natsuki loosened her grip around her waist. Natsuki watched her go.
You should take the mask down again
Mai's voice was invading Natsuki's thoughts. She sat down at the table and waited for Shizuru to come back.
So how do I get her to tell me what's going on?
"Okay, I'm ready." Shizuru showed up.
"Hey Shizuru, sit down for a moment." Natsuki patted down near her.
Shizuru looked a bit confused at first but sat down near Natsuki.
"You know I love you, right?"
"So...you know that you can tell me anything right?"
"Right...is there something you want to talk about Natsuki?" Shizuru asked.
I'm suppose to ask you that. Natsuki sighed.
"No, but what about you? Is there anything you want to talk about?"
"Nothing at all?"
Natsuki sighed to herself. She kissed Shizuru on the cheek before standing.
Mai owned a ramen shop and was still working the long night hours. It was late and one bowl of ramen was left. She smiled to herself as she took up a pair of chopsticks.
Might as well...
"Sorry for the intrusion," A raven haired woman entered the shop, "But do you have any ramen left?"
"You're in luck, there's one left." Mai put on a smile for the customer as she put the bowl on the table.
"Thank you." The woman smiled and took out some money to hand to Mai.
"No problem." Am pocketed the money.
"How's business?" The woman asked.
"It's good." Mai turned her sign from open to closed.
"Hey, this is really good." The slurping of noodles could be heard.
"Yeah, a friend of mine told me this was a good ramen shop. He didn't lie for once." The woman smiled.
"Who's your friend?"
"His name's Hiro Honda."
"Hmm...sorry I never heard that name around here."
"It's okay, he usually keeps to himself."
The woman finished the bowl of ramen and smiled.
"Wow, that was great. I'm gonna come here more often."
"Thank you so much." Mai slightly bowed.
"Thanks for the meal." The woman slightly bowed.
"Come back again Miss." Mai waved.
"You can just call me Kyoko. That's what my friends call me." The woman smiled.
"Well thanks Kyoko, my name's Mai. Come back anytime."
Okay plan A didn't work, so what's plan B?
Natsuki was holding Shizuru's hand as they walked down the street. On their date Natsuki couldn't find an opportunity to get Shizuru to open up. She was growing frustrated as time went by.
Maybe seduce her? Or maybe I should just get her to tell me somehow.
Hearing her name Natsuki turned to Shizuru was looking at her.
"Are you sure there's nothing you want to tell me?"
"Yeah I'm fine." Natsuki smiled.
As they continued to walk down the street, a thought came to her mind.
"Hey Shizuru, its getting pretty late. Should we go back home?"
When they arrived back at their apartment, Natsuki guided Shizuru to the sofa. Natsuki sat down first as Shizuru gently laid her back to Natsuki.
Damn her hair smells so nice...
Natsuki had a gently whiff of the smell of Shizuru's hair.
"So you sure there's nothing we need to talk about?" Natsuki attempted one last time.
"Natsuki...actually there is something we need to talk about." Shizuru said.
Natsuki wrapped her arms around Shizuru and laid her head on top of Shizuru's.
"Okay what is it?"
Shizuru looked up at Natsuki with lackluster eyes.
"I want to break up."