Author Topic: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games  (Read 9411 times)

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« on: March 04, 2005, 03:49:12 PM »
Greetings,

This is my inaugural post on this board. As a background, I've only been writing for a very short time. My professional career leaves little room for artistic expression so I find myself taking up creative pursuits just to keep my sanity. Anyway, I've been reading manga and watching anime since I was a kid (I was originally from SE Asia but came the the eastern part of the U.S. to work nearly 10 years ago) but Ichigo 100% is probably the first one that has affected me at a deeper level because I see facets of my own personality in the characters. Plus, I am familiar with many of the situations being faced by the characters. In my lifetime, I have gone out with an 'Aya', a 'Satsuki', and a 'Tsukasa'. I eventually settled down and married a 'Kozue' :D. Now faced with the prospect of being a father to twin girls, I wonder what kind of experiences they will have- you can tell that I empathize more with the female characters of this story. I think all these factors contributed to my desire to write something that expressed how I felt about these characters.

The fanfic concentrates on the ending of the manga- how I would like the final scene(s) to play out. Since Aya is the most likely girl Junpei will (eventually) end up with, I wanted to start with her naturally. This is a short work owing to the fact that Aya and Junpei still have to admit to each other their respective feelings and is the focus of this piece (we know that once Junpei does this, the manga basically ends). I would appreciate any feedback from other authors (either thru this board, PM, or e-mail) as I would like to improve my story-telling skills.

My final hope is that you enjoy it.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2005, 05:23:44 PM by AmbiDextrose »

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2005, 05:24:17 PM »
Ichigo 100% Fanfic: FULL CIRCLE (An Aya Ending)
Tsukasa leaves for France and says goodbye to Junpei. Junpei is sad that Tsukasa is leaving- he'd rather not have her go but their separation was inevitable from the start. Before going, Tsukasa tells Junpei not to keep her waiting any more because she has waited all this time. She does not mention any names but the implication is clear. As she leaves Junpei, Tsukasa does not turn around. He eventually finds his way back to his highschool's rooftop. The sun was a now setting, lighting up the clouds in a brilliant explosion of red and orange hues.

 "That's right," he muses, "it all started on a day like this."

He thinks about everything that happened to him since that fateful day when a beautiful girl with strawberry panties dropped in on him unexpectedly. Suddenly, Junpei is startled to be embraced from behind. For a few moments nothing is said. Junpei becomes aware of the person's heartbeat against his back. Then, he hears a soft, familiar voice.

 "Junpei, I. . . ".

He hears her voice break and feels his heart breaking along with it. His thoughts turn to Tsukasa's final words to him. He feels the person behind him start to pull back but before she can, he reaches out and catches her. Startled, she tries to stammer an excuse as she starts to look away. Junpei gently cups her face and turns her to face him. He looks down and sees tears start to well up in her eyes. To his amazement, Junpei wonders why does he feel so. . . . alive?

 "Why are you trembling, Aya?" Junpei asks in a soft, whispering voice. He wonders whether Aya can feel his own heart racing wildy.

Aya tries to get herself under control. Her heart was beating so hard that she felt she was going to faint from the rush of blood. She HAS to tell him, she thinks to herself, as she struggles to finally say the words that have been in her heart since middleschool. Stammering, she pressed on.

 "Junpei, I- I know this is a difficult time for you but I have to tell you something. I- I've always. . . ."

But before she could finish, Junpei gently lays a finger on her lips. He finally understood. All these years, and now he finally understood. Without thinking about it, the words found Junpei.

 "I know," he said gently.

Junpei didn't know when he started crying but Aya was suddenly wiping tears from his face. Such warm hands, Junpei thought, really make me feel cared for. It was probably due to their mutual tear-wiping that they found themselves sharing their first real kiss. Neither Junpei nor Aya knew how long it lasted but both wished they could bottle that feeling forever.

Looking at Aya in his arms, she was smiling and crying at the same time. Junpei had never seen her look as beautiful as she did now. Nuzzling her forehead and before being lost in an embrace, Junpei finally managed to tell Aya what she had been waiting to hear from him for all these years.

 "I know, Aya. I love you too."

FIN


Thoughts:
It is rather simplistic- kinda modeled after Aya. She is, at heart, a simple girl. However, this simple girl possesses a strong heart. What Aya needs is to grow in self-confidence- her current self-deprecating personality is preventing her from seeing how strong she really is. If she does grow more self-confident, it might make her more honest and open with her feelings. It seems that outside her talents, Aya prefers to trust others rather than herself.

Also, being the epitome of the ideal Eastern girl, Aya is averse to showing her true emotions. Because of this, Aya needs someone who can lead her in a relationship. This can be seen in the manga during her and Junpei's first date (read the part after the movie). However, pairing her with a strong personality (like Amachi) might be bad for her as well because she would probably get bossed around (read the part where Amachi declares Aya will fall for him) whether or not it was intentional. Aside from the guy taking the initiative, Aya needs someone who is gentle and sensitive enough so that Aya will feel secure and allow her to grow as a person. Remember that Aya's self-discovery happened only after she opened up to Junpei. She is still self-conscious throughout the entire manga but you can actually see little bits of maturity here and there.

You can liken Aya's personality to that an orchid- it's very delicate, needs a lot of care, and needs to be coaxed to grow but once it blooms, you cannot but be taken in by it's beauty. Also, certain orchids can grow and thrive even in the most averse environments (the sides of mountains, for example). Aya's feelings for Junpei never seems to waver, even in the most averse of circumstances. Trust is be basis for any relationship and this girl possesses this trait in spades. Her trust (and faith) in Junpei seems to be absolute- else how can she stand before him almost naked and not freak out?

However, even with her timid personality, she is not averse to dropping hints at Junpei. Her statement after Junpei found her when she got lost during their school trip stands out: "I was really scared but the entire time, I was calling your name in my heart." That wasn't even a hint- it's almost a douse of cold water comming from Aya. Any NORMAL guy would have picked up on it.

Aya represents ideal, romantic love- pure in it's intentions- the kind that is revealed to you as you get to know the other person. We should all be so lucky to experience something like this at least once in our lifetime.


P.S.: I will be posting the Fanfic Tsukasa ending as soon as I get done with the editing (which really doesn't mean anything).
« Last Edit: March 10, 2005, 11:18:25 AM by AmbiDextrose »

Offline cccnnn

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2005, 05:41:42 PM »
Hey Ambi, great fic as always. You should prolly post a link in the ichigo forum to this thread so more ppl will see it :P

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2005, 08:17:07 PM »
Ichigo 100% Fanfic: IRREPLACEABLE (A Tsukasa Ending)
It's been almost a year now, thought Tsukasa. Around her, the trees were starting to shed their leaves and the sky was beginning to turn a deeper shade of blue. "I should be used to the cold by now," she whispers gently. She felt tired after the long journey and wonders whether deciding to live in Fecamp was such a good idea- it's almost a two hour journey to her pastry school in Paris. But Tsukasa remembered that she wanted to be near the sea because it reminded her of home.

The flash of blinking incandescent lights brought Tsukasa back from her musings. She realized she was standing in front of the town's small movie theatre. Looking at the poster, they were showing some old romance film probably from the 1950's. She never noticed it before but now it looks so much like the old theatre back at Izumizaka. Suddenly, she felt homesick once again. She tried hard to fight back the tears as her thoughts gravitated towards someone she left behind. "That's right," she said to herself, "he used to work in a movie theatre just like this one." She closed her eyes and imagined how he would react to such a movie. She opened her eyes and sighed, "That guy is so single-minded. I wonder what movie he's watching now." She sniffled and started to walk away. Suddenly, she found herself running. Where am I running off to, she wondered to herself. Now, the tears started flowing freely.

 "I want to see him again!"

Those were the words burning in her heart but she had not the courage to utter them because she knew all too well the heartbreak it will cause. When she stopped, she realized that she had run all the way to the edge of town. She could hear the surf break against the sea wall and the smell of salt was in the air. Climbing up the ledge of the sea wall, she looked at the setting sun as the clouds were lit by a brilliant cacophony of orange and red hues. It's different from back home but it's still beautiful, she thought. That's right- there was a moment like this back home. They were near the ocean and they decided to ride the ferry for a while. She had to stifle her laugh at her next thoughts. This was crazy, she quietly said to herself, laughing and crying at the same time. Although she always teased or chastised him about it, she really did like his goofy smile- it was so reassuring. Tsukasa wondered if the winter sea breeze was making her shiver but she knew the real reason- even with the new friends she's made, she still felt so alone.

 "Excuse moi. Pouvoir moi convoyage le mademoiselle de beau la patrie?"

That gave Tsukasa a start- she had no idea that there was anyone around. What's more, she thought the voice sounded familiar, only a bit different. Her heart was racing much faster than when she was running. It felt like she was going to faint from all the blood rushing to her head. Could it be him? She couldn't bring herself to turn around because she couldn't bear to be disappointed. Then she heard something like paper being shuffled and in faint but perfect Nihongo, "Did I say it wrong? Did I offend her?" Suddenly, her heart stopped beating. "Junpei," she tried to say but it was caught by the lump in her throat and ended up being a whimper. Finally, she could no longer hold back- in one motion she turned and launched herself at him.

 "Junpei!!!!!" Tsukasa cried.

Tsukasa shouting his name made Junpei turn away from his Japanese-French dictionary. He barely had time to catch her but the image of Tsukasa in the air, arms outstretched, and the most beautiful smile he had ever seen, framed by the fiery glow of a setting sun was forever burned into his memory. He was still thinking about that when he was slammed to the ground by the force of Tsukasa's impact. He tried to get up to see if she was hurt but he found her head laying on his chest while her arms wrapped tightly around his nape. She smelled faintly of chocolates and citrus.

 "Tsukasa? Are you hurt," he finally managed to blurt out.

 "I- Is it really you, Junpei?" she asked as she lay motionless on top of Junpei. Her voice was weak and there was a slight tremble in them. Junpei realized that she must have been thinking of her all this time.

 "Umm, yeah," was the only thing he could manage. Tsukasa then looked up at him- he could finally see her tear-soaked face and that smile that could melt even the most stone cold of hearts.

 "Junpei, your French sucks," Tsukasa teased as they got up to sit on a bench. Without knowing it, she was starting to laugh at his protests.

 "Kyaa! Not fair! I've only been at it for two days. Plus, French makes my tongue do weird things. . . ." Both of them were laughing now. Suddenly, they were caught in a tight embrace. Try as he might, Junpei could not hold back his tears. He could hear Tsukasa's sobs as well.

 "I really missed. . . .," Tsukasa tried to start but Junpei cut her off.

 "Don't. . . . don't say it. . . . If you do, I may not want to go back." When she opened her eyes, Tsukasa caught sight of a large bag on the ground next to the bench. Did Junpei come here straight from the airport, she asked herself. They must have been like that for a while until Tsukasa felt Junpei's hold loosen. She looked at him. He looked so tired from the long flight and, for some reason, he couldn't look at her.

 "I'm sorry," he finally said.

 "Hmmm? What for?" Tsukasa asked puzzled.

 "I'm sorry I didn't call or write you all this time but you never gave me any information." Tsukasa saw Junpei was starting to curl up again- something he did out of habit when he was feeling guilty. She reached up to wipe the tears welling up from Junpei's eyes.

 "Because I thought I wanted to forget," she said and smiled gently at him. She moved in a little bit closer to Junpei so she could scoot inside him.

Finally, she asked, "Junpei, how did you know I'd be in Fecamp?"

 "Eh? Your parents. More specifically, your mother," replied Junpei.

 "Really?" Tsukasa's eyes widened upon hearing this. She was beyond belief that her parents would do such a thing, let alone her mother.

 "Yeah, I must've bugged them for more than a month trying to obtain any information I could about you. Finally, I told them that I was going to France to look for you even if they help me or not. The next day, your mom called our house and told me your address. They probably think I'm stupid or something. . . ."


Continued. . . .
« Last Edit: March 04, 2005, 11:02:22 PM by AmbiDextrose »

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2005, 08:17:40 PM »
Before he could finish, Tsukasa rushed forward and kissed him. They embraced each other tightly as if never wanting to let go. Junpei's  heart lept and after all those months without her, he suddenly felt. . . . alive. He could feel her every heartbeat. He wasn't dreaming- this was real. He was finally with her. Afterward, Tsukasa laid her head against Junpei's chest. He could see her head rise and fall with his breathing. It all seemed so. . . . right. Nothing was said for a while but both felt that to be the most comfortable silence they've ever had.

 "Where are you staying, Junpei?" Tsukasa asks as she pushed away from Junpei, ,

 "Well, I came here straight from the airport so I'm still looking for a hotel room or something," he replied thoughtfully.

 "Could you stay with me, please?" Tsukasa said in a small voice. Junpei looked at her. She seemed to be almost pleading with him.

Junpei could feel his heart breaking and before he could think, he stammered, "Nno. . . Nothing would please me more than to be with you, Tsukasa."

The smile that greeted him after his response made him think: I understand now. This is her. She is the one.

After drying each other's tears, they both got up. Junpei suddenly remembered something and started to pat himself down.

 "What is it?" asked Tsukasa.

Junpei finally found it in one of his pants pockets. He pulled out a small red box and presented it to Tsukasa. She was trembling as she reached out to accept it.

 "Open it," gently prodded Junpei.

Tsukasa felt like she was going to faint- her legs felt weak and her ears were buzzing. She finally mustered enough strength to open the box. Inside it was a ring with an intertwined silver and gold design.

 "Read the inscription," Junpei went on.

This feels like a dream, thinks Tsukasa. Taking the ring and examining it Tsukasa read the inscription carved inside it under the sun's fading rays:

 To my irreplaceable Tsukasa. All my love, Junpei.

The shock that followed was so overwhelming that, temporarily, Tsukasa forgot where she was. When she became aware of her limbs once more, she buried her face in her hands. Suddenly, she gave Junpei a sharp jab in the shoulder.

 "Owww," cried Junpei. "What was that for?"

 "I hate you. . ." she said weakly.

Those words lay where they fell. Her voice was muffled but it was clearly trembling. Junpei was dumbfounded by Tsukasa's response. Should he have waited to give her the ring? Doubts were starting to surface as Junpei's heart was slowly sinking.

 "Wh. . . why?" Junpei asked as he gently tried to pry Tsukasa's hands from her face. When he saw her eyes, he almost wished he didn't.

 "What are you doing to me, Junpei? What is it you want with me?" she asked between sobs.

Junpei pulled Tsukasa close to him and gently pried the ring from her clenched fist. Gingerly holding Tsukasa's left hand, he looked into her eyes.

 "This," he finally said and put the ring on her finger.

After that, Tsukasa could not stop crying and hugged Junpei with whatever might she could muster. After all these years, he finally understood. When Junpei kissed her, she held on to him tightly and thought: This is him. He is the one.

They must have been that way for a while because when the kiss ended, they noticed the street lights slowly coming to life as dusk snuck in.

 "I think we should get going," Junpei said while wiping Tsukasa's tears. "Yeah, let's go, Junpei-kun," replied Tsukasa. It felt good to say that once again, she thought.

Junpei grabbed his bag and, hand-in-hand, they silently made their way towards Tsukasa's apartment.

 "Hey, Junpei-kun," Tsukasa said after a while.

 "Hmmm?" Junpei could see a peculiar gleam in Tsukasa's eyes. He knows he's seen it before but can't seem to place it.

She took his arm in hers and moved in closer to him. "Do you miss it," she asked coyly.

The sudden realization made Junpei's face blush. "Well. . . . er. . . . um. . . . yeah. It has been a while, after all," he managed to stammer. He sincerely hoped he didn't sound dorky.

Moving in closer to him, she whispers, "Then I'll have to call in sick for the next few days." Her warm breath against his ear surged through him like a jolt of electricity.

 "Eh? But I'm still jet lagged," Junpei tried to protest.

 "Don't worry, Junpei-kun. I have the perfect remedy."

END


Thoughts:
Whew! That was a long read, ne? Like me, you probably think the ring was contrived and a bit cheesy. Well, you're right but, c'mon, a guy doesn't travel halfway around the world to be with the one he loves and not bring her anything, no?

Tsukasa is easily the most complex character in this story (Junpei probably comes in next). She has her own goals in life, is very self-confident but not arrogant, supportive, straightforward, dependable, a little bit mischievous, and isn't afraid to show her emotions even if it will make her seem vulnerable. She is the juxtaposition of Aya- more Western-like attitude to offset Aya's Eastern reserve. Perhaps her mother is a gaijin- of American or European decent who came to live in Japan. That would certainly explain her (and her mother's) blonds locks. Perhaps that is why a lot of English-speaking guys like Tsukasa- because she is familiar to them whereas they dismiss Aya as 'weak.' This is where the mangaka's genius lies- she has carefully crafted the characters so that each may appeal to specific 'ideals.' Along with a complex personality, Tsukasa is probably the most mature save when Junpei goes into "emergency mode." It's quite amusing that she attributes her maturity to being with Junpei. So what if Junpei chose Aya the first time around? Would she be the one who matured? But what she said is true: you do mature a lot faster when you are in a relationship. Relationships bring out both the good and bad points in all of us- they are scrutinized by the other party and sometimes it may feel that it's not worth it. However, if you really care about the one you love, you will try to find a way to make it work. This is what Tsukasa has done. Because eventhough she doesn't fully trust Junpei, she tries to find a way to make their relationship work. Who wouldn't want a girl/guy like this?

Although giving and being generous is the surest path to personal growth (I say this because you learn to appreciate what you do have to bring others happiness), a relationship must be both give and take. One party cannot be the one to always give otherwise the relationship will eventually feel like a burden or an obligation. Conversely, one cannot always be on the receiving side otherwise, out of boredom, the relationship will loose it's meaning. In both cases, the relationship becomes stale because one or both parties are not growing. In a good relationship, each partner has to contribute to the growth and security of the other. When one partner cannot fulfill their part, the other one "picks up the slack," so to speak and vice-versa. Because Tsukasa took her and Junpei's relationship seriously, she has invested herself in Junpei's well-being whether she intended to or not. By doing so, she has become the "giver" and thus, started to mature ahead of the other characters. You can always see this- Tsukasa leading Junpei to ne experiences whether it be swimming, a date, breaking into their old middleschool, and probably intimacy (still remains to be seen) because she is the more mature of the two. She even supports Junpei's dream eventhough she has dreams of her own. Out of all the characters, Tsukasa is probably the most reliable and dependable. However, Tsukasa does have her limits. This is what makes her also the most tangible. The hope here is that with Tsukasa, Junpei will finally mature into one who can handle a relationship.

She is probably the other single-minded character in the story- imagine a Japanese national attempting to learn French ALONE. This is not a mean feat- the syllabication, intonation, sentence structure are all contrary to each other. All this so that she can pursue her dreams of studying in Paris to become a pastry chef. Tell me if that's not single-minded. Like Aya, she is true to her feelings. She never gets distracted by all the other boys that always seem to surround her. I think that, aside from Junpei, this is the common thread that binds Aya and Tsukasa.

Tsukasa's personality can be likened to that of a perennial- it is always blooms during the spring and come rain, shine, or snow, eventhough you can't see it you know that it will still be there. But like all flowers, it still has to be cared for. Otherwise, it will wither and eventually die- Tsukasa certainly isn't one to wait around forever. She also wants to be led. Unfortunately, the guy she fell for doesn't seem to be able to. But what's endearing about Tsukasa is that she takes it upon herself to make it work. Of all the characters, I hope Tsukasa has a happy ending.

Tsukasa represents self-sacrificing love. The kind that gives without expecting anything in return- that is why she is maturing by leaps and bounds over her peers. The kind that waits for you to return home to him/her after a long day. Your parents are probably familiar with this kind of love. Why don't you ask them more about it?

« Last Edit: March 22, 2005, 11:36:15 PM by AmbiDextrose »

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2005, 09:05:04 PM »
Ichigo 100% Fanfic: NEW BEGINNINGS (A Tsukasa Ending)
WARNING: Suggestive content. Please skip to the last two sections if you feel uncomfortable with this.

Junpei awakens to sunlight streaming from an open window. Blinking sleep from his eyes, he tries to focus his sight. He sees that he forgot to draw the curtains completely- that a crack allowed a sliver of light into the room. His looks away and his eyes quickly adjust to the dim surroundings. He tries to make out the time on the large wall clock mounted on the opposite side of the room. 8:30AM. Only six hours to go, he thinks to himself. Beside him, the person sleeping begins to stir. He turns around and lifts the covers to look at her face. He wants to take this time to memorize every line, every detail- the shape of her lips, the arch of her brow, the curve of her nose, and her delicate neck. He brushes aside her hair that has fallen on her face. She feels his touch and instinctively reaches for him. She finds his chest then slowly slides her hand up to his face.

"Are you already up, Junpei-kun?" she asks sleepily.

"Truthfully, I couldn't sleep. . ." he answered weakly as he leans in closer. He could feel the heat radiating from her skin and her breath felt warm on his skin. He reaches over to brush another errant lock off her face. This time, she sleepily opens her eyes to look at Junpei and gives him a small smile. For a moment, they just look at each other. Junpei tries to speak but his voice fails him. Her smile widens at his struggle. Finally, she breaks the silence.

"Good morning, Junpei-kun," she says softly. She props herself on her elbows and strains to reach him. Junpei instinctively leans in and gives her a kiss.

"Good morning, Tsukasa," replies Junpei. "It's still fifteen minutes to nine. Maybe you should go back to sleep. . . ."

Before he could finish, Tsukasa wraps her arms around his nape and pulls him in for a much longer kiss. Junpei's heart was pounding madly now. What a way to wake up, he thought. As his skin touches hers, he could feel her heart racing as well. As kiss ends, Tsukasa gives him that coy look he knew too well.

"Hmmm. . . . I can think of a better way to spend fifteen minutes. . . ."

Feeling particularly bold, he tries to counter her daring declaration, "Are you sure you only want to spend fifteen minutes?"

Tsukasa chuckles sweetly and with that, Junpei pulls the covers over them.

-----------

Junpei listens carefully. All he can hear is the sound of the clock ticking. He glances at it. 10:40AM. They'll have to leave pretty soon, he thinks. He glances down at Tskukasa still laying on his chest. He was acutely aware of her heartbeat through his skin. Being this intimate with Tsukasa, Junpei has never felt warmer in his entire life. He knew the warmth wasn't coming from the room's heater nor the sheets that covered them. Unconsciously, he began stroking her shoulder. As he did so, Junpei's touch left a pleasant tingling sensation on Tsukasa's skin that brought her back from her musings. She found his other hand and held it tightly.

"My, my, Junpei-kun. . . . where in the world did you learn THAT?" she asked, trying to liven the somber mood.

Startled by the question, Junpei didn't have time to think up an answer so he said, "That? Oh, I've been doing some research." He was trying to keep a straight face but ended up breaking into a chuckle near the end. Tsukasa's eyes widened at Junpei's reply and she suddenly sat up with a sly grin on her face trying very hard to suppress her surprise.

"Junpei, what do you mean by that?" They were now laughing freely. This feels good, thinks Junpei. Laughing with Tsukasa always felt good. When they stopped laughing, the sheets fell away from Tsukasa's shoulders. Where the sunlight landed, her skin glowed with an unmistakable iridescence.

"It was wonderful," she whispered. At that moment, Junpei realized that the word 'beautiful' was too inadequate to describe how Tsukasa looked. Suddenly, Junpei felt like his heart was being wretched from him. He didn't know he was weeping until Tsukasa gently brushed then away with her fingers. Afterward, she let her hand stroke his cheeks.

"Shhhhh, we already spoke about this at length, Junpei-kun," she said gently. She then leaned forward and kissed his forehead. "I need you to to be strong for me today. . ." In truth, Tsukasa felt like crying herself but she knew she had to sustain Junpei now so that he could sustain her later. She was surprised when Junpei suddenly took her hand, kissed it, and held it there. This is it, she thought, I'm going to cry now.

Clearing his throat, Junpei tried not to let his true feeling show, "I think we'd better get dressed." He slowly got out of bed and extended his arms to help Tsukasa out as well. She grabbed his hands and led Junpei straight into the bathroom.

----------

As Junpei waits on the bed, he hears the blow dryer running the the bathroom. He had already brought out Tsukasa's bags out of the small closet. "I guess the only thing left to do is accompany Tsukasa to the airport," he quietly tells himself. As suddenly as that dreadful feeling dissipated in the shower, it returned as suddenly and with a lot more intensity. Junpei clutches his chest and steadies himself on the bed. "Why does it hurt so?" he whispers. "I wish someone would just rip this thing out of my chest!" He didn't know he actually said it out loud- he was startled when Tsukasa turned the blow dryer off and asked him what he said.

"Oh, nothing. I was just trying to remember the way to the airport," he said. Of course he was lying. He was lying for her.

"Silly Junpei. Aren't we taking a cab?" she asked from the bathroom.

"Well, I have to get back home somehow, you know," came his reply, trying to add some levity.

When Tsukasa came out of the bathroom, she was clad only in her underwear. At first, Junpei didn't understand but when he looked closely, he realized why.

"Junpei-kun, do you remember these?" asked Tsukasa while pointing to her panties.

"Y...Yes," Junpei managed to stammer. "I gave those to you as a late white day present."

Suddenly, Tsukasa looked shy and vulnerable. "Would you like to take a photo? To remember me by?"

He couldn't say anything. Try as he might, words started to fail him. He didn't even know he was rushing towards her until she was in his embrace. Her newly-shampooed hair smelled slightly of citrus. "I don't. . . .," he tried to start as his tears started up again. "I don't need to. Something like this. . . . you never forget something like this." He was hugging her so tightly now as if trying to force her into his body.

"Junpei," he heard her say softly as he felt her warm tears run down his shoulders. Then he remembers what she said earlier: "be strong for me today, Junpei." He released her and wiped the tears from his eyes. "Please finish dressing up. I'll take your bags down and get the cab. I'll wait for you in the lobby."

Without looking back, Junpei picked up Tsukasa's luggage and left the room. As the door closed behind him, he could feel their relationship closing as well.


Continued. . . .
« Last Edit: March 04, 2005, 09:09:29 PM by AmbiDextrose »

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2005, 09:05:17 PM »
In the cab on the way to the airport, Tsukasa and Junpei were almost inseparable. She leaned against him, laying her head on his shoulders and holding hands. However, between them, nothing was said. It seemed that nothing was left to be said and all that had to be done was wait until the whole thing played itself out. This continued until they reached the gate.

Junpei was the first one to break the silence. "Are you sure your parents know when you'll be arriving in Paris," Junpei asked.

"Yes," she replied. "They'll be waiting for me by the arrival gate." Then she turned to him and smiled sweetly. "Don't worry, Junpei-kun. I'll be sure to call you when I get there. . . " Her voice was breaking.

"British Airways Flight 38A bound Paris, France via Singapore is now ready for boarding. All passengers, please proceed to gate 14C."

 The announcement caught Junpei and Tsukasa by surprise. It all seems to be going by so fast. There was so much more they both wanted to say to each other. Without realizing it, they were both crying. Junpei gently pulled her close to him. "It hurts so much," she whispered.

"I know. . ." That was all Junpei could muster.

"All Economy-class passengers of British Airways Flight 38A bound for Paris, this is your call to board. Please proceed to gate 14C."

People start to mill around them in an effort to reach the boarding gate. Over the rush of people, Junpei can hear Tsukasa's soft sobbing.

"All Business-class passengers of British Airways Flight 38A bound for Paris, this is your call to board. Please proceed to gate 14C."

"You. . . . you take care now, Junpei-kun. Go after. . . . your dreams. Like you've always done." Junpei felt all the blood rush to his head. His heart felt like it was going to burst. Finally, Tsukasa looked up at Junpei. Through the tears, she managed a weak smile. Junpei didn't need to be told. He gently cupped her face and kissed Tsukasa. Suddenly, it seemed that all their shared experiences were flashing before his eyes. Maybe this is what it feels like when you die, Junpei thought.

"All First-class passengers of British Airways Flight 38A bound for Paris, this is your call to board. Please proceed to gate 14C."

"I've got to go. . . ." Tsukasa said softly. Those words seared through Junpei's heart. He slowly let go of her and then she was running towards the boarding gate, not looking back. Suddenly, he found himself running after her. At the very last instant, Junpei caught her arm and turned her around. Tsukasa was startled by this sudden gesture. Holding both her shoulders, Junpei tried looked into Tsukasa eyes but found that he couldn't- there was too much pain in there to bear. He wanted desperately to tell her. He struggled to form the words but his voice failed him. "Junpei, I've got. . . .," Tsukasa tried to start but before she could finish, Junpei cut her off.

"Stay. . . . Please stay. . . .With me." At this, Tsukasas eyes started welling up again. She fought to regain control but she knew it was a loosing battle. "I can't. . . ." she tried to stammer.

"Yes you can!" said Junpei firmly. He gripped her shoulders tighter as he looked directly into Tsukasa's eyes and into her heart. "Why can't you go to school here- in Japan?" Tsukasa's eyes were pleading with Junpei but he was insistent. "Tokyo. . . . you could go to Tokyo. They have good pastry schools there- and I could come with you. I'll quit school for a year and just work while I restudy to take the entrance exam for a university in Tokyo. Plus, I'll help you with the living expenses." Junpei didn't even need to think about what he said- the words just poured out from him.

"But. . . . but what about your dream. . ." Tsukasa, caught by surprise, tried to protest. Junpei was near his breaking point but he needed to hold it together for just a little while longer.

"Don't you get it, Tsukasa," he started. "dreams are meant to be shared otherwise they feel empty. Besides, I have an entire lifetime to try to achieve my dream. But it would be much more meaningful if you were there as well. And I think part of you really want to stay. . . . " Junpei couldn't bear seeing Tsukasa like this so he released her shoulders and turned away.

Tsukasa was dumbfounded. When did Junpei learn to be so expressive? She could feel her heart swelling. Her body felt tingly all over. For the first time in a long while, she felt so alive and. . . . free. She knew she was smiling but she couldn't stop sobbing.

"Last call for all passengers of British Airways Flight 38A bound for Paris. Please proceed directly to gate 14C.

"But if you really want to go, I won't stop you, Tsukasa," Junpei muttered. He felt lost and defeated. He'd like nothing better that to run away from this place and start trying to forget. Suddenly, he feels someone grab his arm and spin him around. Too weak to offer any resistance, he just went with the motion. He barely had time to catch Tsukasa from her leap but the image of her in the air, arms outstretched, and the most beautiful smile he had ever seen was forever burned into his mind. Before each of them knew it, they were lost in a kiss. Behind them, the boarding gate closed and the plane pulled out of it's dock.

"You made me miss my flight, Junpei," Tsukasa said over the sobs and the tears but her smile was radiant. Junpei was trying to wipe the tears from her face using his shirt and figured he should probably do the same thing to himself. Then, with a sheepish look, Tsukasa finally said "Let's go home, Junpei."

Cupping her face he gives her a light kiss before leading her away. He wraps his arm around her and draws her closer. At last, Junpei felt that he could smile once more.

"I love you, Tsukasa," he whispered in her hear.

Scooting inside Junpei and nuzzling her head against his chest, Tsukasa finally knew the reason why she loved Junpei.

"I love you too, you goofy guy."

----------

<CLICK> "Hello, Mum? Please tell Dad that I won't be going to Paris after all. . . . I know, I know. I'm really, really sorry. . . . Hmmm? Maybe Tokyo. . . . Don't worry, Mum. Everything will work out fine. . . . I'm actually on a train headed for Tokyo. . . . Yes. . . . four or five days, maybe even six. . . . . No, I'm not. . . . . I think you've met him once. . . . When you come back, I'll introduce him to the both of you. . . . I will. . . . Don't worry, he knows. . . . Luv you too Mum and send my love to Dad, too. . . . Bye." <CLICK>

FIN


Thoughts:
So will it come to this? Will Tsukasa and Junpei take their relationship to the next level? If Junpei decides to get serious with his relationship with Tsukasa, I have no doubt about it. It's certainly no secret that Tsukasa herself has thought about it and even made it plainly known to Junpei on her 17th birthday. If it weren't for Tsukasa's mother calling, it might have happened indeed. But will they do it just for the sake of having done it or because of runaway hormones? I don't think this is what the mangaka intends if ever Junpei and Tsukasa "takes it to the next level." Everyone is uncomfortable talking about sex- I wonder why that is? If you talk about the physicality of it, I can understand why but sex should transcend the physical- it a beautiful expression of love between loving partners. Christian dogma even elevates sex into a sacred act. Why not, considering that sex brings about life?

Junpei, strictly speaking, is a conservative fellow. He has proven it time and time again against Satsuki's attacks and he said it plainly when Haruka, Aya's older cousin, tempted him: he believes intimate acts should be performed by willing partners within the bounds of love. Surprisingly honest for someone still so immature, no? Not only that, people who are planning to engage in sex should also be prepared for the responsibility- sex brings about a deeper emotional bond between the partners. If they went into it expecting different things, nothing but confussion and hut will result afterwards. If they ever do it, I think it will be a life-changing experience that brings them much closer than before. That are, after all, on a different level now.

As far as Tsukasa staying, I don't think it will happen unless Junpei steps up and makes a solid commitment to their relationship. You can be in a relationship (with another person) but if there is no commitment, the relationship is bound to fail. Tsukasa's expectations are quite high- she has probably busted her @ss trying to get into a pastry school in Paris so don't expect her to give up her dreams without an equal sacrifice on Junpei's part.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2005, 11:17:42 PM by AmbiDextrose »

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2005, 03:47:55 PM »
C'mon, don't be shy- I can take a beating :D. Feel free to post your reactions to the story, writing style (or lack thereof), and my thoughts. If you're more comfortable with PM, you can do that too.

Thanks to all who have visited. More to come in the near future (or before the actual ending is revealed :D).

Offline Waffo

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2005, 04:05:08 PM »
I don't read Ichigo 100% but I'll make this POW anyway since Yanime does translate it and there's bound to be some fans of it roaming around Fan Writing.  Plus, it's the first fanfic I've seen around here based on something Yanime works on.

*stickies*


"My brain told me there was a chair behind me but halfway to the floor, my brain told me it lied." -Me
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Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2005, 08:35:41 PM »
Ichigo 100% Fanfic: COMING HOME (A Yui Ending)
 "Ahhh, it's really hot," muttered Junpei, "I hope mom already bought that air conditioner." Summer came early this year so what would normally be warm, balmy weather has turned into a very oppressive heatwave. With the start of summer break, Junpei opted to spend a few weeks back home just to unwind from his normally hectic university life. It's only been a little over a year but things sure have changed, thought Junpei. The  hamburger place Satsuki used to work in was now a coffee shop. "I guess without Satsuki, the business never really recovered," Junpei said softly. I wonder how they're doing, Junpei said to himself, thinking of Amachi and Satsuki.  Sighing, he continued onward.

Upon reaching the park, he heard girls laughing and squealing in delight. His attention was caught by the slender figure that was apparently the group's sempai. She was wearing a yellow tanktop, orange shorts and colorful wedges. "Wow," Junpei said to himself, "she's very cute." She was watching the group with an almost maternal air about her. As she turned around to administer the kids, the sudden realization hit Junpei like a douse of cold water. Before he knew it, Junpei was calling her name, "Yu. . . . Yuiii !!!!!"

Yui turned around to look at who was calling her name. She saw a tall and lanky young man with a large bag standing at the edge of the playground. Her eyes widened when she realized who it was.

 "Junpei!" she  shouted.

Unable to contain her glee, she rushed over to meet him. Junpei lowered his stance in anticipation and in the last instant, Yui jumped and wrapped her arms around Junpei's neck. How often have they done this as children, Junpei thought. Back then, Yui would just bowl over him. This time, however, Junpei hoisted her in the air. "You caught me, Junpei!" Yui exclaimed. Before either of them knew it, they were laughing like children. When he set her down, Junpei could not stop smiling.

 "Wow, you look great, Yui! You grew your hair and even your breasts filled out," gushed Junpei before he realized what he had just said. Around them, Yui's charges were giggling with delight.

 "Aiiii!!! Is he your boyfriend, sempai, " they kept squealing. Yui was visibly turning red from embarrassment.

 "No," she said in a dead-pan voice, "this dumb ass is just a childhood friend." At that, the squeals of "how romantic" intensified. Junpei himself was getting embarrassed but found himself a little disappointed at Yui's declaration. Just childhood friends, he repeated to himself.

 "You never told me you were coming today," complained Yui.

 "But I only decided to come home yesterday," Junpei retorted. They stood there for a while just looking at each other when Junpei noticed the other girls surrounding them.

 "Ah, Yui," Junpei started, "are you in charge of these girls?" Yui looked puzzled at first but realized the nature of the question.

 "No,no. It's nothing like that. These are my kouhai from the gymnastics club," Yui explained.

 "I see. So they're all from Oumi then," replied Junpei. He didn't notice it before but now, he could see that she had become quite lean and toned. "But shouldn't you guys be practicing," inquired Junpei.

 "Well, there a problem with our gym's air conditioning unit so Kohaku-sensei asked me to watch over the younger ones for a while and I brought them here," replied Yui. "They have really been working so hard so I thought I'd give them a break," she concluded.

 "Yui-sempai," called one of Yui's charges, "you said we were going to play hide-and-seek." At this, Yui's face brightened. For an instant, Junpei caught a glimpse of the old Yui.

 "Hey," Yui said as she turned to him, "would you like to join us?" Junpei was caught off-guard by Yui's request. He tried to excuse himself but Yui was insistent, leading him by the arm into the middle of the playground at the same time introducing him to the rest of her kouhai.

 "Junpei," Yui started sweetly as she turned once more to Junpei, "since you are the only guy, would you mind being the seeker ?" Junpei was captivated by Yui's smile. He never thought of her other than as a sister but now, confusion was starting to bubble up. Before he knew it, he found himself blindfolded and counting down from 100. As he was doing so, Junpei heard the patter of feet as Yui and her kouhai schoolmates scramble for a suitable hiding place. He felt smug. Junpei had been playing hide-and-seek in this very park since he could remember. Discovering them should be easy, he told himself. Except one. His thoughts turned to Yui.

 "Today is the day I will catch Yui," he quietly declared as he started on his search.

After about an hour, Junpei had found everyone except Yui. Her kouhai were already getting restless and were wondering if their sempai had left them. After reassuring the girls that Yui would not do that, he set out to find her. He remembered that the last time they played this game, Yui inadvertently exposed her secret hiding place so there's little chance she'd use that. He had looked everywhere. . . . unless. . . . Suddenly, Junpei was running to the opposite side of the park.

 "She wouldn't," he tried to convince himself. "That stupid girl! It's too dangerous! She knows that's where Yasuo got hurt!" Junpei's sense of urgency was making him nervous. Junpei was referring to an old laid-stone staircase that bridged the park grounds with the sidewalk below it. Where the stone met the ground, there was a small landing. It was there that one of their friends once hid- he ended up slipping and breaking his arm. As Junpei rounded the last hill, he caught sight of the head of the staircase. Peering on both side, he found Yui standing on the ledge. Grabbing hold of the railing, he heaved himself over and landed in front of Yui, trapping her between his arms.

 "Idiot!" cried Junpei unable to contain himself. "Have you forgo ten about Yasu? What if you got hurt?" Junpei didn't notice that he was already shouting. He was taken aback when he saw Yui flinch- did he overdo it, he thought. "S. . . sorry. I got carried away."

 "You caught me, Junpei," Yui said weakly, "you finally caught me." Junpei was leaning in to keep from falling over the narrow landing. He never remembered being this close to Yui before. Most of all, he never realized that her eyes could be so mesmerizing. He could smell the faint scent of jasmine as he leaned in closer. Why was his heart beating so fast, he wondered to himself. If he leaned in a little more, he could almost. . . .

Suddenly, the ground under Yui gave way and she started to fall. Yui didn't even have time to scream. "Yui!" cried Junpei as he dived after her. He caught her spun around in mid-air so that he bore the brunt of the impact. All Junpei remembered after that was Yui's fading voice calling his name before darkness overtook him. When Junpei came to, he realized he was laying down on what seemed to be a park bench.

 "Are you awake, Junpei?" he heard a voice say. Suddenly, he was aware that his head was resting on something soft. Looking up, he saw Yui smiling over him.

 "Don't look at me like that," Junpei thought. Junpei tried to sit up but his sudden movements brought sharp, painful reminders of the accident earlier.

 "Owww. . . . that's smarts," Junpei said gingerly as he held his head.

 "I'm really sorry, Junpei. I guess I screwed up again." Yui said and began to sob softly.

Without realizing it, Junpei reached out and drew Yui to him. "It's okay, Yui. You're fine and that is what's important," he said as he tried to comfort her.

 "I'm sorry too, Yui. I shouldn't have over-reacted," Junpei said. He wished he could say more to comfort Yui but at that point, he ran out of words.

 "I think we should head home," he finally said.

Continued. . . .

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2005, 08:36:40 PM »
Nothing much was said during the journey back home. Junpei thought this was unusual for the usually-giddy Yui. Maybe she's still feeling guilty, better find something to talk about, thought Junpei.

 "Ummm. . . . you were really good with the kids back there," commented Junpei, "they really listen to you and you're very gentle with them." At this, Yui somewhat brightened.

 "Ahhh. . . . I've always wanted to take care of people, especially children," she said sheepishly.

 "Oh," replied Junpei, "you want to be a teacher, then?"

 "N. . . no. . . . I've been thinking about becoming a pediatrician someday," Yui responded. At this, Junpei was visibly impressed.

 "Wow! I had no idea," Junpei blurted out. "Then you must really consider Aoto University- our medical studies department is quite famous, you know. . . . but now when I think about it, you always did like helping others. That's why you always got into fights with the older kids." Junpei had to smile at the rush of memories.

 "And most of those fights. . . . were for my sake, right," he finished softly.

At this, Yui smiled at him and Junpei's heart almost jumped out of his chest. His thoughts immediately went to Aya- how she used to give him the same smile.

 "Well, here we are," announced Yui. This brought Junpei back to the present. "Anyway, I'll be leaving for home tomorrow so I won't be able to see you for the rest of the summer."

Those words echoed through Junpei as if he were hollow. He stood there dumbfounded.

 "Will I still see her at all," Junpei wondered silently.

 "Have a nice summer, Junpei," Yui said as she turned to take her leave of him.

 "Wait, Yui," he suddenly said, "I. . . . I want to do something for you before you leave." Junpei found that, after all this time, his heart was racing. He was happy he got to meet his childhood friend again. It felt so comfortable being with Yui- he didn't have to pretend he was anything but himself. And now, she, too was leaving.

 "Hmmm?," asked Yui with a puzzled look on her face.

 "It. . . . it's just my way of saying thanks," said Junpei quietly.

Yui sighed before responding, "That's really not necessary, Junpei. . . ," she tried to say but Junpei suddenly cut her off.

 "No. I really want to do this. . . . because I don't know when I'll see you again," Junpei finished.

For a few seconds, Yui just stared at Junpei. Then she gave him one of those sly glances he knows so well.

 "Reeealllly," said Yui. Junpei could not help but become a little nervous, "then would you take me out dancing tonight?"
 
 "Da. . . Dance?" he asked nervously. That's right, he thought, Yui always liked to dance even when we were kids. It used to annoy him to no end so he'd end up teasing Yui. Yui would get angry and throw a tantrum, along with her clothes, at him. Back then, Junpei thought it was the most hilarious thing he had ever seen. Remembering the past brought a smile to Junpei's lips. He saw that Yui was smiling back at him. Was she thinking the same thing, he thought.

 "Pick you up at seven?" Junpei finally offered.

 "Okay," said Yui all giddy now. Suddenly, she leaned in and gave him a peck on the cheek then turned and sauntered off into the gate of her building.

Junpei's hand unconsciously went to his cheek as he was trying to process what just happened. His hand was still there when Yui waved at him before going into her apartment.

 "Why can't I stop smiling", he asked himself. In truth, he didn't care.

Walking home, he thinks back and remembers . . . .

Quote
Junpei sighed heavily. He had been in the train station for over two hours. Initially an inconvenience, the announced train delays were becoming more of an annoyance to all the passengers currently stranded on in the Izumizaka train station. This was exacerbated by the the building's AC not working properly, making the atmosphere inside the train station seem more dank and humid for this time of the year.

 "I guess I should have expected this," he quietly said to himself. He was emotionally numb from all the events that happened over the past few months. Tsukasa had gone to France three months ago to become a pastry chef. Her last words were burned into his being like an inescapable reminder, "Junpei, go and find your dream. I've found mine." This as Higure-san carried her bags into his car to go to the airport. He was actually very happy for Tsukasa- to be able to follow her dream with the one she loves and that loves her back. In the end, he couldn't bring himself to spoil what felt like the perfect ending for Tsukasa. He knows that road is closed to him forever.

Amachi and Satsuki also looked happy together. Their unexpected pairing was a surprise to all, even to Amachi and Satsuki. Last he heard, they were touring Europe and were even planning on meeting up with Tsukasa when they reached France. He remembered their faces during graduation- Satsuki was glowing. He never saw her that happy- it almost made him feel jealous.

 "Manaka," he remembers Satsuki saying, "you don't have to worry about me anymore." He had to supress a chuckle.

 "I guess I should be worried for Amachi, then," he told himself.

His thoughts then turn to Aya and her new boyfriend- someone she met during her orientation at Tokyo University. Although he hasn't met the guy, Sotomura swears that Aya seems to be truly happy with him. He had to smile because he felt he couldn't do anymore crying. Why did he wait so long, he asked himself. It was always Aya. . . but. . . . he was always to hesitant. He remembers Haruka-chan's words to him- about Aya needing a strong man to lead her- one who is gentle and honest. Honesty. From the first day, he couldn't''t bring himself to be honest with Aya. Looking back now, he felt stupid that he never took the chance. Maybe this was for the best, he thought.

 "Even Kozue-chan and Migishima failed to make it," he said. What were those two up to, he wondered. Well, nothing left but to wait for the trains to resume operations, he thought. He plopped himself on a recently-vacated bench and dropped this bag on the ground beside him. He felt dejected just let his body slump forward.

 "None of them came to see me off," he said simply. He was really excited to finally be off to the university- to finally chase his dream for real but it would've been nice to see his friends before he embarked on his own journey.

 "Right, I'm on my own now," he said firmly.

 "Train 374 bound for Kanzaka and Kobe will be boarding on track 8 in ten minutes. All passengers, please stand-by." That announcement broke Junpei's stupor and filled him with renewed energy.

 "Finally," he said as he grabbed his bag and stood up. He hadn't gotten far when he heard someone shout his name.

 "Junpei, wait!"

Turning, he saw someone weaving through the crown, running. It looked like a small child, thought Junpei. Then he suddenly realized who it was that was calling out to him.

 "Yui! I can't believe you're here!" was all Junpei could say. Yui was out of breath by the time she reached him.

 "Are you OK, Yui?" Junpei asked concerned. Yui took a couple of deep breaths before answering.

 "Hah! Your parents told me where to find you, Junpei, " she said between huge puffs of air. "I came to wish you off," she said smilingly. Even with a heavy heart, Junpei had to smile back. It was so much like Yui to do this.

 "Here," she said as she held out her hand.

 "What is it," Junpei asked as he held out his own hand to accept.

 "It's a charm- it's supposed to make your dreams come true," Yui replied. Examining the charm closely, he felt that something else was inside the small envelope. Opening it, he poured the contents onto his other hand and out came a small photograph.

 "This is. . . .," Junpei stammered.

 "You remembered," replied Yui softly. It was a picture of the two of them when they were children- he was probably six in the photo. Junpei remembers giving it to Yui on the day her family moved away to live in the country side. "It's always given me good luck so I thought I'd lend it to you," continued Yui. "Also. . .," she said as she held up her other hand.

Junpei caught sight of something wrapped in a piece of red cloth.

 "What's this for," he asked.

 "Well, I heard the trip to Kanzaka is really long, so I made you some food. Can't have you getting hungry now, can we? It's not as good as Tsukasa-chans, but I did my best."

Junpei didn't know what to say as he took the prepared lunch from Yui.

 "Why," was the only thing that came out of his lips. Yui's reaction surprised Junpei even more- suddenly, Yui looked sad and lost as she replied.

 "Because I told you before, Junpei. . . Out of all my friends, I like you the best."

He couldn't stop the tears from flowing now. He knew Yui was going to tease him for being a crybaby but Junpei didn't care. Suddenly, he was embracing Yui. Yui didn't tease him. She let Junpei's tears flow down her face. Soon, her tears joined his. When he got on the train, all he remembered were Yui's eyes and her sad expression as she waved goodbye.

Unconsciously, he checks his pocket for Yui's lucky charm.

Continued. . . .

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2005, 08:37:49 PM »
Junpei rang the bell to Yui's apartment then stepped back to straighten his jacket. He hoped he didn't look to dorky- he had to borrow one the better ones from his father's closet. Glancing at his watch, he noted that he was ten minutes early. Behind the door, he heard the clacking sound of locks being unlatched then Yui opened the door. She was will in a bathrobe with a towel wrapped around her head.

 "Yu. . . Yui?" Junpei asked nervously. Why am I getting nervous, he asked himself, this is Yui.

 "Ahhhh. I didn't expect you to be early, Junpei," teased Yui, "please come in."

 "Heeeey. . ." Junpei tried to protest, "I've only been late a few times in my life."

 "Yeah, sure," Yui responded with a slight glint in her eyes. "Why don't you make yourself comfortable while I get dressed," she said as she went into another room.

Junpei noticed the various medals and plaques hung on one side of the room and decides to take a closer look. He was amazed at what he found.
 
 "Wow, Yui, you've really become a good gymnast," Junpei exclaimed, "your mom and dad would be proud of you."

 "Oh, those," Yui shouted over the noise of the hair dryer, "I became serious with gymnastics because all of you guys moved away." Junpei was saddened upon hearing this. Although she was a year younger than the rest of them and oftentimes acted as a brat, Yui had moments when she acted like everyone's older sister.

 "But don't you have friends in your own grade?" he asked.

 "Yeah, but it's not the same. It was more fun hanging out with you guys, especially Tsukasa-chan and Aya-chan. Oh, and Komiyama-kun was very funny and so was Sotomura-kun," Yui replied.

Junpei closed his eyes as his heart grew heavier with each revived memory. He looked around and found the sofa on the opposite side of the room. Sitting himself, he noticed a down turned picture frame on one of the side tables. Curious, he picked it up- and almost wished he hadn't. He was so surprised that he instinctively looked up. . .  and found Yui staring at him. She was wearing a simple red strapless dress that accentuated  her figure. Junpei thought he heard himself gasp.

"Woah," Junpei though, "when did Yui become such a hottie?" The sound of glass breaking brought Junpei back to his senses as he dropped what he was holding. He glanced back at Yui who was also looking at the now broken picture frame.

 "I. . . I'm sorry, Yui," Junpei said as he tried to apologize.

 "It's OK, Junpei. I was thinking of throwing it out anyway." Her voice was soft and sounded distant. Junpei quietly got up, found the broom closet and proceeded to clean up the shards of glass that littered the floor. He picked up the photograph from the broken pieces but didn't know what to do with it.

 "It was complicated," Yui said finally. "We were never really together." Her voice started to break as she said this. Yui must have really loved him, Junpei thought.

 "If you just want to talk about it," Junpei offered but Yui countered before he could finish.

 "No, let's go out," she said as cheerfully as she could and straightened up, "since it's been a long time since I've been with you, Junpei." Junpei smiled and nodded in agreement as he set the photo back on a nearby shelf. Picking up her shoes, Yui let Junpei lead her out of her apartment and into the waiting night.

--------------------

 "You're too young to have alcohol," Junpei tried to protest.

 "Meh. I'm already 18 so I can have have a drink legally," Yui retorted. Junpei sighed. Did he still think of her as a kid?

 "Just some strawberry wine for the lady, please" he told the waiter.

 "Very good, sir," the waiter responded politely, "and your dinner will be ready in a few minutes."

 "Thank you very much," Junpei replied.

Junpei watched Yui as she extended her glass to the waiter holding the wine bottle. He was really amazed at Yui's transformation in such a short time- she was now graceful when all he could remember were her childish mannerisms. Maybe he had a hand in Yui's sudden maturity, Junpei thought, referring to the other person in the photo. He noticed he was staring at her lips after she took a sip- and almost got embarrassed when the waiter showed up with their dinner.

Over the course of their dinner, Junpei told Yui his experiences over the past year in the university. They conversed about the past, their antics when they were children, the games they used to play, and their old playmates. Eventually the topic drifted towards the group during high school.

"So you haven't spoken to either one of them," Yui asked incredulously.

"Yeah, that's about it, I guess," Junpei replied as he was cutting into his dinner.

"The last time I spoke to Tsukasa was more than six months ago- she and Higure-san are already planning on getting married next year. Aya. . . . well, I haven't spoken to Aya since graduation," Junpei finished. He thought a year away from this place would make him forget but seems that all it did was push those memories aside. Now, they were coming back to assault him.

 "But Sotomura-kun goes to the same University as Aya-chan. You mean to tell me you haven't tried to find out how she's doing?" Yui pressed.

 "Sotomura said Aya was very happy," Junpei started softly, "she's met a great guy and they've been dating for the past year. . . ." Junpei's pause made Yui look at him.

 "Why must you ask these questions, Yui," Junpei asked, his annoyance plainfully unmasked.

 "I. . . wanted to see if you've moved on," came her reply.

 "What about you? Have you moved on?" snapped Junpei. The loud clang of metal hitting porcelain caught everyones attention. Yui had stopped moving and was breathing heavily. Junpei could tell that all eyes were on them.

 "I think you dropped this, ma'am. I'll get you a new one," said one of the waiter as he picked up Yui's fork off the floor. A weak "thank you" was all Yui could muster.

 "I'm sorry, Yui. I went too far. It's not my place to say that," Junpei said apologetically.

 "It's been over for three months, yet I still can't bring myself to talk about it," Yui said slowly as the waiter brought her new utensils.

 "Yeah," Junpei said absentmindedly "the heart remembers even if the head forgets. . . ." After that, they ate their dinner quietly, each one immersed in their own thoughts.

Continued. . . .
« Last Edit: March 22, 2005, 09:28:48 PM by AmbiDextrose »

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2005, 08:39:46 PM »
"That was a delicious dinner. Thank you so much, Junpei," Yui cheerily said. They has just stepped onto the street ans were walking away from the restaurant.

 "Don't mention it," replied Junpei. It seems that Yui has already recovered from their minor incident over dinner. She looked calm and Junpei was glad that they were back to being on speaking terms once more.

 "Junpei, do you mind if we just walk around," asked Yui. Junpei was surprised at this request.

 "Hmmm? I thought you wanted to go dancing," Junpei reasoned.

 "But it's such a beautiful night tonight," Yui said as she looked at the heavens. She didn't notice Junpei was looking at her.

 "Yeah, beautiful. . . .," replied Junpei.

Yui took Junpei's arm and they began heading down the street. Although nothing was said, Junpei was puzzled why he felt so comfortable like this- he always felt nervous when one of the girls, especially Aya, came close to him. He then noticed other guys looking at them as they moved through the streets of Izumikasa. Glancing down, he saw Yui's glowing smile. The way she held his arm looked like she might never let go. They eventually found themselves by the bay at the edge of town. The incoming sea breeze was refreshing if a bit chilly. Yui disengaged from Junpei and went over to the railings. Out in the distance, pinprick points of light moved across the horizon. Whenever the clouds dispersed enough, the moon reflected brilliantly off the water's surface. Coming up behind Yui, Junpei took off his coat and draped it across her small shoulders. He leaned back against the railing and looked at Yui. She was smiling but seemed to be lost in thought amongst the distant ships.

 "Do you remember when we first came here," Yui asked. Junpei had to think hard in trying to remember what Yui was referring to.

 "Oh yeah," he said as the memories came back to him, "we were running away from Hayase because you swiped his banana pudding." Junpei could not help but laugh at the silliness of the images that washed over him.

 "We hid behind that outcropping over there," Yui chimed in as she motioned to a group of large rocks at a distance.

 "I remember," Junpei said between bursts of hysteria, "Haya was crying so loudly we could hear him over there." At that, Yui joined him in laughter. It was nice to hear Yui laugh once more. She always had that cute, infectious laugh- the kind that made you want to laugh along. When the laughter died down, Yui suddenly became melancholy.

 "I wish days like that would never end," she said softly. Sensing her change, Junpei prodded her to go further.

 "C'mon. Let's go to the lookout," he said. The lookout was a strip of walkway jutting out from the edge of the main boardwalk. It was there that they usually went to look at ships passing by. They would make up stories about those ships and tried to impress each other with their imagination.

At the mouth of the walkway, Yui suddenly shrugged off Junpei's jacket, took off her shoes and leaped onto one of benches that lined one side of the walkway. Junpei was immediately shocked and terrified at Yui's sudden action.

 "Yui!!!!" he shouted. But before Junpei could express his concern, Yui launched into a series of jumps, twists, turns, and pirouettes while leaping between benches. Junpei was so astonished at Yui's skill and gracefulness that he didn't know he was already chasing after her. At the last bench, Yui stopped, held her stance, and bowed. Junpei caught up soon afterward. He was heaving for breath but managed to straightened himself out and started clapping Yui's performance.

 "Yui, I never imagined. . . . I wish I could film a scene like that someday," he panted. He looked at Yui- she was smiling at him, her hair being whipped by the wind into her face. Suddenly, she lept at him.

 "Junpei!!!!," she shouted.

Junpei barely had time to catch Yui. When he did, he held her up for a moment. All he could see were her eyes and the way they looked at him.

 "You caught me, Junpei," she said softly. When he set her down, he again draped his jacket over her shoulders. Hand-in-hand, they started back. When they reached the spot where Yui left her shoes, Junpei retrieved them and with a flourish, knelt in front of Yui.

 "Would the princess allow this lowly knight to do the honor," he said grandly as he presented Yui's shoes. Giggling, Yui adopted a regal air and responded, "You may, sir knight."

Junpei gently put Yui's shoes on her feet. How many times had they done this game when they were children, he asked himself, yet tonight it felt. . . . different. He stood up and unhesitatingly offered his arm and Yui took it readily.

"Hey, Yui," he said after a while, "I want to get a photo of the two of us." For a minute, Yui just looked at him- then she gave a big grin and nodded her agreement as she dragged Junpei into a nearby photo booth. They were laughing again, teasing each other on who between them would look funnier in the picture.

 "5. . . 4. . . . 3. ," Junpei was starting to countdown when Yui suddenly grabbed the back of his neck and brought her lips onto his. For a moment, Junpei forgot where he was. He was seeing stars but he was pretty sure it wasn't from the flashbulb's ignition. His heart was beating so hard he thought his ears might explode. The rush of emotion that came through him left him feeling so drained that he could barely stand after Yui had left the booth. Regaining his composure, Junpei got up and saw Yui waiting for him. Silently, she handed him the strip of photos from the booth. As he took it, Junpei noticed that Yui was slightly trembling.

Continued. . . .
« Last Edit: March 22, 2005, 09:32:48 PM by AmbiDextrose »

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2005, 08:41:06 PM »
"In there. . .," Junpei stammered, "what was that in there, Yui?" He tried to ask Yui what she did earlier but the sound of blood rushing through his body made him deaf. Junpei felt like they had overstepped some invisible boundary that defined their relationship as childhood friends.

"Why does everything have to have a reason, Junpei," Yui quietly answered and started to walk towards a nearby bench. She sat down slowly and immediately covered her face with her hands.

He caught up with Yui and sat down beside her. He gently took her hands by the wrists and gently pulled them away from her face. He could now see she was crying but he was drawn into Yui's painful visage. They were pleading with him not to ask the question but he had to know.

 "What happened. . . .," he started but then hesitated. He knew Yui was going to get hurt- he's been through it before but he had to know, ". . .between you and Ookusa?"

Those words pierced Yui's heart like an arrow. Suddenly, she was crying again.

 "I want to know, Yui," he said a low voice. He knew he wasn't going to like the answer so he braced for it.

 "I. . . .I was. . . . lonely," Yui finally said, "and Ookusa-kun was the only one who stayed behind." As she said this, Junpei could feel the knot in his stomach tighten.

 "Did. . . . did he," Junpei tried to say but found he couldn't. He was now feeling Yui's pain. How could she have born this alone, he thought.

 "He. . . . he made me feel special," she said between sobs. ". . .even though he was already involved with someone else."

Junpei didn't know what overcame him but he found himself embracing Yui.

 "Stop it, Yui. Stop blaming yourself," Junpei said, unable to control his emotions. "It was my fault. I promise I'd be there. . . but all I've been doing was running away. . . . I wish I hadn't." Yui was caught unaware by Junpei's sudden confession. She remained still and felt her heart leap. She could feel his warmth through the fabric of her dress.  Junpei, she thought, you dummy. Finally, Yui closed her eyes and smiled.

Junpei was also in tears. How could he have been so blind, he repeatedly asked himself. He was lost in his thoughts when Yui reached out and put her finger under his chin. Gently, she turned him to face her. Yui was smiling through her tears. His heart was racing madly now and wondered if Yui could feel it too. What is this I'm feeling, he asked himself. He felt confused and elated at the same time. He could feel that imaginary boundary between them slowly evaporate.

 "Thank you, Junpei," she said simply. At this, they both smiled and started to laugh.

 "Junpei, you're already 20 and you're still a crybaby," teased Yui.

 "You started it," Junpei retorted. They hugged one more time before getting up.

 "Let me take you home, Yui," Junpei offered.

 "Yeah," said Yui in agreement. Arm-in-arm, they started for home.

At Yui's apartment, Junpei suddenly felt conscious of Yui.

 "Ah. . .  what time does your train leave," he asked

 "11:30, I think," Yui responded as she handed back Junpei's jacket.

 "OK. I'll see you tomorrow then," he said while retreating to leave. As he turned around, he heard Yui's feeble voice.

 "Good-bye, Junpei. . ." Junpei stood frozen on his tracks as he heard those words. He tried to move forward but his body wouldn't obey his thoughts. Am I loosing her too, he asked himself. Why now, Yui? Suddenly, he was rushing towards Yui. He caught her arm and spun her around into an embrace. I don't want to loose her, he thought fiercely.

 "Junpei," came Yui's small voice, "have I changed?" Junpei didn't even need to think about his response.

 "Yes," he answered hoarsely trying to blink back the tears that were now welling up in his eyes, "you've grown up."

It seemed that their lips found each other since that was what they were doing when they realized what was happening. When Junpei pulled back, Yui looked small and so delicate in his arms- but her eyes kept drawing him in.

 "Yui, I. . . . I think," he tried to stammer but before he could finish, Yui gently put her finger on his lips.

 "Shhhh. . . ," Yui said gently. "Are you certain, Junpei? After all these years, I'm still fighting for you. That's why I don't want you to make the same mistakes I did."

Suddenly, she broke free of Junpei's embrace and ran inside her apartment. He heard her door shut and the locks latch. He stood there for a while, tears flowing down his face. Eventually, he found himself in front of their apparent. As he was undressing, the picture he and Yui took fell out. For a while, Junpei let it lay where it fell. Then he went down to pick it up. Looking at the photo, he had his answer for Yui.

Continued. . . .
« Last Edit: March 23, 2005, 10:06:46 AM by AmbiDextrose »

Offline AmbiDextrose

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Re: Ichigo 100% Fanfic: End Games
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2005, 08:42:17 PM »
Yui's eyes were still swollen as she hauled her bags on the station platform. She was slightly disoriented because because she hadn't been able to sleep.

 "I guess I have Junpei's answer," she thought to herself. She fully expected for Junpei not to show up but she was still disappointed. Suddenly, she felt her luggage get lighter. Startled, she looked up. Initially, she didn't recognize the person holding her bag but his smile gave him away.

 "Jun. . .pei," she stammered. She almost fell flat on her face because her legs froze. All she remembers were strong arms supporting her. She was almost afraid to look behind for fear she might be imagining things.

 "Are you alright, Yui?" Junpei inquired.

 "Junpei," she said weakly, "you came." Suddenly, she turned around and threw her arms around his neck. She didn't even know what was happening until the kiss left tingling sensations all over her body. She looked up at Junpei and ran her hands across his hair.

 "You cut your hair," she tried to say but the words got caught in her throat.

 "You don't think it's too short?" asked Junpei. Yui could only shake her head slowly.

 "Heh," Junpei continued as he scratched his head, "I figured it was time for me to make some changes starting with this."

As he spoke, Junpei handed Yui a small envelope. She was surprised by what she found inside.

 "But this is," she tried to say but words failed her.

 "You said you were letting me borrow it," Junpei said plainly. Opening it, her lucky charm, along with a small copy of their latest photo fell into her hands.

 "This is my answer, Yui. What about you?"

Without thinking about it, Yui rushed into Junpei and gave him her answer. This time, Junpei felt his whole body tingle afterward.

The announcement that the train was leaving shortly jolted Junpei out of his euphoria. He pulled Yui up, grabbed her luggage and started running.

 "Hurry, Yui or we'll miss our train," Junpei said over his shoulder. For an instant, the meaning was lost on Yui but when she realized what he said, she heart lept to the throat.

 "O. . . ou. . . our?!!!" she tried to ask over the noise of the station platform. "This is like a dream. . . .", she said to herself, ". . . maybe it is. . . .," before darkness fell around her.

Yui woke up and saw Junpei looking out in the distance and the wind running through his hair. She then became aware of the gentle rocking motion and that she was laying down. Junpei felt Yui stir and instinctively looked down. He greeted her with a smile before asking how she felt.

 "I don't know," answered Yui. "I remember you leading me into the train but then after that. . . . nothing."

 "You collapsed when we got through the doors. Did you get any sleep last night?" Junpei asked.

 "No," she said weakly.

 "Me neither," replied Junpei, then sheepishly "So, does this mean we're. . ."

 "Junpei, you dumb ass. . . ," Yui cut in. Her smile was as bright as the afternoon sun. "You've caught me. You've always caught me," she finished

 "Eh," Junpei said in disbelief, "since when?"

 "Since I was five," replied Yui. In all the time that she'd known him, she never saw Junpei smile like he did now.

 "Anyway," she continued as she sat up, "I have to let father and mother know you're coming and probably explain why. . . ."

 "Don't bother," Junpei responded as he let out a deep breath, "I think mom already told your parents."

Yui's eyes widened when she heard this. "Then they already know?" she asked.

 "I'm afraid so," Junpei answered.

 "What'll we do? What'll we tell them," Yui said. Knowing her father, Yui started to get panicky.

 "I don't know but we'll figure it out," said Junpei calmly as he drew her to him. Yui let herself be led. Scooting inside him, she snuggled against his chest. For the first time since moving away for college, Junpei felt completely at peace.

Leaning over, Junpei gently whispered in Yui's ear- "I love you, you nosey girl."

 "I love you back, you big dumb ass," giggled Yui. Then, leaning forward, Yui whispered into Junpei's ear: "Junpei, I've been meaning to tell you. . ."

 "Hmmm? What is it," asked Junpei.

 Yui gave him one of those looks before she responded. "I passed my exams for Aoto."

FIN

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« Last Edit: March 22, 2005, 10:28:42 PM by AmbiDextrose »

 

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