Monday, 17 August 2015

Chapter six (segment three), 2016, August, Noriko

What a pain! Admittedly a very good looking pain, but still. Noriko slid the door open to their room and entered. Normal club activities were partially suspended now when they had to come up with an idea for the impending cultural festival. Most of the members would be dragged into whatever their class decided to do as well, so they didn't plan anything more advanced than a food-stall or two, or would have but for the sheer size of the club.

Now there were two new ideas floating around, and one of them had a depressingly good chance of survival. Between her idiot bro, Kuri, Hitomi-chan and Nao-sempai they could probably pull the fashion show off. In a pinch even Urufu could be used depending on what kind of clothes they wanted to show off. Even the budget looked fine, as in not a single yen spent fine, because Kuri said she could get all clothes for free.

“Noriko, wait!”

And there he was again. The good looking pain. Calling her Noriko like they had know each other all their life, but with Urufu in the club no one noticed anyway as he didn't use honorifics with anyone.

“Yes, what is it? You don't need to shout.”

“Just wanted to talk with you.”

“No, you want to touch me, and there's no touching between us two.”

Some nervous laughter broke out from further inside the room. Takado Nao had arrived just days earlier and called her out for a confession almost the first thing. Now she was known all around the school as the whirlwind rejection, and still he persisted.

“I can wait with the touching. Kissing comes before that anyway.”

“There's no kissing between us either. Nao-sempai, there's nothing nothing between us.”

“There's a conversation between us,” he said and grinned.

“Gah! That's only because you called to me to… Why do I even bother explaining to you?”

Noriko threw up her arms in exasperation. She rolled her eyes, but inwardly she smiled. She didn't exactly like him or anything, but he always behaved like a perfect gentleman whenever he didn't exchange banter with her. And he was very, very good looking, and she did feel more than a little flattered.

“Look, the only thing between us is planning our participation in the cultural festival,” she said.

“See, that's more than nothing,” Nao-sempai said and laughed.

“Whatever.” She wasn't angry with him, not really. She just made sure he kept a minimum of distance.

Less than a week, and Nao-sempai already made as much an impact on the club as the motor mouth. Noriko saw how the girls in the club made advances, and she knew that the second year floor in the left wing was ablaze as well.


“Uhum, you two finished with your lover's quarrel?”

“Yes,” Nao-sempai answered.

“No, I mean there never was one… there can't be one… we're not...” Damn you Kuri! Despite the embarrassment Noriko smiled to herself again. I haven't let Urufu off the hook just yet. But somewhere deep inside Noriko admitted that she was slowly doing just that. She still loved him, but he was too far away for her to reach.

“Kuri, are we going with the show?”

Kuri shrugged, as did Nao-sempai. “We can run with it. I'll handle the details. But I'd prefer we apply for the barbecue as well. Ulf can run that one.”

You've grown considerably considerate about his feelings. What happened last week? Kyoko and Yukio were tight-lipped about it, but something had definitely happened. Enough to take Kuri down a peg or two, well the recent idiotic attempt at bringing renewed bullying to bear excepted of course.

“Fine. I'll draw up the plans and have the groups go through it,” Noriko said. She turned her head to face Nao-sempai. “That means you and Kuri are responsible for our application for the show.”

He grinned, but then he turned serious. “We'll take care of it.” There was nothing of his playful flirting left now.

In that sense he was very different from her brother. Ryu simply couldn't resist an attempt to flirt, and he was living proof that good looks alone wasn't enough to make a prince of Himekaizen. When it came to popularity he and Nao-sempai played in different leagues.

“Good,” she said. That left the barbecue, but if Urufu got himself involved in planning that request they'd end up with a written application far beyond anything anyone else in Himekaizen had the competence to produce. Especially if she helped him with writing it. His Japanese was still sub-par.

“Hitomi-chan, if we get the show, would you like to show off some clothes?” It wasn't really a question, but Noriko had to give the beauty from Urufu's class some kind of mental candy after the episode downstairs earlier.

Hitomi-chan popped out from nowhere, just as Noriko assumed she would. “Yes, I'd like that very much!”

You're just too easy to read. “Then start planning with Kuri and Nao-sempai. We wouldn't want the event to be declined, would we?” And, 3… 2… 1...

“Of course, I'll just get my bag.”

Sheesh! Well, she's taller than I am and she got the looks. Guess all of us are born with different gifts. Noriko shook her head as she listened to the airhead rummaging around in the lounging part of their club room. Moments later she arrived with her bag wildly looking for Kuri.

Nao-sempai had already followed Kuri to the office area and Noriko just pointed Hitomi-chan in the right direction.

That left handling her brother, but he shouldn't be a problem. Problems came in the form of their class representative. That girl had stood up by her bench when those roles were assigned rather than duck as much as possible like Noriko. Which worked for half of the spring term. By now the entire class knew who was the brightest, and Noriko had no interest in being dragged into student council business. She avoided it as much as possible, but it would be impossible to do so when the festival drew closer.

Each class had to do something, and a class with both Kuri and Ryu was expected to deliver something outstanding, even if they were only freshmen. Ryu's sister, especially a sister who scored solidly among the top three of all eight freshman classes put together, was bound to be dragged into something sooner or later.

But we have Principal Nakagawa. He's still our advisor. The worst of the heat should pass me by.

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