Chapter Ten : The Value Of A Good Time Part II
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The four walk through the arcade towards the back, Madoka wheeling herself after them. She is filled with anxiety suddenly, realizing that she will have to sing. She has been to karaoke a few times with friends in Tokyo. It is one of the more entertaining things that one can do, not that there is a shortage of such fun things to do, and she has shown some raw talent despite not having been specifically interested in singing. Due to that lack of a specific interest in singing, ever since waking up she has not once thought to test her singing abilities. What will it sound like? Her voice is slightly higher in pitch than it used to be, though it is such a slight difference that she hasn’t focused on it.

Eiji opens the door to the correct karaoke room for his fellow classmates, Ippei included. “What a gentleman,” Ippei says, his expression deadpan. Eiji shrugs and grins.

“It’s how I was raised.” He waits for Madoka to wheel herself through the somewhat narrow door. Madoka finds, to her relief, that the door is too narrow to allow her wheelchair to pass through. The rooms, she notes, are very space economical themselves. The one Eiji has rented contains a couch that spans from wall to wall in a green color with a table in the center, looking like a slightly oversized and comfy restaurant table. That isn’t uncommon, though some are roomier than others. A large television screen sits on the far wall over the couch, which will display the lyrics and menus and such when activated.

On the table sits a complex remote with a keyboard on one side of it and a normal television remote on the other, except for what looks like a speaker and a call button. A pair of wireless microphones sit next to it. By the door is an area that the singer might stand in, facing their friends as they sing and reading the lyrics from the television screen above them if needed.

“Oh… I should have thought about this.” Eiji frowns.

“It’s alright.” Madoka smiles, brightening a little. “I can just go play the crane games. I saw a few that look like they’ve been primed. With a little work…” Madoka starts backing out.

“Oh, none of that!” Aoi puts her hands on her hips and frowns. “It’s only a short distance. I’m sure the boys won’t mind giving you their shoulders to hold onto.” Aoi looks at the two boys. Ippei has already settled down at the end of the table.

He nods simply and stands again, walking over. “Of course. Are you comfortable with that, Hamada-san?” he asks politely.

Madoka hesitates and with a sigh, nods. “I am. I think I can probably walk enough with support.” She looks longingly towards the arcade, but throws on the brakes on her chair and slowly pushes herself to her feet. She wobbles a little as she stands there, but she is able to stand under her own power. The two boys quickly move to her sides and allow her to put an arm around each of their shoulders. Eiji blushes slightly, Ippei nods to Madoka, and the three sidle into the room sideways. Madoka walks over with their help and they are able to help Madoka into the end of the booth without much difficulty.

“Yaaaay! Good job, Madoka-chan!” Kanna claps excitedly. “Now we can sing!” she grins.

“It’s not like I did it myself,” Madoka says with a wry expression. “But I will soon,” she adds, her expression determined.

Aoi smiles warmly at Madoka, watching her with a mixture of emotions on her face that Madoka can’t interpret. Madoka blushes and looks down as Eiji closes the door and then walks over to the table and lifts the remote. He turns the television screen on, and after a moment the Karaoke menu goes into focus. He uses the remote to put it into search mode and then flips it over, holding it horizontally.

“Being as I’m paying, I’ll grace you all with my powerful singing voice to get things started. I’ve been working on a special number just in case.” The four seated crane their necks up to see the screen as Eiji confirms his song selection.

In moments heavy guitar starts playing and Eiji strikes a pose as he starts the song off with the iconic lyrics on the screen. “One Puuuuuunnnnchhhhh!!!” He holds the microphone up to his mouth and arches his back, making the pose dramatic.

The girls all giggle as Eiji begins his hot-blooded rendition of The Hero by JAM Project. Ippei rolls his eyes and grins. Eiji moves and gesticulates wildly as he sings the metal song. Aoi starts clapping along with the beat of the song.

Hero! I don’t want voices praising me or an ovation. Hero! So I fight against evil in secret…” Eiji sings, his tone not 100% spot on, but that just lends his performance a comedic flair rather than ruining it.

Madoka starts clapping along with Aoi, and the two grin at each other. Kanna cheers for Eiji, bouncing a little in her seat. All too soon, the song comes to an end, but it successfully sets the mood, and not even Madoka can help but feel excited and happy after Eiji shouts the final lyrics and the song comes to an end. “I wanna be the strongest HERO!

Eiji puts true metal flair into those last lines, shrieking them and tossing his head as though he has long hair to throw around. He ends in a pose with his fingers in the air, his other arm to the side and out, one leg in front of the other and spread slightly, his head down, eyes closed. He takes a deep breath and grins, his eyes immediately going to Madoka who grins at him. Everyone in the room claps and cheers, although Ippei’s cheers are more muted and polite than the three girls’.

Kanna blushes and jumps up, suddenly snagging the microphone from Eiji. “That was good for you, stupid pres. Let me show you how it’s really done, though!” She bumps him with her hip and Eiji actually stumbles a little as he takes a seat. He rolls his eyes.

“This should be good.” He looks at Ippei.

Kanna navigates the menus faster than Eiji had and a guitar and almost techno-like pop beat starts blaring over the speaker. Madoka gasps as she recognizes the song, thinking that this song suits Kanna too well. It is too cute, like Kanna.

“Without anyone noticing, the rain let up. With the rain having stopped, the town sparkles…” Kanna sings, her voice taking on an adorably cute tone that matches or even surpasses the artist herself. She wields her cute sex appeal perfectly as she sings, dancing and gesturing like Eiji did in his performance, but with a lot more elegant precision.

“Indeed, what a wonderful wonder world! Taking your hand now, I want to open this door with you.” She gestures with her hand, and almost seems to be doing it specifically in Eiji’s direction. Madoka notices Eiji blushing a little, as though he thinks so too.

“Come on! Continue to play the music and take control! Bravely seizing your dreams, s-s-s-s-stand tall!” Kanna winks, seeming like an idol as she whirls, her blonde twintails swinging as she dances with amazing rhythm. For the first time in her life, Madoka feels jealous. Of what? No, she knows. She is jealous of the grace and natural sex appeal that Kanna has. Those dance moves. She is jealous of Kanna’s ability to dance and spin wildly. She covers her face as she gets herself under control. Part of her finds Kanna’s undeniable sex appeal attractive, the other part is consumed with this jealousy. Can she sing anywhere near as well as Kanna? Should she even try? How can anyone follow this act? Her frilly pink dress with white lacy accents is perfect for the cute tone of the song she has chosen, lending her an even more idol-like atmosphere.

“Indeed, what a wonderful wonder world! Taking your hand now, I want to open this door with you and… proceed to a place that we haven't seen before. Such a wonderful wonder world! It’s also felt scattered throughout this city. Even the worrying future fades away when I’m with you! What a wonder!” Kanna finishes her song, joining in with the final chorus singing “na na na”s. When the song finishes, Kanna is in a pose that shows off her creamy thighs. Her dress’ skirt is somehow lifted more than usual showing a hint of panty and her lovely legs to great effect, and her pose is sassy, but cute, one hip extended, one eye closed in a wink.

The room is quiet for a moment. Aoi starts clapping excitedly, grinning and squealing a little at her friend’s amazing performance. The boys soon join in too, clapping very animatedly. Madoka blushes, and joins in. She has to admit that Kanna’s performance has affected her too. The worm of jealousy gnaws at her even as her body seems to be responding in a way she hasn’t really expected.

“You go next, Hamada-chan,” Eiji says after a moment. “I don’t know if my heart can take it, but I’m willing to take the chance.” He eyes Kanna and she laughs, blushing as she steps forward and sets the microphone and remote down. She plays with a twintail as she grins.

“You… you really liked it?” She seems to focus on Eiji but looks at all of them, and everyone nods, expressing their enthusiastic approval of her performance.

“No… I… I can’t follow that,” Madoka says in response to Eiji’s statement.

“That’s okay. You go next then, shadow-pres.” Kanna smiles. Ippei is blushing slightly. He shakes his head and nods.

“Alright. I’m not very good at this, but I don’t mind.” He clambers out, and Eiji moves for him so that he can. He picks up the remote and starts searching. He hesitates as he navigates through various song choices. Finally with a shrug he makes his decision. The title ‘Forever Love’ comes up on the screen and a piano starts playing with a soft drumbeat. Soon strings start joining in with the melody. Ippei doesn’t pose or gesture. He just stands with the microphone with his eyes closed and head down and he starts singing. Despite his lack of physical movement, his voice stuns everyone.

“I’ll never walk alone again, the winds of time are too strong. Ah, it’s that what you hurt, which you’ll have to live with…”

Kanna blushes pretty quickly as Ippei’s performance continues and she clasps her hands to her chest. Aoi isn’t as affected, but even her eyes moisten as he sings.

“Will you hold my heart? Stop flowing, tears. Again, my heart is completely broken…”

Aoi and Kanna’s eyes are filled with tears by now as they listen. Eiji watches Ippei and shakes his head, but when he turns his head and notices the reactions of the girls to Ippei’s performance, the words he seems to be on the point of saying die on his lips. He blinks and laughs and looks over at Madoka and his eyes widen even more when he sees that Madoka is in a similar condition. He chews his lip. Madoka notices out of the corner of her eye but she can’t help but watch Ippei as he seems to pour his heart out into the lyrics. Even her heart throbs a little at the shadow pres’ impassioned performance.

“Forever love, forever dream, within flowing tears, bright seasons forever change again and again, forever love….” Ippei sings, finishing the song. He simply stands there as the music comes to an end. Madoka half expects to see tears in his eyes when he looks up based on the amount of emotion he has put into his performance, but his expression is the same as ever as he walks over to the table. Kanna starts clapping enthusiastically.

“Not as dynamic as Eiji-kun’s performance, but amazing, shadow-pres!” Kanna enthuses. Aoi nods her agreement, smiling and wiping a tear from her eye, and after a moment Madoka does too, blushing.

“Not as dynamic? Hell! He didn’t move an inch and it was still powerful,” Eiji says, his tone admiring and jealous both. “Amazing, man.” He pats Ippei on the back.

“I don’t need your patronization, stupid pres.” Ippei smiles at Eiji. Eiji rolls his eyes and shrugs, smiling.

“Well! I think…” Aoi turns to look at Madoka. Madoka shakes her head and waves her hands at Aoi’s questioning look. “I think I’ll go next.” Aoi squirms under the table and crawls out from under it. She turns and picks up the remote Ippei laid back down onto the table, and starts searching through the menu.

“Hey… let’s order some drinks,” Eiji suggests. “Hit that call button.”

Aoi blinks and then smiles. “Yeah sure.” She hits the call button and after a few moments a voice comes over the speaker on the remote.

“Thank you for your patronage! What can I get you?” Everyone calls out their order, which Aoi clarifies for the person over the intercom. Kanna orders a milk tea. Aoi orders a melon soda, which Madoka seconds. Eiji orders roasted green tea, and Ippei orders black coffee.

Once the order is finished, Aoi resumes her search and finally, looking unsatisfied, settles on a track.

Piano again starts playing, and drums join. Aoi starts singing the song titled, ‘My Soul, Your Beats!’.

Madoka watches with a smile as her friend opens her mouth. She doesn’t pose much, but she does move with the beat. “On a sleepy morning when I just fall asleep and wake again over and over…”

Madoka grins, recognizing the song after a while. She laughs, feeling like she should have suspected that Aoi would be into anime with fighting like Angel Beats. Aoi sings the song soulfully like Ippei has, but her singing voice is obviously less polished than Kanna’s. Even so, her song mesmerizes Madoka even more for some reason. Aoi’s eyes meet hers periodically during her performance and when they do, a shock goes through her and she blushes. She isn’t sure what Aoi is thinking, but at those times, Aoi seems to move more animatedly. Finally she is moving, her motions less full of sex appeal than Kanna’s were, but still powerful and graceful.

“Before I knew it, I took off running, pulled along by your hand. Yesterday so distant and tomorrow so close. Naturally it made my heart leap,” Aoi sings. Madoka feels her heart beating quickly as she does. A polite knock comes at the door in the middle of Aoi’s performance, however when no one opens the door, the knocking stops, allowing Aoi to continue her performance. She is distracted for a moment, but resumes, without missing a ‘beat’.

“These days that could vanish like some hundred million dreams. I saw them off, waved goodbye, and said ‘thank you’.” Aoi finishes the song as the driving beat stops and the piano finishes its somewhat mournful melody. When the song finishes, Madoka claps excitedly.

“That was great Aoi-chan!” She grins, bouncing almost as excitedly as Kanna, who also bounces.

“Yaaay, Aoi-chi!” Kanna cheers, laughing. Aoi grins and blushes and holds her hand up as she opens the door, quickly.

After a moment, Aoi steps aside and an employee walks in, and starts setting drinks from his tray onto the table. He politely excuses himself after depositing them and everyone takes a little break as they sip their drinks.

“Wow… everyone is so good at this,” Kanna enthuses. “I’m having so much fun! We really need to do this again!” She grins, looking at Eiji.

Eiji chuckles and nods. “I’m having a blast. I still haven’t heard Hamada-chan’s performance yet though. Do you feel better yet?” Eiji asks Madoka. Madoka blushes and squirms a little, sipping her melon soda. She is really enjoying the flavor, not having had a melon soda in ages. Finally she frowns and looks down at the table.

“I’m still anxious,” she murmurs.

“I don’t see why.” Kanna looks at Madoka. Aoi does too, with a puzzled frown. “Where is this lack of confidence coming from?” she asks as she sips at her milk-tea through the cute straw in it.

Madoka blushes. “I don’t know… I’m not used to singing,” she says.

“Not used to singing or never went singing? I can see how a lady like you might not have had the opportunity,” Ippei enquiries. 

Madoka shakes her head. “No… it’s not that. I’ve been out with friends. It’s just been a really long time.” she squirms. “I don’t know how I’ll sound.”

“Why don’t we sing a duet?” Eiji grins, waggling his eyebrows. “I bet I can find something super fun that will get you into the spirit of things.”

Madoka blushes and looks around. She feels like she wants to escape. She doesn’t know what to do, but she can’t, because she won’t get far. She thinks for a moment about whether she can crawl out successfully.

Aoi, noticing her friend’s distress, chews her lip and then smiles. “Well, I’m still warmed up. Why don’t we do a duet. I promise I’ll go easy on you,” she offers, putting a hand on her friends’ shoulder to calm her. Madoka looks at her friend and blushes, feeling her hand on her shoulder. Her heart throbs a little as she hovers on the point of indecision. Finally, she makes her decision.

“Okay, Aoi-chan.” She smiles.

Eiji looks a little crestfallen for a moment, but smiles warmly. “Alright! You can do it, Hamada-chan!” he cheers her on.

Madoka smiles at him. “You can just sit there.” Aoi hands Madoka the second microphone.

“Let’s see if we can find some good duet songs.” Aoi scrolls through the options and points out a few songs, playing samples. Madoka shakes her head, not recognizing any of them. Eventually she comes to Sayonara no Tsubasa. “Macross F… do you recognize it?” Aoi asks, seeming excited.

“Yes!” Madoka grins. “I loved this part! I never thought I would sing it though.” She blushes.

“Let’s do it!” Aoi crows, and Madoka giggles as she hits the button and the opening of the song comes on. “You do the second part, okay?”

Madoka nods, squirming in sudden embarrassment. The sound of guitar and then strings and drum play over the speaker. Madoka stays seated. Aoi stands next to her, and the other three move to the other side of the booth so they can watch both better.

Aoi starts the song off. “The wind that shakes the horizon… is the blaze burning?” The beat of the song and Aoi’s voice fills Madoka with feelings of excitement.

“Shivering, I stand at the entrance to the world, Until my feelings are delivered, I can’t die.” Madoka sings the second part, her tone clumsy and a little weak, but Aoi’s enthusiasm infects her quickly.

They sing the next lines together, not harmonizing especially well, but their voices sound really nice together, Madoka’s higher pitched voice and Aoi’s lower pitched voice blending with a natural and untrained quality.

“Those wings are Valkyria before the wounded soldier, Valkyria lover of swooping illusions, crossing over the rainbow bridge to guide that spirit Valkyria!. Even if I disobey fate, Valkyria, Even if torn away from tears, Valkyria, Before daybreak there is no life that won’t glitter. I love you.” They look at each other as they sing. Madoka’s tone has evened out and become more confident.

Eiji watches and listens and his jaw drops a little for some reason as he watches them sing. Ippei smiles approvingly. Kanna watches with fascination, a smile on her face.

“Take a breath; let’s go to the future, and make our choice,” the two sing, at this point harmonizing to an amazing degree despite the odd quality in Madoka’s voice, but that quality seems to lessen as time passes and more emotion is invested in the song.

Valkyria! I rendezvous with the wind, Valkyria! Someday I’ll bid it farewell, Valkyria! Before daybreak, there is no life that won’t glitter. I’m alive. Wearing armor of light on this body, soaring towards the sky.Valkyria: Wings of Goodbye. I love you…”

The two finish the song powerfully. Tears stand in Madoka’s eyes and she blinks and rubs them with a little giggle when they finish. Her heart is pounding fiercely. Aoi leans back against the wall, a smile on her face. Suddenly, Madoka feels Aoi embrace her, hugging her. “You’re such a mystery, Madoka-chan.” Aoi laughs fondly. The two feel themselves glomped by Kanna who squeezes them tightly.

“You two! I can’t believe how amazing that was!” she squeals. Madoka blushes and Aoi laughs and the three squeal as they hug it out.

“Cuteness overload.” Eiji sighs as he watches the girls.

“Oh yes.” Ippei adjusts his glasses which seem to have fogged up slightly.

After a moment, Kanna lets go of her two friends and looks at Eiji and Ippei. “Are you thinking impure thoughts?” she teases. 

“Never!” Ippei says stiffly, his face deceptively calm even while the fog clears from his glasses. Eiji blushes profusely and scowls a little. 

“Not about you, flat chest.” Eiji says indignantly. Kanna gasps and her eyes widen in response.

“Stupid pres!” She picks up her milk tea and downs it quickly. After a moment she looks at Eiji with angry determined eyes.

“Alright, stupid pres! We’re going to do it too. Come on!” She crawls out from under the table and takes the microphones, shoving one into Eiji’s hands. Eiji blinks.

“No… that’s alright. I…” he starts.

Kanna grabs his collar and pulls his face close to hers. “We’re gonna do it, so just sing, idiot,” she says. “Do I have to make Aoi-chi beat you up?” She grins.

“Oh no… that’s alright.” Eiji looks at Aoi who looks at him blandly. To support her friend she cracks a knuckle, and Eiji winces. “Let’s sing.” He laughs anxiously.

Kanna smiles brightly and picks up the remote and starts clicking through options. She finally settles on one and the title displays as music starts playing. ‘Forever From Just One Second’. Eiji looks at Ippei as though begging him for help as the piano music starts playing a lovely little song. Drums and strings join in with the piano and the male lyrics start.

“I am not going to say goodbye, because every time I close my eyes, you are always there,” Eiji sings, unenthusiastically at first but his showmanship takes over and he stands and poses dramatically. Unlike his previous performance, he adopts a more relaxed pose as Aoi and Ippei had in their performances.

“If tomorrow is coming, I do not need anything else, I just want to keep smiling, always.” Kanna sings her part with great passion, backing up against Eiji and looking over her shoulder at him cutely. He blushes a little and Eiji starts his next line.

“Please do not say it, I want to feel you by my side more,” Eiji sings, seemingly losing a little of his confidence as his voice shakes a little.

“If you say it out loud, I feel like something is going to break,” Kanna sings, winking at Eiji. Eiji rolls his eyes and the two start singing together. “I was making sure by the warmth of that hand of yours. If unstoppable time is going to separate us, I want to stare at you more, I want to hold you forever, time is slipping away.”

The two sing together. Aoi smiles and scootches Madoka over, and reaches across the table for her drink. She sits with her hip up against Madoka’s. Madoka blushes a little at that and sips her melon soda, realizing that she has finished it already.

“Aren’t they cute?” Aoi asks softly to Madoka, grinning. “You know… I think Kanna likes the idiot.” She laughs.

Madoka blinks and watches them and then laughs. “I think so too,” she observes as she watches her friend sidle up to Eiji while they sing the duet together. Eiji seems somewhat oblivious, but even he has to blush here and there, his voice shaking a little at some of what Kanna does, seeming to flip her skirt by accident. She really pours on the sex appeal, and it all seems focused on Eiji. Ippei watches with his usual blank expression as he drinks his black coffee.

“If tomorrow is coming, I do not need anything else, I just want you to keep smiling, always… forever more. If tomorrow is coming, I do not need anything else, I just want you to keep smiling, always… I’m not going to say goodbye…” they finish the song, Kanna looking up into Eiji’s eyes.

Everyone in the room applauds for them, and Eiji quickly takes a seat, blushing. He looks at his empty roasted green tea bottle and curses under his breath.

“We’re almost out of time,” Eiji says regretfully. “I paid for an hour.” He checks his cellphone, confirming his sense of time. “We have time for one more. Do you think you could do one solo, Hamada-chan?” Eiji asks Madoka, his eyes begging her.

Madoka hesitates, but buoyed by the excitement and having already done one, she nods, blushing. “I’ll do the last one,” she consents.

She picks up the remote and flips through the options, uncertainly. She bites her lip. She eyes some of the more hot-blooded songs she used to be into, but decides against it. She’s gotten enough odd looks today. Finally, she settles on Crossing Field. She has heard that more than a few times from when she watched Sword Art Online, and the lyrics suit her mood in more than one way. The techno-like J-pop beat starts and Madoka sings, putting her heart into it.

“Even as I’ve acknowledged my cowardly past, I still act so scared like I don’t understand a thing. Now my past is being projected into the present.”

The voice of the artist goes through her mind as she sings, and her own voice unconsciously emulates it, exuding more femininity than it has so far. Eiji watches raptly, seeming on the edge of his seat. Ippei watches quietly, but intently. Kanna smiles, surprised and pleased with her friend’s performance. Aoi seems shocked and she watches Madoka with intensity. Madoka can’t move much but she does rock to the beat of the song, shaking her hands and gesturing a little like Kanna has in her own performances.

“Jumping high from my dreams. No matter what sort of anxiety clings to me, I’ll go ahead and shake it off. Expand and bring out that sleeping, small little thought. I realize that I’m weak, but not if you’re here. You give me strength to face the darkness of this world. My heart seems to be looking at a long dream forever.”

Madoka finishes the song strongly, and looks up at everyone as the background singers in the track sing ‘I want to always be with you, I want to hold you tight right now, I swear I will wipe your tears, I’ll give you everything I have’. She blushes as the song ends, breathing a little hard, as though she’s run a mile.

The room remains quiet for a moment and then everyone claps and cheers. Kanna dog piles on her again while Aoi looks at her, chewing her lip. Finally Aoi joins in again.

“That was great, Madoka-chan. You’re so much better than you thought,” Eiji enthuses, whistling and clapping.

“It was a good rendition.” Ippei claps more politely, but smiles, rolling his eyes at Eiji’s enthusiasm.

The rest of the evening goes by fairly quickly. Madoka and Aoi make their way to the Dissidia game banks and Eiji joins them, while Ippei and Kanna make their way over to the rhythm games. Madoka doesn’t do as well as she hoped. Aoi and Eiji dominate, getting a lot of KO’s on her. After spending 400 yen in trying to approach their performance, Madoka gives it up with a laugh and excuses herself to go do what she has had her heart set on doing.

Aoi and Eiji trash talk each other as Madoka slips out to make her way to the bank of crane games. The figure she has her eye on still seems poised to drop, it seems to her, so she puts ten 100 yen coins into the machine and prepares to stretch her crane game muscles. She is disappointingly inaccurate, though she does manage to nudge the box closer to the edge by the time she finishes the first ten rounds of attempts. Her face is pouty as she digs out another ten 100 yen pieces and slides them into the coin slot. She resumes her attempts, happily humming, slipping into the zone as she works the box closer and closer to dropping.

Kanna taps the buttons on the Love Live machine with amazing rhythm and precision. Her pace is very rapid due to, the game being in expert mode. Ippei watches as she doesn’t make any mistakes as she plays. She does not miss any notes. Finally, with a laugh, he cracks his knuckles and puts some coins into the machine next to hers and then focuses on his own screen. He too is expert level. Will she notice it?

Kanna takes a break, pulling a cute kerchief from her purse and dabbing her face lightly so as not to mess up her light makeup. Has Eiji noticed the extra work she has put into her appearance for him? She hopes he has. She peeks over her shoulder back towards the Dissidia bank where Aoi and he are still dueling each other. She pouts a little. Would it kill him to come over and watch her awesome playing? Well she can do that too she decides. Maybe if she flatters him a little bit about his skill at Dissidia… she is fairly certain that Aoi is wiping the floor with him, though, so maybe there won’t be an opportunity for her there after all.

After all the work she has done arranging this whole meetup secretly with Eiji and Ippei, it hasn’t gone quite like she has wanted, though the duet was fun! She pouts a little over the things that haven’t gone exactly the way she wanted them to and looks over at Ippei’s machine before thinking about doing another song or two herself.

He is pretty good as usual. He is a king of DDR, which means most rhythm games are right up his alley. She turns her attention back to her screen with a little sigh.

“I’m sick of Wada beating me. Let’s play some Mario Kart, man,” Eiji grouches at Ippei, trying to peel him away from his boring rhythm games. It really is all he likes to do, and that annoys Eiji. It won’t kill his friend to try out some more manly games. Dissidia, for instance. He’s reasonably sure he can beat the frustratingly cool guy if only he can just get him to join him for a round or two of some fighting game. Wada is demonic when it comes to fighting games. He shivers a little. Oh, he has won a few rounds, but unfortunately very few rounds.

“Come on, or I’ll knock you on your ass.” Eiji scowls as his friend ignores him as he taps out the rhythm to a cheery and sickeningly cute sounding song.

Finally Ippei looks at him as he finishes. “Fine. Let’s go play. Calm down. Girls don’t like it when you’re not cool.” He gets a dig in on Eiji, who grimaces.

“I’m cooler than you. Which one of us sang a corny love song and which sang a high energy super cool theme song that everyone knows and loves? I rest my case, dude.” Eiji gestures as if dropping a microphone and Ippei laughs.

“Keep up that sassy attitude, Sugawara. You’ll need it for the cute maid uniform that Kanna is going to stuff you in. Then who will be corny and cute?” Ippei gestures the same way Eiji had, and Eiji just looks at him; completely shut down. 

“Damn… good comeback,” is all Eiji can mutter.

The five play a few rounds of Mario Kart together. Eiji has managed to get them all together for the final round of gaming. Madoka sighs as she steers her kart. She is currently playing as Wario. Despite all her powers, she has been unable to budge the figure that looks as though it is going to fall any moment. Those machines do tend to bait you, and objects can be deceptively hard to drop.

She hits a double item icon and her items resolve to a green shell and a blue spike shell. She is in third place. She grins a little, an idea forming in her mind.

Several minutes later, Madoka cheers, her hands in the air. She has successfully offed Aoi with the green shell, taking second place, and then brutally destroyed Eiji at the finish line with the spike shell, taking first place in a stunning upset. Everyone laughs and cheers for her.

The girls finish their night at the arcade in the photo booth. Madoka warms up to the silliness quickly, sitting in the booth, but still making faces and gesturing with the other two girls as they pose and apply various effects to their faces, creating long strips of cute photos and making copies of them for all three as they spend the last of the yen they have.

The boys walk the girls to the bus stop, and when the bus comes, they part ways, the girls boarding and the boys walking on towards another whose line goes in the direction of their homes.

“I know how you feel man,” Ippei murmurs after a moment, after hearing Eiji sigh.

This bus has a ramp, so once it lowers, Aoi wheels Madoka up onto it and the three girls sit close to each other, Madoka in her chair with the brakes on, and the other in a nearby set of two seats. At this time of night there are plenty of seats available for the ride home. They get off the bus after many more stops at the appropriate one for Aoi’s house and soon they’re back. Once again, Aoi’s father helps Madoka into the house once he is alerted to the girls’ return to their home. Aoi directs him to take Madoka into her room and the three settle down at the low table surrounded by cushions while Aoi’s mother prepares some tea and a light snack for the three.

They chat lightly, and Madoka looks around, taking in details of Aoi’s room with a little blush. Her room looks girlish, but also is a little more plain than she has expected. She blushes more as she sees Aoi’s bed. It isn’t as impressive as her bed at the mansion, but then, the room itself isn’t as overpowerfully girly. It feels comfortable and alot more ‘lived in’ than her own room. Her own room feels like a hotel room to her… containing nothing of her own personality or likes or dislikes in it. Aoi’s room is different. It shows her personality. Her cute side, and her somewhat boyish side. She examines the poster of a man with a sword, and blinks.

“Ninja Gaiden?” she asks. Aoi pauses mid-sentence and gapes a little. “You know it?” she says, her tone disbelieving.

“What?” Kanna asks, her expression clueless.

“Yes! It’s a lot of fun. I’m not great at it. I got into it after playing a little Dead or Alive and…” Madoka says, trailing off as Kanna studies her with a raised eyebrow. Aoi smiles broadly however, and shakes her head.

“You constantly surprise me, Madoka. You don’t look like the kind of girl who enjoys things like this and yet you played Dissidia with me, a little at least.” She grins. “You know, I can help you work on your skills. I bet you could beat stupid-pres if you work at it.” She grins eagerly.

Madoka giggles. “I’d love that.” She blushes.

Kanna rolls her eyes and smiles, standing up. “Okay, you two, enjoy your geek talk. I’m going to go out briefly.” She stands and walks over to the door, sliding it open and then closed behind her.

Aoi sits closer to Madoka, looking into her eyes as the two talk about fighting games they’ve played. She’s surprised to hear the shockingly long list of titles. She has assumed that Madoka is pretty much a cute princess and even though she is weird sometimes, nothing much has really changed her mind about that until now. Madoka is a puzzle to her, one that she doesn’t understand.

Madoka looks into her eyes and her heart beats quickly. She doesn’t understand those emotions. Something about Madoka makes her feel that way, she knows, and she hasn’t felt this way about anyone ever before. She blushes, resisting a sudden urge, and moves to stand, flustered. I need some air, she thinks. Where is that stupid Kanna? This wouldn’t feel so awkward if… As she stands, her leg cramps and she gasps, falling forward. The two girls scream as they go down. Aoi ends up on top of Madoka and their eyes meet. Madoka groans softly as she wriggles her legs out from under her, but she doesn’t look away from Aoi and Aoi doesn’t look away from her. Her heart beats so fast she feels as though it will shatter her ribcage any moment, and something happens that she never would have imagined. She leans forward and kisses her cute new friend.

Madoka looks up into Aoi’s eyes, whimpering a little as she moves her legs out from under her. She is more flexible than she used to be, but that still hurts her. Even so, she is lost in the moment, looking into Aoi’s eyes. Her heart beats quickly, and she feels Aoi’s body on top of hers. The softness of it is wonderful. She freezes like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming bus. Then the bus hits her. Aoi’s soft lips press against her own. Her eyes widen and she stiffens, and then all her senses go hazy as she finds herself kissing her new friend back. The two hug each other as they kiss the passion that has been building between them tonight out. If it wasn’t for the door sliding open things might have gone even farther between the two.

“Mr. Uchida! What is the meaning of this!?” the voice of an angry Sakamoto-Kocho challenges Saito over his desk phone. Oh no… this isn’t good at all! How did he find out!? Saito leans forward, head in his hands. I’m sorry, Senpai… I can’t stop the coming storm now.

“Sakamoto-Kocho… I’m not sure what you mean…” Saito lies as convincingly as he can.

Here are some song names and links for you to hear the songs. I modified the lyrics a little so they don't sound so engrish (Since the characters are speaking in Japanese but we're understanding them since it's in English... yeah complicated)
Click the links to go to Youtube references for the songs.

Eiji - The Hero (One Punch Man)
Kanna - Wonderful Wonder World
Ippei - Forever Love by X-Japan
Aoi - My Soul Your Beats (Angel Beats)
Madoka - Crossing Field

Aoi and Madoka - Sayonara no Tsubasa
Kanna and Eiji - Forever From Just One Second

No update on my hiatus on Kamifan!  I will know where I stand in the world in a few months unless things happen like they can. '^^  Hope you enjoy the Mouikkai update!  There are 6 more releases to get you by for a month and a half!  There's another novel I can start submitting too then when this finishes. I just hope it's well received!