Title: Absolute Boyfriend 2.0
Characters: Arashi, KAT-TUN, OCs, and various special guest appearances from other famous people
Pairing/s: Nino/OC, Sho/OC, Junno/OC, Jun/OC
Summary: Miyuki has had one bad relationship after another, while Haru has never been in one. Both are given a chance to have their ideal boyfriend--only they're not human.
Disclaimer: I do not own ZettaI Kareshi (drama/manga) in anyway, nor do I own the Johnny's boys--except for one (LOL). I own the plot and the OCs. Some characters from the original Zettai Kareshi are mentioned, but I do not own them either. ^^
A/N: Sorry for another late update. xD I hope I made this good enough for all of you out there. Hehe. I shall do my best in making another update before Christmas. Ganbarimasu! Comments and constructive criticism are very much appreciated here. ^^
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6
Chapter 7 – Revelations
Miyuki sighed happily as Aiba printed the last of the photos that they edited for that day. She marked the last envelope and arranged everything in a neat pile on the table.
Aiba studied the last photo and nodded contentedly at it before giving it to Miyuki who received it with both hands and bowed.
“We’re done?” she asked as she placed it in one of the envelopes.
Aiba stood up and stretched his arms before holding them up for a double high five that Miyuki reciprocated as usual. Miyuki chuckled and checked the time before she fixed her bag.
“You can go now Miyuki.” Aiba told her while he kept his laptop. “I’ll clean up here. Your brother might be waiting at home.”
“It’s alright. I’ll help you, senpai.”
“No, no! I insist! You go ahead!”
He started to push her out of the room and then out of the office, even locking her out so she couldn’t come back to help him.
“I’ll see you at the shoot tomorrow!” Aiba said through the glass doors and waved.
Truthfully, she was grateful that she could go home already. Although she enjoyed working and training with Aiba, she was exhausted. As she made her way to the ground floor, thoughts about what happened at lunch time came to mind.
“Yes. We make the perfect robot lovers just like the one that you have with you right now.”
When she stepped out of the building, she found Jun waiting for her underneath a nearby tree. He smiled and ran towards her like a happy little child.
“I missed you.” He said. Miyuki just gave him a faint smile and they started walking.
“We’re here to check up on the status of your robot boyfriend.” The man told her. “And we’re very pleased to know that you are warming up to it already. Of course we’re not surprised by this since he was made to fit you perfectly.”
She winced at how they pertained to him like he was a custom-made shirt for her.
“We knew it was only a matter of time for you to learn to love it.”
Miyuki glanced at Jun who casually took her hand again when they crossed the street. After Kimura-san further explained about the robot lovers and what they were all about, Miyuki thought that it was surreal how Jun seemed so much like a real human.
Their eyes met and a smile immediately formed on Jun’s face, but Miyuki’s expression remained serious even as she looked away.
Miyuki shook her head.
“Nothing. I’m just tired.”
She felt his hand stop her from taking another step. Jun faced her and studied her eyes.
“What’s wrong?” he asked again. “Tell me.”
Miyuki just stared at him, and Jun stared back awaiting her answer. She didn’t know why she felt upset upon learning more about the robot.
“When you say ‘aishiteru’…” she said in a low voice. “Do you…mean it?”
Jun frowned at her and nodded his head.
“Of course.” He replied.
“But don’t you just say it because that’s what you’re programmed to do?”
“I am programmed to be what you need me to be." he said coolly. "I am not the perfect boyfriend because I say or do things that make you happy. I say or do these things because I am your perfect boyfriend.”
Miyuki made a face and looked at him incredulously. Jun smirked and took a step closer. He tucked her hair behind her ear and let his fingers graze the length of it.
“I am not your perfect boyfriend because I tell you I love you.” He said softly. “But it is because I love you that I become your perfect boyfriend.”
Miyuki felt herself smile a little. They were such nice words, but she could not let herself believe them. She snuffed as she told herself for the tenth time that there was no way he could have actual feelings for her beyond the artificial ones that he is supposed to have—or show. There was no way that he could be her perfect boyfriend.
“Ah, sou?” she answered nonchalantly.
She smiled weakly and continued walking and Jun took her hand again in his. She secretly wished that a real person had said those words instead of him. She thought that it was great how she was quickly getting fond of him and enjoying his company, but she should not forget that Jun was a robot. And though Miyuki primarily had no intentions of making him her boyfriend, she somewhat felt sad.
He is a beautiful idea. But that’s all he’ll ever be.
After convincing Jun that he didn’t have to walk her to their door, Miyuki finally arrived in their unit. She can hear that the television was on but he didn’t hear Nino or Satoshi’s voices.
“Tadaima.” She said upon entering the door. Nino was lying on the sofa reading his manga while Satoshi was on his La-Z boy with his sketch pad.
“Okaeri.” they said at the same time, but only Satoshi looked up from what he was doing and smiled sweetly at her. This made her feel better.
“Did you two eat dinner already?” she asked as she dropped her bag on Nino’s feet.
“Hai. Thanks for the food.”
“I saw the food you left by the door.” Satoshi answered as he continued to sketch. “I thought I might need to have pizza delivered since you said you’d be home a bit late. But then I was happy to see you made something.”
Miyuki frowned and assumed that perhaps it was Jun. She saw Nino look suspiciously at her from behind his manga so she casually smiled.
“Was it good?” she asked.
“It was so good, I couldn’t stand it.”
She was about to go to her room when he motioned for her to come and see his sketch. Miyuki went to where he was and sat on the arm rest. Satoshi handed her the sketch pad and she laughed at the caricature he made of Nino.
“Nino looks like a person here, but…” She joked and giggled. “Here, let me fix it.”
She took the pencil from her brother and erased a few parts of Nino’s face. After adjusting the facial features, she gave the sketch back to her brother and Satoshi laughed out loud upon seeing it. Intrigued, Nino frowned and approached them. Miyuki took the pad from her brother and hid it behind her back but Nino was able to snatch it away from her.
Miyuki buried her face on Satoshi’s shoulder as she tried to hide her laughter.
“I can’t believe you are related to Oh-chan.” Nino commented. “I could draw better when I was five years old.”
“You could hold a pencil when you were five years old?” Miyuki replied with wide eyes. “I thought your hand wasn’t big enough to hold a pencil until you were…I don’t know, twelve or something.”
Satoshi laughed again and so did Miyuki. But Nino just stood in front of them with a straight face.
“Oh, you’re siding with her today, Oh-chan?” Nino said with a pained expression.
“Gomen, Nino-kun.” Satoshi answered with stifled laughter. “There’s a drawing of Miyuki there too.”
The smile faded from Miyuki’s face just as a familiar glint appeared in Nino’s eyes. He turned to the next page and sniggered at the sketch.
“Ooh… Miyuki surprisingly looks cute here…” Nino said with a grin. He showed the sketch to her. “…in a track suit.”
Miyuki pouted while Satoshi giggled.
“The leg, the leg…” he said in between laughter. “Did you notice the limp?”
Miyuki gasped and punched her brother’s arm. She glared at Nino and snarled.
“You told him??”
“I don’t have to. Sammy* knows everything.” Nino answered.
“Who in the world is Sammy?”
Miyuki charged at Nino and tried to take the sketch pad from him. When she heard her brother laugh, she grabbed a pillow and threw it at him before running after Nino who was still laughing his head off.
It has been a few weeks since Haru’s first date and, as expected, Sho was slowly blending in to Haru’s life and has become a part of her daily routine.
She would wake up to a messy kitchen and a delicious breakfast, with Sho always making her meal a bit more special compared to the one he makes for Chiyo. Then, she would help Sho clean the kitchen if he hasn’t already done so. Before she leaves, she’ll give him a couple of tasks—cleaning the bathroom, buying groceries, washing his clothes—that he needs to accomplish before she gets back from work. Sho always got them done and he would even have time to watch the cartoons or dramas on TV and narrate them to Haru when she gets home.
The once empty wall in their living room has transformed into a gallery of Sho’s crazy drawings. Being the walking encyclopedia that he is, he has also become Chiyo’s private tutor—although he was pretty much useless in helping her with the building designs that she had to draw.
But what Haru was most happy about was that she has finished six pages for the article already and which was more than what she needed to finish since it was only an introduction.
Nagase-san dumped her article on the garbage bin and crossed his arms. His eyebrows met, his lips pursed to the side, and he stayed silent for a while.
“I guess this was going to be harder for you than I thought…” he said in a low voice.
He stood up and smirked at Haru as he leaned over his table. Haru tried not to wince as she prepared herself for what he was going to say. It was the first time that he did not approve her first draft and Haru was disappointed for she thought she had written something good. Not her personal best, but she thought it was good.
“It was robotic.” Nagase-san said with a snort.
“I beg your pardon?”
“It was…unnatural, Shiomi.” He told her. “It sounded like you were telling your father about your boyfriend. That’s not what I want.”
Nagase-san eased back into his chair again and his expression turned serious.
“What you wrote sounded like a report. I wanted you to write it in a way that would subtly make Kronos Heaven robots appealing and I want it done in an interesting way. I want you to make the readers fall in love with your robot boyfriend. I want them to want what you have.”
“Hai. I understand.”
“I want you to make the readers feel, Shiomi.” He said passionately. “Make them feel…”
“Get on it.” He demanded before waving her away.
Haru went back to her desk feeling lost once again. Just when she thought she had finally accomplished something, she has to start all over again. She groaned and buried her face in her arms.
“Do you need another cream puff?”
Haru laughed softly before looking up at the grinning Junno.
“I think creampuff power doesn’t last very long.” She smiled bitterly. “I might need to find a substitute.”
Junno laughed and pulled a chair.
“Then, shall I share a secret with you?”
“Huh? A secret?”
Haru smiled and nodded eagerly. Junno finger-summoned her to come lean closer, and this made Haru laugh for it reminded her of Nagase-san.
“Actually…” Junno whispered playfully. “The secret…is…don’t…think.”
Junno leaned back again and thoughtfully looked at the ceiling like his words were written there.
“It’s like in that sport wear advertisement.Just do it.” He stated. “Sometimes, I realize that the reason I can’t start something or I can’t write anything is that I am thinking too much.”
Haru kept silent and waited for him to go on. She was also reminded of the advice that she gave Miyuki about the entrance with Aiba.
“So what I do is, I open my laptop…I think about what I have to write…and then I just type away.” He explained. I type anything that comes to my mind. Anything at all! And then when I can no longer add anything, I read it.”
“Well, it makes me look like I’m finishing a lot of things.” He said with a laugh. “And on another point, somewhere in the nonsense that I wrote I find little things that I am able to use for the article…Things that I can research about or things that I can use as an opening line or something.”
Junno smiled again and stood up. Haru looked at her blinking cursor and thought that it would not hurt to try. She was willing to try anything at this point.
“Well, it works for me.” He said. “But if it doesn’t work for you…”
Junno took out something wrapped in wax paper from his jacket pocket and placed it on Haru’s keyboard.
“There’s always creampuffs.” He whispered with a grin. Haru picked up the cream puff and smiled gratefully at her friend. “I’ll see you at lunch.”
She nodded and took a bite of the creampuff as she watched Junno walk back to his table.
It was the first time in a while that Miyuki was going to cook again at home. Lately she and Aiba had been going to one photo shoot after another. Then they had to stay behind at the office to edit the photos. Aiba always assured her that it was only like that when the deadlines for the layout are coming.
Today was also a busy day for Miyuki, but she was happy that they finished early and she can make dinner for her brother again. The past days, Jun had been anonymously delivering food to their house and if she hadn’t asked him about it, he wouldn’t even tell her that it was indeed him who has been feeding Nino and Satoshi.
“I wanted to feed only your brother…but I knew you usually also cook for Ninomiya-san too, so I had no choice.”
“Well, I’m sure it was Oniisan who ate most of the food you cooked anyway.” She replied. “He loved everything, by the way. That’s why I felt bad that he thought it was me who was cooking. Now I have to make up for those times.”
She laughed a little and checked the rice cooker. It was a Friday night and Jun came over to help her with dinner. Her brother arrived from his room and nodded at Jun when he saw him.
“No, Miyuki is cooking tonight.” He said and smiled. “She said she wanted to make something of her own.”
“Ah, I see. I liked the pasta.”
When Miyuki heard the TV, she knew he was going to watch the fishing channel until dinner was ready. Not long after her brother was fully engrossed by the tuna on TV, Nino arrived.
“Okaeri.” Miyuki said without looking up from the pot.
His tone was different from its usual kind of flat so she looked at him and saw that he was frowning. He plopped on the sofa next to Satoshi and immediately took out his DS.
“Ueda-san?” she inquired. Nino just growled in reply.
She laughed lightly and tasted the curry.
“Oh, this is so good.” She gushed. “Jun, here, tell me what you think.”
Jun went over with a spoon and tasted the curry. His eyes widened as he looked at Miyuki in awe.
“This is delicious!” he exclaimed.
“This is really good! You should teach me this.”
“Like you need teaching.” She snuffed. “I bet you know exactly how I made it.”
She glanced at him and saw him smirk.
“Well, yeah. I do know because I watched you very closely.”
She blushed a little at the way he looked at her but she quickly turned away and busied herself again.
“What’s he doing here?”
Miyuki turned and saw Nino getting himself a cold bottle of mineral water from the refrigerator. He nodded towards Jun, who was now setting up the table, before downing the bottle of water.
“He’s uhm… He’s here to hang out.”
“You hang out a lot?”
She just shrugged and scooped some curry into a bowl. Nino sat across from her on the counter and watched her scoop the curry.
“Are you joining us tonight?” she asked him. Nino shrugged his reply like she did. “I cooked it this time, you know.”
“It wouldn’t be so good then.”
Miyuki snarled and pretended to throw the ladle at him, causing some hot curry to drip on her hands. She yelped and quickly put down the ladle. Nino laughed at her but he was shocked when Jun suddenly appeared and wiped the curry from Miyuki’s hand. Even Miyuki was surprised at how fast Jun got to her.
Jun quickly pulled her to the sink where he ran cool water onto her reddening hand.
“Are you okay?” he asked as he wiped her hand with a towel.
Jun was still gently examining her hand when she noticed that both Nino and her brother were looking at them. She gasped a little and pulled her hand away before taking the curry bowl again.
“Dinner’s ready.” She announced. She was not able to resist when Jun took the bowl from her and placed it on the table himself, making Nino and Satoshi stare again.
Everyone was silent as Miyuki served the rice and curry. It wasn’t until Satoshi spoke that the uncomfortable silence was broken. However, Miyuki wished that her brother just kept his mouth shut like his normal self.
“Are you Miyuki’s new boyfriend?”
Miyuki froze and stared wide-eyed at his brother who had a very calm expression as he put a spoonful of food into his mouth.
“Hai!” Jun answered proudly.
She gasped again at the same time that Nino choked on the rice.
“He’s not!” she exclaimed too suddenly.
“But I am, right?”
“You brought me to life and I became your boyfriend.”
Miyuki wanted to drown herself in the curry for not being quick enough to interrupt what Jun said. She looked at her brother and at Nino to see their reactions but she couldn’t read their faces. She suddenly wished she had Nino’s quick wit so she can say something clever to get her out of the pinch.
“She brought you to life, huh?” Nino repeated with a snuff. “That’s original.”
Miyuki wanted to cream his face, but she was partially thankful that he had said something.
“She did.” Jun smiled and took her hand in his. “All she had to do was hold my hand…And then I was hers.”
She saw Nino frown and expected him to make another snarky remark but he just kept eating.
“Well, then…” said Satoshi. “Yoroshiku, ne?”
“Hai. I’ll take care very good care of her, Satoshi-san.”
She smiled uncomfortably and started to eat even though she had lost her appetite. Although she never really made grand announcements about her relationships, she had hoped for a better way of letting them know about Jun being her boyfriend.
Ninomiya Kazunari liked to observe people, and he was pretty good in reading them. He was always quick to see if something was not right about the men Miyuki dates, and it was because of this that he knew the relationships wouldn’t last. Once in a while he’d be proven wrong, only to be proven right again about his judgment after a couple of months.
It frustrated him, however, that he couldn’t see anything wrong with Miyuki's new boyfriend. He released his frustrations on the walking mushrooms and the turtles, and the secret blocks with lots of coins.
Nino stepped out to the balcony as soon as he finished dinner and he has been playing his games ever since. For a moment he was distracted from destructive thoughts about Miyuki and her new boyfriend. He couldn’t stand being in the same room as Jun and seeing how he treated Miyuki.
He rested his eyes when they finally got tired and it wasn’t long before he drifted off to sleep. In his sleep he could still hear the ding of coins and the familiar music when Mario gets a star that makes him invincible for a while.
Nino opened his eyes and realized he wasn’t dreaming when he saw Miyuki concentrated with his DS on the lounge chair next to him.
Miyuki chuckled but kept her eyes on the screen.
“I didn’t wake you, did I?” she said as she frantically pressed the buttons. “I hate the turtles! Why do they bounce back??”
Nino clicked his tongue and snatched the game console away.
“What are you doing here?” Nino asked irritably.
“I stepped out for some air and found you here.” She snapped back. “Why are you even sleeping there? It’s freezing!”
It was only then that he noticed the blanket over his chest. He very casually pulled it off and set it on the table at his side, ignoring the cool night air that sent chills down his spine.
“I’m a cold person, I’m used to it.” He answered monotonously. “Or did you forget?”
She rolled down her eyes and reached over him for the blanket, wrapping it around herself instead. Another breeze came, and Nino still tried his best to appear unaffected. He took out the console again and opened a saved game to avoid talking to Miyuki.
Nino wished she would leave soon.
“Oniisan wasn’t upset earlier, was he?” Miyuki asked all of a sudden, her tone concerned. “I mean…about…about Jun.”
He sighed but didn’t answer.
“He wasn’t, okay?”
He clicked his tongue when he got hit in the game. She didn’t speak after that, and another gust blew. This time Nino couldn’t hide his shiver.
“You’re sure, right?”
Nino glanced at Miyuki who seemed to be in deep thought as she rubbed her socked feet together. He continued playing before he answered.
“It’s okay as long as he sees you’re happy.” He said to reassure her. “He probably knew all along anyway. I told you, Sammy knows everything….Or did you forget?”
He shivered again and sat on crossed legs to keep his feet warm.
“If anything goes wrong there’s always my bat and oblivion so…”
Miyuki laughed heartily at what he said and it made Nino smile a little.
"Yeah,” she chuckled. “That I didn’t forget.”
She stood up and dropped the blanket over his head before leaving him alone in the balcony again. Nino hit the pause button and wrapped the blanket snugly over his shoulders. Somehow, the balcony seemed warmer to him when she was around even without the blanket.
Nino wished she didn’t leave so soon.
Despite Haru telling Sho to just stay in the living room, he still followed her to the kitchen and watched as she cooked a meal for the three of them. He often looked over her shoulder and eagerly handed her utensils and ingredients.
“Sho-kun, you can just stay in the living room you know.”
“No! I’m busy here!” Chiyo yelled from the living room. “He’ll just mess up my models.”
Sho grinned when Haru gave him a disapproving look.
“I’ll stay here with Haru.” He said.
Haru continued cooking and Sho just watched. Occasionally, he would hum the Totoro or Anpanman song and Haru tried not to hum along with him. Instead, she concentrated on perfecting the teriyaki udon she was making for dinner.
It was an ordinary day and the three of them were home together. It was something that didn’t happen often for Haru and Chiyo. When Haru asked Sho to buy something at the convenience store, Chiyo came to the kitchen.
“Why is Sho-kun always here with us?”
Haru glanced at her before tasting the marinated pork she cooked.
“What do you mean? I told you he’s not from here, right?”
“Yeah, but doesn’t he plan to get a job or something? And doesn’t he plan to get his own place? It’s getting quite crowded here you know.”
“You’re talking like you don’t like Sho.”
“It’s not like that… I do like him even though he’s kind of weird sometimes.” Chiyo answered. “I mean, he cooks for us and helps with the chores and all, but… You know…”
Haru put down the chopsticks and faced her sister.
“Why are you even worrying about it?” she smiled. “It’s fine. I make enough for the three of us.”
“It’s okay, really.”
Haru continued with what she was doing and Chiyo soon went back to the living room. She knew that her sister had a point. It was odd that Sho was suddenly living with them and Chiyo did not express her thoughts about it until now. If Sho wasn’t a robot and was really Haru’s boyfriend, it wouldn’t be proper that he lived with them and ate their food without contributing anything.
“Haru, I'm home!”
Sho entered the kitchen and handed Haru the plastic bag of extra ingredients from the convenience store.
“Sho…” she said as she took the bag and looked at him thoughtfully. “What do you say about getting a job?”
“Uwaaaa… It’s been a while since we last did this, huh?” Koki said as he stretched his arms and leaned on the back rest.
Miyuki smiled and nodded before putting a piece of brownie in her mouth. She had missed going out with her best friends and it was refreshing to be in their company again.
“Right? We’ve all been really busy lately. Miyuki especially…Having a new job and all.” Kame agreed.
“Not to mention having a new man…”
Miyuki narrowed her eyes when her two friends started to hoot and tease her.
“Thanks to us, right?”
“You two are annoying!” she exclaimed.
The two men laughed and knocked their fists together, making Miyuki feel more annoyed.
“So your brother found out already, huh?” Koki said after their laughs faded. “What did he say?”
Miyuki made her face blank for a second then did her best imitation of Satoshi.
“I knew it!” Kame said happily. “I knew Satoshi-san would approve of him. I was actually more worried about Nino-san.”
“Well, he’s the one with a bat.” Koki answered for him.
“He was…actually quite civil.” Miyuki replied. “I mean, he wasn’t as sarcastic as he usually was and he was just quiet most of the time during dinner.”
Koki was about to say something again when someone entered the store and Miyuki heard a familiar voice. She turned to look and saw Haru come in with a man who was neatly dressed and calmly smiling as he followed Haru.
“Ah! It’s a person from work!” she told her friends.
She stood up and made her way towards Haru who was talking to Asamoto Rikko-san behind the cashier. She lightly tapped Haru’s shoulder and excused herself.
“Shiomi-san, domo!” she greeted.
Haru looked slightly shocked at first, but then she smiled.
“Do you come here often?” she asked Miyuki.
“Yes. I’m here with some friends right now.”
“Oh, I see.”
The man who came in with her turned around and smiled at Miyuki, and she thought that there was a very calm but authoritative air about him. He also looked dashing in the simple white polo shirt that he was wearing, and Miyuki wondered if the man felt cold at all outside. He smiled at her and waved and Miyuki bowed. Haru introduced them to each other.
“Are you here to eat too? If you want, you can join us.” Miyuki offered.
“Oh, no. That’s fine. We were just…Uhm…”
“We were just here because I’m going to apply for a job.” The man interrupted. “I’m her boyfriend.”
Miyuki was surprised. She looked at Haru and she looked just as shocked as she was. Their eyes met and Haru smiled uncomfortably at her.
“Sorry, but can you not tell anyone at work.” She laughed nervously. “I’m sure it will cause unnecessary disturbance…and Aiba is…Well, you know Aiba.”
Miyuki smiled and nodded knowingly.
“Yes, I know Aiba-senpai.” She grinned. “Don’t worry. I won’t tell a soul.”
She bowed and waved goodbye to them. And as she walked back to their table, Miyuki thought it might be a good idea to make Jun get a job as well.
“You better not burn yourself again, Oh-chan.” Nino said. He glanced at Miyuki who was tinkering with her camera at the dining table and spoke in a whisper. “You know how she suddenly morphs into your mother.”
He heard Miyuki loudly clear her throat at the same time that he heard Satoshi snigger.
“I have to go. Take care, okay?”
“Hai, hai. I’ll see you tomorrow…maybe.”
Nino hung up and joined Miyuki at the table. Satoshi wanted some time off before he finishes his sculpture so he decided to go out of town. He left as soon as the thought came to his mind, saying that he needed to leave before Miyuki comes home.
“You should’ve stopped him.” Miyuki told him while she carefully wiped the 35mm wide angle lens.
“You should’ve come home earlier so you can stop him yourself. “ he replied. “Besides, the man needs to relax. Let him be.”
“If he comes back looking like a burnt piece of toast again it’s your fault.” She pouted. “I’m almost out of sunburn cream…but I would have loved to come with him if he only told me.”
“Sure you would.”
“I would! I think I’d be able to get really nice pictures if I come with him… It’s been a while since I’ve done anything like that.”
He smirked and took a peek inside Miyuki’s camera bag. He pulled out a few Polaroid photos form one of the side pockets and looked at them one by one.
“Ah! I forgot I had those there. I have to remember to put them in my album.”
He raised a brow at a photo of him and Satoshi that he found. He remembered that it was taken a few summers ago when they went on a 3-day road trip.
“Nice, isn’t it?” she grinned. “Kind of looks like you’re actually smiling genuinely at me.”
Nino just sniffed and returned the photos. He tried to remember the last time he smiled at her and he couldn’t recall anything. He remembers smiling because of her, but nobody ever sees him when he does—except maybe Satoshi, but Nino was certain that his best friend didn’t know what he was smiling about.
“Koki told me about a photography contest that he read about in the newspaper.” Miyuki shared. She was now keeping her camera back in the bag. “He said I should consider joining.”
“Is that why you brought out your camera again?”
“I thought I should start practicing.”
She said goodnight and reminded him to turn off all the lights and check the plugs before he goes to bed—like he needed to be reminded to not waste electricity. He was just about to go out to the balcony when the doorbell rang.
He frowned and prayed that the person behind the door was not who he feared it was.
His frown deepened as he looked at Jun’s wide smile. Nino checked his watch and clicked his tongue.
“Visitation hours are over. Come back tomorrow at eight.” He said. On second thought, don’t come back!
Nino was going to close the door on him but Jun stopped it just in time. He smiled at Nino again and this made him cringe a little.
He wanted to punch the teeth off Jun’s mouth so that his own smile wouldn’t look so primitive compared to his. Nino tried not to laugh at the image that appeared in his head.
“I would simply like to say goodnight to Miyuki, Ninomiya-san.” Jun said politely. “It won’t take long.”
Right…Like I’m going to let you see her.
“She already went to her room and she’s probably asleep already.” He explained.
Can’t you just text her ‘goodnight’ and save me all this trouble?
“Oh…I see… I wouldn’t want to disturb—“
He attempted to close the door again but failed. Jun held it back and looked at him seriously.
“What now?” he spoke though clenched teeth. He breathed in slowly to keep calm. “Look, I’m tired. I’ll just tell her you dropped by.”
He was almost out of patience but he shouldn’t lose his temper or he could do or say something he might regret later.
“I sense your hostility towards me, Ninomiya-san, and I am not certain why you have such an extreme dislike for me.”
“What did you say?”
“Please don’t worry about Miyuki. I would definitely take care of her, like I said to her brother. I would never hurt her.”
Nino tightened his grip on the door.
“I will do what I can to make her happy. I promise you this.”
Nino sneered and lightly pushed Jun away from the door.
“Well, if you fail to do that...” He replied crossly. “I will not stand back and I will not think twice about taking her away.”
He looked straight into Jun’s eyes.
“I promise you this.”
And with that, Nino closed the door.
Miyuki looked weirdly at Nino who was sprawled on the sofa in his pajamas. He was very still but he was groaning and muttering something that was muffled by the throw pillow. She bent down and grabbed some of his hair to lift his head a bit so she can see his face.
“What’s wrong with you?”
Nino frowned and shook his head free before burying his face on the pillow again. Her brother was eating breakfast at the table and he just shrugged when their eyes met.
“You better get up or you’ll be late for work, Nino.” She said as she tied her hair up and approached Satoshi. She was surprised that he came home earlier than expected and wasn’t sun burnt at all. “How was your trip?’
“It was good.”
“Yeah, it’s in the freezer. I might grill it later.” He said with a smile. “I’ll cook tonight so tell Jun-kun not to come over to help you cook tonight.”
“You’re cooking for me?”
Miyuki clapped her hands and pinched her brother’s cheeks.
“Arigatou, nii-chan…” she said in a sing-song voice. “I’ll be home early then.”
“You’re leaving?” asked Satoshi.
She saw Nino get up from the sofa looking like a little boy with his disheveled hair and his pajamas that hid his hands and showed only his toes. She smiled and shook her head.
I have to remember to fix those…
“You have a date?” Nino asked as he walked towards them, rubbing his eye.
The door bell rang and Miyuki knew that it was probably Jun. She checked her watch and saw that it was 8 o’clock already. He was just in time. She hoped he was wearing something a bit more special today since she planned on helping him look for a job. She grabbed her bag and waved good bye to the two before heading to the door. She was determined to find at least a part time job for Jun before the day ended.
Kimura watched as Miyuki and Jun crossed the street holding hands. Miyuki was smiling and she looked happy as they chatted. The data in the laptop beside him was reflecting the woman’s feelings just as it should.
“Ohno-san seems to be doing alright.” Akanishi, who was holding the laptop, said beside him. “The robot seems fine as well. Everything seems to be normal.”
Kimura momentarily glanced at his companion before observing the couple again. He watched them until they disappeared at the corner before he turned on the engine.
“It seems so.” He finally replied. He grinned at Akanishi and chuckled as he started to drive. The necklace that they had put on the figures were more advanced than the bracelet that 01 had on before. They were also tamper-proof and heat and water resistant so it was not possible that it was damaged.
“It’s possible that it was only a glitch in the laptop and not the system itself, Kimura-san.” Akanishi told him. “Perhaps the battery was low?”
Kimura threw his head back and laughed heartily.
“Sou desu ne? That is possible.” He said loudly. “But let’s keep a close watch at him for today just to make sure.”
He hoped that Akanishi was right. He hoped that the small and fleeting bleep at the system last night was just the signal that the laptop was low in battery. If it had been something about the robot’s system, no matter how small or fleeting it was, it could be very serious.
*Dame desu. – Something like, “This is no good.” Or “This is bad.”
*Sammy – In one Mago Mago Arashi episode, it was mentioned that Ohno was drunk the day before the shoot. He said that he would be Sammy that year, saying that he didn’t need Satoshi. Nino started to call him Sammy in that Mago episode and even their Ojiisan and Obaasan that day called him Sammy. XD