Characters: Ninomiya Kazunari, OCs
Pairing/s: None, but suggested Nino/OC in latter parts
Summary: Three unseparable best friends meet a terrible tragedy. With each of them suffering a terrible state, will things go back to the way they were?
A/N: A fic that I wrote shortly after I finished watching Yamada Taro Monogatari, because I started liking Nino then. :3. (Originally posted: September 26, 2008)
Previous: Episode 1 | one | two |
Akane lost her balance and fell on the floor. She messed her hair up and groaned in frustration.
"Aargh! I'm never going to get it!"
Sachiko sat beside her and smiled.
"We can call it a day, Akane."
Akane pouted and nodded. She wanted to continue practicing but she was already tired, and so were her friends. If they kept on practicing, they might be too tired and sleepy to go to school the next day.
Kazunari was half-way done with his piano piece and the two girls had already danced to it too. Still, they needed to polish it a bit more for the talent show.
"Aargh... I am incredibly tired..." complained Kazunari.
"Oh? I think we're more tired than you, Kazu-kun." said Akane. "We've been dancing for hours, you know. I can't even feel my legs and feet anymore!"
"Well, I can't feel my fingers!" said Kazunari.
"I think your fingers have grown quite muscular though." joked Sachiko.
"EH?!" Kazunari panicked as he looked at his hands. The girls laughed. "Seriously now..."
"I want us to win the talent show." Akane said.
"It doesn't really matter, does it?" Sachiko answered. "I just want to have fun."
"I know, but it would be better if we won."
"What's the prize anyway?" asked Sachiko.
"Hmm.. I think... it's a gift certificate for a really expensive restaurant."
"Oh! Well, in that case, it might be better if we do win." she chuckled. "What do you think, Kazu-kun?"
Akane took a picture of the sleeping Kazunari. Kazunari awakened to the sound of the camera and rubbed his eyes.
"What did you do, eh?" he asked drowsily.
The two girls shook their heads.
It was already dark outside and it was past dinner time.
The three of them walked home. Kazunari and Sachiko supported a limping Akane. Her legs were hurting so much that it was difficult to walk the first few meters. After a while, she had cramps and could no longer walk on her own. Sachiko giggled as she and Kazunari helped Akane.
What are you so happy about, huh?" asked Akane. "My legs are cramped and you're laughing."
"I'm sorry." Sachiko chuckled.
"It's difficult to teach her how to dance, ne?" said Kazunari.
"Oi, you were the one who wanted me to be in the performance! Right, Sachi?"
"Well because it's unfair if Sachiko and I humiliated ourselves without you." said Kazunari.
"Atleast if you're there, Sachiko and I won't look too embarrassing."
"EH?!" Akane released herself from their support and started strangling Kazunari. "Why you--"
"WAAhh.. Let me go!" Akane and Kazunari struggled. Akane was taller and stronger than Kazunari. He was like a little boy being bullied by his older sister. He flailed his arms as Akane wrapped her arm around his neck. Sachiko just laughed at them.
Something dropped on Sachiko's arm.
It was a drop of water. Sachiko looked up, and more drops of water fell from the sky.
"It's raining!" she exclaimed. Akane and Kazunari stopped fighting. "Run for it!" yelled Sachiko.
They all started running but Akane was falling behind because of her painful legs.
"Wait for me!" she called to them.
The rain poured harder. Sachiko and Kazunari went back to help Akane, but it was too late. They were already drenched. Sachiko screamed and still tried to cover herself. She quickly tried to hide under Akane's bag, then she tried to cover herself with Kazunari's uniform jacket.
"We can still make it to the waiting shed!" she said loudly so her voice can be heard through the rain.
"What's the point?" laughed Akane. "We're wet anyway."
"I hate the rain!" exclaimed Sachiko.
"It's not that bad. I mean, my socks are wet too, but what the heck." Kazunari said, wiping his face and trying to sound optimistic.
Sachiko pouted and looked down on her wet and dirty shoes. Akane smiled and pulled her from the shield of Kazunari's jacket and out into the pouring rain.
"Let's dance here, Sachi-chan!" she said.
"What?" said Sachiko.
"Dance?" said Kazunari.
"Did you see that?" she said excitedly. "I almost did it!"
"That's unbelievable!" laughed Kazunari.
A smile slowly formed across Sachiko's face as she watched Akane. She turned and looked at Kazunari who just grinned and shrugged. Kazunari walked over to Akane and bowed. Akane did a curtsy and they playfully danced to the humming of the rain.
Sachiko chuckled and forgot about her dirty shoes. She ran over to them and did a curtsy.
"I want to dance too." she said.
All three danced and twirled and and laughed. Akane forgot that her legs were hurting, Kazunari didn't think and just danced, and Sachiko enjoyed the rain for the first time.
Sachiko's mother crossed her arms and shook her head. She had just taken a hot shower and she was in the dining room with her mother. A cup of hot tea was given to her.
"What were you thinking, huh?" her mother scolded. "You could get sick doing that!"
"Gomen nasai..." Sachiko said, then tried to hide a smile. She took a sip of the tea.
"I just find it very odd that you would do something like that, Sachiko-chan. You never liked the rain."
"But I guess you do now, huh?"
"Not entirely, Okaasan.. But I guess you can say I'm seeing it in a new light."
"Well, I guess that's a good thing then." her mother answered. "Finish your tea and go to sleep, okay?"
"Hai. Oyasumi nasai, Okaasan."
It was still a bit rainy the next morning. It had been pouring endlessly last night but the weather got a little better.
Nobuyoshi-san's car parked in front of Kazunari's house. He and Akane picked up Kazunari and Sachiko as promised. Kazunari was surprisingly easy to wake up that day. He and Sachiko were still able to have breakfast before Akane arrived.
"Ohayo gozaimasu, Nobuyoshi-san!" Sachiko and Kazunari said in unison. They were standing outside the car and admiring how shiny Nobuyoshi-san's car looked today.
"Ano... Nobuyoshi-san..." said Kazunari.
"Did you bring your car to the wash today? It looks exceptionally shiny."
"Oh no... I just used a special car wax for it today. I don't like bringing my car to the wash. I usually do it myself."
"Hop in! We don't want you guys to be late now, don't we?"
"Hai!" the two answered.
"Ohayo, Akane-chan..." greeted Sachiko.
"Oyaji-san will take me to his shop after school. He's going to make me taste his new creation!"
"Woh.. that sounds great.."
"Oyaji-san says you can come too!"
"Wow, that sounds even better!" chuckled Sachiko.
Kazunari and Sachiko seemed to have as much energy as Akane that morning. They were all bubbly and laughing even at the littlest things. It was one of those rare moments of pure happiness that people have.
"Oh!" Akane exclaimed. She was looking out of the window with a big grin. "Look!"
Kazunari and Sachiko looked at where she was pointing. Out by the open field, as clear as day, was a rainbow.
"I'm going to take a picture of it!" Akane said excitedly. She rolled down her window and held up her camera. "Yes! I think I got a good shot."
"It's so pretty..." smiled Sachiko. "We don't always see rainbows arched like that."
"Hai." answered Kazunari.
"Rainbows are bad luck." Nobuyoshi-san interrupted.
"Ay, Oyaji-san... That's what the ancestors believed. How can something so beautiful be bad luck?" said Akane. "A rainbow symbolizes promises, not bad luck. Rainbows are good because they appear after it stops raining."
"Of course, Akane..." Nobuyoshi-san laughed. "Of course..."
"Akane! What are you doing?" Nobuyoshi-san asked. "Sit down!"
Akane sat between Sachiko and Kazunari.
"Let's make a promise!" she told them.
"Promise?" asked Kazunari.
"Mm." Akane nodded.
"What kind of promise?" said Sachiko.
"This is weird...and ridiculously cheesy too..." Kazunari complained. Akane punched his arm. "Ow."
"Let's promise..." Akane thought. "...to always dance in the rain."
"What?" they both asked.
"Let's always be like this!"
"Why are you talking about promises all of a sudden, huh, Akane?"
"Just because, okay?" she answered. "Come on, let's promise." Akane held out her pinky. "Promise?"
"I don't quite get it but, yeah, I promise." She hooked her pinky to hers. They both looked at Kazunari.
"Well, Kazu-kun? How about you?" asked Akane.
"You've got some explaining to do." said Kazunari. "Alright then, me too." He hooked his pinky into theirs as well.
Akane smiled at Sachiko and then at Kazunari. Nobuyoshi-san watched them from the rearview mirror.
Akane looked at her father with a big, contented smile.
Her smile faded.