This is a classic Rom/Com staring the Evangelion cast. It has just about everything you would expect, and probably read before, but is my latest personal take on the genre. Hope you enjoy it.
It was after school and Kensuke was sitting at his computer typing away. But he wasn't doing his school work, instead he was tallying up the final points for the fantasy baseball league his friends and him were in. He let out a sigh as the inevitable happened, his star pitcher killed him. Not only did he lose first place to Touji but when his pitcher turned up lame for a second game that meant he lost out on second place too. He ended up in third place, and dangerously close to tying with Shinji for that spot too as he only held a one point lead. “Next year I'm going with Shiro” Kensuke grumbled to himself. He was supposed to be the most knowledgeable one out of his friends when it came to this kind of thing so it sort of hit his pride where it hurt to end up in third.
But after he grumbled about his undesired final standing he heard an audible sigh from across the room. It had been two weeks since Rei quit the gymnastics team and it was getting more and more noticeable she was bored. Not even a relaxing massage from her special chair and a good book were keeping her interests. It seemed to Kensuke that Rei really did miss practicing on the balance beam a lot. He could tell she enjoyed herself up on the beam just by remembering how she looked. She even smiled when she was up there and got absorbed in what she was doing. The balance beam may have been something she took pride in and had fun with. There weren't many things that filled both those roles like that in Rei's life. Now though she couldn't go anywhere near the gymnastics team and that meant she had no access to a balance beam.
While the situation with the team was resolved, and she didn't have to worry about Kaede attacking her anymore, the resolution itself meant she couldn't come back to the team. And even if she could have she wouldn't of. Rei was well aware of the fact she was generally hated by the rest of the team. Kaede was one of the team leaders and crossing her meant crossing the rest of the team. But still she missed performing on the balance beam. It was fun to her, so fun in fact that she didn't even register the competition aspect of it. If she came in first at a meet, then good. If she came in last, so be it. The person who usually took her placement the hardest was Asuka. And even then it wasn't like Asuka had something against her, that red headed friend of hers clearly had it out for the judges. She had even seen someone warn Asuka on several occasions to keep her criticisms down as she was intimidating the judges. The fact the brash girl had a lot of knowledge about the gymnastics world combined with her sharp eyesight made it so that she could dissect a performance as well as any judge. So if Rei didn't get as high of a score as she expected she would let the judges have it from the stands.
Rei ended up giggling to herself lightly when she thought about those times. The stuff that came out of Asuka's mouth was often funny, not to mention the look on Coach Ando's face. She could always tell it was a mix of `you tell em' and `please don't piss off the judges, it will affect our other scores.' Now all that was taken away from her though and the realization forced her to let out another sad sigh.
“This hasn't been that good of a week for you either, huh?” Kensuke asked from the computer. He could ignore one sigh, but not two. Two usually meant he had to say something to try and make things better. Simply normal basic duty of a boyfriend as he had learned.
“Not really” Rei replied sounding a touch depressed. “Nothing seems to be able to hold my interests right now.”
“That's because you're bored” Kensuke said back while getting up from his computer and walking over to her.
Rei was well experienced with the emotion boredom and her boyfriend was right. She was really, really bored right now. She didn't want to study, she didn't want to read a book, and she wasn't even enjoying her chair all that much. She wanted to be doing something active that got her up and moving, not sit around wallowing in her misfortune. Quite simply she he had grown accustomed to being energetic.
Kensuke was quite obvious of this fact as Rei was not hiding it at all from him. And since he needed a mood picker upper as well he though up a solution to solve both their problems. It was something that would make him happy, and Rei too of course, and it was also something active.
Even though it was plainly obvious to Rei what was about to happen she still asked “What do you think you're doing?”
“Foreplay” Kensuke answered mischievously as he snuck his hand down underneath her panties and started to finger the girl providing no resistance. “Well that is unless you want to skip it and proceed to balancing on my beam right away.”
“That was a horribly bad joke” Rei giggled back as she had a weakness for his dumb jokes. Plus she knew her boyfriend was just trying to cheer her up, and she may have been a touch horny herself all of a sudden, so she decided to go along with course of action. She also decided to reach back and work her hand down Kensuke's jeans. Why should he have all the fun after all.
“I know” Kensuke chuckled as he unbuttoned his pants to make things easier for Rei while keeping up what he was doing. “If you want I got more of them. Sitting around watching you practice in that tight unitard has given me ample opportunity to think them up.”
“Maybe later…” Rei moaned as she knew he was just playfully teasing her right now. But her current mood wasn't playful, it was needy and soon both were more than warmed up and on the couch having sex. They both needed the mood picker upper that sex would provide.
And they both needed it for a while as they kept having sex, with Kensuke teasing Rei by telling her one bad gymnastic joke after another, till it was time to go over to Misato's place for dinner. Rendering your and your lover's body to a state of happy bliss sure beat being bored, plus it was rather energetic.
All that fooling around worked pretty well as it put Rei into a better mood and she was happy again when Kensuke and she entered the Katsuragi household. If she wanted to Rei could perform cooking duties for the two of them but more often than not now they just went over across the hall for dinner. Misato liked it when they came over and it was less time consuming on their part to let others take care of the cooking. Unfortunately for them the reception they got today was not nearly as happy as they were.
“Young lady, go pick up your toys right now!”
“NO!... Don wanna!”
“I don't care if you don't want to” Kaji lectured back at his argumentative three year old. “Either you pick up your toys or you're going to bed right this instant.”
That sort of threat of course set off a hissy fit by Keiko and she threw a temper tantrum in the middle of the living room.
“I think we came at a bad time” Kensuke said to Rei.
Rei had to nod her head yes to that as Keiko was being quite vocal in her despondency. And she wasn't the only one as when the young girl started yelling PenPen couldn't hear the TV anymore and he turned the volume way up. That in effect caused a weary looking Asuka to come out of her room and yell “We're trying to study in here. Keep it down!”
“You got to love coming home to this” Misato sighed from behind them with a couple bags of takeout in her hands.
“Should we come back later?” Kensuke asked.
“Nah” Misato told them. “Just set the table and I'll fix everything.”
First thing Misato did was tell Asuka “Enough studying for now, it's dinner time” while walking over to the TV and proceeding to turn it off.
Asuka looked at her watch. “Wow, it's that late already.” She then turned around “Hey Shinji, dinner time.”
That took care of one problem and a terse look aimed directly at PenPen took care of another as the penguin skedaddled towards his fridge. He knew he wasn't allowed to crank up the volume on the TV, even if it did have Maya's home and garden news segment playing at the time. It was best for him to make himself scarce or he might just get sent to bed without his own dinner tonight as well.
The last problem was crying her head off in a corner as she got a timeout for not picking up her toys and misbehaving. That, Misato let be. It was her own fault for being a brat and she had to learn there were consequences for that kind of behavior. Kaji though said to her after he gave her a peck on the cheek to welcome her home “If I would've known it was going to be like this I would have gotten the takeout.”
“Has Keiko been naughty since I left?” Misato asked.
“Pretty much” Kaji said back. “That's her second timeout already since you left.”
Misato let out a frustrated breath at that. “She's been like that all day.” She may have loved her daughter to death but some days that rugrat of hers really tried her patience. All part in part of being a parent though.
While everyone ate dinner Misato found someone being oddly quiet. The boys were all talking about baseball as Kensuke and Shinji talked about the fantasy league they were in along with Kaji talking about the one he was in at his office. It almost sounded like a completely different language to Misato.
Misato herself was talking with Rei mainly. Basically Rei was asking her what to do about the situation she was in and Misato told her she would make some calls. There were plenty of gymnastic clubs around town that Rei could join but Misato wanted to check them out first. She needed to figure out how far away they were as going to any club in the immediate vicinity would not work. Most likely they would be full of members from T4 High and she didn't want Rei associating with any of those girls anymore. And she was also planning on finding a gymnastics club that had Nerv connections along with being filled with girls from other schools. That way the situation could be more controlled and she wouldn't have to worry as much.
While Keiko was being very quiet, that was not odd at this time. After a scolding or a time out she tended to clam up, be it out of spite or just not wanting to get into trouble again didn't really matter to Misato. Her little girl needed to learn her lesson that doing whatever she wanted was not an option.
The actual person that Misato found being oddly quiet was in fact Asuka. But it wasn't like she was going out of her way to do it, in fact if anything it looked like she wasn't even doing it intentionally. She was just sitting at the table picking at her food and not really eating as much of it as usual. Something was up and if it wasn't for Rei talking about her problems Misato would have asked Asuka about it at the dinner table. Instead she let it go for now.
When dinner was over with Misato noticed Asuka and Shinji head towards Asuka's room right away. Normally they at least stuck around and talked with Rei and Kensuke for a bit. And it wasn't a case of teenage hormones at play either. Asuka was not giving out that kind of vibe at all. If anything she was rather lethargic and shoddy looking. It might have been because Misato knew Asuka was studying hard for a test coming up that she knew the red head was a little worried about. Stuff like that always tended to take over Asuka and it did explain to Misato why Asuka had seemed off for the past couple days, but still she decided she would check up on the girl after the dishes were done.
“Asuka, is there…” Misato stopped midsentence as she saw Shinji put a finger to his lips to quiet her. Asuka had her head on his lap right now and was asleep. Her cheeks looked on the flushed side as well, and since Shinji wasn't supporting the same look that meant it wasn't because they just had sex. Misato let out a frustrated breath and walked up to Asuka and put a gentle hand on the tired looking girl's forehead.
Asuka started to rouse from her nap due to this action and with a tired sounding voice said “You can do that tomorrow.”
“Not likely” Misato said back. “You're burning up. How long have you been sick for.”
“Couple days” Asuka answered back. The cat was out of the bag now and Asuka didn't have the strength to fight it.
“Since when do you hide being sick from me?” Misato asked. Asuka's normal modus operandi for being sick was to cry out the second she started being sick and milk it for all it's worth by being pampered to no end.
“Since I can't afford to be sick right now” Asuka said back while starting to close her eyes again.
Shinji finished up for Asuka as it really was best that she get her rest in right now. “She has a really hard test tomorrow on Japanese nomenclature in the sciences that she can't miss.”
“And why not?” Misato asked not accepting that answer. Truly being sick was a legitimate excuse for missing a test.
“Because this professor is known for being a jerk about missing tests” Shinji said back. “She would probably have to take a makeup test that would be harder and also be dropped a full grade on it.”
Misato sighed at that. She had known plenty of professors like that from when she was in college and not even third impact seemed to change the mind of some of them. And it wasn't like she hadn't been in a situation like this once or twice herself. The best you could do was just suffer through it. “Okay Asuka, get some sleep now. But if you're worse than this tomorrow morning you won't be taking that test and I will go talk to your professor personally.”
Asuka gave Misato a little grumpy look for that as she didn't want her butting in. But that was all that happened as Misato didn't seem to care and Asuka felt too crappy to fight about it. Instead she just went back to sleep while Shinji stroked his fingers through her hair in a soothing way.
Luckily for Asuka Misato let her take the test the next day. Although the professor was more lucky than Asuka. Misato was all ready for a showdown with the pompous professor and was even sort of looking forward to it in some ways. Sort of payback for when she was a college girl. But Asuka was the same as she was before so Misato had to relent. She also waited outside Asuka's classroom and took her home the second the red head was done with the test. Asuka pushed her luck too far and now she was sentenced to bed rest till she got better.
Of course two days later Shinji was suffering from the same thing as Asuka was getting better. Being bedmates and all that was expected. What wasn't expected was that Keiko was sick at the same time too. This was unfortunately one of those bugs that was going to hit everyone.
And for the most part it did as for the next week various people in the family got sick. The one who took it the worst was Rei. While Kensuke kept telling her those sneezes of hers were very cute, Rei kept getting more and more bothered by the light snickering she heard every time she sneezed. Luckily for her though that was as far as it got as she didn't get as sick as last time. Kensuke did though and he had to stay home from school a couple days. It was his official welcome to the family moment and Misato dropped the momentous line of “The family that gets sick together is the family that stays together.”
But soon enough everyone was fine again and back at school. Right now all the girls in the class were changing in the locker room after having gym class. Asuka had noticed something different about Rei. “I told you so.”
“What?” Rei replied acting like she didn't know what Asuka was talking about. The slight blush on her face gave her away though.
“Don't worry about it” Rei heard from the girl on the other side of her. “Asuka's the weird one.”
“I am not” Asuka slighted back towards Hikari.
Hikari just snickered at that. “Then it's Shinji's fault.”
Asuka yelled “Hey!... Don't pick on my Shin-kun!”
What was going on was the little patch of blue Rei supported down there that proved her true blue hair color had been shrinking smaller and smaller ever since the winter vacation. And now it was completely gone. Personally Rei didn't mind as her true hair color wasn't even an issue with Kensuke so when they were playing around in the shower last night and he teased her about shaving it all off, she went along with the fun and did it. And considering how appreciative he showed he was with her new look she was thinking that hair might stay away for a little while now.
Asuka though was the only one who was making a deal out of it. The other girls, well most of them had normal boyfriends and they too were smooth down there due to their boyfriends request. So it wasn't like they could say anything being in the same boat and all.
“Face it Asuka” Hikari said back. “You're about the only girl with a boyfriend here who hasn't shaved it all off.” This was a bit of the truth and also a bit of a justification on Hikari's part, she too had no hair down there. Mainly because Touji thought she looked really sexy that way.
“So Shinji actually wants her to keep some fuzz?” Mai asked, a little bit amazed.
Rei looked away and giggled while Hikari said smugly “That's what I hear.”
“Weird” Mai said back. “Every boy I know of would want it all off.”
“That's because you only date weirdo otaku” Asuka snipped. They were trying to paint her Shinji as a weirdo and she wasn't going to stand for it. Sure she knew that current fashion trends were pointed towards hairless coochies and Shinji was indeed off norm with his want of her little red patch but that didn't mean she wasn't going to fight this. Whether she was right, or in this case wrong, meant absolutely nothing to her. Shinji was the normal one and everyone else was weird. Mainly because she kind of got off on Shinji's insistence so if he was weird that would mean so was she.
Mai went a different way with her answer though. Instead of challenging Asuka she snickered “All boys are otaku. There isn't a one that isn't too into something or other.”
“You can say that again” Rini replied with a roll of her eyes.
“That is not always a bad thing” Rei interjected giving her opinion of the matter.
“Sure, it's not a bad thing…” Mai teased. “…when what he's into results in you getting free maintenance on your scooter.”
Rei just smirked at that in reply. It wasn't her fault that Kensuke was into the things he was, and that some of those things were going to be very beneficial in the future when it came to getting into college or finding a career.
“Oh god I would so much rather my new boyfriend be into motorcycles or something like that than that stupid Warcraft Universe game he always plays” Rini sighed. “Sometimes I think he prefers that game over me.”
“I told you he was a weirdo and not to date him” Kotono replied.
“I know, I know” Rini said back to her friend. “But he's so cute.”
“You really need to learn how to pick guys better” Kotono laughed along with the other girls who were giggling at Rini's answer.
Rini pouted at that. Her reputation for constantly picking the wrong guy was still uncontested in this group of girls.
Asuka on the other hand hadn't been following the conversation's meandering path, she was still stuck on the point that all guys were too into something. Problem was she couldn't figure out what Shinji was too in to. Most of his hobbies were of the normal variety and he didn't really take them any further than other guys so she couldn't figure it out. And sort of out loud, but mainly to herself, she found herself asking “What's Shinji too in to?”
That stopped every conversation going on in the locker room as all the girls turned their heads to stare at Asuka in disbelief.
“How could you even ask that question?” Rini said with complete wonder.
“What?” Asuka said back not following along.
Just about every girl there rolled their eyes at that answer. It was just like Asuka not to realize the blatantly obvious. “The answer is you Asuka, You” Hikari spelled out. “Shinji is way too much into you.”
Asuka opened her mouth to combat that but ended up not saying anything. She simply didn't know what to say and also was a touch overwhelmed by the fact all the other girls in the locker room were nodding their heads in agreement to Hikari's statement. Eventually she simply threw out a weak justification “Well… all boyfriends are supposed to be like that.”
“To an extent, yes” Rini said back. “But Shinji takes it to a whole different level. Sometimes I get the impression that to him you are the world.”
Asuka couldn't help it, she had to smile at that. It was true and she was happy about that. Yes it was a touch overboard and probably not the healthiest thing normal relationship wise but to tell you the truth that is what she needed out of a boyfriend. After all their relationship wasn't normal to start with, why should they have to play by the same rules others did. She needed someone that could make her happy and make her feel like there wasn't anything more important than her. Of course the flipside to this was Shinji's own self esteem problems and how Asuka's problems worked in cohesion with his.
Most of the other girls let out a frustrated breath as Asuka totally didn't understand what Rini was saying. But only most, two girls just chuckled to themselves about Asuka's smile. Hikari knew how well Asuka's and Shinji's insecurities matched to each other and if Shinji wanted to make Asuka his world to prove to himself that he could make others happy, so be it. For them this was very healthy.
Rei though knew a slightly darker side to why the smile, Asuka really was the world. Asuka died and Shinji destroyed the world, Asuka came back and the world was reborn. Rei was pretty certain if Shinji didn't think Asuka would be coming back, instrumentality would have happened and everyone would be one as that would be the only way Shinji could be with Asuka. It was times like this that Rei could really see Shinji truly was the child of Gendo Ikari.
Shinji picked up a new nickname after all this discussion and once everyone was back together in the classroom he found some of the girls calling him the Asuka Otaku. He of course only answered with a confused look and then turned to Asuka for an explanation. Asuka though just told him the other girls were weirdoes and that he should ignore them.
The girls in question couldn't figure out what was more insulting, the fact Asuka publically called them weirdoes or the fact that Shinji instantly accepted that answer as the truth and did what she said. A normal guy would at least question what Asuka said in their opinion, not completely accept it and walk away from them.
“I don't know why you're even bothering to try” some of the girls then heard from a blue haired girl packing up her book bag as she had to take off for the university now. “You know nothing you say will change Asuka's mind and Shinji will always side with her. I find it's best to simply let them be and let them think they are the normal ones. Otherwise all you will be subjected to are inane rationalization by Asuka that will make your head spin.”
Rei had a tremendous point there and the rest of the girls dropped it. Plus you had to factor in the point that Asuka was leaving too so she didn't even look like she was listening to them anymore and instead was talking quietly with Shinji before she left.
But as Rei and Asuka walked out of the school and headed towards the bus stop Asuka said “Head spin is a bit low brow for you, isn't it. I figured you would use a more psychological term like perplexity or perturbation.”
“If I used words like that then they wouldn't have understood me” Rei replied. “And also I find it easier to get along with people if I speak to them at a normal level.”
“Ah” Asuka smirked.
Rei could read between the lines and she said back to the smirking red head “There is nothing wrong with trying to fit in.”
“I know that” Asuka chuckled. “It's just that you're definitely getting more and more girly. Rei Ayanami, you are in fact, in every way, a genuine real girl.”
Rei got confused by that and had to ask. “Was that a compliment or are you teasing me?”
“Compliment” Asuka said back. “I was just pointing out the fact that you understand the normal `girl' better than I do now.”
“I don't know about that…” Rei said back in a tentative manner. She wasn't as quite as confident in her abilities as Asuka was saying she was.
“I do” Asuka said back but then changed the conversation by asking “Do you really think of Shinji and mine relationship like that?”
“Yes and no” Rei answered truthfully. “I do think the way you two express your devotion tends to be odd but I don't find the level of it to be strange at all. If anything I think the other girls just take issue with it because it makes them unsettled or jealous of your closeness.”
Asuka sighed at that as she knew exactly what Rei was telling her. “Why can't they understand that Shinji and I aren't just another kissy face high school romance?”
“Because they don't know anything other than that” Rei said back while getting on the bus with Asuka. “I know I'm not the best person to judge relationships but it seems to me that most of the other girls in our class aren't looking for someone to spend their lives with, but simply looking for someone to have fun with.”
“I don't think I could do something like that” Asuka replied. “The rejection part at the end would hurt me too much and I could never give myself to someone who I didn't think would be with me forever.” Right now Asuka and Rei were having a very serious conversation and with Rei she could be honest. There was no way Asuka could admit to being weak with her normal friends. Rei and Hikari were about it in that sense.
“And that is why I think Shinji's perfect for you” Rei answered. “He loves you completely and won't ever reject you.”
“Sometimes at night I lay awake in bed and I think to myself that realization is the only thing that keeps me sane. I know he will always be there for me.”
Rei could tell just how happy those words were to Asuka. It was almost like the girl was shining. It was also obviously Asuka's coping technique at work. The girls in that classroom questioned her relationship with Shinji in a way and that frightened her, now she was verbally telling herself the truth so she could feel better.
“Have you ever had a nightmare where you lost Shinji in some way?” Rei asked.
Asuka could tell there was some nervousness in Rei as the girl asked that question. Rei may have been asking for some help as well right now. “I've had one or two bad dreams like that. And as long as you never tell anyone else this I will admit to crying uncontrollably afterwards.”
“It hurt that much?” Rei asked.
“Yes” Asuka answered.
There was almost a sigh of contentment after that, sort of like Rei was relieved of her problem.
“Did that happen to you?” Asuka questioned.
“About a week ago” Rei answered. “When Kensuke was sick.”
“That will do it” Asuka said from personal experience. “You get worried, then your mind starts to panic and you end up thinking really bad thoughts. I hate when that happens.”
“So do I” Rei said back clearly. She was scared out of her mind after that nightmare, she never wanted to go through it again.
“At least it proves you two really love each other” Asuka said looking on the bright side. “If you didn't you wouldn't have reacted so severely.”
Rei had already realized that and that is why she sighed contently earlier. She wouldn't have been so scared if she wasn't so committed, but hearing Asuka say that re-enforced the opinion and she found herself feeling better now. “Here is something I have wondered for a while now” Rei said changing the conversation's direction. “What do you think about people who display their affection in a public manner?”
“You mean all the kissy face couples at our school?” Asuka asked as that is who she thought Rei was referring to.
“I don't think those relationships stand a chance in hell” Asuka replied. “It seems to me like they are trying too hard to prove they love each other.”
Rei nodded her head in agreement to that as she thought the same thing, real love didn't require proof. “I think that might be the problem some of the girls have with you and Shinji. You don't do things like that yet you seem much more devoted to each other than them.”
“One” Asuka started out. “Shinji's just like you. Making out in public would embarrass him to no end. Two, we have nothing to prove. And three, we are that dependant on each other by choice. It's what makes us happy.”
“Sometimes I wonder if Kensuke would like it if I was more public with my affection?” Rei said in regards to the first point.
“You know, Kensuke doesn't really come across as a guy who would want to do stuff like that” Asuka said giving her opinion. “I mean he's not shy like Shinji but still he seems like a private type of guy when it comes to personal things.”
That was correct and Rei nodded yes to that. There was a big part of Kensuke he didn't like showing the public. “Maybe I should at least give him a kiss on the cheek once in a while though… like what Hikari does for Touji.”
“I hate to admit this but Hikari is why I do that with Shinji now” Asuka said back. When it came to peer pressure the rest of the school were nobodies, but Hikari had a definite influence over her.
“You're really cagey about it though” Rei answered. “Almost like you strategies when you kiss Shinji in public.”
“Well…” Asuka said looking away and giggling a bit. That sort of thing might have had a thing or two to do with it, but it wasn't always like that. “Sometimes though it's just because he made me happy and I want him to know it. It has nothing to do with who's around us or if we are in public or not, and it's not me showing off or anything like that. That is the sort of public display of affection I approve of. You don't need to slobber all over each other, an honest kiss on the cheek to show your feelings is plenty.”
That was definitely something for Rei to think about.
It was the end of the school day and Rei and Asuka were back at the high school and packing up to go home. Asuka and Hikari were just chatting away while their boyfriends did the same thing. Touji had basketball practice and Hikari had student council so they were in no hurry to get out of the classroom to catch a bus or train like many of the other students had to. And Shinji and Asuka were in no hurry as they preferred to walk home no matter how cold it was. It was part of their alone time.
The only other classmates around was a smattering of other people who also had clubs to go to and a couple who went home via a moped. But something strange happened with the moped couple, the girl gave the boy a little peck on his cheek. The boy looked at the girl with some confusion at first. The girl answered the look with a whisper. The boy whispered something back initiating a quick little whispered conversation between the two. It ended when the boy smiled widely while the girl blushed. Then the moped couple took off for home, in a bit of a hurry even.
Mai was one of the people still in the classroom. She was part of the sports fest committee and they had a meeting this afternoon. She looked at Hikari and Asuka, “Did I just see something I wasn't supposed to?”
“Not really” Asuka answered sounding a touch snippy. “Just consider yourself lucky and leave it at that.”
“Okay…” Mai answered back, still on the confused side. Then again she noticed Asuka seemed to delight in giving out answers that left you more confused than you were before. Usually she only did that to girls that she was a touch irked with though. Kind of as a way to get back at them. That caused Mai to not question anything else until after Asuka and Shinji left. Then with only Hikari and Touji still around she asked “Is Asuka mad at me?”
“A little bit” Hikari answered truthfully.
“What I do?”
“You guys took a step beyond where you should have in the locker room” Hikari explained. “Asuka doesn't mind teasing but she does mind when anyone questions her relationship with Shinji.”
“I wasn't doing that” Mai argued back.
“Doesn't matter if you were or not” Touji said. “If it even sounded like you were Asuka will get pissed.” This was something he learned over time, Asuka wasn't as secure in herself as most people thought. And when she was feeling insecure she tended to lash out.
Mai sort of felt depressed about that. “I didn't mean anything.”
“Don't worry about it too much” Hikari told her as they all left the room. “Tonight when she thinks over everything she will realize no one was really questioning her relationship and she will calm down and forget about it. But in the future whenever it comes to Asuka's and Shinji's relationship keep the teasing in the light hearted range and don't say anything that even sounds like you're questioning it or especially that they don't belong together. Saying that last one is something she probably wouldn't get over and may hold a grudge against you for.”
After Hikari said that she gave Touji a little kiss on the cheek bye as he needed to go the gym while the girls were going the other direction. Part of Hikari's student council meeting had to do with the sports fest budget so Mai and Hikari were heading the same direction. “I never realized Asuka actually cared what people say about her” Mai commented a little surprised. “I always thought she was more confident than that.”
“Not always” Hikari said back. “If it is someone she doesn't like then it doesn't matter one bit what that person says. But when a friend says something she pays it more respect than most people realize. Asuka's not this super confident girl who can do anything that a lot of the girls paint her as. Her past was really ugly and she does have some terrible scars from it. So does Shinji. And that's sort of why they are the way they are.”
“I'm not saying they don't belong together or anything like that, but sometimes I don't understand why they are together. They seem like total opposites.”
“Only on the outside” Hikari answered. “Who they really are on the inside is a completely different matter. To tell you the truth I doubt you will ever meet the real Asuka, and I know you will never meet the real Shinji. But if you did, you would be amazed by how similar they are.”
“The real Asuka and Shinji?” Mai questioned. She wasn't sure she understood what Hikari was talking about.
It was at times like this that Hikari was reminded about how unique her friends tended to be. In order to get along with Rei and especially Asuka, Hikari had to know a good deal more about psychology than the average high school student. “Let me ask you a question” Hikari said holding up. “Is Asuka popular because of her character or because no other girl can stand up to her?”
The answer was obviously the second choice. A lot of girls were friendly to her just because it was safer to be on her good side than bad. Mai was one of the few that liked Asuka because of her character, it was one that had many similarities with her own.
Hikari asked another question, this one a little harder to answer. “Do you think she likes being popular?”
“She seems to” Mai answered but at the same time felt like she was about to be told she was wrong.
And Hikari did tell her that. “She doesn't, in fact she hates it now. All that being popular did for her was make her a target and get her stuck with obligations. When she was a first year she did her best to climb the school's hierarchy, but the second she got what she really wanted, Shinji, she tried to jump off her pedestal. And she still is… problem is no one will let her. She already established herself as the most powerful girl in school and she can't get away from that. Personally I have noticed ever since she started dating Shinji she has become more like him than he like her. Sure Shinji is a little more outgoing now but Asuka has become much more withdrawn.”
That of course begged the question “Shinji is outgoing?”
“As much as he ever will be” Hikari said back. “You should have seen him before Asuka and him got together. The only two people he ever said more than two words to at school were Touji and Kensuke. And most of the time when everyone else was talking during free time you would find him sitting at his desk listening to music, lost in his own thoughts.”
Mai made a very astute observation after hearing that. “Sounds like he was trying to hide from the world.”
“He was” Hikari said back, impressed a little with Mai's ability to read a situation. At this point they were outside the student council room and the conversation had to end. They were no longer friends anymore but opponents. Hikari was one of the people holding the purse strings shut on the sports fest committee and Mai belonged to that committee. It was a classic case of one group wanting more money while another telling them they had given them enough already.
It was a bit chilly out that day so when Asuka and Shinji got home they went to take a warm bath together. Shinji had just finished shaving her legs when Asuka moved his hand down to her pubic area and told him “Take care of this area too.”
That was kind of odd to Shinji as he didn't know what Asuka meant `Take care of.' “What do you want me to do?”
“Anything you want” Asuka tempted. She then closed her eyes and encouraged him further with promises of sexual favors if he did a good job.
Shinji didn't know if she was serious at this point or if his girlfriend was playing a game with him. “Anything?”
Asuka confirmed. “Anything… In fact I'm going to close my eyes and I promise not to open them till you say you're done.”
“Okay” Shinji said back getting a big smirk on his face. Asuka must have been in a playful mood today and wanted to experiment is what Shinji was thinking. His girlfriend was a touch kinky and Shinji though right now she wanted him to match her.
He was wrong though as Asuka was actually thinking `He has to shave it all off now. This will shut those girls up.' Five minutes later though she was starting to think `What is he doing down there? It shouldn't take this long to cut it all off. I mean there isn't a lot there to start with.' A couple more minutes she started to pout to herself `I shouldn't have promised to keep my eyes closed…' She could tell he was doing something odd down there. Just by the feel of things he wasn't taking all of her hair away, just part of it. That meant he was doing something weird.
It took Shinji ten minutes to do what he wanted to do. He was very careful in his work as he wanted it to look just right and also not knick Asuka in the process. “I'm done.”
Asuka was almost too scared to look, but she did. Her friends were right as her boyfriend was weird. And what was worse so was she. She absolutely loved that Shinji had shaped that little red patch of pubic hair into a heart. It was cute and made her feel loved. And while turning over so she could press her body close up against his she whispered onto his lips “Baka hentai.”
Shinji was a little confused by this, Asuka's words didn't match her actions. “Huh?... You don't like it?”
“I love it…” Asuka said and then gasped as she worked Shinji inside of her. His mind may have been confused but that cock of his was just how Asuka wanted it. She gave Shinji a deep kiss as she continued to work the cooperating member of Shinji into herself until it was buried inside her as far as it could be. Then she pulled just far enough away from the kiss so she could talk. “… but do you know how much I am going to be made fun of in the locker room for this?”
That wasn't even a thought that occurred to him at the time. He could only say one thing in reply. “Sorry.”
“Not good enough…” Asuka said back and kissed him again while starting to gyrate her hips. “…If I have to be made fun of I want to be well compensated… thrust a little s-s-slower … You have to kiss me the whole time… ohhhh, that-t-t feelsss sssoo good … Tell me you love me over and over… h-hold me t-t-tight-errrrrr… Kiss away all my tears… mehrrrrr…” At this point Asuka gave up trying to explain what she wanted. It was obvious that Shinji already knew as they were making love to each other. And it was going to be the slow, sweet, and completely fulfilling kind as well. That boyfriend of hers was going to make all the future teasing worth it.
A long while later Asuka came out of the bath room with a towel wrapped around her body. She was heading towards her room to get some clothes on while Shinji headed towards his to do the same. She passed by Misato along the way who teased “So you all warm and toasty now?”
Asuka nodded her head yes as she was feeling extremely warm and pleasant inside and out. But she also said “My boyfriend is weird.”
“And?” Misato smirked as that was quite obvious.
“So am I.”
Another “And?” is all Misato said as that too was stating the obvious.
“And you are about to laugh at me” Asuka sighed. “Shinji shaved my pubic hair into the shape of a heart… and I made love to him for doing it.”
Asuka was right, Misato did start to laugh at her for that. “You two so deserve each other.” And Misato continued laughing as she walked down the hall in the opposite direction of Asuka as the visibly satisfied girl started walking towards her room again to put on some clothes.
Asuka didn't even bother to try and hide her new hairdo the next day, all that would have done is attracted even more attention to herself. So as you can guess there was quite a bit of snickering going on when Asuka changed for gym. It wasn't everyday that one of your classmates came to school sporting a patch of pubic hair in the shape of a heart. “Just get it out of your systems girls, and lets move on.”
The girls in the locker room understood what Asuka said. They were free to tease her a bit now but that was it, and also this didn't leave the locker room.
“Personally I think it's cute” Mai commented while still giggling.
“That's what I told Shinji when he was done” Asuka sighed.
“I can't believe you actually let Shinji do that to you” Kotono chuckled.
“I made the mistake of telling him he could do anything he wanted” Asuka said back. “I thought he would shave it all off but… I should have known better.”
“My boyfriend would've certainly cut it all off” Another girl said.
“Yeah, but your boyfriend's normal” Asuka said conceding to the now obvious fact. “Shinji and me are just weird.”
That got more laughter. Asuka had no legs to stand on and was completely accepting her fate right now, and to the other girls this complete compliancy was comical.
“Why you?” one of the girls asked while snickering.
“Because I rewarded him for doing it afterwards and I'm not going to shave it off any time soon.”
“You shouldn't spoil your boyfriend like that” one of the girls laughed light heartedly.
“As long as he spoils me back, I don't care” Asuka replied back honestly.
While most of the girls in the locker room continued to giggle not all of them were. Rei was being silent. Not out of respect or anything like that, but out of worry. Not only could she imagine Kensuke finding something like that hot but that boy of hers might even go and videotape the end results. For safe measures she was planning on staying smooth for as long as she could stand it.
Another girl in the locker room wasn't laughing either. In fact she even let out a snide “Maybe if I had grown mine out and shaved it into the shape of some Warcraft character my boyfriend might've paid attention to me.”
That statement couldn't be ignored, it was too much of a cry for help to the other girls. Factor in that Rini had been grumpy all morning all the girls could tell not all was right in her love life right now. Kotono asked “What's wrong?”
The mood in the locker room abruptly changed after that from comical to supportive as Rini broke out in tears as she explained how she was supposed to go to the movies yesterday with her boyfriend only to get stood up because he forgot due to him playing his game. And when she called him after waiting outside the theater for a half hour he told her he was too busy with a quest and cancelled. She replied with a text message that said they were through and the only reply she got back was he promised to call her when he was done with his quest. That didn't happen as she blocked his number from her phone.
Basically just another high school break up in action.
A couple days later when all the girls were sitting around and gossiping during lunch a conversation about relationships broke out. Rini was still depressed about her breakup and she looked over at Asuka “Can I have Shinji for a week? I just want to know what it's like to have a boyfriend that actually cares about you.”
Asuka just smiled at the depressed teen. Rini wasn't serious about wanting Shinji per say, just what Shinji represented and Asuka understood that was what the girl was looking for. “Sorry, but I'm really bad at sharing my Shin-kun. If you want I can give you a penguin for a week. If you give him food he would be very loyal to you.”
“That would be a change” Rini sighed back. “Usually I have to give a guy my pussy for him to be even close to loyal.”
There were a couple “You got that right” from the other girls along with several head nods. Hikari though offered a little bit of sage advice. “You need to find a boy who will commit to you before you have sex with him.”
“My older sister said the same thing” Rini said back. And since Hikari was wearing that pretty ring on her finger indicating love and commitment she asked “Can I have Touji for a week instead then since Asuka won't share?”
“Be my guest” Hikari smirked to the surprise of the others. “But he's working with his dad after school right now so you will have to deal with that.”
“Oh wow” Rini started off sarcastically. “I get to have another absentee boyfriend. Lucky Me.”
The rest of the girls laughed at that. Hikari had a reason to say yes after all, and that reason was her boyfriend was too busy to be a boyfriend. You could have him all you want, but you might not ever see him during the week outside of school.
One of the girls from the swim team then asked “Do you guys even ever see each other outside of school?” They all knew how busy Touji was from previous conversations with Hikari but you also had to factor in how busy Hikari was with her role as the vice president of the school.
“We try to have dinner together every night” Hikari answered. “It's not always easy but at least it is something.” They also spent the night together as well but Hikari wasn't going to mention that part. These girls didn't need to know that.
“Sounds rough” Tia said back. “But I guess it's better than having nothing.”
“Still can't get Satoru to go out with you?” Shika said in reply to that. Tia had been gunning for him for a while now with obviously no luck.
“The going out part is no problem” Tia said back. “It's the sticking around exclusively with me part that I'm having troubles with.”
“You'll never get a boy like that to stick around” Rini said. “All they want is a taste and then it's you're boring and goodbye.”
Tia understood her best friend rather well right now, they were both going through boy troubles so neither had much faith in men right now. This caused Tia to look over at Mai and tease. “So do lesbians have better relationships? Because right now I'm thinking I should turn that way and date Rini.”
Before Mai could even answer that tease Rini quipped up “Anytime you want to be with me just ask, I'm all for turning lesbo right now. Guys are scum and it wouldn't take you much to better than my last boyfriend in bed.”
That made most of the girls there laugh again. Apparently these two had given up on men right now. Mai though returned the tease with “I think you two should hook up, you would probably make each other happy. And then I could say I actually know a lesbian pair whenever you girls bug me about going to an all girl's school before.”
“So you really didn't know any lesbians at your old school?” Sumi asked. “I mean there at least had to be some. I know there is one or two here?”
“Like I said before, all girl schools are no different than normal schools. Sure there were always whispers about some girls but I never knew if the rumor mongering was true or not” Mai answered back. “And anyways I was too interested in teaching nice otaku boys that there were better things to be obsessed with than to care about which girls liked other girls.”
“Hey!” Rini pouted back as that almost sounded like a slam at her considering the circumstances.
“That has nothing to do with you” Mai said back though as she wasn't going after Rini in the least. “Otaku come in a variety of obsessiveness, you picked one that was too obsessive. Next time pick one that isn't that big of a nut job. Also helps if you pick one that is interested in the same thing as you.”
“You're so weird” Rini said back. Mai's taste in men was very much different than hers. Rini liked cute boys while Mai seemed to like the geeky boys the best. It just happened that this situation combined those two things.
“I don't mind being weird” Mai laughed. “For some people it seems to work out well.” That last comment was directed right at Asuka and that caused the rest of the girls to giggle. None of them had forgotten about that little heart she had on her body.
Asuka though shot right back with a “Say what you want, I'm not the girl sitting here complaining about guys and not getting any.”
That was mean enough were some of the girls pouted about it, but Asuka didn't care one bit. If they were going to tease her about the things Shinji and her did she was going to tease them right back about how good the things Shinji and her did were.
The talking about doing weird things sort of steered the conversation to a bit of a dicey area and the girls started talking quietly so as not to be overheard. “Does Shinji ever try the `if you love me you will let me...' line on you ever?” one of the girls asked. She didn't need to finish that line for most of the girls to figure out what act the guys were trying to engage in when they used that line.
Asuka shook her head no and even added to that. “I wouldn't trust a guy who said things like that.”
“Guys only say that when they want to do something they know you won't like” Sumi said understanding what Asuka was talking about. Sadly she had experience in this topic.
After Sumi said that several girls shifted uncomfortably, including the girl who brought up this issue. “So Shinji and you have never done `that' sort of thing?”
“If you are talking about anal” Asuka started and then paused for a couple seconds. “I will admit to experimenting with it once. But only once and it will never happen again.”
“You told Shinji that it hurts, didn't you?” Hikari asked. She knew exactly how it hurting Asuka would kill any chances of it ever happening again.
Asuka nodded her head yes to that.
“So he actually listened to you and doesn't press you to try again?” the girl asked amazed.
Asuka sighed as these girls got it all wrong. It wasn't her who was forever forbidding this particular act. “There are a lot of really ugly things in mine and Shinji's past and that makes it really hard for us to do things that hurt each other. So even if it is something that feels good for one person, if it hurts the other, it's not going to happen with us. Emotionally it's just too hard on us.”
That caused some of the girls to look depressed again. That answer was not what they expected. The reason why it would never happen again wasn't because Asuka was authoritative and said no but because there was a lot of love and understanding on Shinji's part. This was making some girls rethink their own situations.
While walking back to their classroom after lunch Hikari said “I'm surprised you two even tried to have sex like that.”
“It was really early on in our relationship” Asuka explained. “I heard some girls say it wasn't that bad so I decided to find out if they were right.”
“Hell no” Mai quickly answered that. “I broke up with a boy because he liked it and wanted to do it again even after I said how much it hurt and felt uncomfortable.”
“My problem was that afterwards Shinji felt completely guilty about doing it. I mean we only did it for a minute and I was the one who initiated it but he still felt like he did something horribly wrong to me. It actually took us a couple days to get past it.”
“You two and your serious, understanding, and caring relationships” Mai joked. “You make it really hard for us normal high school girls to feel comfortable about ours.”
“Too bad for you girls” Asuka said unapologetically. “I like what I have.”
“That's the problem” Mai said back. “So do all the other girls.”
*********** OOO ***********
Rei was talking with Kensuke as they walked out of the elevator when they both noticed Misato leaving their place. Misato too noticed them and said “You're early.”
“Were you cleaning?” Rei asked. Misato was prone to tiding up her place from time to time so this wasn't all that unusual to her. Kensuke though still found it strange. It sort of bugged him that Misato seemed to have free range of their place and could come and go as she pleased but it was something he knew he had to get used to. Rei very much saw Misato and Kaji as her parental figures and that meant they had that right. Rei also knew neither of those two would dig into anything that would be an invasion of privacy so she trusted them. Kensuke though still needed some more time to get used to this way of living.
“Nope” Misato told her. “I was just dropping off your new gymnastics uniform.”
“You found a club I could visit?”
Rei hid her excitement behind a very casual voice but both Kensuke and Misato could tell Rei was really thrilled right now. It had been a little while since Misato had told her she was going to help her out and about this issue Rei found herself being a touch impatient. Not enough to say anything to Misato but enough to wish that her guardian would find a place for her quickly. There was a big hole in her life right now and the quicker it was filled, the better.
“I left the directions to the place on your table” Misato told her. “I told them to be expecting you either today or tomorrow so when you have a spare hour or so why don't you drop by the club and check it out. It's not too far from here actually.”
Rei assured Misato she would and made her way to her apartment. Once the apartment door closed though she hurriedly walked over to her kitchen table to the set of directions. The place Misato found was actually only 20 miles from them so easily reachable by train or bus. And when the weather warmed up she could even go there on her scooter.
Kensuke though was more interested in what was on their bed, her new gymnastics uniform. It was a rather sexy black leotard with dark blue stripes streaking diagonally across the stomach area. “Hey Bella, let's say we skip going there today and try out your new outfit instead.”
Rei looked over at her boyfriend and could see the pervishness emanating from him. “Let's say you can wait till tonight.”
“Okay” Kensuke smirked. “But if you make me wait I might just get so pent up after watching you that I tape what happens when we get home.”
“Oh please” Rei laughed that off. “You probably made plans to do that the second you heard Misato say she dropped my new uniform off. I know how that mind of yours works.”
“I see someone's not playing any games” Kensuke teased his girlfriend. When Rei used her mind and was quick with her replies that meant she was serious. “I take it you want to take off right now and check the place out.”
Rei sort of blushed as she was supposed to be seeing through him right now not the other way around. But what he was seeing was correct and she asked “Can we?” in a soft embarrassed voice. She was not trying to act excited about his but well, she was.
“Sure” Kensuke said and grabbed the leotard and put it into Rei gym bag. He was just teasing her before, he knew she would want to take off right away. After all the gym bag he put her outfit in was already packed and ready. “It's still a little cold out, let's take the train.”
Rei agreed to that and they were soon out the door and on their way to the train station.
Rei's excitement switched over to nervousness when she actually got to the club. It wasn't like the place was imposing or anything like that, it was very much like any other gymnastics club in the city, she was just nervous about who she would meet in there. She was sure no one from her school would be there but what about girls from other schools? Those girls might still see her as a rival even if she wasn't on her school's team. That might be something she had to worry about. She really didn't want to get into a confrontation ever again but if she walked through those doors that might just happen. Not all the girls she competed against were nice and on several occasions she heard snotty insults directed at her during meets. What if one of those girls from her past practiced here?
Basically Rei was being a worrywart and that caused her pause outside the door to the gym. Not really much of a surprise to anyone, especially Kensuke. “Don't worry Bella, it will be fine” and he opened the door for her and helped her inside. He knew when Misato was saying you to Rei she really meant them. Rei was getting better with living in the vast world but she still needed a push time and again. It was very much his job now to give her that push.
Rei let out a hushed “Kensuke…” as she wasn't ready to enter yet but then trailed off as she saw who was inside. She was getting all nervous about nothing. The only people inside the gym were a group of young elementary age kids and some older girls that looked like they weren't even in high school anymore.
Kensuke whispered a question to Rei “If you were still part of the gymnastic team where would you be right now?”
Obvious answer would be at practice. And that meant you would be at school and not at some gym club. Maybe later on in the day girls from the junior and senior highs would show up and practice, but right now the only people who would be at the gym would be people not on school teams.
While standing in the doorway talking with Kensuke, Rei was noticed by the woman who ran this gym. “Hello Miss Ayanami, welcome to the Akemi gym.”
Rei returned the greeting with a polite bow and introduced herself and Kensuke.
After a second or two of chit chat, where they learned that this woman used to be a technician for Nerv, she excused herself as she was in the middle of teaching the youngsters that were there. “The changing rooms are over there and feel free to use any of the open equipment. We're pretty informal here when most of the girls are at their schools so you can pretty much do whatever you want. If you want any instruction just ask any of the older girls around, most of them don't mind helping out.”
And with that the woman left to go back to teaching the young children who were there. Normally she would have been more helpful to anyone new who came through her door but she was told by Misato to approach Rei with a very hands off method. Rei was someone looking for a place to basically play and let of some steam, not learn. There were plenty of other people who came to her gym like that already so it was no big deal to simply let her go about as she wished. While this gym's owner did do the traditional things like teach classes and enter her serious students into competitions she also opened her doors to anyone who just wanted to try out the world of gymnastics or were no longer able to compete but still wanted to do the activities as exercise. It was how she kept this business profitable.
Rei was very receptive of the hands off approach and in no time had changed and was up on one of the balance beams. First she did some of her normal warm ups before she started into her routine. But halfway through her routine she stopped. “Something wrong?” Kensuke asked as he was gladly playing the role of her spotter. This place was much better in his opinion, instead of sitting in the stands and simply watching, now he could be an active participant.
“No” Rei answered before giving him a thoughtful look. There was no reason she had to do any type of routine, she could do anything she wanted to. She wasn't practicing for any type of contest but was now free to do whatever she wanted to.
And while watching Rei play around and be free Kensuke smiled. Rei very much was having fun.
Rei was attracting some attention from the other people at the gym, not that she noticed. This mysterious blue haired girl that most of them had never seen before was quite good on the balance beam. And not only was she good but she looked rather artistic in what she was doing. “Who is she?” one of the girls asked another.
“Don't know” the other girl answered. “Akemi was talking about a new person joining the other day but she didn't say who.”
It was at this point the two girls decided to go over and introduce themselves to the new girl. They waited till they saw her sit down on the beam for a rest and start to talk to the guy she came with, most likely her boyfriend from what they saw of the two interacting. No way was this guy just a friend acting as her spotter, they way he handled her was just too personal for that.
“Hey there” The first girl said getting the two's attention. “Are you new here?”
These two girls seemed like they were trying to be friendly to her so Rei answered. “Yes. I just joined the gym today.” After that she jumped down from the beam and introduced herself. “I am Rei Ayanami.” She then introduced Kensuke to them. Little did these two girls know but they were very lucky as for the first time Rei was able to do something she had wanted to for some time now as she continued “And this is my boyfriend Kensuke Aida.” For a while now she wanted to officially introduce him as her boyfriend in a normal conversation. She couldn't do that at school or at work because everyone knew them at those place, here though they were strangers.
These two girls then did something that got them major points with Rei even if they didn't know it. They acknowledge the relationship without even a question as the only thing the first girl said was “Hello, nice to meet you. I'm Haruka Godai.” And all the second girl said was “I'm Yuki Muira.”
Haruka then asked “Are you guys in college or something?” The two looked young to her but not so young that they couldn't pass for first years at some college.
“Nope” Kensuke answered. “We go to Tokyo-4 High.”
“Really?” Yuki asked. And while looking at Rei “Someone as good as you should be on a gymnastic team then.”
“I was last year, but it didn't work out this year” Rei answered. She really hoped these two girls didn't ask why.
And neither did. Instead they both thought the same thing. “You're both third years in the middle of studying for exams, aren't you?”
Kensuke nodded a yes to Haruka.
“Yeah, I had to skip my third year of sports in high school to study too.”
Kensuke and Rei didn't say anything and just left it at that. Yes that wasn't the real reason why Rei was no longer on the team but maybe it was better for them to be living under this particular light. It would make relating to everyone easier.
“So you just come here to take a break from studying?” Yuki asked.
“Pretty much” Kensuke answered without missing a beat. It wasn't like it was a total lie, if they weren't here he probably would be studying. “Just got tired of looking at study guides and decided to study her on the balance beam instead.”
The other two girls giggled at that while Rei blushed. That line may have been delivered plainly but there was definitely some inherent friskiness to it as well.
“Well we will let you get back to studying then” Yuki joked and then the two girls said bye and took their leave to go back to doing what they were before, leaving Rei and Kensuke alone again.
While still blushing Rei said “You didn't have to say it like that.”
“Yes I did” Kensuke smirked. “I was just telling them the truth.”
While that too was embarrassing Rei actually felt good about it. This bit of public flirting was something they didn't do as school, but here they could. At this gym they were just a normal couple that could do normal things like that. There was nothing special about them and no one was scrutinizing everything they did in hopes of getting some juicy gossip about them. And because of that Rei was able to enjoy herself again.
On the way home from the gym Rei and Kensuke stopped at a restaurant for some dinner. They were sitting across from one another and Kensuke noticed Rei still had a pleasant smile on her face. “You had fun, didn't you?”
Rei nodded a bashful yes to that, she was not trying to look giddy but she knew she was anyway. “For some reason being up on a beam feels good to me.” Rei then sighed “But I don't really know why.”
“That's no big deal” Kensuke told her. “You don't really need a reason, if it's fun for you to do that then just do it.”
Rei understood what Kensuke was telling her, she didn't need to think this issue to death. If it was fun then it was fun and didn't require it to be overanalyzed why. There was also some one else that was having fun, “I get the feeling you like being my spotter.”
“Go with that feeling” Kensuke smiled. “Any time I get to touch you Bella, I'm happy.”
“I've noticed” Rei said back dryly as she teased her boyfriend back.
“You never seem to mind” Kensuke simply replied.
“Maybe I just don't say anything” Rei said and then fake yawned. “You know, I might just be too tired to do anything else for the rest of the day.”
Kensuke smiled while looking right into Rei's eyes. “Don't think for a second I'm going to let you get out of what you agreed to earlier.”
“It is very hard to tease you when you do that” Rei replied blushing. Kensuke wasn't taking the bait and was being very straight with her. Most people she could easily handle if they did this to her, but not Kensuke. He had an intimate advantage over everyone else.
“That's because I would rather sit here and tell you I love you than to play around.”
That was way too straight and Rei blushed. It wasn't because she was just told she was loved, in fact she was very used to hearing it from Kensuke, it was that this was a public place and he said it. They were being normal lovers in the public eye and that is something she knew Kensuke wanted. He wasn't looking for public displays of affection really, but just for them to act like any other couple. Rei looked back at him and studied his face for a little bit. He was happy right now. That made Rei feel good too so she said “I love you too.” Being able to freely say that in public felt so very good.
The good feeling lasted all through dinner and as they were walking into their apartment Rei decided Kensuke owed her for it. She whispered into his ear “Your teasing is going to cost you. In order for you to have fun tonight you have to earn it.”
“And how do I have to earn it?” Kensuke answered back.
“You have to make love to me first.”
“Anything for my Bella” Kensuke whispered back. Rei was being very emotional right now and Kensuke could tell she needed some love. They could always play around later, but for now he took her softly in his arms and carried her over to their bed. He was going to take things very slowly and tenderly now, giving Rei exactly what she wanted. Then she would allow the toys, video camera, and any other kinky stuff afterwards.
*********** OOO ***********
Shigeru Aoba, the rock star, had just been seated at his normal table by a girl who looked like she was ready to faint. She couldn't believe who she got to take to a table right now. She had been told that celebrities frequented this restaurant but she didn't expect to meet a big one, not to mention one she had a major crush on, on her second day of the job. She had just been moved up from downstairs and this was her first week working in the fancy restaurant on the second floor after all. She simply was not ready to meet someone like this yet and ended up walking back to her stand on wobbly feet and in a daze.
The person training her in gave her a little lecture for it though. “If you make a big deal out of guiding Mr. Shigeru to his table you won't last long here. He comes to eat her quite often and doesn't like people making a fuss about him.”
The new server girl dropped her head and apologized for her reaction. “Sorry Miss Hatoko. I won't do it again.”
“See that you don't” Hatoko replied. She wasn't really trying to be a hard ass to the new girl, she just wanted to make sure the girl acted appropriately. If she wanted to act all giddy about this she should do it in back, away from where the patrons could see it. This was supposed to be a classy place after all.
Later on the new girl was given that chance as she was on break and talking with some of the waitresses. “Hatoko got mad at me for acting out around Mr. Aoba.”
“She scolds all of us for doing that” one of the other waitresses said casting off that they were ever in any real trouble for acting like that around him. Well as long as you weren't going overboard that is. Swooning and blushing was all right but if you tried anything aggressive you might find yourself out of a job.
“She gave me the evil eye for chatting with him earlier when I was serving him” the other waitress said. “I know we not supposed to do that but well … it's Shigeru Aoba.”
“Is he like the biggest star that comes in here?” the new girl asked.
“I don't know if he is the biggest” one of the other girls answered. “But he is definitely the one who comes in the most.”
The new girl smiled about that. “He's so cool.”
“And he's really nice too” the other girl answered. “I mean some of the celebrities that come in here are total jerks who treat you more like servants than waitresses but he's cool and will talk to you. Leaves awesome tips too.”
“That's why I always try to grab his table” the other waitress said. “You do a good job for him and you might just find yourself with enough money for a new pair of shoes.”
“Too bad most of the time Hatoko takes it away” the other waitress grumbled. “I swear she thinks she is his personal waitress or something.”
“I heard her talk about him using his first name” the new girl added on. “Do they really know each other that well?”
The other two girls didn't really know. “I've seen them talking to each other informally once or twice in back when he is leaving but I don't know if they really know each other.”
“I've seen them do that too” the other girl said. “I wonder if they know each other outside the restaurant?”
The thing about all this was everyone here wanted to know what was going on with this situation, not just the new girl. But you really couldn't ask as you might get in trouble for it. Li Mei wasn't able to be around right now all that much due to her pregnancy so she placed Hatoko in charge of all the waitresses in the upstairs restaurant. That meant if you wanted any answers you would have to go to the acting boss for them. None of the girls had the guts to do it though. This place was too nice of a place to work at to risk getting the boss mad at you.
To tell you the truth though they wouldn't have gotten in trouble if they went to Hatoko and asked her about it. She would have only told them they knew each other from talking on the bus since they both took it to the restaurant. What she wouldn't tell them was that they talked to each other much more than that. In fact she had his private phone number and they chatted quite often. He was no longer a rock star to her but simply a friend. Mostly because the better she got to know him the more she realized he wasn't a rock star, if anything she would describe him as something of a computer geek. A couple times already she had hung out with him when he was with some of the other band members. They didn't talk about music in their spare time, they sat around talking about computers. It made her really wonder at times just who was Shigeru Aoba.
A couple days later the new girl was getting some more training, this time from Rei. Rei was the quintessential hostess and was sort of the face of this place in many people's eyes so Hatoko asked her to help with training in the new girl so this girl would learn how to do things properly.
“Miss Ayanami, you are really good at this” the new girl said amazed when Rei got back from escorting a group to their table. Rei was just so elegant and polite in her manner, and that didn't seem to change no matter who she was taking to their table. It didn't matter if it was a normal couple out for a romantic dinner, celebrities, or high ranking politician she was seating, she always was able to act professionally.
“I have had a lot of practice” Rei answered trying to make the girl think that she was this way because of experience rather than the truth of her not knowing when she was seating someone important. Rei wasn't very good with popular culture.
“I hope I can become as good as you then” the girl said back thinking the jitters she got around important people might go away in time and with practice.
“I'm sure you can” Rei answered bolstering that idea. Basically Rei was just trying to do what she was asked to do by Hatoko. The new girl was learning how to do her job well enough but was having problems with remaining calm. She was still suffering from cases of being star struck. That wasn't exactly unexpected out of the new girls but it was something Li Mei liked to rid them of as quickly as possible.
This was proven as one of the main people the new girl was having troubles with showed up. She let out a little “eep” and blushed giddily when she saw Shigeru Aoba walk up the stairs. She then got a disapproving look from Rei for it that made her feel foolish.
“You're working late today” Shigeru said looking at Rei. He had some prior engagements and was actually showing up at the restaurant a bit later than normal so he didn't expect to still see Rei working.
“I had to change up my schedule recently” Rei told him. She pushed back her start time by an hour so she could go to the gymnastics club she was now a part of.
“Good to know” Shigeru said and then looked at the new girl. “So you think you can find me a table tonight or am I too late?”
“I-I-I- can find you a table if you want…” the girl replied stumbling over her own words.
“Please try that again” was a curt reply to her. It was not from Shigeru Aoba though but the senior hostess who was in the middle of training her. Rei found that answer to be lacking in courtesy.
Shigeru though said “Ah you don't have to so hard on her for me. I don't mind.”
“Please don't encourage inappropriate behavior Mr. Aoba” Rei quickly said back as his lax attitude wasn't helping in this matter.
Shigeru smirked at that. “Opps, I got a lecture too. I better behave.”
“See that you do” Rei replied and then encouraged the new girl to do her job properly.
This time the girl did as she bowed properly and politely asked him to follow her to his table. While the new girl was doing that Rei noticed Hatoko come out and usurp his table out from the girl who was assigned to it. Rei also heard the other girl complain “No fair, she always gets him” as she sulked her way into the back. She then saw the new girl look a little sad as Hatoko chased her off even though Shigeru Aoba was trying to talk to her.
When the new girl got back to the stand she tried to explain herself to Rei as she thought she might be in trouble again. “He talked to me first… I was just trying to be polite.”
“It's okay” Rei told her. “But with that customer you have to be careful, he has a habit of chatting too much. And standing around chatting with him sets precedence with the other customers who then feel it was rude that they did not get the same service.”
The new girl understood what she was being told. If you treat everyone the same there will be no hurt feelings and things will run smoother.
The new girl was in back changing out of her outfit as her shift was over along with a couple other girls. “Does Miss Ayanami know Shigeru Aoba too? He was talking to her informally and even grinned when she lectured him.”
This was no secret and one of the girls answered “They know each other from before he got famous.”
“Like that matters” the other girl laughed. “You need to learn something about Rei. She doesn't care if your famous and most of the time she doesn't know she seated someone famous till after we tell her.”
“Is that why she is so good?” the new girl asked.
“Not really” the other girl answered. “I mean were not digging on Rei, because she's really good at what she does, it's just that sometimes she's really clueless about what's popular.”
“It's more like she doesn't care what's popular” the three girls were interrupted by Hatoko. “Rei is a unique girl whose priorities lie elsewhere.”
“Yeah, like in bed with Aida” one of the girls giggled. Everyone in the restaurant knew those to were together so it was something they got teased about from time to time.
“That's enough” Hatoko falsely admonished. “You know the rules about gossiping about those two.”
In unison the two other girls said together “No talking about Rei and Kensuke without Li Mei present.” That got everyone to laugh and giggle as Li Mei was always in the thick of all things gossipy, especially about Rei and Kensuke.
Hatoko then got around to why she came back in the dressing room in the first place. “Sorry about taking Mr. Shigeru away from you tonight, so here's a cut of the tip.”
“Really, you're giving this to me?” the girl asked surprised.
“Uh huh” Hatoko replied back. “I already got what I wanted out of him so you can have this. It would have been yours if I didn't take over the table anyway.” And after saying that Hatoko left.
The new girl looked wide eyed at the other two. “What did she mean by that?”
One of the other girls stopped the overreaction. “She's just talking about chocolate cake. Mr. Aoba usually buys the girl who served him a dessert and Hatoko is a sucker for this place's chocolate cake.”
“Oh is that all” the new girl said.
At the end of her day Hatoko went up to the top floor of the building and knocked on the door to the apartment up there. Her rather pregnant boss answered it. “You need something Hatoko?”
“I have to talk to you about something” was Hatoko's reply.