Kimagure Orange College - Episode 7
by Stephen Tsai
 
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Kimagure Orange College

[Writer's foreword:  This is the seventh episode of a fan-fict 
series based on the characters in Kimagure Orange Road.  They are 
intended to take place after the movie, "I Want to Return to that 
Day", and follow the characters Kasuga Kyosuke and Ayukawa Madoka 
as they start the next phase of their lives in college.
	If you missed the previous episodes, notes about the new 
characters, and previous events are listed after the ending 
credits.  In addition, previous episodes are available at the 
wpi.wpi.edu ftp site.
	One thing I would like to say up front:  Although I and my 
co-writer have both graduated from college, our experience is in 
the American college system and culture.  The span of our 
experience in the Japanese advanced education system is limited 
with what we can pick up watching anime, reading manga, and 
consulting with friends, pen pals and anime clubs.  Any mistakes, 
inconsistencies, etc. are neither intentional nor are they meant 
to show disrespect for the Japanese education system.  In fact, we 
would appreciate any constructive criticisms, corrections, and 
insight any readers might offer us.  Mail all such letters, 
praises or flames to acombs@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu.]

Episode 7 - Mystery Gift

[Open on a scene of Kasuga sitting at his desk.  Spread out on the 
desk before him are several coins of various denominations, and 
couple of low value yen notes.  Kasuga shifts the coins around, as 
if a different pattern might somehow show more money and sighs.]

Kasuga Narration:  It was the middle of May, and due to several 
unplanned expenses, [Quick scene flashes show Kasuga paying extra 
rent money to Egami and paying off the Miyasato twins to keep 
quiet about having a pet on the premises.] plus having to buy a 
gift for Ayukawa's upcoming birthday, I found myself a little 
short of cash.  Considering how little I had left, it looked like 
it was going to be instant ramen for me for the next couple of 
weeks.  I could deal with that and, if there were no more 
unexpected expenses, I should have no real problems getting 
by...but that didn't mean I had to be happy about it.

Kasuga:  [Sighs deeply once more, then gathers up the money and 
stuffs it into his wallet.  Then he slides open a desk drawer, 
pulls out a small wooden box, and sets it on the desk.]  It'll be 
a tough couple of weeks, but it'll be worth it when I give this to 
Ayukawa.  [He lifts the top of the box, revealing a small figurine 
which begins to pirouette as "Summer Mirage" softly chimes from 
the box's spring mechanism.  After playing the music for a few 
seconds, there's a knock at the door.  Kasuga closes the music box 
and puts it back in the drawer before answering the door.]

Tanaka:  Good morning, Kasuga-san.

Kasuga:  Uh, good morning.  [He gets a puzzled look on his face.]  
Can I help you with something?

Tanaka:  Well, I had the morning free, and I realized that in 
spite of the fact that we are neighbors, we really don't know 
anything about each other.  I thought that this might be a good 
opportunity to rectify that deficiency...unless you happen to be 
busy...

Kasuga:  No...not really...

Tanaka:  How marvelous...[Smiles.] might I come in, then?

Kasuga:  [Still off-balanced by the situation.]  I guess.  [He 
moves aside, letting Tanaka enter.  He then reaches over the desk 
and picks up two cushions.]  I'm afraid that this is all I have 
for seating.

Tanaka:  Quite all right.  [Kneels on one of the cushions and 
sits.]  I understand that you are going to college.

Kasuga:  [Nods.]  Yes, at Butsumetsu University.

Tanaka:  I see...and you are majoring in, what was it, Literature?

Kasuga:  [Relaxing a little.]  Right.

Tanaka:  Hmm...a bit of an unusual choice for a major...and I hope 
I'm not out of line by saying this, but there's not that much 
demand for that degree, is there?

Kasuga:  Not really...I'm hoping to get into writing, but I'll 
probably end up teaching before I can break in anywhere.

Tanaka:  Writing...remarkable.  Well then, I wish you the best of 
luck.

Kasuga:  Thanks...I'll need plenty of luck to break in.

Tanaka:  Well...[smiles] if there's one thing you do have Kasuga-
san, it's luck.

Kasuga:  [Looks right at Tanaka.]  I'm not sure what you mean...

Tanaka:  Your friend...she's quite beautiful, if I may say so.  
What was her name again?

Kasuga:  [Smiles now as well.]  Ayukawa Madoka.

Tanaka:  [To himself.]  Even her name is beautiful...[Smiles.]  As 
I said, you're very lucky.

Kasuga:  Thank y...

Voice from down the hall:  Kasuga-san!

Kasuga:  [Stands up]  That's Katsu.  I'd better go see what he 
wants.

Tanaka:  [Stands up and moves towards the door.]  No problem...I'm 
sure we'll talk again at a later time.  [Walks down the hall 
towards Room No. 4.]  It's been very...informative.

[Kasuga walks towards Room No. 6 and knocks on the door.]

Katsu:  Come in.

[Kasuga enters and glances around the apartment, which is even 
more cluttered than usual.  In addition to the normal tubes, 
beakers, and burners, there are various colorful tubes scattered 
about the room, and a small stack of small round cones sit on the 
corner of one table.  Katsu is busy working on something at one of 
the tables.  He turns as Kasuga enters.]

Katsu:  Ahh, Kasuga-san...good morning.  I needed to ask your 
opinion on a couple of things.

Kasuga:  No problem.  [He picks up one of the tubes from the floor 
and gives it a closer look.  The tube is about 6 inches long and 
an inch in diameter, hollow, and made of heavy cardboard.  He 
glances at what Katsu is working on.  Katsu is mixing several 
different powders together, carefully measuring each one.  Kasuga 
glances back at the tube.]  What are you up to this time?  What's 
that stuff you're working on there?

Katsu:  This?  [He pours another small amount of chemical into the 
mix, closes the top of the beaker he's mixing in, and picks it 
up.]  It's a mixture of carbon, potassium nitrate, potassium 
chlorate, sulf...

Kasuga:  Katsu!

Katsu:  What?  [Realizes he's getting too technical, and grins 
sheepishly.]  Sorry...well, I've added a few compounds of my own, 
[Offers the beaker over to Kasuga to examine.] but it's basically 
black powder.

Kasuga:  [Takes the beaker and holds it up to look at it closely.]  
Black powder?  What's that?

Katsu:  [Chuckles]  Basically it's a primitive form of gunpowder.

Kasuga:  What!?! [Almost drops the beaker in surprise.  After 
getting ahold of it again, he holds it very securely...with both 
hands.  He then hands it back to Katsu.]  What's going on?  Isn't 
playing with gunpowder, uhh...dangerous?

Katsu:  Oh I'm not playing with it.  I'm making fireworks.

Kasuga:  That's not quite what I...[looks at the tubes again.]  
Fireworks?

Katsu:  Yes...I figure that after the party tonight we could go 
out as a group to one of the nearby beaches and shoot them off.

Kasuga:  Yeah, but still...isn't making fireworks in your 
apartment pretty dange...[A realization suddenly hits him.]  
Uhh...Katsu-san, I hope you don't mind me asking but...[pauses.] 
*what* party tonight?

Katsu:  Huh?  Kimura's birthday party is tonight.  [Kasuga blinks. 
(*Poit*) :-)]  You don't know about it?  No one told you?  
Ouch...I'm sorry.  I thought Ayukawa-san was going to tell you.

Kasuga:  [He brushes a couple of tubes off a chair and sits down.]  
No she hasn't...

Katsu:  Well, it's a surprise party for her.  Everyone's going to 
be there.  Saito-san, Kasamatsu-san, the Miyasato twins...

Kasuga Narration:  A surprise birthday party for Kimura?  That 
means I'll have to get a gift for her.  [A view flashes of the 
money on his desk from earlier.]  I guess I can ask Ayukawa to 
lend me the money...[A view flashes of Ayukawa.  She has a stern 
look on her face, and is shaking her finger at Kasuga.]  Then 
again, I really don't want to be lectured by her.  This is looking 
like it'll be the worst.

Katsu:  Kasuga-san!

Kasuga:  [Snapping back to reality.]  Uhh...sorry about that.  [He 
remembers where he is and what Katsu is working on, and decides a 
hasty retreat is in order.]  Well, I'd better get going.  I've 
gotta go to the department store and find something to give 
Kimura.

Katsu:  No problem.  [Kasuga slips out the door and is gone.]  Hey 
Ka...!  [He sighs.]  Shoot...he didn't even give me a chance to 
ask him which color he thought Kimura-san would like for the 
finale.

[Cut to Kasuga, who runs down the stairs, put his shoes on, then 
goes out to unlock his scooter.]

Kasuga Narration:  I'm not normally one to run out on a friend 
like this, but with Katsu's habit of making things that aren't 
explosive explode anyway, it's probably best for me to be nowhere 
around while he's working on something that's intended to explode.  
Right now though, I have other problems.  As if my money wasn't 
tight enough already, now I have to find a gift for Kimura.

[Kasuga starts up his scooter and accelerates as soon as the tires 
hit the main street in front of the boarding house.  As he pulls 
away, a loud explosion can be heard behind him from the boarding 
house.]

Egami's voice from the boarding house:  KATSU...!!!!

Katsu's voice from the boarding house:  AHH...I'M VERY SORRY!!!

[Cut to the Mitsukoshi Department store.  The store is packed with 
the weekend crowd as families and groups of people fill the 
various departments.  Kasuga is walking through the women's 
clothing area, pulling out various items at random.  Although he 
manages to find a few outfits that catch his eye, he winces when 
he sees the price tags.]

Kasuga  [Sits down dejectedly at a bench as he says to himself...] 
There's got to be some way I can afford to get a gift for 
her...[sighs]

Voice:  Having problems, cousin?

Kasuga:  [Turns around and see...] Akane...

Akane:  That's me.  [She grins and takes a seat beside Kasuga.]  
OK.  You need to get a gift, and you have no money, right?

Kasuga:  [Puzzled]  Yes.

Akane:  [nods] And, if I know you, you've had no luck deciding 
what to get her even if you had the money, right?

Kasuga:  [a little irritated]  I guess.

Akane:  Great!

Kasuga:  [more irritated]  What's so great about it?

Akane:  What's great is I'm going to come to your rescue once 
more.

Kasuga:  [Now suspicious]  Who said I needed rescuing?

Akane:  Calm down, Kyosuke.  Let me put it this way...I happen to 
have a little extra cash this month.  I can go pick out a gift for 
you, and you can pay me back next month.  How does that sound?

Kasuga:  [A bit off guard now]  What's in it for you?

Akane:  Not a thing...well...I guess maybe a little conscience 
easing.  I sorta owe you after the stunt I pulled a while back 
with you and Kimura-san.  I did go a bit overboard on that one, I 
guess.

Kasuga Narration:  As much as it bothered me to admit it, Akane's 
idea did look like it would solve my problems, at least the ones 
involving the present.

Akane:  Well?  What do you think, Kyosuke?

Kasuga:  Given the situation, I don't have a lot of choice.  OK, 
Akane...go for it.

Akane:  Great!  When do you need it?

Kasuga:  [Meekly]  Tonight...

Akane:  I should have known.  You always put things off until the 
last minute.  OK, I'll bring it by your room this afternoon.

Kasuga:  Uh...Akane?

Akane:  What, Kyosuke?

Kasuga:  [Quietly]  Thanks.

Akane:  [Grinning]  No problem at all.  [She gives Kasuga a pat on 
the shoulder, and wanders off, whistling to herself.]

Kasuga:  [Stares at Akane as she leaves, as he still can't believe 
his luck.  After she has been lost from sight for a few seconds, 
he gets up, and heads off in a different direction as he says to 
himself...]  I've always said I never know what to expect from 
Akane...[smiles] but maybe she's really trying to straighten 
out...

[Cut back to Akane.  She pulls out her wallet, checks on her 
available money, then puts it back in her pocket.  She thinks for 
a moment, then starts leafing through the various items of 
clothing on the racks.]

Akane:  [To herself]  Poor Kyosuke...he's lucky I came along.  
Hmm...now if I were Kyosuke, what would I give her?  Assuming that 
I could ever make up my mind on a gift.  [She chuckles, then 
starts browsing through a couple of departments as she passes.]  
Hmm...maybe I better stop imagining I'm him.  I can't seem to 
think of anything appro...[She stops as she spots another set of 
merchandise.  A grin spreads across Akane's face.]  That's 
perfect...just the thing to have Kyosuke give her.  [She grabs the 
merchandise and heads for the counter.]

[Cut to Ayukawa's apartment.  In the kitchen, there are several 
small bowls layed out as Ayukawa pours a cup of flour into the 
main mixing bowl.]

Ayukawa:  [While stirring.]  Well, I didn't think it was a 
problem.

Ikemoto:  [Holding a cordless vacuum, and sliding it over the den 
table.]  I just have a problem with parties.   They make a mess, 
they're noisy, they're... 

Ayukawa:  These people are mature adults.  I'm sure there won't be 
any problems.

Ikemoto:  [Stops the vacuum, and sighs.]  When is this party?

Ayukawa:  Tonight.

Ikemoto:  Well, [considers for a moment.]  I suppose I can put in 
some extra time at the office tonight.

Ayukawa:  Well, you're welcome to...

Ikemoto:  [Waves her hand.]  No, I've really got to finish this 
account anyway.  [She smiles for a moment, then her stern 
expression returns.]  Ayukawa-chan?

Ayukawa:  What?

Ikemoto:  This place better be clean when I get back...

Ayukawa:  [Smiles.]  No problem.

[Cut to the alley near Kasuga's boarding house.  The view is 
looking down the alley and out the entrance.  Akane passes by the 
front of the alley, a small gift-wrapped package in her hands.  
Just as she passes, a rustling sound is heard from the back of the 
alley.  Akane spins around and looks in the direction of the 
sound.]

Akane:  Is someone there?  [She advances a couple of steps down 
the alley.  Suddenly a large orange cat bursts from behind some 
boxes and takes off down the alley away from her.  Akane chuckles, 
then turns around and heads out of the alley.]  Hrumph...[smiles] 
now I'm starting to act like Kyosuke.  [As she leaves, a figure in 
the shadows shifts back to his previous position.]

Figure in the shadows:  [Whispers to himself]  That was 
close...staying in this alleyway is getting dangerous.  I would 
have... problems explaining things if I was caught.  But I just 
have to find out if what I saw back at the baseball stadium was 
real.

[Cut to Room No. 5.  Kasuga is scribbling on a pad of paper on his 
desk.  A knock on the door interrupts him.  He frowns momentarily, 
then puts his pencil down.  He gets up, crosses the room, and 
opens the door.]

Akane:  Good afternoon, Kyosuke.

Kasuga:  Ahh... Good afternoon Akane.

Akane:  Here you go.  [She holds out the wrapped gift to Kasuga.  
The gift is about eight inches by ten inches by one inch.]

Kasuga:  [Holds up the gift to examine it.]  What is it?

Akane:  That's my surprise.

Kasuga:  Hmm...I don't know...

Akane:  Trust me, Kyosuke...I promise she'll like it.

Kasuga:  Well, I guess.  [Relaxes his guard.]  Thanks for doing 
this for me Akane.

Akane:  No problem at all, Kyosuke, no problem at all.  [She gives 
a wave, and turns to head back out of the building.]

Kasuga:  Umm...Akane?

Akane:  [Stops and looks back.]  What Kyosuke?

Kasuga:  Well, I just thought...[Puts his hand behind his head.] 
Well, you did all this for me and...well, there's a party tonight, 
and...

Akane:  [She holds up a hand for him to stop and smiles.]  Are you 
trying to invite me?

Kasuga:  [He nods, then narrows his eyes at Akane.]  If you 
promise to behave.  No using your power at the party for any 
reason.

Akane:  [Smile broadens.]  Why Kyosuke, do you think I would cause 
trouble?

Kasuga:  [Crosses his arms and gives her a steely-eyed look.]

Akane:  Where is this party?

Kasuga:  It's at Ayukawa's place, but what's that got to do with 
you promising...

Akane:  It just helps me make up my mind if it's worth the bother 
to go.  OK, cousin, you've got my promise.  From the moment I walk 
in the door, no powers.

Kasuga:  OK, I'll call and let Ayukawa know you're coming...*and* 
I'll tell her your promise.  The party starts at 8:00.

Akane:  Sounds like fun.  I'll see you there.  [Turns to leave 
then stops.]  Oh, and Kyosuke?

Kasuga:  What?

Akane:  Thanks for inviting me.  [She turns and goes down the 
stairs before he can reply.]

Kasuga:  [Turns and reenters his room.  After staring at the gift 
for a few seconds, he shakes his head and then moves over to the 
phone.  He picks it up and dials.]  Ayukawa?  Hi, it's me.  Do you 
need any help setting up things over there?  OK I'll be right 
over.  Is there anyone else there?  Good. [He hangs up, picks up 
the gift, then vanishes as he teleports away.]

COMMERCIAL BREAK

[Camera pan to a Mega-Tokyo courtroom.  A judge looks at a young, 
brown-haired woman wearing motorbike gear...]

Judge:  [Firmly]  2000 yen for every kilometer over the speed 
limit!  [Slams gavel.]  <BAM!>

Priss:  [Look of concern]  But that's over 100000 yen!

Judge:  [Unsympathetically and sarcastically]  Oh, you can *add* 
fast too...next! <BAM!>

Voiceover:  When you need money fast...

[Show Priss dialing the phone in the courtroom.  After getting an 
answer, she starts sweating and explaining her predicament.  On 
the other end, Sylia makes another call while Linna and Nene are 
giggling in the background...]

Voiceover:  ...come to Western Union!  Our offices can get it 
there in less than 15 minutes!

[Show Godai standing in line with a stack of new textbooks.  As 
the cashier rings up the sub-totals, Godai starts to sweat...]

Cashier:  [Amused]  Psychology!  [Stacks a set of...expensive 
looking books on the table.]

Godai:  <Gulp!>

Cashier:  [Smiles even more at Godai's predicament.]  Biology!  
[Stacks a set of even more expensive-looking lab tools.]

Godai:  [Pulls out his wallet and starts to leaf through, not 
liking what he counts.]  Uhh...!

Cashier:  [Presses a button on the register.]  Comes to ...[Big 
five-digit number comes up.]

Godai:  [Now holding a phone, he starts to dial as the people in 
line start to protest.]

Voiceover:  Western Union...the fastest way to send money!

END COMMERCIAL BREAK

[Cut to Ayukawa, still talking into the phone.]

Ayukawa:  Hello?  Hello?  [She takes the phone away from her ear.]  
Hrumph...why'd he hang up without even saying goodbye.  [She turns 
around and is momentarily startled to see Kasuga standing right 
behind her.  After a moment, she recovers.]  You know, someday, 
someone's going to see you do that.

Kasuga:  [Reassuringly]  It'll never happen.  By the way, why 
didn't you tell me there was a party?

Ayukawa:  Eh?  Katsu-san was suppose to tell you.

Kasuga:  No, he said you were...[The doorbell rings.]

Ayukawa:  [Walks over towards the door and opens it.]  
Hayashibara-san...you're early!

Hayashibara:  Well, I had to find a good parking spot for our plan 
to work, right?  [Offers a gift-wrapped box.]

Ayukawa:  [Smiles as she accepts the box.]  Right...well, come in!  
[Sets the box down on the table.]  I have some work to finish in 
the kitchen so make yourself at home.

Hayashibara:  [Smiles, then gently takes Ayukawa hand.]  Don't be 
gone long Ayukawa-san!  [Teeth gleam.]

Kasuga:  [Look of concern on his face.] ...  [Before he can say 
anything, the doorbell rings again.]  I'll get it!  [Opens the 
door.]

Both Miyasatos in unison:  Good afternoon!  [Both hand over 
identically gift-wrapped boxes.]

Kasuga:  [Accepts both boxes.]  Come on in.  You're ear...[Drifts 
off when both sisters walk right past him without another word.]

Yuko:  [Trying not to swoon as she says to Hayashibara...]  I 
think you're great!  I'm a big fan of yours!

Yoko:  [Swoons as she says to Hayashibara...]  I go to every game 
you play!  I think you're great too!

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  Geez he's got it made...[Looks a little 
worried.]  I wonder how Ayukawa feels about him...[His curiosity 
is interrupted by another knock at the door.  Without taking his 
eyes off Hayashibara, Kasuga walks back towards the door and opens 
it.]

Saito, Kasamatsu, Katsu:  Hi there!  [Each hands over a box, then 
enters, leaving Kasuga with both arms full.]

Kasuga:  Hey guys...?

Saito:  Wow...[Admiring the apartment.] this place must set 
Ayukawa-san back a lot!

Katsu:  Not really, she's rooming with someone.

Kasuga:  Uhh...guys...?  [Just manages to stagger over towards the 
table and set the presents on the table.  Just as he does, the 
doorbell rings again.]  Just a minute...

[Kasuga walks over to the door and opens it.  As he opens the 
door, the clock strikes eight o'clock exactly.]

Akane:  Good evening, Kyosuke.  How's my timing?  I didn't want to 
be late.

Kasuga:  [Looks at the clock.]  Right on time.  [He grins, then 
notices that Akane has her hands hidden behind her.  His smile 
fades into a frown.]  What's going on, Akane?

Akane:  [Grins]  Oh, just a little something I brought to liven up 
the party.  [She brings her hands out from behind her back and 
reveals two large bottles of sake.]

Kasuga:  Akane!  It's not that kind of party!

Akane:  [Slips past Kasuga into the apartment.]  I'm not going to 
force anyone to drink.

Kasuga:  B-but...

[Akane sets the bottles down on the table and surveys the 
decorations, and the other attendees.  She spots Hayashibara 
sitting on he other end of the couch, involved in a lively 
discussion with Katsu and Saito.  Her eyes go wide as she realizes 
who he is, and she waves Kasuga over to her.]

Akane:  [Whispered to Kasuga.]  Is that who I think it is sitting 
over there?

Kasuga:  [Mild irritation.]  That's him.  Hayashibara Akira.

Akane:  How in the world did you get *him* to come to this thing?

Kasuga:  [Growing irritation.]  He's sort of a friend of Ayukawa.

Akane:  Madoka-san?  [She suddenly realizes something, and gives 
Kasuga a sharp look.]  Ahh...I see.  You're jealous.

Kasuga:  [Curtly]  Jealous?  Me?  Hrumph!

Hayashibara:  Kasuga-san...why don't you come over and join us?  
And bring your friend as well.

Kasuga:  Well...

Akane:  [Grabs Kasuga's arm.]  Come on, cousin.  I'm not missing 
this chance to meet him.

Hayashibara:  [Stands up and addresses Akane.]  I don't believe 
we've met before.  I'm Hayashibara Akira.  [Bows.]

Akane:  I know...I'm Kyosuke's cousin Akane.  [Bows.]  I'm pleased 
to meet you.  I want you to know I'm a big fan of yours.  I watch 
you play every chance I get.  I...

Kasuga Narration:  [While Akane continues her conversation]  I've 
said it before, but it's still true.  I never know what to expect 
from Akane.  Considering her normal tastes, she's one of the last 
people I'd expect to see swooning over Hayashibara.

Hayashibara:  [Somewhat embarrassed] ...flattered you think so.

Akane:  Before you leave, can I have your autograph?

Kasuga:  [Taking Akane's arm.]  Can I talk to you?  [Pulls Akane 
over to a corner of the room.]  What's going on with you, Akane?  
Why are you fawning over Hayashibara.

Akane:  I'm *not* fawning over him.

Kasuga:  Sorry, bad choice of words.  But still...you know what 
I'm talking about.  I wouldn't have thought he's your type.

Akane:  Ahh...I see.  That's what this is all about.  OK, you're 
partially right.  He's not my *type*.  [Kasuga frowns.]  But 
that's not what this is all about.  This is about the fact that 
he's one of the best players to come through our school in a long 
time.  This is about the fact that he's a sports hero to most of 
the school, me included...[She winds down, then smiles.]  You're a 
bad influence on me, Kyosuke.  I don't think I've ever done that 
much philosophising in one burst before.  [She chuckles.]  Anyway, 
do you get my point?  [Kasuga nods.]  Good.  Hmm, you know...[She 
pauses momentarily.]  Maybe if you thought about just what Ayukawa 
sees in him, you might not be quite so jealous.  Maybe her idea of 
him is similar to mine.  It's something to think about.  [She 
moves off to chat with others.  Kasuga stares after her for a 
moment, then glances over at Hayashibara, who is still talking 
with Katsu.  After a couple of moments, Kasuga shakes his head and 
walks over to join them.]

Hayashibara:  Ahh...Kasuga-san.  I haven't had much chance to talk 
with you this evening.  How are you doing?

Kasuga:  Pretty good...you two have been talking for quite a 
while.  Anything important?

Katsu:  [Chuckling with a drink in his hand.]  I'm just trying to 
convince "Mr. Baseball" here that playing tennis is a bit 
different than playing baseball.

Hayashibara:  What's so difficult about it?  If I can hit a ball 
with a bat, I can certainly hit one with a tennis racquet.

Katsu:  [Grins.]  We'll see about that.  [To Kasuga.]  Anyway, 
we're going to go out to the court tomorrow and try a few sets.  
Interested in joining us?

Kasuga:  Well, I don't play much, but Ayukawa's pretty good.

Hayashibara:  Ayukawa-san?  Hmm...I wouldn't mind getting a chance 
to watch her play.  Let's invite her too.

Kasuga:  [Frowns slightly.]  Well...I'm not sure...

Hayashibara:  Hmm...[Sets his drink down] I think you and I need 
to talk Kasuga-san.  [To Katsu]  Would you excuse the two of us 
for a moment?

Katsu:  Sure...I'd better get going anyway.  [Leaves.]

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  What's this all about?

Hayashibara:  Kasuga-san, it's obvious you don't like me very much 
and I can guess why.  You see me as a threat that will come 
between you and Ayukawa-san, right?

Kasuga:  Well...

Hayashibara:  I don't know if this will do any good, but for what 
it's worth, I have no intentions of being a threat.  Ayukawa's a 
wonderful girl, I'm sure, but she's *your* girlfriend, and that 
makes all the difference.

Kasuga Narration:  There have been many things in my life I wished 
I could do over again.  Sometimes, it seems I can't ever make up 
my mind.  Oftentimes, I've made mistakes and regretted my 
decisions...but this wasn't one of them.

Kasuga:  Hmm...I can't make any promises, but...[Pauses 
momentarily]  I guess I'm willing to give you the benefit of the 
doubt for the moment.  [Holds out his hand tentatively.]

Hayashibara:  [Clasps Kasuga's hand firmly.]

[They rejoin the others.  After a few moments Akane pulls Kasuga 
to one side.]

Akane:  [With a drink in her hand.]  Well, it's an interesting 
party, but when is the birthday girl putting in an appearance?

Kasuga:  Oh...that's right.  I didn't tell you...this is a 
surprise party.

Akane:  [Puzzled]  Surprise?  [To herself.]  But Madoka-san has 
been working in the kitchen...

Kasuga:  Yeah...I think Katsu left to get Kimura a little while 
ago...[Stands up]  I've gotta help Ayukawa in the kitchen.  See 
you in a little while...[Leaves]

Akane:  [Almost chokes on her drink as she realizes to herself.]  
K-K-KIMURA...?!?

[Cut to Kimura's apartment.  Katsu rings the doorbell and waits.  
A few moments later, the door opens and an older woman stands by 
the doorway.  She has red hair, fading to gray highlights.  Her 
face is lined with a look of sterness, tempered with a mother's 
protectiveness.]

Older woman:  Good evening...may I help you?

Katsu:  [Bows.]  Good evening...I'm Katsu Ritsu.  I'm here to take 
Kimura Keiko to...

Older woman:  [Sternly interrupts Katsu.]  11:00 at the latest.

Katsu:  [Surprised at the sudden sterness.]  Oh, err...right...

Older woman:  I am Kimura Akiko...Keiko's mother.

Katsu:  Pleased to meet you.

Kimura:  Okaasan*...is that...[Eyes light up]  Katsu-san!
*Mother

Kimura Akiko:  Now I want you home by 11:00 Keiko...[Holds up an 
authoritative finger.]  and no drinking this time!

Kimura:  [Eyes downcast in submissive obedience.]  Hai...

[Cut to Ayukawa's apartment.  The party is continuing as Saito 
chats with Hayashibara as the Miyasato twins swoon while listening 
in.  However, from behind the side hallway, Akane is conspicuously 
hiding behind the wall, trying to reach the stack of presents.]

Akane:  [To herself as everyone else is casually chatting.]  
OK...no problem.  My box is on the top, so all I have to do is 
grab it...[She creeps forward and reaches for the stack.  Just as 
her fingers brush the box, she jerks as an electrical jolt hits 
her on the rump.]  YYYYEEEEOOOOWWWW!!!!

Kasamatsu:  [To Akane as she falls into the stack, causing the 
presents to fall to the ground.]  Hi Akane!  Whatcha doing next 
Friday night?

Akane:  [From the floor with presents piled around her.]  BAKA!  
WHAT WAS THAT FO...[Suddenly freezes when she realizes that she's 
attracting unwanted attention.]

Kasamatsu:  [Surprised.]  Geez...it was just a joke.  Don't go 
hyper...

Saito:  [Starts picking up the presents and putting them back on 
the table.]  What a mess...

Yuko:  [Picks up the rest of the presents.]  Yeah...you need to 
drink less coffee Akane...

Akane:  [Now sees that her present is sitting at the bottom of the 
pile.]  Oh shoot...!

[Cut into the apartment kitchen.  Kasuga and Ayukawa are in the 
kitchen together, preparing the cake behind the closed kitchen 
door.  The cake has three layers with a white sheet of frosting.  
Along the edges, a fancy ring of sculpted red frosting adds color.  
On the surface is a chocolate Kanji writing of Kimura Keiko's 
name.]

Ayukawa:  [Putting the final touches of frosting on the cake with 
a decorative frosting tip.]  All done!

Kasuga:  [Admiringly]  That's a real beauty...you've outdone 
yourself!

Ayukawa:  [Smiles.]  I'm sure Kimura will be happy to see it.

Kasuga:  Heh...I'm sure.  Then again, she's happy just seeing the 
sun come up every morning.

Ayukawa:  [Nods.]  I can't help but envy her sometimes.  Not many 
people can be happy all the time like that.  [Her smile slips as 
she remembers someone else who used to fit that description.]  Do 
you think...she'll ever be able to forgive us?

Kasuga:  [Long pause, then...]  I hope so...[Tries to perk up by 
changing the subject.]  Let me get that...[Picks up the cake.]

Ayukawa:  [Holds the door open.]  Careful...

[As they go into the living area, they put the cake in the middle 
of the table.  As they step away, the other people present gather 
around to admire the handiwork.]

Hayashibara:  Well done Ayukawa-san...a professional cook couldn't 
have done better!

Yuko:  It looks great!

Saito:  Kimura-san should be really happy to see this!

Kasamatsu:  [Salivating to the point of drooling]  Ohh...it smells 
so good...[Starts to reach over and sample some frosting with his 
finger but a sudden dislocation stops him.]  <Snap!>  OW!

Yoko:  [Holding Kasamatsu's wrist with disdain.]  At least wait 
until Kimura-san gets here!

Ayukawa:  [Smiles.]  Thank you!  I'm sure she'll just love...[Then 
notices a hand coming up from under the table.]  Eh?

Akane:  [With the present in her hand.]  Got it!

Ayukawa:  [Lifts up the table cloth, revealing Akane's hiding 
place.]  What are you doing?

Akane:  [Drops the present.]  Uhh...Madoka-san!  [Starts 
sweating.]

Ayukawa:  [Notices her nervousness.]  Are you alright?

Kasuga:  [Bends over and sees Akane.]  What's going on?  [Looks at 
Akane suspiciously]  Have you been drinking too much?

Ayukawa:  I don't know what you're doing under there...[Picks up 
the present and puts it back on the stack, and gives Akane a 
meaningful look.]  but don't forget your promise...

Akane:  [As she watches Ayukawa put the present back on the table 
and rejoin the others.]  Oh shoot!  What am I going to do...?

[Cut to just outside Ayukawa's apartment.  Katsu and Kimura walk 
across the vacant tennis courts and through the guest parking 
lot.]

Kimura:  [Giggling]  Come on Katsu-san!  Are you going to tell me 
what's going on?

Katsu:  [Smiles as he tries to conceal his excitement.]  Nothing 
Kimura-san!  Ayukawa-san just wanted to talk to you about 
something.

Kimura:  [With curiosity.]  Oh...and I guess she didn't say 
any...look out!

[As she talks to him, Katsu "accidentally" bumps into 
Hayashibara's red RX-7, setting off its alarm.]

RX-7:  [With the headlights flashing.]  YEOWYEOWYEOWYEOWYEOW...

Katsu:  [Puts his hand behind his head with embarrassment.]  
Oops...sorry about that!

[Cut back to the living room of Ayukawa's apartment.]

Akane:  [To herself.]  I'd better get that present, or it's going 
to look bad for Kyosuke!  [Looks with a forlorn expression on her 
face.]  I wish I had Kyosuke's TK powers!  [Crawls under the table 
and starts reaching up into the stack of presents without looking.  
She feels around, then pulls a box down.]  Shoot...wrong one!  
[Reaches up and puts the box back on the table, moves her hand to 
the next one and pulls it down.]  Got it!  [Stands up.]  Now to 
take care of...[Suddenly interrupted by the sound of a car alarm 
from outside.]

Ayukawa:  Get down...that's the signal!  [Sees the present in 
Akane's hand and grabs it out of her hand.]  Stop fiddling with 
the presents Akane, we'll find out what they are in a minute!  
[Puts the present back on the table.]

Akane:  [To herself in frustration.]  ARRRGH...!

[Everyone in the room retreats into the bedroom behind the side 
wall and quiets down.  There is a knock on the door, followed by 
Kimura's voice.]

Kimura:  [From outside the apartment.]  Hello?  Anyone home?

Ayukawa:  [From behind the kitchen area.]  Come in!

Kimura:  [Opening the door.]  Madoka-san?  Katsu-san said you 
wanted to see me?

Everyone:  [Stepping out from their hiding places.]  SURPRISE!!!

Kimura:  [Eyes light up.]  WOW!  EVERYONE'S HERE...[Puts her hands 
under her chin.]  LUCKY!!!

[Everyone comes forward to wish Kimura a happy birthday.]

Hayashibara:  [Steps forward, picks up one of the boxes on the 
table and hands it to Kimura.]  Happy birthday Kimura-san!

Kimura:  [Swoons and almost drops the box.]  Uhh...[Blushes, then 
manages to open the present with fumbling fingers.]  Wow!  [She 
pulls out a new leather bookbag.]

Akane:  [Tries to discretely move over to the remaining stack.]  
This is my last chance!  [Tries to grab Kasuga's gift without 
looking, but manages to snag her own instead.]  That's not the 
right one; it's...

Kimura:  [Sees Akane and interrupts her.]  Is that yours?

Akane:  [Embarrassingly forced to stop her search.]  Uhh...right!  
[Sheepishly hands it over.]

Kimura:  [Opens the box, revealing a lava lamp.]  Wow...pretty!

Ayukawa:  [Hands over another box.]  Here, this is from me.

Kimura:  This is great!  [Opens the box and pulls out a blue silk 
blouse.]  

[Unnoticed by everyone else, Akane is slowly edging to the back of 
the room.]

Katsu:  [Steps forward.]  I was going to give you some homemade 
fireworks, but [Puts his hand behind his head.] there were some 
problems.  So I got you this... [Hands over a hastily-wrapped 
box.]

Kimura:  [Removes the wrapping, revealing a multi-colored 
soroban*.  Along each row, translucent, rainbow-colored beads 
sparkle with each movement.]  Wow...kawaii**!
*Japanese name for an abacus
**cute

Saito:  [Dejectedly.]  Ah geez...you should have told me you were 
going to get that.  [Hands over a small wrapped box.]

Kimura:  [Opens the small box, revealing a multi-purpose RPN 
calculator.]  Oh wow...

Kasamatsu:  [Hands Kimura a small can of nuts.]  This is for you; 
I also got something else.  [Grabs one of the boxes and steps 
back.]

Kimura:  [Clearly touched.]  You got two presents?  You shouldn't 
have...[Starts to open the can first.]

Kasuga:  [Suddenly realizes something.]  NO WAIT!  [Grabs the can 
from Kimura, but the lid has already been loosened.  As he pulls 
the can away, two spring loaded cloth snakes come out and smack 
Kasuga right on the nose.]  OWW!  [Glares at Kasamatsu.]

Kasamatsu:  [Hands over the box to Kimura, while telling 
Kasuga...]  Hrumph, you ruined a perfectly good joke!

Kimura:  [Opens the real gift, revealing a silver plate.  Sitting 
in the middle is a rubber dog dropping.]  Eh?

Kasamatsu:  Oops!  Forgot that was there!  [Reaches in and removes 
the rubber prop.]

Kimura:  [Sees that there's only one box left.]  Oh, that leaves 
Kyo-chan's!  [Reaches for the last gift.]

Akane:  [Slowly slips away and hides behind the wall leading to 
the next room with fearful anticipation.]  Here it comes...

[Eagerly, Kimura removes the gift wrap and lifts the lid.  She 
comes to a sudden halt when the gift is revealed.  Without a word, 
she picks up a silky black negligee out of the box for all to 
see.]

Kimura:  [With eyes wide open.]  Wow...  [Lifts up the negligee up 
by the strings to get a better look at the translucent garment.]

Ayukawa:  [With a shocked expression.]  K-k-kasuga-kun...?

Hayashibara:  [Drops his eyes away from the garment and clears his 
throat discreetly.]...

Kasamatsu:  [Quietly decides to pick up his snakes.]  Uhh, 
right...

Saito:  [Look of fascination.]  No wonder he gets the girls...

Both Miyasato's in unison:  [With pale, speechless expressions on 
their faces]...

Katsu:  [Puts his hand behind his head.]  Uhh...

Kasuga:  [After taking a moment to absorb the collected feelings 
of embarrassment from the group.]  AKANE...!!!!!!

[Slowly pull back from the frozen scene.  Kasuga has an angry 
expression on his face as he looks for Akane, who is nowhere to be 
seen.  Kimura blushes intensely as she hold up the silky lingerie 
for closer examination.  Everyone else has a shocked expression on 
their faces.]

END CREDITS

Writer					Andy Combs
New Characters Designer/Co-writer	Stephen Tsai
Doujinshi Artwork			Tony Jung
Pre-readers				Ravi Konchigeri
					Jim Ramberg
					Christian Gadeken
					Chung-Mau Cheng
					Charles Winata
					Lisa Richardson
					Alexander Chien
					Michael Welsh Duggan
					Jeff Yang
					Robert DeLoura
					Keith Schaefer
					Peter Van Overen
Very special thanks to		Hitoshi Doi

A tip of the hat and a deep bow to	Matsumoto Izumi for starting 
the whole thing

If I left anyone off, my apologies.  Any mistakes/embarrassing 
faux pas are entirely my own.  If there is anything here you must 
flame, aim them at me and me alone.

Thank you for taking the time to read this episode of my series.  
If you are interested, previous episodes should be available at 
the wpi.wpi.edu ftp site.  Assuming that I don't get flamed off 
the net, I've got the next episode in the works.  If you have any 
story ideas, or general ideas, please send them.  Any tidbits 
about the Japanese advanced education system will be especially 
looked at (see first writer's note).

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks again!

For the new readers:  I'll be doing character profiles, major 
location descriptions, and situation updates on a rotating basis 
for each episode.  If there is a particular character, place or 
event that you would like to know more about, and it is not being 
covered, don't hesitate to email me and I will send you either a 
note or a copy of the episode it is introduced.

Focus on Miyasato Yuko & Yoko [Introduced in Episode 2]:  Two 
identical twin sisters who live in Room 2 directly under Kyosuke's 
room.  Yuko is a freshman major in liberal arts and Yoko is a 
freshman education major.
	Usually these two like to dress in the same outfits, taking 
mischievous delight in watching other people try to tell them 
apart.  However, on more than one occasion, this scheme has 
backfired; particularly in the past with their dates and 
boyfriends.  As a result of past disappointments and problems, 
both are leery about going steady with guys; however, if the right 
person presents himself, either one would probably start fawning 
all over again.  The real debate will be which one gets the man.
	They also share an explosive temper.  Yuko is a little more 
restrained; she's usually willing to listen to someone before 
taking action.  Yoko is more likely to take action first; then 
listen.  If they are offended (and this can happen quite often) 
they will go ballistic on a moment's notice.  Since they are both 
capable fighters, this can prove painful for the offender.
Visual Description:  Both of these girls are short with long brown 
hair, perky noses, and blue eyes.  Close anime comparisons include 
(but are not limited to) Hayakawa Moemi from Video Girl Ai, and 
Fujiko from Lupin III.



-- 
Andy (The Android) Combs | Ayukawa:  What were you thinking Kasuga-kun?
Steven (The Chunk) Tsai  | Kasuga: ...
acombs@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu| Kimagure Orange College Episode #8
 

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