Kimagure Orange College - Episode 11
by Stephen Tsai
 
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Kimagure Orange College

[Writer's foreword:  This is the eleventh 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 11 - Who's baby is it?

[Fade in.  Kimura is lying on the ground, wearing a mini-skirted 
sailor suit.  A very ugly Thing is advancing on her, claws 
extended.]

Youma:  DIE!!!

Kimura:  KYAAAAAAAA!!!!

[Suddenly, before the claws can strike, a flash of red streaks 
across the room, interrupting the Youma's attack.  A rose imbeds 
itself into the ground.]

Youma:  Eh?  Who is it?!?

[Suddenly a streak bounds into view and snatches Kimura up.  Cut 
to the two of them in flight, where we see her rescuer is Kasuga, 
dressed in a tuxedo, top hat, opera cape, and mask.]

Kimura:  Tuxedo Kamen!

[They come to a rest on a nearby wall, and Kasuga puts her down.]

Kasuga:  [Boldly.]  To succeed, you need to be better at more than 
math.  If you just--Eeyow!

[Someone grabs his ear from behind and pulls, popping the mask 
off.  He cranes around and sees it's Ayukawa, dressed in a gi-top 
and hakama*.]
*Traditional Shinto priestess garb

Ayukawa:  I thought we were on a date.

Kasuga:  [Not so boldly.]  Ayukawa, <oww!> I couldn't let that 
thing rip her face off!  <Ouch!>  Come on, I promise I--<urk!>

Ayukawa:  Hrumph...[Lets go and turns away.]

[Kasuga looks at Ayukawa for a moment, then smiles and scoops her 
up in his arms.]

Kasuga:  [Turning to Kimura a moment.]  See you again!

[Kasuga does a 20-story leap while holding Ayukawa, now laughing.  
Kimura runs after him a bit, waving.]

Kimura:  See you next episode!!

[Fade to reality, with Kasuga sitting up in his futon and 
blinking.]

Kasuga:  [Rubbing his face.]  I've *got* to stop letting Kasamatsu 
talk me into watching his anime collection...[Pause.]  Then 
again...

[Fade to an imaginary scene:  A slow pan up Ayukawa wearing a 
similar mini-skirted outfit.  Cut back to Kasuga with a stupid 
grin on his face.]

Kasuga:  Eheheheheh...Ahem.

[Cut to Kasuga getting on his scooter outside the boarding house.  
He drives off.]

Kasuga Narration:  Kimura was still on my mind that morning.  I'd 
grown to like her quite a bit over the last few months.  She had a 
fresh quality, unmarred by crises in her past.

[Cut to the University mathematics lecture hall.  As the appointed 
hour arrives, the students pile into the lecture hall, taking 
their usual preferred seats.  Kasuga sits down, pulls out his 
notebook, then notices that the seat in front of him is empty.]

Kasuga:  Eh?  [Turns to Saito sitting next to him.]  What's going 
on?  It's not like Kimura-san to miss math; it's her favorite 
class.

Saito:  I know; easy classes usually are our favorite classes 
right?  But I think she's sick or something.

Kasuga:  [Concern in his voice.]  Sick?  Did she say anything?

Saito:  No.  I called her apartment to confirm our study session 
the day after tomorrow for the midterm and her mother told me that 
she was having stomach cramps and some puffiness.  Probably a flu 
or virus infection or something.

Kasamatsu:  Heh...sounds like she's "D*" to me!
*Japanese slang for pregnant

Saito:  [Gives Kasamatsu a whack on the head.]  What kind of 
perverted remark was that?

Kasuga:  [Gives Kasamatsu a whack on the head.]  Yeah.  Kimura-
san's not that kind of girl!

Kasamatsu:  [Rubbing the back of his head.]  Boy you two have sure 
been cranky since we got back from Mt. Fuji.  It was just a joke!

Saito:  [Trying to ignore Kasamatsu.]  I think she's suppose to be 
going to the school health center this afternoon.  Hope she's 
going to be OK.

Kasuga:  Hai...[Pulls out his notebook as the lecture starts.]

[Cut to the outside of the building.  The lecture is finished and 
the students exit the building en masse.  Saito, Kasamatsu, and 
Kasuga are standing by the exit doors.]

Saito:  Are you sure you don't want to wait for us?  Our next 
class is over in an hour.

Kasuga:  It's alright.  I'll check on her and let you know what I 
find out!

Saito:  Remember we need her there; with the midterm coming up her 
notes are going to be an asset!

Kasamatsu:  [Questioning look.]  Eh?  We need *her*?

Saito:  Trust me, you'll see.

[Kasuga walks off to the student parking lot and gets on his 
scooter.]

Kasuga:  I hope Kimura's OK.  Not just for our study session 
but...

[Cut to the Butsumetsu Health Center.  A five-story building, it 
is well placed with the pharmacy school across the courtyard, and 
houses an adequate facility for treating minor problems and 
diagnosing major ones.  Kasuga locks his scooter in the parking 
lot and heads for the entrance.]

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  I'm sure she's OK.  [Manages a weak 
smile.]  I'm probably worrying over nothing.  There she is...eh?  
That woman with her...

[The "woman" is only three or four years older than him and 
Kimura, but a noticeable swelling of her abdomen indicates she's 
on her way to being a mother.  She and Kimura are continuing a 
conversation begun inside.]

Woman:  ...how about you?

Kimura:  My child?  Oh...how about Kyosuke?

Kasuga:  [Overhearing from a distance.]  Eh?

Woman:  Is that the one...?

Kimura:  Un!  I just know he'll make a wonderful father!

Kasuga:  [Expression seizes up.]  Ehhhhh?  What's she saying?

Kimura:  [Slightly flustered.]  Ah!  Kyo-chan!  There you 
are...[Bows.] konnichiwa!

Kasuga:  Saito told me you were sick, so...

Kimura:  [Turning to other woman.]  Didn't I tell you he was 
sweet?  [Turns back to Kasuga.]  Oh, Kyo-chan, this is Sayoko-san.  
We met while we were both waiting for test results.

Kasuga:  [To Sayoko.]  How do you do.  [To Kimura.]  Well uh...how 
did it go?  [Gestures at the medical building.]

Kimura:  [Drooping.]  It came back positive...

Ksauga:  EHHH?!?

Kimura:  [Face beams a smile.]  Oh, don't worry; as long as I get 
plenty of rest, I'll be just fine!

Kasuga:  AAAA...uh, what about our study session?

Kimura: Well...okaasan* grounded me after I went out with Madoka-
san and the others, so... [Thinks for a moment.]  I guess we could 
do it at my place if okaasan approves.  She might feel better if 
you brought Madoka-san along.
*Mother

Kasuga:  OK, ummm...

Kimura:  Well, I've got to go! See you tomorrow tonight!  Ja ne!  
[Hurries off.]

[Kasuga and Sayoko both wave after her.]

Sayoko:  Nice girl.

Kasuga:  [Nods.]  Un...

Sayoko:  [Pats him on the shoulder.]  Take care of her, hear?  
[Leaves.]

Kasuga:  Wh-what?!?

[Cut to Kasuga's room at the boarding house.  He's lying on his 
futon, trying without noticeable success to study.]

Kasuga:  Arrrgh!  [Scrubs his hair.]  This is ridiculous!  [Stands 
up, puts the book to one side, and starts separating the layers of 
the futon.]  I'll do some laundry; maybe that'll settle my mind a 
little.  [Pauses and shakes his head]  It doesn't make sense.  
Kimura just isn't the sort who gets into that kind of 
mess...[Rolls up the comforter.]  And if she *did*...if she 
*is*...I mean, who'd she...do it *with*?  I can't believe--eh?

[He breaks off as something falls out of the sheet he's folding.  
He reaches down and picks up what he suddenly realizes is a pair 
of girl's panties.]

Kasuga:  Waah!  [Drops it.]  Oh, great; if I have to take this 
down to Yuko or Yoko...[Quick flash showing Yuko calling Kasuga 
"sukebe!*" while Yoko beats the tar out of him.]  Wait a 
minute...[Picks it up and looks closer.  The coloring is pink with 
hearts and teddy bears stitched on it.]  This doesn't look like 
something one of them would wear...Or Fujimoto-san either.  
Ayukawa?  Akane?!?  [Looks again.]  No...oh wait--this looks like 
something...
*Lewd, vulgar

[Freezes as a scene from the boarding house warming party surfaces 
in his mind.  Although foggy, he vaguely remembers Kimura in his 
futon.  While the details escape his memory like minnows, he also 
remembers standing over her, promising her a night of delights.]

Kasuga:  Ma-masaka...!*
*Can't be

[Cut to Katsu's room.  Katsu is hard at work with some powders and 
fluids.  A knock on the door interrupts him as he strikes a spark 
over a Bunsen-burner.]

Katsu:  [Without looking at the door, while lighting the burner.]  
Come in!

Kasuga:  [Opens the door and enters.]  Uh...Katsu-san...

Katsu:  [Looks up.]  Ah Kasuga-san!  Glad you're here.  Hold this 
would you...[Hands him a flat tray of black-colored powder.]

Kasuga:  [Looks at the powder closely.]  What is this stuff?

Katsu:  [Nonchalantly.]  Plutonium...

Kasuga:  [Almost drops it.]  WHAT?!?

Katsu:  [Smiles.]  Just kidding, it's carbon-13.

Kasuga:  [Growls as he sets it down.]  You've been hanging around 
Kasamatsu too much...[Gets back to the subject at hand.]  Were you 
the only one of use who wasn't affected that night when we drank 
your behavior-modification chemical?

Katsu:  Well...no.  Tanaka-san wasn't affected either.  Geez, it 
was crazy that night.  Kasamatsu making a mess everywhere, Saito 
hitting on Yoko, Kimura in your futon...

Kasuga:  WHAT?!?

Katsu:  Didn't I ever tell you about that.  [Puts his hand behind 
his head.]  I found her right after I finished the antidote; I saw 
you being dragged out unconscious over Ayukawa-san's shoulder, so 
I checked in your room.  Kimura-san was in your futon with an ugly 
toad in her hands.  She wasn't making much sense of course, but I 
think she was enjoying herself.

Kasuga:  [Repeats to herself.]  In...my...bed...?  [To Katsu.]  
Was she...?

Katsu:  [Nods.]  Naked as a newborn.

Kasuga:  ...

Tanaka:  [From the doorway, picking up on Katsu's description.] 
...and having a wonderful time by all accounts.

Kasuga:  [Surprised.]  T-tanaka-san.  How long have you been 
there?

Tanaka:  Long enough...to know that you have a very...compromising 
position from which to extradite yourself.

Kasuga:  Wh-what should I tell her?  I mean, she deserves to know 
the whole truth doesn't she?

Katsu:  Wait a minute, what's going on?  Who needs to know what 
truth?

Tanaka:  [Shakes his head.]  Tsk, tsk, tsk...and here I thought 
you were...experienced in the ways of relationships.  You've done 
so well up to this point for yourself, you have established trust 
and rapport with the girl you care for.  But then this...awkward 
segue into the gray realms of moral dilemmas, to which the wrong 
answer can be...disastrous.

Kasuga:  B-but what should I tell her?

Tanaka:  [Deliberately.]  Shojiki mo baka no uchi*.  Our ancestors 
knew it best.  [Lights a cigarette.]  Sometimes...it's better not 
to say.
*Being too honest can be foolish (Japanese proverb)

Kasuga:  [Nervously.]  You mean...lie?

Tanaka:  [Gauging Kasuga's reaction.]  I wouldn't refer to it 
as...a lie.  Call it...an omission.  After all...[Slowly leans 
forwards for emphasis.] there were never 
any...intentions...[Raises an eyebrow.]  were there?

Kasuga:  [Swallows, then shakes his head.]  No...

[Fade in on a scene that's slightly blurred around the edges.  We 
see a somewhat older Kasuga and Kimura sitting on the floor of a 
cheap apartment.  Kimura is holding a yowling baby, and Kasuga 
looks terrible, with bags under his eyes, five-o'clock shadow, and 
uncombed hair.  While Kimura tries to quiet the baby, Kasuga takes 
a drink of sake.  A few moments later, there's a knock at the 
door.]

Kasuga:  [Slightly slurred.]  Who is it?!?

Tanaka:  [Outside.]  Tanaka.

[Kasuga jerks with surprise, then goes to the door and opens it.]

Kasuga:  Tanaka-san, konnichiwa!  [Runs his fingers through his 
hair and tries to stand straighter.]  Please, come in.

Tanaka: I'm afraid I'm here on business, Kasuga-san.  [Hands him a 
piece of paper.]

Kasuga  [Reads it and his eyes almost pop out of his head.]  E-
eviction?!?  B-but...but...

Tanaka:  Sayonara, Kasuga-san...and good luck.  [Turns away.]

Kasuga:  [Grabbing Tanaka's arm.]  W-wait please!  I just need a 
little time...I've got a paycheck coming in next week!

Tanaka:  [Gives him and the baby a sympathetic look.]  I'm afraid 
it's not my decision to make, Kasuga-san.  The building was just 
bought, and the new owner wants you out as soon as possible...

[He turns to the open door, where someone has appeared...]

Kasuga:  A...Ayukawa...

[She's wearing a severe business suit that makes her look a little 
like Ikemoto.  As Kasuga stares at her in disbelief she raises a 
cigarette to her lips and takes a long drag, then blows the smoke 
out through her nostrils, all the time watching him with no 
expression at all.]

Ayukawa:  Tanaka.  [Glances at him meaningfully.]

Tanaka:  Hai.  [Walks over and takes her arm.  He then looks back 
at Kasuga.]  You have until tomorrow to vacate.  [With a slight 
edge to his voice.]  Tomorrow...morning.

[Ayukawa gives Kasuga another expressionless look, takes another 
puff of her cigarette and extinguishes it on the ground with her 
shoe.]

Ayukawa:  Sayonara, Kasuga-san.

[She and Tanaka leave.  Kasuga starts to follow him, then falls as 
Kimura grabs his leg.  She stares at him pleadingly as the baby 
starts to scream again.  Kasuga tries to shake her off.]

Kasuga:  [Grabbing at the doorframe.]  Ayukawa!  AYUKA...

[...and wakes up...]

Kasuga:  [Sitting up in his futon yelling.]  ...WAAAAAA!!!!

[Just then, he is abruptly interrupted by the sound of heavy 
thumping from downstairs.  The vibrations cause a heavy book on 
the edge of his desk to fall off and hit Kasuga in the head.]

Yoko:  [From downstairs.]  BAKAYARO!  KEEP IT DOWN UP THERE!!

[Kasuga sits in his futon and wipes the sweat off his face.]

Kasuga Narration:  That dream convinced me; I couldn't take the 
chance on losing Ayukawa... I couldn't even tell her, because she 
might insist...

COMMERCIAL BREAK

[Cut to the bridge of the Lar Cairam...]

Brite:  Hello.  Do you know me?  I'm Noa Brite.  After flying 
around all these years chasing after mobile suits and dealing with 
snotty Newtypes, it's good to know that there is still some 
security in knowing that my credit card company won't be blown to 
Palookasville by some colony drop.  That's why I carry the 
American Express Card.

[Cut to a tight shot of an American Express Card.  With the sound 
of a typewriter, the words "Noa Brite  Member since UC 0078" 
appear on the card.]

Brite:  Seeing how all the other major characters have a nasty 
tendency to die during opportune dramatic moments, it's nice to 
know that I'm not limited by some pre-determined credit limit.  
Also, in case anything tragic should happen, I don't have to worry 
about revolving debt.

[The American Express display is sitting on a countertop in some 
fancy restaurant.  A person reaches to pick up one of the 
pamphlets in the display's holder.]

Announcer:  To apply for the card, look for this display wherever 
cards are welcomed.

[Cut back to the Lar Cairam.  It is obvious that the ship is 
suddenly engaged in a battle of some sort.  Explosions buffet the 
ship, shaking it violently as people scream in pain and mobile 
suits are launched.]

Brite:  [Seemingly oblivious to the situation around him]  The 
American Express Card.  Don't leave home without it.

[Writer's note:  Standard Disclaimer.]

END COMMERCIAL BREAK

[Cut to the next morning.  Outside the boarding house, Fujimoto 
pulls the wash out of the washing machine in the back yard and 
hangs up several clothes and sheets on the line to greet the 
morning sun.

Fujimoto:  [Turns and smiles.]  Ohayo gozaimasu Kasuga-san!

Kasuga:  [Pleasantly, but with some fatigue.]  Ohayo.

Fujimoto:  [Looks at him closely.]  I take it you didn't sleep 
well last night.  Is there...something wrong?

Kasuga:  Does it show that much?

Fujimoto:  People who wake up shouting in the middle of the night 
usually have something on their minds.

Kasuga:  S-sorry about that.

Fujimoto:  Don't worry about it; I was just concerned.  [Hangs the 
last sheet, then sits down on the back step.]  Do you want to talk 
about it?

Kasuga:  Well...[Sits down beside her.] what if I told you 
that...a friend of mine was in a compromising position with 
a...friend of his.  Through no fault of his own, he had 
gotten...involved with someone else.  He doesn't want to lie about 
it, but he's worried that the truth may destroy his relationship 
with his friend.

Fujimoto:  Well, I can't speak for...[With an understanding look 
in her eye.] your friend, but I always believe that the best way 
to build any relationship is trust and understanding.  Lies can 
destroy friendships a lot faster than honest misunderstandings.  
If I was to make an error in judgement, then I always believe in 
making my mistakes on the side of honesty.

[Cut to the University Liberal Arts lecture hall later that 
afternoon.  Mizuhara-sensei* paces in front of the auditorium, 
delivering his lecture.]
*Professor Mizuhara

Mizuhara:  [Reading from a book.]  ...then Shigemori knelt before 
his father and pleaded, "As a soldier I must fight for my Emperor.  
But as your son I cannot turn against you.  What am I to do?  If 
nothing I say can move you, and you are determined to attack the 
palace, then, before you send your soldiers there, I beg you to 
grant me this last request--behead me with your own sword!"*  
[Snaps the book shut, then addresses the class.]  As this story 
that I'm sure you're all familiar with demonstrates, the theme of 
impossible choices is one of the principle motivators in much of 
our classical literature.  [Removes his eyeglasses to make better 
eye contact with his audience.]  Oftentimes, our heroes face the 
unenviable position of...
*From a translation of "Tales of the Heike."

[As Mizuhara continues,  Kasuga is slowly nodding off in the back 
row.]

Kasuga Narration:  I confess that my lack of sleep the previous 
night left me ill-prepared for my class lectures.  As the day wore 
on, I found it difficult to stay awake through my classes.

[Fade in on a scene that's slightly blurred around the edges.  We 
see a somewhat older Kasuga and Ayukawa walking down the street.]

Ayukawa:  Are you sure you can handle it yourself?  Do you want me 
to help?

Kasuga:  No, I'll take care of it.  I promised him I'd be there 
so...[Interrupted by a light kiss on the cheek.  With a surprised 
and happy look, he turns and asks...]  What was that for?

Ayukawa:  For finally taking responsibility for yourself.

[As they leave the campus area, they walk into a outside grocery 
stand.  After getting a few items, they line up at the check out.]

Checkout clerk:  6820 yen please.

Kasuga:  [Hands over a few bills.]  Here.

[As the clerk makes change, there is a familiar voice from behind 
them on the next counter.]

Cashier:  I'm afraid the counter's never wrong.

Kimura:  No!  There's a mistake!  5440 yen!  It has to be!

Cashier:  [Looking over the paper tape receipt.]  I'm sorry, I 
don't see any...[Drifts off as he looks over the receipt, looks at 
the stack of groceries, then the receipt again.]  Eh?  Oh 
my...[Marks off a line on the receipt and reenters the total.]  
54...[Almost in disbelief.]...40 yen.  [Slightly embarrassed.]  S-
sorry about that.  [Refunds the difference.]

Kimura:  [Without a trace of satisfaction.]  D-don't worry about 
it.

Kasuga:  [With shock.]  K-Kimura-san...?

[Kasuga's expression is one of complete surprise.  Gone is the 
bubbly, happy friend he knew.  Standing in her place is a young 
woman with an unhappy baby on her back, and sadness in her eyes.  
At Kasuga's presense, Kimura tries to straighten up and smile.]

Kimura:  K-Kyo-chan!  Madoka-san!

Ayukawa:  [Also completely off-guard.]  K-Keiko-san?  Wh-what 
happened?  Wh-where have you been?

Kimura:  [Eyes downcast.]  I...I dropped out of school.

Kasuga:  D-dropped out?

Kimura:  I had to...when Ky...the baby was born, I had to find a 
way to support him.  So I found a job at a kissaten* who was 
hiring kitchen help.
*Small cafe that serves coffee, tea and light refreshments

Kasuga:  But...but...what about your future?

Kimura:  I...gave it up.  The baby takes up all my time and...I 
don't have anyone else I can turn to.  I don't know who the father 
is...so...

Ayukawa:  [With concern.]  But...what about your parents?  Surely 
they cou...

Kimura:  [Shakes her head quickly.]  No...I mean...they 
said...it's better to be...responsible for my...my life.  [Tears 
start welling from her eyes as seeing Ayukawa and Kasuga bring 
back memories of happier times.]  S-sorry...I...promised myself I 
wouldn't cry.  [Tries to dry her own tears as the baby starts 
crying.]  I...I have to go.  Kyo-chan's hungry; he's...[Unable to 
finish as the nickname brings back more memories, she runs off.]

Kasuga:  [Swallows a huge lump in his throat.]  K-Kimura-san...

Ayukawa:  [Sympathetically.]  Kawaisou...*  How could any guy just 
ruin her life like that and walk aw...[Freezes when she takes a 
good look at the baby on Kimura's back.  Floating just a few 
inches away from the baby's reach is his rattle bobbing in mid-
air.]
*Poor thing

[Without a word, Ayukawa drags Kasuga around the corner into an 
alley and slams him against the wall.]

Kasuga:  [Shock breaking through his depression.]  Wh-what th-?!?

Ayukawa:  [With a vicious monotone.]  Is there anything you'd like 
to tell me?

[Kasuga stares at her a moment, then drops his eyes.]

Kasuga:  I....I think I'm the father...but...

[Ayukawa lets him go, steps away and pulls her hand back.  Then 
she stops.  Long pause.  Then, slowly, she shakes her head.]

Kasuga:  [Desperately.]  I...but...I...!

Ayukawa:  [Turns her head away.]  I'll have my things out of the 
apartment by noon.  [Walks away without looking back.]

Kasuga:  Ayukawa!!  [Starts to run after her, slips, and falls 
heavily to the ground.  Ayukawa doesn't even pause.]  AYUKA...

Kasuga:  [Wakes up screaming, in the middle of class.] 
...WAAAAAAAA!!!

[There is a moment of intense silence in the auditorium as the 
entire class stops what it was doing and turns around to see what 
the disturbance in the back of the room is.]

Mizuhara:  [Icily from the front of the auditorium.]  Do you have 
something to add to our discussion Kasuga-san?

Rest of the class:  BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Kasuga:  [Puts his hand behind his head and tries to laugh along 
weakly as sweat beads down his forehead.]  Ah...

[Cut to outside the lecture auditorium.  The rest of the students 
flow out into the hallways on their way to their next classes or 
finishing for the day.  Back inside the auditorium, Kasuga sits 
alone in the back row with a depressed expression on his face.]

Kasuga Narration:  I suddenly felt like Shigemori; trapped with no 
way out.  While I wasn't quite prepared to commit seppuku, I felt 
like I was in trouble no matter which way I go.  [Gets up, walks 
out of the empty auditorium.]

Tanaka's voice from memory:  Sometimes...it's better not to say.

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  It would be so easy, and it wasn't my 
fault, but...

Fujimoto's voice from memory:  Lies can destroy friendships a lot 
faster than honest misunderstandings.

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  ...no.  No matter what the consequences, 
Ayukawa deserves to know the truth.  [Looks at his watch, showing 
5:20pm.]  She should be at Club Noir by now with the jazz band.  
[Runs out of the building, and around into the alleyway separating 
the two buildings.  After checking to see that there is no one in 
the alleyway, he says to himself.]  This is too important to wait.  
I gotta see her now!  [Concentrates, and teleports away.]

[As he vanishes, the dust and stray bits of paper in the alleyway 
pull towards Kasuga's previous location to fill the vacuum.  As 
the debris settles, a glint of light is seen from the second-story 
window across the street.]

Figure in the shadows:  [Lowering a pair of binoculars.]  I see...  
It seems that my voyeurism hasn't been futile after all.  Kasuga 
Kyosuke...really is an esper.

[Cut to the Club Noir.  As the evening begins, the club lights 
focus on the raised dais on one side of the stage.  Backed up by a 
trap set and a string bass, Ayukawa plays a soulful melody on an 
alto saxophone.  Behind her, a few other members of the band 
finish tuning two electric guitars in anticipation of the next 
number.]

DJ:  [As Ayukawa's saxophone solo closes.]  OK, OK...How is 
everybody out there?  [After getting a generally positive response 
from the crowd...]  Now for some real action, please welcome the 
rest of our new live band, and let's...party!

[As the rest of the band starts an aggresive program of live music 
for the evening, Kasuga makes his way to the front of the seating 
area, just before the dance area starts.  For the next hour, he 
sits and listens as the rest of the club patrons enjoy the club's 
new live band.  Midway through the evening, the band members sets 
their instruments aside for a break as the DJ keeps the evening 
going with pre-recorded material.]

Ayukawa:  [A little fatigued, but obviously pleased to see 
Kasuga.]  Kasuga-kun!  I'm glad you made it to our first night!  
How did we sound?

Kasuga:  Ahh, great!  Just like a professional band!

Honda:  [From behind Kasuga.]  They are professional!  [Pulls up a 
chair and sits down.  He then turns to one of the passing 
waitresses and orders three more drinks.]

Ayukawa:  [Gestures at Honda.]  This is Honda Shun-sensei.  He's 
the University jazz band director.

Kasuga:  Really?  Doesn't it take too much time away from your 
university work?

Honda:  Well, I like to work with young musicians as they start 
the first struggling steps of their performing careers; still full 
of hope and creative energy.  [Lights a cigarette.]  I remember 
what it was like when I still had hopes of breaking into the 
entertainment industry.  I still harbor this dream that somewhere, 
one of my students will be the one to follow their dreams, as well 
as mine.

Ayukawa:  [Stops drinking her drink.]  Eh?  What happened to your 
dreams?

Honda:  The worst possible thing... [Smiles.] I became 
respectable.  [Takes another puff of his cigarette as the smile 
slips a little.]  The industry; it's a young man's world... and 
I've not been a young man in many years.  [Chuckles.]  Although I 
still try to play the part.

Ayukawa:  Well I think it's great how you help students find their 
dreams.

Honda:  [Stands up.]  Well, I think you guys have listened to an 
old man ramble on enough.  I'll leave you two alone for a while.  
Next performance is...[Looks at his watch.]  25 minutes.  I'll see 
you then Ayukawa-san.

Ayukawa:  [Playfully.]  Roger...and sensei?

Honda:  Hai?

Ayukawa:  [Smiles.]  You shouldn't smoke.

Honda:  [Smiles as he extinguishes his cigarette in the ashtray.]  
So my wife keeps telling me.  [Leaves.]

Kasuga:  So he's the jazz band director?  Seems kinda casual for a 
band director.

Ayukawa:  [Sips her drink and smiles.]  Don't let the demeanor 
fool you...you'd be amazed what he can do with bands.  He 
assembled us and had us ready for live performances in less than 2 
weeks.  He really knows his stuff and how to bring out the best in 
people.  He knows what it's like to have dreams.

Kasuga:  Dreams...[Remembering his most recent nightmare.]  
Ayukawa, there's something I have to tell you, and it can't wait.  
Can we talk somewhere less crowded?

Ayukawa:  [A little surprised by his directness.]  Sure.  [Gets 
up.]  Let's go to the employees' locker room.

[Ayukawa and Kasuga make their way to the back of the club.  
Ayukawa opens the door marked "Employees Only" and checks to see 
if there is anyone inside.  Seeing no one, she motions "all-clear" 
to Kasuga.]

Ayukawa:  What's going on Kasuga-kun?  You look a little nervous.

Kasuga:  Well, [Sweating profusely.] remember that night we were 
all under the influence of the behavior-modification chemicals?

Ayukawa:  [Embarrassed.]  Oh please don't remind me.  I'm just 
glad nothing permanent happened that night.

Kasuga:  Well...[Leads Ayukawa into the employees' room and closes 
the door behind them.]

Ayukawa:  [From behind the closed door.]  WHAT?!?

[Cut to the next day.  Ayukawa, Kasuga, Katsu, Saito, and 
Kasamatsu are sitting on one of the outside tables of the 
Okonomiyaki Maru.  The owner, a young woman with long brown hair, 
pulls away the paper and wood sliding doors and hangs up a sign 
declaring the place open for business.  Then she sets a tray of 
tea on the table.]

Owner:  I'll return for your orders in a few minutes. [Leaves to 
go fire up the hot plate.]

Saito:  Kimura's place?  Her parents don't have that big an 
apartment.

Katsu:  Well, if she's sick, then she can't go to the library.  It 
wouldn't be good for her.

Kasamatsu:  I still don't see why you guys are so adamant about 
getting her notes.  What is she, some kind of math super-genius or 
something?

Katsu, Kasuga, Ayukawa, Saito:  [In unison.]  Yes she is.

Saito:  [To Kasuga.]  Tell you what; since she wants Ayukawa-san 
over, why don't you two go over, copy off her notes then get with 
the rest of us later?

Kasuga:  Ahh, sure.  That sounds good.  With the midterm coming up 
and all.

Ayukawa:  Besides...[Looks at Kasuga meaningfully.] there's 
something we need to talk to her about.

Kasuga:  ...

[Cut to the Blue Horseshoe condominium complex.  Kasuga and 
Ayukawa park their scooters on the nearby rack.  They proceed to 
enter the complex and climb up the stairs.  They stop at the third 
floor and enter the apartment hallway.  After reaching a door with 
a kanji of Kimura's family's name on the card, they knock on the 
door.  A few seconds later, a meek, middle-aged man opens the 
door.]

Kimura Masaki:  Who's there?

Ayukawa:  We're friends of Keiko-san from school.  

Kimura Akiko:  [Coming to the doorway.]  So I've been told.  
Personally, I'm against this study session.  Keiko can do 
perfectly well without study partners, but she pleaded with me to 
let her keep it.

Kimura Masaki:  [Almost in tears.]  Poor Keiko!  When I think 
about the suffering she will endure...!

Kasuga:  ...

Kimura Akiko:  [Sternly holding Masaki by the ear.]  Anata*, don't 
discuss Keiko's health in front of everyone!  [Softens her tone.]  
Since you're here, I suppose you can come in.
*In this context, "dear".  Often used by wives to their husbands

[Ayukawa and Kasuga leave their shoes in the genkan* and enter the 
apartment.  The apartment is a spartan mixture of traditional 
layout with some western furniture.  In the middle of the short 
main hallway, is the family room.  NHK** is playing on the radio, 
below a television set.  Once they get situated, Kasuga pulls out 
his notebook.]
*A small vestibule where shoes and overcoats are left when 
entering a Japanese residence.
**Nippon Hoso Kyokai, a public radio station.

Kasuga:  [As calmly as he can.]  So let's get started.

Kimura Keiko:  The rest of my stuff's in my room.  [Gets up.]  
I'll get it!

Ayukawa:  I'll go with you.  [Gets up, then stops as Keiko freezes 
for a moment, clutching her stomach.]  A-are you alright?

Kimura Akiko:  [With unconcealed concern.]  Keiko...[Puts her hand 
on Keiko's forehead then her abdomen.  Once she decides that Keiko 
is relatively OK, she continues.]  You need to take care of 
yourself better in the future; remember it was carelessness that 
got you into this situation.

Kimura Keiko:  [Eyes downcast.]  Hai.  [Closes the door.]

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  Uh...oh...!  [Nervously.]  Gotta think 
about how to break this to her parents...

[Cut to Keiko's room.  On one side, a small western-styled bed.  
On the bed, a small army of cute, stuffed animals sit in 
formation.  On the walls are various posters, most notably Mickey 
Mouse declaring "We're number -e^(i*pi)".  On the opposite wall is 
a bookshelf full of books with titles that alternate between 
"Gilbert's Theoretical Equations" and "A Portrait of Shunkin*".]
*A short story by Tanizaki Junichiro.

Kimura Keiko:  Let's see...[Scans the rows of math books and class 
lecture notebooks.  After finding the one she wants, she pulls up 
a short stool, stands on it for height, and reaches for two books 
off the top shelf, and a notebook on the center shelf.] here we 
go!  

Ayukawa:  [Concern in her voice.]  Keiko-san what's wrong?  I get 
the feeling that there's something you're not telling me.

Kimura Keiko:  Well...[Giggles.] it's so silly!  [Smile slips a 
little.]  I guess I'm just worried about the future...

Ayukawa:  [With a worried look on her face.]  The...future...?

Kimura Keiko:  Well...[Puts her hand behind her head.]

[Cut back to the main living room.  Kasuga is looking over Keiko's 
notes and copying down relevant sections.  While doing so, Akiko 
and Masaki are watching his every move.]

Kasuga:  [A little nervously to himself.]  I hope Ayukawa 
straightens the whole thing out with Kimura-san.  I'm not sure how 
much more of this tension I can ta...[Trails off as he watches 
Ayukawa exit Keiko's room.  She gives him one look then walks out 
the main door, much to the surprise of Kasuga and Kimura's 
parents.]  Ma-masaka...sonna bakana...!* [Starts to get up, but is 
interrupted.]
*Can't be, impossible

Kimura Akiko:  [Sternly.]  What's going on here?  [Eyes narrow as 
she starts becoming suspicious.]  Is there something you should 
tell me?

Kimura Masaki:  [Whimpering.]  Th-this has something to do with 
Keiko doesn't it?  [Grabs Keiko who's just returning from her room 
and almost starts bawling.]  MY POOR BABY GIRL!

Kimura Keiko:  O-otoosan...*
*Father

Kasuga:  [Sweat beading on his forehead.]  Well...I mean...[Biting 
his lower lip at the sight of Akiko's steely expression and 
Masaki's fearful expression.  Then to himself.]  Th-this really is 
the worst...!

[Cut to the outside hallway.  Ayukawa stands and leans against the 
wall in silence with her eyes downcast.  For several long minutes, 
she doesn't say a word.  Then...]

Ayukawa:  [With a smile slowly forming on her face.]  
heh...eheh...[Unable to contain it any longer.]  BAHAHAHAHA...

[Cut back to the main living room.  Kasuga is completely frozen 
with indecision under the examining gaze of Kimura's parents.  
Keiko herself seems totally confused.]

Kimura Keiko:  Ne Kyo-chan...wh-what's wrong?

Kimura Akiko:  [Picking up from Keiko's nickname.]  So *he's* 
"Kyo-chan"?  [Eyes narrow.]  What have you been doing with my 
daughter?

Kasuga:  Ahh...ahh...

Kimura Masaki:  [Grabs Keiko again.]  MY POOR BAB-

Kimura Akiko:  [Snaps.]  Silence!  [Back to Kasuga.]  My Keiko is 
a very proper girl!  If you have *any* improper intentions...!

Kasuga:  No...it's not like that at all!  I...I...

[Just then, Ayukawa reenters the residence.  Her face is totally 
calm and emotionless.  She turns to Kasuga and...]

Ayukawa:  [Sternly.]  Tell me Kasuga-kun.  You know that Keiko-san 
is in a predicament.  [Leans forward to emphasize her next point, 
which causes Kasuga to wilt.]  As a friend, what are you prepared 
to do for her?

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  It's as bad as I feared...[Sweats.]  But I 
gotta do the right thing!  [Swallows a *huge* lump in his throat.]  
I...I...I wouldn't be a friend if I didn't help her...[Stands up 
and blurts out...]  I'll do whatever is required to help her!

...DRAMATIC PAUSE...

Ayukawa:  [Turns to Kimura and smiles.]  There see?  Until you get 
over your stomach flu, Kasuga-kun will take notes for the classes 
you miss...[Turns to Kasuga and smiles.] ne?

Kimura:  [Expression lights up.]  Really?!?  [Turns to Kasuga.]  
Thank you so much!  I was so worried what I would do about missing 
next week's classes!  You're such a darling!

Kasuga:  [Falls over sideways, barely able to talk.]  St-st-
stomach...flu...?!?

Kimura:  [Nudges Kasuga.]  Ne Kyo-chan...are you alright?

Kasuga:  [Still barely able to talk.]  St-stomach...flu?!?

Ayukawa:  [Casually to Kimura.]  And next time...make sure you 
don't leave the fish out too long when you make sushi.

Kimura:  [With a look of realization on her face.]  Ah soka...

Kasuga Narration:  Honesty really was the best policy that night, 
even when things did look bad.  It was an important lesson that 
night to trust in the truth.  But still...

Kasuga:  [Still barely able to talk.]  St-stomach...flu?!?

END CREDITS

Writer					Christian Gadeken
New Characters Designer/Co-writer	Stephen Tsai
Doujinshi Artwork			Tony Jung
Pre-readers				Ravi Konchigeri
					Jim Ramberg
					Andy Combs
					Robert Carragher
					Lisa Richardson
					Brian Edmonds
					Pascal Janin
					Adam Roberts
					Daric Kozlowski
					Tony Schrick
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 the Boarding House [Introduced in Episode 1]:  The 
boarding house is the current residence of Kyosuke and several of 
his college classmates.  It is currently owned and managed by 
Egami Isamu.
	Built just after World War II, the house contains six eight-
tatami rooms (about 144 square feet) and a ten-tatami manager's 
room (180 square feet).  There are two washrooms with sinks, baths 
and toilets.  Outside, there is a small tool shed, a bicycle rack, 
and facilities to wash and hang clothes.
It's current occupants are:
Manager:  Egami Isamu
Room 1:  Rented but currently unoccupied
Room 2:  Miyasato Yoko and Miyasato Yuko
Room 3:  Fujimoto Mariko and Fujimoto Eiji
Room 4:  Tanaka-san
Room 5:  Kasuga Kyosuke
Room 6:  Katsu Ritsu
Visual Description:  The house is an old-styled boarding house, 
but has gone through several renovations and face-lifts in its 
lifetime, including semi-private baths and modern electrical and 
telephone fixtures.  Close anime comparisons include (but are not 
limited to) the boarding house from Maison Ikkoku and the 
dormitory from This is Greenwood.

Stephen Tsai

Andy (The Android) Combs | Ayukawa:  KASUGA-KUN!
Stephen (The Chunk) Tsai |
acombs@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu| Kasuga:  S-sorry!
                         |
Watch for the doujinshi! | Kimagure Orange College Episode #12

 

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