Kimagure Orange College - Episode 33
by Stephen Tsai
 
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stsai@netcom.com (Stephen Tsai)


Kimagure Orange College

[Writer's foreword:  This is the thirty-third 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 
ftp://ftp.cs.ubc.ca/pub/archive/anime-fan-works/KOR/Kimagure-Orange-College/
        One thing I would like to say up front:  Although I have 
graduated from college, my experience is in the American college system 
and culture.  The span of my experience in the Japanese advanced 
education system is limited to watching anime, pen pals and research.  
Any mistakes, inconsistencies, etc. are neither intentional nor are 
they meant to show disrespect for the Japanese education system.  In 
fact, I would appreciate any constructive criticisms, corrections, and 
insight any readers might offer me.  Mail all such letters, praises or 
flames to mailto:koc@usagi.org.]

Episode 33 - The Paper Chase

[Cut to the Butsumetsu Journalism building.  Inside the main press 
room, there's a great deal of activity as several students and teaching 
assistants work at their desks or talk to one another.  A chalkboard on 
the wall details schedules and writing tasks, reminding everyone that 
the next school newspaper's due date is approaching.  At Oda's desk, 
Kasuga is going over his next week's assignment.]

Kasuga:  Special assignment?

Oda:  [Nods.]  Un.  Doko-sempai* thought you did very well on the 
interview last week.  He asked me to tell you that he thought your 
second-half questions showed some initiative.  Next time though, he 
wants you to make sure not to omit any of the prepared questions.
*Older student/senior

Kasuga:  [Nods.]  Ah, un.

Oda:  Personally, I thought you were very good.  You really went after 
him like a real reporter.

Kasuga:  [Smiles.]  Thanks.  By the way, what is this special 
assignment?

Oda:  Well....  [Looks over her desk, covered with papers and incoming 
letters.]  Oh...!  I must have left it on Doko-sempai's out tray.  Just 
a minute.  [Gets up and walks towards the exit to the next block of 
offices.]

[As she leaves, Kasuga's curiosity gets the better of him and he looks 
over some of the letters on Oda's desk.]

Kasuga:  [Reading.]

Dear Oda-san,

I have recently moved into this part of the world and have met a very 
nice young man I call "Y-chan".  He is in love with another girl who I 
call "M-chan".  Unfortunately, she only has eyes for his best friend 
"T-san".

I consider it my duty as a friend to help him find romance in his life 
but I am finding it difficult to keep that in mind.  I'm not the one 
that supposed to fall in love!  What should I do?

Yours truly,

"A-chan".

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  Wow...some story....  And Oda-san has to answer 
this kind of questions every week?  [Reads an attached draft of 
response.]

Dear A-chan,

My advice for you is to follow what your heart is saying - and go for 
it!  If "M-chan" cannot see what a wonderful guy "Y-chan" is, then 
don't waste your life away wondering what might have happened.  Maybe 
you should help "T-san" see just how devoted "M-chan" is, and be happy 
yourself with "Y-chan".  If you don't, you may regret losing the 
chance!

Oda-san

Kasuga:  Hmm....  [Reaches for the next letter.]

Dear Oda-san,

I am a professional tennis coach who graduated from school a few years 
ago.  I am attracted to a beautiful lady who I call "K-san" for now.  
"K-san" is a manager of a boarding house.  But she seems to have 
feelings for one of the tenants of her house.  This guy, who I call "Y-
kun", is a complete loser!  He's stupid and can't even manage his own 
affairs, let alone take care of a lady like "K-san".  She seems to like 
me, and I'm confident that she would be so much better with me than 
him.  How do I gently get her to realize this without offending her?

Sincerely,

"S.M."

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  Wow... that's hard to believe....  [Reads the 
attached draft.]

Dear "S.M",

Clearly, K-san would be better off with a successful professional coach 
than a loser like "Y-kun".  You should start inviting her out on dates  
and explaining that her feelings are simply a matter of her confusing 
professional concern for tenants with personal feelings.  Go for it!  
Don't look back and have faith that she will eventually see your true 
feelings.

Oda-san

Kasuga:  [Glances over several of Oda's replies to various other 
letters.]  "...Go for it...", "...go for it..."?  Oda-san really likes 
to tell people to go for it.  [Picks up the next letter.]

Dear Oda-san,

I am a second year student in the college.  I have a friend with a 
relationship problem.  You see, my friend dates this guy who I'll call 
"K-san".  They've been dating since Junior High.  "K-san" is a little 
indecisive, but he's a nice guy.  However, my friend recently met "H-
san", who is really nice.  He is also handsome, athletic, and comesfrom 
a rich family.  Recently, "H-san" has been making it clear that he 
would really like to go steady with my friend.  Should she stick with 
"K-san" or try her luck with "H-san"?

Sincerely,

"A."

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  Boy, they're in a real jam....  [Thinks about 
it.]  Wait a minute....  "K-san"... indecisive... "H-san"... 
athletic..."A."....  [Thinks some more.]  It can't be....

[Fade to imagination.]

SD Ayukawa:  [Looking indecisive between SD Kasuga and SD Hayashibara.]  
Should she stick with "K-san" or try her luck with "H-san"?

SD Oda:  [Holding victory fans.]  Go for it!

[Fade back to reality.]

Kasuga:  [Shakes head vigorously.]  Nononono...!

Oda:  [Coming back from the other room.]  Hey, Kasuga, what are you 
doing?  [Takes the letter.]  These are supposed to be private.

Kasuga:  Ah, sorry!  [Forces himself to be calm.]  I guess I was 
just... a little curious... what was going to be in the next week's 
edition.

Oda:  [Sagely.]  If people knew their letters were being read by 
strangers, no one would confide in me!

Kasuga:  But these letters are going to be read by the whole campus in 
the next week's newspaper!

Oda:  [Red-faced.]  That's beside the point!

Kasuga:  Alright.  [Thinks for a moment.]  Do you actually know who "A" 
is?

Oda:  Not really.  Most people who write in don't use their real names 
for obvious reasons.  Sometimes they use initials, and sometimes they 
use vague descriptions.  Sometimes people are so shy, they write 
letters about "their friend" when they really mean themselves.

Kasuga:  "Their friend...?"  Ahh... by the way... that last 
letter...how are you going to answer it?

Oda:  Oh, that's easy.  [Enthusiastically.]  "A's friend" should go for 
it!

Kasuga:  Eh?!?  But what about m... I mean... that guy, "K-san"?

Oda:  But the letter says "H-san" is handsome, nice - and he sounds 
like a really cool guy!  If she doesn't at least try, she'll always 
wonder just what could have happened if she tried!  Life's too short to 
go through it with regrets of what might have been!  Besides, if this 
"K-san" was a real man, he would simply take her into his arms and the 
situation would not be what it is now.

Kasuga:  B-but...!

Oda:  [Calms down.]  Anyway, back to your assignment.  Doko-sempai 
wants you to do a personal interview with Hayashibara-san.  It's going 
to be our feature story for the next sports page.  [Hands Kasuga a list 
of questions.]  He also asked me to make sure you ask every one of 
these.

Kasuga:  [Looks over the questions.]  EH?!?

Oda:  What's the matter?

Kasuga:  Doko-sempai wants me to ask Hayashibara-san... these 
questions?!?

Oda:  Oh, what's the big deal?  It's just your usual "personal-
interview" type of questions.  It's not like he's going to start 
romancing girls right in front of you.

Kasuga:  [Nods nervously.]  Ah... un....

Kasuga Narration:  As I looked over the questions Oda-san gave me, I  
felt my indecisiveness coming back.  I knew she had helped me get this  
position and I didn't want to let her down.  But....

[Cut to next day at the Butsumetsu Chemistry building.  It is a five 
story brick structure, with large open windows;  it's located between 
the mathematics and physics departments.  Inside one of the 
laboratories, Katsu looks over Kasuga's notepad while keeping an eye on 
a beaker with boiling liquid.]

Katsu:  So, you're supposed to ask him these questions?

Kasuga:  [Nods.]  Un.  The questions aren't really a big deal.  
[Pauses.]  It's the answers I'm a little worried about.

Katsu:  Eh?  Why?  Didn't Hayashibara-san say he was going to stay out  
of your way?

Kasuga:  Well, yeah...  But even though he says that, I know he cares 
for her.  Also... the "Dear Oda-san" column received a letter that's 
got me worried....

Katsu:  Eh?!?  You're "Oda-san"?

Kasuga:  [Embarrassed as he shakes head vigorously.]  No, no!  I just 
know Oda-san from Junior High.

Katsu:  Whew...!

Kasuga:  Why were you so shocked?

Katsu:  Well... the column's replies tend to read like a girl talking.  
Besides, Oda-san hasn't answered mine letter yet.... [Pulls boiling 
beaker off the heater and pours the contents into a large flask using a 
funnel.  The contents proceed to change color and deposit particulate 
in the bottom.  Katsu then drops the test-tube into a centrifuge and 
turns it on.]

Kasuga:  Your letter?

Katsu:  Come on, Kasuga-san.  You don't think I spend my whole life 
behind a test-tube, do you?

Kasuga:  Well, no.  I guess not.  Is there something going on?

Katsu:  Well....

[There is almost a full minute of silence, the only thing heard being 
the motor of the test-tube centrifuge.]

Katsu:  Suppose I told you that... a friend of mine likes a certain 
girl.  He wants to go out with her, but he's too worried if she likes 
him, too.  So, instead, he hides behind another friend, all the while 
sending messages to that girl, helping her out, and wishing her the 
best.

Kasuga:  I know what you mean.  Believe me, it's tough to make that 
kind of commitment, but I can tell you it will save a lot of pain 
later.  My advice is that Saito should make up his mind and tell either 
Yuko or this Chun-Li how he feels.

Katsu:  [Face-faults.]  ...!

Kasuga:  What's wrong?

Katsu:  Ah... no!  I mean... you're probably right!

[Just then, the door to the lab opens.]

Miyasato-tachi*:  [In unison.]  Kasuga-san!
*The Miyasatos

Kasuga:  [Annoyed.]  I already told you I couldn't get his autograph!

Yuko:  No, not that....  [Thinks it over.]  Well, ok, *that*.

Yoko:  We heard you'll be doing a personal interview with Hayashibara 
Akira.

Katsu:  [Deadpan to Kasuga.]  Word travels fast.

Kasuga:  [Nods.]  Th-that's right, I will.  How did you two find out so 
fast?

Yoko:  [Proudly.]  That's easy.  My very cool boyfriend hacked into 
your user account on the Journalism computer.  He said to tell you not 
to make your password so obvious next time.

Kasuga:  [Annoyed.]  Why you...!

Katsu:  [Coolly.]  Is this the "very cool boyfriend" you've never met?

Yoko:  [Indignantly.]  I-it's not like that at all!  [Confidently.]  
Our relationship is based on mutual understanding.  He respects my 
intellect!

Yuko:  [Thoughtfully, to herself.]  That's strange... Saito-san was the 
one who told me about this interview.

Yoko:  Anyway, you'll have the perfect chance to get that autograph you 
missed last time!

Kasuga:  I told you two that Sakai-sempai doesn't approve of abusing 
interviews for personal favors.

Yoko:  But you're doing this interview without her, right?  Besides, 
[Points dramatically.]  any true journalist knows there are times you 
must take risks!

Kasuga:  I see.  So how much are you going to pay for the risk?

Miyasato-tachi:  [Surprised, in unison.]  ...hah...?

Kasuga:  You two have been charging everyone else to do favors, and I 
don't think that's fair.  Actually, I don't really want money.  But it 
still doesn't feel good when your friends charge you for favors.

Yoko:  [Looking down.]  Well....

Yuko:  [Resigned sigh.]  Yoko, I think he's got us....

Kasuga:  Alright, I'll try to do it - for free.  No promises, though.

Yoko:  A-alright.  We'd be... grateful for your effort.

[Both twins leave.]

Katsu:  [Impressed.]  I was wondering when someone would get around to 
feeding them their own medicine.

Kasuga:  [Shrugs.]  It's just that someone had to teach those two a 
lesson sooner or later.

[Cut to the next day at the Student Union.  Kasuga walks down a hallway 
with his notepad and micro-tape-recorder in hand.  He reaches the 
reserved room and opens the door.  He freezes at the sight of Ayukawa 
sitting next to Hayashibara with their arms around each other as they 
are about to kiss.]

Kasuga:  [Shocked.]  Wh-what th...?!?  [Notepad drops out of his hand.]

Hayashibara:  [Pauses and smiles.]  So, Kasuga-san... does this answer 
your newspaper's question about my girlfriend?

Kasuga:  It... can't be...!

Ayukawa:  [Swooning in Hayashibara's arms.]  Sorry about this, Kasuga-
kun... but Oda-san told me to go for it.

Kasuga:  [Shaking his head in disbelief...]  Ayukawa!  AYUKA...

[...and waking up.]

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

Eiji:  [From Room #3.]  Kaachan*, he's doing it again!
*Mom

Miyasato-tachi:  [From Room #2.]  Be quiet!

Kasuga:  [Panting and sweating with fear.]  Dream... it was just a 
dream.  [Calms down and looks at the clock.  It's almost 6am.]  I guess 
I may as well get up.  [Kasuga goes out to the public sink with his 
usual toiletries and cleans himself up.  As he brushes his teeth, he 
freezes up.]  Wait a minute...!  What if this was a premonition 
dream?!?

[COMMERCIAL BREAK.]

[Cut to the supermarket.  A tall handsome blond guy and a short red-
haired girl are walking along the aisle, pushing a shopping cart in 
front of them.  The girl suddenly stops and points at the shelf.]

Miki:  Say, Yuu, let's get some marmalade!

Yuu:  [Looks skeptically at the shelf.]  This marmalade?  I don't like 
it.  It has added sugar.

Miki:  No, it doesn't!  It's Smuckers 100% natural marmalade - it's 
sweetened with natural fruit juices!

Yuu:  Then it must be bitter.

Miki:  No, it's really sweet.  [Pause.]  Like you.

Yuu:  [Pause.]  Oh.  Really?  Well... I guess we can take it.  [Miki 
beams and puts the jar into the cart.  Meanwhile, Yuu picks up a jar 
from the opposite shelf.]  Now, speaking of this mustard... it is all 
hot and spicy.  Just like Miki.

Miki:  YUU!

Voiceover:  Smuckers.  100% natural.

[Writer's note:  Standard Disclaimer.]

[END COMMERCIAL BREAK.]

[Cut to Ayukawa's and Ikemoto's apartment building.  Kasuga runs up the 
staircase and knocks on the apartment door.]

Kasuga:  [To himself as he waits.]  I'm sure this is just a bunch of  
coincidences.  Ayukawa knows Oda-san already.  If she were feeling that  
way, she'd never....  [Trails off then shakes his head vigorously.]  I  
mean... no way!  O-of course she doesn't feel that way!  "A"... there's  
probably a lot of them on campus!  It might not even be the writer's  
real initial!

Ikemoto:  [Coldly after she opens door.]  Ayukawa-chan already left for 
school.

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  "Ayukawa-chan"?  [To Ikemoto.]  D-did she say 
where she was going?

Ikemoto:  [Lights a cigarette.]  Not really.  She can take care of 
herself so I don't keep up with her schedule.

Kasuga:  [Annoyed.]  Y-you know, if you keep smoking, you will never 
have healthy babies.

Ikemoto:  [Raises an eyebrow; with sarcasm.]  You two are truly made 
for each other.  [Blows a puff of smoke in Kasuga's face.]  Did it ever 
occur to you that I might not want a baby?

Kasuga:  Well....

Ikemoto:  Did it ever occur to you that I might be quite content with 
my life being what it is?  Did you even think that I might be willing 
to pay the price for independence?

Kasuga:  [Swallows nervously.]  But... you... if you tried... I mean, 
it's nice to trust someone else and know they trust you, so...

Ikemoto:  Oh, so it's all about trust, right?  [Quietly.]  And why, I 
wonder, do you think I haven't tried?  Maybe I did?  Maybe I found the 
price too high to pay?  Maybe I wanted to live my life as I wanted - is 
that so unusual?  [Extinguishes the cigarette and drops it into the 
ashtray.]  You're so... confident about teaching the others.  I wonder 
how come nobody slapped you for that yet.  [Pause.]  Why are you here, 
anyway?

Kasuga:  I... I wanted to locate Ayukawa.  Do... do you mind if I check 
her appointment calendar?

Ikemoto:  [Shrugs.]  Be my guest.  I have to go to work.  Lock up when 
you're done here.  [Picks up her bag and leaves.]

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  I wonder why Ayukawa puts up with her attitude?

[Cut to Ayukawa's bedroom.  The room is well-kept, with the bed made.  
The desk has a few written notes on a pad of paper.  Kasuga glances 
over a desk calendar, and freezes.]

Kasuga:  [Reading the current date entry.]  "Meeting with Hayashibara 
at Student Union..."!  Wh-why would she do that...?  [Shakes his 
head.]I-it can't be what it looks like!  It's gotta be something 
else![Looks at the pad of paper on the desk and notices some writing on 
the top page.]  "Dear Oda-san:  I'm a second-year student..."  [The 
rest of the note is scribbled out.  Kasuga goes pale and the sheet 
drops out ofhis hand.]  It can't be....

[Cut to the Student Union.  Kasuga is seated at a small table, with 
several notes and a copy of the school newspaper in front of him.  He 
checks his tape recorder and goes over the interview questions.]

Kasuga:  [Outwardly calm.]  OK... I'll just do the interview and that 
will be it.  No matter what he says, I won't let it get to me.  Since 
Ayukawa isn't here, that dream can't be a premonition dream!

Ayukawa:  [From behind Kasuga.]  Kasuga-kun.

Kasuga:  Waah...!  [Turns around and freezes.]  A...Ayukawa...?

Ayukawa:  Oda-san told me you were going to be doing your second 
interview today.

Kasuga:  O-oda-san...?

Ayukawa:  Un.  Hayashibara-san's going to be here, right?

Kasuga:  Ahh... un... he should be here pretty soon....  [To himself.]  
I-is she here to see him?  Was that a premonition dream?!?

Ayukawa:  [Concerned.]  What's wrong?

Kasuga:  [Puts his hand behind his head.]  Ah... nothing....

Hayashibara:  [Coming from around the corner.]  Sorry I'm late; my 
class ran long.  [Sees Ayukawa.]  Ayukawa-san?

Ayukawa:  [To Hayashibara.]  Nice to see you again.

Kasuga:  [To Hayashibara.]  Ahh... it's OK.  I just got here myself.

Hayashibara:  [Sits down.]  Very well, let's go for it.

Kasuga:  [Goes pale.]  ...!

Hayashibara:  What's wrong?

Kasuga:  [Recovers.]  Ah... nothing.  Let's start.  [Clears throat and 
starts the tape-recorder.  Ayukawa walks away and sits behind the next 
table.]  How did you get started playing baseball?

Hayashibara:  [With confidence.]  I started playing baseball for fun 
when I was six years old.  In junior high, I joined the school baseball 
team and I've been on my school teams ever since.

Kasuga:  Who would you say has influenced your success?

Hayashibara:  Well, I was a fan of the Giants when I was younger and I 
grew up watching people like Sadaharu Oh and Isao Harimoto.  I've had 
many good coaches and fellow teammates who influenced and helped me 
through the years.  [Pause.]  Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't 
mention my father for encouraging me to succeed.

Kasuga:  When you played in high school, you were mainly known as a 
fielder and not a power hitter.  Did Koushien* change the way you play?
*Site for the Japan Senior High School Baseball Tournament

Hayashibara:  I've been fortunate to have very good coaches who 
stressed the fundamentals of the game.  As a result, I spent much of my 
time practicing my fielding.  For hitting, I was taught mainly to hit 
the ball with accuracy more than power.  However, my high-school coach 
felt that we had a favorable match-up against some of the pitchers in 
Koushien so he encouraged me to swing away.

Kasuga:  When you're not playing baseball, what are your personal 
hobbies?

Hayashibara:  I spend a lot of time in physical training and school, 
but when I do have time, I like listening to classical music and 
reading.  Sometimes I watch a professional baseball game, for as much 
the enjoyment as the learning.

Kasuga:  [Rapidly, without reading from his notes.]  Do you plan a 
life-time career of professional baseball?

Hayashibara:  [Less confident.]  Well... no, not really.  I might play 
for a while, but later I presume I'll join my father's company.  
Why...?

Kasuga:  [Raises an eyebrow.]  Well, you mentioned you spend a lot of 
time studying and doing baseball; do you think that this is the best 
investment of your time and efforts?  Does your social life suffer 
because of this?

Hayashibara:  [Even less confident.]  I... well... try to compensate 
for the little time I have for social pursuits by spending it more 
efficiently.  For example, in high-school, I had many friends.  After 
each game, the whole team would always go out together.  [Pause.] 
That's... the best way I can answer this.

[Pause.]

Kasuga:  [Nods, and resumes reading from his notes.]  This brings me to 
another question.  You're very popular among some of our female sports 
fans.  [Looks at the question and tenses.]  Are you romantically 
involved right now?

Hayashibara:  [Nervously.]  Ahh... well....  [Looks away, glancing 
momentarily to where Ayukawa is sitting.]  Baseball takes up much of my 
free time.  I guess I haven't had time to really think about it.  I 
suppose... I've been waiting to meet the right girl.  [Ayukawa, 
listening to the conversation, looks around uneasy.]

Kasuga:  Well... if you did... if you did find her?

[Long pause.  Kasuga watches Hayashibara tense up with nervousness.]

Hayashibara:  If I did... she'd be someone very special to me.

Kasuga:  [Continues reading from his notes.]  So, what are you looking 
for in this... special person?

Hayashibara:  [Swallows.]  Well... she would have to be kind...and 
smart... and independent.

Kasuga:  Independent?

Hayashibara:  [Nods.]  Yes, I think so.  Every relationship has to 
strike the right balance between trust and mutual independence, so.... 
[Trails off.]

Kasuga:  So...?

Hayashibara:  So I would look for all these qualities in... the person 
I would like to care about.

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  "Person he would like to care about"....  Is he 
talking about...?  [To Hayashibara.]  Well, I guess I shouldn't pry too 
much.  [Looks over his notepad.]  I guess I've got enough.

Hayashibara:  Eh?  I mean, OK.  Did you get everything you need?

Kasuga:  Un.  I've got what I need to know.  [Remembers.]  Oh yes!  
There's one thing more.  I've got a request for an autograph from two 
of my housemates; I wouldn't ask this favor during the interview, but 
since it's over....

Hayashibara:  [Teeth gleam.]  I'd be glad.  That's for Yoko-san and 
Yuko-san, isn't it?  [Kasuga nods.]  Very well.  [Hayashibara picks two 
empty sheets from Kasuga's pad and signs them.]  Here you go.

Kasuga:  [Nods.]  Thank you for your time.

Hayashibara:  [Stands up and prepares to leave.]  You're welcome.  
[Pause.]  You... you're a good interviewer, Kasuga-kun.  Go for it.

Kasuga: ...

[Hayashibara waves at him and Ayukawa and leaves.]

Ayukawa:  Well, it wasn't quite what I expected from a personal 
interview.

Kasuga:  [Nods.]  Un.

Ayukawa:  Why are you so down?  I think you did a pretty good job.  
Maybe next time you can be more relaxed.

Kasuga:  Well... yeah....  [Thinks.]  Actually....  [Trails off.]

Ayukawa:  What?

Kasuga:  [Takes a deep breath.]  The truth is... I was worried when I 
saw you.  You see, yesterday Oda-san got a note from a person named 
"A." who talked about  "K-san" and "H-san".  Then, last night... I had 
a dream that you and Hayashibara would be... well....  [Stops.]  I 
guess I was worried because when I dropped by your place this morning, 
I saw your note to Oda-san and that you were going to be meeting 
Hayashibara today.

Ayukawa:  [Surprise.]  Where did you get that from?

Kasuga:  [Puts his hand behind his head and laughs awkwardly.]  Well... 
I was just checking your calendar to see if I could find you.  I just 
wanted to talk to you.

Ayukawa:  I see.... [Thinks for a minute, then stifles a laugh.]

Kasuga:  Eh?  What's so funny?

Ayukawa:  [Unable to stifle her laughing.]  Hahahaha....  [Calms down.]  
Sorry.  [Sighs.]  Kasuga-kun, after all this time, I would have thought 
you'd know better!

Kasuga:  What...?  But what about meeting Hayashibara?

Ayukawa:  [Playfully.]  Baka-mitai*... I wanted to meet you!  This was 
supposed to be your first solo assignment and I wanted to encourage 
you.
*Idiot (politely)

Kasuga:  First?  I did an interview with him already.

Ayukawa:  [Laughs.]  But that one was in the locker room!  I didn't 
think they'd let me there!

Kasuga:  Oh.  [Thinks.]  But... you *did* write a letter to Oda-san 
about "K-san".  I saw a scratch copy when I dropped by your apartment 
this morning.

Ayukawa:  [Thinks.]  That letter?  I haven't even sent it yet.  [Pulls 
out a folded sheet of paper from her school binder and hands it to 
Kasuga.]

Kasuga:  [Looking at the letter.]

Dear Oda-san,

I am a second year student in the college.  A friend of mine who I call 
"K-san" is dating a guy I call "S-san".  "K-san" is a little naive 
about dating and she's already had two dates go bad for different 
reasons.  "K-san" is a very sweet person and I don't want to see her 
hurt again, but I don't know much about "S-san".  Would I be intruding 
to try and find out more about "S-san" or should I just let "K-san" 
have a chance to learn about "S-san" herself?

Sincerely,

"Girl with the red straw hat"

Ayukawa:  It's obvious who am I talking about, isn't it?  The truth is, 
I don't know how well Keiko-san and Sakurai-san are getting along.  The  
last two times she's been on a date, she's been very disappointed and I 
didn't want her to go through that again.  I just wanted another 
opinion on how they should proceed.

Kasuga:  [Realization dawning.]  Then "A." is really...?

Ayukawa:  I haven't got the slightest idea.  [Starts laughing again.]

Kasuga:  [Smiles in relief.]  A...hahaha....

Ayukawa:  [Stops laughing and touches Kasuga's hand.]  You should still 
have known better.  It's nice to trust someone else and know they trust 
you, don't you agree?

Kasuga:  [Pauses, then nods.]  Um.

[Cut to the Journalism building later that evening.  Kasuga types away 
at his workstation.  Sakai and Doko are looking over rough layouts as 
they put together the finished master to be run later that evening.]

Doko:  Oda-san, hurry up!  We're going to press in ten minutes.

Oda:  Alright....  [Turns her attention back to the screen as she types 
her last response.]

Dear "A."

I'm going to address this to your friend, since she's the one in the 
need of an advice.  Please relay this message to her:

It's good to hear that you have a friend in "K-san".  However, if you 
are truly having doubts about your relationship, then perhaps it is 
time to explore other possibilities.  College is all about change and 
growth and you shouldn't go through life wondering about all the 
possibilities that were missed.  If "H-san" really is as nice as 
yousay, then go for it!  Seize the moment!  It may never come again!  
Ihope you find the true love of your life!

Sincerely,

Oda-san

[She saves the response and sends it to the typesetter.  Walking over 
to Kasuga's workstation, she watched over his shoulder for a moment.]

Oda:  So, how did it go?  Did you like the assignment?

[Kasuga opens his mouth, but doesn't say anything, lost in thought.  
Fade to memory of last days:]

Yoko:  [Confidently.]  Our relationship is based on mutual 
understanding!

[Fade to:]

Hayashibara:  Every relationship has to strike the right balance 
between trust and mutual independence.

[Fade to:]

Kasuga:  [To Ikemoto.]  It's nice to trust someone else and know they 
trust you, so....

[Fade to:]

Ayukawa:  It's nice to trust someone else and know they trust you, 
don't you agree?

[Fade to:]

Ikemoto:  [Raises an eyebrow.]  You two are truly made for each other.

[Fade back to present.]

Kasuga:  [Looks at Oda, smiles, and nods.]  Yeah, I liked the 
assignment.

[Cut to the Butsumetsu athletics department.  The team workouts have 
long ago ended and the locker room is quiet and dark except for a 
single hanging lamp in the back of the room.  Sitting alone on a bench 
with his locker open, Hayashibara flips the newspaper closed, the 
conflict on his face clear.  After thinking it over, he opens the paper 
and reads the reply again.]

Hayashibara:  [Reading the paper.]  "It may never come again.  I hope 
you find the true love of your life...."  [Pushes the paper aside.]

Sagawa:  [Opening the door.]  Hey, they're closing up the building.  
Are you ready?  What are you doing in here, anyway?

Hayashibara:  Eh?  Ah... just reading... the newspaper.  I'll be...out 
in a moment.

Sagawa:  Ok.  Remember, we're waiting for you!  Hurry up, Akira!  
[Exits.]

Hayashibara:  [Pauses and looks at the newspaper again.  Reading 
quietly to himself.]  Dear "A."....  [He sighs, closes the newspaper, 
picks up his sports bag, and exits the locker room, turning off the 
light.]

END CREDITS

New Character Designer/Writer                   Stephen Tsai
Co-writer                                       Vladimir Zelevinsky
Pre-readers                                     Robert Carragher
                                                Herbert Fung
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, mail 
them to mailto:stsai@netcom.com.

Thank you for taking the time to read this episode of my series.  If 
you are interested, previous episodes should be available at 
ftp://ftp.cs.ubc.ca/pub/archive/anime-fan-works/KOR/Kimagure-Orange-College/
site.  I've got the next episode in the works.

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks again!

-- 
Kimagure Productions|Nephrite:  [Exasperated.]  Yes, it's a dark evil mark!
    --present--     |
 Orange College #33 |Man:  [Shocked.]  Ahh...  I just wanted to know
  Sailor Ranma #19  |where the bathroom was.
   *Coming Soon*    |
Stephen Tsai        |Nephrite:  ...
stsai@netcom.com    |Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Ranma #18

http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Ginza/1604/
 

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