Kimagure Orange College - Episode 37
by Stephen Tsai
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From: (Stephen Tsai)
NNTP-Posting-User: stsai

Kimagure Orange College

[Writer's foreword:  This is the thirty-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
	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]

Kimagure Orange College

Episode 37 - Rhapsody in Orange

[Cut to a wide view of the mountain lake.  Nestled in the green shell 
of mountains, it glistens like a pearl.]

Kasuga Narration:  It happened during the weekend we were in Nikko.  I 
remember, we were watching Lake Yunoko from the vantage point.  It was 
late afternoon, and the sky was overcast - there was only one clearing, 
a small gap between the clouds and the mountains.  And then, just for a 
minute, the setting sun shone through this gap.  The rays reflected in 
the lake and colored the clouds, and suddenly - but I'm racing ahead of 
myself here.  It all really started earlier, that morning....

[Cut to Kasuga, Ayukawa, Hayashibara, Oda, Saito, and Kasamatsu walking 
up the forest path.  They are dressed for a hike, with backpacks on 
their shoulders.  They approach a fork in the path, with an old wooden 
signpost in the intersection; the signpost was originally painted 
green, but by now the paint is peeling and the signpost looks dirty 
grey.  Three wooden arrows point at three different paths.  Hayashibara 
takes out his guidebook and looks through it.]

Hayashibara:  Well, there are three paths we can take to Yunoko.  
There's one scenic trail which goes north through the forest and then 
around Lake Yunoko; another one, to the west, is a bit shorter and the 
terrain is steeper, but it goes past the Yu Waterfalls, and it's said 
to be quite spectacular.

Oda:  And the third one?

Hayashibara:  Oh, we don't want that one.  It's a narrow, winding trail 
going over the mountain ridge.  It's the shortest of these three, but 
it's marked "strenuous".

Kasamatsu:  Where does it say that?  [Hayashibara gives him the 
guidebook.  Kasamatsu carefully examines and returns it.]  Looks 
exciting!  I'm taking that one!

Saito:  [Lifting an eyebrow.]  Are you completely insane or are you 
just pretending?

Kasamatsu:  No, really.  I can go for a normal walk in the forest every 
day back in town.  Here I want something more challenging.

Hayashibara:  [Surprised.]  You're certainly welcome to risk your neck, 
but I'm not going to climb any mountain slopes without proper shoes.  
It'll also take you the whole day to get to Yunoko.

Kasamatsu:  Hmpf.  You mere mortals are not aware of astounding 
physical abilities of the Red Ninja.  Leaping from rock to rock with 
all the amazing agility of a mountain goat...

Saito:  A goat you are.

Kasamatsu:  Tsk, tsk.  Mere mortals are incredulous.

Saito:  [With suspicion.]  Do you have some kind of a trick in mind?

Kasamatsu:  Of course!  It's an ancient trick, known only to the Red 
Ninjas!  But, tell you what.  If you are incredulous, you can come with 
me, and you'll witness it with your own eyes!  The Red Ninja is 
powerful enough to transport two people over the rocky trail, even 
though one of them is a skeptical weakling!

Saito:  Who's a weakling!?

Kasamatsu:  You are.  Unless you go with me.

Saito:  All right, I will!

Hayashibara:  I, for one, will take the waterfall trail; it seems to be 
the most fun.  [Looks around.]  Kasuga-san and Ayukawa-san - will you 
join me?

Ayukawa:  Oh, I don't know.  I want to hike through the forest.  

Kasuga:  Ah, sure.  Oda-san?

Oda:  Ahh... um, I don't know.

Kasamatsu:  [Tightening his backpack straps.]  Well, you can stay here 
and argue.  I'm off.  Follow me, my ignorant apprentice!

[Saito rolls his eyes, but nevertheless follows Kasamatsu.  They take 
the rightmost trail and in a few moments disappear into the forest.]

Ayukawa:  Well, we should get going, too.  It's, what, five kilometers 
to Yunoko?

Hayashibara:  Six and a half, if you take the forest trail.

Ayukawa:  I see.  Is the trail marked?

Hayashibara:  It should be.

Ayukawa:  All right.  Well, see you in Yunoko!  [Winks.]  We'll see who 
gets there first!  Oda-san, feel free to join us if you'd like to.

[Hayashibara nods, tightens his backpack straps, and takes the central 
trail.  Kasuga and Ayukawa take the leftmost one.  They walk in silence 
for about half a minute, enjoying the interplay of shadows and light, 
filtering through the tree foliage above.  Then Kasuga stops abruptly.]

Kasuga:  I'll be back in a minute.

Ayukawa:  Huh?  What's the matter?

Kasuga:  I'll tell you when I get back.  Wait for me, ok?

[He takes off back along the trail.  In a minute, he reaches the 
signpost.  Oda is still there.]

Kasuga:  And I thought I was the indecisive one.

Oda:  [Shakes her head.]  I just don't know what I want.  [She looks at 
Kasuga.]  I'm not so sure I want to hike at all.  Maybe, Kasuga-kun, if 
we look around, we can find some kind of an empty cabin - you know, 
with the fireplace and all, so we can... um... resume from when we were 
interrupted the day we met.  [Winks.]

Kasuga:  Oda-san!

Oda:  [Laughs.]  I'm just kidding.  [Seriously.]  What I know is that I 
don't want to get between you and Madoka-san.

Kasuga:  Um.  I see.


Oda:  May I ask you a favor?

Kasuga:  Sure.

Oda:  I think I'll... go with Hayashibara-san for now.... but if ever 
it happens that you and Madoka-san are... no longer... together... 
well, then....  [Takes a deep breath.]  Let me know.  Maybe then we can 
find a cabin.  [Rapidly walks toward the west trailhead.]  I'll see you 
later.  Take care.

[Kasuga is left alone.  He follows Oda with his glance and sighs.]

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  Well, some people here sure are confused about 
what they want.

[He puts on his backpack and runs back along the forest trail to catch 
up with Ayukawa.]

[Cut to Saito and Kasamatsu walking the wide path in the forest.]

Saito:  So what is this with Red Ninja secret abilities?

Kasamatsu:  [Sagely.]  Ahh, I see you wish to be edified.  Nothing 
easier, my inexperienced apprentice.  [He takes out a folded paper from 
his pocket.]  You may peruse this ancient parchment, a repository of 
venerated secrets.

Saito:  What's that?

Kasamatsu:  It's a tourist brochure.  I picked it up at the hotel 
counter.  I thought it might come handy.  I also just noticed 
Hayashibara-san's guidebook is two years old.

Saito:  What could've happened in two years?  The distance couldn't 
have shortened.

Kasamatsu:  Ahh, here's the difference between normal people and the 
Red Ninja!  When mere mortals are confronted with the steep mountain 
trail they start thinking of roundabout trails, mountain shoes, and the 
like. But when the genius of the Red Ninja is concerned, he thinks of - 
a cable car!

Saito:  Cable car?!

Kasamatsu:  [Unfolding the brochure.]  They built one last year.  It 
takes you directly from here to Yunoko in half an hour.

Saito:  Oh.  Isn't that cheating?

Kasamatsu:  Cheating on what?  It's not like we bet who'll be there 

[Cut to Hayashibara, who is slowly walking along the forest path.  Then 
he hears a voice.]

Oda:  Hey, wait for me!

[She appears running from behind the bend in the path, and catches up 
with Hayashibara, her blue jacket flapping as she runs.]

Hayashibara:  [Smiling.]  So, I'm not alone on this trail, after all.

Oda:  Well... I wanted to see the waterfall.

Hayashibara:  [Nods.]  Um.  [Looks behind him.]  Is anyone else coming?

Oda:  No.

Hayashibara:  Ah.  So, I guess, Kasuga-san went with Ayukawa-san.

Oda:  No, he went with the guys.

Hayashibara:  WHAT?

Oda:  [Laughs.]  I'm just kidding.  Of course he went with her.

Hayashibara:  Um.  And you didn't want to get in their way.

Oda:  No, it's not that.  It's just that... well, I spend quite a bit 
of time with them anyway, and I've hiked through the forest before.  
And here you promised a waterfall, and... you know?

Hayashibara:  [Nods.]  New experiences, right?  [Oda nods.]  Well, we'd 
better get going.  We want to get to Yunoko before dark.

Oda:  Let's go for it.

Hayashibara:  [Smiles.]  You say this a lot, don't you?  [Oda laughs 
and nods.]

[They start walking along the forest trail, and proceed in silence for 
a few minutes.  Then Oda stops.]

Oda:  Hey.  Can you smell it?

Hayashibara:  You mean, the water?  [Sniffs the air.]  I think I do.  
We must be close to the waterfall.

Oda:  I... I think I can hear it, too!

[She takes off running along the trail.  Hayashibara follows her, the 
trees receding around him.  Passing the turn in the trail, he runs out 
of the forest and immediately sees Oda.  She's standing still next to 
the rapidly flowing stream, looking upward.  He stops in his tracks as 
well and follows her glance.]

Hayashibara:  [After a few seconds of silence.]  Wow.

[Cut to Ayukawa.  She's sitting on a moss-covered boulder next to the 
road, sipping out of a flask, and looking around.  In front of her. the 
trail gently turns to the right; to the left, the ground slopes down, 
and the trees gradually disappear on the way to the small brook, 
shining at the foot of the hill.  There's a abrupt noise, and Kasuga 
materializes next to Ayukawa.]

Ayukawa:  Is she all right?

Kasuga:  She...?  Uh... you mean... how did you know?

Ayukawa:  [Looks at him and smiles.]  Well, it was either that you 
noticed she likes Hayashibara-san or that you decided to take two 
trails at once.  [Puts her hand behind her head.]  "Ha, ha.  Oi, Oda-
san, I noticed something behind that rock, don't wait for me, I'll be 
back in a minute!"

Kasuga:  A...Ayukawa!

Ayukawa:  Well, I'm kidding.  I didn't think you'd do something like 
that now.

Kasuga:  [Nods.]  Speaking about Oda - I didn't notice anything myself.  
She told me yesterday.  Did... did you know?

Ayukawa:  I suspected.  You know how she's usually open and confident?  
Well, recently she was that way with anyone but him.  So I thought 
there might be something there.

Kasuga:  Ahh.  You know, I'm glad she went with him, in any case.  This 
way, I can hike with you.

Ayukawa:  [Laughs.]  That's true.  Come on.  We better get going.

[Cut to Saito and Kasamatsu.  They pass by another signpost, this one 
much newer.  The arrow pointing along their trail is labeled "Toward 
the cable car."]

Kasamatsu:  See?!

Saito:  I still don't understand why you wanted to split from the 

Kasamatsu:  Don't you understand?  If we take the cable car, we'd be in 
Yunoko first.

Saito:  So?

Kasamatsu:  So we can meet all the girls there without having to 
compete with Mr. Baseball.

Saito:  This is just so... ridiculous.

Kasamatsu:  Now who's talking - Mr. Two-timer himself.

Saito:  Hey!  I'm going to clear up that mess.  Sometime.  Sooner or 

Kasamatsu:  Yeah, right.

Saito:  And what do *you* plan to do here, if you don't mind me asking?  
Red Ninja's ancient seduction techniques?

Kasamatsu:  No, I just want to make sure I can present myself correctly 
- you know, behave like a nice, sensitive guy.

Saito:  That's a stretch.

Kasamatsu:  Hmpf.  That's why I gotta practice.  Can't just let my 
guard down with women.

[They walk out of the forest.  There's a clearing, and terrain changes, 
giving rise to foothills.  A white platform and a T-shaped cable mount 
contrast with dark green colors of the foliage.  Saito and Kasamatsu 
walk to the platform and pay for the trip.  Climbing the staircase to 
the boarding level, they wait until the next cable car passes by.  When 
one does, the uniformed man opens the doors, and Saito and Kasamatsu 
get in.  The man is about to close the door, when he's stopped by 
someone calling.]

Voice:  Hey, wait!

[A girl races up the staircase and jumps right into the cable car, at 
the last possible moment.]

Girl:  Thanks!  [The door closes shut, and the girl pauses to catch her 
breath.  Then she blows a lock of her medium-length brown hair out of 
her eyes.]  Hey, guys.  My name's Asono.  [Giggles.]  You can call me 

Saito & Kasamatsu:  ...

[Cut to Oda and Hayashibara.  They stand, dazzled at the sight of Yu 
Falls.  Like a huge glittering white column, the water descends from 
the overhanging cliffs covered with bright green moss.  At the bottom, 
where it hits the stream, the waterfall disappears in a cloud of 
sparkling mist, creating a low rumbling sound.]

Oda:  ...  Wow.

Hayashibara:  [Smiles.]  Talk about new experiences, right?

Oda:  I'm glad I came this way.

Hayashibara:  [Pause.]  You know what, I think I'm also glad you came 
this way.  It feels better to experience this with someone else.  What?  
Do I have something on my face?

Oda:  Uh, no.  I was just... looking... for a way to cross the streams.

Hayashibara:  Let's follow the trail.

[They do, and come to the edge of the stream.  A placard is nailed to 
the post here, saying "Because of the snow runoff, the levels of water 
are high.  Use caution when using the stepping stones." A chain of 
white stones with flat tops goes across the stream to the opposite 

Hayashibara:  Uh oh.  [He lifts his foot and examines the soles of his 
shoes.]  I'm not sure how good a grip I have....  [He looks up.]  HEY!

Oda:  [Jumping from the third stone to the fourth one.]  Come on!  It's 

Hayashibara:  Wait for me!

[Oda smiles and stops in the middle of her crossing, facing 
Hayashibara.  He carefully steps on the first stone and test his 
foothold.  Then he carefully steps on the second stone, and walking so, 
reaches Oda, smiling at him.]

Hayashibara:  Why are you smiling now?

Oda:  [Points over his head.]  Look.  It's beautiful!

[Hayashibara turns and looks.  A huge cloud, white on the rim and 
ominously dark in the center, is crossing over from the rim of the 
waterfall.  It looks like a mirror image of the cloud of mist at the 
waterfall's base.]

Hayashibara:  It's beautiful, all right.  It does look a bit... 
threatening, though.  [He turns and then his foot slips.]  Aaayuahhh!

[For a split second, he tries to keep his balance by madly twirling his 
arms around him.  Oda lunges at him to keep him standing, and, as a 
result, they both tumble down into water.  For a second after the fall, 
they maintain shocked silence, sitting in the middle of a foot-deep 
stream.  Then Oda starts laughing.]

Hayashibara:  What NOW?

Oda:  Speaking of new experiences...!

[Cut to Ayukawa and Kasuga.  They follow the trail in silence.  The 
trail runs through a wooded area, gradually climbing up.  Soon, the 
sunlight starts to fade, and white mist, creeping along the ground, 
envelops the tree trunks.]

Kasuga:  [Stopping.]  This is... some strange fog.

Ayukawa:  This is not fog!  We're inside a cloud.

Kasuga:  Oh.  It's... pretty.  I hope we'll be able to follow the 

Ayukawa:  [Nods.]  I'm sure we'll be fine.  If we're in trouble, I can 
always use my superpower!

Kasuga:  WHAT superpower?

[Ayukawa smiles and shows Kasuga her pocket compass.]

Ayukawa:  Ready to go?

[Kasuga nods and they carefully proceed further, making sure of each 
step, since the trail is rocky and slippery.  In a minute they 
disappear inside the cloud.]


[It's a peaceful morning in the Tendo household.  Ranma walks out of 
his room in his sweatpants, yawning.  He doesn't notice the water 
bucket precariously positioned on the top of the door - until it's too 

Ranma-chan:  Yeaaaaaaack!  COLD!

[Cut to Nabiki snapping photos from behind the corner.]

Nabiki:  [To herself.]  Yes!  A true Kodak moment!

[She picks up a phone and dials.]

Nabiki:  Kuno-chan?  We need to talk.  Bring a lot of cash.

Voiceover:  Kodak.  Take pictures.  Further.

[Writer's note:  Standard disclaimer.]


[Cut to the cable car, climbing up between two sloping hills.  The 
floor of the valley underneath goes up as well, and soon a white mist 
covers it from view.  Saito and Kasamatsu try to look outside, 
pretending they don't notice Asono staring at them.]

Asono:  Hey, guys!  What are you doing here?  Are you at a college?  Do 
you have girlfriends?  Why aren't you answering?  Huh?  Is this too 
many questions?  No?  How about now?

Saito:  Uhh... we're just... umm... enjoying the view.

Asono:  Um.  [She jumps on the bench right next to Saito and Kasamatsu 
and looks out, too.]  You're right, it's pretty!  [Jumps back off the 
bench.]  Hey, we should be going faster.  Do you know how long it takes 
to get there?  Are we there yet?  Huh?

Saito:  Um... half an hour, I think.

Asono:  Hmpf.  That's long.  I want to be in Yunoko.  How come your 
friend is so quiet?  Can he speak at all?  By the way, what are the two 
of you doing here?  Hey, that cloud looks kinda like an ice-cream cone, 
don't you think?

Saito:  [Whispers to Kasamatsu.]  Say something.

Kasamatsu:  [Whispers back.]  I don't know what.

Saito:  [Whispers back.]  Red ninja is stumped, huh?

Asono:  You know, it's rude not to answer when you're talked to.

Kasamatsu:  [Aloud.]  Yes.

Asono: Oh, he knows how to speak, after all.  Yes what?  When do you 
think we'll be there?

Kasamatsu:  Yes, it does look like an ice-cream cone.

Asono:  What looks like an ice-cream cone?  Oh, the cloud.  So what are 
you guys doing here?

Saito:  We're just on a weekend trip with our friends from college.

Asono:  Um.  Hey, aren't you going to ask what I'm doing here?  Well, 
I'll tell you anyway.  I'm going to Yunoko because I heard they have 
the best bath houses there with hot water pools.  Maybe I can meet some 
cute guys there.  [Giggles.  Looks at Saito and Kasamatsu.]  Oops.  No 

Saito:  [Trying to change the subject.]  Uh, what a view.  Did you see 
this cloud?  We're right over it.

Asono:  It looks neat!  It looks like... um... a hamburger?

Kasamatsu:  [Looking up instead of down.]  The one below us is fine.  
I'm afraid of one above us.  It looks... dangerous.

Saito:  [Looks up as well.]  You're right, it's a thundercloud.

Asono:  [Shakes her head.]  So what?  We're protected on every side.  
After all, what can possibly go wrong?

[There's a blinding flash, and the cable car stops.  Almost instantly, 
there's a deafening BOOOOM of the thunder.]

Kasamatsu:  Um... you were saying?

[Cut to the stream by the waterfall.  Oda and Hayashibara climb out, 
looking wet and rather pitiful.]

Hayashibara:  [Shuddering..]  Well, that's not so bad.  Now we just 
have to walk fast, so we keep warm, and then everything will be fine.  
[He looks at Oda.]  Listen, I'm sorry I fell in, and I'm sure I look 
funny.  Is that why you're smiling?

Oda:  No.  Never mind.  Come on!

[They rapidly walk down the trail.]

Hayashibara:  See, this is going fine.  In a few minutes, we'll be dry, 

[The huge flash of lightning connects clouds overhead with the earth, 
and in a few seconds there's a deafening crash of thunder.  In another 
second, it starts raining.]

Oda:  I don't think we'll get very dry this way.

Hayashibara:  Aack!  We have to walk faster!

Oda:  This won't work.  It's raining hard, so we'll get even wetter 
than now.  Also, I'm not sure we should be...  Can I see your 

Hayashibara:  Here you go.  Yuck, it's all wet.

[Oda checks the guidebook and then looks somewhere to the left, where a 
narrow path disappears in the forest.]

Oda:  Yes, we shouldn't be out in the open during the lightning storm.

Hayashibara:  What else can you suggest?  Standing under a tall tree?

Oda:  [Shakes her head.]  I think we can do better than that.

[She starts walking down the narrow path.  When she turns back and sees 
that Hayashibara is not following, she backtracks, takes him by the 
hand and pulls behind her.]

Hayashibara:  [Following her.]  What did you find there, and how...

[Oda stops and so does Hayashibara.  They are in front of a forest 
cabin.  Oda lets go of Hayashibara's hand and walks to the door.  
Opening it, she takes a look inside, then turns back.]

Oda:  It's empty.  Come in.

[Cut to the cable car, motionless.   It starts raining, and rainwater 
forms a diffuse film on the cable car windows.]

Asono:  [Looking out of the window.]  What's going on, guys?  When do 
you think we'll start moving again?  Hmpf.  If it takes more than half 
an hour, I'm going to ask my money back.

Saito:  [Whispering to Kasamatsu.]  Why are you so silent?

Kasamatsu:  Can you just imagine what we'll have to go through when we 
get off this cable car?  Her parents will give us the third degree when 
they learn we have been stuck here all alone with their daughter.

Asono:  [Listening in.]  Well, that's nonsense.  And I'm here without 
any parents.  I'm here with my sister.  My parents are travelling 
abroad.  Uhh, this thing better start moving soon.  It's getting cold 

Saito:  [Sagely.]  Asono-san, we'd just like to make sure everything is 
proper.  You're young, so perhaps you don't understand, but the 
situation is potentially delicate, and...

Asono:  What are you talking about?  Everything *is* proper.  And what 
is it that I won't understand?  Of course I understand.  I mean, I'm 
not a virgin anymore.  Hey, why are you staring at me?  You should 
probably stare at your friend instead, I think he's turning green for 
some reason.  Uggh, I'm cold.  They should have an emergency blanket 
here somewhere.

Saito:  [To Kasamatsu.]  Are you alright?  [Whispers.]  This is really 
nothing to be shocked about.  I read somewhere that one out of four 
high school girls in Japan...

Kasamatsu:  [Interrupting, in whisper.]  Well, she's... weirding me 
out.  [Looks at Asono, who's looking around the cabin, not listening to 
them.]  Also...

Saito:  [Whispers.]  What?

Kasamatsu:  [Whispers.]  I must admit... I'm a touch... envious.

Asono:  Hey, guys, shoo off this bench!  I think the blanket is 
underneath.  [Saito and Kasamatsu move.  Asono opens the top of the 
bench to reveal a bright orange emergency blanket.]  Aha, here it is.  
[She sits on the middle of the bench, covering herself with the 
blanket.]  Guys, come on over!  We'll keep each other warm!

Saito:  Uhh...

Kasamatsu:  I'm not cold.

Asono:  Well, I *am*.  No, really.  Come on.  Listen, I didn't mean it 
when I said about cute guys.  Don't listen to what I say.  Come on!

[Saito and Kasamatsu look at each other, then back at Asono, then back 
at each other.]

[Cut to Kasuga and Ayukawa.  They proceed slowly, since the terrain 
disappears from their visibility after a few feet, with the world 
outside them being enveloped in milky mist.  Their clothes look visibly 
wet, with moisture from the cloud condensing all over them.  Ayukawa is 
leading, but frequently glances back to make sure Kasuga is right 
behing her.]

Ayukawa:  [Stopping.]  Are you all right?  I noticed you started to lag 

Kasuga:  Uhh... I'm just a touch tired.  Can we take a break?

Ayukawa:  Sure.  This place looks good?

[Kasuga nods.  Ayukawa looks around, chooses a relatively dry spot on 
the ground, removes her backpack, and sits down.  Kasuga sits down next 
to her, and for a while they are silent, looking through the thick 
blanket of fog.]

Ayukawa:  It's nice.

Kasuga:  Nice?  I think it's wet and cold.

Ayukawa:  [Shakes her head.]  No.  I mean, it's nice to be silent with 

Kasuga:   Yes.  I mean, it's nice to have the guys around... but this 
is better.  Although it *is* wet and cold.  Maybe we should go alone 
next time.

Ayukawa:  Just two of us?

Kasuga:  [Nods.]  Uh huh.  Pick a place.  Borrow a car, or take the 
train.  Go for the whole weekend, not just one day.  Go sightseeing.  
Have a nice dinner.  Get a hotel room.

Ayukawa:  I'm not sure I like where this plan is going.

Kasuga:  [Puts his hand behing his head and laughs.]  I didn't mean it 
that way.  [Stops laughing.]  Although... that... would be nice, too.

[Long pause.]

Ayukawa:  I don't think we've reached that step yet.

Kasuga:  I think we have.

[Another pause.]

Ayukawa:  [Smiles.]  Let's say, it's a step-before-that-and-a-half.

Kasuga:  ...  Um.

Ayukawa:  [Looks at him.]  Do you know when I first realized I might be 
falling in love with you?

Kasuga:  ...

Ayukawa:  I never told you, did I?  Remember when you stood up Hikaru, 
and we went on that impromptu boat ride, and there was that kid who 
fell into the water and you swam to save him?

Kasuga:  Ohh.  I thought I looked silly.

Ayukawa:  I thought so, too.

Kasuga:  A...Ayukawa!

Ayukawa:  No, really.  Well, it wasn't then.  It was later that day, 
when we were sitting in the cafe, and you were wearing my jacket, and 
there were two cups of coffee steaming between us on the table.  Well, 
I realized I'm not hurrying anywhere, and I don't need to pretend for 
you, don't need to show how tough and independent I am.  It was just... 
a perfect moment.  

Kasuga:  Yes.  But I... I can't live in a moment.

Ayukawa:  [Shakes her head.]  Neither can I.  But it's wonderful to 
know that we're moving from one perfect moment to the next one, and I 
want to enjoy just... looking forward to it.

Kasuga:  Um.  I understand.

Ayukawa:  [Nods.]  Thank you.  You know what else?  I'm a bit cold now.

Kasuga:  Oh... anything I can do?

Ayukawa:  [Smiles.]  Baka mitai*.  Do I have to spell it for you?
*Idiot (politely)

Kasuga:  [Lost.]  Um... you might have to.

Ayukawa:  You can keep me warm.

Kasuga:  Oh.  [Smiles.]  At your service.

[Kasuga removes his backpack and puts his arms around Ayukawa.]

[Cut to the forest cabin.  A fire is lit in the fire pit in the center 
of the room, with the smoke drifting upwards toward the opening in the 
center of the roof.  A clothesline crosses the room, and Oda's and 
Hayashibara's clothes are hanging from it, with the owners sitting on 
the rug in their underwear.  Hayashibara is looking out of the window, 
with his arms around his knees.  Oda is at the other side of the room, 
looking at the fire.  Her glasses are lying on the floor next to her, 
and fire reflects in them, bright orange.]

Oda:  Why are you looking away?

Hayashibara:  [Without turning.]  I don't want to embarrass you.

Oda:  It's ok.  I don't mind.

Hayashibara:  [Blushes.]  Maybe then I don't want to be embarrassed 

Oda:  I'm not wearing my glasses, so I can't see you very well.

Hayashibara:  Are you looking?

Oda:  Does it matter?

Hayashibara:  I guess not.

[Oda turns silent.  Then she lies down, stretching on her side and 
looking into the fire.]

Oda:  I'm glad I went with you.  [Hayashibara turns and looks at her.]  
Aha, made you look.

Hayashibara:  [Blushes.  Pause.]  Why are you glad?

Oda:  I like it here.  It's always nice to be warm next to the fire 
when it's raining outside.  I also like the smell - smoke and wood.  

Hayashibara:  Um.  [He stands up and touches his shirt on the 
clothesline.]  They should be ready quite soon.  Not more than half an 
hour, I'd say.

Oda:  We're not in a hurry.

Hayashibara:  No.  But they might consider it improper.

Oda:  Who?  Saito and Kasamatsu would be absolutely envious they didn't 
get into this kind of an adventure themselves.  Madoka-san, if she 

Hayashibara:  If?

Oda:  Do you think I'm going to tell her?  [She shakes her head.]  But, 
if she knew, she'd understand.

Hayashibara:  And Kasuga-san?

Oda:  Kasuga?  [She pauses and looks again at the fire.]  He would 
understand.  [She pauses again and then suddenly smiles.  Standing up, 
she rapidly leaps across the fire pit to Hayashibara's side and looks 
at him.]  Admit it, you're scared.  Like a little boy.

Hayashibara:  [Shakes his head.]  Not like a little boy.

Oda:  [Nods.]  That's one way to admit you're scared.  [She sits down 
next to him and also puts her arms around her knees.]  Don't worry, I 
won't throw myself at you.

Hayashibara:  [Pause.]  Um.  [Tries to smile.]  But, hey, it's a new 
experience, right?

[Oda looks in his direction for a few seconds before replying.]

Oda:  No.

Hayashibara:  WHAT?

Oda:  I've been here before.  No, not to this very cabin, of course - 
but I've been in a very similar situation.

Hayashibara:  And...?

Oda:  [Shakes her head.]  His girlfriend found us out.  It wasn't a 
pretty scene.  Although, now that I think about it, it was a pretty 
funny one.

Hayashibara:  [Pause.]  And "he" is...?

Oda:  [Looks at him for a moment.]  I'm not going to tell anyone about 
us being here - so I don't think it would be fair for me to tell you 
about that time.

Hayashibara:  [Nods.]  I understand.  Sorry, I didn't mean to pry.

[Pause.  Then Oda lifts her hand and lightly touches Hayashibara on his 

Hayashibara:  [Looks at her.]  What?  Why are you smiling now?

[Oda shakes her head and doesn't answer.  She lowers her head onto her 
knees and closes her eyes, still smiling.]

[Cut to Kasuga and Ayukawa, huddled under the tree.  The mist grows 
less opaque, and then suddenly disappears completely, uncovering the 
landscape around them as if it were a photograph being developed.  
Ayukawa jumps up.]

Ayukawa:  Look down there!

[Kasuga looks down.  Their tree is revealed to be on the very edge of 
the forest, and the trail goes down several yards away from them, 
descending toward the lake, which glistens - indeed, like a pearl in 
the green shell of the mountains.  The evening breeze blows away the 
last swatches of cloud from the lake's surface.  The sky above them is 
still largely overcast, with the setting sun still hidden behind the 
clouds.  For a while, Kasuga and Ayukawa stand silently, taking in the 

Ayukawa:  I'm glad I took this trail.

Kasuga:  Me, too.  That's a memory, right?

Ayukawa:  Memory?

Kasuga:  Remember, you said you like building memories one step at a 

Ayukawa:  [Nods and smiles.]  Yes, this is a memory.  

[Kasuga touches her hand and looks at her.  Ayukawa looks back at him, 
then closes her eyes and moves her face toward his.]

[Cut to the cable car.  Saito, Asono, and Kasamatsu are seated on the 
bench, all covered with the orange blanket.  The rain stops, and the 
last drops of water trickle down the windows.  Then, suddenly, with a 
loud screech, the car resumes its motion.  The internal loudspeaker 
comes on.]

Voice:  We apologize for the delay.  Our power supply was temporary 
knocked out by the lightning.  We have re-routed power, and your trip 
should continue without interruptions.

Asono:  Cool!  You know what, guys, that was fun.  You're from Tokyo, 
right?  We gotta get together sometime back there.  [Giggles.]  Maybe 
you can tutor me for the college exams.  So, everything is fine, after 

Kasamatsu:  [Grumbles.]  Easy for you to say.  We'll be late to meet 
with our friends for sure.

Saito:  Do you still care?

[Asono suddenly jumps up, tossing aside the blanket.]

Asono:  [Pointing out of the window.]  Look at the sunset!  It's 
just... gorgeous!  

[Saito and Kasamatsu get from the bench and look out of the window.  
They are silent for a few seconds.]

Kasamatsu:  [Smiles.]  I guess you're right... I really don't care 

[Cut to the forest cabin.  Oda and Hayashibara, all dressed, are 
leaving the cabin, giving it the last look to make sure they have taken 
all their belongings.  Oda pauses for a moment, looking at a few dying 
embers in the fire pit, and then pours water on them, extinguishing the 
fire.  When she exits, Hayashibara is waiting for her outside, under 
the overcast sky.  They start walking down the trail, when Oda turns 
back and looks at the cabin.]

Oda:  [To herself.]  The third time, whenever it will be, better be a 

Hayashibara:  Look!

[Oda turns back and sees Hayashibara pointing upward.  Above them, in 
just a few seconds, the sky starts rapidly changing its color.]

[Cut back to Kasuga and Ayukawa, kissing at the overlook.]

Kasuga Narration:  Then, as I was saying, just for a minute, the 
setting sun shone through this gap, and its rays reflected in the lake 
and colored the clouds, and everything suddenly turned - orange.

[Kasuga and Ayukawa look at the vista around them.  Everything is 
bathed in the bright and intense color of the setting sun, and the 
world is orange.]


New Character Designer / Pre-reader     Stephen Tsai
Writer                                  Vladimir Zelevinsky
Pre-readers                             Bob Carragher
                                        Tony Chen
                                        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

Thank you for taking the time to read this episode of my series.  I 
have the next episode in the works.

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks again!
Kimagure Productions|
    --present--     |
 Orange College #39 |
  Sailor Ranma #21  | Stephen Tsai


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