|BROTHERS CONFLICT Short Stories|
Cover Featuring Asahina Natsume,Asahina Azusa & Asahina Tsubaki
|Preceded by||Brothers Conflict:Doubt|
|Followed by||Season 2 (Volume 1)|
As the title suggests, Brothers Conflict Short Stories is a compilation of all the short stories that were previously featured on Sylph and Dengeki Girl’s Style. This book contains unusual interactions between the characters who didn’t usually talk to each other, like Azusa and Iori, Subaru and Rui, or even Ukyou and Natsume. The short story about the triplets’ school life—”Early Days”—is also included here. Maybe we’ll discover a new side of the Asahina brothers?
Side Tsubaki & Azusa: 両手に兄、それは花のようにEdit
Brothers in both hands, like a flower
Four days before Christmas, the city is filled with gorgeous decorations… but Ema doesn’t have any time to admire them right now. Tsubaki and Azusa are holding her hands as they walk through the streets of Omotesando, causing people to whisper about how she’s holding “flowers” in both hands. (｡-∀-)ﾆﾋ♪ One hour prior, Ema returned home from shopping and found Azusa at the entrance. His steps were unsteady, and he was leaning against the wall. For a moment she was worried that he might be sick, but it turns out that his glasses were broken. It doesn’t help that a certain someone snatched his spare glasses and broke it too before. Since it’s hard for Azusa to go out in that condition, Ema then offered to accompany him to an eyewear store—taking his hand when he held it out for her. However, Tsubaki suddenly came and asked why they were holding hands. When they explain the situation, he decided to go with them and give a new pair of glasses as a present for Azusa. Or rather, as a replacement since he was the one who broke the spare LOL. From there, Tsubaki takes them to an expensive eyewear store in Omotesando. Along the way, he comes up with a nice idea of buying fashion glasses for Ema’s Christmas present. Tsubaki and Azusa are going to choose a pair of glasses separately, and Ema will have to pick the one she likes the best. The one who doesn’t get chosen will lose and have to buy some Christmas desserts for her. Once they enter the store, Azusa quickly picks a pair of glasses for himself—which has the same design as his old one. Tsubaki and him then split up to choose Ema’s glasses, and after 30 minutes… they return with two pairs of the exactly same glasses. Just as expected from identical twins. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Since they can’t choose the winner, Ema ends up receiving both pairs and two boxes of donuts. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ
Side Rui & Subaru: その姿、誰の目にも触れさせずにEdit
[ No one's eyes shall touch that figure ]Edit
On a holiday, Rui suddenly calls Ema to come to the 5th floor. On the hallway outside of the living room, she runs into Subaru—who looks really different today. He usually wears jerseys or casual clothes, but he looks really cool in a black suit right now. It’s because today is coming-of-age day, and he has to attend the ceremony. Subaru actually hates formal wear, but Rui told him to dress up properly for the event and even styled his hair. Soon they hear Rui calling Ema from the living room, so Subaru takes his leave.Upon entering the living room, Ema is surprised to see all sorts of styling tools and products on the table. She thinks Rui must care a lot for his brothers to go that far, but he says it’s his job to make their special day unforgettable. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:* This year, Rui also brought a beautiful kimono from his workplace. It was worn by a model for promotion, and he asks Ema to put it on. It’s a practice for her future coming-of-age ceremony, which is going to come in 3 years. Rui looks sad when she’s about to refuse, so in the end Ema gives in and agrees to wear it. When Subaru returns home later, he instantly freezes at the sight of Ema in a kimono. Rui asks him if she looks beautiful, and he blushes as he answers that she does. As both Subaru and Ema turn red in silence, Rui takes his camera and snaps a memorial picture of her. He’s really satisfied with the result, and he asks if he can use her picture to promote his salon. Then suddenly, Subaru raises his voice saying he can’t let that happen. He gets really embarrassed and flees from the living room, while Rui only whispers that the question wasn’t directed at him. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ
Side Ukyou & Kaname & Yusuke: よく学び、よく遊んで、最後に笑ってEdit
[ Study well, play well, and smile ]Edit
When the exam period begins in Hinode High School, Yusuke invites Ema to study modern literature with him. Unfortunately, both of them are rather weak at the subject. They get stuck on a problem in no time, and Yusuke rages saying none of these stuff would be useful once they start working. However, they soon hear Ukyou’s cold voice saying people can lose all of their properties just because of one wrong word. He just finished a mediation earlier, and he dropped by to put some groceries in the kitchen. Ukyou has to go back to his office soon, but he offers to help with their studies for a while. Ema immediately understands the problem once he explains it, and she realizes that he always chooses his words carefully. Not because of his job as a lawyer, but more because of his personality. Kaname comes home not too long after that, and Ukyou tells him to help them since he’s good at modern literature. Kaname is clearly reluctant about tutoring Yusuke, but he just can’t refuse when Ukyou glares at him. He returns to the living room after changing from his monk attire, and Ema asks him to check her work. Since she answered everything correctly, he asks her to come into his room for more “lessons”… but Yusuke quickly slaps him with a notebook and asks him to check his work too. Sadly, unlike Ema, Yusuke did a terrible job. Kaname doesn’t even know where to begin, so he tells Yusuke to start with writing 1000 kanji characters LOL. As they wait for Yusuke to finish, Kaname invites Ema to play a portable online game with him. Or rather, he wants her to teach him how to do it. They need 2 gaming consoles to play multiplayer, but he asks her not to worry because he already took Yusuke’s earlier. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ Kaname says it’s to prevent Yusuke from getting distracted though, and he promises to return it once Yusuke is done with the kanji lesson. For the next 2 hours, the poor thing rushes through the 1000 kanji characters while Kaname plays the game with Ema. Yusuke cheers and asks Kaname to return the game once he’s done, but sadly for him… it seems like a problem occured with the server and they couldn’t login since earlier. Which means he worked hard for nothing. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ In the end, Ema gets a good mark on the modern literature exam thanks to Ukyou. Yusuke, on the other hand,ends up failing his exam… but he scored full marks only for the kanji section LOL. After seeing this result, Kaname thinks he might have some talent in teaching. He offers to tutor Ema on the subjects she’s weak at, but she obviously refuses.
Side Masaomi & Wataru: ラブは消え、魔法使いは愛を唱えてEdit
[ As "love" disappears, the magician chants love ]Edit
When they play a tennis game together, Ema realizes that Wataru has gotten much stronger. Before, he’d lose even if she let him win on purpose… but their current score is 5-0, and he’s leading with 40-0 in their 6th game. Here, Wataru suddenly says Ema will become his lover if he can get one more point—shocking both her and Juli. It appears that Tsubaki told Wataru about how a perfect win will give him “love”, and Ema realizes that he’s talking about the “love” in tennis… though he doesn’t seem to know that it doesn’t mean romantic love LOL. That being said, Wataru is looking forward to become lovey-dovey with Ema. However, Juli won’t allow that to happen. He shrieks in rage and leaps to attack Wataru, who’s swinging his controller for a serve. Needless to say the controller smacks Juli in the face, and he faints with a small, bleeding cut on his forehead. Wataru’s failed serve gives Ema a point and cancels the “love game” he was trying to get, but his attention has completely shifted to Juli. After resting Juli on the sofa, Wataru takes the first aid kid and cleans the cut in a not-so-gentle way. Juli instantly opens his eyes, screams and tries to flee, but Wataru grabs him by the tail—saying that he’ll heal the squirrel. Just then Masaomi comes into the living room, asking what Wataru is doing. After learning about what happened, he praises Wataru for trying to take responsibility… but they can leave the rest to him now. He shivers upon seeing the blood on Juli’s forehead, but he carefully cleans the cut with alcohol and cotton. Before long, the blood stops coming out and Juli has completely stopped resisting. In fact, he’s narrowing his eyes in comfort. Ema thinks that Masaomi’s hands are just like a magician’s, and he also apologizes to her in Wataru’s behalf. He knows she would be sad if something happens to Juli, and he doesn’t want to see her grieving. (*’ｰ’*人*’ｰ’*)♪ When Masaomi puts his hands on her shoulders, Ema blushes and her heart starts racing. His lips draw closer to her ear as he leans in, and then he whispers: “I’m sorry… I can’t stand blood after all.” Σ(ﾟーﾟ；) Ema panics when Masaomi suddenly collapses, and she quickly asks Wataru to call someone. From the TV, a calm voice is heard: “Quitting game. Are you sure?” ｱﾋｬﾋｬ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀ヽﾟ)ﾟ｡´∀ヽﾟ)ﾟ｡ﾋｬﾋｬ
Side Iori & Fuuto: 台詞（ウソ）と笑顔（ワナ）に惑わされEdit
[ Tempted by lies and traps ]Edit
Several minutes before 9 PM, Ema is watching a drama with Iori. Fuuto soon appears on the TV screen, walking alone on the beach. Iori thinks his acting is really good, and Ema has to agree. Before, Fuuto told her that it’s quite difficult to do scenes that involve nothing more than walking or standing. In a way, it’s easy to do emotional scenes… but it’s different when they have to act “normal” as someone else. Despite the difficulty, Fuuto’s acting looks so natural and fits his role nicely. The scene is then followed by Iori and Ema’s appearance. When Iori smiles on the screen, Ema suddenly feels really embarrassed. She should’ve refused the request after all. Everything started around 2 months ago. Fuuto had a photoshoot session that day, but he overslept due to fatigue. His manager and the agency president came to pick him up in a hurry, and they were received by Iori. The president instantly took a liking on Iori’s looks, and he was asked to play the role of the older brother of Fuuto’s character. Iori agreed under the condition that he’s allowed to choose the girl who will play the role of the older brother’s girlfriend. The president was worried that he’d ask for a famous idol or actress, but he chose Ema—who was serving tea for them—instead. At first she wanted to refuse, but she couldn’t do it since the president was begging desperately. In the end, she agreed as long as they don’t give her any lines to memorize.Ema gets even more embarrassed when Fuuto starts seducing her in the drama, which is followed by an intense argument scene with Iori. While the older brother (Iori) won’t let anyone steal his girlfriend (Ema), the younger brother (Fuuto) is willing to risk his life just to snatch her away. Both of them were ad-libbing during this scene though, so Ema is surprised that they went with this version instead of the original one.As Ema is wishing for the scene to be over, she receives a call from Fuuto—who’s currently in Kyushu for work. He asks if she’s surprised to see the scene, explaining that he asked the director to use that version because Iori’s ad-lib was pretty good. However, Fuuto then says the real reason was because Ema looks beautiful in that version. He tells her that what he said back then weren’t scripted lines, because he really meant it… or not. He laughs and asks if she really fell for it, sarcastically calling her “princess” and tells her to keep on dreaming before ending the call. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ When Ema tells Iori about the reason behind the scene, he doesn’t think it’s because of his acting. He thinks it’s because she looks so beautiful, which is the same as what Fuuto said earlier. Ema blushes and flees to the kitchen. (。-∀-)ﾆﾋｯ♪
Side Hikaru & Natsume: 紫煙の中で嗤うジョーカーはEdit
[ The joker who laughs in the smoke ]Edit
One afternoon, Ema meets up with Natsume at JR Iidabashi Station. She apologizes for calling him on his day off, but she already bought something for him—a Valentine’s Day chocolate. (*’ｰ’*人*’ｰ’*)♪ As soon as he accepts it, they suddenly hear a voice saying he saw that… and a slender, long-haired man appears before them. He teases Natsume for getting a chocolate from a high school girl, but then he turns to Ema and asks for a chocolate as well. The man said it like it’s only obvious for her to do so, so Ema gets pissed and asks why she has to give a chocolate for a person whom she just met. The man laughs upon hearing this, and he takes fire from Natsume’s cigarette before the latter can say anything to Ema. Ignoring Natsume’s protests, the man asks if they want to go on a date with him. Natsume refuses saying he has plans, and the man jokingly asks if that means he can have Ema for himself. When he smiles, Ema thinks he looks just like a joker. As he touches her cheek, the man says he only wanted to tease Natsume since it seems like he has fallen in love with someone… but he finds Ema pretty cute. Ema is too surprised to say anything when the man asks her to date him instead of Natsume, promising to give her excitement everyday. The man draws closer saying he’ll kiss her if she keeps quiet, but then Natsume suddenly yanks his long hair and says: “Stop messing around! You went too far there, Hika-nii!” It takes a while until Ema realizes that the man is actually Hikaru. ﾌﾞ━｡:+((*´艸`))+:｡━ッ!! Hikaru laughs upon seeing Ema in confusion, and he takes his leave after telling Natsume to firmly hold onto her. Or else he’ll really snatch her away. (。-∀-)ﾆﾋｯ♪ As an apology for Hikaru’s actions, Natsume then invites Ema to have some tea with him. When she asks about his plans, he only says everything has been cancelled for today. Drawn by Natsume’s smile, Ema nods and follows him.
Side Tsubaki & Azusa & Natsume: 晴れるまで耐えてEdit
[ Endure it until cleared ]EditOn Friday night, Ema is spacing out while gaming in her room. She has no plans this weekend, and so it’s perfect for gaming all day… but she ran out of new games to play. Luckily for her, Natsume soon calls her saying he’s got a rare game sample. The game is famous in the west, and his company is going to release the Japanese version. She’s really interested in the game, but since it’s not released in the market yet… his company applied a strict policy. She needs to come to his place if she wants to play it. Natsume actually doesn’t think Ema would say yes, but she agrees to visit his apartment on Sunday. Sadly, Natsume’s happiness doesn’t last for long. Ema runs into Tsubaki and Azusa on her way out, and they decide to tag along since they want to play the game too. Totally not because they want to disturb Natsume’s time with Ema. Nope. ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ As soon as they reach Natsume’s room, Azusa asks him to buy some sandwich—saying that Tsubaki and him haven’t eaten anything since yesterday. He also tells Ema that Natsume always helps them despite being grumpy about it, and Natsume just can’t refuse because Ema seems really impressed LOL. As he goes out to buy their sandwich, Tsubaki also asks him to get some cat food since his cats won’t eat the one at home. When Natsume comes back, he finds the twins already playing the game with Ema. She got the top score while doing a tag battle with Azusa, and now she’s going to play with Tsubaki. Natsume had to go quite far since the cat food is sold out at the convenience store, so they decided to just start the game for Ema since he was taking so long. His bad luck doesn’t end there though, since Tsubaki the cat also messed up the work documents on his desk earlier. Ema feels bad and offers to help him organizing the documents, but Natsume asks her not to mind. She should just enjoy the game, though sadly he won’t be able to play it with her. Instead, Natsume calls Azusa to help him. It takes him all day to rewrite the contents, so in the end he doesn’t get any time to play with Ema. In the evening, Azusa goes out first to take out the car. Tsubaki plays with the cats while waiting, leaving Ema alone with Natsume. She feels really bad for today, but he thinks it might be divine punishment for trying to lure her with a game. (((壊ﾟ∀ﾟ)))ｧﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬﾋｬ However, Ema then asks if she can come to visit Natsume again. She’s really sad that they couldn’t play together, because he’s much better than Tsubaki and Azusa in action games. Upon hearing this, Natsume suddenly grabs Ema by the wrist and kisses her cheek—saying that her words have completely cleared his mind. ♪ﾟ+.ｏ(*萌´д`从´д`萌*)ｏ.+ﾟ♪ Ema is left speechless, and Tsubaki’s voice feels so distant when he informs her that the car has come.
Side Azusa & Iori: 苛立ちの理由をEdit
[ The reason of irritation ]Edit
On the way home from work, Azusa runs into Iori at a crosswalk. Azusa notices that Iori is carrying a lot of reference books and workbooks in a shopping bag, which are actually for Ema. Ukyou asked him to help with her studies before, so he bought a lot to figure out which one would fit her level. Iori is about to say something when the traffic light turns green, but Azusa pretends not to notice this and says goodbye. However, Iori suddenly asks if Azusa has some time to talk. Since he doesn’t have any plans, Azusa ends up walking home with Iori. Along the way, Iori says he has a question for Azusa—does he love Ema? Not as a family, but as a woman. Azusa doesn’t get where this is going, so he answers that he does love Ema as a sister. Iori slowly nods, saying that Azusa and him are the same after all. They’re different from their brothers who are busy fawning on her. When Azusa says that everyone might only see Ema as a family, Iori asks if that means their brothers will stop treating her like that if she’s not a part of their family anymore. For example, if their parents divorce. Azusa gets irked since he doesn’t get what Iori wants to say, so Iori explains that he’s starting to be aware of Ema. At first he only thought of her as a person who lives with them, but then something changed and appeared inside of him. He can’t figure out what this feeling is, so he tried observing his brothers to look for the answer… and he realized that Azusa is the same as himself. They didn’t think much about Ema at first, but they’re slowly changing. Iori asks Azusa to tell him the answer, and after a long silence… Azusa says this is ridiculous. It’s impossible for them to feel exactly the same way, and this is nothing but a mere misunderstanding on Iori’s part. After staring at Azusa for a while, Iori finally smiles and nods. He then goes home ahead since he’s got something to do, but Azusa is still feeling irritated even after he left. At the same time, Ema appears in his mind. That’s when he realizes that he got irked because Iori is starting to look at Ema in a different way. The word “jealousy” soon comes to his mind, but Azusa quickly brushes it off—deciding that he just got influenced by Iori. As he walks home, he tries to convince himself that this feeling will eventually vanish.
Side Ukyou & Natsume: 所有権はどちらにEdit
[ Where the ownership lies ]Edit
One evening, Natsume comes to Sunrise Residence with a game ROM for Ema. Some time ago, she asked if his company has any plans to localize a famous western action game. He doesn’t know if they’re going to pick it up, but one of his colleagues has the game. They gave up along the way due to its difficulty, so it was easy for him to borrow it. When Natsume enters the living room, Wataru comes running and flocks onto his leg. At the same time, Tsubaki gets up from the kitchen table and says his telepathy for Natsume really worked… because they were on the brink of death. After getting bombarded by two explanations at once, Natsume learns that Wataru and Tsubaki are both starving. Wataru only had a small portion lunch and Tsubaki didn’t get to eat any at all, but Ema is away and can’t cook for them. Ukyou then came to make something for them, but he suddenly collapsed with a high fever—most likely due to a cold. He’s now resting on the sofa, leaving the kitchen in a messy state. They would feel bad for Ukyou if they buy food from outside, and so they ask Natsume to cook for them. Natsume thinks there’s no point in staying here if Ema is away, but he just can’t abandon his brothers in hunger. Just as he takes the frying pan, Ukyou suddenly coughs and asks him to follow his instructions. Following Ukyou’s guidance, Natsume then makes “hamburger on top of grilled meat with rich sauce and grated potatoes” for Wataru and Tsubaki—who are extremely satisfied with the result. Once they’re done eating, Natsume washes the dishes while thinking about how nice it is to return home every once in a while. He realizes that he can just visit them without using “game delivery” as an excuse. After thanking Natsume for today, Ukyou wonders if he can leave the kitchen in Natsume’s hands. He’s been cooking for everyone with Ema in this kitchen, but maybe it’s about time for someone else to take over his role. However, Ukyou then adds that he’s just kidding. He says he won’t hand it over to anyone, and Natsume gets confused here. Is he talking about the kitchen? Or is it about the person who can stay with Ema? Putting that aside, Natsume asks if Ukyou wants to eat the porridge he made. Upon eating it, the first thing Ukyou says is that he can’t let Natsume take over the kitchen after all. The porridge is way too salty for him. Realizing that Ukyou was (probably) talking about the kitchen, Natsume bursts into laughter saying he was worried over nothing. Ukyou is confused and asks what’s so funny, but Natsume can’t seem to stop his laughter.
Side Tsubaki & Azusa: 家族のための甘い聖夜はEdit
[ Sweet Christmas Eve for family ]Edit
Since when did Christmas become a day for lovers? Christmas is initially a day to celebrate with family, giving presents to each other as a form of love. In that sense, Christmas in the Asahina family has always stayed with the initial form. When the twins were in elementary school, Tsubaki whined that their birthday always get a half-hearted celebration. Their birthday is on December 31 while Christmas is on December 25, but they only get one party. It’s unclear whether the party is for Christmas or for them, and so Tsubaki said he’ll buy presents and cakes for Azusa on Christmas. In return, Azusa will do something for Tsubaki on their birthday. However, the party is slightly different this year. Masaomi decided to celebrate Ema’s arrival in their family along with Christmas, so the twins are planning to buy a present for her. One week before Christmas, the city is filled with couples. Tsubaki sticks to Azusa even closer than all the couples out there, but knowing that Tsubaki wouldn’t let go of him… Azusa just ignores everyone’s stares as they visit an accessory shop. It’s pretty clear that people think of them as a couple though, including the shop clerk and all the girls inside. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ Once they return home, Tsubaki and Azusa give Ema the present they chose for her—a fancy bracelet with cupcake and ice cream charms. At first Azusa actually picked a ring with a cupcake design, while Tsubaki found one with an ice cream motif. As they were wondering about which ring to buy, they found the bracelet and went with that one instead. They get so happy when she puts it on and thanks them for it, and they feel that her existence in their family is really strong. After all, Christmas is a day to celebrate with your beloved family. After the party, Tsubaki and Azusa return to their rooms on the 4th floor—where they wish each other a Merry Christmas. They hand a small present box to each other at the same time, and inside they find the cupcake and ice cream rings they picked earlier. It seems like they were thinking of the same thing, and now they have matching accessories with Ema. (人´∀`)☆゜’・:* When Tsubaki jokingly asks if he can put it on his left ring finger, Azusa only sighs, tells him to do as he likes, and closes his door LOL.
Side Tsubaki & Azusa & NatsumeEdit
[ Early Days ]Edit
This story starts after Fuuto challenges his brother on TV during Ema’s graduation party. His provocation angered (almost) everyone, and Tsubaki leaves the living room to make a call. Azusa soon leaves as well, but he has no calls to make—he only wants to get out from the living room. Yesterday, both Tsubaki and Azusa were rejected by Ema. Azusa can see that Ema is starting to change, and they will have to accept it sooner or later… but he doesn’t want Fuuto to intervene. Azusa isn’t even sure if Fuuto is really interested in Ema, but he feels that Fuuto’s words do have some truth in them. When Azusa reaches the elevator hall, he finds Tsubaki standing there—lost in thought. It turns out that Tsubaki just had a call with the director of the anime he’s working on, and he requested a retake for the recording they had today. The director fell silent before eventually agreeing, so he’s wondering if it was a bad move. However, Azusa knows that Tsubaki has been working really hard recently. The director is also strict when it comes to acting skills, so Azusa answers that it must be the best option if Tsubaki thinks so. Upon hearing this, Tsubaki suddenly gets really worried. When Azusa doesn’t stop him, he can’t help but feel that he won’t be alright at all. Azusa is about to ask what he’s talking about, but then he remembers that he has seen Tsubaki’s troubled expression somewhere before. It was a long time ago, back when they were still in high school…Nine years ago, Azusa came home to find Ukyou in the kitchen. It was unusual, because Ukyou was busy studying for bar examination and often returned home late. If he’s at home, that means he had a reason to go home early… or something forced him to do so. In other words, trouble. Since Ukyou was frowning while reading something, Azusa knew it must be the latter. The document in his hands turned out to be a report of Tsubaki’s future career plans, sent by their school. Azusa had to submit the form too before, and he chose several courses in Aoyama University. It’s a part of their school—Aoyama Academy—so a lot of students decided to resume their education there. The problem was Tsubaki chose to enter a vocational school for seiyuu and musicians instead. Miwa actually put Tsubaki into Aoyama Academy because he probably would fail if he takes an entrance exam for other universities, not to mention his personality is… like that. Because of this, Ukyou didn’t think Tsubaki would be able to find a job in the future if he doesn’t attend a university.Since Tsubaki’s future is on the line, Ukyou asked Azusa to talk him out of it. Azusa was the only one who can do it. Ukyou would only get ignored, Masaomi would get convinced instead, Kaname probably didn’t have any rights to lecture Tsubaki, while Hikaru would find this amusing and might tell him to just go for it. ｡ﾟ(ﾟﾉ∀`ﾟ)ﾟ｡ｱﾋｬﾋｬ Before Azusa could argue, Natsume came home and entered the kitchen to get some food. As he took some bread from the shelf, he asked about the location of Aoyama High. It’s been quite a while since he last came to Aoyama Academy, and he couldn’t remember the locations at all. Up until junior high, Natsume was attending Aoyama Academy with Tsubaki and Azusa. On his third year, he got a sports recommendation to enter Kugayama High. Then he went there to focus on track and field. Sadly while he’s good at long-distance running, Natsume has absolutely no sense of directions. It’s so bad that Azusa thought he’d never reach the goal in marathon without leading cars. (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ When Natsume asked if he can take some eggs, Ukyou had to stop him since the eggs were for breakfast. Noticing that the conversation subject was about to change, Azusa called Ukyou to discuss further about Tsubaki… but then Ukyou suddenly received a call from his girlfriend. It’s the woman whose name is later revealed to be Amamiya Reiko. It seemed like Reiko wanted to meet up with Ukyou, so Azusa tried calling him again since they were drifting further away from the discussion. However, Ukyou only told Azusa not to disturb him. Reiko thought the words were directed at her and ended the call in anger, leaving Ukyou to glare at Azusa. It didn’t help that Azusa admitted that he just can’t like Reiko, and Ukyou just left after telling him to talk to Tsubaki—ending their discussion for real. Here, Natsume asked if Azusa wants to eat some sandwich. Azusa only got irked at how carefree he is though, so he refused and left too. For the next one week, Azusa couldn’t figure out how to tell Tsubaki about this. During an after school shopping trip to Shinjuku, Azusa finally decided to just ask if Tsubaki is really going to become a seiyuu. Tsubaki lightly nodded because he’s been saying it all this time. Ever since he was moved by that certain robot anime, he’s been planning to become a seiyuu all along. When Azusa explained that Ukyou saw his future plan report, Tsubaki apologized for dragging him into this issue… but Azusa didn’t mind. What he wanted to know is whether Tsubaki is serious or not. Tsubaki answered that he is. He wasn’t interested in going to a university either, since learning something he doesn’t like would be pointless. He’d rather use his time to do something that he actually likes. After hearing this, Azusa knew there was no reason to stop Tsubaki… so he nodded saying it must be the best option if Tsubaki thinks so. However, Tsubaki suddenly got really worried since he was half-expecting Azusa to stop him. Azusa believed that Tsubaki will really become a seiyuu, but Tsubaki never knew that he would feel so insecure when Azusa actually agrees with him. It was then when Tsubaki asked if Azusa wants to become a seiyuu as well. He didn’t have to answer right away, and he can think about it while attending university. Tsubaki promises to support Azusa if he manages to become a seiyuu by then, and he knew that working with Azusa would be the best. Azusa agreed just to make Tsubaki happy, but back then… he didn’t think about becoming a seiyuu at all. Back in the present, Azusa picks Tsubaki up at the recording studio. Tsubaki did a flawless job, and the director was really pleased with the result. He’s glad that he went for it, and in the end it’s just like what Azusa said—his opinion led to the best option. Tsubaki admits that he gets worried whenever Azusa says those words, but they also give him confidence at the same time. Today, Tsubaki also realized something. Azusa is always watching over him and giving him corrections, so he gets worried if Azusa doesn’t do it… but for the first time, he realized that his opinions are acceptable too sometimes. It’s not the first time for Azusa though. It happens all the time. Tsubaki has always opened the path in all the turning points of his life, and he’s only following along. Tsubaki was the one who asked him to try taking a seiyuu audition, which eventually led him to his current job. The same goes for his feelings towards Ema. Azusa didn’t feel anything for Ema at first, but then he watched how Tsubaki fell in love with her… and he got drawn to her as well. For all his life, Azusa has been walking forward while looking at Tsubaki’s back. However, Azusa knows this can’t go on forever. Tsubaki keeps moving on as a seiyuu, and even Ema is trying to change. He can’t keep living his life the same way. After Ema’s rejection, Azusa’s feelings for her actually grows even stronger… and he knows it’s the same for Tsubaki. Having a relationship with Ema means denying Tsubaki’s feelings at the same time, so Azusa only has one option. He’ll become a person who can get Tsubaki to bless their relationship. As he enjoys the evening breeze, Tsubaki asks Azusa to speed up the car. Azusa usually drives safely, but today he smiles and steps on the gas pedal.
Side Tsubaki & Azusa: 夏の一瞬、譲れない恋を知るEdit
[ A moment of summer, finding love one can't give up on ]Edit
On the day of a memorial event, Azusa visits Tsubaki in the latter’s dressing room. Azusa has another job today, but he dropped by to see Tsubaki and watch the event for a bit. It’s an event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Tsubaki’s favorite robot anime, and Tsubaki feels really nervous. Since he’s the MC, it’d be his fault if there are any failures… not to mention he also invited Ema to watch the event. However, Azusa thinks it’s the other way around. Azusa thinks it’s impressive that Tsubaki can voice the main character of his favorite anime, got chosen to be the MC for its anniversary event, AND invite the girl he loves to see it. This is a perfect chance to impress Ema, and the Tsubaki he knows wouldn’t let this chance slip by. After hearing this, Tsubaki realizes that he’s actually not nervous. He’s scared. He feels stupid for getting scared when his dreams have been fulfilled, but now he feels a bit more relaxed too. Azusa smiles when Tsubaki thanks him, but Tsubaki notices that somehow… Azusa looks a bit lonely. When Azusa is about to leave, Tsubaki notices something strange. Both of them are in love with Ema, so why did Azusa give him so much encouragement…? Azusa’s expression turns sharp as he tells Tsubaki not to misunderstand. He doesn’t want to see Tsubaki making a mistake in such an important event, but this is different. Azusa has no intentions of giving up on Ema. Just then a staff comes to call Tsubaki, and so Azusa takes his leave. Tsubaki is surprised. Did Azusa ever state his feelings so clearly before…? Does this mean he really has to fight Azusa over Ema…? Tsubaki closes his eyes for a while, and then he walks onto the stage. He feels surprisingly calm, as if his fear from earlier was nothing more than a lie.
Side Hikaru & Louis
[ Real Face ]
One afternoon, Hikaru comes home from university to visit Louis’s room. He bought several fashion primer books for Louis, all compiled by a famous designer. These books are like a bible for those who are aspiring to become a stylist… and Louis is no exception. In return, Hikaru has a request for him: “Help me to turn into a woman.” ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ At first Louis says it’s impossible since it’s Masaomi’s field of expertise, but then again Masaomi is still an intern. He might have to go overseas—like Morocco. Hikaru bursts into laughter and explains that he’s not talking about surgery. He only wants to look like a woman through make-up and fashion. In other words, crossdressing. After observing Hikaru for a while, Louis says he should be able to do it. Hikaru already borrowed some clothes and a wig from his female friends, so all that’s left is for Louis to transform him into a woman. It all started when Hikaru read a documentary of a female lawyer who was working for a crime syndicate. She gained a lot of profit through information trading, and she’s dangerous enough that the boss of that syndicate had to cooperate with the police to get her arrested—admitting his crimes in return. She could go that far because she’s a good, smart lawyer, but Hikaru notice that the main reason was because she’s a woman. The underworld has an overwhelming number of men, and most of them treat beautiful ladies as a symbol of high status as well. This is a really good way to gather information needed to write a story about criminals, but sadly Hikaru can’t use this method because he’s a man. That is, until he learned the term “androgynous” from Greek philosophy at university. This gave him the idea of turning into a woman when necessary, then revert back into a man once he’s done. After Louis is done styling, Hikaru is satisfied with the result and decides to test out the disguise. He doesn’t think he can pull off a woman’s voice yet though, so he asks Rui to pretend to be his boyfriend and speak for him when needed. Their first victim is Yusuke, who blushes and runs away when Hikaru (through Louis) says that he’s so cool. The second target is Natsume, who goes ･･･(ﾟ□ﾟ ) and only blushes after Hikaru pokes his nose LOL. Everyone in the shopping arcade seem to believe that they’re a couple as well, and they return home to find Masaomi on the 5th floor. Hikaru doesn’t think Masaomi’s reaction would be that interesting though. He was hoping they would find Kaname instead, but when Louis introduces him as his girlfriend…
Masaomi: “Eh… ah, okay.”
Masaomi: “…but Louis, why is Hikaru your girlfriend?”
Hikaru: ∑(ﾟ□ﾟ )!!!
While the disguise fooled everyone else, Masaomi says it’s Hikaru no matter how they look at it. Hikaru is shocked and wonders if it’s because Masaomi is a doctor, but Masaomi says it’s more because they’re a family. After all, he’s been looking after his younger brothers for a long time. Realizing that he completely underestimated Masaomi, Hikaru suddenly laughs and thanks him for showing how deep humans are. Of course Masaomi doesn’t get what he means, but it doesn’t matter. The failure has set Louis' artist spirit on fire as well, so he drags Hikaru to redo the make-up in his room. Despite this, Hikaru actually feels satisfied. For him, the best enjoyment comes from peeling off the “masks” people wear in their daily lives—revealing the real face underneath.