Two Old friends
Keiko and Chiho's conditions improved greatly much faster than the doctors could believe. Keiko was now rid of her infections and the MDMA, and Chiho's lungs were healthy again. It was now early December and Keiko and Chiho were being released at last, and going their separate ways.
Monday December 6th
"Congratulations on your discharge!" Yutaka exclaimed as he, several nurses and Ushio came to see them off
"Arigato." Chiho replied
"We need to go back to school now, but you just focus on getting better so you can go back to school too." said Keiko, ruffling his hair "And say goodbye to Watanabe-san for us."
"Let's go, kiddos. You don't wanna be late for your first day back." said Chiho's mom
"Be tactful, will ya?" said Mito, who was going to drive Keiko, Yuki and Saito to school
"Try not to overexert yourselves." said Ushio as Keiko, Yuki and Saito got in Mito's car, and Chiho in her mother's
Partway down the road, Chiho and her mother took a different route, as Chiho went to Tsujido High.
"Oh, right, Keiko, here's your phone back." said Mito when they stopped at a red light
"Arigato." Keiko replied, taking her phone back from Mito, then taking the small bag with her jewelry out of her skirt pocket
"You didn't put those back on when Nao-san gave them back to you?" Yuki asked
"The hospital staff wouldn't let me." Keiko replied as Saito put her necklace on her
"You two are such a good couple." said Mito, watching what Saito was doing from her rearview mirror with jealousy "I want a husband too."
"That's gotten old." said Saito, putting Keiko's ring on her ring finger
"Fine, fine. Oh, just a little prior notice, you kids can spend Christmas how you want, but the Aizawas, Mai and Yusha included, and Shirayukis are gathering at the Aizawa home for New Year's. Yuki-chan, you and your father are welcome too."
"Christmas is a time for couples, but you can't have New Year's without the whole family." said Keiko
"When you say 'family', Kei-chan and Saito-kun are dating so both families are as good as one, but are my father and I included in your 'family'?"
"Of course. And Keiko."
"Try to convince Hiroki to invite Saki-chan out for Christmas and to the New Year's gathering. You know how unconfident he is where she's concerned."
"Gotcha!" Keiko replied with a thumbs-up
Right then, Saito received a text from Ushio
"Keiko may have fully recovered, but try to restrain yourself from any erotic plays for about a month." the text said
"I don't need you to tell me that." Saito muttered as he replied
"What was that?" Keiko inquired
"Nothing!" Saito said hastily
Fifteen minutes later, they arrived at the gates of Enoshima. After parting ways with Mito, the three first years proceeded to class. Along the way, Keiko was greeted with an enthusiastic "Welcome back!" by almost everyone she passed. Finally they arrived at Class 1-C.
"Keiko Aizawa is back and fully recovered!" Keiko announced to the class, followed by an applause as she took her seat.
"You really had us worried for a while you know." said Yuzuki as Keiko took her seat
"On behalf of the rest of the team, sorry for the lack of visits all last month." said Miho
"Don't worry about it." Keiko replied with a smile
"With that done..." said their substitute teacher "We'll all go down for the weekly morning assembly. They'll be announcing our new principal."
"Who we getting this time?" Eikichi asked
"Hopefully someone decent." said the class rep.
"Someone decent is right." said Chloe to her fellow team members "Hopefully, that person has a clean record."
At the assembly;
"Welcome back to school, boys and girls." said the vice-principal "First off, the announcement of our new principal. As Principal Shirayuki's true colors were revealed after his arrest, along with the torment he brought to a particular student," Keiko felt a few eyes turn to her at this "the newly appointed members of our school board and PTA were a little more careful with their selection."
"I bet they were." Tsukasa said to Suzuka
"So now, let me introduce our new principal." the vice-principal continued "Some of you may have heard his name. Please welcome back to Enoshima High... Teppei Iwaki, former teacher, and former coach of our boys soccer team."
There was a loud round of applause as the vice-principal stepped away from the mic, and Iwaki stepped up
"That's him alright." Keiko thought as Iwaki prepared to speak "I haven't seen him since my debut match with Nadeshiko Japan against Greece. Now he's our principal. Papa'll be happy to hear this."
"Arigato, arigato." said Iwaki as the applause died down "Arigato, min'na. It's great to be back. Before I left, my years at Enoshima were precious, both when I was student here, and when I became a teacher and coach. I saw many young men and women grow and make something of themselves. Some went on to other careers, while a few stayed behind to pass on what they learned. One of my former students even founded your Girl's Soccer Team. Seeing all these new faces here in our great school brings me joy, and I am happy to be given the opportunity to be part of it again. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you." Iwaki finished his greeting speech with a bow, which was met with applause.
Later at lunch;
"Come in." said Iwaki, in response to a knock on the door of his office, and in walked Keiko. "Keiko-chan, what a pleasant surprise."
"I just had an odd feeling of Déjà vu. But I know you're an honest man." Keiko replied as she sat in one of the armchairs
"What brings you here? Shouldn't you be eating lunch with your friends?"
"I just wanted to talk with you. I never really had a proper one with you last time we met, nor did I properly thank you for the advice."
"You don't need to thank me for anything. I was just trying to give my former student's daughter some encouragement."
"Hehehe, once a coach, always a coach."
"You got me there." They both laughed at that "Anyway, I'm ever so sorry for what my predecessor did to you. And I'm so sorry about Kakeru-kun's condition. I can only imagine how hard it's been for you."
"Don't apologize. I've already come to terms with it, now I just have to prepare myself for it." Keiko told Iwaki
"Don't give up yet!" said Iwaki "He's a world famous player. Surely there must be someone out there who can help him."
"Forgive me if I'm not optimistic."
"Well, have more optimism. Surely you don't want your new baby brother to grow up without ever knowing his father."
"You knew about Mai and Yusha?" Keiko inquired
"I'm still in contact with many of my former students and associates." Iwaki told her
"Alright girls, we have an announcement to make." said Suzuka, flanked by her fellow third years, to the team at the gathering in the clubroom "As of today, us third years are retiring."
"Already!" several second years exclaimed
"It's too soon." said a couple of first years
"Now, now." said Tsukasa "There are no more competitions to train for, so this team is in no hurry for anything."
"But it's December now, and it's time for us to finish working towards graduating and preparing for college entrance exams." said Miki "Nagisa especially."
"Hmph!" Nagisa went, but she would have no trouble graduating this year
"Anyway." Suzuka continued "Since this is our last day here, it's time for me to pass captainship. Since Yukari is my only underclassman sub-captain, I'm passing captaincy to her." Suzuka beckoned Yukari forward and handed her the captain's armband while the rest of the team applauded
"Arigato, arigato." said Yukari as the applause died down, then turned back to Suzuka "Is it alright if I pick my sub-captain's now?"
"Not my call. You're captain now." Suzuka replied
"In that case... my first sub-captain, from my year... Haruhi, you're it."
"You can count on me." Haruhi replied with a thumbs-up
"And my second sub-captain, from the first years... Keiko, you're it."
"Right!" Keiko said, before realizing what she was agreeing to "Wait.... What?!" The look on everyone's face told her that they wouldn't take no for an answer "Great."
"Don't let us down, Kei-chan." said Yuki
"Let's get along, partner." said Haruhi, throwing an arm around Keiko
"Diese Kinder nie aufhören, mich zu überraschen. [These kids never cease to amaze me.]" Mina muttered to herself in German
I can't believe I'm a sub-captain now." said Keiko as they entered warm Sakagami "That almost assuredly means that I'll be captain come our third year."
"They must have a lot of faith in you." said Saito
"More like they're over relying on me again."
"Worry about it when the time comes." said Yuki as she broke from them and entered her room
Keiko and Saito went to their room on the third floor
"It's good to be back." said Keiko as Saito reached for the door handle
"What the..." said Saito. before he could put the key in, he felt the handle wasn't locked and opened it "I thought I locked it."
"Maybe you forgot." said Keiko, as they entered
They closed the door, but before they could remove their shoes they noticed an unfamiliar boy sitting at their table reading a magazine.
"Yo! Molto tempo che non ci vediamo, Fratello. [Yo! Long time no see, Bro.]" said the boy in Italian which only Saito understood
"Sì, non scherzo! [Yeah, no kidding!]" Saito replied in Italian as well as he and Keiko came in "Che ci fai qui comunque, Romeo? Aspetta, come stai persino qui? [What are you doing here anyway, Romeo? Wait, how are you even here?]"
"Abbiamo detto alla alloggiatore siamo stati tuoi amici, così ci ha lasciato dentro [We told the landlord we were your friends, so he let us in.]" Romeo replied "Buona cosa ha capito italiana. [Good thing he understood Italian.]"
"Questo non è quello che intendevo! Aspetta, "siamo"? [That's not what I meant! Wait, "we"?]"
"Saito, who is this guy? And what the heck are you two saying?!" Keiko asked. But before Saito could reply, a naked girl ran out of their bath and hugged Saito
"Hi!" the girl exclaimed, hugging Saito naked "Vi siete persi me? [Did you miss me?]"
"J-Juliet!?" Saito stuttered, the girl's fairly large breasts pressing against his chest
Keiko wanted to say something, but she was so shocked her voice was stuck in her throat
"Mi sei mancato. [I missed you.]" Juliet said before kissing Saito on the lips, shocking them
Keiko had had enough and forced them apart
"Keep your lips off my boyfriend!" Keiko exclaimed as pushed Juliet to the floor
"Ow! Che cosa era che per? E chi sei tu? [What was that for? And who are you?]"
"I don't know what you're saying!"
"Solo Giapponesi? [Only Japanese?]" Juliet inquired, unable to understand what Keiko was saying
"Ehi, Saito, chi è la ragazza? [Hey, Saito, who's the girl?]" Romeo asked, getting up and coming over to them
"Lei è la mia ragazza. Lei vive anche qui. [She's my girlfriend. She lives here too.]" Saito told them
"Oh! Ahem... oppai?" Romeo asked holding out his hand for Keiko to shake, but Keiko just slapped him across the face
"Chloe's French was bad enough, but this!? How many foreigners does God have to crowd around me before he's satisfied. One of them even kissed Saito!" Keiko exclaimed, starting to shed a few tears
"Keiko, calm down!" Saito exclaimed with his hands on Keiko's shoulders, trying to calm his girlfriend down
"È stato qualcosa che ho detto? [Was it something I said?]" Romeo asked Juliet, who shrugged uncertainly
After Keiko calmed down, Saito introduced them as siblings Romeo and Juliet Abbatucci, his childhood friends from his years in Italy. The three old friends then sat at the table to talk while Keiko sat on the bed while hugging a pillow.
"Mi dispiace per la reazione della mia ragazza. [Sorry about my girlfriend's reaction.]" Saito apologised
"Non ti preoccupare, amico. [Don't worry about it, buddy.]" Romeo replied, rubbing the side of his face that Keiko slapped "Ma, l'uomo, lei colpisce duro. [But, man, she hits hard.]"
"Mi dispiace per il bacio. [Sorry about the kiss.]" said Juliet, now dressed again "Ero un poco più di emozionato, e non sapevo che avuto un fidanzata. [I was a little over excited, and I didn't know you had a girlfriend.]" Juliet glanced at Keiko, who was scowling at her "Ho la sensazione signorina Keiko non ama noi. [I get the feeling miss Keiko doesn't like us.]"
"Che cosa ci si può aspettare? [What can you expect?]" Saito asked "Non voi avete esattamente darle una buona prima impressione. [You didn't exactly give her a good first impression.]"
"All I fatto è stato darle un saluto, e lei mi ha schiaffeggiato. [All I did was give her a greeting, and she slapped me.]" said Romeo
"Quella parola significa 'tette' in Giapponese. [That word means 'boobs' in Japanese.]" Saito corrected him
"Sei un idiota. [You're an idiot.]" Juliet told her brother
"Comunque, devo sapere, che cosa voi due facendo qui? [Anyway, I have to know, what are you two doing here?]"
Romeo and Juliet looked at each other before answering "Abbiamo scappati da casa. [We ran away from home.]" they said in unison
"Huh?" Saito replied after a short pause
"Non potevamo sopportare la nostra famiglia più, così abbiamo scappata di casa. [We couldn't stand our family anymore, so we ran away from home.]" Romeo told him
"COSA!? [WHAT!?]" Saito exclaimed
"What, what'd he say?!" Keiko asked, but nobody answered
"Voi due venuto tutto la via da Venezia, Italia a Kamakura, Giappone? Questo è al di là di scappare! [You two came all the way from Venice, Italy to Kamakura, Japan? That is beyond running away!]" said Saito
"Non abbiamo avuto chiunque di poterci fidare, e sapevamo dove eravate. [We didn't have anyone we could trust, and we knew where you were.]" Romeo told him
"Ed per questo che si due venuto a me? [And that's why you two sought me out?]"
"Sì. [Yes.]" said Juliet "Così, possiamo restare qui per un po '? Graziosa piacere? [So, can we stay here for awhile? Pretty please?]"
Saito sighed and turned to Keiko for her opinion before answering "These two ran away from home and have no place to go. Can they stay here for a while?"
Keiko at first wanted to give them a big no, but knowing they were Saito's friends, and the position they were in, she couldn't bring herself too. "As long as they give us our privacy when we ask for it, they can stay a bit."
Saito smiled and turned back to his friends
"Che cosa ha detto? Nessuno di noi capire Giapponese. [What did she say? Neither of us understand Japanese.]" said Romeo
"Appena ci danno la nostra informativa sulla quando chiediamo per essa, e voi due può rimanere. [Just give us our privacy when we ask for it, and you two can stay.]" Saito replied
"Grazie così tanto! [Thank you so much!]" Juliet exclaimed, jumping up and hugging Keiko, much to her discomfort
"When did I get so soft?" Keiko thought
"Grazie, amico. [Thanks, buddy.]" said Romeo
"Nessun problema. [No problem.]" Saito replied "Ed, Juliet? [And, Juliet?]"
"Sì? [Yes?]" Juliet replied, still hugging Keiko
"Cosa stavi facendo nel bagno quando siamo tornati? [What were you doing in the bath when we came back?]"
"Stavo cercando di fare una doccia, ma niente acqua è venuto fuori. [I was trying to take a shower, but no water came out.]"
Saito inspected the bath and the kitchen faucet and concluded that there was no running water. He asked Haruto what the problem was, and told them that a few water pipes in the basement were undergoing repairs, causing the above floors, save for the public baths which drew in water from a separate source, to be without water for a few days. The only way the residents could get a bath was in the public baths.
"Giapponesi terme pubbliche sono i migliori! [Japanese public baths are the best!]" said Juliet as she did a furo with Keiko, Miyuki and Natsumi in the public baths later
"To think Saito-kun had a couple friends leftover from his Italian years." said Natsumi
"Lo sapevate che ho usato per fare il bagno con Saito quando eravamo più giovani? [Did you know I used to take baths with Saito when we were younger?]" Juliet asked Keiko. Unable to understand a word Juliet was saying, Keiko wrote "I don't know Italian" in English on the fogged mirror before applying shampoo to her hair "Oh... Do you speak English?" Juliet asked, surprising the three of them
"Secondary language." Keiko replied
"Okay. I said I used to take baths with Saito when we were younger."
"What?! Saito, how close to this girl were you back in Italy?!" Keiko demanded, calling to the men's side
"Not that close, I swear!" Saito called back
"Keiko-chan, calm down." said Miyuki
"Yeah, you just got out of the hospital." said Natsumi "No need get worked up over the past and strain yourself back into it."
"What did they say?" Juliet asked
"They asked me not to get so worked up, since I just got out of the hospital."
"What were you in the hospital for?"
"I'd rather not say."
"Alright. But at least let me say this."
"I do love Saito, but he's clearly head over heels for you. No need to worry about me gettin' in the way."
Keiko didn't know whether to feel relieved or not.
On the men's side, Saito, Romeo and Akira were already in the big tub
"Onestamente! Juliet non è cambiato affatto! [Honestly! Juliet hasn't changed at all!]" said Saito
"Tranne lei è diventata una cattolica devota dopo l'ultima lei ha visto. [Except she's become a devoted Catholic since you last saw her.]" said Romeo
"Per vero? [For real?]"
"Già. Lei anche i sogni del divenire la prima donna Papa della Città del Vaticano. [Yeah. She even dreams of becoming the first female Pope of Vatican City.]"
"Mai accadendo. [Never happening.]"
"Questo è quello che le ho detto. [That's what I told her.]" Romeo assured "Ma nonostante la fede, è ancora il tipico moderna ragazza adolescente. [But despite her faith, she's still your typical modern-day teenage girl.]"
"Questo è così? [Is that so?]" Saito inquired
"I don't understand a word these two are saying!" Akria thought
"E a proposito di ragazze adolescenti, che Keiko ragazza? [And speaking of teenage girls, that Keiko girl?]"
"Che dire di lei? [What about her?]" Saito inquired
"Quante volte alla settimana si sta facendo con lei? [How many times a week are you doing it with her?]" Romeo asked, and Saito reacted animatedly
"What did he say to make Saito-kun react like that?" Akira thought
"Quel ... questo è affar tuo, Romeo! [That... that's none of your business, Romeo!]" Saito replied
"Un po 'da quella reazione. [Quite a bit from that reaction.]"
"Non voglio negare che ... ma lei appena stato rilasciato dall'ospedale questa mattina, quindi non possiamo fare qualcosa per circa un altro mese. [I won't deny that... but she just got released from the hospital this morning, so we can't do anything for about another month.]" Saito told him "Anche perché voi due vive con noi, per ora. [Also because you two are living with us for now.]"
"Did those two just have a perverted discussion or something?" Akira thought
Later after dinner, it was now bedtime.
"Eh... why are you and Juliet both taking the bed?" Saito asked, seeing that Keiko and Juliet were both on the bed
"Because you and I can't sleep together while these two are here, and gentlemen would sleep on the floor." Keiko replied, thankful Saito's friends couldn't understand her
"Andiamo, amico, liberare le ragazze da solo e diamo colpire il sacco. [Come on, buddy, leave the girls alone and let's hit the sack.]" said Romeo, getting in one of the futons without question
"Notte notte. [Night night.]" said Juliet, and they all laid down to sleep at that
Never having guests sleep over since they moved in, Keiko was a little uneasy and couldn't fall asleep, despite her many attempts to. After almost two hours, she was finally losing her patience.
"This is ridiculous!" Keiko thought "I slept without Saito for more than a month, why can't I fall asleep now? And what is that squishing sound?"
"Quindi... bene.... [So... good....]" Keiko heard Juliet mutter
Keiko sat up to see what the commotion was and saw that Juliet was masturbating in her sleep.
"What a pervert! So much for being a devoted Catholic. She even said that prayer to 'the lord' before we ate." Keiko looked over at Saito on the floor and saw that he seemed peacefully asleep. Unable to hold herself back anymore, she crept out of bed and laid down next to Saito
"Can't sleep either?" Saito whispered, surprising Keiko. The both of them got up, put their jackets on, and went out to the veranda "Already December isn't it?" said Saito as they stepped out into the cold late-fall night. It was already cold enough that they could see their breaths
"Time sure flies." Keiko replied, closing the glass door behind them "Saito... I really wanted to be alone with you, but these two old friends of yours just popped out of nowhere. I'm really not comfortable."
"I understand. But these two are really dear to me. Romeo introduced me to the art world, and he's a talented artist himself. And Juliet... well she's Juliet. They're my best friends." Saito noticed the look on Keiko's face "Of course the girl I love is you and you alone!" Saito said hastily "And I really wanted to be alone with you too. But things never happen the way we want."
"I know that! But I really wanted you to myself tonight, and I wanted to say 'no' at once when they asked to stay."
"I thought so."
"I know they're your friends so I couldn't just say 'no'. Forgive me for saying this, but...."
"Just spit it out."
"Then I'll be blunt.... I want them gone!"
"Saito, I've been stuck in the hospital for more than a month with very little freedom. I think I've earned the right to be a little selfish."
"I understand." Saito replied, putting an arm around Keiko "Mom knows them too, so I'll ask her tomorrow and see if she can't put them up for a while. Just be patient a little bit longer."
"(sigh) I'll do my best."
Having come to an understanding, the young couple embraced and had their first kiss in more than a month.
"Quei due rendono una bella coppia tale. [Those two make such a good couple.]" Romeo and Juliet thought at the same time, eying them with one eye open each.