The Little Devil in Blue :Previous Chapter«Home Page»Next Chapter: Friendly - England vs. Japan

A New Couple

Sunday November 11

6:40 PM GMT

After everyone was done at Old Trafford for the day, the Manchester United players were escorted by bus to the Lowry Hotel in Salford where they left their cars. From there, they could go back home and back their loved ones, or just hang around together a little longer. At the very moment the players got off the bus, Nana received a text message on her mobile phone. The message said: "It's about Noriko. I need your help to convince her of something. Come back to your place ASAP. -Sarah."

"Sorry, guys. I have to take care of something at home with Noriko and Sarah. See you later." Nana said.

"Oh, well... See you later." Yusuke replied.

"Oh, Kakeru, keep your phone turned on just in case. I will take the SUV. You think you can manage with Yusuke driving?" Nana said.

"Sure. I will see you later." Kakeru replied.

From there, Nana parted ways with Kakeru and Yusuke. The drive from the Lowry hotel to West Didsbury only took 15 minutes. 'I really wonder what Sarah meant by needing my help.' Nana thought as she got off her vehicle, and walked inside the apartment.

"I'm home. Good evening, Sarah."

"Good timing, Nana. I'm glad you came because..." Sarah replied before she was interrupted.

"I gave you my answer, and it will stay that way! It's 'NO!'" Noriko shouted from inside the apartment.

"Noriko! What is going on here?" Nana asked in Japanese.

"I already told Sarah that I can't do something like this, Nana. I don't want to embarrass myself."

"What's embarrassing?" Nana asked.

"I know you want to have that conversation, but I would appreciate if you can keep it in English for me to understand as well." Sarah said.

"Okay. First of all, I start with Sarah. Sarah... What happened at the beginning of this? What did you two say?" Nana asked.

"Right after the match against Chelsea, Noriko asked me to come here so we can have a talk in private. When we got here, Noriko told me that she wants to find a way to confess her feelings to Yusuke Saeki. But she also told me that she doesn't know how to do so. Listen... I already guessed for a while now that Noriko has the hots for him. So what I said to Noriko was that she better make him taste the Manchester nightlife in order to create that opportunity to confess."

"And obviously, Noriko, you don't agree." Nana said.

"No, I don't." Noriko sternly replied.

"Why?" Nana asked.

"Because I know absolutely nothing about clubbing. I have never done something like that, and I don't intend to get myself embarrassed in public." Noriko replied.

"You are just too uptight with yourself outside of football. Just loosen up, girl! You're missing something big if you two don't enjoy a taste of nightlife in Manchester - arguably one of the best party hotspots in the world." Sarah replied.

"Sarah's right: you work really hard with everything in your life, perhaps a little too hard. Trust me. Letting it loose make it easier for you to confess to Yusuke when the time is right." Nana said.

"How is clubbing going to make any difference here about how Yusuke would look at me?" Noriko asked.

"I asked myself that same question a few years ago when I went clubbing for the first time. There is a world of difference." Nana replied.

"What do you mean?" Noriko asked.

"Kakeru and I never said it to anybody before, but going to a night club for the first time was the best thing we ever did to spice things up in our relationship even when we were already a couple."

"When did you do that? I'm sure it wasn't during high school." Sarah asked.

"We just had a rough year in 2013-14, and the mood wasn't always good on and off the pitch back then. We both needed a breather after the U21 season, so we took a vacation week in Montreal, Canada. One of my old female friends from the United States told me that one of the things I must do in Montreal was to go clubbing with my boyfriend on a Saturday night. So Kakeru and I went for one after visiting the city during the day. After a drink or two, we danced for a while, and we had lots of fun. After a moment, I saw a bright spark in Kakeru's eyes, and we kissed each other in the middle of the dancing crowd. All the worries and all the bad things... those were all behind us. For one moment, it was just the two of us. It was like falling in love all over again. Since then, our relationship became more mature and more intense in the right way."

"That's nice, but what is the secret?" Noriko asked.

"In 3 steps: 1) relax and enjoy the moment as it comes, 2) trust your instincts, and 3) forget about everything else. Every time Kakeru and I go to a night club since our relationship became public, we enjoy the same feeling we felt back then in that vacation" Nana replied.

"Just as I said: loosen up." Sarah added.

"If that might help, I will go with you at the club when we go out. Kakeru will make sure Yusuke comes with us over there. If something goes wrong in the night, Kakeru and I will be there." Nana said.

Noriko took a long minute to ponder everything she was just told by her friends. She was still not fully comfortable yet about the idea of going to a night club, but it was difficult to go against words of experience coming from her two best friends. Furthermore, the thought of confessing to Yusuke was still stronger than anything else in her mind. Finally, Noriko gave in.

"(Sighs) I... I will try." Noriko replied. "Where and when are we going?"

"For tonight, it would be difficult. However, I think tomorrow night would be a perfect opportunity before Kakeru and Yusuke join the national team in Carrington on Tuesday. About the place, there's a night club in Deansgate Locks where they have Monday nights open." Nana said.

"I know where that is; it's a very good place. On Monday nights, the DJs play the best house and electronic dance music. Plus, drink prices on Mondays are just amazing." Sarah added.

"If you say so. But I'm still nervous thinking about it because I never danced with a guy in my life." Noriko said.

"Kakeru and I will get on the dance floor really quickly, so you can see how it's done. Make sure both Yusuke and you follow the same rhythm together. Still, the most important thing is to maintain eye contact with him. When your eyes connect with his, you start building up that chemistry." Nana replied.

"One last thing... I don't have anything to wear for clubbing."

"Okay, keeping the dress code in mind, you have those black wedge sandals and blue jeans; it's perfect for the lower body. And I think Sarah also has something in mind for the upper body, Noriko." Nana said.

"My place is only 4 blocks from here. So give me some time to pick up my clubbing tops, and come back here so we can find one that fits you well. I will let you borrow the top for the occasion. We are the same size after all." Sarah added.

"I guess my short-term fate is in your hands then. I trust both of you on this." Noriko replied.

"I will text Kakeru about tomorrow night." Nana finished.

In a matter of seconds, Nana's text message was sent to Kakeru. Somewhere in Downtown Manchester, Kakeru and Yusuke were still hanging around with a few other teammates. After Kakeru read the contents of the text message, he immediately realized the true intention behind the night out proposal.

"What is it?" Yusuke asked.

"Nana just wrote me to say that she planned a clubbing night with all three of us and Noriko for tomorrow night." Kakeru replied.

"On the last night of freedom before we join the national team, I will take that. What time will that be?"

"10:00 PM. You will have a taste of nightlife in Manchester if you want to."

"That sounds cool, Kakeru. I'm in." Yusuke replied.

"Good. I will text Nana to say that we're both in." Kakeru finished.

Monday November 12

West Didsbury, Manchester, UK

9:15 PM GMT

On the following day, Kakeru, Nana, and Noriko spent the day working on clinical duties almost as usual. Meanwhile, Yusuke continued studying a little on one of his long-distance economics classes. However, everyone was eagerly anticipating the night out that was planned for the upcoming evening. Around 9:15 PM, Kakeru and his friends were getting prepared for the evening.

"I know I tried this top yesterday, but I still feel nervous about wearing it for some reason." Noriko said as she and Nana were getting dressed.

"I know how you feel. I was also nervous when I wore my first clubbing outfit knowing Kakeru would stare at it." Nana replied.

"How did you manage to get over the nervousness?"

"I did the same thing I do every time I get on the pitch: when the action starts, you stick to your plan, and nothing else around matters."

"I see." Noriko said before she looked at the different lipsticks available. "Which one do you think I should use?"

"For your skin tone, I think this particular red will do the trick." Nana replied as she picked the red lipstick out of Noriko's hands. "Go ahead."

"Thanks, Nana."

Minutes later, Yusuke rang the doorbell, and was greeted by Kakeru at the doorstep. Both men were already dressed for the night.

"Hi, Kakeru."

"Hi, Yusuke. Ready to have some fun tonight?"

"I can't wait to taste the Manchester nightlife people talk so much about. Are the ladies ready?"

"I'm sure they are about to get everything done up there." Kakeru said as he turned his gaze towards the stairs. "Ah! There they are."

"I hope we're not too late." Noriko said. She was wearing her beige 3/4 trench coat on top of her clubbing outfit as the temperature at night for November was a little chilly in Manchester.

"Not at all. I think we have plenty enough time to drive to the area, find a decent parking spot, and then enter the club just after the gates open for the night." Yusuke replied before he switched to his thoughts. 'Good choice of red lipstick, Noriko.'

"Good evening, Yusuke." Nana greeted, also wearing a coat.

"Good evening, Nana. It's a good thing you came up with that idea for tonight. I have yet to see that part of life in Manchester."

"Thanks. Here is your entrance ticket." Nana replied. "Good thing they still had a few advance tickets left for 'early birds' as they call it."

"Well, let's get this show on the road." Kakeru finished.

From that point on, Kakeru and Nana got on board of their Nissan Qashqai for the drive. Meanwhile, Yusuke took Noriko on board of his Chevrolet Camaro. The drive was planned to take around less than 15 minutes as the 4 Japanese friends drove North from West Didsbury towards Manchester city centre. At mid-way into the drive, Yusuke noticed that Noriko was very silent.

"Are you okay? I haven't heard you speak a lot since we left home." Yusuke asked.

"I'm fine. It's just that I'm going to my first night club tonight." Noriko replied.

"If that can be of any comfort for you, I have butterflies too. I have never done something like this before, not even the last time I was in a serious relationship."

"When was that last relationship?" Noriko asked.

"Almost 2 years ago. I had a couple of flings after that, but nothing in the last 15 months. Going for something purely physical is not what I want. If I find someone to become a significant other in my life, I only hope to find the right compatibility I'm looking for." Yusuke replied.

"A friend of mine told me that one should always trust his or her instincts. It was only part of an advice that friend gave me, but I think that part could apply to any of us for anything out there."

"That sounds really wise. I guess I have to try harder."

"Or just by being more sensible in detecting signs of that compatible chemistry before building upon it." Noriko said.

"Exactly." Yusuke replied with a smile.

'For some reason, he managed to take a good part of my anxiety away with just a short conversation. Just play it back in your head, and loosen up, girl.' Noriko thought.

Finally, the 4 Japanese friends arrived in an area of Manchester city centre where trendy bars, restaurants, and night clubs were built under converted arches of a viaduct that overlooks a canal. The area was officially named as the Deansgate Locks, but simply known as "The Locks" to the locals.

Deansgate Locks, Manchester, UK

10:05 PM GMT

"There's quite a lot of people waiting in line to enter the club." Yusuke said.

"How do we get in with that crowd?" Noriko asked.

"Nana and I know the bouncer. He will let us in." Kakeru replied.

"Call it privilege for the Manchester United players on that one." Nana added.

Kakeru and his friends then walked ahead of the line.

"Good evening, John." Kakeru said.

"Good evening, M. Aizawa, Ms. Mishima. I see you brought M. Saeki here as well." John, the club's bouncer, replied.

"It's his first taste of that part of the Manchester nightlife." Nana replied.

"One last night of freedom before we join our national team." Kakeru added.

"Well, you can go in. Have a good evening." John replied.

At the same time Kakeru was talking to the bouncer, Noriko tried to keep a low profile. However, she could hear some of the people speaking between themselves in the line.

"Is that Yusuke Saeki?" a woman asked her friend.

"Yeah, it's him. He's so handsome." the other woman replied.

"Who is the woman going with him?" a man asked.

"Beats me, but she's really fit." another man replied.

At that moment, Noriko felt some discomfort as she had dozens of eyes looking at her, thinking she was Yusuke's girlfriend already. Fortunately, Yusuke grabbed Noriko's hand to shift her focus back on the club night.

"Hey. We can go in now." Yusuke said.

"Yes... Sure." Noriko replied.

Inside the club, there were already some people gyrating and dancing on the beat of the music on the dance floor. Fog machines were already working to set up the mood alongside the pulsating lights and the blasting sound of house and electronic dance music. However as early the evening was then, most people in the attendance were ordering their drinks.

"Here's the place where you can leave your coats." Kakeru pointed the coat check to Yusuke and Noriko.

As Noriko took off her trench coat, Yusuke finally had a look at her clubbing outfit. Completing Noriko's blue jeans and black wedge sandals was a black tie-back halter top. The top had a V-neckline that exposed her cleavage; the upper half of Noriko's back was fully exposed as well. Yusuke was thunderstruck by the beauty standing before him.

"What's up?" Noriko asked.

"You look ravishing with that outfit." Yusuke replied.

"Thanks, Yusuke. I really like yours too."

Yusuke's outfit for the night consisted of a black shirt and dark blue jeans. Meanwhile, Nana was wearing black shoes with high heels, black pantyhose, and a dark blue sleeveless dress that stopped at mid-thigh. Finally, Kakeru's outfit consisted of a white shirt and black jeans.

"Guys, let's buy drinks before we dance." Nana said.

"Will do, but with moderation. Yusuke and I are driving tonight." Kakeru replied.

"Just one will be fine by me." Yusuke added.

The 4 Japanese friends then made their way to the bar to order their drinks to one of the very skillful bartenders working at the club. The bartender recognized Kakeru and Nana.

"Good evening, M. Aizawa. Same as last time?" the bartender asked.

"Make it four." Kakeru replied before he turned to his friends asking for the fruity flavors they wanted with the drinks. "What kind of flavor to go with your mojitos?"

"Peach for Kakeru and I." Nana told the bartender.

"Strawberry." Noriko and Yusuke both said in sync. That little moment got both of them laughing a little.

"It's all on me tonight." Kakeru said.

Picking up their drinks, Kakeru and his friends came at a table to sit and enjoy their fruit-flavored mojitos. In the following minutes, the dancing crowd was growing bigger and bigger. Kakeru and Nana didn't finish their mojitos yet, but neither one of them could just sit and watch others dance for much longer.

"I'm going in now. Are you, Nana?" Kakeru said.

"Let's go!" Nana replied.

And so Kakeru and Nana joined the crowd on the dance floor. The Japanese Footballing Sweethearts were dancing wildly along with the beat of the music. With that many people in the crowd, Kakeru and Nana were grinding their hips together. Nana had her arms wrapped around Kakeru's neck while Kakeru's hands were holding Nana's hips. Meanwhile, Yusuke and Noriko were watching the dancing pair.

How does it feel
To treat me like you do
When you've laid your hands upon me
And told me who you are.

I thought I was mistaken
I thought I heard your words
Tell me how do I feel
Tell me now how do I feel.

"Well, that was a good song to start the night with." Noriko said.

"Huh?" Yusuke was confused. "I never heard of this song before."

"It's called Blue Monday by a Manchester-based band named New Order. It comes straight out of the 1980s, but the song still is as good as it was when it first came out." Noriko replied.

"I see. I guess Kakeru and Nana probably are very imbued with Mancunian culture, right?"

"They have learned a lot of Manchester from the very first day."

"They really are into it." Yusuke said.

"Kakeru always told me about how he is really shy around women who are interested in him, but he's a totally different person when Nana is there with him." Noriko replied.

"Wanna go in?" Yusuke asked.

"I... I would like to. It's just that I never danced with a guy before."

"We can start slowly if you want, Noriko. Do as they do, one step at the time, and then increase the speed."

At that moment, Nana shouted in distance: "Have a dance, you two! Come on!"

After Yusuke nodded his head in agreement to Nana's call, he reached out his right hand towards Noriko. Yusuke finally asked Noriko the highly anticipated question: "May I have this dance?"

For a few seconds that appeared to last an eternity, Noriko didn't know how to answer. Her heart skipped a beat as a million thoughts also went into her mind for an instant. She was also wondering if alcohol was hazing her sense of reality as she felt the urge to move towards him. Finally, Noriko decided to follow her instinct.

"You may. I would be very happy to." Noriko replied with a smile as she grabbed Yusuke's hand.

Yusuke led Noriko onto the dance floor. After finding an open space in the crowd, Yusuke placed Noriko's hands on his shoulders. Although neither Yusuke nor Noriko had any experience in doing this, there was no way they would turn back on their heels without gaining that experience anyhow.

"Just try to sway your body slowly for now. I will do the same. Then we increase the rhythm until it matches the beat." Yusuke said.

'Enjoy the moment as it comes, trust your instincts, and forget about everything else. You can do this, girl.' Noriko thought.

Noriko awkwardly began to shift her hips from side to side with the pounding music. Yusuke started moving his own hips slowly as well. Suddenly, Yusuke grasped Noriko's hips, and helped Noriko in following the same pace together.

"That's a good start. Just relax your upper body now." Yusuke said in Noriko's ear.


Noriko had a hard time taking her eyes off her own body when she started dancing. She was also a little surprised by the sudden closeness of the Japanese man in front of her. However as the brunette found her rhythm, she locked her gaze deep into Yusuke's eyes.

'I hope to see that spark in your eyes, Yusuke.' Noriko thought.

That deep stare into each other's eyes was starting to put both Yusuke and Noriko into a trance; they were almost dancing in their own world. After a couple of songs, Noriko threw her arms up in the air. In response, Yusuke moved behind Noriko, and moulded his hips to her backside, moving in sync together. Noriko wrapped her arms backwards around his neck, and rested her head on his chest. After they danced for a couple of minutes in that position, and felt each other's body heat, Noriko suddenly started feeling a little strange.

'What's going on? I'm feeling dizzy, but I only had one mojito.' Noriko thought.

Feeling the need to stop, Noriko broke off her dancing stance with Yusuke, and stumbled her way off the dancing floor and away from the crowd. The brunette could barely keep her balance.

"Noriko... Whoa!" Yusuke managed to catch Noriko to prevent her from falling. "Keep it steady there."

"I'm sorry, Yusuke."

"Don't worry, I'm here. Are you all right?" Yusuke asked.


"Are you sure? That glass of mojito may have been too much."

"No, it's not the drink. It's just that... Gosh!" Noriko said.

"What?" Yusuke asked.

"I have a million things going through my mind. This is... wilder than anything I ever experienced before. Everything's going so fast... maybe too fast."

"Noriko... I really like being with you. I always did since the day I met you for the first time. However, I can understand if you don't want us to go any further, or if you're not ready for any reason whatsoever. I promise that I'll take it any way you want to." Yusuke said.

You seem to run you seem to hide
So are you scared of how you're feeling?
The time has come to live your life
So come with me and do some dreaming.

Knowing how very sincere Yusuke's words were, Noriko took a few seconds before she found the right reply. "I already know what I want; I always knew it from deep within. I love you."

Noriko gazed into Yusuke's eyes, no longer scared of her own feelings for the young Japanese man. She leaned up, and locked her lips with Yusuke's. Surprised at first by Noriko's reaction, Yusuke returned the kiss, and deepened it while grabbing Noriko's shoulders. This time, Noriko finally broke the obstacle that stood between her and that kind of happiness for so long.

If I give emotion
Will you show devotion?
Or will you fly and fly away?

If I give emotion
Will you show devotion?
Or will you fly, and fly, and fly, and fly?

In the middle of the crowd, Kakeru and Nana turned their gazes towards the newly formed couple. Joy filled Kakeru and Nana's hearts as they saw their friends finally moving a big step further as it was hoped for some time.

'You did it, Noriko! You did really it!' Nana thought.

'Well done, you two! It's a great start.' Kakeru also thought.

After 2 minutes, Yusuke and Noriko finally broke their kiss. The brown-haired Japanese man was the first to speak after the kiss: "I always knew you would find the words, and say them. I'm really happy that you did. I love you too, Noriko."

Overcome with joy following Yusuke's words, Noriko leaned up, and kissed Yusuke one more time. After a minute, the two broke the kiss knowing that they wanted more of that good time together in the night.

"Ready for the next round?" Yusuke asked.

"Sure am now!" Noriko replied before both she and Yusuke joined the crowd on the dancing floor once again.

If I give emotion
Will you show devotion?
Or will you fly and fly away?

If I give emotion
Will you show devotion?
Or will you fly and fly away?
Fly away.

Noriko and Yusuke kept on dancing together for a few more songs. Yusuke's hips pushed against her again. At one point, Noriko took the lead by kissing Yusuke on the lips before she moved the kisses on Yusuke's jaw and neck. Meanwhile, Yusuke placed his nose on Noriko's hair to inhale her amazing scent before he ran his hands through Noriko's hair and across her back. For the new couple, Noriko and Yusuke had their heads reeling with sensations, both physical and psychological, of desire towards each other.

"How about we go... to my place?" Yusuke whispered in Noriko's ear. Noriko nodded in agreement.

Then Noriko grabbed Yusuke's hand, and led Yusuke off the dance floor. Before they walked too far on the way to the exit though, Noriko and Yusuke took one last glance at the dancing pair of Kakeru and Nana. The Little Witch was looking at her friends in distance, and uttered something that was inaudible. Nevertheless, Noriko managed to read Nana's lips, and nodded in return.

"What did Nana say?" Yusuke asked.

"To have fun." Noriko replied with a smile.

Then Noriko and Yusuke went to the coat check, and then picked up their coats before they left the night club.

The drive home almost felt like hours for Noriko and Yusuke despite the not-so long distance between Manchester city centre and West Didsbury. When they arrived back home, it was a little before midnight. Noriko went briefly into her own apartment to grab a white shirt and black trousers as her working attire; she was set to leave straight from Yusuke's apartment to the hospital in the morning. Noriko then walked back to meet her man at his doorstep.

As Noriko entered Yusuke's apartment for the first time, she was expecting things to be perhaps a little bit messy inside considering Yusuke was living alone. However, what she saw was quite the opposite.

"It's really neat in here." Noriko said.

"You can thank my mother for that. She knocked sense into me about keeping my place clean many years ago." Yusuke replied.

"That's a good thing she did."

"I'm going to give you a towel for the shower and a bathrobe. You go in first." Yusuke said. "Ladies always go first with me."

"Thanks." Noriko gave Yusuke a quick kiss.

When Noriko went into the bathroom to take a shower, Yusuke stripped off his clothes, and put on a bathrobe, waiting for his turn. In the shower, Noriko had other thoughts as she was washing her own body: 'My heart's beating so fast. My body is so hot... so that's how it feels when I'm turned on. I really can't wait anymore.'

Suddenly, Noriko asked Yusuke to join her: "Yusuke, can you come in and wash my back? I will wash yours."

Surprised for a second by Noriko's bold request, Yusuke got a grip of himself and then walked his way into the bathroom. After taking his bathrobe off, he found the brunette with her eyes closed in complete bliss as she was enjoying the warm water running down her body.

"You're so lovely." Yusuke said, staring at Noriko's naked and beautiful body from behind.

"Thanks." Noriko, however, didn't turn to face Yusuke though. She was still blushing a little.

Yusuke grabbed the back scrub brush, put on the soap, and started scrubbing Noriko's back. When he was done scrubbing, Yusuke gave Noriko the brush so she can return the favor. As Noriko scrubbed Yusuke's back, the Japanese man also washed himself carefully to ensure maximum cleanliness.

Five minutes after Yusuke started showering with Noriko, the brunette said: "I want you to face me now."

At that moment, Yusuke turned to face Noriko. Both started staring at the other's naked body for a few seconds before they started making out. Kisses quickly became more intense, and were planted at other places than the lips as they both explored each other's body for 20 minutes. All of this "exploration" was made while warm water continued showering down on them, rinsing all the soap.

After Yusuke and Noriko wiped each other's body dry out of the shower, the young Japanese man swiftly picked up the brunette, and carried her into his bedroom. After laying her on the bed, Yusuke continued running his hands along Noriko's body and kissing down on it. When both lovers felt the urge to go even further, Yusuke reached for the drawer at the side of his bed, and pulled a packet out of the drawer. But then Noriko suddenly grabbed Yusuke's hand.

"No need for protection tonight." Noriko said.

"Are you sure?" Yusuke asked.

"It's fine; today's a safe day for me. And besides, I always wanted my first time to be like this. Thanks for being thoughtful though." Noriko replied.

"OK then... You ready?"

"Come on to make me feel alive."

Noriko's words were the magic words Yusuke needed to hear before both lovers started exploring a new level of intimacy with each other. No one thought about anything nor anyone else but the significant other. At the same moment, Kakeru and Nana arrived at the door leading to the apartment above Yusuke's.

"That was some night." Kakeru said.

"You're right about that. I had a blast." Nana replied.

"Speaking of having a blast, I'm sure Noriko and Yusuke are having one as we speak. I'm really happy to see her finally able to lay her past to rest."

"I'm happy for her too. It has been... that long?" Nana asked, realizing how many years have gone since Suguru passed away.

"Yeah, it has been that long. Anyway, I'm sure it was worth the wait for Noriko." Kakeru replied.

"I think so too."

"It has been quite a while since we have the whole night just for ourselves in the apartment. Do you want us to do the same thing they are doing tonight?" Kakeru asked.

"I really can't wait." Nana replied with a big smile. "You better be ready because I will take you to cloud 9."

Finally, Kakeru and Nana went inside their apartment to write another chapter of their life as a couple. Meanwhile, it was also the first day of life together for another couple. In that night, dreams became reality, and both couples felt more alive than ever.

All alone, just the beat inside my soul.
Take me home, where my dreams are made of gold
In the zone where the beat is uncontrolled.
I know what it feels like
Come on make me feel alive
Oh oh oh oh woah
Oh oh oh oh
Come on make me feel alive
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Come on make me feel alive
Feel alive, feel alive, feel alive
Come on make me feel alive.

Tuesday November 13

6:40 AM GMT

Noriko woke up first in the morning. Outside the window, only the early lights of dawn were visible in the November sky as the sun had not yet risen. Although Noriko would acknowledge that she didn't sleep for as long as she usually does, it was the best night ever regardless. Noriko sat up with the sheets covering her bare chest, and watched Yusuke sleep for a moment.

'I sure wasn't dreaming. That was so intense. I now understand what all the fuss is about, especially when I did it with someone I love.' Noriko thought.

At that moment, Yusuke also woke up. "Ohayou, Noriko."

"Ohayou. Did I wake you up? It's still early in the morning." Noriko asked.

"It's okay; I was going to wake up so I can see you go to work anyway."

"That's really kind of you." Noriko said before both of them giggled a little. "Last night... That was amazing. It's hard to believe that I waited for so long before enjoying this kind of thing for the first time."

"It was worth the wait, isn't it? I also feel the same thinking back about my decision of not having any girl for 15 months until I find someone I can love. I wouldn't have it differently because I found that love in you." Yusuke replied.

"I found love too, Yusuke. It must have been fate." Noriko said.

"Do you still remember what I said to you in our first date?"

"Yeah. Everything in life comes for a reason. I still remember it."

"Indeed. Everything we did in the past has brought us here together in the end." Yusuke said before he and Noriko kissed each other for a minute.

"I need to take a shower." Noriko said after she broke the kiss. She then got out of bed, and put on a bathrobe.

"You leave for the Trafford General Hospital around 7:25 AM, am I right?" Yusuke got out of bed, and put on his own bathrobe as well.

"Yeah, my day always starts at 8:00 AM. I have to count around 20 minutes to go from here to there."

"At least, you will be home tonight. The national team will train mostly in Carrington until next week, but I'm not allowed to leave the Lowry; Coach's orders." Yusuke said.

"That's a shame. I would have loved to enjoy more quality time with you tonight." Noriko replied.

"It's only for a week though. And besides, we still have time if you want to enjoy quality time in the shower now."

"Very tempting, Yusuke." Noriko said with a seductive tone of voice. "If people say I'm walking funny, it will be your fault."

"Well, I will gladly take the blame then." Yusuke finished with a big grin on his face.

Then Noriko dragged Yusuke in the shower for a few more love games. After they got dressed, and finished eating breakfast around 7:20 AM, Yusuke followed Noriko to her car so he could see her leave for work as he said he would.

"I will call you tonight." Yusuke said.

"I'll be waiting your call." Noriko replied before she gave Yusuke a little goodbye kiss. "Make sure you train well today."

"I will." Yusuke finished.

Then Noriko entered her car. Before she could start up her engine, she received a text message from Nana on her smartphone. The text message said: "I'm really happy for you, Noriko. I hope you had a good time."

Noriko smiled as she typed: "I sure did. Thank you for setting up the night out. That was the best night ever. :)"

"Anytime. :D Have a nice day at work." the reply from Nana said.

Then Noriko shut her smartphone down, and started her car's engine. Finally, Noriko got on her way to the Trafford General Hospital. The only difference with the other days past was that she has finally become a full-fledged woman.

After Noriko and Nana left for their respective clinical affiliations, it was time for Kakeru and Yusuke to shift their focus back on the upcoming training sessions with their fellow representatives. Japan's first match of the November international break promised to be a good one as it would be a big test against the home nation.

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