Yoshi (extras) (03)

(before the start of Rainbow concert Tour)

Kneeling on the floor, Rika placed the last piece of folded tees neatly into the suitcase and checked. When she realized what was missing, she stood up and walked to the cupboard and returned to her kneeling position with a can of painkiller spray and a pair of knee guards in her hands.

“To-chan, is it ok if I put them in this pocket?” she said.

Yossi got up from her sitting position on the bed and pulled Rika toward her. “It’s okay, I can pack them myself later.”
After planting a kiss on the cheek, she led Rika to the bed, had their legs sat inter-crossed and faced her. The Niigaki tour would start tomorrow, and Yossi thought the most important thing right now was to enjoy the limited time they had together. She hugged Rika, resting their chins on each other’s shoulders.

“Is something bothering you?” Rika asked. She could not see Yossi’s face now but could sense that Yossi just wasn’t herself.

“No, I’m just feeling tired,” Yossi said and held Rika tighter. She wanted to assure her lover that everything was all right.

Rika moved back slightly. After studying Yossi for a split second, she frowned and pouted her lips. She knew Yossi wasn’t feeling all right at all.

When Yossi saw her little princess getting angry, she leaned in again to kiss Rika. “I can’t seem to hide anything from you, ne?”

Rika returned a short peck. “So are you going to tell me?”

Yossi smiled. “Well,” she said. “I think I’m a lousy leader…”

At close distance, Rika watched the pair of uncertain eyes in front of her as Yossi continued, “Now I understand what Yuu-chan and Kaorin had to go through…”

However, before Rika could offer any words of comfort, Yossi sighed and buried her face in the crook of her neck. Slightly taken aback, Rika raised her hand, but couldn’t decide on a place and rested it on Yossi’s back. At this moment, she was at a loss for words, not to mention being stunned. She knew it was hard being a leader, since she herself was the leader of v-u-den and knew Yossi had it harder because she had to handle a group of youngsters, moreover Miki, who was the sub-leader, wasn’t really of much help. And if her strong-willed girlfriend was made to feel so helpless now, things must be really bad then...

“What happened?”

Yossi remained silent with her eyes closed. But when she felt a nudge from Rika, knowing that she couldn’t keep mum any longer, she took in a deep breath and said rather reluctantly. “It’s been going on for a while now, but somehow it has gotten worse… I mean, I rather they bring it up then to talk behind our backs…”

“They?” Rika asked. The names that flashed in her mind were Reina and Risa.

“They say I’m always siding Mikitty. You know the last time when Mikitty celebrated her birthday here, well, I don’t know how the others got to know about it. They had gotten quite angry when they heard it because they weren’t invited. And they think it is Mikitty’s idea not to invite them and say Mikitty is clearly drawing a line between them. And I, as leader, am allowing it to happen…”

Rika still didn’t know what to say. She rubbed her hands up and down Yossi’s back in a comforting way. It was the least she could do to let Yossi know she was listening…

“Don’t they get it that sometimes people just can’t get along?”

“Well…” Rika finally said. “Miki can be nasty, but you can’t… because as a leader, you know you have to treat them equally even if you know that they may not like you at all.” And Rika felt suddenly a pang in her heart. It wasn’t happening to Yossi alone, sometimes, she found herself in the same predicament.

Yossi opened her eyes and raised her head and when her eyes met Rika’s, she could hold back her urge no longer and leaned in to kiss Rika. She knew in this world, only Rika truly understands her.

“When Aichan reaches 20 years old,” said Yossi, taking a break from the kiss. “I’m going to tell Tsunku-san to let me graduate. The group sucks now that everyone was gone.”

“No… no…” Rika said gravely. “Not Ai-chan. Gaki-san must be the new leader.”

Hearing it just made Yossi laugh her first laugh of the night. Rika was dammed right; if Tsunku wanted to spare the group from further unrest, it would be better to allow the complain queen to take over the coveted post.

“Sorry… I shouldn’t have babbled on these…”

Rika smiled and rubbed on the nose she so loved. “Silly, you know I always care about what you think. I’ll be angry if you keep everything to yourself.”

The words melted Yossi’s heart. However, she sat up straight and said. “I have bad news for you then…”

Seeing Yossi who had suddenly turned serious, Rika felt a beat skipped from her heart. While her heart continued to thump, her mind raced, thinking of the possibilities of the bad news…

“Because…” Yossi began in a cheeky tone. “Fifty years from now, you will still have this moody obasan here at your side, bothering you…”

Rika broke into a relieved smile. “Why not?” she replied cheekily. “If that’s in exchange to see your smile fifty years from now.”

“Zurui~ isn’t that what I said in haromoni!”

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