Utau Hoshina could not believe that she was in China… on vacation… with her boyfriend. Finally, for the first time in so long, she felt at ease and content with her surroundings. She and the auburn-haired boy beside her both fell back on the sofa of the uninhabited prop room, relaxing in each other's company as though it was the most romantic thing they've recently done—because it was.

"I can't believe you actually did it," Kukai said in disbelief. He draped an arm over his girlfriend's shoulder and pulled her closer to him, thoroughly impressed that Utau had persuaded Rima to take her place for a whole two months.

She chuckled. "I know. I feel so bad." Then she closed her eyes and let out a deep, relieved sigh.

"What's wrong?"

"It's nothing," she replied, which was another way of saying that she doesn't know how to explain herself. "Well, I mean just look. The two of us are just sitting on a sofa in a foreign country talking to each other and yet I feel like nothing in the world could bring me down."

"I know exactly what you mean," he gave his girlfriend a brief, meaningful kiss on the cheek and pulled away, amused by the pink tint playing on the girl's cheeks. "Sorry, I just had to do that."

"Is that all you got?" Utau playfully challenged.

Kukai raised an eyebrow. "Why, don't you know me better? How dare you undermine my skills, silly girl?"

"Hm, maybe it's because I can do so much better than you, unworthy male whom I enjoy." Kukai stood up and had both his hands pinned on the couch around either side of Utau's head and pressed his nose to hers. Daring him to continue, she laid her hands on the boy's neck.

"Ohoho, bring it."

Utau leaned in, capturing Kukai's lips for the first time in what felt like a miserable eternity. She had fallen into the spellbinding intimacy, letting go of being a stressful adult and reminiscing her freshly-in-love teenage years. And without a doubt, Kukai enjoyed it just as much as Utau did.

But they had to pull away.

The couple both faced the doorway. With the sound of a camera click! Kukai went from being in utter bliss to being dumbfounded and completely in shock. Utau was on the cliff-edge of being hysterically panicked, looking as if she just witnessed a crime spree and fled.

The girl leaning against the door frame did not say anything. She fondled with her picture in her phone like it was going to win her first place in the Olympics.

Kukai did the only thing he thought that would make the problem go away: muster up an unreal, logical explanation. He stammered awkwardly, "This isn't Utau Hoshina if that's what you're thinking! Ha-ha, oh my goodness, this is so embarrassing, isn't it…?"

"Yes, I suppose it is," Utau replied. Kukai scanned the room for legitimate object names and faced Utau, who was practicing the method of face palming. "Oh my dearest Wall….da! Walda, I'm so sorry. Let's just leave this place because you are not Utau Hoshina and even if you were, what in the heck would you be doing here because she is in Japan, not here~!"

With a mischievous expression being anything but hidden on the girl's dark brown eyes and a nasty scoff, the girl turned away and left.

"Kukai?"

He responded warily, too ashamed to look his girlfriend in the eyes, "Yes, Utau…?"

"Remember when I said nothing would bring me down on this vacation?"

"Yes, Hoshina-domo, the absolute flawless goddess of my life…"

"Yeah, I take that back."

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Rima cooked herself some ramen, ate the ramen, walked around in high heel shoes, practiced Utau's signature, knitted herself a pair of gloves (well, they look like gloves), played Ding Dong Ditch, mocked news reporters on television, drew a picture of a pig in which she named "Nagi", but her tutor had not shown up yet.

Finally, a chime was heard and Rima raced to the door like it was the first snowfall in California. On the other side was a middle-aged man bespectacled in thick glasses. In one of his hands was a spoon and in his other hand was a cell phone, which was currently in use. Without an invitation, he stepped inside the Hoshina residence and took a seat on the couch.

"No, don't eat the cookie, it's bad for you!" he coaxed into the phone.

Rima said, "You must be my tutor. Well, you're a little late, but I'm still ready to learn, so—,"

"OHHHH MY GOSH, I THOUGHT THE TUNA WAS A WHALE."

Rima ignored his deafening cry of misunderstanding seafood. "I noticed you forgot your teaching supplies, but it's no big problem. I have some paper in the room, let me—"

The man looked stunned. "Who are you?"

"Oh," Rima sweat dropped, "well you were paid to come here and edu—,"

"AAAAAAAHHHHH!" then the strange man waved his arms in the air so furiously that the cell phone flew out of his grip. He ran out of the door as if he was the Roadrunner on ecstasy.

Rima picked up her tutor's cell phone and chased him through the door and down the stairs as fast as she could, but it was no use; he was gone. She looked down at the phone in her hands then tossed the phone on the lawn beside the bottom of the staircase to biodegrade on its own.

"Looks like someone isn't environmentally friendly," said a familiar voice. Rima turned to her left only to meet the eyes of unofficial CIA detective, Nagihiko Fujisaki.

Rima glared. "Oh, it's you again."

"Well pardon me for being employed. I just couldn't help myself." The two began to make their way back to their respective destinations. When Rima was half way up the stairs, Nagi called to her. "Would you maybe like to come with me?"

"Where are you going?" Rima replied, considering the offer.

"I'm going to pick up my home security system."

"What? No, that's boring."

"Oh, I see," Nagi crossed his arms, ready to negotiate. "So you'd rather stay in your home, unaware that Utau has a fake boyfriend who has a house key, so he can walk in on you undisguised or maybe perhaps showering and—,"

"Please shut up, I'm going to go upstairs and change."

"Well you better hope the fake boyfriend doesn't walk in on you-,"

"Shut up!"

Xxxxxxxxxx

"—and then he ran out screaming like a lunatic."

"Well that explains the weirdo who slapped my butt with a YuGiOh card."

Rima wondered why Nagi did not drive a car, and she was really dreading it. Yesterday's walk with him had left her sore. Looks like another bag of ice is going to meet Mr. Tub.

"So you're gonna need a tutor."

"Mhm. I think I'll ask Kairi to help me."

"Haha." Nagi laughed, but there was no humor in his voice. "He's not going to help anyone. Maybe I can do it?"

"I'll think about it."

Five minutes later, the two stopped at a pet shop between a flower shop and a clothing boutique. Rima, who was resting on Nagi's back, fell asleep.

"Psst. Wake up."

"Wha-," Nagi laid her down at a nearby bench. She rubbed her eyes, frowning. "You really are like a pig, even giving me a piggy-back ride." She looked left and right, observing her surroundings. Once again, she frowned and demanded, "Any reason why you dragged me all the way out of town to a pet shop to pick up your security system? Don't they have people to come to you and install that or something?"

He did not reply to her question. Instead, he told her, "You can relax on the bench. I'll be right back."

"I'm relaxing because I want to." And Nagi went into the pet shop.

People are just being weird today, she thought. Still, the soft breeze felt nice so she had no problem with his request. She wondered how her mom was doing back at home, and how her father was doing at his new job. Her train of thought was cut off by the sound of lively instrumentals bursting from her pocket.

She answered her phone, "Hello?"

"Mashiro. You listen to me. You have to do me three follow-up favors." Demanding tone, being called Mashiro… it can only be Utau who called her.

"Why do I—,"

"Because I said so," Utau hissed on the other end of the line. "One, you need to stow away any alcoholic gifts my fans send me."

"I'm under aged; I don't drink."

"Two," Utau continued without even regarding what Rima had said, "any red-headed actor who lets himself in the apartment is the fake boyfriend. We need him, and he needs us."

"I don't want to pretend to date anyone pretending to be you."

"You want your 10% profit or not?" At least she replied to me this time. "Three, you absolutely cannot under any circumstances whatsoever fall in love while you are me."

Rima held the phone in her hand blankly, processing all the requests (or demands, she should say). Don't drink, fake-date, and don't fall in love… The last part lingered in her mind the longest, though she could not fathom why exactly.

"You got it?"

She took a deep breath. "Got it."

"Good. Kukai says hi." Then Utau hung up.

"Hey hey!" called another voice. Nagi must be back. "Say hello to my little friend!"

He was holding a rather large golden bird cage. In it, of course, was a bird. A parrot, to be exact.

"What the heck is that?" she nonchalantly commanded.

"My security system," he leaned over on the bench and closed his eyes, enjoying the pleasant breeze just as Rima was doing earlier. "The shop owner said something big was going on at the park right now. Care to join me?"

He hasn't changed at all, Rima observed. Then it hit her. The strange feeling spread throughout her whole body like she just sat down on a bed of tazers. She even jumped a little bit in her seat. "Well, are you coming?"

"Oh," she stood up. "Yeah, let's go." Rima tailed Nagi, hoping he wouldn't engage in any conversation is she was behind him. She kept a moderate pace, only letting herself linger behind him for a maximum of two squares on the sidewalk.

"You know," Nagi stopped suddenly, and looked Rima in the eyes again. He penetrated such warmth, such compassion… what was Rima going to do? She couldn't even reply to him, telling him to keep his eyes on the road like she wanted to. She just froze on the spot and inexpressively admired his gentle smile. "I look better on the side." He stepped back a few steps so that he was right beside Rima and continued walking.

It happened before. Either it'll happen again or it won't.

"We're almost there."

I will make sure that it will never happen again.

"Okay, quiet one, we have arrived."

I will never be hurt again.


HMMM I WONDER WHAT WENT DOWN FOUR YEARS AGO ;D

Sorry I haven't updated in forever. My brother's summer school program is over so I don't have the privacy to write and no time either. He's a Maple Story addict.

Notice something? THIRD-PERSON! When I write in first-person I just tend to make Rima have like a preppy teenager with an attitude… And I don't like it! So I spent the past few weeks working on plot and character development and those 1800+ words just poured out of me! :D …ew that sounded gross. But it only took like 4 hours with breaks to type this~ So happy.

Anyway, I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to write this in third person from now on.

Also, shoutout to Dina! I had a writer's block while drafting (hey, I had no word processor, might as well draft) and When Love Takes Over really inspired me. There was another fic, but she probably won't read this. Just in case though, amv4eva, thanks so much for writing Brokenheartsville!

Just one question for this chapter: Should I continue asking questions every chapter? Or should I not? :O

Reviews are nice (: