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chapter 2

The next morning, Fuyumi and Natsuki have a day off, so they are lazing at home. Haruko is in a bad mood. When Fuyumi asks Natsuki why, Natsuki replies that Haruko joined another competition but looks like she was rejected again. Haruko warns Fuyumi and Natsuki to keep their hands off her brother. She focuses her warnings on Fuyumi. When Natsuki asks why Haruko isn't telling her to back off, Haruko retorts that her brother can choose and has eyes...implying that he would pick Fuyumi, if anybody. Fuyumi reluctantly promises to back off. Haruko is satisfied and leaves, grabbing a packet of melon buns. Natsuki is hurt by Haruko's words and complains to Fuyumi that Haruko has gone too far, and although they are best friends there is still a limit. Fuyumi, however, is thinking of the melon buns that Haruko stole from her.:)

At the newspaper office:

Soichiro is looking at his hamburger pictures, and talking to Endo. Nazuna comes again, looking for him. When she sees him, she gives a big smile and takes out a dry-cleaned jacket. Soichiro exclaims, Hey that's mine. She asks him if he remembered the girl whose leg injury he covered with his coat in the Hokkaido gas explosion. Soichiro stares at her a while and then gives an "ah" of recognition.

Soichiro and Nazuna go walking. Nazuna recounts her experience to him during the gas explosion. She remembered that she saw a lot of flashing lights and she was helpless to stop the reporters from taking her picture. She tells Soichiro that she remembered his face as he covered her, protecting her from the flashes of the cameras. She found Soichiro's name card in the pocket of his coat and went looking for him, thus learning that he was transferred back to Tokyo. When Soichiro asks her if she specially came to look for him, she tells him that she is actually a student at a Tokyo university and she had returned to Hokkaido for the holidays.

Nazuna then asks Soichiro if she could treat him to a meal to express her gratitude towards him. Soichiro is taken by surprise and doesn't say anything for a while. Nazuna suddenly says it was a bit forward of her to suggest such a thing and that he must be very busy with work. A bit embarrassed, she turns and walks towards the bus stop. Soichiro calls her to wait a moment as she walks off. She turns hopefully, only to hear him say the bus stop is the other direction. More embarrassed, she tells him her sense of direction has never been good and quickly runs off.

As Soichiro turns to leave, he finds in his pocket an envelope with money in it. He chases Nazuna to the bus stop. She has already got on, but gets off when he knocks on her window. Soichiro confronts her and asks her what she meant by leaving an envelope of money in his coat. Nazuna can see that Soichiro is offended and angry and says it's not what you think. She should have explained instead of just leaving like that. The money was for a new coat. She felt bad that her injury had left a bloodstain on Soichiro's jacket, and no matter how many times she took it to be cleaned, the stain wouldn't come off. She also tried unsuccessfully to find an identical one to replace it. As a result, she wanted to repay Soichiro for spoiling his jacket by giving him money for a new one. She apologizes for not explaining clearly. Soichiro forgives her. He tells her her bus has left. She said she would wait for the next one. Soichiro then asked her to go for coffee while she waits as it is cold.

Back at home that evening, Natsuki, Fuyumi and Haruko are playing LIFE again. Natsuki lands on a square that says "Your husband runs off on your wedding day. Miss a turn." Fuyumi says she's tired of playing this game and that they should learn to play mahjong. Natsuki says she doesn't want to use her brain for a thinking game like mahjong. Haruko then tells her maybe it would be better if she did use her brain. Natsuki gets offended again and asks Haruko why she has been picking on Natsuki all day. Fuyumi remembers the melon buns Haruko took and asks Haruko to return them to her.

Soichiro returns home, after going to the convenience store with Endo, to find them still playing LIFE. He asks them if they realize that while they are playing the game of life, they are wasting their lives away. Endo comments that the game looks interesting. The three of them are startled by the new voice and turn around. They immediately change their demeanor and start smiling and flirting with Endo. They admonish Soichiro for not announcing that he brought a friend home.

Soichiro introduces Endo as his kohai, unattached, salary 700 yen...he then asks them who is interested, and all three of them raise their hands. Endo is a little intimidated by them.

Fuyumi and Natsuki disappear, Fuyumi making an excuse about making some snacks for them, and Natsuki was going to get something. Endo tells Soichiro that he feels like this meeting will have some important impact on his life.

Natsuki finds Fuyumi dolling herself up in the bathroom and teases her about making snacks. Fuyumi defends herself by saying it's been a long time since a young man was so close so she wanted to make a good impression. Natsuki also takes a look in the mirror but when Fuyumi questions why she came into the bathroom, she says she was looking for the kimchi to make a kimchi hot pot for dinner.

Later, they are all sitting down to eat. Endo asks Natsuki, Fuyumi and Haruko how their friendship was and how they met. The three of them met at a concert in Okinawa, and were all so touched by the people singing that they cried. When Endo said then they must have been good friends or classmates in school or something, Haruko says no that wasn't it. They became friends because they didn't have any other friends. Haruko then said that people always ask them that question. Why do you do the job you do? Because there isn't any other job. Why are you with this guy? Because there isn't any other guy.

Endo tries to joke: Why do you take pictures of hamburgers? Because there isn't any other job. Soichiro tells him he is very noisy, and Endo apologizes for the slight, and says he is a little drunk already. But Soichiro is rather hurt by those words.

Later, they all play LIFE again. While they play, Endo talks to Fuyumi, who tells him about her affair with the married man, and how she doesn't really like him very much. It is Soichiro's turn but he has disappeared. When they all wonder where he went to, Endo tells them that he is probably on the phone with his girlfriend and is planning a date for tomorrow. They decide to eavesdrop on Soichiro's conversation.

Soichiro calls Nazuna. When she picks up, she tells him that she thought that he wasn't going to call coz it was so late. Soichiro apologizes and asks her when they can go out. Nazuna says anytime and Soichiro suggests the next day. Although a little surprised by the suddenness, Nazuna agrees and tells Soichiro that she is also looking forward to seeing him sooner.

The eavesdroppers in the living room start giggling at Soichiro and Nazuna's conversation. They talk a little too loudly and Nazuna hears them. She asks Soichiro if he is using a handphone coz she can hear strange, weird voices. Soichiro is suspicious but pretends he can't hear anything. The eavesdroppers keep quiet. Soichiro then asks Nazuna where to go. She is surprised again and asks," you mean we can go anywhere? It is not just dinner?" Soichiro replies that they can go somewhere first and then go for dinner. Nazuna suggests Disneyland. Natsuki and gang burst out laughing and Haruko says Soichiro is not the Disneyland going type of guy.

After Soichiro hangs up the phone, he returns to the living room to find the rest all playing the game and behaving normally. When Endo asks him why he went to the bathroom for so long he lies that he was making a business phone call. He rolls the dice and Natsuki moves his token for him. She says,"You are surrounded by Mickey mouse at Disneyland and have to pay 3000 yen entrance fee....opps, I made a mistake, pay day." They all start teasing Soichiro about Disneyland. He covers his face with his hand and says he knew that something was strange when he was talking. Natsuki and the rest start singing "It's a small world". Soichiro shouts at them that they are noisy.

Natsuki starts reminiscing the last time she went to Disneyland and how she never got to sit on most of the rides. Fuyumi also lamented about how her affair with the married man was so far off from Disneyland. Soichiro tells them to go with their boyfriend when they find one. Natsuki then starts teasing Soichiro about his embarrassing childhood experiences. Soichiro tells her she's noisy. Haruko apologizes to Soichiro for telling them about him when they first met. She said Natsuki had a really long memory to remember all that. Natsuki told Soichiro that if she hadn't heard about all that she might have fallen for Soichiro.

Natsuki tells Soichiro that if he didn't want Nazuna to find about these embarrassing things he should bring them with him to Disneyland. Soichiro finds it strange that Natsuki knows Nazuna's name. He questions Endo who confesses that he thought the name was cute and he thought he would share it with the rest. Natsuki says it is such a cute name and says ,"Nazuna-chan." Soichiro can only hold his head and sigh while they continue to tease him.

The next morning, it is raining when Soichiro comes down to the kitchen. He sees a cut out of his hamburger article on the fridge as he is taking a glass of milk. He removes it and crushes it. He looks out the window at the rain. Natsuki comes down and sees the crushed hamburger article. She tells Soichiro that she wanted to try the recipe, and not display Soichiro's picture to mock him. They both look at the rain and Soichiro starts pondering about how no matter how hard it rains, will there still be a burning light in his heart? He is feeling disillusioned with his work and photography. Natsuki shares her own feelings which were similar. Her dream is to be a beautician. Her heart is just waiting for someone to set it alight.

They suddenly realize that they have become too serious and laugh at each other. Natsuki tells Soichiro that she still thinks that what he did for Nazuna was right, if not Nazuna wouldn't have come all the way to look for him. Soichiro maintains that in the photography world, it was still an unacceptable thing to do.

Natsuki tells him that she thinks that there will always be a flame burning in her heart, although it might only be a little flame right now. She takes out a copy of the newspaper with Soichiro's fireworks picture on the front page. Soichiro asks her how she knew he took the picture and was that the only reason she kept it? Natsuki tells him that although Haruko told her it was taken by her younger brother, Natsuki she didn't keep the picture only for that reason. She said that she could almost hear the explosion of fireworks when she sees the picture. Soichiro is touched by her words of encouragement and thanks her.

Soichiro meets Nazuna for their date but the heavy rain prevents them from going to Disneyland. Soichiro says "Dou shiyo kana?" (What to do?) and Nazuna laughs at him and tells him that is the 5th time he said that. He laughs a bit embarrassed and suggests that they go for coffee. As he opens the umbrella, he says it again,"Demo, dou shiyo kana?" (But, what to do?). Nazuna looks at him, and laughs. Soichiro realizes that he said it for the 6th time. They spend a happy day drinking coffee and shopping.

Natsuki goes to do an interview or something for Haruko at a hospital. It turns out the person she is supposed to meet is her former teacher, Kuga Tatsuhiko (Shiina Kippei). Natsuki is surprised to see him after a long time. Before they can get talking, a nurse comes and tells Kuga that there was a motorcycle accident and he is needed to treat the victim.

Kuga and the nurse push the injured motorist into an examining room. The motorist is bleeding quite a lot. He has a serious leg injury. The nurse tells Kuga that there is no other doctor available to help with the patient. When Kuga cuts away the patient's pant leg to reveal the wound, the nurse suddenly collapses, saying she feels queasy.

Kuga tells her to go and sit at one side and starts shouting for assistance. Natsuki, who followed them into the examining area, steps forward and offers to help.

Later, Kuga apologizes to Natsuki for having to help out. She says it wasn't any problem at all. The nurse comes up to them and apologizes for her failure to help. After she has gone, Kuga tells Natsuki that that nurse once cried as well and she might not turn out to be a very good nurse. Natsuki admires Kuga for his cool and calm demeanor when treating patients. He confesses that although he is outwardly calm, he is very nervous and panicky inside.

Natsuki sees that there is a stain on Kuga's hospital coat. He tells her that it won't come off coz it is a chemical stain. He did not want to get a new coat, although many people told him to. Natsuki tells him that he hasn't changed. her mother used to say that if only Kuga was more tidy and clean with his appearance he would be very popular with the girls.

Kuga tells Natsuki that she has become very pretty. She is pleased but laughs it off and tells him that he is the only one in the world to say so. He bursts her bubble when he tells her he is just making a polite statement. He asks Natsuki out for a meal as he is sick of eating hospital canteen food. He seems very surprised when Natsuki actually agrees to go out with him. He immediately takes out his diary to set a date with her, but finds that he is all booked up with operations. Natsuki leaves him her phone number and tells him to call her when he finally has some time. Kuga suddenly says, OK, today then as he doesn't know when he will have another free day. He then rushes off to get ready. Natsuki is left smiling after him.

Soichiro and Nazuna come out from the movie theater after watching a movie. They see a poster advertising a photography exhibition. Nazuna says they should have gone for that instead but Soichiro tells her a movie was alright also. Just then, Soichiro bumps into an old classmate from his photography school,who tells Soichiro that he heard that Soichiro had been transferred out of the Society department. Nazuna, who is standing to one side overhears the talk and is shocked. The friend realizes he is "disturbing" Soichiro and Nazuna and leaves, with a promise to keep in touch.

Haruko is trying to write her novel back at home. Fuyumi is reading out the bits she has finished. Fuyumi asks her what sort of story it is supposed to be. Haruko tells her she doesn't have to read anymore.

Natsuki returns home. Haruko asks her if she was successful in getting the info Haruko needed. Natsuki tells them she met someone she used to have a crush on. It turns out that Natsuki used to like, and apparently still likes, Kuga. When Haruko asks Natsuki what about dinner, Natsuki tells them that she wants to be alone a while and proceeds to go into Soichiro's room. When Haruko tells her she is going into the wrong room, she says she knows and that she just wants to use the telephone. She warns them not to eavesdrop on her conversations. They agree, but the minute she closes the door, they run to the extension phone to prepare to listen in.

Soichiro and Nazuna are walking. Soichiro asks Nazuna what was wrong as she wasn't as lively as earlier in the day. Nazuna asks him about what his friend had said earlier about being transferred. Soichiro tells her he was transferred to the Household department but that he was happy working there also. She asks him if it was because of her. When he looks at her, she asks him if it was because he covered her with his coat and prevented anyone from getting good pictures that he was transferred. Soichiro tells her she was not the reason for his transfer and they wouldn't transfer people away for things like that. Nazuna asks him to tell her the truth. Soichiro gets a little uncomfortable and tells her that yes, it was true that he covered her with his coat, but it wasn't her fault at all. Nazuna apologizes to him, saying she didn't know anything and she felt like a fool for asking him to a meal and being happy when he wasn't. Soichiro tells her that he was also happy to be with her and not to worry so much.

Natsuki is still sitting in Soichiro's room, waiting for Kuga to call.

Soichiro tells Nazuna that he isn't a full time employee of Dai Ichi Shimbun but a freelancer. He asks Nazuna if she is disappointed that he isn't a high flying, big shot photographer. Nazuna tells him she might think of him as her prince charming, but she is still happy to be with him. She tells him that if at that time she had been photographed and her picture had been published she would have suffered a great deal of hurt. She tells Soichiro that she will never forget that he treated her as a woman and not a news object at that time. He tells her she got it wrong. She gave him the opportunity to do something about his life coz he didn't really like it in Hokkaido. He tells her that from now on he will search from his own brand of photography.

He grabs her hand and they walk off, and he is heard asking again for the 7th time that day, "Dou shiyo kana?" They end up in Tokyo Tower to take in the sights of Tokyo. *note: Tokyo tower becomes an icon for the show.

Natsuki is still in Soichiro's room. She looks out the window and sees Tokyo Tower. It is only as small as the size of her finger. Suddenly the lights of Tokyo Tower go off. It is midnight. Finally the phone rings. Natsuki eagerly picks up the phone but it is only Soichiro. He tells her that he won't be back tonight. She says OK and tries to hang up the phone. Soichiro asks her what kind of attitude is that and she tells him to pack up his room. He asks her where she is and she tells him she is in his room waiting for a call. They start quarreling a little and then hang up.

Natsuki suddenly wonders if Soichiro is at Tokyo Tower as he said he wasn't coming back. At the same time, Soichiro wonders who's telephone call Natsuki is waiting for.

End of Episode Two