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chapter 7

Soichiro comes home to find Natsuki, Fuyumi and Haruko are playing the game of LIFE again. Fuyumi asks Soichiro how the movie was. Turns out that both Fuyumi and Haruko also like vampire movies and asked both Soichiro and Natsuki how the ending was and whether the vampire died with a stake to the heart or not. Both Soichiro and Natsuki have no idea, since they both did not watch the movie after all. Soichiro gives a cryptic answer that the vampire looked like he died but he also looked like he didn't die and that the whole thing was hazy. Natsuki hurriedly agrees. Fuyumi and Haruko are puzzled and ask why the most important part of the show was so unclear. Natsuki changes the subject and reminds Haruko that it is her turn.

Up in his room, Soichiro starts thinking about his earlier confrontation with Nazuna and how she said the person closest to his heart was Natsuki and not her. At the same time, Nazuna is thinking about the same thing and what Soichiro said about Natsuki being a very close friend.

The next morning at the hospital, Kuga is bypassed for an overseas medical research stint. While he is not bitter about it, the nurse (anyone know her name?) gripes about how the doctor who was chosen, Shirai, doesn't care about the patients. Kuga tells her that's not true and even though his patient load will increase, he thinks that in the long run, the knowledge that Shirai would gain in skin trauma would be immensely helpful to burn victims.

Kuga meets Natsuki at a cafe. When he arrives he asks her if he can order something to eat because he hadn't eaten yet. Natsuki laughs at him because his hair is standing up. He tells her that although he remembered to shave, he forgot to comb his hair. Natsuki asks him if he didn't sleep at all the night before and he tells her he was ok. He warns her that he might be paged back to the hospital at any moment. She understands. Kuga tells her that Soichiro seems to have been accepted by Rina, and that Rina gets along better with Soichiro than with him.

Soichiro goes to the hospital to look for Rina , but when he gets to her room, the nurse(who's name I don't know) tells him that Rina has gone for a check up. She then asks him if he is the one staying with Natsuki. When he nods, she asks if Natsuki and Kuga are dating. She finds it strange that Natsuki is dating Kuga but living with a guy at the same time. Soichiro tells her that although that is the situation, his relationship with Natsuki is not like that. The nurse apologizes for being a bit inquisitive.

Soichiro settles down to wait for Rina to come back. He notices her diary sitting on the bedside table, and is tickled that Rina would write a diary. As he takes out his camera to take a couple of photographs, Rina comes back. The first thing she says to him is not to come into people's room without an invitation. He apologizes. Rina sees her diary on the table. Soichiro hastens to assure her that he didn't read it. As she goes to pick it up, he says,"Whenever I think of Kuga, I can't sleep at night." Rina immediately turns on him and says he actually did read it. Soichiro is surprised, then he grins and tells her he was just guessing what was in the diary. She tells him that he is despicable. Soichiro's whole manner changes and he gets really serious. He is hurt by Rina's words. He tells her that this is the second time that week that a woman has called him despicable. She looks at him a moment and then tells him that he is despicable and she doesn't want to see him or hear his voice and to get out. Soichiro just looks hurt and sad.

Natsuki and Kuga are deciding on a movie to watch. Natsuki is hesitant to pick the vampire show but when she does, Kuga's reaction is not what she hoped for. She immediately says it's ok, she'll pick another one. Kuga asks her if she wants to watch it, but she says, no way. Just then, Kuga is paged back to the hospital.

Natsuki decides to go watch the vampire show alone. As she gets into the cinema she thinks that only diehards would watch this show in the afternoon. She sits down and as she is removing her bag, glances off to the side, and sees Soichiro sitting at the end of the same row. She whispers his name and gives him a fright, because he starts and looks around before he sees her. When she makes as if to sit with him, he puts out a hand and motions her to move back. They sit apart the whole movie. They exit from different doors at the end of the show, but meet up in the lobby. Natsuki asks him why he didn't watch the show with Nazuna, and he asks her why she said she had watched it too. Both of them have no answer.

Later over drinks, Soichiro tells Natsuki about his fight with Nazuna. Natsuki tells him that he is stupid and that he should have just gone to watch the show with Nazuna and not bothered to call her. Soichiro tells her that they had already made a date to go and even though Natsuki tells him that Nazuna is more important than her, he still says that a date is a date and if everyone just broke dates like that, what was the point? Natsuki asks him if he had called her yet. Soichiro tells her that he doesn't want to call her up for fear that he might say something wrong and anger Nazuna again. Natsuki tells him that even if he does anger her, he should still call her. Soichiro is afraid that Nazuna will tell him she doesn't want to hear anymore and hang up on him. Natsuki acts out what might happen, and he says that's exactly it. If Nazuna were to slam down the phone before he got a chance to say good-bye, not only would his ears hurt, but so would his heart. Natsuki philosophically says that is love. Soichiro feels that if love is like that, it's terrible. He suddenly asks why they seemed to have had the same conversation before (which they had, only the roles were reversed). Natsuki tells him it is probably coz they are always talking about the same old topic. Natsuki tells Soichiro that Nazuna is probably waiting for his call. She suddenly calls out Nazuna name, and Soichiro immediately turns around in shock. Natsuki laughs and says she was joking. She tells Soichiro that their going to a movie and then having a drink together would definitely invite gossip that they are dating, and it is hard to believe otherwise.

Nazuna is at another bar talking to Endo and Kobayashi. Kobayashi tells her that it is all right because the person involved is Natsuki. He tells Nazuna that Natsuki is a "tyrannosaurs". Endo adds that from Soichiro's point of view, Natsuki shares the same interests and thinks the same way he does. Even though they live in the same house and are very friendly, that's all there is to it. Nazuna is still skeptical and says that Natsuki is still a woman.. Kobayashi advises her not to keep questioning Soichiro like that because Soichiro is very straightforward and honest, (Endo puts it a bit more rudely: naive fool) and by being jealous and suspicious will only lead to their relationship going in a negative direction. Nazuna says that then she wouldn't not know Soichiro's heart and what he's thinking, and the only thing she can do is trust him? She wants to feel safe and secure, both when she is with Soichiro and when she is apart from him. She wants to think of him and vice versa when they are apart. Kobayashi tells her that she is asking too much, and realistically she cannot get that and it will only make her partner feel troubled.

Soichiro and Natsuki are walking home. Both are a little drunk. Natsuki climbs up the stairs of the overhead bridge and pretends she is flying. Soichiro asks her whether she would think of him as a guy if she didn't have Kuga and would she have feelings for him. Natsuki asks him why he suddenly asks that and he reminds her that she asked him the same thing not long ago. Natsuki replies that even if it was the end of the world, she wouldn't have that sort of feelings for him.

There is a poster on the railing of the bridge. Soichiro reads out the show's name: Sekai owari wa kimi to issho ni( I will be with you when the world ends). Soichiro wonders who the "kimi (you)" is. Natsuki tells him that it is Nazuna. Soichiro tells her that he doesn't think so and that it won't be Nazuna because he is a failure. Natsuki tells him to ganbare. Soichiro looks at her and asks her for an encore. She looks puzzled a while and then she suddenly shouts out loud:"Ganbare....Soichiro!!" Soichiro looks at her and asks her if she is drunk. She replies she is a little drunk but if she wasn't she wouldn't have had the courage to shout out what she did. She asks if he would like her to shout again, but he says no and walks off. She chases after him laughing all the while.

The next morning, Natsuki meets Nazuna to talk. She tells Nazuna that she heard about Nazuna's fight with Soichiro. She beats around the bush a little, telling Nazuna that if it was because of her that they fought, she jokes that she feels a little "popular". Nazuna is not amused and tells her to get to the point. Natsuki tells her that she really loves Kuga and would like to marry him. She too doesn't want to feel insecure in the relationship and would like to see Kuga everyday. She realizes that Kuga is very busy however, and probably hasn't even thought in that direction. She even tells Nazuna about choosing baby names for her children. Nazuna looks a little speechless. Natsuki gives an embarrassed laugh and tells her that if that is her reaction, she don't know what Kuga would think. She makes Nazuna promise not to tell Kuga about the baby names. She tells Nazuna that she told Soichiro about the baby names too and asked Soichiro what he would feel if Nazuna had thought of baby names for their children. Nazuna is a bit pleased that Soichiro said that he would probably be happy if she did. Natsuki tells her she thinks of Soichiro as her younger brother, because he is Haruko's younger brother. She is giving way to Nazuna as the older sister. Nazuna tellsher that she feels a bit more secure now after hearing Natsuki's reassurance that she and Soichiro are just friends. Natsuki tells her not to be jealous because they are really just friends. Nazuna smiles at her, but when Natsuki looks down at her drink, she doesn't seem quite so convinced that Natsuki is telling the truth. Natsuki doesn't look very convinced either. They sit in uneasy silence.

Soichiro goes to visit Rina again. Rina asks him what he is doing there and calls him despicable in an attempt to make him go away like last time. Soichiro just smiles at her and sits down. He tells her he won't react to her calling him despicable anymore. (The following bit I don't really understand so...) He tells her that she is like the Ace of Spades. Very independent and strong. In her case however, she has lost it and thus, will do anything to become independent again and win. She looks at him and he asks her if she understands, but she shakes her head and says she doesn't get him. He tells her that simply put, what she says and what she feels are two different things. He can see through her.Rina asks him whether the other person who called him despicable was his girlfriend.When Soichiro tells her it was, she asks if they had made up yet. Soichiro tells her that they hadn't and that there were a lot of reasons why. She comments that he won't tell her the reason his girlfriend called him despicable and he replies that it is because it is his girlfriend. She tells him that he is patronizing (could be wrong..don't know the exact translation for this word) and he apologizes. She is surprised that he would apologize to her as she is a child. She tells him that adults never say sorry so easily and that they always pretend that they know everything. Soichiro tells her that he cannot pretend to know everything when he knows nothing. He suddenly tells Rina that he is ready and they should go. When Rina asks him where they are going, he replies it is an adventure.

Soichiro borrows a hospital van to transport Rina to the secret place. On the way, she asks him where he is taking her. She hopes that it is not some romantic place like the beach or to watch a sunset. He tells her she should stop being so cynical. Soichiro brings Rina to her old primary school. When he opens the door to let her out he asks if she wants to walk. She tells him it is impossible. Later, he wheels her through the school. She sees the shoe cubby holes and remembers that during Valentines' Day, everyone got chocolates in their cubby holes except her. Soichiro tells her she always lies but she insists that she never got any chocolates. Soichiro laughingly agrees.

Soichiro wheels Rina to a doorway. It is a kendo class. When Soichiro asks her if it is a lesson, she replies that it is an extra curricular activity. Rina wheels herself inside to watch the little kids practice their kendo. During a sparring match between two kids, Rina's hands involuntarily mime the gripping of the kendo stick and she follows the match with interest. She sees an opening and mouths "there" just as the boy hits his opponent. Rina gets excited and doesn't realize that she stood up. When she realizes that she is standing, she sits down hurriedly and looks a bit miffed. Soichiro smiles away happily.

Meanwhile back at the hospital, Kuga is frantically looking for Rina. Together with the nurse, they search the whole hospital. Even Natsuki comes to the hospital to look. Kuga confirms with Natsuki that Soichiro told her that he was coming today and Natsuki tells Kuga that she thinks that Soichiro and Rina are together somewhere. They all wonder where.

Soichiro and Rina are sitting in the school yard watching some kids play soccer. The school bell rings and Rina asks Soichiro what time it was. She says that the bell always signaled the end of school and that it hadn't changed since she was in primary school. Soichiro tells her that his primary school had the same ringing bell. Rina supposes that it is because they are public schools. Soichiro jokes that it is like a temple. Rina tells him his jokes aren't funny. As a ball rolls towards them, he tells her that although his jokes aren't good, he was good at soccer. Rina asks Soichiro why he never asked her why she wouldn't walk. She tells him that he said it before, that she was good at kendo and very popular and to have to suddenly learn to walk again was very frustrating. She adds that besides that, she was afraid that even if she learnt to walk again, she might not be as good at kendo as before. She was afraid to face that possibility and hence, could not take that first step. She tells Soichiro that apart from kendo, she had nothing. But after watching the kendo class, she felt like practicing too and being happy practicing her kendo like she used to. Soichiro reminds her that she stood up just now. He tells her to get up and walk in her alma mater. She is afraid, but he holds her hand and tells her not to worry, and that she wouldn't be alone. She stands up slowly and walks slowly towards Soichiro. He is there to catch her when her legs buckle. She finally walks a distance before falling again. Soichiro catches her and hugs her. She tells him that she is lonely and always wanted someone to hug her like Soichiro was hugging her. She also tells him that she was not saying that she liked him or anything, but that she might like him..although it was confused, Soichiro tells her he understood what she was getting at. She tells him that it is only him that she can hug like this. If it were Kuga she was hugging, her heart would stop and she would die from happiness. Soichiro laughs at her. She asks if she is being impolite and Soichiro tells her it is ok, and it's not the first time she was rude.

Back at the hospital, Soichiro apologizes to Kuga for making him worry. Kuga asks Rina where they went. The nurse starts to push Rina back to her room but Rina stops her. She looks at Kuga and then at Soichiro who reaches out to take her blanket. She stands up and walks a little for Kuga to see. She starts to fall again, but Kuga catches her and helps her back into her wheelchair. She is surprised when he tells her how very happy he is that she decided to start walking. He tells her that her operation was very difficult and everyone worked very hard to make it a success and all that was left was if she stood up and walked. Rina apologizes to Kuga for being difficult before. Kuga is surprised to hear her say that and asks her why she suddenly said sorry. she tells him that she will probably be discharged soon and might not have another chance to apologize. She looks at Soichiro and smiles her thanks as she is wheeled back to her room. Natsuki, Kuga and Soichiro all watch her go, big smiles on their faces.

In the cafeteria, the three of them are sitting together drinking coffee. There is a certain tension. Soichiro returns Kuga some documents. When Natsuki asks what they are, Kuga explains that it is Rina's records and that it was actually against the rules to do what he did. He felt that when a person is sick, it is not only the body that is affected but that the mind and past experiences all played a part. He was too busy to help Rina that way but he wanted to do something. Just then, Kuga is paged away. He tells Soichiro and Natsuki to take their time and rushes off, leaving Natsuki and Soichiro in silence.

Later on his way home, Soichiro stops by Rina's room. She is already asleep, but the nurse gives him a letter that Rina wrote for him. He stuffs it into his pocket. As he leaves the hospital, his handphone rings. It is Nazuna. He apologizes to her for their argument and she tells him she was at fault too. She asks him where he is and he tells her that he was at the bottom of a deep deep sea and was pulled to the surface by Nazuna's phonically. She tells him she is at PEACE and would he come over.

Natsuki is still in the hospital. She goes to look for Kuga, to see where he worked. She watches him, his back facing her, as he looked at his books and stretched. As he gets up to go out the door, she hurriedly hides in the corridor but he can't miss seeing her. He asks her what she was doing. She replied that she wanted to see what sort of place he worked in. He invites her into his office to sit. He apologizes for the mess and tells her that he has been so busy lately that he ashn't had much time to sleep. Natsuki remembers that the first time they met, he told her he was sick of eating bento sets. He tells her that it is different now. When she asks why, he tells it is because she is around. He tells her that he did the same thing she did, when he went to her beauty parlor to meet her. he wanted to see where she worked. Whenever he felt tired and felt like sitting down, he would think of Natsuki and that she would be working hard too. Natsuki sees the crystal cat that Kuga bought for his daughter sitting on his shelf. He tells her that his daughter rejected it. She tells him that she still keeps the dolphin he gave her. He apologizes for not giving her any other presents besides that first gift. She tells him that it's ok. They lock eyes and Kuga looks like he wants to kiss Natsuki. Natsuki averts her eyes and turns to walk away, but Kuga grabs her and hugs her from behind. They stay that way a while and Kuga tells her that although it is a little indiscreet, he is happy that they can be together as they rarely get the chance. He asks her to guess what he is thinking. She guesses that he wants to eat bento soon. He tells her that she is wrong and that he doesn't want to get paged now. She agrees with him.

Soichiro meets Nazuna at PEACE. He puts down his bag, and gives the waitress some change from his pocket for a pack of cigarettes. He tells Nazuna to wait a while coz he needed to go to the toilet. The waitress comes back with Soichiro's cigarettes and the change. She also tells Nazuna that there was a piece of paper between the loose change. Nazuna is curious and opens the paper to read it. What she reads makes her very upset and she throws the letter onto the table and runs out of the restaurant. Soichiro comes out of the toilet to find her gone. He sees the letter from Rina sitting on the table and reads it. Rina wrote: Thank you for holding me just now. You were as warm and calm as the ocean. He crushes the paper in his fist and rushes out after Nazuna but she had disappeared. Soichiro frustratedly looks round for her and finally makes his way home, alone.

End of Episode 7