Just a Normal Outing… I think
A Love Live! Nijigasaki Academy School Idol Club fanfiction
Love Live © Sunrise and Lantis
"Ai, could you come here with me for a sec?"
Ai Miyashita paused at wiping her face. She sees her senpai and DiverDiva sub-unit partner, Karin Asaka, walks upon her with an unreadable expression. "Hm? Sure. What's up?"
The two of them, and the other 8 members of Nijigasaki Academy's Idol Appreciation Club - aka School Idol Club - are currently on the club room, after finishing their practice for a live next month. The other girls are busy packing their belongings and preparing to go home, so no one pays attention to the duo as they walk outside the club room.
"Um... are you free this Saturday?" Karin suddenly said, nervously.
Ai blinked, then starts counting with her fingers, "Let's see, I have a promise to help the basketball club with practice at morning, then a lunch with Misako-neesan, but I'm free on the evening!"
"I know that you always busy, so I understand if you - wait, you're free?"
"Yeah, in the evening. Really, what's up?"
Karin sighs, then places her hand above her bountiful chest, "Okay, sorry. I guess I'm too nervous... Ai, last week you helped me on Math, right?"
Ah, that. Last week, Karin approached her because she had to take a make-up test for Math. It's funny, really, you'd never think that Karin, the mature third-year that get called oneesan by everyone on club, is such a dunce on schoolwork. Although it's a little weird that Karin approached Ai, her junior, but Ai thought that she must be embarrassed to let her fellow third-years, Emma and Kanata, knew about her horrendous score. Ai, being a honor student that she is, helped her senpai study in a cafe for 2 days.
"Oh yeah! How's the result? Ai-san's gonna smack you if you're still fail," Ai puts up her fist, in patented 'Miyashita-style knuckle duster' stance.
"I... got 61."
"That's not too bad! Guess study time with Ai-san is a success, huh?"
"Right. Anyway, I want to treat you as thanks... is dinner alright?" Karin says clearly, with a little pink in the nose. She thought about how to thank Ai for their study session a lot ever since she got her test back, but somehow, the answer is to take her junior to a nice dinner.
Ai blinked, then smiled mischievously, "So... you want to take me to a date then?"
"D-d-date?!" the senpai sputtered.
"Well duh, we're having a dinner, together? It's a date no matter how you look at it."
And now Karin realizes it. They're having a dinner at Saturday night... it is really a date! She never really thought about this isn't it? Damn, she hopes that Ai doesn't think weirdly about this, she doesn't have an ulterior motive for this invitation!
Well, maybe a little.
"Alright then, a date it is!" suddenly Ai answers, jolting Karin from her train of thought.
"H-huh?!" came the flustered response.
Ai flashes her senior a grin, "So, where do you want to go?"
"Ah, right. Meet me in Akiba at..."
That Saturday evening comes like a flash, and Karin finds herself in Akihabara before their appointed time. She's wearing a black striped dress, gray tights, and grayish blue coat, looking like a magazine model on a photoshoot that she is. Some passerby gawks at her and she chuckles amusedly at them.
"I'm not too early, right?" she peeks at her wristwatch. It's 5.17 PM now, while their appointment is on 5.30. "I don't want her to think that I really looks forward to our date – I mean, dinner."
She sighs. Among the members of club, she and Ai have a closer friendship. That's because their grouping in DiverDiva sub-unit, but Karin argues that their chemistry is that good. They even call each other without honorifics!
But nowadays she's kind of nervous when together alone with the blonde junior. Thankfully her modelling experience helped her to maintain neutral expressions (not that good as Yu, though). Although somehow she still stutters and blushes when the playful junior teases her. So much for a mature third year...
"Eeeh... Karin, you're so early!"
The bluenette nearly choked as Ai walks forward her. She's wearing a white shirt with jeans, a pair of boots, and brown orange-ish long jacket. She's also done her hair in a side ponytail.
"And you look so pretty!" Ai praises her senpai without shame. She makes a rectangle with both of her hands, as if to capture the picturesque view before her. "Hm, hm! As expected from our resident model."
"Th-thanks. You look... cute too," meanwhile, Karin is blushing.
"Cute? Nonono, Ai-san doesn't look cute!" the blonde waggles her finger. She's not even flinching after receiving that compliment. "The cute ones is absolutely Rinarii and Ayumucchi."
"How about Kasumi-chan?"
"She's an imp!"
They both laugh. Meanwhile, said junior is wheezing at her home.
"Fufufu, you're right. Anyway... why're you so early?"
"I could say the same to you! Well to be honest, I always waited for a chance for us to hang out together outside school and idol stuffs. Just you and Ai," the blonde winked.
The blush came back full-force. As usual, Karin is weak of direct attacks, the junior thought while chuckling.
Karin coughed, "A-anyway, the restaurant I've booked is not open yet, where do you want to wait?"
"Let's just take a walk to work up our appetite! So, here," Ai held her hand.
Karin tilted her head, confusedly, "Um...?"
"Mou, this is common etiquette, you know. As my senpai, you must lead me!" Ai wiggled her hand.
"Lead...? As in... ah."
Now, Karin's face is as red as tomato, she's likely realizes what Ai means by 'guiding her'. Which is to hold hands. S-so lewd! The student council president, Shioriko must be rolling in her graves knowing this (she's still alive)!
"... Ai, you're a bad girl, teasing your senpai like this."
Finally, Karin takes her junior's hand gingerly. The blonde grins, she never sees Karin blushing that hard before! As usual, she only looks mature on the outside, inside she's just a normal high school girl.
"Whatever. Let's go then," Karin grumbled, while pulling Ai along. Her dignity as a senpai is in tatters now.
"Yosha! DiverDiva unite!!"
After walking around Akiba and did some window shopping, Karin guides Ai to her favorite place, Ahnenerbe. Ai gawked at said restaurant, a sole building with brick exterior and fancy lighting.
"W-whoa, it looks so fancy! Do high school students really eat at this place?"
"My manager often takes us here to celebrate our successful photoshoots," Karin lets Ai's hand go. Before she can open the door, a suit-wearing waiter opened it for them.
"Welcome to Ahnenerbe. Do you have a reservation?"
"Yes, by the name Asaka, for two people."
The waiter scrolls on his tablet to confirm the reservation, then he bows at them.
"Thank you for coming, Miss Asaka, and your companion too. If you'd be so kind to follow me to your reserved table."
Ai can only gawks at that conversation. It's so... so mature! Karin is just like a businesswoman whose going to attend a dinner meeting with her business partner! She feels so out of her level here...
"Come on, Ai," Karin held her hand.
The junior gulped nervously and took her senpai's hand as they follow the waiter inside. As she imagined, the inside looks so high class with chandeliers lighting the brown-toned decorations. There are only two-person tables, with candle and real flowers upon them. Soft, classic music plays along to accompany their meal. Most patrons here are young adults and even some middle-aged couple. Disregarding Karin that looks like a working adult, Ai looks so out of her level here!
The waiter took them to their table, a nice place beside a window and places their seats. After that, he gives them the menu book. The food in Ahnenerbe are, as expected, all Western – so, everything is in English. Luckily Ai is good at them, so she know what she's looking at.
Although she's kind of worried about the lack of written price...
"Whoa, everything looks good," Ai says, while turning the pages on her menu book. Her tastes are very traditional (her favorite food is nukazuke of all things, not very idol-like), but she does like Western food sometimes.
"I know, right? Especially their salmon steak. It's a miracle that something that tastes so good is also healthy here."
Ai chuckles at hearing that.
"What?" Karin lowers her menu book.
"No, I just... the menu is English, but you seem okay with this? Because you know, your English is..." Ai can't hold it anymore, and she laughs openly.
"H-how rude!" Karin blushes, embarrassed. Of course she realizes how atrocious her test scores are. Between her modelling works and idol practice, she hardly has time to study! "Even I know some of the menu! As I said, I often came here!"
"Oh yeah? Then... how about this?" Ai pointed at a menu for Karin to read... and of course she can't read it.
She glares at her junior, "You're such a bully, Ai."
The blonde laughs again, and now Karin joins her. That's who Ai is, always a mood maker whatever the situation is, even if she's teasing her senpai relentlessly.
"Still, I'm glad."
"You look nervous ever since we came here," Karin places her menu book down.
"Hm?! Well yeah, I mean I've never really been to such a mature restaurant before you know, I guess I'll have to be on my best behavior here," Ai scratches her cheek. That's right, since arriving here, she forgot to use her third-person... meaning she's nervous.
"Fufufu, don't you think you'll miss out on the taste of your meal if you're too busy overthinking things?"
"Oh don't you worry, good food is different story! They still taste good no matter whether you're nervous or not," Ai gives her senpai a thumb-up.
"I'm glad to hear it."
They then give their orders to the waiter. Karin chooses salmon steak, while Ai picks something familiar to her, which is pasta. As the waiter asked about desserts, Karin said that they will order them later. The waiter took their menu book, and now they wait for the food.
"... so once we're outta here, wanna go grab some dessert outside? I'll show you my favorite taiyaki kiosk, they sell super delicious ones near my place."
"Ai... this place is a bit too much for you, right? Shall we go then?"
"No, no! Sorry, let me explain! You've shown me such a great place, so I want to take you somewhere I like in return."
"Whaat?! Th-there's no need to worry about that..."
"Ehehe! I'm saying that I wanna keep hanging out with you after we eat!"
Karin blushed. Ai is so forward, she doesn't think her heart can handle this...
"You could've told me from the start... fufufu, I can't wait for some taiyaki then. But will we have enough room for more food?"
"We can share one then!"
In the end, they split their food among them so as to save room for dessert. Karin took the bill of course, and Ai can swear she sees four zeros on it! Karin's model payload is something, really.
"Man, the food is soo good!" Ai exclaimed. "The hand-made pasta is delicious, of course, but the salmon steak is... heavenly. I've never ate fish that good!"
"I'm glad that you like it," Karin smiles. "I want to take all of you there sometimes, but I reckon we'll make too much of a ruckus."
Ai winces. The overexcitement of first years, Setsuna, and Yu will clash so hard with the ambience of that restaurant. "Yeah. I can't imagine all kind of shenanigans if we're all together. Maybe just take us to a fast food joint or something."
"I'll keep that in mind. Maybe after the next live, for celebration?"
"Sounds good! But remember, we'll take the bill together," Ai waggles her finger.
"Fufufu, of course. Even I will bankrupt if I must treat all 9 of you."
The two of them laugh together afterwards. They're still holding hands, but this time Ai is leading because she want to take Karin to her favorite dessert shop as she said before. After ten minutes walking, they arrive.
"We're here!" Ai spreads open her arms.
It's a small taiyaki kiosk named "Konjiki" that's written on a fish-shaped name plate, located on a corner of a sprawling T-junction.A small and quaint kiosk that can't be compared by the fancy Ahnenerbe before. Karin saw an old lady inside the kiosk, which is supposedly the owner.
"Yumi-obaasan! Good night!" Ai greets the lady.
"Oh? Ai-chan! Good night to you too. My, you look so pretty tonight," the old lady, Yumi, answered kindly. She sees Karin standing nervously behind the blonde, and raised an eyebrow, "And who's that pretty one with you? Oho... Saturday night date, huh?"
Ai scratches her cheek, while Karin is massages her temple in embarrassment. Are they that obvious?
"Hehehee, you can say that. She's Karin, my senpai."
Did Ai just calls her without a honorific in front of a stranger?!
"Oho? A senpai! You're popular as always, my dear Ai-chan!"
"Mou, enough with the teasing, obaa-san! I want the usual one," the blonde second-year points at a picture in the kiosk window. She turns her head, "What do you want, Karin?"
"Hmm, what is your usual one?" the senpai walks upon her to look at the menu.
"Deluxe taiyaki with orange custard filling and whipped cream!"
"Ukh, that seems heavy on calories... um, owner-san, what do you recommend?"
Miss Yumi laughed softly at their interaction. "Well, you looks like a classy one, miss... so I recommend the matcha filling!"
"Alright, I'll go with that, then."
"Bleh. Your loss!" Ai sticks out her tongue.
After waiting for some minutes, their orders are finished. Ai paid for it (she rejected Karin's offer to pay), and asks her senpai to eat them in a place close by. The two of them arrive shortly in a small park, and they sit down on a seat there, side by side.
"Here's yours," Ai gives Karin's taiyaki, it's still warm.
"Thanks," Karin receives her portion. She takes a small bite and her eyes widen in disbelief. "Mm! It's delicious!"
"Right? The batter is crispy on the outside but fluffy inside, and the filling is creamy but not too sweet!" Ai says while eating hers with such gusto even if she already had dinner.
"I'm not too fond of sweets, but this is so good!" Karin continues to savor her taiyaki. "The matcha filling is also easy on the calories..."
Ai chuckles. "Hehehee. You and your diet."
"Hey, I worked hard to maintain this proportion, you know," Karin grumbles while looking at her companion, who looks so slender even under that thick jacket. "I'm kinda jealous that you can maintain that nice body without dieting."
"Well, I'm moving a lot in school. Also, studying burn calories, you know. Maybe you can try to study harder?"
Karin laughed, "Yeah no, thanks."
They continue eating while enjoying the cool night air... which is such a funny sight really, two well-dressed girls eating taiyaki in an empty park. They almost finished the food when Ai suddenly exclaims, "You know, I never tries that matcha filling. Can I have a try?"
Karin almost choked at her food. Her eyes widen, "H-huh?"
"Come on, you can try mine too."
Eating each other's food? B-but it's an indirect kiss, Karin though while blushing profusely. Are they really on that level of relationship?!
Or is Karin the weird one, thinking about all this? As far as she know, Ai's just like that. She enjoys teasing people close to her, even if it's her senpai. Or, especially if it's the blue-haired senpai.
Karin tries to calm herself, and without answering, held her taiyaki to Ai. The blonde junior bites it happily. "Mmm!" Ai closes her eyes, savoring the food. "The bitter-sweet matcha is soo good! As expected from Yumi-san."
Then, she holds her taiyaki to Karin without hesitation.
"Here, try mine."
Karin, still blushing, gingerly bites at Ai's taiyaki, trying to not thinking about where Ai's lips have touched before.A burst of sweetness then came upon her tongue. The custard is creamy and thick with evil, no-good, sugar! This is too sweet for her, but...
Facing Ai, who is brilliantly smiling upon her, Karin couldn't think of anything.
Karin wonders, what is sweeter, the cream filling or the blonde junior beside her?
As Karin's dorm curfew is not until 9 PM, she offers to walk Ai back to her home. So now, hand-in-hand, they walk slowly upon their final destination to end their exciting night. Not too long, they arrive in front of Miyashita residence. Despite her appearance, Ai lives in a traditional Japanese household, a rarity in such modern neighborhood like Akiba.
"Well, this is goodbye," Ai says while releasing their intertwined hand.
Despite already saying goodbye, they're not ready to part yet. There is still something to say...
"So, are you having fun today?" Karin starts.
Ai smiled, "Yeah. Hanging out together with you is fun."
"I'm glad then."
That's true. From the start, they're having so much fun exploring the glimmering night life of Akiba, had a nice dinner at an exquisite restaurant, then having a superb dessert. It's... different when they're hanging out with other members of Nijigasaki Idol Appreciation Group. Maybe...
"Maybe we should do this more often? Hanging out," asked Karin. Even she doesn't realize what she's saying... and now she's blushing again while waving her hands. "Uh! I-I mean..."
She tries to stare at anything beside her blonde junior in front of her. Really, baka Karin, what are you spouting?! Is it too forward, or too soon? Now Ai must think that she want to have a date again!
"Are you sure?" came the response.
This forces Karin to pay attention go Ai, who is now wide-eyed. The bluenette can't sense her discomfort or anything, only an inquiry of her seriousness of that statement. Well, this is... normal right? A pair of friends, no – club partner – want to hang out together again?
Then, there is only one response.
Ai smiles, not her usual genki smile, but one that is so sincere, it made her senpai's heart going on a triple-pirouette moonsault.
"I'd like that, Karin."
Then, without knowing what possessed her, Karin gives Ai a small peck on the cheek. She can't help it, the situation is too perfect!!
"I like your company too, Ai," she says, with a brilliant smile.
The blonde junior can only stare at the bluenette, not blinking, as Karin took her leave.
"Well, see you in school this Monday. Good night."
Karin waver her goodbye, and began her journey back to Nijigasaki Dorms. As Ai sees her leave, she touches the place where Karin kissed her.
She doesn't know if the warmth there is from Karin's lips... or her own burning face.
"... you're so unfair, Karin."
- fin -