Title: Lisa’s Unsurprising Surprise
Main Ship(s): YukiLisa
Word Count: 2172
It was quiet in Livehouse CiRCLE, as Lisa headed back to the practice room that Roselia had booked. This wasn't an unusual occurrence for them. Thanks to Yukina and Sayo’s focus on devotion to the band and perfecting their sound, they had always tended to practice later than most others that booked rooms at CiRCLE - although the two had relatively mellowed out over time, this habit still lingered on. What was unusual, however, was that she could hear her bandmates chatting. Even Yukina seemed to be involved, which was far more than unusual.
“Are you certain that Imai-san will appreciate such a surprise?” Wait, she thought, they were talking about her? And a surprise?
“Yeah! This’ll be perfect, I know it! Right, Rinrin?” This had to be something to do with her birthday, Lisa reasoned, some sort of surprise party for her. She smiled. They may have done a poor job of keeping their surprise a surprise, but they were going out of their way to plan this for her. “You guys know what you're gonna get her, right?”
“Of course.” Yukina stated firmly. “I have no doubt that you are all the same way. I will accept nothing but the best for her.” Whoa, she certainly hadn't expected Yukina to be so… candid.
“Haz— I have an idea worked out, yes.” Sayo stumbled.
“Ako-chan and I have… decided too.” Should she really be listening to them talk about this, she now questioned herself, they were doing it for her after all.
“Hmm, Imai-san has been quite awhile.” Oh right, she was only meant to have been grabbing the five of them some drinks. An excuse, an excuse, an excuse. Ah, she’d say she had been chatting with Marina-san, that would work well enough as long as they didn't ask for any details. She took a deep breath, and opened the door to the practice room.
“Ahaha, sorry I took so long,” that had sounded far too awkward, “I got distracted chatting with Marina-san.” The four of them stared at her. “Ah, is something wrong?”
“Oh, uh, nothing Lisa-nee.”
“Right, let’s get back to practice then.” Sayo stood up.
“Wha— Bu— Sayo-san, drinks!” Ako exclaimed, pointing at the cans in Lisa's hands. Sayo sighed, then sat back down.
“All right, but we return to practice immediately afterwards.” She stated as Lisa placed the drinks down on the table. Lisa glanced between them. She felt annoyingly guilty. Lisa knew that she should not have listened in on her bandmates discussing what was unquestionably her own surprise birthday party, but she hadn’t even tried to resist the temptation.
“Lisa, are you feeling unwell, you seem… different than usual.” Lisa froze as Yukina turned her gaze on her. She looked… soft, kind, warm.
“Ah, I’m fine, I feel the same as always, you know?” She noticed Sayo frown in the corner of her eye. “We should probably get back to practice, right? Right, Sayo?”
“Your drink will still be here after practice, Udagawa-san.”
Lisa was starting to feel less guilty about listening to their conversations about her surprise party, almost entirely due to the fact that the four of her friends had been doing an absolutely terrible job of hiding it. They had made a point of having Lisa collect drinks for them, alone, at every practice session since the 18th and, quite honestly, she was beginning to get tired of having to carefully carry five cans from CiRCLE’s lobby to their practice room.
“And then, when she walks in, we all jump out from behind some of the stuff here, like the amp or my drums, and say ‘Happy Birthday Lisa-nee’!” Ako had been the worst at keeping her surprise party a secret. Every time Lisa spoke to her, Ako seemed to be just about bursting at the seams, as if she were ready to tell Lisa everything about the party at any moment. Although, none of them had told her anything directly so far, so she supposed that they had - in their minds, at least - kept the party a secret.
“And then we give her her gifts after that?” Was Sayo really this clueless about things like this, Lisa thought to herself.
“Yes… Hikawa-san…” Surely Sayo had to have experienced a surprise party at some point. Then again, Hina being her twin sister always seemed to throw a wrench into the gears, no matter the situation, so maybe that was the problem. Wait, she was distracting herself again, how long had she been standing outside of the door? No, that didn’t matter, she should just head inside.
“Lisa-nee, welcome back!”
“Thank you again for buying the drinks, Imai-san.” Sayo helped Lisa place the cans down on the table.
“Oh, it’s no problem, I like helping out where I can.”
“If you need… any help next time… Imai-san, please ask.” Rinko smiles faintly at her, but she shakes her head.
“I’m fine, it’s not that hard to carry them here.” Maybe it was selfish, but she wanted to be able to listen to them if they discussed her party again tomorrow. Well, Lisa didn’t think there was a ‘maybe’ to it.
The day had arrived. August 25th. Her birthday. The day that Roselia would surprise her in the practice room at CiRCLE. Well, ‘surprise’ wasn’t exactly accurate, she supposed. She had already received many messages wishing her a happy birthday from the girls in the other bands, but all Roselia had remained, unsurprisingly, silent. Now, here she was, walking to CiRCLE alone with the knowledge that the other four would be waiting in the practice room to surprise her. Now that it was here, all of the small amounts of satisfaction that she had felt from knowing had been replaced by feelings of intense disappointment. She had knowingly robbed herself of the experience, and she now wished she hadn’t.
“Oh, Lisa-senpai, good afternoon.”
“Afternoon, Tsugumi.” Okay, Tsugumi, she would be a good distraction from the disappointment in herself that she was currently feeling. “How are things going with Sayo?” The other girl immediately blushed, looking at her feet.
“Well, we’ve been meeting up on the weekends and baking together,” she fiddled with the hem of her skirt, “but I haven’t… asked her on a date yet…” She trailed off. “But that’s okay, I’m fine just being friends, you know? I wouldn’t want to ruin that.” Gosh, Tsugumi was adorable, she could see why Sayo liked her so much, something about her made Lisa just want to hug her tight and never let her go. “Ah, we’re here already.” Wait, no, she wasn’t ready yet. “Lisa-senpai?”
“You’ve got practice too, Tsugumi?”
“Oh, um, yeah, Afterglow have practice too. Uh, see you later, Lisa-senpai.” Tsugumi quickly dashed inside of CiRCLE, leaving Lisa standing alone in front of the double doors.
“Right, surprised. Just act surprised, it’s easy.” She whispered to herself, and walked inside.
“Ah, Lisa-chan, they’re in the usual room.” Marina-san tells her from behind the counter.
“Thank you, Marina-san.” She wandered slowly down the hall towards Roselia’s usual practice room, reaching the door far faster than she wished to. She stopped outside of the door, hand resting on the handle. She took a long breath and then stepped inside.
“Imai-san, you’re late, we were supposed to start practice ten minutes ago.” Sayo glared at her, guitar strap around her shoulders.
“Shame on you, Lisa-nee.” Ako tried, poorly, to hide a smile.
“Wait— But I thought—” Lisa glanced between the four of her bandmates as they stood ready at their usual places. “I don’t under-”
“Happy Birthday Lisa!” Suddenly, voices erupted from all around her. Inside of the room and outside of the room, in front of her and behind her, seemingly everywhere at once. It was a cacophony of a single sentence. Everyone was there. Everyone . As she slowly spun around, she could see that not a single person was missing. Poppin’Party had - rather fittingly - popped up from behind some of the instruments; Afterglow were tucked behind a corner, heads peeking out to see her; Pastel*Palettes were dotted around the practice room; Hello, Happy World!, Raise A Suilen, and Morfonica all stood behind her, outside of the room, with Marina-san at their head. And, of course, front and centre, were her very own Roselia.
“I… I… You guys, you all…” Her vision began to blur, “you tricked me.” Lisa laughed. She had thought that they were being obvious, but she hadn’t even considered that it could have been a part of their plan.
“You can blame Udagawa-san for that idea. Ah, referring to Ako-san, of course.” Sayo smiled, and Ako was grinning, clearly incredibly proud of herself.
“It was a good idea, right, Lisa-nee? Right?” Ako bounced up and down on her stool.
“Yeah,” she said, “it was better than anything I could have asked for.” Her blurred vision cleared, but she could feel the tears sliding down her cheeks.
“Lisa, are you alright?” Yukina walked over to her, and she nodded.
“I am, I’m… I’m really happy. Thank you, everyone.”
“I believe we give her our gifts now, do we not?” Sayo said calmly, holding a neatly wrapped box in her hands. Wait, so Sayo had been serious when she had been asking questions about the surprise party, that hadn’t been for show?
“Right,” Ako leapt up from her seat, “Lisa-nee, this is from me and Rinrin!”
“Oh, you really shouldn’t have, after all, I don’t know if I really deserve—”
“You deserve this more than anyone else, Lisa,” Yukina stopped her, smiling, smiling ! Lisa almost wanted to fade away. She carefully tore the paper off of Ako and Rinko’s present.
“Oh, an apron,” Lisa gasped, “I’ve needed a new one for a while, how did you know?”
“Yukina-san told us that you accidentally tore your old one, and since she’s getting you-” Ako covered her mouth with her hand, “Ah, forget I said that, forget it!” She flapped her arms about.
“We… hope that you like it… Imai-san…” Rinko smiled at her.
“I love it already. Thank you, Ako, Rinko.” She pulled the two into a tight embrace. Sayo timidly made her way over to Lisa, her arms behind her back.
“Imai-san, I— ah, Hazawa-san and I, that is, made you these…” Sayo quickly handed her a wrapped box, before scampering back and standing next to Tsugumi, her face all red. Lisa smirked at Sayo, before glancing down at the gift. She lifted the lid, revealing a large batch of various cookies.
“Wow, Sayo these look incredible! You’ve gotten really good at this.” Sayo’s already red face reddened further, and she turned away. Lisa grabbed one of the cookies from the box before taking a bite. “Ah, they taste even better than they look too!” She said, and Tsugumi smiled at her.
“Sayo-san worked really hard on them, she really wanted to get them right.” Sayo said nothing, only quickly glancing over her shoulder.
“Thanks, Sayo, I love them.”
“It’s… no problem, Imai-san. I’m… I’m glad you like them. Ah, M— Minato-san, don’t you need to give her your present?” Sayo stammered, and Lisa looked over to Yukina. She stood there in silence for a short moment.
“I shall give Lisa her gift once we get home.” She said, which immediately piqued Lisa’s curiosity, “I hope you do not mind waiting.”
“Well,” Lisa said, “if it’s you, Yukina.”
“Did you… enjoy your surprise party, Lisa?” Yukina asked as the two of them finally headed home.
“I loved it, but…” Lisa paused, “I was actually kinda scared at first, you know?”
“Scared?” Yukina cocked her head.
“Mm, I thought I'd ruined it, 'cause I'd overheard everything. Or, I thought I'd overheard everything.” She rubbed the back of her neck.
“You could never ruin anything Lisa.” Both girls immediately blushed.
“Yu— Yu— Yukina‽” Lisa gasped, “don’t just— say something like that so suddenly, it’s embarrassing.”
“We’re home,” Yukina said, “would you like to come in? I left your gift in my bedroom.” Yukina acting so affectionate was unusual, but Lisa wasn’t going to argue against it.
“Pardon the intrusion.” Yukina immediately headed to her bedroom, gently pulling Lisa along with her. “Yukina, I know where your bedroom is, you don’t need to drag me.”
“Here,” she handed Lisa a small box. It looked rather plain. No, she thought, that was too harsh, it was modest. Yes, that was a better description. She lifted the lid, and gasped. Placed neatly inside was a necklace. A silver chain leading down to a carved, pale red stone.
“Yukina, this is—”
“A necklace,” she said, “a rhodonite pendant.”
“How much… How much did this cost?”
“That isn’t important. Do… you like it?” Yukina suddenly seemed nervous, and Lisa felt herself tearing up all over again.
“It’s… incredible. I love it, Yukina.” Lisa threw her arms around her, and, after a moment, Yukina returned the embrace.
“I ap—” Yukina stopped herself, “I love you, Lisa.”
“I love you too Yukina.”