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2. Prince Charming
Multi-chapter
Reading Time: 33 minutes
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Details
Idol

Yamada Ryosuke

Relationship

Yamada x OC

Ship Name

Yamada Ryosuke x Elliot Meadows

Type

Chaptered Story

Genre

Fluffy, Romance, Slice of Life, Idol Romance

Rating

PG-13

Warnings

Animal death, veterinarian situations

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Synopsis

She picked up the items, and went back to her desk, everyone stopped moving when she walked in, Miki still standing in the same spot waiting, and Elliot had to roll her eyes at all of them, “Is your life so boring that my receiving a mysterious mail literally stops your entire day?”

A chorus of yes and nods followed and she had to laugh at them, when Miki couldn’t wait any longer, “Well, what was it!?”

“A concert ticket,” Elliot mumbled, holding it up so they could see it, “to a group I don’t know, at Yokohama Arena…ah,” she tilted the ticket so she could read the group’s name, “it says ‘Hey! Say! Jump”.”

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Elliot didn’t have to report to the clinic until 11:30 the next morning, so she took her time getting ready, relaxing in the shower as the hot water and steam seemed to loosen all of tension her muscles had built up over the last month. She was excited to be able to go by her favorite bookstore as she walked her normal route to work, browsing the shop leisurely as she passed the time, sipping her vanilla iced coffee as she went. She was glad she didn’t have surgery today, as they never do surgeries on Fridays unless it is an emergency, otherwise the excessive amount of caffeine she was ingesting would for sure be an issue. She picked up two books, one about gardening, something she had a new interest in, the other a self-indulgent romance novel.

She lived only five blocks from her clinic, the lovely little hidden niche where her home was located tucked away like an oasis in the midst of the larger cultural arts district. She passed her favorite stretch of sidewalk, crossing the road quickly to walk next to the wrought iron fences of the park that held lovely gardens. At least it once did—the park was privately owned and funded, and the man who had long maintained and clearly loved the property had apparently passed away. Until all of his affairs were settled, his money was tied up and wouldn’t be released so they could pay for upkeep on the park. The gates that were normally wide open had been chained shut, and the park looked sad and gloomy, a sharp contrast to the vibrant picture it once was, without children playing on the swings and couples strolling through the quiet paths.

Elliot had been able to secure permission from the family to clean up and tend to it without pay, even having been trusted enough to be given a key to the gate, and despite trying to garner interest from her co-workers and neighbors—others simply weren’t into the idea of doing something for nothing—so each weekend for the last two months she would spend hours inside the park cleaning, pruning, and trying to keep the weeds from taking over. She had no idea what she was doing, truth be told, and was hoping the book she’d purchased might tell her the best way to save the plants which were withering under neglect. The walk to work would never be the same if she couldn’t see the park in all its glory as it rotated through each season. It made her sad to even think about it and had been considering putting together a fundraiser to try to save it.

She arrived at work a few minutes later, entering in through the employee entrance to find Saya waiting for her as usual.

“Good morning, Boss!”

“Saya, how many times have I told you I am not your ‘boss’—I don’t write your paychecks,” Elliot laughed lightly as she hung up her jacket and stuffed her bag into her locker, stepping behind the screen to change into her scrubs.

“I know, but I like it,” Saya protested, having learned the term from an American movie she’d watched, “I don’t use it in front of other people, after all.”

Elliot stepped out, her pink scrubs making her skin look bright and shiny, as she shrugged on her white coat, grabbing her stethoscope and other necessary items tucking them here and there, and then clapping her hands together, “It’s fine, it’s fine—what’s the situation look like today? How’s Winty?”

“Winty is awake and angry that we won’t let her eat,” Saya laughed, gesturing for her to walk ahead of her, “The sooner you check her the better, so we can let her have some food!”

“I see,” Elliot nodded, making her way to Winty’s cage, “Anything else noteworthy?”

“Not really, just a few routine patients this morning, and only two scheduled for this afternoon—so unless we run into an emergency it looks like a fairly quiet day.”

“Damn it, Saya,” Elliot groaned, twisting her head to give her a leveled glare, “How many times have I told you to never say it’s a quiet day!?”

“Oh, my God!” Saya threw her hands up in the air, “That’s just a stupid myth! I don’t understand why you believe in that nonsense!”

“Shut it!” Elliot turned her attention to the puppy who was literally shaking the entire row of cages with her wiggling, “If something bad happens, it is your fault!”

“How is our sweet Winty today?” Elliot cooed in a childlike voice, eliciting a long whine from the dog as she pawed at the door. She pressed the code to unlock the cage, reaching in to pick the puppy up and carrying her to the treatment room for the examination. Saya followed along behind her, carrying the puppy’s records.

Elliot checked the puppy thoroughly and was happy to report that Saya could most certainly give her a meal, one fraction now, and to spread the rest out over the next five hours to not overload her system, and to ensure there weren’t going to be any issues. If everything went as expected, she would be able to go home this evening! Her owner would be ecstatic.

A few hours had passed, having seen the routine patients—until there was a commotion up front, and several of the techs rushed when Miki called out for help. Elliot was in the middle of a follow up exam in one of the rooms and started to wrap up so she could go help, but relaxed when everything got quiet again.

She’d just finished washing her hands when Saya walked into the room, eyes wide, her face frozen in an expression between shock and fear.

“You okay?”

“The next patient…” Saya’s eyes were unfocused, and then they moved slowly to connect to Elliot’s, “She’s gigantic.”

Elliot had no idea what she might be talking about, but wasn’t too concerned—that was until she was nearing the exam room and it sounded like someone was rearranging the furniture within.

She opened the door slowly and peeked in, to see what appeared to be a gigantic bear padding around the room, bumping into the furniture and knocking a stool over as she made another round. She slowly closed the door, turning to look at Saya who still appeared to be in a daze.

She pulled the chart out of the bin, her eyes widening as she read that her new friend’s name was Kisha, and she was a two-year-old St. Bernard—who weighed 240 pounds, and stood nearly three feet tall.

“You’re coming in with me,” she whispered as she grabbed Saya’s wrist and drug her into the room with her.

The dog didn’t even respond to the presence of the new people to the room, completely at ease, rather she just continued to explore and examine everything she could, reaching spots in the room that no other dog normally could.  Elliot’s eyes nearly popped out of her head when Kisha stood up on her back legs, front paws on the counter edge as she explored the top of the cabinet beside her—her head reaching far above Elliot’s own.

The exam was…different. People in Japan didn’t normally have larger animals because their homes wouldn’t afford them enough space for them—but these owners were from overseas and had recently moved to Japan and it wasn’t an option to leave their pet behind. Everything had gone pretty smoothly until it was time to give Kisha her booster shots.

It was safe to say, Elliot was completely overwhelmed by Kisha, who weighed more than double her own weight and because Elliot was very small—Kisha’s head came up to her chest, nearly above her head when she stretched her neck up and out. Elliot had easily been overpowered as she attempted to wrestle the dog who thought they were playing a game—losing the round and ended up lying flat on her back, the huge dog’s paws beside her head as she slobbered and licked her all over, the owner trying to make the dog move, and Saya making screeching noises that just added to the chaos of the situation.

“Just give her the shot, Saya!” Elliot screamed, reaching up to try to keep Kisha’s head away from her own as the amount of drool that was falling onto her face was like having a bucket of water thrown on her.

Saya rushed to give the dog the shot, which caused zero reaction, and eventually they were able to get the dog to calm down. Elliot left, trudging into the treatment room, hair looking like she’d put her finger in a light socket, frizzy and wet with the dog’s slobber, the entire front of her clothing was sopping wet, and her overall appearance was completely disheveled.

Don’t say anything,” she hissed as she passed the techs who were trying to muffle their laughs, “Next time you’re all going in with me—and we’ll be doing the exam in the exercise room.”

They all burst out laughing, Miki was watching from the door laughing hysterically, when Elliot looked at her, “Write that down, damn it—put it in her record in bright red, highlighted and big enough to see. She can’t be seen in a normal room.”

Miki nodded her head as she covered her mouth trying to stop laughing. Elliot narrowed her eyes at the lot of them, barking out, “I’m taking a shower!”

Elliot washed quickly, put on a clean pair of scrubs and jacket, feeling fresh and renewed. Thankfully, the rest of the day was blessedly quiet, no emergencies or sudden influx of patients happened—the techs had cleaned everything they could find and the entire group of them were sitting around one of the treatment tables playing some card game. Elliot was sitting at her desk, leaning back in her chair, feet up on the desk reading the book she’d bought earlier that day hoping to get some help for what to do during her trip to the garden the next day.

She glanced up at the painting above her desk when she heard the bell ring indicating someone had walked in the front door, straining to see if she could hear if it was an emergency or not. When the emergency light didn’t come on after a minute or so she felt safe looking back to her book, knowing it would take a few minutes until she would need to see the patient.

“Dr. Meadows?”

Elliot turned to look to the entry of the room where Miki had her head poked in, “There’s a courier here who says you have to sign for a package—he won’t accept my signature and said he needed to see your ID.”

“Okay,” Elliot drew out the word in confusion, laying the book on the desk, then standing to go get her id from the locker, “Weird….”

She headed up front after she grabbed her ID, stepping out into the empty waiting room to find what appeared to be a younger boy, maybe sixteen if she was guessing right, dressed in rather nice clothing, who was shuffling his feet in a nervous way, and Elliot was rather confused about how a boy this age was working for the kind of courier service that would require such stringent signature rules.

“I’m Dr. Meadows,” she held out her ID to the young man who quietly thanked her, walking over to the counter to lay the ID down on the surface. Elliot was confused as to what he was doing when it looked like he was huddling over top of it for a moment, but then he turned around, holding out a clipboard, with the ID on top of it.

“I just need you to sign right here,” he pointed to the spot on the form, holding a pen out in his other hand. Elliot took the clipboard and pen, signing the form quickly, then handed it back to him.

He produced an envelope from the messenger bag he had on his hip, handing it to her, and then thanked her and was instantly out of the door without another word.

Elliot watched him go, walking closer to the exit so she could see more clearly, as he stepped out to the curb and was picked up by someone in a black sports car.

Weird.

She moved to return to the back to find Miki practically standing on top of her, as she almost knocked her down when she turned, “Miki!” she screeched, “What are you doing?”

“Being nosy!”

Elliot rolled her eyes, stepping around the woman so she could go to the back, swinging the door open and knowing she was being followed when the door didn’t close immediately, “Don’t you have a job, Miki?”

“Yes, but no one is here, and I just want to know what was so important someone like that had to deliver it.”

“Deliver what?” Saya asked, laying her cards on the table so the others couldn’t see it.

“Nothing!”

“That envelope!”

Saya’s eyebrows shot up, looking to the envelope in Elliot’s hand, pointing at it, “You mean that envelope is nothing?”

“It’s nothing to any of you,” Elliot murmured, moving quickly from the room to go into the bathroom—as there was no way she was opening an unknown envelope in front of a bunch of people.

She quickly ripped the envelope, reaching into it to retrieve the contents—there was a letter and a smaller envelope in there, so she set it all down, opening the letter that was hand written.

“Dr. Meadows—
Thank you so much for taking good care of Riku yesterday! To show my appreciation I wanted to send this small token to you! I hope you enjoy yourself!
Sincerely,
Yamada Ryosuke”

Elliot stared at the signature for a moment, confused, and then felt a slow warmth settling over her as she realized this was from him.

She carefully folded the letter, picking up the smaller envelope, bending back the flap and pulling out what looked like a concert ticket.

She studied it, not knowing the group, or…well, why in the world was he sending her something so random? A concert ticket to a group she didn’t even know? She checked the contents again, and found nothing else, just the letter and the ticket.

Well, it was a nice gesture, at least, and sometimes her patients did give her gifts, but this felt rather extravagant given that all she’d really done was tell him his dog wasn’t dying. She did that most days, actually.

She picked up the items, and went back to her desk, everyone stopped moving when she walked in, Miki still standing in the same spot waiting, and Elliot had to roll her eyes at all of them, “Is your life so boring that my receiving a mysterious mail literally stops your entire day?”

A chorus of yes and nods followed and she had to laugh at them, when Miki couldn’t wait any longer, “Well, what was it!?”

“A concert ticket,” Elliot mumbled, holding it up so they could see it, “to a group I don’t know, at Yokohama Arena…ah,” she tilted the ticket so she could read the group’s name, “it says ‘Hey! Say! Jump”.”

Mass chaos broke out at the table with the techs, Saya pitching forward, spewing the soda she’d been drinking all over the table, while the other techs scrambled to get out of the way. Saya’s voice was more of a screech than anything, “Holy crap, Boss, that’s the group that th—“

Before she could finish the sentence, Mao, their nineteen-year-old tech apprentice, had slapped her hands over Saya’s mouth, words flowing out quickly while the others shifted and turned away, “What she was going to say is that’s the group who’s super famous right now, they have a lot of number one hits and she thinks you’d really enjoy seeing them in concert!”

Elliot’s eyebrows could not possibly go any higher as she watched Saya’s head nod, her mouth and part of her nose still covered with Mao’s hands. Mao laughed nervously, “We’ve discussed this at length.”

Saya mumbled under the hands and then spoke clearly when Mao released her, “We did, sorry, that’s what we did, exactly what we did.”

Elliot shook her head, not even going to try to understand what was going on with all of them, it must be a generational thing or something because they were all absolutely crazy, “That’s great, you can have the ticket.”

“What!?” Saya’s voice was so loud all the animals that had been making noises went instantly silent.

Elliot looked at her confusedly, thinking perhaps she was a fan, “I mean, I’m not going to use it, I’ve never even heard of this group—so it seems wrong to let it go to waste.”

“You’re not goin—“

“I’ll take it!” Miki cried out, rushing over to snatch the ticket from Elliot’s hand.

“You most certainly will not!” Mao stomped over to grab the ticket from Miki’s hand which resulted in the two of them wrestling for it.

“You give that ticket back to Elliot!”

“No! It’s not my fault she lives under a rock!”

“Shut up! You don’t know anything!”

“I’m going! She doesn’t even know who they are!”

The two of them continued to battle over the ticket and Elliot was torn between the hope that Mao could actually teach Miki some manners and the fact that Miki could potentially shred Mao to bits and pieces.

“Oy!” Elliot’s voice slipped into her no-nonsense mode and the girls froze, “Give it to me.”

Miki looked like she might take off running out of the room, clutching the ticket like it held the secrets to the universe, but Mao turned her head to look at her, seething, as the words passed through her gritted teeth, “She said to give it to her, Miki!”

She said her name like a curse and Elliot couldn’t even being to guess why they were all so uptight over a concert ticket, apparently, this group was really popular, even among her own staff.

Miki’s hand shook as she held the ticket out, and Elliot took it from her, glancing to the others who were all watching with rapt attention, “No one is using the ticket.”

She ignored the flaring tempers who were vehemently protesting, turning and walking from the room, intent on putting the ticket in her locker and maybe sneaking it to Saya or Mao later without the others knowing. There’s no way she could let the man’s gift go to waste like that.

That would be like saying the gift had no value and that I didn’t appreciate it—the worst kind of insult. That won’t do, not at all.

She’d just closed her locker and turned, jumping when Saya was standing behind her, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Elliot waved her hand, dismissing it completely, “You know, I’ll let you take the ticket and go so th—“

“Stop,” Saya whispered, lifting her finger to her lip to do the ‘shh’ sign, “Boss, you should go—you never do anything fun, like…ever. You work and you sleep. I am not even including eating in this sentence because you barely take the time to do that. You should go—it would be fun, a nice evening to just experience something different.”

Elliot considered what Saya was saying, as despite the four-year age difference between them, she considered Saya a dear friend—even if she was sometimes a little too whimsical and flighty for her tastes.

“I don’t know, Saya,” Elliot hedged, “The concert’s tonight, I mean, I work until five and it starts at seven and it’s at the arena, I don’t even think I could get there on time, but you could go and ma—“

“No,” Saya stated in what might have been the firmest tone of voice Elliot had ever heard her use, “If you don’t use it—then no one will.”

Elliot was fully aware she wasn’t playing fair—because she knew that Saya understood her feelings about not showing proper appreciation for gifts.

“I haven’t ever even been to a concert, Saya!”

“Well, you’re turning 24 years old in a week, it’s about time you start being a normal human being, isn’t it?”

“Shut up! I’m normal!”

“Ah, sure, sure you are, Boss.”

“I kinda hate you.”

“I know.”

The silence stretched out between them, neither willing to back down, when they heard the bell that someone had walked in and neither of them figured it would be another currier.

“Go do your work,” Elliot laughed lightly, pushing the other woman backwards.

“Only if you tell me you will go,” Saya shot back, setting her feet further apart so that if she was pushed again she wouldn’t be moved.

A series of noises were emitted from Elliot as she protested being railroaded into going to this concert for a band she didn’t even know, just to make someone who wouldn’t even know if she went or not happy. It was ridiculous.

Though, admittedly, somewhere in the back of Elliot’s mind a seed had begun to grow, a picture in her mind that maybe he had a ticket too…and maybe he would be there waiting for her to show up…and they’d enjoy the concert together. Maybe they’d go to that coffee shop by the venue after the show and get to know each other better. Maybe he was interested in her.

She wasn’t really prone to flights of fancy, not normally, but she let her imagination soar if only for a moment.

“You have nothing to lose.”

Elliot’s face flushed as she felt like Saya had somehow read her mind, she nodded, “Fine, I’ll go.”

“What are you going to wear?”

Elliot blinked rapidly, not understanding the question’s purpose, “The clothes I wore to work today?”

“Is that…” Saya groaned, “No, just no…you’re not wearing your ‘please ignore me, I am a matronly spinster’ clothes.”

Elliot was flustered, and slightly insulted, really, because she wore comfortable clothes, so what!

“I’ve seen your college pictures, you dressed up, or you at least DRESSED sometimes, not in sweats and loose sweaters—you need to wear something nice.”

“I don’t have time for this,” Elliot huffed, walking around Saya to go see if there really was a patient in the clinic.

Mao was standing in the doorway, for how long she had no idea, but she was smiling, and said, “I’ll take care of it.”

Whatever that might mean, Elliot had no idea, and pointed to the light on the wall that indicated there was a patient in room 1.

Saya nodded at Mao and then went to take care of the patient, while Elliot threw herself down in her chair wondering what in the world she was getting herself into—in fact, if she was right and this was a date—did she really even want that?

The afternoon passed quickly after that and it was nearly five when Elliot stepped back into the central treatment area to find Mao and Saya giggling together.

“What are you two…”

Elliot stopped when the two girls parted, allowing an outfit that was displayed on a chair to become visible. There was an adorable grey skirt, pleated, and fluffy looking with a ripple around the edges that looked like it would flare a bit. The shirt was a white blouse with ruffles around the neck that extended down the middle and then continued along the bottom edge. There was an adorable grey and pink vest that had tiny ribbons of iridescent colors woven through it.

Mao moved the skirt edge back a bit to reveal a set of socks that matched the pattern in the vest and the cutest pair of pink patent leather shoes with bows on them she’d ever laid eyes on. She wanted to squeal over how adorable the outfit was and wondered which of the girls it belonged to.

“That’s such a cute outfit! Who’s wearing this?”

“You are,” Saya spoke proudly, “We all pooled our money together and got it for you.”

Elliot was speechless, her mouth opening and closing as she tried to gather her thoughts, shaking her head as she took in the extravagance of the gesture.

“You can’t say no,” Miki spoke from behind her, “Even I gave money—and I’ll think you are an ungrateful bitch for the rest of your life if you don’t just shut up and wear it.”

Elliot had to laugh, because despite how abrasive Miki was with them, she was perfect as the clerk at the clinic, so friendly and kind—a little like Jekyll and Hyde though—because she was generally caustic and mostly rude to the staff, but they all knew she still cared about them, in her own way.

“But really, though,” Mao said, nodding her head in agreement with Miki for once.

“Why are you all doing this?” Elliot asked, stepping forward to run her hand down the blouse and realizing it was soft like satin.

“You’re a good one,” Miki called out as she headed back to work, “That’s all! You’ve got ten minutes to get dressed and then you’ll need to leave if you are going to get there on time!”

Elliot had taken the clothes, her mind whirling with how she was going to somehow find a way to treat all of them to something outlandishly special in return. She dressed quickly, her own insecurities flaring as she looked at herself in the mirror. She was so short, and she didn’t have the kind of legs most short girls had, her body was compact, and she grew up playing sports, so her legs were strong, and heavier than most girls her size. There was a sliver of skin between the top of the socks that went over her knees and the edge of the skirt that flared and poofed around the edges. It was a really cute outfit, and the way it fit, it at least made her legs look longer than they really were.

Still, her nerves had the best of her, and she considered sneaking out the back door and going to hide at home until it was past time so they couldn’t make her go. She knew that would insult all of them after they’d went through so much trouble, so she resolved to follow through, holding her breath when she stepped into the room where the others were.

“Holy crap!” Saya laughed lightly, “You really are a woman!”

Elliot laughed, embarrassed, and then held her arms out, “Everything fits perfectly…I don’t know how you guys di—“

“I’m responsible for all of your laundry here, remember?”

“Of course,” Elliot smiled at Mao understanding then, as she was indeed responsible for taking care of her scrubs and such when they needed to be laundered.

Saya had walked over pulling out the pins from Elliot’s hair from where she’d hastily put it up after the shower, the soft curls falling around her shoulders, placing a cute little gem encrusted butterfly clip in it before declaring, “You’re going to be the most beautiful girl at the ball!”

They handed her the bag they’d tucked her wallet and necessities into, and then shoved her toward the front.

“Wait, I need to go to get—”

“Nope!” Miki said, rather tartly, “There’s a car here for you.”

“What?”

“That guy sent a car to pick you up.”

Elliot stared blankly and then she glanced around trying to figure out why no one else saw how weird this was, “I mean…guys, c’mon, doesn’t this sound like the plot to a story about a serial killer or something?”

Everyone looked at her then, “I mean…a mysterious guy, a ticket to a concert, a car showing up for me?”

“The Yamada family has been coming here for over twenty years,” Miki grumbled, “I may be wishing it were me, but I can’t let you think there’s something nefarious going on here—there’s nothing to fear.”

It all still felt too strange, and there was a part of Elliot who still wanted to take off running out the back door again, but the others were pushing her forward and in a flurry of arms and legs and screeches she was planted inside a ‘car’ that was actually a limousine which was entirely too extravagant for telling some guy his dog wasn’t going to die.

I mean, really though, his dog is really going to die eventually. I mean it’s not like I can stop that.

The car shifted forward and they were moving, but it didn’t even feel like it since the drive was so smooth. The window to the front lowered down a little and the voice of the driver spoke to her, “There is a meal there on the table for you, Dr. Meadows. Yamada-san has asked that I ensure all of your needs are met.”

“Ah…thank you….uhh,” she fumbled, not knowing the man’s name.

“Aiko,” he offered, understanding the situation.

“Yes, thank you very much Aiko-san, but you’ve done more than enough.”

He didn’t respond, just closed the window. She glanced around the space, it was lovely, and then her eyes landed on the table he had mentioned. There was a dish with a plate cover on it like she’d see in a high-end hotel, and a glass of something sitting next to it. She shifted closer to it, picking the glass up and sniffing it.

The smell tickled her nose and made her breath catch as her mouth watered from the tantalizing smell. She reached over to pick up the bottle that she’d not noticed behind it, reading the label and more than a little mortified when she realized she was holding a bottle of champagne that was probably more expensive than two, maybe three weeks of her pay. She carefully put the bottle down, terrified she was going to drop it, or spill it, or maybe it would just spontaneously explode, she had no idea, but she simply didn’t understand what kind of person just gives another person a bottle of Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades Rose from France.

Seriously, who would do that. Who IS this guy!?

She noticed there was a slip of paper under the dish, carefully pulling it out and opening it to read another handwritten letter.

“Dr. Meadows,
I am so glad you decided to accept my token to you. Please, enjoy the meal and champagne—just a small gesture to say how much I appreciate you being such an exceptional vet.
Sincerely,
Yamada Ryosuke”

She tucked the letter in her bag, having no idea what to think about all of this, since she really hadn’t done anything extraordinary at all with Yamada-san’s dog. It didn’t really matter if she understood it or not—she was at least committed to it at this point. She slowly lifted the lid on the dish, the smells inside filling the space causing her hum in appreciation as it revealed one of her favorite dishes, eggplant parmesan.

She moaned when she took a bite and the burst of flavor filling her mouth–it  was absolutely delicious and she would have to find out where it was from so she could go to the restaurant again, maybe take her parents! She ate more than she thought she would, given the dance party the butterflies in her tummy were having, as the taste was wonderful—and when she’d finally taken a sip of the champagne she’d been delighted—rich with the taste of strawberries and other subtler fruity flavors, hinting at deeper smoky notes—the soft pink liquid was exquisite.

She had no idea how much time had passed, and was flustered when she realized she didn’t have her watch on so couldn’t check. She glanced around the space to see if there was a clock, not finding one, when her eyes landed on a note propped against a rather large box in the corner that had her name on it she had somehow not noticed in her flustered state.

“What in the world…”

She scooted down the seat until she got to it, lifting the note and reading it.

“Dr. Meadows,
A few items I thought might find help you enjoy your experience tonight a little more!
Yamada Ryosuke”

She couldn’t imagine what was in the box, but quickly folded the letter and tucked it in her bag, then lifted the lid to find an assortment of items inside nestled in pink tissue paper. There were earplugs, pink ones, the soft kind that melted to your ear—which was something she hadn’t really thought of, but now that she was looking at them she was exceptionally grateful. There was a tiny bottle of water, and a hand towel that had an intricate design and the band’s name and tour logo on it.

She pulled out a plastic thing that was in the shape of a mask from a ball or something—gasping when she hit the button and it lit up, slowly changing colors, casting hues of rainbows across the interior of the limo. She set it aside, examining the other trinkets that looked like they were fan goods for the show, and a bag that everything could be carried in that had the same design as the towel on it.

She tucked all the items into the bag, lifting the tissue paper out and carefully folding it and pushing it down into the bag as well. She’d put that in her memory book for certain.

She felt the car slow down, and turned around in the seat to see where they were, surprised to find they were approaching the venue. There were so many people everywhere she was amazed, and the driver seemed to be very cautious driving near the crowds. They bypassed the front of the building, and Elliot spun around, trying to see where they were going despite only being able to see the completely black window to the front.

Maybe there’s another entrance.

She wondered at where another public entrance could be, but had no idea since she’d never been to an event at the dome before. The limo rolled to a stop, so she scooched down the seat toward the door, blinking at the bright light streaming in from the opening where the driver was standing, waiting for her to get out. She felt badly leaving her dish in there but knew there was nothing she could do. She stepped out onto the sidewalk, glancing around and realizing this must be a private entrance since there were no other people around. It was very curious given how many people were at the front of the venue.

The sun was setting over the building, and the driver, who Elliot now realized was a rather young man, dressed in a pair of black jeans and a black t-shirt, gestured for her to go toward the doors. She started forward, still trying to adjust her eyes to the light after being in the darkness of the limo for so long—when her eyes were drawn to motion above where she was walking. There was a platform above the row of doors where some people were standing, alarmingly high up and she felt a panic rise at being able to be that high, and even more so she wondered about wanting to be that high.

People are crazy.

As she got closer she could tell it was a group of boys, all of them in constant motion and horse playing around, which part of her found amusing and the other part alarming as she didn’t see a rail or anything running along the edge. She startled, stopping in place, when there was a shuffling, not being able to look away as there seemed to be some kind of struggle and one of the boys was drug backward, disappearing behind the others.

She knew she read far too much when she wondered if she’d just witnessed a murder like in ‘Rear Window’.

Yup—way too many romanticized mystery novels for you, Meadows.

She laughed lightly, shaking her head as she focused on the door ahead of her and resumed her walk to it. Concluding if there had been a murder, there was enough security in the area to certainly handle it without her help. Well, then again, if she read about it in the newspaper tomorrow she was probably going to be really upset with herself.

She didn’t get to think any further on it, as they’d reached the doors and a security officer opened it quickly, gesturing for her to enter. She stepped into the building, blinking while she tried to let her eyes adjust as it seemed really dark in there compared to outside, “I’m sorry, I’ll get my ticket out of my bag for you,” she reached down, blindly trying to find the flap to her bag.

“It’s quite alright, Dr. Meadows, we have been expecting you,” Elliot turned toward the voice, surprise marking her features, as a gentleman walked up and asked her to follow him.

She was thoroughly confused, and also, it felt like there was a tribe of pygmy marmosets scampering around in her tummy, amping up the fluttering feeling from before, as she thought that maybe when she got to her seat that he was going to be there. She shouldn’t be so excited, she admonished herself, because she really didn’t have time for this right now, she was only just getting started in her career and certainly couldn’t fathom something as difficult as a relationship at this point when her entire goal was to become the director of a zoo. Of course, that would require her securing a position at a zoo as a vet first, something that seemed light years away.

They stepped through a doorway that led to the auditorium from the backside, and she could hear the humming of what must be thousands of people talking at once. As they walked down the pathway her eyes became wider and wider taking in the sheer number of people who were there. Clearing the side of the stage she was breathless, as there were an unbelievable number of fans, and the dome was so much larger than she could have imagined, filled to capacity with so many people.

They hadn’t walked very far when the man stopped, gesturing to an area beside him. She glanced to the place he was showing her, a small pit area that seemed to only have about fifteen seats in it almost touching the stage. It was set apart from the rest of the seating by a short wall, and she twisted around to look at the venue, realizing from where she was standing she’d have one of the best seats in the entire dome.

Who IS this guy!?

“This is your seat, and Aiko-san will be staying with you throughout the evening in case you need anything at all,” the man ushered her to a seat on the front row on the very end, and Aiko-san sat down in the seat behind her.

The man bowed and then left, and sat slowly sat down, her mind whirling as she tried to figure out what to do now. She turned in her seat to look at Aiko-san, “Do you happen to know the time, please?”

He nodded, looking at his watch, “It is nearly 7:00—the show will be starting soon.” He smiled, a weird kind of smile she thought, like…something was in his mind that he was looking forward to, and she shrugged, turning back around, suspecting that maybe he was a big fan of whoever these people were.

“How many people are here?” she asked, standing up for a moment to try to see the other side of the stage.

“Over 50,000,” Aiko-san responded, smiling when her mouth dropped open in amazement.

A few more people were shown to the box she was sitting in, but no one sat in the seat next to her. She didn’t really look at any of them, as she was feeling more and more uncertain of what she was doing there, as the minutes passed and no one had filled that seat, least of all him.

She was turned to the side looking away from the stage, watching the crowd and amazed by the number of people there when she felt someone sit in the seat beside her. She held her breath, terrified and exhilarated at the same time at the possibility that he was sitting next to her. She turned as slowly and as naturally as she could, glancing down and realizing immediately that this was not him, unless he was into cross-dressing—which wasn’t a problem, but she wasn’t sure that four inch heels were his kind of thing—especially not hot pink ones.

The woman smiled at her, “Name’s Nanami, here for Hikka—how ‘bout you?”

Elliot’s mouth opened and closed a few times, not sure what she should say, “Ah, it’s…my first time seeing them.”

The woman’s eyes narrowed a bit at that, looking more critically at Elliot and humming softly, “How did you get these kinds of seats then?”

How did I get these kinds of seats?

“They were a gift from a friend,” she stated as simply as she could, and the woman nodded, then turned to speak to someone behind them. All of the people seemed to know each other, and she was feeling a little more out of place by the second. Withdrawing into her own mind, she couldn’t help but sigh softly, her heart dropping as she realized this whole event, the ticket, the limo, all the notes, they really were nothing more than a kind patron who sincerely wanted to thank her for caring about his pet as much as he did.

That’s good, that’s just fine, I wasn’t in any position to be dating any way—that can come later.

The lights blinked a few times and the crowd’s sound raised into a dull roar in anticipation, the people near her included as the woman beside her jumped up, screaming and yelling just like everyone else…remembering, she reached into the bag she’d been given to pluck out the earplugs, realizing now that she would be very glad to have them given the deafening roar from the fans.

She noticed that all the fans were holding the mask, so she pulled it out of the bag too, tucking the rest under her seat.

The lights blinked rapidly again, the fans going crazy, and then the entire arena went black with only the safety lights on—the sound of an old film filling the room as the fans screamed. They would be quiet as the film played, showing the members of the band, their names coming up on the screen, and then they’d scream for their favorite member. The woman next to her was especially animated when the member she was there for showed up on the screen.

Elliot couldn’t help but think it was all very cute, and found herself becoming more and more excited despite the evening not being exactly what she’d imagined. The film was showing a member in a car, he was preparing to pull out of the driveway…

Elliot jumped when Aiko-san tapped her shoulder, having been in her own world again, “Dr. Meadows, I was asked to give this to you.”

She turned, squinting her eyes in the limited light to see what he was holding out to her, she reached forward and he put an uchiwa into her hand. She looked down at it, trying to make it out but wasn’t able to with the light flashing the way it was. Suddenly the entire dome was chaos and she had no idea what was happening, having missed the end of the film, then there were these two children and what seemed like music box sounds playing and a voice was speaking in English, which she understood since she was bilingual thanks to her father insisting she know his native language as well.

“Welcome to the most spectacular show in all the land. You will never see anything that is more extravagantly grand. So, do sit back. But be prepared to be taken to a world you’ve never seen before. ‘Cuz tonight, is a night, to remember.”

And then, it was like the entire room had all the air sucked out of it and held for a moment before it was suddenly expelled in the collective fan’s screams—the room erupting in excitement as music began to play, and lights began flashing, and then the white curtain on the stage dropped and the nine members were standing there. Even not knowing the band they took Elliot’s breath away as they presented such a stunningly beautiful picture. They began dancing and singing, and all she could look at was how elegantly gorgeous their clothes were because, seriously, they looked like a bunch of princes. Each of them wearing the same kind of outfit, but also each unique—it was intriguing—and each of their masks had a different color feather on it, no doubt so the fans could spot their favorite member.

She was fascinated when the one with the red feather began singing the first part of the song, because his voice was exquisite. It wasn’t like typical idol voices, it was smooth and his range was ridiculous. Then another sang, the one with the pink feather, the blue, the green, and then the one with the orange feather—each of their voices distinctive and unique, yet wonderful, each and every one of them.

The music stopped and the stage went dark apart from the spotlights that landed on two of them who pulled their masks off in a grand gesture to the timing of the music, followed by the fans apparently losing their minds. It was easy to get swept up in the excitement, and Elliot found herself standing up with the others, anxious to see the rest of the show now that she realized it was going to be a very entertaining performance.

Two by two the members revealed their faces from under their masks—each of them garnering a thrilling response from the crowd, until there was only the one in the middle left to take off his mask, the one with the red feather. Elliot had been watching the screen as it was an amazing way to see the members up close, despite being near enough to see them with her own eyes relatively well.

They seemed to draw out the reveal of the last member a moment longer than the others allowing the crowd to work themselves up into a complete frenzy so that when he did remove his mask and the camera zoomed in on his face the volume reached a near deafening pitch.

Elliot felt her knees wobble, and swayed as the earth moved under her feet as she stared at the screen that zoomed in on the face of the middle member, his eyes a piercing blue color, his neck sporting a tattoo of some sort, and what could only be termed a sassy grin on his face as they began singing the chorus of the song.

Her entire body was on fire, she was positive of it, she was going to burn the entire dome down as the heat spread from her toes up to the tips of her ears. She plopped down in her chair, scared she was going to pass out with the way the room was spinning.

Wh-wha—was that? It can’t…no, it can’t possibly be him…

Her eyes landed on the uchiwa in her lap, picking it up and trying to make her eyes focus so she could see the picture on it. She drew her bottom lip between her teeth as she found herself looking directly into his eyes. It was undeniably him–despite the picture on the fan showing him with blonde hair–she’d know his face anywhere. She turned the fan around and shook her head lightly as she read the name “Ryosuke” printed in bold lettering across it.

He…what…how?

She looked back up to the stage, staring at the moving figures on the stage, singing and dancing, but her eyes were unfocused and it was like she couldn’t really see them. They danced and then the camera moved back in on Ryosuke and he blew a kiss to the audience who responded with adoration in the pitch of ‘scream’.

This can’t be real.

They moved up to the edge of the walkway that went through the middle of the seating, and she felt her breath rush out when his eyes moved over to where she was sitting. He smiled, it was so fast she wasn’t sure she actually saw it or her mind was playing tricks on her, and then he was spinning around dancing and singing again.

The next song started and the fans were using the masks to dance along with them, and she felt a little worried that someone might seriously hate her since it seemed like she was the only one in the entire dome who didn’t know the moves, she wasn’t sure she could perform them if she did. Over and over again, he would move to her side of the stage and invariably he would look at her for a moment, beam a smile at her, and then look away.

Maybe he’s an identical twin.

They switched sides, and then one of the other members pointed straight at her, smiling like he knew who she was.

Maybe he’s a clone.

They finished that song, and suddenly Aiko-san was standing next to her, holding her elbow, “Follow me please.”

Elliot was confused but obeyed, grabbing her bag and following him down the side of the aisle that ran to the middle where the group was performing on a round platform. When she had approached close enough she could have reached out and touched their shoes, he stepped in front of an empty seat and then gestured to the seat next to him that was empty.

She moved into the seat, reluctantly standing in the spot, concern marring her features that she might be taking someone else’s seat. Aiko-san leaned over, “You have been given multiple seats throughout the venue to allow you the best view of the entire show. We’ll move each time we need to.”

Elliot really didn’t know what to say, she was overwhelmed and the music was loud so she just nodded, her eyes moving to the stage where the boys were singing and each of them began saying a line about “you are number 1”.

The fans were so excited she couldn’t help but enjoy it, their energy so pure and delightful, Elliot found herself moving along to the tune. These boys were talented, the whole group was pretty amazing, their voices, the way they danced, everything. She wanted to say that she was watching all of them, and she did try, but really—her eyes were continually drawn back to him.

Yamada Ryosuke.

She tested the name out in her mind in wonder, watching him dance and sing and be sassy and make girls scream. He was amazing. He was beautiful. His voice was like an angel.

He’s clearly not real. You were in an accident or something and you’re in a coma.

They did an introduction song and then many other songs, and it all became a blur. Now and again, he would come to where Elliot was—no matter where Aiko-san had moved her—he seemed to always cognizant of where her seat was despite the constant rotation through the venue. It was insane.

That’s it. You’re insane. That explains everything…this is a figment of your imagination.

A song with a strong beat and heavy guitar began playing and then there were only four of the members on stage wearing blue jeans and a gold jacket. Elliot wondered if the other fans understood the lyrics that the member was singing or not since they were in English, and they seemed rather scandalous all things considered. The other three boys were surrounding him, doing a movement that was entirely too sexy for what seemed the median age of most of the girls she’d seen so far, while he sang about ‘give it to me right now’.

Suddenly, the four of them were directly in front of Elliot. The one who was singing down on his knee staring directly at her as he continued the verse, and Ryosuke was there, gesturing to the other guy and then staring at her, making a cute little puffy face and peace sign as the others left that side of the stage to go to the other, while he stayed there for a moment. Elliot was using the uchiwa to fan herself since she was fairly certain the temperature in the building had ratcheted up to six degrees of hell—and then she blushed furiously when he pointed at the fan, smiling broadly, and she realized that his face was on it, and he was staring at her, while she held up this fan with his face on it.

He laughed then, at her discomfort, winking before he turned to go to the middle of the stage where he sang part of the song.

She didn’t know when, or how it happened, but suddenly she was waving the mask in the air with them just like everyone else, and she saw his expression was pleased when his eyes locked with hers. They ran down the middle and Aiko-san was dragging her then, she was breathless when she reached the seat directly in front of Ryosuke.

He was headbanging, everything was chaotic, and then one of them screamed, and suddenly they had their jackets unzipped, their torso bare, and frankly, his was glorious, and he was staring at her, holding open the sides of his jacket, his expression clearly asking if she liked what she saw. She felt the heat that had been building in the room explode as she hid her face behind the uchiwa.

He was almost shy and bashful in the office…who in the world is this guy!?

The concert carried on like this through songs she wouldn’t remember, small moments that made her heart beat wildly with excitement, others that embarrassed her half to death, and still others that she couldn’t believe how insanely hot and sexy this guy could be, while in another breath he was like a squishy little teddy bear that exuded innocence and sweetness.

Toward the end, he had come down from the upper level, the song they’d been singing punctuated with them throwing round plastic balls that they’d signed—the fans ecstatic over them, of course! He smiled at her as he walked across the stage approaching the walkway, then his eyes shifted to look beside her to where Aiko-san was standing since they’d come back to these seats. He nodded, almost imperceptibly, but she’d been honed in on every movement he’d made all night no matter how subtle.

Ryosuke passed by her, and she was distracted by his…well, whatever, he was several feet away and his back was to her and then, with no warning he tossed a ball over his shoulder, and the pink ball was flying directly toward her face. She drew up her arms out of a self-preservation impulse and was shocked when Aiko-san’s hand shot out in front of her face to catch the ball. He held it up to her as she peeked through her fingers, slowly drawing her hands down and looking at the ball and then to Aiko-san, wondering what he was doing.

“It’s yours,” he grinned, gesturing the ball forward.

“No,” she smiled at his kindness, shaking her head, “I can’t take that from you.”

“You don’t understand,” he laughed, “It’s yours.”

He turned the ball in his fingers and she looked at the part he was showing her, seeing her name written on it with a smiley face next to it. She reached forward like she was gathering one of the rarest treasures in the world, pulling the ball into her hands as she turned it around in her fingers to read what else was written on it. Some other words, ‘happy day’, and ‘smile for me’—and then his signature with a heart on it. Something she was sure he did on all the balls he threw out to his fans. Still, it was a treasure and she clutched it to her chest the rest of the show.

The concert lasted longer than she ever imaged it would and she was amazed at their endurance and stamina, when finally it drew to a close and the crowds began to disperse slowly after the encore. Aiko-san tapped her arm, as she was still dazed, and he guided her outside to the limo. She felt like she was walking on air all the way there, and then was surprised when Aiko-san handed her another bag after she was seated. She drew it close, peeking down into it to see the contents—pulling out another envelope.

She ripped it open quickly, wondering what this one would say.

“Dr. Meadows,
I apologize for not properly introducing myself. I realized you were not aware during the visit yesterday of my profession or status. Perhaps I should have told you, but I thought this would be more fun, and exciting, for both of us. Despite not being a fan before, I hope after this show you might now be a fan.
I look forward to seeing you again soon!
Yamada Ryosuke”

Elliot’s heart was wobbly and fluttery as she drew out a t-shirt, followed by a tour pamphlet and a small case that held promotional photos from the tour of Ryosuke alone, as well as with the group. They were beautiful and she hugged them to her chest for a moment feeling like a schoolgirl again.  She took out the letters and reread them, tracing his name with a finger as she tested it out loud finally, “Ryosuke.”

The name rolled off her tongue smoothly and made her fingers tingle as she slowly folded the letters and tucked them into the bag. She couldn’t stop the stupidly goofy smile that was plastered on her face, thanking Aiko-san profusely for babysitting her all evening, to which he denied and said he quite enjoyed watching her responses to the entire scenario.

She fell into bed, deciding she couldn’t even consider doing another thing for the rest of the night, rather she just closed her eyes and slowly went over all the things she could remember about the concert so she’d never forget them.

It could be that nothing at all would come from all of this, having reread the notes it seemed to her that they could certainly be taken as nothing more than a kind-hearted message from one professional to another.

She really didn’t know what she wanted, or if anything she wanted even mattered at this point, but she was thankful for this one day, a day where she danced, and sang to lyrics on a screen, forgot about all of the worries of her normal life, and somehow, unbelievably she flirted with an idol—holding up the uchiwa with his face on it at one point and winking at him causing him to laugh as he passed her.

No matter what happened, she would be thankful for this day in her heart always. She had felt like a princess, and as if her prince had done everything he could to make the night perfectly wonderful in every single way!

Like my own personal fairy tale–and he’s my Prince Charming.

As she drifted off to sleep, somewhere in between the conscious and the darkness, as the gentle notes of darkness pulled her under, she heard her mind wonder absently, “How did Aiko-san know where I live?” 

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