Thursday, May 28, 2015

In Gods' Good Time: Chapter Twenty Four of an Angel Beats Fan Fiction Story

In Gods' Good Time: Chapter Twenty Four of an Angel Beats Fan Fiction Story


C V Ford

Chapter 24: One He Did Not Suspect

Morning break. By himself in the cafeteria, Duffy sat with his coffee, musing on his God given good fortune. In about three weeks he was to exchange vows with the most beautiful, caring young woman he met ever. And he didn't "mess things up" as he had in relationships past. Making the promise of things later all the more sweeter.

He was a guy after all.

So what did it matter this not being a "normal" situation? He, Rachel, the others ...

"We may not be alive so to speak but that doesn't mean we have to be dead," he thought.

A movement to the front broke his reverie. Kaji approaching with a sheaf of work orders. The foreman would sometimes find him on his breaks, handing him notes so he wouldn't need to check in later.

After a brief exchange of greeting, the foreman left the papers and exited.

Glancing at the receding figure, Duffy examined the notes.

The second bringing him up quite short.

"Whatever you do, show no reaction on reading this. Someone may be watching.

"Please see me IMMEDIATELY in the office. This is of grave importance regarding matters of a very personal nature."

Being the stoic type, Duffy kept the reactions to what he hoped an undetectable minimum. After reading ALL the notes (Keeping up appearances in case of aforementioned observation.), he pocketed them, casually got up and left, leaving cup and saucer on the tray caddy at the entrance.

He never once would have suspected Kaji as a genuine. The way he acted, went through the motions, he was the NPC of NPCs. In all the time he had been here, through his observations, Jack saw no indication the man to be anything other than the "R.U.R." (1) he made himself out to be. There had to have been GOOD reason for him to have concealed himself all this time.

"Matters of a very personal nature," he thought. "This better not have anything to do with Rachel. Doubt it though. He's been here longer. Longer than me, even. Shoot. First person I ever talked to here."

Arriving at the utility building behind Class A, Jack noted the garage doors down. Pulling to loosen the .45 in his under the coveralls shoulder holster, the man cautiously entered, heading to the office in back where Kaji awaited. At his desk, the lead motioned for him to sit.

"No one followed you? See you leave and come here?" Nervous.

"None that I noticed. If I was, well ... I wouldn't have been able to tell. Besides, she's not in the habit of shadowing me ALL the time and hardly does that anymore anyway. Got other things to do."

"That's good for now ... I guess." A look of resignation on his face.

"Never would have thought you to be uh, for real so to speak." A suspicious Jack starting the conversation. "It'd be an understatement to say you've hidden yourself well. Mind telling me why, sir?"

"I ... Have good reason to. It's partly why I called you here."

"That reason being?"

Kaji looked down at the desk, hands on several papers stapled together. Moving them toward Jack, he stated, "I need you to do a favor for me ... A big one."

"A favor?"

"Yes ... ," continuing to slide the papers forward. "I need you to deliver ... This."

Lifting the sheaf, Duffy examined. In spite a very expanded vocabulary and his knowledge of several hundred kanji  and getting the hang of the other two alphabets, the script still came across as a seemingly endless parade of mangled spiders.

"Mind telling me what this is all about?"

"You're entitled, considering what I'm asking ... and about to tell you anyway."

"Should be ... interesting."

Both men settled back in their chairs. Duffy felt this to be a long one. He was right. Kajis' tale WAS ... interesting.

"Like you, on coming here I was confused, bewildered. Had no idea what I fell into. Of course, being Japanese, it wasn't so hard to take in as you had. No one noticed me, I fit in.

"I was also relieved at the same time ... at first. It wasn't the hell of suffering and misery I expected. I also not only didn't have to worry where my next meal was coming from but I had a job, with title and position. An actual place in uh ... society I could be a part of. Something I found very hard to maintain when I was alive.

"This wasn't Heaven. I could see that right off. But, like I said before, it wasn't damnation either. For the first couple days, I thought my troubles were over ...

"Then I saw ... HER.

"She was ... older. Her looks may have matured but I could tell right off who she was.

"I've been spending time in hell ever since."


On conclusion of Kajis' story, Jacks' mind was a mix of conflicting emotions. Running from pity to utter contempt of the broken creature before him, he didn't know wether to feel sorry for or spit on him. Thoughts of emptying a full mag of .45 into the man ran through his head.

Maintaining self control, Duffy picked the papers off the desk and re-examined.

"Mind if I bring someone else in on this?"

Kaji giving off a nervous twitch asked, "someone ... else? ... I ..."

"Another neutral third party," Jack held up the papers. "Can't read this. Need someone to verify."

"Oh," relieved. "O'Hara-sensei?"

"Yes. I'm taking this for her to look at before delivering. No insult intended. This is sudden and I need to make sure something isn't being put over on me."

"I ... understand."


Leaving the utility garage, Duffy went down the side of Class C and entered the buildings' first tier. Going to a wall phone in the teachers' communal office he dialed Rachels' cel. Like his apartment phone (He was a cel phone "hold out". Didn't care for them.) Rachels' still operated on the number she arrived with. After these several months it still felt odd, his dialing a Toronto, Canada number, area code and all.


Almost an hour after school let out, Yuri sat at her desk in Safe and Sound pondering the strange phone call Duffy-san called in earlier.

A matter of grave importance, he said. Concerning her. And it would be a good idea to get some "muscle" to attend as well. Noda, Matsushita, TK, Fujimaki and Oyama patiently standing by, others soon to arrive.

Looking up at the clock she noted the time. A knock at the door (Mallet trap deactivated for the moment.) revealing the foreign couple punctual ... and seriously reserved.

Yuri motioned the two to sit.

"So ... ," the Front leader starting hesitantly, not sure what it was they were here for, "just what is this 'matter of grave importance' you mentioned?"

Jack glanced sideways at Rachel still examining the papers. Noting the mans' attention, she handed the sheaf to him.

"Rather than give an account of what was told us, your reading will serve better and save us both time and  breath."

"Reading ... As in?" Yuri cocked an eyebrow, pointing at the papers.

"Yes, this." He held up the notes then placed them before her.

"What is it exactly?"

"A confession." Reply in flat statement, Duffy sliding them toward her.

"Confession ... ?"

"By someone you've ... uh ... been very much wanting to meet for quite some time. Sorry ... can't put this into words very well.

"As you know, Rachel can read this certainly better than I could ever hope to. She's cross checked this with his story and it matches what he told us. He wanted us to deliver this to you and-"


"Someone you've met before."

"Before?" The girl hesitantly picked up the papers.

"Though you've never seen his face. At least not when you initially met."


"And he very much wants to meet with you," Rachel added noting the curious male members of the Front gathering 'round. Duffy also noticing their closer presence.

Noda, stepping up to Yuris' side, looked quizzically at the sheets before his leader. A sidelong glance from her to the halberd wielder gave no sign of annoyance or disapproval of the young mans' close proximity as in the past.

"Good," thought Duffy. "She's gonna' need ALL the moral support she can get when she takes this in."

Holding the document, both hands, Yuri read.

Not even half way down the page, a tremor in the hands evidenced, not lost on those about the desk.

Reaching out, Noda placed a comforting hand upon a feminine wrist only to have the hand brushed abruptly aside. His shock at such quickly dissuaded as Yuri, with a quick intake of breath, relented and grabbed the young mans' mitt for support, holding tightly.

Her other hand clenched, the papers partly crumpled under the grasp.

Shaking spasmodically, Yuri set the sheets down hard.

Looking straight into the mans' eyes, a wide eyed look of shock and maniacal hatred.


"Not until a few hours ago," the man talking low and slow. "He had everyone fooled ... You ... me ...

"To tell you the truth, I'm not happy with this guy either. It was all I could do to keep from shooting him myself. Had no idea I was working next to a monster all this time."

Abruptly standing up, both hands now flat on desk surface, Yuri quick-glanced at each of the six young men about.


"We've ... got to find him ... FIND HIM! ... The bastard! ... The son of a-! ... "

"Find who!?" The collective question from the young men.

"The-," Yuri looked at Jack then back up to the men. "The Building and Grounds foreman! He's not an NPC!"

"Not an-"


"This is-"

"His not being an NPC, how does that-?"

"Just FIND him!"

"Hold it. Yuri, he can't-" Jack trying to reason.

"Find him ... NOW! He mustn't- ... GO!"

"Wait! Guys! HOLD IT!"

The six stopped themselves in mid-rush to the door, a surprised Hinata, Sakaki and Takamatsu just entering through. Alternately looking between the foreigner and their leader, minds partially confused. A stoic Shiina, having unobtrusively taken her usual corner during the precedings, looked on.

Yuri, again with that hate charged look toward Jack. The sudden usurpation of her authority in her group by an outsider, not sitting at all well.

"He's not ... going ... anywhere hon," Duffy stated. "... Except here."

Rachel, taking a risk, leaned forward, reaching out, both hands enfolding Yuris' right. Though shaking violently, the girl made no effort to slap them away. The gesture seemed to have a calming effect as the girls' face went from ferocious to stern.

"Why ... would he-?"

"Where else would he go?" Jack making a rhetorical question. "There's no place he could hide on the school grounds. You and your group know the place better than I do and I know I could find him quick enough. Certainly not the guild tunnels. The woods? Matsushita and I know the hills better than he ever could and no matter what, Shiina'd track him down before any of us could get to him.

"No ... Like I said before ... He's not going anywhere ... But here.

"Which should be," the man glanced at his watch and then at the wall clock, "in about twenty minutes."

To be continued ...


1. R.U.R. (Rossoms' Universal Robots) - A 1920, three act science fiction play by Karel Capek about a revolt of synthetic humans.

Storyline and original characters (only) copyright © 5-1-14 C V Ford

Go to C V Fords' profile page and anime fan fiction stories list on here.

Go to here.

For chapter index go to C V Fords' Anime Fan Fiction Page here. Scroll to In Gods' Good Time in the Angel Beats Section and select chapter.

Go to Jays' Tee Vee blog main page here.

Disclaimer: The preceding is a NON-PROFIT work of fan fiction for entertainment purposes only. I make no claim to ownership of the names/characters, places, and events mentioned in this work that are the intellectual properties of others. They are the sole properties of their respective owners. Please, by all means support the owners of such properties in the purchase and enjoyment of their works.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

LCL Bath Salts!? You Gotta' Be Kidding Me!

LCL Bath Salts!? You Gotta' Be Kidding Me!

Okay, so I'm cruising through the net and thought I'd take in a look at a "friend"s' blog, Aardvarks Plumbline. At the top, I see:

For Jay Agan

LCL Bath Salts

Well that name looked familiar (Thatsa' me!) and ... LCL bath salts?

SAY ... WHAT!?

Before going any further, I'd like to point out that this "friend", a one Mr. Weatherly Hardy, owner/proprietor/haberdasher of Aardvark Tees, has in the past, chided me about some kind of Rei-phobia he thinks I may have.

While it's true the thought of being turned into a puddle of orange yuck and having my soul stolen by a floating, blue haired, emo chick I find to be a bit unsettling, it's no reason to make fun. It's just I'd rather miss out on the Rei-pture and stay the way I am.

In response to one article I'd written, he chided me about "talkin' smack" on "poor soulless Rei". I have to keep reminding myself to take in the book and movie (The Bridge at Poor Soulless Rei by Thornton Wilder.).

He even once, in my regard to his once having been a "brony", dared to compare his choice of entertainment to my worship of Goddess Haruhi!


Well! ...

Clicking on the "LCL Bath Salts" link brought me to Rocket News 24 with an article titled:

Official Evangelion bath salts are just as crazy and mentally scarring as the anime itself.

Yup! "Second Impact Bathwater" is now on the market.

That's right kiddies! If you can't wait for New Years' Day 2016 to come around (Most Neon Genesis Evangelion chronologies put the occurrance of Third Impact on or around that date. ) and want to beat the rush, you can sprinkle some 'a them there El See El bath salts in the tub and soak away in a wash of Adams' blood.

Down by the old blood stream ... where I first met youuuuu,

Think of all the serene "fun" you can have pretending you're awash in a sea of LCL, being one with the Instrumentality hive mind.

Think of all the not so serene fun you'll have if someone calls EMS thinking you cut your wrists!

Then again, there's the barrel of laughs you could have with this stuff and a "friend"s' swimming pool!

Hmmm ... Can you ward off sharks with this? Maybe not. It's red after all.

Harold Camping take note! You too Mr. LaHaye!
And all the rest of you rapture bunnies out there!

Aardvark Tees, shirts made of WIN! here.

Aardvarks Plumbline blog here.

Rocket News 24 here.

LCL Bath Salts article here.

Go to Jays' Tee Vee blog main page here. If there are any articles, red, orange or otherwise under this 'un, yer already there!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lost His Muzak Again: A Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction Story

Uh ... No thanks ... I'll pass ... No REALLY! ... I ... HOLY- ... YIKES! ... SPLAT!

Lost His Muzak Again: A Neon Genesis Evangelion Fan Fiction Story


C V Ford


"Hmmmph!" Asuka hmmmphed coming out of the shower and espying Shinji prostrate on his bed. "Just what is it he listens to on that museum piece anyway?"

A gruelingly long last dance lesson session of the day and he had hardly improved in his co-ordination. Actually it was more Asukas' impatience getting the better of her rather than any shortcomings on Shinjis' part.

The temporary living arrangements didn't help either. Their being cooped up together in this twin bed "motel room" on base got on her NERVS the moment she was informed she would be caged with this "animated turnip" for almost a week! Hopefully enough time to work out the unique tactics required to defeat Israfel(s), the seventh angel(s).

Insisting on "ladies first" when it came to showering, she had quickly appropriated the bathroom before he could call dibs and had been in there almost a solid hour. With nothing else to do but wait, Shinji popped the earbuds in and promptly went to sleep. Now the "vulgar" tableau of a very relaxed, sweat grimed, even faintly smiling young man fast asleep greeted the fiery haired ones' now flashing blue eyes.

"About to see the end of the world as we know it ... Things going crazy left and right ... Rapture bunnies all atwitter ... And what does he do? Kicks back with that STUPID old SDAT, Walkman whatever and pushes off for Happyland! I ... SWEAR ... I just ...! Hnnnngh!"

Ever since they met, she noticed he hardly ever parted with that old portable tape player when at home or on trips and now ... here. He seemed fine without it on missions and daytime functions. He seemed to use it a lot when sleeping or just spacing out. Just what was it about that thing he was so attatched to it? And always that one tape.

"Probably some kind of dorky J or K-pop or ... something," the girl thought. "SNSD ... Yeah ... that's it. Gee! Gee! Gee! Gee! Ba-by, ba-by, ba-by! ... Gyah! These Japanese have no taste in music at all!"

Having already dressed in the bathroom (She'd absolutely DIE before letting geek boy see HER naked!) she sauntered over to the low console shelves on the wall by her bed and selected a book.

Straightening up she examined her selection and paused.

That SDAT or rather what may be on it continued to prey on her mind.

"NO! I'm NOT gonna' check it out. I'M ABSOTIVELY POSILUTELY NOT ... NOT! ... HNNNNNGH!"

Slowly, Asuka turned ... step by step ... inch by inch ...

"Wouldn't hurt to check it out," the redhead reasoned. "Just find out ... what it is ... whatever the dweeb ... likes to listen to ..."

Reaching over, she deftly plucked the earbuds from out the unconscious young mans' ears.


Watching the screens in the monitoring room, Misato sighed in disgust.

"Great! They're at it again!"

Launching herself from the monitors, the lilthe form of the NERV tac-ops chief suppressed the urge to mash an alarm button before stalking out the door and down the hall. The situation didn't warrant it but it would have felt good to hit it all the same.

"Good God! ... Why does she ... ALWAYS have to push it? OH! GOD!"

She noted Rei, fresh from a meeting with Gendo, approaching from the other direction. Giving her a wave off, Misato, not even knocking, entered.


On her second door stalk-thru of the day, an exasperated Misato grimaced and sighed at the spectacle meeting her eyes.

Holding the SDAT and earbuds out of reach and Shinji at arms length, the redhead exclaimed., "sunshine!? ... Lollipops!? ... Rain-bows!? ... You gotta' be kidding me! What kinda'-"

"Yeah? And just what is it you listen to fraulien? Dick Wagner!?"

"That's ... Rick-ard Vagner to you ... peasant!"

"Pardon me! Had no idea how much you were into your musical nazis-"


"DA DANT DA DA DAH,  DAAH, DANT DA DA DAH, DAAH, DANT DA DA DAH, DAAH, DANT DA DA DAAAAAAH ... !" Enunciated Shinji, intoning Ride of the Valkyries.

"Really lame geek boy! Besides, I'm more into the good stuff ... like Ramstien and-"

"Like I said, musical na-"

"And as for this ... ," holding the player out of reach even further.

"Hey! It's what I like to listen to. Now give it back!"

"Oh!? Watcha' gonna' do big boy?" Asuka intoned in a baby voice. "Beat up widdle ole me if I don't?"

"Nobody's beating up anybody but that damn angel out there," declared Misato snatching the tape player from Asukas' malicious grasp.


"Hey nothing! Here Shinji, take-"

Misato paused, then inexplicably popped the buds in her own ears. Reversing the tape a few inches she pressed play.

Shinji, looking on, facepalmed.

"Oh! I love this one!"

"What!?" Asuka took on a look of stupified incredulousness. "You can't mean-"

"What's happening?"

"Yeek!" Asuka jumped on noticing the blue haired apparition beside her. "How long have YOU been standing there!?"

"Oh ... Rei!" Misato acknowledged. "We're checking out Shinjis' taste in music. So Shinji, THIS is what you listen to. Didn't know you were into American rock oldies."

"Just some stuff I like. Look ... Can I have it back please? I-"

"Here Rei," Misato handed the player to the pale one. "Check this one out. It's just starting up."

Before Shinji could grab the SDAT, Rei had the buds in. After a moments' delay, a look of beatific bliss appeared on the pale girls' face, head slightly bobbing and swaying to the music.

"Oh great!" Asuka, arms crossed, exclaimed on seeing Rei 'in the zone'. "God only knows what Wonder Girl here is 'grooving' to."

Oblivious to one and all, Rei "rocked on".

Papapa humma mau mau

Papa hoom mau mau

Da dut dut!

Papapa humma mau mau

Papa hoom mau mau

Da dut dut!

Funni-est sound I ever heard ...

Papapa humma mau mau

Papa hoom mau mau

And I can't understand a single word ...

Papapa humma mau mau

Papa hoom mau mau

Is he ser-i-ous or is he playin'  ...

Papa hoom my my is all he's sayin' ...

Papa hoooooo!

Papa papa hooo hoooo!


Storyline (only) copyright © 5-14-15 C V Ford

Yes! Rei rocks to the Rivingtons!

Tang ... or else!

Check out the Rivingtons on You Tube here, and here.

Rockapella version here .      

Leslie Gores', Sunshine Lollipops here.

Story inspired in part by the story, Sweet Haruhi by the sweeper1957 here.

Review of Sweet Haruhi here.

thesweeper1957s' profile page and list of anime fanfiction stories on here.

Fan Fiction dot net here.

Go to C V Fords' profile page and anime fan fiction stories list at here.

Go to C V Fords' Anime Fan Fiction Page here.

Go to Jays' Tee Vee blog main page here. If there 're any other articles under this 'un, yer already there.

Disclaimer: The preceding is a NON-PROFIT work of fan fiction for entertainment purposes only. I make no claim to ownership of the copyrighted names/characters, places, lyrics and events mentioned in this work. They are the sole properties of  their respective owners. Please, by all means support the owners of such properties in the purchase and enjoyment of their works.

Friday, May 8, 2015

In Gods' Good Time: Chapter Twenty Three of an Angel Beats Fan Fiction Story

In Gods' Good Time


C V Ford

Chapter 23: Rachels' Story

"I don't know how you do it," Jack marveled, setting down his fork, "but you do."

Another fantastic meal with Rachel concluded, the man settled back at his place at the table watching the gorgeous apparition working in her kitchen. He wasn't a believer in luck. The term, fortunate was more to his liking.

And if fortune would hold ...

He reached in his pocket, holding the ring box, nervously running his thumb over the small lid.

Yes ... if fortune would hold ...

"Just a matter of working out whatever deal needed with the cafeteria staff," said the history teacher coming out of the kitchen. "The Principal okayed my uh ... 'shopping' there so that place is like a supermarket to me."

Yes ... the principal.

"Gotta' do SOMETHING with all those meal tickets." Sitting down.

"Yeah ... well ... There's something else I'm hoping the principal would okay."


Getting up, the man circled the table. Sitting down next to her, he steeled himself as he withdrew the small box from his pocket. With both hands, he held it as he opened the lid.

Rachels' quick intake breath put Jack in an even quicker state of aprehension. The amazed and hesitant look on her face did not bode well.

"I ... made it myself. The ring and setting that is," nervous. "Cha and his bunch found the diamond ... did the cutting and mounting ... I-"

"Oh Jack! ... It's beautiful ... but ... I ... it ..."

"You ... don't have to make a descision right away. I'll understand."

"It's not that, it's that ..."


"There aren't any clergy. No one to perform the ceremony ... And we can't just move in together. It wouldn't be right, it-"

"Quaker wedding."


"A Quaker wedding."

A flash of recognition hit the teacher.

"I've been giving this lots of thought for more than a while," he started. "Doing some research. There is a way and is just as valid as a civil or church wedding and certainly better than common law."

"Yes," she recollected from her own knowledge. "What they did in the early days of both our countries when priests and ministers couldn't be had."

"We take it before the Lord, in the presence of witnesses and declare our intentions and vows. All witnesses present sign a statement. We file it in school records."

"That would be where the principal comes in," Rachel stated.

"And having Tachibana and Nakamura there, they being the two ... uh ... 'factions' ... would make it complete. The principal, wether human or not, is for all intents and purposes is just as authentic an authority figure as anyone could be here."

"I'm not sure if Kanade is old enough to and-"

"Yuri is ... And even if she isn't, there will be others present who made it past eighteen before coming here. Cha for instance. That and the fact most of the Battlefront have anyway. Besides, even if they had all come here before reaching legal, they've certainly passed that during their stay.

"So it comes down to this," he partly concluded. "Will you ... marry me?"

The mans' apprehension started to increase slightly as the object of his affections made a long pause of indecision. Something of her own apprehension beginning to show.

"Jack," she began, "before I say ... anything ... I ... I want you to know ... I do love you and ... care deeply ... but there's ... something that-"

"I've never asked."


"Whatever's in your past is of no concern to me. The past is what it is and stays there."

"Maybe for now. But it will always be there for me. And even though nothing would be said now, things will come out in bits and pieces over time ... Things that-"

"Things that need not be said. It-"

"But they do, Jack! I need to say them."


"I need to say them to you."


"It's only fair."

"Fair? How's that?"

"Remember some time ago? You told me about yourself. You were more than uncertain about us and felt-"

"That doesn't obligate YOU in any way."

"But you felt an obligation to yourself as well as me ... as I now. I need to clear the air for myself as well as both of us ... as have you."


"I completed my Bachelors' and that definitely opened some doors. If one is to take up working residence in Japan, a BA is one of the minimum requirements.

"4M Company is an international investment firm trading in commodities, securities and the like, particularly in Asia. They're always on the lookout for talent in languages as well as in the financial sector. They had their eye on me while I was in college and I was assured of employment on graduation. I worked for them while earning my bachelors assisting in their translations departments. I also helped teach English to their Japanese staffers who came to Canada for their two to three year stays.

"When I got my BA they offered to send me to Japan. I jumped at it."

"I wasn't under any illusions about the country. I didn't want to set myself up like some silly otaku who thinks the country is a land of happy little anime makers. My study of history outside of the required courses in college revealed a lot.

"In spite of outward appearances of being a modern democracy, I knew Japan to be a feudal state, ruled from the top down."

"Yeah," answered Duffy. "The emperor isn't some ceremonial stooge or figurehead they trot out for special occasions. The Diet being pretty much a rubber stamp outfit."

"Yes. The value of each individual is measured in how well one obeys ones' immediate superiors. I knew the country had a past of heavy sexist and racist oriented tradition. Not only would I be looked on as an outsider but as a woman as well. Business is run the same way as well.

"I knew one had to tread lightly there," she looked about her. "Or rather ... here."

"I still wanted to immerse myself in Japanese culture as much as possible and the chance to do so at company expense was too good an offer to pass up, so I went.

"My duties were still pretty much the same but my BA led to the position of a teacher of English and not just an assistant. The fact I'm able to read most of their Kanji as well as the two phonetic alphabets was a big factor in my being there."

"I was there two months, really getting into it, when I was given a temporary teaching assignment at a branch office in Kyoto, north of here and ...
Duffy cocked his head at Rachels' moment of hesitation.

"Well, cut to the chase ... I met him on that assignment ... had an affair."

"He was a charmer, I fell for it. He was married but that didn't stop me from being stupid. We started seeing each other on his biweekly trips to the main Tokyo office.

"Three months later, I missed my period. Doctor confirmed ... I was pregnant. I knew I was taking a risk, even with birth control. Obviously it didn't work."

"Pill's only 97% effective at best," Duffy speculated. "Cuts down the odds but the chance is still there."

"If I thought it through at all, it was wrong even with that. It's still an abortion drug ... works also by keeping a fertilized egg from implanting.

"When I told ... him ... He tried to talk me into an abortion. I wasn't going to do that ... murder."

Duffy nodded.

"He gave me a choice. Either abortion or it was over. Would give me a month to decide."

Rachels' face darkened.

"The way he put it had me decided alreadly. Very cold, distant about it. Like a damn business proposal."

"Like you said. A real charmer."

"Next thing I know, I'm out of my teaching position and clerking in our translations department a few floors below the board offices. One of his cronies let it be known to me in that roundabout way of theirs that this was to keep me from seeing and embarrassing him during the next biweekly  board sessions. I was also told it was also a prelude to my being let go in case I made the 'wrong' decision and keep the baby."

"Bastard ... " Duffy directed his disgust at lover boy.

"Yes ... he was at that.

"Then the real surprise hit."

Jack leaned forward.

"My next period came."

"The new tests showed the originals came up with a false positive. I immediately went to another doctor for a second opinion, he confirmed the same. I wasn't pregnant to begin with.

"When, a couple weeks before the next board meet, I was reminded of my descision deadline. That's when I made a little arrangement of my own."


"Plan actually."


"For making my exit from the company in as loud and flamboyant a manner as possible. None of that roundabout, reserved Japanese discreteness and politeness they're so famous for."

"Yeah ... They certainly have a thousand ways to politely screw you over while keeping things quiet."

"I let it leak about the faulty preg test and that I'd like to see him.

"I always traveled light, so it was no problem packing. Stuff was pretty much packed to begin with. A couple days before the meeting, my then room mate, who I KNEW was running into to him through one of his cronies, was off on a 'business trip' with that same associate, so she didn't see the luggage go out the door. Bags were waiting in storage at Narita, everything in place.

"A few hours before the board meeting, we met at a restaurant across from the building. I had on a dress and shoes he gave me as part of the act. The message wasn't lost on him and and his beady little eyes lit up on seeing me.

"Told me things ... WILL ... not could, be the same as they were before. I was to be his ... whore ... and I would be back to my teaching position. Maybe even an advancement of some kind."

"That was magnanimous of him."

"Yes, he could be a very kind and giving bastard.

"I agreed ... NOT!

"About a half hour before the meeting, I change into pants and sneakers and laid low 'till about fifteen minutes into the meeting."

"That's when you made your move?"

"Yes. Taking the dress and shoes along, I get to the board floor. A large room with all these clerking and secretarial cubicals in the center, ringed on the outside walls with offices and conference rooms.  I practiced the speech for about a week, making it short so I could be done before anyone could do anything. I get up on the reception desk at the head of the room, and announce to one and all his and my little affair and what a weasel he was."

"Holy crud! I'll bet that stirred things up."

"Oh yes! Things like that just aren't done in Japan."

"So what happened next?" Smiling.

Rachel was relieved Duffy was not only taking this well but getting into it.

"After about a minute, I notice someone running to the boardroom. A minute after, the top staff comes rushing out, including the CEO of all people! Had I known he would be coming all the way from Ottowa I'd have had an even better speech planned.

"Well, HE was in that bunch, bowing, scraping, and apologizing to everyone like the little bootlicker he was. The Japan CEO, speaking through his top flunky, was admonishing him about keeping his whores and dalliances under control.

"I almost about lost it when I denounced HIM, the company, and the bunch in front of me. I settled on cursing them out in Japanese, English and since a couple of their Quebec people were there, some French too.

"I notice the flunky telling HIM to get me down from the desk and remove me from the room. He comes up, making with the big talk and tries to grab my leg. That's all I needed-"


"I throw the dress and shoes at him and a kick to the shoulder. Sent him back a couple feet. What happened next ... unbelievable! Little coward runs screaming back to the boardroom.

"I then turn to the rest, tell them something about how I can't be fired because I quit. That's when I got out of there."

"How'd you get out? I'd imagine security would have been called by then."

"I wasn't about to let them have the satisfaction of escorting me out. I jump off the desk, hopped an elevator partway down, switched floors where I already had my overnight case stashed and took the freight elevator the rest of the way. It was out the loading dock and into the street just as a couple uniform staff arrive. Got a cab and in a couple of hours was out of Narita, heading to L.A."

"Why Los Angeles?"

"Phoned a friend there the week before. Said she would put me up for awhile ... til I got my bearings."

"Why not back to Toronto?"

"My parents. Couldn't face them."

She noted Duffys' look of concern.

"Not that they would have given me trouble. They knew I was having problems and urged me to come home. They're always like that. They would question my decisions or chide me over consequences later but ... They were always praying for me."

"They always find out," she gave a little laugh. "I always tell them."

"So I stayed in L.A. for awhile. Shouldn't have ..."

"Why's that?"

"This is where it really gets bad, Jack."

The man, reaching over, clasped both hands over hers.

It was her turn to shrink away but couldn't. The mans' firm grasp held.

"You don't have to go on, you know."

"I do know, Jack. And I feel you SHOULD know."

"If anything, it's more for you than anyone else. A catharsis of sorts. Get it off your back like I did."

She continued.

"The friend who put me up. Knew her since high school. Like you, she was a real movie buff and collecter. I was more into anime but our interests more or less coincided.

"She had a dream of going to Hollywood. Making it some way in pictures. Things didn't work out like she planned but she still got into ... movies ... If you could call it that ... So ... did I ... unfortunately."

Rachel felt Jacks' grip get firmer. In sharp contrast his voice became softer.

"I take it ... What you mean by movies in this case ... has to do something with that ... 'other Hollywood' ... In the San Fernando Valley?"


She noted the look on Jacks' face. There seemed no condemnation. She still looked away, shame starting to show on her own.

"I needed money if I was to stay in L.A.. Thought maybe I could get a fresh start of some kind from it. Fresh start to a total dead end was what it turned out to be.

"At first the ... 'work' ... looked easy ... as well as the money. That's how they draw you in. The first month anyway. After that, the pace picks up and ...

"A grueling, dirty business. Run by grueling, dirty people. Up to three eighteen hour sessions a week. And the things they have you do! I managed to keep from a lot of what they wanted but it still took a toll."

"Yeah," Duffy intoned. "The internet's created a more than constant demand for new product. Not like the days of just film and print where one had to be satisfied with a few movies and magazines."

"Yes. The work is so heavy. I've seen people heavily into drugs and alcohol trying to cope. It never works. Didn't for me ... "

"And the disease factor. It's like growing cultures in a petri dish ... worse. I got colds and flues every month like clockwork. The health clinics they had us patronize were a joke. Regularly passing HIV infected people off with a clean bill of health.

"After about six months I got out of there. Got back with my parents in Toronto and went to a real doctor. One test after another and I had to be sure. I was lucky to have gotten off with only type one Herpes.

"Funny ... Ever since I came here a few months ago, I haven't had a flare up since."

Duffy, reaching, put out a hand, stroking Rachels' cheek. She shrank away.

"I didn't care, Jack!" Small sobs started their rack. "I'd already been a whore for a vile little man. At the time, I didn't think it would be any different showing myself as one to the whole world."

Strong arms enfolded about, they drew the woman to the man. He held her head to his shoulder, soothing sounds emanating.

"I care ... ," he declared, " ... about you. You're not a ... whore. You're Rachel O'Hara. A beautiful, loving woman who I hope soon is going to be my-"

"I can't! I'm not-." She shuddered from the small sobs emanating.

"What? Good enough ... Worthy?" The man 'chided'. "For quite some time I felt the same way about myself toward you, remember? That is ... until ... YOU ... pointed out how we're all here for a reason of SOME kind. I thought that reason to be many depending on the individual ... but ... It's actually only one reason ANY of us is here.

"That reason being ... well ... We all have one life to live. A time on Earth exclusively ones' own to go through and make of it what one can. That life ... and how it's lived is the only one you have. Whatever happens in that life, things you do ... don't do ... descisions, good or bad ... circumstances beyond our control ... Our dealings with others.

"We have to accept it ... come what may ... And at the end ... know that it was a life lived and lived as well as one could. Your life ... my life ... theirs ...

"It's all about acceptance."


"After the end. How things turned out ... came to be. And no matter what ... To be able to say ... This life was mine."

"Jack .... It's a joke ... a sad little ..."

He held her tighter.

"We're here in this place ... this inbetween ... dead. Between, for all we know, Heaven and hell ... And you want to-"

"Who says we're dead?" He softly cut her off. "Yuri and her bunch? Just because they made it an off and on again battleground doesn't mean it's the same for you 'n me.

"Look at them? Sure! Why not? Let's learn from others mistakes and avoid doing them ourselves. I've found, especially after you arrived, that death, if you could call this that ... I don't ... not anymore ... Is NOT the end. I've found life can be lived ... even here.

"And I want to live it with you.

"And say ...

"This life ... even here ... was OURS."

She stiffened in his embrace for a few moments then relaxed. Looking up she noted the combination of sincerity and determination in his eyes. She could see he meant what he said. His commitment ironclad.

"Then the aswer is yes, Jack. I will marry you."

The ring fit perfectly.

Rachel stared at her left hand for a few seconds, admiring the adornment. Duffy noted her hand slightly trembling for but a moment then ceasing.

Looking about the apartment her eyes fell upon Jacks'.

"We're ... still here," she said smiling and surprised.

"Disappointed?" Jack smiling back.

"No ... ," planting a light kiss on the mans' lips, "... I'm not."

The kiss he returned much longer, arms pulling her tighter to him.

"Here ... Or where whatever THERE is. It's Heaven wherever you are."


The news traveled quickly. The crazy gaijin couple was getting married! And in such a unique way.

The emotions of both student body and faculty were mixed. Interestingly enough, NPCs among both groups also expressing interest.

The girls were mainly enthralled. The guys, a mix of curiosity and puzzlement.

Yui became less hyperactive and more doe eyed. Hinata more nervous than aggravated.

In their quiet way Sakaki and Takamatsu became closer.

The object of Shiinas' affections ... Terrified.

Some ... A bit envious.

One of whom sat at her desk in Safe and Sound trying to wrap her mind around the idea. Not so much about the marriage itself as how one could seek, let alone find, happiness in what she felt was nothing more than a land of sadness and regret.

Though all were invited to the wedding (Within a months' time.), invitations had been sent to a select few. Yuri held hers in her right hand, examining and contemplating. Wondering how one could put such a dare in the face of fate. She was certain the two would disappear any day and yet ... It didn't seem to concern the couple at all. They had even referred to the possibility of being "obliterated" as ... Going home (!?). It made no sense to her at all.

"Has to be that strange religion of theirs," she speculated aloud. "Wanting to be in the presence of-" (Psalm 16:11)

She let out a sharp gasp and pulled her left hand midway between herself and the hand she had unconsciously grasped while deep in thought. Noda had been leaning with his right on the desk reading his own invite, not saying anything when her fingers wrapped about his.

He had made no sound or action of recognition lest she drew her hand away sooner. As it was, as far as his affections for the unknowing goddess he worshiped was concerned, he was content to take what he could get. At this moment, it was far a LOT more than what he had gotten in the past.

Noda, always watching, following. Never leaving her side except when on some fools' errand in effort to please or impress. The devoted one, dedicated to his leader. A dedication meaning much more than what he let on.

She knew he had a worshipful affection for her and, when he was not being hasty and doing something foolish, felt good when he was around. In a controlled setting when led properly, he could be an invaluable asset.

The masculine hand moved over, covering hers. She, blushing, hand slightly trembling, about to backhand him but thought better of it.

Happiness ... Here? ... In this ... place?

Noda felt her tenseness ebb. Feminine fingers intertwining with his.

To be continued ...

Storyline and original characters (only) copyright © 5-1-14 C V Ford


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