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January 2011

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WIP_Amnesty fic: Carnival

Title: Carnival
Fandom: Trick
Pairing: Naoko/Ueda
This is a WIP snippet I'm posting for wip_amnesty. I'll probably never finish it. 


Carnival

"Je T'aime."

Naoko tried not to grind her teeth as she carefully removed her hands from the suspended ball. It was harder than it looked, since one wrong movement would send the ball swinging back and forth like a pendulum, making it clear to everyone that, rather than levitating in the air, it was hanging on a spare bit of fishing line.

She was on stage and this was no time to be thinking about stupid Ueda. At least, that's what she kept telling herself.

He'd actually proposed to her, in a very strange sort of way, and then (big, stupid, Ueda that he was) he'd proceeded to grin that big, stupid grin and shout 'Je T'aime' at loud random intervals during the entire trip back to the mainland. Finally, in the privacy of Ueda's tiny car, she'd grudgingly admited that she might, possibly, maybe, feel the same way just to get him to shut up. Of all the reactions she had been expecting she hadn't expected for him to unceremoniously dump her and her baggage off at her apartment and hare back to the University with nary a word. He hadn't called or dropped by either, not once in the month they'd been back.

She finished her act with a theatrical wave of her hands and a flash of, what would appear to the audience as conjured light. The audience, what little of it there was, was singularly unimpressed. It didn't help that the lone clapping of her fan-turned-stalker made the rest of the small theater sound eerily silent. She decided not to wonder at her strange lack of charisma on stage and instead focused on the fact that she would soon be home and be able to take off the brocade cheongsam. It looked nice on stage but it was hellishly hot and itchy in the muggy Japanese summers.

She'd barely gotten in the door when the phone rang.
"Hello?"
"It's me," Said a familiar, deep voice.
"Who?" Naoko asked, because really, he shouldn't expect her to just jump at the sound of his voice.
"Drop what you're doing and come to the University, quick." Click The line disconnected before she even got a chance to tell him that she wouldn't bother and who did he think he was to just call up and demand her time like that?

She firmly resolved to ignore the call. She even managed to get her props put away and her dress half unzipped before she wavered. Even for Ueda that call had been beyond brief. Usually he would at least attempt to bribe her before hanging up and he hadn't even mentioned offering to pay her a months rent.

Knowing Ueda, the big stupid jerk had landed himself in some kind of trouble and needed her to bail him out. She sighed and zipped her gown back up. It wasn't like Ueda would be able to get himself out of trouble after all.

Everything certainly looked normal, she thought, as she burst into his office. Although, it was unusual to actually see students in Ueda's office. Whatever they were doing here obviously wasn't too important as Ueda unceremoniously shoved them out the door when he saw it was her.
"Are you dying?" She asked.
"What?"
"That phone call, you made it sound like there was an emergency."
"Oh, yes," He patted his pockets absentmindedly before producing two half-crumpled tickets." I'm taking you out."
"You're taking me out?" She asked, totally caught off guard.
"Yes."
"On a date?"
"Yes."
This was deeply suspicious.
"Where?"
"Er," He squinted at the tickets for a moment, "Some Carnival that just came to town. . ."
"This wouldn't be some pathetic attempt to rope me into an investigation, would it?" She asked.
He immediately adopted an exaggeratedly hurt, offended expression, which convinced Naoko that she had hit the nail right on the head.
"Of course not! Ha ha ha!" He laughed nervously. "Couples do this sort of thing all the time." He whipped around and fumbled with something. From the reflection of the window behind him it looked like he was flipping through the pages of a small book.
"What are you doing?" She asked suspiciously.
"Nothing," He said, turning back around and shoving the small book into a back pocket. "Your hair looks nice today and-" There was a long pause as he actually looked at her. He squinted.
"Oi," He said finally, "What are you wearing?"

She had to hand it to Ueda, she thought grimly as she half walked, half jogged to keep up with his long strides. Most men would die of embarrassment if they went out with a woman dressed the way she was. Ueda, on the other hand, didn't really seem to mind as long as he wasn't the one getting odd looks. Really, Naoko thought, it was hard to appreciate the carnival when all she could think about was finding an A/C unit somewhere and standing in front of it for a couple hours.
Ueda stopped to ask directions and Naoko tucked herself into a spare bit of shade next an elderly woman.
"Oh, do you work here dear?" The old woman asked, eyeing her dress. "Tell me, is it true that that fortune telling machine really can give accurate predictions?"
"Fortune telling machine?" That rotten Ueda, she just knew this date business had been fishy. "I'm sorry, but I don't actually-" A large hand closed around her wrist and pulled her away before she had a chance to finish.
"Ueda, you fraud-" She protested as he pulled her into a long line in front of what she assumed was that fortune telling machine. "What was that you were saying about this being a date and not some supernatural investigation?"
"We can date and work at the same time." He said looking awfully shifty. He whipped out that little book, holding it off to the side so that she couldn't see. "Try out the fortune telling machine and I'll win you a large stuffed animal."
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