On First Contact

Understanding Love The Hard Way

Airi’s POV

 

“Churi!”

 

“Nani, Airin?”

 

“Look, here!” I passed her my phone, which was playing a music video, which was called Replay by Shinee.

 

“Shinee? Wait…. Airin, don’t tell me you’re becoming an idol otaku too?!”

 

“Well, once you’re an otaku, you never go back~”

 

“Sugoi…. So.. So hot….”

 

I heard her murmur from beside me, making me chuckle.

 

“So you’re coming to the dark side, eh, Churi?”

 

“Eh? No! I’m not like you, Kamen!”

 

“Oi! Says the one who cries every time she sees a cooked bird!”

 

“Hey, hey, hey! Since when have my mental insecurities come into this conversation?!”

 

“Just now! You can’t say much about what I like because I know, you like the same things!!!!”

 

“You little !”

 

“Oi, what’s with the language?! You’re ing younger than me!”

 

“So? Doesn’t mean I can’t use it!”

 

“You’re so on!”

 

Before I had the time to punch her, Kanon opened the door and pushed me back.

 

“Come on Airi-san, that’s a bit too harsh on Churi-san.”

 

Meanwhile...

 

Jonghyun’s POV

 

‘Hm, Manatsu no Sounds Good by AKB48 ? BIKINIS?! I’m so watching!’ I shrugged my thoughts off my head and clicked on the video, giggling in the process. Before I knew it, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around, seeing Taemin, our maknae grinning at me.

 

“Hello Minnie~”

 

“So, Jonghyun hyung, who are these beautiful people?”

 

“AKB48, apparently.”

 

“So~ Who do you like??”

 

“I don’t know any of them...”

 

I saw him move my mouse down to the description, seeing names written in Japanese writing I didn’t really understand.

 

“Ah, I know a few of them actually. Matsui Jurina, Takayanagi Akane, Furukawa Airi, Kashiwagi Yuki, this is life for me~ Search Churi up, she’s the one for you~”

 

“How do you know these things?! Who’s Churi?”

 

“What? Once an idol lover, always an idol lover~Oh, Churi’s, Takayanagi Akane-san’s nickname.” he said before he flashed me a wink. The is wrong with him

 

“Oh…? So who’s your favorite?”

 

“That’s easy~ It has to be Jurina, one of SKE’s aces~”

 

So, I searched up the girl he suggested, and I must say, she’s pretty cute. I was interested in her instantly, but those bikini pictures are perfect!

 

But the picture that caught me on the most was one with another girl, probably one that Taemin mentioned…

 

“Takayanagi… Akane.”

 

 

“Oi, Taemin, who’s the girl in the suit?”

 

“Ah, that’s Furukawa Airi-san. They make the infamous ‘FuruYanagi’ duo, they even have their own Nico Nico show!”

 

“Wow, Taemin… You must seriously like them…” I blinked my eyes in awe.

 

“Yep! I’m guessing you already have the hots for Churi!” he smirked and naughtily wiggled his eyebrows at me.

 

“E-Eh?! N-No, I don’t!” I can feel my cheeks burning, “W-What makes you think I do?!”

 

“Let’s just say, I just know it.” he said and danced his way out to the couch nearby with an apple in his hand.

 

I dragged my cursor to the ‘New Tab’ label and searched for the girl named Takayanagi Akane’s profile. There’s something about her that caught my eye..and I’m not even sure myself.

 

“Oh.. she’s a year younger than me...” I mumbled to myself. Other things included that she has 5 birds, now I definitely know she won’t get along well with Onew…

 

OH?!

 

“YES !” I screamed in delight and stood up from the seat before sitting down again, shocking Onew and Minho who were chatting about a certain topic before my rude interruption.  

 

“What has gotten into you, hyung?” Minho asked with his crazily large eyes.

 

“I’m happy.”

 

“Why?” Onew hyung asked with his oh-so-confused face while taking a bite of his fried chicken drumstick.

 

“The girl I liked, hehe..has the height that I like !!” I said again while scrolling down furthermore.

 

The duo facepalmed themselves and continued their conversation after throwing me an annoyed scoffs while Taemin who overheard the conversation laughed his heart out and screamed

 

“I KNEW IT HYUNG, I KNEW IT” he laughed louder, teasing me.

 

“Yah Yah, I’m your hyung. Respect me” I scoffed and drew my attention back to the screen. The more I look at her, the prettier she became. Suddenly the thoughts of having her and Onew meet made me laugh. That would make a hilarious scene.

 

“Hyung , what are you doing? You looked like an idiot,” Kibum or preferably called as Key chuckled and continued,”I watched you from afar , you were laughing and talking to yourself...like a ppabo”

 

“Key~ Check this out” I repeat the music video

 

“Oh my god~” he chuckled and had his eyes focused totally on the y and pretty girls in the video dancing and singing happily.

 

Gosh this kid. He’s almost drooling..Sheeshh~

 

“Okay, listen up boys.” Our manager suddenly walked in, holding papers in his hands, “You guys need to get to Japan.”

 

“Eh? Why?” I asked.

 

“Holidaaaay!” Taemin joked, earning a light smack from Minho.

 

“I was talking with Akimoto Yasushi on something and he decided that you boys will collaborate with some members of AKB48.”

 

“EH?!”

 

“My dream to meet Jurina might come true!!!!” Taemin leaped in joy.

 

“What is this collaboration on?” I asked, confused by the sudden announcement by our manager.

 

“We Got Married.” And with those three words, all of our jaws dropped.

 

“W-Who are we getting paired with?!”

 

“Onew will be paired with Furukawa Airi , Jonghyun will be paired with Takayanagi Akane , Taemin will be paired with Matsui Jurina , Minho will be paired with Kashiwagi Yuki and Key will be paired with Watanabe Miyuki.”

 

What the is happening right now?!

 

“Hyung..Am I dreaming?!” Taemin asked with his eyes enlarged while shaking Minho’s shoulders violently.

 

“I don’t know...”

 

“Who is my pair again?” asked Onew while munching on the chicken meat.

 

“Furukawa Airi, she’s kinda like you and she’s a day older than you.”

 

“What do you mean a day older? Really? Waa! I’m not the oldest!” Now he’s getting interested~

 

“Guys, what if I don’t get along with Miyuki?” asked Key while scratching his nape.

 

“Hyung you two will get along fine, you and her are so alike…!”  Taemin patted his back. When did Key have any insecurities ?!

 

“How can you be so sure?!”

 

“I know all about them~ They’re all in different groups too!”

 

“Tell us about them, Taemin-ah.” Onew hyung pursued. Yes GOOD POINT hyung.

 

Now everyones eyes are on Taemin. Including our manager.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Yuki’s POV

 

I was lazily posting on twitter when my manager tapped me on the back.

 

“Ah, manager-san, what’s the matter?”

 

“I need you to come with me to discuss something with other members.”

 

“Okay manager-san, who are the other members?”

 

“Takayanagi-san, Furukawa-san, Matsui Jurina-san and Watanabe Miyuki-san.”

 

“I’ll get them,” I said and walked towards the living room.

 

“Churi-chan~ Airin-chan~ Jurina-chan, manager-san wants to discuss something with us.”

 

“Hai! What about Milky?” They were watching something on Airin’s phone, grinning in the process.

 

“Oh, her too. Wake her up if she’s asleep.”

 

I walked towards Milky’s room, and yes she is sleeping while hugging a Pikachu plushie. I shook her gently whilst she was murmuring random things about Pikachu.

 

“Pikachu… Hug me…! Love me…!” she murmured while pouting her lips. Okay there’s no other way..

 

“Miyuki wake up!!!!” I pushed her off the bed whilst shouting.

 

“E-Eh?” She instantly opened her eyes, “The is wrong with you Yukirin?!”

 

“Me? What’s wrong with me?! It’s not my fault if you’re having a wet dream with Pikachu! Anyway, manager-san wants to discuss something with us.” I said and walked towards the door and she trailed behind me sleepily.

 

“Good morning, Milky, finally~” Airin said whilst rolling her eyes.

 

“Was Milky having one of those weird dreams about Pikachu again?” Churi’s eyebrows furrowed, confusingly.

 

“Of course, it always happens with her. You need to get some mental health.”

 

“Me? We need Churi to get some.” Miyuki retorted, “She cries when she sees cooked chicken!”

 

“But I found it cute!” Jurina laughed, “I know that some friends of mine think the same~”

 

Churi smiled and hugged Jurina, feeling thankful for supporting her love towards birds. Me and Miyuki glanced at Airin, who for some reason was texting Rena.

 

“Uh… Airin?”

 

“Rena-san no honto ni kawaii desu…! (Rena-san’s really cute!)” She screamed aloud, making us all turn to her.

 

I glanced and saw the older girl’s phone, rolling my eyes in the process.

 

Airin, make Churi and Jurina as jelly as possible I need revenge on those two.

 

“Rena’s idea?” I whispered in her ear and in response, she nodded.  We turned around and saw Churi pouting and Jurina was shaking her head.

 

“Okay girls, gather around please.” he said while jotting down some notes on his journal.

 

“Hai..” we said in unison as we walked towards him.

 

“Now, Akimoto-sensei has come to an agreement with Lee Soo Man, founder of SM Entertainment.”

 

Upon hearing the word ‘SM Entertainment’ Airin froze.

 

Why is she being like that?

 

Oh and now she’s nudging Churi on the shoulder and giggling together. Am I missing something?

 

“Senpai, what’s going on?”

 

“Ah, well, they were talking and they’ve decided to make you girls collaborate with SHINee.”

 

“EH?! Oh my ing God, Churi!!!!!!” Airin started screaming to the top of her lungs.

 

“What’s wrong with you? Somebody explain? I’m getting lost here..” I asked but Airin hasn’t stopped fangirling just yet. She started hyperventilating and it instantly got me and Milky worried, Churi, on the other hand, just shook her head, laughing. Jurina stared at the two with a blank face.

 

“Someone get her inhaler… It’s going to get messy.”

 

Jurina hurriedly ran, looking for Airin’s inhaler. Churi started to calm Airin down whilst she started to panick and cough like mad.

 

“C-Churi.. Pl.. Please… He.. Help me...” She said with a hint of breathlessness in her voice, “Is… Jurina… Getting my inhaler…?”

 

“Here!” Jurina came back with the inhaler, giving it to Churi instantly with her victory face.

 

“Airin, open your mouth?”

 

Airin was doing as Churi said as the latter popped the medical device into her partner’s mouth. I was sincerely worried for her...

 

“Everytime I say five, breathe in okay?”

 

The manager shook his head watching the mini-comedy-sitcom before his eyes. He even laughed his heart out.. even though Airin’s condition is like that.

 

The procedure repeated itself five times but to no avail as Airin was hyperventilating harder than she was before…

 

“Manager-san, call an ambulance…!”

 

Now he’s serious. He quickly dialled the numbers on his phone. Panic written all over his face.

 

Tsk..she’s like this because of SHINee?

 

I felt a bit of empathy as she started crying.

 

“I… feel… stupid.. for doing this...” I can see a bluish tint on her lips. I’m not a doctor but this is serious. This asthma attack is severe.

 

“No, you aren’t, now just calm down, ok? I’m right here, if you need me.” Churi the back of her teammate’s head as she continued crying in her arms.

 

Later on, we can hear the sound of an ambulance approaching.

 

“Airin, can you stand up?” I asked. She tried to but instantly sat back down, shaking her head in the process. I know why she can’t stand up, it’s because she’s bending down, creating pressure on her lungs, giving her more difficulty breathing.

 

Soon the paramedics came down with the stretcher and helped us carry Airin onto it. Manager-san and Churi trailed along while the rest of us stayed at the dorm.

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

Akane’s POV

 

“Airin…!”

 

I could hear the paramedics yell all sorts of medical terms I didn’t understand. I was on the verge of tears as she was still on the verge of unconsciousness. I couldn’t handle it anymore, my eyes are getting blurry, tears menacing to fall.

 

“She’s going to be okay..” Manager-san said as he patted my back lightly. Finally, my tears dropped, and I sobbed quietly. He rubs my back, soothing me a bit. My heart clenched when I can hear the fuss the paramedics are making in the ward.

 

Please be okay, Airi-chan…

 

I walked nearer and peeked through the small window at the door of the ward. Airin’s eyes were still closed, with a tube inside . My heart clenched tighter, the thoughts of her dying flooding my mind… my tears gushed out of the brim of my eyes, wettening my cheeks.

 

A doctor walked out to where I was with a solemn look on his face.

 

“Takayanagi-san?”

 

“H-Hai?”

 

“Do you know if Furukawa-san has had an anaphylactic shock before?”

 

“I’m not sure… This is the first time I’ve ever seen it get so serious.”

 

“Umm… We’re not sure if she had both an asthma attack as well as an anaphylactic shock at the same time… Which is rare.”

 

“Eh? No… What’s going to happen?”

 

I was so scared.

 

W-what if I...lose her…?

 

“We just need to inspect her condition for 3 days, if it doesn’t waver, then we need to keep her in.”

 

“Oh, okay...”

 

I sat back down, holding my head in my hands…

 

Why…? Why is it always me…?

 

Jurina’s POV

 

It has been hours since our manager-san, Churi-chan and Airi-chan went to the hospital. The three of us had been waiting nervously for them. We barely spoken any words.

 

I hope Airi-chan is fine..

 

I clutched my phone in my hand, waiting for any response from any of them…

 

Then, the doorbell rings and I hurriedly went to the door. It was Churi-chan and our manager-san..but where is Airi-chan?!

 

“Churi-chan...” Milky stepped out and said solemnly, “W-What’s happened….?”

 

Instead of saying anything, Churi-chan hugged me tight. I can feel the warmth of her tears wettening my top.

 

“It’s alright, Churi-chan...” I spoke softly and soothingly rubbed her back. Our manager-san joined me patting her back too.

 

“S-She might… She might die within three days…!” She continued crying, her tears rolling off her face, on to my neck and my shirt.

 

Our manager-san then explained to us Airi-chan’s condition. Churi-chan will stay at the hospital for Airi-chan and we thought that it was a good idea.

 

Uso… If it’s rare…

 

“How is Churi so close to Airin again?”

 

“They’re KII’s emotional pillars, and as we in SKE say, they’re two peas in a pod.”

 

“Well, that completely different to me and Milky.”

 

Churi-chan freed herself from my embrace and went to her room and packed up some clothes. She also packed up Airi-chan’s clothes, that was one of the benefits of being roommates with someone you hold dear to you.

 

Milky-chan helped her with packing their clothes and I went to the kitchen to packed them some food and water.

 

“Are you gonna be alright, Churi?”

 

Churi nodded while sniffling, almost done with the clothes. She walked out with a duffle bag, which had all their clothes in it.

 

I handed her a basket with foods and drinks.

 

“Thanks, guys~ Now, I’ll be off.” She followed Manager-san out of the door.

 

I hope she can cope with it…

 

Onew’s POV

 

Aww I ran out of chicken wings..

 

The members are gathering in the living room. Something isn’t right..I feel weird vibe out of sudden. It can’t be because of the chickens right? Well, it’s possible too. No this isn’t right.

 

I sighed heavily and rested my head on Minho’s shoulders.

 

“Chicken..”

 

“Hyung..you’ve eaten the whole chicken meal supreme for yourself..” Key said with his shocked expression. I giggled to his reaction.

 

“It’s not enough, kid,” I said while grinning wide. They scoffed and mumbled something about pitying the chickens on earth because a chicken-maniac like me existed. Pffft

 

“Why are we all here?”

 

“Ask the manager~ He said he has something to say..again.”

 

“Ah, now that you’re all here.”

 

I turned off the television and all of us paid full attention to the manager.

 

“One of the girls was hospitalised.”

 

“Eh? W-What’s happened?”

 

“Who?”

 

“Is she alright, is it serious?”

 

We shot the questions all at once, making the manager confused.

 

“One by one, please.”

 

“What happened?!” I asked.

 

“Well, I was told that she suffered from a severe asthma attack.”

 

“Who’s the girl, is it serious? Asthma attacks could be serious at times.” Minho asked.

 

“Furukawa Airi, Onew’s partner. Her doctor says that she could have suffered from an anaphylactic shock at the same time.”

 

“Eh?! My partner??” I gasped in shock.

 

“Yes, that’s why I came to say that filming won’t commence for a few more weeks.”

 

Taemin pouted.

 

“Should we visit them?” Jonghyun asked.

 

“It seems like a kind gesture.” I said, and I am truly worried for my partner..

 

The manager stayed silent, maybe he was reconsidering the idea.This would make the filming easier, by being closer first.

 

“It seems that you boys want to see them, so… I’ll book plane tickets.” he said and contacted someone through his cellphone.

 

The members were excited about meeting the girls. I can’t really smile to be honest. I’m worried about Furukawa Airi.. I hope she will be fine..

 

“Hyung, you’re worried about her, aren’t you?” Jonghyun asked from behind me.

 

I sighed, I’ve never felt this way before. Well, I had never dated a girl before..

 

Jonghyun patted my back, squeezing my shoulders a few seconds after.

 

The manager walked in.

 

“Okay boys, pack up your belongings, you will go to Japan in the next few hours.”

 

He briefed us a bit about the trip and later we went into our shared rooms and packed our belonging as been told. Taemin is my roommate. He’s packing his belongings happily, with a wide grin.

 

Suddenly the thought of meeting them made me nervous. What if I got nervous and be awkward around them? Maybe it would be better if I at least study about my partner beforehand.

 

“Hey, Taemin...”

 

“Yeah, hyung?”

 

“Uhm, you knew the girls right? I mean, you know them better than any of us did, right?”

 

“Yes, I’m their fanboy. Hehe. Why are you asking?”

 

“Oh, my partner..what she’s like?”

 

“Airin?”

 

I nodded.

 

“Well… She’s a lovable midget. She’s a fun person to be around and no matter what you do to her she won’t get mad at you.”

 

“Wow… She must be such a pacifist...”

 

“But lookie here, she’s so hot at the same time!”

 

He took out his phone and scrolled through his pictures and showed me one of her in a bikini:

 

 

“OMG…. Taemin, you...”

 

“Gotta do what I gotta do~”

 

“B-but, this is .. this is...”

 

Taemin laughed his heart out and patted my back.

 

“I can’t believe someone like her had an asthma attack that bad...”

 

“I don’t know if it happens often or not, but me too, I had never thought someone like her can have an asthma attack. I wonder what is the cause...”

 

“I don’t wanna know...”

 

On the other hand….

 

Airi’s POV

 

I woke up in a room I’m not familiar with. Judging from the tube inside my mouth, I am pretty sure I’m in a hospital.

 

“Oh right, I had an attack earlier..” I mumbled alone. The cold room was too quiet for me to even think about what happened earlier.

 

Click

 

Somebody entered my ward..it’s Churi-chan !! I was beyond happy seeing her, I almost jumped out of my bed but Churi froze in her position, her facial expression was solemn and I could see dried tears on her cheeks.

 

“Churi-chan?!” I said as I sat myself up, still waiting for her to respond to me.

 

“....”

 

Seeing her not moving an inch at all, I instantly wanted to stand up to hug her but..I can barely move my hands freely.

 

Manager-san came into my ward and he was very happy seeing me awake.

 

“Airi-chan..” Churi finally spoke a word and was slowly approaching me.

 

“Churi-chan” I smiled.

 

“I’m glad you’re awake” she said and hugged me tight, making me feel like a rare gem.

 

“So am I to be honest...”

 

“You know your asthma gets worked up easily, why did you do that?!”

 

I grinned.

 

“It’s an accident..hehe.”

 

“Don’t laugh, I’m being serious here…” Churi-chan pouted and lightly pinched me, “The doctor’s worried that you had an anaphylactic shock at the same time as your asthma attack so you’re staying here until you’re better.”

 

“Eh?! I’m all better now..Why should I stay?” I protested.

 

“In case you do have anaphylaxis, you won’t have another severe attack.”

 

“Hm, how long do I have to stay? You will accompany me, right?”

 

“A few days, and of course I will.”

 

I grinned, then it won’t be as painful as I thought it would be.

 

A doctor came into the ward with a smile, a sign of good news.

 

“Ah, Furukawa-san, you’re awake.”

 

I smiled as a response.

 

“We need to keep you for one more night, to make sure your asthma has calmed down. It seems you also have mild anaphylaxis so I need to talk to you before you get discharged.” The doctor said as he wrote things on his clipboard.

 

“Ah, so Churi you were right.”

 

“Of course I am.” Churi puffed her cheeks slightly.

 

“So… What happens if I have another anaphylactic shock?”

 

“I’ll inform you about that tomorrow.” he said and walked out of the ward with our Manager-san, leaving me and Churi alone in the room.

 

She dragged a chair beside my bed, eyeing my every move.

 

“Churi--” I was cut off by her crying on my shoulder.

 

“Airin… You don’t know how worried I was for you!”

 

I chuckled and pulled a grin.

 

“I’m sorry. I was worried for my own life… My asthma attacks can get serious but nothing like that’s ever happened before...”

 

“Don’t say it like that, you idiot!” She continued crying.

 

“Heeeey, I’m older than you~” I joked, trying to enlighten the atmosphere. I reached up to her head and ruffled her hair lightly.

 

“Can we stay like this…?”

 

I the back of her head lightly to calm her down. She seemed to sink in relaxation as I smiled lightly.

 

“Sure...”

 

*Knock*

 

“Excuse us?”

 

“Come… In?”

 

The door opened and then we saw… The members of SHINee?

 

The is happening right now?!

 

“Sorry for intruding, Furukawa-san, Takayanagi-san.”

 

“N-No.. It’s alright, really.”

 

Is.. This really happening?!

 

“Are you alright?”

 

“Yeah.. I guess...”

 

“We were all worried about you. So we thought to see you.”

 

“Thank you guys so much...”

 

I felt my lungs tightening again, making me tug on Churi’s shirt. The pain was pushing upward more and more, I was panicking so much.

 

“Eh?”

 

“C-Churi… Ge.. Get.. The...The doctor!”

 

“Oh no...  Calm.. Wait no… One of you get him while I look after her!”

 

“Taemin, go!”

 

“Okay!” After he ran off I started to cry in pain.

 

Please… Stop…

 

“Come on, Airin, calm down… Please, for me, for everyone. KII wouldn’t be the same without you...”

 

Churi….

 

“Furukawa-san….”

 

After a few agonising minutes of waiting, the doctors and nurses came in.

 

“Furukawa-san, we need you to co-operate with us for a little bit.”

 

How can I, when I have the feeling my lungs would explode?!

 

“Airin…!”

 

I felt like I couldn’t breathe at all. With each breath I tried to take, the more intense the pain got.

 

“....!”

 

Everytime I tried to talk, I just kept on coughing in agony. I could faintly hear Churi screaming at me, wanting me to wake up.

 

“Furukawa-san!”

 

“Airin!!”

 

Churi… please, stay… I’m scared..!

 

I felt myself starting to slip. I was losing air, hopelessly gasping for oxygen as my vision grew blurry.

 

I’m sorry… I’m weak, Churi…

 

As my eyelids were about to touch, I felt a warm hand grab my own. I looked and clearly saw Churi’s face, tears streaming down her face.

 

Crystal clear in my ears, I heard her say…

 

“Please, stay with me, Airin!!!”

 

I don’t think I can… Churi… but.. with you by my side… I will try….

 
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