It’s a clear night. The moon is out and bright tonight. Really bright.
And Raven is grateful because of it.
Because she has been walking aimlessly for hours now, perhaps even going around in circles, her feet taking her to a not so crowded area in Shibuya, Tokyo. It’s already close to midnight and though she knows that Tokyo is relatively safe even at nighttime, she really wants to get back to her hotel already. She wants a bath – a nice, long and hot one that she could soak in. To soothe her tired muscles, to soothe her tired feet, to relax her. It has been a long day of walking, going to places she hasn’t been to before, getting lost…
Lost. Yep. She is definitely lost right now. She doesn’t know where she is exactly, only that she knows she’s still somewhere in Shibuya. At least she’s in a part of Tokyo that’s well known, even though there isn’t currently anyone around her. The small park where she decided to sit down and take a quick break is also deserted.
Plus her phone battery just died on her. Great. So now, she can’t even check her exact location via her phone’s GPS or check how she could get back to her hotel. Why again did she decide today of all days to leave her battery charging pack at the hotel? Oh yeah. She didn’t think that she would be out this late.
“Shit,” she mutters quietly to herself. She’s just thankful that she stumbled upon this small koen where she could rest for a bit before walking around again. It’s lighted and has a couple of vending machines, which she just bought a can of hot coffee from before sitting down on one of the stone benches scattered around.
She sighs. She knows that eventually, she’ll reach a major street that she’d recognize just by walking or even one of those 24-hour konbinis where she could ask for directions. But then again – her Nihongo is limited. Which is why she relies solely on her phone for directions and only uses speaking to strangers as a last resort on dire situations.
“Well, Raven. This is a dire situation,” she tells herself, sipping on her coffee as she goes through the different phrases she would need to use in her head, IF she ever sees someone she could ask directions from.
Puffing out a breath, she looks up at the night sky after taking another sip of her slowly cooling coffee. Despite her circumstance, she still smiles as she sees the brightness of the moon.
She has always been fascinated by the moon, even going so far as wishing on it at times. Others may be wishing on stars but not Raven. She has always been captivated by the moon.
And it was a full moon that night. Which is why she is really grateful that the light of the moon actually helped her in sighting this small, deserted park in the middle of nowhere in Shibuya suburbs. Well, if suburbs compose of tall, apartment condominiums, because those are what she thinks are all around her, apparently. Or offices. They could also be offices for all she knows.
Closing her eyes, she takes another deep breath, feeling the cool, summer night air around her. It’s not the bathtub at her hotel but it soothes her just the same.
Just a few more minutes of rest and she’d start to walk again. She really wants to get back to her hotel already. She can’t very well stay out the entire night.
Stooping a little to massage her tired calves, she doesn’t realize that she isn’t alone anymore in the small park; until she hears that unmistakable sound of a coffee can sliding down the vending machine flap and someone taking out that coffee can out of it.
Raven stiffens, her hand tightening around her own coffee can. Regardless of whether Tokyo is said to be safe even at night, one should still be careful. She’s still a gaijin after all and a female one at that.
And alone. Fuck.
She’s about to stand up and turn the other way to leave the park when the stranger suddenly speaks up, stopping her.
Damn it. She can’t very well leave now in a sudden rush, can she? She has to tread on this carefully. She starts to think of how she can defend herself should this stranger decide to try something on her. She can perhaps throw the coffee can at his face if it comes to that or give him an uppercut. She does have a mean right hook, so that should be enough to—
“I yorudesu ne?”
Shit. Why does he have to start a conversation right now? And knowing how the Japanese culture is, it’s quite rude if she doesn’t at least acknowledge him, even with just a slight bow. She does know that yoru means night and the way he posed that question most likely meant that he’s asking if it’s a nice night, so far, for her. She stiffens further, however, when she feels the stranger suddenly take the far end of the bench she’s sitting at.
Seriously?! There are other benches around the park and he chooses to sit at the bench she’s currently at?!
Great. Now he probably thinks that she’s ignoring him on purpose and that she’s being rude. But then again – she obviously looks like a gaijin so he could probably deduce that from her not answering his—
Wait. Wait a minute. Wait a damn fucking minute.
She recognizes his voice. It sounds familiar – that deep, baritone quality. She has heard it from somewhere. Where though, is the question.
Frowning, she turns to the stranger and—
“Miss? Kimi wa ushinawa rete imasu ka?”
She stifles a groan as she’s finally fully turned towards the stranger. She can’t see his face too much because he’s sitting against the only bright light at the park, shrouding his face in shadows.
She tries to decipher his question though with her limited knowledge of the Japanese language. Ushinawa means lost, right? So is he asking if she’s lost?
“Uhm, well,” she starts but then stops when she hears the stranger chuckle.
“And here I thought you do not talk at all,” he suddenly says in slightly accented yet perfect English, finally realizing perhaps that she doesn’t completely understand him. “Gomenasai. I didn’t think that you might be having a hard time understanding me.”
“No, it’s not that,” she replies after a beat, still a bit wary. Because she still couldn’t exactly place where she heard his voice and why it sounds soooooo familiar to her. Had she perhaps met him somewhere before? But that couldn’t be it. She didn’t really meet a lot of people while in Japan. Actually, she didn’t meet any. AT ALL.
“It’s more like you surprised me. I can understand a little Nihongo but your sudden presence is what rendered me incapable of speech. Plus I got kinda blindsided when you spoke straight English.”
He continues to chuckle. “Ah, a gaijin with a vast knowledge of the English vocabulary. This is good. I can practice my own English a little.”
She’s taken aback. Who does this stranger think he is?!
“Excuse me?” she asks a little indignantly.
Perhaps because of her tone, the stranger completely turns to her and suddenly bows deeply. “I’m sorry. That probably sounded rash and slightly rude.”
Well, duh. Ya think? She almost rolls her eyes but stops herself before settling for a little smile. She doesn’t want to be tagged as rude in return.
The stranger then stands up and throws his coffee can in the nearby trash bin before turning back towards her.
And this time, she isn’t able to stifle the gasp that comes out of her when the stranger fully faces her, a small smirk on his lips.
“Let me introduce myself then, miss. I’m—”
“Akihiro Yuri,” she breathes out, her eyes widening when she realizes what she just uttered.
OH. MY. GOD.
Of course! That’s why his voice sounded familiar to her! She’s been talking to one of the well-known Japanese actors in the world. How many times has she heard his voice during his radio interviews and watched some of his TV guesting from before? She even watched some of his dramas as well as a couple of his movies and became a fan for his versatility.
Of all the people in the world for Raven to run into, it is just her luck that she would run into him. She suddenly is questioning the universe what did she do to deserve this?
Oh, it’s not that she thinks it’s a bad thing. It’s more like she’s questioning why. What is fate suddenly playing at?
He then chuckles. “I see you know me already. And you?”
Oh. Oh shit.
“Uh… Watashi no namae wa Raven desu.”
Damn it. Now is when she chooses to speak in Nihongo?! The fuck?!
He grins and extends a hand for her to shake which she slowly takes. “Hajimemashite, Raven-san.”
Earth swallow her now. She is suddenly so embarrassed with how she had acted. To think that she even contemplated on hitting him. With her coffee can, no less! She could just imagine the headlines on the tabloids the following day for that. A gaijin injuring a well-known actor. God.
He then sits beside her once more, smiling in her direction. What’s a girl gotta do in this situation?! It isn’t everyday that one encounters an actor in the middle of the night. She starts to fidget a little. They are silent for a while before he breaks it again.
“So what are you doing in this part of town, Raven-san? Are you lost?”
She sighs. Hit the nail right on the head, why don’t you? Might as well be truthful about it now. She thinks. “Yes. I’ve been walking around and I didn’t know I walked too far from the main roads. Just found myself wandering around here. Add to that that my phone died and I pretty much am… well, lost.”
“Good thing I came then, huh?”
Cocky bastard. She thinks as she purses her lips and raises a brow. Are all JP-actors like this?
“I guess,” she mumbles. “Though I didn’t think an actor like you will come wandering around this area at this time of night.”
“No more than a lost little girl wandering around at this time of night as well,” he teases.
“Who the fuck are you calling a little girl?!”
He suddenly raises both his hands in her direction, laughing at the way she answered. Fuck. But he is unhinging her.
“Gomen, gomen!” he laughingly replies. “You’re feisty, wow. I actually live around here. See that building over there?” He points to a tall building perhaps a block away from where they are. “That’s where I live. And I usually come down to this park around this time to just… well, walk around and clear my thoughts.”
She scoffs and he grins at this. He really is one cocky motherfucker, isn’t he? To think that all articles she had read about him say that he is kind and soft-spoken. Well – the one that’s currently in front of her is anything but.
“I didn’t think anyone would be here. This park is usually deserted around this time on a weekday so this is where I will usually go to get some air. Sometimes with Eiji. Do you know Fujikawa Eiji?”
She nods. Fujikawa Eiji is another well known Japanese actor.
“He’s my neighbor and a very good friend. He’s shooting a drama right now though. It’s why I’m alone tonight. I honestly didn’t want to go out but my apartment was getting stuffy and I thought a walk would do me good.”
Cocky and talkative. The tabloids and magazines are completely wrong about this one then.
“I actually saw you from afar. You were looking at the sky and smiling. I had half a mind to go back to my building but my feet propelled me forward instead. And well – here I am.”
Cocky. Talkative. And stalkerish. Goodness gracious. How in the world could she get out of this one?!
“Well, Akihiro-san,” she starts. “It’s been a pleasure speaking with you for a bit and knowing where you now live. Be rest assured though that I won’t tell a soul about it since I don’t think anyone would believe me when I say that I met you in a deserted park somewhere in Shibuya at midnight. But I think I have to get going now. It’s quite late and I still need to find my hotel.” She then stands up. “And oh – you’re English is already quite good, by the way.”
Holymotherfuckingshiz. Did she just compliment him?! Lightning strike her now!
She bows a little in his direction, thankful for the night for hiding her blushing cheeks, mumbles a quiet oyasumi before turning around and quickly walking away.
“Chotto matte! Raven-san!”
She stops. Oh my god, why is she stopping?! She should have just continued on walking and acted like she didn’t hear him! Why are her feet suddenly not cooperating?!
She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. Why didn’t she just ignore him and continued on her way?
She waits until she feels him stand a little ways away from her but still completely beside her.
“Gomen. But I don’t feel right letting you walk around by yourself at this time of night, even though Tokyo is considered safe.”
Oh now he decides to be all gentlemanly. What?
“I can drive you to your hotel or—”
Whoa. Whoawhoawhoa. Wait. What is suddenly going on?
“—perhaps walk you to the nearest main road that’s close to where you’re staying? Are you staying here in Shibuya?”
Raven stares at Yuri for a moment before she shakes her head and gives him a slightly uneasy smile. It’s not that she doesn’t trust him. It’s more like, she doesn’t know him that much even though he’s a well known actor. That angelic baby face of his could be totally misleading. He could be a serial killer for all she knows. She isn’t going to stick around to find that one out.
“It’s alright, Akihiro-san. I think I can manage. And you did say that Tokyo is still quite safe—”
“Please call me Yuri, Raven-san,” he implores before suddenly taking her hand in his.
Raven’s eyes widen and she gasps at his audacity. But she finds herself not able to pull her hand away from his grasp even though she easily could. What in the world is suddenly going on?!
Yuri chuckles, but in a nervous manner this time around, reminiscent of that one episode of Wide Na Show that she was able to watch where he was all shy around that one brunette girl from the audience. The commentators kept on teasing him then why he was so red when the girl said that out of all the actors they guested that day, she wanted to kiss him the most. Why that particular show popped into her head all of a sudden, she has no idea.
“I don’t know what is going on, Raven,” he starts, foregoing the san honorific from her name before staring into her eyes.
Oh you and me both, you adorable fucker. Wait what?
“But I find that I don’t want to let you go just yet. Because… well… anou… shit…” he quietly curses. “How can I say this without sounding like a stalker or something? Uhm… Well, I’m normally not like this around someone I just met. But…” he quiets down, his other hand not holding her own going to his nape.
Goodness fucking gracious. Why did she find that cute all of a sudden? Whatever happened to her thoughts of him being a serial killer just seconds ago?!
“I don’t even talk much like this and I won’t normally engage someone I see randomly in a park,” he continues before straightening up, his grip on her hand tightening a little.
She doesn’t understand why she’s just standing there and listening to him explain his side of things. Though regardless of her initial thoughts about him, she starts to feel rather… safe.
Ok. Where the fuck did that thought come from?!
“I didn’t even go out with a mask on tonight and normally, if I see someone here even though they’re alone like you were, I would have turned around and went back to my apartment.”
He then takes a deep breath as if trying to gather strength and his own thoughts.
“But I didn’t. I don’t know why that is. Must be the way you were looking at the sky and smiling at the moon. You were looking at the moon, right?”
She was. But she isn’t going to confirm that with him.
“And you seemed so content doing so. Do you know that I have always liked the moon too? See here? I always chose jewelry and pendants that has the moon and stars on them,” he rambles on, pointing at his necklace. “And when I saw you gazing at the moon with that smile – I don’t know. I suddenly just had a thought that I should approach you. Like something prompted me to do it. And I just followed it. And I’m just thankful that you didn’t immediately turn around or run away. Or even screamed when you realized who I was. Most would have been flailing and screaming and – yeah, you know how that is.”
She does. She knows how fans can get with actors, particularly this one who’s known not just in Japan but the entire world.
“And then… well, here we are.” He finishes then he looks at her, quite expectantly.
But she is stunned to silence at everything that he just blathered out. Well, she couldn’t really speak anyway since he didn’t really give her a chance to, what with the way he rattled on continuously. Which now, she is actually finding amusing.
It must have shown on her face because his face drops a little and he suddenly hangs his head before mumbling, “I just blew it, didn’t I?”
This time, it’s her turn to chuckle. “On the contrary, Akihiro-san. You—”
“Yuri,” he cuts her off again looking back up and pursing his lips in a slight pout. “I told you to just call me Yuri, Raven. Onegai.”
“Fine,” she doesn’t stop her eyes from rolling this time around, though she gives him a grin after that. “Yuri it is then. Happy now?”
The answering grin that he gives her back made her heart pitter-patter like crazy.
What. The. HELL?
“What is this, Yuri?” she then asks quietly.
“I don’t know,” he answers truthfully, quietly as well.
She sighs. She doesn’t understand any of this but for some reason, this – whatever this is – feels… right? Goodness fucking hell. She is probably losing her head because of this. Is the moon playing with her tonight? It is full, after all.
Plus she shouldn’t be affected by what this good-looking actor is telling her. For all she knows, he might be playing her – seeing as there isn’t anyone else around them. They haven’t even met for long. They don’t really know each other. But… what is this sudden… pull?
“Are you…” he starts once more. “Are you, by any chance, from the US?”
She looks up at him and cocks her head to the side, deliberating whether she should tell him the truth or not. But he looks like a child hoping for something, a confirmation of some sort that she doesn’t really get but feels might be something of importance in this bizarre conversation they are having. Finally, she simply nods.
His answering grin of relief and the way his hand grasps hers tighter made her realize that there is… something really, in here. Whatever that something might be. It’s crazy but…
“I knew it,” he whispers, stepping a little closer to her.
Ok. Why is he suddenly looking at her like she just gave him the answer to why the earth is round or why the universe is the way it is? Her mind starts to go on overdrive again and her face must have shown a little of that alarm because he chuckles lowly once more.
“I’m sorry,” he tells her with that childlike smile again. “I seem to be always coming on too strong for you, ne?”
She’s about to deny it but he stops her by putting their joined hands together against his chest and shortening their distance even more. This makes her take a small step back and him to give her a sheepish smile. He still isn’t letting go of her hand though.
Right. Now she feels like they are starring in some sort of romantic movie and this is the part where he’s going to confess and kiss her senseless afterwards. Where are the cameras? Are they rolling quietly? Is he just pranking her?!
Damn it. Why must she overthink like this all the damn time?
“Raven,” he says. “Here’s what I’m going to do. And I hope you let me do it.”
Uh-oh. Here it comes…
“We’ll go back to my apartment and get my car from the basement parking then I could drive you to your hotel or if you’re ok with it, have coffee with me, again, so we could talk more. I know this slightly private coffee shop where we could speak freely and we won’t have to worry about being in the tabloids tomorrow.”
See? She’s right! She knows that this—
He chuckles. “For some reason, I could easily read you based on your expressions.”
Damn it. Am I really that easy to read?!
“I really don’t want this night to end without getting to talk to you more,” he tells her. “I feel like the moon made this happen between us. I want to tell you a lot of things and I know you probably have a lot of questions too. I don’t have any reasons as to why that is. Only that I feel that this is the right thing to do here. So… kohi? On me? Onegaishimasu?”
She remains silent, still looking at him. She could say no right now and she knows that he would let her go if that’s what she wants.
But is that what she really wants?
She does indeed have questions. Like that thing about him asking her whether she came from the US. And what does the moon have to do with all of these? And why her? Though that last bit – she knows might be a long stretch. She doesn’t even know if he would have spoken to her initially if she ignored him that first time he greeted her.
Ah heck. She’s about to leave the day after tomorrow anyway. She could have this one night with him and at least be able to say that she had an adventure by casually meeting and talking and having coffee with a Jap-actor. It’s kind of an experience of a lifetime.
She takes a deep breath. “Fine. Kohi it is, then.”
Little does she know that it wouldn’t end that night right there.
The moon will make sure of it.