Yuu:  Oh, were you going here, too?

Miki:  Mm-hmm.  I was supposed to come with my parents, but they got
       impatient and left me behind.  (laughing) They're such
       irresponsible parents sometimes.  Can you believe it?

Yuu:  (smiling) The truth is, my parents did the same thing.

[The two proceed into the dining room.  Spotting his parents from the
doorway, Yuu begins to make his way across the room.  Miki accompanies
him.  Yuu glances uncertainly at her, but he decides not to bring it
up.  Soon enough, they both reach the table.  Yuu watches in shock as
Miki begins to sit down.  At the same time, Anju notices Yuu's

Anju:  Oniichan!  You're really late.

[Miki, just beginning to sit down, freezes.  Slowly, she turns toward
Yuu with the same expression of shock on her face.]

Miki:  (slowly, dazed) It can't be that...

Yuu:  (slowly, dazed) Koishi... kawa...?

		*	*	*	*	*

		Orange Marmalade - episode four
		"Previous Engagements"


Yuu:  Koishikawa?  It can't be...

Miki:  (simultaneously, to the people seated at the table) Papa, Mama,
       is this...?

[The two stop and look at each other.  The dark-haired man at the
table laughs.]

Man:  So you two already know each other?

Youji:  Good, good.  We don't need to introduce you.

Woman:  But we'll still need to introduce ourselves.

Chiyako:  (nodding) Yuu, these are the Koishikawas...  Jin and Rumi.

[The man and woman nod, smiling, as their names are spoken.]

Jin:  Miki, the Matsuuras... Youji, Chiyako, Meiko, and Anju.

[Miki's face is expressionless as she bows in greeting.]

Rumi:  Look at the two of you, standing there.

Chiyako:  Sit down, sit down.

[As Yuu and Miki take the empty seats -- which are, coincidentally,
right next to each other -- Miki glances at her mother.]

Miki:  Oneechan didn't make it?

[She doesn't sound surprised.  Rumi shakes her head.]

Jin:  No... but it's not that important, since she'll be living on
      her own.

[Miki nods, still expressionless.]

Yuu:  (whispered to Miki) I didn't know you had a sister.

Miki:  (slightly surprised, whispered) She's a few years older than
       me.  I don't see her very much, any more.

[The two families begin the meal.  There is very little speech, almost
all of it by the parents.  Meiko does little but glower at her plate
during the entire meal, and even Anju seems uncharacteristically
somber.  Miki remains unreadable; Yuu glances at one or another of the
people around the table while he eats.  Finally, Youji clears his

Youji:  I suppose you all know why we're here...

[Before he gets any further, Meiko stands and slams her hands onto the
table, interrupting.]

Meiko:  (angry, but controlled, tone) I'm sorry, but we have something
        to say first.

[The four parents look surprised.  Youji nods.]

Meiko:  (very quietly, as if reciting from memory) I think you should
        think about your children.  We're opposed to this plan to--

Anju:  (interrupting) I'm not.

[Meiko stares at Anju incredulously.  Anju shrugs and smiles uneasily.
Meiko turns to look at Yuu and Miki.]

Miki:  (expressionless) They seem happy with it.

Yuu:  (shaking his head) {I told her this would happen.}  (sighing) I
      understand what you feel, Meiko... but I don't really mind.

[Meiko is horrified.  She slowly looks around the table, taking in
Anju's sheepish smile, Yuu and Miki's blank stares, and, especially,
their parents' downcast faces.]

Meiko:  {Why are you looking at me like that?}

Chiyako:  (solemnly) Meiko... why are you so opposed to this?

Youji:  It seems you're the only one who objects.

Meiko:  (sudden outburst) That's not fair!  (on the edge of tears)
        ...You're immature, you're inconsiderate, you always come up
        with ridiculous ideas, you never listen to us, but... but
        you're my parents!  I- I don't want to be apart from either
        one of you... and... I...

[Meiko flounders for a few moments, face downcast, while the parents
look at each other.  And smile.]

Chiyako:  Thank you for telling us how you feel, Meiko.

[Meiko glances up hopefully.]

Youji:  (continuing Chiyako's speech) You won't have to worry about
        being separated from us.

Yuu:  (surprised) Then you're not...

Parents:  (ultra-cheerfully; in unison) We're all going to rent a
          house and live together.

[Meiko, Miki, and Yuu stare uncomprehendingly; Meiko collapses back
onto her chair.  Anju looks curious.]

Rumi:  We decided that it would be the best way.

Jin:  (nodding) We can all be together.

Chiyako:  We can even adopt you after we remarry, so you can keep the
          same family names.

Youji:  So you see, you have nothing to worry about.

[Yuu and Miki seem to be in shock.  Meiko looks more horrified than
ever.  Anju is smiling excitedly.]

Yuu:  (to Miki) I think... they're... serious.

[Miki nods.]

Anju:  It'll be just like having another sister!

Rumi:  (winking) And two more parents, Anju-chan.

Anju:  Just call me 'An.'  Everyone else does.

Miki:  (to Yuu) She's... taking this well, isn't she?

Jin:  All right, An-chan, then.

Yuu:  (to Miki; absently) She's usually like that.

[While this was taking place, Meiko slowly pushed herself to her feet.
She's trembling, and her voice is shaky; unshed tears shimmer in her

Meiko:  (very softly) I don't believe you people.

[The side conversations stop.]

Meiko:  (continuing; steadily more hysterical) I don't believe you can
        sit here in front of your children discussing this ridiculous
        plan.  Who ever heard of people getting divorced and switching
        partners and living together?  (practically screaming) How can
        you do this to me?!

[Meiko abruptly turns and runs out of the restaurant, in tears.]

Anju:  Oneechan...

[Yuu begins to stand.  Miki stops him by placing a hand on his
shoulder.  Still half out of his seat, he cranes his head to look at
her, questioning.]

Miki:  I'll go after her, Matsuura-kun.

[Yuu hesitantly nods and sits down.  Miki stands and swiftly leaves
the restaurant.]


	Yuu's Journal

	As you can imagine, after Miki and Meiko left, the dinner was
rather restrained, especially considering our parents' usual habits.
One thing was clear to me:  They weren't going to give up on the idea
of switching partners.  It's true that we're going to be living
together, so on one level, it won't be that bad.  On the other hand,
it's going to be hard to keep the secret of our powers from our new
extended "family."
	I'm surprised by Meiko's reaction to the news.  Normally, she
seems so assured, so mature; sometimes I forget how young she really
is.  Regardless, to say she's taking it badly would be an


[Scene:  A Park]

[The same park where Yuu and Meiko talked several days earlier.  The
fountain is in view, but Meiko is further from it.  She is hugging her
knees to her chest, staring slightly downward, seeing nothing.
Without a word, Miki slips onto the bench next to her.  For a time,
neither speaks.  Miki alternates between glancing at Meiko and
watching the fountain.]

Meiko:  (finally breaking the silence) Why are they doing this,

[Miki is currently watching the fountain.  She answers without

Miki:  You can call me Miki, Meiko-chan.  Do you believe they're in

[Meiko's head snaps up.]

Meiko:  Of course they are!  My parents love each other!

Miki:  I think so too.  But that's not what I meant, Meiko-chan.  Do
       you think your parents and mine are in love?

Meiko:  I... no, they can't be.  My parents love each other so
        much... they're always so happy together.  They hardly ever
        disagree, and they never really fight even when they do.

[For a moment, it seems she's about to say more... but she doesn't.
Her head sinks back down.]

Miki:  I think your parents and mine are a lot alike.  My father is
       often away from home, of course, but when they're
       together... well, they always seemed like the most loving
       couple anyone could ask for.  As if they were two parts of the
       same person, and each of them knew what the other thought or

Meiko:  Then why didn't you say something?  If they're going to
        divorce, even if we're all in the same house, it won't be the
        same way...  If they love each other, then why...?

Miki:  Do you believe that it's possible to love more than one
       person, Meiko-chan?

[Meiko blinks.  Before she can either answer or become outraged, Miki

Miki:  I was really surprised -- and upset -- when they first told me
       about their plans.  I felt the same way you did, and I tried to
       argue with them.

Meiko:  (curious despite herself) And it didn't work?

Miki:  No.  You know something?  As I kept arguing, I started to
       realize that they really were in love with two strangers they'd
       met in Hawaii, no matter how ridiculous that idea seemed.  And
       once I saw that, the arguments started sounding... hollow.
       (sighing; turning to face Meiko) I'm still not entirely happy
       about the idea, Meiko-chan.  But it means so much to them... I
       just can't hold it against them.  I want them to be happy, even
       if it means remarrying and living together with a strange

Meiko:  {If you had any idea just how "strange"...}

Miki:  (continuing) Please, give them a chance.  They won't really be
       apart, after all, and there's always a chance that they'll
       change their minds.

[Miki continues to stare at Meiko, silently pleading.  For her part,
Meiko says nothing for a few moments.]

Meiko:  (sighing) I still don't like this, Miki-san, but I'll let them
        try.  (looking at Miki and smiling tentatively) Thank you.

[Miki also smiles.]

Miki:  We'd better get back to the restaurant.  They'll be worried
       about you.  (pause) Meiko-chan... I'm glad the other family was

[She stands and begins to walk, slowly.  Meiko stares at her back in
astonishment for a moment, then hastily follows.  She easily catches
up, and the two assume a more normal walking pace.  Side by side, they
leave the park, heading in the direction of the restaurant.]


		Miki's Journal

	I'm sure that Meiko-chan will adjust, but it will take time.
Matsuura-kun told me, afterward, that his parents had only told the
two of them three days earlier.  I find that hard to believe; even my
parents gave my sister and me a month to get used to the idea.  No
wonder she's reacting so strongly.
	I see I've written "Matsuura-kun" above.  I suppose I should
start calling him "Yuu-kun," if our families are to be living
together.  I think that things are going to be complicated, and I find
myself hoping that our parents do change their minds.  That's not
likely, I know.
	The Matsuuras really are a strange family.  At least Anju-chan
isn't upset; just the opposite, in fact.  "It will be like having
another sister," she said.  And then there's Yuu-kun.  I wonder what
he thinks of all this.  I don't think he's being entirely honest, but
I can't think of a way to approach him to ask.
	Like another sister.  Does that make us like brother and
sister, then?


[Scene:  Yuu's Bedroom]

[Yuu is lying asleep in bed until an alarm rings.  Then, he sits bolt
upright.  His eyes are slightly glazed.]

Yuu:  {A dream?  But it all seemed so real...}  (shaking his head)
      {No; it wasn't a dream.  What a night...}

[He begins to get dressed in his school uniform.  While he does, his
eye falls on a calendar on the wall.]

Yuu:  {Only three days left until the challenge match with Rokutanda.}

[He glances guiltily at his tennis racquet, which is leaning in the
far corner of his room.]

Yuu:  {I guess I'd better try to practice today.  It won't hurt to put
      off looking for a part-time job until then...}

[He sighs.  At that moment, there is a knock on his door.]

Anju:  (through door) You're going to be late, oniichan!  We're going
       to go ahead, okay?

Yuu:  {It's this late already?}

[He swiftly picks up his racquet and books.]

Anju:  (through the door) See you later, 'niichan.

Yuu:  Wait--!

[But Anju and Meiko are already gone.  Yuu shrugs, quickly eats
breakfast, and pulls on his shoes.]

Yuu:  Those two...  {Meiko was very quiet this morning, though.  I
      wonder what Koishikawa said to her?}


[Scene:  Schoolyard]

[Gasping for breath, Yuu leans against the wall near the gate.  It
seems that he chose to run rather than risk teleporting.  As he begins
to recover, another person appears right next to him, smiling in
greeting.  This nearly results in Yuu falling over backwards from

Arimi:  Good morning, sempai!  (glancing around) Hmm?  Aren't your
        sisters with you?

Yuu:  Oh... Suzuki-san, isn't it?  You surprised me.

Arimi:  (smiling) That was obvious.  And call me "Arimi."  Your

Yuu:  Oh, sorry.  Meiko and An left ahead of me today.  They're
      probably inside now.

[Arimi nods and accompanies Yuu into he building.  Once inside, she
waves cheerily.]

Arimi:  Thanks, sempai.  See you later!

[Yuu waves back.  She hurries away down a hallway, and Yuu watches
with a bemused smile.]

Yuu:  {Is this really the same girl who was on the motorcycle, that
      first day?}

[He turns, walking toward his own classroom.]


[Scene:  Momoi's Classroom]

[Arimi, still at her hurried pace, comes in the door.  She immediately
makes her way to Meiko and Anju, pulling a chair across.  The twins
are facing each other; Anju's back is to Arimi, which means Meiko is
the first to spot her.]

Meiko:  Arimi-san.  Good morning.

Anju:  (turning her head) Arimi-chan!

Arimi:  (sitting) Good morning.  (to Meiko) You look better.

Meiko:  (nodding) I... feel more confident now.

Anju:  Talking to Koishikawa-san really helped her.

Meiko:  An!

Arimi:  To Miki?

Meiko:  (nodding sheepishly) Miki-san helped me with a little problem.

[Meiko swiftly glares at Anju, who was about to add something.  She
wisely reconsiders, and stays quiet.  Arimi nods and turns away, a
thoughtful look on her face.]


[Scene:  Terrace]

[Midday.  Yuu is sitting alone at one of the tables, eating lunch and
reading a book.  Miki approaches and sits a third of the way around
the table from him.]

Miki:  You don't mind if I join you, do you?

Yuu:  Eh... Koishikawa?  No, I don't...

Miki:  (smiling; enunciating each syllable) Mi-ki.  (normal tone) If
       we're going to be living together, we're-

[Yuu winces, and interrupts.]

Yuu:  Have you, er, mentioned that to anyone yet?

Miki:  No.  Is there some reason you don't want to?

[Yuu thinks about that for a second, and shrugs.]

Yuu:  No, I guess not.  Although we haven't really talked about it,
      and Meiko might not be too happy having the entire school know.
      (slight pause) Oh, that's right.  I wanted to thank you for
      going after Meiko last night.  I don't know how you managed to
      bring her back to the restaurant.  Whatever you said, it really
      helped her.

Miki:  (turning away) I understand Meiko-chan fairly well, that's all.
       I'm sure you would have done the same.

Yuu:  I appreciate the confidence, but I don't think so.  Meiko is
      usually quieter than An, but she's twice as stubborn.

[Miki laughs.]

Miki:  What about your tennis?  Are you prepared for the match?

Yuu:  (hand behind head; smiling nervously) Well... I've sort of been
      busy looking for a job...

Miki:  (wryly) In other words, no.

Yuu:  I did bring my racquet today.  Oh, and I met your friend.

Miki:  Ginta?  I hope you got along.  He's a little short-tempered.

Yuu:  I noticed.  At first I thought he wanted to fight me.

Miki:  (laughing) That's pretty typical.  He's a good friend if you
       can see past his exterior, though.

Yuu:  (trying to sound casual) You seem to know him pretty well.

Miki:  (nodding) He's been a friend of mine since childhood.

Yuu:  {A childhood friend...?}

Miki:  (pointedly) He's also one of the best players on Toryo's tennis
       team.  Even if you don't have much time left to practice, he
       can help you get back in shape.

Yuu:  (nervously) I'm not sure he will, though.  I don't think we got
      off to a very good start...

Miki:  I'm sure he will.  (glancing behind Yuu) Here he comes now.  We
       can ask him.  (waving) Ginta!

Yuu:  Wait-  (sighing) {Perfect.}

Ginta:  Hi, Miki.  (far more coldly) Matsuura.

[Yuu waves halfheartedly.  Miki smiles at Ginta.]

Miki:  Y--Matsuura-kun and I were just talking about his challenge
       match, Ginta.

Ginta:  (brusquely) It doesn't matter who the opponent is; if he
        doesn't practice, he'll lose.

[Yuu chuckles nervously.  Miki doesn't even blink.]

Miki:  But you can help him, right?

Ginta:  Not if he doesn't want me to.

[Miki glances questioningly at Yuu, who shrugs sheepishly.  Rolling
her eyes, she turns back to Ginta.]

Miki:  Sorry, Ginta.  He says he brought his racquet today, so...?

[Ginta's eyebrows draw together angrily, and it seems that he'll
refuse vehemently.  But after a moment of glaring in Miki's direction,
he straightens himself up and nods to her.]

Ginta:  All right.  (to Yuu) Listen, Matsuura, I'm giving you a second
        chance.  Meet me at the courts after school today, and I'll
        help you with your practice.  But that's it.  If you're not
        there today, that'll tell me you're not interested.

Yuu:  Er... thanks, Suou-kun.  I'll be there.

[Suou nods to him, smiles and waves to Miki, and walks back toward the
main school building.  Yuu and Miki watch him go; Miki turns in her
chair to accomplish this.]

Miki:  See, Yuu-kun?

Yuu:  What?

Miki:  He's really a pretty nice guy, underneath.

Yuu:  I think it's only to you.

[Miki laughs, but Yuu is dead serious.  He frowns thoughtfully as he
watches her.]

Yuu:  {And why did it go from "Matsuura-kun" to "Yuu-kun" after
      Suou-kun left?}


[Scene:  Namura's Classroom]

[School has just ended for the day.  A few of the faster students are
drifting out of class, but most are still packing their books away.
Miwa is nowhere to be seen; apparently, he was one of the faster ones.
Tsutomu, on the other hand, is very much in evidence, reminding -- at
length -- a pair of unfortunate male classmates to come to the tennis
challenge in a few days' time.  It's obvious that he won't stop going
on about it for some time, and the other boys' faces are fixed into
expressions halfway between desperate fake smiles and numb
acceptance.  Yuu, who has just finished packing, glances at Tsutomu.]

Yuu:  {Now's my chance to escape...}

[He quickly ducks out the door and back against the wall, and waits
for a moment.  When he hears no outraged cry from Tsutomu, he sighs,
relieved, and heads toward his locker.  He opens it and is greeted by
a folded paper; his name is written on it.]

Yuu:  Hmm...  (reading) "Please meet me behind the library after
      school tomorrow."  (pause) Tomorrow?  That's strange.  {I wonder
      if Koishikawa...?}

[Yuu stuffs the note into his bag and retrieves his tennis racquet.
As he walks away, still deep in thought, we can see Arimi behind the
next row of lockers.  She has obviously heard; her eyes are wide


[Scene:  Tennis court]

[Not long afterward.  Yuu, now wearing tennis gear, and still carrying
his racquet, steps onto the court.  Ginta is already waiting.]

Ginta:  So you made it after all.  I wasn't sure you would.

Yuu:  (looking around at the deserted court) Where's the rest of the

Ginta:  There's no practice today.  We'll need to use another court
        tomorrow, though.

Yuu:  You're going to skip tomorrow's practice?

Ginta:  (nodding) Probably.  Now, let's see what you've got.

[Yuu nods and raises his racquet as Ginta steps back behind the line.
Ginta serves -- an easy, moderate-speed shot.  Yuu steps into a
forehand, returning to Ginta's backhand.  Soon, the two are smoothly
hitting the ball back and forth, alternating between forehand and

Ginta:  Not bad.  At least you have decent form.  (smirking as he
        returns a forehand) Now that we're warmed up, let's play.

Yuu:  ...

[Ginta's next stroke, a backhand, is different from the earlier
exchanges; the ball is sent, not straight to Yuu, but across the
court, and at a much faster pace.  Yuu scrambles and manages to return
it, but the weak stroke causes the ball to bounce high into the air.]

Ginta:  Got it!

[He jumps, smashing the ball back into Yuu's court.  It bounces almost
at his feet, then flies past into the fence.  Ginta smiles.]

Ginta:  Your footwork needs practice.  Now let's see your serve.

[Yuu retrieves the ball and serves.  His first serve bounces just
outside the line.]

Ginta:  Out.  (throwing another ball to Yuu) Try again.

[Before Yuu can, however, he is interrupted by an overly-loud outburst
of self-satisfied laughter.  He and Ginta both reflexively wince.]

Yuu:  Rokutanda.

Ginta:  (simultaneously) Tsutomu.

Ginta & Yuu:  (in unison) Eh?  You know him?

Tsutomu:  (from the other side of the fence) You won't have a chance
          against me if you play like that, Matsuura!

Ginta:  Your challenge match... is against Tsutomu?

[Yuu nods, but Ginta isn't paying attention to him any more.  He's
already approaching Tsutomu.]

Ginta:  Listen, there's no way Matsuura will lose to you!  I'm going
        to train him.

Tsutomu:  Ha!  It's too late to matter.

Ginta:  What do you mean, "It's too late"?  I told you, I'm training

Tsutomu:  What do you mean, "What do you mean"?  You don't even have a
          week!  You can't do anything in that time.

[The two glare at each other through the fence.  Yuu interrupts.]

Yuu:  How is it that you know each other?  Not just rivals on the

Ginta & Tsutomu:  (in unison) We're cousins.

Yuu:  (surprised) Cousins?

Ginta:  (nodding) Ever since we were little...

Tsutomu:  ...People have been comparing us.

Yuu:  Hmm... come to think of it, you are a lot alike.

Ginta & Tsutomu:  (snarling; in unison) WE'RE NOTHING ALIKE!

Yuu:  It... was a joke.  A joke.

Ginta & Tsutomu:  Hmph.

[They turn away from Yuu and go back to bickering with each other.
Yuu watches in disbelief.]

Yuu:  {They're -exactly- alike.}

[Soon enough, Ginta decides to break off the argument.  He whirls and
stalks back to his side of the court.]

Ginta:  Matsuura!  It's your second serve.

Yuu:  Right...

Tsutomu:  (laughing) At least try to get it in this time, Matsuura!

[Yuu closes his eyes, scowling, then opens them to regard Ginta.
Ginta, enraged by something Tsutomu said, is standing with a
white-knuckled grip on his racquet.]

Yuu:  {It would be so easy to use the Power...}

[His eyes narrow in concentration as he hits the second serve, using
the Power to control it.  It seems to follow the same path as the
previous serve, until it passes the net.  Then it suddenly drops and
curves to Ginta's left.  It bounces just inside the line and flies
sideways, away from Ginta.  He watches speechlessly for a moment.  The
fencce clatters behind Yuu as a gaping Tsutomu loses his balance and
stumbles forward into it.]

Ginta:  (grudgingly) Okay... that was pretty good.

Yuu:  (guilty) I must've just gotten lucky.  It never did that before.

[Tsutomu, still speechless, turns and slowly walks off, still dazed.]

Ginta:  You even got rid of Tsutomu.

Yuu:  He's probably going to be practicing from now until the match.

Ginta:  (smiling) That sounds like him.  (serious) That means we'll
        have to practice hard.  You can't lose to Tsutomu!

Yuu:  Wait a minute...  You weren't this eager before.

Ginta:  You didn't tell me it was Tsutomu before.  This is a matter of
        pride now.

Yuu:  {Oh, terrific.}

Ginta:  We'd better start with your footwork.  Then I'll correct your
        form on the forehand; it's a little off.  After that...

[Ginta continues at length while Yuu just shakes his head.]