Piro watched Erika out of the corner of his eye as she talked to Ping on her cell phone. He tried his best to ignore the conversation but he just couldn't. Glancing back down he tried to read the manga lying on the counter but he couldn't concentrate. Weren't girls supposed to be unhappy if you dated other girls? Why was Erika so cheerful about him spending the evening with Kimiko? He sighed deeply; none of it was making any sense.
<Well, I suppose you heard that? >
Piro turned slowly to look at Erika, <That you're going to Pings friends house after you go to that club? > He looked down guiltily, <I know that I shouldn't have been eavesdropping, sorry. >
Erika smiled and looked around the store, there were a couple of people up in the cosplay section but the front was clear. She leaned close to Piro and caught his earlobe with her lips and tugged at it gently. Piro shuddered and jerked his head away. <Wha..? >
Erika giggled; <I haven't had any time with you for myself in a while. And you looked so cute standing there I couldn't resist. > Piro looked at her and blinked rapidly, his hands seemed to take on a life of their own as they reach out and rested on her hips. Erika leaned forward and quickly kissed him then turned away. <Customer coming. >
Piro was certain that the three young girls coming in just knew that he and Erika had been up to something. Belatedly he recognized his art student and her friends. <Hello, Sonoda-san. >
Yuki smiled at Piro and approached the counter, Mami and Asako stood back and whispered, <Piro-san, I was wondering if you could help me choose some new markers, I've almost used up the others. I've been practicing at home. >
Piro nodded and come around the counter, <Really those would be just fine for you. > Yuki took his arm and began to lead him toward the Manga section; <There are some drawings that I would like to ask you about. I can't remember what manga I saw them in though. > As he talked she looked back over her shoulder at Erika. Their eyes locked momentarily. Yuki suddenly felt a cold chill run up her spine and she looked back toward Piro.
Erika smiled and looked at Mami and Asako who just as quickly turned away. If the little whelps wanted to play those games she was quite capable of putting them in their place! As she picked up the manga that Piro had been reading she suddenly felt guilty. She never actively used the full force of her presence on an individual like that. It wasn't fair to do that. She flipped the pages listlessly, if she had then she may still have Hitoshi and her career. She glanced up to look at Piro; he was now surrounded by the three schoolgirls. With a start she realized that he had it too. She looked around; she needed to talk to Yanagisawa!
Now it was clear, the reasons that he had simply walked up to Nanasawa and handed her a Rail Card. Why he had found Megagamers out of all the stores and the reason that she had drafted him into the job of mascot and helper. It was the reason for Largo's bizarre devotion as well. It was weak and undeveloped in him but it was there.
Erika had never fully understood the Chaos Theory that was the foundation of an Idols power. She only knew how to use it and use it well. She had once told Masamichi that a race car driver wasn't expected to have to build the engine or select tires, he just had to win races. She wondered if Piro would understand it if she told him.
Piro and the girls approached the counter, Piro wearing his familiar old expression of uncertainty while the girls giggled and whispered. Erika smiled, <Why don't you check your friends out, Piro? I need to talk to Yanagisawa about something. >
Piro watched Erika go into the office then walked around the counter to begin ringing up their purchases. Yuki mustered her courage to finally ask, <Are you and her going out tonight? >
Piro shook his head; <Hayasaka-san and Ping are having girls' night out tonight. > He stopped in embarrassment when he realized that he didn't want to explain the arrangement that the girls had reached about him.
Yuki thanked Piro and headed for the door with her cohorts close behind. When they reached the street she turned to face them in triumph, <He'll be alone tonight! I'll teach those two to treat him like that! >
Yanagisawa leaned back in his chair and lit a cigarette; he finally spoke after taking a long drag on it. <If what you say is true than we must advise Masamichi immediately. I'm sure that he will insist that Piro stay with you. >
Erika looked down at the floor; <I wanted him to stay with me because it's his choice, not because the law forces him to stay. >
Yanagisawa leaned forward and looked into her eyes. <Listen, don't let him get away because you're too proud to use what you've been gifted with. You did that once and look what it did for you. If you wait then Nanasawa will surely use what she has to get him and she's getting stronger every day. Ping is no problem, from what you've told me she'll be your daughter or little sister or whatever she has to be, right? >
Erika looked up at her old friend, there were tears streaming down her cheeks. <You're right I suppose, and it would be best for him as well. He's been hurt too many times too. >
Yanagisawa smiled, <That's my girl. Now go out there and keep an eye on him before he gets into any more trouble. >