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Octokitty Land, GO!

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“At least Itaru doesn’t mind my being a fan of Octokitty,” Kana thought as she hurriedly put on lipstick. She couldn't imagine any other guy who'd been interested in her in the past agreeing to go to OctokittyLand with her (except maybe Kazumi-kun). But Itaru, Itaru had happily suggested going when he'd heard about it a few weeks ago.

 

“Octokitty is waiting! Are you free on the 24th?"

-Itaru, picture attached of the entrance to OctokittyLand

 

"OMG, YES! How, what, are you there right now?"

-Kana

 

"Just passed by while going to a business meeting, I didn't go in. I want to go with you."

-Itaru

 

"I'm free, let's go!"

-Kana

 

"Great! It's a date!"

-Itaru (Octokitty sticker attached)

 

***

 

 “Have you been waiting long?” She'd luckily made it on time, but it seemed Itaru had been earlier.

 

“No, not at all” Itaru said, smiling at her. “You look beautiful, Kana.”

 

“Uumm, thank you, you look handsome today!” Maybe he’s a little more dressed up than she'd expect him to be going to an amusement park, not his usual black jacket…

 

“…thank you,” he said, putting his hand behind his neck and with a bit of a blush on his face. “Shall we go? I think the Octokitty show is starting in 15 minutes?”

 

Octokitty Show: Meet Octokitty after a fun-filled 30 minutes of Octokitty dancing with its friends! Special Octokitty merchandise will be given to attendees at the start and the end of the show!

 

“Yes, of course!” She linked her arm in his.

 

***

 

She cuddled the limited edition Octokitty plush (Osaka style Octokitty!) they'd gotten from the show before placing it in her bag to keep it safe.

 

She loved OctokittyLand! So many fans of Octokitty and everyone here was having fun! And so many special edition merchandise! And another photo of her and Itaru with Octokitty! It was better than Disneyland to her, though she'd only share that with Itaru...

 

Speaking of Itaru...

 

Itaru had been on edge the whole day.

 

Oh, he was still Itaru and it was adorable to see his eyes light up when Octokitty arrived at the show and started dancing.

 

But he’d been more clumsy than usual, tripping over the Octokitty bench they were going to sit on, accidentally crushing the Octokitty chip bag they’d bought to share tomorrow when they watched a movie at his apartment, and dropping the suspicious Octokitty-flavored ice cream cone he’d bought when she tried to hold his hand. (He’d immediately apologized and bought another of the latter, and thankfully it just tasted like Takoyaki ice cream that somehow worked!)

 

“I’m just a little tired, I guess” he said bashfully, while sitting on the Octokitty bench again. "Work's been a bit busy."

 

She nodded sympathetically, remembering his harried texts from a few weeks back about such. “Maybe we should stop for today? So you can rest?”

 

‘No! I’m fine! I… maybe just some coffee…”

 

She had seen Itaru eyeing the numerous Octokitty drink shops, all promoting “Octokitty flavored Hot and Iced Coffee! Now with a free Tumbler!” She’d been worried about what an Octokitty flavored coffee would taste like, but the ice cream had been good (and not had any hint of taste of kittens) and the tumbler…

 

She purchased two, taking a sip (it was delicious!) but concentrated on Itaru.

 

“If you’re sure, but we can always come back another day…”

 

Itaru sipped the coffee cheerfully, perking up. “No, I’m feeling better now! Besides, Kana, we still haven’t gone to all the places in the park! Octokitty Crossing where we can enter Octokitty's house, Octokitty GO where we catch Octokitty using our phones, Octokittyvania where we enter Octokitty's haunted house, Octokitty Wars where we'll meet and battle Darth Octokitty with Octokitty Skywalker! And the special shop Confessions of an Octokittyholic with all the limited edition Octokitty stuff only found in this park that changes every 2 months!”

 

“Okay, okay” she said with a laugh. He seemed to have recovered, and she did want to see all of those places.

 

***

 

He’s a good man, she mused as they walked together. The perfect guy, who really loves me, whom I can be myself with. And he really, really likes Octokitty as much as I do, she thought happily, watching him look at their map of the park.

 

I think I’d be happy with him always, she thought giddily. Even Johnny said so when we last met!

 

And Mama and Papa want to get to know him more, so maybe on our next vacation to our hometown…

 

“AHHH!”

 

My happy musings are cut off by Itaru running into an admittedly adorable Octokitty statue.

 

“Are you all right?”

 

“I’m fine, Kana… Sorry, sorry Octokitty, I didn’t mean to run into you…”

 

…Maybe Itaru needed glasses?

 

***

 

After the third time Itaru had run into something hard, Kana felt they needed some drastic intervention. Itaru’s head depended on it. His right cheek was already starting to bruise.

 

“Octokitty… ramen?”  With Takoyaki balls floating in it? (How?) And a spice level??

 

“Itaru, do you want to try it?” Maybe he was hungry?

 

"Okay!”

 

***

Upon entering the restaurant, they were surprised to see someone they knew.

 

“Sotaro-san, what are you doing here? …Are you a secret Octokitty fan?”

 

“Hardly,” Sotaro said, looking quite out of place in his usual black suit in the Octokitty ramen stall. He took off his coat then. “Ramen magazine called this stall the new upcoming spicy ramen with 200 spice levels so I came here to try it.” He showed them the article, titled "SURPRISINGLY GOOD AND SPICY RAMEN AT ODD AMUSEMENT PARK! DO YOU DARE? THIS REPORTER ONLY GOT TO LEVEL 50!"

 

“What level are you right now?”

 

“…20,” he admitted. He adjusted his tie abruptly, and she could see some sweat stains on his normally perfect dress shirt.

 

Seeing Sotaro sweat, she wondered how hot spice level 200 could be.

 

“I’ll have the same level as him,” Itaru said determinedly.

 

“No,” Sotaro countered, “you’ll have level 10.”

 

“I can handle what you can handle!”

 

“Maybe,” Sotaro allowed, “but today is not the day and you know why.”

 

“…Fine,” Itaru said defeatedly.

 

She left them to it, opting for a level 1.

 

***

 

Before they left, Sotaro nodded at them. “Yuikawa, good luck.”

 

“…thanks, Shiga.”

 

***

 

“Kana, we’ve really come a long way since we’ve first met, haven’t we?”

 

“Yeah, we have” she said. “From elementary to meeting each other again, and now we’ve been together three years…”

 

Itaru put his hand behind his neck. “I still can’t believe we’re together at times…”

 

She smiled at him. “Fate and a lot of determination on your part…”

 

“Worth every minute of it, if it made me worthy of you…”

 

Her words caught in her mouth as Itaru again hit the same statue he’d first hit a few hours back.

 

That

’s it, she’d buy the Octokitty helmet in that store coming up.

 

“Damn, I’m so clumsy today” Itaru said.

 

“Maybe you should see the neurologist soon, maybe Sotaro-kun can recommend someone at his hospital.”

 

“Yeah, maybe… wait? What?”

 

“You’re so clumsy today, Itaru. I worry, maybe you need to get checked out?”

 

He laughed while holding his bruised cheek. “No, I’m fine, I… I’m just a bit nervous.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Um, can you be patient a bit longer?”

 

“Okay…”

 

***

 

After a short walk that Itaru asked for to 'walk off the ramen', they finally found themselves in a clearing full of beautiful flowers. So many wonderful varieties, and it seemed so secluded, they were all alone there.

 

“I can’t believe this place is in an amusement park, it’s so beautiful!”

 

“I’m glad you like it,” Itaru said. “It was a bit hard to get here.”

 

“But why here?”

 

“Well, for one, the fireworks coming up will be great from this spot, and…”

 

He pulled out something from his pocket, but dropped it.

 

A ring box.

 

“Oh my gosh,” she said. Was that…

 

He winced as he knelt down to get it, but then determinedly looked into her eyes, still on his knee.

 

“Kana, I’ve loved you for most of my life, and I promise I’ll take care of you always. And I know I’ll keep loving you, being able to show you who I am, and hoping that you can feel free to be yourself with me always.”

 

“Oh my gosh…’ Was this why Itaru had been so jumpy today and oh, at OctokittyLand...

 

“Will you marry me?’

 

“YES, Itaru!”

 

She kissed him, and he responded enthusiastically.

 

She couldn't stop looking at the ring. A clear diamond tastefully cut and astonishingly clear, it was the ring of her dreams. "It's so beautiful!"

 

“…Actually…” and he brought out another box from his pocket, wrapped in a black velvet cloth. “I have two rings for you,”

 

“Really? But this one is gorgeous!”

 

“Yeah, but this one is…" He paused to unwrap the cloth, revealing a takoyaki shaped box that he opened. "...the special edition wedding Octokitty ring…”

 

OCTOKITTY RING! Shaped in a takoyaki but with diamonds at the base, an unforgettable ring for the discerning OCTOKITTY FAN!

 

“Oh my gosh, the one that cost…”

 

“You’re worth it,” he said fondly. “By the way, there’s also a promotion that you can get with this ring, you can get a picture with Octokitty and his girlfriend dressed up in a suit and wedding dress-“

 

“Let’s go now!”

 

He laughed as she pulled him away. "I love you, Kana!"

 

"Me too, Itaru!"

 

It wasn't the perfect proposal she'd dreamed of since she was a little girl, but in her eyes, it was perfect - with laughter, love, and no need to hide their likes from each other.

 

Omake:

 

"Sir, that was the girl?' The ramen cook took his empty bowl.

 

"...yeah." Sotaro shook out his coat, a wistful smile on his face. They were going to be happy together. "I wasn't sure if it was going to be today."

 

"...are you going to stop coming now?" No wonder this serious looking man had been paying the entrance fee just to eat ramen here, the ramen cook thought. It was for love. And maybe, closure.

 

He looked determinedly at the empty bowl. "No, I still need to get to level 200. Can I order a level 27?"

 

The ramen cook shook his head. A spicy ramen nut, even despondent in love. "I'll get you some milk with that."