Nina's Birthday Special!
MEANWHILE AT MPHS...
Nina: *smiles happily* What are we doing after school today?
Marv: *sarcastically* No idea.
Nina: Oh come on, it's a special day! Don't tell me you forgot!
Marv: What? That it's Friday?
Nina: Hahaha, shut up! You're annoying!
Marv: Ooo, annoying, huh? Now I'm not so sure I wanna give you your birthday surprise...
Nina: A ha! You did remember!
Marv: But I'm quickly starting to forget. Us annoying guys, it seems to be a personality trait- Wait, what were we talking about?
Nina: *rolls eyes* Haha, oh my god! Have you been taking lessons in jerkdom from Dan-O?
Marv: Who's Dan-O? Who're you? Oh my god, what am I doing here-
Nina: *slaps Marv across the back of his head*
Marv: Ow! Hahaha, thanks for hitting the reset button, I guess.
Nina: No problem. So what's my birthday surprise?
Marv: We're going to Fuji-cho.
Nina: Fuji-cho? Why Fuj-
Marv: Can you ice skate?
Nina: Uh... Kinda?
Marv: Great. We'll talk about dinner while we ice skate.
Nina: Ah, ice skating in Fuji-cho. That sounds borderline romantic.
Marv: Well, I'm not a super romantic kinda guy, so I hope you won't get any unrealistic expectations from this...
Nina: Heh, right, I'll try to control my overactive imagination.
Marv: You do that. Anyways, I'll meet you at your house and we'll walk to Urban Sprawl Station and head into PM.
Nina: Okay, I'll see you in a little while!
Marv: See ya!
Fuji-cho got its name from the landmark Fuji TV Building, a replica of the headquarters in Tokyo's Odaiba area. The Fuji TV Building was built across the river from the Cliffs and Southport. Fuji-cho hosted a number of financially important buildings as well as Port Matthew Station, the central rail station for the city. It wasn't quite as busy as Southport nor quite as upscale as Stranahan Hills, but (especially because of the station) it was one of the more popular tourist destinations in the city (and probably yes, the most romantic).
Nina really wanted to marvel at all this and look around at the sights, but she needed to pay more attention to her feet as she wobbled precariously around the rink. Just when she felt herself slipping and her legs tried to move ahead without the rest of her body he was there, strong hands on her back and shoulders, steadying her on her feet. She looked up and smiled warmly at him, and he smiled back and they loved being in each others' arms.
Marv: It's really not that hard to do, once you get the hang of it.
Nina: Hahaha, but it's really hard to get the hang of it- oops! *laughs and falls against him*
Marv: *laughs and helps her right herself* Here, you keep trying to walk, but it's ice. You have to glide on it, and you have to keep your body leaning a little in the direction you wanna go. *exaggerates his movements to demonstrate*
Nina: Okay... *reluctantly releases his arm from her death grip and tries to lean and glide the way he showed her*
Marv: *smiles* See? Not so hard, you're doing great. Just be careful to stay balanced. Too much lean and you faceplant. Too little and you're on your butt.
Nina watched her feet a little longer, but quickly worked it out and looked up as the wobble left her knees. Each lap she smiled a bit more and was increasingly steady and before too long they had picked up speed and were gracefully circling the rink with all but the most skilled skaters on the ice.
Nina: So how did you learn to skate?
Marv: My parents had me playing hockey in elementary school.
Nina: Oh! You're a hockey player?
Marv: I was. When you get to junior high school it starts being a lot more competitive. I just didn't have that drive that it takes to be good at it like a lot of other kids. I can still play, but I'm just not in it to win and kick ass, you know?
Nina: Yeah, I guess I can understand that... But it would super sexy if you were still a hockey player...
Marv: I was always more interested in school than sports though, you know?
Nina: Yeah, you are pretty good at it. And it does make you incredibly attractive, if I do say so myself hehehehe
Marv: I'm way smarter than I am athletic. You gotta play to your strengths in life.
Nina: Totally. You're gonna be awesome in college. He's gonna make something of his life. I just know it!
Marv: *suddenly serious* I hope so. It's a much bigger challenge than high school.
Nina: Hehe, are you gonna get all modest and introspective now?
Marv: Heh, gotta stay mysterious somehow, don't I? Chicks love mysterious dudes.
Nina: Hahaha, it takes away from the mystery when you say dude!
Marv: Pff, well, at least I didn't say bro!
Nina: Ah, so you do have that in your favor.
Nina: Are you like, hungry?
Marv: No, I'm actually hungry.
Nina: Hah! Whatever, grammar Nazi. Any idea where you're taking me for dinner?
Marv: *big, sarcastic grin* I just took you ice skating. I gotta take you to dinner now, too?
Nina: *big, devilish smile* Well, I guess there will be no thank you kisses nor touching afterwards.
Marv: Ah, you raise a fine counter-argument. I guess this means I'll be taking you to a super-romantic dinner at a katsudon place near here.
Nina: Katsudon, eh? I'm not good enough to take to the Fuji TV building to eat sushi while looking at Southport?
Marv: Oh you are, it's just my bank account isn't quite up to it. It was either expensive dinner or nice present. I went with nice present.
Nina: Ooo, a present, too! You really are out to charm me tonight, aren't you?
Marv: Totally. In all seriousness, Nina, I think you are an amazing girl. After what happened earlier this month, I'm pretty happy we could get out for a more normal night together. Not that the crazy isn't fun sometimes...
Nina: Haha, yeah, that's true, like the snowstorm. But you know, Marv, I don't need a lot. I just wanna have fun and be with you. I don't need all this, even if I do tease you.
Marv: Heh heh, yeah, but I have a feeling you'd be sorely disappointed if I didn't do anything for your birthday.
Nina: Well, you'd feel the same... *blushes and looks away* But now you'll have to prepare yourself for a birthday surprise in the future, too!
Marv: I'm looking forward to it!
At Nina's house at the end of their evening (just imagine that this is a night picture .
Nina: *smiling up at Marv* Thank you, Marv. It was so fun tonight. I had a like, really great time.
Marv: Me too. Happy Birthday, Nina.
They kissed each other shyly, and then Marv's eyes widened as he suddenly remembered something.
Marv: Hold on a second.
He turned to his car and opened the door and reached into the back and pulled out a small purple bag. It was held closed by a piece of tape and had a small card tied to one of the handles.
Marv: This is for you. *hands her the bag*
Nina: Thank you, Marv.
She read the card first. It was a piece of paper with a hand-colored picture on it. Inside Marv had written, “To Nina: Happy Birthday! We've started something special.” She smiled at him and opened the bag. There was a picture frame, thin and metal, and inside was a small, colored sketch by an artist Nina had pointed out as one of her favorites. She gasped when she recognized it as a recreation of a picture they had taken just a few weeks prior after the Winter Festival had finished.
Nina: Wow! This is amazing! How did you...
Marv: Turns out my dad, well, my parents know a guy who knows that artist you said was your favorite, and I was able to get her to do this on an abbreviated time frame. Usually it takes a bit longer for this.
Nina: *flings arms around him, hugs him tightly* Thank you so much, Marv! I love it! It's just amazing!
Marv: Uh, you can replace the frame, of course...
Nina: Hehe, choosing a frame is tough for boys. *releases him*
Marv: Choosing a frame is totally not my thing.
Nina: Hehehe, I know. Thank you Marv. Really, thank you. *kisses him, glances at her house* Well, I should get inside...
Marv: Yeah, and I should get going. Happy birthday, Nina. It was fun!
Nina: It was a great night, Marv. I'll text you later! Bye!
They kissed again and he smiled and watched her dash up to her house. He got into his car and they waved at each other before he drove away, and they both knew that they had found something special.