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EPISODE 12---FOREVER A WANDERING SON

"Hōrō Musuko wa Doko Made mo ~Wandering son's progress~"

(放浪息子はどこまでも~Wandering son's progress~)

Summary

Once more, barbs and insults are exchanged when Yoshino and Saori meet. And despite animosity between Shuichi and Doi, Doi is asked to help write the script for the cultural festival play. Saori and Shuichi spend some time together, trying on dresses and having pleasant girl talk. Yoshino joins the group, first with apparent adverse social karma, then as a friend and playmate. At the end of the day and social session, Shuichi takes home two shopping bags full of pretty dresses and girl stuff !

Time for the cultural festival play draws ever near, with everyone working hard to bring to realization their projects and plans. Finally, the day of the festival is here ! The Maid Cafe is open, the Shooting Star Exhibit is doing well, and the players are preparing for the opening of the gender non-conforming play in a few hours. Anna is dragged to the festival by her girlfriends, and runs into Shuichi getting ready for the play.

They briefly retire to a outside loading ramp, where they bare their hearts and souls to one another. Anna apologizes for her recent social withdrawal from Shuichi, telling of her joy and contentment while she was with and outwardly dating Shuichi. Shuichi again confesses her deep and unwavering love for Anna. Anna counters by affirming that Shuichi is correctly a teenage girl, mind, heart, and soul, and Anna will always honor that understanding, and be with her forever. The intimate shipping is broken by a cry from a nearby window that the play is about to begin.

As the house lights dim, the curtain goes up, and the announcer begins the dialog, the audience begins a thunderous applause. Yoshino, Anna, and all the friends are both anxious and pleased to be witnessing the premier of this very special play. Shuichi is poised at the edge of the curtain, ready to take the stage as the first player 'out of the gate'. Shuichi is wearing a pretty dress, and inside, is wearing a iron-clad, but loving heart, full of self-confidence and conviction, ready to take on the rigors of the play, the audience, and the whole world, to show everyone what this girl can do ! Shuichi speaks her first line---

" I am a Girl !!! "

Plot

As usual, when Yoshino and Saori meet, there is almost always an exchange of barbs and insults. And today at school is no exception, as Saori disapproves of Yoshino's short haircut and style. Different barbs and insults are thrown towards Shuichi, by Doi, regarding the script for the gender non-conforming play, forcing Shuichi to do a rewrite. Later, Saori voices her approval of the rewrite, and invites Shuichi to her house for a social visit; also for them to try on some new dresses that she has acquired. Yoshino visits a class that is going to have a 'Shooting Star' display for the cultural festival. Despite the animosity now between them, Shuichi asks Dio for their skilled help in upgrading the dialog part of the script for the play.

Not long afterwards, Shuichi finds themselves in Saori's bedroom, trying on dresses with Saori's help. Saori affixes a hair extension wig to Shuichi, and is taken aback at how cute and attractive that makes her look. Saori nuzzles Shuichi, and tells her how special Shuichi is to her. The romantic mood is broken when Yoshino rings the outside doorbell, and then enters the bedroom. Saori invites Yoshino to try on a dress ( an unpleasant experience for female-to-male Yoshino ), but Yoshino does so, and it only makes Yoshino look like a boy cross-dressing in female attire. However, that 'breaks the ice', and the three get a laugh from the effort. Shuichi's fashion experiment continues with newfound joy and merriment. That night, Shuichi gets to take two shopping bags filled with pretty dresses home with them.

In a couple of days, Shuichi and Doi are at school, in the nurse's station, again reviewing the script for improvements. Co-operation is evident, but Shuichi can't tell if Doi is being mean-spirited, or conciliatory. Days go buy quickly, as the time nears for the cultural festival, and the various groups work hard to materialize each one's project.

Finally, the day of the Cultural Festival arrives. Two of Anna's girlfriends invite Anna to go with them, but she is apprehensive, because of her downgrading of her relationship with Shuichi. Maho and Seya are working the Maid Cafe, with Maho dressed as a waiter, and Seya dressed as a French Maid. Seya gets his picture taken, much to his displeasure. Sasa, Saori, Shuichi, Chi, and Momo attend the Wish Upon a Falling Star exhibit. Shuichi wishes to themselves that their voice will stop becoming deeper, to TRULY BECOME A GIRL, and one more secret, unnamed wish. Later Mako asks Shuichi what the secret wish was, and is told that it was that the play be a success. Mako-chan then berates themselves for not being or acting 'cute', but Shuichi strongly disagrees. From afar, Doi is listening to the conversation. The two girlfriends drag Anna with them to the cultural festival, but Anna refuses to go into the Maid Cafe, and runs away to seek other activities. Meanwhile, the players are getting ready for the Play. Doi is already dressed as a teenage girl, with the other male players also dressed in female attire. Anna, running away and trying to hide from her girlfriends, stumbles upon the classroom that is being used as a dressing room for the Play. She sees Shuichi, already dressed as a cute, pretty teenage girl.

Anna and Shuichi go outside, alone, to a gated loading ramp. Once there, they 'bare their hearts and souls' to one another. Anna begins by apologizing for her past behavior, when she told Shuichi that they could not be 'boyfriend' and girlfriend. Anna confesses that Shuichi was, surprisingly, her very first 'boyfriend'; Shuichi confesses that Anna was, indeed, their first girlfriend. Anna further explains that she was so happy to be going out on dates, and to be intimately involved, because she was secretly very socially backward, and perceived as unfriendly by boys and girls alike. To Anna, Shuichi was perceived, wrongly, as merely a cross-dressing boy. However, when Shuichi came to school wearing a girl's sailor suit uniform, Anna became confused, not realizing until then the depth of Shuichi's desire to actually be a teenage girl. Anna apologizes for that misunderstanding, too. Shuichi's response shocks Anna, because Shuichi tells Anna that they are still deeply in love with her, and has always been in shoujo ai love with her, girl with girl. Anna acknowledges with her deeply sincere spirit, that she now knows that Shuichi is an authentic girl, mind, heart, and soul, and she will love her as such, now and forever. Unknown to the intimate couple, Yoshino and Saori are listening to every word through an open second story window. The eavesdropping comes to an end when Saori shouts out the window that the play is begin very soon. Yoshino feels that every one of the friends is special, but Saori, as always, disagrees and walks away.

The audience begins to file into the auditorium, awaiting the beginning of the play. Shiina and Yuki are outside, hurrying to attend the play. A poster outside advertises the play, the title being, " I am a Girl ". The homeroom teacher calls the ten minuets curtain call. Soon, the house lights go off, and the spotlights come on. And so the play begins, with Sasa as this year's Narrator. Back stage, a girl wants Shuichi to repeat her lines to her, and as Shuichi does so, she comments on how Shuichi's voice is becoming deeper. Shuichi first is frightened, but quickly becomes settled and confident. The curtain goes up as the audience applauds. Everyone is there in the audience, all of the school friends, all of the teachers, and many of the townspeople. Shiina and Yuki slip in just then. Yoshino is wildly clapping. Anna, with her friends, is in the audience, in the front row, and she is already softly crying with joy and fulfillment. As the spotlights converge on the side of the curtain, first on stage is Shuichi, dressed as a cute, attractive teenage girl, wearing a pretty dress, white tights and white Mary Janes, showing a shy smile, with a peaceful and serene look on her face, and with a sincere conviction and righteousness now permanently settled in her heart ! Shuichi speaks her first line---

" I am a Girl !!! "

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