Here I am with an update. Sorry for procrastinating :(
Thank you Mikirin for the proofreading o/
The breakfast table was carefully set by Yuriko as the girls set up around the center table, almost in the same position as in last night`s game. But now Sae had exchanged places with Mayu; and the order was now Sae, Yuki, Mayu, Sayu, Mariko, Minami, Acchan, Takamina, Yuko, Haruna, Rena, Jurina, Tomo~mi and Tomochin. The tomboy was still in an uncommon silence.
The commotion that happened several minutes ago had finally sunk into the dark side of their minds as each couple’s private moments were relived in their memories. Mayu and Yuki held hands discreetly as their body still had each other`s heat; Sayu proudly had the TV control and changed to news channel as she remembered her late night`s trick; Mariko was trying to forget about all her flourishing feelings towards a certain Gachapin and Minami was having some hard time trying to understand why the parts of her body where the Old Mummy touched to hold her back still burned with the ghost sensation of the older woman`s heat; Acchan was fondly remembering the smaller girl`s silly reaction and trying to figure out a way to break through the barrier the girl had, and Takamina was still thinking about what she had done last night, it was against what she believed and hoped for her life, yet it felt so right; Yuko was thrilled that Nyannyan finally gave her an opportunity to show her affection, to prove that her feelings wasn`t just lust, and Haruna was amused by how cute and caring and non perverted the squirrel girl had been since they woke up, truth to be told, she was enjoying it; Rena was still worried about the age different between her and Jurina, but maybe, just maybe, it wouldn`t hurt give her a chance, she really enjoyed the younger`s company and kiss her made her heart fly high in the sky, and Jurina was thinking of ways to make Rena open her heart to her, she loved so much the older girl and she wanted them to happen; Tomo~mi was thinking about the view she had in her waking moment, it almost made her regret her decision to wait until they know more about each other to step further in the sort of relationship they had, and Tomochin was thinking about the same thing, but also how the advantaged curves of Chiyuu made her feel hot and a desire to go further and further on their make out session.
As soon as Yuriko left their sights, Sayu was the first one to start eat. She placed the TV control on the table and grabbed the nearest piece of bread and started to watch the news. Eventually each girl started to eat what served them well. Half of them were spacing out, still lost in thoughts about earlier, and the other half ware somewhat paying attention on the TV. When suddenly a reprise from last night braking news started.
One of the most important business partner regarding oil importation, Wataar, which had been cutting relations with the country, had finally back in good terms with Japan. Queen Wataar, the seventh, revealed that the male idol group Persona restored their trust on the japanese people, by keeping the promise they made with their daughter, Hataii, who was in the country for study means. The place where they were recording was nothing less than the living room of the house where Kamonohatsu Talent Agency is stationed.
Not long after the queen’s explanation, a tall dark haired woman in white bursted in the ambient. It was Ray, the charismatic diva, who ignored everyone and headed straight to Kai, the shortest member of Persona. The diva flashed her flawless smile to the blonde boy, then without hesitation leaned down, wrapped her arms around Kai’s neck, and kissed him on the lips. As a rule, Kai widened his eyes startled. Behind the kissing couple, could be seen surprised Riku and Kuu, also with widened eyes. Parting the kiss, Ray hugged a stunned Kai and made an unexpected announcement. Kai was her boyfriend, they were dating.
As soon Ray appeared on TV, everyone stopped what they were doing and utterly paid attention on the flat screen. The kiss startled almost everyone. Takamina squished the juice she was drinking, wetting half of the table.
“Nami-chan is dating Ray!!!” The midget’s voice was high pitched. She was really dumbfounded. This was much unexpected to her. Giggling, Atsuko grabbed a paper napkin and started to dry Takamina, making the girl blush.
“Maybe that was why Ray appeared at the wedding party.” Yuko pointed, also grabbing a napkin and started to dry the table.
“But she sneaked out before the show’s end. And she seemed quite thoughtful.” Yuki remarked.
“I think she and Kai had an argument. And remember what Riku said about him not being honest with his feelings…” Rena pondered.
“Why you are so sure of it, Rena-chan?” Jurina asked inclining her head.
“I saw them chatting through the window while you went to the room to apologize for the k..kiss.” Rena stuttered blushing a bit.
“I knew something had happened!!” Minami bursted. “You two were weird when you got back from the walk and during the party!” She pointed with a finger. It made the two of them blush hard.
“Oe, calm down, Gachapin. Stop making them uncomfortable early in the morning.” Mariko teased,
“Shut up, Dino! The chat is yet to arrive at Jurassic era!” Minami retorted. Mariko straightened her eyes towards Minami and the younger one stuck out her tong at the older.
“Okay. Isn’t about time to get ready to our compromises? I seriously don’t want to hear Miichan screaming again.” Mayu smoothly imposed.
“I agree.” Mariko massaged her nose bridge. “I’m heading to my office. I can give a ride to the ones going to that direction. Rena? Jurina? Mayu? Sayu-san? Itano-san?” The older woman offered.
“I’m glad with the offer, but my manager is on her way to pick me here. I have work today.” Tomochin explained.
“I believe we will gladly accept the offer, right, Mayu-nee?” Sayu said looking at her sister, who looked at Yuki.
“Don’t worry about me, Mayuyu. I’ll go straight to work today.” Yuki tranquilized the girl with a soft smile and a gentle kiss on the cheek. Upon hearing Sayu’s voice and how Yuki was treating Mayu, Sae felt even more hurt and sick. She just wanted to get out of that place.
“Thank you for the fun and the meal.” Sae thanked abruptly, standing up. “But I have to go. I need to do a few things before the meeting with my editor.” She knew it was a lie, but she needed an excuse to leave early. Rena looked at her a more worried than before.
“Okay, Sae-chan!” Yuko raised her free hand energetically. “I hope we can hang out more times!~!” Sae couldn’t help but smile.
“I hope the same.” Despite the current situation, her feelings were true. “See ya, minna.” With this, Sae gathered her belongings and headed to the elevator door.
“Mariko, I will accept your offer.” Rena timidly accepted the offer. The older woman smiled at her friend.
“I’ll accept too! A few more time with Rena-chan!~” Jurina squealed clinging onto Rena, then rested her head on the older girl’s shoulder. Mariko’s smile twisted a bit.
“Just don’t make me be stopped by the police, ok?” Mariko winked at the pair, who blushed furiously. Rena wanted to say something, but she knew anything she could possibly say would only worsen things.
“I’ll call Hiro-kun for a ride. Wanna come along, Nyannyan? Tomo~mi?” Yuko announced, finishing to dry the table where she could reach. Again, her gaze toward Haruna was tender and the girl felt her heart melt down, but she certainly didn’t like to hear that name in such an intimate manner.
“Yes.” Haruna agreed with a pang of that feeling she didn’t want to admit she was having.
“Un! Thank you, Yuuchan.” Kasai also agreed, but she noticed the strange aura coming from her friend and employer. Atsuko and Mariko noticed it too. Tomochin looked at her a bit annoyed. Since when ‘Yuko’ became ‘Yuuchan’? Yuko nodded and excused herself to make the said call.
“I’ll just get the train. The station is just few blocks away from the restaurant.” Atsuko announced. She had already finished drying Takamina and was eating butter cookies and sipping her orange juice.
“I… I can accompany you.” Takamina hurried to propose. She was still a bit embarassed by both previous night and the juice incident. And she wanted to show Acchan she was fine with what they did.
“I’d be glad with your company. Will you be holding my hand?” Atsuko flashed a smile at Takamina, that made the girl blush.
“Well.. Y..yes, if that makes you happy.” Takamina stuttered scratching the tip of her nose, blushing harder.
“Hiro-kun is on his way here.” Announced Yuko back from the call, interrupting whatever Atsuko would reply.
“Thank you for making me feel loved, minna.” Minami whinned dramatically. “No, really. It’s okay. I can take care of myself. Thank you for the concern.” She touched her own chest, faking gratitude. Truthfully, she was annoyed for being ignored. Not that they did it on purpose. It wasn’t their fault that the theater she worked on wasn’t their way. She had to go by train, like always. Still, no one offered to accompany her there.
“Oh, come on, Miichan. Stop the drama.” Mayu teased, snuggling on Yuki’s arm. “Stop complaining and go find someone to spoil you.” Her poisonous tone made the older girl shiver. Minami pouted again, but just decided to eat another piece of bread. She’d rather think about a prank than argue with the cyborg. She knew she’d lose the battle.
Minami didn’t want to admit that Mayu’s statement really stroke her. She knew she couldn’t be on the shadow of her feelings for Yuuhi much longer. He got married and seemed happy with the Kayo-woman. But if she stopped to think for a bit she’d notice that her thoughts were now full of an older woman. Truthfully speaking, that woman was making her forget about Yuuhi and it scared her. She held her feelings for him so dearly that she would feel lost without them. But what if she open her heart for another person? Last night was surprisingly good, and Mariko made her feel safe. At the same time, there is this feeling of picking on her every time they see each other. What if this another person is…?
“Guys, Hiro-kun arrived!” Yuko shouted taking Minami out of her thoughts. Hiro had texted her warning he was already parked in front of the building. Yuko gently held Haruna’s hand to help he up, then intertwined their fingers. This made the cat-like girl’s temper regarding the way Yuko calls her friend cool down. All the small gestures of attention the squirrel girl was giving her made her heart fall. She wasn’t sure if all these sensations were right. It was a long time since she last felt something so strong.
“I’ll text you when I arrive, Tomochin.” Tomo~mi said, planting a kiss on her lover’s cheek. The young girl didn’t have time to blush much because her phone vibrated with a message of her manager.
“Well, since most of us are leaving already, how about we all go together?” Takamina suggested, trying not to blush with Atsuko hanging on her.
“But what about this mess? We have to take off this breakfast table and…” Yuki started, but Sayu interrupted her.
“Don’t worry about this, Yukirin. Yuriko or another employee will come and clean this mess up.” She winked. The girl couldn’t help but blush. She looked like Mayu, but they are different, still… Also, Yuki wasn’t used to have someone to serve her all the time.
“So, if anyone have to get something more, now is the time. We can’t make Hiro-san and manager-san waiting.” Mariko rushed standing up. She discreetly looked at Minami. Somehow she could say the girl looked confused, even trying hard to disguise it. Something was bothering her and she knew it had to do with what Mayu had said.
“I need to get my backpack.” Mayu and Sayu announced at the same time. A mischievous smile crossed their faces. They both went to their respective rooms to get what they wanted. With this, the other girls started to get ready to leave as well.
A few minutes later, all the girls were at the love hotel entrance biding good bye and getting into their respective rides. Tomochin was the first to leave and she was rather frustrated she couldn’t give on last kiss on her Chiyuu. Yuko made Tomo~mi sit on the passenger seat so she could go cuddling with Haruna, who curiously didn’t complained about it. Rena opted to sit on passenger seat and leave the back seat to the three high school girls, much to Jurina’s dismay. She pouted all the ride. Atsuko took Takamina’s hand and the two walked towards the train station. Minami followed them, trying not to disturb the moment, deep in thoughts.
Sae left the love hotel at the first chance she had. She needed a time to think about things. She had to agree that the dream-not-exactly-a-dream was great. Man! The girl really knew what she was doing! Yet, the whole situation that Sae was left in was irritatingly traumatizing. For the first time in her life, she felt dirty. Sae Just wanted a way to sterilize her body from all the dirtiness
Her mind wandered far away as her feet took her somewhere. A place where she could relax and forget about all her problems. A place she didn’t need to be a player, or didn’t have to show a never-fading smile. Somewhere it was ok to feel sad. And with such thoughts, Sae felt like a fake. It was frustrating really. Was that the reason that Yuki didn’t give her heart to her? The motive she wasn’t able to captivate the girl enough to earn her heart as a lover? There was nothing she could do now. Yuki was in love with someone else. But did Sae really wanted to revert the situation?
“Good morning, miss,” An eldery voice took Sae out of her thoughts. “We are not open yet. But if you’re not in a hurry, I can let you wait inside.” Sae looked puzzled at the old lady in front of her. What? Where was she? The tomboy girl looked her surroundings and found herself in front of a familiar door, with a familiar rustique plaque: Aki’s Bath House. Sae’s mouth parted to say something, but no sound came out. Why she was there? She knew she was thinking about Sayaka a lot, but that doesn’t mean her feet could bring her here as if it was a must do thing.
“A… Good morning. I’m looking for Akimoto Sayaka.” It was all she could manage to say. It made her feel like she wanted to smash her face against the wall. The old lady looked inquirely at her. “Oh my! Where I left my manners?! My name is Miyazawa Sae, and I recently befriended with Akimoto-san.” Sae introduced herself and bowed in respect.
“Oh. You’re the fine lady that helped out Saayachan a few days ago!” The elder’s smile widened in a warm way and Sae felt her cheeks burn. She wasn’t expecting that. “Saayachan is not here. You can find her at the dojo down the street. There is no mistake because it is the only dojo in the area.” The elder gestured the way.
“Thank you.” Sae smiled gratefully
“Welcome, dear.” And the old lady went back inside the building as Sae started to walk towards the dojo direction.
It wasn’t a long way, but it was long enough to make Sae’s thoughts wander. Sayaka had talked about her to her relatives. That lady was probably one of Sayaka’s relatives. The way she called her friend. That nickname was rather cute and Sae caught herself grinning over at how it sounded in her mouth.
Another rustic plaque entered in her sight range. And the traditional building that followed left Sae breathless. She didn’t know such a beautiful place existed in that neighborhood. Again, it was her second time in that area. Suddenly, an insecureness took her senses and Sae started to doubt the decision to come. She wasn’t a coward. What was it then?
“Hey, miss. Are you looking for someone?” A little boy asked, snapping Sae out of her inner thoughts. She realized she might be starring at the building for a while now. Through the open gates, she could see a boy around six looking intriguily at her, standing in the veranda.
“Hi! I’m looking for a friend.” Sae smiled gently at the boy.
“Tomio-kun, I didn’t say you could come out yet.” Scold a known voice, still oblivious to Sae’s presence. “And who you are talking with? You shouldn’t be talking with strangers.” Sayaka appeared out of a door behind Tomio. As soon as Sae laid her eyes on Sayaka, her gentle smile turned into a gentle one.
“But Akimoto-sensei, she looks lost. And she is pretty too.” Tomio tried to argue. Sayaka finally looked out of the gates and noticed Sae. She smiled at her visitant, then looked back at the boy with a serious expression.
“No ‘buts’. You aren’t supposed to be here in the first place. Hurry and go back inside, or…” The last part was in a gloomy tone. The boy shivered to that and ran back inside. Sae giggled with the scene. “Good morning.” Sayaka greeted, looking back at Sae.
“Mornin’.” She greeted back, finally analyzing Sayaka’s outfit. Her long black-brownish hair was neately arranged in a high ponytail; the wrap around short-sleeved upper part had a few wrinkles; and the hakama fitted her perfectly. Sayaka looked as gorgeous as ever.
“Sae, since you’re here, why don’t you come in and watch the rest of the class? We can chat properly after that.” Sayaka suggested kindly.
“Sure! I have all the time in the world.” Sae agreed with a never-fading smile. It was that silly feeling making her look dumb again.
The long haired woman the showed the way to the short haired one where she should leave her shoes; and guided her to the room where the class was being held. Sae noticed the place was clean and in a very good condition. Sayaka stopped and slipped a door, gesturing to Sae enter the room.
As soon as Sae entered the room, a dozen of kids looked at her curiously. The kids looked between six and twelve years old. Sae heard the door slipping closed and Sayaka’s voice echoed from her left side. She got nervous once more.
“Kids, this is Miyazawa Sae, a friend of mine. She will watch the rest of the class. Say hi to her.” Sayaka announced.
“Hi, Miyazawa-san!” They said in unison. This impressed Sae more than she wanted to adimit. She smiled and replied with a ‘hi’.
Sae chose a corner to sit with crossed legs. When Sayaka announced the restart of the class her expression changed once more. The seriousness this time was different, looked nothing like the one for greeting costumers at the bath house nor the one for scolding disobedient kids. Sae gaped at this thought. Seriousness was a thing she wasn’t used to. And somehow she was finding it very charming.
As she observed, Sae started to feel inspired. An idea was forming in her mind. Without realize, she made mental notes of such ideas. And before she notice, the class was over.
“Nee, Miki-kun, didn’t I said she was pretty?” Tomio mentioned to the boy beside him. Upon hearing this, Sae smiled widely. It was the invitation the kids were waiting for to approach her.
“Sae, keep an eye on them while I’ll go tell the parents the class is over. Please?” Sayaka asked, heading to the door.
“Leave it to me!” Sae agreed raising one hand. The kids started to ask her questions such as what was her job, or her favorite color, her favorite food; if she had a boyfriend; etc; and commenting on the answers.
Soon Sayaka came back with a line of parents behind her. One by one, the kids went away with their fathers, or mothers, or a grandparent, or a tutor. Only Tomio was left. Sayaka sat beside him and Sae, and the three started to play. While they were playing, the short-haired girl felt it, a sweet ochre scent that made her heart race. She didn’t need to look at its direction to know from who it came. Sayaka was too distracted to notice the intense gaze Sae sent her. Even all sweat and mindlessly playing with a kid that woman looked gorgeous.
Sae was so lost in thoughts that she didn’t notice a tall man entering the room. He was tall with broad shoulders and considerably handsome. He had a neat haircut and his clothes were casual. And a deep voice called for the little boy.
“Tomio, let’s go.” The boy and Sayaka looked up at the same time. It also startled Sae. Tomio stood up and ran toward the man with stretched arms.
“Otou-chan!” Sayaka also stood up and walked toward him. The man knelt down and hugged the boy.
“Sagato-san, you are late again.” Sayaka’s voice wasn’t exactly distraught. Her casual tone and how she called the man intrigued Sae.
“Sorry, Sayaka-san.” He apologized raising his son in his arms. “We had a lot to do today. Stock truck arrived, you know what it means.” No matter how he tried to sound normal, his tone would always be a gallant one. Sayaka smiled and nodded. Sae’s guts churned with the interaction.
“It’s okay, Sagato-san. I don’t mind waiting. Tomio-kun is a great kid.” Sayaka fidgetted. Sae wasn’t liking it at all. She stood up rearranging her wrinkled clothes. It reminded her why she decided to come here in the first place. A deep sigh scaped her mouth.
“Otou-chan, let me hug good bye the pretty lady.” Tomio asked joyly. Sae smiled, happy she pleased the kid. Really, only a pure innocent child to make her smile when she was feeling so miserable. The man finally acknowledged her presence there, because both of his eyebrows arched, making his eyes slightly pop.
“Where are my manners! Sagato-san, this is Miyazawa Sae, a friend of mine.” He mechanically put his son on the ground, and the little boy ran to Sae, buring his face on her tights. With one hand, Sae petted the boy’s head, with another, his back; inclining her torso to comfortably reach him. “Sae, this is Hashimoto Sagato, Tomio-kun’s father.”
“Hajime mashite, Mi… Miyazawa-san.” He greeted nervously, bowing. Also impressed by how his son liked the woman. The pettit boy was never so caring with a stranger.
“Yoroshiku onegaishimasu, Hashimoto-san.” Sae replied polietely, bowing her head. Sayaka observed their interaction. It felt weird. Or was it her? Her eyes traveled to Sagato from Sae and vice versa. The way the man looked at Sae, and how the girl tenderly held the kid. It made her feel… something. But what was it? She never really thought about it before. She was pulled out of her thoughts when Sagato cleared his throat.
“Well, I really need to go back now. Let’s go, Tomio.” The boy then ran back to his father. The older one knelt down, raised Tomio over his head, and placed him on his shoulders. “It was really a pleasure, Miyazawa-san. See ya, Sayaka-san. Watch the head, kid!” With this, Sagato left the two women alone in the room.
Sayaka sighed and looked around. She had to organize the room before leave. She thought about everything she had to do that day and she didn’t know why she felt tired. It was the usual amount of stuff, still she felt sore and a slight headache started to pound.
“Do you want my help?” Sae offered detecing the other’s tired expression.
“What?” Sayaka was so distracted she didn’t understand what Sae said.
“Help. I asked if you want help. And no, it won’t be a bother. I was the one who offered it. So, don’t worry.” Sae answered, amused with the distracted Sayaka.
“Okay, then.” Sayaka sighed agreeing. “Let’s just organize things here. I have to go back to the bath house to help my grandmother.” Sayaka then started to gather all the material used in the class. Soon after, Sae joined her. Two indeed worked faster than one as they finished earlier than Sayaka used to.
Halfway in tidying the room, the awkward silence just vanished with Sae competence on talking about anything. She made Sayaka laugh by telling silly jokes and funny stories. And all the strange feelings the sportive girl was having vanished gradually. But that uneasiness would remain in the depths of her mind only to be brought back when she get to be alone. As they finished business in the dojo, the two walked up the streets back to the bath house.
The place was still with a closed plaque, but Sayaka opened the door nonetheless. They found Sayaka’s grandmother brushing the entrance floor. The long haired woman approached her and kissed her temple. The old lady smiled at her granddaughter and looked knowingly at Sae. The short haired girl greeted her again with a much more sincere smile. Sayaka then asked Sae to follow her. They went through a door that lead to a living room and stairs. Everything was in the traditional style, mostly in wooden. When Sayaka stopped and slid open a door, Sae wondered to where the other woman led her. It was a room, her room.
“Suit yourself Sae-chan. You can leave your bag here, since I believe you will want to stay for a while.” Sayaka said, heading to her closed. She would get fresh clothes to head to the bath, with Sae. That thought made her a bit anxious. Maybe she was tired?
“Okay..” Sae was dumbfounded with the room. The first thing she noticed was a huge bookshelf occupying an entire wall. There also was an study desk by the window, a bed neatedly arranged, and a large mirror and exercise tools on its bottom. As there was objects of her deep interest, Sae approached the bookshelf. There were a lot of books she liked, a few titles she didn’t knew about and what intrigued her a lot: all of her books, with all the pen names she uses, were there. It surprised her a lot. Sae never expected to find a fan in such a place. “I see you like reading.” Sae stated only to bring up the subject.
“I do! It’s one of my favorite things!” Sayaka answered excited. She was holding a change of clothes when draw near Sae. “This is my favorite book!” Sayaka then reached out to grab a rather worn out book. She could read ‘To my useless self’ by Matame no Ringo. Sae held up her urge to laugh. It would rather be a surprised one more than mocking one. It was her first book. She didn’t want to use her real name because she was very young. She smiled instead.
“Really? Any special reason?” Sae wanted to know. She knew it was one of her best books, but what in it made Sayaka like it that much.
“Well, it is succession of happenings, actually.” Sayaka started and it caught Sae’s attention even more. “I was angry and feeling bad at myself, so I was strolling on streets until I stumbled on a bookstore. They were holding an event for the realease of a book of a new author. The title got my attention because it was exactly how I was feeling at the moment. And after the author herself read a few paragraphs, I felt this was a book for me. I bought me a copy and entered the line to get it signed. The author was an androgynous girl of my age! It surprised me a lot! Then I sat and read through the book until the store closed.” It was the first time Sae heard Sayaka talk that much. She was hypnotized and amazed. She wanted to hug Sayaka and thank her for all the support. But she didn’t want to tell her that just yet. Why? She didn’t know exactly.
“And what the author said to you?” Sae couldn’t even remember she had met Sayaka once. But they changed so much since their teens. Sayaka handed her the book and she flipped the cover to read the dedicatory in the first page. “‘To Sayaka-chan, thank you for the support! Never give up on your dreams! And if you feel sad, remember you are not alone. There will always be someone willing to hear you up. Kisses, Matame no Ringo.'” Oh, she remembered this. She remembered a very sad-looking girl that day, so she wanted to cheer her up. Well, it worked pretty well, she noted.
“This made me like her even more. And then I’ve been following her work ever since.” Sayaka smiled fondly. Sae wondered how she knew her other names as well, because she goes by many names and none of them are her own. “Well, we talked a lot already. There is a bath house waiting to be opened!” Sayaka hurried them, realizing the talked too much about herself already. Sae placed the book on the bookshelf and followed her friend.
Sae once more helped out with the bath house work. This time she spent the day there. It made her forget about the previous night and how it made her feel down. She amused herself with the the thought of having met Sayaka before, and how things would be if they had kept contact with each other. Sayaka noticed something was different with Sae since she told her the story about her favorite book. She was happy with the other girl helping, it was funnier with her there. The tall woman found herself wishing she could help out everyday.
Chapter 12 – End