[A/N: The world is falling apart, but I still try to get a little bit of writing done when I can. Here’s more adult KasuAri, this time with kids (who are indeed named after K-On), and AsuRokka coming to visit.
I should warn you it’s a bit rough, but I’m basically in “better than nothing” mode. Also I couldn’t figure out how to properly end it, or continue it, then I got tired of dwelling on it, so it kinda just… ends.
I feel like I don’t even need to catch the virus to be in peril, the sheer stress about the state of the world might kill me anyway. I’ve been playing a lot of Atelier Ryza to try to take my mind off of things.]
“I’m heading out!”
“Out where, Yui?”
Kasumi poked her head into the entryway. “Okay. Take care.” She waved.
Yui waved back. “See you later, mommy.”
Kasumi headed back to help out the other two.
“Yui’s been spending a lot of time with Hana-chan, huh?” Arisa said after she was done washing her hands.
“Yeah.” Kasumi started helping with cleanup.
After a brief pause Arisa asked: “Do you think they’re dating?”
Kasumi gave Arisa a confused look. “Why would they be dating?”
Arisa sighed. “She’s in high school now. You remember when we started, right?”
“You started dating in high school?” The final occupant of the house asked as she put the tray of unbaked cookies into the oven.
“Yup!” Kasumi confirmed with a smile. “Though we didn’t start until second year, because Arisa’s so shy.”
“That was a long time ago,” Arisa said. It certainly felt that way. “You’re as dense as ever, though.” She poked Kasumi’s shoulder.
Kasumi giggled. “What do you think, Ui? Are Yui and Hana-chan dating?”
Ui was a year younger that Yui, so she was still in middle school, but she was at the same school as her sister, so it was possible she knew something.
“Hm…” Ui thought about it. “I don’t know. Maybe. I know onee-chan is really popular at school!” She grinned.
“She sometimes plays the piano in the music room, and it always draws a crowd. I hear even some of the senpais stop by. Some of the middle-schoolers want to go watch as well.” Ui seemed as proud as if she was talking about herself. “So I think there’d be a lot of competition to be onee-chan’s girlfriend.”
“Ah, I see.”
Yui had inherited Arisa’s beauty, yet had more of Kasumi’s outgoing, friendly nature. It would make sense if that combination made her popular among the other girls. She was calmer than Kasumi though, so she came across as less overwhelming. Though if Ui was right, she might be overwhelming in a different sense. Ui herself was much closer to the energetic person Kasumi had been at that age, and looked a little more like her too. Though in an amusing reversal she had gotten Arisa’s eyes, while Yui had Kasumi’s.
Arisa had also suggested starting their daughters on piano lessons early. As music-loving parents they wanted to expose their children to the same. But only Yui had stuck with it. Ui had tried a bit of everything, but it seemed like she was leaning towards guitar at the moment. She looked like she had the most fun when she just let loose, so she also enjoyed drums. It was possible she wouldn’t settle on anything unless she joined a band, but so far neither sister had done so.
“Is there anything else we need?” Kasumi asked.
“Uh…” Arisa checked the fridge. “I think we’re good.”
Ui’s hand shot into the air. “I want pudding.”
“We’re already having cookies, and fruit,” Arisa said in a ‘isn’t that enough’ tone.
Kasumi tapped on her phone. “Alright, I’ve given you some money. You still have time to go before they get here.”
“But don’t forget to get some for Mio-chan too.”
“No problem!” Ui was already racing for the door.
“You spoil them too much,” Arisa said.
“As if you don’t.” Kasumi put an arm around Arisa, and kissed her cheek.
It was a bit early to start preparing the tea, so with both kids out of the house they had time for some cuddling first.
* * *
“Welcome, A-chan~.” Kasumi hummed happily.
“Thanks, onee-chan, but… can you at least let me get my shoes off before you hug me?” Asuka sighed.
“Ahaha, nice to see you again, Kasumi-san.”
“You too, Rokka~.” She wasn’t able to escape a hug either.
A girl peeked out from behind Rokka. “Ui-chan.” She rushed over.
“Hi, Mio-chan,” Ui said, and patted her head.
Mio was Asuka and Rokka’s only child, and three years younger than Ui. She adored her cousins, but in general she was more than shy enough to make up for what both Yui and Ui lacked in that department.
And largely thanks to Kasumi they were a very huggy family. Even Arisa gave their visitors a quick cheek-to-cheek hug each. “Welcome,” she told them.
“Thank you.” They headed towards the living room. “How are things going here?” Rokka asked.
“Pretty much the same as always,” Arisa answered. There weren’t really a lot of unusual or exciting things that happened in their lives, which was probably fine.
“Something smells good,” Asuka said.
“Ui made us cookies,” Kasumi said.
“Ufufu~.” Ui grinned proudly. “Though mum did most of the work.”
“I just helped out,” Arisa said with a smile. “I’m sure you would have been fine on your own.”
Ui took Mio along so one of them could carry the cookies, and the other the all-important pudding, Rokka helped Arisa set the table, while Asuka ended up helping Kasumi with the tea, and whatever else was left.
“How have you been?” Kasumi asked as everyone settled down.
“Busy,” Asuka answered. “But not in a bad way.”
“With summer being over, I’ve had my hands full getting my students back into things,” Rokka said. “And Asuka’s taken it upon herself to redecorate at home.”
“Well, it’s no longer so disgustingly hot, so it felt like a good time for it,” Asuka said before biting into a cookie. “Oh! These are really good.”
The adults kept chit-chatting while the teens also kept mostly to themselves.
“By the way, where’s Yui?” Asuka asked after she finished her first cup.
“Onee-chan is with her girlfriend~,” Ui answered, causing Mio to let out a tiny gasp.
Asuka blinked. “She has a girlfriend?”
“We don’t know for sure yet,” Kasumi said. “But she’s spending a lot of time with Hana-chan. Arisa brought up the possibility.”
Arisa cleared her throat. “Well, it just reminds me of how Kasumi kept coming over to my place.” And they all knew how that turned out. “Ui also told us Yui’s very popular at school. I think she’s inherited that Toyama charm,” she added with a smile.
“Ah.” Rokka nodded in understanding.
Kasumi and Asuka both looked a bit confused. “Toyama charm?”
“I guess you could call it a natural tendency to be liked,” Arisa explained briefly.
“Well… I guess onee-chan got a fair amount of attention back in school, now that you mention it…” Asuka said.
“You too,” Rokka said.
Asuka looked shocked. “Me?!”
Rokka placed her hand on Asuka’s arm. “You were one of Haneoka’s princes in our senior year, remember?”
“I… no, that was just Ako.”
Rokka giggled. “I guess you were more oblivious to it, but I still vividly recall how much chocolate you got for Valentine’s our third year. I was quite worried at the time, you know.”
Asuka blushed. “I had forgotten… b-but I only had eyes for you.”
Rokka scooted a little closer. “I know that now, but back then…” She winked, as if to indicate she just found it funny these days.
“I guess that’s what you get for suddenly deciding to grow taller than me,” Kasumi said with a poorly disguised grin. “You couldn’t even wait until after I graduated to shoot past me.”
“I didn’t ‘decide’ anything, that’s not how it works, onee-chan.”
Kasumi burst out laughing, and Arisa and Rokka followed suit. The kids didn’t seem to get it, but Asuka eventually joined in.
“Oh well, a lot happened back then, and it’s not my fault you stopped growing,” she said. “Ako beat me to it, anyway.”
They hadn’t even gotten halfway into the first year of high school before tiny Ako’d had a huge growth spurt, nearly catching up to her sister Tomoe. Asuka’s growth had been more gradual, but she had still passed Kasumi during their second year.
“Um, I have a question.” Mio spoke up.
“Do I have Toyama charm?”
“I’m sure you do,” Rokka said with a smile. Both couples present had ended up taking the Toyama name.
Mio looked down at her pudding, and in a very quiet voice said: “Oh no.” Then she looked back up at the adults. “Does Ui-chan also have Toyama charm?”
Ui’s eyes went wide.
Arisa exchanged a glance with Kasumi before she asked: “I don’t know. Have you been charming any girls, Ui?”
“W-what? No, I… no.” Ui shook her head.
“Ui-chan is blushing!” Mio seemed delighted.
“I am not!” Ui got up. “I’m going to my room.”
“Wait, Ui-chan!” Mio hurried after her, clearly more interested in spending time with her cousin than her parents and aunts.
“Wow, I didn’t think she’d react that strongly to a little teasing,” Arisa said.
“Maybe there actually is someone,” Kasumi mused. “Or that’s just how things are at that age. She can be a lot like you sometimes, Arisa.”
“Eh? I wasn’t like that, was I?”
“Yes, you were,” Kasumi and Asuka answered in perfect concert. Which led to another round of laughter.
“Ahaha, well, Mio-chan didn’t seem too thrilled about having charm,” Arisa said.
“She doesn’t like being the centre of attention, so I probably should have worded my response differently.” Rokka didn’t seem too regretful though.
“Hm, I wonder where she gets that from.” Kasumi grinned.
“Why are you looking at me?” Asuka asked. “Rokka was the one who was always hiding behind me.”
“That’s just because you’re protective. Rokka was also the one who got up on stage in front of thousands of people.”
“Aha… I still remember nearly fainting the first time Chu2-san brought us to such a big stage.”
“I can’t believe she still uses that name,” Asuka said.
Arisa shrugged. “Branding is important.” She had some affiliation with that brand herself. “I guess the kids even fled from their pudding. I’ll take it to them. Should probably take some of the cookies too.” She started getting up.
“Now who’s spoiling them?” Kasumi winked.
Arisa patted her on the head. “Oh shush.”
She returned shortly after, and the four of them continued catching up, and reminiscing. It was nice to get a break from the mundane once in a while.
[A/N: March has not been a great month for creative inspiration and energy. Between the pandemic, family issues, and personal struggles it’s been too much stress and worry. But I finally managed to get a short thing done.
I’ve had this idea for a while, but actually writing it was a different matter. Hard to find the right time and motivation to do it. I’m happy to finally have something written, and I hope things will soon get easier again.]
“How’s this?” Byleth asked.
“Perfect, as always.”
It was a calm time for Edelgard von Hresvelg. The war felt like a distant memory by this point, even if they were still fighting a different kind of war. But as far as they could tell Those Who Slither In The Dark did not have much left. They’d seized a lot of their hideouts, taken down all the leaders they were aware of, even if those snakes surely had more they weren’t aware of. They’d even secured a lot of the very meticulous research notes the cult had made. Between Hanneman, Linhardt, and Hubert they’d managed to decipher ways to undo some of the harm that had been done. Edelgard had her lifespan restored, and naturally they had hurried to do the same to Lysithea. Seeing the girl die before her had been one of Edelgard’s big fears. She probably wouldn’t have lasted long herself, but all indications had been that Lysithea had even less time.
But now they didn’t have to worry about that any longer. They could enjoy life. Like Edelgard very much enjoyed Byleth brushing her hair in the morning.
“I can’t improve if you tell me that every time.”
“There’s nothing to improve,” Edelgard answered earnestly. Somehow Byleth seemed as skilled with a brush as she was with a sword. Maybe she simply considered it a different kind of weapon, and wielded it with finesse. It felt heavenly as it caressed her long strands.
“If you say so.” Byleth sounded sceptical, but didn’t keep arguing.
The next thing to consider was what to do with the Empire once they had fully crushed the threat of Those Who Slither. Edelgard had already pushed through most of reforms she wanted, and taken advice on more. But eventually she’d take her leave. She didn’t want to rule. Had never wanted it. It had merely been necessity. A means to an end. It shouldn’t have been her in the first place. She had been so far down the succession line before the experiments had happened that it had never entered her mind.
First off it was obvious that succession by blood could not continue. She had already broken the tradition of Noble lineages. Even if she had children it wouldn’t be right to make an exception for her own family to continue the Imperial lineage. They would have to implement some other system of governance, some other means of determining leadership. Edelgard would be the last emperor, then she could step down, and go somewhere with her beloved wife. She had even considered giving up the Hresvelg name. It wouldn’t be so bad to be Edelgard Eisner.
“There’s something strange with your hair.”
Edelgard noted that Byleth sounded a little concerned, but more so confused. “What do you mean strange?”
“It looks dirty down by the roots,” Byleth remarked shortly before scritching Edelgard’s scalp with a nail. “Maybe it needs another wash?”
“H-hey, stop that.” Edelgard brushed away Byleth’s hand, then leaned forward to look in the mirror. She couldn’t really see anything, so she leaned even closer. What is she talking about? Just as she thought that, her eyes shot wide. She could see it. Brown. Not a lot of it, but at the very root of that length of white was a sliver of brown. “It’s growing back,” she whispered.
“El? Are you okay?”
“It’s growing back.” Edelgard felt something warm roll down her cheek.
Suddenly Byleth was hugging her. “El? What’s wrong?” She sounded worried.
Edelgard wanted to say nothing was wrong, it was quite the opposite. Instead what came out of her mouth was: “It’s back.” She sniffled. “I-I didn’t think…” She had never expected to get her original hair back. If she was being rational it was such a minor thing compared to everything else, but for some reason it was flooding her with emotion. “I… I…” She could no longer hold back, and buried her face in her wife’s ample chest.
Byleth started stroking her head soothingly. She probably didn’t understand what was going on, but she let Edelgard cry for as long as she needed to.
Eventually Edelgard managed to calm down, and Byleth helped her clean her face while again inquiring what was wrong. “N-not wrong… this is… my hair… as before… before…” She might have mostly calmed down, but she wasn’t entirely composed yet.
“Oh.” That was the only thing Byleth said before kissing Edelgard’s forehead. “I’m glad.” She smiled that beautiful smile of hers.
As she gradually became able to talk in proper sentences again, Edelgard said that she wanted to show off her regrowth. The buns wouldn’t really do the job, plus even with Byleth’s help it was a lot of work to set them up. Together they arrived at simply lifting her hair up, and tying it into a ponytail. That way it would be easily visible to everyone as it grew out more.
* * *
“So that’s what’s going on,” Lysithea said. She had been quite surprised when Edelgard had shown up to teatime with a different hairstyle. “It’s happening with me too.” That had been an even bigger surprise when she had first noticed it. You could even call it a shock.
“Oh?” Byleth looked curious.
Lysithea lifted her hair up from her forehead so they could see her roots. “See?” Both Edelgard and Byleth leaned forward.
“Black, huh?” Edelgard commented.
“Yes.” Lysithea let her hair fall back down. “I… uh… I’ve actually been thinking about cutting it shorter… so it’s more visible when it grows back.” While she didn’t mind having long hair, at this point it served as a reminder of her painful past. Since she was finally at a stage where she could move on from that, maybe it was time to move on from the old hair as well.
“That’s not a bad idea.” Edelgard smiled warmly. “I think it would suit you.” The two of them had formed a close bond thanks to their unfortunately shared experiences. Lysithea sort of thought of her as a sister now, and perhaps Edelgard felt the same way, even though neither of them had said it out loud. They had both lost so much.
Byleth smiled too. “I guess you’d kinda look like Hubert’s little sister.”
That comment brought all of Lysithea’s thoughts to a sudden halt. Her and Hubert had pretty much the same shade of pitch-black hair. They were both dark mages. She could all too easily see a situation in which people would think that. Finding new family was one thing, but people thinking she was related to Hubert was another.
“On second thought, maybe I should find some bleach to stick my head in.”
[A/N: Now that Training Camp is done I can write other things again, and I really wanted to get back to Bofuri. I’m not exactly writing on “current patch” as it were, since the anime is blazing ahead fast, and I had this idea weeks ago. I wanted to write something more action-focused with Maple and Sally working as a team. The anime has been sadly lacking in that since the second event ended, so if it won’t feed me, I’ll just have to serve myself. Weird to think that last time I did this I didn’t even know the names of Kanade, May, and Yui yet.
I’ve also read more of the novel, up until them reaching level three, so my writing is inspired from both that and the anime. I tried to find some middle ground between how fast the fights can be in the anime, and how slow they are in the novel. Some skills (and skill descriptions) I’ve taken from the character sheets in the novel and manga, some I use more as they’re presented in the anime, and at least one I entirely made up. I also added a bit to Acid Rain, since I don’t remember seeing it described anywhere that it has any sort of debuff effect, but since it’s acid it makes sense to me that it would lower defence.
Not much fluff this time, so I added an Iz/Kasumi scene at the end to compensate a little. I have some Maple/Sally fluff planned for next time.
Oh, and if you want more Bofuri, why not check out Kuugen’s fic “Social Skills”?]
The two of them were surrounded. Looked like a full party of eight. In all likelihood it was not a random ambush.
[A/N: It has been a while. I never intended to abandon Symphogear, but writing ideas are a fickle thing. I can’t just come up with what I want, for what I want, when I want. Things would be a lot easier if I could. I’ve had several false starts and abandoned ideas as I’ve tried to figure out where to take this thing. Not to mention everything else that has tempted me into being written elsewhere. But as the muses have been stirring since the start of the year, I figured the only way forwards was to move it forwards. Take them a step towards adulthood, and being a family.]
There was to be a party that night to celebrate Yukine Chris’s upcoming graduation, and Miku had come over to help Chris get ready. Which currently meant helping with her hair.
“Your hair is so lovely, Chris,” Miku said as she ran the brush through it. She had to lift it up to get at it properly, considering how long it was.
“Thanks.” Chris was hardly incapable of handling her own hair care, but it felt so much nicer to have someone else take care of it. It wasn’t the first time she had wondered if Miku’s skills were honed from trying to get Hibiki’s chaotic hair under control.
[A/N: So I had hoped that yesterday’s mini-lewd would get things out of my system, but it appears to have only made things worse. So here’s a very explicit NSFW lewd porn of Kasumi and Arisa.]
Toyama Arisa was faced with an impossible scenario.
“What is that?”
“Um… a dick.”
Arisa facepalmed. “I can see that, but why do you have it?” She’d heard her wife scream from the bathroom, and entered to find… this. It hadn’t been there the day before. She was fairly sure she would have noticed if it was.
[A/N: This idea formed a few days back, but I thought I should hold off until I finished the other project I’m working on. Then Kanan’s birthday hit, and the temptation became too great. The siren call of new fic ideas can be hard to resist.
This is inspired by a doujin I read last year that it’s been hard to get out of my head. Honestly a little surprised I haven’t done Chika/Kanan before, considering how into the whole ‘childhood friend’ thing I often get. I’m huge into Chika/You after all. But it was like my eyes weren’t really opened to it until I read that doujin. I’ve thought a lot about it since, so… here is the result of that.]
“Thanks for the help, Kanan-chan.”
“Haha, no worries,” Kanan said.
“For serious, though, I don’t think I’d have gotten this done without you,” Chika plopped down, and sighed. “I can’t believe my sisters would just dump this on me. ‘You can sort this out, Chika’,” she said, clearly mimicking her sister Mito.
“Hahaha, well, good kids are supposed to help out at home, right?” Kanan teased.
“Yeah, but…” Chika pouted.
[A/N: Well, as often happens to me, I couldn’t leave it at a simple one-shot. I had to do a follow-up that goes a little deeper (and thirstier) into things.
I am barely able to keep up with where the novel is in relation to the anime events, especially considering how many chapters the latest episode blazed through. That is to say that even though this is supposed to be set sometime after the second event has wrapped up, I don’t actually know how that ends yet, or how things proceed afterwards. What I’m trying to say is that some things might not be accurate, even setting aside the stuff I deliberately add. I’m mostly thinking in regards to their friends, as I don’t know exactly when they’ll be introduced into the group.
No promises on when or if another fic will arrive. Maybe soon. Maybe in a while. Maybe never. Depends on if I get sufficiently motivating ideas.]
Kaede squeezed Risa’s hand, who returned the gesture. The two of them stayed locked together a little longer before leaning back.
“It’s not quite the same, huh?” Risa said after a couple of heavy breaths.
“Mmm… close. But not quite,” Kaede agreed. Her face had a nice pink hue to it. “But I think I like it a little better. I can actually feel your warmth here, after all.” She smiled affectionately.
Risa blushed. “And I guess there’s less chance of electric shocks,” she said with a goofy grin.
[A/N: We don’t get a lot of MMO anime with female leads, so I was curious what Bofuri was going to be like based on that alone. Turns out it’s pretty awesome and wholesome. We definitely don’t get a lot of unabashed power fantasies for girls, and this one has a lot of heart and clever ideas. It’s nice.
I also really love the strong chemistry Kaede and Risa have. They seem very close and comfortable with each other, and even though they’re very different personality-wise, they know how to talk to each other. And it’s really adorable how Risa seems to have looked up a guide on the most romantic spots to take someone in NWO. So I decided to play a little with that idea. I don’t know how far the show or novel are going to go with it (I am at about equal progress with both, and they do things slightly differently), but it’s still nice to just see them together.]
They were at the beach again, though a different kind. Hidden away in a snow-covered area was a portal that had taken Kaede/Maple and Risa/Sally to a tropical island.
“Whooooaaaaaaa~!” Maple was looking around with wide eyes.
[A/N: I got this idea shortly before S3 started (while I still thought S3 was starting on the 23rd) that Masuki would ask Rei to go shopping with her, and Rei would think it was a date, but Masuki just wanted help carrying all the merch she was going to buy. So I decided to write it down.
I have not yet watched episode 2 of S3, so I don’t know if there is any ship progression with regards to Masuki and Rei, be it with each other, or someone else. I’ll find out later.]
Wakana Rei was feeling excited, because someone had asked her out. Satou Masuki was Rei’s bandmate, who could seem gruff on the surface, but was actually a total sweetie. Rei had tried hitting on her, though with less success than she was used to. Girls had a tendency to fall over themselves even when Rei didn’t do anything special, while Masuki would at most blush cutely, and blow her off.
Until she had suddenly asked Rei if she wanted to go shopping on their next day off.
Maybe not the most exciting of dates, but it was the whole day with just the two of them. Eating together would be a natural part of it, and they would surely find other activities too. So Rei was determined to make the most of it.
[A/N: So this idea sprung from a combination of two things. First, seeing this artwork of a long-haired Byleth that Intsys were too cowardly to do in the game. Second, the idea that Edelgard wouldn’t recognise a dishevelled Byleth coming back, except for the boobs she had stared at too much. It amused me so much I had to try to turn it into a fic.
Sothis’s speech felt like a good way of opening things. I wrote another scene after that, but ended up deleting it. Cutting right to Edelgard felt like a better option, even if it kinda sucked to delete all that work.]
“You… How long do you intend to sleep?”
“Your body is awake. Your eyes must open now, and you must find the strength to stand upon those legs of yours.”
“Like so much rain, a pool of blood has fallen to the ground… As spears and arrows pierce the ground, it weeps. And even now… it weeps.”
“In order to survive, they kill. And so, the people of this world are lost in an abyss of suffering. They weep as well.”
“The only one who truly knows the nature of such things is I… or rather, you.”
“I’m still sleepy…”
“You are a complete and utter fool! Have you not changed one bit?! Get on your feet. Right now! I will coddle you no more! You are just like a child, always needing me to hold your hand…”