[A/N: Just a random short idea I had. I’ve touched upon this pair once before, and suddenly got an urge to do it again. It’s still rarepair week, right? I guess that’s my excuse. If you want to match SaayaTomoe, and ChisatoKanon, then these two would be left over, so to speak. Not that I’ve done either of the previous two ships in a while. Actually, I haven’t I’ve written my ChisaKanon story yet, have I? It’s still just an idea sitting around.]
In an unusual turn of events, the tennis clubs of Haneoka and Hanasakigawa high schools had decided to do a joint training camp. The club captains had had a chat, and thought it was a great opportunity to not only learn from each other, and change things up with new sparring partners, but also hold a mini tournament at the end with school pride on the line. Any rumours about anything else being at stake had not been confirmed.
But there were two members who had more important things on their minds. Namely each other.
“Ugh… I needed that shower so badly,” Himari said. “I don’t recall seeing the captain that fired up in a while. If ever.” She twisted off the top of her juice bottle, and took a big swig. It had been a rough first day.
“That’s pretty much par for the course with our captain, but…” Misaki leaned back against the wall. It hadn’t been exposed to the sun, so it still felt a little cool. Her damp hair would likely leave a (temporary) stain. “She does seem more fired up than I expected. I wonder what the two of them actually agreed to.”
“So you think there’s something too?”
Misaki turned her head to meet Himari’s gaze. “I’m pretty sure, yeah. The announcement of this camp was way too sudden. Them getting into some sort of argument or bragging contest seems likely.”
“Hm… do you think they…?”
“I’m not sure.” Misaki picked up on the unspoken implication. “But I wouldn’t rule it out. I don’t really know the captain outside of the club, though.”
“Same.” It was probably true for both of them that they would rather not have someone nag at them to work harder when on their time off. “But… it lets us spend some time together, so it’s not all bad.” Himari’s bright smile was nearly blinding.
“Yeah.” Misaki felt nearly as nervous as she was excited. Their connection had been rather sudden, but it had turned into more than a one-time thing. This was their first time going somewhere together though. Even if it wasn’t exactly by choice. Still, being together with no bandmates anywhere close was a tad weird. It was almost like taking their relationship to the next level. Maybe. It had been weighing on her mind that she wasn’t entirely certain how serious their relationship was.
Himari shimmied closer so their arms touched against each other. In this heat she was wearing a sleeveless top, while Misaki had short sleeves, so there was a fair amount of bare skin in contact.
“This is nice~,” Himari said with a sigh of contentment. “Actually, you feel kinda cool.”
“I-I guess I’ve always been a bit cold-blooded,” Misaki replied. It was probably part of how she was able to endure the Michelle suit. It took longer for her to overheat. But such close contact with Himari was making her feel warmer right away.
“Oh? Let me feel!” Himari pressed even closer so her cheek touched against Misaki’s. “It’s true! Oh, you feel so nice~. I always take so long to cool down…”
“Well, I’m not gonna stay cool for long if you keep on like that.” The contrast between them had initially felt quite stark, but it was rapidly equalising.
“Ehehehehehe~.” Himari seemed very pleased with herself in a way that made Misaki blush.
Feeling a need to change the subject, Misaki reached for her bag. “Um, I brought you something.”
“Oh?” Himari backed off a little so she could see.
“Yeah…” Misaki didn’t have to rummage much to find it. “I made it myself.”
Himari accepted the gift. “What’s this?”
“It’s… uh… it’s supposed to be a puppy, but I’ve never tried felting one before…” Misaki thought the shape was generally right, but she’d had some trouble with the ears, so they were kinda floppy. Upon reflection maybe it was a little too unclear what animal it was meant to be. Maybe she shouldn’t have brought it.
“It’s…” Himari stared at it, then tears started forming in her eyes.
“Uh…” Misaki hadn’t been ready for that. “H-hey, if you don’t-”
“It’s so cute…” Himari said with tears rolling down her cheeks. “And you…” She sniffled. “Made it for me?”
“I love it!” Himari threw her arms around Misaki, and kissed her.
It was hardly their first kiss, but somehow it felt a bit different. Maybe because it was slightly salty. Misaki had not been prepared for that reaction, and definitely did not feel cool at all any longer.
They toppled over onto the grass, and it was unclear how much time passed before they broke apart again. Himari pushed herself up enough to look down at Misaki. “Mm… it’s not fair.”
“What… what isn’t?” Misaki was doing her best to catch her breath.
“That you can make such cute things. When I try they don’t turn out that well…”
“Oh… well, I can teach you?” Misaki suggested. Her current view of Himari right above her was a little imposing. Or perhaps thrilling.
“You will? Yay!” Himari grinned. “Then I’m sure I’ll be able to make something amazing! Just you watch!” She sat back a little, which let Misaki push herself up partway too. “I feel kinda bad that I didn’t think to bring you anything though.”
“It was kind of a spur of the moment thing, so don’t worry about it.” Misaki smiled. If she’d thought of it sooner she probably could have made it look better, but she was glad Himari liked the gift anyway. Honestly she hadn’t expected anything in return.
“Oh! I did make snacks! I can share those with you!”
You weren’t going to do that anyway? Misaki didn’t say it out loud. “Looking forward to it,” she said instead. Himari’s snacks tended to be pretty good.
“Hm… this is also not fair.” Himari placed a hand on Misaki’s stomach.
“You’re so nice and firm.” She was getting a good feel. “No matter what I try I just don’t see the same results. What’s your secret?!”
Misaki squirmed. “I-I don’t know… I like working out, I guess?”
“I work out too, and yet…” Himari pouted. The aforementioned snacks might have something to do with it, but honestly Misaki liked how soft Himari was. She wasn’t sure if it was wise to say that out loud, though.
“Hey, everyone’s different,” Misaki said.
“I guess…” Himari didn’t seem particularly comforted by that. “Oh, that got me thinking! You’re pretty strong, right?”
“I’ve seen you carry Kokoro and Hagu while inside Michelle. Or was that just some trick?”
“Oh. No, no trick. They tend to just jump at me. And on me.” The worst was when they both did so at once. The Michelle suit was heavy enough on its own, yet she managed somehow.
“So… can you carry me?”
Misaki gave her a puzzled look. “Probably? Why do people keep asking that?” she wondered out loud before she could stop herself.
“Girls like to be carried,” Himari stated with certainty. “So get to it.” She stood up.
“Uh… okay.” Misaki got this weird feeling that she was making up for some unknown offence, but she got up, and did as asked. She wouldn’t exactly call Himari light, but she still had no issue scooping her into her arms. She’d dealt with worse.
Himari giggled, and put her arms around Misaki for balance. Misaki didn’t really get it, but she was glad that Himari had cheered up again. Her mood could apparently change pretty quickly. And with the change in mood came more kisses as Himari pulled herself up to reach Misaki’s mouth.
“H-hey… ~mm~” Misaki wobbled. “If you do that- ~mmm~ I can’t keep my ba- ah!” Just as she said it, she ended up falling over, with Himari once again landing on top of her. But she had felt the impact a bit more this time.
“Eep! Are you okay?” Himari asked.
“I’m… fine…” Misaki said. Just had the wind knocked out of her. Probably.
“Sorry… let me make it up to you.” Himari went in for more kisses, squishing their bodies together. Was that really making up, or did she just want to keep going? Either way her hands started wandering soon enough.
While it could occasionally be a lot to deal with, Misaki felt like she could probably get used to this relationship. It had some fun upsides. And since Himari was helping herself anyway, Misaki might as well take the opportunity to explore that softness she enjoyed.
[A/N: My first fanfic in a long time, and it’s not any of the many drafts that have piled up, but a daft idea I came up with a couple of days ago. What if Nanami Morfonica was Chisato and Aya’s daughter travelled back from the future?
To be fair I’ve had the impression ever since Morfonica was revealed that Nanami looks like the lovechild of Chisato and Aya. And since they’re not in EN Bandori yet, I don’t actually know anything about what the Morfonica members are actually like. I briefly skimmed their Bandori wikia entries, but I hardly did any extensive research. So I apologise in advance for getting Nanami’s character completely wrong (probably). This is totally just judging the book by the cover.]
It was time for another live concert for Pastel*Palettes. Well, almost time. They still had to get ready, and in an unusual twist there was a different band there as their opening act that day. It wasn’t the first time they’d played with another band, far from it, but it was the first time a band had been specifically hired to be their opening act. To Aya it seemed like a sign of how big they were getting. Only the popular bands had opening acts.
She had to confess that she didn’t know this band at all. They were called Morfonica, and as far as she knew they were pretty recently formed. All of the members went to a different school that Aya had never been in contact with either. All she knew was that it was very prestigious. She wondered how the agency had decided on hiring these girls in particular. Perhaps through audition? Word of mouth? Or maybe they were simply cheap.
As the Pastel*Palettes members entered the backstage area, they quickly spotted the Morfonica members. At least presumably it was them, since it was five girls in stage outfits. Even if they were going on stage before Pas*Pal, it was a bit early to be ready. Hopefully the outfits were comfortable to wait around in. They looked quite stylish, at least. Aya thought they looked better than some of what her own band had worn. Perhaps it was a sign of them being nervous that they had already gotten ready. She wondered what sort of concerts they’d done so far. Maybe this was the biggest stage they’d stood on.
It was hard to be sure of anything just from looking at them, but Aya still had a feeling they were all good girls. The one who stood out the most was definitely the one with black hair that looked as tall as Kaoru, but they had another tall girl too, blonde, and maybe about Eve’s height. Actually there was something about that one that made Aya feel like she had seen her before, even if she wasn’t sure where. Online maybe? Then there was another girl with black hair that looked as short as Chisato, while the final two with pale blue and pale pink hair looked about Aya’s own height.
The whole band looked towards Pastel*Palettes as they entered, and the pink-haired one met Aya’s eyes. For some unknown reason she felt a strong sense of familiarity, even though she didn’t think she had ever seen her before. The girl stepped away from her band members, and strode right over towards Aya, who suddenly felt very confused. Did they know each other after all? Had they met, and Aya had completely forgotten her? It would be super embarrassing if that was the case.
“Hi,” the girl said.
“Uh, hi.” Aya wasn’t sure how else to respond.
“Excuse me, but are you Shirasagi Aya?”
Aya stared at her. What did she just say? Shira… Her brain struggled to compute. In spite of their rising fame, Aya was unfortunately used to not being recognised, or having some mistakes made about who she was, but this was a completely new one. The girl was looking at her expectantly, so Aya realised she had to reply. “N-no, I’m Maruyama Aya,” she managed to blurt out.
The girl’s eyebrows raised in surprise. “Oh? Oh! Right. Maiden name.”
“Huh?” Aya stared again.
“I’m Shirasagi Chisato.” Chisato’s voice came from Aya’s side. Seems she had overheard them. “Is that what you meant?”
The girl looked at Chisato, and her expression brightened up. “Oh! You’re both here! Right, of course you are, you’re in the same band…”
Aya looked at Chisato, who didn’t look like she had any idea what was going on either.
“Excuse me, but have we met?” Chisato asked.
“Yes,” the girl said confidently. “Well, not yet I guess, but… sorry, let me start over. Hi, I’m Hiro- I mean, Shirasagi Nanami. I’m your daughter.”
* * *
The show had gone well, even with the weird issue weighing on Chisato and Aya’s minds. They were professionals, so they had still managed to put on a good performance. And afterwards they met up with this Nanami girl in private.
“So let me get this straight.” Chisato rubbed her forehead. “You’re mine and Aya-chan’s daughter?”
“You’ve come from the future?”
“And you’ve been living here under an assumed name?”
Chisato gave her a tired look. “I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you.” She had to admit there was an uncanny resemblance, but that had to be just a coincidence. There were plenty of people in the world who weren’t related, but still looked like each other.
Nanami looked disappointed. “I guess that makes sense…”
“But why didn’t you contact us sooner, Nanami-chan?” Aya asked.
“Don’t tell me you believe her, Aya-chan?”
“She’s got my eyes, Chisato-chan. I checked in the mirror. And she has your hair.”
“She does not,” Chisato said firmly. Sure there were similarities in how it looked, but it wasn’t a match in colour. It was more like… a middle ground between hers and Aya’s… “There’s lots of people with eyes that look like yours, and hair that looks like mine, Aya-chan. Besides, time travel isn’t possible.”
Nanami looked like she had perked up. “Well, I wanted to contact you sooner, but I wasn’t sure how… it’s a bit weird to just randomly call someone up and say ‘I’m your daughter from the future’.”
Chisato gave her a flat stare. “You don’t say.”
“But when I learned we had gotten a proposal to do a concert together, I made up my mind. So I nudged Shiro-chan and the others into accepting.” Nanami seemed a little proud of herself. “I actually wanted to enroll in the same school as you, but mum,” She nodded towards Chisato. “Said it was a bad idea, and that I was smart enough to get into a proper school if I wanted to do the whole temporal transfer student thing.”
Hearing someone call her ‘mum’ felt deeply wrong to Chisato, who hadn’t even made up her mind about whether she wanted children yet. It was somehow even worse when it came from someone taller than her. And almost the same age.
“That does sound like something Chisato-chan would say.” Aya nodded.
“This doesn’t change the fact that there are still two major problems here,” Chisato pointed out. “First off, time travel isn’t possible. Second, Aya-chan and I aren’t dating.”
“You’re not?” Nanami looked surprised. “I guess I never asked when you started going out, I just assumed…” She tapped her chin thoughtfully.
“Not even going to address the first one, huh?” Chisato rubbed her forehead again. She felt a headache coming on.
“W-wait, if Chisato-chan and I don’t get together, what’s going to happen to you?” Aya suddenly asked.
“Well… I suppose I’ll fade away. My fleeting existence snuffed out, and forgotten,” Nanami said in a grim tone.
Aya gasped, her expression horrified.
Nanami broke into giggles. “Haha, no, sorry. It’ll just be an alternate timeline. I will be fine.” She smiled. “I mean, I guess there wouldn’t be a Nanami born into this world, which is a little weird to think about. And it’s really weird to think of you two not being together… you’ve been for my whole life, after all. But I probably already created an alternate timeline by travelling here. You never mentioned meeting a time-travelling me when you were younger, at least. Though it could be an interesting loop if I travelled back to make sure I was born… like something out of a movie!”
Chisato noted the use of ‘fleeting’, and wondered if Kaoru had been a bad influence on her daughter. Wait, am I accepting her story now? No no, it’s still impossible.
Aya was nodding along eagerly though. “Yeah, totally! Uh… why did you travel back, then? Are you here to warn us about a big disaster? Are we going to die?!”
“Mom, no, calm down, don’t worry, it’s nothing like that!” Nanami said hurriedly. “It’s just.. um… well… I think they made better music in this era, and I guess I wanted to be part of that…”
“That’s your reason?”
“I guess I was also a little curious about seeing you, and I hoped it would be easier to make frie- uh. Never mind.” Nanami blushed, then glanced at her phone. “Ugh… I gotta go… but it was fun meeting you, mom, mum.” She smiled wide at the both of them. “I hope we can spend more time together in the future! Er… by which I mean in this timeline, not when I go back home…”
“I’d love to, Nanami-chan,” Aya agreed happily.
Chisato sighed. Her first instinct was that she should absolutely refuse, yet something told her she’d get pulled into it anyway. For some reason she felt a little bad about the idea of disappointing Nanami. Not that she believed her story, of course, but she seemed like a sweet girl.
“I can’t wait to tell you I met you,” Nanami said as she got up, and made sure she had all her things. “Though… you’ll probably scold me, mum,” she said to Chisato.
“Don’t worry, I’ll tell her to be nice.” Aya patted her own chest.
Nanami giggled. “You always do.”
“Listen.” Chisato made sure she had their attention. “If you… if we’re going to meet up again, you shouldn’t call us ‘mom’ and ‘mum’.” It felt really weird to say that sentence. “If someone overheard they’d get the wrong idea.” As if there was a right idea in the first place.
“Good point,” Nanami agreed. “I should probably say Chisato-san and Aya-san. Even if it will be weird.”
“Everything about this is already weird,” Chisato muttered.
“Bye for now. See you later!”
“See you later!”
Aya and Nanami waved at each other, while Chisato just halfheartedly raised her hand. She felt very tired.
* * *
“I’m glad we raised such a nice girl, Chisato-chan,” Aya said when they were alone.
Chisato sighed yet again. “Oh come on, surely you don’t actually believe her, Aya-chan?”
“Eh? I-I mean… I know it seems impossible, but…”
“But there’s just something… like my heart is telling me it’s true.”
“Your heart, huh?” That was a very Aya thing to say, and she certainly had a lot of heart.
“I can’t really blame you for being sceptical… oh!” Aya thumped her fist into her palm. “We could ask her to tell us things about ourselves only we would know! That would prove it!”
“Aya-chan…” Chisato shook her head. “Even assuming it’s true, the things she would know about us might be things that haven’t happened yet, or maybe happened differently in her timeline.” Even if she had a child, Chisato couldn’t imagine telling her everything about herself. It wasn’t like she had asked her own parents everything about their lives either, certainly not things from before she was born.
“Oh… good point…” Aya deflated.
The two of them got ready to head back to the others. “And it still doesn’t change the fact that we’re not going out.”
“Yeah…” Aya went quiet for a moment. “Do you want to?”
“Huh?” Chisato froze. “I… I’m not sure I want to base a relationship on some girl saying we’re supposed to get together… I’d like something more than that.” Even if Aya was really cute. And soft. And sometimes Chisato had thoughts about squishing her.
“But then I could tell people I’m dating a hot actress!” Aya grinned.
“Oh come on.” Chisato rolled her eyes.
“Made you smile.”
“You did not.”
“Fufu~, if you say so.”
Chisato shook her head again. She was honestly more worried about whether any of the others had overheard anything Nanami had said before the show. It might especially be trouble if Hina caught any of it. She wasn’t the type to let things go. Though there was one thing she had said that genuinely made Chisato want to crack a smile.
“Still… Shirasagi Aya, huh?”
“Eh?” Aya jumped. “Uh… I mean… it could be Maruyama Chisato…”
“No, it really could not.”
“Uuuuuuuuuu~.” Aya whined.
Chisato couldn’t help chuckling.
[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.