Silly Lilies 2: Silly Riri

[Sequel to Silly Lilies]

Ruby has kept an eye out today, but Chika and You have not exhibited any more strange behaviour. No paper bags, no wall slamming. She still catches them glancing at her sometimes. Yet they seem to have calmed down, and Ruby is thankful for it. Perhaps things will return to normal now.

After practice Ruby heads back to grab something she forgot in the classroom. Hanamaru asked if Ruby wanted her to wait, but that’s fine. Hanamaru’s been spending a lot of time with Yoshiko lately, so Ruby wouldn’t have walked home with her anyway.

She isn’t exactly sure why they are spending so much time together. They had been friends before Ruby even met Hanamaru, so now that the initial awkwardness of the reunion is over, perhaps they have a lot of catching up to do.

Ruby doesn’t begrudge Hanamaru wanting to reconnect with her old friend, but she can’t deny that it gets a little lonely at times. Hopefully she’ll be included again soon. She doesn’t want to bug Hanamaru about it.

She’s lost in thought by her desk when the door opens, startling Ruby out of it.

“Ruby-chan?” It’s Riko’s voice, and Ruby looks over to see the fellow red-head standing in the door. “Is it just you in here?” she asks, and looks around the room.

“Huh? Yeah, it’s just me,” Ruby replies, and takes a breath to steady herself. Riko seems a little fidgety, so Ruby wonders if she’s alright. “Are you looking for someone, Riko-san?”

“Well… I was looking for you, actually…” Riko says with a hint of bashfulness.

“Me?” Ruby’s getting that feeling of deja vu again. “Um… why? I mean! Is everything alright? You look a little out of sorts…” Ruby wonders if she should offer to take Riko to the nurse’s office, but that’s probably closed for the day.

“Ah no! Yes! Er… I’m fine. Really,” Riko says and smiles. She tries to assure herself that she can do this. “I just wanted… to say… good work during practice today.”

“Oh! Thank you,” Ruby says brightly. She does think she did well today. “I feel like I’m really getting the hang of it, so I’m doing my Rubesty!” Riko giggles at Ruby’s enthusiasm.

“A-also… I… I noticed one of your ribbons are coming undone,” Riko says, which isn’t strictly true, but she needs an excuse.

“Really?” Ruby reaches up and touches them. They seem fine, but she can’t really tell without a mirror.

“Yes… so… er… I figured I’d offer to fix it for you, and also… b-brush your hair,” Riko says, moving into the room towards Ruby.

“Ooo, that sounds nice!” Ruby says eagerly, but she’s still a little worried about how Riko may be feeling. “Are you sure you’re alright, though? You seem a bit red. Do you have a fever?” She reaches up to touch Riko’s forehead, and Riko jumps back a step in panic.

“I-I-I’m fine. Honest. It’s just a little warm in here,” Riko says. She’s not lying, it’s certainly warm in here for her. “If you could just take a seat, I can get started. I promise I won’t take long,” she says with what she hopes is a reassuring smile. Ruby doesn’t seem entirely convinced, but she sits down.

“Okay, if you say so…” she says in a sceptical tone. “But if you start to feel dizzy or anything, you have to tell me right away.” She thinks she did a good job in emulating Dia there.

Riko pulls up a chair behind Ruby, and undoes her ribbons, letting her hair flow out freely. She brings up the brush she had been hiding behind her back, and lifts a bit of Ruby’s hair so she can run the brush through it. It’s very smooth, there’s hardly any resistance at all.

“Mmm, feels nice…” Ruby says as she closes her eyes. “Thank you, Riko-san.”

“Don’t mention it,” Riko says. “I… I figured you deserved a little something after working so hard.” That’s basically true. Going through Ruby’s hair slowly and gently turns out to be rather relaxing. She thought she’d be nervous, but now that she’s started, that isn’t the case at all.

“Your hair is very nice,” she says. “You must take good care of it.” Ruby’s hair is actually a decent length when it’s let down.

“Yeah…” Ruby says blissfully. “Dia helps me out. We do each other’s hair a lot.” Riko suddenly feels a stab of envy towards Dia.

“Hey Ruby-chan?” Riko says after a little while. “Do you want to come over sometime and… a-and listen to my new composition?” she asks while running the brush carefully over Ruby’s scalp.

“Hmmm?” is Ruby’s only response.

“I’d like to… to hear someone’s opinion on it,” Riko says while trying to not lose focus on the brushing. “What do you say…?”

“Well… I wouldn’t mind, but… why me? Why not Chika-san or You-san?” Ruby asks. She’s about to start sliding off the chair before she catches herself.

“Er… w-well, I hear their opinions a lot, so… so I thought it would be nice to get someone else this time,” Riko says as convincingly as she can. Maybe this is being too bold, but it’s too late to stop now.

“Hmm… I guess that makes sense,” Ruby says in a very content tone of voice. Riko’s quite good with this brush. “I’d have to clear it with Dia though.”

“Oh… right. Of course,” Riko says. She hadn’t thought about that. Dia surely wouldn’t see anything wrong about it though. Right? “Okay, I’m done. I’ll tie your tails back up,” she says and gets up from the chair.

“Mmm, thank you so much, Riko-san!” Ruby exclaims happily. “That felt really good. Do you want me to do yours too? I’m not bad with a brush myself,” Ruby says proudly. Dia always praises her for her brushwork.

“Really?!” Riko says perhaps a little too eagerly. She reaches for Ruby’s ribbons. “I’d love th-”

“Ruby-chan~!” A voice comes from the hallway. “Are you in he- Riko-chan?!” Chika comes in the door. Riko jumps and quickly steps in front of where she left the brush to hide it. Ruby blinks confused at the both of them. She’s getting that ‘what’s going on’ feeling again.

“Chika-san?” Ruby says, puzzled. Chika’s eyeing them suspiciously.

“What are you doing in here, Riko-chan? What are you two up to?” she asks pointedly, her eyes narrow.

“Huh?” Ruby is confused. “Riko-san was just-”

“Nothing! Nothing at all!” Riko says quite suddenly, just making Ruby even more confused. She’s getting that feeling that maybe she should escape again. She slowly reaches out and grabs her ribbons, pulling them back equally slowly. Chika and Riko seem very focused on each other, and don’t notice.

“Just what, hm?” Chika glances at Ruby, who freezes. She finally notices Ruby’s hair is down. “Riko-chan, what were you doing to Ruby-chan?” Her very suspicious stare returns to Riko. Ruby carefully starts moving again, and grabs her bag, then slides as quietly as she can out of the seat.

“Absolutely nothing!” Riko protests. “We were just… talking,” she says, and tries to grab the brush from the desk behind her without looking.

“Just talking?” Chika sounds highly sceptical. “Then what is that behind your back?”

“Nothing!” Riko says.

“Let me see!” Chika exclaims and tries to dive around Riko. They struggle, but Chika is the one who ends up with the brush. “What’s this then?!” Riko sighs a little annoyed.

“I was just helping to fix Ruby-chan’s hair after one of her ribbons came undone!” she says with frustration. “Isn’t that right, Ruby… chan?” She turns to find Ruby has escaped, and gives Chika an angry look. “This is your fault, Chika-chan! You scared her away!”

“My fault?! Why were you in here with her in the first place?!” Chika’s equally angry. She was sure she’d be able to get Ruby to go for ice cream together, but now Riko’s ruined it.

Ruby hurriedly closes the front door behind her. She hopes this isn’t going to become a habit. “I’m home,” she calls out as she takes off her shoes.

“Welcome back,” Dia says as she comes into the hallway. “I was about to call to see what was holding y- Ruby, why is your hair down?” Dia stops in her tracks and gives Ruby a confused look.

“It’s… that’s…” Ruby sighs. “It’s a long story.”

~Wulf

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Posted on May 31, 2017, in Fiction, Storytime and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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