A Flower Wishing to Change Her Petals

[Sequel to A Guest For a Picnic]

It wasn’t shaping up to be a good day for Hanamaru. She had woken up too early, it was too hot, the eggs had gotten burned, she had spilled her tea, and it wasn’t even noon yet!

Yohane had gone grocery shopping, because for whatever reason she had a stronger tolerance for the heat than either Hanamaru or Ruby. Hanamaru figured it was either because she always used to wear dark, heavy clothes regardless of weather, or there was actually something to the fallen angel thing. Now that she knew Yohane intimately, she wasn’t entirely prepared to rule it out.

Ruby was studying in the other room, because the air condition in there was more effective. And because it had a proper desk. Hanamaru was glad that Ruby was taking it seriously, but she was also feeling grumpy, bored, and bleh. So she decided to go bother Ruby.

“Ruby-chaaaaaannnnnnn,” Hanamaru whined as she came into the room. Ruby recognised that tone. Hanamaru only called her -chan when she wanted attention. She supposed the studying would have to wait.

“What’s the matter, Hanamaru?” she asked, and swivelled the chair around. Hanamaru was pouting, and got onto Ruby’s lap. It was a little heavy, but Ruby didn’t mind.

“It’s hoooooot,” Hanamaru complained, and snuggled against the soft redhead, wrapping her arms around her. The air really was cooler in here, and she sighed happily.

“It’s not going to get any less hot if you cuddle me, silly,” Ruby said with a giggle.

“Yeah, but you’re a good hot, zura,” Hanamaru stated as if that somehow made a world of difference. To prove her point she kissed Ruby deeply. Which resulted in them both feeling so warm they got a little dizzy.

“We’re going to… to fall out of the chair if you keep that up,” Ruby said, trying to catch her breath.

“Mmph,” was Hanamaru’s response. Ruby giggled some more. There was something charming about seeing Hanamaru like this. Perhaps she just enjoyed the role reversal of Hanamaru being the one who needed to be cared for.

“Want to go for ice cream when Yohane gets back?” Ruby asked.

“Noooo, don’t wanna outside, zura,” Hanamaru replied grumpily.

“Then what do you want?” Ruby asked gently.

“Hm…” Hanamaru thought it over. “Take a bath with me, zura?” she asked sweetly. Well, how could Ruby resist a request like that?

“Alright,” she replied, and Hanamaru grinned at her. “You’re going to have to get up though,” Ruby said when Hanamaru wasn’t moving.

“Zura…” Hanamaru sounded reluctant, but she got up and helped Ruby up too, so she could drag her into the bathroom.

“Wah!” Ruby exclaimed as she got pulled along. Hanamaru switched on the water right away, and started ditching her clothes. “You’re certainly eager,” Ruby said with a giggle.

“Just getting these clothes off feels so much better, zura,” Hanamaru said, genuinely relieved. Ruby smiled, and shook her head before she started stripping down herself. “Especially my bra feels sticky… you’re lucky you can get away with not wearing one, zura.”

“I’m not sure ‘lucky’ is the word I’d use,” Ruby said, partly to herself. It’s not like she had expected to reach Hanamaru’s size, but she had thought she’d grow a little once she became an adult. Apparently the emphasis had been on ‘little’. Though she supposed it had its perks. The grass is always greener, and all that.

Sinking into the water felt quite nice. It might only be a temporary measure, but it was the best they could do. Hanamaru was certainly feeling more relaxed now. Perhaps Ruby had turned her fortunes around, and today might turn out okay after all.

Part of what had made her so grumpy was that she wanted to enjoy her weekend, but so far things had not gone well. She hadn’t been able to sleep in, breakfast hadn’t turned out right, and it was too hot to do anything. So it had made her a bit gloomy. Which in turn made her thoughts drift to things she felt she lacked.

She looked over at Ruby who was sitting opposite her, and smiling affectionately at her. Ruby was adorable, and sweet, and small in such a way that Hanamaru just wanted to hug and cuddle her forever. And also kiss, and fondle, and- no, not today. Today was definitely too hot for that. Unless they did it in the bath.

No, bad Maru, she scolded herself. Besides, it would be better if Yohane was also here for such things. She sank further down until the water came nearly up to her nose.

Even though Ruby and Yohane loved her as she was, there were still things Hanamaru wished she had more of. She gently pressed her legs against Ruby’s.

“Ruby… do you think I’d be cuter if I changed my hairstyle?” she asked, blushing slightly.

“Huh?” Ruby blinked, a little confused. “What makes you ask that?” she asked back.

“I’m just curious, zura,” Hanamaru replied, and started blowing bubbles in the water.

“You’re already very cute, Hanamaru,” Ruby said, and leaned forward to place a comforting hand on Hanamaru’s knee.

“But not like you, zura,” Hanamaru said. “Or Yohane.” Ruby sighed a little, and slid over Hanamaru to embrace her.

“Of course not. We’re different people,” Ruby said as a matter of fact. “We’re all charming in different ways.”

“Did Dia-san teach you that?” Hanamaru asked with a slight smirk.

“Hey, give me a little credit,” Ruby said. “I can be mature too sometimes.” She gave Hanamaru a quick kiss.

“Well, in what ways am I charming then, zura?” Hanamaru asked, shamelessly fishing for compliments.

“Well… you’re soft,” Ruby started, punctuating each point with a kiss. “You’ve kept most of your dialect, even your adorable zuras. You’re a good cook. You’re caring and compassionate. And sometimes a little naughty. You have a stunning figure. You’re better at taking charge of things than Yohane and I put together.” Ruby grinned. Hanamaru did feel better hearing all that, but…

“Mmph, even so… I guess I want to… to try to change a little, zura,” she said, trying to put her discontent feelings into words. Ruby considered it, and thought it might be fun.

“No reason we can’t try and see,” she said, just before the door opened.

“There you two are!” Yohane said with a hint of exasperation. “That’s just not fair, taking a bath without me. I’m the one who went outside, you know!” She had put the groceries away before she went looking for them. And she had checked the bedroom first.

“Yohane! Perfect timing! We’re gonna style Hanamaru’s hair!” Ruby said excitedly.

“Huh?” Yohane had no idea how to respond to that.

“Yeah, she said she wanted to try something different,” Ruby continued as she got out of the bath and grabbed a towel.

“W-wait, what is going on?” Yohane felt like she was missing some crucial part of information here.

“We’re going to try different hairstyles on Hanamaru,” Ruby said again, while Hanamaru was getting out of the bath. She was blushing a little, since Ruby was making such a big fuss about it.

“But the bath…” Yohane said helplessly. She had wanted to get in with the both of them, regardless of how cramped it would be.

“That can wait,” Ruby said. She had gotten herself all fired up now.

“Sorry, Yohane,” Hanamaru said, and smiled apologetically at her. She knew how Yohane felt.

“That’s okay,” Yohane said with a sigh. It was just her luck. “I guess I’ll help out.” She left the door slightly ajar behind her, considering how steamy it was.

Ruby started blow-drying Hanamaru’s hair, and Yohane started digging out all sorts of hair accessories they had. She wouldn’t really call it a comprehensive collection, considering they hadn’t tried to change things that much in a while. Certainly not since they moved together. But it gave them some options.

“So why the sudden interest in changing your hair?” she asked, glancing towards Hanamaru. It wasn’t often Yohane saw her with such a… such a bashful blush.

“Um… I… I have been thinking about it for a while…” Hanamaru said. “I want to try changing a little, zura.” She looked so adorable that Yohane couldn’t resist reaching out and gently stroking her cheek with a finger.

“Nothing wrong with that, I suppose,” Yohane said with a smile. Inspiration struck! “Hey, if you want, I could give you a fallen angel makeover! Though I’d need to do some shopping first…” She could already see it in her mind.

“I don’t think so, Yohane,” Hanamaru said, then felt bad at how crushed Yohane looked. “Maybe another time, zura,” she quickly added to try to cheer her up. Yohane could tell she was just saying it for that reason, though.

“Maybe we can come up with matching outfits for Halloween, though,” Ruby suggested. That was a while away, but it gave Yohane something to look forward to. And plan for. “Your hair seems dry enough now,” Ruby said, and put the hair-drier away. Hanamaru was feeling a little excited herself.

“Anything special you had in mind?” Yohane asked while running a brush through Hanamaru’s hair. Had to make sure it was as smooth as possible.

“I’m not sure, zura…” Hanamaru hadn’t really gotten as far looking through magazines or anything.

“What about twintails like mine? Or a ponytail?” Ruby asked. Hanamaru thought it over. Maybe twintails would make her look cuter. It was a place to start, at least.

“Maybe twintails, zura,” she said. Ruby beamed.

“Okay! Just give me a minute,” Ruby said and got to work. “Oh oh, and we can do up mine, so we match! And Yohane too!”

“Me too?” Yohane asked apprehensively. “I don’t think twintails would suit my dark form.” She was having a hard time imagining it.

“I’m not so sure,” Hanamaru said. “You can be a bit tsundere.” She’d grin at Yohane if she didn’t have to sit still.

“I am not tsundere!” Yohane said indignantly. “Where did you even learn that word?” she asked.

“The internet, zura!” Hanamaru replied cheerfully. Ruby giggled at them.

“I should have never taught you how to use computers,” Yohane grumbled.

“Plus we have a manga section at the bookstore, zura,” Hanamaru said. “It’s been very helpful in teaching me about things.” The yuri genre was quite interesting.

“You’re learning the wrong things!” Yohane said in an annoyed tone. She was already considering whether she could set up some parental controls or something on the computer. Something Hanamaru wouldn’t know how to get around.

“Done!” Ruby suddenly declared. “What do you think?” Hanamaru looked at herself in the mirror, turning her head side to side.

“I don’t know…” she said. She really wasn’t sure if it actually fit her.

“At least wait until we see how we match!” Ruby sounded really keen on this idea, and Hanamaru didn’t feel like she could deny her that. “You can do mine, while I do Yohane’s.”

“Wait, you’ve already decided for me?!” Yohane felt like she was being overruled here.

“We beseech you for this one favour, oh dark mistress,” Ruby said, giving Yohane the puppy-dog eyes. This really wasn’t fair.

“Dark mistress, zura!” Hanamaru chimed in playfully. Yohane gave up.

“Fine, fine,” she said, loosened her bun, and sat down in front of Ruby. “Twintail me.”

Soon enough they were all three in front of the mirror with matching hair. Ruby was extremely happy.

“Sooo?” she asked.

“Hm… I think we should definitely go like this to the next Aqours reunion, zura,” Hanamaru said. She kinda wanted to see the others’ reactions. “And Yohane looks great.”

“Well, duh. I look great in anything,” Yohane said confidently, though secretly she was more pleased with how it had turned out than she wanted to let on.

“You’re like a true tsundere now, zura!” Hanamaru said with a grin.

“I am not a tsundere, Zuramaru!” Yohane huffed and pouted.

“Now now, behave you two,” Ruby said, giggling slightly.

“I’m sorry, Yohane,” Hanamaru said, and kissed her cheek. She knew she was teasing a little too much when Yohane started calling her Zuramaru again. She looked back in the mirror. “I don’t think it’s quite for me, though. It’s fun when we match, but on my own, zura… I don’t think so.” Ruby felt a little disappointed, but she managed to not let it show.

“Well, it was worth a try,” Ruby said, and started undoing Hanamaru’s twintails.

“How about braiding it?” Yohane asked. “Hanamaru would probably look good with twin braids.”

“You think so, zura?” Hanamaru asked. That had actually been one of the few things she had thought about.

“Let’s find out,” Yohane said with a smile, and divided Hanamaru’s hair up as evenly as she could. “You take that side, Ruby, and I’ll do this one.”

It didn’t take them long to get it done, and Yohane draped the braids over Hanamaru’s shoulders in a way she thought looked nice. Though ultimately the decision was up to Hanamaru.

“Mm… I still don’t know, zura,” she said, trying to move the braids into different positions. “It seems a bit… can we try with a single braid, zura?”

Yohane changed it around, then Hanamaru spent a minute playing around with it.

“No… I like the braiding, but it’s a bit much, zura,” she said. “Can we go back to two again?” Yohane and Ruby looked at each other, and smiled.

“Hey, how about doing it a little differently?” Ruby suggested. “We could just braid along the sides, leaving most of the hair in the back alone?” She remembered that Hanamaru had specifically mentioned looking cuter, and that struck her as cutesy.

“Sure, let’s give that a shot,” Yohane replied.

Once they were done, Hanamaru was left with a pair of small braids, but otherwise a fairly similar style. She played around with them a little.

“Hm… I like it, zura,” she said. “How do I look?” she asked. Yohane and Ruby hugged her from both sides.

“Cute,” was Ruby’s reply.

“Adorable,” was Yohane’s. Hanamaru beamed happily.

“Thank you, zura,” she said quietly.

“You’re welcome,” her two girlfriends replied in sync.

“Now since you bathed without me,” Yohane said as she got up and stretched. “I guess I’ll just go for a shower. Make me some food for when I’m done.” The other two just gave her the ‘oh come on’ look. “Your dark mistress commands it! A favour for a favour.” She wasn’t about to let that one go.

“Well, when you put it that way,” Hanamaru said with a smile, and got up.

“I guess we owe you,” Ruby chimed in, and they both gave Yohane a kiss before getting dressed. It was probably a good time to make lunch anyway.

They focused on making cold dishes today, since anything warm might just make the heat feel worse. Maybe not, but Hanamaru thought it was worth a shot.

When Yohane came out of the bathroom, she had put her hair up in twintails again. Hanamaru and Ruby stared at her.

“Wh-what?” Yohane asked, and they indicated her hair. “You said it looked great, so I figured I could keep it like this for today,” she said defiantly.

“Tsundere, zura,” Hanamaru said.

“Tsundere,” Ruby said, nodding in agreement.

“I am not a tsundere!”



Posted on June 20, 2017, in Fiction, Storytime and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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