Silly Lilies 3: Silly Diver

[Sequel to Silly Lilies 2]

Classes are finally over for the day, and Ruby is heading for the club-room. There is sewing to be done, and she’d like to get it done quickly. Hanamaru has invited her to go for ice cream with her and Yoshiko, and it really feels like forever since she’s gotten to hang out with those two. Normally she’d go to the costume room, but that’s technically not their room. They just use it when the drama club doesn’t. However the drama club has a play in the works, so they’ve claimed the room for at least the next two weeks.

It’s not a huge issue, especially today. The club-room should be fairly quiet. You has a thing with the swim club, Chika has to help out at home, and Hanamaru and Yoshiko left early. So it’s unclear if anyone else is going to bother showing up. So Ruby is banking on threading this needle in no time. She pats herself on the back for that clever joke.

When she opens the door to the club-room, she finds one person is already in there: Kanan. She’s working on some schedules, both for upcoming club activity, and related to her father’s diving business. She looks up as Ruby enters, and smiles warmly at the redhead.

“Hello, Ruby-chan,” she says in a welcoming tone. Ruby smiles back at  her.

“Hello, Kanan-san,” she replies, and sets her bag down by a seat across from Kanan. “You’re here to work too?” Ruby asks as she takes out her sewing set, and places it on the table.

“Eh, I suppose,” Kanan says, and stretches in her chair. “It’s more that I don’t like sitting around and doing nothing, so I figured I might as well get this done early.” She puts her pen down as she watches Ruby get some pieces of fabric. “Are those for the new costumes?”

“Yup,” Ruby replies while sitting down. “I’m gonna do a little extra since You-san’s busy today.” She holds up the partially finished outfits to show Kanan. “Don’t they look cute already?”

“Hm… it’s a bit early to tell,” Kanan admits. She’s not the greatest judge on these things to begin with. “But I like the colour choices.” Ruby beams just a little bit.

“I helped with that!” she says with a hint of pride. “You-san and I designed them together.” Though You had seemed a little distracted, and maybe not helped as much as she normally would, but Ruby doesn’t want to speak ill of her friend. You probably just has a lot on her mind.

“Well, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what they look like when they’re done,” Kanan says. “You’re a hard worker, Ruby-chan.” Ruby nods proudly.

“It shouldn’t be too long,” she says, and gets started. She’s gotten much better at this than she was in the beginning.

Without being really aware of it, she starts humming Yume Kataruyori while she works. There’s a certain satisfaction in seeing the cloth literally come together by her own hand. After a while she starts to notice that Kanan keeps looking up at her, and Ruby looks up to meet Kanan’s eyes. She feels like there’s something about that look that seems familiar.

“Um, is s-something the matter, Kanan-san?” she asks, as Kanan’s eyes seem curiously intense.

“Huh? Oh, no. Sorry,” Kanan quickly apologises. “I was just thinking about how different you are to Dia. Sometimes it’s strange to think you’re sisters.” Ruby’s heart sinks. She knows she doesn’t live up to her sister, but she’s really trying her best.

“Ah, I didn’t mean that in a bad way!” Kanan says, having noticed the change in Ruby’s expression. “It’s good that you’re your own person, Ruby-chan. You’re much more relaxed and cheerful, and I think you make the whole group feel better because of it. And you’re definitely a lot cuter.” Ruby’s disappointment gradually turns into a blush under Kanan’s earnest compliments.

“You think so?” she has to ask. Maybe she wants a little more praise.

“Absolutely,” Kanan states confidently. “I’m glad you’re you, Ruby-chan, and… I’m sorry I made you feel bad.”

“It’s okay. Thank you,” Ruby says with a smile. She feels better again, and Kanan seems relieved.

Ruby looks at the clock, and figures she has time to do one more. She gets up to retrieve the next bit of cloth, but her foot gets caught on the strap of her bag. As she starts falling she lets out a yelp, but Kanan is quick to react. She zips out of her seat, catches Ruby, and scoops her up into her arms.

“You okay?” Kanan asks, and Ruby blinks while trying to figure out what just happened.

“Um… yeah, th-thanks,” she replies. Right, she tripped, and… and the way Kanan is holding her so effortlessly, and looking down at her, is making Ruby feel rather strange. It takes her a couple of moments before she remembers to say: “You c-can put me down now, Kanan-san…”

“Ah.” Kanan snaps out of whatever had gotten into her. “Right, sorry,” she says and puts Ruby down. “Hey, speaking of down. Would you like to come diving with me sometime? This weekend maybe?”

“D-diving?” Ruby’s both surprised and a little shocked. “I don’t know… that sounds scary,” she admits. Ruby’s an okay swimmer, but she doesn’t like the idea of going underwater all that much.

“Don’t worry. I’ll be with you, so you’ll be safe,” Kanan says, and there’s something about the way she says it that makes Ruby want to believe her. Even so…

“I… I’m not…” she says hesitantly. Would it really be okay? Isn’t it dark underwater? It certainly looks dark when you try to look into the depths from the surface. Maybe she should ask Dia to see what she thinks, but… Kanan also said it’s good that Ruby is her own person. So surely Ruby can make some decisions on her own. This seems like a big one, though.

“Oh… I have to go,” Kanan suddenly says, rather reluctantly. She has just noticed what the time is. “Just think about it, okay?” she adds as she starts picking up her things. “It doesn’t have to be this weekend.” Before she leaves, she pats Ruby on the head a couple of times. “See you later.”

“See you…” Ruby says as Kanan heads out the door, then she sits down again. Forgetting why she got up in the first place. Then she remembers, and gets back up. Why is my heart beating so fast? she asks herself, not exactly sure what just happened. Well, at least it’s calming down now, and she can continue working.

When she has just a few stitches left, the door opens, and Mari comes in. She sees Ruby, and smiles brightly.

“Ruby! Just the girl I wanted to see!” she exclaims cheerfully, and Ruby gives her a puzzled look.

“Me?” There’s that sense of deja vu again.

“Yes you, silly,” Mari says, and boops Ruby’s nose before sitting on the table. “See, I was thinking ‘hey, I should take that cutiepie Ruby out for a snack’. My treat, of course!” Mari’s smile gets a little wider. “We can go absolutely anywhere~”

“Um… I-I already have plans to meet Hanamaru-chan and Yoshiko-chan,” Ruby replies, not sure what’s gotten into Mari.

“Oh come on, wouldn’t you rather go with big sister Mari?” Mari asks in such a way that makes it clear she thinks that’s a much better idea. “It can be our little date!”

“D-date?” Ruby isn’t sure what that means, but she doesn’t have to ponder it for long.

“Ma… ri… san…” An intense aura is emanating from the entrance to the room, and Ruby and Mari both look over to see Dia standing there and scowling. Mari carefully slides off the table.

“Um… hi, Dia… it was j-just a joke…” she says as she backs away from Dia’s slow advance. Dia’s eyes narrow even further.

“A joke?” she asks. You can almost feel the rage radiating from her. “You were planning to snatch my little sister away into indecency… as a joke? Hey! Get back here!” Mari has broken into a run, and is already out the back door by the time Dia can start running after her.

Ruby watches them storm off, feeling completely bewildered. What did she mean by ‘snatch away’ and ‘indecency’? She’ll have to ask Dia about it later. For now she ties off the final stitch, and puts the incomplete costumes away before picking up her things.

On her way out she sends Yoshiko a text that she’s done, and is heading over. By the time she’s at the school gate she gets a reply of where to meet up with them. She’s looking forward to spending some normal time with friends. It’s been a strange week.

~Wulf

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Posted on June 28, 2017, in Fiction, Storytime and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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