Warmth of Heart
[Sequel to Relief of Heart]
Now that her dirty secrets had been revealed, Arisa felt like a load had lifted from her chest. She had calmed down a lot. Or at least a bit. She and Kasumi had sort of, kind of, started over again. In a way. They were taking things from the top, and working on being more open. Perhaps especially Arisa. Neither of them wanted to repeat the same mistakes again.
Kasumi had kept her word that sometimes Arisa was allowed to get needy, and keep Kasumi to herself for a little while. Even sometimes when it was inconvenient. While Arisa worked on not having to be that way so much. She knew she was selfish and difficult, but at times it felt like the only thing that could quell her insecurities was to just cling onto Kasumi for a while. She had to keep reminding herself to be thankful for Kasumi’s patience. This could be a long road, but at least she felt like she was making some progress.
Arisa realised she’d been spacing out in class again. She had gotten a lot better there too, but towards the end of the day she would still start getting distracted. Especially if her thoughts drifted to Kasumi. While she hurriedly wrote down some notes she silently chastised herself for not paying attention. The day was nearly over though.
Maybe next year she’d end up in the same class as Kasumi. Actually, would that make things easier or harder? She pondered that for a minute, but didn’t arrive at a decisive answer.
Finally the bell rang, and Arisa collected her things. She made sure she had everything, then got up to leave. By the time she got out of the classroom, she found Kasumi already waiting for her outside. It was like her heart skipped a beat when their eyes met. She fought the urge to grin like an idiot.
“Let’s go home together,” Kasumi said. She had not bothered to fight the urge, and was happily grinning like an idiot. Arisa just nodded shyly, and started walking alongside her girlfriend. She was still too self-conscious to hold hands at school, which Kasumi respected. But once they were outside the gates, Arisa would tug on Kasumi’s sleeve to let her know she was ready. Maybe that was childish, but for whatever reason Arisa couldn’t make herself just take Kasumi’s hand on her own.
Part of her felt going home together was such a middle school thing, but she also really enjoyed it. So what did that say about her? Maybe it simply spoke of how little she actually knew about these things.
They parted ways with the other three band members, and as usual Arisa tugged lightly on Kasumi’s sleeve not long after.
“Hey, I know we haven’t planned anything, but would it be okay if I stopped by at your place today anyway?” Kasumi asked when their hands were locked together. Arisa felt like she could lose herself in Kasumi’s warm smile.
“Um, I guess,” Arisa replied, though she also had to ask: “Why?” Kasumi was ready with another grin.
“I just want to spend some extra time with you,” she said cheerfully, and Arisa could feel her heart beating faster.
“Don’t be so embarrassing,” Arisa said, and pointedly looked ahead so Kasumi couldn’t see how her whole face got red.
“Aw, don’t be like that, Arisa! Show me your smile,” Kasumi said playfully, so Arisa turned away even further.
“Idiot,” she murmured, and she could hear Kasumi giggle.
Kasumi liked teasing Arisa sometimes, and while Arisa wouldn’t admit she liked it that much herself, she was happy about how Kasumi made her heart race. It made her feel warm.
Once they got to Arisa’s home, her grandmother welcomed them, and told them dinner would be ready in about an hour. She didn’t seem to mind Kasumi coming along, nor did she seem surprised.
A little unusually, they went to Arisa’s room today, and not the ‘club room’ as the building had become known. Due to family matters Rimi was busy today, so they had all decided going one day without practice was fine.
Kasumi marvelled at the room a bit. She hadn’t really been in here much more than Arisa had been in her room, even though she came over all the time. They just almost always ended up in the ‘club room’. This was like seeing an entirely different side to Arisa. Her room was much cuter than Kasumi’s.
“Don’t stare so much,” Arisa said, very aware of Kasumi checking out the room. “You have been here before, you know.” She was blushing again.
“Yeah, but not that often,” Kasumi said, and giggled happily. She had a plan for why she wanted to go home with Arisa today, and she figured she might as well act on it. They only had an hour for now, and she wanted to take her time. Once Arisa had sat down, Kasumi settled down right by her.
“Do you have to be right on top of me?” Arisa asked, old instincts kicking in.
“Yes,” Kasumi replied, her breath hot. “I’ve been thinking we should try again.” She leaned in against Arisa. “Last time wasn’t so great, so I figured we could use a… a fresh start.” There was a longing in Kasumi’s voice.
“W-what are you talking about?” Arisa asked, automatically leaning back. There was an unfamiliar look in Kasumi’s eyes. But Kasumi reached out and put a hand behind Arisa’s head to stop her.
“This,” she said softly, and kissed Arisa gently. Arisa’s eyes went wide, then she started to feel like she was melting. There was no desperation this time, but there was a lot of desire. The tenderness with which Kasumi’s lips pressed against hers made Arisa part her lips in a gentle moan, which was an invitation Kasumi was quick to seize. Slipping her tongue inbetween those soft lips, she found and greeted Arisa’s own, the two dancing around each other.
This is how it’s supposed to be, was all Arisa was able to think until Kasumi pulled back. She swallowed hard, and gazed into her girlfriend’s eyes. It was like there were actual stars shining in there. “Wha… what… what was…” she tried to speak, but her brain was a little scrambled.
“I’ve wanted a redo,” Kasumi said, breathing heavy and smiling affectionately. “To do it properly. That was better, wasn’t it?”
“You… you planned this?” Arisa asked accusingly.
“Yes. I’ve been psyching myself up for it for days,” Kasumi replied happily.
“So… so coming with me, into my room was… was all a pretence to… to kiss me?” Arisa wasn’t sure if she was thrilled or upset. Maybe both.
“Yep,” Kasumi said, and grinned.
“You could have told me,” Arisa said.
“I could have,” Kasumi admitted.
“But you didn’t.”
“Grandma could have come in.”
“She said we have an hour.”
“I don’t think she meant for this.”
“Probably not. Wanna keep going?” Kasumi finally asked. The look in her eyes was one of clear desire. You could perhaps even call it lust.
“Nn…” Arisa was torn. On the one hand there was still the chance her grandmother could come in. She might not remember to knock first. On the other hand it had felt really good. She couldn’t even remember how Kasumi had tasted their first time. But now… “Yeah.” Kasumi grinned brilliantly again, and leaned in once more.
Arisa was anticipating it this time, yet she still didn’t feel ready when it happened. Kasumi felt so soft, so warm. The kiss was so tender, so loving. Arisa could faintly taste chocolate. Maybe Kasumi had had some hidden away for the end of school. She put her arms around Kasumi’s neck as she felt the floor come up to meet her back.
They could both see the stars while they kept their eyes closed.