[A/N: Had an idea while half-asleep one morning, and I haven’t really written much featuring these two. So I figured I’d give it a shot.]
Kanan found Riko on the roof of the school. It was a bright, sunny day, but the redhead was just staring emptily at her lunch box. She had barely taken a bite. Gusts of wind were rustling her hair, but she wasn’t taking any notice of it. Even when it flew across her face.
“May I sit down?” Kanan asked after she had walked over. Riko slowly looked up at her with dull eyes, then back down before nodding slightly. The older girl took a seat on the bench. She had expected to see red in those eyes, but perhaps Riko was past the crying stage.
Kanan hadn’t taken long to think it over before making her decision. She knew Riko’s heart was broken. In fact she and Mari might have been the only ones who had noticed. The rest of the group were so dense, buying into Riko’s act when she was with the rest of them. Chika especially needed to get a clue. But perhaps it worked in Kanan’s favour that she hadn’t.
What will Mari think of what I’m about to do? Kanan asked herself, and suppressed a sigh. “Are you alright, Riko-chan?” she asked out loud. The answer was clear, but she wanted to see how Riko would respond. There was a nod. “Are you lying to me?” Kanan asked next.
“Yes,” Riko replied weakly after an extended pause. There was a level of fatigue in her voice that made Kanan’s heart ache. Enough to make her wonder whether she should reconsider. But she had already made her decision.
“Do you want to talk about it?” she asked, telling herself it was to help Riko. Who just shook her head. “Do you want a hug?” Kanan offered. Riko just sat still for a moment, before she nodded. Kanan put her arm around the younger girl, and gently pulled her close.
No matter what Kanan told herself though, she knew her true motives were not that pure. She had taken a liking to this humble, sweet transfer student quite some time ago, but had kept it to herself. Figured she didn’t have a chance. The way Riko had warmed up to Chika made that clear. But when Chika had started dating someone else, Riko’s world had fallen apart. And all Kanan could think was that this was her chance.
Riko was trembling slightly, and Kanan could guess what that meant.
“It’s alright. Let it all out,” she said. “I won’t tell anyone.” Riko clung tighter to Kanan, and started shaking with silent sobs. She didn’t make any sound beyond her stuttered breathing and gasping, but Kanan could feel her shirt getting slightly wet. Moving her hand carefully, she started stroking Riko’s hair. Even when it was a little unkempt like now, it still felt like silk.
This reminded her a little of how she’d comfort Chika and You when they were younger. Mostly Chika. That’s right, I’m comforting her, she told herself. This wasn’t just for her own sake.
She didn’t know how many minutes passed before Riko started relaxing, but she felt a sense of relief. Maybe she had actually helped.
“Are you feeling better?” she asked kindly, and Riko rubbed her face against Kanan’s shirt in a way that resembled a nod. “Here,” Kanan said, and offered Riko a tissue. Riko accepted it, and sat back to blow her nose. Her eyes had certainly gotten tinged with red now.
“Hey, Riko-chan,” Kanan said softly. She was really going to do this. “Do you want to go out somewhere with me? To help you take your mind off of things?” she asked. Riko gave her a look that was hard to read.
I know I shouldn’t do this. I know she doesn’t love me. But maybe she’ll grow to like me. This is for her sake too, Kanan told herself, wanting to convince herself. Hah, I’m despicable. She knew that, yet she was still doing this. Riko cleared her throat.
“Yeah,” she said quietly, and nodded. “Thank you.” Kanan smiled. Even though she knew this was wrong, she still felt happy.
But she couldn’t stop herself from thinking: She’ll probably hate me once she comes to her senses. “I promise you won’t regret it,” she said said out loud. She would do her very best. At least enjoy it for however long it would last.