[Sequel to Pain of Heart]
They had of course noticed. Something was up with Kasumi and Arisa this week. There was this awkward tension between them. Something had happened. The rest of the band: Rimi, Saaya, and Tae had all noticed.
Kasumi seemed nervous, and distracted. She kept glancing towards Arisa with a look Rimi would describe as desperate and helpless. Arisa seemed subdued, and distant. Her regular fire was gone. She didn’t even protest the same way as usual, if she protested at all. They both seemed to have trouble meeting each other’s eyes. They both looked miserable.
Practice was still going, but it was obvious something was missing. Arisa sometimes just spaced out, and seemed to be playing on auto. Not always noticing when the others stopped. Kasumi kept apologising whenever she messed up something. She was still her regular cheerful self at school, or at least pretended to be.
[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.
[Follow-up to Courage of Heart]
[A/N: I hadn’t originally intended for this to turn out this dark. I’m somewhat questioning why I did it. I’m sorry, Arisa, Kasumi. I’ll try to make it up to you at some later date.]
At times Arisa wondered if she had really done the right thing confessing to Kasumi. She had discovered Kasumi felt the same, and they had started going out. That part was good. But it had also brought several new feelings she was struggling to deal with.
Now every time Kasumi hugged her it seemed too short, and every time she saw Kasumi hug anyone else this ugly feeling arose inside her. Was that jealousy? She didn’t like it. Neither the feeling, nor seeing Kasumi getting close to anyone else.
[Sequel to After a Hard Day’s Work]
It was a nice sunny day, and Ruby was hanging the laundry on the balcony. Hanging socks wasn’t fast work, but she was well armed with clothes-pegs and time. She was humming Mijuku Dreamer, and was completely unsuspecting of the Hazel Hazard slowly approaching her.
With a triumphant “Zura!” it pounced, grabbing Ruby by the sides while her arms were stretched upwards. The ensuing shriek was loud enough that people on the street below stopped and look up. At least one person wondered if someone was getting murdered, and if they should call the police.
“Eleven-five! Game and match to Futamaru!”
The sweat is dripping off of Kururi. She’s annoyed at herself. That hadn’t been her best play. She had gotten careless. Sloppy. She needs to be deadlier than that.
“Congratulations, Kururi!” Zakuro calls out as Kururi walks back, and runs out to hug her. Even her brooding can’t stand up to a hug from the girl she would offer up everything to.
“Thanks,” she says, and returns the hug.
[A/N: This idea popped up while I was working on a different idea, and I just had to go for it. This is likely going to turn into an irregular series for when I need more of this fluffy trio.]
It had been a long day at work, and a long day of being Yoshiko. Yohane was tired. Overtime sucked, but it was perhaps worse that she was getting used to being Yoshiko. She was an adult now. Perhaps it was finally time to embrace Yoshiko as part of that. She unlocked the front door, and stepped inside. Or perhaps not. Being an adult wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
“Yohane?” A familiar, soothing voice called out from the direction of the kitchen/living area. Hanamaru stepped into the hallway while Yohane was taking off her shoes and coat. “Overtime again, zura?”
“Yeah,” Yohane replied. She had sent a text, but Hanamaru was clearly just being concerned. “We have some rough deadlines right now, but things should calm down by next week.” She sighed and picked up her bag to carry it in. Hanamaru spread her arms to offer Yohane a hug, and she accepted it gratefully.
[Follow-up based on Mending a Heart]
Feeling Yui relax into the hug was a strange sensation. Maybe not so much because of the hug, but because of what she’d said just before.
“You… you’re sure you want me, Yui-chan?” Akari asked cautiously. She was no longer the naive girl who wouldn’t have understood what Yui meant. It’s just that she’s not used to being wanted. Not like this. Especially considering what Yui told her just a month or so ago.
“Yes,” Yui replied, her voice barely above a whisper. She returned the hug, and Akari let out a puff of air. Had Yui always been this strong, or was Akari simply that soft? Maybe the way she was clinging so desperately to this embrace was all the proof Akari should need. And yet…
It’s a nice relaxed morning for Aoba and Hifumi. Actually it’s nearly noon, and they’re having a slightly early lunch because they’re soon heading out to walk under the cherry blossoms.
It has been two months since they moved together now. One month since they moved into a slightly bigger place. They quickly realised Hifumi’s old apartment wasn’t suited for two people living there full time.
[Follow-up to Heated Confrontation]
“Yohane!” Ruby’s voice rang out over the plaza, and Yohane looked up from the magazine she was reading. She wasn’t sure she’d ever get used to how surprisingly loud the girl could be.
She got up from the bench as Ruby half-ran over to her. Yohane was also not sure she’d get used to how bright Ruby was.
“Thank you for waiting,” Ruby said, slightly out of breath. “The bus was late, then I dropped my purse, ehehe.” Nor how cute Ruby was.
[Sequel to Back to Reality]
Aoba hasn’t completely smoothed things over with her mother, but they are talking again. Her father had kept good on his promise, and the first thing Aoba did after coming home was apologising for not letting them know sooner.
While it’s not like they’re entirely back to normal, things are better. Aoba isn’t entirely sure if her mother is genuinely that disappointed because she is not settling down with a man, or if it was the whole ‘not letting them know sooner’ thing that was the biggest problem. She is aware of the very common ‘oh, she’ll grow out of it’ mindset among people regarding same-sex attraction, and maybe her mother had thought the same until Aoba had dropped this on them.