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Promenade [Mai-HiME, Aoi/Haruka]

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Post by BMeph on Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:48 pm

Promenade on FanFiction

I was playing around with a Yukino/Chie (ChiKino?) one-shot one day, and got to thinking what, if anything, would Haruka do? For that matter, what would Aoi do? What if they did it together? Here's one stab at it...

Promenade - A Mai-HiME fanfic

Chapter 1: A Change of Heart

A/N: A Spiritual Successor to "Information Exchange," this is also me first "serious" foray
into more dramatic (read: "angsty") writing. This is very tough for me to write, almost as bad
as it must be for ShizNat fans to read NaoNat fics...ahem.
Anyway, the title comes, as one might guess, from the most popular (and frequent) of dancing
calls (or cues, if you're a round dancer, instead of a square dancer; yes, those are real dance
types). It just means to walk about, but I couldn't find a phrase that meant "swap your partner,"
so I used one that tells folks, "this has to do with dancing." Hopefully, when the first one is
seen, the clue of the second one will make more sense, as will this note.
I mentioned this as a successor to InfoEx; you should be able to see how the two stories
fit together well. So, on with the show!

Hands-down, this was turning out to be the worst week of Haruka Suzushiro's (admittedly short)
life. Every day this week, something normally small, and all-but inconsequential, had come
buzzing into her head, into her heart, giving her grief, and not having the decency of giving
her a clear target at which to charge, like a bull her less charitable friends took pleasure
in comparing her with. It was never anything major, but it was always something irritating,
and something which only added to the irritation of the indignity she had had to suffer with
just before it.

On Monday, Haruka forgot her lunch, and had to buy it in the cafeteria; not a disaster,
but...annoying, nonetheless. The worst part of it was that Yukino bowed out of eating together
by the time she picked something up. Understandable, since she was compiling the weekend
report from the executive committee members on patrol, to present at the weekly Council meeting,
on which she would write up another report. Haruka had tried to figure out a way to keep her
best friend active in Council affairs, but the result seemed to be that they sometimes wound up
spending less time together, not more. Haruka had felt it most strongly over the past month, but
she'd written it off as concerns about the fast-approaching end of the school year, and "senior
jitters." She even read the report Yukino sent by email that evening, but when she tried to call
Yukino and talk about it, she didn't even pick up. Haruka told herself that it wasn't necessary
for Yukino be constantly at hand, but it was the first time in years Haruka could remember not
being able to speak with her whenever the impulse appeared.

On Tuesday, someone left a puddle of something slippery right in the middle of the Council room,
and Yukino spent valuable time cleaning it up, instead of taking notes. Haruka suspected it must
have been some spilled tea from that addicted addle-brained _kaichou_ of theirs, but predictably,
it was let to her - or in this case, Yukino - to clean up the mess. As the most junior Council
member, it wasn't out of the ordinary for Yukino to do this, but Haruka could tell that despite
her quiet disposition, Yukino was bothered by it. It was especially aggravating to Haruka, because
her friend was in a fantastically good mood just instants beforehand. Haruka resented anything
that disturbed her friend's cheeerful outlook, and not just because it affected how the two dealt
with the constant crises the school always posed for the executive committee. As her friend,
_kohai_ and protege, Yukino was like the little sister Haruka never had, and HAruka always felt
it as a personal insult, when she could not give her friend the perfect environment for living
and learning in.

Wednesday saw that bubuzuke flaunting how she does nothing, even less than nothing, now that
she and that leather-wearing, motorbike-riding harridan are a couple. _Is that right, harridan;
maybe it should be hoplite, or howdah,_ Haruka thought to herself. Yukino giggled at "harridan,"
but said nothing else about it; still, Haruka was sure there was another word she may have meant
instead, but since Yukino didn't say anything, she figured she must have got one right, for once.
She just felt glad that Chie Harada, with whom Yukino had been hanging around a lot recently,
had not been around to offer her own ideas. Not that she had anything against the girl, Haruka
thought, but even though she always seemed to know something about what Yukino wanted to find
out, something about Yukino's fellow-classmate made her feel...unsettled. Yukino seemed to handle
her well, even though "Chie-chan" seemed, well, "cheeky" came to mind. Again, though, if Yukino
vouched for her, than it wasn't anything which Haruka could, or would, object to. At least Chie's
own companion, Aoi Senoh, was much more appealing to be around....

Other small incidents over the rest of the week were also small, unremarkable, yet more aggra-
vating in the whole. Lately, Yukino had been finally breaking out of her shell - still much too
quiet for her own tastes, in Haruka's opinion, but a good start - and even dating for at least
the past week. Haruka wondered who it could be; she never saw Yukino around anyone besides her,
or Chie and Aoi. Haruka was curious, if only to be sure that whoever the boy (of course it was a
boy, if only because a girl would have come up to Haruka to be sure it was okay to "split up
the Dynamic Duo"), whoever he was, that he would be a good match for Yukino-chan.

For a moment or two, Haruka considered whether Yukino-chan might be interested in a girl as
a romantic partner. As long as it didn't interfere with her duties, or wasn't a breach of
protocol, like the _kaichou_ and her pet pup delinquent, it didn't matter to Haruka. In fact,
not only was it somewhat expected for girls at this time in their lives, but it seemed more
safe, if only by virtue of avoiding an early and embarrassing marriage. Haruka couldn't ever
recall Yukino even mentioning any boys - or girls, for that matter - that had caught her eye.
Praise Buddha, that included her not being one of the Mongol Horde-sized fangirls of that
teetotaller Shizuru-kaichou...ah, for a depraved, decadent, lazy, girl-crazy, always-smiling-
for-no-good-reason...bubuzuke, Shizuru-chan wasn't that bad; heck, she seemed to actually like
talking with corporate sponsors. If only she didn't have to have any real responsibilities, it
would be great all-around.

Haruka sighed, and checked her pigtails, to make sure they were properly up, as they should be.
Since they were - they wouldn't dare disappoint the fearsome, dreaded Haruka Suzushiro - she
crossed her arms, and sighed again. Haruka knew something was going on that she ought to know
about, she just didn't know what. Since she didn't know, she did what she always did; she turned
to Yukino, to see if she knew something they should be working on, or even just to have a nice
girl-to-girl chat.

No sooner had she taken a breath, but Chie and Aoi came along side them, talking about all of
the latest rumors running through the school. Ever dutiful, Yukino took out her laptop, and
started typing, and pointing out how a couple of them couldn't be true, usually because the girls
involved were fighting, and likely spreading the rumors themselves to get back at each other.
Chie giggled, clapped her hands, gave - in Haruka's not-so-humble opinion - a nowhere-near
appropriate kiss to Yukino, and grabbing Aoi's hand, started running off to tell people about
the feuding girls, now the newest bit of gossip in school.

"You shouldn't encourage them Yukino-chan, they spread enough morbid rumors as it is."
"Uh, I think you mean 'sordid,' Haruka-chan. I can't help but try to correct when someone says
something that's so easy to Haruka-chan should be well aware by now."
"Ha-ha, yes I am. But still, there's something iimproper about it."
"I suppose there might be, but Chie-chan is such a good girlfriend that I can't help myself at
"I guess...what, 'girlfriend'? Are you sure you know what that word means, Yukino-chan?"
"Yes, Haruka-chan, I know what it means, and that you don't approve of such relationships. I am
who I am, though, and if you want to find another student to be your secretary, I won't try to
stop you. If you don't want to be friends anymore...I-I'll understand that, too."
"Wait, what?!? Not be friends any more? Not be my executive partner? When did I ever... Hey!
Get back here, Yukino, I'm not done yet!"

Yukino didn't stop looking at the ground, or stop tucking her shoulders over her ears, but she
did stop walking away. She also started blushing a deeper shade of red than her hair, since Haruka...
well, let's say that Haruka isn't that much for restraint at the best of times. Quickly looking
around, Yukino pointed to the nearest building corner, asking in a voice barely louder than her
normal tone, for Haruka to come with her. After demanding why she should act llike she's trying
to hide, Yukino explained that she didn't want to give the impression of the two fighting, even
though her deep frown and tight lips certainly made Yukino look like she thought it would be one
soon. Raising her fists to the heavens, and wildly waving them in demanding shouts for enlighten-
ment "if Buddha knew what was good for him," Haruka relented.

"Haruka-chan,...I like girls."
"I should hope you like girls, since you are one. You certainly have enough friends to make that
obvious, too!"
"No, Haruka, I mean, I like girls a lot, as more than friends. So does Chie, and...we're a couple."
"Oh, okay, that makes sense. I couldn't understand why you would spend so much time trying to get
good information out of that girl, but if you two are 'a couple' that explains it. Maybe you
can get her to act more properly, I've seen her trying to sneak into the most inappropriate
"Haruka! Don't you get it? I'm a lesbian!"
"Yes, I heard you, I'm not deaf! I swear, you ignore one blathering idiot, and everyone assumes
you can't hear. I can hear fine, I hear plenty, it's just all nothing to do with setting things
in order! I care about things being right, and I don't like it that so few others don't!"
"Don't you...don't you hate me for it?"
"Yukino-chan! What is wrong with you? I could never hate you, you're my best friend, we made a
pinky-swear on it, and everything! I'd never go back on an oath, and even if we were too young
to really know what we were doing, it's never wrong being friends, and stick to them, no
matter what!"
"But I thought...well, you're always going on about Fujino-san and her fan club. I thought it was
becasue you didn't approve."
"I don't approve. She does absolutely nothing, unless she has to do something, and then when she
does, it's only the squallest thing possible."
"'smallest,' Haruka-chan."
"Yes, yes. It just makes me so mad to hear all of those praises for her when she hardly does
more than breathe...and drink tea. She never takes anything seriously, she's always teasing,
or playing little word games, and faking little pouty faces...ooh, sometimes I just want to
slap that fake pout right off of her face. Maybe next year, once she's just another college
student, and we're on even standing again."
"Then, you're not mad at me for being a lesbian?"
"Are you just doing this to please, Yukino-chan? Is this really what's in your heart?"
"Oh, yes, yes it is, Haruka-chan!"
"Well, if you follow whats in your heart, then you can't go wrong!"
"You're my best friend, ever, Haruka-chan."
"Of course I am, we pinky-swore on it, right? 'Best Friends Forever' and I never go back
on a promise, what's the point? If you're not going to keep a promise, you shouldn't make one."
"So, don't mind me spending more time with Chie-chan? I won't neglect my
duties to the Council, and we can still...Haruka-chan?"
"No, I think it's great that you have...a girlfriend, and you want to spend more time with her.
I'm even more proud that you still want to keep up with your duties on the Council."
"Haruka-chan, you're crying - why are you crying, Haruka-chan?"
"I-I...maybe I'm jaundiced because of you happiness."
"Do you mean, 'jealous,' Haruka-chan."

Unable to talk, Haruka just nodded, gave Yukino a bone-stressing hug and a huge shove back
towards the rest of the lunch crowd. Once she regained her balance, Yukino turned back around,
but Haruka just stood, head down and finger dramatically pointed away. Just then Chie called her,
and with a short giggle of thanks, Yukino followed her heart, and her lover's call. Once she had
rounded the corner, and only then, did Haruka allow herself to collapse to the ground, a
shuddering, sniveling wreck.

A/N: Whoa, kind of a Downer Ending, eh? Well, you know what they say, first you break
it/her/him down, then you can rebuild [the one] up again. So, consider this Haruka's beak-down.
Too bad, this is really just the start of it, not the, poor Haruka. Maybe she can find
some dastardly law-breaker and take her frustration out on her (or him) - after all, that's how
she seems to act norm...okay, typically.

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Post by BMeph on Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:56 pm

Chapter 2 - Ready for the Weekend

A/N: So, Haruka's had kind of a rough week; it's got to get better now, right?



*cue ominous chanting in the background, and more ominous, evil chortling in the foreground*

The next six weeks were all but hellish for Haruka, not the least because Yukino...well,
Yukino was in love. While Yukino had always done her job with a virtuosa's brilliance, she
now brought a certain...passion to it that had only been seen in glimpses. Which is not to
say that Chie Harada was behaving any less mischievously than her norm, only that the results
could be wildly varied, from a stern lecture, to a giggly finger-wagging, to what had seemed to
look like some hot and kinky fun with a paddle, but turned out to only be hot on Chie's backside,
although making up for it the the evening after was almost worth having to stand up for all of
her afternoon classes.

Yukino was hesitant at first about taking over Haruka's job as Executive Director, but with
the other Council members all due to graduate, it was obvious that Yukino was everyone's
choice to keep the continuity of the Council. After a little sincere encouragement from all,
she decided that she would be honored to take over her best friend's position in the coming
year, and perhaps even the Presidency in her senior year. Haruka may have secretly hoped
that having to keep up with the duties of Acting Executive Director would leave Yukino with
little time for a social life, but the extra responsibility only seemed to bring out hidden stores
of strength and talent. Granted, Yukino was still a quiet girl, but she was no longer as timid
as she had been. Haruka could feel another difference; Yukino no longer followed her around,
so much as accompanied her at school. While it was in a way marvelously impressive to Haruka,
and she was more than justifiably proud at how much her best friend had matured, and was
now stepping out from under her wing, there were more than a few times when Haruka missed
her little shadow.

At first, Yukino had been quick to try to return Haruka's armband of authority, but Haruka
pointed out that Yukino would be wearing it in her own right later, and the sooner she got used
to the idea, the better. Yukino insisted that while she may be fulfilling the duties of both
secretary and Director, she still wanted Haruka around - at school, anyway - to help her in
the transition. She kept up a steady stream of soliciting Haruka for "pointers" on what to do for
certain more-mundane school emergencies, keeping her best friend "in the loop" while slowly
assuming the responsibilities passed on that horrible Carnival night, blessedly the last of its kind.

On the weekends when only a few of the students had forgotten their heads, Yukino and Chie,
along with their formerly-inseparable friends, would do something fun and relaxing. The other
girls were a little nervous having the formidable Suzushiro on their outings, but Haruka pointed
out that she had passed the baton of authority, in the form of an armband, and Yukino insisted
that Haruka was a lot of fun, when she wasn't feeling compelled to be an example for her school
mates. At times, Haruka even surprised herself at how much she had missed being, and enjoying
being, a normal high school girl. Unfortunately, the enjoyment only lasted for the first day, since
when evening rolled around, Yukino and Chie would find something to do as a couple. Sometimes
it was something that Haruka and Aoi, and even others of the "Hime Gang", could join in on, like
karaoke, but more often than not, the two love birds would find themselves a quiet place to
nest, and Haruka and Aoi would have to find their own way in the world. Aoi even tried to
engage Haruka in some conversation, but being without Yukino in social situations was just as
new to Haruka, as it was the other way around. She was polite, but to be honest - and if
nothing else, Haruka was that to a fault - the hurt was still a little too fresh, the separation
still a little too tender for comfort.

Every now and then, Haruka forgot herself and just took over again. Yukino made sure to follow
up with the tasked Executive committeemen, adjusting some orders, confirming others, even
taking notes a couple of times. Still, bit by bit, Yukino was making it clear that she had the job,
and she was able to fill Haruka's shoes, if not her stockings or blouse. The big turn-around
happened about three-to-four weeks in, when Haruka was about to describe a sweep-up of
some hooligans. Yukino swiftly interrupted, told the white-coats "Plan Ichijiro", and quietly but
firmly, took Haruka aside and let her know that Yukino was taking care of things, and if she
didn't like how she was doing it, then she shouldn't have given Yukino her armband. Haruka
frowned, and - almost - spazzed out, but realized that Yukino was absolutely right. She even
felt a little more proud of how her best friend wasn't backing down from doing the right thing,
even when pressured by her sempai and best friend. If would have been nice to have seen this
spirit last year, or even at the start of this year, but Haruka reminded herself that it was a blessing to see it at all.

It didn't help, that that bubuzuke Fujino had a nice, quiet cup of tea, to help Haruka get used to
being an outgoing Executive, that wasn't allowed to be quite so outgoing, so-to-speak. She still
drank the tea - hibiscus, and delicious as expected - but when Kuga called her "Granny" and
offered to give her a shawl, she had had enough. She growled and stomped out of the Council
room...even though she did come right back in to get another cup of that tea. Stupid Fujino....

It still meant that, even a little bit, especially at the end of the day...
...Haruka's life sucked.

Okay, so this chapter is really, REALLY short. It’s because I had written the story in a certain style, but have since decided to redo it to make it stronger...harder...faster...better.

We can rebuild it; we have the technology.
Chapter Three is coming. It’ll be much more chipper, because I can’t write angst for nuthin’.

Last edited by BMeph on Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:28 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Lines adjusted for overflow)

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Post by BMeph on Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:07 am

Chapter 3 - Seasons Change

A/N: See, that was pretty light and fluffy, right?
I've mentioned before that I don't do angst for nothing. Not that I don't want to, I just
don't work that way. Oh, well.

Okay, I'm bored; let's throw some happy funtime into the mix.

By late January, the school had settled into its new routine, almost disbelieving
that such a thing as normalcy could even exist. On weekdays, Haruka and Yukino would
get up, dress, have breakfast, clean their room and go to school. On the way, they'd
meet up with Chie and Aoi; either Haruka and Chie would swap places, or Yukino would
just go over to Chie, and they'd hold hands, and share gossip.

Sometimes, Haruka walked in front, ahead of the crowd - and heaven help the
miscreant that catches her eye first. Sometimes Aoi would walk with Haruka and try
to get her to join in, sometimes Haruka would join in on her own. Sometimes, Aoi would
lay a soft hand on Haruka's shoulder, just long enough to show her concern, but not to
intrude, and walk silently together, behind their friends. Usually, though, Haruka
would let a little space open up between her and the other girls, and follow along.
Answering questions if asked, but not offering any opinions; not being unsocial, just
being...quiet. Aoi had asked Yukino, who reassured the girl that Haruka was okay;
usually there was an upcoming paper or test involved, and Haruka just needed to run
the assignment through her head a couple of times, to shake out the occasional "funny"
word dropping in. Aoi thought it was cute, the way Yukino's nose crinkled, and eyes
twinkled, talking about her best friend's "funny" words, so she thought little of the
former Executive Director's habit of more-or-less walking to school by herself.

School was back to normal, almost boring in a way, especially compared to the past
couple of years. The Council would meet in the morning and discuss anything that had
come up overnight, mention upcoming projects, mention trends that might be something
to keep a closer eye on, then off to class. Someone would always act like a goofball,
Haruka would land on him (sometimes, her) like a rock, or get a Committee member to
handle it, and life would go on. There'd be a Council member in the afternoon, Yukino
and Haruka would discuss fine points of Executive Directorship, and Chie would come
over when the Journalism club meeting ended, some hot gossip topic popped up, or if
she just got bored. During the last, Haruka would try to finish the last point she'd
be sharing with Yukino, get annoyed at hie's whining, and "spaz out" about being rude
and unsupportive to her girlfriend. Chie would tap Haruka on the nose, and say some
variant of "if I didn't already have a girlfriend,..." and said girlfriend would then
have to get Aoi's help to rescue her from death by her best friend.

After school would either be a simple walk around campus to let Haruka's advice
sink in, or when Chie had been bored, Haruka would walk around, both to cool off, and
to give Yukino and Aoi time to hustle Chie off-campus, before the clever girl's clever
mouth found some clever way to doom them all. Then, depending on how "romantic" the
lovebirds were feeling, either all four girls would finish their homework together,
go play a quick fun game of DDR Extreme (popular again now that was on world release;
Aoi almost always won, but sometimes Haruka could edge her out), or the two "best
friends" would find separate things to do while Chie and Yukino made out. Weekends
were like after school, but with the occasional karaoke party.

Tuesdays were Haruka's favorite days, Wednesdays the worst. When Chie got "bored"
(read "horny"), it was always on a Wednesday - or as Chie liked to call it, "Hump Day."
Director Emeritus Haruka Suzushiro, a normal Executive Committee armband on her char-
treuse coat, trudged over the snowy landscape, four committee students following
respectfully behind her, ready to pick up trash, haul in a truant, laugh at a joke,
or anything else that she or Director Yukino Kikukawa said to do. Right now, they
were "making Suzushiro-san feel important," mostly by making sure she didn't get too
bored and assign half of the school to detention. Not that she'd send a kid to
detention just because she was bored, oh no, of course not. If the kid was bored too,
though, he or she would likely do something dumb and deserving of it; heck, some kids
went to detention just because they were too bored to start a club and do something
fun together; detention was their club. And Haruka was more than willing to offer
free memberships....

"No, Baby, " Nao purred sultrily, with a completely contradictory bored expression on her face,
as she buffed her nails and examined them for chips, "the important thing is, what do you want
me to be wearing?" Nao stiff-armed her phone away from her, as she yawned, and waited for
her phone date du jour to finish whatever disgusting stupid perverted blather he had to blather
about. Not that Nao cared, although truth be told, at least the perverts had the occasional
interesting new word; sometimes the confessional was so boring, Nao didn't even hide her
yawns. Sometimes it was so boring, her yawning in a student's face did absolutely nothing.

Noticing Haruka and her color-coordinated entourage, she broke in on her future provider of
nail polish money, to set a date to get him all cuffed and stripped, "for her convenience," as
Nao wittily thought of it. SHe followed up with a few well-timed text messages to develop more
prospects, and more importantly, to appear like the cool girl on the block who doens't need pet
lackeys to be special. Nao smirked as she called out to Suzushiro, carefully plotting out the
three most likely avenues of flight she could use to escape "the Dum-Dum Squad" once the loud-
mouthed blonde lost her cool and attempted to put Nao into confinement.

When Haruka responded with a disinterested wave, Nao was stunned. Stunned, Hell - she was
insulted! How dare Suzushiro, the Queen of Overreaction, just walk on by Nao Yuuki, the
Princess of Mischief, with hardly more than an acknowledgement that there was a person there!
Then she paused: could the stupid rumors her stupid roommate and her stupid roommate's
stupidly annoying boyish best friend had been spouting off for the past month or so be true? Had
the erupting volcano finally gone dormant? Had Hell frozen over? Was Haruka Suzushiro no longer
a knee-jerk...jerk? Curious, Nao decided to leave her post propping up a tree trunk, and
accompanied the patrol, to see if anything else the stupid girls had been saing might be true.

"Hey there, Suzushiro...-san," Nao sassily greeted the senior. She idly noticed that half of the
boys following along looked shocked at Nao's cheekinees, while the other half looked shocked
that Nao was still alive after being so borderline-insulting to Their Glorious Former Leader.
"Mmm? Oh, hi,...Yuuki, isn't it?" Haruka calmly replied.

Haruka. Calm. Nao shivered by sheer reflex at the situation, but never one to back down from a
challenge, continued to pry.

"What'cha dooo-in'?"
"Just," Haruka waved vaguely at the school grounds, "making sure that everything's fine."
"Shouldn't you be chasing folks down for, I dunno, almost-littering, or thinking about buying
some gum to chew later?"
"No," Haruka sighed, "it isn't my place, any longer."
"What? Since when did that ever stop you? I thought your whole life's mission was about finding
people not doing what you liked and crushing them like bugs! Holding power in the school with an
iron fist, freaking out at the slightest infraction of The Rules, isn't that what you're all about?"
"It's not about power, it's about order, keeping people safe, letting them...letting them live their
lives without curry."
"Without curry?" Nao was confused - was Suzushiro trying to ban spices now? She wouldn't put
it past her, but that sounded a little extreme, even for "the Iron Fist of Fuuka".
"Sorry, I misspoke, I meant 'worry'." Haruka sighed, and looked so sad that Nao felt a little sympathetic. Then she felt very uncomfortable, since Nao feeling sympathy for anyone besides
her mom was totally foreign to her.

Making up some lame excuse, Nao quickly left Haruka behind, and called her most reliable source
of gossip, and stupid cheerfulness, her roomate Aoi. After getting an earful of stupid school
hijinks, Nao felt better about the world not going off its axis. Then, trying to keep her voice idly
bored, Nao asked if there was anything about Suzushiro head-butting a rhino, a school building,
or another tank, something that would explain the girl's odd behavior. Aoi immediately picked up
on the topic, and asked Nao if she was getting a crush on Suzushiro, who was kind of cute
when she wasn't trying to arrest innocent girls for spreading cruel lies....

Nao pulled her phone away from her ear and stared at it as if it had turned into a banana. She
couldn't seem to get over how everyone was saying all sorts of crazy stuff today. Warily, she
tapped on the mouthpiece a couple of times and asked if Aoi was feeling okay - not that Nao
cared, but if Aoi was coming down with something, Nao didn't want to catch it, too. Aoi insisted
she was fine, and said that Haruka was probably a little lonely because she didn't have Yukino
following her around, now that she and Chie were an item, and that she even understood a little
of how Haruka must feel. Reassured that she wouldn't need to spray down the dorm with
disinfectant, Nao ignored the rest of Aoi's blather, and told her stupid room-mate to go play with
her stupid stuffed animals. Aoi mentioned that Nao didn't mind playing with a "stupid" stuffed spider on her bed, which Nao deflected with the irrefutable argument that "spiders are cool, so it
doesn't count."

After Nao hung up, Aoi looked at her own phone thoughtfully, going over what Nao had
said...and not said. Tapping her phone against her lips for a few seconds, a crafty smiled slowly
blossomed across Aoi's face, and a twinkle in her eye, she made a couple of calls, first to her best friend, and then to another.


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Promenade [Mai-HiME, Aoi/Haruka] Empty Re: Promenade [Mai-HiME, Aoi/Haruka]

Post by BMeph on Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:27 am

Chapter 4 - Swing Your Partner

A/N: So, I think we can all see just what a bunch of cvrazy crack-fic I'm brewing.
You may not believe me, but I plan to have Haruka acting more in-character now.

Hey, don't look at me in that tone of voice; I really mean it.


It was mid-February, and Haruka's life was finally getting back into an
acceptable routine. Strangely, the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday was the
cause, but not for the conventional reasons; thanks to the reason behind the
day, there were plenty of students losing their cool, their minds, and their
sense of decorum - and reining in law-flouting knuckleheads with a dis-
respect for decorum was Haruka's bread-and-butter. Finally, the world made
sense again, even if half of the time she and Yukino were brain-storming on
catching what student did which crime, Chie and Aoi were hanging around, too.

To be honest - and Haruka was nothing, if not brutally honest - the two
younger students weren't bad at it. Yukino was excellent at casting a net,
getting every possible suspect, while Chie and Aoi, mostly Aoi, noted which
students were busy at the time and who had been unaccounted for. If it weren't
so useful, it might have bothered Haruka that the two girls seemed to know so
much about what everyone else was doing; someone else might have wondered
what they were doing...okay, everyone knew what they did with the information,
Haruka just didn't care. As long as they used their powers for Good (Aoi
smirked when Chie had to take down some of the more questionably-placed
cameras), Haruka was okay with it...although, she reminded herself for the
umpteenth time, it was now Yukino's decision whether or not to do something
about it. Haruka was just glad there was a clearly-defined task at hand to
accomplish, and that she had a part to play in it.

One complication the coming season brought was that by Yukino's request,
Haruka was going to give friendship chocolates to Chie and Aoi. One big
complication was that Chie also liked spicy foods, so Haruka had decided to
give Chie some chocolate-covered candied chillis. She had decided to, but
she was embarrassed to find out that she couldn't seem to wrap a box without
eating one. Or two. Sometimes five. Haruka couldn't help herself; the candies
had the perfect mix of sweet chocolate flavor and chilli spice, and Haruka had
almost eaten a cotton glove, because they were that good! Haruka desperately
hoped that Yukino made sure someone would give her a box of them, although if
she didn't keep sneaking them from Chie's gift she may not need it.

What Haruka did need right now, was some help from someone to wrap up
her gift. Haruka ran down her list of friends, trying to think of someone she
could ask, that could keep a secret, and (her nose wrinkled cutely as she
frowned thinking of Shizuru) wouldn't tease her half to death in the process.
After a short while, she came up with the obvious choice: Aoi Senoh. Surely
she must have been able to keep her own gifts a secret from her friend, at
least for the short time it took to get and give it. Fortunately, Aoi's gift
was already wrapped, and thus easier to deal with. Popping one more delightful
pepper in her mouth, Haruka cursed her lack of self-control, and went off to
find and talk to her newest friend.

Aoi Senoh fully understood the meaning of the Chinese curse, "May you live
in interesting times." Her life over the past year had been very interesting,
and in turn also confusing, horrifying, chaotic, puzzling, frustrating, and
at the oddest of times, both crowded and lonely. At least the upcoming
Valentine's Day celebrations meant that Nao spent more time out of the dorm
room than in it - not that Nao was bad per se, just that, "interesting" is a
great word to describe the girl. Speaking of interesting girls, it reminded
Aoi to work on getting a certain one-track-minded senior to be a little more
open to socializing with.... A knock on her door interrupted Aoi's internal
rant, and ever curious, she opened it to find the object of her concern.

Barely slowing down to acknowledge the courtesy, Haruka barged right on in,
mind, as usual, filled with the one issue most concerning her. She thrust the
box of candies into Aoi's unexpectant, but conveniently-placed hands, while
trying to figure out how to explain her problem without looking like an out-
of-control wild child. Now even more curious, Aoi opened the box, while Haruka
hemmed and hawed about not being able to control herself. As she gathered
more of an idea of what the issue with the chocolates was, Aoi's eyes
brightened, and her mouth began to bend into multiple curves, resembling
Cupid's bow. Carefully, she plucked out one of the chocolate-coated goodies,
and without warning, poked it right through Haruka's still-moving lips.

Having thouroughly enjoyed the treat, Haruka opened her eyes, still chewing
and smiling, a soft sigh humming past her lips. When she saw Aoi curled up on
the sofa, she knelt down to see what was the matter. Aoi reassured her by
gesture, not yet trusting her voice not to squeak...or make an untimely
confesion, for that matter. Still concerned, if only mildly, she sat down
by Aoi, hand still on the other girl's knee.

Trying to make the quiet slightly less awkward, Aoi pointed out that
Haruka really seemed to like those peppers. Haruka then did something so
out-of-the-blue that Aoi could only react to it's rarity: she pouted. "I
know, it's interminable. So you see my problem, right? Could you do this for
me as a favor?" Haruka asked bashfully. "Ooh, yes...I mean," Aoi
embarrassedly corrected herself, "uh, sure, it's no problem at all. So, are
they really as good as...I mean, you obviously enjoy them a lot...uh...."
Aoi was at a loss as how to continue her line of questioning without sounding
like she was propositioning Haruka, which was not what she was trying to do
right now, not at all!

Haruka pondered the question at its face value, giving it some serious
thought. "Uh, yeah, I do like them - they're spicy like normal peppers, but
they're so sweet from the nannying process, and the chocolate, of course."
Aoi cocked her head to the side, trying to figure out how nannying a pepper
could make it sweet..."Oh - I'm sorry for interrupting you, but did you maybe
mean to say 'candying' for the peppers?" Haruka, caught in mid-speech, stopped
abruptly, blinking a few times, mouth hanging open in confusion. Once she
figured out what Aoi was talking about, she blushed, her mouth drawing up
into a pretty smile, though the hand behind her head suggested happiness was
not quite what Haruka was feeling. "Yeah, I do that a lot - misuse a word
when I'm excited - I hope it doesn't offend you." Aoi smiled prettily, waving
her hands between them. "No, no, it's endearing, in a way, makes you seem
less intimidating. I can see why Yukino thinks so highly of you."

Again, Haruka paused in mid-gape; she always thought Yukino considered
her a little childish, which was why she worked so hard to establish herself
as an authority figure. "Yu-Yukino thinks highly of me?" Aoi smiled again,
saying "Of course! She's always saying things about how you would do or say
something to be proper, or give comfort. And seeing how you can be so strong
and smart, but still have some human faults, makes you seem more approachable.
It's very sweet...kind of like those beloved candies of yours." Aoi wrinkled
her nose a little at the end, making a cute way to attract one's attention to
how she'd brought the conversation back to what Haruka had been talking about
before the interruption. _Subtle, and artful_, Haruka thought, _without making
you feel like she's trying to fool you, like that bubuzuke-onna. I think I
like this girl...._

"Would you like to try one?" Aoi raised the box in her hand and shook it.
"I thought you brought these over to be wrapped - won't you be missing more
candies, even if I just take one?" "It's okay," Haruka replied. "I pretty
much ate a whole box of them already, so I put the last ones in this box. I
wanted to make sure I left enough to be a good gift, in case I wanted more.
I see you licking your lips; you can go ahead and try one - like I said, I
overkilled this last box to be sure."

Aoi blinked like a startled deer. "Over...killed?" Haruka giggled and
blushed lightly, saying, "Pardon, I should have said 'overfilled' there.
Yukino would have just said the right word." Haruka sighed slightly; not
that she would deny her friend a new romance - especially since if anything,
she'd gotten better at her job - it's just, sometimes Haruka missed having
her at her side. Aoi heaard the little sigh and melted just a little inside.
She knew what it was like when a friend that you spent all your time with,
finds love and makes you feel abandoned, even if you still hang out a lot
together. Setting the candy box aside in a safe place, Aoi impulsively threw
her arms around Haruka's waist and gave the older girl a big, long, hug. At
first, Haruka returned it gratefully, but as it went on, Haruka started to
wonder if she were taking advantage of the girl in some way.

Haruka found herself feeling more awkward about the hug. Not that it didn't
feel good, in fact that was the problem; hugging Aoi felt a bit too good. She
couldn't remember the last time she'd hugged someone, but was willing to bet
that the someone was Yukino; it would have had to be her, since she - or
Shizuru - were the only ones who would have dared get so close. She couldn't
help but notice, though, that Aoi felt different in ways both subtle and
distinct, most distinctly in that...Haruka smiled a little lopsided smile.
_Be Honest, Haruka_ she told herself for the fifth time today. While at times
it felt like less, or even a little more, Yukino was always like her _imouto_,
her little sister - maybe it was Yukino's more girlish, petite frame, or the
way they looked out for - and up to - each other all the time, but Yukino (and
her parents) felt more like family than a friend. As for the bubuzuke, Shizuru
was Haruka's foil, her Great Rival, and also like another sister. Like a
constantly plotting, scheming, flirting, misleading, position- and ability-
abusing sister, but still, like a sister. Aoi Senoh, despite being a week
younger than Yukino (and why did that piece of information come so readily
to mind...), well, hugging her was not like hugging your kid sister.

Reluctantly, with almost as much difficulty as it took to resist those
spicy chocolates, Haruka made herself put Aoi away. She thanked Aoi for the
sentiment, but added that she was really alright, and that she was glad that
Yukino was finding happiness with Chie, despite not having her friend around
as containedly as she had before. Haruka did not mention any other reasons she
might be glad for Yukino getting close to Chie, and told herself that it was
decorum, not deception, that held her tongue. Aoi giggled, and mentioned that
maybe she should stay next to Haruka, since it sounded like Haruka meant to
say "constantly" instead. Haruka blushed, not only for the wrong word, which
she did all the time, but for the new feelings that were creeping into her

Thinking that Haruka was just worried about her "slip of the tongue," Aoi
made more conversation about the candies. Ever the curious one, and believing
herself inured to spicy foods from Chie's habits, Aoi tried one, nibbling
delicately at the tip. At first, all she tasted was sweetness and the flavors
of the chocolate, and the fruit. A little curious herself, Haruka waited until
Aoi prepared to take another tiny nible at the pepper, and then gently - but
firmly - poked the pepper into Aoi's mouth. Surprised at the action, Aoi
reflexively opened her mouth just enough to draw Haruka's finger in and flick
the tip with her own tongue. Haruka embarrassedly removed the not-so-offensive
digit, but the suction from Aoi's mouth made it come out more slowly than
Haruka had anticipated.

Feeling both bashful and flirty from Haruka's actions, Aoi gave much more
attention to the heat she felt in her cheeks and in her stomach, that what
was slowly, but surely, coming from the candied pepper. "Oh, it's so sweet,"
Aoi exclaimed, covering her mouth, being full. Still feeling the effects of
the sucking on her flesh, Haruka only nodded, neglecting to mention that the
heat of the pepper was in its center, so the longer you held it in.... "Oh,
that is a little...oh! OH!" Aoi had chewed up the sweet treat a little too
long for her own comfort, finding out the hard way that Haruka, like Chie,
loved her "spicy" things, REALLY spicy. Tears once more in her eyes, but for
her own pain now, Aoi couldn't talk, and the juice in her mouth just kept
getting hotter and hotter.

Seeing that Aoi was in distress, but not knowing exactly why, Haruka
quickly reached behind Aoi, striking the suffering girl on the back. This
caused her to suffer from both hot pepper juice in her mouth, and the start
of a bruise on her back. However, it did help, in a way; Aoi swallowed the
pepper, thus moving the fiery burning sensations from her mouth into her
stomach. It didn't make it less painful - at first - but at least, it let
Aoi talk...well, it let her cry and gasp for water, which was good enough
for Haruka to work with to continue. Recognizing the signs, Haruka went
first to the refrigerator, then the cupboard to get a glass, and filled it
with milk. Then holding it, she came back and gave Aoi small quick sips, so
that she didn't end up giving herself a milk bath. After the initial panic
wore off, Aoi took the glass, and drank a good half of it, before giving it
back to Haruka. Feeling a tingle on her own lips, Haruka went ahead and
finished the glass.

Heart still pounding in residual panic, Aoi sat back, gasping, and tried
to catch her breath. Haruka held up the glass in silent questioning, but
Aoi shook her head, closing her eyes to better slow down her racing heart.
Haruka stood for a while, glass in both hands, watching as Aoi took her
breaths deeper, and slower, each time. While Aoi was nowhere near as well...
endowed as Haruka was, what she did have she wore well. When Aoi sat back up
with her eyes open, Haruka remembered suddenly that the bit of milk in the
glass would be tougher to clean off if it dried, so she turned around, and
rinsed it out in the sink. Haruka apologized for causing such problems with
her peculiar tastes, while she used a sponge-on-a-stick to finish washing
out the glass. Aoi interrupted her, saying that no, it was just fine, that
she had just been surprised at their unexpected potency, and she wasn't
expecting to find something both so sweet and spicy in such an attractive
package. Haruka turned to face Aoi in time to see a fetching, whimsical smile
on her face, before her eyes locked on to Haruka's. It was only about two or
three seconds that they stared at each others, but it felt like more, both in
duration and meaning.

Aoi broke the spell first, looking down, then to her side, to retrieve the
candy box and holding it up, repeated herself, "Eh, package, yes." She
re-opened the box, pulling out the little crinkled cups that the eaten
candies had rested in, shaking the box to get the rest to settle, pulling two
more out to finally make the last ones lay in order. "Um, I think this is a
good gift for Chie; she loves spicy stuff, too, and as good as the chocolate
is, she'll like that the peppers are still peppery. Ah, The box is still a
little full, but it closes and more candy is better then not enough, ne?"
Aoi gave a simple smile, but inside she was nervous, hoping that she hadn't
played her hand too boldly, or not boldly enough. Aoi was most worried that
she would be following too closely in Yukino's footsteps, even though she had
already gained the auburn-haired girl's blessing to do...whatever it was you
could call what she was doing.

As Aoi went to get some wrapping paper for the box, it occured to her that
she was a little unsure just what it was that she was doing. Following
in Yukino's footsteps wasn't all that bad, after all; she was best friends with
Haruka - all four girls were on a first-name basis, Chie mostly by gumption -
and had stuck close by her, literally, for years. Aoi didn't want to spend
years cultivating a bond, especially not to have Haruka find someone else -
and Haruka would find someone else, she was simply too cute not to have
someone hanging around her, no matter what the excuse. Aoi took time out to
move her "special collection" of stuffed toys out of the way, to get to the
seasonal wrapping paper in the back of her closet, simply kneeling on
top of her futon bedding; all the while, she still argued the idea of "what
are her intentions" with Haruka to herself. She spent so much time at it that
she didn't notice how overbalanced she was...until she couldn't _not_ notice
it - she slipped, and was stuck in an odd position, partly in the closet.
_How ironic_, she thought to herself, _"partly in the closet" is more
Natsuki's style than mine. Oh well, I guess it's time to work on making
that bond better_, Aoi resolved. "Haruka, would you come in the bedroom and
do me a big favor, please?"

Glad to have something constructive to do to get her mind off of the
inappropriate thoughts she had started to entertain about her new friend,
Haruka quickly went to Aoi's aid, only to find.... "Teddy...bears," Haruka
confusedly remarked, upon seeing the huge tribe of stuffed creatures. Even
Aoi's clothes seemed to have a teddy-bear theme, judging by the triangular
patch of cloth poking out from the closet, sitting on top of...wait, what
was that? Then, the "cloth" wiggled up and down in a distinct manner that
highlighted that the bit of grey draped around it was...Aoi's school skirt!
"Yeah," Aoi's voice came, muffled but calmer now that she knew help was at
hand, "I like to collect cute things, so - oh...OH!"

It only now occured to Aoi just what her over-extended position must
look like from the outside. To confirm her suspicions, Aoi asked directly:
"Haruka, what are you looking at?" Blushing, Haruka tried to reasured the
younger girl, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, they just grind in with all of
the other stuffed toys here! I wasn't staring...much, and they are kind of
brute. I should not be making advantage of your predictions, here." Haruka
was very embarrassed to have not only been staring at Aoi inappropriately,
but to have been caught at it. She tried to pull the girl's skirt down but
its slipping and bunching was part of how and why Aoi had been trapped.
Haruka just wound up getting Aoi further stuck, and patting her bottom in
the process.

This then made Aoi blush, since she could feel what Haruka had tried to
do, as well as what she had done...which was both embarrassing and kind of
a turn-on. Then Aoi weakly laughed, as she realized what she was about to
ask Haruka to do. "Um, Haruka, " Aoi began cautiously, "I think you'll need
to push me in to get me unstuck. My arms are stretched out, so - ow!" Aoi
cried out as Haruka shoved said arms into the cinderblock at the corner of
the closet. Aoi giggled as she thought of how her next requests would sound.
"Please be gentle with me, Haruka, I'm just a young girl, I've never done
this before." Aoi laughed out loud, both at the silliness of her situation,
and at how sexy her remarks sounded. Then Aoi yelped as she felt a smack on
her vulnerable backside.

Haruka frowned slightly as she looked at her hand - and most assiduously
did _not_ look at where that hand had just been. _I must have been hanging
out with that bubuzuke-onna for too long; she's starting to rupture me just
like she has that motorcycle-riding harridan girlfriend of hers._ Haruka
looked suspiciously at her hand, thinking, _I swear I liked that spank, and
not in a "you deserved what you got" way._ "You shouldn't be teasing me, by
the way," Haruka said softly, "I get enough of this from Fujino-san." _Who
would love to be in this position, especially if Kuga were stuck like this._
"I was trying to see the humor in it - please don't leave me, Haruka," Aoi
apologized. "I wouldn't do that, that would be mean. You should help out by
not sounding so much as if you were flirting. I'll be gentle on you now, be
ready." Haruka took a deep, bracing breath, and...gently...placed her hands
back on Aoi, then...gently...pushed Aoi's hips past the sticking point. Aoi
sighed in relief, at which Haruka's hands spasmed, and she shouted, "Don't
make sounds like that, it sounds like you're doing something naughty!" Aoi
just giggled again and remarked, "Well, the way your grip is on me," arching
her back to move said "grip" for emphasis. Haruka apologized again and took
her hands away as she got up. Aoi kicked her feet a bit for attention, and
said, "Um, not stuck any more,, please?"
* * *
After pulling Aoi out of her closet - by the hand, this time - Haruka
stood over by the sofa while Aoi measured and wrapped the box, placing a
golden string around the package instead of a ribbon. In silence, Aoi handed
the wrapped box to Haruka, who thanked Aoi for the favor, as she all-but fled
for the door. As Haruka left, Aoi said in a surprisingly quiet and serious
voice, "Would it be wrong, if I said that, when you rescued me, that I liked
it?" Blushing, Haruka stammered, "Ye-yes, tha-that would be wrong." Aoi
nodded in acceptance, saying, as she closed the door, "Okay, because it felt
very, very...wrong, then."

A/N: Oh, my, is it warm in here, or is it downright HOT!

So, what does Haruka do? First, her best friend gets a girlfriend. Then her new
friend seems like she wants to be a girlfriend.

Or is it Haruka that wants her to be a girlfriend?

Does Haruka want her to be a girlfriend?

Does Haruka want her?

Does Haruka...?

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Promenade [Mai-HiME, Aoi/Haruka] Empty Chapter 5

Post by BMeph on Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:15 am


Uh-oh, I hope I didn't break her, she looked like she was having fun...

Oh, as a "helpful" guide, any long phrases or sentences in italics are character thoughts.

Single words in italics are just for emphasis.

Chapter 5 - Do-Si-Do

Aoi closed the door, then turned around and leaned on it, unable to stop
from teasing herself about the tender, yet firm way Haruka's hand's had felt,
placed on her, then pushing... Then she imagined how those same hands would
feel holding her up against the older girl's lush, full body. Aoi could see
Haruka's amethyst-gorgeous eyes, looking at her with tender care, feel those
soft, gently sucking lips, see those absolutely adorable rosy cheeky. Aoi
knew then and there that she had fallen for Haruka, and fallen hard. She
also knew that as brilliant as Haruka was, that the girl was also cutely,
sweetly, adorably naive when it came to romance.

Aoi sighed wistfully, and slowly pushed off of the door, thinking about
what had just happened. Mostly, she thought about it, because it made her
insides flutter a little and her whole body tingle, especially right where
Haruka had placed those surprisingly soft, gentle, powerful hands...mmm.
Except, Aoi reasoned, why had she gotten stuck inside of her own closet -
was she getting fat from eating too much and not running around? She was
turning sixteen next month, as was Yukino, and while the other girl still
had a petite build, she certainly had the curves of a young woman. Whereas
Aoi... was definitely bigger; was that it, why Chie had chosen Yukino over
her, and why Haruka was still obviously pining for the auburn-haired cutie?
Aoi pouted as she knelt, tossing her stuffed animals back in her closet,
until only one remained; this one - her newest acquisition - she hugged and
stroked while she pondered her situation.

Just at that time, Aoi's pity-party was interrupted by everyone's favorite
antagonizing egoist, and Aoi's roommate, Nao Yuuki. Nao was accompanied by
Mikoto because Mikoto was bored, and one thing to guarantee about Nao is that
life around her isn't boring. Maybe a little hungry, but except for Mai
(mmm...Mai!), life in general is hungry - and when Nao gets bored, she does
things that get her money, and then we go and have food with Mai; it's a
win-win, win-win, yep, yep! Nao and Mikoto busted into Nao's (okay, and Aoi's)
room, looking for entertainment. Mikoto's fine-tuned instincts told her that
unguarded chocolate had been on the premises recently, but Nao seemed more
interested in Aoi not being a third wheel to the latest outbreak of lesbianism
on the campus (for crying out loud, it's a co-ed campus...), Yukino Kikikawa
and Chie Harada. Nao wasn't altogether sure if Aoi being a third wheel would
have been a good thing or not; with those girls, there's no telling if Aoi
being there would have cooled off the other two, or if all three of them might
have tried some...oh, eww, where's the brain bleach?

Nao shook her head and smacked palm-to-forehead to try to get the awful
images out. This reminded her that she still had on her wimple and habit -
or as she prefered to call it, her "penguin suit". She went into the bedroom
to change, and saw Aoi sitting in front of her own closet. Ever curious, Nao
sat on the empty bed and poked Aoi in the side. "Heya, crybaby, what's up,"
Nao solicited in her ever-considerate style. Aoi sniffled, and looked over
her shoulder at the younger girl. "Oh, don't worry about me, Nao, besides,
you couldn't help me, even if you wanted to, which you don't." Hearing her
putting herself down told Nao that Aoi was feeling bad, but wasn't going to
break down any more than she had already. Which was good, because Nao didn't
really care, not at all; she was just curious about stuff, and wanted to be
sure than Aoi wouldn't disturb her rest when she came back to sleep...and that
was Nao's story in case anyone asked. It's a completely true story, too,
because Nao never does any of that dumb act-crabby-to-folks-you-really-like
business like Kuga does, no she doesn't, never!

Sighing, Nao picked up her wimple and twirled it around in her hand, giving
it a sideways look, as if she suspected it of being able to commit an offense,
or pull a prank, somehow. Then, looking down and shaking her head, flipped
open the head covering and put it back on. "'A Burden Shared is a Burden
Halved'; come, Child, give your confession to Sister Nao, and ease the heavy
burden on your heart." Aoi's brow furrowed, and mouth drawn to the side,
she turned her head further over her shoulder to look at..."Sister Nao".
Aoi's eyes widened, and her jaw dropped, before her control snapped and she
started laughing.

Undaunted, Nao stood up, placed hand on hip and pointing at Aoi's nose
with the other, said, "Hey, if you can't respect the person, at least respect
the uniform." This only caused Aoi to laugh even harder, falling back to lay
on Nao's feet, as she rolled around, unable to contain herself. Nao gave her
a minute before nudging the older girl with her foot, since Aoi had wrapped
her arm around Nao's leg in the meantime. Nao nudged her again, saying, "Are
you done with the 'Teddy Bears on Parade' display?" Reminded of her earlier
hurt, Aoi grimmaced, and rolled to her side, off of Nao's feet, brushing her
skirt down with her free hand.

Seeing the reaction, Nao closed her eyes, looked up, and silently repeated
"Please be a boy," a few times. Then scrunching up her face, she peeped down
with her right eye, asking Aoi, "Are you having problems with a boy or
a girl?" Aoi pulled her stuffed toy under her head, staring again into the
closet, answering, "A girl." Sighing, Nao slowly turned her head away from the girl,
before softly exclaiming into her shoulder, "Shit."

Mikoto chose this time to interrupt, her inquisitive eye and trusty nose
leading her unerringly to food. Stopping herself from simply snatching the
chocolates and cramming them in her mouth, she popped her head in the girls'
room and (politely!) asked, "Are you gonna eat those candies?" Aoi waved her
free hand, saying, "No way, please be my guest"; Nao, more interested in Aoi's
hurt behavior, simply waved a hand sloppily in Mikoto's direction. Taking
this as a sign for open season, Mikoto went back, finished cramming the
candies in her mouth, and jumped out the window. Thus, her yowls of pain ten
seconds later only disturbed students on the first three floors...

Meanwhile, Haruka was having some issues of her own, having a vicious loop
of thoughts racing through her brain, while she made her way back to her room.
She kept thinking about how Aoi was sweet, kind, warm and thoughtful, which
led to her thinking about how Aoi was also somehow cute and innocent
(teddy-bear panties, how adorable!) and brazenly suggestive (was she glad
I was there to rescue her, or was she saying she liked my hands on her...).
This led to Haruka chastizing herself about having such inappropriate thoughts
about yet another underclassman, which made her fists clench up in disgust
and frustration - but then, she had to quickly loosen up, or she risked
messing up the beautiful job of wrapping Aoi had done on the gift for Chie,
which got Haruka thinking about how Aoi was so sweet, kind...

Fortunately, Haruka was very talented at letting her feet go on autopilot,
and she arrived at her own dorm door, with the gift still looking presentable.
She opened her door, put the present away, and prepared to take a bracing hot
bath to take the chill of February away, and get her mind working on a course
of action, instead of just spinning from thought to thought uselessly as she
had. As she got herself ready, she couldn't help but get stuck on the one
uncertain thought out of all of the others: was Aoi just grateful for Haruka's
help in getting unstuck from the closet, or did she mean to be as suggestive
as it had sounded?

Haruka paused in her routine to work this last point over in her head. On
the one hand, the closets were oddly shallow, and easily able to hold a person
facing in or out, but some girls (with big hips, Haruka added) could get stuck
when facing sideways. Haruka had herself had a horrible time a couple of years
back, getting stuck in the closet space; Fujino, her roommate at the time,
had...taken advantage of the situation most shamelessly, even going so far as
to place hands on Haruka's hips every time they went to get a change of
clothes, the rest of that week, "just in case." What had made it worse was
that after Haruka had exploded at the girl for being such a shameless tease
and demanded not to be so inappropriately handled again, the very next week,
Haruka had gotten stuck again, three times! Each time, she had had to
virtually beg Fujino for help, and had her own words about being pawed over
thrown back in her face. The worst time was when Fujino had gotten herself
stuck, and asked Haruka for assistance. Haruka had laughed, Shizuru pouted,
and Haruka apologized for being ungracious. Then, just when Haruka was about
to touch her, that bubuzuke-onna gave some little twist to her hips and got
herself free! Haruka demanded to know how she had done it, but she refused to
say, only replying that "if Haruka-chan is so curious, Haruka can place hands
on her hips, and feel how it is done." All that week, the bubuzuke kept
shoving her fanny in Haruka's face, and twisting her hips, like a snake on
drugs, always asking if Haruka was ready "to feel how it was done." Ugh, what
a terrific flirt that girl is.

Haruka filled a bucket with cold water and doused herself, before
gratefully easing into the steaming hot tub. She told herself that she
was not going to torture that poor, sweet girl (with the adorable teddy-bear
panties!) or embarrass her the way Haruka wanted, that is, the way
Haruka herself had been. Which was not to say that Haruka wanted to torture
the chocolate-haired girl, at all; she'd much rather protect and comfort her,
holding her hips Haruka ducked her head under the water, face
fully red, and screamed aloud, in a great gush of bubbles, "What is WRONG
with me?" Then she inhaled some water, and choking, she stood up, water
streaming down her front.

For a remarkable, precious ten seconds, Haruka stood hip-deep in the tub,
letting the water run from the sides and bangs of hair, down her arms and
hands which were covering her face and upper torso. What is wrong with me,
she wondered, when she allowed herself to start thinking again. First, I
cried and fell apart when Yukino found gloves with Chie, and now I'm thinking
about molesting that girl's guest friend. When did I become the kind of fool-
breaking monster, that I've spent my life protecting others from? Haruka let
herself drop back down in the tub with a loud splash. I can't blame Chie for
taking Yukino away, or Yukino for going away, because she didn't - she's even
better at being Executive Director than I was, even though some try to take
adherence of her kindness. Haruka cupped her hands and splashed a wave of
water into her face. Just like I'm making advantage of sweet Aoi...I guess
I should keep myself away from her, try to project her as well as I can and
hope to be trusted to be around her again some day. High school will be won
in a few weeks anyway, and then I'll be at university and no bubble to her.
With enough time, I should be able to keep a firm hand over my undrooly
reactions, and be trustworthy again.

Feeling hope again, Haruka straightened her shoulders, accidentally
squirting her face when her "firm hand" clenched into a fist. She hardly
noticed it, only giving her head an extra-vigorous toss as she finished her
internal plotting. Then, maybe by the time they come to uni, I will be in
contrail enough to give her a welcome hug, and squeeze. Almost unnoticed,
Haruka began to fantasize of her reunion with Aoi (and the other first-years,
too) once they had started college classes. I can rub my cheek on her soft,
shiny, chocolate-brown hair, inhaling the delicious aroma of her strawberry-
scented shampoo, feel the soft flare of her hips as they swell out from her
trim waist...oh no, not again! Haruka dejectedly hung her head in shame at her
relapse into inappropriate behavior (even if only in her head). She hung her
head so low, that her mouth went back into the water, and the sigh she gave
just made bubbles in the cooling liquid.

Figuring that she'd gotten all of the use from the tub as she could,
Haruka unstopped the drain and stepped out, wrapping a towel quickly around
her to keep as much warmth and moisture on her, while she used a second
towel on her hair. I guess that shows that I con't be trusted - it's a good
thing that I've already gassed the mantle of leadership over to Yukino, then.
From tomorrow until the end of the year, I will need to retrain myself, keep
my distance and keep Aoi safe...from me. Haruka felt a dull, squeezing pain
in her chest, which reminded her of that confusing, fuzzy memory she had of
that night when she and Yukino convened the bubuzuke, and gave her the head-
butting that she deserved. It wasn't as sharp as the pain that night, but it
hurt as deeply. Just then Yukino came in, with her cheery "I'm home" cry that
spoke more than anything of a successful tryst with Chie-kun. Good, Haruka
told herself after answering Yukino's call, Aoi can rely on Chie to be a
faithful companion to her.

Yukino, concerned about the tone in Haruka's voice, sought her out,
finding her best friend (and former heartthrob), inexplicably moping on
her bed. Combing her fingers through her hair more as a nervous habit than
any real effort at establishing order, Yukino was confused at the signs of
Haruka having enjoyed one of her greatest pick-me-ups (moist, warm air from
the bathroom, sound of the tub draining inside, and Haruka-chan clad in
towels, looking fetching enough that she both wished she could send a picture
of her friend to Aoi-chan, and to herself of six months ago) but with said
friend not seeming in high spirits at all. Concern turned into outright
worry, and Yukino placed her hand on Haruka's forehead - which felt pleasantly
warm in contrast to the weather outside, but not feverish-warm.

"Haruka-chan, what's wrong," Yukino asked, auburn brows bunched like
mother hens over peridot orbs. Haruka looked up, and Yukino's worry became
fear; for a split-second, just before Haruka's face changed to a friendly
one, Haruka had looked...lost. Not lost as in not knowing where she was,
becasue that wouldn't - it couldn't - stop Haruka-chan; it was worse - Haruka
looked...unsure. It was, frankly, frightening, and it touched something deep
in Yukino's heart, something that reminded her of how she had felt during
that horrid Carnival, and thinking of anyone - or anything - that would try
to make Harkua-chan feel unsure of herself was...


Kneeling, Yukino snatched Haruka's hands from her lap, jarring the older
girl slightly, and with a look of fierce determination, rephrased her last
question: "Haruka-chan, tell me what's going on." Haruka...hesitated. Yukino
saw it, saw it with her own eyes; Haruka took a breath, as if to answer, then
stopped to consider what to say - unheard of, and suspiciously unlike Haruka-
chan. Something was wrong, and just as she had always protected Yukino
physically, now was Yukino's turn to protect and be strong for Haruka-chan.
"Who did this to you?" Haruka looked at Yukino, and saw the surety in her
eyes, heard the sense of outrage and care in her voice, and Haruka's heart
swelled, just a little, before she snapped back and re-heard in her head what
Yukino had asked. Then, Haruka's face fell, and rough contempt in her voice,
she said, "I did this, Yuki-chan, I'm the muenster, and I must be caged."

Then, weeping bitterly, Haruka Suzushiro clutched her best friend to
her towel-clad bosom.

Poor Haruka-chan, she's so sad! Hopefully, Yuki-chan will let the little
"muenster" know that the cheese will not stand alone today, eh?

Just as an aside, did you know that "do-si-do" comes from a French phrase
meaning back-to-back, describing the position taken in certain formal dances?

Also, I hope no one got too confused by my adding Nao's thoughts "out
loud," as-it-were. Specifically, I hope no one thought she was actually saying
those things out loud. I've mentioned before that I don't do angst well - I
love reading and watching it, I just don't take it seriously. Plus, I had
hoped to have a more humorous scene with Aoi eating hot stuff, but it didn't
get as silly as I wanted it. Besides, Mikoto is well-known for letting her
mouth get her into trouble (usually not the way the phrase is used, but there
it is), so I went with it.

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Post by zanekal1 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:22 pm

this is great can't wait to see what happens next kawaiidesuplz
Looks like a Yukino tastes like a Chie
Looks like a Yukino tastes like a Chie

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Post by BMeph on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:56 pm

zanekal1 wrote:this is great can't wait to see what happens next kawaiidesuplz

Can't wait? Well, then, by all means, don't let me get in the way....

Chapter 6 - Courtesy Turn


How cruel and heartless of me, two completely miserable girls, and one of
them's about to be "comforted" by NAO - Man, but I'm mean!

Yukino gratefully tilted her head enough to get air, but otherwise didn't
move, other than to give little pats with her all-but trapped hands to
Haruka's lower back. "Don't cry, Haruka-chan, things can't be that bad,"
Yukino told Haruka's shoulder. "You're a good-hearted person, and always
look out for anyone in need."

"You're so sweet, Yukino, but it's no use, I'm beyond hip," Haruka denied.
Yukino was at a loss, trying to figure out what Haruka meant with that remark;
did she mean beyond hope, beyond help, or did she really mean beyond hip?
Meanwhile, the hug Haruka-chan had her in was going on a bit long for Yukino,
being okay from a physical perspective, thanks to Haruka-chan's generous
proportions, but Yukino needed to face Haruka-chan, and see the reactions in
her face, to fully understand the details of her problems. It was too bad,
though, because Haruka-chan always gave really good hugs; putting her heart
into it, as she did everything. Yukino smirked, imagining how Chie would
probably be drooling were she in this position, and hoping that something
bad hadn't happened to keep her Haruka-chan from giving this kind of a treat
- or more - to Aoi-chan.

Just as suddenly as she had started it, Haruka let Yukino go, almost as
if Haruka had read Yukino's mind. "I'm sorry, Yukino, I should be more
comeuppance with you, now that you're in a relationship with Harada-kun."
Yukino smiled, knelt and put her hands on Haruka's shoulders, saying "It's
okay, Haruka-chan. We're best friends, and always will be. Oh, and I think
you meant 'careful,' Haruka-chan. But tell me, why are you being so hard on
yourself, what did you do, that you think you could be a monster?"

Haruka took a deep breath, fully prepared to tell Yukino just how wrong she
was...and thinking about just how often she knew that Yukino was ever wrong,
temporized for bit. She knew she was having inappropriate thoughts, maybe just
as the result of needing to get her emotional stability back, but as far as
anyone else knew, she had shown no signs of her immorality. At this point, she
had not yet let Wrong Thoughts lead to Wrong Action, and she had enough presence
of mind to keep it that way. The problem was, though, well...Yukino was an
innocent girl, and Haruka frankly wanted to keep her that way. On the other
hand, keeping her indiscretion from Yukino also served to keep her own
reputation intact in Yukino's eyes, a reputation that she did not deserve.

In the end, Haruka decided that the more help she had to keep her horrible
desires in check, the better, and described her actions in as unflattering,
vague, and technically wrong, way as possible. She mentioned going to get her
present wrapped and how she had put hands on a girl without her permission,
but didn't mention anything about Aoi specifically. She said nothing about the
coy flirting Aoi had engaged in - mainly because Haruka hadn't noticed most of
it - the ridiculously shallow closets, or how Aoi had gotten herself stuck.
She didn't exactly say where she had put her hands to get Aoi unstuck - again,
nothing specific, and certainly no names mentioned - but, she did say that she
hadn't had a choice, that she had liked it, and that she couldn't let herself
get away with such imbibeable and un-conch shell behavior.

After establishing that Haruka had meant "abominable" and "unconscionable"
in her last sentence, Yukino asked if the Committee was going to get involved.
Haruka thought about it, and admitted, that no, she felt that she ought to
withdraw herself from venerable society ("vulnerable, Haruka-chan...") until
such time that she felt herself not to be a danger, but no one would turn her
in to the Committee, besides herself. Yukino had serious doubts that Haruka
had really done what she said, but she knew there was no way Haruka would say
she had done things like this if she hadn't, but she wouldn't give any
details, and had no marks on her like someone fighting her off - and Haruka
was very exposed as she was sitting.

Yukino tried to get more details of the incident, but to no avail. Haruka
would say nothing more, and if no one else would even mention that something
happened, the issue seemed to solve itself. Yukino asked if Haruka would at
least come to school for Valentine's Day, but Haruka shook her head, and got
up to get her pajamas out, and put her presents out on her dresser, asking
Yukino to deliver them in her name. Being unable to get her friend to talk any
more, Yukino had no choice, but to agree. She did notice that there was no
present for her, but there was one for Chie; the present was beautifully
wrapped, in slate and charcoal tones, Chie's favorites. Yukino felt like there
was something just outside of her sight, but she couldn't put it together, not
yet. Instead, she took the hair towel from Haruka, put it in the older girl's
hand and took away the hairbrush, brushing her best friend's beautiful blonde
hair, and calming her down enough to finish getting ready for bed.

Yukino stayed up for a few more hours, finishing her homework, going over
her Council reports, and trying to figure out what had really happened to her
Haruka-chan. She was sure some sort of manipulation was involved; maybe not
HiME-level, but Haruka was so painfully naive at times that it wouldn't take
much. She made a note to ask her girlfriend about it in the morning, and hoped
that Haruka-chan didn't make herself sick punishing herself as she thought
she deserved, and more importantly, she hoped Haruka-chan took time to be an
actual high school girl, while she still had the chance.

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Post by BMeph on Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:09 pm

Chapter 7 - Face Each Other


Yes, last chapter was short; I think of it as punishment for me, for letting
chp 5 out before it should have been. Also, if you were wondering what Nao
said to Aoi, you may have some problems, since it won't have its own chapter I'm not tellin'.
On the other hand, thanks to that detail, I will just have to go on with the
story, right?

Late February was cold, wet, and unsatisfying for everyone. Yukino wound up
passing out Haruka's presents, and received an awkward (for her) hug from
Fujino-san. Sometimes, Yukino thought Haruka-chan's opinions of the kaichou
were maybe a little exaggerated for their rivalries' sake; this time, she
agreed whole-heartedly with the older girl - Fujino Shizuru just loved to
flirt more than any human being had a right to. Kanzaki-san seemed surprised
to get a present from any of us at all, but she reminded him it was from
Haruka-chan, and he wished her well. Yukino almost felt bad about still
feeling creeped out by Kanzaki-san...almost.

The grumpy weather seemed to be cutting into personal relationships, too.
Yukino wasnn't sure what to think when she brought Haruka-chan's more personal
gifts to place in lockers. To be specific, she wasn't quite sure what to think
of the fact that the other gifts had all been done by Haruka-chan personally -
after this long, she could pick out a Haruka-wrapped gift by sight - except
for Chie's. Chie was her girlfriend, and while it would be a nice touch to
think that Haruka-chan wanted to make a good impression on someone close to
her, she knew Haruka-chan, for all of her endearing charms, was not subtle.
Not to mention, who was it that had wrapped Chie's gift, and used Chie's
favorite colors? And why only Chie's gift? At least she could count on
Haruka-chan to make her famous deep-fried sweet potato chips...well, Yukino
smiled for the first time today, they'd be famous if she ever let anyone else
have any

Yukino wrestled with the little puzzle of who wrapped Haruka-chan's present
to Chie-chan all day. She still listened to the reports, and gave her own, at
the Council meetings, and she still broke up the most flagrant displays of
"Valentine fever" all over campus. It would have felt hypocritical to do so
while making the same kind of display with Chie-chan, although Chie-chan
kisses so good...which is why Yukino had to shut the girl down all day. Which
just made them both a little more grumpy - well, more grumpy in Yukino's case.
She hits Chie up to see if she knows of any girls good at wrapping presents,
but not being anything rumor-worthy, she has no idea. Blushing slightly, Aoi
brings up that Fujino-kaichou is good at paper-folding...Fujino again!

Something was going on with Aoi, too, something more than her being a
"third wheel" again, with Haruka-chan in self-imposed exile. Not that she's a
chatterbox, but for the past few days, Aoi-chan has been quieter than Yukino,
and really, the only people quieter than Yukino are other girls that don't
talk on principle, like Miyu-san, and Akira-kun. Yukino remembered how Aoi had
asked earlier about making friends with Haruka-chan, which she thought was a
brilliant idea, if only because it meant that the four of them would be more
likely to stick together, if they were friends with each other. Hopefully, she
hadn't tried to start anything after Haruka had her run-in with Fujino,
because Haruka-chan can be fiercely stubborn, especially when her honor is in

After school, and its attendant Council meetings, Yukino went back to Ha...
well, technically it was her room, now. She changed clothes, put on some
makeup, and tried futilely for a full hour to get Haruka-chan to either give
up on her silly week-long exile, say who this girl was that she was supposed
to have "touched inappropriately" (and the more Haruka-chan said nothing, the
more Yukino suspected that Haruka-chan herself was the only one who had a
problem with her touches), or admit that it was Fujino that wrapped the package.
Haruka-chan pointed out, quite logically, actually, that if anyone was getting
ingested between the two, it sure wasn't going to be the bubuzuke. "Molested,
Haruka-chan," Yukino automatically corrected, though nodding in agreement with
the general idea. So, not the Hydra Queen...darn it, she was Yukino's best
lead, and had been sure it had been her. Sighing, she decided that she'd
worry about it later, after she'd shown Chie-chan how "personal displays of
affection" may be disallowed on-campus, but once the armband came off, Yukino
was going to make up for lost opportunities.

Ten o'clock that night, and Yukino was back in her dorm room, slamming the
door in frustrated fury...then abjectly apologizing to Haruka-chan for
waking her. DAMN that Chie and her sassy mouth; like that Western poem went,
when Chie was good, she was very, Very good, but when she was bad, she WAS
horrid! Then, to top it off, there was Nao, snarky, irreverent, "I don't
believe in love"-NAO, coming back to the dorm room in a taxi, arms laden with
ridiculously pricey tokens of affection from all of those unhappy poor - well,
poorER, now - suckers that she conned into giving stuff. Then, the little
wench had the audacity to brag about how she was going out again, because she
"had more presents from her 'admirers' to collect," and wondered if her arms
would hold out from all of the game show-like prizes she was getting. You
could all but see the yen popping out of her head, the way her eyes glowed,
and mouth smiled. Which, of course, caused Aoi to have a small breakdown,
Chie-chan comforting her, and...cancelling their date! Yukino had been looking
forward to this date all day, and granted, maybe asking five times in an hour
was pushing it for courtesy's sake, but after an hour-and-a-half, Yukino was
not happy to see HER Chie-chan hand-feeding Aoi the strawberry wafer cookies
that Haruka-chan had given Aoi, on Yukino's own suggestion! If anyone deserved
to be getting hand-fed cookies by Chie-chan, it was Yukino! And while it's
admirable to stick up for your friends, those remarks Chie had shot back at
her were...were...well, FINE, they weren't entirely uncalled for, but they
still hurt, especially coming from her Chie-chan.

Yukino spent a good ten minutes pleading her case to Haruka-chan, and
crying her eyes out, before Haruka finished rubbing Yukino's back in sympathy,
helped the younger girl into her pajamas, and reassured her that if that rumor-
flouting capricorn harp-breaker knew what was good for her, Yukino would be
getting the time of her life, tomorrow. Yukino giggled, and corrected her
friend: "rumor-spouting casanova heart-breaker, Haruka-chan - but thank you.
I'm sure she'll do something, if only because I need to apologize to her for
being such a bad girlfriend, too." Thus encouraged, Yukino wished the blonde
bombshell - by multiple measures - a good night. Hearing about how sad Aoi was
caused a few tear tracks to trace down Haruka's own cheeks, before she wiped
them away, clutched her pillows to her, and fell asleep.

By the next weekend, things were almost back to normal...unfortunately, the
parts that weren't back, were still tense. Haruka would still accompany
the other three - she didn't want to inconvenience them for any activity that
needed four girls, and couldn't use three - but any time that Aoi tried to
talk to Haruka, the latter would put her hands up, and move to the other side
of the other two. Sometimes, it bacame so bad, that Yukino and Chie, looking
at each other with similar mischievous sparkles in their glasses, crossed
their wrists, clasped hands, and spun around each other in one direction,
while Aoi and Haruka ran in circles the other way. Aoi stopped and laughed,
and Haruka, sporting a red-faced and crooked smile, sighed, and rubbed the
back of her head. Then the love birds would stop, and their friends would hold
their respective counterpart up from falling over from dizziness, laughing,
well, like school girls. It helped the couple keep from going nuts over their
crazy friends - by which, everyone agreed, was just Haruka.

Aoi tried to talk to Haruka, but every time she tried to get close to the
older girl, Haruka would run off, sometimes literally, and sometimes, she'd
just maintain a distinct space between the two. This especially hurt and
embarrassed the younger girl, because she knew it was due to her clumsiness,
not any of her flirty behavior, that made Haruka keep her distance. Worse
still was, not just the shame of a dancer being clumsy (both she and Chie were
members of the Folk Dancing Club, after all), but that she had made Haruka
feel as if she, and not Aoi, were the offender. She could also tell that she
was starting to annoy Yukino by hogging her girlfriend's sympathy so much,
not to mention just a touch of time pressure at the thought that Haruka would
soon be at the nearby-but-far-away University side of campus. Not to mention
that her libido was in overdrive, and she'd set her sights on the blonde girl
like a heat-seeking missile, and was feeling frustrated at not even being able
to give innocent-yet-flirty touches to her object of affection.

The worst thing, in her eyes, was that she was turning sixteen the week
after Yukino, and felt it totally unfair that the auburn-haired, befreckled
and bespectacled girl was going to get some action on her sixteenth,
guaranteed, and Aoi...wasn't. Not that Aoi had anything against Yukino's
relationship with Chie; on the contrary, she was a cutie, what with those
green eyes and red hair, freckles and glasses, and Aoi was a sucker for all
things cute. It may not be fair that Yukino got to be so cute, smart and
talented, but it isn't like it was at anyone's expense. No, it wasn't that Aoi
had anything against Yukino; in her mind, Yukino was and had everything Aoi
prized in a girl, and Aoi would trade places with her in a flash. Somewhat
ironically, but girl friend aside, Yukino would take the same trade.

Of course this isn't a Freaky Friday story, so they get/have to keep their
own bodies and learn to be happy with who they are, which they usually are.
It's just at certain times that they can see the advantages in others more
clearly than in their own selves, and right now Aoi was seeing a clear
advantage in Yukino's being cute, cuddly, and attached to a bold girl more
than willing to cuddle...yeah, Aoi was feeling a little bit of Ugly Duckling
syndrome at the moment. Especially when it's obviously evident to her that
it's her fat butt that's so disturbed Haruka-chan, that the older girl can't
even stand to simply stand near to her. The only thing Aoi could think of to
get some satisfaction (no, not THAT kind of satisfaction, she means to get a
good emotional response from Haruka, you perverts) is to write a note, or a
letter, to let Haruka know how she feels, so that she can at least say that
she tried. The only issue now is, should she ask Yukino to pass it on to the
older girl, or Chie....

Meanwhile, part of the reason why Aoi is making a decision on who to get
her letter over, is that Those two, Chie and Yukino, have been having their
own relational issues. On the one hand, Chie is an expert in non-verbal
communication - especially when she's communicating horniness. On the other
hand, Yukino's feeling the need to delve seriously into some emotional support
issues, like what happened last week when Chie was so worried about Aoi that
their Valentine's Day dinner simply didn't happen, and whether Chie was
regretting being with a girl that was just as "connected" to the flow of info
around the school, and who had the clout to get things done with it. It really
is a pity, that Yukino couldn't keep more of an emotional balance, since with
the way she seems to be handling the Executive Director position, it's almost
a guarantee, that she'll wind up being Council President in her senior year.
Of course, that outcome highly depends on how she handles the entire next year
coming up, and THAT, in turn will depend on how well she handles everything
that she's getting thrown at her now, including how her girlfriend, in her own
way, can be almost as uncommunicative as "Fujino's Natsuki."

Chie, meanwhile, while not having doubts about becoming an item with
Yukino (the girl may look timid, but underneath that quiet exterior is a
smoldering, red-hot tigress, ROWR), is feeling some unusual pressure to be
more "touchy-feely" without "real" touching, as is her wont. Sometimes it
doesn't seem fair to Chie, that "her girl" (and she likes the way that sounds)
can be so passionate on the inside, and not-quite coldly analytical outside.
Specifically, Chie is annoyed that she can't seem to get away with anything
around Yukino; not that she tries all that much, or wants to, but once, just
once, would be nice to see. It was very annoying to lose all of the hard work
and planning that went into making their "VD" date go to a happy ending, but
when your best friend is freaking out, you can't just stand around and do
nothing, can you? Chie sighs, knowing that she's going to have to find a great
way to make it up to the both of them, hoping what she's planned will do that,
also hoping that Aoi doesn't freak out too much before her birthday (oh,
, she reminds herself, it's her "sweet" sixteenth, too), and to top it
all off, what the heck is going on with Haruka? Those candied peppers were
awesome, and she recognized Aoi wrapped the things, so the girl has taste; so
why isn't Miss Loud-and-Busty closing the deal already, and giving Aoi tons of
awesome "this-and-that" stories to enjoy?

Yukino squeezed Chie's hand, HARD, to remind the taller one of Yukino's
need to be Heard, and Responded To, capitals intended. Chie stopped, stood in
front of the freckle-faced cutie, held both hand and leaned over to stand
foreheads touching, and reassured "her girl" (she SO likes how that sounds)
that she was in fact listening, she just doesn't think it's right that the
most romantic weekend was experienced by Nao, and that the two of them should
make sure that this sad state of affairs doesn't happen again. Chie grinned
like the unrepentant rascal she is, waited for a matching gleam in the eyes of
"her girl," and kissed Yukino in that way that only Chie can - sweet, soft,
and just a little bit dirty, just enough that you know that there's more "good
stuff" to follow.

Haruka cleared her throat loudly, in an attempt to maintain some sense of
decorum in public. Annoyed, Chie released both the kiss, and Yukino's hands,
as she answered Haruka snarkily, "What, it's not like we were doing...this."
So saying, she placed one hand at the VERY lower part of Yukino's back,
cradled her head in the other, and giving a twisting dip, proceeded to check
Yukino's tonsils for smoothness and their mouths for an industrial-grade
vacuum seal. Swept away in the moment (literally as well as figuratively),
Yukino's hands went by reflex to Chie's hips and fluttered her own tongue
back at her lover. Haruka was about to do one of her patented world-famous
"Suzushiro spaz-out" fits, but was distracted, by the look of bittersweet
longing that Aoi likely didn't even know was on her face. It not only shocked
Haruka, it prompted a similar longing in the blonde-haired girl, only it was a
longing to wipe the look of longing from Aoi's face, and replace it with what
Yukino was feeling, which by her soft humming was apparently the best thing
one could feel while fully clothed, and both feet on the ground.

Haruka blushed, looked at the ground, said, "Fine, I understand," and
walked away from the threesome. Chie finally broke the kiss to finish her
remarks, "So we were really...hey, Haruka-san? Oi, Suzushiro!" Both she and
Yukino turned to Aoi, who had clasped her hands together, and was trying to
decide whether to stay with the love birds or follow her heart. Her friends'
attention released more doubts, and she ran after her own amethyst-eyed love.


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Promenade [Mai-HiME, Aoi/Haruka] Empty Re: Promenade [Mai-HiME, Aoi/Haruka]

Post by BMeph on Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:34 pm

Chapter 8: Promenade

Well, I think I've pretty much conclusively shown here that I'm
much more "comfortable" with smut than drama, and so, I'm a-gonna
play to my strengths. Let's put this story to to speak.

Aoi took off through downtown Fuuka, in pursuit of the surprisingly elusive
Haruka. Well, not that it was difficult to figure out where she had been, but
the older girl had lost none of her ability to get others to do what she
thought was right, especially when it involved some form of "get out of the
crazy blonde chick's way"-kind of orders. That, combined with Aoi stopping to
apologize to citizens on the streets for Haruka's rampage, led to the brunette
steadily falling more and more behind the chase of "tropical storm Haruka."

Aoi had to stop by the time she made it to the arcade district; she had
thoroughly lost Haruka, and the restricted vehicle traffic only meant more
crowds of people to push through herself. Haruka tended to fume to herself,
and only shout at people if they weren't doing what she wanted, or were doing
what she didn't want; this meant that once she got a good head of steam going
and started walking somewhere, those long luscious legs took her swiftly to
her destination. Only, Aoi had no idea what her destination was, so she didn't
know whether she should be looking at arcades with Whack-A-Mole stands
(playing to Haruka's strengths and mood), DDR Extreme (playing to Aoi's
strengths but Haruka's favorite), or if she had not even stopped here, but was
quickly moving farther away.

Realizing that she no longer had a way to follow her, Aoi sat on a bench,
and sulked. Then, having regained her breath, she thought about where she
might look in case she had stopped in an arcade - then, her phone rang; it
was Chie.

"Hello, Chie. I don't know where Haruka is, anymore."
"That's okay," Chie assuredly replied, "'cause my girl - I just LOVE saying
that - she's a super-genius, and found Haruka for you."
"Ooh, that's wonderful! How did you find her - with some awesome computer
program that traces everyone's cell phones?"
"Well, you could kind of say that; she just called, and Haruka said where she
was going. She got Yukino to make us promise not to go after her, but since
you were already gone, we couldn't make any promises for you, no matter how
Yukino feels that Haruka meant it for you, too. She's at the northern canal,
so go get 'er! Quit moping around; you're breaking my girl's heart, and that's
my job!"
"Oh, thank you so much, Chie-chan!"
"Eh, thank me by letting me take a picture of Haruka with a silly grin on her
face...yes, I meant from kissing, of course? Did you have something in...."

The phone went quiet, except for some faint background noise, then in a few
seconds, an out-of-breath Chie returned to the line. "Uh, Yukino's routing for
you, so don't blow it. Uh, me, too, I guess. Call us later with details...
yeah, I was gonna - um, call us tomorrow, please. Late tomorrow. As in, my
girl says that if you need a shoulder to cry on, you should talk to Mai, and
then call us tomorrow...'bye!"

Aoi giggled, imagining Yukino doing all sorts of naughty things to Chie, to
keep the mischievous girl "in line" - _I guess that's why she's the new
Director_, Aoi thought, putting her phone away, and turning the corner to go to
the nearby foot bridge over the canal. The arcade section was tucked up in a
spare corner of the city near it, and the lack of vehicle access across the
canal is why no cars went through it. Soon enough, she came to the bridge,
and quietly joined the traffic accross, stopping to lean on the railing once
she got to the other side of the tall blonde.

Haruka turned to see who had disturbed her contemplation, but the mouth-
watering scent of strawberries gave it away before her head moved. She still
looked, for the same reason Aoi had continued to watch Haruka while she was
moving beside her; ach girl liked the looks of the other. "I thought I told
you guys not to follow me," Haruka grumped, turning back to watch the water
flow. "I was already following you. Haruka," Aoi continued, placing a hand on
the older girl's, "please, would you tell me what I can do, so that you don't
hate me so much?" Haruka snorted. "Hate you? Why would I hate _you_ - how
could I hate you, even if I wanted to? I don't hate you, not at all; I'm
trying to protect you." Haruka tried to pull her hand away, but Aoi wouldn't
let her, so she turned it over and clasped the other girl's hand instead,
closing her eyes and letting a small shiver go through her.

Aoi looked at their clasped hands, mouth in a small "o" in wonder at how
it seemed so natural to do, and that Haruka had not just allowed it, but
started it. "But you keep avoiding me, and after...after I got stuck, you
wouldn't even come to school, and since you're about to graduate, you have so
many things to do to prepare for it, so that's a big deal! How does that
protect anyone?" Aoi grabbed Haruka's arm with her spare hand, and leaned on
the older girl's shoulder directly feeling it as Haruka both stiffened, and
pressed back into her. "Please," Aoi finished in a near-whispering quiet tone,
"help me understand, why you have to make me feel so bad to protect me!"

Haruka felt so confused and turned around, that it made her feel dizzy,
even though she was very carefully not moving. From what she could tell, Aoi
was taking Haruka's attempts to keep a safe, respectful distance as dislike,
disapproval, and even disgust. It reminded Haruka of her outburst against
Fujino and Kuga, where she finally gave that shameless hussy the headbutting
she deserved, but still, had somehow misspoke in a way that had caused great
pain and damage to her friendship with Yukino. In that moment, she felt a
great wave of disgust and automatically let out a grunt of disapproval; she
was shamed by her own actions, and how she had, again, unwittingly insulted
and harmed a vulnerable innocent. Aoi, not being privy to Haruka's train of
thought, only heard the disgust in Haruka's voice, and naturally connecting
it to her own actions, immediately flinched away, removing her other arm. Her
hand, still being held by Haruka, kept her partly in place, and not knowing
exactly how she had so offended the propriety-loving girl, Aoi knelt down
beside her, trying to make herself as contrite as possible.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend, I just," Aoi stumbled, awkwardly
trying to bow, with her arm held high and accross her body. "I you
so much, I don't want to make you mad," Aoi burst into tears, feeling totallly
hopeless and ashamed. Only knowing that she's yet again just done what she had
just started to berate herself for doing too much in the first place, Haruka
at last did something right; she let go of Aoi's hand, took a knee and wrapped
the young girl up in her arms. Squeezing her tight, Haruka poured her heart
out, nuzzling the chocolate-haired beauty, saying, "Oh, no, I'm the guilty
one, I'm the one that keeps hurting my friends with my stupid stumbling words.
I'm so sorry, I'm not trying to hurt anyone, and I'm not offended by you, but
by me! I keep hurting you by trying to keep you safe, and you can't see that
you can't get too close to me, becasue I'm not good, I'm not good for you, and
I don't want to do something bad to you because I can't control myself." There
it was, finally, the start of getting the young girl to understand that it was
the awful wicked desires in Haruka herself that were a threat to Aoi's well-
being. Strangely, it hadn't occurred to Haruka yet, that her close hold on Aoi
was exactly what they both wanted, and needed, and Haruka wasn't close to
"losing control," either for real, or in her own head.

Aoi didn't quite comprehend what Haruka meant, only that the older girl had
been keeping her distance to not do something, and not because she hated Aoi.
Since not hating her was all Aoi cared about, and the part about loss of
control just made no sense to her, Aoi just clung tighter to the older girl,
scooting forward to trap Haruka's lower knee between her own in the process.
Shaking her head to deny her self-malediction, Aoi nestled her chin into a
hollow by Haruka's neck, trying to use her closeness to further make her point
clear. "No, you're not bad for me, you're good for me, very good, and I want
to be good for you - please, let me..."

Barely separating at all, both girls turned their heads just enough to
kiss. Utterly taken by surprise, Haruka let her jaw go slack, which caused
Aoi to immediately deepen the kiss. Then Haruka moaned in surprise and
pleasure, so Aoi added some tongue into the mix. Haruka reflexively jerked
her head back, breaking the kiss, her lips tingling in a way that no curry
sauce or pepper ever made them. Aoi's face fell and eyes lowered, she
loosened her grip on Haruka's waist...but Haruka's hands haadn't moved.
Wondering why, Aoi looked back up, and saw Haruka completely spaced out, pink
lips slightly apart and quivering. Slowly, shyly, Aoi went to give Haruka a
small soft peck on those beautiful lips. Then, Haruka moved - one of her hands
clamped the back of Aoi's head like a vice, and she drove her mouth into Aoi's
with a wild hunger. Aoi both sighed and squealed, quickly wrapping her arms
tightly around the older girl's waist, and sending her tongue back to play
with Haruka's tongue and lips. Haruka lapped along Aoi's tongue as if trying
to draw the younger girl's taste buds into her mouth; it felt awesome.

By the time this kiss was done, Aoi and Haruka both felt "tingly" all over.
Haruka just stroked Aoi's hair, drinking in the delicious scent of straw-
berries, and feeling the still more delicious feeling of this young girl brave
and daring enough to risk being around Haruka, even when her "monster" clawed
its way out. Aoi was deliriously happy, snuggling up to the older girl, glassy-
eyed, softly giggling and every five seconds or so, cooing "Wow," sometimes in
a long string of five at a time. Haruka...was weeping. Silently, and with an
out-of-place relaxed smile on her face, but still, big, fat tears were rolling
out of her sparkling amethyst eyes, down her cheeks and onto her coat sleeve.
Haruka felt as if a miracle - or three - has occurred: her "inner demon" had
come out, but she had done no worse than a passionate kiss; in public, but in
all, an acceptibly inappropriate act. More important, though, was that Aoi had
received her kisses and kissed her right back, even doing things with her
tongue than Haruka was sure she'd blush about, when she came down from her
cloud of delight and thought about it in a sober frame of mind. Then again,
maybe she'll just think about how good it felt to have that horrible hunger be
filled in warmth, light and...and love, and just smile. Best of all, Aoi...
likes her, too.

An older gentleman passing by saw Haruka's tears (from the way she was
kneeling, Aoi was more hidden), and he leaned over to see if the "pretty girl"
was okay. Haruka, eyes shining, looked up at the nice old man, and said that
she was the best she's ever been, laughed, and wrapped Aoi back up in a warm
hug. "Whatever your friend there told you, it must be good news, eh?" Eyes
closed and smiling like an angel, Haruka replied, "The best news anyone could
ever get; I'm loved!" The old man smiled back, patting the cute young girl on
the head - so dramatic, these young girls are these days - and said, "Such a
pretty girl like you must get proposals all the time. Congratulations!" As he
continued across, he parted with, "Your pretty friend will make a great maid
of honor, I'm sure." At that, Haruka popped her head up, eyes open to look for
the man, but the still-spry elder had already blended back in with the rest of
the foot traffic. Shrugging and going back to hugging her love, she said
softly, but firmly:
"I think she'll make an even better bride."

Then, when she felt Aoi's cheek shift away a bit, she blushed a deep red.
"I, uh," Haruka stammered, scared that Aoi may have taken her seriously, and
more scared that she may have taken herself seriously. She was not quite
reassured, when Aoi cheekily whispered in Haruka's ear that Haruka hadn't even
touched her breasts yet, or let Aoi touch hers, and it was unfair that Haruka
had gotten to touch Aoi's bottom, when Aoi hadn't even seen Haruka's panties
yet. Then she proceeded to describe to Haruka just what she would do, once she
had the chance to do something with Haruka's underwear. It was lewd,
embarrassing, and disturbingly exciting to hear these suggestive words coming
from Aoi's mouth. Haruka could almost feel it as that "Hunger" inside her woke
up again, and gave its delight at getting "fed" again so soon. Not to oddly,
but still strange enough, Haruka imagined that if thet "Hunger of hers ever
spoke, it would be in a Kyoto-ben.

Shaking her head, Haruka moved her hands until she was holding both of
Aoi's shoulders, her hands still on Haruka's waist. "I'm shocked to hear such
language coming from your mouth, Aoi," Haruka said. "I never imagined you even
knew of such things! In fact, a couple of things you said, you may have to
explode for me." Aoi sultrily whispered, "Oh, I'll be happy to 'explode' for
you any time, Haru-chan." Haruka looked surprised, and her hands gave two
slow, strong squeezes of Aoi's shoulders; she wasn't sure if she could keep
her reaction suitable for public consumption, but Haruka decided that she
really liked it when Aoi pitched her voice low and called her "Haru-chan." In
fact, she liked the idea so much that she suggested going back to the dorms to
"discuss" it more in depth.

Along with some of those other things Aoi had said; Haruka could just
imagine how Aoi's mouth and tongue would feel going down her neck, across
her shoulders and down her chest.... Stumbling slightly, Haruka stood up,
hauling Aoi with her, then holding out her hand, Aoi clasped it, and they
walked back off the canal bridge. Once off the bridge, they ran the rest of
the way to the dorms. When they got up to Haruka's room, finding it empty,
Aoi also took off her socks, and placed on on the outside door knob before
locking the door again. When Haruka asked what the business with the sock was
about, Aoi...showed her.

And a great time was had by all. The End.


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Post by zanekal1 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:03 pm

Awwe this is so cute and squishy I may just have to do some fan art based on this.
Looks like a Yukino tastes like a Chie
Looks like a Yukino tastes like a Chie

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Promenade [Mai-HiME, Aoi/Haruka] Empty Re: Promenade [Mai-HiME, Aoi/Haruka]

Post by BMeph on Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:24 pm

zanekal1 wrote:Awwe this is so cute and squishy I may just have to do some fan art based on this.

Awww, thanks. I hope this doesn't disappoint, then...

Epilogue: Closed Position

It was a beautiful day at Fuuka Academy, with the sun brightly shining, and many high-flying wispy clouds keeping the sunlight from being too strong. It was the perfect day, in fact, for a graduation. The Director, Fumi Himeno, gave a nice opening speech, and led everyone through the ceremony. Towards the end, the Council President, and graduating student, Yukino Kikukawa gave an inspiring speech, looking forward to the challenge of life outside the gates, and mock-warning, with an adorable Cupid Bow of a smile, for the remaining underclassmen to behave, lest their sempai need to return. One of the underclassmen stood up and asked what they would do if they wanted advice, and the President answered that the sempai would be pleased to offer it. Another student stood and asked a question, and Kikukawa-kaichou answered.

Then, a second-year with bright red hair asked when the sempai would leave, so "her class could take over already". The Vice-President, Natsuki Kuga jumped up, leaned in front of the President, and shouted, "Shut up, Yuuki!" Laughing, the second-year sat back down, but not before calling out, "We love you too, Kuga-sempai!" Then maybe a tenth of the entire high school body also shouted out, "We love you, Kuga-sempai!" Natsuki turned beet-red, very visible above her dark blue blazer, grabbed the microphone and screamed, "NAO!" The redhead kept her seat, but was laughing so hard, that a fellow classman had to escort her to the back of the audience. Faintly, in between laughs, one could hear her say, "SO worth it," before she started another round of hysterical laughter.

Natsuki almost lost it, though, when after restoring order, just before giving the mike back to the President, one of the special guests called out, "I love you, too, Na-tsu-ki," in a distinctive Kyoto accent. "Shi-Shizuru!" boomed out of the speakers, as Natsuki clutched the microphone back, jamming right in her face. Then, if anything, she turned even redder, bowed to Yukino, and, before stomping to her seat, pushed the microphone into the President's hands...into the suspiciously not-very-disappointed-looking President's hands.

After the ceremony, Natsuki came down to greet her special guest, as did Yukino. Shizuru Fujino was accompanied by another special guest: Haruka Suzushiro, who of course, did not participate in any of the disruptive events in the ceremony. Haruka gave Yukino a big hug, then stepped aside, as Chie Harada came up to give the President a respectful bow...and a non-respectful wink, and quick peck on the cheek, before she pointed Yukino towards Director Himeno, patiently waiting to conclude some last-minute concerns. While this went on, Haruka went on to give a most informal hug to the Executive Director, Aoi Senoh.

After the hug, Aoi held her special guest - and girlfriend - out at arms' length, for a better look at her ensemble. Haruka was wearing a long light green skirt, and a sky blue blouse, which showed off Haruka's looks to good effect. Aoi greatly appreciated that Haruka's outfit combined their favorite colors, and really liked how the two went together so gorgeously...again, the colors. "You look beautiful, Haruka," she sighed, as she intertwined their fingers, and turned to walk to the building with the Council room. Haruka, a slight blush making her look even prettier, replied, "Thank you; you make the uniform look good, yourself." Aoi smiled and gave Haruka’s fingers an extra squeeze, responding non-verbally, as their arms swung a little bit faster, and higher.

As they were going past one of the school building “wings,” Aoi heard something that caught her attention. She squeezed Haruka’s hand, and put her other hand on her shoulder, while listening longer to the argumentative voices coming from the other side of the building.”What is it, Aoi?” The girl in question looked back, a mixture of love, sadness and anger swirling in her eyes. “A bunch of idiots that ought to know better. I’m sorry, Haruka, but…as corny as it sounds, duty calls.” She then pulled a cell phone from her pocket, picked a name and began talking, while walking determinedly past the first corner. “Uh-huh,” she said into the cell, “sounds like Code 22, meet me between Building 4 and 6.” She put the phone to her ear, nodded, opened-and-closed it, and put t back in her coat pocket. She then went across the relatively narrow gap to the next building over, and went farther down to its end, but paused before she got there. Haruka had mentioned before how Aoi had looked nice, but seeing her in action, rich brown hair hanging down her back, making a nice contrast with the light blue jacket, and its tan trimming. Suddenly, there was someone next to her, a…long-haired boy in a blouse? No, a girl, in pants, instead of the skirt; of course, it was Okuzaki, Akira being her given name. They talked for a bit, listened a bit more, then Aoi went around the far corner, while Akira-san came back towards Haruka.

“Good morning, Former Director Suzushiro,” Akira-san greeted her. “Hello, Okuzaki-san,” Haruka replied. “If you would care to see your girlfriend in action, she has invited you to observe,” Akira said, with a small bow and arm sweep of invitation. “Sure, that sounds in–wait, what do you mean, ‘girlfriend’? Hey, where did you go?” Haruka looked around the empty section of school grounds, in the end, catching Akira’s arm waving from beyond the other building Aoi had already gone around. Haruka quickly followed, hoping to get more information about just what Akira knew about her relationship with Aoi, but was distracted by the sight of…her girlfriend – she might as well say it out loud – handling four large but young-looking middle-school roughians with a confident ease, while also smiling and reassuring a young blond girl in an elementary school uniform. Tossing off the hoodlums to Akira, she picked up the young girl, reassuring her that “no one was going to be bothering such a cute school girl as her, anymore, no they wouldn’t!” Haruka giggled, knowing full well how Aoi could get completely silly, when she saw something – or someone – that she thought was especially cute, including, for some mysterious, blessed reason, Haruka herself. “Eight will do,” Akira said into her phone, which gave the typical chirp of a push-to-talk-enabled set. Soon enough, a squad of Committee members came by and took the trouble-makers away.

Aoi asked the student, named Sara, if she were sure she wanted to just go back to class, to which the young girl nodded. Aoi then suggested she return to her class room, and that if more was needed from her, a Committee member would contact her. Sara thanked Aoi, and hurried to go inside, only pausing to stare at Haruka with huge-looking green eyes, then smiling and running off. Aoi came up behind Haruka and looped her arm around the woman’s waist, resting her head on Haruka’s shoulder. Haruka absently reached up and patted Aoi’s far shoulder, then Aoi pulled away and reclaimed Haruka’s fingers again, swinging their arms in an exaggerated arc, then letting them settle down while they finished their trek to the Council room. Not, however, without Aoi whispering in Haruka’s ear about what the graduate expected for a proper celebration of both her high school graduation and her eighteenth birthday, which had been yesterday, but was more fun to celebrate on a weekend. Especially with the elaborate scenes Aoi was describing, some of which Haruka was almost positive weren’t even possible without being double-jointed, and all of which were making the woman blush redder than the bubuzuke’s eyes.

Speaking of which, Haruka was surprised to see the self-same eyes – and the rest of the frustrating woman – standing outside the Council room. What was more interesting, though, was seeing who was there with here, staring daggers at her fellow college student: Nao. Aoi kissed Haruka on the cheek, untwined her hands, and whispered, “Council business, you know – I’d invite you in, both of you, as emeriti members, but rules are rules, and you–“ Aoi lightly tapped Haruka’s nose, though her smile showed no bad feelings in the statement, “would never let me live it down, not even as a graduation present for me. Nao,” she finished, dropping her smile, and turning to her incoming colleague, “quit staring holes in Fujino-kaichou-sensha’s head; these ruffians should know better, especially with so many honored guests on campus, today.” Nao grunted, and slid open the door, showing Akira standing to the side of the President’s desk, and Natsuki behind it. Aoi took a deep breath, waiting while Nao hopped up onto the corner of the desk, before exhaling, closing the door.

Both college ladies jumped, startled, as presumably, Aoi began a loud, long rant, hearable not only through the door, but possibly outside the building. After a minute-and-a-half without any let up in words, and if anything, an increase in volume, Shizuru turned to Haruka, and with one of her patented closed-eye smiles said, “Ara, it sounds like Senoh-san is learning many habits from Haruka-san, ne?” Haruka paused for a bit, listening as the berating continued for nearing two full minutes, non-stop; Haruka's eyes shined, and the smile on her face got bigger and bigger. “Yeah, isn’t it great? I’m definitely going to parry that girl!” Hiding her mouth behind her hand, but not the accompanying smile in her eyes, Shizuru giggled and, leaning closer to speak more softly, replied, “Ara, I hope you meant ‘marry,’ Haruka. That way, Aoi-san does not have to be satisfied only getting…”


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