Ryoko ran her hands through the other girl's hair, stroking her as her gentle tears fell. "It's going to be okay," she assured.
"I really do know how to deal with these things. As long as we're together, you don't have to be afraid. You understand this, don't you?"
"Yes," Asuka said.
At that moment, the door opened. "Ryoko, have you-" Shuutaro began.
"Ahh! A man!" Asuka shouted. Normally she would use her brute strength to push him away, but now, she instead buried her head into Ryoko's bosom.
"You're so rude, aren't you, Onii-sama? I'll have to ask you to knock next time. But for now, I'm just requesting that you leave, for you have upset my dear Asuka."
"Ahhh!" Asuka shrieked again.
"I've been polite, but I will use force. Even though you and Asuka have a history, she's with me now."
"I'm scared, Ryoko-neechan."
"Right, right, it'll be fine, my darling Asuka."
Shuutaro stared at the scene, first surprised, then slowly became more and more angry. "I thought you were going to help! Now instead you're causing troubles. For both of our families!"
"I can't believe it... You consider our love, the purest of any love, to be nothing but a trouble to you... How callous your words are. You should know better, Onii-sama," Ryoko said.
"Don't be ridiculous!"
"Ridiculous... I can't believe you'd be so cruel," Ryoko said, wiping a tear away with one hand as she kept her other arm around Asuka. "Both of our brothers have caused us enough heartbreak, don't you agree, my sweet Asuka?"
"Yes," Asuka nodded, though it was difficult in their current position.
"We needn't take their abuse all the time. Why don't you help my brother on his way out," Ryoko said.
After Asuka quickly and forcefully pushed a still somewhat bewildered Shuutaro out the door, she immediately ran back into Ryoko's arms. "Thank you! Thank you! I don't know what I'd do without you, Ryoko-neechan," she said. "And you're so warm... I always feel nice when I'm around you," Asuka said as she pushed herself further into Ryoko's lap.
"You're far too kind, loving a despicable person like me," Ryoko said.
"No, no! Ryoko-neechan, you're not like that at all. You're so kind and wonderful. I love you."
Ryoko stroked Asuka's hair again, saying nothing though she smiled. Being around a naïvely kind person like Asuka turned out to have its perks as well. Though this might have started as another prank, there was no harm in continuing to participate in nice arrangement like this, was there? No, and as long as they were both happy, Ryoko imagined that they'd stay this way indefinitely. Her brother's amusing reactions were just a bonus.