"And what's this I hear," Ayaka says, aiming for stern but coming off slightly more curious than she'd intended, "about me being 'one of those airheads from Venus?'" She distracts herself from her failed tone of voice by dragging her manicured nails down Nino's belly, catching them on the fabric of his shirt.
Nino swallows visibly, but can't say anything--at least, nothing intelligible through the scarf wrapped around his head, pulled tightly enough between his teeth that his cheeks dent in.
The fabric is already prettily damp, the pink turning a darker shade from Nino's saliva.
She'd been playing around when she told Nino that he'd been very bad at the wedding, to fool Prince Sho like that, and she's pretty sure he'd been joking when he'd looked at her and asked her with seeming guilelessness if she was going to reprimand him for his crimes--and, all right, she'd been a little drunk, too, at the time, when she'd affirmed that, in the name of love and--and beauty! she'd punish him!
So here she is, two days later, with her boyfriend's silver tongue hidden away and his wrists tied to the bedframe in one of the comfortable suites that the Earth royals provided for wedding guests; she can already feel her heart beginning to race, and she's sure he can see the flush rising in her cheeks.
"Anyway," she says, shaking herself out of her momentary contemplation of the erratic up and down motions of Nino's stomach, "turn over."
He glances with his eyes at his bound wrists, then back at her, raising his eyebrows. She's certain he'd be laughing out loud if not for the gag--or maybe hiding his grins in his elbow the way he had when Prince Sho started to put the pieces together, except of course for the bound wrists--but she doesn't fall for it. "I know how flexible you are, Nino," she says. "Figure it out." She stands up next to the bed and smooths out the wrinkles from her sleep shirt--and then adds on, "Or else the punishment will be worse."
Her brother has always called her a little sadist, fondly; when she was younger and hadn't known what the word really meant, she'd innocently taken for granted that he'd been talking about how she laughed whenever he fell over or embarrassed himself. Now, though, she thrills at Nino's discomfort while he twists and shifts on the bed, and she knows Masaki's been right all this time.
Nino's hard. It can't be pleasant for him to be lying face-down like that. She smiles wider, and says, "Up on your knees--no, with your shoulders down, yes, like that," and she actually sounds commanding, perhaps even forceful, but she cares less about that and more about how Nino's butt is now at the perfect height.
"Your prank was childish, so you get a punishment worthy of a child this time," she says, putting her hand lightly on the fabric of his jeans, feeling the topography of stitching and the places where they were almost worn through with her fingertips, before raising her hand and smacking him hard.
Nino's eyes snap shut on impact, and then he cranes his neck to look at her, surprise clear in the lines of his eyebrows and the way his breath moves faster around the scarf.
Ayaka has a deceptively strong arm; she needs one, with a brother like Masaki. (She also needs one for ping pong.) She smiles at Nino, and if it's a little more delighted than she intends, well. She has time to get the act down; Nino has only known her for a little while, and has years of being bad from before then.
If her hand gets tired, she thinks she remembered to pack her favorite ping pong paddle for the trip.
"For love and beauty," she says, smiling at Nino as she raises her hand again, "and for Venus."