Their first date is an absolute disaster.
Nami still isn't sure that she wants this, and she certainly isn't sure that this is even a remotely good idea. She's not a lesbian, damnit (and the fact that Ray is really, really pretty is completely irrelevant, okay?), she doesn't like girls at all.
Well, okay, so she likes girls as friends and they're less idiotic than guys, and they're nice to hang out with and she has come to learn that girls smell better than boys and they are softer and kiss nicer - or maybe that's just Ray - and that there's just something special about them.
However, she's not interested in actually dating one.
But then Ray calls her and asks if they can meet each other again, that she's missed her Kai, and Nami finds herself saying yes so fast that she's agreed to the time and place before she even knows that she's said yes.
Ray meets her two days later, all brilliant smiles and glamorous clothes, and Nami feels star struck. She tries a smile, but it comes out as a grimace. She tries to talk to Ray casually, but it comes out all awkward and stilted. She tries to be a gentleman, but she's a girl now and it's just too weird. Halfway through their walk to the restaurant, it starts raining, and because they're both soaking wet, the restaurant won't serve them. "Let's go to my place," Ray says, but before Nami can agree or disagree, a crowd of young teenage boys and girls catch sight of Ray and run over to her, surrounding her.
Nami can't deal with this. She feels like an idiot, but she runs away, leaving Ray behind.
Nami doesn't know how to do this - she's not like Ray, she can't just accept this for what it is without giving it a second thought. In a way, she admires Ray for her ability to just take each day as it comes, admires her for her ability to trust her feelings, admires that she believes in her emotions, that they can't be wrong. "Love is never wrong," Ray says when Nami asks her about it, and it sounds so simple. "It's just love, Kai. It's not rocket science. It's not math. There is no one right answer. All that matters, is how you feel."
"I must be going crazy, because you're making a lot of sense," Nami says. She feels helpless against this, and she hates and loves it at the same time.
Ray laughs (Nami loves her laughter) and reaches out, pinching Nami's cheek lightly. "Of course I'm making sense. Stop making everything so complicated."
Nami sighs, but nods. That's all there is to it, right? All she needs to do, is to stop thinking about this so much. She hesitates and even as she leans in, she's frowning. But she still presses her lips against Ray's, keeping her eyes wide open because she doesn't want to miss a single second.
It feels like their first kiss all over again, only better.
They're just walking side by side, but Nami can still feel people looking at them, can still hear them whispering behind their backs. She doesn't get it - it's not like she has a giant sign of "lesbian walking here!" stuck to her back, after all.
"Don't they have any decency," she mutters to herself and glares daggers at some of the more obvious girls, the ones that don't even hide the way they're staring.
Ray laughs, tugging a little on Nami's sleeve when she stops in sheer annoyance. "Don't mind them, Kai, they don't matter."
Nami can't let it go that easily, and as a small group of girls stick their heads close together and whisper while they're sending furtive glances in Nami's direction, she strides over to them, hands on her hips. "Yah! Don't you know that it's impolite to stare at people? Do you think there's something funny about two girls being together, huh? Let me tell you, brats, it's not funny at all!"
She storms back and grabs a hold of Ray's hand, demonstratively, pulling her down the street while cursing over people's general idiocy.
Ray just squeezes her hand hard.
When she has a short vacation, Ray takes Nami with her up to the mountains; up to feet and feet upon snow and chill and ice cold winds and Nami's nose feeling like it's going to freeze completely and fall off. "I don't like the cold," she complains, and puts on another oversized sweater in the hopes of warming up.
Never mind that they're inside the hotel and that it's warm as a sauna in here.
Ray wanders around their room - large and yet cozy, luxurious, with one bed taking up most of the space - before she takes off her jacket and lets herself fall down onto the bed, sighing contently. "Stop complaining," she says. "If you're cold, come here and I'll warm you up."
There's something inviting, sensuous, in her voice, and Nami shivers - though this time it's definitely not from the cold. She's across the room and in the bed before she even knows how she got there, though she keeps a safe distance between them because she's never been in bed with another girl before. Not like this. Nami doesn't know how this works.
"C'mere," Ray mumbles, reaching out for her, and even if she's apprehensive about this, Nami scoots closer and curls her arms around Ray, snuggling up to her and sharing her warmth.
She's happy to find that it feels nice. Really nice.
Album sales are down due to the recession, and even Ray is fighting for her popularity. Especially now that there are pictures of her and Nami in the tabloids, almost every day.
Nami is surprised that she's not as bothered by it as she thought she would be. She's more concerned about the effect it has on Ray and her career. Maybe I'm growing up, she thinks to herself, then grins because nah, that's not going to happen.
For a change, she's the one bringing Ray lunch, and even if her bentos are nowhere near as nice as the ones Ray makes, she can tell that Ray appreciates it. "Thank you," she whispers, and takes Nami's hand for a moment before hand-feeding her, as usual. Nami lets her, even if she thinks that it should be the other way around right now.
They sit side by side in the recording studio afterwards, watching the seconds tick by. It's quiet and comfortable and Nami likes it. She wishes things could always be like this. She wishes they could always be by each others' sides.
"You'll be with me, won't you, Kai?" Ray asks, and there's a vulnerability in her voice that Nami knows Ray won't show to anyone else.
It makes her smile, and she kisses the corner of Ray's mouth. "I'll always be with you."