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Gumi Has Twenty Girlfriends

Chapter Text

Miku was sick.

It wasn't too dramatic or anything. She wasn't deathly ill. She told everyone that she had gotten food poisoning from an evil nameless mastermind and once her lover had nursed her back to health, she'd set out on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to get her revenge.

The actual story was that Len Kagamine had dared her to eat an entire sack of raw spring onions.

After calling her a complete dork, Gumi was willing to nurse Miku back to health, after washing her mouth out with Listerine so that the house wouldn't stink of her onion breath.

Len's a little bitch, isn't he? Gumi thought to herself as she pulled some Gatorade out of the fridge. I hope he knows what he's brought into this household.

She found Miku groaning in the living room as she lay on the chocolate brown sofa. Miku lifted her head and scowled. "I hate the purple kind," she whined.

Gumi shrugged. "That's all we have left. I'll go out and get more tonight."

Miku's paled face softened, and she shifted under her thick, sky-blue blanket. "You don't have to. I'm just not gonna drink the purple Gatorade."

Gumi tossed the Gatorade onto the coffee table, not taking the time to be impressed with it landing on its bottom, and pointed to the other bottle sitting on the end table. "Can you at least drink some water?"

Miku mumbled something incoherent and tugged the blanket tighter around her.

"I'll put it to your mouth for you," Gumi offered.

That interested Miku enough. She poked her head back out and opened her mouth as Gumi gently pushed the bottle to it. She took long gulps, and let out a relaxed sigh after pulling away.

"I wish I could kiss you," she said, her eyes wider, more wistful. "But I'd give you Miku germs."

"It's too late for me," Gumi pointed out, sitting on the sofa against her legs. "I'm already infected." She winked. "With love sickness."

"Doesn't that mean you anxiety vomit a lot?"

"No, this is a different strain of love sickness." Gumi pulled Miku's thin arm toward her. "It's safe to kiss your hand, isn't it?"

"Kiss me on the lips if you're not a coward." Miku stuck out her tongue, not expecting Gumi to quickly close in and wrap her lips around it, pushing lovingly against Miku. After pulling away, Miku let out a shuddered gasp. "I was kidding."

"But you were right," Gumi giggled. "Don't worry, I'll wash my mouth out so that I don't have too many Miku germs."

Miku pouted. "I thought you liked Miku germs!"

"Yeah, but I don't like food poisoning." Gumi shrugged. "But I'll stay for a little longer." She pulled Miku closer by her shoulders. "Cuddling is good for your health."

Miku grinned and let her head fall against Gumi's chest. "Whatever you say, Doctor Gumi!"

Chapter Text

Spring was Gumi's favorite time of year. Specifically late spring, when it started to fade into summer. She liked the humidity that gave her the excuse to let her arms and legs go bare and to go swimming.

She'd also recently picked up gardening as a hobby. She liked to grow flowers. Part of the reason for this was because she thought it'd be cute to give Lily a bouquet of lilies.

They grew in as many colors as Gumi could find. White, pink, orange, red, black, and of course, yellow. Gumi had the most of yellow lilies, since it was Lily's favorite color. 

Today, the flowers were ready to be picked. Gumi had brought a big ceramic pot for them all, filled with the most nutritious soil she could get her hands on. I hope I'm doing this right, she thought as she pulled the roots out of the ground.

When the flowers were ready, Gumi realized she probably wasn't strong enough to carry this back to the house. There was a huge risk of dropping the pot on the pathway and shattering it. It didn't take long for her to come up with a better method.

Once Gumi had found a toy wagon that didn't look like it was going to fall apart at the tiniest nudge, she found unexpected visitors near the lilies.

Bumblebees.

Gumi liked bumblebees. They were so fat and fuzzy. They would be the perfect bug if Gumi wasn't super allergic to them.

"This is for Lily," she muttered to herself as she lifted the flowerpot with all her might and dropped it in the wagon. This startled the bees a little, and Gumi froze, dreading the stings, but instead of panicking and attacking her, the bees buzzed off over to the other side of the yard.

Gumi peered over to see none other than Lily, her long blonde hair fallen around her on the bright green grass, holding what looked to be a metal spoon to the ground.

When the bees approached her, Lily beamed, her eyes widened with delight. "Hi, babies!" she squealed. Gumi stifled a giggle, watching her mature, collected girlfriend get so excited about bumblebees, and somehow being able to pet one with her finger.

Gumi pulled the wagon behind her as she kept on forward, which caused Lily to divert her attention to her. "Hey, babe!" she shouted. "What's with the wagon?"

"Um..." Their relationship was very casual with lots of teasing and joking, and now was an odd time to say something mushy. "I, um...I grew these--"

"What?"

Gumi cleared her throat and yelled, "I have flowers for you!"

Lily grinned. The sunlight had to be reflecting off of her teeth, judging by how bright and pristine they were. She stood up, leaving her spoon in the grass and jogged over. "You got me flowers?"

Gumi felt herself blush, but she could think about how beautiful Lily was later. "Y-yeah, I grew them myself."

"Whoa!" Lily leaned to her left to peek at the flowerpot. "I knew you've been gardening a lot, I didn't know you were planning this!"

"I hope you like them."

"Look, there's even bumblebees!"

"Again?" Gumi instinctively jumped away and tightly clung her arms around Lily, who giggled and ruffled her hair.

"It's fine, babe. Look, they're joining their friends." Lily pointed to where she'd sat earlier, and Gumi followed to watch the bees deviate from the flowers to the spoon on the ground. "That's where the sugar water is," Lily added.

"Bees are such cute little babies," Gumi observed. "I wish they didn't inflict hell on me all the time."

Lily laughed again, this time kissing Gumi's nose before speaking again. "Let's get these flowers in the house before my friends kill you."

Gumi sighed with relief. "I'm glad you're not betraying me."

"Huh?"

"I've seen Bee Movie seventeen times. I know what that stuff leads to."

Lily's sky blue eyes widened. "You watched it seventeen times?"

"I was eight, alright?"

They each curled one hand around the wagon handle as they approached the front door. 

Chapter Text

In Gumi's middle school, no one really cared to romantically pursue other students when they had grown-ups to fawn over. If they did, it wouldn't be between two girls. Gumi liked girls and only girls, and everybody knew this. She never expected any girl to ever look at her with any sort of longing.

She had a crush on her best friend Rin. She could admit that to herself now. But Rin didn't like girls, so it was fruitless. Gumi had to hold in the affection she felt. Eventually, she started avoiding Rin, because she didn't want to be a predator.

Then Rin passed her a note during class asking to meet on the rooftop.

Gumi was nervous all day. She was grossed out by her own sweaty hands slipping into each other. When the last class was dismissed, Gumi bolted out of the room and up the stairs, not even waiting for Rin.

She leaned her back against the fence. She wasn't sure why she was so nervous. Was it even possible that Rin knew? She had to have noticed how Gumi had distanced herself.

Rin would find out eventually. Definitely. She probably already had. And she would be disgusted when she knew that this girl who she thought she trusted, who she'd spent years bonding with and growing trust in, was looking at her in this disgusting way.

Even though they'd left the same classroom, Rin was taking a bit long to show up. Was this a prank? Rin had to know, then. She wanted to betray Gumi like she'd betrayed her. After all, Rin had other friends. Better friends. Straight friends. Why would she ever want to be near Gumi again? Even if she never knew the truth about how Gumi saw her, Rin would be better off ditching her disgusting lesbian friend, to avoid this exact situation.

Gumi's thoughts stopped completely when she saw the girl with the white bow approach from the stairwell. Her face was almost totally red, her cute smile--no, no, not cute, that's bad--her smile nervous and meek.

Before Gumi could even greet her or ask any questions, Rin spoke in an exhale. "I like girls too."

The short, blunt confession was almost too shocking for Gumi to comprehend the next sentence.

"I have a crush on you, Gumi."

Then everything was blocked out. Just Rin and her bright blue eyes darting from the ground to Gumi's gaze and back again. Her blush spilling through her body. Her short, sand-colored hair gently moving in the delicate breeze. 

And her smile. Her teeth were a little crooked, peeking through smooth, soft lips that Gumi could finally admit she wanted.

"I love you too," she found herself breathing.

"C-can we kiss?"

Gumi forced herself to nod. She took Rin's slender hands and pulled her closer. For a very short moment, their eyes locked onto each other.

Then, the eyes closed. And their lips touched.

Chapter Text

There was no end to the torment Flower met in the hallways. There was no shortage of ways to ridicule her, either. 

They'd glare at her. The longer glares scanned up and down her body. Flower didn't wear her uniform like they did. She left the blazer unbuttoned and her tie was around her neck, under her chin, rather than her shirt collar. She also didn't like to wear socks in the warm weather. Her arms were always exposed. Even in winter, she'd roll up her sleeves. So everyone saw the scars on her arms.

"Why does she show off her cuts like that?" they'd mutter to each other. "Is she trying to get sympathy from everyone? What a freak. What an attention whore. Of course she's desparate for attention, you see how she dresses?"

Flower always just kept her eyes ahead. She didn't let anyone divert her attention. She'd trained herself throughout the years to be able to do this.

They'd snicker and gossip as she walked among them. It was especially noticeable after her haircut.

"What's with this chick? Is she a dyke now? Of course someone like her wouldn't be able to get a boyfriend. She's a rude attention whore. Acting like she's better than us just 'cause she's a weirdo who cuts herself."

On more...energetic days, they'd speak to her directly.

"Hey! Hey, freak! No one cares that you cut yourself! Get it through your fucking skull, alright? No one likes you! No one cares! Stop showing off! You wanna fight? You wanna fight after school? I can give you worse cuts than that! It's what you deserve, you dyke bitch!"

"Hey, bitch! I know you cheated on that test! I'm the smartest student in our year, no way you got a better grade than me! I know you're too stupid to get a perfect score without cheating! Look at me when I'm talking to you, you bitch! I know you can hear me!"

They always mentioned something she was holding.

"What's with the books? Don't tell me she actually works? And reads? How can someone who looks like that ever be taken seriously? I bet she's just faking like the attention whore she is. Surprised she hasn't started telling sob stories and crying in the hallway yet. She's trying to impress everyone with how big those books are. I bet she can't even read half the kanji. No, a third of it."

"Oh, Flower's holding flowers. Is she trying out a new girly-girl image? What an idiot. She needs to clean up and be proper first before she can try out any cutesy quirks. Is she that desparate for a boyfriend? She can't look like a pretentious dyke and carry around flowers like that. It's one or the other."

Block it out, block it out. It came as easy as breathing to her.

She arrived at the classroom. Her sanctuary. It wouldn't be much of a sanctuary, considering the bullies in her class, if it weren't for the emerald-haired girl waiting for her at her desk.

"I got you flowers," Flower told her softly, presenting the bouquet of roses.

Gumi beamed, her dimpled cheeks blushing the faintest pink. "Thank you! That's so sweet!"

No one knew the true nature of their relationship. They hadn't dared to kiss in the classroom before. In school, they would only kiss if they happened to be alone in the bathroom. But Flower was in a good mood. She'd dealt with way worse than whatever the outcome could be. She wrapped Gumi's hand in her own. "Let's kiss."

Gumi nodded, her smile widening before leaning closer and touching lips.

Everyone in the room stopped to stare.

Flower didn't mind. She was able to block out everyone's derisive gossip in the first place because she found her strength in Gumi. She couldn't help smiling with her as they parted.

"Thank you," Flower said simply.

They sat at their desks next to each other and began to converse as they always did. Even if everyone saw them in a better or worse way from here on out, Flower didn't care. She trusted Gumi enough to ignore any worry she might have had otherwise.

"I can beat those assholes up if you want," Gumi whispered.

Flower shook her head. "They'll get over it. And they won't bother with you, because you're such a good model student."

Gumi sighed. "Sorry..."

Flower leaned sideways to give her another kiss, just on the cheek this time. "Don't apologize. I'm happy with you. And you're happy with me. That's all that matters, isn't it?"

Gumi grinned again. It was so wonderful that Flower found herself reflecting it a little. "Yeah. It is. I love you."

Flower knew all eyes and ears were on them. And she couldn't care less.

"I love you, too."

Chapter Text

Meiko and Gumi didn't live together, but Meiko often visited Gumi and stayed overnight, so people often thought otherwise. Usually, it was simply because they greatly enjoyed each other's company and tried to spend as much time together as they could. But then there were nights like this, where one of them was desparate for comfort.

Meiko was too drunk to drive, but sober enough to walk the distance between her apartment and Gumi's home. From there, Gumi was willing to help her walk to the sofa.

"Sorry, Gumi..." she mumbled, with scrunched eyebrows and a red tint on her cheeks.

Gumi ignored the apology. She didn't think it was necessary, so it didn't need a response. "How much did you drink?"

"I dunno..." Meiko sighed, turning her head away. "Sorry..."

"Do you need to vent or anything?" Gumi asked. She took a seat on the sofa beside her.

Meiko shrugged. "I guess I...relapsed, or whatever. It's a cycle, isn't it? I feel like I'm taking advantage of you all the time."

"I'm dating you because I want to, Meiko."

Meiko shook her head. "You really don't have to--"

Gumi placed her hand against her face and held it toward her. "I'm not dating you out of pity, or whatever you've been telling yourself. It's because I like how warm it is when you hug me. It's because I like how your eyes are so deep, and how there's specks of roses in the brown irises. It's because I like how your hair is so soft and silky and how it shines in the sunlight."

Meiko slowly blinked her eyes wide.

"It's because I like your dumb jokes that you tell when you know I'm having a bad day. It's because you write beautiful love songs and sing them just for me. It's because I feel so safe every time you hold my hand. It's because you taught me how to be confident in myself and how to live with my anxiety."

Gumi pulled her closer.

"It's because I love you."

They kissed, slowly enrapturing each other, their lips pressing softly, the tips of their tongues touching briefly before they pulled apart again.

The rest of the night was silent and peaceful. They slept smiling in each other's arms on Gumi's sofa.

Chapter Text

She was dying. She didn't know how or why or where. She could barely remember flashes of what had just happened--sunlight, pink hair, soft sand--whatever had driven her into this tight, dark, blurred corner. Her heartbeat was a rhythmic thundering all around her, and she could only wait for some form of lightning to pierce her throat and stop her from breathing.

She opened her mouth to call for help, but she found she couldn't breathe anymore.

"Gumi, are you alright?" Something soft and smooth and melodic. Luka, Luka. She was with Luka. Right now. Luka was here. With her.

Gumi forced a response out. "W-what's--" She coughed, expecting a fountain of blood to burst out, but it was only a hot, shaky breath. "Help me, Luka--"

Something warm, familiar, surrounded her. "You'll be alright. Can you hear me breathe?"

Her ears were ringing now, the thunder was louder, her breath felt like knives slipping though her lungs. "No..."

"Then can you feel it?"

The warmth pressed and repelled from her side. Gumi shut her eyes tight, too dazed from the assault of light and sound, and reached a trembling hand toward it. It was soft, moving gently, rhythmically.

"Breathe with that, alright?"

Gumi forced herself to focus on the movement. As she did, she noticed the breezy exhale from beside her. Luka was right here. Her breath came in a chilled whisper. Like the wind on the beach this morning.

Right, they were at the beach. Together. Gumi opened her eyes to see the light gray sky, the clouds parted very slightly to make room for the sun, whose light shimmered in the quiet ocean they were sitting a few feet away from.

No more storm.

Now that it was clear where they were and what was going on, Gumi felt very foolish. She took Luka's soft arms and hugged her tighter. "I'm sorry, Luka."

"Do you feel better?" Luka simply asked. At Gumi's nod, she smiled kindly and leaned in to kiss her nose. "You didn't do anything wrong, Gumi. Your safety's important." She pulled away again. "Do you want to go home?"

The panic attack had been completely unprovoked. That was the scary thing about panic attacks. They could come at any moment. But that was probably the case for most bad things, wasn't it? Gumi wasn't constantly worried about every single shred of possible misfortune. For example, there was a chance that a shark would mistake them for sea turtles while they swam, and proceed to rip them both to shreds. There was a chance that a sudden storm would approach, a real, threatening storm, and raise the tides, drowning them. Gumi would get overly nervous about that stuff sometimes, but not now. Not with Luka. Luka always made her feel calm and safe, without fail.

"Let's stay for a while," Gumi answered, reassuring them both with her smile. "I still wanna go swimming with you."

They stood, kicked off their sandals into the sand, and waded into the ocean until their toes were no longer touching the ground. By that point, they could get by just holding each other and kicking around in the clear water.

Chapter Text

Even without Kokone beside her, Gumi was happy when she began to stir in the morning. The bed was so soft and comforting, and the breeze from the electric fan was hitting her just right. Gumi almost wanted to stay here forever, but she had to get out of bed to eat breakfast.

Unless it was too late to have breakfast. Gumi had this weird anxiety thing where she couldn't do certain things past certain times, or else she would border on having an attack. For example, she couldn't get out of bed any later than ten, and she couldn't eat breakfast any later than eleven. She figured she could at least roll over and check the clock to see how much time she had.

Eleven thirty.

That couldn't be right. Gumi hadn't even stayed up that late. And she hadn't had a bad night's rest. If it was eleven thirty, that meant she'd slept for a full twelve and a half hours. That couldn't be right.

She reached for her phone and nudged the button to wake it. The screen said the same thing. Eleven thirty.

The day was almost halfway over, and Gumi had slept the whole time.

She pulled the blanket back over her head. She could barely even grasp what she'd just done. It was unacceptable that Gumi had wasted so much of the day already. She wouldn't get that morning back, ever. 

What in the world was she supposed to do now? Waste the rest of the day, too? Maybe she could do her housework extremely fast. Or spend all day doing housework. She had to make up for this somehow.

That's right. Ideally, she'd relax today and play video games or something. But she threw away that chance. She had to pay the price.

Just as Gumi sat up in bed, the door creaked open, and Kokone's lovely amber eyes peeked in.

"Oh, wow!" she breathed with a smile. "I finished just in time!"

Before Gumi could ask for clarification, the door was kicked further open, revealing the white tray in Kokone's hands. It held five little bowls.

"It's breakfast in bed time!" Kokone announced with a grin. "Although, it took longer than I thought it would, so I guess it's brunch in bed now."

Gumi had to raise a hand to her mouth to cover her smile. She felt guilty smiling at this surprise. Even if she was mostly smiling at how cute and pretty her girlfriend was.

Today, Kokone wore a simple white camisole and a black miniskirt. They had some stains that were different shades of brown. Apparently, Kokone had been a little clumsy in the kitchen, but the bowls seemed to be fine when Kokone approached.

It was more food than Gumi had bothered to eat for breakfast in a while. She took a moment to observe each bowl. One had a simple serving of white rice, which she was always up for. The most shallow bowl held a nice fried egg with plenty of seasoning. Another had miso soup, which she knew Kokone made all by herself. She always insisted on making her own soup, and she always did such a fantastic job. Another bowl had natto, with what seemed like sliced carrots mixed into the beans. The last bowl had hiyayakko. The tofu was formed in a smooth block, topped with green onion and sliced ginger.

"God, Kokone..." Gumi gasped. "I knew you were really good at cooking, but..."

Kokone giggled sweetly. "It's not too much, is it? I noticed you didn't eat much yesterday, so..."

"Well, I was with Lily," Gumi explained. "I was helping her fix her car. So I didn't have time to eat much." She leaned closer. "I didn't make you worried, did I?"

Kokone beamed again. "Well, it gave me an excuse. I've wanted to do this for you ever since we moved in together." She turned around to switch off the fan, just in time to avoid noticing that Gumi was blushing furiously. 

"I-it's so much," she stammered. "I don't know how to thank you."

She turned back, her beautiful hair twirling with her. She bent down and poked a finger to her rose-tinted cheek. "A kiss would be nice!"

Gumi nodded, and Kokone got closer so that their lips would connect. Kokone's lips were always nice and plump and soft. Right now, they tasted a little like beans.

When they pulled apart, Gumi asked, "Did you sneak some?"

Kokone looked away and lifted her hand to hide her face. "M-maybe..."

"Hey, it's okay." Gumi lightly pulled her by the hand. "I don't know if I can eat this all."

"S-sorry, I just--"

Kokone's mouth was not hidden well enough to avoid Gumi shoving some natto into it with her chopsticks. Kokone's eyes widened, but she accepted the gift and giggled when she swallowed.

"Share with me!" Gumi offered. "You made it, after all. It's only fair."

Kokone sat down at the end of the bed, on the other side of the tray. "If you insist!"

There was only one pair of chopsticks on the tray. One of them could've gotten up to get another, but Gumi didn't mind taking turns using them. It meant there were more chances to talk with Kokone, and Gumi didn't need to have lunch today, since this was brunch and not breakfast. She could spend as much time as she wanted talking with Kokone.

Plus, considering that Gumi sleeping late allowed Kokone to do this for her, she didn't care so much about wasting time anymore.

Chapter Text

Ia had been rather distant lately. Gumi could respect that girls like Ia liked their space and sometimes wanted to be left alone for a while, but she had barely even been talking to Gumi, who couldn't keep herself from worrying.

She paced in the empty living room, around the coffee table, trying to figure it out on her own. Did I upset her somehow? Is she too afraid to talk to me about something? Does she want to break up? What if she's in a really bad place? And she's scared to try and get help? Why won't she talk to me anymore?

Gumi was afraid to ask Ia for an explanation. But if she waited and let these worries boil, she wouldn't be acting any better. For the sake of their happiness, Gumi marched down the hall into their bedroom.

Ia was lying on her stomach, staring down at an open notebook while nibbling the end of a pen. There were some black scribbles on the lined pages, but that was all Gumi caught before Ia hurried to slap the notebook shut and sit up on her knees. "H-hello," she stammered, twirling the pen in her pale fingers.

She looked startled. Gumi kind of liked when Ia's eyes widened like that, because then she could see the whole irises. They were a beautiful shimmering indigo. But she still felt a little guilty, too. "Sorry. I should've knocked."

Ia shrugged wordlessly, her eyes relaxing again. "I'm...a bit busy right now," she said, glancing back down at her notebook.

She was always saying that.

"Ia, um..." She didn't want to sound confrontational, but she didn't know how else to put it. "I think you've been avoiding me lately."

Ia turned her attention back to her. "Hm?"

"You never talk to me or eat with me or anything. You're always in our room or at the library." Gumi realized she was biting a nail between words. She let it happen. "Is everything okay?"

Ia blinked slowly before raising her hands to cover her cheeks and mumbling something.

"What?" Gumi asked.

"I didn't know you felt that way," she repeated more clearly. "I'm...I didn't mean to avoid you. I'm sorry." She moved her hand to hold one of her little platinum blonde braids close. "But I really am busy. I can't tell you why. You'll figure out on your birthday."

That meant a surprise. Despite her confusion and anxiety, Gumi had faith that the surprise would be a good one. On June twenty-sixth, Ia told Gumi to meet her at the library.

Gumi didn't come here nearly as often as Ia did, so she had no idea what she'd find upstairs. She expected the bookshelves and computer desks, but Ia wasn't among them. Rather, she was waiting at the very end, sitting behind an ebony grand piano.

"I hope it wasn't much trouble," Ia said, twirling a braid with her finger. "If I told you to find the piano, it would've spoiled it for you."

"I had no idea there was a piano here," Gumi replied. She wasn't sure what else to say. Was the piano relevant to the surprise?

Ia leaned forward, holding her hands to the velvet bench. "Do you remember the day I professed to you?"

It had been a very long time, but of course Gumi remembered. "Exactly five years ago."

Ia nodded with a pearly grin. "I've been thinking about how I could express my gratitude for you properly. So I wrote a song for you. It took months to perfect. I hope you enjoy it."

Gumi waited and listened.

Ia's voice was sweet and cool, complimenting the soothing melody of the piano well. She sang of the first sprout of love she'd felt, her nervousness leading up to the confession, the trees surrounding them as they were honest, the blissful taste of their first kiss. She sang of the flowers Gumi had picked for her, the sunsets they'd watched, the stars they'd gazed at, the poems Ia had written. She sang of suffocating gloom that they survived just by holding onto each other and saying "I love you." She sang of endless gratitude, joy, love.

Her singing was concluded when she swiftly approached Gumi and kissed the happy tears.

Chapter Text

Mayu towered over the girl she admired so passionately, tightly clutching her legs to her chest and staring with wide green eyes.

"You're lying," Gumi snarled, failing to keep her voice steady. "I know you're lying."

Mayu's amusement crept into a small smile as she bent down. "Oh, no, sweetheart...you know I love you, don't you?"

Gumi clenched her fists. "You know nothing about love."

Other than a sweet giggle, Mayu ignored this. "And loving you means making sure nothing can take it away from us."

"You're so fucked up."

"You didn't stop talking to that vile girl when I told you to. So I had to take drastic measures." She paused. "And if you don't comply with me..."

Mayu pulled the iron axe, its silver blade dripping with fresh crimson, out from behind her back. At this, Gumi flinched and gasped, but couldn't say anything before Mayu raised it as high above her head as she could.

"That's a wrap!"

Gumi released the false tension in her shoulders before bouncing up to her feet. "Did I do okay?"

After Mayu took a moment to place the axe prop on the floor--there was a tarp nearby, so she didn't have to worry about the paint stains--she pulled Gumi closer and quickly kissed her lips. "You did amazing! I almost felt like I was really hurting you!" She gasped and raised a gloved hand to her mouth. "I wasn't, right?"

"Well, you're really scary when you're in character," Gumi admitted with a little laugh. "But I'm fine."

Normally Mayu got one of her usual directors to film this sort of thing, but Gumi had never participated in it before. It was the opening scene to a brand new music video. Mayu offered Gumi a chance to sing a duet with her, but Gumi declined politely, saying she wouldn't be too comfortable with the attention it would attract. Mayu was one of the top idol singers at the moment, after all. Gumi was probably getting enough publicity just by dating her. Gumi was, however, willing to act in the opening scene, as long as someone she knew well--in this case, her other girlfriend Rin--was filming.

Rin watched the girls with a smile, but from the fragility of it, she was very hesitant to approach them. Gumi caught onto this, scoffing softly and saying, "Don't be shy, Rin! I know Mayu's a really good actress, but--"

"Oh, no, no!" Rin interrupted, breathing through a nervous laugh. "I know she's not really a yandere! I just don't wanna ruin your moment with her. It's hard to spend much time with Mayu, so you should make the most of this."

Gumi grinned. "Alright! In that case, uh..." She turned back to Mayu. "Wanna make out?"

Mayu's answer was to yank Gumi close and passionately shove their lips together, their tongues intertwining soon after. Gumi moaned with surprised pleasure as she reached for Mayu's free hand.

"Maybe get a room first," Rin muttered to herself, not without the hint of amusement, pushing the lens cap on the camera. The girls didn't hear her, thankfully. Gumi and Mayu didn't spend time with each other very often, so if they wanted to do it by loudly making out right in front of Rin, she had to just let them have that.

Chapter Text

Lilac was an angelic rabbit. She always used her litter pan when she needed it, and she never tried to chew through cords or be disobedient. That was what Yukari had said. Unfortunately, it seemed Yukari was Lilac's only friend.

"Stop biting me," Gumi muttered, flinching as the oblivious rabbit's teeth pinched her skin.

Yukari was watching from the laptop screen in front of her. "It's because you look like a carrot," she joked, absentmindedly twirling a lavender pigtail. "Shouldn't you be in pajamas by now?"

"Your clothes are too small for me." Gumi started softly scratching Lilac's furry cheeks in hopes that it would reduce the nips. "I can't go home and get my own. Last time I left this monster alone for more than twenty minutes she jumped out of her cage and chewed on my phone charger."

Yukari narrowed her eyes. "That's your own fault, Gumi. Lock the cage next time." After Gumi scowled at her, she added more gently, "I have some bigger nightshirts and sweatpants in the basement. Those might fit you."

"Oh, good. I was just gonna sleep in my undies."

Yukari shrugged. "You could. You've already been naked in my bed before."

Lilac flopped onto her side against Gumi, who was blushing and narowing her eyes. "Yukari!"

"What? It's true."

"There's children here!" Gumi gestured to the light gray rabbit with her left hand. Her right hand was busy holding the little head.

"See? She likes you!" Gumi would be a little annoyed with Yukari if her teasing grin wasn't so adorable. "You'll be besties by the time I'm back!"

"First she should start pooping in her litter box like you said she would," Gumi responded dryly, as if she wasn't giving Lilac affectionate rubs and scratches all over her face. "She's been scattering her poop around me like she owns the place."

"Well, you're not the one living there."

Gumi stuck out her tongue, which brought giggles from both of them. Gumi gazed at the relaxed fluffy rabbit beside her for a moment before Yukari spoke again. "I gotta go to bed soon. I have to be up early tomorrow for a morning meeting."

Gumi nodded. "Alright. Thanks for calling me." She leaned closer to the camera. "It's lonely, being in your house without you in it. So hearing you talk to me is...really comforting."

Yukari leaned in as well. "I'm glad to hear that. It helps calm me down, too. All this socializing so far from home would drive me up the wall if I couldn't talk to you and relax a little."

It would be infinitely more comforting if they could kiss, but they had to settle for pressing their lips to the screen by the camera.

"Give Lilac a kiss for me too, okay?" Yukari requested.

Gumi returned her eyes to the rabbit. The ears were flattened down. They were a little pale compared to the rest of the body. When they flattened like that, they kind of looked like Yukari's pigtails.

"Yeah," Gumi replied. "I will."

Chapter Text

She couldn't see through the façades of all the demons in this world. She would be kind to them. Help them. Comfort them. Laugh with them. Bond with them. Trust them. Then, just when the demons got what they wanted out of her, they'd shed the mask of goodness and taunt her, knowing that she knew that she had contributed to the evil of the world and there was nothing she could do but watch through teary eyes.

The demons were red. Bright, bright, burning red. When Gumi took it upon herself to carry out the punishment, she saw the same shade of red bleed out of her. She knew she was already evil. There was nothing she could do but try to tear the whole façade away little by little.

Cul didn't understand. Maybe it was because she was red, too. Her hair, her eyes, her polished nails, the tint of her cheeks and lips. Maybe Cul was a demon. Gumi tried to ignore that idea. Gumi loved to be blind, but she didn't want to share it with Cul, who obliviously wrapped bandages around the cut-up arms.

"Why do you keep doing this?" Cul demanded, her voice soft yet firm, a little choked up.

Gumi didn't understand how Cul couldn't know. She was red. Wouldn't she want to share her evil with Gumi?

"I want to make sure I'm not demonic anymore," Gumi answered.

"Why would you be?"

"Because I trusted too many evil people. I had to bleed it out now."

Cul's color wasn't hidden on the inside. Her red was visible to the world. Not like Gumi. Her evil was hidden even from herself. Maybe that was why Gumi could trust her the most. She didn't lie.

So Gumi listened when Cul spoke again.

"Puppets don't put on their own strings." Cul laced her fingers with Gumi's. "Bad people find good people and fuck up their heads so that they think they're on the same side no matter what. And when the good people see through the act, the bad people make them think they're one and the same."

"I'm not a puppet anymore." Gumi didn't let her fingers go. How selfish of her. "I'm a puppeteer. I just don't know who my puppets are."

"Bad people don't care about others. Bad people aren't the ones always trusting and caring for others." Cul lowered her head and kissed Gumi's hand. "You trust me enough to let me cover your cuts. And you love me enough to comfort me every day. That's not a façade, is it?"

Gumi shook her head.

"So red isn't always so bad."

Cul grinned. So adorable, so kind, so comforting. Even if it was a little selfish, Gumi felt her smile peeking through. She sat up, and their lips slowly came together.

Cul's lips, her tongue, her deep eyes, her love...they were all shades of red.

"Your red is my favorite."

Chapter Text

Gumi and Ruby had a very healthy, steady relationship. However, there were sometimes communication issues. For example, Ruby didn't understand that "It's really hot outside" did not mean "I want you to throw me into the freezing cold swimming pool."

Once Gumi had spit out enough water, she was able to scold her through chattering teeth. "W-what the hell was that?"

"What?" Ruby shrugged her shoulders defensively as she climbed the ladder. "You're in your swimsuit. It's not like you weren't gonna be in the pool anyways."

"It's s-so cold!" Gumi cried.

Ruby's swimsuit was pretty skimpy compared to Gumi's. It was a solid red bikini, but Ruby wore some black swim shorts over it. It left her toned stomach visible, with all the sweat glistening on it. It disappeared once Ruby was in the water. She immediately began to wade her way toward Gumi. "Look, it's not that bad."

Gumi pouted, her jaw still shuttering. She didn't question how Ruby was able to stand the icy water. She knew she was just showing off. She was always showing off the bronze glow of her muscles, after all. She was always scooping Gumi up around the house. Just like she'd scooped Gumi up and dropped her into this freezing swimming pool.

Ruby grinned, her teeth just as bright as the rest of her. "Look, I bet five minutes ago you'd be desparate for this kinda relief. You should be thanking me. I'm--"

She was cut off by an assault of cold water at Gumi's hands. Ruby's eyes squeezed tightly shut, and she belatedly lifted her arm to defend her face. Then, she swung her arm to deliver a wave aimed straight at Gumi, who took the courage to pinch her nose and plunge herself underwater.

Ruby was right after all, as usual. The cold all over her body and the muffled bubbling in her ears was pretty refreshing.

Gumi burst back out of the water, bringing a fountain up with her to attack Ruby. When her vision was clear of splashing, she realized Ruby wasn't in her line of sight. She knew what was coming. She swung her arm as she turned to face her opponent, their waves colliding and bursting. Ruby was on her toes, it seemed. She was already preparing a huge wave to strike Gumi down.

Gumi ducked again, waiting to spring up at the right moment, but then she heard something splash down behind her. Before she could turn and look through her goggles, something cold grabbed her torso and lifted.

"You can't run away forever, Megumi Yamane!" Ruby declared once they were above the water.

Gumi's legs were in the right position to kick water toward Ruby's face, but she neglected the fact that Ruby was still holding her up.

Gumi was dropped back in. She held her nose closed again as she fell, but she landed with her head above water. Just as she released, she saw smaller splashes in the corners of her eyes, then felt a tight embrace.

"Gotcha!" Gumi felt soft, damp lips kiss the back of her neck. It made her shiver a little, and that escaped as a giggle. She didn't need to look back at Ruby to hear the smirk in her voice as she added, "See? We're having fun."

"Fine, I like it, okay?" Gumi was smiling, though. She was never really angry with Ruby. This constant playfulness and mischief was just a part of them.

Just like the surprise of them kissing for the first time and finding themselves ravishing every second, during a silly party game. Ruby's love was a surprise, so it came in surprises like this. Gumi accepted and cherished these as a way of showing reciprocation.

"I love you," Gumi clarified aloud.

Ruby's lips reached her ear. She definitely knew it would make Gumi shiver again when she murmured, "I love you too."

Chapter Text

"Gumi! I need you!"

The idea of a pop diva telling someone "I need you" often conveyed a message of vanity. Divas were always seen as bossy, entitled girls who walked all other people and refused to do the simplest tasks for themselves. But Gumi knew for a fact that Maika wasn't like that. Maika was the most selfless and loving person Gumi knew. When she cried for Gumi just now, the way her voice cracked and shuddered immediately alerted Gumi to the situation.

They were backstage right now, preparing the finishing touches before Maika's concert. Today, Gumi was part of the crew in charge of lighting and special effects. But those could wait. Maika needed her.

At the back wall, she saw her curled up with her hands to her ears, her curly pink extensions spilled around her. She didn't seem to realize that Gumi was approaching until Gumi gently placed her hand on her shoulder.

"What's wrong, Maika?" Gumi asked softly.

Maika's hands still covered her ears, and her wide, teary eyes were still fixed onto the floor, but she managed to respond. "I can't do it. I can't go on stage."

"Why not? Did something happen?"

"It's--" Maika paused for a shaky breath. "I-I messed up last time...my voice cracked, and I messed up..."

Gumi had been to her last concert, just as an audience member. She hadn't noticed anything off, but Maika was certain that her voice had cracked at some point, throwing her off rhythm and off key. She didn't believe Gumi when she said nothing seemed wrong. Right now would be no different.

Gumi wrapped her in her arms and whispered, "Did you see how many people are in the crowd?"

Maika nodded.

"If they thought you were a bad singer, would they have paid for tickets?"

"M-maybe they forgot. Or they came to boo me. And they'll be mad when I mess up again."

"No, I don't think so." Gumi wasn't very good with words. She wished she could do more than repeat herself and stroke Maika's platinum white hair. "I mean...everyone sees you as a fabulous and confident idol. Everyone knows you for putting your own twist on pop music. If your voice really did crack, I think they'd just see it as part of the show."

Maika lowered her hands and let out a soft exhale. "That...I think I can believe that."

Gumi smiled. "And they're your songs, anyway. You're the one who decides how they're sung, right?"

Maika finally looked up into Gumi's eyes. "You're right, you're right. Thank you." Suddenly, she pulled Gumi's face close to firmly kiss her lips. Gumi could feel the hot pink lipstick smear on her, but Maika's lips looked fine when they separated, framing her shimmering smile. "I'm sorry for...sorry that you needed to do that for me."

"Maika, I get nervous too. And you always give me what I need. It's only fair." Gumi gave another kiss, a quick, soft one. "You've got this. I know you're gonna be great."

Maika clapped her hands together enthusiastically before they returned to their respective duties. The concert was ready to begin, and Gumi knew it would be as stunning as ever.

Chapter Text

Gumi didn't understand what was going on. She couldn't quite process all the panicked clamor around her, the crowds running back and forth desparately. She could barely make out anything that was being shouted into her ear. Even Lumi's voice was inaudible, as she forceully led Gumi somewhere with trembling hands.

A loud, echoing bang shot through the fuzz. At the same time, Lumi released Gumi's hand and shoved her, before collapsing down to the floor. Gumi could only stare down at her, unable to feel or move or think or breathe, until she saw the blood trickle out from underneath.

"Lumi!" Gumi shrieked and fell to her knees beside her. She ignored the crowds screaming at her to get away. She had to lift Lumi to lie on her back, and look in her dazed eyes.

She parted her lips. "Take me to the ocean."

"N-no, Lumi--"

"It'll be alright." Lumi weakly reached for Gumi's hand and forced a smile. "I promise. Take me to the ocean."

The shopping mall they were in was near a beach, and Gumi was able to stand and lift Lumi in her arms. She trusted Lumi. If she could get out through the back, to the shore, things could be okay.

The chaos filling the scene was still blocked out by Gumi's thoughts, her objective on repeat: Escape with Lumi and take her to the ocean.

More gunshots rang out behind her as she fled, but she didn't look back to see who was hurt, who was killed. Maybe it was awful of her to think so, but only Lumi mattered right now. When Gumi found the exit, she kicked the doors open and began to sprint toward the shore.

It didn't matter when her legs started to burn and ache, when her heartbeat began to suffocate her rapid breathing, when the heat threatened to melt her entire body into acid. All that mattered was the bleeding girl in her arms.

Before Gumi realized it, the shoreline was in sight. She collapsed to her knees, dropping her beloved Lumi onto the moist sand. Lumi's eyes were still open. Her smile was weak, but it hadn't faded. "Let the ocean take me," she murmured, "and wait for me."

"What..." Gumi was breathless. She couldn't tell if it was sweat or tears trailing down her cheeks. "I don't want...you to go..."

"It's okay. I'll return. The ocean will heal me."

The waves came, and pulled Lumi into the water.

"Lumi!"

Gumi dragged herself toward the ocean, letting her dress become soaked and filthy. She searched with her fingers for any trace of white hair, but it was nothing but seaweed.

She didn't know how long she sat there waiting for some sort of sign before she saw the familiar pale color rise in the water. It wasn't the girl she loved. It was the top of a jellyfish.

This immediately struck Gumi as strange. There were never any sightings of jellyfish in this ocean, and the water here was too shallow for them anyway. Not only that, but this jellyfish in particular was approaching her, then staying in place once it had gone as close to the shore as it could. Like it was drawn to Gumi.

The thin, rounded shape of this white jellyfish reminded Gumi so strongly of Lumi that she couldn't abandon it. It was silly, but she knew deep inside that she needed this jellyfish close to her.

Gumi tore herself away to find a net, and returned to capture the jellyfish with ease. She then used a plastic container to scoop up some saltwater. It was still wriggling around in there when Gumi lugged it home.

"Sorry," Gumi muttered. "I was in a rush."

She placed the container on her nightstand and spent about an hour researching jellyfish care tips. Apparently, just sticking it in a container with nothing but lukewarm saltwater was already a recipe for disaster, but Gumi didn't know how to make it a more suitable environment. She hadn't even started high school yet, plus her parents were much too strict to let her get a proper jellyfish tank. But when she did a little more research, she realized this jellyfish wasn't even showing any signs of distress. It just sort of floated peacefully in the water.

For the next two weeks, Gumi constantly checked up on her jellyfish. Without Lumi, she wasn't motivated to do much else. This jellyfish felt like Lumi's last trace. Despite everything she'd read, it seemed perfectly content and healthy, until suddenly, while Gumi was lying on her bed, it started to thrash around, so violently that the container was nearly knocked off the nightstand.

Was her neglect catching up to her now? Gumi didn't know what else to do. She yanked the lid off the container and reached her hands in to lift out the jellyfish. As soon as her finger brushed against a tentacle, she felt a burning bolt of energy surge through her body, and her vision went black.

When she awoke, she felt surprisingly alert. After being stung by a jellyfish, she expected to be completely dazed and confused, if not dead. She immediately noticed the pale arms around her.

"I'm sorry, Gumi...I didn't mean to hurt you."

This soft, delicate, loving voice could only belong to one person. Gumi dared speak her name. "Lumi..."

"I had to revert to that form to recover. You understand, don't you?" She planted a kiss in Gumi's grassy green hair. "I couldn't leave you. Thank you for believing in me."

Gumi had a little trouble believing that this wasn't a dream. That Lumi really was here right now, embracing her. "I'm scared this is too good to be true," she admitted.

"I understand," Lumi replied. "I was neevous to tell you of my true nature. I don't want to overwhelm you."

"Why would this overwhelm me?" Gumi tilted her head up to gaze at Lumi. "I love you. I'm so glad I waited for you."

"I love you too, Gumi."

When Gumi awoke the next morning, the container was still devoid of any jellyfish, and Lumi was waiting to greet her at the door. When they met there and kissed, and Gumi tasted the salt on her lips, it made Gumi more sure than ever that this miracle was real.

Chapter Text

Miki knew two things for certain about Gumi. She was really good at Super Smash Bros, and she was super cute.

Miki kept losing the matches, no matter how hard she tried. It was frustrating at first, and a little embarrassing. After all these years thinking she was a master at beating up her friends with Samus as her puppet, here came Gumi to blow her away. She felt like a total fool in front of her. It was fine now, though. Gumi seemed very happy, and she was having fun.

Again, she was super cute. Her smile was just crooked enough to be endearing, complete with dimples, and her green eyes were strikingly vibrant. Her giggle brought the same sensation as the melody of a joyous xylophone.

"You're not getting bored, are you?" Gumi worried after beating her once more. "I could do this all day, but I get it if you wanna stop."

"No, this is fun!" Miki insisted. "I wanna keep playing!"

She really, really wanted to keep playing. Even when she lost, it was worth Gumi's happiness.

All these things together formed the idea that Miki was in love with her. She was guilty for thinking and feeling this way, because Gumi was already dating Miku. It was selfish to still want her. It was wrong. It was sinful. But she still wanted to love Gumi. The same way Miku loved her.

Miki couldn't help a peek of her thoughts from spilling out. "How're things going with Miku?"

"Oh, it's great!" Gumi beamed, even brighter than when she beat Miki at the game. "I'm so glad I'm dating her. She's so lovely and kind to me all the time!"

"That's great!" Miki couldn't be mad at Miku. Yes, she was envious. But Miku was nice enough to both of them. And if Gumi was happy, Miki was happy.

She could live without loving Gumi, right?

That thought only lasted a flash before Gumi's next words changed everything.

"And Miku's polyamorous, like me. So it all works out!"

Miki tried to hide her clueless shock, but she let the Gamecube controller slip a little in her hands. "W-whaddaya mean?"

"Oh, you didn't know?" Gumi didn't notice Miki's slip. After all, she was focused on both what she was saying and beating the shit out of Samus. "Polyamory is when you date more than one person at once, with--"

"I know what polyamory is," Miki replied. "But, um...what...works out?"

"Well, we both fall in love with a lot of girls," Gumi admitted with her adorable giggle. "So if I decide I want to date any other girls, Miku understands and accepts that. And she might even date them, too."

"So you could still date me if you wanted?"

As soon as the question flew out, Miki really dropped her controller. She didn't hear Gumi's answer over the thought "I can't believe I just said that" repeating over and over and over in her head. She couldn't dare look back up at her. Her cheeks were already burning. Would she ever be able to move again? Or would she just be paralyzed here forever until this abrupt wave of mortification drowned her?

"Miki? Miki, it's okay." She heard Gumi whispering now, right in her ear. "Miki...would you really want to date me?"

Miki wanted to nod, but she was too dizzy to move. She wanted to say "yes" or "I love you" but her throat was too dry to breathe it out.

Then Gumi wrapped her soft, chubby arms around her. "I'll do it. I...I kind of...I like you, Miki. I actually wanted to date you too, but...I never thought you would've thought of me the same way."

"I do." Miki wished she could do something other than stammer her feelings in a strained murmur. "I love you. I'm sorry."

"You don't have to be sorry for loving me, Miki! I love you too, so it balances out!"

Gumi kissed her cheek, but she still couldn't bring herself to look up. "But Miku...she's your girlfriend, and she's..."

"I can have more than one girlfriend! And Miku's polyamorous, too! She'll probably be happy if we started dating!"

Finally, finally, Miki dragged her eyes up to Gumi's. They twinkled with admiration, adoration, affection. She wasn't lying. This wasn't a lie. Gumi was being honest. Just like how Miki had been honest. If that terrifying slip hadn't happened, she wouldn't know that it was okay to love Gumi. Even better, Gumi loved her too. She really did.

"C-can I kiss you?" Miki boldly whispered.

In response, Gumi slowly pulled her face close, and their eyelids fluttered shut as their lips joined together.

It was just as soft and warm and wonderful as Miki dreamed. It was a blissful taste she couldn't describe. The only way she could describe it was love.

It would be a little more romantic, however, if Miki hadn't drenched herself in nervous sweat, and if the Super Smash Bros victory music wasn't blaring from the TV.

Chapter Text

For the past month or so, Gumi had suspected that rabbits were chewing up her garden. This would be expected for a vegetable garden, but Gumi wasn't growing any vegetables right now. Only flowers. According to Yukari Yuzuki, rabbits didn't really eat flowers, especially not to this extent. It was very strange.

So Gumi decided to have a stakeout. She didn't have a webcam or anything, so she had to settle for hiding in a sleeping bag in her backyard.

In summer.

She really wished she had a tent. Bug repellent couldn't last all night. Miraculously, though, she wouldn't even need the entire night. It couldn't have been any longer than an hour before she saw something rustle through the bushes.

No, not something. Someone. Bright orange hair, the color of a fox, was the first thing Gumi caught. Everything else was shrouded in black. That wouldn't be for much longer. Gumi whipped out her pocket flashlight and switched it on, pointing it like a pistol at the criminal.

The thief shielded her face with her gloved hands. From the light beaming on her, Gumi could now see the beige jeans tucked neatly in tight gray boots, and the scarlet jacket tied around her waist. The most important thing Gumi noticed were the sleeves of red, circular tattoos on her arms. She recognized those immediately.

"Daina?"

Daina lowered her hands. Gumi couldn't really see her eyes--the red mask certainly didn't help--but her surprise was shown enough by her agape mouth and pale face. "G-Gumi...what are you doing here?"

Gumi took a step forward, pounding her foot in the grass. "I live here!"

"Oh..." Now Daina's eyes were wide enough for Gumi to catch the blue glint. "Shit...are these your flowers...?"

"Why does it even matter?" Gumi demanded. "You shouldn't go around stealing flowers!"

Truthfully, Gumi was more frustrated than angry. Daina was, more or less, her friend. When people say "more or less" like that, they usually mean "less," but Gumi had had some...special moments with Daina. Nothing too special. Daina would occasionally flirt with her, and Gumi returned the favor. They even kissed once, but it was because Daina had been dared to do it. And Daina said her flirting was only a joke. It made Gumi a little sad, a little ashamed, but it didn't stop her from thinking Daina was wicked hot. Especially in this getup, with her tummy exposed.

Gumi didn't have enough time to admire how smoking Daina was before getting her answer.

"Well, uh..." Daina crossed her arms tightly, and her gaze fell. It was then Gumi noticed the worn-out wicker basket at the thief's feet. "It's...embarrassing, now that you've caught me like this...I totally thought this was some boring old lady's house."

Gumi pouted, but Daina didn't look up to see it.

"I, um..." Daina tightened her hold on herself. "The stuff at the flower shop is too expensive. But I wanted to give you flowers. And, um, I--"

"Wait!" Gumi quickly approached her, lowering her flashlight absentmindedly. "Why?"

"Huh?"

"Why would you want to give me flowers?"

"It's embarrassing."

"Was..." It was just as embarrassing for Gumi to want to ask this, but the flashlight was lowered now; her face was hidden in the dark anyway. "Was the flirting really a joke?"

Gumi waited patiently, listening to the crickets in the distance.

"No."

So Daina really liked her that way.

"Um...I-I can give you your flowers back," Daina offered awkwardly. "I've been taking good care of them. They have their roots and everything."

"You can keep them."

Gumi felt Daina's bangs nearly slap her as she snapped up her head. "I-I was gonna give them to you anyway! As a confession."

"Well, um...now I'm giving them to you." Gumi reached her free hand toward Daina's and grasped it. "That's my confession. I've always liked you a lot."

"O-oh...since when...?"

"I don't know. I just think you're really hot."

Daina snorted and giggled as her grip on Gumi's hand tightened. "I, uh, I better go home, babe...can I call you babe?"

"Yeah." She didn't ask it until Daina let go of her hand. "Can I kiss you?"

"I...I don't know."

"It's okay if--"

Suddenly, Gumi's head was pulled up by Daina's forceful lips. They peeked through a little against Gumi's tongue. She tasted the sweat mixing between them. They were both passionate about each other, it seemed. Both infatuated.

Then, Daina pushed away with great effort.

"Are you going to stop stealing my flowers?" Gumi asked, a little breathlessly, masking a nervous chuckle.

"Yeah. I will. And..." She heard Daina snap finger guns at her. "I stole your heart now, too. That's good enough for me."

Chapter Text

Gumi and Iroha had been girlfriends for a year now.

Every day that passed, Iroha felt more and more grateful for Gumi's love, kindness and joy. She never loved anyone quite like she loved Gumi. She didn't believe in love at first sight until it happened with her. It really did feel like Cupid's arrow striking her heart when Iroha's eyes fell on the dark bronze skin glowing in sunlight, the grassy green hair falling delicately to frame a welcoming rounded face. Iroha cherished her fortune every day since Gumi whispered the words "I love you" into her ear.

That was why it felt so fragile.

Iroha wasn't a good girlfriend. The whole truth about herself was something that any normal person would be ashamed of. Gumi was a little more likely to understand. She'd said she was autistic, too. But Gumi was more normal. She didn't stim so much in public, and her special interest was robotics. Something normal. Not like Iroha, who nearly choked trying to suppress her stims all the time, and whose special interest was Hello Kitty of all things.

At the same time, Iroha hated keeping secrets like this. Technically, she wasn't lying about anything, but hiding this huge part of her from the love of her life was sinful of her. The longer she went on like this, the more betrayed Gumi would feel. She could only bear to confess through texting.


did i tell you i'm autistic too...?

i dont think so,,,, that makes me feel better about myself honestly haha

yeah but....my autism is more...weird

wdym??

like i don't really pass as allistic yknow?

i vocally stim in public a lot, but not with you since i dont want to embarrass you, but it's really hard to just not stim

iroha!! i stim too!!

your stims are normal tho

it's not "normal"

i've actually been told i have aspergers, but i dont like that. it feels like theyre telling me "you're autistic, but in a socially acceptable way"

as if it makes me any less afraid to infodump about my special interests, or stim with my hands and feet and hair, or hum melodies whenever i want to

my special interest is hello kitty.

that's cool!! i knew you liked hello kitty but not that it was your special interest!

come over soon and tell me all about it!

wow...

usually when i tell people i love hello kitty they call me cute

but you didn't.

that's how i know you're not subconsciously patronizing me for being childish.

i dont think there's anything wrong with being childish,,,,

my little brother ryuto always wants to play kiddie games with me. board games and things like tag, and dolls. and playing pretend. and i found out i really enjoy doing all of that haha

i'm glad you're the kind of person who understands, iroha

thank you for forgiving me...

forgiving for what??

for keeping secrets.

that's not something to apologize for, iroha!! you don't have to tell me everything at once if you're not comfortable

thank you for trusting me!

come over and we can talk more! i'll cook us dinner!

...yeah that sounds great

thank you gumi

<3

Ɛ>

wh

what the fuck

:3

Chapter Text

The forest was Gumi's favorite place.

The tall, lively trees shielded her from the sky, only letting wisps of sunlight pass through to light up trails of fallen leaves and the rocks stuck in the dirt. The only sounds were the songs of hidden birds and the distant frolicking of deer. It was incredibly tranquil. Ever since Gumi began her daily visits, her mind had been much clearer and calmer. This was her happy place.

The most special part of the forest wasn't any of that, however. It was the lovely girl dwelling deep within, among the trees.

Gumi met with her every day. It had been two months since their first encounter. In that time, Gumi had undeniably fallen in love with her. But Avanna wasn't like the girls she'd admired at school. Avanna was closer to being a goddess, or a fairy. She had to be something mythical. Gumi only ever saw her in this forest. Did she even deserve to see the affections of some boring human girl like Gumi?

The thoughts and worries running through Gumi's mind distracted her from seeing where she was going. She knew there were fallen logs and shallow streams on this path, but in her contemplation she'd forgotten to be careful.

"Ah--!" Her left foot crammed into the log while the other flailed in the air as Gumi fell to the ground. She expected some dirty leaves, but too late she realized there was a stream here, with jagged rocks guiding the water, and in the next second she felt piercing pains on her skull.

She groaned through gritted teeth, letting the pain and the splashing of the stream wet her eyes. Of course she had to screw up now. Never mind the fact that her wet, filthy hair and clothes wouldn't be nearly presentable enough for her confession, the agony grew each second. If Gumi glanced to her left through teary eyes and fallen bloodstained hair, she saw the water slowly run with red. Had she fractured her skull? It certainly felt that way from the way her head pounded.

She couldn't find the strength to pull herself to her feet. But what else could she do? Calling for Avanna was useless. She probably wouldn't hear her. Even if she did, it would be pathetic of Gumi to use her like that. The only thing Gumi could really do was wait until the pain subsided.

It started to numb, only as Gumi began to feel cloudy, only as her eyelids fell.

At some point in the darkness, she heard shuddered, choked breaths muffled close by. The quiet, melodic voice started to form words. "Oh, Gumi...are you awake now? Please be awake..."

Gumi started to register the soft yet coarse surface against her. It felt like a large towel. She then inhaled the scent of fresh wood, and from that Gumi knew where she was. She opened her eyes to see the shaky blue irises of Avanna, who gasped and lifted her hands to her mouth, before lowering them again to speak.

"Gumi, oh my goodness," she breathed. Gumi could see faded tear streaks on her freckled cheeks. "I was so scared...I thought you choked to death on the water, and I brought you here..." Her hands began to anxiously rub around each other. "And then I saw the blood all over your forehead, and I was so horrified I thought I saw your bone--"

That made Gumi flinch. Was it really that bad?

"I didn't," Avanna quickly assured her. "It was just my imagination." Her hands squeezed together tightly. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to go on like that...are you feeling okay?"

Gumi lifted her hand to find that there was gauze wrapped around her forehead. It was on her left foot, too. "Thank you," she murmured. She felt stupid for not being able to say more. Avanna had just saved her life--Avanna--and Gumi was too pathetic to do anything but mumble her gratitude. She almost forgot to actually answer the question. "The pain is all gone."

"Oh, thank goodness..." Avanna smiled a little with relief. "I was a little nervous about using too much magic---"

"Magic?"

"I'm too inexperienced to completely heal wounds, but I'm happy that my attempt to ease your pain went well."

Gumi was still waiting for Avanna to elaborate. She did look like she could be a mage, but the idea that she actually could do that sort of thing, and would do it for Gumi of all people...was she still unconscious?

Then, Avanna leaned in to kiss Gumi on the cheek. "I'm so glad you're alright, darling."

This had to be a dream.

"I wanted to tell you that I have a crush on you," Gumi admitted. It just came out, like Avanna's little kiss had compelled her to spill her secrets. Despite the involuntary confession, Gumi quickly realized she no longer felt any shame or fear.

"I knew you felt that way," Avanna whispered. Her smile was brighter now, less meek. "I'm so happy that you do. I love you, Gumi..."

No, this was real. It wasn't a dream. Gumi knew when she closed the gap and kissed her lips. In a dream, she wouldn't feel such passionate love between them, she wouldn't taste the soft sweetness of Avanna, she wouldn't open her eyes and see deep pools gazing back at her with such genuine infatuation.

How strange that falling into a river and bleeding would lead to such an utter blessing.

Chapter Text

When Siyu and Gumi first met, they were both incredibly antisocial human disasters. Of course, once they found themselves cleaning the classroom alone one day, they couldn't avoid conversation entirely.

It started with simple compliments.

"I like your hair."

"Thanks. I like your glasses."

"Thank you."

Then they found that they couldn't do everything alone.

"Megumi, can you help me move this out of the way?"

"Sure, and, um...you can call me Gumi, if you want."

"Okay, Gumi!"

Then the first step to building a bond.

"I like being around you, Siyu. Can I, um...can I have your phone number?"

"Okay! I don't like talking on the phone, but we can text!"

"I don't either."

Through texting, they were more secure in opening up to each other and becoming closer friends. They learned about each other's stories and desires.

Gumi was a girl who loved video games and robots. She hoped to become a mechanic, or an inventor.

Siyu was a girl who loved cats and music. Her biggest dream was becoming a world famous idol singer.

They also both liked girls. They started dating about a month after they learned this about each other, and after that their lives greatly improved. They were both more open and outgoing, and they reached out to make more friends at school. Gumi started to share her robot projects, and Siyu began to sing in local shows. Their new positive outlook led to Siyu being offered a contract to become an idol singer.

"Are you sure?" Gumi asked her over the phone. "It sounds like it'd be really stressful."

"I know that," Siyu answered. "But thinking of you and how much I love you makes bad feelings go away. And I've always wanted to be an idol."

"I'll miss you, though. You'll have to travel a lot."

"I know. I'm sorry, Gumi."

"Don't be sorry! This is your dream!" Gumi smiled, even knowing Siyu couldn't see. "I'll go to all your shows!"

"And I'll spend as much time with you as I can when I'm not performing!"

When becoming an idol, Siyu became SeeU. "It's spelled more like the words 'see you,'" she explained to Gumi. They were conversing backstage before her first big performance. "Because I'll see you in the crowd and it'll remind me how you're the one who drove me to follow this path, and how your love motivates me more than anything in the world."

"What if I'm too busy to come to your shows?" Gumi worried as she stroked SeeU's fluffy, platinum blonde hair.

"That's okay. My thoughts of you are my good luck charm."

They kissed briefly before Gumi retreated to her seat in the audience to watch her love perform.

Chapter Text

Chika saw pink butterflies the way most people saw things like shooting stars and four leaf clovers. They were a sign of luck and good fortune. Where she lived, pink butterflies were an extremely rare sight, which made her treasure them even more.

Chika didn't see any pink butterflies for twenty years. When she finally saw one fluttering by as she sat outside an ice cream parlor, she followed it quietly until it landed on the shoulder of a young woman sitting alone at a small table.

That woman was Gumi. Chika wouldn't have known had she not understood the sign and sat across from her. Gumi was rather timid at first, but she was willing to accept Chika's forwardness, and they started going on dates, although they didn't call them dates until they decided to be girlfriends the following month.

Chika was head over heels for Gumi. She quickly found herself falling in love with every little part of her. Her smile, her laugh, her hair, her kiss, her hidden excitement, her comfort, her kindness. Her fate rested with Gumi. Not only did the butterfly lead her down this path, but Chika felt that their souls were destined to be intertwined.

It was Gumi who proposed after three years. Chika waited for her to ask, for she was afraid of rushing their fate. The moment when Gumi kneeled on one knee and presented a diamond ring was the moment Chika knew her happiness was secured.

As they were pronounced as each other's wife, and they kissed to the joyful applause of their friends and family watching them, Chika opened her eyes and saw two pink butterflies fluttering around them. Two good fortunes, delivering Chika a message. A message of happiness and pride, gratitude that Chika knew to follow the sign of the butterflies and reach this blissful path to share with her soulmate for eternity.