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Longing Warmth

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October 13, 2017

Time: Evening

"1 Moscow Mule" A young woman ordered from 1 of the tables. Piercing red eyes, deep dark brown hair, and a figure that many men and women would kill to even touch. Hamuko Arisato sat alone on one such bar known as crossroads, any semblance of happiness not present in her current state. Instead, one would see bitterness surrounding her; from her eyes, to her slight frown. A bitterness that has held her for nearly 10 years now.

Loss of love, loss of family, loss of friends...

'Has it really been that long already?' she thought, watching the news on the TV at the upper right corner of the bar, not really caring for all the mild chatting going around her. She merely came here to get some drinks and go back home.

Not like random company is going to come knocking near her. Most that do are usually just horny ones. She's used to it, and she's equally as used to blowing them off. Tonight, wouldn't be that much different.

Or perhaps, tonight would be different. Different enough to save her...

At the bar, a different brunette, one with long hair tending more to auburn and dull amber eyes, spoke her order in a tone thick with fatigue. "Bijou, please. Leave the stem on the cherry."

Her figure would have been recognizable to many, had it been visible under the flowing tunic she wore. It was a disguise of sorts, as were the rose-tinted sunglasses on her brow. The last thing she wanted right now was attention.

Rise Kujikawa, home-grown pop sensation. Still riding high after her last album... one thick with unspoken sorrow. Her greatest hit, so far... even if the victory was a bitter one. Because the one person for whom she'd written it would never hear it...

Bijou, please. Leave the stem on the cherry

"...?" Hamuko turned her head slightly to the sound of the voice. She spots the light brunette on the table next to hers.

Bijou...bitterness. Seems like I'm not the only one drowning in sorrows tonight.

Then again, that's what most people at a bar do. Yet it’s rare for Hamuko to see a woman so young as this one.

Admittedly, curiosity got the best of her. If only for some mild entertainment for the night…

For Rise, Crossroads wasn't her usual haunt to be sure, but she'd heard rumors about this place. What came here stayed here. She could do with something like that. It wasn't that she was looking for companionship so much as... a reprieve from her frustrations. Sorrow, anger, misery. She’s in dire need of a break to let it all out.

And she had to admit, the heavyset drag queen who served as bartender made a mean cocktail. "Thank you," she said when it arrived, taking a sip and savoring that initial burst of sweetness, one that mellowed onto a smoother taste before ending in astringent, herbal bitterness.

No more than a few minutes later, Hamuko is given her drink. A sip, and the hot bitterness burns her throat, with a cool alleviating sensation almost right after. A small sigh of relief as she lightly twirls her glass as she shoots glances at the unusual woman. Something about her…like a call. A familiar, yet unknown feeling. The need to scratch that curious itch got stronger.

Why not? just talk. If she doesn't want to, then go on with your night. Nothing to lose...

"That's quite the bitter drink." Hamuko spoke to the other brunette. "Hard breakup?"

She glanced to her side, only just taking note of the cute girl addressing her. Those striking eyes... ruby eyes. Something about them got her attention. A sense of familiarity, perhaps, understanding. Is she here too for similar reasons? Might as well play along.

"You could say that," Rise said softly, though it was difficult to banish the public speaker in her; even as low as that, her voice was clear and rich, and likely recognizable given how much she'd been in the entertainment news of late.

Whether it was the environs or an imp of the perverse, though, she couldn't say what loosened her lips after that non-answer.

"She...passed away recently."

Death; A feeling that Hamuko is well-aware of. Not in how it grasps every living being, but when it takes...the emptiness it leaves behind, can never be filled.

"I'm sorry." Hamuko said, grief toned as she swirls her glass around. "I understand." her eyes furrow slightly "The emptiness" she puts her glass down "The confusing swirl of questions...and the words never spoken." she picks up her glass and takes another sip. "I'm familiar with the feeling."

"You…are, aren't you?" The woman's words, if oddly poetic, resonated with Rise. It was as though she'd plucked the feelings from her heart. All the grieving she had done, and yet...and yet. Naoto had been the first of their little group to go, and her passing left them all broken...some more than others. As the center of the group, she'd been there for the others...even as she hid her own pain deep down.

"...Rise," she said, simply, offering the woman her hand.

"...Hamuko." Hamuko takes her hand gently. She swears she's heard the name before, but right now, she's not in the mood to think too hard, rather just let her emotions be heard. If only slightly...

With her other hand, she grabs her glass and raises it. "To lost loves."

"To lost loves." A clink of glass, and a larger sip than she'd taken before. The saccharine sweetness burned its way down her throat...

"So...what was his or her name?" Hamuko asks, feeling rather relieved after the large sip.

"Naoto-kun. She was...oh, she was special..." With the drink hitting her, she had no problem waxing rhapsodic about her beloved...even with the little time they had together, they made it work. Yet even so, she felt as though she'd missed her chance to say the most important things...

"...What about you? Who was your lost love?"

"Which one?" Hamuko says rather bitterly. She shook her head however, glancing down at the remains of her glass. She trails her finger around the tip of the glass. "...Shinjiro." She sighs, a speck of joy from her tone, even a smile. "Handsome, strong, caring...great cook." She chuckles "But...fate deemed it not to be. ...Or well...a bullet to be more precise."

Rise winces. She takes a seat closer to Hamuko, feeling this might go for a while, but at least it passes the time, and maybe make a new friend. ‘Shinjiro…sounds familiar.’ Rise mused, but quickly shook her head and stares back at Hamuko "I'm sorry. Was he in police work? Naoto was a private detective... it wasn't a bullet that got her, but a burning building... she finally found someone who outsmarted her..." Bitter pain on her tongue at those words.

Hamuko shook her head "Just a lunatic with a gun..." she spat rather angrily "He did protect an innocent boy though...but that didn't make me feel better..."

"I see..." After a moment, Rise finds herself draining the rest of her drink. "... I hadn't really taken the time to grieve since her death until just this past month. I had none to spare. The album meant for her... now an epitaph, rather than a love song... how corny is that?"

Hamuko smiled at her. Bitter, but genuine "It's sweet. I had nothing to offer him but my mourning." She said, drinking the last of her drink and sighing loudly. "But I did confront the man that killed him. My sadness turned to anger...and I made sure he felt every drop of it. He didn't care though." she sounded rather deadpanned there. "How sad is that...?"

"...Did you..." she asked, hesitantly. Honestly, in Hamuko's shoes, given the same chance... she might have done the same, or at least considered it. She wouldn't hold it against her.

Hamuko shook her head. She understood the underline of her words. "No... not that I couldn't. Bastard just kept getting away. He met his end though, but not at my hands." she admits with a deep bitter tone.

"...I see." Rise hesitated a moment, then laid a hand over Hamuko's. "I can't imagine how much that must have hurt."

"Not as much as you not knowing who took away your loved one." She glanced at Rise "I at least knew where to channel my feelings to...but you..." she lays a hand on Rise's shoulder. "You won't have a face to punch at."

"Forget punching. I'd brain them with a microphone stand."

"...Pfft" Hamuko let out a chuckle "That's an interesting way to torture someone."

"Torture, nothing! I've had to fight someone like that before."

"Oh? Do tell~" Now Hamuko got really interested

Oops. Think fast, Rise. "Some crazy lady dressed like a bellhop in blue...” Rise waved her free hand frantically “She accosted me 'backstage' at an 'event' and demanded to know how determined I was to protect my friends. She confused the hell out of me, but she wouldn't lay off, so... I grabbed a mike stand and smacked her with it."

"...Pfft." Hamuko let out a rather hearty laugh "Oh man, that sounds like someone I once knew."

"I don't even think I hurt her much, but she ran off after a bit." Rise rubs her face with painful recollection. "Crazy woman... ... still, better than a molester or some such."

"Oh definitely. Those you wanna beat the heck out of, no mercy."

Nodding fiercely. "Agreed!" She raises her drink, and only then notices it's empty. "... Lala-san! Another round, please!"

"Same here." Hamuko calls for another.

"So-" Hamuko eyes Rise a little more. "-Was Naoto your only one?"

"Mm... well, the only one I was intimate with. I've had some crushes... okay, a LOT of crushes - do you know how many pretty girls there are in the industry?! But before all of them, there was Yu-senpai. ... just... he didn't feel at all the same for me."

"I know what you mean." Hamuko smirks "At the dorm that I stayed, wow" she whistled "There were a lot of hot guys and girls. It was hard to keep it steady you know?" she chuckled "But nothing ever happened with any of them." She sighed, her smile turning back to a despondent frown. "After graduation, I kind of away from it all. From them, and the life I had. I couldn't bear know? the pain that nobody could understand, of losing a loved one, twice in less than 6 months. A lover, and a brother."

Lala hands her a full glass again and takes the empty one back. Hamuko stares at it, lost in thought. "They told me to move on, to forget it..." she shook her head "They didn't understand. They weren't in love..."

"...Only my friends knew. None of them said that, but... I think they knew... I was holding back. I had too much to do... I couldn't take the time to collapse. And now that I have the time..." Rise pauses for a moment. "... the tears won't come. It's as though I pushed it away for so long... I can't grieve anymore."

"Not healthy. You should." Hamuko took a sip, sighing at the bitter liquid burning her throat. "I didn't for a while...but then I did. It helped. Even if...I was kind of alone at the time, I at least made peace with it."

"Well... the album is out, at least, the tour is over... and my manager told me to take a break. I just... don't quite know how to bring the tears... and more than that..." Rise sighs. "... I... don't know what she'd want me to do next."

"...Visit her tomb and ask then." Hamuko says after taking another sip.

"....... I... mm. I didn't consider that." Rise shrinks into herself a little. "... I'm not... good... with death. She's the first person I've lost who I knew well... who I cared about so much. It's... crushing."

"I understand." Hamuko admits, eyeing her "But she'd want you to let go."

"... I wish I could have heard it from her," she whispers. "It feels like... betraying her."

Hamuko didn't hear that. She just takes another sip and lets Rise ponder what to do. Speaking from experience, she can only hope she does the right thing. For Hamuko, it wasn't easy. Especially when it was 3 people at once with her.

Rise sips at her drink again. She could feel her mind growing fuzzier, the alcohol seeping into her and clouding her thoughts. Making the pain a little easier to bear.

"So, given it much thought?" Hamuko says as she takes another sip, already half-way into her second glass.

"... Hamuko-san... have you... been with anyone since you lost Shinjiro-san?"

"A few." Hamuko admits "But nothing serioufs. Just...1 nighters and such. I may feel alone but I don't want to be know?"

"... yeah. I'm... not as free to do so as I wish I was... but now that I'm on break, well... perhaps I shouldn't hold myself back. She wouldn't want me to be miserable, no. And I'm sure she'd tell me I'm being foolish to think myself betraying her memory..."

Hamuko nods "You shouldn't. I'm sure she'd understand and be proud of you, for taking the first steps to recovery."

A shy smile. "Thank you. ... so then... what brought you out here tonight?"

"The usual." Hamuko shrugged "Few drinks, think about life, go home."

"That's a shame. You're too pretty a girl to go home alone." Rise bats her eyelashes at Hamuko.

Hamuko's casual frown slowly turns upwards to a smile. "Is that an invitation?"

"If you want it to be~" Rise's smile was coy and playful, a far cry from the sorrowful curve she'd worn when she came in.

"Well I certainly don't mind the offer." Hamuko giggled, playfully battling her eyebrows at Rise. Maybe tonight won't be so bad after all...


The taxi ride to Rise's apartment tower went by in a blur, her hand wrapped around Hamuko's as though she were clutching something precious and fragile. The elevator was mercifully swift, but she was having some difficulty finding the right key. Especially with Hamuko standing so close.

The girl being such a tease. Her little touches, breathing close to Rise's ear...lightly pressing herself against her back...

"No, not... not this one... not... ah! This...!" Key fumbling in the lock. Catching, turning. A slow push of the weighty portal, almost unwilling to pull away from Hamuko just to enter...

"Open~" Hamuko giggled "And now-" she grabs Rise and lifts her bridal style "Let's make this interesting~" she enters Rise's apartment, closing the door behind her (shoes thrown off in the hurry, as well as the bag), "Bedroom?"

"Whoa!" She had to latch onto Hamuko's neck in a hurry to keep herself from falling back, but like that, she could see the mischief in her eyes clearly. "What do you think? The bed's a lot more comfortable than the couch..." She leaned up a little more, caressing Hamuko's cheek. Despite her remaining misgivings, her body was certainly eager, and so was her libido. She felt on edge, a knife's cut from going mad with need.

"No, I mean-" Hamuko giggled "Where's the bedroom?" she asked, batting her eyebrows at Rise.

"... oh, OH! Oh. That way." She points down a hallway.

"Thank you~" Hamuko heads down the hallway and spots the bedroom. She lays Rise gently on bed, and crawls on top of her, staring at her amber eyes. "So...all the way?" Hamuko licks her lips slowly.

"I'm open to it, but... take it slow?" Rise clung to Hamuko's top with her fingers. "It's been more than a year..."

"..." Hamuko nods "Sure...I'll take it slow..."

Hamuko closes the distance and seals the deal with a kiss.

Lips melded onto Rise's. The sweet cinnamon taste and scent drove Hamuko to kiss more passionately, hands gripping Rise's side as she sits comfortably on her lap.

Moans, whispers and name-calling is heard in the darkness of the room.

Sound of clothes being pulled and discarded as they hit the walls is heard...

The bed began to shake...

It shakes harder...

Moans are heard one last time.

...Hamuko and Rise spent a long, LONG night together...


Rise awoke slowly, feeling almost indecently satisfied. She ached in so many places... some more sharply than others, but not a single spot of pain was unpleasant. She reveled in the sensation for a long moment before asking herself a question...

... wait. Who did I do this WITH?!

Her eyes cracked open, veering to the side where she felt warmth...

A sleeping Hamuko Arisato. Her hair loose, part of it covering the side of her face. She's out like a baby, her hands hugging Rise's waist. The only sound she makes is the sound of her breath as her chest undulates.

She relaxed, slowly, as the woman's face brought back memories of last night... both pleasant and uncomfortable. Rise closed her eyes again, sighing softly.

She knew that once or twice during the night, she had thought herself with Naoto again instead of Hamuko. May have once cried out her old lover's name, rather than her new one. If she had... Hamuko made no reaction to it.

But in a perverse sort of way... it helped. She could also recall how Hamuko was not like Naoto at all... fiery and passionate, rather than timid or uncertain. For once, Rise was on the back foot, though she tried to give as good as she got, as out of practice as she was.

There was still guilt there... but it was a guilt she could bear, now. No lightning from the heavens had struck her down, and her heart was eased.

Slowly, she turned to Hamuko and draped an arm over her shoulders.

"...Mmm..." Hamuko let out a small yawn.

Slowly, she opens her eyes. She sees Rise.

Hamuko smiles "...Morning beautiful..."

‘How could she be so effortlessly romantic like that?’ Rise muses as her cheeks turn bright pink. She returns that smile with one of her own. "Good morning... thank you for last night... I... I know it was a little awkward at points..."

"Oh, I didn't mind..." Hamuko purred "You were something else Rise..." she yawned slightly and scooted closer to Rise. "Enough to want an encore..."

"An encore?" That makes her smile with a bit more pride. "Really? ... hmm. I'm still aching from last night, though..."

"Hmmm, so am I... that last one left me breathless." Hamuko giggles as she raises her head, elbow on bed and hand on her cheek. "I definitely want to see that again." She trails her free hand around Rise's back slightly "But...we should talk over breakfast."

Rise winced at the soft touch, feeling a flicker of heat course through her ‘Now now Rise, you insatiable woman…’ "... yes. We should. I haven't much here, though..."

"That's ok. Show me the fridge. I'll cook us something good." Hamuko slowly (albeit unwittingly) slides her arms off Rise and gets up, yawning and stretches a little, then gets up, and walks out, without putting any clothes on. 

Rise had a good view of Hamuko's posterior all the way. For a moment, all thoughts of eating anything but Hamuko left Rise's mind. She saw the bruises on her backside, and she really wanted to add to them...

Rise is quick to shake her head and snap back from lewd land ‘Later! You're insatiable, Rise Kujikawa…’ Still, she follows after Hamuko in much the same way...

The refrigerator was home to old take-out containers and several less perishable items.

"Wow. It is pretty bad..." Hamuko mused as she eyed the contents. Nevermind that she keeps shaking her butt. She takes out some eggs, some cheese slices, the remains of an onion, and hams. "I can work with this. Fancy an omelet?"

"Mm, side of Hamuko... y-yes! An omelet would be good."

"...I'll get right on it~" she smiles at Rise and gets to work on it with one of the pans. "Do you want an appetizer first?" She glances at Rise, leaning down to emphasize her butt "I think you'd like it...~" she says in a sing-song tone. "You naughty girl."

Rise bit her lower lip, red-faced, and countered with a challenge. "You wouldn't be able to cook if I had what I wanted."

"Try me~"

Well, with that kind of dare, she wasn't going to refuse. She licked her lips and knelt behind Hamuko, nuzzling her backside first.

Hamuko had no problem cooking as she flipped one side of the omelet. She let out a soft purr upon the jolt she felt from her backside. She takes a glance, smiling as she keeps steady.

Hands joined her face, kneading her buttocks slowly... Rise's face drifting down, and sinking her teeth into the underside of Hamuko's backside hungrily.

"Mmm..." Hamuko bit her lip, shaking lightly. She kept her hands steady though, but Rise is clearly hornier than she thought.

And then she felt Rise's tongue. She quickly turned the stove off and turned around to give Rise her full attention.


Hamuko and Rise spent some time together

Breakfast was served warm with the remains of some milk.

"So, how is it?" Hamuko asks as she leans on one of the chairs, legs on Rise's lap.

"Delishush!" the idol managed around a mouthful of omelet, before blushing and covering her mouth. "Ah, sorry, bad habit..."

Hamuko chuckled "Its fine. It’s just me here. No cameras."

That didn’t surprise Rise as much as it should. "...So how long have you known?" she asked, though she was still a bit more careful eating. She hadn't exactly been hiding herself, but neither did Hamuko ask her who she was. At some point, she must have guessed.

"Morning." Hamuko said as she gulps her glass of milk in one go. "Ah that hit the spot..." she sighs. "I saw you and I realized who you were."

"That long, huh? So much for my disguise." Rise sighs, chewing the last bite of omelet.

"So." Hamuko eyes Rise "What now?" She asks.

"... I don't know, to be honest." She lays her hands in her bare lap, expression pensive. "I won't lie, you're a lovely woman, and I wouldn't mind another night like this... but... we don't know a lot about each other yet. With Naoto-kun... we barely had any time for each other because of work, but she understood that what was had... it was nothing we could be public about. Even if Takura Productions no longer has a ban on idol relationships, the scandal that could arise..."

"I wouldn't ask you to stay with me if I thought I would constrain you."

"...I don't mind." Hamuko admits. She looks to Rise "We can...take it slow. Go on a few dates, see where things go."

"... you... you would?" Rise looking at her with surprise.

Hamuko nods "You're one fun woman. And..." she looks slightly down "Yesterday and today.  They were fun. Most fun I've had in a long time...I don't mind seeing where this goes."

"... it makes me really happy to hear that." She reached for Hamuko's hand, squeezing it a little. "And I look forward to learning more about you too..."

"Inside and outside?" Hamuko teases with a playful wink

"That goes without saying~" Rise teases back, giggling.

"Good to know~" she takes Rise's hand and gently kisses it. “So, I got netflix if you wanna watch something.”

“We’re not doing the chill part right?” Rise asks, though she playfully bats her eyelashes at Hamuko. Hamuko merely chuckles and shakes her head.

“Tempting, but I am serious about the slow part.” Hamuko grabs all the plates and cups. “Go pick something, I’ll be there shortly.”

“…Sure.” Rise happily obeys and moves from the kitchen to the couch, plopping on said couch and turning the TV on. ‘Naoto-kun…’ An idle thought as Rise shifts view to the balcony, the red and yellow leaves falling down one of the many trees outside ‘Fall…that was your favorite season. I wonder if this was fate…’ Hamuko joins Rise, grinning at the idol. Rise slightly smirks back as the two playfully banter on what to watch. ‘I’ll mourn for you one day, but for now, I…I really need this. Will you wait for my parting…?’

A question left unanswered, but only Rise knows that answer. All thoughts about her former lover are put aside as Hamuko hits play…

Hamuko and Rise spent a nice day together…