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assorted chocolates

Chapter Text

Himari and Tomoe aren’t exact opposites, but they aren’t completely the same, either. Himari wears pale colors, Tomoe wears dark. Himari is short and chubby, and Tomoe is tall and lean. Himari likes strawberry, and Tomoe likes vanilla. Himari is an open book with her feelings, whereas Tomoe is more cool and collected, but both are equally as passionate. Everyone in Afterglow is.

Still though, side by side, Himari looks sugar sweet as can be, and Tomoe looks dark and mysterious. Himari likes that contrast between them, really, finds it complementary. 

Himari finishes painting her toenails a pretty peachy pink color on Tomoe’s bed and pouts.

“To~mo~e!” She beckons.

Tomoe looks over at her from the edge of her bed, where she’d been reading a magazine. “Mm? What’s with that look on your face?”

“Do you love me?”

“What? What sort of question is that?” Tomoe asks with a sheepish smile on her face. Himari pulls her legs up close to her chest and squishes them there, careful not to brush her freshly painted toes on Tomoe’s sheets, and continues to cutely pout in Tomoe’s direction. Tomoe sets her magazine down flat on the bed and shifts over so that she’s next to Himari, and pulls the smaller girl into her arms. Himari nuzzles into the crevice her arms created. “C’mon, you already know the answer, don’t you?”

“Well, yeah," Himari says, peeking up at Tomoe with her big green eyes. “Buuuut… I just like to hear it a lot, y’know? I love it when you tell me you love me, Tomoe,” Himari tells her, a slight whine in her voice, but she’s starting to smile.

Tomoe leans her forehead onto Himari’s. “Well then, I’ll tell you as many times as you want to hear it, okay? I love you, Himari,” Tomoe says, smoothly.

Himari’s face heats up with an elated blush. Tears line her eyes, and she sniffles. “Tomoeeee! You’re always so cool! Hug me!” Himari cries and throws her arms around her girlfriend, sending them both onto the bed.

Himari’s hair nuzzles up against Tomoe’s cheek. “Hey, that tickles! Himari!” Tomoe laughs, but wraps her arms around Himari tightly, like she never wants to let go.

Chapter Text

Tsugumi doesn’t really wear makeup. She wakes up in the morning for school and puts her clothes on, makes sure she looks neat and presentable, and heads out the door. She has a natural cuteness about her, something innocent in her looks, plain. She doesn’t really have the desire to wear makeup, in particular. As long as she looks tidy, that’s alright with her.

Himari, though. Himari loves makeup. It’s just who she is, who’s she’s been ever since they were middle schoolers. She’s always been about the cutest false eyelashes to wear, the mascara that’d make them pop. However humble she was, Himari liked to look pretty and fashionable.

What Tsugumi’s always noticed, in particular, was Himari’s chapstick, her lip gloss.

She had all sorts of different flavors of chapstick. Cherry, lemon, cinnamon. Tsugumi in particular loved the warm smell of the cinnamon one, when she’d borrow it from Himari, loved the taste. Then there was Himari’s pretty, shimmery gloss too, in all different shades that she’d carry around in a little compact bag with her.

Himari wears a soft pink lip gloss today. It leaves a mark on Tsugumi’s cheek when Himari presses a kiss to her skin.

Chapter Text

Misaki knew… Misaki just knew that road tripping with her girlfriend wouldn’t be a good idea, however much she loved her.

Honestly, she knew it was a bad idea to let Kokoro drive them, and was suspicious when Kokoro had insisted that she drive in place of Misaki, who was usually at the wheel herself. Not only was Kokoro a reckless driver that had Misaki clutching onto the upper handle of the car’s roof with every swerve and turn Kokoro took, each one practically tipping the car over, but Kokoro didn’t figure out the directions for where they were supposed to be road tripping to. Kokoro didn’t ‘believe’ in GPS, so Misaki had insisted that Kokoro print them before they headed out instead.

“Are you sure, Kokoro? Are you sure you printed them out?” Misaki had asked.

“Of course! C'mon, smile and don’t worry, Misaki!”

“Seriously, Kokoro, I’ll even put them on my phone, it’s easy…”

“No, no! The paper is enough, don’t worry!”

Needless to say. The directions didn’t happen, and now they were lost in the middle of nowhere. There was only an endless stretch of country road, even though they were supposed to be visiting a busy city...

“You said you printed out the directions…” Misaki sighed, exasperated but somehow not very surprised. At all. She’d accepted her fate, and really, she didn’t have many expectations in the first place, now that she thought back on it.

“We don’t need them! Isn’t this funner?” Kokoro asked, chipper, her smile like a beam of sunshine on her face as always. She looked over to Misaki, taking her eyes off the road. “Just you and me until we get there, Misaki!”

“Kokoro! Can you at least look at where you’re driving, please?”

Kokoro looked back and swerved, and Misaki yelped and braced herself. Kokoro gave a carefree laugh, unaffected.

“Woops! Anyways, I just wanna spend time with you, Misaki. I like adventure! And I like adventuring with you the most of all! That’s why I didn’t want to bring the directions. Oh, but I did print them out, so don’t think that I lied about that!”

Misaki frowned, and then a second later, she gave a sheepish smile. Kokoro printed out the directions after all but just chose not to bring them, huh… that was just like her. Honest, but wanting to do her own thing, despite what others expected of her.

“Well, I’m sure we’ll get there eventually… right?”

“Of course we’ll get there! I have no doubt!” Kokoro piped, and, with one hand on the wheel, extended the other out towards Misaki’s.

“Geez, how many times do I have to tell you to drive with both hands on the wheel…?”

Despite her words, Misaki took Kokoro’s hand in her own, looking towards the road ahead of them.

Chapter Text

“Uwah, you do latte art?” Himari asks the barista at the coffee shop, a handsome girl in a suit with purple hair who’s looking at her like she’s a candy. Himari’s blushing furiously, and Moca, who’s next to her, elbows her and snickers. Himari blushes harder, avoiding the tall worker’s gaze. “That’s really cool…! C, can you make a cute animal for me, maybe?”

“Anything for you, princess…” The barista, ‘Kaoru’ is her name, if her name tag is any indicator, says in a smooth, velvety voice, before she practically waltzes her way to the other side of the counter.

Himari waits. Moca pokes more fun at her, and Himari swats her away with an, “ahh, stop! She’s coming back! Don’t embarrass me!”

Kaoru gives Moca her pastry, an almond bear claw, which she promptly bites into. Kaoru then sets down Himari’s warm latte in front of her, in a circular white mug and radiating yummy smelling steam.

Himari tilts her head down to look at the animal that’s drawn there. It has a large, round head, with big ears, and blank eyes and a smile. It’s… a cartoon… dog?

“For you, my little kitten,” Kaoru says in a mystified voice. “I call her… Michelle…”

Himari swoons. “Michelle…! Amazing…!”

Glancing over Himari’s shoulder, Moca whistles, “Waaah, what a weird bear.”

Chapter Text

Sayo accidentally cuts her finger chopping up strawberries for the top of a cake she and Tsugu are baking together at Tsugu’s place. Sayo winces and pulls her hand back, hissing through her teeth from the pain.

“Ah…!”

Tsugu’s eyes widen at the sight of Sayo’s blood, beaded at the tip of her finger.

“S, sayo-san!” Tsugu exclaims, gently grabbing Sayo’s wounded hand in hers. Even though they’d been dating for a few months, Tsugumi hadn’t gotten out of the habit of referring to her girlfriend with ‘-san.’ “Are you okay?”

Sayo observes the blood on her finger. Her gaze trails towards Tsugu from the corner of her eye, and she smiles slightly despite the pain. “Yes, it’s just a small knick. I will need a bandage, if you have one, though? And some disinfectant for the wound, preferably.”

Tsugu nods hastily. “Y… yeah, I’ll check the bathroom cabinets, just wait here, okay?”

Tsugumi returns a few minutes later with plain bandaids and some peroxide.

“I can take care of it myself,” Sayo says as she takes the items from Tsugumi’s hands, “Thank you. Please, don’t look so worried.”

Still though, Tsugumi can’t help but be worried, even if it is just a small cut on her girlfriend’s finger. She watches anxiously as Sayo applies peroxide to a small towelette and dabs it on her wound over the sink, and then wraps it with the bandaid.

Sayo holds her hand up and offers Tsugu a comforting smile. “See? Like I said, it’s no cause for worry.”

"Still…”

Tsugumi takes Sayo’s hand in her own and boldly presses Sayo’s finger to her lips in a gentle kiss. Sayo’s eyes widen in surprise, and her cheeks blush just slightly. Tsugumi can feel her own face burn a little red from embarrassment.

“That’s just… so it heals a little faster, maybe?” Tsugumi says, lifting her head up from the tip of Sayo’s finger. “E, even though… that’s kind of silly, huh? Aha…”

Sayo slides her hand against Tsugumi’s burning cheek before she pulls her close.

“It’s not silly at all, Tsugumi-san,” Sayo tells her tenderly. “Now, let’s finish that strawberry cake, shall we?”

Chapter Text

The full moon shines bright above Moca’s head. The light is obscured a bit by the red hood that she wears, draped over her shoulders and her eyes. She shouldn’t be out like this, when monsters could be roaming at every corner, but she had gotten so hungry… and her grandmother was bound to have delicious bread to satiate her appetite.

Moca walks the dark path to her grandmother’s house. Trees loom over her head. The wind howls. Bushes rustle… and rustle more, and more. One particular bush, that catches Moca’s attention. With her little wooden basket clenched in her hands, she looks at the bush.

A girl jumps out of the bush. Or, rather… a wolf? She has sharp, twitching ears on top of her black-haired head, and big bushy tail behind her. The wolf girl bares her fangs at Moca.

“What delicious things are you hiding in that basket…” The girl’s face contorts, maybe uncomfortably? “M, my dear…?”

Moca lifts her basket up for the wolf to see. “Ehh, nothing much, really,” she says. “More importantly, are you putting the moves on, wolf-san?”

“P-putting the… no!” The wolf girl insists. Her black ears twitch atop her head, in a way that’s more cute than scary. “I’m here to eat your food!”

“I just toooold you, I have no food. Does that mean you’ll have to eat me up instead, wolf-san?”

The wolf lifts her hands up and growls. “Don’t mock me!”

“If I kiss you, will you turn back into a princess…?” Moca says, unafraid of the wolf before her, which seems to infuriate her… or maybe, flusters her? Her face is so red. “Or, is that the wrong fairytale I’m thinking of…?”

“K-kiss? What are you talking about? Aren’t you afraid of me?”

Moca hums, and then smiles mischievously. “Mm, not really. This wolf-san is more like a puppy,” she wiggles her eyebrows at her suggestively. “Say, even if you won’t turn into a princess, can I still get that kiss?”

The wolf girl stares wide-eyed at Moca, backing up. “What the… no!”

“Oh nooo, don’t go, wolf-san. Or at least tell me your name before you scamper off?”

The girl narrows her eyes through her furious blush. “It’s… Ran.”

“Okie dokie. Let’s meet again on the way back from grandmother’s, okaay? I’ll share some of my fresh buns with you,” Moca tries to say, but Ran’s already disappeared away back into the brush.

Moca starts to walk again, musing aloud to herself in hopes that Ran is still lingering around, “I sure do hope I really meet that cute wolf-san again."

Chapter Text

Himari and Tsugumi have been dating for a month, so Himari decides that she’s going to kiss Tsugu. She’s been thinking about it for months! Or, er, weeks, but it’s felt like months to her. So she’s going to do it! For realsies! And she has the perfect plan, to do it at their latest sleepover that they’re having at Himari’s house because her parents don’t know that she and Tsugu are dating each other. It wouldn’t really be a problem if they did know, but they wouldn’t have let them sleep in the same room, in that case.

Himari springs up from her pink futon, after they’ve brushed their teeth and are about to go to sleep. Tsugu lies all rolled up in her pale green futon, looking like a sushi.

“Tsugu!” Himari says. “Hey, hey, Tsugu, you have to get up!”

Tsugumi blinks her huge, sleepy brown eyes at her girlfriend, just barely visible from the dull light Himari keeps on when she goes to sleep. Tsugu has student council in the morning tomorrow like always, so she’s already ready to crash in anticipation for her duties. Maybe it would have been better to time this differently…? But Himari was already so far into her plan (not really), so she had to keep going or else she never would (also not true).

Still though, Tsugu sits up with her and rubs her eyes a little with the back of her hand. “What’s up, Himari-chan?” She asks, her voice still so patient and gentle. That’s one of the things Himari loves the most about Tsugu, along with that smile of hers, so soft on her pale pink lips.

Pale pink lips… that she’d soon...

Himari’s eyebrows twitch with nerves, and so do the muscles in her face, but she can’t let that stop her. She has to be brave! So Himari scoots her body forward by her knees, folded underneath her bottom, and grabs at Tsugu’s hands, perhaps a little too abrasively. “Tsugu!” Himari says again, firmly. Tsugu’s eyes widen a bit in surprise at being suddenly braced, especially in such a sleepy state. “Tsugu, let’s kiss!”

Tsugumi flubbers for a second. She’s not usually a very shy person, but Himari’s passionate declaration had clearly caught her off guard.

“K, kiss?” She asks. “I mean… we’ve been dating for a while, so if you want to kiss, Himari-chan… then… I also want to.”

Himari’s brain short circuits, then. Tsugu also wanted to kiss her. Did that mean Tsugu’s been thinking of this, too?

“A-alright! I’m gonna… I’m gonna kiss you, Tsugu,” Himari says, and Tsugu nods at her, red-faced but determined. With their hands still clutched in one another’s, and Himari’s a little - admittedly, sweaty, Himari ducks in - a little too fast towards Tsugu’s face where her lips should be, and ends up planting a kiss right on her chin.

Tsugu squeaks. Himari does, too, and then pulls back.

“S, shoot! That’s not what I meant to do at all…!” She cries, her cheeks blistering red from messing up her chance to give both her and Tsugu a good first kiss. “I put my kiss on the wrong spot on accident…! W, waaaah, Tsuguuu!”

Tsugu’s a little shaken up, too, her face a little redder across her nose than before, but she shakes her head and squeezes Himari’s hands, pulls her arms back in to her pajama-clad lap. “No, Himari-chan! It’s okay, it’s fine! Just… can I… kiss you, instead? I still want to.”

Himari sniffles, but feels her heart skip. “Y, you still want to? Even after I messed up?”

Tsugumi nods. “Of course I still want to! Close your eyes, Himari-chan, okay?”

Himari’s eyes are a little watered up from her blush, but she obeys Tsugumi with a pout and a nod before she closes them. She feels Tsugumi scoot a little closer to her, closer and closer, until finally… a pair of lips touch her own. They engulf her own gently, and the kiss only lasts a few seconds before Tsugumi pulls away.

Himari’s eyes open. She finds Tsugu looking at her in the dark with her lips parted and her eyes looking a bit glazed over, as if she were in a trance.

“That felt… really nice,” Himari breaks the silence. “And definitely better than when I tried. What about you, Tsugu?”

“Yeah, for me, too,” Tsugu says with a smile.

Himari smiles back, her resolve born anew. “Wanna do it again? This time I’ll kiss you and make up for before!”

Tsugumi squeezes Himari’s hands. With that answer, Himari carefully leans forward and engulfs Tsugumi’s lips with her own.

Chapter Text

Ako understands Rinko even when she doesn’t speak, when she’s too shy to do so. She’s memorized each contort in Rinko’s expression, what each of them means when she’s scared, when she’s sad, when she’s happy, and when...

As they walk to Roselia practice together, Ako catches Rinko looking quietly at her, from the corner of her eye. Ako gives a huge, fangy smile, and skips a few steps in front of Rinko. Her skirt flutters in the wind, matching her whimsical image.

“Rinrin, Rinrin! Did you know? I know exactly what you’re thinking, when you’re thinking it! Pretty cool, huh?”

“Ah…” Rinko’s lips part just slightly. “Yeah, Ako-chan… you’re cool as always… but can you really tell what I’m thinking?”

“I just can! You’re my girlfriend, Rinrin. Want me to prove it to you right now?”

“You don’t have to…”

Ako stops in her tracks, and in turn, so does Rinko. Underneath a tree that drops crisp, brown fall leaves, they stand there, and Ako puts her hands on her hips.

“You’re thinking that you want to hold my hand on the way to practice,” Ako boasts smugly.

Rinko’s eyes widen, in awe, and from the shyness combined. “How… did you…?”

Ako grins again and skips forward to grasp Rinko’s hand. Interlocking their fingers, she begins to pull Rinko back along with her on the way, humming happily all the while, “I told you, I told you! I just know my Rinrin that well!”

Chapter Text

Lisa buys a new bath bomb. It’s round, cute, and a light purple color: the smell of it undeniably lavender. With her towel wrapped around her body, she drops it into the tub and watches it fizzle, watches the clear water turn the same purple shade.

She then turns to Yukina and beams a smile. “C’mon, Yukina~. It’s soo warm in here, and I just know this bomb’s gonna be the best one yet! Lavender, it just suits you, somehow, since it’s cool and… warm, I guess?” Lisa finishes thoughtfully.

Yukina blinks, but smiles slowly at her girlfriend. “Is that so…? Then… let’s give it a try,” she says, her voice barely reaching over the pour of hot water.

Lisa bobs her head in a nod, hair tied up on top of her head, and drops her towel to the floor to poke her toe into the water, checking the temperature. “Ahh, yep! Not to cold, and not too hot either. It’s perfect!” She cheers as she settles into the tub. She gives her girlfriend a glance and then beckons her with a wet hand. “C’mon, Yukina!”

Yukina rids herself of her towel and steps into the bath along with Lisa. She settles between Lisa’s legs, her back to Lisa’s chest, and sighs out before she breathes in the scent of the bath bomb.

“Mm…”

“Well, whaddya think? Good?” Lisa urges expectantly.

Yukina closes her eyes. Lisa can’t see, but her smile’s gotten bigger. “Yes… this lavender, it really is nice.”

Lisa happily wraps her arms around Yukina’s front and snuggles her close.

“That’s what I thought! I just knew that you’d like it the best so far, Yukina.”

They bathe together, surrounded by warm water and each other’s arms.

Chapter Text

Tsugu’s caught up with her student council duties, and Ran and Tomoe had gotten sidetracked when they found a child separated from their parents on their way to practice, so all three of them are late today. Initially, Himari had panicked, and had sent frantic texts to all of them asking if they were safe. Luckily, as it turned out in the end, they all just happened to get busy and side-tracked at the same time.

Himari lets out a huge breath of air. “That’s a relief! I really thought something terrible had happened to them…”

“Yeah,” Moca agrees next to her. “They could’ve been bandnapped, huh, Hii-chan?”

Himari puffs out her cheeks in Moca’s direction. “Hey, don’t tease me, Moca! Something seriously could’ve happened.”

“Ehhh~. You’re right. Sorry, sorry. I guess all we can do is wait now for them to show up before we practice,” Moca muses, and then reaches around Himari’s waist from the side to pull herself close to Himari. Her arms fold underneath Himari’s chest and she rests her chin on Himari’s shoulder. “Time alone with Hii-chan though, huh? Whatever will we do to pass the time~?” She says slowly, playfully, right into Himari’s ear.

Himari’s face flusters red. “Mocaa! Geez, you’re teasing me again!”

By the time the other three show up, Moca is asleep, wrapped around Himari’s body, and Himari wears an expression that just begs for help.



Chapter Text

Hina brings Aya breakfast in bed, because - of course she does, of course she can, she’s Hina. Hina can do everything she sets out to do. Sing, dance, clean, cook. She makes Aya eggs on toast with some meat on the side, cooked to perfection, and also includes a glass of orange juice. She knows that Aya cares a lot about nutrition.

“For you!” Hina says. “Hina-chan’s special Sunday breakfast in bed, for Aya-chan!”

Hina’s already all dressed up, comfortable but presentable and beanie-clad. Aya, on the other hand, is still in her pajamas, and her pink hair is all disheveled. They’d been dating for a few months now ever since Hina made her confession (rather bold, and loud confession, in front of the rest of Pastel*Palettes - Eve had cried), but Aya was still shy about waking up in the morning to someone else without getting ready. She had bags under her eyes, and no makeup on…

But Aya knows, beyond the surface, that Hina doesn’t care about how Aya looks, now or ever. When Hina loved, she loved for the person.

“Breakfast in bed…?” Aya says, shifting up from her pillows. “For me?”

“Do you see anyone else around? Besides me, of course!”

“Oh, well! No, it’s just… thank you, Hina-chan,” Aya smiles and looks down at her delicious breakfast, still fresh and warm. She must’ve just finished cooking it up when she woke Aya up with a few shakes to her shoulders. “Everything looks so delicious…! I can’t believe you made this just for me.”

Hina sits on the edge of the bed, where Aya’s feet are. “Well, of course. It was about time I did. I’ve been able to cook since I was really little. I cook all my own meals, and can cook them real well of course, but that got boring after a bit because… I dunno, it just wasn’t fun anymore. But then I got the idea this morning that I could cook for you instead, and it became way more interesting that way!”

Aya picks up a buttered piece of toast and crunches it in her mouth. Some crumbs stick to her cheeks, and so she tries to brush them off as discreetly as possible. “Even just the toast is so delicious…!” She marvels. “Don’t you want to eat too?”

Hina shrugs. “Didn’t think to make any for myself.”

Aya licks her lips of the butter. “You made a lot, so why don’t we share?” She offers.

“Sharing my breakfast with Aya-chan, huh… mm, mm! Sounds good! Scooch over so I can sit!” Hina says, already bouncing up the bed, and even though Aya has to hold her tray still with a sheepish smile, she lets Hina right next to her, shoulders and hips squished together, and warm underneath the covers as they begin the perfect start to their lazy day in.

Chapter Text

When they were about five years old, Himari bought Tsugumi a balloon with her allowance. It’d been on Valentine’s Day, and the balloon was bright red and pink in the shape of a heart with polka-dots and some crisp silver trim. It was the absolute cutest and most expensive (to a five year old) balloon in the store, and it’d been meant as a gift just for Tsugumi.

However, when tiny little Himari had ran towards Tsugu down the street with the balloon string in hand, she was so excited that she released it from her palm, and it flew up into the air, right in front of both Tsugu and Himari. They both watched it go with giant eyes, the size of dinner plates.

Himari had wailed for hours, sobbing in her small, nasally voice, snot and tears running down her chubby cheeks, “Thaaaaaaat was forrr Tsuguuu!!! Come baaaaaaaaack!!”

Ten years in the future, on this Valentine’s Day, Himari and Tsugumi are fifteen years old, and Tsugu surprises Himari with a balloon.

“Do you remember the balloon you got me when we were little?” Tsugu asks as she holds it out to a wide-eyed Himari, her face ablush and her mouth gaped. They’re on the same street they’d been back then, Tsugu made sure to plan. “Well, um… I just remembered, and I felt so bad… so I got you a balloon, this time. Here!”

Himari puts her hands to her face and sniffles instead of taking the balloon. “Tsuguuu… you’re… you’re just the best girlfriend a girl could ever ask for… uu, uuu…!”

Tsugumi takes a step forward and takes one of her girlfriend’s hands into hers so that she can put the balloon string in them, wrapping her fingers around it firmly. She keeps her hand on Himari’s, and together, they hold the balloon. “Make sure to hold it tight this time, okay?” Tsugu asks, giving Himari’s warm cheek a little peck. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Himari-chan.”

“Mm! Yeah!” Himari takes another deep sniffle, and then smiles brightly through her happy tears. “Thank you, Tsugu! Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Chapter Text

After their somewhat disastrous but by-their-standards-typical lunch date, Kokoro runs full speed down the (surprisingly) sidewalk. The sun is out, and it shines shines brightly in the clear blue sky, right above Kokoro’s head. The further that Kokoro runs forward, as Misaki walks behind her, the smaller that Kokoro becomes to her vision, and the more that she blends in with the brilliant scenery.

Kokoro’s holds her arms out and laughs aloud, simply enjoying being alive. Her smile’s so big that Misaki can practically see it from where she stands far behind her.

A smile like the sun, huh?

“Misakiii! Misaki, come over here!” Kokoro calls out loudly to her, cupping one hand around her mouth.

“Kokoro…!” Misaki says, at a regular volume, more to herself than to her girlfriend. She realizes then that Kokoro can’t hear her, so she raises her voice, just a tad. “Kokoro, you can’t really yell like that while people are trying to enjoy their lunch! Plus, you’re too far away!”

“Whaaaaaat? I can’t hear you!” Kokoro practically hollers.

Misaki smiles despite herself, though it’s a bit of a tortured smile, and she speed walks up to where Kokoro waits for her. When Misaki gets there, Kokoro instantly grabs Misaki’s hand.

“What were you saying back there?” Kokoro asks with the tilt of her head, absolutely clueless, as always.

“Heh, it’s nothing, really…” Misaki squeezes Kokoro’s hand gently, and Kokoro squeezes back harder, so Misaki decides not to squeeze again unless she wants to get her circulation cut off. “Come on then, there’s a few more places you wanted to go while it’s still daytime, right?”

“Right! So listen, Misaki, first I wanna go tooooo…”



Chapter Text

Chisato spills coffee on her white top. Chisato spills coffee on her white top.

She’s luckily not actually walked into the practice room by the time it spills. She’d been holding her cup in her hands, and had been too busy to get a stopper, and it’d just shaken in the wrong way… it’s not a huge stain, luckily, but it stands out compared to the color of her shirt quite obviously. Chisato grits her teeth and heads to the bathroom to wash it off (hopefully). Still, though, she’d be showing up to practice with an obvious wet spot on her top…

She’s dabbing the area with soap and a paper cloth from the dispenser in front of the mirror in the studio’s bathroom when she hears the door open behind her. Looking up abruptly into the mirror, she sees Maya behind her in the reflection.

“Chisato-san?” Maya asks. “You aren’t at practice yet?”

Chisato gives a smile despite herself. She’s not exactly happy she’s been caught in this unkempt state, but if it’s only Maya… “Unfortunately, no. I had a bit of an accident with my morning coffee on the way in…”

Maya walks up next to her. “Oooh, I see,” she says. “The soap isn’t really working out that well, huh?” She says apologetically. “Chisato-san spilling her coffee, though.. Ahh, that’s unexpected?”

Chisato feels a twinge of… something or other, and then she frowns. She knows what Maya says is true, but then she says, “I’m only human, Maya-chan.”

Maya flusters a little and nods hastily. “O, of course… eh, um… oh! Chisato-san, I have something that might help with the stain,” she says, and then reaches into her bag to pull out a stain stick. “Here!”

Chisato blinks, but takes the stick into her hands and untwists the cap. “You carry something like this around?” She asks as she dabs it lightly onto the stain. To her delight, the stain starts to disappear instantly, unlike when she’d tried it with soap.

“It can get pretty messy backstage sometimes! Huehehe…”

Chisato wordlessly side-eyes Maya for that laugh of hers, and Maya, catching on to that glance, squeaks and smiles sheepishly. While Chisato’s looking at Maya, though, for she can’t help but think how beautiful Maya really is. It catches her off guard, a little, though she’s always known her bandmate to be pretty. Her skin looks so smooth, and her smile is undoubtedly cute, complemented by her blushed cheeks. And then there’s Maya’s pale eyes, framed by surprisingly long lashes…

Chisato dabs the rest of the stick onto her stain. Sure enough, it’s all gone. She puts the cap back on and hands it to Maya, who tucks it back into the bag at her side.

“It really worked,” Chisato marvels, and then turns to Maya with a genuine smile on her lips. “Maya-chan, thank you. You really saved me the embarrassment of having to turn up like this to practice.”

“Hue… a, ahaha! Of course, Chisato-san,” Maya says, her beautiful smile only growing larger. “Though, I don’t think anyone would have said anything about it if you did show up that way. Except maybe Hina-san.”

“Indeed…” Chisato straightens out her skirt and checks herself in the mirror one last time before she turns fully to Maya. “Would you like to walk back together?”

Maya nods happily. “I'd love to! Let me just brush out the stray strands in my hair, I didn’t have time to style it this morning, so...”

Once Maya is all done, they exit the restroom side by side, chatting all the way over.

Chapter Text

Arisa and Kasumi were supposed to share an umbrella on the way home from school, except that Kasumi’s umbrella bent out of shape with the sheer force of the wind. It’s been raining all week, and it’s cold and wet outside, but Arisa can’t bring herself to blame Kasumi, however frustrated she is. It’s not her girlfriend’s fault that the weather destroyed her umbrella.

So, they walk together, in the pouring rain. Their clothes are soaked all the way through, and Arisa’s entire body shudders, even though Kasumi’s clings to her hand and presses her body into Arisa’s own. They’re both incredibly cold, so they can’t warm up.

“It’s not that bad like this, right?” Kasumi says, genuinely optimistic. “Not when we’re so close!”

“Are you kidding me?” Arisa asks in disbelief, with her teeth chattering wildly. “It’s freezing even if we stick together! You’re all wet too!”

Kasumi hums - probably loudly, but for once, her voice sounds so small with the force of the rain and the wind as it crashes mercilessly down on their bodies. Arisa can feel that Kasumi’s skin is taken in goosebumps, and that she’s shuddering just as much as Arisa is, but she still doesn’t complain. “That might be! But, but! Just think of how nice and warm we’re gonna get when we get back to my house. We can take a hot bath together, and then snuggle up in bed… I can already feel how toasty it is!”

It’s too cold for Arisa’s face to heat up, but she’s sure that she blushes at the mention of a bath… though…

“...T, that does sound nice,” Arisa mutters.

Kasumi laughs aloud. “Why don’t we run home, then? We’ll get there so much faster! Plus, now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t wait to cuddle you, Arisa!”

“R, run?! Kasumi- wait-! Kasumi, we’re going to slip! Augh, slow down!

Chapter Text

Blue waves crash against Himari and Ran’s ankles, and sand squishes between their toes while they stand together in the shallow end of the ocean at the beach. Himari splashes her feet around a little, and then shivers energetically, even as the sun shines above her. She wears a cute paprika-colored bikini, and Ran’s is, predictably, black.

Mm! It’s cold!” Himari inhales, and then looks at Ran, whose eyebrows are creased inward, likely from feeling the cold water herself. “Do you think we can go deeper?”

“You just said you were too hot on the beach, though…” Ran tells her. “And why should we go deeper?”

“I wasn’t expecting it to be this cold!” Himari defends herself with a pout filling her cheeks. “Plus, I dunno, because it’ll be fun? We needed a good cool off!”

“It’s sticky… and there’s seaweed everywhere,” Ran says in displeasure. “Don’t you want to look for shells or something back closer to shore?” She tries to say, but Himari’s already reaching forward and grabbing Ran’s hand, leading her a bit further into the gently crashing waves.

Despite her grumbles, Ran follows Himari and spontaneous adventuring into the deep blue, until it’s up to their thighs. A wave hits the back of Himari’s legs, and she stumbles forward a little with a “wup!”, into Ran’s arms.

Despite herself, as she steadies Himari in her hold and sees her smile, Ran can’t really find it in herself to truly dislike this.

 

Chapter Text

It’s Misaki and Kanon’s day away from the Idiot Trio, but somehow and just by Misaki’s luck, everything still manages to go wrong in the end. If you were to ask Misaki, she’d just smile and say it’s about how she expects her life to go as of late.

There’s a hold up at the train station, so she’s about forty-five minutes late to see Kanon. “It’s fine, Misaki-chan,” Kanon says with a genuine smile, dressed so pretty with her white top and pink skirt, and reaches to hold Misaki’s hand, perhaps to convince her. Misaki frowns, but squeezes Kanon’s hand, and tells herself that the day can still be turned around.

Except that bad things just keep happening wherever they go.

When they head to get ice cream, it turns out that their favorite flavors aren’t there, and when they go to the mall, most of it is closed off for construction, so they can’t really go anywhere… Kanon also trips on a crack in the sidewalk, and scrapes her knee.

Misaki helps Kanon limp to a convenience store to buy some bandaids. They’re plain, and Kanon has it in her to smile a little through each wince, telling her, “These are the sort of bandaids Misaki-chan likes…? Usually I like the pink ones…”

Misaki smiles, too, even though this day has been a disaster, as she folds the bandaid over Kanon’s scraped knee. “I never think of color when I’m too busy thinking of practicality, I think,” she says, and then looks up at Kanon with a frown. “I’m sorry, Kanon… we finally got a day off from the craziness of Hello Happy World, but our date was no good, huh?”

Kanon brings her hands close to her chest and shakes her head as Misaki bandages her up. “It didn’t really turn out the way we expected, no… but! That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have fun. It was… nice,” she tells Misaki.

“Aha, nice…? This was? Are those three rubbing off on you?”

Kanon giggles softly. “Just being with you, Misaki-chan… I like it,” she finishes, somewhat shyly, as Misaki straightens up her body after Kanon’s been patched up.

Misaki looks up at her girlfriend, pink cheeks framed by blue hair and smiling right down at her, and feels like she can actually understand what Kanon means.

Chapter Text

Before Roselia, there was a time where Rinko really did not like to be in crowds. Her heart would race so hard that Ako could feel Rinko’s pulse thrum between their palms when they were holding hands, and Rinko would turn blue, and at the very worst of times, she’d even cry.

Ako understood. She never got mad. Why would she? She just wanted to help Rinko, just wanted to help her girlfriend.

So Ako would take Rinko somewhere safe, where she could calm down. Sometimes into a quiet and secluded alley where Rinko could catch her breath, or sometimes to Ako’s house, depending on urgency, or how near or far they where. She’d keep hold Rinko’s hands, tell her that it’s okay, and encourage her, telling her that ‘Rinrin is already so strong for even facing her fears in the first place!’.

One day, back at Ako’s house, Rinko sniffles on the edge of Ako’s bed, and reaches a hand away from Ako’s to wipe her eyes. There’s a bit of shame in her expression, and she avoids Ako’s gaze.

“I’m sorry, Ako-chan… I’m the older one, and yet I always do this…” She apologizes. “It’s a burden, isn’t it…?”

Ako reaches up from where she’s crouched on her floor and takes Rinko’s hand back into her own. She squeezes down in earnest reassurance.

“Never ever! Rinrin could never be a burden to me. I promise, okay? Cry all you need, and then smile, Rinrin! Smile!”

Rinko’s pained eyes soften, and she smiles. “Ako-chan… thank you,” she says, and then Ako leans up to give Rinko a kiss on the forehead, holding her gently.

Chapter Text

On their date, they head into a store with lots of different lotions, soaps, and perfumes. Kanon privately observes that it seems like a place that’s very suited less for her, and more for Chisato. Kanon’s dressed in a more ‘cutesy’ style than her classy girlfriend, her skirt short and poofy and her shirt with puffed up cuffs, whereas Chisato’s skirt is long and her blouse is white, and proper.

The store smells so good, and Kanon inhales all of the mingling scents in satisfaction.

Kanon tries a few samples, strawberry, and then birthday cake. She smells like a bakery shop. As for Chisato, her scents are more flowery, rose water, and then gardenia. Finally, Chisato tries one in particular. ‘Warm Vanilla,’ the bottle is labeled, and on it is a printed picture of two sugar cubes. She squirts the lotion onto her wrist and rubs it around, and then holds it out to Kanon.

“What do you think?” Chisato asks, and Kanon leans in to sniff.

Kanon inhales, and then leans back with a smile. “Oh, I think that’s my favorite one yet! It’s kind of silly but um, I could really… smell the warmth? Though that kind of sounds weird when I say it out loud…” Kanon tilts her head, unsure of how to articulate. “It’s just that it really reminds me of you, Chisato-chan.”

“Really?” Chisato asks, and gives the bottle a considerable look before she secures it in her hand. “Well, this is the one I’ll be getting, then.”

The next day, as Chisato greets Kanon, she’s greeted with the scent of that same comforting vanilla.

Chapter Text

Adult life is tough. Chisato is busier all day now more than ever with her acting career in its heights, and with Pasupare, in the peaks of its popularity. Kaoru herself has a professional theater job that she has to dedicate a lot of time to, no longer busy with rehearsals but rather shows she performs every night for a live audience. She’s the star, of course, Chisato finds that she thinks proudly to herself, even when she’s recording for TV appearances, and showing up for interviews.

She thinks about Kaoru often. They rarely get to see each other, and when they do, they’re both exhausted, so thoughts are most of what she gets, but they make it work.

Chisato falls in Kaoru’s arms when it’s time to sleep that night, after that long, long day they’ve both had, and snuggles into the taller woman’s chest where it’s warm. Kaoru wraps her arms around Chisato naturally, and Chisato realizes that she can finally just relax.

Still, though…

“I hate not being able to be with you,” Chisato tells her, and lifts her head only slightly so that she can see Kaoru’s red eyes, even in the dark.

Kaoru only hugs her tighter. “As do I,” she confesses, a bit more shamelessly than Chisato herself had. Chisato’s not even quite sure where such a bold proclamation had come from, but surely, it came from the real Chisato, in her depths. Kaoru did have that effect on her, to bring her true feelings into the open. “But being apart only makes me love you more, Chisato.”

Chisato laughs lightly and settles her head back down on Kaoru’s chest. She listens to her girlfriend’s heart beat against her ear, and lifts her hand up to cuddle up even closer. “A poetic romantic, even when we’re alone,” she sighs. “I agree, but that truth won’t make me miss you any less.”

Kaoru is silent for a moment before she whispers, “No, I suppose it won’t for me, either.”

They both fall asleep together, simply enjoying what they have tonight.

Chapter Text

On the walk home from school together, Rimi and Tae find a baby bird. It’s a tiny little creature, and so very fragile, on the far right side of the sidewalk. Upon closer inspection, they realize that one of its wings is broken.

Tears fill Rimi’s eyes, and she crouches to the ground. “I, it’s broken,” Rimi stutters, and fearlessly cups her hands to scoop the bird into her hands without any hesitation. “T, the baby bird’s wing is broken…! What should we do, O’Tae-chan?”

Tae squats down beside Rimi, her eyebrows creased with concern. She puts one hand on Rimi’s shoulder, and extends the other to the weak little bird in her girlfriend’s hand. She strokes the thing with a finger, softly, as if to soothe it from its pain. It chirps weakly in response, and Rimi sniffles as she begins to cry harder.

“Well, I don’t know anything about taking care of birds… but we can’t just leave it here,” Tae says, and as she pets the bird, careful to mind its broken wing, she strokes Rimi’s shoulder in tandem, soothing them both. “Let’s take it back with us. It’ll be in good hands until we get there, so hold it close.”

Rimi can’t wipe her tears, so Tae does it for her when they stand up.

Rimi cradles the baby animal all the way back to her house, and continues to do so on the couch while Tae searches recommendations online. Tae reads how to properly nurse a broken wing and what to feed a bird, and where to keep the bird, making sure to double check her facts. She knows how much this means to Rimi. Tae tells Rimi not to worry with a tender kiss to the temple, and briefly goes out to collect what they’ll need.

They name the bird ‘Asu-chan,’ and raise her - Tae learned how to sex birds online - like a child. Tae and Rimi don’t live together, but they make it work, and Tae spends more time than usual at Rimi’s place.

Rimi feeds Asu-chan every day, and Tae tends to Asu-chan’s injury by changing her wraps every day. Asu-chan grows, and begins to sing rather than chirp.

“She sounds beautiful…!” Rimi says half-way into the first week, her eyes bright and her cheeks red with happiness.

Tae nods with a smile of her own. “She really does.”

When the time comes to release Asu-chan back into the wild, Rimi cries just the same as she did the first day they found Asu-chan. She holds the little silver cage Tae had bought for Asu-chan to the window and waits for her to fly away.

With a final song Asu-chan graces the two girls who’d taken care of her and nursed her back to health with, Asu-chan flutters her healed wings, free of bandages and pain, and flies away into the bright blue sky.

Rimi rubs her eyes with the back of her hand. “I, I’m going to miss Asu-chan…! But I’m so happy…! I’m so happy she can fly again…!”

Tae giggles and rubs her face into Rimi’s fluffy hair. “Me too,” Tae tells Rimi, and they stay there together in the window, warmed by sun and gazing into the distance.

Chapter Text

In the mall’s department store, two hands reach for the same cupcake pan.

Tsugu looks up to apologize, only to find that it’s Sayo that looks back at her. Both blink. Tsugu smiles wide. Sayo smiles back, thinner and more controlled than Tsugumi’s own beam of a smile.

“Hazawa-san,” Sayo greets her. “What a coincidence meeting you here, and for a cupcake pan no less. Are you gathering supplies for your parent’s store?”

Tsugumi nods, and her brown hair bobs along with her. “Yes! Though, ah… Sayo-san? Would you like the pan? There’s more than one, so we don’t have to complete for them or anything like that, hehe.”

Sayo nods with a quick, “oh, of course,” accompanied with a bit of an odd fluster as she picks up the first pan. Tsugumi then reaches and takes a second, and a then third, and tucks them safely underneath her arm.

“So you’re making cupcakes, Sayo-san? Who for?”

Sayo’s pink blush darkens just slightly. She looks to the side a bit and, with an expression of slight guilt and evasion, says, “Hina…”

Tsugu thinks she understands who the cupcakes are really for. Still, Tsugumi giggles softly, humoring Sayo.

“I’m sure she’ll love them!” Tsugumi says encouragingly. “Oh, and since we’re both here, do you want to finish shopping together, Sayo-san? I have a few more things around the mall that I need to pick up.”

Sayo blinks, and her smile softens. She nods, dropping her pan into the basket at her arm.

“I’d like that, Hazawa-san.”

Chapter Text

For Kokoro’s birthday, Misaki buys her golden earrings, both of them shaped like blazing suns. The gold isn’t real, of course, which Misaki partially feels bad for. She can’t afford real gold. Kokoro can. It even has her feeling slightly anxious as Kokoro opens up the little wrapped box Misaki hands her.

Kokoro’s big yellow eyes shine brightly once she gets a peek inside. She discards the top of the box, tossing it to the ground carelessly along with the red bow on top, and pulls the earrings from the box. They dangle and glitter appropriately underneath the light shining through the open curtains.

Looking at them out of the box, they look even more pathetic than Misaki first thought them to be. She groans internally at her stupid self.

“It’s not much, but—....” Misaki begins.

“I love them!” Kokoro exclaims, cutting Misaki’s words off (perhaps purposely). She laughs a happy sound and holds them up to her ears, and grins the biggest smile Misaki’s ever seen on Kokoro. Bigger than at their shows, even, and Misaki’s heart flutters at just how beautiful Kokoro is. All of her negative feelings dissipate naturally in the face of her girlfriend’s smile and attitude, without Misaki even meaning them to.  “Thank you, Misaki! I’ll wear them always!”

Kokoro opens her arms wide, and before Misaki can even lean down to envelope her in a hug, Kokoro jumps and wraps herself around Misaki, earrings still grasped in her hand.




Chapter Text

It’s the little things that Ran appreciates about Moca.

In truth, Ran appreciates everything about Moca, despite the way she’ll look away when Moca presses a flurry of kisses to her pink cheeks in front of the rest of Afterglow just to fluster her, in favor of the gentle kisses that Moca gives her when they’re alone. Long, drawn out kisses; fingers intertwined together on the bed when they’re both studying together, and she finds Moca just looking over at her with a smile before she leans over to press her lips to Ran’s.

It’s the little things. The way Moca puts her chin on Ran’s shoulder and hums, nuzzling into her neck and tickling her skin with her hair. The way Moca squeezes Ran’s hand when she’s anxious, or when she’s excited, and she can’t help but hold onto her. The hugs where they’re so close that they can feel each other’s heartbeats.

“Y’know what, Ran?” Moca says, upside down on Ran’s bed, feet comically in the air.

“What?” Ran asks, and glances upwards, to see Moca grasping the sheets to straighten her body up.

Moca beams a beautiful smile, her hair mussed. “I love you!”

Ran blinks, and then she smiles, too, thankful from the bottom of her heart.

“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

Himari can’t believe she’s actually sharing a sundae with Kaoru-senpai! It’s just like all of those old classic high school romance films, where the boy and the girl go to a cute diner and get an ice cream float with a cherry on top, except of course, they’re two girls instead.

Two white and pink striped bendy straws are stuck into either side of the glass. It’s all whipped cream and sprinkles, with a lump of ice cream in the middle, some syrup dripping on the sides, and some ripe fruits all over.

Kaoru takes a sip through her straw first, because Himari is too busy staring into Kaoru’s hypnotic eyes. “Won’t you take a sip, my little kitten? Or is my beauty hindering your appetite?” Kaoru smiles. “I couldn’t take it, should that be the case…”

Himari flusters and shakes her head with a bashful smile, all red in the apples of her cheeks. “O, oh yeah! It looks delicious,” Himari says, and then leans in to take a happy sip. She feels energy course through her as she does. She pops off of her straw and, unknown to her, gets some whipped cream on her cheek. “Aaah! That hits the spot! This is amazing, Kaoru-sen… senpai?!” Himari squeaks when Kaoru thumbs her cheek.

Having collected the whip cream from Himari’s face on her thumb, Kaoru licks it off.

“You had a bit of cream on your face,” Kaoru comments smoothly, and while Himari should be embarrassed, she’s too busy dying and ascending to the highest heavens to care.



Chapter Text

Himari has a rough day. She’s hit in the face with a tennis ball in her club, and then trips and scrapes her knee on the way back home. On her forehead, there is a swollen lump underneath her bangs, and on her knees are red, bloody scratches. They both ache, and she sniffles as she wipes her tears away.

Kaoru brushes back Himari’s bangs and kisses at her forehead. “A kiss for the swiftest of recoveries, my Himari,” she says, and then kisses her hand.

At the same time, Tomoe bandages up Himari’s knee and gently runs her thumb over the bandage.

“You’ll be good as new in no time,” she grins. “So you don’t gotta cry anymore. You’ve got us here.”

Himari tears up even more. “Uu…! I love you both so much, Tomoe, Kaoruuu…!”

When Himari cries, both Kaoru and Tomoe smile, and they kiss either side of Himari’s face, brushing their lips against her warm cheeks.

Chapter Text

Ran and Moca stared up at the stars together.

They were on the grass, all sprawled out next to one another, wearing sweaters so that they wouldn’t get too cold. When Ran had suggested that they lie down together and look up at the night sky, Moca had joked with a grin that the grass might itch and give them an allergic reaction.

Ran frowned. “Do you really have to ruin the moment?” She’d mumbled.

Moca grabbed Ran’s arm and rubbed her cheek against Ran’s warmer one. “Oouh, Ran is mad~.” She’d giggled, and then, she pulled Ran down with her in a tumble. Like children, they rolled together in the strands of dark green, until they finally flopped over on their backs side by side.

Ran reached a hand out towards the twinkling black sky. “It’s beautiful.”

Moca flipped over onto her side. Ran looked at her, and Moca poked at her nose. “Not as beautiful as you,” she said playfully, and Ran huffed.

“All you do is joke around,” Ran said, though she couldn’t help but smile.

“Ehhh, that’s not true. I’m totally serious,” Moca insisted. “You really are more beautiful than even a hundred… or, a thousand stars,” Moca said, and she found her way right into Ran’s arms, snuggled in towards her chest and content.

Moca’s eyes flickered back above them, and she missed the way that Ran was looking at her. Slowly, Ran looked up, too, and tangled up together, they gazed into the night.

Chapter Text

Sometimes, Tsugumi feels a little bit insecure about her relationship with Himari. She feels as if she doesn’t fit the mold of Himari’s attraction. Himari likes masculine girls, tall and princely like Kaoru, or sporty and cool like Tomoe.

Tsugumi… does not fit that mold, isn’t the type of girl her own girlfriend would usually be flustered around. She’s just an average girl unlike Kaoru or Tomoe, who are much more attractive than she is (in her own opinion). She can’t make other girls swoon. Her build is an average one, and so is her hair, and the colors of her eyes.

She tells Himari how she feels, one day. “Mm, it’s just like… I get worried sometimes? But it’s kind of silly, I guess, haha…” Tsugu says to derail herself, scratching at her cheek, knowing that Himari might begin to cry. She’s always been so sensitive…

… But Himari doesn’t cry. She looks like she might do so, but she inhales through her nose, and she leans forward to grasp at Tsugumi’s hands. They’re both sat down, on Tsugumi’s bed, with their textbooks in front of their legs. Himari squeezes.

“There’s nobody I love more than you, Tsugu!” Himari boldly declares, and Tsugu’s eyes widen. She stutters, and goes a little red in the face. “Nobody, nobody…! Not Kaoru-senpai, or Tomoe! I admire them, I do, but it’s Tsugu that I love!”

It’s Tsugu who begins to cry instead. It’s only then that Himari starts to sniffle, but she takes one hand away from Tsugu’s own, and wipes away her beaded tears with a slender finger.

“I don’t need a prince,” Himari sniffles through her congested nose, and they both laugh at how funny she sounds. “I already have my princess, y’know!”

“Himari-chan…” says Tsugumi, and they both lean in, holding hands and resting their foreheads on one another’s. “I love you, too,” goes Tsugumi, and together they share a wet, salty kiss. “Thank you.”