Kanon couldn’t get her mind off of cruise ships. Ever since the night she had spent as a princess with the Phantom Thief, her mind fixated on them.
She spent time with Hagumi at the bookstore, looking at pictures of all of the cities on water. She doodled the rooms from Kokoro’s ship on her notes. She thought about Kaoru and her games, and let her mind wander to the theatre of the ship. The theatre where she had seen Misaki, flushed pink and barely able to get her words out, confessing her love for—of all people—Kanon herself. She tried to think of the gift shop game, or anything else, but her mind kept going back to that theatre, back to Misaki’s face, hyper-analyzing everything she did...
Kanon came to the terrifying realization that her thoughts of cruise ships were always connected with thoughts of Misaki.
Eventually, Kanon allowed her mind to wander further. She thought about Misaki stammering out a confession while they were stuck in the corner of the gift shop, or crossing her arms as she whispered an “I love you” in the casino. Sweet, indulgent, innocent thoughts.
She thought about Misaki holding her hand as they walked up the stairs, spending the night exploring the ship. Misaki giving her a quick kiss as they stood on the deck, watching the sunset and looking out over the ocean. Misaki pulling her into a booth in one of the ship’s restaurants and making a pretty mess out of her lip gloss. Misaki in one of the cabins, laying back across the bed and waiting for Kanon...
And that was where Kanon decided her thoughts should end. It was too far, much too far, to be thinking that way about Misaki when she wasn’t even sure if she returned her feelings. But she couldn’t tell her, and she couldn’t just stop her brain from going off of the rails, so there was only one solution: Chisato. Chisato had to know the answer. They could go to Kanon’s house to make some tea, and hang out in her room while Kanon asked about her daydreams. Surely it was something that Chisato had dealt with, right?
Kanon texted her as soon as she thought about it.
- do you want to come over sometime today?
- Of course ~~
- How about in an hour?
- that sounds great! i’ll see you then!
- oh, what kind of tea do you want?
- How about pomegranate?
- ok! i’ll make that then (*´∀`)♪
- <3 <3 <3
That was one of her problems solved. Chisato would talk to her, come up with a great solution, and everything would be fine.
45 minutes later, Chisato arrived at Kanon’s doorstep. Kanon always remembered to account for Chisato’s brain being on a theatre schedule, so she had made tea a few minutes ago.
“Hi! I made tea already, so why don’t we sit down in my room?” Kanon seemed nervous, which Chisato picked up on immediately.
“Is something wrong? Is that why you wanted me to come by?” Concern filled her voice. “If it’s your band, I-“
“It is! Kind of. Don’t worry, it’s not something crazy they did,” Kanon said, smiling. “Just... some thoughts I’ve been having, is all.”
Chisato giggled. “I see. By the way, you never got a chance to tell me about your cruise in person.”
“Well, I did text you!”
“You texted me a keysmash, Kanon. It’s not the same. Still, something must have happened with Misaki, then?”
Well, it was hardly a surprise that she realized.
Kanon sat down on her bed, inviting Chisato to sit beside her. “I, um... yeah! Kaoru dressed up as a thief, and I ended up being a princess who got kidnapped, and everyone played games to rescue me! Um, and Misaki...” Heat rushed to her face as she imagined the scene again. “Her task was to deliver a love confession, and... she did, and I, um, ever since, I’ve kept thinking about cruise ships! And, um, about her. They’re kind of connected, I think.”
Chisato sighed, distaste clear in her tone. “Of course Kaoru would pull that sort of thing, playing with your feelings like that-”
“Ah! Chisato, I’m sure she didn’t know I like Misaki,” Kanon interrupted. “Besides, I, um... well, it made me happy, actually!”
“How on earth could something like that make you happy?”
“I... ah...” Kanon felt her face flush deep red once more. “Well, Misaki was so caring... she didn’t want to do it, but she did anyway, just to save me... and Kaoru said her acting was bad, but it felt genuine! Not like a prince, but, um... like... like the girl I fell in love with,” Kanon admitted, smiling to herself. “She looked so warm, and I, ah, she told me to forget it, but I could never forget her being so kind to me! And I thanked her and told her about how wonderful she was, and she got that same look on her face and told me that she got itchy when I complimented her—and maybe I’m reading too deep into that, but-“
“Kanon. Slow down, I can barely understand you.” Chisato giggled a bit as she took another sip of her tea. “So, your problem is just a crush on her?”
Kanon didn’t answer—instead, she chose to angle her legs together, staring at the ground and blushing furiously. “I’ve been thinking a lot about her, and those thoughts go in... a lot of directions, so it’s more awkward than I thought it would be to just tell her. And I thought that would be hard in itself, so...” She quickly decided to change the subject. “Um, Chisato! If you were ever performing with a girl you liked, in a love scene like that... what would you do?”
Chisato took a moment to think. “Well, in a scene like that... I wouldn’t want to see her manufactured self that she presents on stage or to a crowd. Maybe, just... what she’s really like, when the two of us are alone...” Chisato cleared her throat. “Well, to put it more simply, I would make out with her in the dressing rooms. Ah, you don’t know any nicknames for Misaki that could get to her, do you?”
Kanon laughed. “Chisato, I think you’re talking about the wrong one of my band members...”
“Well, if you ask me, I think it’s best to just be honest. Pull her aside the next time you see her and tell her how you feel. It’s much easier to do that when you’re as close as you are.”
“That sounds hard, but... um, you’re probably right. I guess I’ll just... tell her?” Kanon seemed unsure, but she smiled. “Thanks, Chisato.”
Chisato smiled back. “No problem. Now, how has the rest of your week been? I’m sure it hasn’t all been thoughts of her.”
“Oh! Well, actually...”
The next day after school, Kanon’s knees practically buckled beneath her. She had trouble hyping herself up to talk to Misaki all day, but this was really it...
Kanon noticed Misaki as she was walking out of the building, and her worries vanished. This was Misaki she was thinking about, of course—the same Misaki who had never failed to calm her down or make her smile when she was anxious. They didn’t have enough time before school for Kanon to say half of what she wanted to, of course, but now was the perfect opportunity.
“Ah, Misaki!” Kanon waved her over, and Misaki walked towards her.
“Kanon, what’s up?”
“Oh, not much! I was wondering if you were free right now, so we can hang out or something like that!”
“Yeah, I’m free. I’ve got some homework, so we can’t go anywhere for too long, but I’d love to go to a café or something.”
“I thought you weren’t into that sort of thing?” At this point they were walking and talking, wandering to the nearest café.
“Ah, yeah, not really. Still, I like going places with you, and they usually have good coffee.”
“Still, sometime we’ll have to go somewhere you want to!” Kanon smiled at Misaki, tempted to reach out and take her hand. “Um, there’s a café I like that hardly ever gets business! Maybe we should stop by there. I think it’s this way...”
“Kanon, don’t worry about trying to find your way. I’ll look it up.” Misaki had already taken her phone out, typing, and that was the spark for Kanon to start talking.
“Thanks! Um, you know, I was thinking more about that whole thing on the ship. In fact, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about cruise ships because of it.” She giggled nervously, instinctively playing with her hair.
“Oh my god, I’m still so sorry about that. I know you think I was considerate, but... if I’m being honest, I’ve felt really weird about it. Like, I overstepped my boundaries or something.”
Misaki usually wasn’t this open. Maybe she was distracted by looking through the list of nearby cafés.
“No, definitely not!” Kanon said. “I really do think it was sweet. Um, and I really can’t stop thinking about it. I mean, I wish that...”
As Kanon tried to find the words, Misaki’s distracted mind failed to prevent her from tripping on a broken piece of the sidewalk. Kanon panicked, and her first thought was romantically catching her, leaning down and kissing her—and she knew that shouldn’t be her first thought, but her impulses got to her under pressure, and her arms were already reaching out to catch her.
Misaki quickly straightened herself up before she fell completely—because of course she did—and Kanon felt the hot red rise to her face as she quickly realigned herself to her previous position.
Misaki raised a hand to her mouth, and oh god, she was laughing at her.
“I—were you trying to catch me?” Her voice was a mixture of shock and amusement, and Kanon quickly wracked her mind for something cute to say in response.
“I, um—the sidewalk swept you off your feet before I could?” she responded, before realizing that didn’t answer the question and also definitely made her crush clearer. “And, yes, I was!”
“Oh. Well.” Misaki looked like she did not know what to say. “If it makes you feel better, I’d have actually fallen if I’d known you were waiting.”
“Oh!” Kanon would have asked Misaki if that was just an excuse to fall into her arms, but that line was even more flirtatious than the last. “I think I’d fall for you, too.”
Kanon realized at once that the line that her brain had come up with instead was significantly worse.
“Fall for me, huh?” Misaki chuckled slightly, and didn’t look entirely put off. “Yeah, sure. I’d fall for you, too.”
Kanon smiled. “I mean, I think you have already! You told me already, um, what was it... ‘My heart is your captive’?”
“I told you to forget that!” Misaki said, her face flushing. “Kaoru wouldn’t even give me a chance to say it myself...”
Kanon thought for a moment that she had misheard her.
Misaki looked at her. “Um, I think... I...”
“Don’t worry about it right now,” Kanon said. “If you want to tell me the next time we’re really alone, that’s okay!”
Her tone of voice barely concealed that her heart was practically jumping for joy, doing flips at seeing Misaki’s smile and the blush on her face directed at her, imagining all of the usual suspects in her dreams come to fruition, feeling the temptation to kiss her right now.
“Ah, are you feeling okay?”
“I’m fine. Great, even! If you were saying what I think you were, anyway.”
“Yeah, I, uh, think I was.” Misaki nervously held out her hand, which Kanon accepted. “Okay, then I definitely was. Um, was it this café?”
Misaki’s phone showed an image of the inside a tiny café with pretty brown walls and simple tables. It looked warm and Kanon felt better just looking at the picture and thinking about their pineapple tea.
“Mhm, that’s it! Um, is this a...?”
“If you want...?”
“Um... yeah! I’d like that!”
As Kanon’s fingers wrapped more tightly around Misaki’s, she realized that once again, she had managed to take control of the situation when she needed to—and that she could tell Hagumi how she finally managed to get cruise ships off her mind, as she found something even better to think about.