Wrapped in a minimum of a thick shawl, a pair of mittens, a beanie and a duffel jacket, Miho inwardly declares herself ready for another hard-hitting winter, yet as soon as she steps outside into the snow she already can’t wait to arrive at school, what with their indoor heating and such. There isn’t anything really that important happening today, no tests or pop quizzes (that she knows of), but midterms are getting a little close for comfort, and Miho still hasn’t started cramming yet, so she feels like skipping would be in poor interest. No matter how cold the frost is on her cheeks.
Fallen flakes crunch beneath her boots as she trudges onwards. Miho isn’t necessarily fond of winter, but she doesn’t really hate it, either-- she prefers it to summer, truth be told. The sun could only be so forgiving when you only had so many layers to peel off. That same star shines above her behind the pillowy clouds overhead, turning the white blanketing the town to blinding. Miho squints and blows a boiling raspberry into the frigid air, her breath condensing the moment it leaves her mouth. She’s layered on the lip balm this winter, not wanting to befall the same shortcomings as last year’s Miho, one plagued by a too-thin jacket in an effort to look fashionable and chapped lips beneath nude lipstick that she just barely managed to get away with wearing at school. Jounouchi would always get up in her face the moment Yugi pointed it out, asking if she was looking to seduce a certain someone with a hearty helping of wiggly eyebrows. Miho, despite herself, would turn red and deny it, but it was harder to do so when her gaze was inevitably tugged to Anzu’s back, broad enough to rely on.
Luckily for Miho, Jou wasn’t the brightest then, and he still isn’t to this day. That’s not to say she doesn’t enjoy his company, because she does, it’s just-- she has a feeling that he wouldn’t really get it. Just like Honda didn’t get it.
Just like Anzu won’t.
Miho shakes the pessimistic thoughts from her head, her feet already having carried her to the school grounds. She unlaces her boots and pulls out her slippers, sliding them on as she shakes a bit of snow off that’s gathered in her bangs. She fiddles with her hair for a moment, feeling self conscious about her appearance already, but sighs inwardly when she inconspicuously looks around and sees a group of three girls watching her and jeering from afar. Miho wishes she were brave enough to confront them, but alas. Miho is not a very confrontational girl.
“Good morning!” Comes a familiar voice from behind her. Miho jumps and whips around-- Anzu stands there, looking bright as ever despite the freezing air blowing in every time someone opens the double doored entrance. “Good morning.” Miho smiles shyly at her, and Anzu being none the wiser smiles back, before diving headfirst into a spiel about how Yugi, Jounouchi and Honda all went ice skating over the weekend and had the gall not to invite the two of them! Miho giggles quietly and laces her fingers behind her back, walking beside Anzu to their classroom where they unload their winter gear into their designated cubbies at the back of the room. “Yo!” Jounouchi waves them over as soon as he notices them, and Yugi brightens when he sees them, or more specifically Anzu. Honda does the same when he sees Miho, too, and she feels a pang of guilt echo in her chest. Sure, he didn’t really understand what Miho meant when she had told him, but was it really that hard to comprehend that she’d never reciprocate, at least in that way?
She looks away from him and bites her lip. Honda just turns back to the group as if nothing’s happened, laughing at a joke Jou’s made.
It’s at lunchtime that they all split, and Miho is left to trail after Anzu like a duckling following its mother to the cafeteria. “I think it’s finally the right weather for a curry bun.” Anzu declares, and Miho grins, saluting and saying, “Leave it to Miho, ma’am!” The other laughs and pushes her in the direction of the students mobbing the cafeteria ladies, shouting to her, “I’ll save us seats!”
Miho manages to bobbinweave around the swarm and grab two buns from under the noses of everyone else, paying for them with the 500 yen she has left in her coin purse and escaping like a thief out of jail. Except, she feels like she’s the one who’s had something stolen when Anzu waves her down, smiling widely when Miho holds up a bun in one hand, the other clutched to her chest. The moment doesn’t last long, however, when a particularly bulky boy unceremoniously shoves her to the side to make way for him and his crew, causing her to drop the bun she’d been holding and let it be smashed beneath his shoe. Miho looks up at him with disbelief in her eyes, but he just keeps walking.
“Hey!” Anzu yells, nearly silencing the cafeteria with her volume. The boy looks over at the source of the noise and raises an eyebrow when she stomps over to him and jabs a finger into his chest. “That’s my lunch you’re stepping on!”
The boy looks down at the decimated curry bun, then back at Anzu, looking as if steam might puff out her ears. “And?” He prompts, crossing his arms with a bored expression. Anzu grits her teeth. Miho pulls at her sleeve, mumbling that it’s alright, you can have this one, i don’t mind but the other girl’s having none of it. Before the guy can walk away victorious, she raises her leg and knees him squarely in the crotch. The boy nearly falls over from the shock alone, and his friend catches him, sputtering, “You can’t just do that!” Anzu raises her chin high as if looking down on him and places her hands on her hips. “And?” She raises an eyebrow.
Before the other two lackeys can jump her and before any teachers can interfere, Anzu grabs Miho’s arm and runs, nearly causing Miho to drop the other curry bun she’s holding. “Come on!” Anzu laughs, intertwining her fingers with Miho’s free hand as she dashes off, pulling the other girl along with her. They lap around the outer halls and up the stairs, hiding in the second floor girls’ restroom, empty due to lunch hour. Miho collapses against the wall next to Anzu, breathing heavily as a smile makes its way over her face. “Did you see his face?” She pants, looking up at the other who’s leaned against the wall. Anzu winks and grins, giving her a thumbs up. “That’s what happens when they mess with my Miho.” She says grandly, as if it’s the most casual thing in the world for her to refer to Miho as hers. Said girl flushes, and she looks away, staring hard at a specific spot on the floor that happens to be very intriguing. She holds up the leftover bun then, pointedly not making eye contact. “You can have this, by the way.” She murmurs, and Anzu can see her eyes darting around behind her bangs. The other sits down beside her and takes the bun, unwrapping it and then ripping it down the middle into two. “Here.” She says warmly, handing Miho half. Miho manages to look at her then, and her eyes warn her that she might go blind from looking at something so sunny so close up. She takes her half.
They munch on their respective pieces in silence for a moment, with Miho too bashful to make a noise and Anzu too enamored with the atmosphere, but she still shatters the quiet without regret when she speaks up. “Hey, Miho.” Anzu says, in a tone unlike anything Miho’s heard her say before.
She turns her head, but before she can ask what’s up her mouth is suddenly occupied by another. Miho thanks whatever higher power above that she’s become such a chapstick fiend lately, because Anzu’s lips are soft, so soft that it’s not even comprehensible how amazing they feel on her own, melding together like two pieces in a puzzle. Anzu’s hand slides from cupping her cheek to staying comfortably at the back of her neck, and Miho’s own shakily finds its way to Anzu’s sleeve and grabs at the fabric, holding on to some semblance of reality in this situation that’s so, so surreal. Wake up, Miho thinks to herself, but as Anzu breaks away to breathe and Miho opens her eyes to meet Anzu’s own, drenched in desire and just love , she finds that she doesn’t really want to rouse herself from this dream. Miho tries to open her mouth to say something, but Anzu presses her finger to her lips, silencing her. “Please.” She whispers, and she sounds like she might cry or laugh or both, “don’t say anything yet.”
So Miho leans her head on Anzu’s shoulder, and as she twists her fingers in the fabric of Anzu’s skirt hem and closes her eyes for a moment, she whispers back, “Okay.”
Somehow she feels she won’t need her mittens on the way home.