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Ponzu and Blueberry

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Fumi would never admit it to anyone but when she went to Seisho for the first time after dating Ichie, she was intimidated by them, not individually but as a group. They were 9 of them, 8 if she didn’t count her girlfriend. She thought she had to prove her worth 8 times. It didn’t help that they all decided to scare her by confronting her like an older sister or parent about her intentions with Ichie, the so-called baby of the group one by one.

 

 Now they were months into the relationship however, Fumi decided to never mention her fear of Ichie’s Seisho group to anyone so that she won’t look like a fool. All of them were a bunch of idiots mostly, girlfriend included, the two brain cell holders who kept the place in check were the ones who least acted like an idiot. But still, Junna and Claudine had their moments. 

 

Already from outside, she can hear ruckus as she rang the doorbell, just another average day. Surprisingly, it was Kaoruko who answered the door albeit she opened it only for a slither. Before Fumi can even open her mouth to ask what she’s doing, Kaoruko yanked her in by the arm and slammed the door. “ICHIE HAN YOUR WIFE IS HERE!”

 

Even though she expected it from the teasing seisho devil, every time, every single time Fumi still managed to blush and stutter out a denial. “We’re not married.” 

 

Kaoruko gave her a playful smirk and a wink, “Not yet.” 

 

Fumi huffed and looked away as Kaoruko removed her hand and scouted the floor. Fumi knew better than to deny that statement again. Last time and only time she did that Nana overheard and asked why Fumi wouldn’t marry her fruit sister and then Ichie overheard and it quickly became an embarrassing mess. It also made Fumi realise that she wouldn’t mind a life with Ichie but she’s not going to admit that to anyone at all, at least not yet. Fumi glared at Kaoruko from the corner of her eye, not liking how smug she looked. “Why did you pull me inside anyways?”

 

“Oh?” Kaoruko grinned and she walked into the lounge and sat down on the couch. “You haven’t met her yet I see.” 

 

Fumi furrowed her brows and followed suit, seating next to the armchair near Kaoruko. Hikari was also on a couch seat, texting on her phone but she gave Fumi a glance of acknowledgement. “Meet who?”

 

“Well Ichigo han’s second lover of course,” Kaoruko teased. “She’s quite popular you know.” Near them Hikari snorted, Fumi didn’t know if that was a good thing or bad thing. She knew that this was just a tease but a small portion of Fumi reminded her that Ichie was a time looper before. The fact that she dated several girls in different timelines meant Ichie having a second lover wasn’t out of the picture. 

 

But then Fumi remembered the quiet moment of said time looper talk, the way Ichie was so scared, the tears that didn’t seem to stop flowing because Fumi would leave her. She remembered the whispers she assured in Ichie’s ears, the broken muffled sounds of crying trying to calm down. Fumi remembered the soft  oh  in her stomach. When Ichie told her how if she knew Fumi was on the other end of the loops, she would’ve broken it again and again to meet her. She knew they were committed to each other, but that didn’t stop all of her jealousy to gnaw at her heels. 

 

“Whose popular?” Fumi found herself asking as she glanced at both of them and then at the doors in hopes of someone that more sensible would be coming through. “The lover or Ichie?” 

 

“Both.” Hikari and Kaoruko looked at each other in confusion upon saying the same thing at the same time before laughing at the shared inside joke. Yet again Fumi didn’t know if that was a good thing or not. 

 

“Actually,” Kaoruko mused as she tilted her head. “Now that I think about it BB-han might be more popular.”

 

Fumi double blinked at the nickname, BB? Was that the actual name or was Kaoruko censoring it to be vague and irritating? 

 

Hikari nodded and looked back on her phone and continued typing. A small smile emerged from whatever conversation she was having there. “She does keep coming into our room and sleeps in Ichie’s bed.” 

 

BED!? 

 

“Yes Fumi han, she sleeps in the bed no need to shout,” Karouko chided, almost lecturing in a way that made Fumi’s eyes twitch. “Ichie would never treat her so badly to make her sleep on the floor. That’s for idiots.”

 

Hikari looked up, her small smile gone and replaced with a frown. “Excuse me?”

 

“Hikari han you chose to sleep there,” Kaoruko pointed out, “That speaks more about you than anything else.”

 

“Ichie no longer boobytraps our floor out of consideration for my sleep if I sleep there.” 

 

Kaoruko opened her mouth to make a retort, only to close it with a hum. “I would’ve bribed her but yes that works too I guess.” 

 

“Kaoruko!” Futaba yelled as she entered the living room. “We need you to help too you know.” 

 

“But Futaba han,” Kaoruko groaned as she snuggled more into the couch. “I already helped Fumi han get inside the room without anyone leaving~”

 

“Fumi?” Futaba looked up at Fumi’s direction and sighed a smile of relief. “Oh thank god, this would probably make Ichie’s day better.”

 

Fumi stood up instantly, her brows furrowed as her shoulders tensed. “Is Ichie okay?” 

 

Futaba made a slight wince, stirring up that uneasy feeling in Fumi’s stomach further. “She will be,” Futaba assured as Fumi started to walk her way. “She’s just missing something important.” 

 

“Someone really,” Hikari muttered but it was still loud enough to catch everyone’s attention. 

 

Kaoruko snickered, secretly happy that Futaba was distracted with Fumi instead of calling her out to try and help. Hikari got a pass because if she tried to find something she would leave a dirtier room in her wake. “Yes yes, an important fruit.” 

 

“Wait, is Nana missing?” That’s the only person Fumi knew that was a fruit and was important to Ichie. She didn’t know that they would be able to sleep in the same bed though. Considering that according to Junna that Ichie picked up Nana’s terrible sleeping patterns and positions and would accidentally push Nana out of the bed. 

 

Futaba did a double-take, blinking twice as she quickly figured out what was happening. “Wait, did you guys not tell her what’s going on?”

 

Kaoruko snickered into her hand as she glanced up at Futaba with a wink. “And ruin the fun Futaba han?” 

 

“If anything Ichie should be the one to tell her,” Hikari said as she pointed with her chin, jutting it towards the bedrooms. “She’s really important after all.” 

 

“Seriously,” Fumi sighed, her eyes already twitching from how agitated she was that this was still a secret. She was Ichie’s girlfriend for crying out loud, she should know what’s happening if it’s big enough to make her cry. “Who is really—”

 

Fumi was cut off as Karen barreled her way into the room, fortunately, she was saved by Futaba who gave her an apologetic grin. “Hikari chan!! Get your shoes on, we're going for a walk!” 

 

Hikari looked up from her phone, a curious frown on her face. “Why?”

 

“Ichie chan said that Blueberry chan might be in the park,” Karen replied as she went to the shoe rack and plopped her shoes on. “And besides—” Karen threw Hikari a hat that was near the stand, it was a Mr White Sailor hat. “Two detectives are better than one!” 

 

Hikari caught the hat instantly, even leaving the seat to make sure it didn’t touch the ground. She then dusted it off gently, eyes fond before it sharpened to glare at Karen’s giggling. Pink dusted her cheeks when she realised that Karen used it as an idea for her to get off the couch. “Fine,” Hikari sighed as she stood up and wore the sailor’s hat. “But I want my hoodie first.” 

 

With that said she turned around and started to walk into the direction of the bedrooms. Karen’s eyes widened as she ran after her. “Ah wait Hikari chan! You can’t go into our room! Remember you’re banned until Blueberry is found so that you don’t cause a big mess!”

 

Fumi watched them go, muttering the name Blueberry under her breath. Finally, she had one clue to this mysterious person Ichie had in her life that she apparently loved more than her. God if she wasn’t so annoyed at how vague people have been lately, Fumi might’ve laughed that she was jealous of a tiny fruit. 

 

“Hey Kaoruko,” Futaba said as she lightly boinked Kaoruko in the head, “Hikari is helping now so get your butt off.”

 

“Hikari you traitor.”

 

“Kaoruko.”

 

“Ugh fine I’m getting up and checking the baths now.” With that Karouko promptly got off, sulking with a grumble as she walked down the hallway.

 

Finally, alone, Fumi turned to the one sensible person left since Claudine nor Junna arrived yet. Though it seemed to be understandable since it’s most likely that the entire dorm is searching for this missing blueberry, it’s either that or comforting Ichie. “Who is—” 

 

“Sorry about this Fumi,” Futaba sighed, cutting her off as she stared down the hallway, mumbling how Kaoruko would probably check the baths by having a soak instead of looking. “When we find her we’ll explain everything.” 

 

“Yes that’s probably the best bet now,” Fumi muttered to herself as she crossed her arms. “Everyone seems to be running around the place after all.”

 

“Ahaha yeah…” Futaba said as she scratched the back of her head. “Usually when she’s missing it’s not that bad cause she’s found within an hour but Ichie didn’t wake up to her this morning so it kinda got out of hand really quickly.” 

 

Fumi nodded, a look of understanding in her eyes. She knows all too well how Ichie doesn’t like change that wasn’t of her own accord. She now knew why with all the loops she's been through and with the irrational fear that she’ll one day be back in the loops, Fumi can’t help but be worried about her. “Is there anything I can do to help?” 

 

“Kaoruko and Hikari kept this a secret from you so I’m not going to give away the surprise just yet. But you can make Ichie a sandwich or something,” Futaba suggested as she started to make her way to the baths, most likely to double-check on Kaoruko. “Kuro and Nana tried to make her eat but she lost her appetite from worry. If anything you’re the one she will listen to the most if you tell her to eat.” 

 

Alone in the seisho living room, Fumi let out a massive sigh as she unfurled her tucked arms. “Geez,” she said to herself as she scratched the back of her head in thought. “All of this for someone called a fruit, she better be worth the trouble.” Despite saying that, Fumi still headed into the kitchen to make something for Ichie, chuckling to herself. Her strawberry fruit was a lot of hassle but she’s worth it. For whoever Blueberry was, Ichie must be feeling the same way. 

 

Fumi helped herself to the kitchen, it wasn’t the first time she came here and made something on her own, nor would it be the last. She even bonded with Nana several times here, helping Nana make something or Nana helping her find something when she wasn’t used to where everything was. Fumi opened the cupboard, smiling wide when she saw that there were ponzu bottles there, decorated with a sticky note saying: 

 

Fumi’s ponzu!! Don’t touch please ~Ichigo

 

Her fond smile then turned scarlet when she read the message underneath in beautiful handwriting. 

 

Aka Property of Ichie han’s wife

 

Goddamn it Kaoruko.

 

With a sigh, Fumi shut the cupboard door and opened the fridge to look for some ingredients. Futaba mentioned that she should make a sandwich but if Ichie didn’t eat much then Fumi should just make her a small meal instead so that she wouldn’t be too hungry. Fumi took out the milk and blueberries and placed them on the counter to get hold of something behind them. “Honestly that girl can be like a cat sometimes with how spoiled she was.”

 

“Mraow.”

 

Fumi stuck her head out of the fridge. Did she just hear a—

 

“Mraoowwww.”

 

“Hold on a sec,” Fumi muttered as she closed the door and started to look around for the sound. Was that cat actually in the room or was it from outside? Or was Fumi just hearing things? Or was this a prank!?

 

“Hey if this is a prank, it’s not very funny,” Fumi called out, hoping that there was a response back. There was nothing. Fumi let out a huff of air, “Ichie!?”

 

“Mrawwwwwww!!”

 

Okay so she’s definitely not hearing things and this was definitely not Ichie. Fumi scratched her head as ideas swarmed in her head as she tried to understand what was going on. Somehow, for some reason, Fumi was hearing a cat… in the Seisho kitchen. Geez, Seisho is never boring huh? 

 

“Okay uhh, where are you kitty?” Fumi asked, going through the bottom cupboards if it was trapped inside. “Here kitty kitty,” Fumi cooed as she got on her knees to look in the small spaces. So far nothing, not even a sound again. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

 

Silence. 

 

Sighing, Fumi stood up and got a little saucer and poured milk to entice it further to come out wherever it was hiding before putting it back on the ground, crawling again. “Kitty~”

 

“Fumi chan?” Nana asked as she walked into the kitchen, laughter in her eyes when Fumi instantly stood up, knocking the saucer away, milk flowing on the ground. To further the injury, the blueberries fell off the counter in an attempt to steady herself, several of them rolled under the fridge. 

 

“I just dropped something!” Fumi lied, embarrassment over her face. 

 

“More like you spilt something,” Nana laughed before it broke, caught in her throat as something else agreed. 

 

“MRAWW!”

 

“Blueberry chan!?” Nana yelled as she ran towards the sound, barely budging Fumi out of the way. 

 

Fumi paused, her brain quickly recalibrating at the name. “Wait— Ichie’s lover is a cat!?”

 

Now it was Nana’s turn to do a double-take. “Huh?” 

 

Fumi shook her head, her blush intensifying at her embarrassment with what she just blurted out. “Let’s just get Blueberry first.”

 

Nana nodded as she looked at the fridge. “I think she’s somewhere here Fumi chan, around the fridge.” Blueberry let out another howl of agreement, causing Nana to sigh. “Blueberry chan why didn’t you reply before?” There’s another meow and cry. “You caused Ichie chan a lot of stress.” Another cry again, one that was sadder than before. “Apologise to Ichie chan not me.”

 

“She can understand you?”

 

“More like I can understand her after so many years,” Nana murmured under her breath as she started to move around and grab her phone, flicking on the flashlight. She pointed it under the fridge, her eyes widening as she saw a flick of a tail. “Ah, you’re behind the fridge.” She sat up and paused, “Wait how did she get behind the fridge?”

 

Fumi shrugged before offering Nana a hand. “Cats are liquid?”

 

“Unfortunately,” Nana sighed as she took Fumi’s hand and helped herself up. “Now the problem lies on how to get her out of the fridge.”

 

“Come on Hikari chan, the quicker we find Blueberry chan the quicker Ichie chan can feel better,” Karen said as she went to the living room. Hikari was following behind, hands in her black Mr White hoodie wearing a sherlock hat that matched Karen’s. 

 

“Ah, no need for that,” Nana said as she popped out of the kitchen. She glanced back at Fumi and offered her a wink. “Fumi chan found Blueberry chan behind the fridge.”

 

“Mrawwww.”

 

“Blueberry chan!” Karen yelled as she all but ran into the kitchen, looking over at the fridge. “Blueberry chan are you okay?”

 

Hikari gave Fumi a look and then an approving nod. “Wife Material.”

 

“Hey!” Fumi blushed, her cheeks getting more crimsoned at the flash from Nana next to her. “Nana!”

 

“Oh sorry Fumi chan, I just thought Ichie would like a photo of her hero~” Nana teased before looking at Karen and Hikari. “Hikari chan, Karen chan can you get Kuro chan and Futaba chan, they probably can move the fridge out of the way for someone to rescue Blueberry.” Karen nodded, giving them a salute as she took Hikari’s hand and started bounding up the stairs. “Oh,” Nana said, calling after them. “Tell Ichie chan we found her!” 

 

“Geez, all of this for a cat,” Fumi mumbled before freezing suddenly when she remembered who she was talking to. Nana was Ichie’s sister in all but blood and probably had a protective streak bigger than hers when it came to Shiori. “Not that I’m annoyed or anything.”

 

“It’s okay Fumi chan,” Nana giggled, “Ichie chan isn’t like this usually but that cat is very special.” Her voice dropped a bit, growing fond as she showed Fumi cat photos from her phone. Fumi’s heart spiked at how cute Ichie looked, playing with the cat before melting at Ichie cuddling her in her sleep. Blueberry, who was a pure black cat with blue eyes, was sleeping in her arms too. “She’s been her friend through everything.”

 

“Everything?” Did that mean the loops too? 

 

Nana nodded, listening to Fumi’s secret question. “Everything, Ichie befriended her in nearly every loop and found her a home in each one. Since this is the last loop, she’s been trying to adopt her but honestly it’s just a struggle trying to keep it hidden during curfew inspection.” 

 

“If she’s like this if Blueberry is missing I hate to see what would happen if they had to part,” Fumi muttered to herself before looking at the fridge and moved towards it. She took things out so that nothing could be ruined when they started to move it to the countertops. “Nana help me move some things out of the fridge.” Since she lived on her own, she knew how to move stuff like fridges, just to get stuff like lizards out from the walls. 

 

“Ah this would make the fridge easier to move?” Nana asked as she took out the egg case. 

 

“Ideally,” Fumi grunted before rolling her shoulders, closing the fridge door before grabbing the edges to move it forward. She didn’t last long until she could let go but there was a decent opening left, not fully enough for Blueberry to get out but it was good enough for her cry to be heard more clearly. 

 

“Mrawww.”

 

“I see Aijou san was right when she said you found Blueberry Yumeoji san,” Maya said as she stood near the kitchen. 

 

“Yep, and now she’s even trying to get Blueberry out,” Nana grinned as she started to record it as Fumi paid no attention to the audience she was building. “What a hero~”

 

“A hero that would appreciate some help,” Fumi grunted as she pulled the fridge again causing another wider gap. She looked over to where Blueberry was, no longer surprised at the black cat with blue eyes that stared back. However, said cat wasn’t free just yet, Fumi tried to stick her hand in but it wasn’t wide enough.

 

“Mraw?”

 

 “Oh so that’s why she’s called Blueberry.”

 

“Roll your sleeves back,” Maya joked, “Ichie san would love to see your muscles in action saving her precious Blueberry.”

 

“Oh screw you Maya.” That being said since everyone in the area was staring at Fumi expectantly. Fumi removed her hoodie and rolled up the shirt sleeves she had too. Maya wasted no time making a perfect wolf whistle and Fumi held back the growl in her throat and the intention to murder her. But alas, she was Ichie’s best friend (which probably explained the whistling) so Fumi can’t just murder her. Not yet. 

 

“I believe that’s Ichie han’s job,” Kaoruko smirked as she appeared nearby, poking through the opening behind Maya.

 

“You’re the worst Kaoruko.”

 

“You love me~” 

 

Fumi didn’t bother replying to that as she heaved the fridge again, just pulling enough that even though her fingers and arms ached, she was confident she could get Blueberry out. As she thought, with calm gentleness and soft reassurances, Fumi managed to get blueberry out and into her arms much to the applause of everyone else in the room. 

 

Not that Fumi was noticing, she was too busy petting the cat in her arms, smiling softly as she could feel the cat’s purrs against her chest, the fur nuzzling her skin. It was no wonder why Ichie was so in love with this cat, she was adorable. 

 

“Hey can anyone hear that?” Kaoruko asked.

 

Fumi looked up, Blueberry doing the same with a tilt of the head. 

 

“Hear what?”

 

Kaoruko looked directly at Fumi with a smirk. “Fumi han can you not hear your own wedding bells?”

 

Instantly Fumi’s cheeks flushed red with embarrassment. “Oi!”

 

“She’s not denying it~” Karouko whispered into Maya's ear causing a snort to come from the girl. 

 

Fumi rolled her eyes as she moved forward threateningly. Sensing the rising terror Kaoruko made the swift and wise decision to move back into the living room. “ Kaoruko, I swear if I didn’t have blueberry in my arms right now—” 

 

“BLUEBERRY!” 

 

It was a fortunate thing for both Blueberry and Fumi that they both loved Ichie so much. The tumble straight to the floor was enough to make the surrounding Seisho girls wince, mostly for Fumi since she cushioned Blueberry’s fall. 

 

“Mraww!” Blueberry yelled, stepping away from Fumi as she nuzzled against Ichie, not objecting to being picked up as she purred loudly and licked Ichie with affection. 

 

“Blueberry I missed you so much,” Ichie cried into the fur, hugging the cat with all the love she can muster whilst still being on Fumi’s lap. At the sight, Fumi’s subtle annoyance melted. With a sigh she slowly sat up and brought Ichie close to her chest, wiping the tears as she kissed her messy head tenderly. “Thank you thank you,” Ichie blubbered into Fumi’s chest. 

 

“Shhh take your time Ichie,” Fumi cooed, fixing her hair one strand at a time so that Ichie can see clearly. “You had a hard day didn’t?” Ichie nodded, still holding Blueberry close to her chest. “I heard you’re also having trouble keeping Blueberry, I think I can help with that.”

 

Ichie moved away, wiping her eyes as she looked at Fumi with that same awe in the eyes that made Fumi fall so fast for her. “You… you do?”

 

“My flat doesn’t mind animals, so I can look after Blueberry and you can visit her whenever so that you don’t need to give her away.” 

 

Behind them, watching the scene, Maya’s eyes widened and Nana’s brows rose as she still kept the phone recording. Kaoruko pointed to her ring finger and mouthed ‘married’ and got quietly told off. Meanwhile, Hikari nodded her head and whispered “Wife material.”

 

Automatically, Ichie’s face swelled up with another round of happy messy tears. “Really???” Even her lips wobbled. Fumi chuckled as she kissed Ichie again on the lips.

 

“Of course, Nana told me how special this little blueberry is,” Fumi explained as she scratched Blueberry behind the ears. “And besides, I think she likes me.” Blueberry’s pleased purr was proof. 

 

“And I love you.”

 

“Eh?”

 

“I love you I love you I love you,” Ichie laughed as she pulled Fumi into a wide hug, arms wrapped around her neck. It was enough of a force to knock Fumi to the ground again. 

 

“Geez,” Fumi sighed but she hugged back, the newly free Blueberry began moving to Nana begging for food. “I love you too idiot.”