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Short One-Shot Collection

Chapter Text

To keep things more organized now, all requests are to be commented on this page. I am also having a limit to requests.

Request Status: 0/5 slots taken

Will Not Do

- Incest

- Age gaps

- Minor x Adult

- Sexual Themes

Chapter Text

"Hey, Lisa-nee?" Ako called.

"What's up?" Lisa asked.

Roselia had just finished up practice for the day. They were currently cleaning up the studio.

"Well... Onee-chan is having a sleepover at Himari's house and... I wanted to watch a movie... I don't wanna watch it alone, though, so um... do you wanna watch it with me?" Ako stumbled over her words slightly, unsure how she should ask the question.

"What movie are you going to watch?" Lisa asked.

"Uh... I forget the name now... ugh..." Ako sighed, "It's a horror movie."

"Well, I'm free tonight, so we can."

"Really?" Ako smiled.

Lisa nodded.

...

It was just growing dark outside. They had settled down to watch the movie. Ako was excited to watch it. Lisa had never heard of the movie before, so she wasn't sure if she would like it or not.

They didn't say anything once it started. It started off pretty slow. Not much was happening at all. But, that changed pretty quickly.

As the movie progressively got scarier, Lisa noticed Ako moving closer to her side. She glanced over to see that Ako was shaking. She looked terrified.

Was she not good with horror movies? Lisa couldn't help but wonder that. Considering how excited she had been before, it was the easiest explanation.

"Are you okay?" Lisa asked quietly.

Ako responded by burying her face into Lisa's shirt. Lisa held back a chuckle. So, it seemed Ako was scared of the horror movie.

"Too scary for you?" Lisa asked, making sure she didn't make it seem like she was mocking her.

"I... I'm not s-scared." Ako protested, though her voice shook a lot.

"You don't have to lie." Lisa patted her on the head, "I can see you are. We can watch something else."

Ako protested again, saying she wasn't scared. But, she eventually gave in and admitted that maybe she was a little scared. But, mind you, not that scared. Lisa just laughed as she tried to deny how scared she really was.

They ended up watching a rerun of a cartoon on regular TV. Ako didn't stop clinging to Lisa, but she definitely had stopped shaking. Lisa didn't really mind if Ako was clinging to her. She wouldn't say it was something she disliked.

It soon grew late. When Lisa glanced at the clock, she saw it was almost 11 already. They should probably get some rest. They had to go to school in the morning, after all.

"Ako, I think it's time to go to bed." Lisa stated.

"I'm not tired!" Ako protested.

"We have school tomorrow." Lisa replied, "You don't want to be falling asleep in class, do you?"

"Fine..." Ako gave in and turned off the TV, "Um... are you... going home?"

"It doesn't matter to me. If you want me stay I will." Lisa shrugged.

"I... I guess I... I'd like you to stay." Ako mumbled as she fiddled with her hands.

"Well, shall we head up to bed then?" Lisa prompted as she stood up.

Ako nodded a d stood up as well. She led the way to her room. Lisa made a bed on the floor.

It wasn't long after that the lights had been turned off and they were asleep. Though, not for very long. Only half-an-hour had passed, when Ako woke up.

She shot up. She had had a nightmare. Ako felt like crying. It had really scared her. She tried her best to calm down and take deep breaths, but the moment she closed her eyes, images of the dream would reappear and scare her more.

Ako hesitantly climbed out of her bed and crawled into Lisa's. She didn't want to wake her, so she silently adjusted herself and closed her eyes. She did her best to calm herself. She could survive. She wasn't a kid anymore. She shouldn't be crying over a stupid nightmare.

Ako eventually fell back asleep. It was an uneasy sleep, though. She unconsciously shifted closer to Lisa. Hopefully she'd be fine now. No more nightmares.

However. That wasn't the case. An hour later, she woke up with a jolt. It had been the same nightmare. Ako kicked Lisa when she had woken up. She didn't notice that she had. Ako buried herself into Lisa's side as she tried to calm herself. She regretted watching the movie now.

"Ako?" Lisa mumbled sleepily.

"I... I'm sorry..." Ako apologized, though her voice was uneven and shaky, "I didn't mean to wake you up..."

"What's wrong?" Lisa asked, a hint of worry in her voice.

"N-nothing." Ako said.

Lisa turned to her side and pulled her into a hug, "You can tell me."

"I... I had a nightmare..." Ako whispered. She didn't want to admit it, but she didn't feel like she should hide it either. Her silence might just make things worse.

"Oh. A pretty bad one, huh? Are you alright?" Lisa worried as she started running her fingers through Ako's hair.

Ako nodded, "Yeah... just... startled..."

"I have a feeling it's because of the horror movie. Am I correct?" Lisa asked.

Ako hesitantly nodded. Lisa sighed.

"I... I don't normally have problems... I..."

"You don't need to explain yourself. It happens." Lisa gently cut her off.

"I'm sorry I woke you up..." Ako mumbled.

"It's fine. I don't mind." Lisa shrugged. It really wasn't a bother. She'd hate to know Ako suffered through the night instead of asking for comfort.

"C-can we stay up... just for a bit...?" Ako requested.

"Sure." Lisa agreed.

They sat up and talked for a while. Ako didn't know how much time had passed, but she found herself starting to nod off.

"Do you want to sleep on your bed?" Lisa questioned.

Ako shook her head. She hugged Lisa's arm tightly. Lisa understood the message. Ako wanted her to be beside her.

"We can share your bed." Lisa stated.

"O-okay..." Ako agreed.

They moved to sit on Ako's bed. Well, Ako was laying down. Lisa was sitting up still. Ako rested her head on Lisa's lap. Lisa was playing with Ako's hair.

"Am I annoying you...?"

"No. Of course not. I wouldn't want you to suffer through this alone when I'm right here." Lisa quickly protested.

"You're kinda like having a second onee-chan..."

Lisa didn't know what to say to that. Sure, she did admit that she was the most maternal one is Roselia, but... Ako saw her as a big sister? That made her happy.

Lisa looked down at Ako. She had fallen asleep already. Lisa smiled and gently shifted her onto the bed. She laid down beside her. Ako curled up into her body. Lisa pulled her close, hoping this would chase any nightmares away. She didn't want Ako to have to deal with any more of them.

On that note, she made sure to make a mental note that Ako was not in fact good with horror movies no matter what she rambled on about in daylight. So, probably don't let her watch any horror movies late at night again.

Chapter Text

Dia wouldn't say she was particularly affectionate, but even she had her needs. Unfortunately, it didn't appear her girlfriend noticed at all. Dia tried dropping hints the entire day, but it was to no avail.

Now, her and Hanamaru were at Dia's house. That was the only thing she had managed to accomplish. She couldn't bring herself to flat out state what she wanted. That was too embarrassing to do.

They were sitting on a couch in the living room. Hanamaru was reading a book. Dia was looking at her phone, but kept glancing over at Hanamaru.

They hadn't really done much since they had started dating. They occasionally would hold hands while walking and exchange kisses once in a while. That was it.

Dia didn't exactly mind, but today she found herself wanting some attention. She was startled by the urge. She desperately wanted to cuddle. She didn't know why, though. She had never been this needy before. What if Hanamaru didn't like it?

Dia sighed as she set her phone down. She looked over at Hanamaru. The girl was lost in the book she was reading. She didn't notice Dia staring.

Dia scooted over to her. She didn't react at all. Dia pouted. Now she wasn't even paying any attention to her.

Dia wrapped her arms around Hanamaru and buried her face into her neck. Hanamaru looked over at her. She closed the book and sat it aside.

"What's up?" Hanamaru asked.

"...dle..." Dia's voice was too muffle to make out much.

"I can't understand you." Hanamaru said.

"Wanna cuddle..." Dia mumbled.

"Oh..." Hanamaru didn't know how to react to that, "Um... sure."

Hanamaru shifted slightly so they could both be more comfortable. Dia tightened her grip on Hanamaru. Hanamaru smiled as she wrapped an arm around her.

"You aren't normally clingy, zura." Hanamaru commented.

"You've been ignoring me..." Dia pouted.

"I have?" Hanamaru tried to think back.

"Yeah... you keep ignoring every time I try to do anything with you..."

"Oh. I'm sorry." Hanamaru apologized, "I didn't realize."

Dia huffed, "To make up for it I get to do whatever I want for the rest of the night."

"Alright." Hanamaru agreed.

"So... um... can I kiss you?" Dia blushed.

"Sure." Hanamaru nodded.

Dia shyly pressed a few kisses to Hanamaru's cheek. Hanamaru returned the gesture by kissing her on the forehead.

Neither was particularly bold so this was the most affection they did. It was pretty hard to get the courage to do much more. Especially since they always made sure to ask before doing anything like that.

"Lay down." Dia said as she tugged on Hanamaru's shirt.

Hanamaru didn't understand why she was being asked to do that, but obliged and laid down on the couch. Dia laid down beside her and pressed herself as close as she cold. That was when Hanamaru understood what she wanted from this.

Hanamaru wrapped her arms around Dia. Dia seemed content know. That was good. Hanamaru started playing with Dia's hair. She didn't know what else to do.

"Dia?"

Dia didn't reply. Hanamaru looked down at her. Dia seemed to have fallen asleep. Hanamaru flushed red. Dia looked... really cute right now. It was rare to see this side of her.

Hanamaru gently kissed her on the head and then closed her eyes as well. Perhaps taking a nap right now wouldn't be such a bad thing? It had been an exhausting week already. The rest seemed warranted considering all of that.

So, Hanamaru gently adjusted their position one more time and then allowed herself to sleep as well.

Chapter Text

The dull thudding of rain was starting to annoy her. She didn't know why. Perhaps her nerves were getting to her a little too much right now.

"Sayo~ you seem tense. Is something wrong?" Lisa's voice brought her out of the void she had been drifting into.

"I'm fine. I was thinking about something. That's all." Sayo said, trying to smile as naturally as she could. Her nerves were making that very hard to do.

Why was she nervous? Well, it had something to do with the girl who was now pressed up right beside her. Sayo wanted to tell Lisa something. However, it was easier said than done. Nothing could prepare her enough to confess her feelings.

"But you're so stiff. Is there really nothing wrong?" Lisa persisted.

"I'm finding the rain a little annoying." Sayo replied. It wasn't exactly a lie, but it wasn't the whole truth either.

Lisa chuckled, "I guess after hearing it all day, it can get on someone's nerves a bit."

Sayo sighed, "Unfortunately."

"Is that all?"

Lisa seemed very concerned by Sayo's state, or was she imagining it? Perhaps that wasn't true. Maybe Lisa just wanted to be nice. After all, Sayo was her guest for the night. That was probably all it was.

Sayo gave her a firm nod, "Yes. That's all."

They fell into silence. Sayo found herself drifting back into the void as she replayed what she was supposed to say in her head for probably the thousandth time. Lisa was playing on her phone. Sayo didn't take much interest in looking.

"Sayo? I like you."

Sayo went stiff in shock. This wasn't the way things were supposed to go. It was supposed to be the other way around. How should she even respond? Sayo hadn't anticipated this happening and never prepared for such a thing. She had no time to really think about it. Lisa was waiting for an answer.

"Jeez, you've gone and turned to stone now." Lisa giggled as she poked Sayo's cheek, "I know what you were planning to do tonight. But you're so stubborn and hopeless at this so I thought I'd just initiate it myself."

"How?" That was all Sayo could manage to fumble out of her mouth.

"Yukina kinda told me. She was listening to me rant on and on about wanting a girlfriend and just kinda stated that you liked me." Lisa said, "Are you gonna yell at her now?"

"Maybe." Sayo finally managed to collect herself, "I... I'm not sure how to react to this now..."

Lisa pouted and threw her arms around Sayo, "How about you kiss me?"

Sayo had the deer in headlights look as she stammered unintelligible words. Lisa rolled her eyes at Sayo and then took to lead. She slowly pressed their lips together. Sayo froze up for a moment, but managed to gather herself and reciprocate the kiss.

Lisa pulled back and smiled brightly. Sayo was still in some shock. She found herself wrapping her arms around Lisa and pulled her in for another kiss. She could feel Lisa smiling against her lips.

They pulled away, gasping for breath. Both of their faces were flushed red.

"How did that feel?" Lisa teased as she leaned closer to rest her head on Sayo's shoulder.

"Weird... I... I..." Sayo stammered, "It... it was good, though."

"So... gonna ask me out or are you gonna keep me waiting?" Lisa prompted.

Sayo's face became redder, "U-um... w-will you... be my girlfriend?"

Lisa planted a kiss on Sayo's cheek, "Yes."

Sayo tightened her grip on Lisa, "I'm mad at you, though."

"Cause I told you first?" Lisa guessed.

Sayo nodded, "Yes."

"Can I make it up to you?" Lisa pouted and gave her a sad look.

Sayo blushed and looked away, "Um... maybe?"

Sayo couldn't find it in her to stay mad at Lisa for long. Lisa seemed to know how to make her cave in.

"It's getting late." Sayo mumbled.

"Shall we go to bed?" Lisa asked.

"Yeah. We have school tomorrow, after all." Sayo nodded.

"Are you gonna cuddle with me?" Lisa gave her a pleading look.

There was no way in hell Sayo was going to ever be able to say no to that face. Lisa was just too goddamn adorable to say no to when she acted like that.

"Fine... if you insist." Sayo wasn't giving her too much satisfaction about her giving in. She was too stubborn to do that.

"Yay! Come here then." Lisa plopped down onto the bed and expectingly held out her arms.

Sayo oblidged and laid down as well. She hesitated for a second, before moving closer. Lisa immediately locked her into a tight hug and was not about to let her go anytime soon. Sayo let out a soft sigh as she relaxed. It wasn't a bad feeling.

"You can come closer, you know." Lisa said, though Sayo knew she was hinting at wanting just that to happen.

Sayo grumbled in response, "Don't wanna move."

"Fine then. I'll move closer."

Sayo's eyes widened as Lisa indeed did just that. Their noses were almost touching now. Lisa giggled as she flashed a smile. Sayo rolled her eyes and shut them.

"Goodnight, Imai-san."

"Gee, Sayo, still gonna be formal like that?" Lisa teased.

"Goodnight." Sayo huffed.

"Alright, alright. I'll stop teasing you. Goodnight, Sayo." Lisa settled down.

Sayo liked this. Lisa was warm. It was nice. She could also hear her breathing. It was a bit strange, but she didn't feel annoyed by it.

Sayo waited until she thought Lisa was asleep. She opened her eyes and looked at her. Sayo couldn't help but admit just how cute she looked.

Sayo smiled, "Goodnight, Lisa. I love you."

She closed her eyes again and quickly found herself drifting off. Lisa moved closer to her, but she didn't think much of it. Until, she heard her speak.

"Love you too, Sayo."

Sayo smiled and nuzzled her face into Lisa's hair. It smelled nice. Not that she expected otherwise from her.

Now content, the two of them drifted off. Little did they know that a certain someone was watching them, a soft smile on their face.

Chapter Text

It was almost time. Only a few minutes left until midnight arrived. She was ready.

Hina quickly double checked everything in front of her. Candles were properly separated? Check. Symbols were correctly drawn? Check. Offerings were in their places? Check. Everything was ready for her to summon a demon.

Why was she trying to summon a demon? Hina was feeling lonely. All her friends have been really busy as of late. She wanted someone to hang out with. That someone just so happened to end up being a demon.

It was all really simple. She would summom this demon, ask them to stay the night, and that would be it. It wasn't complicated at all. Now, she just needed the demon to agree to it. Hopefully they would as Hina made sure to carefully follow all instructions on how to summon this specific demon. The only difference was she was offering flowers instead of a dead animal. Hopefully the demon wouldn't mind it too much.

Midnight arrived. Hina began the summoning. It only lasted a few minutes, but it felt like an eternity before she was done. Hina watched as the candles lit themselves. She had done it. Now, she just had to wait.

It wasn’t a very long wait. There was a dark cloud that formed in the circle. When it cleared, the dwmon was standing there. She had long blond hair and was standing with her arms crossed.

"What do you summon me for, mortal?" The demon asked, her tone very firm.

"Will you spend the night with me? All my friends are busy and I want to talk to someone." Hina said.

The demon stammered words Hina couldn't understand. The demon was caught extremely off guard by that request. She did not have any idea how to respond to that.

"You... you summoned me to hang out with you? At midnight?" The demon asked in confusion.

Hina nodded, "Yep."

"I... I don't believe I've ever heard of someone doing this before. I'm confused. Why? Is it that hard to spend some time alone?"

"Yes. I want to talk to someone." Hina stated.

"Fine. Only for tonight. You summon me again for this and it'll end with me taking off your head." The demon warned.

"Okay. I'll remove the barrier then." Hina smiled, "Um... what's your name? I... couldn't figure out how to pronounce it."

"Just call me Chisato. It'll be easier." The demon sighed.

Hina nodded, "My name is Hina. It's nice to meet you, Chisato."

Hina finished removing the barriers preventing Chisato from moving from the circle. Chisato stepped out of the circle, causing the candles to go out.

"Come sit." Hina jumped onto her bed and motioned Chisato over.

Chisato raised an eyebrow, but unlitmately walked over to her. She didn't see a point on making this a contracted thing. It was a one night ordeal anyway. A contract wasn't needed for this.

"So, um... are you mad I didn't do the right offerings...?" Hina asked, albeit a little nervously.

"No. I honestly prefer that over a bloody carcass any day." Chisato replied, "Don't know why it's always said to sacrifice dead things to demons. Most of us don't really like the mess it makes."

"Well, that's good. I wasn't going to kill something just for this."

"You don't seem like the type to even summon a demon for anything." Chisato stated.

"My friends always tell me I'm full of surprises." Hina said.

Chisato sighed. This was definitely not a way she would have expected to spend her night. But, here she was. Talking to a mortal. Trying to be friendly to a mortal. Not making a contract. Literally everything no demon ever did.

"Why didn’t you just ask someone else to hang out with you?" Chisato questioned, "Surely someone would have been available had you asked."

"I did. Everyone said they were busy." Hina defended, "Exam week is almost here, so I guess I understand it. But, it doesn't make it any better. I want to hang out and have fun with friends!"

"Well, what exactly do you want to do for fun then?" Chisato was nervous to ask.

"Hmm..." Hina thought about it for quite some time. That just made Chisato even more nervous.

She didn't know how to react to Hina. This was completely uncalled her. Hina was not like any mortal she had ever met. It confused her to no end. She was nice. Treating her like she was just any person. Chisato was utterly baffled.

"Do you know how to play card games?" Hina finally asked.

Chisato shook her head, "I have never been involved with anything mortals have invented."

Hina pouted, "So... that really limits what we can do."

"Why aren't you afraid of me?" Chisato asked.

Hina smiled at her, "Because you're nice."

"That's all? You're family isn't under a legacy contract? You don't have any family even involved with demons? No one you know is a hybrid?" Chisato started rambling off questions, hoping there was more to that answer.

"Nope. I'm just a normal teenager." Hina confirmed.

"I... I'm not sure what to think about you. I've never met a mortal so... friendly to a demon." Chisato stammered.

"Well, now you have something to brag about." Hina said.

Chisato sighed, "Don't know if that's something to brag about but..."

"Do you wanna go to bed? I guess it is pretty late." Hina cut her off probably not even hearing her.

"I guess." Chisato shrugged. It wasn’t like she needed sleep.

Hina plopped down and waited eagerly for Chisato to join her. Chisato slowly laid down beside her. Hina smiled.

"Goodnight." She said, before adjusting herself into a comfier position.

"Goodnight?" Chisato replied with hesitance.

She watched as Hina slept. She still couldn't process this. It was unbelievable. Would anyone even believe her if she told them about Hina? She doubted it.

Chisato kind of liked Hina, though. It was... interesting. To not be feared by a mortal was nice. Maybe she would go back on what she said before. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to return here at some point.

Chisato didn't really know what she'd do. She quietly slipped off the bed. She left a small note for Hina when she woke. It was time for her to go.

"Sleep well, Hina. Maybe we shall see each other again in the future."

Chapter Text

"I finished the outfits, guys! We can try them on at my house after school."

That was how it all started. Kotori had finished up the outfits for the three of them. All they had to do was make sure everything was good with them. After all, they needed to make a good impression for their first performance as an idol group.

So, that was how the three second years found themselves at Kotori's house trying on their outfits. Kotori had already tried hers on, but put it on again just to show them how it looked. Umi, being Umi, complained slightly about the length, but that was all.

Umi and Honoka both changed into theirs next. Kotori was waiting with a smile on her face. She was certain they would like them.

"How do they feel?" Kotori asked once they were finished dressing.

"It's good." Umi simply said.

"Uh... it feels kinda tight..." Honoka mumbled.

Kotori frowned, "But I made them to the measurements I took. It should fit just fine."

Honoka sheepishly shrugged. She felt a little bad about complaining. Kotori had put a lot of work into them. It felt wrong to complain about it, but there was no way she would be comfortable dancing in the outfit. It was too tight for her.

"It's easy to explain. Honoka, you've put on a few pounds recently, haven't you?" Umi asked.

Honoka refused to make any eye contact, opting to stare at the floor. Had she gained weight? Did she? Maybe she did?

"I..." Honoka didn't know what to say, "I guess?"

"So, you've gained some weight since I took the measurements, huh?" Kotori said lightheartedly, "Guess we should retake them then."

"Have you been doing anything different?" Umi questioned.

Honoka gulped. Umi was going to scold her, right? Yell at her for her eating habits. Just like how she did before.

"I'm sorry..." Honoka could feel tears forming in her eyes.

Umi's eyes went wide, "No no no. I didn't mean it like that. It's just, I feel it's kind of strange you gained enough weight in the short amount of time to have it affect anything."

Honoka wasn't too sure if that meant she could feel relieved. She honestly didn't know herself how this had happened. She didn't think she was doing anything out of the ordinary. Would that make Umi mad still?

"I... I don't know... I haven't changed anything about my routine." Honoka mumbled as she shrugged her shoulders.

"Well, it happens. Let's change and then I'll take new measurements to fix your outfit. It won't be that big of a deal." Kotori said with a smile on her face.

Honoka kept her head low as she took off the dress. She found herself staring at her body for a bit too long.

"Honoka-chan?"

Honoka snapped out of her thoughts, "Y-yeah?"

"Can I take your measurements now?" Kotori asked.

"Sure." Honoka shrugged.

Kotori silently worked away at measuring her.

"Something on your mind?" Umi asked.

Honoka shrugged. She didn't know what to say. She couldn't find the words to describe what was going on in her head.

"This doesn't really matter, Honoka. If you're happy the way you are, then why should we change that?" Umi seemed to know what exactly was on her mind.

"But... you said-"

"I know. It came out wrong. Weight doesn't mean much. As long as you're able to do everything without issue, there's really no problem." Umi said.

"Yeah." Kotori nodded, "And, Honoka-chan? You're loveable just how you are. You don't need to change yourself if that's not something you're interested in."

Honoka smiled, "Thank you."

She wasn't sure if they knew about the other stuff. She occasionally heard comments about her weight from people. It was getting to her a bit. But, knowing her friends were there to support her just how she was really helped.

"So, what should we do now?" Kotori asked.

She had finished taking the new measurements. Honoka slipped back into her clothes.

"Wanna go out somewhere?" Umi suggested.

"Why not. We can decide where we want to go as we're walking."

Chapter Text

Knock knock

Why was she here? Why was she here at Rinko's house at almost midnight?

Tomoe knew the answer well... but she wouldn't tell anyone it. This was something that only she wanted to know.

She had been taken by surprise to see Ako run into the house crying. After a lot of coxing, she finally got out why she had been crying. Apparently her and Rinko had gotten into a fight. It seemed as though it was a pretty bad fight.

Ako had no clue what to do to fix it. She was distraught at everything that had happened between them. Tomoe didn't know what that was, though. Ako refused to tell her no matter how much she insisted.

So, why was she here? Tomoe was worried about Rinko. She knew this probably wasn't her place to interfere, but she couldn't stand back. Maybe if she talked to Rinko, they could figure out what went wrong and how to fix it since Ako wasn't cooperating with her at all.

After what felt like hours, the door finally opened. Rinko peered out. Her eyes widened as she saw Tomoe. It wasn't hard to notice her gaze quickly checking to see if anyone else was with her.

"Hey... I know this isn't really something that involves me, but I want to talk about what happened." Tomoe kept her explanation brief, "I understand if you don't want me to."

"You can... come in..." Rinko slowly stepped back and allowed Tomoe to enter.

They stood silently, staring at each other. Tomoe didn't know what to say. She didn't want to be insensitive about all of this, so she had to choose her wording very carefully.

"Do you want to... come to my room?" Rinko asked.

"Sure." Tomoe shrugged.

Rinko led her to room in silence. Tomoe was starting to wonder if Rinko didn't want to talk but was too scared to say no to her.

They entered her room. Rinko sat on her bed. She seemed to be waiting for Tomoe to do the same thing. Tomoe hesitantly took a seat as well.

"How are you doing?" Tomoe asked. That was probably a good thing to know. Was Rinko able to handle this discussion to begin with?

"I... I'm lost... I don't know what to do." Rinko whispered.

"Having a fight like that is hard. I know what it's like. Afterglow has had its ups and downs after all." Tomoe said.

"How does Ako-chan feel about... this?"

"She's refusing to really talk to me right now." Tomoe sighed.

"Oh..."

"We don't have to talk about this if you don't want to."

"I... I'd like if we could stop..." Rinko mumbled as shw fiddled with her shirt.

"Alright. Should I go?" Tomoe asked.

Rinko looked up at her, "Why did you come here?"

"W-well..." Tomoe was caught of guard, "I just wanted to um... make sure you were alright as well."

"Why won't you tell me the truth?"

Tomoe gulped. Rinko knew she was lying. That was bad. Now she either had to really lie well or come clean.

"I... I was worried about you. But... I also... really care about you. I know this probably has really effected you... so I wanted to make sure you were okay." Tomoe mumbled.

"Shouldn't you be with Ako-chan?"

"Rinko... I... I like you." Tomoe stammered.

Rinko didn't respond for a while. Tomoe glanced at her. She seemed to be frozen. Well, you couldn't blame her. That was a pretty sudden confession.

"You... like me..." Rinko repeated in disbelief.

Tomoe nodded, "Y-yeah. I have for a while now... I was afraid to tell you."

"U-um... will you... stay for the night... then?" Rinko nervously asked.

"S-sure." Tomoe agreed.

She quickly texted her parents to let them know. Tomoe debating telling Ako, but decided it was probably a bad idea to do that.

"So, what do you want to do?" Tomoe asked.

"It's late... um, we could... share my bed?"

"Are you sure?" Tomoe knew she was blushing now.

Rinko modded, "I don't mind."

"If you say so. Just let me know if you change your mind."

The two of them awkwardly laid down. It was a bit strange for both of them.

"T-Tomoe? I... I think I like you too."

"Really?"

Rinko nodded. Tomoe smiled. She had been worrying over nothing this entire time.

"Well, goodnight, Rinko."

"C-could we... um... cuddle?"

Tomoe stared at her as her mind tried to process those words. Rinko wanted to... cuddle with her? They just confessed to each other.

"Sure?" Tomoe hesitantly agreed.

Rinko cautiously scooted closer to her. Tomoe wrapped an arm around her. Rinko seemed content with that as closed her eyes.

"Are you really okay? I'm still just worried about that fight." Tomoe asked.

"I just need... some time to think about it..." Rinko yawned.

"Alright, well, sleep tight." Tomoe closed her eyes as well.

Tonight had been hectic, but it all seemed to have turned out relatively okay. Now all she had to do was just figure out how to get them to make up again. That could wait for a bit though. At least until the morning came.

Chapter Text

"And now we wait for it to bake."

"Okay."

Tomoe didn't exactly know how she had gotten herself into this situation. Saaya had just invited her to come over. Nothing mentioned a cooking class. Though, Tomoe didn't necessarily mind it.

They were baking some bread at the moment. There was no reason why they chose bread. It just happened to be what they wanted to bake.

"So, how's it going?" Saaya started up a conversation.

Tomoe shrugged, "Normal."

"Have you told them about us yet?"

Tomoe shook her head, "No. I haven’t had the chance to."

"Are you afraid to tell them?" Saaya questioned.

Tomoe shrugged, "I don't think it's that. It's just... hard to explain."

"Well, everyone in Poppin' Party was fine when I told them. I'm sure it'll go okay." Saaya reassured her.

"I'm sure it will. But... it's hard to get it started. If I could get that done, I'd be fine." Tomoe said.

"Hmm... well, we could always just spring it on them." Saaya smiled slyly.

"What are you implying here?" Tomoe asked.

"How about we meet up somewhere where they can see us and, I don't know, kiss?" Saaya offered, "I'm sure that would get them to approach you."

"I guess we could try..." Tomoe mumbled.

They had never done much in public before. Maybe the occasional hand holding, but that was it. They were pretty secretive about their relationship.

The timer went off. Saaya carefully took out the bread and set it down to cool.

"Why don't we go sit down for a bit?" Saaya suggested.

"Alright." Tomoe agreed.

They went to the back and took a seat on a couch. Saaya smiled and scooted closer to Tomoe.

"Wanna cuddle?"

"E-eh?"

"You seem tense. It'll help you relax."

"O-okay..."

Saaya flashed her another smile, before pulling her closer. Tomoe hesitantly rested her head against Saaya's shoulder. This was the first time they had ever done this. They didn't really do anything affectionate that often. The most was exchanging kisses in private.

"Do you want to try what I suggested? If you aren't comfortable doing that, we don't have to." Saaya asked as she casually started playing with some of Tomoe's hair.

"I... I'm fine with doing that. It won't be that bad." Tomoe replied.

"Alright then. Shall we aim for tomorrow?"

"Sure."

"For now, let me try and help you relax. You don't need to be so anxious about all of this." Saaya motioned for Tomoe to sit on her lap.

Tomoe blanked at her. She wanted to do what? This was uncalled for. But, it wouldn't hurt to try something new, right?

Tomoe eventually did move to sit on her lap. Saaya responded by hugging her and kissing her all over her face. Tomoe was bright red as she did so. This didn't seem to really be helping to relax her.

"You're really cute when you're all flustered like this." Saaya teased.

"S-stop it..." Tomoe covered her face to try and hide her blush.

Saaya laughed softly, "Alright, I'll stop teasing you. But you do look cute like that."

"You're embarrassing me!" Tomoe whined.

"Am I now?" Saaya teased, "I can do worse than just that."

"Oh god..." Tomoe knew she was in for it now.

But, she did have to admit it was helping take her mind off of things. This wasn't so bad after all. She could worry about the other stuff later on. For now, she would just enjoy this moment between them, no matter how embarrassing it was for her.

Chapter Text

It was time. She didn't have long to work with. If she wanted to do this, she had to act now. But... she was scared to. What if this was a bad idea?

She had to act now or she might not get another chance. Gathering herself, Sayo walked over to where Tomoe was at.

"Tomoe, I... I was hoping we could talk in private for a bit." Sayo did her best to remain calm and emotionless, but she stumbled over her words slightly. Hopefully it wasn't going to raise any questions from her junior.

"Oh. Sure." Tomoe agreed.

Sayo took Tomoe to the other practice room. They had it to themselves for a bit. Somehow she had managed to convince Roselia to hang with Afterglow for a while and give her the space alone. She hadn't explained what she was planning to do, however.

"So... what's up?" Tomoe asked.

Sayo felt herself freezing up. She couldn't do that. She had to talk. This was her only chance. She couldn't lose this. But, her mouth refused to move. She couldn't get anything out.

Sayo could see the confusion, and a slight bit of concern, starting to form on Tomoe's face. Her silence wasn't a good thing.

Come on, Sayo. You can do this. Just like you practiced.

But, she couldn’t. It was scary. It was embarrassing. Everything about this was that. Writing a song for someone was a very embarrassing thing in her opinion. Double it when you actually played it to who it was written for.

"Is everything okay?" Tomoe asked with a worried expression.

"I..." Sayo was choking up on her words, "I... I..."

Sayo didn't know what to do, so she ran. Tomoe called her name in a mix of worry and panic. Sayo didn't turn around. She just ran until she was out of the building.

Tomoe was about to chase after her, when she spotted something on the floor. It was a piece of paper. She picked it up and scanned it. Her eyes widened at what she read.

It was the music sheet for the song Sayo had wanted to play for her. It wasn't hard to figure out what was going on. Especially not when Tomoe saw her name on the sheet.

She carefully folded the paper up and went to go track down Sayo. Thankfully, Sayo had just planted herself on the ground outside the building. Her back was against the wall and her head was buried into her knees.

"Sayo?"

Sayo jolted upwards in surprise and ended up banging her head against the wall. She yelped and held her hand to her head.

"Sorry! I didn't mean to scare you." Tomoe apologized.

Sayo refused to looked at her. Tomoe took out the paper. She looked at it for a bit, before she unfolded it silently.

"You dropped this." Tomoe held it out to her.

Sayo looked at it. Her eyes widened and she quickly grabbed it. She crumpled it up and shoved it in her pocket.

"Um... you aren't gonna talk about it?" Tomoe asked.

"I... I'm sorry... just forget what you saw." Sayo mumbled.

Tomoe sat down beside her, "Why?"

"It's stupid..."

"It seemed like it was a cool song."

Sayo blushed and quickly buried her head back into her knees. Tomoe sighed. This conversation was not going how she expected it to. She thought after giving the paper back that Sayo would confess, but it didn't seem like that was going to happen at all.

"I like you too."

Sayo stood up. Tomoe didn't know what to do. Sayo walked back into the building without a word. Tomoe followed behind her at a distance. Sayo was talking to Yukina now. Moments later, Yukina called for the others to return to practice.

Tomoe acted like it was nothing. She wasn't sure what she would even say. But, the others noticed something was amiss with her.

"Tomoe? What did Sayo want?" Himari asked.

"I don't really know..." Tomoe mumbled, "But... I think she was trying to confess to me... things just... didn't go as planned."

"What do you mean?" Moca questioned, "Did you reject her?"

Tomoe shook her head, "No! She... never got around to confessing. She ran out of the room, but she dropped a music sheet... it was a song that she wrote for me... a love song."

"Oh... and things are tense now?" Moca guessed.

"Yeah. I... I told her I liked her too, but she just walked away."

"Hmm..."

"Hi-chan, do you have any advice? Or how about you, Tsugu? Since you two are dating, maybe you know what to do." Moca teased.

"Moca, how are they supposed to even know what to do." Ran sighed.

"I don't think there's anything to say... it's Sayo that's the problem." Tsugumi said.

"True..."

"Why don't we just try and play a bit? We can think about it later?" Tomoe suggested, "Give me some time to... think about it."

"Alright."

...

It was night now. Tomoe still had no clue what to do. She had even texted Sayo and asked if they could talk. Sayo hadn't even seen the message yet as far as she knew. It didn't show as read.

Tomoe's phone dinged. Someone sent her a message. To her surprise, it was Sayo. Had she finally gotten around to reading it?

Sayo had linked something. Tomoe opened it up. It was a recording of something. She listened. Was this... the song? It had to be. So, what did that mean?

Tomoe asked her exactly that. She was only told to meet up with her tomorrow. So, looks like she had to wait a bit longer to find out.

...

Tomoe was eager to finally resolve this mess. She had arrived at the cafe Sayo had put direction to right on time. Sayo was already there. She didn't say anything, just nodded at her. They took a seat at a table.

"So..." Tomoe was ready to get the conversation started.

"I want to apologize for... yesterday." Sayo said, "It was rude of me to not say anything and just leave."

"It's fine." Tomoe shrugged, "I'm sorry if I made you feel like you needed to do that."

Sayo shook her head, "It wasn't you... it was me. I couldn't face my feelings..."

"Oh... well, the song was really nice." Tomoe offered, "You should sing more. You have a really nice voice."

Sayo blushed, "U-um... t-thank you..."

Tomoe smiled. Sayo didn't know how to react. Tomoe was being so friendly toward her. She didn't seem to be upset at all about yesterday. Sayo had convinced herself that would be the case, but it appeared it wasn't.

Sayo cleared her throat, "So... I like you..."

"And I like you." Tomoe replied.

"W-would you... like to... um... date?" Sayo started fumbling over her words.

"Of course. I'd love to."

"Is there anything you would like to do today?" Sayo asked.

"Hmm..." Tomoe thought about it, "Would you mind playing the song for me again, but in person this time?"

Sayo knew her face was probably completely red by now, "S-sure..."

"Awesome. Maybe I should try that out... write a song for you."

"Can we please discuss this somewhere private instead?"

"Shall we head to your place then?"

Chapter Text

It was loud. There were a lot of bands here. It was hard to hear yourself. But, thankfully they were soon escorted into a practice room. It was quiet now.

This was a pretty big event. Afterglow and Roselia had the honor of attending it. They were now both in the practice room. There were complimentary intrustments for them to use as it was too chaotic to try and switch in everyone's in the small time frame each group had.

Roselia were all doing some solo practices. Afterglow was currently just discussing some things.

"This is going to be a really crowded event, isn't it?"

"Yeah... I'm a little intimidated by it..."

Moca winced as she felt a pain on her finger. She glanced down. There was a cut. Great. Another injury. Moca sometimes hated her soulmate for that. It was annoying to have cuts on her fingers.

Though, she still didn't know who that soulmate was. Her gaze drifted to where Roselia was at. She felt her heart start pounding as she saw something. The cut... matched with what Sayo had. That meant... they were soulmates?

She would have to talk to her later. They didn't have the time right now.

...

After the concert was over, Moca went searching for Sayo under the guise of taking a walk. She didn't want to tell the others yet. Not until she could confirm her suspicions.

Thankfully, Sayo was alone at the moment. That made things a whole lot easier. Moca walked over to her.

"Hey, can we um... talk?" Moca didn't exactly know how to start this.

Sayo raised an eyebrow at her, "Sure?"

"Um... I... I think we're soulmates." Moca held up her finger to show the cut.

Sayo's eyes widened slightly. She took off the bandage on her finger and held it up. They looks identical.

"Even so, are you positive it's me? It could just be a coincidence." Sayo asked. She needed more proof to commit to that.

"I saw you had cut yourself moments after I felt it appear. It can't be a coincidence." Moca replied, "Though, we could check."

"How?"

"If you kiss it, isn't it supposed to vanish?"

"Right... go ahead." Sayo agreed.

Moca pressed a kiss to her own finger. The cut vanished. She looked over at Sayo's cut. It was gone as well.

"So... we are soulmates."

"Yeah..."

This was a bit awkward. Neither had ever imagine did would be the other. It really caught them off guard.

"So, guess you and I will be hanging out more often now." Moca teased.

Sayo slightly glared at her, "Knock it off."

"Alright, alright. Are you gonna tell anyone?" Moca questioned.

Sayo shook her head, "Not yet."

"Alright. I won't tell until you do." Moca promised.

"We should get back to out bands. They're probably looking for us by now." Sayo stated.

"Okay..." Moca pouted, "Promise we'll talk more tomorrow?"

"Yes... we can talk more tomorrow." Sayo agreed.

With that, they went their separate ways. Things were definitely going to get more interesting now that the universe had spoken.

Chapter Text

The front door creaked open. Lisa was a bit confused. She hadn't been expecting anyone. Who was here? There were only so many people that had a key to the house.

She soon got her answer, which was apparently her girlfriends. Yukina and Sayo came into her bedroom.

"Couldn't you have told me you were coming over?" Lisa huffed, pretending to be mad.

"Why would we do that? That ruins the surprise."

"Why did you come by? We were all-"

"It's your birthday, Lisa. Why would we skip it?" Yukina cut her off.

Lisa sighed, but a smile was starting to form on her face, "Alright... fair enough."

"So, what's the verdict about... this?" Sayo asked.

Lisa had been at her dance practice when she had taken a bad turn and ended up breaking her ankle. She had just been released from the hospital earlier this day.

"Seems like I'll be on crutches for a few months." Lisa replied.

"It could be worse. You can still do everything you used to, well... besides dancing." Yukina sat down on the edge of Lisa's bed.

"Yeah... you know, I never thought it would happen to me... I thought this type of thing was extremely rare." Lisa said.

"I doubt it's really that rare." Sayo stated, "I'm sure it's actually quite common. If what you said is all that happened, it doesn't seem like a hard thing to occur."

"I guess that's true..."

"So, since it's your birthday, what do you want to do?" Yukina asked.

Lisa thought about it, "Well, remember the new movie that came out..."

"You have it?"

Lisa nodded, "Yeah. Wanna watch it?"

"Sounds fine to me." Sayo shrugged.

"Yeah." Yukina agreed.

"Then, Sayo~ will you carry me downstairs?" Lisa pleaded, giving Sayo a very sad, begging expression, "I don't like trying to go up and down on my own."

Sayo's face turned red, "F-fine..."

Lisa smiled, "Yay!"

Sayo sighed and walked over to her, "You're only getting spoiled like this becuase you're hurt."

Lisa pouted, "Meanie."

Sayo rolled her eyes and carfully lifted Lisa up. Lisa hugged Sayo tightly and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Sayo glared at her. Did she want to be dropped?

The three of them went downstairs. Sayo carefully set Lisa down on the couch. Yukina was in charge of setting up the movie. Sayo was tasked with getting drinks and snacks. She complained about it all being unhealthy, but Lisa eventually talked her into accepting it.

They cuddled on the couch while watching the movie. It wasn't an uncommon scenario for them, but it felt a lot different since Lisa was injured. They had to be careful not to accidently hurt her.

They weren’t really celebrating her birthday too much. That was for tomorrow with Ako and Rinko as well. Today was just for them.

Neither wanted to wait to see her any longer. They were not able to ever stay long with her when she was in the hospital. It was nice to finally have her back home.

...

Night soon fell. They ended up ordering a pizza for dinner as no one wanted to even try and cook right now. They then hung out in Lisa's room, talking about whatever they felt like.

"Are you guys staying the night?" Lisa asked.

"We can."

"Well, it is getting pretty late." Sayo pointed out, "We should get to bed soon."

"Alright. How are we doing this?"

"I wanna be in the middle." Lisa stated.

That was a bit difficult to work with. They had to be quite careful during the night, lest they make Lisa's injury worse. But, they could make it work. They just needed to not move around too much.

"Goodnight, guys."

"Goodnight, Lisa."

"Goodnight."

Chapter Text

Somehow the CiRCLE was able to hold all seven bands and a few extra people. It was extremely crowded, though. Why Marina had invited them to a Halloween party here, no one knew. It was fine. Everyone was managing to keep some distance so no one was squished.

Tomoe found it hard to find her girlfriend, however. She couldn't spot her at all. It shouldn't be that hard, right? She should be pretty recognizable.

So, where was Yukina? Tomoe had found the rest of Roselia at different places, but had not managed to locate Yukina yet. Was she running late? Would anyone be able to tell her? She hadn't gotten any texts from her.

Finally, she spotted her. At some point, Yukina had made her way to Lisa. Tomoe made her way over to them.

"Oh, hey, Tomoe!" Lisa smiled and waved to her.

"Hey." Tomoe replied.

"So, Ako talked you into the costume after all, huh?" Lisa teased.

Tomoe sighed, "Yes... and yet she didn't want to hang with me despite us matching."

"Why did Ako want to dress up as a nurse anyway?" Yukina asked.

Tomoe shrugged, "Think it was something to do with a new game."

"Makes sense."

"What are you dressed as?" Tomoe asked Lisa.

"Can't you tell? I'm a witch." Lisa huffed.

"Not a very traditional outfit for a witch." Yukina pointed out.

"Rinko made it from actual references, not from movies." Lisa defended.

"Rinko made it?" Tomoe questioned.

Lisa nodded, "Yep. She's also a witch. She wanted to practice some designs and made these."

"Oh."

"Well, I'll leave you two to hang out." Lisa said and then she walked away.

Tomoe looked Yukina over, "You are a cat."

"Lisa wanted a familiar and talked me into it." Yukina stated.

"So we both got talked into these costumes, huh?"

"It seems so."

...

It was a while later. Lisa had come back to them to ask to take some pictures of them together. After a lot of bickering and protests, they resigned to the photoshoot. Lisa was thrilled to be able to finally get some pictures of them together.

Afterwards, Lisa left to get drinks for them all. They found a place to sit. Lisa didn't stay too long and soon vanished into the crowd again.

Tomoe felt it was a bit suspicious. She didn't say anything, though. She wouldn't complain about having time to spend alone with Yukina. Well, as alone as you could get in this place.

Yukina rested her head against Tomoe's shoulder. Tomoe glanced over at her. They normally didn't touch while in public.

"I want a kiss."

Tomoe sat frozen in shock. Why was she being so... okay with doing that? They had agreed to keep this relationship pretty secretive and yet, Yukina was asking for a kiss. In the middle of a crowded room. The hell?

"Um... you sure?" Tomoe asked, her voice shaking from the shock.

Yukina nodded, "Kiss."

Tomoe hesitated. Yukina didn't seem to like that and forceful pulled her into a kiss. Well, more like a make-out session. Tomoe shoved her off in surprise.

"The hell are you doing? You were the one who said not to do something like that in public." Tomoe stammered.

"Don't care..." Yukina grumbled, before she locked her arms around Tomoe.

Tomoe sighed. What the hell was this? Why was Yukina being so clingy and so casual about this?

Tomoe stared at Yukina. It appeared she had fallen asleep. That was just great.

Tomoe manged to get out of her grip. She moved Yukina into her lap. It wasn't like she could do much about this. She had to just deal with it now.

Tomoe soon smelled a strange, but familiar scent. Alcohol? But why would she be smelling that? Unless...

Tomoe picked up Yukina's drink. She smelled it. Yep. It was alcohol. So that meant... Lisa did this. Tomoe didn't know how to feel about that. Lisa had planned this.

Tomoe sighed. Well, looks like she had to deal with Yukina being a bit drunk. Oh she was really going to let Lisa have it when she saw her again.

Tomoe carefully stood up, holding Yukina in her arms. It was late as it was. No one would question them leaving, though they might question the way they were leaving.

Tomoe managed to send a text to Ako, saying she was heading home with Yukina and also explained exactly why. With that out of the way, she left the building.

Just as Tomoe entered her house, Yukina stirred. She just nuzzled herself back into Tomoe. Tomoe sighed and carried her up to her room.

"Yukina, I'm changing you into something more comfortable." Tomoe said as she pulled out some clothes. They'd be big on her, but it was the best she had.

Yukina didn't seem to care, or perhaps she was asleep again. It was hard to tell. Tomoe quickly changed her and then changed into some comfy clothes herself.

She shifted Yukina so both of them could fit on the bed. Tomoe sent a text to Lisa, warning her she was in for it the next time she saw her. Lisa just sent some emojis back. Tomoe didn't bother trying to figure out what they meant.

She set her phone down and then laid down beside Yukina. Yukina immediately was hugging her. She also was now laying half on top of her as well.

Tomoe brushed some hair out of Yukina's face. Yukina looked up at her.

"Go to sleep." Tomoe said, "It's late."

"Don't wanna!"

"Yukina, you are drunk. Go to bed. Actually no. Wait a minute." Tomoe pushed her off and went down to the kitchen.

She returned with a water bottle. She held it out to Yukina. Yukina just stared at it.

"Drink. It'll help you later." Tomoe said.

Yukina shook her head. Tomoe groaned. So, when she was drunk, she was very feisty and unwilling to comply. This was going to be a long night.

"I'll give you a kiss if you drink half of it." Tomoe decided maybe a reward would work.

It seemed to as Yukina did take the bottle from her. That's one thing done. Now, was she going to fight going to bed a lot? She already had, so the answer was probably yes.

Yukina held out the half drunken water bottle. Tomoe took it and set it aside. Well, that would have to do.

"Where do you want the kiss?" Tomoe asked.

Yukina pointed to her cheek. Tomoe nodded and gave her a quick kiss there.

"Now, will you please go to bed?" Tomoe asked, "I'm tired."

"Snuggle?" Yukina questioned.

"Sure. We can snuggle." Tomoe agreed.

Yukina smiled and clung to Tomoe the moment she sat down. Tomoe sighed and laid down. Well, it worked. And, this wasn't exactly a bad thing to deal with. But, definitely not what she had been expecting to happen tonight.

Lisa was going to regret everything tomorrow. Tomoe was going to make sure of that.

Chapter Text

"Aww... really?"

Himari was just about to leave the mall when it started pouring down rain. She didn't have an umbrella with her, so she'd have to wait it out.

Himari headed back into the mall. Was there anywhere to go? She had already been in most of the stores she liked already. It was pointless to go back there.

"Didn't a new place open up here?" Himari whispered to herself.

It didn't hurt to look. She had no idea when the rain would stop. So, Himari went searching for this new shop that had opened up. She didn't know where to look. She couldn't remember seeing it earlier, so it must be out of the way.

Eventually, she stumbled upon it. It was towards the back of the mall. There weren't many people around this area.

Himari stopped in front of the shop. It appeared to be some type of magic shop. She wasn't into that type of stuff, but it didn't hurt to look around. So, she entered it.

She couldn't see any workers around. The desk wasn't even staffed. Then, she saw a sign. So, they offered Tarot readings.

A familiar face stepped out of a backroom.

"Moca? Is this really the place you were talking about when you said you took on another job?"

Moca smiled innocently, "Maybe."

"I didn't take you as someone into this stuff." Himari said.

"I'm full of surprises, aren't I?" Moca teased, "Why are you here then?"

"It's started raining. I'm waiting it out so I thought I'd see what this new shop was about." Himari replied.

"Well, it's pretty slow."

"It is in the back."

"Do you want to check anything out? I can tell you about some things." Moca offered.

"I'm not really that interested."

Moca pouted, "Don't you wanna do a reading?"

Himari was a little interested in it. It sounded like it could be fun. But, she wasn't sure she trusted Moca with it.

"If you insist, we can do one reading." Himari tried to act like she wasn't interested.

"Come with me." Moca led her to the back.

They sat at a table. There was a card deck already waiting there. Himari wasn't sure how this worked.

"So, what do you want to know?" Moca asked.

Himari didn't know. What was she okay with Moca potentially knowing?

"I don't know."

"Hmm... there must be something."

"Fine. How about love."

"Okay."

Moca did the reading. Himari watched, unsure what any of it meant.

"You're close to finding you lover. It seems like you'll get a good reaction." Moca translated.

"Is that as specific as it'll get?"

"Yes. You have to decide what the meanings are yourself. It doesn't tell you much."

"So..."

"I can try and be more specific in asking, but no guarantee it'll answer much else." Moca offered.

"Alright." Himari shrugged.

So, Moca reshuffled the deck and tried again. Himari still didn't follow what she was doing.

"Hmm... it says... that they're..." Moca refused to finish.

Himari wasn't sure what to make of that. Was it a bad thing? What did Moca learn.

"What?" Himari asked.

"It says... nearby and... the other means you're close."

"Are you telling me it's talking about you?" Himari didn't know how to react to that.

"Apparently." Moca took a few breaths to try and collect herself, "So, does that mean Hii-chan has a crush on me?"

Himari's eyes shot open wide. There was no way she liked Moca like that, right? They were just close friends. Just like with everyone else in Afterglow, weren’t they?

"Too embarrassed to admit it?" Moca seemed to have recovered enough from the shock to really start teasing Himari about it.

Moca didn't really care which way this went now. If Himari liked her, she'd be down to date her. If not, that was fine too.

"Cat got your tongue?" Moca leaned across the table so she was almost in Himari's face, her eyes sparkling with mischief.

Himari hated how much Moca was teasing her. She had to figure out how to get her back for this.

"Are you that desperate to date me?" Himari challenged.

Moca was caught off guard by that and pulled back. Himari smirked. She had done it.

"You seem to really want my answer. Are you that impatient?" Himari continued.

"I don't care." Moca mumbled, trying to defend herself.

Himari stood up and walked around the table to Moca's side. She was going to do somethung really bold. Hopefully Moca wouldn't use it against her later.

Himari grabbed Moca by her shoulders and kissed her. Moca was frozen in shock. She couldn't process everything that was going on.

"There. You have my answer now, happy?"

"H-Hii-chan!" Moca covered her face with her hands to try to hide how flustered she was.

"You're the one to blame." Himari stated.

"You... do like me?"

"For the love of God, I literally just kissed you." Himari groaned.

A sly smile started forming on Moca's face, "Can I have another?"

"No. If you want that, you'll have to wait." Himari wasn't giving her the satisfaction.

Moca removed her hand from her face and pouted. She hadn't expected to be denied.

"If you want to... continue this, come to my house tonight." Himari said.

"Are you leaving already?"

"The rain is hopefully over by now. I have things to do." Himari stated. There was another reason as well. She needed time to think this all over.

"Before you go, um... do you... want to go out? Like, date?" Moca asked.

"I need some time." Himari stated, "I'll see you later."

Moca pouted. She just wanted the answer already. But, looks like Himari couldn't give her one yet. Hopefully tonight she could. Moca was planning to go to her house.

She was about to get up, when she got a text. It was from Himari.

Himari: If you want to, I guess we could date

Moca: Really?

Himari: Yes

Moca: I'll see you tonight then!

Moca smiled. Well, looks like she did get her answer. This had been an eventful day. She hadn't expected to find out something like that the way she did, but she wasn't going to complain. It got her a girlfriend, after all.

Chapter Text

Ding dong

No one answered the door. Mari sighed. She dug through her bag, hoping she had the spare key somewhere in it. Thankfully, she did. Mari unlocked the door and entered the house.

It was silent in the house. Nothing was on. There was a humming from the air conditioning but that was all. It really didn’t seem like anyone was home, but she knew someone was.

Mari made her way to a room that she had grown to be familiar with. She gently knocked on the door and then entered. The person she had come to see appeared to be fast asleep. Mari quietly walked over to her.

Kanan had fallen ill. It was nothing major. Probably just the seasonal illness that happened from time to time. Mari had just wanted to check up on her and see how she was doing.

She placed a hand on Kanan's forehead. It was slightly warm. As Mari studied Kanan a bit more, she noticed that her face definitely was flushed pink. She did look sick.

Kanan stirred at the contact. She wearily opened her eyes. Mari smiled at her.

"Mari...?"

"I just came to check up on you." Mari said, "How are you feeling?"

"Sick."

"You need to be more specific. Do you need anything?"

"Just wanna sleep." Kanan mumbled as she readjusted her position on the bed.

"Alright. Shall I leave you be?"

"Stay..."

Kanan was already half asleep. Mari rolled her eyes fondly at the girl. She carefully laid on the bed. Kanan grabbed her arm tightly. Mari smiled and kissed her on the head.

"Love you..." Mari whispered as she tucked some hair behind Kanan's ears.

Kanan moved closer to Mari, "Love you too..."

"Get some rest."

"Promise... you'll still be here?" Kanan's grip tightened.

Mari wasn't sure how to take that. Why was she so worried about her leaving? She didn't put too much thought into it. Kanan was sick. That was all it was. She wasn't thinking that clearly.

"I'll be right here when you wake up. I promise." Mari replied as she kissed Kanan on the head again.

"Stop... get you... sick..."

"I don't think it'll make a difference since I'm right beside you." Mari chuckled.

Kanan seemed to have finally drifted off again. Mari stared at her for a while. She didn't like seeing Kanan looking so sickly. So, she would do what she could to help her recover as fast as possible. Being sick was never fun.

"If I do get sick from you, you better take care of me like I am you." Mari whispered, though she knew it fell on deaf ears.

She knew if she did catch what Kanan had, that she would recieve the same care she was giving. That was what you did when your girlfriend was sick. You stayed right by their side no matter how bad it got.

Chapter Text

"Come on, Tsugu, you can do it!"

"I... I don't know..."

"If you fall I'll catch you."

"I'm scared."

Winter had arrived upon them all. It had gotten cold enough that the pond had frozen over enough to skate on it. Moca had managed to drag Tsugumi out to skate, but was finding it very difficult to get said girl onto the ice.

"About what?" Moca hadn't expected it to be so complicated.

"What if it breaks?"

"It won't break, Tsugu. If it was at risk of doing that, someone would've already yelled at everyone to get off of it. We'll be fine." Moca reassured her.

Tsugumi gulped as she moved closer to the edge of the pond, "I... I'm scared I'll fall..."

"So what? Other people are falling and they haven't had any issues." Moca stated.

Tsugumi still wasn't convinced. Moca sighed. She reached out and grabbed her hands. Tsugumi looked at her.

"I'm right here. You'll be fine." Moca smiled.

"Don't let go of me, please." Tsugumi requested.

"I won't." Moca promised.

Tsugumi finally took the step onto the ice. She yelped as she lost her balance. Moca pulled her into a tight hug to keep her from falling down. She knew Tsugumi would not try again if she fell already.

"I got you." Moca reasured her, "Just keep yourself steady. I can do all the moving. It's actually quite easy to drag another person on ice."

Tsugumi tightened her grip on Moca's coat, "Can we stay like this for a bit..."

"Alright. Can I move around the pond?" Moca asked.

Tsugumi gulped, before she nodded. Moca kept a firm grip on Tsugumi as she slowly pulled her out farther into the pond. She made sure not to go too far. Tsugumi would panic if they were really far from the bank.

"See? It's not so bad." Moca prompted.

Tsugumi hesitantly looked. She was nervous. They were surrounded by ice. There was no solid ground in reach.

"Why'd you make me come with you?" Tsugumi asked.

"Cause I wanna spend some time with you. We don't get much time alone anymore." Moca responded.

"I don't really... like this." Tsugumi mumbled.

"There's really no need to be so nervous. Nothing bad is going to happen." Moca patted her on the head, "I'm here if anything does go wrong."

"I don't feel steady on my feet." Tsugumi whispered.

"Then don't let go. I'll keep you standing." Moca reassured her.

"Can we go closer to the bank?" Tsugumi requested.

Moca pouted, but brought them closer to the edge of the pond. She knew this was not the time to tease her about anything. Moca knew if she refused to do this, Tsugumi would start to panic. She really had to be careful right now.

"Do you wanna try to do anything at all on the ice?" Moca questioned.

"I... I guess learning how to at least keep my balance would be useful." Tsugumi replied hesitantly.

"Alright. I'll see if I can help you with that."

They practiced that for a little while. It didn't last long. Tsugumi kept freaking out everytime she slipped. Moca always was there to catch her and right her again, but it was getting to her.

"I wanna get off." Tsugumi said, her voice shaking.

"Okay. You go first." Moca brought them back to the edge.

Tsugumi didn't know how to step off. She was terrified she'd slip the moment she lifted her foot up.

"I've got you. You won't fall." Moca held her from behind.

Tsugumi nodded and managed to get off the ice. Moca followed behind. They took off the ice skates and returned them to the rental desk.

"I'm cold..." Tsugumi whined as she pressed herself close to Moca's side.

Moca wrapped an arm around her, "Why don't we stop somewhere to get some food and a hot drink?"

"I'd like that." Tsugumi nodded.

Moca pressed a quick kiss to her cheek, "You did really well for your first time skating."

Tsugumi blushed, "I... I didn't do good at all!"

"But you kept trying instead of just immediately giving up." Moca stated, "I'm proud of you."

Tsugumi couldn't look at Moca. She knew her face was bright red by now. Moca would just keep teasing her if she saw.

"I'm assuming this is a one time and done ordeal? You won't go again?" Moca asked.

Tsugumi nodded, "I don't think I can do it..."

"That's alright. Say... wanna see if the others can ice skate?" Moca questioned with a mischievous smile.

"What do you plan to do?" Tsugumi was slightly worried.

"I wanna see them struggle on the ice. I think it'd be fun to watch. Maybe we should find an ice rink instead. That might be easier." Moca said.

"I... I guess we could make it an outing."

"Awesome! Imma ask them all later then." Moca smiled.

"Okay."

"Ah, we're here. I assume you want to sit in for a bit?"

"Yes, please. My legs are killing me."

Chapter Text

There were a lot of people at this concert. A lot of people undoubtedly better than her. No matter what she tried, all things she could do were a disgrace compared to the other performers.

These doubts weren't anything new to Aya. She often found herself belittling her accomplishments. She always felt like she was walking in the shadows of other idols. Never seeing herself as her own person. Nothing she did seemed like her own doing.

Aya hated this. She just wanted to be able to stand out. But, it felt impossible. It also wasn't helping that she was the only one here. Management had sent her to do this concert solo, like all the other idols performing. She couldn't even distract herself with her friends. She was all alone, drowning in her worries and doubts.

"Aya?"

Aya turned around. Right. She had forgotten that she invited Lisa to come with her. Looks like she had finally arrived.

"H-hey." Aya hated that her voice shook. Her nerves were taking a hold of her.

"What's up?" Lisa asked.

Aya stared at her outfit, "I... I feel so... small compared to everyone else here..."

Lisa pouted, "Why? You're equal to them."

Aya shook her head, "I'm not! They... they all stand out because of different talents! I... I don't have anything... Everything I can do they do ten times better!"

Lisa rested a hand on Aya's shoulder, "That's not true. You have a lot of talents that differentiate you from others."

"I don't see anything." Aya replied bitterly.

Lisa sighed. This was going to be tougher than she thought. But, she was certain she could convince Aya otherwise.

"After your performance, we'll talk more, okay? I'll show you." Lisa said.

"Okay..." Aya mumbled.

"Hug for good luck?" Lisa held out her arms.

Aya blushed in embarrassment, but did accept the hug. It made her feel slightly better. Having Lisa's support gave her a little boost of confidence.

"Good luck, Aya. I'll see you in a bit." Lisa pulled back.

Aya nodded. She wished they could talk for longer, but it was almost time to get ready. She had to leave.

...

That evening, Lisa met up with her again. She invited Aya over for the night so they could talk in peace.

"So... what do you think is gonna convince me otherwise?" Aya questioned.

Lisa pulled out her laptop, "Here. I found a lot of comments. I think they'll prove you wrong."

The two of them read through a bunch of comments about Aya. They were all really positive. Aya didn't really pay them much mind before as she was so caught up in her doubts she thought they were just being nice. Reading them now, however, gave her a different perspective on things.

Aya couldn't help but smile a little. It was... nice. To see such positive feedback about herself. It changed the way she looked at things.

"I know you've been trying new things to change yourself, but you don't need to. People already can see you're a completely different person than others." Lisa said with a soft smile.

"I... I never really... thought people felt that way about me." Aya didn't know what to say in response.

"Do you feel better now?" Lisa asked.

Aya nodded, "Yeah. It's eased up the feeling of doubt now..."

"Hug?"

Aya nodded. They hugged again. She liked these moments. Unfortunately they were few and far in-between. She couldn't openly say she was dating someone. It was against the contract for the group. So, they had to be pretty secretive about dating.

"Can we... stay like this for a while?" Aya whispered. She didn't want to let go anytime soon.

"Sure. We have the night to ourselves so whatever you want to do is fine by me."

"I love you..."

"And I love you." Lisa gently pressed a kiss to Aya's head, "You're perfect how you are. You don't need to rush around trying to change yourself."

"If... if you say so... then I'll trust you." Aya mumbled.

Lisa smiled, "But, if you do ever feel like changing something, just say so. I'll try to help you the best I can."

"Thank you, Lisa... I'm glad to have you in my life."

"Same to you."

Chapter Text

"Please, Dia~"

"You aren't going to stop until I say yes, are you?"

"Maybe?"

"Fine... only this once."

"Yay! Meet me tomorrow afternoon at the shop then."

...

That was how Dia found herself being drug out into the ocean. Kanan had been pestering her for ages now for them to go scuba diving together. Dia had finally reached her resolve and agreed.

"You ready?" Kanan asked.

"Sure. Lead the way."

Kanan jumped off the boat first. Dia hesitated for a moment. She didn't know why. It wasn't her first time doing this. But, it just felt different for some reason.

Pushing those thoughts aside, she jumped in as well. Kanan smiled at her. Dia could feel her face heat up a bit. She hoped it wasn't noticeable.

"Follow me." Kanan said and then she went under the water.

Dia followed behind. Kanan reached out to grab her hand and started pulling her along. Dia shoved slightly as the temperature dropped. It was a little colder than she'd like.

As they explored the water, Dia couldn't help but mainly look at Kanan. This seemed like an easy thing for her while she was... not having much luck. Swimming was tiring. Dia was amazed at how smoothly Kanan could move about while also practically dragging her around too.

She's almost like a mermaid...

It was a thought. Give Kanan a mermaid tail and the ability to breathe under the water and she'd probably be really happy. It was almost like the ocean was a second home for her.

She did fit in a lot. The sea life around them just seemed to suit her. It felt like Kanan did belong in the ocean more than on land.

Kanan turned back to look at Dia. She pointed up. Dia nodded, understanding what she meant. They swam back up to the surface.

"Whatcha think?" Kanan asked.

"It's cold." Dia stated. She couldn't voice those other thoughts out loud.

"Is it? I don't think it is." Kanan pouted.

Dia couldn't help but chuckle, "You're built for the water. I'm not."

"Well... maybe I'm used to it by now."

"You do this a lot?" Dia asked.

Kanan shrugged, "I don't know that I do it that often, but I like to just swim a lot too."

"Does it ever get boring? Wouldn't you have seen it all at some point?"

"No! The ocean is never boring!" Kanan protested.

"Alright." Dia rolled her eyes at the defensive tone Kanan took on.

"Hmm... I think I know something to make this more memorably for you." Kanan stated.

Dia raised an eyebrow, "And what would that be?"

"Go back under and I'll show you. Don't put the mask on, just hold your breath." Kanan replied.

Dia gave her a suspicious glance, but did as asked. Kanan joined her under soon enough. She smiled and then kissed her. Dia had not been expecting that. Kanan pulled Dia up against her.

She pulled back from the kiss and then they went back up to the surface.

"Why did you do that!?" Dia demanded, "You could've warned me first!"

Kanan just flashed her a cheeky grin, "But then it wouldn't have been a surprise."

Dia huffed, "I'm ready to go back now."

Kanan pouted, "Come on, Dia~ I'm sorry."

Dia ignored her and climbed back onto the boat. Kanan frowned as she followed behind. Once they were on the boat and free of their equipment, they headed back to the shore. They sat down on the boardwalk.

"Dia? Are you still mad at me?" Kanan poked Dia on the cheek.

Dia looked at her. She still didn't say anything. Kanan was worried she had really messed up.

Dia scooted closer to Kanan's side and rested her head against her shoulder. Kanan hesitated, before she reached out and brushed a strand of hair out of Dia's face.

"Dia?"

"Kiss me again and maybe I'll forgive you."

"O-oh... okay."

Chapter Text

Running. Why was she running? There was something behind her, wasn't there? She could feel the ground shake every time the thing landed a foot on the ground. She could hear its heavy breathing drawing closer.

She was running through a forest. The trees were thicker on both sides of her. There was only this path she was on. She couldn't divert herself into the thickness of the forest. She was stuck running in the open.

It was gaining on her. She kept running, but it didn't seem to be doing much. The creature was right behind her. Dare she turn around to see?

As she ran she noticed the land growing darker. Then, she saw a giant wall of stone. She was trapped. Having no way out, she turned around. Immediately the creature was upon her.

...

"Ah!" Rui shot up from her bed with a scream.

That dream... it felt so real. Despite the obvious flaw with the creature, everything else was too realistic. It scared her.

This was the third time she had a nightmare like that. She didn't know why. None of them seemed to be related save for the monster. None matched up to anything she had seen or read recently. They were out of the blue nightmares.

"Rui...?" A tired voice mumbled from across the room.

"A-ah... Yuyuko..." Rui swallowed hard as she tried to calm her breathing, "Sorry... I-I didn't mean to wake you."

Yuyuko sat up and rubbed her eyes, "What's wrong?"

"Nothing..." Rui looked down at her bed, "Just... just a nightmare..."

"Are you okay? I mean, you did wake up screaming from it." Yuyuko got out of her bed and walked over to Rui's.

"I... I don't know..." Rui couldn't get herself to lie. She was exhausted from these nightmares. Mentally and physically.

"Wanna talk about it?" Yuyuko offered as she sat down on the bed.

Rui didn't say anything else. Yuyuko wasn't sure if pushing it would be a bad thing. It was obvious the nightmare had upset her a lot. She didn't need Rui even more upset because she did something insensitive.

"I was being chased by a creature..." Rui whispered, "And I ran into a dead-end where it... got me."

"It really shook you up, didn't it?" Yuyuko frowned. How was she supposed to comfort her about that?

"This is the third time... it always has been about a creature attacking me..." Rui sighed, "I don't know what to do about it anymore."

"Are you afraid to go back to bed now?" Yuyuko questioned.

"Maybe..." Rui mumbled.

Rui found it nearly impossible to go back to bed after the nightmares. She was terrified of returning to the aftermath of the attack when she closed her eyes.

"Hmm... you said this happened before." Yuyuko said, "Was that perhaps how you ended up in Tamao's futon during that sleepover at Fumi's?"

Rui blushed hard as she remembered that. It had been the first time she had had a nightmare. She had woken up Tamao by accident and was invited to stay close for comfort. It had been extremely embarrassing but it was really nice as well.

"Where were you the second time? Or was that the second time?" Yuyuko persisted this topic.

"First time... the second was... on break."

"Does anything help you after them?" Yuyuko prayed there was something. She wanted to help if she could. It didn't sit well with her to just leave Rui alone to suffer.

Rui just shook her head. She had tried so many but nothing had worked. It was probably a lost cause at this point.

"We have an exam tomorrow. You really should try and sleep." Yuyuko said.

"I... I know..." Rui knew that well. She needed to try and sleep or else she would probably feel the consequences in the morning.

They fell into an awkward silence. Rui was nervously fiddling with her hair. Yuyuko was still trying to think if there was anything that she could suggest. But she was at a loss.

"I... I'll be fine... you can go back to bed." Rui mumbled. She didn't really like that she was bothering Yuyuko with all of this. It made her feel bad.

"No no no. That is not what we're doing." Yuyuko shook her head as she poked Rui's cheek, "You need someone right now."

"Okay..." Rui couldn't bring her gaze up to meet Yuyuko's.

She didn't like having to ask her for help. It was embarrassing. She felt childish for having problems because of a nightmare.

"So, why don't we share your bed? Maybe that'll help with the nightmares?" Yuyuko suggested. She had no other ideas come to mind.

"E-eh!?" Rui's face went bright red.

"What? I mean, it works in books a lot. Maybe it can also work in real life?" Yuyuko defended, "It didn't seem like you minded staying in Tamao's bed before?"

"Yukko!" Rui groaned.

"Alright, alright. I can't force you to do it." Yuyuko held her hands up in fake defeat.

She stood up and started making her way back to her own bed. If Rui didn't want her, there wasn't much she could do about it.

"Um... I... I guess we could... try." Rui mumbled.

Yuyuko paused, "Really?"

"It wouldn't hurt to try... but if you tease me again I'm kicking you out of the room!" Rui stated.

Yuyuko started laughing at that, "Fair enough. No more teasing for tonight, I swear."

They awkwardly arranged themselves on the bed. It was a little tight of a squeeze. They did end up having to get in each other's personal space in order to not feel like they would fall off the bed.

"Well, goodnight." Yuyuko said.

"Night..." Rui mumbled.

She still had doubts it would help. Even the first time, having Tamao with her didn't help her fall back to sleep. She didn't think this would do much more than give Yuyuko more teasing material for later on.

But, she closed her eyes and tried her best. And, thankfully she did fall asleep. The nightmare sort of returned, but instead of being chased, she was safely away and just watching the monster try and find her. She was safe from it for once. Maybe now it would give up? She wouldn't have to have anymore nightmares about it?

Who knew. That would have to remain to be seen. But for now, all was calm.

Chapter Text

It was a pleasant afternoon. Lisa decided to go and take a walk instead of heading home right after school. She wanted to enjoy the weather while it lasted. It was slowly getting colder each day.

Lisa had no plans on where she was going to go. She just took a walk around the town. There were quite a few people out. Lisa assumed they had the same idea she did.

She was going to stop at a small vendor stall, but paused. Two very recognizable people were in line there. It seemed Sayo and Aya had the same idea.

Lisa was a bit curious now. She knew it shouldn't be a surprise to see them together since they went to the same school and all, but this was the first she had witnessed this. She wanted to know more, but she couldn't just intrude on them. So, she settled for watching them from a distance.

They got drinks and sat down at a table. Lisa wanted to know what they were talking about. But, she couldn’t get closer without them seeing her. And she definitely didn't need them knkwing she was basically spying on them.

Aya was laughing about something. Did Sayo say something funny? Lisa could only guess. Sayo never made her laugh intentionally. But, it was obvious Sayo didn't mind Aya laughing. It made Lisa feel strange. She didn't understand the feeling she was having.

As she watched, she saw Sayo cracking a few smiles. She was even chuckling as well. The feeling grew stronger in Lisa. She soon came to understand what she was feeling. It was jealousy.

Seeing Sayo being so laid back like that made her feel jealous. How come Aya could get her to be like that but she herself couldn't? It made Lisa feel insecure now. Was she not good enough?

The breaking point came when Aya grabbed Sayo's hands. Lisa didn't stick around to see what action was going to occur. She walked away.

She went home, no longer feeling like going for a walk. Lisa hated the feelings churning inside of her. She never thought she'd experience this. She didn't think it would happen to her because if Sayo's personality. But... she was feeling jealous.

Even when Sayo was being friendly to the others in the band, Lisa didn't feel that way. She was fine with it then. But, for some reason, seeing her being nice with Aya made her jealous. And, it made her question her worth in the relationship. They had only been dating for three months now. Lisa was still worried they wouldn't last. And this just made that fear worse.

Lisa went to her room. She was going to lay in her bed, but she saw Yukina in her room. Yukina seemed to sense something was off and went to the balcony. Lisa followed.

"You seem confused." Yukina stated.

Lisa sighed, "I... I don't know... it's just..."

Lisa went on to explain what she had seen and how it had made her feel. Yukina listened to her silently, nodding along every now and again.

"I think you should talk to her. Just ask her what she was doing." Yukina offered her advice on it.

"But I can't just admit I was spying on them!" Lisa protested.

"Just say you were walking by and saw them and just wanted to know what was going on." Yukina clarified.

"I guess... but I feel that's just too invasive..." Lisa groaned in frustration.

"Just text her about it." Yukina stated, "I have to go. Dad was invited to a dinner with friends so we have to leave soon."

"Alright. Have fun." Lisa said.

She went back into her bedroom. Lisa sat on her bed. She stared at her phone. It was hard to get the courage to text Sayo about it. What if she came off as possessive? What if Sayo got mad for her questioning it?

Lisa sighed and decided to just get it over with. She hoped by now Sayo and Aya had gone their separate ways and weren't still hanging out. It had almost been an hour already.

Lisa: Hey. I saw you and Aya hanging out earlier. That's a rare sight to see. What warranted that special occasion?

Lisa tried to keep it casual. Hopefully it wouldn’t sound like she was accusing her of anything. She really wasn't as it was. She was just curious.

Sayo didn't respond for a while. Lisa hoped she was just busy with something. Sayo may be doing schoolwork right now.

Sayo: Hina did something stupid again and I wanted to apologize for her behavior.

Lisa felt a bit of relief by that. So it was nothing. But, the way they acted with each other still made her jealous.

Lisa: I'm not trying to assume anything here but I saw you guys laughing

Lisa was worried that would come off too harsh, but she had already sent it off. Sayo already read it. She couldn't delete it now.

Sayo: Is there a problem with that?

Lisa gulped. She messed up. Now she'd have to admit why she was asking, wouldn't she?

Lisa: I just don't belive I've ever seen you laugh about Hina's antics

If that didn't fix things she was doomed. Lisa did not want to tell Sayo how it made her feel. It was stupid. She shouldn't be feeling that way. Sayo wouldn't do something bad to her like that.

Sayo: I guess you have a point. But this seems like you're interrogating me about this

Fuck... she was screwed. Sayo knew what was up. She didn’t have Yukina to ask for advice now. She had to figure out what to say.

Lisa: Can you come over? It's easier that way

Sayo: Sure

She had a few minutes to figure out what to say. That was not a lot of time. Lisa was panicking. What if Sayo... got mad? Would she be mad that she was feeling this way? Lisa was worried. And she wasn't one to worry like that.

Sayo soon arrived. Lisa nervously let her in. They went back to her room and sat on her bed.

"So, what's going on?" Sayo questioned.

Lisa couldn't find it in her to look at Sayo, "I... I don't understand why... but seeing you... with her like that... it made me feel jealous..."

They were left in silence for a while. Lisa couldn't move her gaze from the bed. She was growing more and more nervous every second the silence continued.

"You were... jealous of us? Hanging out?" Sayo finally repeated.

"You were acting different... you've never really laughed before... you're always so serious..." Lisa mumbled, "And... I saw her hold your hands..."

"Lisa..." Arms wrapped around her, "I'm sorry if it seems like that. But, it was truly nothing more than us talking about Hina."

"Then why'd she grab your hands?"

"To apologize to me. She was trying to say it was her fault that Hina managed to do what she did. Since she wasn't keeping a close eye on her." Sayo said as she forced Lisa to meet her gaze, "Are you really that worried I would leave you?"

Lisa had no reply. She was frozen in place, just staring at Sayo. Sayo sighed softly and kissed her. When they pulled away, Lisa was pulled into a firm hug.

"Does that help?"

"I... I'm sorry I... thought of you like that..." Lisa whispered as she hugged Sayo back, "I... I just felt... maybe I'm not good enough... since I can't make you laugh..."

A sigh, "You're such a mess. I like things the way they are between us."

"Maybe I don't?" Lisa mumbled.

Another sigh, "Are you going to be hung up on that until you get me to laugh?"

"Maybe?"

"Fine."

"Sayo...? Will you kiss me again?" Lisa looked up at her.

Sayo pushed her down onto the bed, "Say please and I will."

Lisa smiled, "Please, Sayo?"

And for the first time in their relationship, as short as it has been so far, Sayo let herself laugh. She had been hiding a lot of her true emotions away, worried Lisa wouldn't want the change. But, now she knew it was the exact opposite.

"Very well." And so they kissed again.

Chapter Text

Having a cast on her arm was no fun. It restricted a lot of things. It made life miserable at times. But, she couldn't say that. She didn't want anyone to worry over her that much. So, she just put on a smile and acted like everything was okay.

How had this happened? Moca really didn't understand it. She had been practing the guitar, when she had heard a crack. After a strum, she had somehow cracked her wrist.

It had hurt like hell. She never wanted to deal with something like that ever again. It was horrible. Even now it still was. She could get pain shooting up her arm if she moved it the wrong way. It was hard not to react to it.

Moca didn't know how much longer she could hide it. She knew everyone was slowly seeing the subtle changes. It was only a matter of time before they realized her occasional stims were not just that.

So she was faced with a choice. Did she come clean and admit she was struggling or did she try harder to hide everything? The second option was more appealing to her, but she didn't know of it was possible. Could she find a way to mask her pain even more than she already was?

Maybe it was best to just admit it. They wouldn't judge her. They all had been sympathetic since the accident. She shouldn’t have to worry about expressing her feelings, but yet she was.

This was tough.

...

It was lunch time at school. As usual, the five of them sat together to eat. There wasn’t much of a discussion at first. Moca knew she should speak up now before they started talking, but she couldn't find the strength to open her mouth.

She reached into her bag, but pulled back as pain shot through her immobile arm. She didn't even try hiding it and just rubbed the part of the cast where the pain was pulsating from.

"You okay, Moca?" Himari asked, being the first to notice.

"I... I just moved the wrong way..." Moca tried to smile, "It was just a small jolt of pain for a sec."

"Moca, you sure you're okay?"

Moca's forced smile fell, "Maybe not..."

"Does it hurt a lot still?" Tomoe questioned.

Moca nodded as she stared at the ground, "If I move it, it sometimes hurts..."

"Has the doctor said anything about it?" Ran asked.

"He just said try not to move it. If it doesn't work they'd need to put a different type of cast on." Moca mumbled.

"Are you doing things you should be?" Himari questioned.

"No. Well... sometimes I do things I'm advised against... but that's only because I have no choice." Moca defended. She didn't like that accusation. She more than anything wanted to be out of the cast already.

"Maybe you shouldn't do those thing." Tsugumi suggested, "If it's not really important it can wait until someone else can help you do it."

That was the problem. Moca knew she should be asking for help with some tasks, but she hasn't been. She didn't want to rely on them that much. But, she might have to.

"Alright... I'll try and ask for help more often." Moca hesitantly agreed.

"If you want to get better, you shouldn't be doing things that can set you back. So, please just let us help you."

It seemed they all picked up on the truth. It wasn't that surprising since they knew her so well. That made them feel bad. They should have known better than to just trust her to handle it all alone.

"Okay..."

Moca agreed to it. It would help her a lot if she wasn't constantly putting herself at risk of worsening her fracture.

Chapter Text

Afterglow rising in the ranks

Is Roselia becoming obsolete?

Yukina didn't normally pay much attention to news articles, but those two got her attention enough to warrant her skimming through them. She was quite impressed with Afterglow getting up there in the ranks, but that changed as she read the second article.

"Is Roselia going down? Possibly. They don't seem to be giving fans what they want. It's quite possible they will be surpassed by lower bands. One such being the band Afterglow..."

That paragraph changed everything about how she was feeling. No longer was she proud of them for finally getting better, now it was anger and resentment at the thought of them surpassing Roselia.

That wasn't how things were supposed to be. Roselia was going to be the best. Afterglow was supposed to be their rival who could just never quite reach them. That was what Yukina wanted and now it was coming undone.

"What are we doing wrong...?" Yukina didn't know right away. She had to think. Was there something Afterglow was doing that they weren't?

Yukina recalled all the praise Ako would always shower over Tomoe. Was that a problem? Was having Ako idolized Tomoe so much causing her problems? Perhaps. After all, Ako always called Tomoe the best drummer and herself the second best. That had to change now.

Was there anything else? Yukina pondered it more. She tried her best to think about what the others did after practice. Unfortunately, she didn't always pay that close attention to them.

She knew Lisa and Moca worked together. Were they discussing things that could be contributing to this problem? Yukina didn't really know, but she just started assuming the answer was yes. She had to do something.

But, she paused. What would the reaction be to this? The last time she got bossy things went wrong. But, she had no other choice. They had to get better and that meant stopping this friendliness between the bands for the time being.

With that resolve, Yukina headed to practice. She arrived first as always. It gave her time to think about what she could say. She needed to approach this gently and give good reasons otherwise this was going to be a disaster.

Lisa and Sayo entered the studio. Yukina greeted them. They quietly fell into a rhythm they had set so long ago. When Ako and Rinko arrived, practice started. Yukina was going to wait till after practice to discuss anything. She didn’t want to ruin this session.

"Alright. That's enough for today." Yukina called after a while.

"Good job, everyone." Lisa said with a smile.

"Is there anything anyone would like to discuss?" Yukina asked.

No one had anything. Yukina decided this was the time to bring up everything.

"I have one thing to discuss." She stated, "We've fallen in ranking. People are losing interest in us."

"Well, then we'll have to do something exciting next." Ako offered.

"There are a few problems I wish to discuss." Yukina said, "One being about you, Ako."

Ako's eyes flashed with panic, "Huh?"

"While I don't believe it's wrong of you to idolize your sister, I believe you are doing it too much. You don't wish to surpass her in skill and that is a problem." Yukina explained with a straight face.

"Yukina, come on. I don't think that's true." Lisa tried to intervene.

"I would compromise with equal skill, but not you always thinking of being second to her." Yukina ignored Lisa and continued.

Ako was trembling slightly, "I... I'm sorry, Yukina..."

"Don't you think you're being a bit too harsh on her?" Sayo questioned. Even she didn't like this direction the conversation was going.

"No. If we want to improve, things need to change." Yukina stated.

"What happened the last time you tried this? Nothing good." Sayo shrugged.

"This is different." Yukina replied.

"I... I'm going home..." Ako mumbled and quickly grabbed her things and left.

Rinko glanced at the others, before following after Ako. She was worried about her.

"Yukina, you're made Ako upset." Lisa said.

"I don't care."

"What's brought this coldness on?" Sayo asked.

"None of your business." Yukina headed for the door, "And, Lisa? I don't approve of you meeting up with Moca so often. Stop seeing her."

Lisa was left speechless as Yukina exited the room. She didn't know how to react to what had just happened.

"Oh boy... looks like we're going through this again, aren't we?" Sayo sighed.

"Sayo, let's see if we can find out what's making her act like that."

...

School the next day was interesting. Ako avoided Yukina at all costs, not even acknowledging her presence at all. Lisa didn't really speak to her at all. Yukina convinced herself they'd soon understand why she was doing this, so she didn't pay it much mind.

She encountered a problem as she was leaving the school.

"Minato-san?"

Yukina stopped walking. Ran wanted to talk to her. Yukina didn't really care to talk, but decided to listen.

"Afterglow is getting more popular. That's good, right? We're finally getting there." Ran said.

This shouldn't be a problematic conversation. Normally Yukina would give some slight praise or encouragement for them, but things were different now.

"You're not good. You don't deserve the ranking." Yukina growled.

"W-what? B-but we've been working so hard." Ran was shocked by the response.

"You haven't improved. You're new music sucks. It'll never get you anywhere. The only reason you're ranking higher is because you just released something. It'll go down again like it should." Yukina continued.

Ran didn't say anything in response. She just took off running away.

That was the first time Yukina questioned herself. What was she doing? She had... she had just said that. She had said those awful things to someone. And she had hurt her. It wasn't hard to notice the tears that had started welling up in Ran's eyes.

"I fucked up... didn't I?" Yukina sighed to herself.

She had to fix things. This wasn't good. It wasn't worth it. Not if someone was going to get hurt. Ako... Lisa... and now Ran. She had hurt them. She needed to apologize.

Yukina saw Ako exiting the school. She was alone. Yukina approached her. Ako froze in place. She seemed to be tensing up.

"Ako, I... I need to apologize. What I said was... wrong. I'm sorry. You don't need to change how you feel about your sister. It was wrong of me to ever suggest that." Yukina said.

Ako didn't respond. Yukina turned to walk away, when she was hugged from behind. She turned around slightly to see Ako was hugging her.

"I forgive you, Yukina."

Yukina smiled, "Thank you."

"I gotta go! See you tomorrow!" Ako waved goodbye and left.

Yukina watched her leave. At least that had gone well.

"So, realized this isn't going to work?"

Yukina turned to her side. Lisa was standing there. Yukina nodded.

"Yes, so... I'm sorry for what I said to you."

"It's alright." Lisa smiled, "You wanna walk home together?"

"Sorry, I have something I need to do." Yukina shook her head.

"Okay. See ya later then."

Yukina nodded and started walking away. She had to go and find Ran now. Hopefully she was just at home.

Yukina went up to the door and knocked. It took a while for someone to answer. That someone happened to be Ran. She froze at the sight of Yukina.

"W-what do you want?" Ran questioned.

"I... wish to apologize." Yukina said.

Ran hesitantly opened the door fully. She didn't exactly trust this apology.

"I... was feeling upset at something and I took it out on you. I apologize. Nothing I said was true. I'm happy to see that you guys are climbing the ranks." Yukina said.

"Why'd you say otherwise then?" Ran questioned.

Yukina sighed, "Roselia has been at a standstill for a while and after reading some thoughts on us, I got mad."

"I don't know that I can accept your apology." Ran stated.

"I understand if that's the case... what I said was... bad."

"Um... if you do something for me maybe I'll forgive you." Ran mumbled.

Yukina raised an eyebrow at her, "I'm supposed to buy my forgiveness now?"

"N-no! It's just... well... would you... be a guest singer at our next show? All the other bands are doing that... so..." Ran mumbled as she stared at the ground.

"I suppose I can do that. And that'll earn your forgiveness?"

"It'll be a new song you'll be singing... so if you didn't mean it, then that'll prove it to me." Ran explained.

"Very well. What song is it then?"

Chapter Text

"Alright. I think that's enough for today."

Afterglow had just finished up another practice. They silently fell into their normal routine of cleaning up the room. It didn't take too long before they were finished that.

"Hey, Tomoe? Yukina's birthday is soon, right? What are you getting her?" Himari questioned.

Ever since Tomoe had announced her relationship with Yukina, all of them had seemed very interested in it. It wasn't that much of a surprise to Tomoe. One, they were her closest friends. Of course they'd want to know all about her relationships. Two, Yukina was from an important bloodline of vampires. It was unheard of for a vampire to date another species. Especially one of that descent.

"Eh... well... I'm not sure what to give her." Tomoe mumbled, "I haven't got any ideas."

"Can't you ask someone close to her then? Maybe Lisa would be able to help you with that?" Moca offered.

"I guess I could ask her." Tomoe agreed.

"Well, we better head out."

They went their separate ways. Tomoe was unsure what she should do. How should she even go about asking Lisa? Was it bad that she had to ask for help? Tomoe felt like she should know Yukina enough to get her a gift, but yet she was coming up blank.

Tomoe went home, her mind running wild with thoughts. She decided to text Lisa and ask her that way. Less chance if someone hearing them.

Tomoe: Hey, Lisa. I was wondering if you could help me with something

Lisa replied almost immediately.

Lisa: What's up?

Tomoe: I still don't have a gift for Yukina's birthday and it's getting really close. Do you have any ideas on what I coud get her?

Lisa didn't respond for quite some time. Tomoe guessed that meant she was thinking about it.

Lisa: Yukina doesn't have many interests. And I doubt you'd want to give her a gift she'll probably receive a lot of. Let me think about it and I'll text you tomorrow with the answer.

Tomoe: Okay. Thanks.

Tomoe was relieved to know this problem wasn't that bad. Lisa understood that she wanted her present to stand out. That was hard when Yukina didn't really seem to be interested in much besides music and cats.

Tomoe sighed. She thought of getting her some sort of jewelry, but was unsure if that was okay to do. She still wasn't very good with vampire customs. To werewolves, well her pack, if you gave someone something like that, it was basically saying you would marry them in the future. Tomoe didn't know if vampires saw it the same way, so she definitely couldn't risk it.

Yukina's family didn't approve of their relationship much. They were obviously upset at Yukina not continuing their pure bloodline. But, Tomoe felt they could compromise on that. So what if Yukina needed to give a pure heir? She'd be fine if that needed to happen. The rest didn't really agree with that.

Lisa was the only other vampire Tomoe was friends with. Everyone else was a different species.

Tomoe was jealous about that. Lisa could date Sayo, a siren, with no problems. But Yukina couldn't do that without getting backlash. It sucked a lot for them all.

...

The next morning, Tomoe was eagerly waiting for Lisa to text her. She had two days left until it was time. She really needed to hurry this along now or she would make a fool of herself.

Lisa texted her in the late morning. Her text wasn't comforting, though.

Lisa: So, after thinking it over, you're stuck. Flowers are a bit too romantic for how short you've been dating. Jewelry is also like that. I mean, you could get her clothes if you wanted, but I can't imagine she'd really like that. I'm sorry.

Tomoe sighed. This was bad. She would have to just give her something simple like everyone else. Would she be mad?

Tomoe: I see. Thanks for your help.

Tomoe felt dread. This was going to be a disaster. Would this be the final straw for Yukina's family? Would they forbid this relationship from continuing? Tomoe was scared to even think of that.

...

Two days passed slowly. It was time. Tomoe had nothing. She arrived at the party empty handed. She just hoped this would be okay.

Tomoe found herself trying to avoid Yukina. It wasn't just for that one reason. She didn't want to start anything with the vampires here. It was probably best to keep her distant till later on.

She somehow ended up hanging out with Ako and Sayo. Lisa was beside Yukina the entire time. Tomoe had lost her friends in the crowd and had no clue where to even start searching.

"You seem stressed." Sayo commented.

"I don't have a gift for her..."

"Lisa told me about that. Maybe you could give her something that isn't physical?" Sayo suggested.

"Like what?" Tomoe didn't get what she was saying.

"Maybe you could give her a kiss as her present." Ako butted in.

"I can't do that in front of everyone." Tomoe protested.

"It's the best you have at this point. Otherwise you'll make an enemy of everyone." Sayo stated.

"Like that won't get me as their enemy?" Tomoe shot back.

"What do you have to lose then?" Ako questioned.

Tomoe sighed, "Fine... it's on you if this fails."

So, when it came time for Yukina to receive her gifts, that was what Tomoe had convinced herself to do. Everyone took turns. Well, only important guests. The rest would be opened after the party.

Tomoe was an important guest since she was Yukina's girlfriend. She was last, as she was the only non-vampire to do this.

Tomoe nervously walked over to Yukina when that time came. She was sweating. She felt dizzy.

"Um... I couldn't find anything to give you... so I hope a kiss is... a good enough present..." Tomoe hesitantly said.

Yukina's eyes widened slightly, but she just nodded. Tomoe nervously started the kiss. She closed her eyes, unwilling to see the reactions of anyone.

The kiss wasn't long at all. They pulled back withing seconds. Tomoe stared at the ground.

"I have to say, that's a new gift."

"That was kind of sweet, I suppose."

"At least she didn't do something bad."

Tomoe was relieved no one seemed upset by her actions. She glanced at Yukina. Yukina met her gaze. She cracked a smile, before turning away to talk to her parents.

The crowd went back to what they were doing now that the gifts were done. Tomoe stayed rooted in her spot.

Yukina returned to her, "That was bold."

"It was Ako's idea." Tomoe mumbled.

"Walk with me. My dad will allow it."

They headed into the house, away from the party. This was the first time they were allowed alone together. Yukina's parents didn't want them alone. They stated very clearly that they were not trusted alone. It seemed that changed tonight.

They went to Yukina's room. Yukina sat on her bed. Tomoe hesitantly joined her.

"Sometimes I hate customs." Yukina sighed.

"Yeah... I wish I could've given you something nice, but we can't do that yet." Tomoe agreed.

"Is that the only part of your present?"

Tomoe's eyes went wide as she registered what Yukina was hinting at. She nervously looked at her.

"I'm just asking for a longer kiss." Yukina huffed.

Tomoe knew that, but she knew her reaction might seem a bit much for just that. She took a deep breath and leaned down. Yukina connected their lips and they kissed again.

Chapter Text

"Is it just me or is Lisa seeming to be spending a lot of time around the bassist of RAS?"

"This is what you called this meeting for?"

Yukina had called a private meeting between the members of Roselia, besides Lisa. It made a bit more sense now.

"I don't see why she would be around her so often unless something was going on." Yukina stated.

"What do you plan to do about it?" Sayo questioned, "Don't you trust her enough to let her do what she wants?"

"It's suspicious."

"Maybe Lisa-nee is plotting with them?" Ako offered.

Sayo rolled her eyes, "I really doubt that, Udagawa-san."

"Whether that's true, I believe we need to confront her about it." Yukina declared.

"When do you plan to... do that?" Rinko asked.

"Tomorrow at practice."

...

"Lisa, I have something to ask you." Yukina stated.

"What's up?"

The end of practice was when Yukina struck up the conversation. Ako watched eagerly for the questioning. Rinko and Sayo watched warily.

"You've been spending a lot of time with RAS." Yukina accused.

"Oh..." Lisa got visibly nervous, "It's not that often I meet any of them."

"What are you doing with them?" Yukina questioned.

"Nothing. We just talk." Lisa replied.

"You aren't planning to join them, are you?"

That was followed by silence. Lisa didn't know what to say to that. She was stunned by the accusation.

"Minato-san, with all due respect, what the absolute fuck are you going on about now?" Sayo broke the silence, "Where is that even coming from?"

"Sayo-san cursed!" Ako exclaimed.

Sayo sighed, "Apologies, but this is just ridiculous."

"Alright... I guess I can tell you all..." Lisa said, "So... um, me and Rei are... dating."

"Dating?" Yukina stared at her with wide eyes.

Lisa nervously laughed, "Yeah... we've been dating for a few months now. I just, didn't know if I could tell you that."

Yukina sighed, "I don't really like it, but... if that's what you want to do I can't stop you."

"How do they feel about you guys dating? Or do they not know?" Sayo asked.

"Chu2 didn't really like it at first but she's gotten over it now. They're all friendly to us." Lisa replied.

"Lisa, I should apologize for accusing you of... that..." Yukina mumbled, "It's not like you to hide things so I got worried."

"Aw... it's okay. I should have been honest from the start about us instead of hiding it." Lisa smiled at her.

"We should head out." Sayo stated.

"Let's go then."

They went outside after making sure everything was cleaned up. They stood around for a while, not saying anything.

"Are we still going to have the meet up at the cafe tomorrow?" Ako asked.

Everyone agreed that they were still available, so the meet up was still on.

"Well, see you tomorrow."

"Bye..."

"Yes, goodbye."

"Lisa, tomorrow you should bring your girlfriend with you. I think we should get to meet her, don't you?"

"Y-Yukina!"

Chapter Text

Rumor: Are the Bassist and Guitarist of Roselia secretly dating?

Love Behind the Scenes: A Look Into What Roselia's Love Lives Might Be

There were lot of articles about that. It seemed like there were new ones every day. It was starting to get annoying. Why were people so obsessed with other people's lives?

"Sayo? Whatcha looking at with that frown?"

"There's even more articles about us..." Sayo sighed.

They were at the café, waiting for the other three to arrive. Sayo was browsing through her phone and had found those articles.

"Do you think we should just tell everyone?" Lisa questioned.

"No. I... I'm not ready for anyone else to know." Sayo shook her head.

It was no surprise that they both knew people who would react negatively to the news. Because of that, both were not too eager to come out to everyone. Only their close friends knew of their relationship.

For Lisa, it wasn't too bad. There were just a few people who might stop talking to her. It was nothing major. However, Sayo had a bit bigger of a problem. Her parents didn't seem like they'd support this relationship. That made her extremely wary of coming out.

"Just say the word when you decide it's time."

...

A few days had passed. Things had escalated a bit. Now people on social media were starting to be more vocal about the suspicions. It was exhausting having to deal with so many people demanding answers.

It was another day of practice. However, Yukina called a meeting before they started.

"Sayo, Lisa, I know you don't want to really put out your relationship, but these rumors and speculations are getting too much. Find a way to make them stop, please." Yukina stated.

"What are we supposed to do?" Sayo questioned, "It's not like just saying we're not dating will convince them."

"Maybe you guys should not spend as much time together in public?" Rinko offered, "That might help a bit."

"Like you're undercover!" Ako chimed in.

Lisa chuckled, "I don't know about that. And, if we suddenly stopped, I feel that might draw more suspicion about us."

"I have to agree. If we start hiding, they may take it as us trying to cover up what they found." Sayo nodded.

"Well, you better think of something. I don't think it will do us good to have this problem." Yukina said, "It will become a distraction soon enough if we can't solve it."

"It's just... hard." Sayo sighed, "I don't know what to do if things go wrong at home because of this all."

"I don't think you can plan for it, though, can you?" Ako asked, "You don't know how exactly they'll take it."

"That's the problem. I don't like the uncertainty." Sayo said.

"I don't want this to come off as rude, but you need to get over it eventually. You won't ever get the certainty you want." Yukina commented.

"I know..."

...

The rumors were getting worse. It was impossible to not come across a post anymore. No matter what they did, someone had something about them. People were wanting an answer. It seemed like there was only one answer anyone would accept.

Lisa was over hanging out with Sayo. Though, it turned into hanging out with Hina as well.

"Lisa, what do you think we could do about... the rumors...?" Sayo asked.

"I don't know. Everything means coming out to people." Lisa replied.

"I guess... it's time." Sayo said.

"You sure?"

Sayo nodded, "They're getting out of hand."

"Alright, well. Do you have anything you want to do?" Lisa asked.

"You guys should kiss at a concert!" Hina piped up.

"Hina." Sayo shot her a warning glare.

"It isn't that bad of an idea, honestly." Lisa said.

Sayo gave Lisa a betrayed look. Lisa chuckled at the sight.

"Come on, Sayo. It's not that bad. I'm not suggesting we make-out on stage or anything. Just a quick peck on the lips." Lisa pretended to pout at her.

"Please, onee-chan~?" Hina joined in, "It'll be really boppin' if you do."

"I... I need time to think it over." Sayo mumbled.

She was outnumbered. They both were against her on this. So, looks like she better think this over and either agree to it or come up with a good reason not to.

"Sayo, the concert is tomorrow. You need to say so now so we can work it into the set list." Lisa reminded.

Sayo let out a sigh of defeat, "Fine... just... do it at the end. After the last song."

"Alright. I'll text Yukina and tell her the plan then." Lisa smiled at her.

"Why do you wanna do it at the end?" Hina questioned.

"So we can immediately leave the stage after." Sayo replied.

"Okay~ Have fun. I can't wait to see it." Hina said and then left the room.

"Are you sure you're ready?" Lisa questioned.

"Yeah... I just need to get it over with." Sayo said.

Lisa reached over and grabbed Sayo's hands. She leaned closer and kissed Sayo on her nose. Sayo's eyes widened and she froze up for a moment. She looked away as a blush formed on her face.

"You got this, Sayo."

...

The next night, they were ready to do it. Ssyo was still hesitant, but she couldn't back out now. Well, she could, but her personality made it feel wrong to do.

Sayo knew if she really didn't want to do it, Lisa wouldn't push it and they'd just go on. But, she felt like she would let her down by doing that.

As the last song was starting to close, Sayo and Lisa met on Lisa's side of the stage. The plan was as the last notes were played, they would kiss.

Sayo's nerves were wild right now. She was finding it hard to really focus. Thankfully she had played this song so many times her body was able to do it automatically.

Lisa met her eyes, silently asking if it was okay to continue with the plan. Sayo gave her a very subtle nod. She was going to do this. She had to.

So, as they ended the song, Lisa took the lead and kissed her. It was very short, but it was enough. They had specifically requested the cameras be on Yukina during the end. Yukina was to stand near them so the camera would see them as well. It had worked as planned.

Lisa and Sayo looked at Yukina. She nodded to them with a smile on her face. They had finally done it.

Yukina concluded the concert and then they went back stage. Ako was all over them talking in excitement about what they had done.

"So." Yukina cut her off, "How long do you think it'll take before there's articles about this?"

"I'd give it until morning." Sayo said.

"I doubt it'll take long when everyone was all over our possible relationship." Lisa added.

"Are you guys happy with how it went?" Rinko asked.

Lisa and Sayo looked at each other. Lisa smiled brightly. Sayo gave her a smaller smile in return.

"I think it went perfectly." Lisa stated.

"Yeah... it went as planned." Sayo agreed.

"Well, shall we get changed and head out?"

"Sure."

"I'm tired!"

"No one is carrying you, Ako."

"Aw... please?"

"No. You can walk."

"Fine..."

Lisa grabbed Sayo's hand. Sayo looked at her and squeezed her hand. She was happy they had finally done it. It was nice to finally have that off her chest.

Chapter Text

Being popular always comes at a price. While it was nice to get a lot if recognition, behind the scenes things weren't as easy.

"Don't you think she's fat?"

"They probably only have her in the band so they seem inclusive."

"It obvious no one pays attention to her on the stage. Why would they when she's so... ugly."

"She needs to lose weight. No one wants to see her on a stage."

It was hard to ignore those comments. Especially when they weren't very subtle about it.

It hurt a lot. Himari didn't know how much longer she could take it for. That was all she ever heard. No one ever talked positively about her. Or if they did they were drowned out by the others saying negative things to her.

Himari didn't tell anyone what was going on. She didn't want to involve anyone else. This was her problem and her problem alone.

Himari had always been a bit on the bigger side compared to the others. It had always been something she struggled with. But, they were all supportive of her, so she slowly started to stop hating herself for it. But, now all these new people were giving her their opinions.

Himari didn’t know what to do. She just wanted things to go back to how they used to be. Back when things were better. But, she didn't think that was ever going to happen. This was her new reality.

It was night. They had just finished another show. Everyone was getting ready to leave now to head to the hotel. Himari was not in a good place mentally.

While the other acts had been playing, she had been out in the halls. She overheard more comments about her body. It was really hurting her. She tried to put on a smile, but it was hard.

She didn't want to bother the others. She didn't want to drag them down. They were all so happy. She didn't want to take that away from them.

"Ready to go?"

The walk to the hotel was silent. Everyone was starting to come down from the concert energy and were feeling the exhaustion hit. They all promptly went to bed the moment they got to their rooms.

Himari couldn't fall asleep. She decided to see what people were saying about the concert. She should've known better than to look, though.

"All the bands were awesome! I just wish the bassist for Afterglow was less... that."

"I swear Himari gained more weight. She probably stuffs her face every night."

"I wish they'd just get rid of that stupid bassist already. She contributes nothing. No one even likes her playing. Just admit it."

Himari broke down into tears. She couldn't take it anymore. It was too much. She couldn't do it.

She got up and quickly packed her things. First thing tomorrow she was going home. She wasn't needed. No one wanted her. It was better for her to leave. She was dragging them down.

Himari didn't sleep at all. She was exhasuted when the morning came. 4 AM she headed out and took a taxi home. She didn't know what to do. She just needed to leave.

Himari texted the others and told them she was going home. She didn't explain much else, but that she was quiting the band.

She got home an hour later. Himari went to her room and sank down onto her bed. She cried as she buried herself into the pillows. What was she going to do?

...

Himari woke up that afternoon. She groaned as she sat up and rubbed her eyes. She sighed and glanced at her phone. There were dozens of texts and calls from everyone from Afterglow. Himari didn't bother looking. She couldn't face them right now.

However, that didn't last for long. Someone came knocking at the door. Himari went to see who it was. It was all of them. She didn't want to talk to them right now. What was she supposed to say?

Himari couldn't face them. She turned and walked away from the door. She felt bad about ignoring them, but she had no choice. She just couldn't tell them.

They continued to knock on the door and call her name for a while. Himari tried to drown out the noise. She just wished they would leave.

Her phone rang again. She didn't look. She knew it was one of them calling. Himari didn't want anything to do with them right now. Why couldn't they get the hint?

Himari sighed. Eventually they gave up and left. Despite that, Himari didn't really feel relieved. She felt horrible about shutting them out. They were her closest friends. She should be able to tell them these things.

Himari picked up her phone. She needed to do something. She took screenshots of the horrible comments. She sent them to their groupchat and then promptly shut off her phone. She didn't want to hear what they had to say about it. Not yet.

...

That night Himari finally turned her phone back on. As expected, there were another dozen missed calls and messages.

Himari hesitantly opened the group chat. She wasn't sure she was ready to read it, but she needed to.

Moca: So, that's what's been going on?

Tomoe: Himari! Why would you never say something!

Ran: Will you please answer us

Tsugumi: Please? We need to talk

Himaro didn't want to talk. She really didn't. It would be eaiser to just ignore everything than to face it. She just wanted it to stop. Leaving the band would make it stop. She didn't want to handle this any longer.

Himari sighed and typed a message. She had to tell them something. She couldn't keep ignoring them forever.

Himari: Please just leave me alone. It's easiest this way

The replies came quickly.

Ran: No! We are discussing this and fixing it

Moca: You can't let them get away with all of that stuff

Himari: I can't do it anymore. This is easier. Just let it go

Tomoe: We aren't just letting it go

Ran: Please just try

Moca: Please? We want to help

Himari wasn't very convinced. She didn't want to try anymore. But, it seemed the others weren't going to let her do that.

Himari: Fine. If you can fix it I'll come back, but if not I'm done.

She wasn't going to do anything herself. She was done fighting this battle. They could try, but she wasn't doing anything now.

Tsugumi: But you need to help

Tomoe: Yeah, you have to stand up to them

Himari: Find another way or I'm done

She was getting mad. Why couldn't they understand that this was no longer her battle? She was giving it over to them to fight for her.

The chat went dead after that. Himari guessed they went to a different chat. She sighed and laid down on her bed. Now to wait and see if they could do anything.

...

The next day, she was greeted with new messages. Himari read them over.

Ran: [link]

Moca: That the post?

Ran: Yeah

Tomoe: Let's hope this works

Himari hesitantly clicked on the link. It took her to a post from the band account. It seems like they had decided to go off on everyone who was saying bad things about her. Himari was scared to read the comments.

She went back to their group chat. Her fingers hovered over the keyboard. After a few minutes of trying to collect herself, she sent a message.

Himari: What are the comments like?

Tsugumi: Most are in disbelief that this has been going on

Moca: Yeah. There's a few arguments from people cause the assholes still think they have a point

Himari: I'm not reading them

Moca: We all guessed you wouldn't

Ran: If there's anything you need to see we'll send you a screenshot

Himari: Okay

She was relieved. That had gone well. Hopefully the fans that liked her would start cracking down on those who were harrassing her.

Tomoe: So, do you think you'll stay in the band?

Himari: As long as things start improving, then I'll stay

Moca: Yay!

Tsugumi:^

Ran: Please let us know if anyone starts bothering you again

Himari: I'll try to

Himari took a deep breath. Everything was fine. She was going to get through this. It kind of made her regret hiding this for so long now. Everyone was ready to fight for her.

She was really grateful that she had such great friends.

Chapter Text

School was finally over for the day. Sayo was reasy to go home. Despite it only being a few weeks into the school year, things were very exhausting. She had thought it would be easier seeing as she was only a first year, but that didn't appear to be the case.

Sayo was one of the last ones to leave the classroom. She had to make sure everything was nice and tidy before she left. It would do her no good if she was not organized.

Sayo finally left the room and started making her way to the front doors. She turned a corner and stopped. There were some students there. They seemed to be picking on someone.

"Come on, just talk."

"Scared? What's so scary about talking?"

"Freaks like you don't belong here. No one wants a mute kid in our school."

Sayo cautiously got closer. She soon saw the target of their remarks. She couldn't put a name to the girl, but she knew she was in her class.

"Freak!" One of the bullies got physical.

"Leave her alone!" Sayo couldn't just sit back any longer after that happened.

The bullies looked at her. They didn't seem too intimidated. Sayo glared at them as she got closer. She was not about to tolerate bullying like this.

"Get away from her." Sayo repeated firmly.

That seemed to have worked as the bullies fled. Sayo slowly approached the girl. She wasn't sure what she should do. How did she communicate with her?

"Are you alright?" Sayo asked. That was something she could get an answer to.

The girl nodded, her eyes trained on the floor. Sayo frowned slightly.

"You can't talk?" Sayo questioned.

The girl nodded again. She briefly looked up at Sayo. Purple eyes locked onto her green eyes. There was fear in her eyes.

She didn't remain looked for long, and pulled out her phone. Sayo waited as she typed something out.

Thank you

Sayo didn't get a chance to reply before she quickly left. Sayo watched her until she vanished around a corner. She hadn't even gotten her name.

Sayo would just have to listen closely to attendance then. Hopefully she could learn her name.

...

Sayo eventually learned her name was Rinko. She tried to talk to her a few times, but Rinko always would quickly leave. Sayo was frustrated by it, but she could understand it. It was obvious no one bothered to try and be friends with her. Why would she trust Sayo to have good intentions unlike everyone else?

Sayo was glad that she hadn't seen her being picked on again. She did kind of keep an eye on her whenever possible. She just wanted to make sure she was doing okay.

It was lunch time. Sayo tended to eat alone. She didn't bother making many friends. She didn't need that in her life. Or, so she told herself.

That was the first time Rinko approached her. She looked nervous as she stood in front of her. Sayo wasn't sure what to think. Why was she here?

Rinko didn't look at her as she sat down nearby. Sayo watched her for a moment, before going back to looking over some materials for her next lesson. She would keep glancing at her every now and then.

"Did the mute make a friend?" A taunting voice came from nearby.

Sayo glared at the girl who said that. The girl glared right back at her.

"Why'd you even bother? Not like she's going to talk to you." The girl stated.

"Go away. I don't care about you or your opinion." Sayo was not going to give her the reaction she wanted.

"I bet you'll ditch her soon once you realize she'll make a horrible friend." The girl huffed and stormed off.

Sayo rolled her eyes. She looked over at Rinko. She had turned away from her.

"Rinko, correct?" Sayo didn't technically have a confirmation that was her name yet, "I can assume you've had a rough time making friends. If you want, we can be friends. I won't leave you. I promise."

Rinko glanced back at her. There was distrust in her eyes. She didn't believe her.

"Do you... have any friends?" Sayo asked.

Rinko held up one finger.

"One friend... I can see why you don't believe me then. But, I promise I'm telling you the truth. If I have to prove to you I'll stay by your side, then so be it." Sayo said.

Rinko ignored her for the rest of the day. Sayo gave her space. She had to try and show her she meant her words. That meant respecting all boundaries she put in place.

...

Rinko didn't know what to do. She wanted to trust Sayo. She really did. But, with everything that she had gone through with other fake friends, she just couldn't believe her. She'd just leave too. Once she got nothing from her, she'd leave her in the dust like everyone else.

Rinko went to a secluded spot near the woods. She often found herself here. It was a place no one bothered her. A place she could be herself.

Rinko could talk. But she didn't. It started when she was younger. She had hurt her vocal cords and had to refrain from talking for a while. When she could talk again, people started telling her to shut up. That she was annoying. That they wished she was never able to get her voice back.

It really messed with her, so she stopped talking again. No one missed it. It just became a part of her. She convinced herself everyone would find her annoying if she spoke, so it was safest never to again.

But, she did at home. Only a few words. But, she also liked to sing. She couldn't stop. It got her through a lot. She couldn't just stop singing forever. That was too much. Talking, yeah, she coukd stop that. But not singing. She'd die before she stopped that.

And that was why she came here. No one came here. She could sing. So, she did. It was quiet. She didn't want anyone to hear her in case someone was nearby.

However, someone did. Sayo had kind of followed her for a bit. She heard her singing. She didn't know what to do. She knew she should just leave, but she wanted to listen.

Rinko stopped after a few minutes. Unfortunately she couldn't stay here long. She did need to get home. But, as she left, she saw her.

Rinko froze in place, her eyes wide with fear. Sayo heard her. What would she say now? Rinko wanted to run, but found herself frozen in her tracks.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have followed you." Sayo apologized, "Um... you sounded really good."

Rinko turned around. She couldn't do this. But, Sayo was blocking the way out. She had to face this.

"Hey... if you don't want to talk, no one says you have to. I won't pry. It's your choice so I'll respect it." Sayo said, "I... guess I should go."

Sayo started walking away. Rinko turned back around. She watched her for a moment. She found herself running after her. She grabbed her arm.

Sayo looked at her, confused. She had expected Rinko to avoid her even more now.

Rinko tried to speak, but she couldn't. She was still afraid to do that. So, she quickly pulled out her phone and typed something.

Please wait. We need to talk

"Alright." Sayo agreed.

I can talk. But, everyone called me annoying and said they liked it better when I didn't talk. I can't give up singing, so I still do that

"I don't think you're annoying." Sayo replied, "I'm sure you're a wonderful person. I'm sorry you've had such horrible friends."

I'm not talking

"I told you before, it's your choice. I don't mind if you don't. It doesn't bother me." Sayo reassured her.

Promise?

"Promise what? That I won't force you to talk?" Sayo was confused.

Rinko nodded. Sayo frowned. That wasn't a good thing to have to promise her. That made her worried about how others reacted when they found out.

"I promise. Whatever other people have done, I won't do what they did. Okay? If I ever do something you don't like, just tell me. I don't want to make you uncomfortable." Sayo said.

Rinko hugged her. Sayo froze up for a moment. That was not what she had been expecting to happen. She hesitantly hugged her back.

"I'm here for you. I won't abandon you."

Rinko's grip tightened on her. Though she didn't say anything, the message was clear.

Thank you...

Chapter Text

"Is it only you in here, Michiru-senpai?"

"Oh, hello, Yachiyo. Yes, it's just me. Everyone will be late for different reasons today."

"Mind if I join you then?"

"Not at all. Want to work on our dance for the play?"

"Sure."

Yachiyo was a little surprised that the others would be late. But nothing she could do about it. She would just have to settle for doing some one-on-one practice with Michiru for the time being. Not that she minded.

"Shall we start from the beginning or is there somewhere you think we need to work on more?" Yachiyo questioned as she took her position.

"Let's run through it once and then we'll see." Michiru replied.

"Okay. I'm ready when you are, Michiru-senpai."

They started running through the dance. Yachiyo felt a little strange. Was it always this warm in the room? Or was it her? She wasn't sick. Why did she feel warmer than usual?

Yachiyo also was noticing small details about Michiru. Like the way her facial expressions changed with ease. The way she moved without any hesitation. The confidence in her every action. Yachiyo knew that she could match her abilities, but she still felt a little intimidated at times.

Yachiyo might've been a little too distracted. As she went to do a small turn, she ended up slipping, which knocked Michiru's feet out from under her as well. They both went tumbling to the floor, Michiru landing on top of Yachiyo. Both their faces were red as they realized what position they were in.

"A-ah... I'm sorry... I... I wasn't paying enough attention." Yachiyo stammered. Her heart was pounding.

"It's okay. Um... this is... awkward..." Michiru said in reply.

Despite that, neither rushed to move. They stared at each other for a long time. It seemed something clicked in their heads. Michiru leaned a little closer.

"We're here!"

Of course. The worst time is when they all came in. Just wonderful. Now how did they talk their way out this?

"Um... what are you two doing?" Mei Fan was the first to speak.

"Oh. We fell." Michiru quickly got off of Yachiyo and stood up, offering her a hand.

Yachiyo allowed her to pull her up. They both faced the others. Yachiyo was hoping Michiru would be able to convince them that was all that happened. They totally hadn't been about to kiss or anything, as much as Yachiyo now wished they had.

"You fell?" Akira gave them both a doubtful look.

"I um... messed up a turn and accidentally took her down with me." Yachiyo explained.

"Neither of you are hurt, are you?"

"Nope. All good."

"Then I suppose we should start practice."

...

Michiru held Yachiyo back after practice had ended. Once everyone was gone, she pulled her down to her level by her shirt and kissed her without warning. Yachiyo let out a small squeak of surprise before she relaxed and kissed her back.

They pulled away a few seconds later.

"I wasn't going without getting that kiss." Michiru stated.

Yachiyo smiled, "Just one?"

"Oh, being greedy now are we?" Michiru teased.

"Maybe? Can't I have some special attention from my senpai?" Yachiyo was flirting now.

"Only if you date me then."

"Ara~ how bold. Making a move on your kohai so suddenly." Yachiyo hummed, "But you've charmed this kohai of yours into agreeing."

"Oh just shut up and kiss me again you idiot."

Yachiyo happily obliged to that. This kiss was a bit more passionate and bolder. They didn't want it to stop.

"I don't believe the practice room is the place for that type of behavior."

They quickly broke apart. Akira had come back in. She needed Michiru and she was taking way too long.

"Oh, so stage kissing is acceptable in here but not this?" Yachiyo asked.

"I can't say I trust the motives you two had with that kiss."

"Damn, dirty mind. We weren't gonna do anything more." Michiru huffed, "So, why did you come back?"

"You're supposed to be helping sort the files. You were taking to long. And I believe Yachiyo promised to help Shiori with something." Akira replied.

"Alright." Michiru said and then whispered into Yachiyo's ear, "Meet me in my room after dinner."

She left with Akira after that. Yachiyo stood there for a moment. Michiru wanted to see her later. It made her heart flutter a bit. She had a girlfriend now. A girlfriend. It felt sureal.

Yachiyo smiled and exited the room. She better not keep Shiori waiting too long. And it would help distract her until the time came. Yachiyo was curious to see what they would do together tonight. Maybe they'd share the bed tonight? Yachiyo wouldn't mind cuddling with Michiru. She looked so huggable as it was. She was eager to see what would occur.

Now to just wait it out.

Chapter Text

"Alright. This scene involves you cornering her against a tree. I'll let you try and find a comfortable position."

That was not a scene Tomoe really wanted to do. She knew it most likely would come up at some point, unfortunately. After all, following the storyline they were doing, it had to occur.

You see, they were doing a small photoshoot of a twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story. In this storyline, the wolf was always stalking Red as she entered the woods. This was the confrontation scene before she was supposed to kill the wolf.

Red was Tsugumi. That made everything even more awkward. Tomoe would never admit it to anyone, but maybe she had a bit of a crush on the keyboardist. This scene required her to basically kabedon the smaller girl. Tomoe didn't know if her heart could handle that.

"U-um... how should I stand?" Tsugumi's voice brought Tomoe out of her thoughts.

"I guess just press your back against the tree?" Tomoe wasn't sure how to answer her, "I'll work around your position."

"Okay."

It was an awkward few minutes as the two of them tried to arrange themselves. Tomoe was having a hard time keeping a straight face. She didn't know if she'd be able to act fearsome for the photo.

"Alright. The wolf should be growling at Red. Red should look scared." The photographer stated.

It took a few tries, but they managed to get the faces right. The photographer left to grab the props they would need for the last scene. Tomoe quickly moved back.

"Your face is all red, Tomoe. Are you okay?" Tsugumi asked in concern.

"Y-yeah. It's just hot in this outfit." Tomoe quickly lied.

Tsugumi tilted her head to the left, "Are you sure?"

"Y-yeah. I-I'm fine. I promise."

"You're lying."

It wasn't like Tsugumi to be very confrontational, but she was worried about Tomoe. The last thing they needed was her getting sick and trying to hide it.

"I... I..." Tomoe didn't know what to say. She knew she had been caught. There was no way to get around this.

"Are you sick?" Tsugumi got really close to her.

"N-no. I'm fine, seriously." Tomoe took another step back.

"Then why do you keep moving away?"

Tomoe gulped, "Um... I just... it's hard to explain."

"You can tell me, Tomoe." Tsugumi stated, continuing to get into her personal space.

Tomoe didn't know what to do. Did she try and find another lie to work with? Did she tell her the truth? What should she do?

"That scene was just a little embarrassing, okay?" That wasn't a complete lie.

"Yeah, but I'm not that red."

Tomoe sighed, "I... I... I like you!"

Tsugumi had no idea how to respond to that. That was not an answer she had even considered getting. Tomoe liked her? And that scene was really embarrassing because of that?

"Um... I... I like you too."

This was not a confession scene either ever intended to have, but life was always full of surprises.

"You do?"

"Y-yes."

"I... I'm glad."

They ended up in a hug. It was a strange feeling. To know the other felt that way. It was a nice feeling though. The feeling of being loved was always a nice feeling.

"Hey, Tsugu? I think I want to change the story."

"To what?"

"What if instead of the wolf killing her, he learned people can be nice?"

"Hmm... we can ask. It would be a nicer ending than death."

"I think it'll make this something a lot more special."

"Because of us doing it?"

"Maybe."

Chapter Text

"Yukina? Are you okay? Your voice sounded a bit rough at practice."

"I'm fine."

"But even then you sounded really hoarse. Are you sure?"

"Ye-" Yukina broke off as she started coughing.

"Yukina..." Lisa frowned, "You aren't being honest with me."

"I'm fine. Just a bit of a sore throat." Yukina mumbled, not having the voice to speak louder.

"There's more to it. I know there is." Lisa got right into Yukina's space and felt her head, "You're burning up. You idiot! You're sick and trying to hide it!"

"S-sorry..." Yukina looked away.

"Come on. Off to bed with you." Lisa picked her up. The smaller girl didn't protest at all.

"Lisa...? Um... I... I'm sorry... I didn't want to worry you." Yukina mumbled.

"Quiet. Save your voice." Lisa shushed her.

Yukina stayed silent the rest of the walk to her house. Lisa brought her to her room and laid her on the bed.

"Stay down." Lisa growled as Yukina tried sitting up.

Yukina sighed and laid back down. Lisa briefly left the room to get some medicine and water. Yukina took the pills without complaint. Lisa would just keep insisting until she did it anyway.

"I'm fine. You shouldn't stay near me. I don't want to get you sick." Yukina stated.

"No. You're sick and have proven multiple times that you can not take care of yourself. I'm staying." Lisa stated.

Yukina sighed. Lisa sat down on the bed. Yukina tried to move away, but Lisa just closed the distance.

"You're gonna get sick because of me." Yukina protested.

"I don't care." Lisa stated, "I'm taking care of you."

Yukina went to speak again, but found she had lost her voice. She frowned at that realization. Now she couldn't talk.

"Look at what you've gone and done now, Yukina. You've lost your voice because you kept talking." Lisa scolded.

Yukina sheepishly looked away.

"Anyway... try and rest a bit." Lisa said as she brushed some hair out of Yukina's face.

Yukina pouted. She didn't want to rest. She had things she would rather be doing. Lisa gave her a stern look. Yukina sighed and made a big fuss about getting comfortable to sleep.

Lisa rolled her eyes, "Yukina, please."

Yukina huffed and buried her head into a pillow. Lisa sighed. She was going to be complicated. Of course.

"Hey, tell you what. If you just do what I ask, then once you're better we can go on a date and you can choose everything we do."

Yukina glanced at her. It seemed she was contemplating if she would agree to it. Eventually she nodded.

"Good. Now, get some rest. I'll be right here." Lisa smiled at her.

Yukina held out her arms. Lisa nodded and hugged her. Yukina hugged her back. Lisa kissed her on the head.

...

It was later in the evening when Yukina woke up. Lisa wasn't beside her. Yukina sat up. She felt a little better now that she got to rest. She looked around. It seemed Lisa had left her a water bottle to drink.

She also left a note saying she had to go get something but she would be right back. Yukina grabbed the water and downed most of it pretty fast. Her throat felt really dry. The water didn't really help that much, unfortunately.

Yukina cautiously moved to the edge of the bed. She took deep breath and stood up. She felt a little lightheaded, but that quickly went under control. She slowly made her way to the bathroom.

By the time she got out, Lisa had returned. Yukina coukd hear her doing something downstairs. Against her probably better judgment, she went downstairs.

"Yukina. You shouldn't be out of bed." Lisa frowned at her and crossed her arms.

Yukina pouted. She still didn't like being stuck in bed. She felt good enough to be moving around. That was good enough for her.

"Fine. Sit down at least. I'm trying to decide what to make for dinner." Lisa said.

Yukina nodded and took a seat nearby. She watched as Lisa started pulling things out from different areas of the kitchen.

"Hmm... do you have anything you want in particular?" Lisa asked.

Yukina shrugged. She didn't know anything off the top of her head. It didn't matter to her. She honestly didn't feel that hungry.

"Well, I might make some soup then. It'll probably be the easiest for you to eat."

Once again, Yukina could really care less. She just wanted to be better so Lisa would leave her alone. Sure, she liked being around her, but this was annoying. She didn't want to be taken care of. She was fine.

"I guess you still don't have a voice, huh?"

Yukina nodded. She didn't really want to try and talk. Her throat did hurt. She shouldn't strain her voice. That was probably the only thing she cared around now.

"I love you, you troublesome girl." Lisa hugged her.

Yukina looked at her. She hugged her back and leaned closer, wanting a kiss. Lisa smiled and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. Sure, she probably shouldn't be doing that when Yukina was sick, but she didn't care. If she got sick, so be it. It would be worth it.

Chapter Text

"Please, I did something bad and I don't know how to fix it!"

That was how this all started. Ako begged Tomoe to let her try a spell from the new book she got. Things didn't go as planned. It had actually worked. Why had Ako chosen one that turned her into a cat? At least this spell only did the ears and the tail. Tomoe would have probably died of embarrassment if she turned fully into a cat.

Ako had called Rinko over to help. Rinko had no idea what to do either.

"It says that the spell will fade in a day. So... guess you just have to wait it out."

"A... a day?" Tomoe didn't like that, "Are you sure there's no way to reverse it now?"

Rinko shook her head, "It doesn't say anything else. I'm sorry."

"I see..."

"Um... you should hide until that happens. We can't let anyone see you like this." Ako stated.

"But mom and dad will see when we go home."

"Um... is there anyone whose parents wouldn't be home?"

"Uh..."

"Didn't Yukina-san say her father was traveling this week?" Rinko said.

"Right! And Yukina is your girlfriend. She'll help you, I'm sure of it!" Ako stated, "I'll go find her!"

It only took a few minutes for Ako to return. She ended up with both Yukina and Ran, though.

"So... she wasn't lying." Both of them were staring at Tomoe in shock and disbelief.

"Yeah... please. I want to leave. I don't want anyone to see me like this." Tomoe begged.

"But no one will know. It's a Halloween party, Tomoe. You blend in." Ran stated.

"That is true. But, it is a lot to take in. Ako explained everything. We can leave." Yukina added.

"Thank god..." Tomoe sighed in relief.

"I'm really sorry, onee-chan." Ako frowned.

"It's alright, Ako. Just... maybe don't use that book anymore?"

"Yeah... I'll hide it away."

"Let's go."

"I'm coming too." Ran stated.

"Fine by me." Yukina shrugged.

The three of them snuck out and headed to Yukina's house. They didn't talk much. It was a lot to take in.

"So... how long will this last for?" Ran questioned.

"Rinko said the book said it'll fade after a day." Tomoe replied.

"So, you have to hide for a day?"

"Yes. I... I don't want anyone to know about this."

They soon made it to the house. They went to Yukina's room. Tomoe sat on the bed, the two girls standing before her. They were both studying her with curious expressions.

"Can you move your ears or tail?" Ran asked.

"Let me see." Tomoe tried it. It took a lot of thought, but she did it.

"Wow..."

"Could I... touch your ears?" Yukina asked, "I... I'm curious."

"I... guess. Just please be really gentle. I don't know if I can feel it or not." Tomoe said.

"I will." Yukina promised.

She cautiously reached over and touched one of the ears. It twitched as she did.

"I felt that. It's weird."

"Yukina likes cats a lot. This will be interesting." Ran commented.

"I do not like cats that much!" Yukina protested.

"Sure. I've literally seen Lisa convince you to do things by offering to go to a cat cafe afterwords." Ran rolled her eyes.

"Enough bickering. Focus on me. I have a problem here!" Tomoe interrupted her two girlfriends.

"We can't do anything about it." Ran stated, "We just have to wait it out."

"That is all we can do." Yukina agreed.

"Comfort me! I'm a mess." Tomoe demanded.

"Then lay down. We're snuggling." Yukina stated.

Tomoe laid in the middle of the bed. Yukina and Ran went on either side of her and cuddled up to her. Tomoe felt a bit more at ease having them with her.

She closed her eyes. This was a lot. To think Ako actually cast a working spell on her...

"Eh!" Tomoe jumped as she felt something touch her ear.

"What?" Both of her girlfriends asked.

"I.. I felt something touch me ear." Tomoe mumbled.

"You must've brushed it on the pillow." Yukina stated, "As you can feel, our arms are occupied already. It wasn't us."

"True..."

Both of them were hugging her. Neither of them could be the culprit.

"Well... I'm tired..." Tomoe mumbled.

"Go sleep then."

She closed her eyes and allowed herself to drift off. She felt safe with them beside her.

"You want to touch her ears. I can see you looking at them."

"They're soft..."

"Why did it have to be a cat..."

"I like it."

"Of course you do."

Tomoe was amused by their banter. She was happy to have them as her girlfriends. Despite their arguments, they got along well and nothing really cared about each other. She couldn't have been luckier.

"Yukina!"

"What?"

"I saw you trying to touch her ear. Stop it."

"I'll be really gentle. She won't feel it."

"No. Unless she say you can, you aren't touching them."

"Please, Ran? Just one time?"

Tomoe wanted to laugh. Yukina really was hopeless when it came to anything cat related.

"No- hey!"

Tomoe felt something brush against her ear. Looks like Yukina decided to do it after all. It didn't feel that bad. She was a bit more used to it now.

"See. She didn't wake up." Yukina stated.

"Still..."

Tomoe rolled over so she was facing Ran. That was probably a mistake. She felt something touch her tail. Yukina must be playing with that now.

"Hey, I see her tail waving over there. You're touching that too, aren't you?" Ran was still adamant about leaving those cat features alone.

"She isn't awake. It's fine."

"Yukina-"

"I am awake, you know." Tomoe decided to speak up, "I don't mind."

"Eh?!" Ran seemed shocked, "But... but..."

"I've gotten used to it enough. Let her be. It's only for a day anyway." Tomoe shrugged. She didn't bother opening her eyes at all.

"If you say so..."

Yukina pressed herself against Tomoe's back, "So I can touch your ears?"

"Sure. Just don't be rough." Tomoe nodded.

Yukina immediately took that offer and started petting her ears. It was a bit weird, but Tomoe didn't really mind it much. It was soothing in a way.

"So... you'll both stay with me all day tomorrow until I turn back to normal?" Tomoe asked.

"Yes."

"Of course."

Tomoe smiled, "I'm glad I have you two as my girlfriends."

"Goodnight. I'm tired too." Ran said.

"Can I have a kiss first?" Tomoe asked.

"I guess." Ran kissed her on the cheek.

"I'm kissing you too, then." Yukina copied Ran and kissed Tomoe on the cheek as well.

"Goodnight, you two. Love you." Tomoe whispered.

"Love you too."

"Yeah. Love you too, Tomoe."

Tomoe finally fell asleep. She was confident everything would work out. Her girlfriends would help her no matter what. She was safe.

Chapter Text

It was late at night. How late? A quick glance at the clock revealed it was almost one in the morning. Now, why were they up so late?

Fumi had invited Tamao to spend the weekend at her apartment. They had decided to do a small movie night. However, the films they chose were longer than anticipated.

"This is really gonna bite us in the morning, isn't it?" Fumi grumbled as she turned off the TV.

Or well, tried to. She went to move, but found there was a weight pinning half of her body down. She looked over.

It seemed she was the only one awake. Tamao was asleep, curled up against Fumi's side. Fumi smiled softly as pressed a quick kiss to her girlfriend's cheek. Tamao curled closer after that.

She looked cute. That was all Fumi could think. She didn't really want to move now. She didn't want to disturb Tamao. But, they really should go to an actual bed to sleep.

Fumi carefully removed herself from Tamao's side and turned off the TV. She stretched a bit. They had both been sitting there for a while. Her limbs were sore from not moving for a while.

Fumi carefully picked up Tamao, not wanting to wake her. She carried the sleeping girl to her room and set her on the bed. Fumi climbed in beside her and pulled her into a hug.

"Mmm... Fumi?" It seemed that woke her up.

"Hey. You fell asleep." Fumi greeted her with another kiss.

Tamao stiffled a yawn, "What time is it?"

"One."

"Time for bed?"

"Yes. Unless there's something you need."

Tamao shook her head, "...'m good..."

"Then get some rest." Fumi pulled the covers over the two of them.

"Can I have another kiss?"

"Sure." Fumi gave her another kiss, this time on her forehead, "I love you."

"Love you too." Tamao smiled.

"Ready to sleep now?" Fumi asked.

"Hmm..." Tamao moved even closer to Fumi, "Now I'm good."

"You're spoiled." Fumi chuckled as she ran a hand across Tamao's cheek.

"You're the one who lets me."

"True. I guess I'm the one to blame." Fumi ruffled Tamao's hair.

"Maybe you should let me spoil you some time?" Tamao said.

Fumi turned red, "W-what?"

"Don't you want to be the one receiving all the attention?" Tamao teased.

"I'm fine with how things are." Fumi quickly said. Probably a little too quickly.

"Come on, Fumi~" Tamao whined, "One day?"

Tamao pouted at her and gave her a pleading look. Fumi was weak to that. Tamao knew exactly what to do to get her to cave in.

"F-fine... one day." Fumi agreed.

Tamao smiled, "I'm looking forward to it."

"Jeez..." Fumi rolled her eyes.

Tamao yawned, "I'm ready to go to bed..."

"Goodnight then. I'm tired too." Fumi replied.

"Night, Fumi..."

"Sleep well, Tamao."

Chapter Text

"Congratulation on graduating, everyone. Though, now we have to discuss continuing this contract of yours. Do you all wish to pursue being idols still?"

That question set a lot of things into question. Did they really want to keep doing this? Sure, Aya did. She always wanted to be an idol. That was no surprise. But, did the rest of Pastel*Palettes want to continue down this path?

None of them had that answer. Aya was the only one who did. Everyone else had never imagined really being an idol until they joined the group. This wasn't anyone else's dream at the start and it probably didn't change for anyone.

"How long do we have to give you an answer?" Chisato questioned, "I think we all need time to think this over."

"I will give you a week to decide."

"Okay. That's fair."

And so everyone left to figure out what they were going to do. Aya had her mind made up already. No matter what, she would stay. She wanted to be an idol so desperately. She'd do anything to keep that as her reality. But, what if it was only her? What if no one else wanted to keep doing this?

What then?

...

Maya had her answer soon enough. She wasn't going to be an idol anymore. She wanted to pursue engineering. That meant going to a trade school. That meant leaving. She wouldn't have time to be an idol.

Maya didn't say anything there for obvious reasons. It would crush Aya when some of them left. All of them knew that. But, this wasn't their dream. It was Aya's dream.

Maya didn't think she was cut out to continue as a professional idol. That would be a lot of work. And what if they decided to get rid of the band? If she had to dance instead... she didn't know if she could do it.

...

Chisato already knew her future. Her parents had decided that already. She was to become an actress. She was not allowed to be an idol now that she was out of school.

Did Chisato want to be an actress. Kind of. She did like acting, but the forcefulness of this job was a bit much.

Would she have stayed as an idol? Maybe. Being an idol wouldn't be that bad either. But, she obviously didn't have the luxury of a choice. Her parents wouldn't let her get that option. She hated it so much.

...

Eve had no idea. She just knew the idol life really wasn't for her. She had tried, but it had become boring. It wasn't as fun as it had been. So, what did she want to do?

Eve really didn't know yet. She was going to go to college and decide later. She wasn't sure what career she would find the best fit for her with.

She felt a little bad about leaving the group. She did have a lot of fun in it, but it wasn't for her. Eve enjoyed being with them all. It was fun to be in a band like that. But, that time was over now.

...

Hina didn't know yet. She hadn't even considered that option. Did she want to be an idol?

"Onee-chan? Are you busy?"

"Depends on what you want. How long will it take?"

"I dunno. I need help deciding something."

Hina decided to ask Sayo for advice. Maybe she could help her figure it all out?

"What can't you decide on?" Sayo questioned.

"If I wanna be an idol or do something else. We have a week to decide." Hina replied.

"What do you feel?"

"I mean.. it's fun and all being an idol, but I don't know if I want to do that for the rest of my life." Hina said.

"Well, do you have any other jobs that interest you?" Sayo questioned.

Hina shrugged, "Not really."

"Hmm... you know, I think you'd do well with kids. Maybe like a therapist or something." Sayo offered.

"A therapist for children? That sounds boppin!" Hina liked that.

"Why not try that out?"

"Okay! Thank you, onee-chan!"

"You're welcome, Hina."

...

The week was over. They were all back at the studio. Management was waiting for their answers.

"I'm staying." Aya went first. That answer was not a surprise at all.

Chisato spoke next, "Unfortunately, my parents have decided I will be an actress. I do not have a say."

"That sucks... you're parents are being really bossy." Aya frowned.

"They always are." Chisato sighed.

"Um... I'm not going to continue this. I'd rather pursue my own dreams." Maya said.

"I also am not continuing as an idol." Eve stated.

Aya was on the verge of tears. Everyone was leaving her. All that was left was Hina.

"Hina... are you leaving me too?" Aya was barely holding back her tears. Her voice was choked up and cracking.

Hina was conflicted now. Aya was really upset. If she left, Aya would be really hurt. She'd have no one left. She wouldn't have any friends in this company again. What did she do?

"No. I'm staying, Aya. We'll be idols together." Hina made up her mind. She'd stay by Aya's side.

"Really?" Aya was staring at her with wide eyes, tears now flowing down them.

"Yes. I'm staying with you, Aya." Hina nodded and smiled at her.

"Thank you!" Aya hugged her tightly, "Thank you... thank you..."

"I won't let you be alone, Aya." Hina whispered.

"Very well. You three are free to go. We will discuss the new terms with you two then."

The three girls gave one last look at the two staying, before they left the room for the last time. It was only two of them now. But, Hina was sure things would work out for them. They still had each other. That was all that mattered.

"I will ask one last time. Are you both certain this is the path you wish to take?"

"Yes." They both replied.

"Then let's discuss a new contract."

Chapter Text

"Sayo-san!"

"Yes, Ako?"

"Um... could you help me with some homework? I don't understand it..."

"If you insist."

"Thank you!"

...

Sayo knew it was going to be a rough time, but not this rough. Ako genuinely understood nothing of the assignment. That was just chaos.

"Alright... try and do what I just did for question two."

They were only on question two and it had been almost an hour. This was going to be a long night. Sayo had other things she would have liked to be doing, but in the end this was probably more important. They couldn't have Ako failing school, after all.

"Hmm... like this?"

"Not exactly... but you got the right answer."

"I did? So can we move on?"

"I guess."

They continued on with the assignment. It was still going slow. However, it seemed Ako was finally starting to pick up what she needed to do. That made things start going a little faster.

"And... done!" Ako announced with a proud smile.

"Good. You understand it now?"

"Yep, thank you, Sayo-nee."

Sayo had to do a double take. What did Ako just call her? That was... unexpected. Maybe it had been a slip up?

...

It had definitely not been a slip up. Ako was still calling her that. Sayo had no idea how she was supposed to take it. No one ever really acted that way to her. It was always formal, not many people speaking in a casual tone with her.

It got her a lot of looks. It was not very wanted. But, at the same time, she didn't feel like telling Ako to stop. It was a bit different. She didn't mind it. Just the whole calling her that in public was a bit uncomfortable.

It also came with an bit of another uncalled for response. It seemed it was making someone jealous. Well, maybe even two people.

Sayo noticed that Tomoe would send her a side glance if Ako referred to her that way around her. Why was she acting like that? It wasn't like she was really doing much? Ako still pretty much treated her the same, just the formality was different.

"Ako's taking a bit more of a liking to you, it seems." Tomoe said to her one day.

"I don't know." Sayo shrugged, "Nothing's changed but how she refers to me."

"I doubt that."

"You make it sound like you're accusing me of stealing her from you."

Tomoe blinked in surprise, "U-um... I just... guess I'm not used to Ako seeing anyone else as a big sister but me..."

"I doubt she's replacing you. She still seems intimidated by me."

...

While Tomoe could be understood with her jealousy, Sayo didn't understand why Hina was that way.

"Hina, you've been pouting at me for a while now. What is it?" Sayo decided to confront her about it.

"You've stolen my chance of being Ako's role model."

"As if." Sayo rolled her eyes, "Honestly, I don't know if Tomoe would appreciate you being her role model."

"Meanie!" Hina stuck her tongue out at Sayo, "I can be a responsible role model for Ako."

"There's nothing stopping you."

"But Ako looks up to you a lot now!"

"And how many other people does she look up to? I'm nothing special. I don't even know why she calls me 'Sayo-nee' anyway."

"You're downplaying yourself." Hina pouted at her again.

"I still don't even know what to do. This is not a role I expected to gain."

"If you don't want it then I'll gladly take from you."

"Not a chance. I'm not giving it to you."

"Ooh, so you are defensive of your new role." Hina smiled and giggled.

Sayo sighed, "I am not. I just don't trust you with Ako."

"Hmmpf. I'll show you! Just you wait. I'll make Ako look up to me more than you!"

It was a playful challenge. One that Sayo definitely was not backing down from.

"Good luck with that."

Chapter Text

Weapons clashed. The ground shook. It was very loud and yet too quiet at the same time.

At least, that was how Yachiyo felt. She was hiding behind a pole, trying to catch her breath. This fight was tough. She was against Mei Fan currently. Well, technically she was also against Akira, but Michiru was fighting her.

It was a duet revue. Yachiyo wasn't sure how to go about it. She wanted to help Michiru too, but was stuck trying to dodge Mei Fan. She was a hard opponent to get a blow on. She was too nimble for Yachiyo's liking.

"Thought you could hide?"

Yachiyo barely dodged in time as Mei Fan struck. She skidded to a halt and aimed her crossbow in reply. She fired a shot, but it missed.

Mei Fan charged at her again, her spear narrowly missing Yachiyo's cape. Yachiyo quickly ducked down and ran to put distance between them again. She fired a few more shots off, but Mei Fan dodged them all.

Yachiyo spared a glance at where the other two girls were fighting. Michiru and Akira both were going head-on with their attacks. Michiru looked to be having the upper hand.

"I'm going to win this!" Mei Fan caught up to her.

"Like hell you are!" Yachiyo shot back, "Me and Michiru are going to kick your butts!"

"You sure about that?"

A little taunting was welcome between them. It lightened the tenseness of the fight a little. Though, Mei Fan struck again, this time hitting Yachiyo in the side. Yachiyo cried out in pain as she stumbled backwards. Mei Fan swung again, hitting her on the leg this time. Yachiyo could taste blood in her mouth. This was not going in her favor.

She fired off a series of shots, hoping that this close would guarantee she hit her mark. However, Mei Fan noticed and quickly put space between them.

Yachiyo took the distance between them as a sign and ran. She needed to recuperate and figure out a new battle plan. She hissed in pain as she felt her side. As she pulled her hand away, she could tell it was covered in blood. Mei Fan had gotten her good.

Yachiyo jumped as a cry sounded. She looked. Michiru was out. Akira had gotten the final blow. That meant it was just her against both of them. Yachiyo gulped. She was injured. Neither of them seemed to have sustained any injuries like hers. This might be a disaster from the start.

"Good job, Akira! You gonna help me with Yachiyo?"

"Yes. Let's finish this."

Yachiyo knew her hiding spot wouldn't hold her for long. She quickly darted away, firing off more arrows. One hit Mei Fan in the shoulder, but didn't tear her cape at all. Yachiyo decided her best strategy was to keep moving and keep her distance. Her advantage was when she was far away. As long as she kept that, she would be fine.

It was working for her. They couldn't get close enough to strike. She was landing some shots every now and again. Not enough to stop them, though.

And then, she stumbled. Mei Fan had decided to use her arrows against her and throw them back. One sunk into her already cut open side, causing her to scream and collapse to the ground, writhing in pain. It hurt. It hurt bad.

She couldn't get back up. She was stuck, just waiting for her demise. The two girls stood above her. Mei Fan took off her cape, ending the revue. Yachiyo gasped as her neck got cut in the process.

"We did it."

"Yeah."

"The revue is not over. Now only one may stand victorious."

"Guess we're fighting now."

"Bring it on. I won't go easy on you."

The two girls took off, their weapons clashing as they battled for the top. Yachiyo jumped as she felt hand touch her.

"You okay? You got beat up quite a lot." Michiru was beside her.

"Everything hurts..."

"Hold still. I'm gonna pull the arrow out of you."

Yachiyo winced as she did so. Michiru kissed her as she carefully pulled her into her lap. Yachiyo looked up at her.

"We lost..."

"Yeah, but we did our best." Michiru replied.

"I'm sorry I couldn't win..."

"Hey, none of that." Michiru ran a hand through her hair, "You did well today."

"Thank you..."

"Oh, Akira won." Michiru looked at the fight.

"She's pretty tough, huh?" Yachiyo laughed, before wincing in pain.

"Yeah. Take it easy. We'll be out of here soon."

"You'll come see me right?"

"Of course."

As she said that, they all were brought back to the present. Michiru was in the student council room. She stood up and gathered her things. She didn't want to keep Yachiyo waiting for her.

She found her in her room. Yachiyo's eyes lit up as she entered.

"You made it!"

"Yep. What do you want?"

"Cuddle."

"Of course." Michiru smiled and allowed the younger girl to snuggle up against her.

"I love you..."

"And I love you."

"Are you proud of me? Did I do as good as I should have?"

"Yes, Yachiyo. You did wonderful. You lasted longer than I did. That's pretty good." Michiru kissed her on the head, "Why don't you relax? I know the wounds are gone, but I also know the phantom pain from them can remain for a while."

Yachiyo nodded, "Yeah. I can still kinda feel them."

"Then rest. I'll be right here with you."

"Thank you."

Chapter Text

"Tamao-senpai is always so nice."

"She's such a good help."

"I really look up to her."

For the longest time, Tamao had ignored those comments. They didn't matter to her. But, that changed when the comments were actually made at her and not behind her back.

When she met Rui, a lot of things changed. She started having doubts. Rui shouldn't look up to her when she didn't know anything. It made her feel dirty. Like she was deceiving the girl.

Would Rui see her the same way if she found out she wasn't cis. Tamao had never had that issue before. So what if people looked up to her? That was inevitable with her goals.

But, having Rui tell her about how much she looked up to her and admired her was different. It was to her face. And, Rui stayed by her side. Tried to grow with her.

Tamao felt awful for not telling her sooner. She really didn't know why. Why did it matter if Rui knew? It shouldn't change anything. She wasn't deceiving her. So why did it feel that way?

"Tamao-senpai? You seem lost in thought?"

Rui had found her again. She seemed concerned by Tamao's behavior as of recent.

"Rui, tell me honestly, what do you think of someone who is trans trying to be an actor?"

"Huh? Well... I'd think they're really brave. I can't imagine how much hate they would get for it. I can't imagine being able to handle it." Rui replied, eyeing her in confusion.

Tamao took a deep breath, "What if I was that way? Would you see me any differently?"

"No! Tamao-senpai is still my idol no matter what!" Rui was quick to say that, and then paused slightly, "Does that mean you..."

"Yeah..." Tamao let out a dry laugh, "I wasn't always a girl."

"I admire you for being able to keep going. I can't begin to think how much you've been through trying to reach this place already." Rui said.

Tamao burst into tears. Rui let out a startled cry and hugged her tightly.

"T-Tamao-senpai?!"

"I thought you'd hate me..."

Rui frowned and held her closer, "I could never do that to you."

"Thank you, Rui-chan..."

They stayed that way for a while. Rui wasn't going to let go until Tamao was ready.

"Have you um... told anyone else?" Rui nervously asked.

Tamao shook her head, "No. You're the first one I've told."

"Do you plan to?"

"They deserve to know."

"I'll help you tell them." Rui offered.

Tamao looked up at her and smiled, "Thank you, Rui-chan, but this is something I have to do alone."

"Okay..." Rui wasn't happy with that. She wanted to help Tamao as much as she could.

"It's almost time for practice, isn't it? Shall we head there?"

"Sure." Rui nodded.

They started making their way to the room. It was a silent walk for a while. Neither knew what to say.

"When do you plan to tell them?" Rui questioned.

Tamao shrugged, "I don't know yet."

"I'll be here to help if you do need me."

"I know. I'm glad to have you here with me, Rui-chan."

Chapter Text

"Sayo~ Where are you~?"

"L-Lisa!"

"Huh? Are those... glasses? Cute!"

This was not exactly how Sayo expected anyone to find out about her glasses. Lisa just barged into her room without any notice. Not that that was unusual by any means. It wasn't like Sayo had much to hide from her.

"Y-yeah..." Sayo mumbled, quickly taking them off her face, "I uh... I've had them for a while, actually. I just wear contacts most of the time."

"And you never told me?" Lisa pouted and made herself at home beside Sayo on her bed, "How cruel of you to hide this. You look so cute in them."

Sayo turned bright red as Lisa winked teasingly at her. This was not the way she expected this to go down.

She let out a small yelp as Lisa took the glasses from her and placed them back on her face. Sayo was frozen in place, trying to comprehend what had just happened.

"Let me take a picture, please? You're so adorable with them on." Lisa gave her a pleading look.

"A-alright... as long as it stays as a private thing for you to look at." Sayo caved in.

"Okay!" Lisa agreed and pulled out her phone, "Now... can you smile for me?"

Sayo gave her an awkward smile. Lisa chuckled slightly and took a few pictures of her. Once she was satisfied, she put her phone down.

"Can I take them off now?" Sayo asked.

"Why?" Lisa asked in reply.

Sayo had no immediate response, "Well... um... I..."

"Are you embarrassed? Come on. It's just me, Sayo. And besides, I've told you I think you look cute in them." Lisa kissed her on the cheek for emphasis.

"L-Lisa..." Sayo whined.

"What?" Lisa asked teasingly.

"Stop embarrassing me..." Sayo mumbled, playing with the hem of her shirt.

"Alright, alright. But will you please keep them on for me?" Lisa requested.

"I guess... just for a little bit, okay?" Sayo agreed.

Lisa nodded, "Okay. Thank you, Sayo."

Sayo looked down. Her face was still bright red. She felt Lisa kiss her on the cheek again. Sayo glanced over at her. When Lisa noticed, she smiled at her. Sayo quickly looked away.

"You're so easy to embarrass, Sayo. Come on." Lisa wrapped her arms around her, "Stop being so defensive. You can let loose."

"This... this isn't..." Sayo didn't finish her sentence. She met Lisa's gaze again.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to let loose for once? After all, they were alone. No one would ever know. She had no reputation to uphold here.

So, Sayo leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. Lisa smiled and cupped her hands around Sayo's face, before pulling her into a deeper kiss. Sayo's eyes widened for a moment, before she calmed and returned the kiss.

They soon pulled away. Both were bright red now.

"How was that?" Lisa teased as she grabbed one of Sayo's hands.

"A bit... awkward with my glasses on..." Sayo replied.

Lisa chuckled, "Alright, then put them aside. I wanna kiss you more."

Sayo's eyes widened. She hesitantly obliged and removed her glasses, storing them safely on her nightstand. She met Lisa's gaze again.

"You look cute with or without them on. But, I definitely would like to see you wear them more." Lisa whispered as she started leaning closer.

"M-maybe I'll consider it..." Sayo mumbled in reply.

"You would? You're awesome, Sayo." Lisa said, "Can I continue now?"

Sayo hesitantly nodded. Lisa closed the distance between them and kissed her again. She was glad she decided to pay Sayo an unexpected visit today. Otherwise she may have never had the chance to witness what she had.

Chapter Text

It was almost the end of another Roselia concert. The current song they were on was just coming to a close. Yukina was on the right side of the stage -Sayo's side- while Sayo and Lisa were on the left side of the stage together.

The final notes rung out of the song. As it ended, Lisa flashed a smile to Sayo and did a small happy jump. Sayo moved closer and without thinking kissed her on the cheek.

"You're cute."

Lisa froze up as a blush covered her face. Unbeknownst to Sayo, Lisa's microphone had caught that. Everyone had heard her say that.

The other three girls were staring at them too. They all recovered fast. Yukina concluded the concert and they bowed. They left the stage.

"Sayo, quite bold of you to say that." Yukina commented.

Sayo gave her a glare, "What does that mean?"

"You aren't normally that bold."

"That was not me being bold."

...

Sayo found out the next day the truth. She had been online and had seen a video of the concert with a very interesting headline. As she watched it, she realized that she had been heard by everyone.

She was going to die. That was so embarrassing. Now she understood everyone's comments after the show. They all seemed to have realized that while she hadn't. Great. Now everyone knew.

As Sayo walked to school that day, she noticed she was getting a lot more stares than normal. She tried her best to shrug it off, but it felt weird. Were they aware? Were they judging her?

"So... she can be like that?"

"It's so weird seeing her be nice like that. She always seems so strict."

Sayo overheard similar conversations. She had no idea what to do. It... was not necessarily a bad thing that they were seeing that side of her. If it made her seem a bit more approachable, then it might be useful.

"Hikawa-san?"

"Huh? Oh, do you need me, Shirokane-san?" Sayo was brought out of her thoughts.

"Yes. Um... can you come look something over with me?" Rinko asked.

"Sure." Sayo agreed.

It would be good to get away from all the students and their stares. Except, even in the student council room she was caught up in it.

"You actually did that in front of all those people, huh?" Arisa was in the room.

"I... I guess I did." Sayo mumbled, "I didn't mean to... have the mic pic it up..."

"What are you going to do about it?"

"I don't think there is anything I can do."

She was doomed to suffer. She had no way to deflect what everyone had seen and heard. No way to lie about it. Everyone knew the truth. Sayo really wanted to crawl in a hole and die. It was very embarrassing.

All day was hard. She had a lot of people whispering about her. People looking her over. Sayo hated every minute of the attention she was getting, but had no way to make it stop.

...

"Lisa..."

"Hmm? What's up, Sayo?"

After classes, Sayo and Lisa went to her house. They were currently sitting on Lisa's bed. Sayo had just leaned against her.

"I'm so embarrassed... I can't believe I did that... And now everyone knows..." Sayo whined as she buried herself into Lisa's hair.

Lisa chuckled, "It was cute, Sayo. Honestly, I don't think it did as much as you think it did. I mean, everyone knows we're dating already."

"But still..."

"Hmm... maybe I can get... would she? Maybe... yeah." Lisa started talking to herself.

"Um, what are you planning?" Sayo could not help but ask.

Lisa smiled at her, "Asking someone to do something similar to take everyone's attention away from us."

"And who would ever do that?" Sayo asked sarcastically.

"I was thinking of asking Kasumi."

"Of course... well, I'd appreciate it honestly. I do not like all the stares I'm getting or the comments." Sayo said.

"Then we can ask her together. For now... can we have some fun?" Lisa smiled as she pinned Sayo to the bed.

Sayo turned bright red, "L-Lisa..."

"I wanna kiss you so bad, Sayo. Can I?"

"S-sure."

Lisa smirked and leaned in to kiss her. Sayo had no choice but to go along with it. Not that she minded this. It was helping to take her mind off of everything that happened today. She liked that part a lot.

She just hoped she wouldn't make a mistake like that again. She did not need people seeing her be affectionate to Lisa like that. At least, not yet. She was not ready yet.

Chapter Text

Sleeping was going to be a challenge tonight. That made Claudine angry. She was exhausted from everything they had done today and yet she wasn't being allowed the luxury of sleep. At least no one else was either. Not when there was an argument going on somewhere in the dorms. It was so loud you could probably hear it from outside.

Claudine groaned and shoved her head into a pillow. Would they just shut up? This was annoying. She just wanted to sleep. Couldn't they solve their issues in a more civilized matter? Did they really need to be this loud? Did they want the entire dorm to know their problems?

What could she even do about this? At this point she was about ready to go and find them and scream at them to shut up. They were super annoying.

The door to her room opened. Claudine didn't know why someone would even be entering her room at this time of night. Last she checked it was already past midnight. Who was it?

Before she even opened her eyes, whoever it was decided to climb into her bed. There were not many people who would do something like that. Claudine opened her eyes and sighed. She knew exactly who it was now.

"Why are you here, Maya?"

"Can I stay?" Maya asked quietly.

"Why?"

"Because..."

Claudine sighed and moved over to make more room, "Fine."

She misjudged what exactly Maya wanted, though. Instead of them staying on opposite sides of the bed, Maya hugged her tightly and didn't seem like she was going to let go any time soon. Claudine resigned to this scenario for the night and returned the hug.

Under normal circumstances she would probably have had some remarks to make about this, but it was obvious that something was bothering Maya. So, for her sake, she'd just suck it up and let it go without a word.

"I didn't know someone could argue for two hours without stopping..." Claudine groaned.

The argument had yet to stop. How on earth did they have that much to argue about? Could someone just take the blame and they move on?

"It's not that... uncommon..." Maya replied in a very quiet tone.

Claudine stared at her questioningly. What was she talking about? How was this not uncommon? Was there something she didn't know?

"Why do you say that? I've never seen... heard anything like this before. Seems pretty uncommon."

Maya didn't reply right away. She instead tightened her grip on Claudine. That made Claudine a bit more worried.

"Maya?"

"Your parents didn't fight like that every night?" Maya whispered.

"No?" Claudine was growing increasingly concerned by what she was hearing, "Yours... did?"

Maya nodded, "Yeah... I've never liked it... Hearing this... brings back all those bad memories again..."

"Maya..." Claudine frowned. These were not things she had wanted to be hearing.

"Why can't they shut up...?"

"Let go of me for a bit. I'll be right back." Claudine requested.

Maya gave her a questioning look, but did let go. Claudine got off out the bed and left the room. Maya sat up and stared at the door. What was Claudine planning?

The arguing stopped. A few minutes later, Claudine returned to the room. She sat down on her bed.

"You... made them stop?" Maya asked.

"Yes. Told them off for disturbing everyone." Claudine replied.

"Thank you..."

"It's nothing." Claudine reassured her, "Anyway, let's get some rest now."

Maya nodded. They laid back down. After a few minutes, Maya moved closer and hugged Claudine. Claudine returned the hug.

"Claudine..."

"Yes?"

"Thank you."

Claudine rolled her eyes, "You already thanked me. You don't need to keep doing it, Maya."

"What you did means a lot to me..."

"It's no different from when you've helped me with homesickness. Don't worry about it." Claudine continued downplaying it. She didn't think it was that big of a deal.

She was simply just helping out her girlfriend like she did to her. There was no need for any big thanks or the likes. Though, maybe she should play along if it truly means that much to Maya? If she says it again, she'll go along with it.

Maya shifted and kissed Claudine of the cheek, "I love you."

"I love you too. Get some rest, Maya." Claudine returned the kiss, "You seem tired."

"I'll try."

Maya shifted closer against Claudine. Claudine smiled and pulled her into a firm hug. Maya relaxed more. It wasn't too long before she was asleep. Claudine stayed awake for a while longer, trying to process everything she had just learned tonight.

So... Maya had some trauma from her family. Must be why she never seemed to speak of them much unless prompted too. Well, only to those she was close to. She still bragged about her parents to the other students at Seisho, but for the other eight girls, not once had she mentioned them since.

Claudine decided she would probably try to inquire further about what went on at home. So she could prevent Maya from having to relive it if possible. Seeing her act the way she did tonight was not pleasant. Claudine definitely didn't want to repeat that.

Alongside that, she made a note to try and somehow get Maya closer with her family. Her family was nice. They've already kind of adopted her since Claudine had told them she was dating Maya. That would be an easy task. If Maya's parents wouldn't treat her well, then hers certainly would.

But, all of that could wait until later. She should probably get some rest too.

Chapter Text

Fumi was used to Ichie coming to her apartment at ungodly hours. So, when she heard the doorbell ring at almost nine, she assumed it was just Ichie deciding to pay her another late night visit. However, when Fumi opened the door, she found that it wasn't Ichie. It was Tamao.

"Fumi... I... I know it's late and... this is really sudden but... but please... I have nowhere else to go..."

Hearing Tamao plead to be let in was the last thing Fumi expected today. It hurt to hear it. Just what had happened? Why was Tamao upset? And why did Tamao have to come here?

"My home is always open, Tamao. Please come in." Fumi said and backed away.

Tamao quickly entered the house, as if worried Fumi may take back her offer. Now that Tamao was in the light, Fumi could take in everything a lot better. The main thing she noticed was that Tamao was hurt.

"What happened?" Fumi frowned and hugged Tamao.

"I... I... I told my parents I'm nonbinary and they... they beat me..." Tamao burst into tears and clung to Fumi for dear life.

"Oh, Tamao... let's get you cleaned up." Fumi guided the shaking Tamao to the bathroom.

She had them sit on the toilet while she grabbed some stuff to clean them up. Tamao was still crying. Fumi handed them a pack of tissues. Tamao tried to wipe away their tears, but more and more just kept falling down their face.

"You need a hug." Fumi hugged them tightly, feeling Tamao return it.

"Fumi..."

"Shh... I'm here. You're okay now..." Fumi whispered, running a hand over Tamao's back.

Tamao kept crying for a long time. Fumi just held them close and tried her best to offer them comfort. She didn't know what it felt like to go through something like that. She could only understand so much about how Tamao was feeling right now.

"Fumi... What do I do...?"

Fumi frowned. She had no answer to that. What did she do now? It was obvious Tamao would never be welcomed back home.

"Shh... we'll figure all of that out in the morning." Fumi decided, "Let's just get you cleaned up first."

Tamao nodded. Fumi didn't let go for a few more minutes. She didn't want to take this too fast. Tamao needed a lot of comfort right now.

Fumi pulled away and took in Tamao's appearance again. She gently started to clean them up. Tamao watched her silently, wincing in pain every now and again.

"Fumi...?"

"Yes?" Fumi turned her attention to Tamao.

"I... never wanted you to find out like this..."

Fumi sighed and pulled them into another hug, "It's okay, Tamao. I'm here for you. I love you no matter what."

Tamao broke down into tears. Fumi frowned and hugged them even tighter. She tried her best to soothe them.

"I'm right here, Tamao. You're safe here. You're loved here. I won't let them ever hurt you again. I promise." Fumi whispered.

"Fumi... thank you..."

"Shh... no more talking about this tonight, okay? You should rest. I've done what I can about the bruises."

"Where am I staying?" Tamao asked quietly.

"Your choice. With me or I'll set up another bed and give you mine." Fumi replied.

Tamao grabbed hold of her tightly. That was enough of an answer for Fumi. She carefully picked Tamao up and carried them to the bedroom. She set them down on the bed and then climbed in. After turning off the lights, Fumi laid down. Tamao clung to her tightly and started crying again.

"Shh... it's okay..." Fumi kissed them on the head and let them cry.

She didn't know what had happened. Not what they had done to Tamao. How badly had they beat them? How traumatized was Tamao from this? Fumi didn't know. And she would only know if Tamao ever wanted her to.

"Fumi... why did they stop loving me?"

"Hush. I told you no more, Tamao. Don't give them any more of your thoughts." Fumi hushed them.

"But... they're my family... they're supposed to-"

"Tamao. Enough. It'll just make you more upset if you keep thinking like that." Fumi cut them off, "Look. They're not your family now. Forget about them."

"Then... I'm all alone..." Tamao started tearing up again.

"No, no, no. You're not alone, Tamao. I'm here. And the others will be too. We're your family, Tamao. You've never been alone." Fumi quickly said.

"You... my family..." Tamao whispered to themself.

"Yes. Now, please, Tamao. Try to get some rest."

"Goodnight..." Tamao curled up closer.

"Goodnight, Tamao. I'm right here if you need me."

"Thank you..."