Konomi’s in the clubroom when Jun arrives. That alone is strange; Konomi is not a morning person. But there’s something else off, too, something different about her.
Jun squints. “Did you get taller?”
“Eh? No, I wish!” Konomi steps to the side and loses the extra few centimetres. Jun circles around the bench. There’s a scale on the floor at Konomi’s feet.
“Where did you get that?”
“Sayo-senpai borrowed it from the wrestling team so I can track my weight.” Konomi frowns. "I’ve only lost one kilo so far.”
“That’s plenty. You’re building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.”
“But Nono-senpai said—”
Jun huffs. “Ignore Nono-san. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” She drops her bag on the bench with a clunk, retrieving her climbing shoes as she kicks off her sneakers.
Nonoka isn’t completely wrong: the best climbers are usually very lean or very tall, and Konomi doesn’t have much height to work with. There are exceptions, of course — neither their captain or Iwamine is particularly svelte, and Nonoka herself is tiny. But they have experience Konomi doesn’t.
Still, Jun doesn’t want Konomi to have to change her body for fear of slower times or missed holds. Konomi’s curves are… endlessly fascinating to Jun. The softness of her stomach, the way the harness tucks in around her waist. The roundness of the undersides of her breasts. The apples of her cheeks when she grins atop the wall after solving another puzzle. Jun would hate for her to hollow herself out.
When Jun stands, Konomi’s there, inches from her face. She pouts. Another curve: the bow of her lower lip. “I want to be strong like you, Jun-chan.”
“No,” Jun snaps, harsher than she means to. Her body has been a machine for as long as she can remember. Food is fuel, exercise is exhaust. It’s one thing for her to be like this, another entirely to watch Konomi strip herself to the bare essentials. She wants to keep this Konomi, soft and squishy, a little longer.
“Be strong like yourself,” Jun tells her.
A crease appears in Konomi’s brow — she’s in analysis mode. Then she smiles. “Thanks, Jun-chan!”
Jun nods. “Now hurry up. We have practice.”
“Okay!” Konomi fumbles for her shoes and jacket. She’s out the door before Jun, skipping ahead in the thin morning sun.
Jun pulls out her phone and sends Sayo a text: Get that scale out of the clubroom or I’m going to break it.