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Celebrating the Captain

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Shizuha is woken with a start, a familiar weight hitting her chest with a loud jingle. It doesn’t happen daily, but it’s a fairly frequent occurrence anyway. It’s earlier than usual, though. There’s a sweet laugh close to her.

She sits up, causing Lalafin to slide down her body. The plushie girl’s bells continue to make noise the whole way down.

“Good morning, Shizuha!” She beams as she rights herself in Shizuha’s lap. “Happy birthday!”

“Happy birthday!” Tsukasa calls from the doorway. She’s glowing as bright as ever, but her smile is even brighter.

Shizuha doesn’t really have a birthday, not in the normal sense. Demons don’t pay attention to that kind of thing. But instead, her friends have decided to celebrate the day she became bound to this plane of reality. Something to make the day a happy celebration instead of a sad memory. She appreciates it.

She’s staring off vacantly, briefly, and is snapped right back as Lalafin kisses her on her nose, a playful press of embroidered fabric on her skin. Shizuha kisses Lalafin right back.

Tsukasa chuckles, “Alright you two lovebirds, we have other things to do~. Especially if we want to do anything before classes today.” She turns with a wave, and leaves the doorway for the time being.

“Right, right!” Lalafin scrambles out of Shizuha’s lap, then hops off the bed and bounces out the door. “Seeya later!”

Shizuha smiles softly as Lalafin closes the door behind her.

After that, she gets ready as usual. Despite it being a special day, it doesn’t feel that different. She’d rather have it feel normal than have it feel bad, though.

Once she’s done wrestling with the buttons on the back of her shirt to secure it around her wings, she joins the others in their common room.

It’s wildly decorated, full of streamers, balloons, and practically every other birthday party decoration you can imagine.

Misora is in the kitchen, making pancakes and filling a plate with a massive stack of them, while Aruru is sorting out toppings with Lalafin. Aruru is the first to notice Shizuha has entered, the half-elf looking up excitedly.

“Good morning, Shizuha-chan! Happy birthday!”

This gets the werewolf’s attention, and she looks away from her pancakes briefly to wave hello. “Happy birthday, Shizuha-senpai! I’m almost done cooking, breakfast will be ready soon.” Shizuha can see her tail wagging excitedly.

Lalafin stops what she’s doing to run over and hug Shizuha again. She peeks up to smile at her much taller girlfriend, ears flopping as her head tilts. Shizuha pats her head once, to the amusement of the plushie girl and the others watching them.

It’s not much longer until Misora finishes cooking, and the plate of pancakes is brought to the table. Everyone teams up to get the bowls of toppings over too.

They’re sweet, and it’s fun to combine anything she feels like on top. But it’s more enjoyable to watch what the others do.

Misora, unsurprisingly, takes the most overall, loading hers up with practically anything she can. Tsukasa doesn’t put too much on hers, but the pancakes literally ignite as she does her best attempt to “bite” them. Her flames grow stronger as she continues eating. Aruru puts mostly sweets on hers, not surprisingly either.

Lalafin is just busy making a face on the one she’s taken, unable to eat it but having fun in another way regardless. She smiles once she seems to be done with it, and slides the final result to Shizuha. It… kind of looks like her. Not quite, but Lalafin certainly tried her best. It’s almost too cute to eat. “Almost” being the keyword here. She does eat it.

They started early for a reason though, as finishing everything and happily chatting together takes them almost until it’s time to get to classes. There’s just barely enough time to clean up from cooking, although the decorations stay up.

“Don’t think we’re done yet either, Shizuha-chan!” Aruru says with a wink as they set out to the school. “We have more planned for later!”

“This is already more than enough,” Shizuha replies with a genuine, soft smile.

————

Classes pass without any particularly exciting events. Most people have no idea that it’s Shizuha’s birthday, and she’s content with it that way. There’s no need to get everyone in on celebrating, even if she’s sure some of her friends would like to do it.

At the end of the day, once they’re all back to their dorm, they all set up for a night of video games together. It’s mostly party games, since they’re the best for everyone together (and the least likely for Shizuha to completely destroy everyone at, not that she minds), but they do other kinds of games too. Anything that relies on any sort of skill, Shizuha usually wins by a long shot, but they all have fun playing regardless.

There’s plenty of fun and laughs to be had in it, and it’s all Shizuha could ask for from her friends. Sure, there’s a few playful jabs at each other, it’s nothing that could do worse than toss Lalafin across the room.

(Okay, so maybe that one did happen, but it was an accident. She just happens to be light enough that an excited snap of Shizuha’s wings could fling her pretty far.)

She didn’t want anything extreme, she didn’t even really expect anything at all, but getting this much is well worth it. They really did take a day with bad history and make it happy.

By the end, everyone is fairly tired out, and it’s certainly getting late. Misora and Aruru are half asleep, leaning on each other, and it’s hard to miss Tsukasa’s occasional yawns or Lalafin’s eyes starting to lose their little magical shine. Shizuha is the least tired, but she’s also the only one who regularly stays up late.

She gently scoops up the two younger girls, neither being big or heavy enough for the demon to struggle with it, and carries them to Aruru’s room. Even though they have their own separate ones, she knows they’ll be fine together, and they were getting kind of clingy tonight anyway. Once she puts them down into the bed together, Aruru gently shakes Misora’s shoulder and mumbles, “You should say goodnight,” before looking up at Shizuha and quietly saying, “Goodnight, Shizuha-chan.”

Misora says her own response quietly too. “G’night, Shizuha-senpai.”

“Thank you,” she replies, and leaves the best friends to sleep.

Once she returns to the common room, Lalafin is mostly asleep on the couch, and Tsukasa is watching her while she waits. When Shizuha walks in, the fire elemental shifts to get ready to leave. “Goodnight, Shizuha. I hope you had a good birthday.”

Shizuha nods. “Of course.”

As Tsukasa leaves, Shizuha picks up Lalafin with even more ease. She doesn’t make any noise, besides the bells inside of her jingling their happy little sounds like always. But as she carries Lalafin down the hall, the plushie girl speaks. “Shizuha… I wanna sleep with you.”

Shizuha laughs at her choice of phrasing.

“Not in the weird way, you idiot.” A soft hand slaps her shoulder. “I just wanna… I wanna be with you… End your birthday together.”

“I know.”

She carries Lalafin to her own room, where they settle down into Shizuha’s bed together. The plushie nuzzles her way into the demon’s chest, happily cuddling with her girlfriend.

“Goodnight Shizuha, I love you…” she whispers, as she slowly drifts off into sleep.

“I love you too, Lalafin.”

Soon enough, the demon finds herself falling asleep fully too.