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Cherry Cola

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SPRING

“Well…I suppose congratulations are in order,” Terano started while stirring a cup of tea in her hands, head tilted down to mask her disdain. The motion of the spoon in the liquid caused a vortex-like spiral, a tornado, a perfectly apt image to match the state her stomach had been in since Kirari had won the election a day prior. 

“Thank you, Terano. That does mean something, even coming from you,” Kirari said, a smug smile on her face. She tilted her head back, looking over the back of the couch. “Sayaka?”

“Yes, President?” Sayaka immediately responded. She and Ririka flanked Kirari behind the couch while Terano and Yumi mirrored them on the other side of the sitting area of Kirari’s office. 

“Remind me what the final result of the election was again?” Kirari glowed, basking in the sunlight that directly streamed in from the windows. 

“The final result according to the last tally conducted by the Election Committee on the 30th day of the election was you in first place with over 1,600 votes and the Vice President in second,” Sayaka answered mechanically. “Prior to her elimination, Terano Totobami’s last official vote count would have placed her in third.”

Kirari turned to face Terano directly again. “Ah, yes. That’s right. I had almost forgotten how close you had come before the end.”

“You’re gloating,” stated Terano matter-of-a-factly. She hadn’t looked up from her cup of tea yet. She’d rather stare into the golden brown liquid for the rest of her days than catch a glimpse of Kirari’s stupid grin that was surely on her face.

“Really? It wasn’t my intention,” she replied, yet her facial expression neither ceased nor changed. 

“Is that why you called me in here for this meeting?” Terano finally stopped stirring her tea and looked up. “Just to rub it in?”  

“No, actually…” Kirari reached for her cup of tea on the table. She sipped it gingerly, seeming to drop the act from before. Wispy tendrils of steam emanated from the hot liquid. Just for a second, Terano thought it was not unlike the hot breath of a dragon as she looked into Kirari’s viperous blue eyes. 

“I want to make you an offer,” Kirari continued. “There is no gamble involved this time. There is no pressure on you to refuse or accept. It is simply a decision that is yours and yours alone to make.” 

“I’m shaking with anticipation,” Terano replied dead-pan. 

“Hm… You’re right to distrust me. I’ve spent my time at Hyakkaou playing many games. But this is no game. This is a serious one-time proposition.” Kirari put her tea down, as if baring herself to Terano fully. Kirari extended a hand.  

“I’m defecting from my position as Hyakkaou President and leader of the Momobami Clan. Will you take the position in my stead?”

Terano’s teacup clattered to the floor, the tea spilling everywhere. No one moved. 

“W...What did you just say?” 

“I said I’m defecting-”

“You’re defecting?!” Terano shouted. “Why would you do that?” She leaned forward until she was practically almost falling out of the seat. She supported herself with her hands on the coffee table. She bore an expression that said she wished could crawl across the table between them and just strangle the other woman. Ririka noticed Sayaka minutely inch closer to the President, out of a sense of protection.  

Kirari retracted her hand. “Well… it's simple really. The point of the election wasn’t for me to stay President...”

Terano looked at her cousin incredulously. She absently registered Yumi grabbing onto her shoulders to reposition her back onto the couch, definitely afraid Terano was going to fall. Terano paid her little mind, her attention only on Kirari in front of her. 

“The point of the election…” Kirari went on, raising a perfectly manicured nail to gesture at her sister behind her. “Was to change the status quo in the academy and in the family. That has been achieved, so I’m satisfied.”

“Are you telling me…” Terano shifted, daring to grapple the table again until Yumi pulled her by the back of her blazer once more. “That all of this was to get Ririka to stop wearing her dumb mask?!”

“Don’t be so pedestrian, Terano,” Kirari sighed as if the conversation was starting to bore her.

“What the President means is,” Sayaka jumped in, “Is that she wanted things to change. She never had any intention of losing. But she had every intention of making way for a natural progression in the fabric of both the school and the Clan by introducing new variables to the equation.”

“Not to mention,” Kirari added to Sayaka’s correct explanation. “It was fun to watch you all try to bludgeon each other. Family turning against family. Blood against blood.” Kirari lifted her hand to her chin in that precious way, her signature pose. 

Terano’s scowl deepened. 

“My offer still stands. I do have one condition, however. Whatever it is that you plan to do with the school and the Clan… myself, Ririka, Mary-“ Ririka’s head turned imperceptibly at the mention of her girlfriend’s name, “and Sayaka will be given total immunity... 

Forever.”

Terano seethed, bowing her head. “And if I reject your conditions?”

Kirari shrugged with an unbothered expression on her face. “Then you get nothing. I’ll find someone else to fill in as President and Clan Head.”

Sayaka’s brow quivered, just barely noticeable. She hated the thought of someone else being Hyakkaou’s President! She hated the thought of someone else -someone unworthy- sitting in the President’s chair. 

But this was what Kirari wanted… and Sayaka would never defy Kirari’s wants. 

“Maybe Ririka should jump in,” Kirari remarked mischievously as she leaned back, draping her arm over the couch to get a better look at her twin. “You could make a good president with your newfound… ‘evolution’.” 

“I- ehh…” Ririka blushed at the thought. She spoke for the first time during the meeting, “We’re graduating soon and I don’t want anything to do with the Clan anymore, so it wouldn’t really be sensible.”

Kirari hummed, turning back to Terano. “I suppose not. So you see, I’m left with little to no choice.”

“No choice?” Terano chuckled darkly under her breath. “That’s exactly what your problem has always been,” she bit out, practically spitting at the other woman. “You’re just a slave to each and every one of your whims. Your desires are impulsive. Nothing about you bids loyalty to duty or service. You’re selfish. You’ve always been selfish. You’re not making this offer because you consider me the ‘best fit.’ You just want to lord it over me. You’re taunting me. This is just another one of your sick games!” 

Two hands landing on Terano’s shoulders stopped her tirade. 

“I think what Terano means to say is, she’d be happy to accept and give you all the protection you need for this generous offer…” Yumi suddenly interjected. She had sweat pooling under her arms, afraid her sister was going to ruin her one shot of becoming the leader of the Bamis because she pissed Kirari off at the last second. As of now, they were still in Kirari’s tank, and Kirari was an Arapaima. In her eyes, they were nothing but fish food.

“I understand,” Kirari gestured for Yumi to recede. “Terano, I know that you’re proud. And you’re stubborn. But surely you’re not proud and stubborn enough to see there’s nothing truly here for you to lose. As for me…” In a purely naked moment, Kirari looked at her companions behind her before addressing Terano again. “I just want to be left alone.”  

Sayaka couldn’t hide her contented smirk. Ririka thought distantly of Mary at that moment. 

“I acquiesce,” Terano finally said. “I accept all your terms and conditions.”

“Splendid.” 
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Ririka laid in bed that night next to Mary, who she had invited over after school to talk about the developments that had occurred. Ririka had a large bedroom to herself. The bed was big and it had always bothered her to have so much unused space. But when Mary had started staying over, it felt nice to share it, as it wasn't possible for Ririka to fill it on her own.

“If she had wanted to quit all along, why stage an election in the first place?” Mary was spooning Ririka from behind, her arm curled securely around her. They had gone to bed but Mary was still restless with questions. 

“I don’t think ‘quit’ is the right word. She needed the election to happen and she needed to make sure she won it. That last bit of power was necessary for us to leave the Clan unscathed. Terano will always owe Kirari, in a way.”

Ririka then hesitated, “I also think the election was her way of showing that she was fed up. An act of resistance, maybe.”

Mary tensed behind her, her arm slightly tightening its hold. She had not liked that answer, apparently.

The blonde tsked bitterly. “She was fed up? How sad for the poor President.” 

Ririka put her hand to Mary’s arm and started stroking her softly, drawing patterns on her skin. 

“We’ve talked about this.”

It soothed Mary slightly, quelling her rising frustration. She slumped further into the pillows on her side of the bed, releasing tension from her shoulders.

“I know,” Mary grumbled. “I just think I won’t ever understand your sister. She’s got a few screws loose.”

“She’s not normal, that’s for sure. But I can at least see that she was trying to protect me in her own, strange way.”

Mary hummed. She could admittedly appreciate that. 

“Besides…” Ririka turned to face Mary. “I’m genetically identical to her. Are you saying that I’m crazy too?”

Mary spluttered, suddenly backpedaling.  “N-no! D-don’t take it like that. Jeez.” Mary looked off to the side. “You’re nothing like her so don’t even start.”

Ririka chuckled in satisfaction and placed a soft kiss on Mary’s cheek. 
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She stood in front of the mirror in her room at home. She finished buttoning her perfectly ironed dress shirt all the way to the collar, and tucked it into her skirt.  Next, she put her cross tie around her neck and closed it at the front. She slid the red blazer over her arms and closed all the buttons. As the finishing touch, she reached for her lint roller and did a few cursory rolls over her uniform.  

She regarded herself for a moment, checking for any flaws in her appearance. Well, flaws of her own doing, that is. No, she couldn’t fix that her skin was maybe just a shade too pale (except when the President made her blush). Nor could she change the sharpness of her chin that she considered not very feminine. She pushed these thoughts aside, instead focusing on straightening the white bow that held her side ponytail up. 

If she really was honest with herself, she didn’t know why she put in the effort now. She was simply doing it because she had always done it this way, and had come to not expect any less of herself. But now, things were different. Hyakkaou wasn’t the same anymore. How could it be when the Pres- when Kirari was no longer gracing the halls with her presence. 

Today was the first day of Sayaka’s third year. Kirari and the other previous third years had graduated just a few weeks ago, Terano included. Terano was still the Momobami Clan leader, but to handle Hyakkaou she appointed Rin Obami. It was apparent that he was there to do Terano’s bidding.  He was the President in title only, while the crown still sat on Terano’s head. Still, Sayaka had resolved to keep an eye on Rin anyway. Lest he tried to swindle people again for his own benefit. 

None of it concerned Sayaka anymore. The old student council had been completely absolved, including her position as secretary. It was for the best anyway. Without Kirari there, it wasn’t really worth it anymore. Sayaka needed to get good grades this year to get into the best universities. So that she could be worthy of being by Kirari’s side! 

Satisfied with her appearance, Sayaka patted her hands against her thighs once and grabbed her school bag. Downstairs, passing by the kitchen, she grabbed a slice of buttered toast that her father had left out before heading to work. She also grabbed a few apple slices, distantly hearing Kirari’s chastising voice about wanting Sayaka to eat more. She would eat it all on the way to the station. 

Juggling the apple slices, the toast, and her bag in her hands Sayaka opened the front door with her elbow and closed it with her foot. Hastily, she crammed the toast into her mouth as she stepped onto the sidewalk only to stop dead in her tracks. 

There, parked across the street, was a sleek black sedan. Slowly, the tinted window rolled down until Kirari could pop her head out. 

“Sa~ya~ka. I’m glad I caught you.” Kirari smirked up at the other girl. 

What was left of the toast hanging out of Sayaka’s mouth fell to the ground. “P-President! Why are you- Do you need something?” She shoved the apple slices into her pockets, breakfast was an afterthought now.

Kirari emerged from the car, dressed in casual street clothes, with a playfully serious expression. “Ara ara~ When are you going to stop calling me that? Don’t you remember what we discussed?”

“Of course, I remember, K-Kirari. It just slipped out. It was a reflex.”

“That’s alright. I suppose it’s only natural seeing that for two years you never called me by my name.” Kirari held her hand out for Sayaka to take and guided her into the car. 

Now seated, Sayaka paused at Kirari’s last comment. Should she apologize? But Kirari was still smiling to herself. The white-haired woman leaned forward and directed the driver.

“To Hyakkaou, please.” 

Then, the screen between the front and backseats went up, giving them privacy.

When Kirari sat back and turned to her former secretary though, she had to stifle a laugh at the way Sayaka was gaping at her. 

“Y-your hair…”

“Do you like it?” Kirari ran her fingers through the strands that fell freely across her shoulders, totally devoid of braids. 

“Yes!” Sayaka said at once. “Absolutely…”

“I figured since I’m not the President anymore or the head of the Clan, it’s best to leave some parts of myself behind.” She still brandished her blue lip color and her manicured nails, however. 

“Yes, that seems logical,” Sayaka agreed. “It may be psychologically beneficial for you to commit performative acts that commemorate the process of transition while you move from one phase of life into another.” 

Kirari was amused at that. “We should all try new things from time to time. Isn’t that right, Sayaka?” Kirari smiled and looked into Sayaka’s eyes then with a kind of… fondness . The younger woman immediately felt a blush spread over her cheeks.

Sayaka didn’t want to stammer while under Kirari’s careful gaze but it was hard not to. “Y-you never a-answered my question.”

“Which one? The one, ‘why are you here’ or ‘do you need something?'” Kirari placed her hand down onto the seat between them, leaning fractionally closer. She was close enough now, especially in the confined space, that Sayaka could smell her. It took some self-control not to lean in further herself as it drew her in like a spell. 

“Well, I assume you need something otherwise you wouldn’t-”

Kirari couldn’t help but tilt her head back and laugh. It was a bright and full sound. Sayaka paused, wondering if she had misstepped. 

“Did you ever stop to consider that maybe I’m here because I miss your company?”

“My… c-company?” 

“Sayaka~” Kirari closed the gap between them by placing her hand on Sayaka’s chin. “Are you saying you don’t think of me anymore now that you’re no longer my secretary?”

“Wh-hh- I would never say that! I gladly think of you! All the time!” Sayaka froze then, realizing what she had just admitted. 

“My, my… are you trying to make me blush?” 

Sayaka held onto the hem of her skirt for dear life, bunching the material in her hands. 

“Um, I-I’m not sure-”

“Let’s make this a regular thing. Let me drive you to school every day.” Kirari’s hold on Sayaka’s face was gentle but unrelenting.   

Sayaka was beet red at this point. “E-Every day?? But, Kirari- Are you sure you wouldn’t want to spend your time elsewhere? I don’t want to take up-” 

“Compared to how as President I would see you daily for hours on end, this is but a crumb of what I’m already used to. 

And what I miss most about my days at Hyakkaou is my faithful, dear secretary.”

Sayaka’s breath hitched. 

“From now on, I would like to be there for you,” Kirari continued. “Leaving the Clan has made me freer. I am the one who can define how much of myself I will give and to whom.” 

Sayaka was slowly starting to understand what was happening. This side to Kirari had always been there, waiting. It had been there when she leapt from the tower into a field of lilies. Sayaka believed now, dared to hope, that Kirari could explore her whims and compulsions not out of an urge to escape her life, but to truly live it. 

“Sayaka- Could you say something?”

Sayaka realized she had been processing for longer than she had intended to. Quickly, she reached out and wrapped her hand around Kirari’s extended arm. 

“I think I’ve never been happier than I am right now,” Sayaka confessed, looking straight down at her lap. “I want to see you. I was worried that your graduation would change things- well, of course, it has , I meant more so between the two of us,” Sayaka clenched her teeth to stop her rambling. She was still afraid of saying too much, of stepping out of line. Only now, the lines had been erased and she didn’t quite know where they had been redrawn. 

But when she lifted her eyes to meet Kirari’s, all she saw staring back at her was adoration. 

“The two of us…” Kirari chuckled under her breath. She inched forward until their lips were almost touching. “This-” she said referring to the two of them, “is my one need.”   

Neither of them needed to close the last millimeters of space because at that second the car made a sharp turn causing Sayaka to fall forward. 

Their lips crashed together for an instant before Sayaka could catch herself with a hand, palm facedown, on the leather backseat. When she caught herself she pulled back just marginally. She and Kirari seemed suspended like that for a moment, faces craned towards each other, noses pressed together, and exhaling shallow breaths. 

Sayaka noticed how just a second of contact with Kirari’s lips was causing her heart to race. If she were to take Kirari’s lips fully, what would happen to her then?

Sayaka leaned forward, only needing to tilt her head slightly in Kirari’s direction, as they were already so close. Delicately, Sayaka pressed a ghost of a kiss onto Kirari’s lips. With her hand on Sayaka’s chin, Kirari pulled her closer. They moved together. Sayaka’s grip on Kirari’s arm tightened without her meaning to. Kirari let her hand go of Sayaka’s chin to rest it on her back instead, behind her ribs. She did so to angle her head in a way that deepened the kiss, pausing only to take a breath. They reconnected, pressing kiss after kiss on each other’s lips, not knowing how to stop. 

Sayaka had never kissed anyone before. Up until then, she could only picture what it would feel like in theory. But even her most detailed fantasies paled in comparison to kissing Kirari in practice. 

Feeling Kirari’s lips ardently mold over hers- it was greater than any heaven Sayaka knew, more natural than any chemical reaction. It was central to her primordial existence, it contained her purpose in life. Every decision that she had ever made from her birth to this moment had been done to bring her here.   

She tasted the culmination of her very existence on Kirari’s lips. 

The car pulled to a halt, having arrived at Hyakkaou. Kirari, always ever aware of her surroundings noticed this and disconnected their lips, leaving them panting in the stillness of the backseat. 

“So… I take it I can come by at the same time tomorrow?”   
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Mary and Ririka had perfected the art of hand holding.

Initially, there was shared shyness at becoming more intimate with one another. There was also the fear that Kirari or some other person in the house such as a cleaner or gardener would hear them. Thus, Mary and Ririka had moved gradually, slowly... and in the process had discovered the beauty of holding hands.

They experimented with various positions, intertwining their fingers, or palm to palm, even walking with just their pinkies hooked together between them. They walked like the latter on hot days- it was too warm for full skin on skin contact, but they still wanted to feel each other. Even when they slept, with Ririka’s head resting on Mary’s chest, her arm splayed out and her fingers were laced together with Mary’s on the mattress.  

Holding Ririka’s hand could be a badge of pride. In the last weeks of second year, when Ririka was still acting as Vice President, and Mary was newly dating said Vice President, Mary somewhat relished in the way heads turned in the halls of Hyakkaou to gawk at their conjoined hands. Mary smirked to herself. Those who had sneered at her and humiliated her when she was a housepet now looked on with envy. They deserved it, underestimating her like they had. That’s right, you assholes, she had risen from the ashes. 

Ririka had walked Mary to her classroom. They waited out the rest of the time they had together before classes began by a window. Mary crossed her arms and leaned against the windowsill, looking out over the courtyard outside. 

“I’m sorry…” said Ririka suddenly. 

Mary’s head quickly turned to her girlfriend. “What for?”

“People are staring at us because of me.” Ririka had worn a sheepish expression on her face, like she felt ashamed. 

“People have always stared. First it was because of that creepy mask and now because that same mask is gone.”     

“I feel like.. my presence brings you unsolicited attention.”

Mary had shrugged. “That’s not a bad thing in my book.”

“O-oh. Okay...”

Ririka was nervously fidgeting with her hands. Mary reached out to still the fretting woman. 

Mary had looked her directly in the eyes and coaxed her to meet her gaze. “Talk to me. What’s wrong?”                

“I don’t like it when people stare. I don’t have my mask anymore so I just feel… exposed.”

Understanding had dawned upon Mary. She looked over Ririka’s shoulder and caught a group of second-years watching her and Ririka. 

“What are you looking at?!” Mary barked directly at the group. They immediately turned away, mumbling weak apologies. The rest of the students in the hallway shuffled further away, not wanting to be on the receiving end of Mary Saotome. 

Mary had watched them disperse and turned back to Ririka with a satisfied ‘hmpf’. “Better now?” 

Ririka had let out a smile. “Yes. Thank you.” Like a magnet, she gravitated towards the hot-headed blonde and wrapped her arms around her. 

“What about me?” asked Mary out of the blue. 

“What about you?” Ririka arched an eyebrow.

“Can I stare at you? I like your face.” Mary smirked faintly.

Ririka’s smile grew to a grin then. “I’ll allow it.” 

She had kissed Mary then, always drawn to the woman’s protective side. She immediately felt warmer when Mary’s arms curled around her waist too, to be closer to her.

Ririka had pulled away, though, to voice something; a thought that she wanted to resolve herself to because Mary inspired her to do so. 

“Next time, I’ll scare them off myself,” Ririka said then. 

Mary had given her an approving nod with a proud smile in response. 

When they held hands it could also be intense. It could be just as intense as any other physical touch loaded with lust and desire.  

The last bell of the school day rang, signaling the end of classes. Students filed out of the classrooms, the previously quiet hallways were now loud and vibrant. Many sectioned themselves off into groups to go to the gambling dens. Others ran to the mess hall to grab a bite to eat. Some coaxed their friends into going to the mall or a cafe. 

Mary put her books into her bag and closed the front clasp. The test that had been announced that day for history had basically ruined her plans. She was only in the academy on a scholarship, so it was of the utmost importance that she maintained straight As. Now that she was in third year, it was even more imperative since she wanted to go to university after she finished school. 

She walked down the hallway with her bag and heavy history textbook in tow. 

“Maryyy!” The sound of Yumeko’s voice called out to her followed by her footsteps that echoed in the hallway. Ryota and Itsuki were running after their raven-haired classmate. 

Mary grumbled when Yumeko latched herself onto her arm. “What? Didn’t you get my text message?”

“We got it and we were worried about you. Are you unwell?”

“No. I just need to study today. So, I can’t join you guys for going to the mall like we planned. That’s all.”

Yumeko pouted right at her, still keeping her iron grip on Mary’s arm. 

“We haven’t hung out in so long!”

“Get off of me!” Mary finally shook free. “Like I said, I need to study.”

Itsuki put her hands on her waist, “What for? The test isn’t for another two weeks.”

Mary turned away, getting frustrated. “I need to start now, though. You never know, something could get in the way later. Or the test could be way harder than expected.”

Ryota scratched the back of his head, “You could always start tomorrow. Yumeko was really looking forward to us all spending time together today.”

Yumeko nodded and tilted her head.

Mary sighed. “It wouldn’t be worth it. I’ll just spend the whole time thinking about how I should be studying instead.” 

“Mary! You’re not being fair,” Yumeko protested sadly.

“I’m not trying to be mean. I don’t expect you guys to understand. I can’t exactly pay off the Student Council to stay in this school. So,” Mary pushed past the group with a harsh tone, “if you’ll excuse me, I need to go.”

Itsuki threw up her hands. “Sheesh! When did studying become more important than your friends?”

But Mary only registered the comment distantly. She was trying not to be in a bad mood. She just needed to sit down and focus. She took a seat, having reached the library. She got out all her supplies; a notebook, pens and pencils, her textbook... 

Mary began making notes of the material in question. She had been right to be prudent. The chapter was longer than expected. It was going to take some time to learn all the information. Brushing off her friends’ lack of consideration, she was glad that she was starting early and got to work.  

...

Mary hadn’t noticed the time go by. She was only interrupted by the vibration of her phone in her pocket. Snapped out of her studying reverie, she finally noticed that the sun was setting outside. She was pleased also to see that she had been able to make notes of half the chapter. That was already a great start. 

Mary pulled her phone out and looked at the caller ID. 

“Hey, babe,” she answered. “I’m just in the library. Still at school.” Mary stood from her chair and stretched her back, letting out a groan.

“You’re working hard.”

“Unlike most people at this school,” Mary mumbled. She plopped back down into the seat. “Ignore me. I’m just bothered by something from earlier today.”

“What happened?” Mary heard the telltale click of a door shutting closed on Ririka’s end. She was no doubt coming inside from a jog like she often did before or after dinner. 

“Nothing much. Yumeko, Itsuki, and Ryota threw a fit because I cancelled our plans. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration but… still, I feel like they don’t get it.”

“I’m sure they were just disappointed.” Ririka’s voice sounded so soft. So much so, that Mary felt bad about complaining to her. 

“I shouldn’t have to explain to them that some of us need to do well in class to stay in this school. And I need to get into universities.” Mary didn’t think she was being unfair. Both of her parents worked every day to pay for their bills, the house, all their clothes, and utilities. They didn’t have money just laying around. Should one of her parents lose their job, they would be in trouble. 

“You sound tense. Have you been studying all afternoon?” 

“Yeah. I should take a break. I haven’t had dinner either yet, so…” Mary trailed off, wondering if Ririka would invite her over. 

“Do you want to... ‘relieve’ some of that tension?” Ririka asked suggestively.

Mary wanted to. She wanted to a lot

She always wanted to be near Ririka, if Mary was being honest. She loved hearing Ririka’s thoughts. She could listen to her talk about anything. She loved playing games with her, no stakes involved save maybe one or two back rubs. In those cases, she almost didn’t mind losing. Mary almost felt embarrassed. The tough and brash Mary Saotome was a romantic. If people knew to what extent she was a total sap for her girlfriend, she would never hear the end of it.

“Yeah… is that okay?”

“Of course. I’ll pick you up.”

...

Mary entered the car and threw her bag on the floor. “Thanks for coming.”

Ririka waved her hand. “It’s alright. It was partly selfish on my part.”

“Oh? Was it?” Mary smirked at her. 

Ririka hummed, shifting closer. The car started to drive, heading to the Momobami estate.

“You sounded so stressed. I couldn’t just leave you like that. What would that have made me?”

A blush started to creep up Mary’s neck. “I agree, that would have been pretty heartless.”

Ririka held one of Mary’s hands and started to massage her palm. 

“Your hand must be sore from writing all day.”

“It is.” Mary’s eyes fluttered closed from the pleasure Ririka’s touch was causing. “So sore.”

“People who work hard deserve a reward, don’t they?” Ririka lifted Mary’s hand to her lips and began pressing kisses onto her knuckles. She pushed Mary’s sleeve up as far as it would go and planted her loving kisses onto Mary’s wrist. She continued pressing kisses down Mary’s arm, still holding her hand delicately. 

Mary let out a whine. “Riri…”

Ririka stopped to check on Mary. The blonde’s face was flushed and when she opened her eyes, her irises were a darkened shade of gold. 

“Do you want to stop?”

“God, no.” Mary careened forward and put a hand on Ririka’s cheek. When she kissed her, Ririka’s lips were already slightly parted to let Mary’s tongue slide in, sending a shiver down her spine. Ririka created a bit of space, only to bite Mary’s bottom lip, because she knew the blonde loved it when Ririka teased her a little. 

They kissed with abandon, sucking on each other’s lips, like they were the only people in the world. Mary tried to shrug her blazer off. It was starting to get hot, from her body temperature rising, her heart racing, and the heat from Ririka’s breath. Ririka pushed at the material stuck at Mary’s elbows, trying to help. With the jacket off, Ririka’s hands naturally wound around Mary’s back, scratching her nails along the thin fabric of the white dress shirt. Ririka inclined her face deeper towards Mary’s to push the kiss further. She loved this girl. She would pour that feeling into every touch she laid upon her. 

Then, Ririka hadn’t noticed the first time, but by the second time, she registered it fully when Mary’s stomach growled. 

“Mary… we should stop.”

Mary continued to kiss the side of Ririka’s mouth. 

“I’m not that hungry,” she lied. 

“Later-” Ririka breathed between kisses. “We can continue later. You need to eat.”

Mary pulled back. The only light in the car now was from the street lamps that lined the road, the sun having set already when she left campus. She couldn’t make out the sharp blue of Ririka’s eyes anymore. The darkness was deceiving. It made Mary’s inhibitions weaker, her thoughts cloudier, and her desires stronger. She knew on some level that Ririka had a point, though. 

“Promise?”

“Of course.” Ririka nodded. “You’ll be grumpy in the morning if you don’t eat dinner.”

Mary sighed and readjusted her collar, her clothes having gotten disheveled. “You’re right.”

“As usual.”

Mary chuckled, eyeing her with many emotions swirling inside of her, all of them good. “As usual..”

 

It was for sure... Mary Saotome was a total sap for Ririka Momobami.