~Let's Raise a Glass to a Blazing Lass~
It was a warm, sunny day, and Flandre was getting quite sweaty under three layers of frills and a pink parasol as she wandered through the gardens. There were still some things to get used to about going outside, and the worst of them could well have been temperatures.
"Come back at tea time, young mistress, and we may have a little surprise for you!" Sakuya had said with a wink. According to her watch, it was getting quite close to tea time, so Flandre turned back.
It was a five-minute walk between colourful flower beds and rustling green trees, her buckle shoes clapping on the path, before Flandre reached the mansion's front door. She kicked off her shoes, pulled on her inside combat boots and wandered in.
The hallway was dark and empty. Flandre looked around in amazement; there were always lights on, fairy maids running up and down and music playing on the radio, but not that afternoon. Frowning in confusion, she padded along the carpet, calling out to whoever might me listening.
"Hellooooo?!" shouted Flandre. "Sakuya? Big Sis? Patchie? Marisa? Anyone home?!"
The lights came on at once, revealing a cheering crowd with a huge strawberry cake. Remilia, Sakuya, Meiling, Koakuma and Patchouli were all there, Okina, Yuyuko, Youmu, Reimu, Marisa and Sumireko too. Flandre gasped and stared in amazement as a big pile of confetti flumped directly on top of Remilia.
"Aargh, you stupid-! I told you to pour it properly!" snapped Remilia, glowering at the fairy maids wrangling the confetti bucket. "Well, never mind. Happy combativersary, Flandre!"
"Combativersary?!" cried Flandre.
"As of today, it's been one year since you defeated Yuuma in battle!" explained Sakuya, glowing with pride. "She was supposed to be here for a rematch, but unfortunately she seems to have come down with food poisoning, so she's in hospital now."
"I tried to warn her about the tar pit," said Yuyuko regretfully, "but she simply had to tuck in! Don't you find it annoying when people can't think about anything other than food?"
"Er, yes." Sakuya's face was set in stone. "In any case, this party is to celebrate a charming young Incident-Resolver whose phenomenal power has enabled her to accomplish what most would call impossible! Flandre Scarlet, slayer of Toutetsu and defender of the surface world, would you care to say a few words?"
"Um... Do you do this for everyone?" Flandre could still scarcely believe her eyes.
"Only when Remilia's funding the cake!" giggled Marisa, giving Reimu a nudge. Reimu folded her arms and stood on her dignity. "Usually we take a new Incident-Resolver out for a drink, but in this case, your sister wanted a proper celebration."
"Well, er." Remilia's face reddened. "Aside from dealing with meteors, I never really thought you would, um. I mean, I'm proud of you, Flandre! We all are."
"Oh, it- it was easy!" Flandre waved her away, blushing vividly.
"Don't be so modest, Flandre! The combat system in Submerged Hell of Sunken Sorrow is almost impossible to get the hang of," Okina chided her.
"W-well..." Flandre laughed nervously. "Do you really mean it? You've never been proud of me before, Big Sis."
"I know, it is a very unusual experience! But yes, I do mean it."
"Oh!" Overcome with emotion, Flandre ran fowards and gave Remilia a hug.
"A-all right, no need to be soppy!" Remilia half-heartedly tried to push her away before she could kiss her on the cheek.
"Come on, everyone, be soppy!" Sakuya dove in and squeezed them both as tightly as she could. "My little Incident-Resolver!"
"Augh..." groaned Remilia.
Reimu cleared her throat. "So, about this cake."
A chorus of groans and knowing laughter arose from the crowd.
"I-I'm just saying!" Reimu just said. "We should have the cake while it's at its best, not leave it to get stale. People make food so it can be shared and enjoyed, not locked away behind glass panels and admired until it rots! Leaving this gorgeous, beautiful cake alone would be to deny it its purpose, and wouldn't that be a shame?"
Meiling laughed. "She does have a point. Do you want to cut it, Flandre?"