“Onee-chan, are you in love with Aya-chan?” Hina asked curiously.
The twin sisters were currently in the living room, watching a Pastel Palettes live.
“E-Eh? O-Of course not” Sayo answered with an obvious blush.
“Then why did my question make you so nervous? Your eyes are always so boppin’ when you see Aya-chan, you know.”
“I don’t think my eyes are different when I see Maruyama-san. I only respect her. That’s all. Even so, I don’t think we would make a good couple, we don’t have anything in common,” Sayo looked a bit sad as she spoke.
It was true Sayo had feelings for Aya, how could she not? Anyone with common sense would have feelings for Aya. She was a really cheerful and lovely girl. Maybe she was a bit clumsy, but for Sayo, that made Aya look even prettier. These things made Sayo fall in love with Aya even more. But those weren’t the main reasons for Sayo’s feelings. Aya’s passion and dedication for becoming an idol was what made Sayo truly fall for her.. But she didn’t want to admit it, They were too different to ever make a good couple.
“Hmm, really? I think You and Aya-chan would be a really boppin’ couple”
“E-Eh? Really?” Sayo said with a blush. “I mean, that doesn’t make sense, Hina”
“I’m serious, Onee-chan! Aya-chan is a really funny person. If you two started dating, Aya-chan would be so nervous, since you’re so serious. That would be so funny, hahaha!”
“Hina, this isn’t funny! Are you really serious?” Sayo was visibly annoyed.
“Onee-chan, I thought you weren’t interested in Aya-chan. So why are you so annoyed?” Hina teased Sayo.
“I-It’s not that, I just think you’re being disrespectful to Maruyama-san!”
“Eh, really? I don’t believe you…" Hina paused for a moment, then she said "Wait, I have a great idea! You should attend the next Pastel Palettes rehearsal pretending to be me.”
“What?! Why would I do that? Also, you shouldn’t skip rehearsal for insignificant things.”
Secretly, Sayo liked the idea. She had always wanted to spend more time with Aya, but because of her reserved behavior, she thought Aya might find it weird, so she had already given up. With Hina’s suggestion, Sayo thought she might spend more time with Aya and be more honest with her feelings. She wouldn’t have to worry about embarrassment, because everyone would think she’s Hina. Still, she didn’t want to accept the offer.
“Eh, come on, Onee-chan, it’s just one day. It doesn’t matter if I skip rehearsal, I’m doing it because I want to help you. Please! At least do it for me, yes?” Hina said, making puppy eyes.
“For you?” Sayo asked.
“I just have a feeling you and Aya-chan would make a cute couple. Also, I already have plans that day, so I would like your help”
Hina probably knew something Sayo didn’t. It was normal for Hina to have weird ideas, but Sayo felt this time was somewhat different. Should she get her hopes up? Probably not, but love was irrational sometimes.
“Well, if you really insist, I’ll help you this time. But just this once” Sayo sounded serious, but she was actually very happy.
“Thanks, Onee-chan! You won’t regret it” Hina has a genuine smile on her face.
The day of Pastel Palettes' rehearsal came in the blink of an eye. Sayo was really looking forward to today, but there was something she was worried about: would she be able to impersonate Hina? Maybe some years ago she was able to do it, but now the two of them were so different.
As soon as Sayo arrived at her destination, she met someone who might be able to tell she wasn’t Hina.
“Hello, Shi- Chisato-chan! Today is a boppin' day, right?” said Sayo, trying to imitate Hina.
“Hi, Hina-chan, you’re pretty early,” said Chisato. “Hmm? Did something happen? It’s unusual for you to arrive so early. And you look somewhat different, too” Chisato added.
“W-What do you mean, Chisato-chan? I'm Hikawa Hina, I-I just wanted to try to arrive early. Like Onee-chan! You’re imagining things, hahaha…” Sayo tried her best to imitate Hina.
“Well, you certainly look like Hina, but your behavior is somewhat off…” Chisato was thinking something. “Let’s see… I’ll make you a question that only Hina could answer”
Sayo thought something was odd, why did Chisato think she wasn’t Hina? She wasn’t sure why she needed to answer the question, but it would be weird to try to avoid it.
“O-Okay! I’ll answer anything!”
“What do you think about Sayo-chan?”
It was an easy but hard question. Everyone knew what Hina thought about Sayo, but it was still hard to answer. Chisato was right, only Hina could answer that. It was too embarrassing for Sayo.
“E-Eh, w-well… She’s the best sister in the world! She’s so cool! Onee-chan is very diligent and hard-working! Even if she doesn’t know it, sometimes she can be very nice” Sayo wanted to dig a hole right now.
“I didn’t know you were a narcissist, Sayo-chan.”
What? Why did Chisato call her ‘Sayo’? Did she make a mistake? Maybe her acting was really that bad, but Sayo couldn’t understand what was happening right now.
“I-I think you are wrong, Chisato-chan! I’m Hina, can’t you see it?”
“What do you mean, Sayo-chan? It’s obvious you are Hikawa Sayo”
“Eh? How did you know? Maybe that’s only to be expected from an actress like you” Sayo already looked defeated.
“Oh? That’s what you think about me, Sayo-chan? Thank you, but this time it’s because Hina-chan told me about her idea.”
“Huh? Why would Hina tell you about it?” Sayo looked confused.
“She thought it would be better for you, if I could help you, but I suppose she forgot to tell you. That’s fine though, this way I got to see your interesting performance” Chisato was smiling during the last part.
Sayo was blushing, she felt really embarrassed to have been caught so early.
“You shouldn’t go along with Hina’s antics just because she asks though. If you want, I can come up with an excuse”
“That’s not necessary, Shirasagi-san, I’m already here. As Hina's big sister, I should take responsibility” Sayo was partially lying, as her main goal was to spend more time with Aya.
“Oh? Is that true? Or do you want to spend more time with Aya-chan?” Sayo has a blush on her face. “Well, your acting skills were good enough, so you shouldn’t have issues with that, Sayo-chan”
“Thank you, Shirasagi-san”
Sayo wasn’t sure why Chisato was willing to help her, but she knew Chisato wasn’t a bad person, so she didn’t mind too much.
Little by little, everyone else arrived. The last one there was Aya, the girl Sayo wanted so badly to see.
“Hi! It seems everyone is already here, so we can start rehearsal right now!” Aya looked so excited, happy to be practicing with everyone else.
“Hmm, it looks like Aya-chan is also excited about rehearsal,” Chisato commented.
“Huh? ‘Also’? What do you mean, Chisato-chan?” Aya looked a bit confused.
“It seems that Hina-san arrived 30 minutes early. She must have been so excited about this,” Answered Maya.
“Eh? Really, Hina-chan? Let’s give our best then!” At first Aya was confused, but she quickly got back to her usual behavior.
“Y-Yeah! Let’s give our best, Aya-chan!” Sayo was already happy enough, even though it was a normal interaction.
Once they started playing the first song, Sayo couldn’t look away from Aya. She looked so amazing. It was the first time Sayo could see and listen to Aya singing this close to her, so it was the only thing on her mind. Not focusing on her guitar, she eventually made a mistake.
Everyone was surprised, expecting a mistake from Aya, but not Hina . It was one thing for Hina to play at her own tempo, but forgetting the song was something different.
“Did something happen, Hina-chan? It’s unusual for you to make these mistakes”
“Yeah, it’s usually you who makes them, Aya-san,” Maya commented.
“Maya-chan, please don’t say that…” Aya looked somewhat embarrassed.
“Maybe Hina-san is just so excited about the rehearsal!” Eve commented.
“Hehehe, yeah, it’s just Aya-chan looked so ama-…” Sayo stopped before finishing that sentence. Maybe she was being too honest with her feelings.
“I looked so what?” Aya asked, somewhat expectantly.
“I thought you looked like you were about to make a mistake, hahaha…” Sayo laughed, trying to act like Hina.
“Oh, I see…” Aya looked strangely sad, so Chisato intervened.
“I think she actually wanted to say you looked so amazing, Aya-chan”
“Eh?! Is that true, Hina-chan?!” Aya sounded so happy, Sayo only had one option, to tell the truth.
“Y-Yeah, it’s true… I thought you were amazing, Aya-chan”
They continued with their rehearsal for some time, but now Aya was the one looking at Sayo. When their eyes met, Aya smiled at her, making Sayo blush. Aya was really beautiful, but there was something that seemed odd to her. These smiles were meant for Hina, not Sayo. But she didn’t care about that right now.
Soon enough, a break was needed. Chisato started talking to Aya, but Sayo didn’t know what they were talking about. Then, Sayo heard something.
“I think your videos are kinda sloppy, Aya-chan. For example, the video about that latte, you made a big mistake. You should have shown that latte…” Chisato lectured Aya.
“Well, you see…” Aya looked like she was going to cry.
Sayo obviously knew all about Aya’s videos, they were really cute. She loved them so much, so when she saw Aya was about to cry, Sayo thought she had to say something. It seemed what Hina said made Aya happy.
“But I do think Aya’s videos are really cute, her natural clumsiness makes them really good. She’s working so hard too, so I don’t think there’s anything bad about them!” Sayo was almost shouting.
Everyone looked surprised, they wouldn’t expect this from Hina or from Sayo, so they were stunned for some time. At last, someone reacted, and Aya rushed in to hug Sayo.
“Do you really mean it, Sayo-chan? That makes me so happy, thank you!” Aya couldn't even pretend she was talking to Hina anymore.
Sayo was really surprised. How did Aya know she wasn’t Hina? Did Hina tell her? Or was there something else? Because everyone else didn’t look that surprised.
“W-What do you mean Aya-chan? I’m obviously Hina…” although she was still pretending to be Hina, she didn’t sound like her anymore.
“What are you saying, Sayo-chan? It’s obvious you’re Hikawa Sayo!” Aya was still hugging her.
“Did Hina tell you about this?”
“Uh? Not really, it just was just obvious it was you, Sayo-chan” Aya smiled at her.
“But how did you know?”
Aya blushed, because the answer was really about her feelings, the ones she had hidden away for so long. But she thought maybe it wasn’t necessary to hide her feelings anymore. She didn’t know why Sayo was there, but the way Sayo talked to her gave her hope.
“Because I can recognize the person I love, Sayo-chan. I really love you,” Aya was really red, but at the same time she looked so happy. She was finally able to tell Sayo her true feelings.
Everyone else looked surprised, but it wasn’t because Sayo was there, or Aya’s confession. They already knew all that. No, the reason for their surprise was because apparently Hina didn’t tell Aya about any of this.
They knew about Aya’s feelings for Sayo, they wanted to help their friend, so they made this plan. But for some reason, Hina didn’t tell Aya anything about it.
“Are you serious? You’re not kidding?” Sayo had to be dreaming, because this couldn’t be real.
“Of course I’m serious! Why would I joke about that?” Aya was pouting, but Sayo thought she was still really beautiful. “Maybe with this you would know I’m serious.”
Aya’s lips met Sayo’s. It was a tender kiss that lasted only a few seconds, but it conveyed all Aya’s feelings for Sayo. Even once they pulled away, Sayo still could feel Aya’s affection for her.
“Why?” It was the only thing Sayo could think to say.
“Well, it’s something that happened gradually, at first. When I met Hina, she talked a lot about you. How amazing you were, and so much more. I started looking at you because I was curious, and yeah, you are amazing, hardworking… People think you’re a cold person, but I noticed how kind you are, even if you don’t think you are. After that, I slowly started falling in love with you, Sayo-chan”
Sayo was blushing intensely. She didn’t expect to hear this from Aya, but she was also so happy, because she now knew her feelings were reciprocated.
“I love you too, Maruyama-san” Sayo finally said what she had always wanted to say, and she was sure she wouldn’t be rejected.
For Sayo, it was somewhat different. She fell in love with Aya when she attended a Pastel Palettes live for the first time. She had been there to support her sister, but instead Sayo could only look at Aya. When she saw how amazing Aya was singing, Sayo could feel Aya’s passion in her voice, like the first time she heard Yukina’s singing. But it was also different, because she found she felt love for Aya. After that live, Sayo started watching Aya more closely, falling in love with her even more each day.
“…and that’s the reason I love you, Maruyama-san”
Both were so happy that they shared their feelings. The only thing left was, what were they now? So Sayo asked the question.
“Would you be my girlfriend, Maruyama-san?” Sayo already knew the answer, but she still needed to ask.
“Of course, Sayo-chan!” Aya kissed Sayo once more.
After some minutes, they remembered they hadn’t been alone. But when they looked around, there didn’t seem to be anyone else. They didn’t notice when the others had left, the only thing they could hear was perhaps a faint “Bushido!”.