Her cheek smarts from the other girl's slap. For a moment, there is a dark and dangerous silence that is unwelcome in the library. She can feel the eyes of the students on her; the pigtailed girl's gaze the worst of all.
It cuts her and Saori finds it difficult to speak. She makes a noise and holds her cheek.
Minako is trembling beside her. Her fists clench and unclench beneath the counter, and she's grinding her teeth. Her mouth is twisted into a frown, but something in Saori knows that Minako is giving her a chance to fight. To stand up for herself.
But Saori is not that strong. So she simply doesn't.
"You stay away from my boyfriend!" the girl spits. "Or you're goin' down!"
Minako slams her hands on the counter, vaulting over it with an ease that makes Saori gasp. That's not really the kind of thing the tennis team trains for, is it?
Minako storms up to the girl and shoves her away; the pigtailed junior stumbles back, squawking with indignation.
"No, Minako, don't," Saori stammers, her voice too soft. The student all gather around in a circle as the pigtailed junior stands up straight and shoves Minako back.
"The hell's your deal, Arisato!" she shrieks. "That slut--"
Minako's fist flies and catches the girl in the mouth. The girl's head snaps back; the students all gasp and Minako pulls her fist back.
"Saori didn't do anything, you dumbass," Minako says, her voice sharp like a knife. "Your boyfriend's the one who--"
The pigtailed junior screeches and lunges at Minako, tackling her to the ground. The students begin to laugh and chant, and Saori has a moment to feel disgust at the glee these teenagers have over this act of violence. The doors to the library burst open after someone outside notices the commotion; a girl in a grey tracksuit with long, black hair and a teacher run in.
Mr. Ekoda, Saori realizes, and a shiver rolls down her spine.
The girl with the long black hair plunges into the crowd while the teacher barks at them to go away; when Saori's view is clear, a tousled Minako is being held back by the girl while the pigtailed junior is collapsed on the ground, mewling in pain.
What a ham, Saori thinks unkindly. She really is terribly roughed up. That pain is fairly genuine, probably.
"Lemme go, Rio!" Minako struggles against the other girl's grip. Her hair is loose from its ponytail, and is wild and tangled from the fight, red eyes practically glowing. Her lower lip is cut and puffy, her blouse open and her necktie crooked. There are scratches on her arms and a chunk of black hair hangs from her closed fist.
(The girl cowering on the floor is in worse shape, but Saori barely looks at her beyond that first glimpse.)
She feels sick. Tears are building against the back of her eyes. The students are quiet again, watching as Ekoda kneels beside the girl.
Minako slumps against Rio's grip, a self satisfied smirk coming to her bleeding lips as Ekoda helps the sniffling girl up.
"Arisato," he grounds between his teeth. "What do you have to say for yourself!?"
Minako licks her lips, gently shrugs off Rio's arms.
"If you or your douche of a boyfriend ever come near Saori-chan again," Minako says in a low, dangerous murmur, holding up the hand with the chunk of hair in it and letting the strands fall slowly to the floor. "I'll rip out more than your hair."
The girl sobs quietly; the students watch in awe. Mr. Ekoda storms over, dragging the beaten girl along, and Minako offers her arm with a nonchalance that disturbs Saori.
"Minako-chan," Saori chokes, rushing from behind the counter. Minako winks at her, and then she is dragged away by the teacher.
The library is silent for a long, long while; Rio walks up to her, massaging her temples, muttering beneath her breath.
"I knew something like this was going to happen," she says dryly. "Minako. Always the hero. She's been talking about how worried about you she's been but...sheesh."
The whispers begin as the students file out.
"Wow, she did that for Hasegawa-san?"
"She's really brave..."
"Hasegawa-san's really lucky...where'd Arisato learn to fight like that anyway?"
Minako is suspended for a week. Saori learns this from her dorm-mate.
"She's such an impulsive idiot," Yukari Takeba says, hands on her hips. "Charging into a fight like that...granted she won but...ugh."
"Don't call her an idiot," Saori whispers as she scans Takeba-san's book. She's shaking. This is the first time she's ever stood up to someone. She wants to falter, for a moment; but this is for Minako. She keeps the mantra in her mind.
"She is, though," Takeba says. But there is a hint of kindness to her voice, and Saori realizes that Takeba means it in an endearing way. "You know," Takeba says, "you should visit her. At the dorm, I mean."
"I think she'd love that." And then Takeba winks, smiles, and leaves the library with a wave.
Saori manages to get the courage to walk to the Iwatodai dorms during lunch. She realizes, perhaps a bit too late, that she's skipping school. It might get her in trouble--severe trouble--but somehow she convinces herself that it's worth it.
When Minako answers the door, then squeals with excitement and throws her arms around Saori's neck, Saori thinks, Definitely worth it.
Minako drags her in, giggling like mad, and pulls Saori onto the couch in the lounge. Saori notes the tub of ice cream on the coffee table, the horrible soap playing on the television, and Minako's attire--white tank top that hugs her torso and bares a bit of her middriff, shorts that ride all the way up to the middle of her thighs, and fuzzy slippers on her feet.
Saori's face turns red, and her summer uniform suddenly feels hot and itchy and obstructive.
"Saori-chan," Minako whispers, like she has a secret.. "What are you doing here!" She giggles again, keeping both hands clasped tightly around Saori's. "Are you skipping school to see me?"
Saori just nods. The girl claps her hands again and tackles Saori in a hug.
"That's so...unlike you," Minako breaths against her ear with glee. "I'm so proud."
Saori swallows, staring dumbly at the scratches on Minako's thighs. Guilt rises and burns her throat like acid. She feels like crying. She feels like slapping Minako.
"Saori-chan?" Minako leans back, arms still looped around her neck. Her face is so close that Saori can see the cut on Minako's lip, the barest mark of a nail wedged between the corner of her eye and her eyebrow.
Saori leans forward and kisses that mark. Minako gasps softly against her throat; her arms slid to grasp Saori's shoulders.
Saori pulls away before Minako can push her away--and squeaks when Minako kisses her.
It's impulsive, reckless. It's so Minako that Saori feels like her heart is being squeezed. She raises her hands and cups Minako's cheeks, holding her there. The need for air makes them part, but Saori keeps her close because wow, she wants to do that again.
Minako laughs against her mouth. "What was," kiss, "that for," kiss.
"For," Saori tries to mumble as Minako's fingers fiddle with the tie around her neck. She can't think of the words to describe her reason, just yet, so she kisses the cut on her lip.
"Thank you," Saori whispers, fingers clutching the back of Minako's tank.
"It was my pleasure," Minako hums and lies back on the couch, pulling Saori along with that red tie, until she's on top of the third year, and it occurs to Saori then that they just might be making out. She thinks for a moment that we're going too fast, we're going too far, since when did I like girls?
Eventually her thoughts settle at, she's so soft... and remains there.
"Why," Saori pauses to ask. Her ribbon is undone, and so are the top buttons of her shirt. "Why did you do that?"
"You're a little overdressed," Minako says slyly, breathlessly, her tank pushed up until it's bunched beneath her breasts.
"Not that," Saori whines, her thumbs drawing circles around Minako's bellybutton. "I mean," she pauses, "why did you fight her?"
Minako blinks, then grabs the back of Saori's head and drags her down for a hard kiss. It softens in the middle, though, and Minako's fingers start threading through her hair with unrestrained tenderness.
"I," Minako stammers when they part. "I hated the way she was talking to you. And when she slapped you, I just," she flushes, the first time Saori has seen her do so, "lost it."
Minako kisses her again, shifting until Saori falls between her legs and lies against her, hip to hip and chest to chest.
"Dunno," the girl whimpers at the contact. "I think I like you."
"You think," Saori manages to laugh, before dipping her head down and licks the cut at Minako's lip. Minako's lips part and she catches her tongue with her own, pulling her into a deeper kiss. Saori gasps against soft heat and Minako arches up with a sharp groan.
Definitely making out, Saori thinks. Her hands slide from Minako's belly to her hips, wind around to pet her thighs. Minako hisses and sighs into the kiss, vocal enough to make Soari's ears burn. Her legs clench around Saori's waist. Her fingers move from her hair to pop open the buttons of Saori's shirt as far as she can with the angle they're given.
Saori manages to pull them both up, hands working on the rest of her shirt as Minako fiddles with the latches of her skirt.
Thank god for summer uniforms, Saori thinks as Minako simply huffs, impatient, and flips the short pleated skirt up. Saori takes this as her cue to start shrugging out of her shirt.
"Wait," Minako pants. "Wait, leave it on."
Saori arches a brow.
"I have a thing for uniforms," Minako admits, biting her lower lip. "It's bad, Saori-chan. It's so bad."
"I'm not complaining," Saori says simply, and surprises herself by tugging off Minako's tank top. Then it's her that pushes Minako down to the sofa, and it's her that kisses her hard and deep.
Even in this, it's Minako that gives her strength. A wave of tenderness has her peppering kisses all along Minako's face, to her jawline. You are the most important person to me, she thinks when her lips slide against her friend's throat. You make me a better person. You make me feel so...
"Ah," Minako breathes, shaking. "S-Saori..."
There is no honorific that follows, and a rush of heat to her gut makes her bold. She nips at the spot where Minako's pulse throbs against her skin, licks a trail up to her ear and tugs the lobe into her mouth. She honestly has no idea what she's doing. She has only her aunt's novels and the whispers she tries not to hear to go on.
Minako pants and writhes beneath her, so Saori thinks that she's doing something right, at least.
The girl beneath her grunts, reaching around Saori's back to fumble with the clasp of her bra. "N-not...fair. You're a jerk."
The clasp comes undone, and the white bra is thrown away after some time messing with it and her sleeves. Saori sits up, curiously aware of her bared chest.
She thinks about crossing her arms, hiding herself; but she's making a stand, dammit. So she dips her fingers under the waistband of Minako's shorts and waits.
Those red eyes are glazed and clouded and practically glued to her sternum. A hungry swipe of her tongue over her lips makes Saori gasp a little, then giggle nervously. It's nice to have someone looking at her like that. Scary, a little, but it's nice. She's never felt more wanted, appreciated.
Minako looks her in the eyes, grins, and in a flash Saori finds herself on her back at the other end of the couch, Minako straddling the top of her thighs and already tossing her own bra (a bright pink one) away.
"This is like," Minako starts, then purses her pink, kiss-bruised lips in thought. Saori can almost see a lightbulb flash over her head as she snaps her fingers.
"This is like that party-feast-thing Shinji threw for us! So much food, I didn't know where to start."
Saori bursts into laughter, because count on Minako to compare something like this to a meal. She'd be a little more worried about the choice of metaphors, but Minako loves food and company more than anything, so Saori feels a little honored.
"Sa-o-riiii, stop laughing," Minako whines, falling on top of her and pouting. Saori's laugh catches in her throat at the feeling of skin on skin.
"It's just," Saori says, breathless. "I'm hardly a feast, Minako-chan."
Minako's lips curve. "That's dumb! You're dumb. You're great, gosh."
Saori turns her face away, grinning, but embarrassed.
"Guess I'll just tackle this the same way," the girl says just a bit too cheerfully. "Appetizer first!"
She captures Saori's lips, nibbling on the bottom and lapping softly at the top, until Saori can't help but part them for her tongue. Minako is ruthless in kissing, taking her breath away. She can feel Minako's fingers at her skirt, successfully catching the clasp and zipper this time, and simply raises her hips when it gets pulled off.
"Mmm," Saori hums when Minako kisses down her chin. "What next?"
"Main course, duh."
She grazes her teeth along the swell of one breast, kisses to the nipple. Circles the hard bud with her tongue, until she simply envelopes it her mouth and suckles. Saori cries, "Ah," and her hands bury themselves in the wilds curls of Minako's hair, softly tugging at her scalp. She's glad the girl doesn't have her customary clips in; as pretty as Minako's hair is when it's up, Saori like the feeling of it down and tangled around her fingers.
Minako pays the same attention to the other breast, the slowly kisses a path down to her navel. She nibbles at her belly button, tongues it; then makes Saori shriek with laughter as she blows a raspberry on the smooth plane of her stomach.
Saori is still catching her breath when Minako takes hold of her knees, gently spreading her legs. She takes a breath as fingers move over the soaked (soaked? My, that's embarrassing.) cotton of her underwear. When Minako pulls them down her thighs, they stick for a moment against her for a second and make her shudder. Minako's thunderstruck look isn't helping the fever and cotton in her head.
"Wow," Minako breathes, staring at the wetness there. "For me?"
Saori nods, biting at the knuckle of her thumb in lieu of something to say. Minako looks her right in the eye, her face serious, her eyes glimmering.
"Best dessert ever," Minako says with a completely straight face.
And Saori should laugh, she wants to laugh, but she only whispers, "Please..." and leans her head back.
Minako doesn't do anything for a moment, but then she swipes one finger down the slickness of her core and Saori arches up with a cry. She pries open her eyes and sees Minako lick her finger curiously. It's almost something a child would do with a cake, and now Saori does laugh; strained and nervous.
"W-well?" she asks.
Minako licks the finger clean. Grins in a way that sends a new wave of heat down her spine to settle in the spot between her legs. She doesn't say a word; just bends her head and swipes her tongue over the Saori.
They both moan, though Saori's is strangled, and then her world narrows down to one central thing; her mouth. The way her tongue probes at her clit, the way those fingers spread her open, the teeth that nibble against her inner thighs and the slick, wet noises that follow. It's nearly too much for her to handle.
As if from a great distance, she can feel the swipe of characters painted against her clit. Her body clenches when she realizes that it's Minako's name.
In what seems like too short and too long, her hips rise up and she yelps out white noise as she comes. Minako soldiers through, cleaning up the mess and pushing Saori towards a second time.
"Don't," Saori gasps. "Oh, don't, I can't--Minako!"
When Minako decides to listen, Saori is boneless in the best of ways, her body pulsing, panting hard. Sweat is a blanket over her body, causing her hair to stick to her forehead in messy patches and her uniform shirt to cling to her like a second skin. Every now and then an aftershock will rock her, making her hips rise against nothing, but it seems like twice is her limit.
Minako rises from her spot with a gleam in her eyes like she's won a battle, wiping her mouth on the back of her hand. It's a little crass, but Minako has never been ladylike and she's never deigned to pretend, and Saori is even more endeared.
"I'm a little greedy," Minako says after smacking her lips. "I had to go back for seconds." She smirks, and traces a little heart on Saori's quivering thigh. "Can I have thirds?"
"N-no," Saori moans, defeated. "I don't think I can h-handle thirds." She pauses to catch her breath, then adds, "At least not...at the moment? Give me a bit."
"Mmhm! Take your time, I'm in no rush--"
Minako's phone shrieks, and the brunette swears, scrambles over Saori's body to grab it. She straddles the older girl's hips as she puts the phone to her ear.
"Haha, hey Mitsuru-senpai! What? No, I haven't left the dorm. No hello? I thought I was your favorite--kidding, just kidding senpai..."
Saori sits up and licks Minako's collarbone, tasting sweat. Minako takes a deep breath through her nose, but doesn't push Saori away. Excitment thrills through her. You probably shouldn't, Saori's rational mind argues. I definitely should, Saori thinks back. Minako's voice cracks and goes up in pitch at the soft suction of her mouth.
"What the wha? No, there's nobody here, senpai. I'm a good girl! I definitely wouldn't sneak anyone here while I'm punished--" Saori bites, hard enough to bruise. "Whoa mama-- nothing! Just--" Minako closes her eyes as Saori kisses the wound better. "E-exercising! Gettin' super into it."
There is a woman's voice, sharp and direct, but Saori can't make out her words. She doesn't care to, not really, when she can be busy undoing the button of Minako's tiny shorts and sneaking her hands inside.
"Hoooohmygod fuck yeah. What? The--the, that was--" Minako is a terrible liar. "Oh, um--I watch the shopping channel while I exercise. They were showin' this...chicken frying, thing. I love chicken. Also makes--fuck, what is it. Tempura! Heck yeah, a-and stuff--"
She dips her hand into Minako's underwear, stifling a gasp because her fingers are instantly slick and coated in heat, wetness. Minako's breathless for me? from earlier makes so much more sense now. Minako's thighs tremble around her hips and hand and Saori feels proud.
"Soooo yeah you and the gang have fun at your cl-clubs, and stuff. I'll be here, doing my homework--" Soari slides a finger through her, not intending to go in anywhere, just feeling her out and absorbing it. "Fucking shit dicks, you know what? I'll talk to you later sorry senpai please don't kill me!" Minako ends the call and drops her phone to the ground, grinding down on Saori's hand.
"Not...cool," she hisses. "That was...Mit--"
"I don't care who it was," Saori says. It shocks her, it shocks Minako, but Saori won't take it back. "That was fun."
Minako pants, rocks her hips, closes her eyes. "God, yes, yes, oh yes."
"I didn't know it was that fun."
She slides two fingers in on impulse when Minako opens her mouth to call her a jerk, presses the pad of her thumb against the other girl's clit. She's glad it doesn't take long, because the angle isn't great and her hand is already cramping before Minako cries out her name and clings to her like a lifeline. She shakes in Saori's embrace, and makes a really interesting sound when Saori laps her fingers clean.
"God," Minako says. "I should beat up people more often." She kisses Saori, and adds, "You'll give me a hero complex if you keep rewarding my bad behavior."
Saori only says, "Don't beat people up for sex, Minako, that's unnecessary." And then hugs her. "What time is it?"
Minako reaches for her phone. Winces at the angry text from a Marin FUCKING Karin-senpai that says Execution in your future, Arisato. They both look at the time--two o clock--and Saori hums.
"Is that really the time? It feels like I've been here for hours."
Minako gives her a grin and Saori knows that she certainly will be here for a few hours. But they don't spend the entire time wrapped up in each other, for which Saori's body is grateful. They spend the rest of the afternoon in too-big t-shirts and shorts, while Minako puts their things to wash. They eat half-melted ice cream while they watch a cheesy romance movie. They kiss every so often when then music is soft and sweet, laugh when the lines are just that bad.
Eventually, Minako pulls her up to her room and gets her third helping. Saori's only regret is that she has a glutton for a girlfriend now.
When it's six in the evening, Saori fixes her hair and readjusts her uniform. She looks just as clean as when she first arrived at the Iwatodai dorm. She might get in trouble for skipping school. Saori finds that she doesn't care, really, because it's worth it.
"We should do this more often," Minako says, kissing her as she moves to the front door. She grins, letting Saori know that she doesn't just mean hanging out. "Maybe in the library after I get back?"
"Minako-chan!" Saori says, lightly scolding, hitting her shoulder.
"Under the counter..." Minako purrs. Her eyebrows bounce; it's charming despite her growing fluster.
"In the restricted section, even." Minako hugs her from behind, breathing into her ear. "Wouldn't that be...exciting?"
"You're terrible," Saori says, and kisses her anyway. "I'll be back after school, tomorrow."
Minako sighs and pouts. "I guess that's okay. I'll miss you."
Saori smiles warmly. "I'll miss you too."
That night, as she's walking home, a reporter walks up to her. Offers 4,000 yen in exchange for a photograph.
She's suspicious, but she thinks of Minako. Of how she became Saori the Bold instead of Saori the Doormat.
So she lets him take the picture.
She ends up suspended for it.