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Tulip (Charisma)

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 “Non non, c’est ci la dans tout bien.”

Mais porquoi, Mademoiselle Mika, oui, la gare est beaucoup.

Shiki and Frederica know about as much French as she does, but that doesn’t stop them speaking it to her. Normally Mika would be charmed – god knows, the adventures the three of them have had together are something she knows she’ll never forget for the rest of her life - but somehow half an hour of made-up French wasn’t exactly what she was expecting when they invited her over to Frederica’s place.

I only speak Japanese.”

“Really? I don’t believe that.”

“Boooo~ C’mon, Mika! You know at least a bit of French, right?”

Okay, yeah, that was a lie. She knows one phrase, one phrase only, and remembering it brings a wicked grin to her face, leaning in towards the other two – and they lean right back, looking every bit as conspiratorial as her. It takes every ounce of Mika’s being not to laugh when she says it.

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?”

Frederica looks at her blankly, and Shiki seems to be trying to desperately think what it could mean.

...Elle est trop avec les miserables?

“What, do I have to be the one teaching you guys French?”

It takes a moment, but Shiki finally remembers, and a cat-like grin spreads over her face, pouncing on Mika.

“Nyahaha~ Mika, you’re aaaawful.”

Shiki doesn’t waste a moment longer to press her lips against Mika’s. The best way to teach someone like Frederica, after all, is through example.


“Shut up.”


Rin’s hand is around her wrist, and Mika guesses the younger girl would be looming over her if her heels weren’t boosting her up a few inches. As it is, Rin has to look up at her, and Mika likes that. Does that make her bad? Well, yeah, probably, but she realised that about herself that a long time ago.

“Make—“

“If you say ‘make me’, I’ll actually hit you.”

“Aight, then I won’t.”

But even still, Rin brings out the absolute worst in her, Mika feels. Teasing her about Uzuki is definitely bad, for example. Teasing her about her still not even having the confidence to confess to Uzuki. Teasing her about whatever she’ll do if Uzuki ever puts out a gravure book, and how many copies she’ll buy.

That hand is really digging into her wrist, now, and she hasn’t even said that last thing yet. She’s almost kind of scared of what’ll happen if she does, honestly.

“…Say something.”

“You wanted me to shut up.”

So needy. Mika sighs – affectionately -   before opening her mouth one more time.

“Rin, if you’re gonna be like that, I’ll shut you up instead.”

Never once has Rin stopped her from kissing her, and this time isn’t an exception.


 

“You’re gorgeous, and I can’t see myself sharing a bed with anyone as pretty as you ever again.”

Asuka’s response to her proposition is amusing, flattering, and painfully self-aware, and it’s the last bit that really gets to Mika.

“Ha. Thanks.”

She wouldn’t call herself a predator, but she tends to have, you know, types. Either awkward girls on the cusp of self-realisation, and Mika just has to give them that little push, that little helping hand to get them through; or women with as much self-confidence, charm and disinterest in anything other than what’s happening right now as she has. Like, she’d assumed Asuka was the former – “toooootally an awkward scene kid”, whatever that was, according to Shiki – and, yeah, it definitely seemed that way, but—

“Ravish me, Mika.”

Mika laughs out loud, the ugliest laugh she has ever let herself have, and even as she staggers back a little, almost ready to fall over, Asuka’s face doesn’t show the slightest annoyance. Kind of amazing, even if Mika has even less idea what to make of the girl now.

“Okay, okay. Sure—“

She wheezes.

“Sure, just… okay.”

Finally back on her feet, Mika walks a little closer, a hand on Asuka’s face, and Asuka at least responds to that, nuzzling against her palm as if it were the softest thing in the world.

“Is this your first kiss?”

“I don’t exactly mind if your lips are my gateway to sin, if that’s what you’re asking.”

At least if she hurries up and kisses Asuka, Mika realises, she won’t burst out laughing again.


“I soooo can’t even hear what you’re saying!”

If Mika could hear Yui, she’d tell her the feeling was mutual – but the overwhelming, earth-shaking, thump of the bass drowns out any chance of that. And, even with that barrier between them, somehow Mika can’t help but think that right now the two of them are linked, more than ever, sharing in this whole experience.

“I think I love you, Yui!”

They don’t need words. The music takes over, any hint of shame or reserve or anything else other than being true to themselves lost in the anonymity of the writhing, jumping, unified crowd. It’s a dumb thing to think, but Mika almost hopes her music can bring other people together like this, kinda. Just being with Yui puts these positive, ridiculously happy thoughts in her head.

“Haha! Sure! Me too!”

There’s always this element of secrecy to what she does, but right now, amongst all these people, she and Yui could be anyone. No-one’s going to  point out what two random girls at a music festival are doing – god, Mika somehow feels happy that someone else is taking the spotlight from her, but she’s not looking at the superstar DJ on stage. She can’t take her eyes off Yui, the girl shining as bright as the sun.

“Yui!”

She screams so hard that her precious idol throat feels like it’s going to crack.

“Yeah?”

It reaches the other girl, and with Yui’s eyes on her and her alone, Mika kisses her like the world’s going to end tonight.


There’s no words between them.

Natsuki has one hand more or less gripping her hair, another on her shoulder, and is pinning her to the wall, and – wow, yeah, this works for Mika.

All it took was some simple comments about how she thought she might have seen Natsuki around Nichoume, a discussion of that one place that serves really good burritos and a dumb anecdote about spotting some aging gay celebrities, and Natsuki apparently picked up on exactly on what Mika was getting at.

Still, the rock star’s not moving in for the kill, not yet. Maybe they should hurry up – even at night, there’s only so long you can trust any given room in the 346 estate to be completely yours, and Mika’s learned this a couple of times by now – but letting Natsuki toy with her like this has its charms. She turns Mika’s face a little, like she’s inspecting the Charisma Idol for flaws, and the sheer cheek of the action would normally kind of piss Mika off—

But from Natsuki, she kind of accepts it.

“We could do it right here.”

“We could.”

They could, and it would be a terrible idea – and Mika’s very aware they both know that, and that’s exactly why Natsuki suggested it.

“Just so we’re clear, once I start, I don’t stop.”

“Do you see me complaining?”

“Didn’t think so.”

And, just like Mika expected (and hoped), Natsuki is just as good with her tongue as she is with her fingers.


“Morning, Mika.”

Syuko’s voice wakes her up, Mika pulling herself out from under warm hotel bedsheets with a groan. There’s definitely worse things to have her sleep disturbed by than that, of course – and Syuko in a dressing gown and probably not much else sweetens the blow, too.

“Morning.”

“Slept well?”

“’course I did.”

They exchange a smile, and Mika almost wonders if Syuko is the most normal person she knows.

--okay, most normal person she does this with. There’s a difference, she guesses.

“Here you go. Breakfast.”

Ruffling her hair, Syuko puts the cup of green tea and a cereal bar (Syuko always takes advantage of the minibar, and Mika happily foots the bill) down on the bedside table, right next to a pair of panties. Probably Mika’s, but she’s still too bleary to figure out who they belong to right now.

“Mmm. Thanks. I’ll let it cool.”

And with that, Mika settles down again with a lazy grin, sinking into the bed.

“No you don’t. We’ve got to be out of here by ten.”

Oh, right, it’s this hotel, she remembers now.  Why does it have the nicest beds if they expect you to get out earlier than everywhere else?

“We can get an extension.”

Syuko raises an eyebrow, leaning in, clearly incredulous at the idea.

“…I’ll pay? Look, just get back in bed~”

This doesn’t seem to help matters, as Syuko picks up the mystery undergarment and starts shaking it in front of her her face, pink lips mere centimetres from Mika’s ear. The voice makes her want to move, in as much as, more than anything, it makes her want to drag Syuko right back under the covers with her.

“Come on, lazybones. Do you need me to dress you? I’ve got your underwear right here.”

“I’ll get up if you kiss me.”

“Chu-chu-chu-tul—“

“Oh my god, Syuko.”

Apparently the ‘joke’ is awful enough to wake her up, eyes adjusting to the light enough seeing Syuko’s small mouth curled up in a satisfied smile – and Syuko seems very happy to do what Mika asks.


“So, do you have a favourite?”

Kanade, for once, doesn’t look teasing. She seems completely and genuinely curious for Mika’s answer.

“If I do, why should I tell you?”

Oh, right, because she’s currently handcuffed to an office chair, Kanade idly playing with the key. It’s not the first time she’s been put in cuffs, but these ones aren’t even fuzzy.

Mika’s decided that Kanade is, in fact, kind of scary.

“No reason, I suppose.”

“You suppose right!”

“In fact, I’m pretty sure you could explain your way out of this even if someone walked in on you.”

Is she actually going out with Fumika, like Shiki insists and Arisu vehemently denies? Mika has no idea how the poor girl can endure this if it is true, but… okay, maybe she can see the appeal. Still, she has no intention of getting interrogated about her love life at nine on a Monday morning.

“Yeah. Bet I could.”

“How boring. You’re a tough one to crack, Jougasaki.”

Kanade leans in with an expression Mika can only describe as knowingly smug, edging closer and closer to her face, and for the first time in a while, Mika feels like blushing; until Kanade drops the key into her fellow idol’s lap, pulls away, and wordlessly walks out of the room. Mika is pretty sure she’s shaking her hips a little more than normal, but right now she’s more preoccupied with freeing herself from the handcuffs—and then, trying to pretend this never happened, she awkwardly shoves as much of them as she can into the pocket of her cutoffs.

Okay, look, she can’t choose a favourite until she has a chance to make out with Kanade.