Notes and Disclaimers: The characters in this story were ripped untimely from the womb of Barasui, Dengeki Comics and Mediaworks.
I want to thank the doujinshi circle who created the "Mashimaro at 15" series, for being the first Japanese group I'd ever seen that got the relationship that seemed most obvious to me. lol Also dedicated to Sean who, by dragging his feet about his own Ichigo Mashimaro fanfic for so long, helped spawn this one. :-)
For more Yuri fanfic that doesn't suck, please visit the Fanfic Revolution, and for more Yuri full stop, please visit Yuricon.org, where you'll find Yuri anime, manga, t-shirts, gifts, novels, CDs, as well as one of the least suckiest fan communities on the Internet.
As always, if you enjoy any of my stories, I hope you'll write me and let me know, because after all this time and all these stories, it still means a lot to me. ;-)
In any case - enjoy the story.
Chika stepped up into the hall with a quiet, "I'm home."
She knew there would be no response. It was too early for her sister to have come home and her parents were off on the first vacation away that they had taken in...well, ever. She walked along the dark hallway, pausing at the bottom of the stairs, trying to decide whether she wanted food or a bath first. Neither appealed much. It had been a long day.
First, there had been the oral presentation.
Chika wasn't particularly fond of presenting papers orally, but she wasn't particularly afraid of doing so, either. Not like Matsuri-chan, who quaked with terror at the thought of standing up in front of a group of people. She just thought that the content ought to speak for itself but, when they presented them orally, so often the class members would get caught up in something small and stupid and beat it to death until one wanted to scream.
Which was exactly what had happened today.
Suzuki-san had started with, "You should try to present without making those little hand gestures - it looks like you have no confidence." And then they were off. Not a single person had anything to say about the substance of her presentation, but her clothing, her body language, even the position of her feet, had been subject to a torrent of meaningless correction. Chika sighed, wondering if it was worth it taking a grad-level class anyway.
Without making a conscious decision, Chika found herself in the kitchen making tea. Good enough, she thought.
And then there had been work. One of the microwaves was broken, so of course every single person that had come through the doors of the convenience store had wanted their nikuman, pasta, bentou or roll warmed up. The line was long when she arrived, and by the time she left, it hadn't gotten any shorter.
Sighing again, Chika stood there with the teacup, took a sip, then poured it slowly down the drain. She had forgotten to pick up sugar. Heavily, she turned towards the stairs, and walked up towards her room. Maybe she would just go straight to bed.
Just as she reached the door, something made her stop. She didn't know what it was. There was no noise, no light, nothing out of the ordinary. But something felt...off. The door to her room was closed, as she had left it this morning. She listened for a little while, wondering if she should bolt downstairs and call the police. Nothing. It was just her overactive imagination.
Taking the door handle in her hand, she slid it open, and stepped in. Then stopped, her feet riveted to the ground.
The person in her room greeted her, just as the recognition that there was someone in the room caught up with her. Chika stopped screaming when her frontal lobe kicked in and she recognized the voice. Immediately, she screamed again.
"Miu! What the hell are you doing, sitting in my room in the dark? What the hell are you doing in my room? What the HELL?"
"Sorry, sorry," Miu appeased her. "I was waiting for you. That's all."
Chika slapped the light switch to "On" and continued her tirade. "In the dark?"
"I didn't want to scare you." Miu was, as always, freakishly calm about her trespass. "If you had seen a light, you would have called the cops, right?"
"Idiot!" Chika spit. "I should call the cops anyw..." Now that the light was on, she could see Miu, and what she saw made her stop mid-word. "Did something happen?" she asked, taking in the blotchy redness around Miu's eyes. "Are you okay?"
Miu looked up at Chika, the honesty in her eyes unbearable - and completely untrustworthy. Chika braced for some hideous, ridiculous lie.
"I heard back today. Got the letter." Miu's voice was the same as always, but there was an unusual heaviness in the words.
"Letter? You mean..." Chika bit off the sentence. "From America?"
Miu nodded, drawing her knees up to her chin and wrapping her arms around them.
"Oh." Anger drained out of Chika, along with all the tense energy she had built up. She took off her coat, hung it up, dropped her purse and bag on the desk and pulled out the chair. When at last she sat, she suddenly felt bone tired.
Miu had applied to grad school. In America. Behavioral Science, she had said, smiling, like that wasn't the biggest freaking joke in the known universe.
"And?" Chika managed, at last.
"I've been accepted."
"Oh." Chika wasn't nearly as happy about that as she thought she ought to be. After all - yay for Miu! But somehow it was all she could do to say, "Congratulations." And then she thought that she ought to try a little harder and said, "I'm very happy for you!" but she knew, the moment the words came out of her mouth that she didn't sound happy.
After a moment, she looked up, because Miu had been totally quiet. That alone was troubling. But then she saw what looked suspiciously like the beginning of tears and immediately regretted her lack of enthusiasm.
"I mean it - I'm really happy for you, Miu! That's...well, that's great, right!"
Miu nodded, touching a cuff to the corner of her eye, like she was scratching, but really was wiping away a tear. "Yes, it's great." She said, unconvincingly.
"Aren't you happy?" Now Chika was worried. This reaction was totally unlike Miu.
"Mm." Miu shook her head back and forth. "I mean, I am, but." She appeared to be considering something. "But..." She looked up at Chika. "I...." she hmphed, sliding herself forward on the bed, until she sat on the edge. She reached out and took Chika's hand in hers.
"Chi-chan. We've known each other forever, right? There's something I've wanted to say for a long time. I tried a few times, but." Miu stalled out, her face becoming unusually red.
Chika knew. Immediately. It wasn't like she hadn't known for a long time. Looking back on it - a really long time. But neither of them had ever said anything, for a lot of reasons. Mostly, she thought, because you just don't. It's not done. And when were they going to have had this discussion anyway, with Ana-chan and Matsuri-chan and 'Nee-san always sitting here, in their way.
Miu was holding both her hands now. And her hands, which had been cold from being outside, were now sweating.
"I like you." Miu's eyes were red again.
Chika swallowed hard, trying to not tear up at the red blotches on Miu's skin. "I know."
Miu's grip tightened. "And you? Do you like me?"
"Miu...I. We're...." she sighed. She wasn't good at this stuff. The last time a guy asked her out, she had burst out in giggles, effectively driving him away. She didn't meant to laugh at him, it was just that when she thought of kissing him, she started to giggle.
Kissing. Chika found herself thinking about kissing Miu. No giggles erupted. She moved her shoulders up and down, trying to release the tension in her back. Miu was watching her calmly, waiting for her response. Calmly, but her grip was vise-like, crippling Chika's hands.
"Miu...." Chika said, then closed her eyes and moved forward quickly before she could second-guess herself. Their lips connected, just a little off-center. Chika adjusted, her eyes screwed closed, wondering what the HELL she was doing.
The kiss felt like most drama kisses looked. It was sweet, but a little disappointing. Chika moved away, opened her eyes and said, "Yes."
The look on Miu's face was not what she had expected. It was a look of such amazement, that Chika wished she had a camera. After a moment, Miu stopped looking surprised. Then, she smiled. It wasn't a sweet but slightly disappointed smile. It was that "aha - got you" smile that Chika had experienced many thousands of times. And as her heart sank at having been tricked, again, Chika found herself caught up in an embrace which could only be called "sizzling."
The next kiss was not sweet. It was most definitely not disappointing. Miu knew how to kiss, Chika had to admit, as her breathing became labored and her body burst into flame. Oh my god, did she know how to kiss.
When Miu finally released her, and Chika had sunk back into her desk chair, her skin on fire, her breaths coming in great heaving gasps, and every single hair on her body standing on end, she thought to herself, ah, give it up Chika. You lose. Stop fighting it.
"Give up, Chika." Miu was standing over her, her expression full of hunger. "You've lost. Just give up." She leaned down, putting her mouth near Chika's ear. "Say 'I surrender.'"
Chika licked dry lips, her heart pounding in her chest. "What if I won't?"
"Nothing." Miu said, standing up and taking a step back, looking as confident and self-assured as she always did. "I'll go back home."
Chika shot out of her chair at that. "Don't." She found that she had stretched out an arm, and was holding Miu's sleeve.
"Then say it." Miu moved towards Chika, slipping an arm around her waist.
Chika looked into Miu's eyes, but said nothing.
"Say it." Miu was moving forward, her lips only inches from Chika's. The tension was physically painful. Miu's lips hovered over hers. Her voice was soft, lowered, insinuating, triumphant. "Say it."
"I surrender." Chika said, reaching to pull herself closer to Miu as they kissed.
Chika was half surprised and half not, to find that Miu was an amazing lover. It was almost expected, but at the same time really kind of weird. To her knowledge, Miu had never gone out with a single person. Chika refused to think about the obvious reason for that. But now that they were in bed together, Chika couldn't help but wonder if she had just missed some other obvious, and Miu had. Then Miu moved her hands, and Chika really wasn't thinking about that anymore.
Chika wasn't as confident as Miu, but she was pretty sure she could figure it all out. She knew where Miu was sensitive, after all, they *had* been friends forever. And she just sort of guessed at some of the other stuff. What was the most surprising to her was how good she felt when she made Miu feel good. And when she asked about it, Miu admitted that it was true for her, as well.
"Oh my god, Miu. Are we in love?" Chika sat up suddenly from where they lay naked, side by side, snuggling under the blanket.
"Yes. Why do you ask now all of a sudden?" Miu looked as if she'd like to smoke, only she didn't smoke.
"Because you're going to be leaving!" Tears suddenly welled up, and Chika found it hard to talk. "When are you going?"
"Going?" Miu sat up, laying her head on Chika's back.
"To grad school?" Chika whispered. "In America?"
Miu sat up again. Innocently, she looked into Chika's eyes. "All I said was that I was accepted. I'm not going."
"You're...not..." Chika saw red. "You did it to me again! I can't believe I fell for your crap. What the hell is wrong with you, lying to me this way?" She picked up a pillow and started to pound Miu with it.
Warding off the pillow with crossed arms, Miu aid, "I didn't lie! I said that there was something I wanted to tell you...that was the truth."
"But you made me think you were leaving!" Chika stopped slapping her with the pillow, her face red with anger. Before she could do anything else, she found herself pushed back by Miu, who hovered over her menacingly, holding her down with both arms.
"I did not. You chose to interpret what I said that way."
"You were crying." Chika protested, trying to not notice that Miu and she were still naked.
"I was scared, you moron. I got the letter and was scared."
"So I came over here to see if I was making it all up in my head. I had to be sure."
"If you rejected me, I was going to go. If not...I'm staying."
"And if you don't stop saying 'oh' I'm going to kiss you again."
Chika looked up at Miu, who had that "got you" smile on her face again. Innocently, she looked up at Miu, her mouth moving very slowly. "O..."
She never got to the 'h.'.