Notes and Disclaimers: The characters in this story were are the sole property of themselves. I don't know who they are, or where they are or if they slept together, but they were on the train in Tokyo next to me and inspired me to write this story.
If you love Lesbian stories, please visit Yuricon.org, where you'll find Lesbian-themed Japanese animation, comics, t-shirts, gifts, novels, CDs, as well as one of the least suckiest fan communities on the Internet, and Okazu, where I spend a lot of time blogging about Yuri that's worth buying.
Total aside, I wrote this before I'd ever heard of Sasamekikoto, so the family name being the same as Sumika's is entirely coincidence, as you will see.
This story is a Red Lily story, and therefore has some adult content. Reading past the Disclaimers section is a legal affidavit that you are 18 years or older.
I hope you'll write me and let me know if you enjoy this story, because after all this time and all these stories, it still means a lot to me. And thank you for reading!
Hot and Cold
It all started the day...wait...let me back up and start with the basics. My name is Samemura Michiko. Michi-chan to my parents, Mii-chi to my best friend, Kyou, and to everyone else, Sam. It's the kind of nickname you get in school and can't ever shake - too many people know it and use it and even if you start something new, someone gives it away and there you go, all over again. Sam, from Sa-mu, as in SA-me-MU-ra. And because in school I was always cold. It would be 80 degrees out and as soon I walked into the shadow of the school building I'd start to shiver. Everyone else was loosening ties and flapping skirts, and I'd sit there in a sweater. So, Sam from "samui."
It was Ishikawa-kun who gave me the nickname, One morning he came in, tugging at his tie, sweat already visible under his arms and he just looked at me and said, "Sam, you're a freak of nature." And it stuck. By the end of day, you'd have thought they had announced the name change on the school PA.
I graduated school and went right to college. Not the best college, but not the worst. It was a decent enough university - nothing anyone would snicker at, but it wasn't like I had any great career aspirations, either. After two years I realized that I was wasting my time and money and was thinking about leaving anyway when my mother became sick. I dropped out immediately.
Don't worry, it was nothing serious. But my Dad was that old-fashioned kind of guy who could barely tie his shoes, so cooking and cleaning was out of the question - plus, he was a total basket case while Mom was in the hospital. It was easier to just be there for him. And, after a while, I slowly trained him to make his own lunch and straighten up his own stuff. I wondered why Mom never made him do that, so one day, when she was feeling okay, I asked her about it. She just smiled and muttered something about keeping him dependent upon her. I saw her point, but still - I wasn't darning Dad's socks and I wasn't about to iron his ties.
While Mom was in the hospital, I spent a lot of time drawing. Not illustrations - no, these were big canvases of charcoal and paint and pen. If you had to pick one person that most influenced me it would have to be Cy Twombly. I'd sit by Mom's bed, sketching out ideas, telling her the stories behind the pictures, then I'd go home, make dinner and after we cleaned up, I'd go into my room and work on the real thing. My room wasn't big enough to work on canvases the size I wanted, but I found that if I worked on a picture one panel at a time, I could put together something bigger.
I got a part-time job at an art store. Like all the other employees I was there for the discount, blowing most of the salary on supplies, and the store let us "exhibit" our work sometimes. I started putting some money away. After a while I realized that I was saving for art school.
Mom got out of the hospital, went to rehab for a while, and one day I woke up and she was there in the kitchen, making breakfast like nothing had ever been different. I applied to school the next day.
I knew I'd be a bit older than the other first-years. That was okay. I was just glad to be doing something I liked. When I received the acceptance letter, I panicked, but the next morning I was ready to go. I took on more hours at work, stopped pissing the money away on canvases and waited until spring.
There I was, sitting at the opening ceremonies, between a kid who looked way younger than her 18 years and some guy with a vacant stare who had bad acne. I wasn't a hipster, or a punk. My plain slacks and sweater looked positively dumpy in this crowd of posers. I took a deep breath and tried to not be intimidated - or disappointed.
My advisor was a bearded guy a few years older than me. He was clearly going to be too busy to be of any real help to me - and he hated every artist I liked, so I sensed that this was going to be a long year. I think he did too, because the first thing he said that wasn't right out of the handbook was that he had called one of his senior students to be my guide and mentor. In other words - he was dumping me on someone else. Nice.
I was not in a good mood, so when I got the email that my "sempai" wanted to meet me I was inclined to be difficult. But I really didn't think it would be a good idea to blow her off too long, so I agreed to meet her.
I was sitting in the café, when she arrived. I knew it had to be her right away, because everything about her from the porkpie hat and spiky blonde hair to the many facial piercings and studded belt screamed "art school!" She looked about my age. As she approached, with studied boredom written all over her face, I found myself thinking that she was really very cute. I wondered if underneath the cool, she wore teddybear underwear and had hearts on her sheets. Probably not.
"I'm Atsuko. Nakanotani Atsuko. Nice to meet you."
"Atsu...?" I started to laugh, then pulled myself together and managed an introduction. "But you can call me Sam."
"Sam?" Astuko-sempai's right eyebrow rose. "Ah. Got it." Her expression returned to what I guessed was its usual cool expression. "Huh. Funny."
She sat down, we ordered coffee and I asked a few questions about the school. Her answers were moderately uninspiring, but I found myself watching the way she talked, how her mouth moved, how her eyes, only partly visible behind her tinted lenses, barely registered emotion. Her name might be "hot" but her temper was decidedly cool. I decided I wanted to get to know her better.
Atsuko-sempai was a decent enough mentor. She showed me around the school, told me where to get the cheapest drinks, which teachers were the most lenient. No matter how much she told me, I always had more questions, just to spend a few moments more with her.
She was always cool, even cold, to me. I responded by becoming more passionate about things. The irony was not lost on me. Hot and cold, only we were exactly the opposite of our names.
I was going to class, working at my job, but every chance I could, spent with sempai. And every chance I could, I found a reason to touch her.
"Oh!" I said, one day when we were on the train. "Is this new? It's cute!" I flicked a finger at the phone that stuck out of her pants pocket.
"Mmm." She nodded.
"Did you dye your hair again?" I took a lock and curled it around my finger. "It looks great."
"Yeah." She confirmed.
"Please sit, sempai," I said, waving her over to the seat on the train.
"You should be the one to have the seat," I insisted, but she took my hips and pushed me towards it.
I found myself looking up at her. She didn't make eye contact, but stared out the window.
"Another new phone strap?" I pointed. She looked down, then pulled the phone from her pocket, reciting the story behind each strap.
"This one I got from my little brother, this one I got one night in Shibuya..." I didn't care in the least about the phone straps, but if I touched them, then maybe my fingers could brush hers.
We rode a while in silence, me asking her questions every once in a while.
"You know what's weird?" Atsuko-sempai said after a while.
"What?" I asked eagerly.
"My finger," she said. "It's all stiff. Feel this."
She started talking about how she had jammed her finger and how it just wasn't working right. I touched the finger in question lightly, the stroked her skin which, stiff or not, felt pretty good to me.
"Stiff," I agreed, looking up hungrily at her. "Very."
"Yeah," she said, her eyes mostly shielded by her glasses, but I could see she was looking down at me for a second and I worried that my expression was too obvious. What the hell, I said to myself. So what if everyone in a thirty-meter range could see how badly I wanted this woman. Not like it was going to happen anyway.
Sempai was looking back out at the scenery that flashed by.
We were one stop away from where I got off the train.
"Sempai?" I asked suddenly. "Want to go get a drink?"
"Sure," she said without even looking at me. There was a pause, then she pushed her glasses back onto her nose. "I know a good place near where I live."
I knew she lived alone and immediately, I began to overthink the entire situation. "Sounds good," I said, trying to not grin like a moron.
We got off two stops later, switched trains and eventually found ourselves at the station nearest sempai's place. The bar was maybe six blocks away. I had no idea where we were, so I stuck as close as I could to her.
"You okay?" she asked.
"Yeah, why?" I asked back.
"You're shivering." She looked at me, shaking in my winter jacket.
"Samui," I said shortly. With the closest thing to a smile that I'd ever seen on her face, she pulled the scarf from her neck and wrapped it around mine. "It's warm," I said, snuggling my cheek into the soft knit.
"Atsu...ko," she said, then turned quickly and walked towards a small bar on the opposite corner.
Was that a joke? I wondered. In the months we'd been hanging out together, she'd never said anything like that. I went running after her.
We found ourselves a table, and as if we had agreed beforehand, we set about getting very, very drunk. We were two women on a mission. I wasn't sure if it was the same mission, but we were both very determined in our drinking.
Why was that? I don't think I was trying to get her drunk and I'm pretty sure that I didn't need to get drunk to do anything. I guess I was trying to put myself in a position where she might try to do something to me. In any case, we both got right to that space where you feel good drunk and before it started to get sloppy and dangerous.
"You know how to tell when you're drunk, dontcha?" she asked.
"When you start telling people that you're drunk." She finished her beer.
"I'm drunk." I said, finishing mine too.
"Me too." She reached for a cigarette, lit it, sucked in a mouthful of smoke and said, "Want to go to my place?"
"Yes," I answered before I realized that I had spoken.
So we did.
We got there, she put on some coffee, I think more to cover the smell of oil paint and turpentine than for drinking. I sat on a cushion on the floor, looking around, wondering if this was going to get awkward. Sempai came over, sat down on the cushion next to mine and started to kiss me.
Well, I thought, that was easy.
It was drunken sex. We both knew it. It wasn't roses and hearts and love-love forever, but when I was between her legs and she was coming in my mouth, it really didn't matter. I had the opportunity to learn whether a tongue piercing made any appreciable difference - it so does.
We fell asleep sprawled across each other and woke up when the smell of burned coffee made our noses scrunch up.
I looked at sempai's naked body, and thought that the smell of burnt coffee was totally tolerable.
This time the sex was much less drunken.
Which is not to say that it was roses and hearts, etc, etc. when we were done, both of us felt pretty stiff and the room smelled kind of bad - old smoke, sweat, burned coffee.
We used her shower, got dressed and went out to a café for breakfast.
And that was basically it. Sempai's nature, to be cool and standoffish, never changed. I was just as passionate as she wasn't. And sometimes, when everything worked out that way, we had very decent sex together.
It ended the day I graduated. It was a cold day. I was shivering under my winter coat, waiting for the ceremony to begin.
I turned around to see sempai standing there. She had a light jacket on, like it was bright and sunny out, instead of cold and overcast.
We had never used each other's names like that.
"Congratulations." She held out a bag.
I cocked my head. "I thought we agreed on no presents."
She shrugged. "We did. I lied."
I laughed. "Can I?" I gestured at the bag. She nodded, so I opened it. I pulled out her scarf from inside a wad of tissue paper. It smelled like smoke and burned coffee.
"You said it was warm," she said.
I found myself blushing. "Funny thing is, I lied too." I handed her a piece of paper. She unfolded the flier for the gallery where my first professional show was being held. On the paper was a black and white reproduction of one of my works. It was just a series of loose pencils, but if you looked carefully, there were two women in it. Sprawled naked, intertwined.
Hot and Cold, the flier said, A show by upcoming artist Samemura Michiko.
She never came to the show, but that was all right. A few years later I was walking past a shop near my house, which had a series of oil portraits on display. I stopped, shocked to see my own face among them. I went into the shop to ask about it.
"Isn't it great?" The shop owner gushed. "The artist gave me that painting, as long as I hung it in the middle."
"Yeah," I said. "What's it called?
She looked thoughtful a moment then said "Cold? Something like that. Cold, yeah. A funny name, because she doesn't look cold." The expression on her face changed to wonder. "I never noticed that before." She laughed. "Cold, by the artist Hot Girl. Um, Atsuko, is the artist, you see..."
"Yeah," I said, thanking her. "I know." I walked out of the shop and gazed at myself in the window. After a moment I waved, not at myself, but at the artist who surely put it there so I could see it one day.
I've never seen her again. I still get passionate about things easily. And I'm positive that, wherever she is, Atsuko-sempai is still as cool as ever.