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“Hikaru, what do you think about—KYAA!!”

Aya’s face turned peach red, and so did Hikaru’s.

Hikaru was standing in only her panties, her body rigid and her breasts exposed.

Wait… This makes me seem like a pervert now… Hikaru thought to herself. I-I didn’t really think this through… What if she doesn’t do anything? How am I going to explain why I’m half naked?!

“Erm…” Hikaru started, but nothing else came out of her mouth.

She watched Aya quietly, who was staring at her with a gaping jaw and dressed in the faded blue jeans and discount t-shirt that Hikaru had picked for her.

“Wh-why… why are you naked?!”

Aya extended a trembling hand, pointing at Hikaru’s chest.

Well… I might as well go all the way if I’m this far… Hikaru thought, grimacing at Aya’s finger.

“I-I wanted to ask you how you think I-I look…” Hikaru said, cringing at the words that were stumbling out of her mouth. “Y-your body is so good, Aya… w-what do you think a-about mine…?”

Hikaru squeezed her eyes shut, then spun around in a circle slowly with her hands held by her sides.

Aya opened and closed her mouth in disbelief, then wiped the drool that she realised was trickling down the corner of her lips.

“Y-you look… really good…” Aya trailed off.

“Really…?” Hikaru said, then paused, facing Aya with a bright blush. “D-do you want t-to… touch me…?”

Aya blinked.

Did I hear the right thing…? Aya thought. Did she just…?

NO! Aya shook her head sharply, looking away. Something is clearly not right here! Hikaru isn’t acting like herself at all! This is not normal!!

“H-Hikaru… a-are you okay…?” Aya twitched her lips into a weak smile, then turned her head back to Hikaru. I-I must control myself…

“Wh-what do you mean?” Hikaru said rapidly. “I-I’m fine, Aya.”

“Y-you’re not acting like your usual self…”

“Ugh…” Hikaru glanced sideways, trying to think up of something.

Should I keep pushing it? Hikaru was thinking. She doesn’t seem to be taking the bait… And this is really embarrassing…

About to give up, Hikaru glanced back at Aya, opening her mouth to apologise for her strange behaviour. She stopped when she caught Aya staring fixedly at her chest, who then quickly looked back up at her upon being caught.

Just then… she was looking at my… Hikaru left her mouth slightly hanging open for a moment, then she closed it with a determined expression. I-I’m going to keep pushing it…

“…A-are you sure you don’t want to touch me…?” Hikaru said, edging forward to Aya.

Aya shuffled backwards nervously, trying her best to keep her eyes on Hikaru’s face and not down at her body.

“Wh-what do you mean, ‘touch you’…? This isn’t like you, Hikaru…”

“W-we can have a tickle fight… just like before…” Hikaru said, taking another step closer.

Aya bumped into the bedside shelf next to Hikaru’s bed, having no more space to move back.

“Hikaru…” Aya breathed, staring into her eyes.

Hikaru shifted closer until she was a step away from Aya’s body. She was also breathing heavily, feeling nervous from the tense atmosphere inside the room.

“Y-you want to touch me right…?” Hikaru spoke in a softer tone.

“I…”

Hikaru leaned into Aya, her face getting closer to Aya’s, and their bodies almost touching.

At that moment, Aya pushed Hikaru off her, causing her to stumble backwards.

“Ack!” Hikaru regained her balance then stared at Aya. “S-sorry, Aya… I didn’t mean to…”

Aya swiped the pieces of her school uniform off the ground hurriedly, then headed to the door with shaky legs. She glanced back at Hikaru, biting her lips.

“…Y-you’re horrible, Hikaru…” Aya said, “…you knew what you were doing…”

“I… I just…” Hikaru stuttered, glancing at Aya over by the door, but Aya turned and left, closing the door behind her.

Hikaru let out her breath, gazing at the door.

“…I just wanted to know how you feel about me…”

She sighed, then slipped back into her shirt that she had took off. She walked out of the room, just in time to see the apartment door close, with Aya’s back disappearing from sight.

“Did something happened? Aya-chan said she had to go so suddenly…” Haruka said, stepping out from the kitchen wearing a pink apron over her clothes. “I thought she would had stayed for dinner.”

“No, mum… she’s not staying…” Hikaru replied dejectedly, then turned away to walk back to her room. “She’s gone…”

“Hikaru…” Haruka said in a concern tone, but Hikaru had already walked off.

Closing her bedroom door behind her, Hikaru dropped into her bed, hugging tightly onto her pillow for a moment in silence as she stared at the wall emptily.

“Did I do the wrong thing…?” Hikaru muttered, thinking back to what happened. The memory of Aya’s hurt face as she pushed Hikaru away flashed in her mind. “…but she’s always the one that’s teasing me…”

“Ugh!” Hikaru let out a frustrated sigh, then rolled to the other side in her bed. “I just want to know how she felt about me…”

She paused with a solemn expression.

“…Why did I try to kiss her…?”

~x~

Seeing the young mistress walk down from the apartment building, Thomas got out of the limousine to open the door for Aya.

“Ojou-chan.” Thomas greeted, staring at Aya’s unusual change of outfit, but to his surprise, Aya walked past the car, heading down the streets.

“Ojou-chan!” Thomas paced after Aya in a hurry. “Where are you going? The limousine is this way—”

“Just leave me alone.” Aya waved him off, continuing to walk further down the street. “I’ll get home by myself.”

“B-by yourself?!” Thomas repeated in a stupor. There was no way that the Kuramoto family would allow him to keep his job if he let the young mistress go off alone. “Ojou-chan, did something happen? Please, you know I can’t do that—”

Aya spun around on her heels angrily, surprising Thomas. She shoved her school uniform that she was holding into his hands.

“Thomas, just go! Leave me alone!” She snapped. “I’m serious!”

“O-ojou-chan…”

“Don’t worry, I’ll get home fine… Just say I snuck away on my own…”

Thomas watched in bafflement as Aya turned away, and walked off down the street.

Aya was still in a muddled state, her emotions stirring inside her like a pot of oil and water. She couldn’t seem to grasp a hold of what she was feeling.

“Ahh!”

Aya let out a cry with her eyes shut, then glanced up at the darkening sky, stormy clouds gathering overhead.

“Do I like Hikaru or not?!” She sighed, then glanced back down at her path.

I can’t believe Hikaru played around with me like that just then… Aya thought, watching her shoes hitting the pavement with each step. She obviously was acting different to her normal self… was she just toying with my feelings…?

Where am I even going… I should just head back to the limousine… Aya felt something wet hitting her face, then glanced up. Oh great, it’s starting to rain…

Aya’s pride wouldn’t let her go back to her limousine. She had already told Thomas that she was going to walk off alone. She didn’t want to just go back just because it was raining a bit.

Eventually, she arrived at the train station, having only gotten slightly wet. The storm was beginning to pick up outside, as thunder crackled through the sky.

Lucky Hikaru lives so close to the station… Aya thought, breathing out in relief as she glanced down at her slightly soaked clothes. Damn it… I ruined Hikaru’s clothes… I will pay her back when I see her…

Aya walked through the crowds of people inside the station, staring at a screen that was showing the train routes.

I wanted to do some shopping to forget about what happened before, but since it’s starting to rain so bad, I should just go home…

Satisfied with the route that she was going to take, Aya glanced to her side and raised her eyebrows at who she saw.

Eito Akaba.

The guy that confessed to her before and whom never could seem to take a hint.

Ugh… I better get away now before he sees me… Aya thought, giving him a distasteful look, before attempting to scurry away.

“A-Aya?”

A voice called out to Aya, and Aya snapped up straight. She turned around, smiling weakly at Eito.

“H-hello, Eito…” She said. “What a coincidence…”

Eito was dressed in his school uniform and on the contrary, Aya was still in Hikaru’s clothes from the dress-up earlier. Eito glanced down, puzzled at Aya’s outfit.

He shook his head, then smiled broadly at Aya. “What a coincidence indeed! You look lovely as ever, Aya!”

Now’s my chance to redeem myself! Eito thought to himself. She’s dressed a bit weirdly today, but I should just ignore it. Maybe it’s some new fashion style. I should get up to date with the times… Aya’s so fashionable…

“Thank you…” Aya smiled back. “Well, I’ll just get going now—”

“Ah, are you taking a train home? Let’s walk to the platform together. Which train are you taking?”

“The Oedo line…” Aya said, praying that they wouldn’t be taking the same train.

“Oho, me too!” Eito said, although he was supposed to be taking a different train. He just wanted to spend some time with Aya.

“Great…” Aya smiled in pain, then started walking to the platform as Eito followed after her.

I don’t have time to be dealing with this idiot… Aya thought. I still have to sort out my feelings for Hikaru…

“So what are you doing out so late?” Eito asked.

I should be asking you the same thing… Aya glanced at the tall, black-haired boy walking besides her with slanted eyes. Too bad I don’t really care about what you’re doing…

“Ah, I was just out with a friend.” Aya replied in an amicable tone. She didn’t make any move to elaborate further though.

“Is that so.” Eito said, then laughed. “I can’t believe I ran into you at the train station. Don’t you usually have a driver?”

“Yes… but today I thought I would take a train.”

“Right…”

Eito wasn’t deterred by the short answers that Aya was giving. He continued to lead the conversation with a barrage of questions, while Aya walked besides him with an increasing headache.

They stopped at their platform, then stood still, waiting for the train.

“Aya…” Eito said.

“Hm?” Aya raised her head to look at him.

“…About what happened with Hikaru…”

Aya flinched, hearing her name. Eito mistook her reaction as a sign that she was still angry about his actions during the bullying event.

“I-I’m really sorry about what happened that day!” Eito said profusely. “I really was planning on stopping them after seeing how far they were going…”

Oh, he’s still going on about that… Aya stared at Eito’s sincere eyes. I know Eito has sort of a meek personality so he probably didn’t mean to do anything to Hikaru on that day, but I really don’t want to go through this right now…

“I-it’s okay…” Aya smiled weakly, motioning with her hands that she was fine. “I know you’re not that type of person, Eito…”

“No, I… I acted horribly… I don’t deserve your kindness…”

Aya sighed, placing the back of her hand to her forehead as she glanced up for a second. Why do I have to deal with this…

“Listen… Eito… I forgive you…” Aya said, glancing back at him.

“Y-you’re too kind, Aya…”

Aya flashed another feeble smile in response.

Eito stared sheepishly at Aya. “By the way… my confession still stands…”

“…”

“I’m always here if you ever change your mind…”

“That’s… not going to happen, Eito… Sorry…” Aya said, trying her best to maintain a polite smile.

“Don’t be so sure of that.” Eito laughed heartily. “I’m never going to give up until you fall for me.”

“Ugh…”

“Hey, now that I think about it, we should do something fun together before going home!”

“Um…” Aya glanced around wildly, looking for a way to escape. There was nothing except the crowds of people waiting for the train at the platform. “I’m not so sure…”

“Come on, it will be fun!”

“I have to get home early…”

But Eito wasn’t listening.

“Let’s go to Shinjuku!” Eito said. “There’s a really good restaurant—”

At that moment, the crowd around them started moving as the train approached the platform. One of them bumped into Eito, causing him to turn around, and Aya quickly used that opportunity to slip away amidst the crowd.

Ugh, I need to get away from that idiot!

Aya ducked through the crowd, choosing to miss the train, in case, Eito went looking for her. She went up the stairs of the platform, going back to the main area of the train station.

“Aya—!”

Eito’s voice calling from behind her caused her to jump in her shoes.

Crap! Is he still following me?!

Aya didn’t bother looking backwards. She drew her head down, and paced quicker, delving deeper into the crowd. Unfamiliar faces brushed past her, as she attempted to get lost amidst the chaos. Loud chattering and the stomping of foots were all she could hear.

Gah! I hate taking the train! There’s always so many people…

As she headed for the wall to escape the crowd, a hand reached out grabbing onto her hand.

With a defeated sigh, she turned around, putting on a faint smile.

“Eito, I—”

Aya stopped when she saw a short, black-haired girl holding onto her hand, breathing heavily under the hood of a long coat that fell down to her thighs. She was drenched but her coat deflected much of the damage. Some of her black hair stuck out messily from her hood, wet and sticking to skin.

“Hikaru?” Aya mouthed, blinking. “…is that you…?”

Hikaru raised her head to look Aya in the eye. Her cheeks were red and Aya could see that some of the wetness on her face was from sweat.

“I…” Hikaru breathed out. “I-I came to find you…”

“Find me?” Aya repeated. “It’s raining so hard outside, you shouldn’t have gone out!”

“I-I wanted to say…”

Hikaru paused, and Aya stared at her quizzically.

“I’m sorry!”

Hikaru bowed her upper body down, her arms by her side and her head facing the ground.

“He-hey, it’s okay, Hikaru…!”

Aya grabbed onto Hikaru’s shoulder, pulling her up against her will.

“I-I shouldn’t have tried to trick you like that earlier…” Hikaru said, shaking her head. “You’re right, Aya. I’m a horrible person!”

“I-I didn’t mean to call you that…” Aya said. “Please, just forget I said that!”

Aya pulled Hikaru up, but Hikaru was staring to her side with trembling lips.

“I did something so awful…” Hikaru whispered.

“I-it was nothing! Really!” Aya insisted.

Hikaru looked as though she was about to cry, and Aya stared into her face with growing concern.

“L-look, I always do things to you, Hikaru.” Aya said quickly in an attempt to cheer her up. “We will just say we’re even now—no! I mean, I’ve done way more things to you so no matter how you look at it, I’m the mean one here!”

Hikaru was silent.

“Please, Hikaru…” Aya said. “Don’t feel bad…”

Hikaru shifted, then glanced over to Aya with damp eyes.

“From now on… I promise to never try to force you to do something you don’t want to do again.” Hikaru said. “I’m so sorry, Aya…”

“It’s…” Aya started, but stopped mid-way. She glanced down at the ground, thinking for a second with a serious expression.

Why is Hikaru the one apologising to me…? She didn’t do anything wrong… I should be the one to—

Aya glanced up at Hikaru, feeling a strong resolve surging from inside her. Something that she didn’t know she had. It was an unfamiliar feeling, as though she had finally made up her mind about a long-standing debate.

“Hikaru… do you… really want to know how I feel…?”

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