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And she had done it again. Wakayama Tadao stared at the love of his life with eyes and chest full of admiration. Then he met the eyes of the teacher in pursuit of Natsumi.

You little… stop her!”

Fat chance. Tadao grinned at them both.

Natsumi high fived him when she passed at full speed in the school corridor, and Tadao had just as much reason to get caught as his girlfriend. Second floor wasn’t worth the effort of stairs, so barely looking down he vaulted out the window, somersaulted once and rolled on the ground below.

Above him the teacher’s head popped out through the window Tadao had just left. A balding head. A head that bellowed things Tadao was certain a teacher wasn’t supposed to utter.

Moron!”

That wasn’t the teacher. That was Mitsuo shouting his displeasure with Tadao’s gymnastic abilities.

Good thing he made it out of the classroom ahead of us, Tadao thought and laughed.

You want to get us grounded?”

Of course they’d get grounded. That was part of the game after all, and sneaking out of course. Nothing that didn’t include bars could keep Tadao inside if he wanted out, but he had to admit that Mitsuo lacked a little in that department.

Natsumi didn’t. She didn’t lack in any department. The difference in physical strength she more than made up for with one insanely daring plan after another, and it wasn’t just for show. He felt how she lived her life to the fullest whenever they shared a bed.

Mitsuo, we’re out of here!”

We’ll get caught, you idiot!”

Get your bike! Natsumi’s fetching a ladder.”

Tadao ran for the bike stands, and poor Mitsuo couldn’t do much more than follow in his steps.

Ladder?” Mitsuo asked breathlessly when they arrived.

Just get your bike! You’ll find out,” Tadao said and grabbed both his and Natsumi’s bikes. They probably had less than half a minute.

They sprinted across the gravel in the direction of the gates. Behind him Mitsuo gasped for breath. Good thing you’re tired, or you’d understand. Damn, he’s going to hate me for this, Tadao thought and grinned.

No way in hell! You didn’t!” Mitsuo wheezed.

Ah, he found out. Can’t be helped. Tadao rushed up the ladder Natsumi had left like a ramp from the ground to atop the gate. He still carried a bike in each arm.

Catch!”

Natsumi obediently caught first one bike and then the next.

Mitsuo, your bike, quick!”

Behind them teachers came rushing out on the school yard. You’re too late!

Tadao had to help Mitsuo across the gate, but with Natsumi ready to catch both a third bike as well as their best friend things went as planned.

Don’t you dare!”

Tadao didn’t pay the roaring teacher much attention.

Now my heroes, history is best learned where it occurred. Today we’re going to Kamakura.” He straddled his bike, and waited for Natsumi and Mitsuo to do the same.

When a teacher finally got the gate open they were already half a block away. Another day turned into a field trip, another magic high school day and another day he spent with the woman he loved above anything else and the best friend anyone could ever hope for.

Life was wonderful, living was wonderful, and anything wonderful was worth exploring. What did it matter if they built a less than stellar reputation with the staff back at Himekaizen?

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StenDuring

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