[A block of flats in a random street in Nagoya, not any different from any other apartment block. A building of twenty storeys, renovated and with a nice garden and parking lot next to it. Its inhabitants of course are a bit more interesting than your usual crowd, thus our story will be centered around them. Not all, but some particular floors and flats. First, let’s peak into their everyday lives, to get to know them.]
-4th floor, hall-
A skinny and slender female exited her flat and looked around. Seeing no one in the hall she went towards the window and pulled out her binoculars. A grin spread across her face as she put the item to good use, spying into the neighboring building’s garden. A tap on her shoulder out of nowhere made her jump in surprise and nearly drop the precious binoculars. She hurriedly hid them behind her back and faced a person in front of her.
“Spying on kids again, Masana-san?” Kato Rumi asked innocently and shook her head. “You are lucky, you know. People notice you and want to have conversations with you. Why aren’t you utilizing that, and instead spy on kids? Oh, wait. You are a lolicon.”
“Ah, well, that…haha, what can I say? I guess I am guilty as charged, but… HAVE YOU SEEN THOSE COOTIES?” Ooya Masana’s face lit up and her eyes started sparkling like a bunch of diamonds. “My floor is so perfect for spying, there’s no way you could see such a view from where you live!”
“I live only one floor lower though…” Rumi facepalmed and turned to walk away. No one took interest to have a conversation with her. More like, they all never cared what she had to say, they each shared only what they found interesting. Well, she still had her bed.
“Muffin, we’re here~ Just let me park the car, okay?” A beautiful female in light brown hair smiled at her white long-haired chihuahua and then opened the driver’s door. She poked her head out of it and checked the position of her car and decided upon re-parking it a few centimeters more to the left. After doing so she smiled to herself and looked back at her dog. “Now we can go see our new home~”
After picking her suitcase and a backpack, she whistled to the puppy and it followed her closely, not side tracking anywhere but after its master. Exiting the parking lot, the female appreciated once again a beautiful garden that connected the parking lot with the block of flats she was going to live in starting today.
“Kumi, here~” A voice shouted and a female noticed her childhood friend on the swing together with another female. A smile spread across her face and she walked towards them, Muffin following closely. “Owh, what a cute puppy!!”
The two ladies hugged each other, then came puppy appreciation time. After that, Kumi let Muffin know he can explore the garden, which the dog gladly accepted.
“Ah, I have to introduce you two.” Kumi’s childhood friend smiled and looked at the other female on the swing. “This is my girlfriend, Nakanishi Yuka. Yuka, meet my childhood friend Yagami Kumi.”
“Ah, I heard a lot about you from Akari.” The Ikemen looking female said and smiled. “Nice to meet you, I hope you like staying here.”
“Nice to meet you too, and yeah, I am hoping this place will be finally something I can call home. Akarin knows I have been moving too many times due to family’s business.” Kumi said and looked around. “Well, have to find Muffin and go to my flat. The landlady said on the phone its on the fifth floor.”
“Ah, then you won’t have a roommate, well, you have Muffin, so it should be fine~” Suda Akari brightly said and cuddled to her girlfriend.
“Mou, Rena-chan!!!” A cute puppy-like girl rolled on the floor while whining. “That’s so not fair!!!”
A black-haired female of lean figure sat on the couch and was reading a book. She could only sigh deeply and then resume her reading. Then again, she also knew her younger sister – who ALWAYS behaved like a baby in front of her – will keep whining until she got what she wanted.
Rena closed a book with a loud ‘thud’ and placed it on a table. Her knowing eyes stared a minute or so at the puppy-like girl on the floor and then she let out another sigh. The female’s slender fingers gently patted her lap and soon her younger sister was on the couch, her head placed on the soft thighs, nuzzling in them, letting out content noises as Rena’s fingers caressed her hair.
“You are such a baby… If only your fangirls knew that, I doubt you would be so popular…” Matsui Rena teased and smiled. Matsui Jurina was known to the public as the Ikemen female who could make all the girls swoon by a mere glance, and she always wondered how come her sister managed to hide the kid side from all of those followers.
“I’m not a baby~” Jurina protested and cuddled closer. “I’m your imouto~ Keep spoiling me~”
“Hai hai…” Came a reply from the older Matsui and then the room fell to silence, just occasional content sounds came from Jurina’s lips.
“I know I should have called before visiting you guys, but this is really important, so it couldn’t wait.” Takada Shiori spoke the moment she walked into her two friends’ flat. She lived on sixth floor, so the fact she practically flew up eleven floors just to say something to the comical duo meant a serious business. “Both of you, come sit down. There’s something we need to talk about.”
“If this is about my monkey making noises last night, I’m so sorry about that.” Kuwabara Mizuki said while keeping her face serious and apologetic. “Tell the landlord I may have accidentally fed some curry to it for dinner.”
“You have a monkey?” Shiori frowned and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Why haven’t you told me before?”
“THAT’S SO COOL, MIZUBOSS!” Kinoshita Yukiko, Mizuki’s roommate and the last member of this weird trio of friends exclaimed. Of course, seeing Mizuki blink afterwards seemed hilarious, she obviously knew the female was up for some tricks towards their ever-so-serious friend.
“PFFTTTTT No I don’t have a monkey.” The prankster said with all seriousness but then some monkey noises erupted from somewhere in the room.
“WHAT WAS THAT?!” Shiori asked while standing up, her eyes scanning the place warily.
“That’s my ringtone.” Mizuki sharply insisted. “Now let’s get back to business. What is it you wanted to say?”
“Alright, ready to be surprised?” Shiori asked while letting out a huge breath, still somewhat unsure how to react to the news about a monkey.
“Damn it, I knew this day would come.” Yukiko suddenly said and rushed to the kitchen, in a few minutes coming back with three glasses and a bottle of vodka.
“…What?” Takada tossed a question, not liking the direction things were escalating to.
“You’re coming out as a lesbian, right?” A bottle popped open as Kinoshita poured three glasses full to the brim.
“OH GURL!” The fact not shots but actual glasses were used didn’t surprise Mizuki whatsoever. The teasing and making fun of had to be done in even greater mass. “Don’t even think about it. Even If I’m a lesbian, you’d be the last les I’d bian.”
“What? No!” Shiori let out a deep sigh, a slight pink on her cheeks hinting on them being partly right. Of course, that was not the reason why she flew up eleven floors, she would never brag about such a thing. There happened to be a way to make them listen however, Takada came here prepared for the worst. She placed a take out box on the table and opened it up.”Alright. Sit tight and here are some Latte from Starbucks.”
“OH SNAP WE’LL SIT WHEREVER YOU WANT US TO.” The two exclaimed and each grabbed a cup, happy to be presented with their favorite non-alcoholic drink.
“So, guys, remember the three of us planned to open a shop in the future?” After getting a nod from both of the girls, she pulled a whiteboard from her bag and then continued. “I’d like to explain my vision for the future by walking you through my vision board.”
“Oh no.” Yukko whispered.
“It’s a simple tool.” Shiori started.
“You’re a simple tool.” Mizuki deadpanned.
“You start with a thin whiteboard.” Shiori ignored.
“You’re thin, white and I’m bored.” Mizuki replied.
“…” Shiori stood speechless, apparently, even after many years of their friendship, no matter how weird it was, there were still some things that took a speaking ability away from her.
“Keep going. I can do this all day. I have a Starbucks Latte with me.” Yukiko chuckled and sipped the delicious caffeinated drink from her cup.
“This will be how our shop will look like.” Shiori started again while showing a picture on the whiteboard.
“What’s that? A house for ratatouille?” Mizuki pondered.
“Yuck. That looks like the type of place I’d dump my boyfriend’s photo at.” Kinoshita followed.
“That’s what you think? I think that’s the type of place where poop comes to die.” Mizuki stated in all seriousness, then she stroked her imaginary beard. “Or death comes to poop.”
“…” Yeah, despite the long weird friendship, some things still left Shiori speechless.
“Haruka, I wonder if I should go ask the landlord about that girl from 10th floor…”
“Rika-chan, you always think of others before thinking of yourself, you are so kindhearted.” Ono Haruka said and loaded the last piece of clothing into a washing machine. “Other people might think you like to poke nose into a business that does not concern you, if they didn’t know you better.”
“Well, you know everyone sees me here as a mother of sorts… And I sincerely care about Matsushita-san, she injured her leg after falling down the stairs and was admitted to the hospital, but you know all that…” Hirata Rikako – better known to others as Mary – grabbed the now empty laundry bag and left the laundry room with her fiancée. “I hoped her injury to be not that serious…”
“Well, she is recovering for two months now, I am sure she will be back soon, but we can go and ask if you want.” Haruka assured her soon-to-be wife and seeing the other smile hopefully only made her chuckle. Her dear beloved was endearing as much as she was caring.
“Ka.na.ko~” A whole whopping ten centimeters taller female leaned closer, their lips nearly touching. “Just be mine already~”
Hiramatsu Kanako suddenly jumped out of her bed, still half awake and unsure where she was. After some time she finally came back to her senses, realizing she stood in her room, in a flat she shared with Kizaki Yuria, her classmate. Sighing deeply, she sat back on her bed, recalling the dream she had.
Deguchi Aki was one of her senpais that had a lot of titles to her, such as a person everyone admired; someone who had top grades and a great personality; a female who had friends such as Ikemen Matsui Jurina; a human being loved by both girls and boys equally.
Deguchi Aki was Kanako’s worst nightmare and biggest dream.
“Oy, you had a nightmare again?” Yuria asked, coming out of shower, her body loosely wrapped in a towel that barely covered anything. “I bet all my money you dreamt of being raped. That cute face and curvy body of yours, Kanakana, are what lure men in, I told you that already.”
“Mou, Yuria~~~~” Hiramatsu pouted and tossed a pillow at her friend. She might have had a small attraction towards the other girl and seeing her nearly flashing her body made her feel super embarrassed. “Can you at least cover yourself more properly?”
“Are you changing the subject?” Yuria asked, and removed her towel, casually striding around naked and slowly dressing up. “Then how about we talk of you reacting to my naked body? I thought you liked boys?”
“Uh—mhm—yeah—I do -I l-l-like boys, of course!!” Kanako bluntly tossed a lie and stormed to the bathroom, locking herself in, her cheeks beet red.
In all honesty, yes, she really thought she liked guys, boys, men, whatever you call them, until she was mesmerized by a certain senpai. She never thought a woman could make her feel that way, but Deguchi Aki did exactly that.
Yuria always made hints about a possibility of advancing towards Kanako, but as much as she had an attraction towards her classmate, it was nowhere near as impactful as a single glance from Aki-san. The fantasy she had once in a while ended up being a dream she woke up from, something that actually happened in real life and was a recalling of certain memory from yesterday.
“Senpai… We shouldn’t—” Those words were the last words Kanako spoke before Deguchi kissed her, one hand still pulling her in close, other grabbing onto her hair gently to lock her head in a tilted position. Hiramatsu felt her body go on fire, she could only wrap her arms around the senpai’s neck and respond to the kiss, giving in completely.
Well, it all went well and then the bell rang. Her senpai never skipped a class and so their kissing came to an abrupt end. After that Aki-san simply pecked her forehead and left for her class, while stunned Kanako stood there against the wall of abandoned inventory shack at the back of the school. And today she had to dream of that scene.
Deguchi Aki was unreachable, she had so many fans. In all honesty, Kanakan was terrified of those fangirls. She still recalled what happened to Matsushita Yui after a certain person’s fangirls shoved her down the stairs. It was only because that famous student showed her more attention than to anyone else. Hiramatsu shivered. No, she had to forget her dear senpai and focus on more realistic things.
[So obviously now we have all details out there. Of course, we have some questions and might wonder about a thing or two, but I must remind you that this story has a main couple and a few secondary couples. Those will be our main focus. Of course, other couples are important too. So in the future some side stories might pop up, if anyone will be interested in those couples. As for now, I think we need to delve into the part, further in a story, when our two main heroines meet, and how it all happens and develops, right? We shall begin.]
“Well, a week has passed since you moved in. Do you like it here?” Akarin asked her friend who was sitting with her on one of the benches in the garden. They were watching Muffin play on the grass, obviously interested in catching some butterflies. The beautiful winged insects were too clever however and flew higher than the chihuahua’s reach.
“You know, I really enjoy this place. I am friends not only with you now but also am getting along well with Rikkii too. The fact that everyone calls her Mary still amuses me, but I can totally see why. She has taken me under her wing and I really appreciate all the advice she is giving me.” Kuumin started then sighed. It was a beautiful sunny day and Sunday too. “I also found some friendship buddy in Rumi too, we both are kind of loners you know.. And Mizuki, we resound well because of jokes and drinking, haha.”
“I heard you don’t like our Kanakana as much…” Suda started, but said nothing else. Most people didn’t like the bubbly girl due to rumors going around that she played with people’s hearts. True or not, rumors influenced how people saw the poor girl.
“Well, unlike others, I do not think she toys with people’s feelings… More like, I don’t like how she deems herself unworthy despite some people bluntly telling good things about her. Is all.” Yagami quietly replied. “I wonder where is Muffin…”
“I don’t see him.” Akarin said after looking around. “Want me to help go look for him?”
“Nah, I’ll find him myself. Also, Yuka is probably waiting for you.” Akarin smiled and got up. She walked around the garden and even the parking lot, but Muffin was nowhere to be found. Figuring someone might have let him inside the building, she started going through the halls and up the stairs, calling him by the name. Soon a ‘woof’ could be heard, followed by the most magical sounding laughter she has ever heard.
“You must be Muffin, cutie~~~ I heard a lot good things about you from the neighbors. I wonder where is you master, huh~?”
A voice unlike any other in this world spoke and Kumi sped up, just to see the owner of it. Soon she was eye to eye with the most angelic and dazzling lady. Eyes that stared back at her in surprise. Lips that parted to create an oval shape. Raven hair that escaped the clutches of a pin and fell gently on her shoulder. A slim body that shivered for a second as if shook by unknown stroke of cold.
Then her beloved Muffin, who did the most unthinkable thing. The white puppy was cuddling into the gorgeous female’s embrace, something he didn’t do to anyone else but Kumi herself.
“A–ah, you–must be the owner…” Rena finally got out of her stupor. Unknown to Kumi, the raven haired female was also taken aback by the beauty of the other. To her the puppy’s master was a woman of dreams. Straight light brown hair done in a ponytail, simple T-shirt and jeans that didn’t hide any curves even if it wanted to, enticing dark brown eyes and charming smile that erupted unknowingly to its owner. “Well, here is your Muffin, safe and sound…”
Those simple two words left Rena frozen. The female’s voice was the sexiest sound she has ever heard throughout her not so long life. It sent an electrical currency through her body, from fingertips to her toes, then shot straight to her heart. At that moment the puppy jumped out of her embrace and rushed to his master. It brought Rena out of her state and she smiled cheerily, trying to hide her feelings.
“Ara, where are my manners… I forgot to introduce myself.” She extended her hand, only due to politeness, because she was scared to know what the touch of that woman can do to her. “I’m Matsui Rena, I live on the 12th floor.”
“Kumi, Yagami Kumi.” She was sure Rena knew exactly where she lived so simply took the lady’s hand into hers. It was as if the world around them stopped existing. Nothing mattered anymore. Somehow they both knew this was a start of something unexplainable. And that it was.
Months passed and the two grew very close. They were not dating, they never kissed, they never slept at each other’s place, but their friendship grew beyond any level of imagination. The bond they had, the endless conversations about any kind of topic, the jokes and music they shared. All of it created a bond that was unbreakable. However, they were scared to take the next step, scared what it might bring, scared of their friendship being broken.
Both Rena and Kumi there were for Yuka and Akari when Akari fell sick and tired of Yuka’s constant fangirls. They both were there when Haruka was diagnosed with false brain tumor and supported Rikako through the hardest times. For both couples things got better over time and it was clear the love between them was stronger than anything else in the world.
Later on, Matsushita Yui finally returned and everyone showered her with attention. She somehow was very quiet, barely interacting with anyone, but that didn’t stop one person from reaching out to her. That’s how Rena found out that in the past Jurina wanted to date Yui, one of the fangirls overheard it and thus the incident happened. Now Jurina was even more serious about her feelings to Yui – it explained to Rena why her sister would be not home for so many times and so long, visiting hours clashed with afterschool hours – and they started dating seriously.
Kumi had another thing to worry about. She didn’t like Kanakana that much but she was a witness of an interesting happening that left her wondering if she by any chance was wrong when judging the girl.
“That bitch thinks she can have our Deguchi-senpai all to herself. She needs to be taught a lesson.” One in a bunch of fangirls exclaimed loudly and others agreed. Hiramatsu Kanako was held by two of them in the corner of a parking lot after they followed her home. They witnessed Aki-san hugging her after school and thus this happened. Now she knew she was already dead.
“What do you think you’re doing?” A voice resounded and an angry-looking Deguchi Aki was standing before them. “Let her go or I will call the authorities and show them this video I filmed.”
Kumi just finished parking her car and was able to witness the whole scene. She wanted to interrupt but she didn’t like Kanakana that much. However, after hearing from Yui what happened she realized this must be the same thing. Before she was able to get out of her car and do something, Deguchi Aki appeared.
Yagami knew Aki also lived in this building, on the seventh floor and she thought those girls were very stupid to do such a thing in a place where their beloved senpai lived. Hearing the sounds from the video that Aki played Haru realized she somehow filmed the moment when Matsushita was pushed down the stairs by these girls.
That time she quietly left the scene, realizing Deguchi will take care of everything. However, it made her think about a lot of things, one person in particular. How deep her feelings to Rena really were? Would she do the same for her? Maybe more? One thing was clear to Kumi though. She loved Matsui Rena.
“Aren’t you gonna tell me what happened? You are so quiet these days…” Yuria asked her roommate. She was worried for the girl.
“I’m okay, just concentrated on upcoming test, that is all.” Hiramatsu replied and flipped the page of her book.
“Mh, well, you know you can talk to me if you need.” Yuria sighed in defeat and put her headphones back on.
Truth to be told, Kanako didn’t even know what she was reading. She had a random book in her hands, but her mind was wandering somewhere else. She was once again looking back to her memories, that evening when senpai saved her from those angry fangirls.
“You want some tea or water?” Aki asked and put a blanket over Kanako’s shoulders. they were at Deguchi’s apartment, sitting on her bed.
“N-no, I’m fine…” The bubbly girl was still somewhat shivering, she really thought the girls were gonna do something. Hiramatsu realized that if not senpai she might have been injured like Yui or even worse.
“Kanako, look at me.” Aki-san said but seeing it was not working gently cupped the cute girl’s face. She lifted Hiramatsu’s face softly until those beautiful about to tear up eyes stared right back at her. “You are safe. I swear I will protect you from anyone that dears to hurt you.”
“S-senpai…” A few tears were rolling down the girl’s cheeks. “I don’t deserve this affection from you, you can get any girl you want, why torture me without any future for us up ahead?”
“Kanako…” Aki-san’s thumb brushed away the tears from the cute girl’s cheeks and then she pulled her closer, letting her head rest on her chest. “Can you hear and feel my heartbeat? Do you know it’s beating way faster than usual? Do you know the reason?”
“Y….yes, I can feel it…” Kanako was so close to her senpai, she was in her embrace but she had no idea why Deguchi’s heart was beating so fast.
“Look at me again.” Deguchi Aki whispered and seeing the girl face her properly by herself made the older woman smile, but she decided to continue with the whisper, to make a bigger impact, to actually show how she really feels. “I know I can get any other girl, but I don’t want any other girl. I chose you because my heart chose so. I fell in love with you and I want to continue being with you. I would go to great lengths just to protect you. Please never say you do not deserve this.”
What followed was a memory greater than anything else in this world. It made Kanakana blush every time when she remembered the kisses, touches, whispers and even more. Peaking at Yuria and realizing the girl didn’t notice her red face she sighed and decided to concentrate on the random book. By pure luck she picked a book that she actually needed. That’s why Yuria believed her.
Kumi just gave food to Muffin when a loud knock on her door surprised her. She went to open it and was roughly pushed against the wall, beautiful nearly black orbs staring at her, heavy panting giving away the person was not much of a runner.
“R-rena?..” Of course Kumi knew who it was. No one else would knock on her door without announcing they will visit her. Even the landlord learned the lesson. But it surprised her how the woman seemed to have a certain air about her, an aura that was somewhat scary and yet alluring at the same time.
“I don’t care anymore, Kumi. I am giving up on you ever taking the first step. I know what I want. I know how we both feel. And I strongly believe in us. I don’t care about anything else but us. So whether you want it or not, I will kiss you. right now, right this mome—-”
Kumi cut her off by kissing her passionately, flipping their positions so that Rena was the one pressed against the wall. The kiss was as passionate as it could et and then it slowed down, both of them simply enjoying the sensation and letting the emotions slowly, step by step cool off. then Kumi pulled back.
“I know. I am sorry for being so slow.” Yagami said and pressed their foreheads together. “I was still giving you a chance to run away, I think. I thought maybe this is wrong, maybe this is too much, the feelings we have, maybe it’s too strong. I felt weird…”
“I love you.” Rena said, her breathing returning to normal. “I love you, I love you, I love you and only you. I want only you.”
“Baka…” Kumi sighed and kissed the other woman’s temple. “I love you too, silly princess.”
Muffin could only look at the two humans with his head tilted. It is true he lead Kumi to her destined human, Rena, but what they were doing a few minutes ago was a bit weird to the dog. Ah, now seeing the two cuddling was more understandable. Knowing things wer okay, Muffin continued eating his food.
P.S. Thanks to Kevin, really, a huge thanks for giving me a rough and hilarious Mizuki-Yukiko-Shiori scene!!!