Disclaimer: Don't own LoveLive! or the characters. But this story is mine.
Chapter 1. Something Sudden
"So… Tell us! How's adult life?"
"We just started college, Honoka. You can barely call that adulthood."
"But you enjoy an adult relationship with Nozomi, right?"
Eri almost spat out her juice at Kotori's rather forward question. Umi, however, was much less graceful and choked on the fruit tart she swallowed too quickly. Since midterm season had ended, she and the current senior trio had arranged a small reunion to catch up. The younger ones were in the midst of practice and would be joining them later, whereas Nozomi was unable to attend entirely because she still had one paper left due tomorrow. Eri desperately regretted that this reunion happened without her girlfriend.
"Where… where did that come from, Kotori?"
Eri stuttered. Kotori was surprisingly blunt at times, and the only one who could only outwit that was Nozomi. The said girl merely smiled, with a quite innocent looking one at that.
Eri silently noted that there could be other, better things to be curious of.
"And I thought Umi and I could get some tips."
Poor Umi choked on her fruit tart again.
Eri sighed. Not so long after Kotori's second forward comment, the younger ones had arrived with Nico. Thankfully Kotori chose not to flabbergast the other girls as well and the topic was never brought up again. However, that didn't mean it did not keep popping back up in Eri's head. She was alone on the walk back home and most of her thoughts revolved around that particular question. Were Nozomi and she in an adult relationship? Well, they were legally adults. And they were in a relationship…
Eri blushed and covered her face a bit before she unlocked the apartment door. Though she had never seen or read such mature content, she knew exactly what Kotori had meant by an "adult relationship." She and Nozomi kissed daily – and hourly if they could. Eri couldn't get enough of Nozomi's kisses. They were sweet, tender, and even a tad playful – exactly how one would describe the violet haired girl. And to be quite honest, Eri was sure Nozomi loved the kisses as much she did. Not to be too full of herself, but there were multiple occasions in which Nozomi would surprise her with a kiss; there were even more of those in which Nozomi refused to do anything until Eri kissed her. Eri locked the door behind her as she smiled at the fond memories. She took off her shoes and padded her way to the kitchen first. Her thoughts wandered more about their relationship as she poured herself some water. They wandered even more as she drank the refreshment. Nozomi and she had touched each other in ways that was more or less not publicly decent, at least not in Eri's standards. But they had yet to go… that far.
The blonde groaned and further buried her face into her palm. How Umi didn't already die of embarrassment with Kotori was a wonder to Eri. While here she was standing in her apartment, unable to process more than drinking because she dwelled on one question that made her blush everywhere.
Eri turned her attention to the living room at the call of her name. The scene that greeted her was asking for another kiss. Their living room where both girls usually worked on their studies was a mess obviously. There were numerous photos that the violet girl had taken; Nozomi always had an interest in filming and it came to no surprise that she was currently taking classes in film and photography. There were even more countless papers – some crumpled, others with endless proofread marks. Eri assumed those must be the many drafts of the essay Nozomi had to write. Eri mindlessly wondered what the assignment's topic was as she walked over to the said girl who was in the midst of the mess.
"Welcome h... home."
Nozomi greeted her with a yawn. She obviously had not yet caught up on the lack of sleep she had for the past few days. The last time Eri saw Nozomi was before she left for the day's classes and that was at noon. So the girl could not have gotten more than six hours of sleep. At that thought, Eri couldn't help leaning over to give a kiss.
"Good evening, sleepy head. Did you finally finish your paper?"
"Mm… wait did you say evening?"
The blonde giggled as Nozomi frantically searched for her phone to check the time. Indeed it was already time for dinner and the violet haired girl sheepishly chided herself.
"I guess my nap went longer than I thought."
"When did you fall asleep?"
"Hmm… I think around three. Or maybe four?"
"I think you need to sleep more."
Nozomi merely pouted and burrowed herself more into Eri, murmuring along the lines that she wanted to be awake when Eri was up. Eri wondered if it was too soon to give her girlfriend another kiss for being cute. She probably would be spoiling the girl too much. But then again, she already had been spoiling her so one more kiss wouldn't matter. That's how Eri convinced herself as she kissed Nozomi on the lips this time.
"So how was the meeting with the girls?"
Nozomi had taken a shower while Eri prepared dinner. The two were now at the dinner table eating a Russian cuisine that became one of Nozomi's favorite dishes. It was Eri's way of rewarding Nozomi for finishing her assignment, on top of the many kisses that is. Eri commented that it was almost like old times. There was no change in their dynamics, per se, but it had been weird to see the younger one as third years and second years. Nozomi jokingly asked if that meant Honoka had not matured since. They shared a laugh until that led Eri to think on that particular topic.
"Speaking of mature, Kotori asked about something… like that…"
Nozomi tilted her head in question, silently urging Eri to continue.
"She asked if we were in an adult relationship."
Eri expected more of a comment, but with such a short answer she looked up at Nozomi's face for more of a response. To her dismay, Nozomi's was rather blank as if nothing had happened. Feeling awkward, Eri added on what had been on her mind for the past few hours.
Nozomi had to be playing innocent right now, Eri thought.
"Are we… in an adult relationship?"
"Well… we are both legally adults and in a relationship."
Definitely playing innocent.
"You know that's not what I meant!"
"Oh, then what did you mean?"
Nozomi smirked. Eri blushed. She loved Nozomi, but sometimes she thought this side of her girlfriend would kill her of embarrassment sooner or later. She grumbled while the violet haired girl just sat there. Smiling. She stood up from the table with her finished dishes. Nozomi followed suit.
"Do you want to be?"
Nozomi asked as they put their dishes in the sink. Eri faltered in her movements. She knew what Nozomi meant, but she took the bait.
"Be in an adult relationship."
Eri stopped washing the dishes and looked at Nozomi. Just as the earlier clarification, Nozomi was serious. There was no hint of teasing or mischief. There was only that look. That look Nozomi always had whenever they talked on a serious topic. It was the look which Nozomi seemed the all-knowing and as "spiritual" as she used to say about her tarot cards. It was the same look that Nozomi had when Eri pushed herself too far – the one that urged Eri to think more of herself. It was the look that Eri fell in love with, the one that made her heart flutter.
It was the one look that made Eri utterly honest.