Important Note: Due to new facts about this current arc this story and the previous one might take a little explanation. I'll do what I can but please forgive any inconsistencies that arise due to any new information.
Less Important Note (but still one that should go up top): Once again this fic's namesake A Kiss To Build a Dream On, again by Louis Armstrong, makes a great accompaniment to this fic.
Mikoto sat at the kitchen table staring at pages of garbled nonsense posing as work. It was literally garbled nonsense posing as work. Kuroko's dreams were detailed but she had no idea the kind of paperwork that the owner of Academy City's largest energy company would bring home with her. So she simply imagined a paper covered in random characters, symbols, and numbers with no meaning or order whatsoever.
Mikoto sighed at the necessity of this. She'd much rather be in the other room helping Kuroko prepare their kids for their stay at Uiharu's house. It was nothing but a dream after all, why did she need to do work?
It wasn't the first time this had happened either. It had been roughly a month since she had first visited Kuroko's dream. The day after that she had discovered the cause of her nightly dream hopping, namely the indian poker machine that read the cards which allowed one to dream the dreams of other people. It had been affected by her power. Apparently her electricity detection could pick up on the brainwaves of people around her and "store" them, so instead of the machine reading a card, it picked up on the brainwaves of her friends that lingered on Mikoto's AIM field and connected with their own indian poker machines to link Mikoto directly to their dreams.
Once she had figured that out she had simply input Kuroko's brainwaves into the machine each night before bed to allow her to go into Kuroko's dreams again and again.
At first she had been wary of this. Though she had avoided entering a naughty dream one time who was to say that she'd be so lucky the next time? However, as the month had gone on her fears had been quickly alleviated. It seemed that every night Kuroko dreamed roughly the same dream, or at least a dream with the same setting.
However the scenario was usually a little different day by day. Today she hadn't gone to work because it was the weekend. She had been looking forward to a day playing with Rin and Tsuki but apparently they were going to Uiharu's and she was stuck with this paperwork.
"Ugh," Mikoto groaned as her head hit the table.
"Frustrated, darling?" Kuroko asked from the doorway.
"A little yeah," she admitted, still hunched over the garbled mess of paper, "I wasn't planning on having any work to do today."
"I know… having work on our anniversary isn't ideal but it can't be helped." Kuroko's voice was laced with sympathy.
Oh right, it was their wedding anniversary today. That's why the kids were going to Uiharu's. Kuroko had told her yesterday. It was so hard to keep track of all this sometimes.
"But I'm sure you'll be done by the time I've dropped the kids off and gone shopping," Kuroko reassured her, "and then we'll see about eliminating that stress of yours."
"I still don't see why I can't come with you," the electromaster protested.
"Besides the fact that you have work to do, I'll be stopping off at Seventh Mist today and I want what I pick up to be a surprise," Kuroko explained in a sultry, seductive voice.
Before the older girl could reply or protest a voice cried out from the entryway, "Kuroko-mama, we're ready."
The teleporter walked up to Mikoto, placed a hand on her shoulder and lowered her face near Mikoto's ear, "We have to get going now."
The electromaster nodded, before turning her head to plant a kiss on the other girl's lips, as was their routine. At first she had been quite resistant to this part of the routine, but playing along was the only way to progress the dreams to the parts that she did like. And as time had gone on she had become less and less opposed to this particular part as well. By now it was almost instinctual. "Hurry back, honey," she bid farewell, using that nickname that always made Kuroko smile in these dreams.
And with that bright, happy smile the teleporter was off. As she left the world around Mikoto fuzzed and faded into rough outlines devoid of color. All details, like the furniture and the paperwork, faded completely.
Mikoto sighed and reclined on a chair that wasn't there. This had happened before as well, when Kuroko had left the house without Mikoto. Since Mikoto was still technically in the dream she couldn't become a detached observer, but because Kuroko wasn't there to worry about the details of the house it effectively vanished, leaving Mikoto stuck in the void for a little while, making her wish for Kuroko to hurry back completely sincere.
While she had a little bit of quiet time she began to think. Kuroko had said she'd be making them a romantic dinner and with the house to themselves, and with a trip to Seventh Mist planned she'd surely have a new piece of lingerie to show off too.
A little while ago Mikoto might have been worried about a situation like this. She'd be suspicious, and rightfully so, about Kuroko's intentions. But despite having countless opportunities to at least try to do something perverted with Mikoto she had never done anything more than kissing and cuddling. Whenever they would lie in bed at night Kuroko would always come up with some excuse, like having a headache or not wanting to disturb the kids.
Had it been a genuine marriage Mikoto would probably be concerned that Kuroko didn't find her attractive anymore or that the passion was fading or something like that. As it was Mikoto was relieved that it was the other girl who was making excuses.
But though Mikoto wasn't worried, she was confused. Why would the girl who was always so eager for that kind of affection in the real world be so restrained in a dream? Was all the groping nothing but a joke? Were the sexual advances just a game to the other girl? But how could they be a joke when all the other feelings were real?
Her confusion was interrupted when the world suddenly shifted back into focus. The only difference being that the paperwork was gone, presumably completed and filed away.
"I'm home, dear," Kuroko called as she walked into the kitchen with several shopping bags. It had only been about five minutes - not nearly enough time for a shopping trip - but it was a dream so such inconsistencies were to be expected.
"Welcome home." Mikoto smiled.
The teleporter returned the smile and said, "Why don't you go have a bath and freshen up while I get everything ready, hmm?"
Mikoto nodded and went to the bathroom. She turned the tap on, dunked her head under the water, and waited for a minute before turning it off and leaving the bathroom, grabbing a towel on the way to dry her hair. Much like the shopping trip time warp Kuroko tended to prepare things like this at super speed while Mikoto was out of the room, so there was no need to take an actual bath to pass the time.
When she walked into the kitchen she saw that the minute of preparation had indeed gone a long way. The lights were off, leaving the room lit only by a few candles which were scattered around the room. The aroma of hot food wafted into Mikoto's nose and light piano music played from another room.
Kuroko sat at the table, smiling with her chin resting on her folded hands. She was wearing a piece of lingerie, presumably the one she had just picked up. Mikoto had to admit that it suited her more mature body very well. The thin, see-through silk and lace hugged her feminine form and made her appear surprisingly beautiful and elegant, and perhaps just a little bit sexy, though Mikoto would never admit to thinking that.
The electromaster took a seat and they ate Kuroko's special curry while talking about their six years of marriage.
"I remember our wedding night," she said, looking so happy. "We were so - erm, wild." For a moment Kuroko looked embarrassed, uncomfortable. "That sure was a great night."
Mikoto avoided saying anything. She had a guess as to what Kuroko was talking about - what else would two newlyweds do on their wedding night - but she didn't really want to think about it.
"And our honeymoon was so wonderful," Kuroko continued. "Remember the spa? The massages, the treatments, the baths. It was truly a weekend of paradise. We really should go again sometime, maybe for our tenth anniversary."
"That actually sounds really nice," Mikoto admitted.
"We won't get the honeymoon specials like we did back then, but I'm sure they have anniversary packages too."
"Can we leave the kids behind for an entire weekend though? Wouldn't that be asking too much of Uiharu to leave them there for more than a day or so?"
"It'll be fine." Kuroko waved off Mikoto's concern. "She does all her software engineering stuff from home, not like Saten who's always away for movie shoots. We can't exactly do it right now because of how young Tsuki is, but by the time our tenth anniversary comes around I'm sure they'll be old enough to be away from us for a day."
Mikoto smiled. She had been pleased to hear that her friends were successful in this world as well, with high paying jobs and happy lives. It really was a perfect world in all respects, like a little slice of heaven.
Once they had finished eating and Kuroko had done the dishes the pair went up to their bedroom. Kuroko laid on the bed seductively waiting for the other girl to change. Mikoto put her pajamas on without any particular urgency, but neither was she very hesitant. She knew nothing would happen.
The warm, comfortable feeling of the smaller girl in her arms was surprisingly lifelike. Possibly because in real life Kuroko probably was curled up in Mikoto's grasp. Apparently it was an unconscious reflex that Kuroko couldn't control. Mikoto knew this because she had gone to sleep after Kuroko several nights and seen the girl fall asleep in her own bed, and woke up at the same time as the younger girl each morning to see that the teleporter had made her way across the gap to Mikoto's bed.
Mikoto found it a little... touching, to know that even when asleep Kuroko wanted to be close to her. She wasn't exactly sure when she had stopped thinking of the behaviour as creepy and started to find it flattering.
But regardless of what Mikoto's feelings on the matter had become she knew that she couldn't encourage it, and so the moment Kuroko woke up she was quick to push the other girl out of her bed. Though she had stopped scolding her about it, since she knew it wasn't her fault to begin with.
It was enough to show that she didn't approve of it, but not enough that she was actively discouraging it. It was a fair balance and it allowed her to avoid suspicion.
Mikoto wished all of the problems caused by her nightly visits to Kuroko's dreamland were that easy to solve.
"Wow Misaka-san, that was a big yawn," Saten remarked from the other end of the table, "rough night last night?"
The four friends sat outside a cafe, eating cake and sipping tea. Mikoto had the latest issue of her favorite shonen manga in front of her. Despite her excitement at seeing the new issue out on the stall her tiredness made it hard to focus, the word bubbles, to her tired mind, almost seemed to contain the same gibberish the paperwork in the dream had been composed of. Her exhaustion had foiled her attempts to read it at the stall so she had purchased it, but she wasn't having any better luck now. She could hardly even remember what the manga was about. Why were these people beating each other up again?
Mikoto knew that when Kuroko woke up from the dream sharing she would wake up too, but she hadn't really understood the consequences of this. It turned out Kuroko woke up inhumanly, early forcing Mikoto to do the same. While the younger girl took it in stride, the electromaster had a little more trouble with such a brief period of sleep. Over the month she had been doing this her sleep debt had been climbing ever higher. Often she would fall asleep in class or sometimes she would just end up falling asleep on a park bench.
It was a problem but when she thought about ways to solve the problem the only thing she could think of would be to stop going into Kuroko's dream every night and, to be honest, she didn't really want to stop that.
"Just been having trouble sleeping recently, nothing to worry about," she reassured her friend.
"You seem to be having lots of problems sleeping recently," Uiharu said, concerned for her friend.
"We've had this conversation before," Mikoto sighed, not really up to getting involved in this discussion again. She hunched over and began trying to read the manga again, hoping that by seeming otherwise distracted she might get them off her back about this.
It seemed to work as silence reigned over the table for a few minutes. Then there was a bit more conversation amongst the others that Mikoto tuned out.
That went on for a little while until Kuroko noticed the time, turning to Uiharu and saying, "lunch break is over." Then she looked over at Mikoto, still a little worried about her friend's condition but not knowing what to do or say to make it better. Even if she did she really had to go back to the office now.
Mikoto felt Kuroko put her hand on her shoulder and lowered her face near her ear, "We have to get going now."
The electromaster nodded, before turning her head to plant a kiss on the other girl's lips, as if by instinct. "Hurry back honey," she bid farewell with that nickname that always made Kuroko smile in these dreams.
After a second or two of scanning the pages she caught a glimpse of Saten's face in her periphery. She glanced up to see the girl's eyes wide with shock and her mouth hanging open. A second later the reason for her friend's reaction finally clicked in Mikoto's exhausted mind.
She sat bolt upright and looked at Kuroko, panic rushing through her veins. Kuroko's hand was touching her lips, her eyes as big as dinner plates, glistening with shock and... fear?
Mikoto opened her mouth to say something but Kuroko disappeared before a single sound could escape her mouth, leaving Mikoto sitting there with her ever increasing panic.
But just because Kuroko had left without giving a chance for Mikoto to respond didn't mean that there was nobody there that wanted an explanation. "What was that?" Saten asked.
Mikoto looked at her friend, her mouth opening and closing a few times like a fish out of water. Then she stood up and ran away as fast as she could.
By the time Mikoto stopped her aimless marathon she found herself in a familiar park, gasping for air with her heart thundering in her chest.
She went over to the nearest bench and collapsed into it, her head cradled in her hands. Questions raced through her mind; how had this happened? Why had she done that?
She sighed. Who was she kidding?
She knew exactly how it had happened. If she was honest with herself she was more surprised that it hadn't happened before. During the past several weeks she had been having more and more trouble separating the dreams from reality. Several times she had found herself making plans with the kids in her mind before remembering that they didn't really exist. Other times she had confused school with work and the dorm for their house, getting ready for her job and being surprised that the closet didn't have any suits like she remembered.
Not only that, but recently she had needed to remind herself to zap Kuroko each and every time she had started to cling onto her. It wasn't the automatic reaction that it once was. Slowly but surely she had grown to accept Kuroko's affections within the dream and that had spilled into real life.
She knew this had been happening. Every day she worried about Kuroko or the others finding out that she wasn't disgusted by Kuroko's actions. She had been so concerned that one day Kuroko would try to kiss her and she wouldn't be able to stop herself from kissing back.
She hadn't expected herself to initiate the kiss, but she had to admit that it wasn't nearly as surprising as she would like it to be.
Mikoto sighed and leaned back on the bench. Really, she knew that the question shouldn't be why it had happened or how it had come to this, but rather why she had allowed it to come to this.
Visiting Kuroko's dream every night had caused so many problems. It had made her tired, it had made her worry about every interaction with Kuroko and their friends, it had caused all these weird feelings in her. The only good thing she got out of it was a couple hours with a family that didn't really exist, kissing someone whom she had only ever considered a friend, celebrating the anniversary of a wedding that hadn't actually happened.
So why had she insisted on doing it every night? Why did she look forward to it every day? Why was a dream that wasn't even her own so alluring?
Another thought crossed her mind, so relevant and important that she found herself saying the words out loud.
"What happens now?"
Kuroko sat at the top of a skyscraper, legs dangling off the edge as she gazed out at the city skyline. The wind raged around her, threatening to push her off, but she was surprisingly calm about this.
Once upon a time she had been terrified of heights. Being in a position like this would have utterly terrified her. But becoming a teleporter had fixed that. Now she could simply teleport back up if she fell. The ability to run away from danger made it all a lot less scary than it used to be.
Perhaps that was why she was so terrified now; she couldn't run away from this no matter how hard she tried. She had teleported so far away from that little cafe and yet the memory of what had happened there played over and over again in her head.
Onee-sama had kissed her. Onee-sama had kissed her.
Why? Why had it happened? Why had she done that? Just... why?
As she remembered the scene she recalled her dream from last night and saw all the parallels. She wasn't a precognition class ESPer so it couldn't have been a premonition or a vision.
She briefly wondered if this too was a dream, but she ruled that out quickly. She had long since learned the practice of lucid dreaming. She was in full control of her dreams and she prefered to keep the setting the same. One where they were already together.
This was surely reality. Her Onee-sama had actually kissed her. She was probably just misremembering her dream and seeing parallels where there weren't any. It had happened before, namely in Onee-sama's behavior in the dream and in the real world. It was very important to remember not to apply the rules of her dreamworld to the real one. Despite how accurate her dream wife's behavior seemed to be, especially recently, it was important to remember that they were not the same.
To start with, her real Onee-sama seemed a lot bolder than the dream one.
"I never would have imagined she'd be the one to initiate the first kiss. I always thought I'd need to do it." Kuroko said to herself. "And to take my first kiss before we've even started dating or had our formal love confessions..."
Kuroko had always assumed they would be in their relationship for quite a while, perhaps weeks or months, before their first kiss. It was why Kuroko had skipped so many steps and had them already married, so that kissing wouldn't be unusual at all.
If Onee-sama was really this bold then what would be next? Would they be making love next? Was Onee-sama waiting in their dorm room right now, ready to ravish her?
"Noooo," Kuroko whimpered as she squirmed in place, "I'm not ready yet." Kuroko's affection was always aggressive, but that was her way of proving to her Onee-sama how serious she was, how powerful her love was for the other girl.
But though she was familiar and comfortable with seduction, sex was another thing entirely. Sex scared her - it terrified her. It was just so... so adult, so intimate, so foreign. She couldn't even look at porn without feeling a little nauseous. She didn't even allow it to happen in her dreams.
And yet, if she went back and her Onee-sama asked to make love to her she wasn't sure she could refuse. Kuroko had dedicated her mind, body and soul to her Onee-sama. Her love for the other girl was so powerful. When Onee-sama showed her a little bit of love in return, she couldn't help but freeze up or, in this case, run away.
But sex wasn't something she could run away from. If she refused outright then the older girl might want to break up, and the only other option was to avoid her Onee-sama until she was ready. Who knew how many weeks it would take for that to happen? She couldn't stand the Onee-sama withdrawal she would suffer in that time.
She'd just have to hope for some reason that One-sama wouldn't want sex. She had been tired recently so maybe she'd be too exhausted to make love.
Suddenly it hit her like a ton of bricks. Her Onee-sama had been tired, very tired. So tired it was entirely possible she had kissed Kuroko unintentionally. It had been a mistake.
For a half second Kuroko felt relieved, then that word hit her again: mistake. In an instant all her panic turned to depression.
"She had probably thought she was kissing him or something." Kuroko sighed as she thought of that person who had seemed to snatch her Onee-sama's heart. "After all, why would she kiss me?"
Mikoto sat on her bed, taking several deep breaths to calm herself down in preparation for this talk. She would need to explain things to Kuroko, make sure the other girl didn't misinterpret what had happened, and set boundaries from here on out.
The sound of an opening door caught her attention and she looked up to see Kuroko walking into the room, her head bowed low. This slightly surprised Mikoto who would have expected her roommate to be on Cloud Nine.
"Kuroko?" she said, slightly concerned.
Kuroko looked up briefly, freezing in place. "Onee-sama," she replied hesitantly.
The awkward silence stretched on for a little while before Mikoto took another deep breath and said, "Listen, about today..."
"I understand, it was just a mistake, you didn't mean anything by it..." Kuroko lifted her head up, forcing an understanding smile.
'This is it,' thought Mikoto, 'this could be my way out. Just agree that it was a mistake and forget this whole thing.' However this thought was as forced as Kuroko's smile. Even if the older girl had a bit of doubt before, all of that changed when she had seen that look on Kuroko's face. This needed to be said.
So she braced herself and said, "It was not intentional... but it wasn't a mistake either."
Kuroko blinked and looked at her in confusion. "Huh?"
"I should start at the beginning," Mikoto said as she reached over and picked up the little dream machine that had caused all of this. "This machine picks up brainwaves which are inscribed on a card, or in the case of mine ambient brainwaves, and recreates them in the sleeping mind a the user, allowing them to experience the dreams of another person. Using this I've been... going into your dreams every night."
"Huh? Why?" Kuroko asked, still a little confused and disbelieving.
"To be honest I'm a little surprised you aren't angry at me for invading your privacy," she replied, subtly avoiding that particular question.
"If anyone deserves to see my dreams and be a part of them it's you Onee-sama," Kuroko explained immediately. "But I don't see why you would want to."
Mikoto sighed. It seemed she couldn't avoid the question after all. "Because... because I like it. What's not to like? I have a nice home, a good job, two lovely kids and... " She blushed and looked away, "and a loving wife."
Unseen by the older girl, Kuroko's face heated up, taking on the hue of a ripe tomato. After taking a few seconds to calm herself she asked, "So you kissed me because you thought it was the dream?"
"W-well... umm," the older girl stammered, "you just... you just kind of said the exact same thing as you normally do in the dream and I was tired and I just... I guess I kind of just acted on instinct."
Everything was quiet for a while, then Kuroko spoke up again.
"So," she began, "is this why you've been so tired recently?"
"That's your question?" Mikoto asked, looking back at the teleporter. Then she sighed and nodded. "Yeah it kind of is. Your sleep schedule is insane. How in the world do you function on so little sleep?"
"I just never really needed it." The younger girl shrugged. "Are you going to keep it up? Even though it's damaging your sleep schedule?" The teleporter felt a little like someone who just discovered that the people in the apartment next to hers could hear her singing in the shower. Nothing had changed due to the realization and she didn't exactly intend to stop but there was an odd pressure she felt now that she knew that her self-expression was being seen by someone else.
"I know I shouldn't. I know it causes me all these sleep issues but... I really really want to see the kids again."
Kuroko nodded. "Ok. Well, um... I'm happy to have you in my dream. Like actually in it. Umm... if you want I can probably put anything you want in my dream for you." Kuroko was more nervous than Mikoto had ever seen her. It wasn't that surprising though, considering how personal a thing she was sharing.
"Put anything in? How can you do that? Aren't dreams uncontrollable?" Mikoto asked.
"Well some are but I can lucid dream so I can do anything I want in my dream. The only thing I can't do is make them real."
"No, it would take both of us to do that." Mikoto smiled.
Kuroko's heart skipped a beat as her face was dyed red again. "What? Y-you mean..."
"I don't know. It's a nice dream... maybe it would be nice in the waking world as well." The electromaster blushed and looked away again as she rubbed the back of her neck.
Suddenly Kuroko was in front of her, kneeling and clasping her hand. "Marry me, Onee-sama," the younger girl gushed.
Mikoto knew she should be embarrassed. On any other day, in any other situation, she would have zapped Kuroko and scolded her for doing such an embarrassing thing. Right now though she couldn't help but laugh.
"Maybe a little too fast there Kuroko," she gently chided the younger girl. "Lets work on building those dreams of yours one step at a time."
"Then... A date? Would you like to go on a date with me, Onee-sama?" Kuroko asked, her enthusiasm somewhat lessened by the embarrassment of jumping the gun like that.
"I think I can stream 'The Dog That Leapt Through Time' to my laptop. How about a movie night in?" Mikoto smirked. "You won't think any less of me because of my choice will you?"
A slight frown tugged on Kuroko's lips. "Shopping at Seventh Mist for some proper pajamas first and then we can watch any movie you want." The teleporter sighed. "I might not think any less of you but that doesn't mean I want to see you acting so undignified as to be watching a kids movie in Gekota pajamas."
"You're right. Maybe a Gekota onesie would be better. To match the kids," Mikoto retorted, laughing at the horrified look on Kuroko's face. It was a laugh that Kuroko couldn't help but join in on.
Despite having just one accidental kiss to build on, their dreams and their futures were looking bright.
Author's Note: Despite my reservations about this arc of the manga at the beginning I'm very pleased with it. Kuroko goes on what I can only describe as a scourge. A canon scourge. I was very happy about that. I always love her being a badass.