Vivid Love

By Major Mike Powell III

I'm Back

Akane Isshiki was not a girl that cried often, if almost never. However, this was reason enough.

Akane wept with joy like never before, holding her dearest, beautiful friend in her arms like she had never embraced anyone before.

She was back. The young girl who Akane and the whole Vivid Team put it all on the line for, the maiden who Akane docked with to become Vividred and save the universe from a dimensional villain with delusions of grandeur via a punch that sent it straight to oblivion.

They had looked into each other's souls. They had shared each other's memories, senses, thoughts…everything.

Rei Kuroki was back.

"Mou, I never took you for a crybaby, Akane," Rei joked with tears of her own in her beautiful amethyst eyes. In response, Akane chuckled and rubbed the back of her head with a silly, cute smile, having calmed down significantly from seeing Rei again while on her usual newspaper delivery route on her trusty Wan-Ko.

"Y-Yeah, sorry, Rei-chan…it's just, I'm just so happy you're back! I've waited and hoped you'd come back the second you stepped back into your world and I just-!" Rei's smile was radiant as she silenced the redhead via her index finger against her lips.

"Akane, you're rambling. And I told you girls that it wasn't a farewell, remember? I said it was a see you later, didn't I?" The girl cooed, almost making the other half of Vividred swoon with the confidence and affection radiating from Rei.

"Also, Akane, I had plenty of time to think while I was at home after making up for lost time with my family…and I…" Rei then moved her fingers to gently cup Akane's chin. The redhead's warm amber eyes widened at this gesture…and only widened even further when Rei's beautiful face began to slowly approach hers.

"Rei-chan…" Akane whispered in awe as she saw and felt the radiance of her friend and then, she felt her heart flutter and also, clench with something akin-but-not-exactly like sadness and conflict when Rei whispered "I love you, Isshiki Akane" and then, kissed her on the lips.

It was warm, soft, gentle and Akane, despite being torn, did not fight the caress in the slightest. In fact, Akane was the one to lovingly, tightly embrace Rei while deepening the kiss at the same time. When Akane's arms wrapped around the dark-haired girl's slim waist to pull her flush against the Vivid Team Leader's body, their soft, modest, warm chests "docked", in a (exhilarating) manner of speaking.

The girls tilted their heads to deepen the kiss and let their eager tongues meet half-way into each other's mouths.

And so, Akane and Rei shared this intimate caress kneeling on the clean floor of the overlook, with the morning sun shining brightly and the ocean sparkling in the background.

Eventually, Rei and Akane had to (reluctantly) break the kiss for air (despite the fact they had journeyed beyond the Earth's lower orbit as Vividred) and simply gazed lovingly into each other's eyes as they rested their foreheads against one another and held each other's warm body close.

-o-

A little while of contended hugging later saw the two halves of Vividred riding Akane's trusty Wan-ko, heading to the Isshiki household.

Rei nuzzled the back of Akane's neck from where she sat. Her arms wrapped snug and secure around Akane's slim waist while the genki girl hummed a song as she drove the hover bike.

Akane giggled, feeling Rei nuzzle her from behind, feeling her cute nose even through the soft, warm cloth of the girl's purple scarf.

"Rei-chan, are you sure you don't want your scarf back?" Akane asked her dark-haired companion, keeping her eyes on the road and maintaining an easy speed, driving Wan-ko responsibly for the sake of both her loving passenger and herself. Rei gave a warm, happy smile. Her beautiful amethyst eyes gazed at the serene, sparkling ocean by the road they traveled.

"It's Ok, Akane. I don't need it anymore. I only used it to hide the weapons that I was given to carry out my selfish, cruel task…now, it's something more, something for you to remember me by, and also…" Rei leaned up to kiss the back of Akane's head, making the redhead blush redder than her own hair and even the tomatoes that she and Momo cultivated.

"To be a part of me for you. And besides, this scarf looks far better on you than it ever did on me anyhow~" Rei cooed like a songbird, tightening her embrace on Akane's waist just a little more.

"Rei-chan, listen...I…um, you should know-" "So, how's the rest of the team, Akane? What did I miss while I was back home?" Rei's interruption was abrupt, but it was not particularly surprising. Still, it was jarring nonetheless.

Akane made a soft sound of understanding. She knew Rei could feel it.

"Unh, sure. Ok, let's see…it was no big surprise, really, but Himawari-chan and Wakaba-chan finally made it official and are now dating~!" She reported first and foremost, her giggles joining Rei's.

"Gee, you don't say. Even with the short time we spent together before things escalated, I knew those two were crazy for each other~!" Wan-ko's passenger commented.

"I know, right?! Those two are together all the time! It's like they're joined at the hip or something~!" Akane and Rei giggled like the schoolgirls that they were as they gossiped about their green and yellow-themed friends, with Akane doing most of the reporting, having been around to witness it all in the first place.

"So, how is-?" "O-Oh! Huh, we're here! Momo! I'm back home! Guess who's back?! Call Grandpa! Rei-chan is back~!" This time, it was Akane who interrupted Rei, as they had, indeed, arrived at their destination and the redhead was quick to power down Wan-ko and skip into her house, bursting with energy, yearning to share the news of Rei's return.

"…How's Aoi, I wonder…?" The amethyst-eyed girl muttered to herself as she climbed off of her beloved's hover bike. Her trusty old parakeet made his presence known again, landing on her shoulder to peck her cheek a little bit. "Ohayou~!" The colorful bird tweeted cutely, making his owner smile gently and rub the top of his head with the pad of her finger.

"Good morning to you too, Pisque." She petted her parakeet a bit more before looking at the Isshiki home. Her gaze became lost in the ether as she momentarily fell deep into thought.

Something had changed, clearly. Things had changed while she was away. Akane had changed…but Rei filed away that matter for another time. Right now, she was too happy to ruin the mood of Akane standing by her side and holding her hand tightly as she chatted up a storm with her little sister Momo, their grandfather, Dr Isshiki and the family's matriarch, the tall and beautiful Mashiro Isshiki.

Rei was too happy to care about what may yet change with her return. But still, all that could wait for later. The Isshiki family and her had much to catch up on.

To Be Continued