Miki Sayaka couldn't remember exactly when she had first met Sakura Kyoko, but it felt as if they had known each other for an eternity. Kyoko, with her rude laugh, bright red hair, impudent style of dressing, and ravenous appetite, had surely always been a part of Sayaka's life. Kyoko felt the same. Surely, Sayaka had always been there with her short blue hair, rambunctious attitude, boyish cheer, and strong sense of justice. All of their memories from before four years ago were hazy, but for some reason, this never caused any particular concern for the girls. Perhaps they thought they were normal, or perhaps they had been stripped of the ability to think hard about their pasts.
At any rate, starting at age fourteen, Kyoko began staying with Sayaka and her parents in their traditional Japanese-style house. After a while, the truth came to light that the red-head was an orphan without so much as a birth certificate. She was adopted by the Miki family the next year at age fifteen. Sayaka and Kyoko were ever so happy to be a family, but at the same time, they didn't quite view each other as family. They admired each other in a way that couldn't be adequately explained by sisterly love. Kyoko in particular loved to snuggle and tickle Sayaka and tease her with kisses on the cheek. Sayaka didn't take the initiative much, but she would always blush and enjoy the physical contact.
Much to the disappointment of both girls, they attended two different high schools at the behest of the Mr. and Mrs. Miki. Sayaka got into a private academy strong on the social sciences, while Kyoko was forced to keep attending public school because of her test scores. The private academy, Shiyustsu Gakkuen, boasted brand-new dormitories and encouraged students to stay on campus. Therefore, from age sixteen to age eighteen, Sayaka lived at the private school and became somewhat distant from Kyoko. She wasn't happy about it, but she wasn't utterly miserable either. After all, she was pursuing her dream to study psychology, and anyway, she came home to visit Kyoko and her parents once every two months.
Sayaka was certainly a better student than Kyoko, but both girls graduated high school without any major problems. As their nineteenth birthdays approached, the two "sisters" decided to attend the same college. They would be part-time students while also working hourly jobs to gain real-world experience. They decided to share an apartment, which was located just a few blocks away from Mitikihara University campus. It was Sayaka's idea, and Kyoko agreed at once.
A few days before the start of her first semester, Sayaka sat at an outdoor table of a coffee and pastry shop. The weather was delightful, with cloudless blue skies, warm yellow sunshine, and a wild breeze now and then that whispered hints about the coming autumn. Sayaka had only slept a few hours the previous night, so she was drinking a latte with double espresso. Nevertheless, she found herself drifting off into a doze. She could hardly help it; the day was so pleasant, the sun so soothing, and the scene so comfortingly quiet since there were few other customers around.
When she came to the cafe and saw her companion half asleep, Kyoko considered kissing Sayaka for a prank. However, that might seriously piss off the blue-haired girl, and that girl could be pretty damn terrifying when angry. So instead, Kyoko embraced her "sister" from behind, loosely wrapping her arms around her neck, and startling her awake. The red-head grinned and said in a mock-masculine voice, "Well, hello there, pretty lady. Come here often?"
"Cut it out, Kyoko," said Sayaka; "that's not even funny." She blushed brightly the way she always did at shows of affection or teasing jokes. "Now go get your coffee. I already ordered mine. And don't whine about it. You were late so it couldn't be helped." Shaking Kyoko off, Sayaka took a sip of her latte and stuck her nose in the air haughtily.
"It's true I ain't even human till I've had that first cup of coffee in the morning," remarked Kyoko, both hands behind her head, arms crooked in a boyish pose. "But you know, I've already had that first cup. I had this." The glass bottle that Kyoko showed seemed to appear out of thin air. Sayaka wondered where the red-head had been hiding it. It was a premade Starubacks coffee drink, the kind sold in coolers near the registers at grocery stores.
"That looks like the kind of thing that's really pricey and totally not worth it," Sayaka observed, as her companion sat down across from her and started drinking.
"Well, the price doesn't matter, don't ya know?" Kyoko laughed in her mischievous way. "I swiped it from the convenience store."
"You have a real problem," Sayaka snapped, aggravated. "Ugn, I can't believe I'm going to be roommates with a kleptomaniac."
"That's what you say, but I know you're happy about it." Kyoko wiped the coffee off her upper lip and gave a roguish, toothy grin.
After the coffee shop, the two girls officially moved into their apartment. The previous day, they finally managed to move all their things into the new abode, but most of it was still packed away in boxes. Although there was only one bedroom, it was spacious enough for two futons. Sayaka and Kyoko passed the day by unpacking their things and rearranging the furniture. They ordered a pizza for the main part of their dinner, and Sayaka whipped up a quick salad, while Kyoko ran to the convenience store for drinks. She proceeded to shoplift a six-pack of strawberry sodas without being caught. After the meal, each of the girls showered. Then Kyoko watched dance shows on TV in the living room. Meantime, Sayaka started reading her psychology textbook at her desk in the bedroom.
Soon enough, darkness fell and it was time for bed. Kyoko laid out her pale green and grey futon, along with a fluffy white pillow. These were the things she slept with at home, and frankly, they looked like they needed a good washing. As for Sayaka, she laid out a heavy, navy-blue futon that looked far bigger than normal-sized Japanese bedding.
"Yo, what's with the gigantic mattress?" Kyoko asked. "Was it made for some fat-ass?"
"It's not nice to say fat-ass." Sayaka always seemed to regard herself as the more righteous one. "And no," she added. "Obviously the futon is large because it's meant for two people. I didn't expect you to bring your own, since, well… you know… we always used to share." When she said that, she blushed and looked down, wringing her hands together anxiously.
"Damn, if that ain't the cutest thing you've said to me all day!" Laughing, Kyoko moved over to where her companion sat on the blue futon. The red-head got so close to her that their faces were only a few inches apart. "But y'know," she remarked, "only little kids share futons, and we're all grown up. Ah, I get it. You must really want to go at it tonight." Kyoko winked and grabbed Sayaka's hands. "You stayed in a co-ed dorm, right? I bet you messed around with boys. And now you want me to mess around with you." She was giggling with mirth. "Sayaka, you're so naughty. When did you get to be so horny?"
"Shut the hell up!" exclaimed Sayaka, tearing her hands away, as her face turned red as a tomato. "You know that's not what I meant, so stop teasing me, asshole! For your information, I didn't mess around with any boys. I was a healthy, pure high school girl who focused on her studies and her after-school club. There wasn't a boy I liked. Not even one, the whole time!"
"Hmm," Kyoko mused, "a high school girl with absolutely no crushes on any boys? Then that proves it. You're like me. You prefer to mess around with fellow girls." She grinned from ear to ear. "We're going to have fun tonight."
"You're so god damn obnoxious!" Sayaka shouted, standing up abruptly, before her companion could get close enough to kiss her. "Why do you always talk so dirty? That settles it. I obviously can't sleep in the same futon with you. I won't, even if you beg me! You could molest me in my sleep, you pervert!"
"Jeez, you're such a killjoy. Fine, I'll sleep by myself." Kyoko went back to her futon and lay down at once. "But hey," she added, staring at the ceiling, with her hands behind her head. "It's true you like girls, isn't it?"
"So what if I do?" Sayaka grumbled.
"What did I tell you?" said Kyoko, bursting into laughter yet again. "You're so naughty and twisted. But it's really frickin' cute."
"Whereas you're not cute in the slightest. Incorrigible: that's what you are." Sayaka brought an old fashioned box-fan out of the closet, set it up next to her bed, and turned it on high. Next, she switched off the lights. Kyoko noticed she was wearing an adorable pair of light-blue pajamas with white star patterning. Ignoring her companion's stare, Sayaka lay down in her oversized futon.
The sound of the fan, surprisingly loud, distracted Kyoko. "That's odd. I don't remember you sleeping with a fan before."
"I got into the habit at Shiyutsu Academy. The walls were thin and other people in the dorm were noisy at night. The fan is amazing because it blocks out other sounds. And I think it's soothing. They call it a steady white noise. Actually," Sayaka confessed, "I've gotten to the point where I can't even sleep without a fan running beside me."
"Kuh, that's annoying." The red-headed girl made an ugly wincing face to show her dislike. "It sounds awful to me. It's so damn loud. Well, whatever. I'll just turn it off once you're asleep."
"No, you can't do that," said Sayaka, sitting up again. "I'll notice the change in sound and wake up. Unlike a certain someone who could sleep through a hurricane, I'm a light sleeper."
"Heh? You're really gonna keep it on…? Then at least turn it down. It's blasting out on the high setting." Since Kyoko sounded genuinely bothered, Sayaka turned down the fan by one notch and then reclined again. "That's ridiculous," snapped Kyoko; "all you did was set it to medium. Put it on low already!"
"I can't sleep if it's on low!" Sayaka objected.
"I can't sleep if it's not on low! Fine then." Kyoko sat upright. "I have a way of relaxing myself and getting to sleep even if there's an irritating noise." She reached up to her desk and brought down her smart-phone. "I'll just listen to music."
"That's a good id—" Sayaka stopped midway because, to her surprise, Kyoko had turned on a loud, happy song with a strong bass and a swift, repetitive rhythm. "What the hell? I was going to say it'd be nice to fall asleep to calming, classical music. But this! This is dance music, for Christ's sake! There's no way I can sleep with that terrible racket! Use earbuds!"
"Fat chance," scoffed Kyoko. "If the fan stays on, my music stays on too. Besides, my ears and head start to hurt if I use earbuds for very long."
"Ugn. Do whatever the hell you want." Sayaka turned over onto her side, facing away from her companion. "I'll turn off the music after you fall asleep. Knowing you, it won't be enough to wake you. Goodnight."
"Sheesh, cranky." Kyoko shook her head. "Goodnight I guess."
Following this heated conversation, Sayaka tried to get some sleep. She tried for two long hours, and still she could not doze off because of Kyoko's endless playlist of upbeat pop songs. Unable to stand it anymore, Sayaka went and turned off her friend's phone. As expected, Kyoko did not stir. She was snoring softly. Then Sayaka returned to bed feeling hopeful and relieved. Now, at last, she would be able to get a little shuteye.
That wasn't the plan that fate had in store, however. What started as a soft, wheezing noise soon grew into an obnoxiously loud, snorting snore. How could Sayaka have forgotten? Kyoko had always been a terrible snorer. This sound was unbearable for the blue-haired girl, who had always had trouble falling asleep, ever since she was a small child. She tried for another hour and still couldn't rest. Kyoko kept snoring ever louder and louder.
"Hey, Kyoko," Sayaka whispered. Having left her bedding, she got down on her knees next to the red-head's futon and shook her gently. However, that wasn't enough to wake the master sleeper. "Kyoko, wake up. Come on, I know you can hear me. Kyoko! Hey, Sakura Kyoko! Wake up!" Finally, Sayaka's voice rose to a shout and she shook Kyoko violently by both shoulders. "Yo, Kyoko! Jesus Christ, wake the f*** up!"
"Huh? What?" Kyoko finally opened her eyes and started rubbing them sleepily. "Oh. Hey, Sayaka." She gave a long, drawn-out yawn and then asked, "So? Why the hell did you wake me up? What's the big idea?" The red-head looked angry at first, but at that moment she noticed that her pajama shirt had come partly unbuttoned from Sayaka shaking her. Cleavage was showing. "Oh, I get it," Kyoko said, leering. "You're gonna beg me to come over into your futon, right? Really, what a selfish little thing you are! You could've just crawled into my futon and snuggled up against my body."
"Shut up!" cried Sayaka, nearing her metaphorical boiling point. "Sakura Kyoko, it's two in the morning and I haven't slept a wink. First it was your music. Now it's your crazy loud snoring. You sound like a pig! It's insufferable!"
"Oy, oy." A dangerous glint appeared deep within Kyoko's red eyes. "I can only take so much verbal abuse in one night. I may be kinky, but I'm not a masochist, so don't be so insulting. You must be hearing things," she decided, shrugging. "I've never, ever snored before."
"You. Were. Snoring." Each word Sayaka pronounced emphatically and with obvious resentment. "It. Was. Insufferable! God, you've always snored! Here." Sayaka hurried over to her desk, opened a drawer, and pulled out a pack of snore-strips. "I forgot until now, but I brought these thinking of you. You put one over the bridge of your nose like a band-aide. It helps you breathe easier."
"Ok, throw those over here," ordered Kyoko. Her companion responded by throwing the small cardboard box right at the red-head's face. In annoyance, Kyoko clicked her tongue, but she fished out a snore strip and put it on. "You're being such a child," she sighed, "but I'll be the bigger person this time."
"I'm not a child!" screamed Sayaka, losing her temper completely. "And literally speaking, you're always the bigger person! You gained all that weight from eating constantly! And where does all that muscle come from? Your arms look like a guy's! You're almost as tall as a guy too!"
She was only lashing out about her companion's body because, in all honesty, she felt jealous. Compared to her friend Madoka, Sayaka had always been taller, stronger, and more athletic. Back when they were fourteen, Kyoko and Sayaka had been about the same height, weight, and level of fitness. But now, compared to Kyoko, Sayaka looked unusually feminine with her tight waist, the curves of her hips, her smooth, pale skin, and her generally petite build. She had worked hard in high school trying to become stronger. At the academy, Sayaka ate beef and worked out with the tennis club members three times a week. Still, she could never get her arms to look toned and muscular like those of her adopted sister.
Of course, Kyoko didn't understand that Sayaka's words were said out of envy. She was clearly insulted. "Now you're telling me I look like a man?" she spat, clenching her hands into rock-hard fists. "That's low! F*** you, Sayaka! Besides, you're dead wrong. Look, little miss washboard!" Kyoko tore up the rest of the pajama buttons protecting her modesty and showed her remarkable, voluptuous breasts. "Do men have awesome boobs like these? Eh?! No, they don't! And neither do you! You look like a pampered little Lolita! You're already eighteen so that means you're forever flat!"
"I am not flat!" Sayaka raged. "I've got fine, modest A-cups that are just right for my weight!"
"Hah, your weight!" Kyoko bit back. "You barely have any. You practically look malnourished. Poor, frail little Sayaka!"
"I'm not frail!" This was the greatest insult to Sayaka so far. "Take that back!"
"Never, jerk! Child! Weakling!"
"At least I have a brain! You're freaking dumb! Did you really pass all your classes in high school yourself? I bet you cheated all the way through. Cheater! Thief! Dummy!"
Kyoko gritted her teeth and spat, "Miki Sayaka…!" while Sayaka hissed like an angry cat, "Sakura Kyoko…!" Then, at the same time, both girls shouted at each other, "I hate your guts!" And again at the same time, they jumped at each other. Sayaka tackled Kyoko, making her fall to the floor, while the red-head started slapping her companion's face as hard as she could and tried to escape the grapple-hold. For a few seconds the two girls kept fighting, hitting each other, rolling around on the floor, pulling each other's hair, and screaming insults as if they were still middle school kids.
Quite suddenly, Kyoko realized she was sitting on top of Sayaka's crotch and leaning over her, holding back both her hands to avoid the flailing fists. She was pinning her down. Again their faces were so close they were almost touching, and both girls were sweaty and breathless. Kyoko remembered she had torn open her own button-up shirt, and her chest was exposed. Forgetting her anger and releasing Sayaka's arms, Kyoko threw her head back and laughed.
"Now I really, seriously look like a pervert," she said, blushing.
Sayaka punched her in the face, but not too hard. "Then get off me already, pervert," she growled.
Kyoko reluctantly obeyed and moved off to the side, letting the blue-haired girl sit up and catch her breath. The brief silence was awkward for both of them. They had clearly felt attracted to each other a moment ago. Obviously they didn't actually hate each other. Still, both had thrown some terrible, hurtful words at each other. Just before Kyoko could start to apologize, Sayaka quickly kissed her lips and then darted back to her futon.
"You can think of that as my apology," she muttered, grimacing. "No more fighting. No more insults. I'm sorry for saying you were like a guy. Actually you're really pretty in a 'wild' kind of way, and your chest is… it's very nice. Ahem. I'll turn the fan down to low, and you can use that snore-strip. Goodnight." As she finished speaking, Sayaka buried herself under the covers and turned onto her side, again facing away from Kyoko.
"Your compromise sounds fair to me." This time, Kyoko's voice was soft and gentle. "But I do want to ask for one more thing." She crawled over and got under the cover of Sayaka's futon. There was enough room for two people to sleep without even touching each other, and Kyoko thought it would be best not to touch Sayaka again that night. The kiss was already more than enough. So she lay down with her back to the blue-haired girl. "Is this alright?" she whispered into the darkness.
"Yes." For Sayaka, it was soothing to share a bed with her companion. She thought about holding hands with Kyoko, but she was too embarrassed, and too tired besides. "Everything's alright now. I'm… I'm really glad to be with you again, Kyoko."
"I'm happy too." Kyoko adjusted the snore-strip over her nose and closed her eyes, smiling. "Starting tonight, the two of us are roommates."