Hello friends and readers! Yes this is a real chapter, and I apologize for it coming into existence long after I initially finished L;G, especially considering it is a greatly overdue addition that fills a plot-point that was seemingly skipped over a few chapters before. That being said, this fun and final jumble of words and stuff is largely dedicated to Kyphrin, for being an amazing reader and reviewer and a majority of the reason for this chapter to now exist, and to everyone else past and present that has taken the time to enjoy this story otherwise. Have fun and thanks again for reading!
Sunday, October 7th, 2012; Naha Airport Terminal, Okinawa, Japan; 5:57p.m.
Fresh off of airline flight JL 919, originating from an ever-busy Tokyo, Hiyajo Maho and Rintarou Okabe continued into the depths of the tropical island's civilian airport terminal, with short sleeved clothing and eager hearts reflecting their entrance into a week-long departure from metropolitan life. Just behind their held hands and wandering attentions, the wheels of previously reclaimed luggage clicked along tiled and segmented flooring, and the sparkling glass orbs of a green eyed stuffed feline kept a vigilant watch, peeking out of the top of the backpack bobbing from Maho's short-statured stride.
Alright... Baggage claim is over with, now for the monorail ride out of here, and onto this waayyy overdue adventure of ours.
Lips pursing from a restrained grin, an air-conditioned breath of continued anticipation pulled into her lungs.
...Even so, we're actually here! We've talked about going on this trip for ages, and here we are at last... Back home.
Sifting through scattered memories of younger years on the island, a hint of mirth remained on her cheeks.
What a wild feeling... Its been so long too! Last time I was here was, hmm, let's see...
"Does the military use this airport?"
Blinking out of her thought from Okabe's spoken query, her attention flitted aside to him with a toss of dark hair.
"I'm pretty sure they do."
"Happened to notice fighter jets parked outside on the tarmac, so I wondered."
"Then they definitely do. I've seen a lot of planes and helicopters flying around when I was younger... JASDF stuff."
"America had some sort of airbase somewhere around here. Since their occupation after world war two and all... Some big landing pad on a little island to extend their military reach."
"You say that in past tense."
"I did. I think they've since relinquished it to Japan a few years ago."
"So now our government is making use of the leftover infrastructure and runways. Didn't have to build anything new."
Glancing aside, distracted by the scents of food as they passed several small eateries tucked into the concourse, Maho's hand touched her stomach in realization of returning hunger.
"Speaking of leftovers..."
Drawing to a pause and swinging her backpack around to her elbow, promptly met by the presence of Tucker Tuxedo's green eyes and black fur, Maho unzipped the bag and tucked the stuffed feline into her armpit, rummaging through its contents for previously stowed food.
Glancing upward as Okabe simply grasped the top handle of the bag, lifting it free from her arm and holding it in place, she breathed with slight relief in response.
"If you're intent on eating, then lets find a place to sit."
"Only for a little while. Still need to head on out of here to meet up with my parents."
"Up to you then."
"Fifteen minutes, maximum."
"I'll set my timer."
Rolling her eyes with a smile as she finally retrieved a plastic-bagged meal, she hastily zipped the backpack shut again, and they began into motion in search of nearby seating.
Speaking of parents... Can't wait to see how they react to meeting you...!
Yui Monorail, Okinawa, Japan; 6:35p.m.
Seated within the spacious compartment of a white and red-striped 1000-series monorail consist, among a quiet group of evening commuters, Okabe inspected the torn paper stub in his grasp, with printed information regarding his and Maho's trip on the island's only commuter rail system.
Three hundred Yen, all the way to... Shuri, was it?
Pushing the slip into the folds of his wallet, his vision rose to a system map among the hanging handholds, spotting the station name at the far right of the displayed cityscape.
...And from there, a car ride the rest of the way, supposedly.
"Forgot how nice this is, especially coming from a big airport."
Peeking down towards Maho's voice as her phone lowered to her lap, he eyed her with interest as she shoved the blue and white-cased device into her shorts pocket, and then crossed her legs, eying him with renewed attention.
"Funny, the convenience of mass transportation."
"Sure beats going through surface streets."
"That's certainly the intent."
"And why Tokyo has trains every which way, right?"
Head tilting further, he produced a nod.
"Car ownership in a megalopolis is tough with already-limited space."
"And that's exactly why mass transit hasn't caught on much in America."
"Because there's plenty of space?"
"And plenty of roads."
Imagining televised imagery of traffic-choked highways, he then glanced aside out of the railcar's window, glimpsing occasional movements of cars on Naha's streets below.
"You've spoken volumes about California's highways before."
"Oh yeah. Rush hour there is about the worst thing in the world to get stuck in. That's definitely something I'm glad I left behind."
"I can't even begin to imagine."
"You don't want to. Stuck among thousands of hot-headed people just trying to get home or go somewhere... Ugh."
"That sounds remarkably like peak hours on our trains."
"Maybe, but I assure you there's a big difference. At least with trains, there's hardly a chance of someone causing an accident."
"All it takes is one moron not paying attention and crashing, and they shut down lanes, and it just bottlenecks everyone else hideously..."
Brow furrowing, only for her vision to return to his patient smile just above, a breath puffed from her chest, and a return of mirth bloomed across her cheeks.
"...A-Anyway, that's dumb stuff in the past, cause I live in Tokyo and take a train to and from work, and my commute doesn't stink."
"And that's what matters."
Flopping aside, resting her head onto his shoulder, her eyelids drooped shut with finality.
"Yes it is."
Turning his head aside, nuzzling her bushy hair with his nose and mouth, Okabe turned his hand over on his leg, and her open hand promptly flopped onto his palm in response.
All this talk of travel... And we're not even at our own destination yet.
Shuri Monorail Terminus, Okinawa, Japan; 7:03p.m.
Dutifully hoisting Maho's suitcase down brief flights of concrete stairs, ambling down from the elevated structure of the last station on the line, Okabe watched the jostle of his girlfriend's backpack and split mane of hair as she hurried ahead beneath the roof-covered passage, handling his own smaller suitcase with greater ease. Glancing aside, rich orange and amber colors were cast across the sky by the setting sun beyond, silhouetted by the city's varied rooftops around them, and a hum of interest buzzed in his throat from the sight of a sunset far closer to the equator.
Perhaps I hadn't given much thought... To our tropical locale. Sunsets like these are probably a nightly occurrence.
"They're already here! Oh my gosh!"
Glimpsing Maho's rocketing forward out of sight, only to reappear as he reached ground level, he looked ahead towards a small vehicle parked alongside the station's street-side curb, and the profile of two adults clambered out of opposite doors of a quirky compact van, with Maho colliding into embraces with what Okabe swiftly realized were her parents, as excited speech and laughter ensued among exchanges of hugs.
Right then. Family meeting and greeting... Brace yourself, me.
Footfall slowing from the sight as he exited the shadow of the stairs, seemingly allowing them time, he then exhaled as Maho turned around and unfurled her arm towards him, and a goofy grin emblazoned itself across his face as his cautiously approaching presence was promptly revealed.
"...This is my boyfriend, Rintarou Okabe."
Drawing closer, neck warming from the trio of eyes evaluating him with great interest, he slowed to a halt near the vehicle's bumper, facing the short-statured family of three.
Well, this certainly explains her height... "Good evening."
"So the tall Tokyo lad visits at last... Welcome to the island, mister, um, Rint-a-rou, was it?"
Evaluating the calm smile and grey-blue eyes of the healthily-bodied and short-haired middle-age father before himself, Okabe met his outstretched palm with his own, automatically lowering into a bow as they shook hands.
"A pleasure to meet you, sir."
"He typically prefers to go by his last name."
"Ah, well, either is fine, honestly."
Peeking aside to a mirth-addled Maho, who then led his attention aside to her mother beside her with a turn of her head, Okabe simultaneously relinquished his hold on her father's hand and Maho's enormous suitcase, stepping before the middle-aged woman. Instantly realizing the presence of dark bushy hair, round cheeks and verdant green eyes, almost exactly like that of her daughter, Okabe exhaled with silent amusement as the mother looked up to him, brow quirking with a slow revelation of surprise.
...And she explains everything else.
"Good heavens, you are as tall as she keeps saying."
"I told you!"
"Well, as with most things, seeing is believing... Miwa, Hiyajo."
Offering another bow in response, he rose again from a hum of interest issuing from the woman, a full foot shorter than himself, and watched as she leaned close to her daughter's ear.
"...He is tall, dark and handsome, how did you find him?"
Blushing from her mother's whispered words, Maho glanced up towards Okabe, who's hands had since come together behind himself, pretending not to eavesdrop.
"W-Well, he found me, rather, and I finally took a good look at him."
"Well its hard not to see someone edging out over everyone else's heads."
Beaming with red-faced mirth, Maho's hands twisted around the handle of Okabe's suitcase.
"Y-Yeah, definitely. Um, anyway, should we get our luggage on board?"
"We are swiftly losing daylight, aren't we."
Stepping towards the vehicle as a procession of movement and door openings began, initially grasping the handles of both suitcases, Okabe halted as the rear hatch of the two-tone grey microvan rose open with a quiet hiss of worn pistons, and a spare glint of fading sunlight revealed the name of the vehicle as a Subaru Domingo GX.
"Here. We'll get her monstrous thing in first."
Blinking from the voice of her father as he reappeared around the tail of the vehicle, both males bent down and grasped the large luggage, hoisting it off the ground and into the van with a thump. Then, with a retraction of the handle and a much simpler effort, his own suitcase was set inside beside hers. Met with the crimson glow of illuminating tail lights, the vehicle's rear-mounted engine sputtered to life, and Okabe ducked aside as the hatch was pushed closed, with Atsuto motioning for him to climb aboard. With a turn back towards the silhouetted monorail station above, a side door on the van slid back open, and Maho peeked out, pulling his attention right back to her presence with a wave.
"Come on in!"
Coming closer and ducking his head, he clambered into the rear bench seat of the van, listening to the faint squeak of struts as it jostled from his additional weight. Watching as Maho climbed across him on all fours, gripping his thigh teasingly with one hand, she grasped the door's handle and heaved it forward, shutting it with a slam.
Retracting back and seating herself onto twenty-year-old fabric, Maho watched as Okabe clipped together a seat belt, only to scoot closer into the middle seat and pull across a lap belt, nudging up against his shoulder and illuminating his expression as their eyes met. Keeping together for a short moment as the van puttered off the shoulder and began down the city street, an exhale of delight left her lungs, and her head rolled back across the seat's headrest, peering ahead out of the windshield.
This is totally happening. A week's stay at my parent's place... Boyfriend in tow.
"So, mister Okabe."
"Our Maho has spoken a great deal about your prowess with computering things."
"I'm, I can imagine she has. I've been attending classes for some time now... Even before she and I met."
"Tokyo Denki, right?"
"Yes sir. Working on my Bachelor's degree."
Realizing with a downward flit of attention from the rear view mirror, that Maho's fingers were gently spreading between his own, he exhaled, releasing further tension from the squeeze of her slender digits.
"Maho tells us you've lived in the capitol region all your life."
"Ikebukero for the most part, but yes, that's correct."
"A city boy, as she keeps saying."
Glancing at a still-grinning Maho, he nodded in acceptance.
"Its true. I'm used to it."
"She also says you're a great kisser."
"...And quite the gentleman, as I've heard of and already seen."
Looking down, and then aside to their held hands, a smile of pride arose upon his features.
"Ohh, there's no doubt about that one."
Eyes closing, and chin rising with a continued blush, Maho's head rolled aside with a laugh escaping her lungs.
Listening to the easygoing laughter shared, and then watching as the van's windows were rolled down in sequence, Okabe's head leaned out as a current of coastal air and passing scents of the city met his nose, winding through the interior and tossing tufts of hair. Glancing back and forth at the slowly darkening surroundings as they accelerated into a northbound commute, only for the van to rise upward and merge onto the lanes of the Okinawan Expressway, the increasing wind noise seemed to drown out any further conversation, and he attempted to stretched his legs out.
"We're looking at about an hour's drive, so if you need anything along the way, say so!"
Blinking from her father's shouting voice over the moving air, Okabe nodded, leaning inward.
"Thanks, I'm sure I'll be alright though!"
Swallowing from his concluding remark, Okabe took in a tingly breath of excitement-addled uncertainty as other vehicles passed by in parallel lanes, and his ears began picking up sparse notes of music wandering back from the stereo's speakers ahead.
Should be fine... One more leg of travel, and then a week of lounging and adventure... With you.
Waiting as Maho's attention turned back from the open window, facial features silhouetted by the last embers of sunlight, she alighted upon his wayward interest, only to glance downward in momentary contemplation. Then with a whirl of a retracting belt, bodily movement, and a forward swipe of her hair, she rolled down and settled onto her backside, resting her head upon his lap and allowing her plumage to spill over his knees.
Curling up like a kitten, are we? Don't mind if I do... This.
Lowering his free hand to a hover just above her forehead, he began brushing aside her bangs with gentle passes of fingertips, continuing further with each movement down along her ear. Seeing her eyelids drift shut, absorbing the dextral caresses, breaths of intimate comfort issued from their noses in exchange. Then, with a flutter back open, meeting his fascination with her own adoration, her lips perked together in a fleeting kissing motion. Not too proud to return the mannerism back down to her, her head rolled aside in response, burying her face into his stomach with a giggle, and his hand moved to the top of her head, continuing the gentle petting motions.
A whole week of this, and more... Can hardly wait.
Hiyajo Residence, Kise, Nago Precinct, Okinawa, Japan; 9:27p.m.
Mere minutes after settling into a guest bedroom within the sun-bleached concrete walls of a single-level home, shoulder-to-shoulder among a spare few rows of simple abodes lining the sandy pavement and cracked concrete sidewalk, the glow of lanterns on porches and cluttered back patios alike provided an unfamiliar sense of small-town comfort to Okabe as he remained in a lean out of an open window.
Simple place... For a simple life.
Looking upward, met with a glimpse of twinkling lights sprinkled among the gaps of almost-unseen clouds, a great breath drew into his nose, and he peeked to the left past a partially-ajar shutter.
Hardly a car to be seen... And everybody is home, probably, so no passerby...
Ears perking from the padding of bare feet approaching from behind, he twisted aside, only to find his backside enveloped by Maho bodily, with her slender arms circling around his chest beneath his shoulders.
Pushing himself upright from the windowsill, palms resting on the narrow ledge of wood framing, her fingers snuck up to the collar of his shirt, curling around the hem of the light textile as her head tucked sideways, nudging up between his shoulder blades.
Met with her simple response, he remained in her embrace, and her hands retreated from his collar, coming together in front of his stomach. Then, a grunt and murmur wandered from her throat as she squeezed him tightly.
Just, cuddles, and -
Heads turning from the tapping of an object on the room's door, the presence of Miwa was revealed as she peeked around the door frame, entering the warm light of a nearby table lamp with plates of flat food in hand.
Retracting from the embrace, Maho grasped Okabe's arm and promptly towed him over, and her mother produced a smile of amusement as Maho plucked one of the plates from her grasp, with Okabe making much more precise motions, accepting the offering with a bow.
"Hirayachi... And you two can eat in here considering it is late."
Watching as Maho wandered aside to the chair beside a small desk, plopping onto the seat and digging into the meal with haste, both Okabe and Miwa remained standing, watching the petite young woman devour the savory pancake.
"I'm sure you've already discovered her appetite by now."
"Discovered, and documented as a scientific wonder."
Laughing quietly from Okabe's response, she exhaled, arm rising in a lean against the doorway.
"I'm turning in for the night... Anything else is on you two to figure out."
"I imagine we'll make do."
Nodding from Okabe's politeness, she then stepped back into the darker hallway.
"Good night, you two."
Turning aside and sinking to his knees, seating himself onto one of two mattresses placed in the middle of the room, he set the plate onto his crossed legs, and lifted a cut portion of the warm evening supper to his lips, taking a bite and pausing from the explosion of combined flavors meeting his tongue.
Good heavens this is excellent... And that's considering Maho's own version of these too...
Chewing, swallowing, and promptly acquiring another bite, he exhaled with increasing satisfaction.
Chin rising from Maho's voice, noticing she was wiping her fingers, he swallowed.
"She taught me how to make these."
"Well it certainly shows."
Humming with approval, she plopped onto her bare feet and wandered past, heading for an adjacent restroom, and Okabe stuffed the remainder of the slice into his mouth.
Seems I'm about to be the last person to bed... Not that time matters at the moment.
Drying his face and hands of water, bundling a towel into a roll and setting it beside the rim of a sink, Okabe wandered aside out of the bathroom, swiping a light switch down, and pausing as his vision adjusted to the darkness before him, with the glow of neighborhood lamp light sneaking through the window's closed shutters and providing a faint reference to the room's interior. Looking down at the cautious progression of his footfall, he shuffled closer to their paired bedding, and sank down onto his unoccupied mattress. Pausing as Maho seemed to stir beside him, she rolled over, and he realized she was looking directly at him, lashes blinking over the iridescent reflection of her eyes.
Smiling from their matching whispers of greeting, her arm reached out from beneath a light sheet, fingers meeting his in a fumble of alignment in the near-darkness.
"Yes, at last."
Allowing minds to wander in silence, with the distant sound of the ocean's waves audible beyond the intermittent songs of bush crickets, she squeezed his digits.
"I think you're going to have way more fun this week than you realize."
"More than likely."
Humming with mirth from the smile just visible on his features, she shuffled into an upward rise out of her sheets, hair spilling around her shoulders and veiling her face in a shadow.
"One more thing..."
Heart beating from her drawl as she leaned over the gap between their cots, he began to match her posture, and before she could even begin to speak further, he simply nudged her into a kiss. Drawing her chin upward as he collected her into an embrace that quickly tightened, all four of their arms found comfortable resting places on shoulders and hips.
Lips peeling apart and pressing back together, tastes of minty toothpaste lingered on their palates, and a swirl of cool coastal air wandered in through the open window, circulating through the otherwise still home and passing over the warmth of lightly-clothed skin, resting together in a sleepy upright mingle.
Good night kisses.
Hiyajo Residence; 7:41a.m.
Peeking open, with fuzzy glimpses of unfamiliar furniture slowly gaining detail in his vision, Okabe blinked repeatedly, finally forcing his other eye open. Met with the simple off-white of smooth walls, and the seemingly cliché calling of coastal gulls, he peeked down with a strain of his neck, eying the twisted mass of a bed sheet covering his legs, and then his bare feet resting over the edge of the mattress beneath. Not entirely sure of his location, compounded further by the unseen passing of a scooter's gas engine just outside and a resumption of the ocean's dull roar somewhere beyond, he twisted into a roll, suddenly rediscovering the presence of Maho's mane of hair, partly obscured by her pillow. Head rising again, seeing the rest of her body, he studied the delicate rise and fall of her slender chest from passive respiration, eyes wandering along the disheveled folds of her shirt, down to the tangled mass of her own sheet coiled around her rear and legs.
Never one to lie still for long... But you sure manage to sleep the hours away regardless.
Head flopping back, only for his arm to drag along the floor beside himself in a fumble for his smartphone, he lifted the device into view, checking the time, and then tapping on the screen, opening his message inbox.
Guess I could catch up on things... Or not. Not much to catch up with when its not even eight in the morning...
Stretching in both directions, toes reaching out and legs crossing, he opened the internet browser on his phone with idle curiosity.
Sure is a funny feeling... Waking up early on a vacation because of your internal clock. All the time in the world, and yet...
Dropping the phone onto his chest unintentionally, his eyes closed, and he twisted around in another stretch, letting the electronic device slide aside onto the bedding.
...Whatever. Nothing to do, and nowhere to be but here.
Settling face-down onto the bedding again, his arms slithered up beneath the pillow, and he lay still, breath held in a fleeting pause.
Not too often one can just... Snooze the morning away. Right, Maho?
Peeking across at his still-asleep girlfriend again, a smile of irony spread across his lips after an exhale of relaxation, and his vision faded to black beneath his eyelids, face sinking to rest in the pillow once more.
Discerning a fuzzy view of her childhood bedroom, gaining clarity with repeated blinks, Maho's head turned slightly, only to continuously realize the absence of her own personal effects that once decorated the now-generic guest room.
Hmm? Where's all my...
Twisting around, only to find a squishy object pressed against her bosom, her arms extended in an upward shove, freeing herself from her sheets and what she discovered was the sparkly-eyed cat plush that spent the evening in her bedding, now buried by her plumage of hair.
Wait, Tucker? Then...
Turning further with a stretch of back muscle, her vision alighted upon the slumbering profile of Okabe laying in his own bedding, a short distance away from herself, and a transition of memory brought a smile to her face as her mind seemed to return fully to the present.
Head tilting, entranced by the visibly relaxed slumber of her boyfriend, she remained still, lips parting with an intake of morning breath.
God you look amazing right now... Bed hair and bed clothes, and... Damn. Its definitely snuggle time.
Shuffling over, slipping free from her twisted blanketry, she cautiously approached on her palms and knees, sinking into his mattress and promptly revealing her presence with a turn of his head. Grinning instantly as he rolled onto his backside, eyebrows quirking with groggy amusement, she simply continued her crawl over him, aligning bodily and descending with an introductory flop of personal mass, forcing breaths of absorption in and out of his lungs in succession.
"M-Morning to you."
"Mmmm... Morning, you."
At first maintaining sleepy eye contact, she buried her nose into his chest, and emptied her lungs as she nuzzled his collarbone, nesting up beneath his chin and finding a position of comfort. Melting with a sigh as his arms came together around her backside, with one hand collecting a partition of her mane between his knuckles, she lazily looked aside towards the room's wooden desk.
Even if it isn't my room anymore... Its still what I remember it to be.
Eyes closing, feeling his chest rise and fall with respiration, her lips curled with a smile of memory, past and present.
Besides... Home is where the heart is. Which means...
Reaching toward his upper arm, fingertips peeking beneath the wrinkles of his T-shirt, her palm curled in a grasp around his bicep, only to slide down to the inner bend of his elbow.
I'll just need you around, and I'll be home... Here, there, or wherever.
Nudging upward, peeking towards his chin with hints of shaved stubble visible, her head turned, settling her chin onto the middle of his ribs. At first attempting to blow her bangs aside with minimal success, she waited as his hand drifted along her backside and rose aloft from her shoulder blades, only to tuck close to her face, brushing her locks aside with simple drags of his fingertips. Releasing a puff of warm breath from her elfin nose, just above a simple mirthy smile, both of their lips parted to speak, only for both of them to hesitate, with Okabe producing a single chuckle.
Brow furrowing cheekily, her head tilted, shifting her bangs again.
No, you first.
Exhaling into a nearly-giddy giggle, her head flopped down even further onto her cheekbone with satisfaction.
...And that's why. Because its amazing when you say it first, which is just another reason why...
"IIII, love you. Boo." Hehe. Boo. That's definitely you.
Eyes sparkling as his sleepy smile broadened, only for his head to rest against his pillow again, she closed her eyes again in response.
And with that reestablished... I could probably just lay here forever.
Eyes flitting open from the savory scents of cooking breakfast meeting her nose, Maho's head rose upright with a continued series of inhales, bringing Okabe's reawakened attention to her, and then towards the doorway just beyond.
"And knowing mom, it is good."
"I'm ready if you are."
Rising upright, and then shuffling free of his lap as he pushed himself upright, Maho watched with discretion as he rubbed his eyes one by one, and then rose to his feet with a wobble of balance adjustment, bringing her onto hers seconds later, padding across the thinly carpeted floor in pursuit as he collected their dishes from the night before, brushing past the door frame. Hustling up behind his freely hanging arm as he walked, she reached forward and curled her fingertips around his open digits, remaining just behind in tow as his grasp tightened in response, mere steps from the home's kitchen. Nudging against his arm as his movement halted, however, she peeked further forward, met with the sight of her mother leaning back against a kitchen counter, an open book in hand. Seconds later, however, Miwa glanced aside, realizing the couple's presence, and swiftly placed a bookmark within the pages, shutting and setting the hardback aside.
"Morning, you two."
"What's sizzling over there?"
"An omelette for your father... Go ahead and put those plates in the sink, hun."
Releasing Okabe's hand as he shuffled over to the sink, Maho wandered towards the saucepan on the oven range with increasing curiosity.
"Can we have one of these?"
"You can have whatever you want if you help prepare it."
Backpedaling aside towards a stainless steel fridge, glancing across her shoulder as Okabe carefully sat himself at the dining table, Maho yanked the appliance's door open, met with a cushion of cold air as she inspected the door's shelves high and low.
"Anything you'd like on your eggs, Okabe?"
"Depends on how they're done."
"Well I think we're doing omelettes this morning, sooo..."
"Then put on whatever you want."
"I mean, nothing too extreme, of course."
Smirking cheekily from the thought, Maho plucked a carton of sour cream from one particular shelf, closing the door and wandering back towards the oven, setting the round container aside.
"Well once we get them going, we'll figure out toppings and such."
Leaning back against the counter, arms coming together in a cross against her chest, Maho's attention alighted upon the room's window, only to settle upon a quietly seated Okabe, head propped upon his arm.
"Seems like you two slept well."
"Nodded off again for a while earlier."
"Bancha tea okay, Rintarou?"
"Hm? Oh, yes please."
Attention drifting along the decor and supplies piled and arranged in numerous places within the kitchen, Okabe's eyes finally aligned to Maho's, and a period of stillness was maintained among their shared morning smiles. Then, with the opening and closing of an unseen door in the adjacent hallway, Atsuto appeared after a tromp of booted footfall, leaning into the kitchen with a portable toolbox in his grasp.
"Good morning sir."
Humming with amusement from Okabe's automatic formality, he then looked towards Maho, and the oven just beside herself with a pointed expression and smile.
"Dad's right here, you said this was his, right?"
"Yes, can you get him a plate?"
"I've got it."
Setting the metal toolbox onto the floor, he shuffled past and pried open a cupboard, plucking a worn glass platter from a stack within, and Maho lifted the saucepan from the burner, meeting her father's plate and tilting it aside, allowing the crescent-shaped mass of solidified egg to slide free onto the new surface.
Heads turning as Miwa promptly reentered the kitchen, several eyes watched as she set a trio of mugs onto the table, pouring steaming water from a closed pitcher into each cup.
"Got a house call scheduled for this afternoon."
"I thought you were changing the van's oil then?"
"That was the plan initially, so I'm doing it now."
"Oh. I'll drop you off then, because I was intending to head to the hardware store."
"Just as long as you pick me up later on."
Lifting the omelette by hand and taking a large bite from it, Atsuto nodded towards Okabe with a chewing smile.
"Has my daughter shown you the beach yet?"
"We've only just awakened, honestly."
"However, its already on the itinerary, dad."
"Good. Get your city boyfriend's feet a little sandy."
Cheeks tinting with slowly increasing mirth, Maho's head sank in a nod.
"That's the plan."
Hiyajo Residence; 10:35a.m.
Tilting her head, watching the mirror's reflection of a lengthy ponytail draping around her shoulder, Maho's vision lowered to the faded light grey T-shirt beneath, ending just beneath her waist and teasingly hiding the bottom of her swimming attire.
Okay. Sunblock, and... I think that's it? We won't be far anyway so... Yeah.
Turning aside and swiping the bathroom's light switch down, she drew to another halt, eying Okabe as he shut off the screen to his smartphone, dropping it aside onto his bedding. Inspecting the combination of blue and green colors on his trunks, and a plain white short-sleeve shirt rippling from a breeze entering the room, a grin she didn't immediately notice continued to broaden on her face.
"I believe so."
"Forecast says the weather should stay quite nice for most of the day."
"Typical of this place."
Turning into a heading into the hallway, with Okabe swiftly closing the distance behind, both of them ambled towards the home's back entrance, revealing a laundry and storage room branching from the previously unseen passage. Pushing through a sprung screen door, and ensuring it shut completely, Okabe looked on towards the shady back patio, with numerous other clutter-laden porches and sheds lining the paved alley. Attention finally returning to a patiently waiting Maho, leaning against a thin pole bracing the patio's roofing, he stepped up beside her, and she shoved herself back upright, taking him by the hand.
Weaving around humming AC units and parked two-wheeled vehicles of varying sizes and conditions, the short-and-tall couple continued in a heading through the mostly-quiet neighborhood, eventually leaving behind aged pavement and encountering a border of tropical foliage guarding the beach beyond. With the ocean's ceaseless movements introduced shortly beyond the music and chatter of a nearby radio, Okabe's heart beat with a surge of excitement, arms tingling and legs brushing through the tall patches of grass reaching out to them.
Been many years since I've experienced a beach... And here lies one, straight ahead, moments away.
Finally stepping free of the dirt path, escaping the moving shadows of gently swaying palm trees, warm dry sand spread beneath their footfall, and the shimmering sight of eternally cresting water surging up along the damp shoreline drew ever closer. Taking in the sight and sounds with fascination, Okabe glanced left and right at the bright transition of soil and ocean stretching to the edges of the island's horizon.
"Its... Amazing to think you grew up here.. In a serene place like this."
"With a beach as your backyard, just down the way... Splendid."
Seeing her nose rise, a knowing smile curling onto the far edges of her lips, Maho shrugged.
"Eh, maybe... Everyone acts like its a big deal, but when you live beside the sea for a few years, you'll eventually realize it never really changes too much. The weather, maybe, but not the waves or the color of the sand, or even the trees for that matter."
"Even without change, I imagine the environment is nice enough to warrant living here long-term."
Tossing a puff of dry hot sand with a flick of her flip-flop, she nudged his arm in a momentary lean of balance.
"I mean, on a personal level I love any warm climate, but you'll have to ask my ancestors why they lived here as long as they did."
Listening to the quiet quartet of open footwear beneath, mismatched in pace but staying together, Okabe mulled over her statement.
Ancestry, hmm? "...A heritage of warm blooded family?"
"And yet you seemed to survive the prior winter just fine."
Head rolling aside, vision alighting upon his teasing smile, an irregular breeze flicked several parts of his hair about, and she looked at him beneath her brow of straight-cut bangs, secretly melting from the sight.
"Lest we forget, a certain Okabe was there to chase my shivers away with his cuddly internal inferno."
"Right yes, my fiery furnace of love, as you've put it."
"I'm afraid I can't convert my heat to cooling, however."
"Mm, no need for it right now. We've got an ocean right here for that."
Seeing Maho's arm unfurl towards the distant crash and closer lap of waves, reaching for their footsteps as they wandered closer onto the damp sand, Okabe's imagination displayed a variety of pleasant imagery, fading as Maho turned towards him again. Distractedly realizing she was stepping free of her flip flops, she then proceeded to lead him along by his held hand, directly towards the water.
"You know that old idiom about getting your feet wet?"
"Ah, um, I do, and I can see you're going for a real-life example, because, hahh, that's, cool!"
"You get used to it, don't worry!"
Grinning as a wave swept past, soaking their ankles and spreading moving sand across his footwear, they splashed further into knee-depth water, releasing hands as the fabric of her T-shirt rose from her waist with the water's repeating undulations. Eyes widening from being nearly half-submerged, Maho swiped her free hand forward, casting a splash across his waist and causing him to eye her with amusement from higher above.
"...That was supposed to be aimed higher."
Feigning a grimace, however, she watched as his height plummeted down, seating himself into the sand beneath the shimmering surface and releasing a startled breath from the washes of colder temperature across his upper body.
"...Now try it."
At first entertaining another blasting of water, her fingers spread apart instead, allowing the waves to peacefully pass between her knuckles, and her head settled into a slight tilt.
"Well, since you're nice enough to adjust your height anyway..."
Sloshing forward and closing the distance as another wave rushed past their bodies, she sank down onto her knees and shuffled forward around his submerged legs, mouth curling upward with amusement from his rising brow. Then, settling her rear onto his lap, her toes dug into the sand as he leaned forward, bringing a damp hand above the surface and brushing breeze-tossed locks of hair past her ear in a silent repeating motion. Absorbing the familiar caress of his fingertips along her temple, her own wet hands settled onto both of his shoulders, and further words simply remained in their heads, as not to interrupt the soothing roar of the ocean beyond.
This is a dream. Was one for a while, really. We just got here, and we're already on the beach... Doing beach stuff.
Leaning closer, watching with teasing patience as he did the same, their foreheads nestled together, flattening errant tufts of bangs between them. Eyelids dancing up and lowering down from unspoken exchanges of thoughts, simple laughs left their lungs and took in the salty air in return, and after a moment of nudging noses together, Okabe finally pushed forward, capturing her in an awaited kiss. In response, her tender folds kept hold of his bottom lip, and flares of arousal wandered from their noses. With digits drifting and arms tightening in a physical realignment, their lips pushed and pulled in a series of intimate connections, and sweeps of waves threatened to break their focus, only for the rushing crests of water to reverberate in their ears unseen.
Like this. Beach kisses.
Settling forward as he leaned back, allowing her to seemingly drape herself onto him as his arm reached back to hold them both upright, their physical features pressed together, with bare skin spreading warmth around the wet fabric of swimwear.
Sexy beach kisses.
Drifting up past his shoulder, her sand-sprinkled palm brushed up along his chin, fingertips spreading apart and settling against his facial features as their tongues met with repetition.
My kind of kisses.
Sitting cross legged side by side, with hands buried beneath the damp granular heft of their surroundings and toes touched by the occasional close-reaching remnant of a wave, two computer scientists looked onward towards a deep blue horizon, dotted with scattered puffs of clouds adrift on their own invisible current.
Seeing her ponytail shift across her shoulder in the far corner of his vision, Okabe's lips parted, retrieving the remainder of a question in his mind as he lazily gazed into the atmosphere.
"Did you... Start school here?"
"If you're talking about primary education, then yes."
"Oh, I meant college, actually, but..."
"Ah, well, after high school I attended the University of Okinawa... Began the long climb towards my Masters degree."
"Right, and from there... You wound up at Viktor Chondria."
"Sure did. Student exchange made that happen."
Head settling onto his shoulder, Okabe glanced towards her bare knees, just obscuring her petite feet beneath.
"What do you think made you want to go to America?"
"The same sort of reasons people abroad want to journey here to Japan... I already had to learn English to even work with people and programming in the computer industry, and I wanted to experience a change of culture... So a big English-speaking nation made up of a bunch of prefecturey states, all with their own separate climates and cultures, seemed ideal."
"You've... Only been to one state though, right?"
"I've been to other cities, but only lived in California."
"Doesn't paint a complete picture of the place, but you see enough of the good and bad."
"Its a very big and dysfunctional place. Absolute chaos... But a lot of underlying beauty too."
"Sounds like us."
"Sort of. At least we're more organized... And have more of our societal priorities straight."
Watching as a approaching wave surged towards them, greeting their toes and bottoms with a fleeting encirclement of ocean water, exhales alternated between them.
"Would you ever go back?"
Turning up her nose, allowing her ponytail to fall behind her shoulders, Maho shook her head ever so slightly.
"Nah. The Amadeus project and its members were really the only thing tethering me to being in California at all... And we all ended up at the institute in Wakoshi anyway."
Glancing aside to a pensively-expressed Okabe, she eyed him fondly.
"Plus I met you beforehand... Which made the jump back to Tokyo entirely worthwhile."
Seeing a smile bloom above his chin, his shoulders tightened in a momentary shrug.
"Perhaps it did."
"It definitely did. My handsome nerdy tour guide, ready and waiting to take me under his wing... I don't know how we pulled it off, but...
"...The important part is that it happened at all."
"Yeah. A bunch of things happened... And I don't regret a single one of them."
Lifting her hand from its damp place of burial, clumps of sand fell free from her digits as they curled around his wrist, only for him to match her motions, gathering her sandy fingers in a curl between his own grit-laden knuckles.
Yeah. Considering how things are now, I don't think I would change a single thing about the past... And that's fine by me.
Hiyajo Residence; 5:13p.m.
"Hey, Rintarou? Would you mind helping me with something?"
"Oh, uh, yes sir."
Swiftly rising from his seat on an aged leather couch, following the direction of Atsuto's voice, Okabe wandered out of the home's living room and into the main hallway, discovering Maho's father by the front door with a television screen in his arms.
"You're good with electronics, right?"
"Think you can handle linking up this thing to a camera?"
"Certainly. Should be a matter of..."
Stepping closer as he fumbled for the handle and awkwardly pushed the front door open, Okabe followed the middle-aged male's progression into the home's small front yard, only to discover the presence of a large metal cylinder pointed towards the sky, seated on a weighted tripodal stand with several boxed peripherals and parts sitting on a folding table nearby.
"Ever use a telescope?"
"Well, uh, no."
"This is ours. Takahashi, ever heard of them?"
"Not sure I have."
"No matter. Point is, I bought a camera that affixes to the view port on the back, so I figured we'd try it out and hook it up to a TV, so everyone can see the same picture at once."
"That's... Actually pretty clever."
"Right? Tonight is supposed to be nice and clear too, so I figured we could do some space exploration after supper."
Setting the screen aside onto the table, and then unboxing the aforementioned camera, Atsuto inspected the device and began fumbling with its mounting hardware, and Okabe promptly drew closer, moving around the table and kneeling down to look at the backside of the television.
"What sort of cables does it have?"
"A couple types."
"I think so."
"There's a port on this, so if there's one on the camera too, the connection should be easy."
Glancing over as the father paused, and with a momentary dig into the box below, produced a coiled cable, he reached out and offered it to Okabe, who had it unraveled and plugged in in seconds. Rising upright, he stepped closer to the telescope, inspecting the curved surfaces and broad glass lens with growing interest.
"Maho mentioned you had one of these."
"Ah, so she does talk about us, hm?"
"N-Now and then. Nothing negative I've ever heard of."
Grunting with amusement, Atsuto plugged in two cables to the attached camera, and then glanced at a patiently standing Okabe.
"She talks her head off about you, you know."
"Are you surprised by that?"
"Ah, no, but I wasn't aware."
"Well, now you are, I suppose. You're just about the biggest emotional development in her life since she went out to the United States on her own."
"I'm... I suppose I'm honored."
"As am I, Rintarou. You can probably imagine how much a parent like me thinks about their kiddo when they're out in the big world... So hearing volumes of good about a kind-hearted lad taking care of my daughter in a place like Tokyo, does a lot of good for this heart of mine."
Hands sheepishly finding the pockets of his shorts, Okabe's head sank in a bow.
"She's certainly worth the dedication."
"Glad to hear."
"She seems to be quite capable of surviving on her own too... From what she's told be about her time in America."
"Her stay in America was part of a young desire to see places beyond this little island of ours."
"Yep. So off she went to California for four years... And lo and behold, she suddenly meets you, in Tokyo, out of all of the young men she was probably around in the states."
"I'm afraid so."
Laughing from Okabe's response, both men began grinning.
"Well, thanks to you, she's a lot closer to home, so she can actually visit us more often."
"I'm glad I could help."
Crossing his arms as Okabe plugged in the screen to an extension cord, changing the input channel and suddenly finding a faded blue view of the sky appearing on the screen, Atsuto nodded with approval at the swift completion of setup, eying Okabe's tall stature as he turned to face him once more.
"Between you and me, I'm not entirely sure she felt at home in America."
"I'd have to agree... She's told me some of the reasons, but I think she started getting homesick after all of her globe trotting."
"I'm honestly surprised she's living in the middle of the Capitol though... But with you in her life, I imagine it makes the big city thing worthwhile still."
"Pretty sure she's said that nearly verbatim."
"Then she means it."
Attentions turning to the opening of the home's front door, both males discovered a newly appearing Maho leaning outward, silently concluding their conversation from her presence.
"Oh, dad? And Okabe, there you are... Dinner's on."
"Ah, should we eat out here?"
Eying Okabe, visibly hesitating from the thought of leaving property outside, Atsuto waved away his worry.
"Everybody knows everyone around here. It'll be fine."
Nodding with uncertain acceptance, Okabe followed his continued progression back into the home, passing through the doorway and then slowing his pace as Maho shuffled behind and grasped both of his wrists, allowing herself to be pulled along behind by his arms.
"Hope you're ready for yummy taco stuff."
Humming sweetly, she peeked around his side.
"Hanging out with dad?"
"He requested my help with the telescope... Guess he got some kind of viewing camera for it."
"Ooh, you know what that means."
"An evening of gazing at the stars?"
"Mmmhm! No light pollution out here either."
Stomachs full from a thoroughly enjoyed meal of Taco Rice, and the unexpected addition of dessert shakes occupying any remaining space within afterward, Okabe sat upon the worn fabric of a blanket, with Maho enveloped in the physical comfort of his snuggling bodily embrace. Just ahead, a clear image of half of the lunar moon high above was broadly displayed on the screen, with craters and other surface features plainly visible and admired by both couples settled in the grass. Beyond the screen, the first vestiges of stars began to be unveiled, teasingly appearing and twinkling from the sun's disappearance, drawing observer's eyes up and down from the celestial sights gaining continued clarity in the tropical night sky.
This is amazing... In a variety of simple, wonderful ways.
Tucking the tip of his nose into her scalp beneath, lips nudging against her head that moved back in response, her brow rose just beneath, and her hands squeezed his thighs one by one. Enjoying the ongoing songs of bush crickets chirping tirelessly through the dusk, nearly obscuring whispers of human conversation near and far, his chin rose as she leaned her head aside, allowing him to nestle around her neck. Squeezing inward from stray tickles of his facial hair, her cheeks then darkened with warmth as he managed to plant a discreet kiss on her cheek, nudging her face against his in response and closing her eyes.
I can see now why you've wanted to bring me out here, Maho. At least, part of why. You've talked about doing exactly this, and here we are.
Exhaling with calm satisfaction, he reaffirmed the strength of his cuddle in a momentary hug tighter, causing her to hum happily from his squeeze.
I'm sure there's plenty of things that still await us, too. Whatever seems to come to mind, really... There hasn't been any sort of planning or time keeping, and its been surprisingly nice.
Leaning back, listening for the distant roar of waves beyond the evening tranquility of the neighborhood, Okabe calmly sighed.
Especially for people used to the bustle and haste of big city life... On either side of the ocean here.
Hiyajo Residence; 9:14p.m.
Belatedly responding to several text messages on his smartphone, leaning forward with his arms around his knees, a recently groomed Okabe sat on his bedding, feet tucked just under the messy folds of a sheet.
Second night in, we've done beachy things, and watched the sun set and moon rise. No doubt going to do this a few more times... And enjoy every single instance of it.
Tapping his thumb on the screen, sending a message reply as several reserved steps on the carpeting ensued just behind, he blinked as the room darkened with the tug of a lamp chain, followed seconds later by the closing and locking of the bedroom's door. Attention rising from the device in his palm, quite tempted to look over his shoulder, he began into a turn, only to halt as a pair of small and warm hands settled onto his shoulders, confirming a womanly presence behind as a nose nuzzled his lazily-combed hair on the back of his head. Responding with an exiting breath from the massaging squeezes of digits, he promptly set his phone aside face-down, and the hands on his shoulders began a downward migration along his shirt, finding the bottom and prying beneath. Deciding instead to grasp the textile, the unseen being behind himself began pulling his shirt up along his chest, and his arms rose up from his legs in response, allowing it to pull over his face and free from his hands, which soon settled onto his bedding beneath, propping himself upright as his legs crossed together.
Alright, seems we're...
Sitting still, backside tingling as delicate fingertips drifted in a returning ascent to his shoulders, several fleeting kisses were planted in succession along the muscle of his neck, even as he finally attempted to look behind, only to be met with the glimpse of a jet-black waterfall of hair, brushing against his skin with near-silent movements. Then, finding the twinkle of an iride, hidden among curly plumage of an outwardly tilting head, an ever-familiar giggle ensued, and the plush fabric of a towel pressed up against him as her arms slid further forward, encircling his neck as her head tucked up against his. Heart racing from the audibly amused hums and breath, Okabe sat patiently, ignoring the newly beginning vibration of his phone beside them.
Brow quirking with great interest as her arms retracted and the soft textile peeled away from his back, he looked further back across his shoulder from the simple shuffles of movement, only to realize she had vanished. Then, with a whirl in the opposite direction as the mattress shifted, the presence of knees around his thighs, and the slender silhouette of a womanly body settling onto his lap, brought his attention to the reappearance of Maho. Vision rising upward, discerning crossed arms and the trace of a cheeky smile on her lips, the limited light squeezing in through the window's closed shutters was just enough to also reveal a complete absence of clothing, bringing a blast of a blush to his face and neck as the towel previously felt against his back, now lay in defeat on his lap and around her rear.
Studying the dark undulations of her bare skin, clearly permitted by Maho as her arms uncrossed, hands perching onto her hips, his eyebrows remained sky-high as he came to terms with the completely nude woman seated on his lap. Lips parting, only for an attempt at speech to fizzle inside of his throat, his body began to speak silently instead, and his arms reaffirmed their rearward bracing as Maho wordlessly leaned forward, settling against him with a squish of warm chests pressing together. Then, the soft shove of her lips into his quickly cycled his focus into the beginnings of a deep and leisurely kiss, nostrils flaring as they took up the task of breathing, with their mouths otherwise occupied by intimate oral motions.
Y-Yes, uh, hah, okay... Definitely busy.
Slowly collapsing onto his bedding beneath, with his pillow unintentionally beneath his back, his head settled to rest onto the carpet beyond the cot, and a duet of lip-separating laughter ensued as four hands wrestled the pillow from beneath him, shoving it behind his head. Wasting little time with resumption, and arms now freed from the task of keeping them upright, his hands began a cautious exploration of her bare body perched upon himself, fingertips illustrating what his closed eyes had only briefly seen as their tender folds mingled with interchanges of gentle collisions and sucking.
Busy with... You.
Squeezing her rump, with the palm of his other hand adrift along the smooth channel of skin between her shoulder blades, knuckles lazily gathering a scoop of her hair into his grasp, a murmur of pleasure seeped from her throat in a hum. Lips peeling away from her vocalization, their eyes strained to meet in the darkness with extreme facial proximity, maintaining a visual lock between them as she began fumbling with his shorts. Gripping the elastic band and shoving them down along his waist, flickers of interest ensued, only for eyelids to flop shut again with simpler kisses beginning. Arms tightening as she purposefully came to rest on his crotch, having eliminated any further barriers, hearts raced with silent excitement, only for Okabe to twist both of them aside with a grunt, prompting mirthy aroused laughter as she responded by squeezing him into a tight embrace with her slender arms, kissing his collarbone. With a shifting of legs pushing his shorts free of his feet, Maho looked up to him with a mixture of desire and elation as her knee slid along his thigh, and an arm released itself from beneath his armpit, reaching up and spreading fingers into a grasp of his messy shorter hair.
Eyes wandering further, in a wandering path among his abdominal features, her hands tightened.
You're gonna want to lay flat again, because...
Lips pursing together, mischief brewing on her expression, she reached down and shoved his hip aside, forcing him flat. With a curious rise of his head, her tongue stuck out between her teeth as she pushed herself upright, brushing her hair aside as she crawled atop him once more, back arching as she lowered down onto him with a sliding of small breasts and a lone forearm, nudging his chin upward with her nose.
Staring at the blend of excitement and vulnerability on her face, with five of her digits now caressing his member, the whispered word after innumerable minutes of near-silence brought him into several affirming nods, and her chest expanded with preperative breath.
I mean, I can tell you're ready, cause... This. Heh. Now its just up to... Ooof, meee, and...
Pushing down closer to his groin, her palm on his pectoral curled into a fist, and a distinct breath seeped from her lungs as her haunches wobbled, only for ticklish shivers to ensue, flicking her attention back up to him as his lengthy arms pushed through her mane, hands drifting along her bosom in passing and finding places to rest on her sides. With hormone-charged grunts of intimacy offered back and forth from the sensual bodily connection, seemingly hidden by the nightly songs of neighborhood crickets, goofy wide-eyed smiles appeared freely on their faces as they began into simple lateral motions, heartbeats swift and strong from the ensuing pleasure and risk.
...And this is totally happening, um... Oh, my god.
Lips parting, and hands flattening onto his chest, snaking further upward to his shoulders once more, she gripped the breadth of his collar with several squeezes.
Whatever you do... Actually... Just keep, doing, that.
Tuesday, October 9th, 2012; Hiyajo Residence; 9:33a.m.
Seated diagonally on one end of the kitchen's circular dining table, with partly consumed bowls of oatmeal before them both, laden with varying amounts of sugar and cinnamon, both Maho and Okabe remained in a realm of peaceful contentment as they consumed a thick and simple breakfast. With heads resting on arms, propped upright from the table and only moving to take in another spoonful, lengthy periods of irresistance kept them gazing at the other with woozy emotion-blended clouds of satisfaction and desire.
Swallowing, and allowing her spoon to rest on the rim of the bowl beneath, her thumb tightened around the handle of the utensil.
You're hot, and fun.
Tingling from erotic flashes of dark skin, hushed laughter, and quiet exhales of gyrating hips and orgasmic releases dancing across her imagination, her legs uncrossed beneath the table.
Hope you're up for another round, boyfriend. Maybe tonight... Maybe every night, actually.
Glancing just beyond, at the light greys of cloud cover beyond the panes of the kitchen window, she pushed the spoon deeper into the mixture below.
And after that... Sexy snoozes... With nothing but a sheet. Hehee. Yes please.
Kise, Nago Precinct, Okinawa, Japan; 11:04a.m.
Walking barefoot for an unknown duration, with retracted umbrellas swaying from elbows and releasing traces of rainwater back into the ocean, two computer scientists remained in an upward gaze as they walked, squinting from the occasional droplet meeting their faces in harmless terminations of velocity.
Sunny beaches are great, but there's much to be said for overcast too...
Met with the the swirl of a slightly stronger breeze, playfully tossing free locks of hair and rippling the thin fabric of a floral-patterned sun dress around her knees, Maho's nose rose, taking in the incoming airflow with ease.
...And the rain. Wouldn't be upset at all if it came back. Forecast said it'll be periodic, so...
Vision wandering aside, turning in an upward arc to the soaring height of the twenty-year-old male beside herself, her head remained in a tilt, waiting until his wandering attention locked onto her.
Smiling as her arm stretched upward, and the tip of her index finger pushed against the peak of his nose, his vision followed the retraction of her hand back down to her side, swaying beside her waist.
"I seem to be a common subject of evaluation for you."
"Well, that's because I'm fascinated by every aspect of your existence."
Brow perking from her statement, punctuated by her cheeky smile that followed, Okabe's lips parted from the still-ongoing breeze.
"Every single one?"
"Mm, okay, mostly the really intriguing stuff."
"Ah. The rest of me isn't too interesting anyway."
"Oh, shush. All of it is. Even the most minute and unnoticeable details are essential to the whole picture."
"That, I think, is the beauty we see in programming."
"Every component contributes to the system's functionality as a whole. Nothing can be overlooked."
"That's certainly true... In either sense."
"And in addendum to your answer earlier... You fascinate me endlessly as well."
"Oh, I'm aware. I see how often you're looking my way."
Brushing her wandering bangs aside from her face, producing a gentle doe-eyed smile of innocence, she watched with veiled amusement as his pace visibly slowed.
"Especially because of my magnificent emerald jewels, right?"
Neck warming from her teasing quotation of his own speech, Okabe's shoulders tightened in a shrug of admittance as their walking drew to a halt.
"Its hard not to be entranced by them... And all things considered, that was the first part of you I noticed in person... Certainly the most important, too."
"Mmm, do tell."
"I'm sure I already have before."
"You have. I just like hearing about it."
Watching her head rotate over, leaning in the opposite direction, he turned in place, stepping closer and resting his forearms on her shoulders, coupling his fingers together behind her ponytail. Countering her playfully adorable expression with a downward gaze of confident passivity, the far corner of his mouth curling upward, both of them remained still, with her dress licking at his legs from passing nudges of the wind.
Blinking softly from her uncommon use of his first name, he took in the yet-unequaled sight of her before himself, with gentle stares of desire maintained in a near-reflection of the earlier morning.
"Your eyes, were the first of many prominent details that made me fall in love with you."
Reaching up to the bends of his elbows and curling both of her petite hands around them, chest aflutter with strong heartbeats as she suspended her limbs from his, her cheeks were unable to resist a flush of youthful mirth.
Funny... Because those calm and infinitely-expressive hazel orbs of yours, did a number on me too.
Releasing her hands, deciding instead to lean forward, their bare feet lifted free from damp sand in singular steps, bodies coalescing together into a firm embrace as arms found comfortable places beneath shoulders, enveloping the other's chests in firm squeezes.
"...And I'm sure glad they did."
Exhaling, partly from the passing of a chilly far-reaching wave coursing around their feet and drifting away, a slowly progressing increase in rainfall was additionally realized, prompting lazy glances towards their surroundings.
Hmm... Welcome back, rain.
Remaining comfortably still, with Okabe's chin resting atop her head, her grip tightened from one more mustered squeeze, only to release him from her embrace and be greeted fully by the returning moisture. With hardly a pause, both of their umbrellas swooped up skyward, expanding together with shuffles of fabric and clicking of thin metal parts, and the couple remained in place, listening to the steadily increasing pattering against the newly deployed shields.
"Probably should start heading back... In case it keeps getting heavier."
Glancing aside towards the tiny neighborhood a fair distance behind, varying imagery of downpours in a distant Tokyo wandered across both of their minds.
Reversing into a return heading, paralleling the traces of their footfall slowly being erased by the waves, exhales and grunts of of increasing disbelief alternated from their lungs as the visible approach of a wall of moisture approached, hastening their plodding pace into a brisk walk towards it.
"I think its already getting heavier!"
Seeing streams of water flowing from their umbrellas, and then looking down as trickles of water flowed along the sand, absorbed by the surging waves that their feet splashed through, various sources of water seemed to come at them at several angles, and with a buffeting wind prompting a yelp and burst of laughter as her umbrella was nearly yanked from her grasp, kept taught by the cord around her wrist, Maho watched with surprise as Okabe simply retracted his own umbrella, promptly blasted by the ensuing wind-blown rainfall as he moved over and knelt beside her.
"We'll get back quicker if we start running!"
"But you'll instantly leave me behind, mister long legs!"
"Not if you hitch a ride!"
Patting his own shoulder, he goofily grinned as she blinked, only to inhale with realization.
Closing her umbrella and shuffling around his backside, flopping bodily onto him and wrapping her arms around his neck, his hands cupped her legs just beneath her knees. Then with a rain-soaked rise aloft, fingers clutching her umbrella in front of his neck, Maho exhaled as they leaned forward and began a hefty saunter, plowing through the ensuing storm together.
Hitch a ride... On my Okabe-san. Can do!
Laughing near his ear, briefly garnering his attention as working breath powered in and out of his insides, a trace of his grin remained as he squinted through his own wet hair, and his girlfriend pressed her face into his neck, bouncing from the jostle of his movements.
Maho... You should know by now that I'd never leave you behind, for any reason. Good, bad, rain... Or shine.
Unable to resist a chuckle from the thought, glancing ahead towards the border of foliage waving in the wind just ahead, he forged on.
Especially not in the rain... No matter how wet and wild it currently is!
Ducking under the shelter of her parent's back porch and sinking onto his knees, Okabe sighed with recuperation as Maho dismounted from her perch on his shoulders and plopped onto her feet. With both of their attentions turning back to the pouring rainfall streaming off of the roofs and clutter of the homes lining the alley, Maho propped her hands on her hips, and Okabe sat back onto his rear, stretching.
"This is crazy."
"Sure came back with a vengeance."
Turning aside, inspecting the waterlogged hair and clothing of her boyfriend and grinning as he visibly did the same, she stepped closer, outstretching both of her arms. Bracing herself and holding firm as he rose, swiftly surpassing her height and bringing her chin up along with him, she crossed her now-released arms with amusement.
"So are you."
"Thanks for the lift."
Humming with mirth, she leaned aside and fumbled for the home's screen door, pulling it open with a bump of her umbrella, and then shoving the wooden door behind it open as well.
"Let's get dry and stuff."
Prying open the screen door further, and freeing his umbrella from his arm, he set it aside onto the floor seconds after Maho dropped hers aside, and pushed the wood door shut with a hefty engaging of its frame.
Glancing down the hallway in tandem from a nearby voice, and then discovering Miwa peeking around from the laundry room towards the far end, several held breaths of apprehension were released amid light laughter.
"I wondered if you two would be heading back, this rain is showing no signs of slowing down."
"Well we just went through the brunt of it."
Heading further down the hall, visibly dripping, the couple began a heading for their room, only for Miwa to hurry towards them with an armful of towels.
"Stop! Here. As it happens, your timing was fairly good... These are fresh out of the dryer."
"Ohhh you're amazing! So warm!"
Watching as Maho swiftly dabbed her face with one, Okabe then accepted the remainder of the offering with a nod.
"It doesn't rain all the time here, but it sure makes of a point of it when it decides to."
Wrapping both towels around his shorts and the lower half of his shirt, Okabe followed Maho inside the intended bedroom, turning again in a direct heading for the bathroom. After closing the second door, he revolved around, only to bear witness as Maho pulled her sun dress up and over herself, dropping it aside onto the tiled floor, and then pausing as Okabe remained still, eyebrows shooting upwards.
Glancing down at her bare self, with naught but a bikini bottom on, she then leaned against the adjacent bathroom wall with a cheeky grin splitting her face.
"You always look so surprised."
"B-Because there's no warning!"
"That would take the fun out of it. Come here and kiss me."
Seeing him blink with interest, only to lurch forward, an inhale of surprise widened her eyes from his unexpectedly swift approach, and her arm shot outward, stopping him and pressing his soaked shirt against his chest.
"T-Take this off first, goof."
Giggling as he leaned back and awkwardly pulled the water-laden textile free from himself, with the encircled towels cast aside as well, a tingle of excitement wandered through her as his presence approached once more. Meeting his cautiously approaching hands with her own palms, bringing them both back against the drywall behind in captivity, his face drew teasingly near, and with a nudge of noses back and forth, a fluttering closure of eyelids guided them both into the first of several slow and easy kisses.
Drying off can wait... For this.
Hiyajo Residence; 2:22p.m.
Captive within the living room of the cozy coastal home as the day's forecasted weather ceaselessly continued into the early afternoon, a period of indoor laziness was realized and capitalized upon, with both Maho and Okabe laying together on the broad expanse of a fully reclined chocolate-brown leather loveseat. Bundled within the warmth of a sheet stolen from her bedding, and additionally sunk into the squishy comfort of both of their pillows, a wordless snuggle was shared as pleasant orchestral notes of Mozart wandered from a stereo just beyond, keeping eyelids shut and ears open with curiosity.
Mozart... Amadeus Mozart. And your system's login is Salieri... Why do I feel like you grew up hearing Mozart here in this old home of yours?
Peeping open, head resting in a slightly higher elevation, Okabe eyed the peacefully slumbering view of a blanketed Maho on her side, her arm resting across his stomach, and her face and mass of hair half-sunk in the pillow against his upper arm.
Probably because you've heard these songs from that stereo countless times... Falling asleep to them like you are now.
Heart stirring from the thought, and the sight of his girlfriend, free of troubles and comfortable by his side, his chest expanded with a pride-infused exchange of breath.
In that case, I'm glad that you can experience this again, Maho. Seeing you reconnect with childhood memories around here has been fascinating to no end.
Picturing outward points of her fingers and twinkles of youth in her eyes during their coastal wanderings, he smiled from the imagery.
The old stomping grounds... Of my beloved nerd of a feather.
Hiyajo Residence; 5:07p.m.
Glancing upward from a hardback novel, from the unlocking and opening of the home's front entrance, Miwa sat back in her chair as a tromp of booted footfall approached, eventually revealed to be the presence of Atsuto, with a towel around his neck and toolbox in hand. Pausing and leaning against the frame of the hallway opening, he eyed his wife with interest, and her head tilted with faint amusement.
"Stay dry out there?"
"Not at all."
Glancing back to the kitchen's window, with the sight of sunshine beyond, Miwa's attention returned to the thump of his angular toolbox being set on the floor.
"...I was beginning to believe that storm would last all night."
"Looked that way for a while."
"Periodic rainfall my foot... That was a downpouring gully washer."
Gesturing aside with the book in her hand, Miwa eyed her husband pointedly after his gruff comment.
"You do realize these two are sleeping right over there."
Leaning into the room and looking aside, his eyebrow rose from the sight of his daughter bundled in a blanket, only to notice Okabe was looking towards them with a smile of curiosity.
"Oh, well, they'd might as well awaken, because we're going out for the evening, now that the damned rain stopped."
Watching as Maho rose from his voice, stretching her arms, she twisted around, meeting her father's wayward attention.
"You sure its dry enough to do that?"
"The sun's out, and should stay out now. I'm going to make good on that promise the bar made after I fixed their solar wiring anyway."
"Dinner and drinks on the house."
Peeking back towards Okabe with a bloom of excitement, Maho sank back down, dragging her hands past his shoulders and gripping the leather fabric around his head as she buried her face into his chest, sinking bodily onto him with a deflation of breath.
"As soon as everyone is showered and ready."
"I think that's just you needing a shower, dear."
"Pretty sure I've had one for most of the day."
Watching as he disappeared into the hallway with an amusing grumble, Miwa looked aside to Okabe, with Maho visibly laying still in a sprawl across him, and she slowly stood up with a smile.
"Once my daughter decides to join the living, meet us by the van out front."
"I am living, mom."
"Well, then as soon as she decides to heave herself off of you, go ahead and dress however you'd like."
"Honestly she's not very difficult to lift up anyway."
Laughing lightly as her hand found his face, fingers covering his mouth, he looked down as she shoved herself up by her folded arm, eying him with a pointed narrowing of her eyes, only to switch into a cheeky grin as she squeezed his nose with her thumb and index finger.
"Not all are blessed with height and mass, mister."
"They aren't, which is why they make up for it with beauty and personality."
Trying to resist a blush, with a giggle from his nasally-restricted voice, she slumped down onto him again, attempting to squeeze him in an embrace.
"You should carry me anyway."
"To the guest room?"
Glancing towards the kitchen again, with Miwa now absent from sight, he reached down and squeezed Maho's rear playfully.
Route E58, Nago Precinct, Okinawa, Japan; 5:41p.m.
Rolling past a myriad of tropical foliage and sparse clusters of buildings seen in passing along the coastal roadway, a mysterious sight of rising clouds of steam lifted in all directions around the pavement, with moisture-laden surfaces drying from the resurgence of the oceanic sun, having finally pierced through the day's overcast cloud cover. Listening to the hum of tires and the muffled putter of an aged gasoline motor, Okabe remained in a lean against the sliding door of the quirky Subaru van, with Maho nestled against his opposite side, keeping him seemingly captive against it as his hair tossed from the highly humid airflow.
Our adventure continues... To a bar hidden among the steamy jungles of this island. Steamy for now, at least... Seems its all floating back up into the sky from where it came. Half a day's downpour, and soon to be little trace of it besides the endless green.
Turning back, watching the roadway behind continuously vanish into the distance with the undulations of a bordering guardrail whizzing past just below, a smile snuck back onto his face as his vision panned back across the shimmering sea, reflecting the rays of sunlight forcing between increasingly broken clouds.
Certainly is different, being so isolated and simple. No bustle, no crowds... And no worries. Outside of Naha, at least. Still not nearly as busy as any of the cities on the mainland... And certainly nothing like Tokyo.
Turning inside from the solitary passing of another car, his attention alighted upon Maho as she shifted against his shoulder, dressed in a colorful graphic T-shirt and hair resting around her collar, tamed into a recurring ponytail.
I keep realizing why you talk of moving back here someday... And I'm certain that I'll be coming with you when you finally do so. All things considered, as long as you're by my side, I'm sure I could handle it. I mean, you decided to move back to one of the busiest metropolitan centers in the world, for my sake. If both of us can handle life in a place like that... I think we'll do just fine anywhere else.
Waiting until her lazy forward gaze wandered up to him in silence, her eyelids shut above the mirthy curl of her lips, visibly relaxed.
...Not that you'd rather be anywhere else than here, judging by the happiness you've expressed since we arrived. You've been across oceans and around the world, and yet, there's no place quite like home, is there?
Sukata Ward, Nago Precinct, Okinawa, Japan; 6:16p.m.
Seated together in backward leans against the smooth worn planking of a picnic bench, on the elevated outdoor patio of a beach-side tavern, both Maho and Okabe looked on towards the horizon, with occasional glances at their evening surroundings as other evening guests laughed and sipped from beverages, milling about in passive wanders and leans against the railings bordering the structure's concrete floor.
Free food, and free drinks... Thanks dad!
Lifting a glass of Shochu from its two-handed rest between her crossed legs, taking in a swallow and squinting as the resulting burning in her throat slowly faded, she looked aside in delayed realization as Okabe remained quiet, pleasantly surprised by the empty wine glass in his grasp. Meeting his wandering attention, and trading amused smiles, both of their eyes looked back past their shoulders, only to find an empty platter sitting between them on the table.
"Ate that last one probably a minute ago, sorry."
"Its fine. We should go get more, maybe."
Eyes meeting again, this time sharing matching nods, both computer scientists then set their glasses aside and pushed themselves upright, only to hesitate from wobbles and laugh-addled exhales of reduced sobriety.
Ohhh, wow, ahah... Heh. Yep!
Stepping closer and clutching his arms in an attempt at steadying, Maho blinked repeatedly and looked up to Okabe, grinning from his wide eyes and a crooked smile of amusement as their hands slid into a firm grasp of each other's palms.
Jeez. Mine's strong, and you barely drink, so we're both feeling it, hehe. Look at that silly smile!
Mouth parting as he blinked repeatedly, he then glanced aside towards the interior of the tavern a few paces away as a small group of passerby filtered in and out of a nearby passage, drawing her attention over as well.
"Um, should we get the same snacks, or something else?"
Brow quirking from the query, Maho released one of his hands, and with a gentle tug into motion, she began leading Okabe around the bench.
"Lets see what else there is."
Watching with brief wonder as his stride swiftly surpassed hers, changing into him towing her along in a slackening of arms, Maho began into a saunter just behind him, their hands remained securely coupled together. Brushing through the doorway into the dimmer lighting of the structure's upper story interior, notes of radio music mingled with several sources of conversation, with flashes of television imagery further distracting them in a jumble of information as they slowed to a halt, looking towards the bar counter and kitchen of the establishment.
"That's where I got the stuff we just had."
"Oh. Lets go there then."
Plodding forward, cracking into separate giggles and laughs, Maho hurried forward, ending up alongside Okabe as they drew to yet-another halt in front of a serving counter. Looking up and down between a wall-mounted chalkboard and a laminated menu on the surface, they began reading lists of entrees and appetizers, with no clear choices jumping out to either of them as Maho twisted the menu back and forth with repetition, and Okabe's index finger touched his chin with unexpected perplexion.
This shouldn't be this, um... Difficult.
Jumping with startled exhales as a hefty hand settled onto their opposite shoulders, the couple whirled around, only to find Atsuto standing behind them, visibly amused.
"Oh, hello sir."
Met with their imbibed expressions in addition to their short and mirthy responses, he laughed lightly as he lifted his hands free from their high and low perches.
"Good. Your mother and I will be over there to the right for a while."
"Oh. We've just been out there on the patio."
"I know you have. Keep on enjoying yourselves, alright?"
Watching with remaining curiosity as Maho's father ambled away, revealing Miwa's reclined presence a short distance beyond as she waved at both them, the patient presence of a cashier was then revealed as their visions returned to the menus before them both.
"Oh, um, hi."
"Evening friends, anything we can get for you two?"
Trading expressions between each other, the couple's mouths opened and closed from the ensuing debacle, and Maho's arms crossed as Okabe squinted at the menu still in her grasp.
"That's the thing..."
"We're still trying to figure out what else to eat, honestly."
Gazing down at the lapping of waves surging closer and retreating in an endless washing of the sandy beach below, only a stone's throw from the vertical footings of the tavern, both Maho and Okabe remained in a lean against the patio's steel railing. With arms supporting their heads, lulled by the gentle roar of the Pacific Ocean and further entranced by the slowly richening colors of the lowering sun, the beginnings of a sunset behind lingering wisps of clouds began to cast a palette of orange colors across the landscape.
Keeping a gentle hold of her boyfriend's fingers between her own, Maho studied the ongoing descent of the sun into the horizon, watching then as his free hand tugged his red smartphone from his pocket. Turning it level in his grasp, and taking a picture with a silent tap on the screen, he then reviewed the image, only to look aside to her and blink in realization, bringing the camera back onto the screen with another tap, and taking a picture of her, bringing a nearly-hidden blush of elation across her cheekbones.
Yeah? I should get a newer picture of you too, handsome-pants.
Matching his prior motions as he stowed his phone, she brought hers from the pocket of her shorts, and with an adorable look up and down from the screen, to the bashfully smiling subject just beyond, she grinned as her thumb tapped repeatedly.
Noticing the tandem approach of her parents a short distance away, with Miwa in the lead, Maho immediately turned to meet her, only for her mother to extend her hand closer anyway.
"Trying to. Can you get one of both of us?"
Accepting Maho's smartphone and lifting it level as her daughter hurried back over and nudged up beside Okabe, the couple leaned together with a resumption of held hands, only for them both to break into laughter as Okabe seated his chin atop her head. Attempting to maintain composure, only for the ensuing mirth to remain on their cheeks, they watched as Miwa stepped closer, offering Maho's phone back.
"Took several for you."
"Yay, thank you."
"And this view, meanwhile. Have you been getting pictures of this?"
Looking on towards the horizon as the dark blue of the sky steadily darkened into a purple hue, dotted with a scattered spread of cautiously appearing stars, the eyes of both couples rose into the sky in increasing wonder, and hands came together as the four of them began and resumed leans against the railing.
Pictures... And precious memories.
Vision rising from the faint green glow of the van's gauge cluster, Atsuto looked into the rear view mirror, changing its perspective with a slight tilt and revealing the sight of his daughter buried into a sleepy lean against an also-slumbering Okabe. Grunting with a hum of amusement as his vision returned to the dark road ahead, he then noticed the turning of his wife seated beside himself.
"They're both done."
Revolving further in her seat from his whisper, Miwa looked beyond her shoulder, inspecting the sight of both young adults in the rear seat, slumped together with closed eyes and slowly breathing chests. Smiling from briefly illuminated glimpses of their hands resting together on the seat, she looked towards her husband, behind the wheel of their voyage back to their coastal abode.
"Did they have a lot?"
"Four drinks. Our daughter prefers whiskey, and that boy got going from two glasses of plum wine."
"I honestly thought he'd have more. Especially for being a city boy."
"I don't think he drinks very often."
"Considering he's in college in the capitol region, that's surprising."
Glancing back at Okabe once more, Miwa smiled from the thought of him diligently studying, changing into a prior image of him embracing Maho with great care.
"Well, regardless, I think that boy's a keeper."
"I agree. Maho did well with that lad."
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012; Hiyajo Residence, Okinawa, Japan; 10:13a.m.
Nibbling on warm slices of toast after a pleasantly simple serving of eggs and rice, with layers of butter and jam spread evenly across the easily digestible starch, three occupants of a cozy kitchen table remained under a blanket of silence. With only a spare few rises and falls of arms and crispy consumption countering the audible turning of paper pages, the groggy eyes of two young adults wandered with passivity, in contrast to their legs and feet beneath the table that remained still, cozily intertwined.
Not quite like those nights back in L-A... With nobody but Kurisu to drag me in and out of bed. Or the opposite, really... Heh. Anyway... Partying with this one is easy because he hardly ever drinks, so he's cheap and hilarious once he does... And its not like I could lose track of him with his height either... Not that he'd even stray away anyway. Hmm...
Swallowing a mouthful of breakfast, Maho glanced aside to her boyfriend as his gentle eyes studied the bread slice in his grasp, smiling from the still-awakening expression cast on his face.
Kind of been discovering a variety of things through our random entrances into inebriation... If you had my whiskey last night, you'd be toast. And jelly. Suntory sneaks up on you.
Turning passively to face Miwa as her attention rose from the book in her grasp, Okabe's brow rose from her use of his first name, and Maho looked across the table at her mother as she reclined back in her chair.
"I realize you live in the middle of Tokyo... Are you versed with cooking in any manner?"
Opening her mouth to interject, Maho instead restrained her own speech with curiosity as Okabe looked upward in thought, additionally swallowing.
"Beyond a microwave?"
Producing a nod, his hands settled onto the table.
"My parents own a grocery store... And I've had my share of helping prepare meals over the years."
"I see. Would you like to assist with lunch today?"
"Certainly. What's the plan?"
"I don't know. Why don't we head to our grocer and you decide?"
Looking back and forth with growing amusement, Maho's head tilted as Okabe accepted the presented challenge with a nod.
"Can I help with this?"
Garnering her mother's attention, Maho then smiled with a bloom of mischief as she simply answered with a nod.
Awesome. Looks like we're scheduled for more cooperative mayhem!
"Are we heading out soon?"
"Oh, its only a few streets away. Does eleven sound doable?"
"I'd imagine so."
Meeting Maho's attention as Miwa stood from the table, setting her book aside, Okabe smiled as Maho's chin settled onto her propped arms, eying him with endearment.
Cooking for your unstoppable appetite is one thing... But feeding your parents as well? Your assistance will be very much welcomed, verdant-eyed-vixen.
Kise, Okinawa, Japan; 11:42a.m.
Meandering through patches of shade and sun scattered along the sand-sprinkled pavement, on a return heading from a tiny local market, three individuals laden with cloth sacks carried the ingredients of an upcoming meal in their hands and from their elbows. Stepping past a spare few parked cars and numerous scooters and bicycles lining the curbs, Okabe looked on as Miwa, now wearing a hat, calmly led him and Maho across several alleys and short streets, nearly devoid of visible movement.
One could almost forget about the rest of the world in a place like this... Perhaps that's the thought the local population has about this island. Or any tropical island in particular, really.
Chin rising, squinting from the glare of sunlight from a nearby rooftop, Okabe looked aside.
Been rather odd to purposefully ignore the sense of time for hours. The sun dictates the time, and it looks to be midday. Noon, maybe. Haven't checked my phone... Can't, currently. Oh well.
Turning slightly from the gradual increase of a distant rumble, his eyebrow perked with continued curiosity as the distantly familiar sound steadily rose in volume. Finally slowing to a halt, discerning the distinctly loud roar of aircraft engines, he turned in opposite directions, ears leading him towards the distant silhouette of two fighter jets on a swift approach.
Nodding from Maho's speech, his lips parted as the pair of aircraft banked into the beginnings of a broad turn, and the thunderous echo of exhaust reverberated across the local landscape, fading into a series of echoes as the planes vanished from sight just as quickly as they had appeared.
I wonder if those were the planes I saw the other day.
"Probably just on patrol from Kadena... Can't ever tell what they're really doing besides burning fuel."
Slowly resuming his pace, with Maho keeping just beside him, bags brushing together, they caught up to her patiently waiting mother.
"Worry not, Rintarou. The military is a normal sight on this island of ours."
Glancing down to his girlfriend, spying an expression of interest on her features as her bangs rippled from a breeze, she alighted upon him with an ongoing smile.
"At least the military presence means we're in a protected place... In a way."
"I've always thought so. I liked seeing warships out on the water when I was younger... Can only imagine what would have been parked offshore during world war two though."
"Battleships... Bombarding the beaches."
"Destroyers, and carriers, rather."
"The Yamato didn't make it... No battleships."
"Lots of cruisers though. Just like the Germans."
Grunting with amusement from the smirk appearing on Maho's otherwise gentle demeanor, Okabe exhaled as a stray thought wandered back into his mind.
That explains a certain warship model in your apartment...
Hiyajo Residence; 12:10p.m.
Supervising several cut flanks of seasoned meat sizzling on an iron pan, seated upon the glowing element of an oven range, Maho turned from the steady chopping of a knife, watching as Okabe continuously sliced apart several carrots.
Look at you... Mister chef. I've just been here for moral support so far... And stray tidbits, hehee.
Watching as he pushed aside the pile of newly partitioned vegetables, a sigh wandered from his lungs, and he looked aside.
"No... Just hoping that what I'm preparing will be adequate."
"Oh, hush. It'll be fine and taste great."
"And I can say that, because I know it won't be anything like Makise's handiwork."
Watching his brow and expression perk with equal interest, she crossed her arms, spatula in hand.
"Considering my own shortcomings, the sound of that concerns me."
"It should. When she decides to cook, her manner of ingredient choice can get, uh, eclectic."
"To be fair, they say variety is the spice of life."
"Yes, and madness is the driving force behind reckless experimentation."
Laughing lightly, Okabe drug a pair of radishes closer on the cutting board.
"Everyone needs a creative outlet regardless of medium."
Eying him with amusement as he resumed cutting, she stepped closer, taking in sharp and sweet scents revealed by the blade.
"Some of us just prefer to do it with software instead of sustenance."
"Less hazardous to one's health anyway."
"Aside from carpal tunnel."
"I was thinking more of weight gains too."
Stepping closer and nudging against him with her arm, she set the spatula aside on the counter.
"Seems neither of us contend with those despite our best efforts."
"Thereby allowing plentiful diet of electrons and comfort food to be had."
Giggling from his remark, her arms spread apart and curled around his sides in a new embrace, and after several careful cuts, he set the knife in his hand aside, collecting her in a tightening cuddle to match. Slowly twisting back and forth in a realm of pleasant savory scents and physical comfort, separate sighs wandered from their lungs.
"Don't... Let the meat burn."
"You just flipped it."
Grunting, Okabe simply leaned over and turned the dial of the burner down, with Maho still curled around him, laughing sweetly from his responding motions, and then producing an eye-closing murmur as he tucked her head beneath his chin.
Hiyajo Residence; 9:16p.m.
Flicking the broad fabric of a blanket outward and laying it upon the plot of grass in front of the small single-level home, Maho circled around the textile, pulling its edges outward to eliminate several large folds and wrinkles. Seated nearby on the front steps, watching the procession with great interest, Okabe's head remained on his palm, his arm propped upon his knee, and ears listening to the now-familiar chorus of crickets, singing and searching under the evening sky.
"Its good now, come on over."
Heeding the offering with a shove upright, he ambled over and slipped out of his flip-flops, toes met with the passing brushes of thin grass, and then the muted colors and aged weaves of string and cloth. Setting down onto his rear as she crawled over on all fours, she then rolled down onto her shoulder, and sprawled out flat on her back, lying still and gazing lazily into the field of stars high above. Sinking down onto his back with a collapse of forearms, his legs stretched out to the edge of the blanket, and his arms settled flat above his head, fingers locking together as his hands ceased movement above his head.
And before us... The galaxy, and all that lies beyond.
Exhaling with a deflation of relaxation, a shuffle of clothing revealed Maho's resumption of movement, and seconds later, her limbs and head nestled against his side, finding places of comfort, and settling once more with a dainty, conclusive sigh.
"Careful... You might cause both of us to fall asleep out here."
Met with a surprisingly simple response, his head rolled over.
"I have not."
Imagining an evening in a sleeping bag, somewhere beneath the infinite depth of the universe beyond the earth, she simply smiled.
"...But I'm sure I wouldn't mind." Especially since we're finally seeing starry nights in Okinawa together, you big goof.
Nuzzling him with a surge of elation, her hand wandered up onto his stomach, settling flat on his shirt, and her thumb drifted back and forth in a subtle, comforting caress.
My big, goofy, super tall and super cuddly... Nerd of a feather.
/div_meter_value = [-0.146923]
/END Logic;Gate; Logic;Sequence = true