As promised here is the sequel to Endless Love. I will be dividing my time between this story and the continuation of Everybody Loves Yaya. This will be a different beast than Endless Love, focusing more on comedy and fluff than drama. The vocal point of the story are still Nagisa and Shizuma, though there's plenty of room for the other protagonists as well. Though they won't be appearing in this first part, I liked the pairing of Shion and Chikaru so much they'll be making an appearance in this story very shortly.
In any case, I hope you'll enjoy the story.
EDIT: Forgot to mention I don't actually own Strawberry Panic, but then again that's pretty much a given, sadly.
We're all going on a... Summer Holiday
Chapter 1 : SUV Blues
"Mwuahahaha, you may cease your struggling, fraulein," the thick accented nazi colonel leered over Nagisa as he was tying her to the rail-road tracks.
A fearful Nagisa tried her best to escape, but the leather-clad brute was simply too strong for her. And some tactically placed kicks had only managed to enrage him further.
"Let me go, you nazi-creep!" Nagisa screamed. "I swear, you'll pay for this."
"Mwuahahaha," the nazi colonel cackled evilly again. "Fraulein, you will die today. Die for the glory of the third Reich. And look, the 11.20 train to Berlin, on time as always."
Nagisa gulped as she saw the smoke from the locomotive in the distance. If she didn't want to meet a rather gooey end, she had to act quickly. Or hope for the best.
And hope arrived soon enough. From the forest emerged a stunning woman on a brown horse. She made the horse up to the colonel and jumped off, rolling over the ground as she landed. With a single move, she jumped to her feet, wiped off her leather jacket and adjusted her beloved brown hat.
The stunned nazi colonel sputtered as she woman slowly approached him. "A-astraea Hanazono!"
"Asty!" Nagisa smiled through her tears as the woman she loved had shown up just in time.
"Nazis," Asty replied sharply. "I hate nazis."
The nazi quickly drew his gun, but Asty was quicker. Her whip cracked through the air, grabbing hold of the gun and ripping it from his hands. But the nazi was not defeated yet. He held out his hand like a vicious claw and approached Asty. "Kali-ma! KALI-MA!" he droned.
"Asty!" Nagisa shouted in terror. "Cover your heart! Cover your heart!"
Asty caught the colonel's hand before his nails could dig into her flesh. She strained against the colonel's strength, but looked him right into the eye. "I might get killed looking for fortune and glory one day," she gritted her teeth. "BUT NOT TODAY!"
She savagely kicked the colonel backwards and at the same time, let her whip fly. The whip rolled around Nagisa's leg, and just as Asty pulled Nagisa to safety, the colonel landed right before the train's merciless wheels to meet an end suitable for a Lucio Fulci movie.
Nagisa found herself in her beloved's arms. She revelled in her lover's warmth and hugged her back tightly. "Oh, Shizuma," Nagisa whispered.
"You're the only one allowed to call me that," Shizuma smiled and pressed her lips against Nagisa's for an ever deepening kiss.
"Shizuma," Nagisa moaned in between kisses. "Oh, Shizuma..."
And just then, Nagisa started awake. She found herself sitting in the now empty classroom, puckering her lips to mid-air. She blushed slightly when she realized she didn't even remember when class had ended exactly. The only person other than her in the room was the cleaning lady.
Her mind drifted back to yesterday, when she and Shizuma had been watching an old American movie called Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was a lovely film, and a lovely excuse to curl up against Shizuma. As a result she hadn't seen all that much of the movie, but apparently enough to start daydreaming during a boring lecture today.
Nagisa quickly gathered her books and notes and stuffed them in her bag before leaving the classroom. It was already late in the afternoon and most students had left university already, especially since this was the last day before summer vacation. Today was also the day she, Shizuma and some friends would leave for their holidays. She only hoped she hadn't kept Takashi waiting too long.
She found Takashi enjoying a cigarette while leaning against his car. This car was an American style SUV, ridiculously huge for Japanese standards. It was red, and it was big. Very big. So big that it took up two parking spaces and still stuck out quite a bit in the back.
"Gomen Nasai," Nagisa said. "I was held up, Takashi-kun."
"Hi, Nagisa-chan," Takashi said as he tossed the cigarette. "No problem. Are you ready to go? We'll swing by your place to pick up Shiz and then we'll go get the rest. Come on, you'll ride shotgun."
"Okay," Nagisa smiled. "Uh, Takashi-kun? What is that weird purple horned face on both your front doors?"
"Oh, that's just the Decepticon logo. I had it spray painted on the side of the door," Takashi replied.
"Decepti-what?" Nagisa asked.
"It's," Takashi started to say. "Oh, forget it, it'd take too long to explain. Just take it from me, it's very nerdy," he shrugged as both he and Nagisa crawled into the car. Nagisa found the size-difference between Takashi's car and Shizuma's classic Corvette to be staggering. The ceiling seemed like a mile high and she practically drowned in the seat.
"Now I know what Thumbelina felt like," Nagisa said. "People with agoraphobia should not get in this car."
"Really?" Takashi said. "I actually wanted a bigger car, but the police wouldn't allow it. Come on, let's go get Shiz."
Shizuma was at home, her last class having ended much earlier that day. She had just finished a final double-check on their luggage and had set both their suitcases by the door to take them downstairs later. She took a moment to double-check to see if she had turned off the stove and locked the door on the balcony. She also checked the timers on her plants and if the water reservoirs connected to the timers were filled up. Finding everything in order, there was only one thing left to do: to coax their pet cat Maneki into the travel box. All of their friends were going on holidays as well, and since there was nobody to take care of Maneki, she had to come along.
This was easier said than done, though. Maneki was a very playful cat and when there was a travel-box on the table and Shizuma started cooing for her to come to her, she was smart enough to put two and two together and stay as far away from Shizuma as she could.
"Come here, Maneki," Shizuma called over. The cat looked at her with an expression which seemed to say : 'What? You think I'm stupid? You're the one who's stupid, stupid'.
"Neko, neko, neko," Shizuma called. Maneki ran right between her legs and hid under a table on the other side of the room.
Shizuma let out a sigh and decided to go to the kitchen. She removed a small piece of fish left over from yesterday's dinner from the trash and hoped it would do the trick. Maneki was intrigued, as she usually was by food, and walked right up to Shizuma.
"Gotcha," Shizuma smiled and picked up her wayward pet. Maneki seemed to pout when she was mercilessly locked into the travel box. "Don't worry, girl. You'll only have to spend a couple of hours in there."
Maneki let out a mournful miao.
Just then, her mobile phone rang. She took it from her pocket and read in a message from Takashi that he had parked in the street and was coming up. Just as Shizuma clicked away the message, the phone rang again.
"Hello?" Shizuma answered. "Oh, um, Orito-san. Konichiwa. I'm afraid Nagisa isn't in. Oh, you wanted to speak to me? You, um, have another business proposal for my father? Well, I don't know, I'm about to leave on holidays... Uh huh? Uh huh? Okay... I see... Well, if you mail me the proposal, I see to it that my dad gets it. Okay. Okay, I will. No need to thank me. Enjoy your day, Orito-san."
She clicked off her phone and rolled her eyes. Literally a second later, a sound came from their computer. And, indeed, Nagisa's father had already mailed the business proposal to their e-mail address. She pressed the forward-button, typed 'Sorry, dad' above the message Orito sent her and pressed send. Shizuma then quickly turned off her computer and prepared to leave.
A few moments later, she and Takashi arrived at his car where Nagisa greeted her beloved very enthusiastically. Nagisa continued to hold on to Shizuma while Takashi loaded their suitcases into the very, very spacious trunk.
"Hm, you'd think we haven't seen each other for a year," Shizuma smiled. "We only just had lunch together, Nagisa."
"I still missed you," Nagisa smiled.
"It's been decided, Shiz," Takashi said as he put Maneki in a shadowy part of the trunk, so that she wouldn't get too warm. A battery-powered fan was attached to the travel box to keep the air cool. "Nagisa is riding shotgun today."
A sly grin crossed Shizuma's gentle features. "How far does the front seat lean back, Takashi-kun?"
And so the SUV drove over the road, its impressive size making sure than many of the tinier cars gave it a wide berth. Next to Takashi sat Nagisa, indeed riding shotgun. The front seat was leaned all the way back, and shifted as far to the rear as possible. Nagisa lay stretched, nearly strapped in by the seat belt, and had her eyes firmly shut as a feeling of utter contentment had grabbed hold of her. Behind her sat Shizuma, gently massaging her wife's shoulders with practised hands.
A soft moan escaped from Nagisa's mouth ever so often. "Shizuma," she whispered.
"Okay, try to remember that you're making it very hard for me to concentrate on driving here, what with the male hormones and anything," Takashi said. "Ah, don't worry about it too much. This car's so big and strong, it's like a bulldozer. If we hit another car, we'll probably find its remains in our glove compartment."
"That doesn't exactly fill me with confidence," Shizuma replied.
Takashi turned around the corner when he arrived at a stately looking three-storey apartment building. The rest of the gang, consisting of Kaname and Momomi, were waiting for them on the corner of the street with their luggage. Kaname looked at them with a softened expression on her face. Seeing how hot it was, she wore a loose fitting blouse above the usual jeans she always had on these days. Momomi looked absolutely adorable in her yellow dress and her matching sunhat. Yet, Nagisa knew that looks could be deceiving... One might dress up two snakes in baby clothes and put them in a crib, but that wouldn't mean they'd stop being snakes.
After Takashi had stepped out of the car to help the other girls with their luggage, Nagisa looked up to Shizuma. "Why do they have to come with us, Shizuma?" she said softly.
"We do owe them, Nagisa," Shizuma replied.
Nagisa thought for a moment. "True... I just think Kaname-san is a bit scary, that's all."
"We'll be fine," Shizuma smiled. "Kaname is harmless. Don't worry about her. Just let me deal with her."
"Is it just me or is Takashi-kun mooning over Momomi-san?" Nagisa asked.
"It's not just you," Shizuma smirked. "He's got a thing for Momomi, and Momomi knows it."
"Should we warn him?"
"He's a big boy. He'll find out by himself. He's the kind of person who needs to slam his head into the wall a couple of times before he figures out it's not in his best interest to keep slamming his head into the wall."
Outside, Takashi had opened the trunk and was getting ready to help the girls or, more accurately, to help Momomi with her luggage. Kaname beat him to the punch, though and picked up Momomi's suitcase just before he could grab it and placed it in the car.
"Could you help me with this?" Kaname asked as she presented the next piece of luggage.
"What the hell is this?" he said, referring to what looked to be a rolled up carpet with duct tape all around it.
"It's, um, something we quickly need to get rid off along the way," Kaname shrugged.
"It's heavy," Takashi said after trying to lift one side. "What is this? A body?" he joked.
Kaname bit her lip while Momomi twittered nervously. "Uh, let's say, strictly hypothetically speaking, that it is. Would you mind having it in your car?"
Momomi looked directly at Takashi, beating her eyelashes at him seductively.
"Oh, uh, not at all," Takashi replied. "As long as it doesn't start stinking up the car, I hypothetically speaking, don't mind."
"Thank you," Kaname spoke with a measure of relief as she helped Takashi get the strange package inside of the car. "Now, could we get going? It's for the best that Momomi and I leave town for a while."
"It's good for our alibi," Momomi added with a smile.
Kaname's suitcase and the carry case containing Momomi's laptop followed the dodgy package. Soon enough, Momomi and Kaname took their seats in the car, exchanging greetings with Shizuma and Nagisa.
And a few moments later, they were on the road headed towards their destination.
Japan was experiencing the worst heatwave it had since decades, and it had come at just the right time: summer vacation. It was the perfect opportunity to get away from the city and head to the beach. And as it happened, Takashi knew just where to find a beach-based Ryokan, which they would have all to themselves. Of course, the Ryokan was unmanned, so they had to do everything themselves too, but that was all part of their adventure that would last the entire summer vacation.
Of course, when their vacation was still in the early planning stage, Kaname and Momomi had somehow heard about it on the grapevine and called in one of their favors. The price for helping out Shizuma earlier was to join her and Nagisa for this holiday. Shizuma had agreed.
The car, with airconditioning set to full blast and all windows open, sped along the road, which followed a route alongside the ocean. It was still a three-hour drive to their destination, but the five occupants had more than enough to talk about, mostly reminiscing about their time at Astraea Hill.
Aside from one dubious stop, during which Kaname and Momomi had wanted to chuck their 'dodgy package' from a cliff into the ocean, there weren't any incidents. They quickly went through the cool box packed with frosty beverages as the drive continued.
"You'll love the place," Takashi smiled. "It's in the shade of some lovely trees, just about 100 meters away from a quiet part of the beach. It's got about twenty rooms, a common bathing area, but also private showers, a terrace in the back and a big dining hall. We will have to do some groceries, though. The larder's not stocked."
"It's hard to see why this Ryokan is not in use," Nagisa said. "I'd think they'd have many customers around this time of year."
"Well," Takashi grinned. "The owner had built up a bit of a gambling debt and took a loan from the bank to pay it off. Too bad for him, but he couldn't keep away from the betting shop. Long story short, he was couldn't pay back his loan and the bank impounded his Ryokan. And since my uncle is an executive at the bank in question, hey presto, a free stay at the Ryokan for us whenever we feel like it. No staff, though, but that's part of the fun."
Shizuma nodded. Her family wasn't strapped for cash, not in the slightest, but she had treated her trustfund a bit irresponsibly the past six months, taking Nagisa on many trips, having her car fitted with a new engine because her old one had been noisy and buying some rather expensive bonsai she actually hadn't needed. Then there were the expensive restaurants, the private resorts and that rather expensive necklace she'd bought for her beloved Nagisa... a necklace that was always inside a safe, because Nagisa was too afraid to actually wear it of fear of losing it. Needless to say, Shizuma's personal bank account was currently about as dry as a bone.
So, she had decided to take it easy for a while and would try to save up some money from her trustfund as it came in every month. It was also a point of pride for her that she didn't have to go to her father to borrow money for a holiday, so this free stay at this Ryokan was just what she needed. Peace, quiet and Nagisa were all the things she wanted out of a holiday.
Of course, an extended trip exploring Scandinavia with Nagisa at her side would have been nice too, but there was always next year.
As for Momomi and Kaname, Shizuma thought they probably considered staying at an unmanned Ryokan as 'roughing it'.
Shizuma's train of thought was interrupted by Nagisa's ringtone. Nagisa quickly flipped open her phone and answered enthusiastically. "Tamao-ch... Oh, hi mom. No, it's okay, I was just expecting a call from Tamao-chan, that's all. How are you? Uh-huh... Uh-huh... No, no, I'm fine. We're on the road now, driving along the ocean. Yeah, it's very hot out here. Just nice, though. Huh? Oh, okay. Yeah, she's in the backseat. I'll put her on."
Nagisa turned around and held out the phone for Shizuma, who looked at her incredulously. "It's for you," Nagisa smiled.
Seeing no way out and seeing that jumping out of the car would undoubtedly result in a twisted spine, Shizuma grudgingly took the phone. "Ah, good afternoon Aoi-san, I... Uhm, okay, I'll start again. Good afternoon, mom," Shizuma almost choked on the word, but she knew that agreeing with the wish of Nagisa's mother to call her 'mom' would drain a lot less energy than arguing about it would.
"Uh-huh. Uh-huh. No, I'm fine. I've forwarded Orito-san's... Oh, I'm sorry, dad's business proposal to my father. Uh? Uhm, well, I don't know if he'll accept the offer. He's very demanding in business deals, after all. No, no, no. No hard feelings ever. Hm? Yeah, we'll be staying there for a month or so. Yes, we've taken Maneki with us as well. No, no, no, no laptops. No laptops, no e-mail, no TV. Just us and the beach. Don't you want to talk to Nagisa? Huh? You don't?! Seriously?! Only to me?! Because I'm the perfect son-in-law? But... Ah, yes, daughter-in-law, I thought so too. Don't know many sons-in-law with breasts. And if they do have breasts, they're not sons-in-law of the perfect variety. Oh, no, no apologies necessary. Oh, oh, we're heading into a tunnel," she said quickly. "Krrrgh... krgggh... krgghh..." she made a crackling sound with her mouth to pretend they were driving through a tunnel. "I can't hear you. Aoi-san? Are you still there? Krrrgghh... I'll call you back after our holidays. Bye!"
Shizuma hung up the phone and switched it off before handing it back to her beloved Nagisa. She sat back in the backseat with a heavy sigh, while the others in the car chuckled at her predicament.
"Oh, thank you for the sympathy," Shizuma sighed. "Why did you have to give that thing to me?"
"What was I supposed to say?" Nagisa smiled. "'Sorry, mom but she's out'. While we're driving?"
"You could have told her you accidentally left me at a gas station," Shizuma tried.
"I couldn't say that!" Nagisa pouted. "She'd scold me."
"Or you could have told her that I was up on the roof. Because I would take up high-way surfing just to avoid talking to your parents."
Nagisa giggled. "I can't help it, Shizuma. My parents love you now."
"Your parents love my family's bank-account," Shizuma sighed. "Not me."
"Says the girl with no money to her name," Nagisa smirked.
"Sure, rub it in," Shizuma sighed. "You know as well as I that that's just a temporary situation."
"Seriously, though, I've heard them brag about you to their friends. How their cute daughter has found the perfect spouse."
"Perfect 'loaded' spouse, more like," Shizuma smirked. "Let me guess, they never mention my gender, right?"
"Nope. Just that you're gorgeous, rich and good in bed, leaving their precious Nagisa without a care in the world."
"Gorgeous, rich and good in bed," Shizuma smiled to herself. "I can live with that."
"Me too," Nagisa blushed slightly.
Momomi looked up from her book and smiled gently at the two lovers. "Isn't that romantic, Kaname?"
Kaname frowned. "Pfft, come on. Are you going soft on me, Momomi? It's nothing special. Couples in love are a dime a dozen."
Momomi smiled. "I don't know, I thought it was all very romantic. Remember how Shizuma-sama ran into the cathedral and proclaimed her love for Nagisa-san in front of everyone. That took real courage, and I for one think it was amazing."
Kaname rolled her eyes again. "You ARE going soft on me."
"Funny," Momomi wondered. "I was thinking. They've been together for three years and have already been married for almost one year. We've been together for six and we've never even talked about it. I guess..."
"Oh, come on," Kaname interrupted, sounding slightly nervous. "We don't NEED to get married, Momomi. We're happy as we are."
Momomi raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"
Takashi, Nagisa and Shizuma exchanged a look. All three of them knew that Kaname had stepped right into a minefield. And wether or not she'd step onto a mine and be tossed twelve feet into the air would be determined by her next words.
"Momomi," Kaname started. "It wouldn't make sense for us to get married. It wouldn't add anything new to our relationship, Momomi. So you might as well stop thinking about it, because it's never going to happen. Not ever."
Momomi narrowed her eyes. "So you say, but you certainly act as if we are married already. Like whenever you come home after a long day of university and you toss off your shoes, throw your dirty socks on the floor and veg out in front of the television with a Pepsi. I mean, Kaname doesn't think to pick up her socks and throw them into the hamper. No, they might as well be yelling 'Hey, Momomi, come pick us up and wash us because Kaname never bothers anyway'. And it doesn't help that they don't exactly smell like roses, you know? It gets even worse when you come back from the dirtbike track. Who has the honor of scrubbing the mud off your racing suit? Not Kaname, I can tell you that."
"Hey, when I get back from the track, I'm tired and my muscles ache all over. I..."
"Oh, poor Kaname. Luckily she has Momomi the Maid to take care of her every whim and desire."
"Now, that's just not fair! Why do you have to be such a bitch about this?"
It didn't take long after that for the expletives to start being hurled back and forth. Poor Shizuma found herself caught in the middle. Kaname and Momomi bickered and swore at each other until Momomi had been driven so far over the edge she had lost all semblance to the calm and calculating girl she was. Shizuma did her best to come in between the fighting girls, but her efforts were completely in vain as her words fell on deaf ears.
"Shall I tell you all a secret?! A secret Kaname desperately wants to keep? Oh, I swear, you'll never look at her in the same light ever again!" Momomi shouted.
"Momomi!" Kaname's eyes grew wide. "Don't!"
"Oh, yes. Kaname here is a swooning fangirl. Didn't you know that? Oh, yes, she is! She is obsessed to the level of buying collector's plates on Ebay. She's a harcore fan to the extreme. A fangirl who worships..."
"WEIRD AL YANKOVIC!"
"You BITCH! You promised to never tell anyone!"
"You drove me to it! You only have yourself to blame!"
"So, uhm," Nagisa asked. "Who is Weird Al Yankovic?"
Kaname didn't merely stare daggers at Nagisa, she also mentally stabbed her over 100 times in the chest, neck and face. She muttered something, but Nagisa could only make out the words 'Philistine' and 'bloody musical genius'.
"Weird Al is an American singer who reworks existing songs into great parody music," Takashi told Nagisa. "Wonderful!" he looked over his shoulder with a broad grin. "I should recognize a fellow nerd whenever I see one, but then again you hide it well."
"I AM NOT A NERD!" Kaname shouted.
"Yes," Momomi hissed. "You are. And now everybody knows."
"Have you heard Weird Al's latest album? Straight Outta Lynwood?" Takashi asked.
"I certainly have not!" Kaname stammered.
"Oh, yes, she has," Momomi glowered. "She has it looped on the stereo at home. She has every single one of his songs he ever released on her MP3 player."
"M-momomi," Kaname gasped at her lover's betrayal.
"Don't worry," Takashi said. "Kaname-san, you're obviously a nerd, but you're still in the closet. Don't worry, girl. We've all been there at one point."
Kaname's only response was a low growl.
"Everybody's a nerd in some way or another," Takashi spoke. "Shiz is a bonsai-nerd, I'm an all-round nerd and you, Nagisa, are a peppy nerd."
"Gee, thanks," Nagisa chuckled.
Still the mood in the car was thoroughly soured. Momomi refused to sit next to Kaname any longer and practically climbed over Shizuma to get to the other side of the car. And so Kaname ended out staring out of the left window in silence, having put on her MP3-player. Momomi sat next to the right door and sat towards the window, having taken out her PSP and piddling away playing Megaman. She wore earplugs, masking the sound. Momomi and Kaname couldn't stand to look at each other at this moment.
In between the two angry lovers sat a very miffed Shizuma. Not only had she been roughly shoved aside, but she was now decidedly out of range of her Nagisa. Nagisa, in turn, found that her shoulders were experiencing severe Shizuma withdrawal. All that could be heard in the car was the sound of the engine.
Shizuma suddenly pulled an earphone from Kaname's ears and put it in her own for a moment.
"It's not Weird Al," Kaname was quick to say. "I'm not in the mood for Al right now. I'm now in the mood for some heavy metal."
Shizuma listened for a moment. "'It's darkness, it's pain. It's bodies bleeding in the rain'?" Shizuma asked before returning the earphone.
"I find it soothing," Kaname shrugged.
Nagisa sighed. The only thing she could hear was the hum of the engine and Momomi's fingers pressing the buttons to make Megaman jump. "This is going to be a long, long ride," she sighed before closing her eyes for a little nap.
Nagisa frantically punched at the controls of her spacecraft as she desperately tried to get away from her pursuers. Her heart pounded in her throat as the craft rocked from the impact of yet another blast from her enemies' weapons.
It would have been just another boring cargo-run from the lunar supply base to the Colony Londonian at Side 1. The young pilot had made this run about ten times already. Just punch in the coordinates, pull out a Sodoku and wait for twelve hours. Boring and uneventful. Today, that had changed considerably.
The sluggish cargo carrier moved as fast as it could, but Nagisa knew it was no use to try to outrun her attackers. There was no way a cargo carrier could outrun the trio of mobile suits that was hot on her tail.
Undoubtedly they were pirates out to get her cargo. The problem was that they didn't need to keep the carrier intact to capture the cargo, since the cargo was loaded in crates that would survive the ship's destruction. Unfortunately, Nagisa was not as well-protected as the load of self-sealing stembolts she was charged to deliver.
Another explosion rocked the carrier violently. The missile hadn't hit the craft itself, it had just exploded at the bow, too far away to do any damage, but just close enough to shake the ship to its core.
And then there was again the joyful mocking laughter of the three pirates over the comm-system. They were joying with her. They were going to have their little fun before moving in for the kill. Nagisa had never been this scared in her entire life.
When another explosion rocked the ship, she just couldn't take it anymore.
"Stop it!" she shouted into the comm, tears streaming over her face. "Please! You can have the cargo! Just leave me alone!"
But her desperate pleas fell on deaf ears. The mocking laughter intensified. "Poor little girl. Crying won't save you, little princess. You're playing with the big boys now! And we play rough."
Nagisa squeezed her eyes shut as another bout of mocking laughter taunted her. But suddenly, the laughter fell silent. Surprised by this, Nagisa opened her eyes again. And there, in the distance, neatly silhouetted by the burning sun, she saw what was causing the three pirates such sudden distress.
"It's... It's..." one of the pirates stammered. "It's a GUNDAM!!"
The Gundam was magnificent. With a carapace as black as space itself, and a noble stature that would rival the Samurai of times long past. And in its grey arms, it held an energy scythe. It was a veritable Shinigami of steel.
Suddenly, the Gundam shot forward with almost impossible speed. The scythe struck true, carving one of the pirate mobile suits in half before he had even time to react. The second pirate went down just as quickly, his death-scream cut off abruptly as his mobile suit exploded in a cloud of glowing metal shards and burning gas.
The third pirate actually managed to put up a fight and Nagisa watched in awe as the Gundam matched every single move the pirate made. The pirate and the Gundam were locked in a dance of death, darting around the carrier with near impossible speed.
Then, disaster struck. The pirate had fired an energy-beam which the Gundam deftly avoided. Unfortunately for Nagisa, the beam would certainly hit the carrier full on. Nagisa broke from her stupor and tried to get the carrier to move out of the way of the beam. But she knew it was in vain. The beam hit the carrier's pilot section and Nagisa could practically feel the searing heat of the beam as it collided with her cockpit. The roof of the carrier was consumed by the beam. There was a sudden rush of air and too late Nagisa realized that she, in her panic, had never remembered to strap in her safety harness.
Nagisa cried out in terror when she was sucked out into space and saw the dying carrier spiraling ever further away. She just prayed to any divine being actually listening that she HAD remembered to fasten the helmet to her spacesuit.
Weightless and without hope, Nagisa floated in the darkness of space for what felt like an eternity. Until suddenly she found herself right in front of the Gundam. The machine was even more impressive from up close, where she could make out the subtle platework and the color scheme. This machine had been made by someone who considered his or her craft an art.
She was startled when she saw a hatch in the Gundam's torso section open. Out came a tall pilot in a grey suit. Though the helmet didn't reveal any features, the grey suit was almost skin-tight and judging from her form, she was definitely female.
The tall female beckoned her towards her and, for a moment, Nagisa was afraid to follow her into the machine. But considering any other choice meant suffocating in space when her air-supply would run out, the choice was simple.
The cockpit was small, too small for two persons. Nagisa blushed as the tall female set her on her lap and pressed a button to close the hatch. Cramped wasn't the word. Cozy definitely was. As soon as atmosphere had returned to the cockpit, the woman took off her helmet.
An ocean of grey hair fell from her helmet, making Nagisa wonder how she had ever managed to fit it all inside her suit. The woman was beautiful in every sense of the word. A warm smile and eyes that Nagisa could fall into and never be found again.
"Your ship was destroyed," the woman said softly. "I'm sorry I couldn't save it, but I am happy that you are alive. I will bring you to the colony. I'm afraid I can't offer you a seat, but we'll have to make due."
Nagisa felt her heart skip a beat with every word from this gorgeous woman she was now in intimate contact with.
"That's o-okay," Nagisa stammered. "I'm Aoi Nagisa. Thank you for rescuing me."
"In that case," the silver-haired pilot replied with a smile. "I shall call you Nagisa-chan. I am Hanazono Shizuma."
"Shizuma," Nagisa whispered. And Nagisa felt completely safe as Shizuma held her. "Shizuma."
"Hmmm, Shizuma," Nagisa whispered. Her eyes fluttered open and she slowly realized she was still sitting in Takashi-kun's car. Two things immediately registered in her mind. First of all, she wasn't the only one sitting in this over-sized seat. In fact, she was sitting on somebody's lap. Somebody who had two arms wrapped around her waist and held her ever so lovingly. Secondly, she had been daydreaming about Gundams of all things... Nagisa guessed she had been hanging around Akiko too long.
"Shizuma," Nagisa smiled as she stretched and eased back into Shizuma's embrace.
"Hm," Shizuma whispered and gently kissed Nagisa just below her earlobe, making her swoon slightly. "Had a nice nap?"
"Waking up was even nicer," Nagisa replied. "Are we..."
"Don't worry," Shizuma whispered. "We're both sharing one seat belt."
"No, no," Nagisa chuckled. "I was just wondering why you're here with me all of a sudden. Not that I'm complaining, but..."
"Look over your shoulder," Shizuma whispered in her ear. Nagisa did so and couldn't help but blush.
In the backseat, Momomi was sitting in Kaname's lap. The two lovers were embracing each other and kissing each other with mad passion. Momomi held Kaname tightly while Kaname ran her hands through Momomi's long hair. The two of them were obviously tongue-wrestling, as if it was an olympic event. Ever so often, a moan or a sigh could be heard in between the plenthora of kissing sounds.
"I thought I should give them some privacy," Shizuma said. "They're busy making up after that nasty fight."
"Wow. Don't they need to breathe?" Nagisa asked.
Takashi looked in his rear-view mirror and found himself staring at Momomi and Kaname for a moment. His eyes seemed to be glazing over. The car started to swerve slightly shortly after that.
"EEEEEHHH?! TAKASHI-KUN! EYES ON THE ROAD!! EYES ON THE ROAD!!" Nagisa wailed. Takashi snapped out of his lesbian kissage induced trance and once again took control of the car.
Nagisa was still shaking from the ordeal, but Shizuma was a little calmer and turned a frown towards Takashi. "Takashi-kun," Shizuma spoke. "We just came dangerously close to hitting the railing at the side of the road... and the 50 meter drop into the ocean beyond the railing."
In the backseat, Momomi and Kaname hadn't noticed a thing.
"Uh, sorry," Takashi blushed. "I, uh... It's a male thing. That's all I can say. Oh, my god, Kaname just slid her hands up Momomi's dress..."
"EYES ON THE ROAD!! EYES ON THE ROAD!!" Nagisa shouted again.
Luckily for Nagisa's sanity, the very beach they were headed to could be seen in the distance as they turned around another bend in the road. The sun had started to set and sun into the ocean, illuminating the beach in an orange glow. All over, people had started campfires, adding to the atmosphere. At the side of the beach was a large stretch of cool forest, in which the Ryokan was located. It was a fitting conclusion to a five-hour drive in the smoldering heat.
"We're almost there," Takashi said. "I still have some cold drinks in the icebox, and the rooms should be nice and cool too. I'm just about ready for bed... and I'm guessing these two behind us need to be alone in a room very quickly. Peace and quiet too. We have a nice little stretch of private beach all to ourselves."
Nagisa smiled. Here she was, being held by her wife and about to start a lovely holiday with her at a wonderful spot. How could things get any better than this?
Next part, which will be released after part 7 of Everybody Loves Yaya, will bring Chikaru and Shion onto the stage.