Well, this is the ending of Summer Holiday. I've had a wonderful time writing it and thinking it up. I hope you'll enjoy.
We're all going on a... Summer-holiday
Chapter 10 : Will you?
Kaname made her way down the stairs and into the kitchen for a quick bite to eat. She found one of the plastic wrapped ready-made sandwiches Nagisa had bought at the supermarket and quickly opened it up.
Kaname had left Momomi sleeping upstairs in their room. But then again, her girlfriend was often a late sleeper when she had the opportunity. She was surprised to hear the sounds of a television from the common room. It was quite early and she hadn't expected anyone to be up and about yet. Surprised turned into bafflement when she saw Takashi and Shizuma glued to the television set while the DVD-player was apparently spinning around.
The sounds she heard from the TV were awfully familiar... in fact, she instantly recognized them.
"So, is that the Gundam you were talking about?" Shizuma asked. "Those green ones with the domed heads?"
"No, no, those are Zakus. They belong to the Principality of Zeon. The EFSF doesn't have mobile suits yet, but that is about to change."
Shizuma nodded. "Ah, so what was this about three mobile suits? There's only one Gundam, right?"
"Ah, true," Takashi said. "There's only one Gundam, but there are two more EFSF mobile suits: the Guncannon and the Guntank. It was conventional at the time for a super robot anime-show to have a sentai structure that existed of a team of three."
"Ah," Shizuma nodded. "So Amuro is the son of the Gundam's designer? But he's not a professional pilot? How can he control such a complicated machine without training?"
Takashi nodded. "Good question. Well, first of all, Amuro is... special. You'll find out later in the series, I'd be giving too much away. Let's just say he handles things very intuitively. Not to mention that the Gundam has very sophisticated self-learning computers."
Kaname blinked and stepped into view.
"Ah, Ohayo Kaname-san," Shizuma greeted.
"Hola!" Takashi added. "Comment ca va?"
Kaname looked at them in confusion. "Shizuma-sama? What are you doing?"
"I'm watching a show with Takashi-kun. Many people like it very much and some friends, including Takashi-kun himself, won't stop talking about it. So I figured I'd see what all the fuss is about," Shizuma said. "But I'm liking it so far."
"In other words," Takashi added. "I'm giving this proto-Otaku next to me some pointers. Can you believe Shiz has never seen the original Mobile Suit Gundam? And you dare to call yourself Japanese!"
Shizuma chuckled. "Hush, hush, I'm learning."
"Hm, episode one," Kaname said as she watched the screen and when she looked back at her friends, she saw Takashi smirking at her.
"Ah, so you recognize episode one from a freeze frame, hm? Admit it, Kaname-san, you're such a nerd."
"I AM NOT A..." Kaname shouted, but then caught herself. She sighed heavily. "Oh, I'm not even going to fight it anymore. Scoot over."
Kaname sat down next to Shizuma and Takashi. "So, has Amuro defeated the Zakus yet?"
"Sssh, don't give away the story," Shizuma pouted slightly.
"Sorry," Kaname shrugged.
"Don't worry," Takashi smiled. "Shiz, just prepare for 43 episodes of pure heaven."
"As long as I don't have to watch Pokemon, it's alright," Shizuma smiled. "I'm also quite proud of Kaname-san here. It takes guts to make such an admission."
Kaname looked away. "Alright, I admit it. I might have some interested that could be interpreted as being... nerdy."
"It's alright, Kaname-san," Takashi smiled. "You have just made an important first step."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, just watch the television, okay?"
Sensing the underlying threat of extreme violence hidden underneath Kaname's words, he wisely kept his mouth shut.
"Let's just finish this episode," Shizuma said. "We have to get ready for the party."
Kaname frowned. "Party?"
"Yes," Takashi said. "Today's our last day here before we return to the drudgery of college, remember? So Nagisa had this wonderful idea of having a cosplay party for the kids here. Any excuse to dress up, ne?"
Kaname sighed. "Wonderful. A party. With kids... Why wasn't I informed of this?!"
Shizuma shrugged. "We figured you'd know anyway the moment the plan was conceived, so we never bothered. You're telling us you never figured it out? We've been stocking up on snacks, soda, charcoal and costumes for days!"
Kaname sighed. "I must be slipping."
"You seem to be having a lot on your mind the past couple of days," Takashi said. "Time to let go, sister-otaku. So enjoy the Anime in front of you and don't look back."
"Amen," Kaname nodded as Amuro took down the first Zaku on the screen.
The costume party was a great success to say the least. They had the party outside in the yard and had also set up a karaoke machine which a few of the kids were making grateful use of. Several tables were filled with snacks, ranging from fresh sushi to crisps, while Takashi was running a barbecue to roast shish kebab and chicken legs.
Takashi was once again wearing his Paptimus Scirocco costume, while there were a dozen of Anime and movie characters running around, ranging from Indiana Jones to Ichigo to Sailor Moon to Konata. The three little hentai-sans were, rather appropriately dressed: Keita as Freddy. Kira as Jason. Suguru as Pin-head.
All three were following around Shizuma from a distance, as Shizuma was cosplaying as Revy from Black Lagoon, a suggestion from Chikaru for Shizuma to play a character that was so unlike herself. Shizuma looked the part: though her hair was a bit too long and the wrong color, the costume made up for it. It consisted as a set of high combat boots, a tiny tank top showing off her belly and midriff and a set of very short cut-off Jeans showing off her endlessly long legs. She even had Chikaru apply Revy's elaborate tattoo on her arm and shoulder with ink, while two realistic toy guns finished the deal. Needless to say, the three boys were following her around as if she'd put a magnet in the back of her jeans.
Nagisa was keeping track of the children until Chikaru'd arrive. Nagisa looked cute as a button with her pink plush neko mimi with matching tail, and with her brightly colored pretty cat-girl dress. But she frowned when Kaname entered the yard wearing just her regular clothes.
Nagisa shook her head and decided to confront her. "This is a costume party, Kaname-san. Why aren't you in costume?" Nagisa asked.
"I am in costume," Kaname stressed. "See? I'm dressed up as 'Kenjou Kaname'. I'm a dead wringer for her."
Nagisa sighed. "Your costume is so life-like, Kaname-san. Did you make it yourself or did you rent it from a shop?"
Kaname chuckled. "Don't try to do sarcasm, Nagisa-san. You're not very good at it. Hm, what are you supposed to be, then? A Hentai-furry's Wet Dream Come True?"
"Eeeeh?!" Nagisa blushed. As if on cue, Momomi entered next. Nagisa frowned yet again when she saw that, she too, was wearing her regular clothes. "And where is your costume, Momomi-san?"
"I am wearing my costume," she said, pointing at her hat. "See? I am 'Momomi with hat'."
Nagisa pouted. "Spoilsports," she muttered under her breath and walked back to the food table. Though she was keeping an eye on all kids, she was looking around for one kid in particular. One kid who always seemed to be close to Shizuma.
Nagisa's attention drifted often to Shizuma, however. Like the boys, Nagisa found Shizuma's costume to be very sexy... to the point of nosebleed. And from some of the smirks Shizuma gave her ever so often, the feeling was mutual. Nagisa was certain that their costumes would find use in the bedroom later tonight.
Unfortunately, Nagisa was distracted by ecchi thoughts too much to notice that little Futuba, conveniently dressed in a bright yellow Pikachu costume, approached Shizuma as she was sitting down on one of the benches. By the time Nagisa noticed, it was too late to chase her away.
"Shizuma nee-sama? Can I sit with you?" Little Futaba asked with those big moe eyes of her.
"Sure, Futaba-chan," Shizuma smiled and took the child to sit on her lap. Of course, the little child shot a smug look across the room as she nestled neatly against Shizuma's bare midriff and pressed the side of her head against Shizuma's chest.
"Eeeeh?!" Nagisa almost felt steam shoot from her ears. "Futaba-san... you little harlot! Hussy! Homewrecker! I will not forgive you!"
As Momomi watched Nagisa explode, she sidled off to the perch from which the three boys were observing Shizuma. It was obvious that all three boys were happily wishing they could be Futaba for a moment and, like her, stick their head right between Shizuma's gorgeous breasts.
"Excuse me," Momomi asked. "Suguru-kun, could you fetch me a glass of water, please?"
The boy seemed a little disappointed, torn in between a desire for helping one sexy woman and the desire to watch another sexy woman's boobs. "Uh, do I have to?"
"Well," Momomi thought for a moment. "Let's just put it this way. If you won't fetch me a glass of water from the kitchen, I will tell Kana that you peeked up my skirt. Do you have any idea what she will do to you? Hm?"
Suguru gulped, being faced with the prospect of being violently castrated with a blunt butterknife. He nodded and quickly made off while the other two boys laughed.
"Sucks to be you, dude!" Kira called after him.
"Soft... perfectly round... just a hit of nipple through the fabric... perfect abs... long, long, long legs..." Keita drooled. "If I'd only have the chance, I'd pleasure her all night till the morning comes."
Momomi snickered. "Keita-san... Forget it. Shizuma-sama isn't going to give up on women in exchange for the five seconds of bumbling sex you're offering her."
"Don't ruin my dreams, Momomi-san," Keita pouted heavily. "Oh, Shizuma-san... if only you would give me a chance to prove myself."
"Yeah," Kira sighed heavily. "Me too..."
"At least we have her underwear," Keita said as he quietly produced the red boxes they had pilfered about two weeks ago.
"Sugoi desu," Kira still swooned. "Imagine it, silky soft and wrapped so tightly around Shizuma-san's sweet womanly buns."
"Quiet, or Shizuma-san might see that we have her..."
"OY!" sounded from the barbecue. From Takashi. "So that's where my favorite red boxers went! What have you little thieves been doing with it?"
Keita blinked. And so did Kira. They watched Takashi, then the boxers, then Takashi, and then the boxers again. In the end, both boys were looking a little pale.
"So... it wasn't around Shizuma-san's sweet womanly buns," Kira gulped. "But around Takashi-kun's..."
"And, and, and," Keita shuddered. "On the other side wasn't Shizuma-san's... but instead it had Takashi-san's..."
The boys yelled at each others. "BATH! BATH! SCRUB! SHOWER!" they shouted and ran inside like headless chickens, leaving the red boxers behind.
As Takashi collected his previously missing briefs, Momomi frowned. "Takashi-kun," she asked. "What was that all about?"
"I don't know," Takashi scratched his head. "They stole my underwear and ran off shouting something about taking a bath together."
"Aaah," Momomi smirked. "I knew it! All their ecchi behaviour towards girls was nothing more than pure denial. Poor boys, they should just admit their love for each other and be done with."
Takashi shrugged. "Whatever makes them happy. At least I have my underwear back."
Suguru ran all the way to the kitchen, fetched a glass and held it under the faucet. When he looked down into the sink, he noticed a small glint underneath the rubber mat in the bottom of the sink. Curious as he was, he took a look and fished out a rather expensive looking ring.
He put down the glass on the counter and sat down for a moment to study it. The young boy was from a poor family, and it was obvious to him that the ring was worth a lot of money. Money which could be of good use for him and his dad. Gold, diamonds, plated silver... it was a gorgeous ring. And old ring too.
He noticed some Kanji engraved in the inside of the ring. They read : 'Shion and Chikaru. Together forever'. Immediately, things started to fall into place. And he understood why Shion had become so angry: this was to be an engagement ring.
After thoughts of selling it, he now thought it would be for the best to toss it down the trash compactor and never think about it again. If Shion-sensei found this ring in his hands, she'd skin him alive. Better to get rid of the evidence.
And he almost did. Almost.
Chikaru-sensei's gentle smile floated into his mind. He, and the other boys, had quickly figured out that Chikaru-sensei and Shion-sensei were lesbians and in love with each other, which led to a wide array of 'observation tactics'. But he was the only boy of the three who saw how genuine this love was. And... it just didn't feel right to deny Chikaru-sensei the chance of marrying the person she loved.
He also wondered briefly how someone as uptight as Shion-sensei could possibly lose an item so precious to her in the kitchen sink. But as he couldn't think of an answer, he decided to let it slide.
He pocketed the ring and quickly brought Momomi her glass of water before she'd get suspicious and then he returned to the entrance and stood in front of the stairs leading to the first floor. He took the ring from his pocket and watched it for a while, still trying to decide what to do. Sure, he thought that Chikaru-sensei deserved love, but he also thought that he didn't deserve to have Shion-sensei break every bone in his body.
With heavy heart, he set foot on the first step of the stairs.
As he slowly made his way up, Kaname watched from the shadows with satisfaction. It had been easy to set this all up and to use Momomi to send the right boy into the kitchen. A perceptive, kind-hearted boy like Suguru was perfect for her plan.
Suguru snuck upstairs to the room in which his teachers were staying. He slowly crept through the shadows, a move he had often made on the boys' never ending quest to peep on girls who were in various states of undress. The door was open and Suguru peeked inside. He saw Shion laying on the bed inside the darkened room. The fan above the bed was keeping her cool.
Chikaru, dressed up in a Sherlock Holmes cosplay costume, bent over her love and briefly ran her fingers through Shion's blonde hair.
"Don't worry, Shion-koi," Chikaru whispered gently as she kissed Shion on the cheek. "If you need me, just call. You need rest, my love."
"I'll be fine, Sweetness," Shion replied weakly. "Go. Enjoy the party. For the children."
Chikaru nodded. "Remember. If you need anything..."
"I'll call," Shion and Chikaru shared a brief kiss.
Suguru gasped as Chikaru started moving towards the door. He silently dove in the shadows and let her pass. Chikaru left the room and Suguru held his breath to avoid being found out. When Chikaru rounded about the corner in the hallway and didn't come back, he knew he was safe.
"Sam Fisher," Suguru whispered to himself. "Superspy!" He entered the darkened room and saw Shion lying on her side.
"Shion-sensei?" he whispered gently.
"Hm?" Shion responded and rolled to face Suguru. There was a flash of recognition, but she remained calm. "Oh, it's you. Come to gloat? Come to see your sensei in tatters? Well, here I am. Do you like what you see?"
"Uh?" Suguru replied as he approached the bed. "No, no."
Suguru took a few deep breaths, because he knew how violent Shion could react. "I came to return something that belongs to you."
He wished the wedding ring out of his pocket and slowly held it out to Shion. He closed his eyes in preparation of the expected outburst, but it never came. When he opened his eyes, he saw his tough-as-nails sensei tearing up and clutching the ring to her chest.
"Y-yokatta," Shion sobbed. "Yokatta..."
Suguru didn't quite know how to react to this, so he merely stood there flabbergasted as he let his sensei cry in peace for a while. Eventually, she calmed somewhat and slipped the ring on her own finger, determined not to lose it again. "Did you take it?" Shion asked softly.
"N-no, I didn't!" Suguru said quickly. "I swear, I didn't take it. I found it in the kitchen when I was getting a glass of water."
Shion studied the boy for a while, but smiled slightly. "I believe you," Shion whispered, much to Suguru's relief. Shion sat up in bed and studied the ring. "You know, this ring was given to me by my grandmother when I was a little girl. She told me I should one day give it to the person I love the most."
"Chikaru-sensei?" Suguru asked.
"Yes," Shion smiled. "When I lost the ring, I... felt I lost both the chance to ask Chikaru to share my life as well as grandmother's gift. Why did you bring it back?"
Suguru lowered his head. "Well, you know, I, uh... I just... Chikaru-sensei has always been good and kind to us and you... you've kept us out of trouble. Keeping the ring from the two of you, well... it'd just be wrong."
Shion smiled and reached out to ruffle Suguru's hair. "You're a good kid, Suguru-kun," she smiled. "Why do you keep hanging out with those two other losers?"
Suguru smiled softly. "Someone has to keep them out of trouble. I usually talk them out of doing the worst sort of things. And, well, uh," Suguru blushed and laughed uneasily. "I'm a healthy boy, so I really like looking at naked girls too. And Keita usually knows the best spots."
Shion chuckled slightly. "Just between you and me," Shion smirked. "I'm a healthy lesbian, so I did plenty of peeping into the girls' locker rooms when I was your age. I'll keep your secret if you keep mine."
Suguru and Shion both laughed for a moment, before the mood turned serious again.
"You know, some people are beyond saving."
"I know," Suguru said. "And Keita and Kira have been getting meaner the past couple of years, but... where I come from, you don't give up on your friends."
Shion studied him for a moment, then smiled. "Heh, you're a kinder person than I am."
"Uhm, Shion-sensei?" Suguru felt he had one more admission to make. "I... I almost didn't give you back your ring."
"Uhm?" Shion asked, intrigued. "Why not?"
"I was thinking about... pawning it all the way from the kitchen to your room," Suguru said. "Ever since mom left us, it's been very hard on us. Dad's brilliant. He really is. He's a brilliant systems engineer, a regular computer whisperer. He could be the head of an IC department at a major corporation like Toyota or Hanazono Industries or something like that. But he lost his job when the company he worked for went bankrupt and he's... He doesn't have the Talk, you see? He botches every job application because he's so nervous and twittery and it's not fair because he tries hard. Dad usually makes end meet by hiring himself out to people who are having problems with their computers at home, but... we don't have much."
"I see," Shion said.
"The money we'd get from pawning that ring would settle our debts completely and leave us with a nice little nest egg. But..."
"It'd be wrong?" Shion smiled.
"Yeah," Suguru nodded. "It'd be wrong."
Shion thought for a moment. "Suguru-kun, could you please write your dad's name and phone number on a piece of paper. I'm not making any promises, but the headhunters for Toumori Electronics are always looking for skilled personnel. And if he's as good as you say he is, he'll no doubt be given a good job. Our people select on skills alone, not the ability to Talk oneself into a job."
"Y-you mean it?!" Suguru's face lit up like a radiant sun and he immediately started looking for a piece of paper.
"I mean it," Shion smiled. "I'll make a call later today."
"Thank you so very much," the happy Suguru bowed as deeply as he could.
Shion acknowledged the bow. But then frowned. "What the hell are you supposed to be anyway?"
Suguru blinked. "Oh, I'm Pinhead. He's an icon in western horror movies. I described the character for her, and then Chikaru-sensei helped me make a costume."
"Why am I not surprised?" Shion seemed to swoon a little.
"Uh-huh," Suguru said. "Chikaru-sensei took some sort of mesh and made it to fit my face. And then she snipped a couple of nails in two and weaved them into the mesh and then she colored it and covered the edges of the mesh up with make-up. See? It looks very real."
Through the closed windows came the muffled sounds of kids giggling downstairs. Shion sat up and glanced at the windows, still closed with thick drapes. "Sounds like they're having a lot of fun down there."
"The party. You should be there."
"I feel much better," Shion said. "But, no... I don't think my place is down there."
"Are you kidding?" Suguru said. "Shion-sensei, tomorrow everyone will be going home. You should allow everyone to thank you and say goodbye to you."
"I don't have a costume..."
"Ah, but Takashi-san is an otaku. I'm certain he must have cosplay stuff lying around."
"I don't know..."
"Don't you realize, Shizuma? She's evil! She only wants you for your body!" Nagisa stated resolutely while Shizuma held little Futuba in her arms. All around them, kids hurled themselves on top of the snack table or were busy playing tag with Chikaru and Momomi. "She's bad to the bone! She wants to destroy our marriage!"
"Nagisa," Shizuma sighed. "She's only six years old..."
"Six years is old enough to brood on plots, Shizuma!"
"Shizuma nee-sama?" Futuba, who had been in Shizuma's arms during the conversation, whispered softly. "Tomorrow I'll leave, but can I write to you when I learn how? And can I visit you?"
"EEEHHH?! ABSOLUTELY NOT!" Nagisa shouted.
"Shizuma nee-sama," Futaba pouted. "Nagisa nee-chan is being mean to me."
"Don't call me 'chan', you little homewrecker!" Nagisa narrowed her eyes. "That's Nagisa-sama to you!"
"Nagisa, stop it, you're scaring her," Shizuma frowned. "I gotta say, sweetheart, you've been acting rather irrational lately."
Nagisa pouted. "How can you expect me to keep quiet when this little oni is weasling her way into your heart?"
Shizuma nodded. "Alright, perhaps it's for the best if you and Futaba-chan don't mingle for the rest of the day. I'll go take her to the barbecue, alright?"
Nagisa sighed. "Okay," she said with a tiny voice. She watched her wife walk off with Futaba in her hands. And when Shizuma wasn't looking, Futaba popped her head over Shizuma's shoulder and made funny faces at Nagisa, followed up with a rather obscene gesture.
"EEEHHH?! THAT LITTLE..." Nagisa kicked a bench in frustration and promptly ended up hopping on one leg.
All voices hushed, except Nagisa who was holding her wounded foot. When Nagisa looked over her shoulder, she saw Suguru leading a somewhat reluctant Shion into view. Shion was wearing a red sleeveless shirt which barely contained her bosom, matched with red pants. She also was wearing a pair of oversized eighties sunglasses.
"Ah, sugoi!" Takashi applauded. "You look a better in my Quattro costume than I do, Shion-san."
Shion seemed a bit unsure, but as the kids started greeting her, she felt more than fine.
"Shion-koi," Chikaru whispered as she walked up to her girlfriend. "I'm glad to see you're up again. Are you sure you're okay?"
"Better than I have been in days, sweetness," Shion said as she moved to embrace Chikaru. "Thank you for taking care of me."
As the kids started cheering and two of the boys started drooling, Takashi rubbed his chin. "Hm, a female Sherlock Holmes hugging a female Char Aznable with a touch of ecchi eroge... Otaku brain overload here."
"I just think it's cute, Takashi-kun," Nagisa smiled.
"Oh, it is, Nagisa-chan," he smiled. "This is just... so very moe."
"FUCK EM ALL!" shouted Shizuma Rambo as she raised her M60 and fired wildly around her while standing in the middle of the enemy camp. The silver-haired beauty, wearing camo-pants, a skimpy tank-top and a red bandana. Though she wasn't even aiming properly, all around her Vietcong soldiers fell like flies as they were mercilessly shredded to pieces by a hail of bullets.
Shizuma just kept firing and firing and firing. And soldiers kept dying and dying and dying. This was doubly amazing, because Shizuma neither aimed nor ever reloaded her weapon.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" she shouted in utter agressiveness as her lovely body was covered in grime and sweat, causing her tanktop to cling to her skin.
With one hand, and while never stopping firing her M60 she grabbed a grenade, pulled the pin out with her teeth and threw it right into the ammo-dump, causing an explosion which wiped out half the camp. Soldiers on fire ran for the river and dove right into the water. But Shizuma was already standing at the edge of the river, mercilessly firing bullets into the brains of the hapless soldiers, turning them into crocodile chow.
When her M60 finally ran out of bullets, she dove right into the river to sneak into the other end of the camp, where the guard standing in front of the prison had miraculously never noticed the bullets firing, the explosions or the screams of the dead and dying. As the guard turned his back to the river, a ghost loomed up from the water. Shizuma, her hair dripping with muddy water, her skin even more grimy, and her clothes wet, sneak up to the guard from behind with a huge silver combat knife clenched between her teeth.
With one move, she wrapped an arm around the guard's neck and slashed the knife across his belly, spilling forth guts and blood while he fell to the ground. Another guard armed with an AK-47 came running out of the prison, but Shizuma grabbed his head and snapped his neck before he could do anything else.
And once inside the prison, Shizuma found what she had been looking for: her beloved wife Nagisa, taken from her in the middle of the night and shackled to the ground in this filthy wooden prison building.
"Shizuma!" Nagisa cried before her wife embraced her tightly and treated her to a deep soul-searching kiss.
"Baby," Shizuma whispered. "It's gonna be okay. You're going to be fine."
"No... She's here! Take care of her! Finish her!"
Shizuma stood in front of Nagisa to protect her and drew her knife. On the other side of the building sat an unknown figure in a chair behind a desk. The chair slowly started to swivel around revealing... little Futaba sitting in the chair looking evil while stroking a white cat for effect.
"Curses," Futaba narrowed her eyes. "You are mine, Shizuma Rambo nee-sama! By kidnapping your wife, you were suppose to fall for my charms and become mine!"
Shizuma narrowed her eyes. "You never had a chance, Futaba. For the love and I and Nagisa share is the purest among the pure. And of a depth that you could never understand. Besides, you're only six years old and I'm not planning on being celibate till you turn 16."
"Get her, Shizuma!"
"Time for a punishment."
Futaba yelped when Shizuma picked her up, sat down the chair and folded her over her lap. "Bad girl!" Shizuma yelled when she smacked Futaba on the bottom.
Nagisa stirred in her sleep, enjoying her lovely dream. Perfect. Hmm... but not entirely. Wasn't Rambo usually wearing nothing on his chest in those old eighties movies? That would mean... Hmmm, yes, when Nagisa imagined the scenario of her dream with Shizuma Rambo being topless, everything seemed much better.
The familiar feel and smell of Shizuma was so near her and clutched onto her beloved wife, who appeared to be sitting up. She kept her eyes closed as a brush of lips developed into a loving kiss. A kiss that keep deepening. However, when Nagisa lovingly started cupping one of Shizuma's breasts, she noticed something was wrong.
"Uh, Nagisa?" Shizuma asked while she stiffened slightly.
When Nagisa opened her eyes, she was acutely aware that all her friends were staring at her as they sat cross legged around a low table in the common room. "Oh..." Nagisa whispered as she blushed three shades of red and quickly withdrew her hand from a rather amused Shizuma's breast. "We were playing Dungeons and Dragons. I remember now."
Kaname snickered while Shion and Takashi blushed slightly. Momomi and Chikaru smiled. And little Futaba, who had begged to stay up to spend as much time with her Shizuma nee-sama before she had to go home, was still sleeping peacefully with her head propped up on Shizuma's left leg.
"Rrriiighttt," Takashi scraped his throat. "So, moving on."
"Alright!" Chikaru shouted as she threw the pencil on her character sheet. "I draw my sword and kill, kill, kill them all! KILLLLL!!"
Takashi blinked. "Uhm, Chikaru-san," he said. "This is the epilogue. The reward ceremony for the party at the royal castle. You've defeated the evil wizard and her demonic minions and you've saved the land from a magical plague. And now you're getting your reward. It's the end of the game."
"Oh, come on, I'm just being in character," Chikaru pouted. "Chaotic Evil, remember? That's what Blackguards do. We kill people, take their stuff and pawn it. King or no king."
Shion nodded. "I wanna do more kung fu."
Kaname grinned. "Kicking ass is plenty of fun."
"Not this game," Takashi said. "This game is over. And just in time, we might add. We go home tomorrow."
All friends shared a moment of contemplation. Despite some setbacks, it had been a wonderful time. Fortunately, they had made thousands of pictures. Pictures of the friends playing DnD, of kids running around having fun, of Shizuma trying to cook without a cookbook, of Nagisa lovingly serving the dinner she had made, of Kaname skulking around, of Momomi acting cute around Takashi, of kids and friends cosplaying. Now, only the pictures and memories would be left.
"I can honestly say," Shizuma said. "That this is the best holiday I've ever had."
"Amen," sounded Nagisa.
"This Dnd is such great fun," Momomi said. "We should get together more often to do this."
"Sure," Takashi smiled. "This is one crazy group to play with and I'd love to. Promise me, though, that if you get enough experience with DM'ing, you let me play a character sometimes, okay?"
"It's a deal," Shizuma smiled. "Next Saturday evening at my apartment, okay?"
"Deal!" Chikaru smiled.
"Done!" Shion nodded.
"I suppose..." Kaname rolled her eyes.
Chikaru smiled as she looked out of the window. "Look," Chikaru whispered as the full moon shone brightly onto the sea beyond. "Such an amazing view. I'm going outside for a bit. Anyone coming?"
"Maybe a little later," said Shizuma. "We have to clean up the DnD stuff."
"Oh, I should help."
"It's okay," Takashi said. "We can manage. You got outside to enjoy the fun. We'll join you a little later."
Shion watched Chikaru as she stood at the edge of the yard to watch the ocean beyond the small stretch of forest. She took a few deep breaths. And a few more deep breaths. As she started to look a little pale, Shizuma put her hand on her shoulder and squeezed slightly.
"I know you're scared," Shizuma said. "But that's Chikaru-chan out there. And she loves you. Believe in that."
"Shion-san," Nagisa pressed. "It's never gonna get any more romantic than this."
"Go for it, Shion-kun," Kaname gave her a thumbs up.
"Do it now, or you'll always regret it," Momomi smiled softly.
Shion nodded. "Thank you. All of you," she said and slowly stepped outside.
The five remaining friends exchanged looks and quickly dove for the window. As to not possibly disturb Shion's proposal, they tried to hide behind a small wooden bench in front of the window. After some pushing and pulling, five heads popped up above the bench and they got an excellent view of Shion and Chikaru.
"What are they doing? What are they doing?"
"Don't push me!"
Outside, Shion wrapped an arm around Chikaru's shoulder and they watched the moon together for a while.
"No, no, I think Shion-san's getting ready to propose. Look how tense she is."
"Chikaru-chan's wondering what's going on. Look, she's concerned."
Shion continued whispering and produced a small box from her pocket. Chikaru stiffened visibly as Shion continued her speech. After a while, her eyes turned slightly watery... and then the first sobs came.
"Oh, wow. Did she say no?"
"Ssssh, don't jinx it!"
"This is bullshit. Just grab her and drag her to a room!"
"Hush, Kana! This is no time for your bravado!"
Outside, Chikaru burst into tears and embraced Shion with all her might. Shion squeezed her eyes shut and embraced Chikaru as well.
"That's beautiful," Takashi said.
"We still don't know if she said yes or no," Momomi bit her lip.
The answer came when Shion and Chikaru broke the embrace for a moment. Shion took the ring from the box, took her beloved's hand and gently slid the ring on Chikaru's finger. Shion brought Chikaru's hand to her lips and lovingly kissed it.
All five friends were silent for a moment. Nothing could be heard except the chirping songs of the cicadas outside.
"Chikaru-san said yes," Momomi closed her eyes. "So romantic."
Kaname shook her head, but couldn't hide a hint of a smile.
"Oh my god," Nagisa said, tearing up. "They're getting married."
Shizuma pulled Nagisa towards her and held her tightly. "Yes, they are."
Shizuma smiled warmly. She had known this day would one day come. She'd known both Shion and Chikaru since they were wide-eyed first years at Astraea Hill and she'd known from day one that these two were made for each other. Shion and Chikaru would have to face many hurdles... society still frowned on two women or two men in love, no doubt there would be elements without both their families that wouldn't be as tolerant as they would hope for. But their love would survive it and endure. She knew that for certain.
Shizuma smiled to Nagisa, and felt such a strong sense of love for the girl in her arms. She gently caressed her lover's cheek before pressing her lips on Nagisa's.
Kaname, in the meantime, smiled briefly and kissed Momomi on the top of her head.
"Hm," Kaname told her Momomi. "You must have had a fly in your eye, Momo," she smirked.
"Yes, Kana," Momomi said as she wiped a tear away. "A fly... just a fly," she said, while sniffling.
"Nice," Takashi smiled. "There are never enough lesbians in the world."
Shizuma and Nagisa smiled to each other, fond memories of their own wedding returning in droves. "I love you," Nagisa whispered and leaned in for a kiss.
"I love you too," Shizuma replied just before the two lovers kissed. The kiss inside mirrored the one outside. Like Chikaru and Shion, the two lovers didn't have a care in the world. And even though they would return to normal life tomorrow, their world had been forever changed.
But they would always have the memories.
Well, that ends Summer Holiday. It's been a wild ride and I thank you all for sticking with me for so long. But this isn't the end of my Stopani stories. I still have Opposites to continue and I have another Yaya and Tsubomi story in the works. Of course, there will also be a follow-up to Summer Holiday in which Nagisa and Shizuma attempt to enter the job market. What can I say? The stopani characters are simply too much fun and kawaii to stop writing about them. :)