Hand in hand, Touko and Yumi walked down the long brick path of Lillian Girls Academy, leaving for the day.
Touko looked up, surprised to see the person standing there, leaning on the brick wall.
Yumi raised both eyebrows, just as surprised. "Kashiwagi-san?"
There, in front of the school, sat the man's bright red death-wagon. Inside the passenger seat sat an angry and disappointed former Rosa Chinesis. She stepped out of the car, calling out to Yumi.
"Yumi…I asked you to protect her, to take care of her! She was going to graduate in three days…you could have waited! Thought about her, before you did anything stupid! Is that so difficult Yumi?!"
Touko looked slightly confused, and took a step in front of Yumi in an attempt to protect her.
Yumi pushed her aside, planting a soft and fleeting kiss on her lips, well aware of what was to come. "It's alright, Touko. Go ahead and head home. This is something that I have to deal with myself."
"Touko. I may have to…"
"Shh." Touko put an elegant finger to Yumi's lips. "I trust you, Yumi. Whatever you have to do."
Touko walked quickly out of the gate and towards home. When she was out of earshot, Youko spoke.
"I'm sorry for yelling before, and I know I can't really blame you for moving on after all this time, Yumi. I know how stupid it was of her to not just say what she was feeling, despite whatever else…but she's locked herself up in her room. She'll barely talk to me. She told me not to tell you.
"I can't tell you what to do, because I don't know myself. But please, Yumi…help her. I'm really worried about her. Will you go? Talk to her? Please?"
Yumi nodded her head, surprised at the question. "Of course I will. How could I not? I do still love her, Youko-sama. I'll never not love her."
Youko nodded tears still flowing down her cheeks. It was helplessness that caused them.
Kashiwagi and Yumi hopped in the car, Youko in the rear seat. He set off, as usual at high speed. However, it was more for urgency than thrill seeking.
* * * * *
Yumi opened the door, walked in, and shut it behind her. Sachiko was asleep, strewn across her bed, sheets curled haphazardly along her form, pillow thrown halfway across the room. The contents of a bedside table thrown to the floor.
Yumi walked to the bed and sat, her legs crossed under her. She brushed the multitude of stray hairs away from Sachiko's pain contorted face. She placed her palm next to Sachiko's cheek, stroking it gently with her thumb.
She woke slowly, eyes red from tears unfocused at first. "Yu…mi?"
"I'm here, Onee-sama. I'm here."
Sachiko sat up slowly, back against the headboard. "Yumi? Why are you here? Did Onee-sama call you? I asked her not to."
Her voice was one that Yumi had heard only twice before. Yumi had vowed to herself that she'd never hear it again, and she'd tried so hard to make that true. She had failed miserably.
"She did. I'm sorry Onee-sama. I didn't want to hurt you. Really I didn't."
"Don't say that. This is my fault. We both know that. I was a coward. I should have told you how I feel, Yumi. I shouldn't have let you go. I shouldn't have made you feel like I didn't love you."
Yumi shook her head. "I didn't think that, Onee-sama. I knew you loved me. I just…I didn't think you felt about me the way I feel about you."
"I did. I do. I LOVE you Yumi. I should have just told you. Showed you."
"Showed me, Onee-sama?"
Sachiko nodded. She wanted to show her now. To kiss her just once, to taste her lips for the second and last time.
Yumi gazed into two deep blue eyes, both of which contained oceans she knew she could and would willingly drown in. "Show me now, Onee-sama."
Sachiko looked away. "But you're with-"
Yumi placed two fingers on Sachiko's chin, gently pulling her eyes back into view.
"Onee-sama, please show me."
Sachiko closed the distance between them, exhaling slowly in pleasure when their lips met.
Yumi had never imagined. Sachiko licked her lower lip with a tongue that tasted of tea. Yumi opened her lips, moaning quietly as she felt Sachiko's hand in her hair. If she had known, she wondered, where might the two of them be now?
It was Sachiko that pulled back, and Yumi frowned, reaching out for her.
"I'm sorry, Yumi. If I had just told you. "I hate my myself for not doing so."
"Don't Onee-sama. I shouldn't have given up the way I did. We both…"
Sachiko looked away, not wanting to look into stormy brown eyes when they said goodbye.
"You have to go, don't you? I know you have other things to do. I…I don't want to keep you away from what's important."
"Don't say things like that, Onee-sama. You're what's important. And it's late. I think Kashiwagi-san and Youko-sama have left. I…should stay here…tonight."
Sachiko's eyes went wide. "Yumi."
"Can I borrow some pajamas? Kashiwagi-san and Youko-sama picked me up straight from school."
Sachiko wasn't sure how to react to all this. And Yumi wasn't helping. She knew she couldn't have her. And she knew Yumi was worried about her. It would be alright if she let her stay the night though. Right?
"Fine. I'll get you some pajamas and a futon."
Yumi shook her head. "I don't need a futon. I'm staying here, with you."
Sachiko nodded. Despite that, she wasn't sure if she could sleep in the same bed with Yumi. Even a year ago, sleeping next to her in a futon was difficult. Desire was a difficult thing to control.
Yumi watched as the dials turned behind Sachiko's worried eyes. She knew she might be pushing it a little, and she wasn't really sure what she was doing, but it was done. At least this way she didn't have to worry about Sachiko as much.
A few minutes later, both Sachiko and Yumi were in the bed, on their way to sleep. Yumi closed the distance Sachiko had so painstakingly built, laying her head on her Onee-sama's shoulder and throwing her leg over Sachiko's.
"I've always wanted to sleep like this with you Onee-sama. Thank you."
"Me too, Yumi. Good night."
"Good night, Onee-sama."