A/N: No cellphones in the world of Maria-sama ga miteru (nor in this AU-ish world). :) Last chapter; enjoy!
I don't own the wonderful world of Maria-sama ga miteru.
Chapter XIII. The disappearance of confusion
"W-What just happened?" Yumi asked in a stutter. Her face was pale and her body tense.
"I'm not quite sure," Sachiko answered, her voice also shaky. She felt the adrenaline still rush through her body. "I think the car got a flat tire and then its engine broke down. But I'm not sure whether these two things are related to each other."
"The engine's broken down?" Yumi's face turned even paler. "But—Can you try starting the car again?"
Sachiko turned the key in the ignition for a few times, but to no avail: the engine only made a few weak noises until it made no sound at all anymore.
"I have no idea how this could have happened," Sachiko uttered, her voice barely louder than the sound of rain clattering against the car's windows. "Everything was just fine the last time I drove this car."
"And when was that?"
"At the start of this week. There was honestly no sign whatsoever that something was wrong with this car back then!" At this point panic finally started to seep into Sachiko. She let go of the wheel and tried to slump back in her chair, but she noticed her body was too rigid to relax.
Yumi abruptly turned in her chair so she was facing Sachiko. "Of course! Kashiwagi-san drove your car yesterday!" she exclaimed. "He probably has something to do with all of this!"
Sachiko turned her head so she was also looking at Yumi. "That's absurd," she said firmly. "How on earth could he be the fault of this? Although I must say that his driving skills are rather...dangerous," she added thoughtfully.
"Hah! You see?" Yumi looked as if she was making a point here. "I bet it's Kashiwagi-san's fault then! Him and his crappy driving skills!"
"Let's not jump to conclusions hastily here," Sachiko murmured, turning her head back and closing her eyes. She was too shaken up to even say something about Yumi's use of words. She had the feeling she couldn't think straight now.
After a short period of silence, a silence disrupted with the sound of heavy rain in the background, Yumi spoke up again.
"...So what does this mean?" she asked tentatively. Sachiko could feel how Yumi's eyes were still on her.
She opened her eyes and stared outside, at the raindrops on the window blurring the view, at the dark sky, at the empty road. She took a deep sigh and faced Yumi again.
"I'm afraid it means that until it has stopped raining or until someone passes by, we are stuck here," she answered as calmly as she could. "There is no umbrella in this car but I don't think it's wise to go searching for help in this weather in the first place."
"Stuck..." Yumi echoed in a whisper. She suddenly turned her body back and also tried to look outside through her seat window. "It's Sunday," she murmured. "There won't be many cars passing this road... probably..."
"We can't know that for sure, but I'm afraid you're right," Sachiko sighed. "We'll just have to wait here and be patient."
The rain started battering even harder against the car. It was fairly dark in the vehicle even though it was still in the middle of the day. None of the two girls spoke.
Now that they had more or less acknowledged the situation they found themselves in, peace had established itself in the car. Sachiko tried her best to see if there were any other vehicles approaching them, but the only visible things were trees, rain and greyness. She sat back and tried to calm down, but there was a certain restlessness that wouldn't leave her mind. It was an anxiety that wasn't caused by their stranding in the middle of nowhere, but it was anxiety caused by the fact that she was here all alone with Yumi, stuck for Maria-sama knows how long.
Right now Sachiko remembered again what she had told Yumi before those troubles with the car had erupted. Of course she would feel uneasy about that; after all, what she had said could easily be interpreted wrongly by Yumi; plus she had the strongest feeling that something was bound to happen while they were waiting here in the car.
Sachiko kept herself from stealing a glance at Yumi. Touching her must've felt good, she had basically told her. Sachiko felt her cheeks grow warm again; what had she been able to say differently then? After all, it was the truth, and Yumi had somehow forced it out of her.
What had been her reaction? Sachiko could tell that the girl had said something, but she hadn't understood one single thing from it.
Would she try asking her to repeat it?
For some reason, however, Sachiko dreaded to know what Yumi's reaction on it had been. Maybe the girl had only said something jokingly, but maybe...
Sachiko felt a pang go through her heart of which she didn't know why it got there all of a sudden. A gloominess was taking over her as she kept thinking about what Yumi might have said.
The girl had most likely been surprised, but perhaps her reaction had been one of disgust. After all, how many interpretations could Yumi have given to the words she had told her? She herself could only think of one that would make sense...
And would that interpretation even be wrong in the first place?
Sachiko felt more confused than she ever had in her young life. Why was it that Yumi was able to elicit such strange thoughts and emotions from her without even making her question whether those feelings were wrong or right? The only thing she truly wanted to know right now was what exactly it meant. She was starting to get a vague idea, but that seemed so surreal to her for some reason, like something that could only happen in a dream.
Yumi's voice startled Sachiko so bad that she even squeaked out loud.
"Oh? I clearly disturbed you with something," said Yumi and she couldn't hide the amusement she was feeling.
"I-I was just lost in thoughts," Sachiko whispered hoarsely; she could feel her heart drumming in her chest now.
Sachiko faced Yumi again only to see the girl staring back at her. "Today," she answered, and that wasn't even a real lie either.
"Ah, yeah," Yumi mumbled. "No kidding. A lot of things have happened in such a short time."
A silence fell but neither of the two girls broke their gaze with the other. Right now Sachiko felt that the idea of something happening to them was stronger than ever. She was getting increasingly more nervous although she tried her best to hide it.
"Is... Is something the matter?" she finally asked when she felt like she couldn't take it anymore; the tension between them had built up so high that it was almost palpable.
"Sachiko-san?" was Yumi's hesitant reaction.
"Did you, uhm... Did you mean it when you said that your first thought was how good it must've felt? You know, when I asked you...your first thought about touching me...indecently," Yumi concluded with a stammering voice and a very nice red colour on her cheeks.
Sachiko felt that she was also blushing now and that her heart had begun to beat much faster. Well, there was no way she could deny it, right?
"Can't you remember that I told you that I don't ask questions if I'm not serious? Nor do I say things I don't mean," she answered rather stiffly, but it hadn't been her intention to sound so stiff just now. However, despite her cool reaction, she could still clearly see a broad smile appearing on Yumi's face, and that somehow made a strong feeling of happiness find its way into her very soul.
"You—You are smiling," she uttered to Yumi. "Why are you smiling?"
"Am I smiling?" Yumi touched her lips and her smile widened even more. "Ah, I guess you're right." She lowered her fingers again but kept the smile. "I suppose it's because I'm feeling very happy right now?"
"Happy?" Sachiko echoed in a whisper. Her world felt like spinning a bit. Then she suddenly remembered what she wanted to know from Yumi.
"Yumi—What was your first reaction to my words? Before the car broke down?" she asked in a unsteady voice. "I didn't hear it well."
"I asked you exactly the same question," Yumi answered immediately. "Whether you meant those words or not. And now I know."
"Ah. Okay." Sachiko didn't know what else to say as Yumi was still staring at her, and the look in the girl's eyes seemed to be vaguely familiar, like she had seen it before but had forgotten about it. By now her heart was pounding like madness in her chest, but she herself was holding her breath as the tension between her and Yumi was rising again. She noticed that she was very slowly leaning towards Yumi, not once breaking their silent gaze.
This was no good; the longer she stayed in this blissful trance, the more she felt how a new sensation was welling up in her, a strong urge to run her hand through Yumi's hair, grab it and pull her into a kiss that way.
This was no good at all...
"So why are you feeling so happy now?" Sachiko managed to ask. She barely noticed that her voice was no more than a breathless whisper in the cool air. She had to stop leaning towards Yumi, but this indescribable attraction was too big...
"Don't you know, Sachiko-san?" was Yumi's also barely audible reply.
"I—Uhm..." Sachiko was at loss for words, yet she didn't know whether it was due to Yumi's question or due to her proximity with the girl now. Yumi had apparently also been leaning closer to her this entire time, and her bright brown eyes were still boring into hers.
"Let me ask you this, Sachiko-san," said Yumi in a whisper. "Do you actually have a clue what it means when you think that it must feel good to touch me?"
There was something about the way Yumi had said the word 'touch' that made Sachiko squirm in her seat.
"I-I don't know," Sachiko stuttered, completely lost in Yumi's eyes now. She noticed her breathing had become very shallow and that her body felt numb. "Do you?" she added in a murmur, not even aware of what she was actually saying. Her face was so close to Yumi's now that their breaths mingled. Brown eyes were locked with blue ones, and all of a sudden Sachiko could remember where she had seen the look in Yumi's eyes before. It had been yesterday, and they had been dancing with each other, and Yumi had given her a similar look back then...
A hungry look. A look that meant she wanted nothing more than to ravage her on the spot. A look that suddenly made Yumi's feelings for her crystal-clear.
However, Sachiko didn't have much time to grasp this understanding because something else was occupying her mind now. She felt how Yumi had started caressing her cheek and she leaned into the touch but didn't close her eyes, never wanting to break her gaze with the other girl. Her heart was racing painfully in her chest and by now there was only one desire present in her body. She wet her lips.
"I do know what it means," Yumi whispered quietly and her breath tickled Sachiko's lips. "But instead of telling you, I'll show you..."
The first touch of their lips was soft. Sachiko could barely register what had happened before she felt how Yumi's lips touched hers again. And again. And again.
The kisses became harder and Sachiko wrapped both arms around Yumi with one hand tangled in the girl's hair, and Yumi did the same.
At this point every last bit of confusion about her own feelings vanished as her lips came crashing down on Yumi's over and over again. Everything made perfect sense now but Sachiko wasn't given much time to pay attention to her thoughts anymore as her emotions were taking control of her at this point. A heat was rushing through her body like never before and her kisses became more urgent. Yumi moaned softly and Sachiko felt her head spinning; she pulled away with much effort.
"Yumi..." she gasped. Yumi's hair was in a disarray and so was her blouse, and that sight made it difficult for her to come up with words. "You—I...uh..."
"Do you know now what it means?" was the only thing Yumi said in a breathless voice. The look she was giving Sachiko now wasn't one of desire but one of expectance, and Sachiko felt more fond of the girl than ever. It was a fondness that didn't only mean she cared for her deeply, but that she also loved her more than a friend or a soeur; it meant that she loved her from the very depths of her heart. And Sachiko knew perfectly well what it meant now.
"I do," said Sachiko and she lifted a hand to caress Yumi's face. "I understand now what I feel for you and...what you feel for me," she continued, and started stroking the soft skin of Yumi's cheeks. Now it was Yumi's turn to lean into the touch and a smile of pure happiness graced her beautiful features. Sachiko wished this moment could last forever, that she forever could stare at this girl whom she had argued with at first but whom she had learned to appreciate and love deeply. She felt like overflowing with happiness herself.
It wasn't before long that the two girls simultaneously started leaning closer towards each other; Sachiko saw that look of hunger in Yumi's eyes again and felt a strong anticipation well up in her as well. Yet there was still one thing she needed to tell Yumi. When their faces were so close that their breaths mingled again, she opened her mouth.
"Yumi, I lo—"
Her words, however, were cut off when Yumi kissed her hard and slit her tongue in her open mouth. Sachiko's eyes widened in surprise before she closed them slowly, and after the first shock she started to enjoy the feeling of Yumi's tongue exploring the inside of her mouth. Both of her hands got tangled in Yumi's hair as she returned the kiss with much abundance, amazed by how good this all felt. It was hard for her to imagine that she had ever felt confused about what her feelings for Yumi could have meant, because at this point she had never been so sure about what she felt for the girl. She wanted her kiss with Yumi to last forever, just like she wanted to stay by her side forever.
Sachiko deepened the kiss even more. Yumi wrapped her arms around her neck.
The rain was still falling, the sky was still dark and the road was still deserted, but now none of the two girls could care less.
"Gokigenyou, Rosa Chinensis."
Fukuzawa Yumi was walking towards the Rose Mansion for a meeting with the other members of the Yamayurikai. She was actually running a bit late, but she preferably didn't resort to running on the campus grounds, something which she would have easily done a year ago. But in that year a lot had changed, and not only her demeanour at school.
When the Rose Mansion finally came into view Yumi could see a familiar person standing in front of the building. The black-haired beauty noticed her as well and a smile appeared on her face. Even after a year Yumi still felt butterflies in her stomach at the sight of her girlfriend. Her heart started pounding faster as well, just like always.
"Why gokigenyou, Rosa Chinensis," the beauty said when Yumi had reached her.
"Gokigenyou, Sachiko," Yumi greeted back, and she couldn't help the grin on her face. "What are you doing here?"
"I came to see how my favourite Rose is doing, of course," Sachiko replied and she lifted a hand to stroke Yumi's hair. "My Rose..." she murmured lovingly and leaned a bit closer as if she wanted to capture Yumi's lips with her own.
"Oh dear, Sachiko-sama, we are here on school grounds, must I remind you," Yumi noted in a ladylike speech, but she immediately started to giggle.
Sachiko smirked in mischief—something Yumi had taught her to do. "That is very much correct," she whispered with her face only a couple of inches from Yumi's. "And you are Rosa Chinensis, so you certainly can't be caught doing something...inappropriate at school, am I not correct?"
Yumi smiled at Sachiko and stared deeply into her blue eyes. "That is very much correct, and certainly not when I'm supposed to be sitting in the meeting room already."
"Late, are we?"
"Why yes, but I didn't resort to running, as you have seen."
Sachiko giggled and suddenly pulled Yumi even closer. "Want me to make you attend the meeting even later?" she whispered in a seductive voice and Yumi felt a jolt of electricity run through her body. She kept gazing in Sachiko's eyes and Sachiko returned the stare, and they stayed in that position for a while until both of them started giggling at the same time.
It was true; a lot had happened in a year and Yumi felt like a lot had changed as well.
A year ago no-one, including her, would have imagined that Fukuzawa Yumi would accept becoming Sachiko's petite soeur thus almost inevitably accept the position as the future Rosa Chinensis, nor would anyone probably have been able to imagine Sachiko being able to talk so unladylike. In a year Yumi had learned and seen a lot, and slowly but surely she had come to love the school and its traditions in her own way. However, it had probably been her ever-growing love for Sachiko that had made all those things possible, just like Sachiko was able to behave more outgoing now because she had wanted to for Yumi's sake. Throughout time both of them had realized that there was no need to stubbornly keep hold of what they had known for so long, because situations would change and their behaviour would have to change accordingly. It was that realization that had further strengthened their relationship and love for each other.
When their laughter died away Yumi detached herself from Sachiko and gave her a warm smile. "My, aren't you acting like a tease today," she said. "And we're even at school now! But I do like this side of you, really."
"It's because I haven't seen you for almost a week and I've missed you so much," Sachiko replied and she smiled as well. "And I must say, seeing you behave so properly is rather sexy as well. And you do it so well."
"Of course, I've learned from the best." Yumi winked.
Sachiko grinned and leaned closer again. "So have I," she whispered. "And would you believe me if I told you I was being serious just now? Don't you want me to make you even more late for the meeting..?"
Despite her desire to give in Yumi merely laughed and gave her girlfriend a quick peck on the lips. "How much I'd love for you to do whatever you like to me, I really need to attend this meeting or Yoshino-san will have me grilled. But I'll see you this evening for the party, right?"
"The party..?" Sachiko echoed in confusion. Yumi laughed again and gave Sachiko another kiss, a bit longer this time.
"Yep, the party," she repeated. "The party with just the two of us..."
Yumi gave Sachiko a third kiss, a deep, lingering one this time. Sometimes she still couldn't care much that she was Rosa Chinensis and that many students of Lillian Jogakuen were looking up to her. Sometimes she still couldn't believe it either.
"Mmmm, but now I really need to go," Yumi whispered out of breath. "I'll see you later."
"Yes, later," Sachiko replied, also somewhat breathlessly.
Yumi had to make an effort not to watch Sachiko walk away but instead enter the Rose Mansion. However, when she wanted to close the door behind her she noticed that something was blocking it. After turning around she saw Sachiko slip into the Rose Mansion and gently close the door behind her. In one swift motion Yumi found herself pinned between Sachiko and the door.
"My, what would the students say if they saw the former Rosa Chinensis now?" Yumi uttered in surprise. She definitely liked this hidden side of Ogasawara Sachiko.
Sachiko smirked. "We're all alone here, no-one will see us," she softly said and she lowered her head until it was hovering a few inches above Yumi's. "And I was just thinking now that I want revenge for those three kisses you've stolen from me," she murmured before kissing Yumi full on the mouth.
Yumi had no chance than to give in as a pleasant feeling took over her body; she wrapped her arms around Sachiko and pulled her closer.
Maybe it couldn't hurt to arrive horribly late at the meeting after all.
A/N: Writing this story was a fun way to spend some holiday time, and what pleases me even more is that I got to entertain some people with it too. Thank you so much for reading this fic and sticking with it to the end! Even more thanks to you, reviewers, who strengthened my will to keep going! About the title of my story: I'll leave it up to your own interpretation. :) Now it's time to take a distance from writing once more but at least now I remember again how much fun this can be. :) Bye!