Remember the magic word?


And also remember, don't take this seriously!

This is a filler chapter, of sorts. Next one will be their performance at the school festival!

Ritsu was stifling through the fridge for something to quench her hunger with when the front door opened.

"I'm back!" Mrs. Tainaka announced loudly.

"Welcome back!" Satoshi replied. Ritsu was too busy with her task to notice her mother's return. That is, until footsteps echoed behind her and a strange chuckle rang out.


The drummer turned around to regard the matriarch.

"What is it, mom?"


"...You're starting to creep me out."

The woman ignored her daughter's remark, and went on in a dramatic tone. "To think that after all these years I've never noticed! My my, such a bad mother I must be!"

Ritsu narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "Notice what?"

Mrs. Tainaka let a knowing grin cross her face. "The truth is that I did not arrive now."


"Yes, you see, I parked on the other side of the street. And when I opened the trunk of the car, the lock basically went apart. I've been out there for a while, trying to fix it."

"Did you manage to?" Ritsu really had no clue where this was going to. Her mom was speaking in a strange tone, not the typical one you'd use when explaining what happened to you that day. There was a catch. A secret to be revealed!

"Yes. But it took me at least an hour. So what I'm saying is- I've been here, on the other side of the street, for an hour."

The drummer's eyes widened. An hour. An hour ago she was busy trying to keep Mio from running away with a very satisfying method.

And her mom saw them!

"It's not what you think!" She blurted. "We were just...hugging real tightly!" 'Yeah, not even I'd believe that.'

And obviously, neither did Mrs. Tainaka.

"Honey, I wasn't born yesterday-"

"A hug!"

"Is that what kids call it nowadays?"

Ritsu tried to protest, but the situation she was in hit her full force. Damn, not only did her mother catch her making out, she caught her making out with a girl. And though she knew her mom was very liberal with these sorts of issues, it's still a different matter when it's your own daughter.

She lowered her eyes, cautiously awaiting her mother's verdict.

Mrs. Tainaka took pity on her and lightly patted her daughter's head.

"Now now dear, don't act with me like that. You insult me." Ritsu looked up at that, and found herself on the receiving end of a warm smile.

"There's nothing to be ashamed of. Though I'm a bit disappointed I had to find it out this way."

That's it? Wow, coming out went easier than she had expected."...Uh, sorry?"

Mrs. Tainaka let out a loud, dramatic sigh.

"My my, who would've thought that you'd grow up to be a carpet muncher!"

"MOM!" Ritsu screeched, a hot blush erupting over her face like wildfire.

"Dear, you must embrace yourself and all the various terms that come with it."

"Seriously?! Carpet muncher?!" She couldn't believe this, it was too embarrassing. "Where did you hear that ...erm, term anyway?"

"I read it in one of Satoshi's teen magazines." Mrs. Tainaka beamed, proud of being a woman who tried to catch up with the new generation.

The drummer turned to Satoshi who had appeared in the doorway of the kitchen. He probably came to investigate what all the commotion was about.

The older sibling regarded him with raised eyebrows. "You read that crap?"

"No swearing!" The matriarch roared, just as Satoshi simultaneously shouted back with a red face "HEY! I just buy those for fun! They are FUNNY!"

"Uh huh." The two women deadpanned.

"You're the one to talk!" He snapped at his sister. "I saw you eyeing mom's make-up kit in the bathroom!"

Ritsu gasped. "I so did not!...And even if I did, I didn't actually use anything from there so shut up!"

Satoshi chuckled. "Of course not, you don't even know how to use those stuff. It would make things even worse!"

"That's it! Respect your sister!" The drummer roared, and caught him in a strong headlock.

"Who is this girl anyway? Do you have her number? I'd like to meet her sometime." It seemed that instead of being repulsed by the idea, the mother got all excited by the whole 'carpet muncher' issue.

"Mom! Put my mobile down!"

Mrs. Tainaka rifled through Ritsu's contacts.

"Look for the name Mio, mom!" The youngest Tainaka supplied helpfully.


"Found it! Satoshi dear, hold back your sister while I handle this."


Ritsu's yell was to no avail. Her mum had already pressed the dial button, and was now holding up the mobile to her ear, waiting. The drummer would try and sabotage Mrs. Tainaka, of course, but Satoshi successfully managed to keep her away. He was already as tall as her, if not taller.

'Boys and their sudden growth spurt.' She fumed to herself. 'Oh God, I hope Mio doesn't freak out.'

She really would hate it if everything went down the drain, just when her and the bassist have gotten together.

Mio, her girlfriend.

It was a foreign concept, but one that Ritsu was more than welcome to embrace. She just hoped her mother wouldn't screw everything up. In the meantime, she should focus on getting out of Satoshi's hold.

Mio was trying to mentally digest the events that had transpired not long ago. Everything seemed so surreal. It wasn't like her to act like that. In the middle of the street, no less! What if others saw them?

Scratch that, the whole band saw them. She was torn between anger and embarrassment.

The bassist let out a big sigh and sat down on the bed. Her fingers brushed against something soft. She lifted it up only to confirm that it was Usa-chan.

'Well...it was worth it, hmm?' The tall girl smiled, lost in a daze as her thoughts centered more around the kiss...kisses. A soft blush swept over her face. She brushed her lips with her fingers, trying to recall what it felt like.

"Stupid Ritsu." She whispered to herself.

What a mess. And did they solve anything? Well, they were supposedly together now. And the bassist was very, very nervous about that, in a good way. But she also wanted more. She wanted to spend more time with Ritsu. She wanted to get to know her better, as if they had been childhood friends all along their lives. The black-haired girl wanted to explore this whole new level of intimacy with another person- not just in mind, but also in body. Her cheeks flushed.

Ahh, all this thinking was doing her no good. She was beginning to feel hot.

Mio was jolted out of her thoughts by a ringtone. She left Usa-chan on her desk as she reached her arm out to answer the phone, not bothering to check the caller ID.



"Yes, who is speaking?"

The tone on the other end grew excited "Oh it really is you! I'm the mother of R-" "MOM! PUT IT DOWN!"

The bassist lifted the phone a bit further away from her ear and eyed it warily. "Um, excuse me?"

She heard noises of what seemed to be a ...scuffle? And then a triumphant laugh. What was going on on the other end? "Ha, I finally got it!"

Wait a minute, Mio recognized that voice, it was-


"That's me!"

"Just what were you doing?"

"Oh you know, family issues. Hey Mio, watch out! There's a school of white dolphins behind you!"

Mio shrieked. "Ritsu! You idiot! ...Why did you call in the first place?"

"Well actually it was not me, it was-" The bassist raised her eyebrows as it seemed like someone was making kissing sounds in the background. "Oi mom! Cut that out!"


On the other side, Ritsu let out a frustrated sigh. "Ugh, my family's driving me crazy. Hey, can I come over?"

Mio coughed. So soon? After they have done that? Or more like all those things?

The hickey on her neck still burned. She traced a finger over it absent-mindedly.

"O-okay. Sure." Why did she agree?!

"Haa, you're the best! I'll be over in a sec! See you!" The line went dead.

'You're the best.' Mio blushed like a schoolgirl, which she actually was. Though she knew she was getting worked up over nothing, after all, friends told each other that phrase often. And still...the tall girl couldn't help it.

'It's not like we're friends anymore...we're a c-couple, right?'

So maybe now they were going to do couple-y things? The bassist's mind was in overdrive, running through countless scenes she saw in her shoujo mangas. Will they...go on dates? Will Ritsu be romantic? Bring her roses?

'Wait a minute, we're both girls.' Then should she be the one giving the roses? How are these things decided?

Her curiosity piqued, she switched on the computer and read various sources about the subject matter. She was still deeply immersed in it when the doorbell rang.

'Must be Ritsu.'

Mio headed to the front door and found that her mother had already opened it.

"Ah, it's Ritsu-chan! Would you like me to call Mio?"

"I'm here!" The bassist replied, and walked over to them.

"Excellent dear, will you be spending time togethe-"Mrs. Akiyama froze mid-sentence.

Her daughter gave her a questioning look. It took Mio some seconds to notice that her mother wasn't making eye contact with her, rather her gaze was focusing somewhere else. A bit lower than her face, slightly to the left-

Mio's face went white.

'The hickey!'

Ritsu also followed Mrs. Akiyama's eyes, then let out a slow, predatory grin.

"Whoa Mio, that's one massive hickey! Had some fun recently, didn't you?" She finished the question off with a blatant wink.

"It's not a hickey!" The bassist protested. "It's a- um- er-" 'Focus, focus!'

"Yes?" Her mom prodded.

'-a bruise! Ritsu and I play rough sometimes!' She definitely couldn't say that to her mother, even though it was the truth, kind of. She raked her imagination for ideas.

'-a fake mark! I draw hickeys on myself with crayons when I'm bored!' No no, that is more like something Yui would do.

'-a blueberry! It fell onto my shoulder and exploded!'

'-Ton-chan's shadow!'


"-a hickey." Mio finished lamely.

Akiyama Atsuko was shocked. "Since when do you have a boyfriend?"

Ritsu coughed. The bassist shot her a dark look.

Atsuko continued. "Why didn't you tell me? Even if you haven't introduced him, you should have at least said something. Is he a nice person? Does he treat you well?"

The drummer grinned. "Yeah Mio, is he a nice guy? I bet he must be cool. And funny. And hot. Yup, definitely someone hot. I can already picture the sheer awesomene-oof!" She was interrupted by Mio (and her elbow). The taller girl then turned to her mother.

'Quick! Think, think!'

"Mama I-I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier. We were together for a very short time. It doesn't matter anymore, because we've gone our separate ways. He had to leave to...to.. Irkutsk!"

'How do I come up with these things?'

"It does matter. I should've told you this sooner, but there are certain things I must inform you of before you enter a relationship. I'll tell you later today though, I wouldn't want to hold up Ritsu-chan."

'No way, don't tell me mama wants to talk about-'

"No need to trouble yourself, Akiyama-san! I'll just go ahead and wait in Mio's room!"


"That is very kind of you, Ritsu-chan. I'll try not to take too long."

"Mama, do we really have to go through this?"

Her question went ignored. "When a man and a woman love each other, there will come a time when they wish to ...get to know each other more thoroughly. Mama and papa also went through this of course, and our youthful passions bore the most beautiful treasure on earth, Mio. You."

That's it, there was no escape for the bassist. 'Ritsuuuu I will kill you for this!'

"It is one of the greatest gift of women, indeed, that we are able to bear children. A marvel in itself."

"Mama, I don't think I-"

"Of course, a woman cannot do this all by herself. She needs a little help. And by that, I mean that we need a man. A man, once ripened, will bear the juices of passion that will flow into a woman to create this miracle. This is a very delicate process, but I will explain it to you in detail-"

'I'm not listening, I'm not listening!'

And so, Mio suffered.

In the meantime, our short-haired heroine had gone upstairs to Mio's room.

"Hoho. She left her computer on! Let's see."

The bassist had obviously been checking out various definitions for 'lesbian'. There was a tab open with wikipedia's article, also many tabs with google searches, dictionaries, etc.

'Tch, it's so like Mio to approach this in a brainy way.'

Her curiosity piqued, Ritsu randomly chose a tab, and read out to herself the explanation she found there.

" A lesbian is a woman whose emotional, romantic, and sexual energies are geared towards other women."

'Sexual energies, huh?' She snickered.

"Hmm, and what's this? 'Who should give the flowers?'. Sheesh Mio-chuan, you cannot learn love. You just have to feel it!...Ugh, that sounded so corny." She scratched her side.

The drummer kept rifling though the webpages, but soon got bored of browsing the net. Looks like Mio wasn't coming back anytime soon. Damn, Akiyama-san must be giving her one hell of a speech. Poor girl.

"Oh well! Time to check out these folders! What's this one? 'Houkago Tea Time at the café'?"

'Could it be?' Yui had once told Ritsu -before she joined the band- that the girls had to help out at a maid café the Kotobuki family owned.

'Let's see if I can find any pics of Mio!'

Oh yes, there definitely were pics. Ritsu fished around in her pocket for a tissue to stop the sudden nosebleed.

The bassist chose that moment to barge in, only to witness a picture of herself with a maid outfit covering the whole of the computer screen.

"Ritsuuuuu!" She roared. A fist rose into the air, ready to perform a falcon strike!

"Wait wait! Before you kill me, I just have one thing to confess."

Mio lowered her fist. "What is it?"

The smaller girl let loose a sly smile. "My sexual energies are geared towards you."

The bassist was torn between blushing furiously and delivering her delayed punch. She opted for the latter, giving a good knock on Ritsu's head.

"Ow! Is this how you try to express your arousal?"

"How can you be so..so.."

"Awesome? Irresistible?"


"Hey! I'll let you know, I take that as a compliment. It means I'm out of the ordinary, huh?"

Mio rolled her eyes, but at the same time she let a small smile grace her features. It didn't last long, however.

"You know," She started, irritation evident in her voice. "I still haven't forgiven you for making me listen through that speech."

"Oh right! You spent a good chunk of time down there! So, Mio-chuan, did mama enlighten you about the passions of youth? Why didn't you ask me instead? I thought I meant something to you!" The drummer put on a fake accusing expression.

The taller girl growled. "Enough games."

But Ritsu ignored her and went on with a slightly lowered voice. "I could've explained far better. And I wouldn't have taken so much time either. You see," Her eyelids dropped halfway as she leaned closer. "it's quite simple."

Mio's eyes widened at the abrupt shift in mood. But just a millisecond later her expression mirrored the other's. After all, a bassist cannot be a good team player if they can't follow the rhythm of a drummer.

She waited for the next move with a bated breath.

"All we need-" Mio could feel the other's heat now, just a little closer and! "-is you, and me. The rest will happen by itself." Ritsu finished, and closed the gap between them.

They took their time, changing the fervent tempo from earlier that day into leisurely caresses, exploring the new sensations. Mio buried her hand into the drummer's nape and stroked the soft hair there. In turn, Ritsu let out a thick purr of satisfaction.

It was slow, sweet kiss. Fit for a shoujo manga. The bassist almost expected to feel the softness of flying sakura petals around them. But the only softness around came from Ritsu's lips. And when she had that, she could care less about the sakura.

The next day the band reunited for much needed practice. Their school performance was nearing fast, and they still had to smooth out some things.

Not that they could focus too much on that anyway. Or to be more precise, they kept focusing on another thing instead of the music.

And no, not on the cakes and tea.

"Oi, what's with all the staring?" Ritsu was beginning to feel irritated.

"Well, aren't you and Mio-senpai together now?" Azusa started.

Yui nodded. "Yes, and couples do-"

"-certain things." Tsumugi finished calmly. Inwardly, the expectations were killing her. 'YES! YES! DO IT! PDA!'

The implications made Mio's face light up like a Christmas tree. The drummer handled it better though. She was still irked by the pointed stares.

"Well," she put her hands on her hips "haven't you gotten enough yesterday?"

"No!" Mugi covered her mouth with both hands. "Erm..I mean..oh no! I'm sorry you got reminded of it again! Please forgive us for yesterday, Ricchan."

"Hmph. Fine." Ritsu turned around to adjust a cymbal, only to find herself face-to-face with Yui. She shrieked.

On the other hand, Yui still kept her fixed stare. "So?"

"So what?"

"You won't do stuff?"

"How about we practice instead!" The drummer yelled angrily.

Silence greeted her. If possible, now everyone was staring at Ritsu even more intensely. Mio included.

"Well? Aren't we a light music band?"

More silence.

Mugi was the first to break it.

"Um, Ricchan, are you feeling okay? Do you have a fever?" She went to the smaller girl and gently felt her forehead with a hand.

The bassist felt a pang of white hot jealousy. 'It should be me doing that!' "Mugi, could you please make us some tea? I'll handle Ritsu."

"What do you mean you'll handle me!?"

In the background Mugi skipped away happily, more than eager to let Mio 'handle' Ritsu.

"Sorry." Mio apologized."It's just that..I wanted to be the one. To- to check your fever." She admitted in a small voice, averting her eyes.

The drummer was caught off-guard. "Oh." She wasn't quite sure how to respond to such honesty, and she didn't like being left speechless and flustered. Like some idiot.

"A-Ahm. Go ahead."

The resulting touch on her forehead was tentative but pleasantly cool.

"Mio. Your hands are cold."

"Maybe it's your forehead that's too warm. Are you sure you're feeling okay?"

"No no, definitely your hands. Look." Ritsu grabbed Mio's hands to prove her point. She also noticed something else."Your fingertips are calloused."

"It's Elizabeth."

The drummer lifted a hand to her forehead."Mio-chuan, you wound me! We've only been together for what, a day? And you're already going around with other women!"

"Stop acting like an idiot." The bassist chided. "And you're the one to talk. You have callous palms." To demonstrate her point she drew a circle with her index finger on Ritsu's palm. The smaller girl felt a tingle run up her spine. She inhaled sharply.

Mio heard it, and raised an eyebrow in suspicion.

'Ahh she's onto me. I can't get horny now! Quick! I must say something! Think Ritsu, think!'



"Don't look, but Frankenstein is behind you!"

The taller girl screamed. A few seconds later Ritsu was nursing a new bump on her forehead.

"Oww. Gentle as always."

Mio huffed. "You killed the mood! Anyway, are we going to practice or what?"

The two girls turned around to regard the others. Mugi, Yui and Azusa stared at them blankly from behind the couch with only their heads poking out.

"Thing's haven't changed at all." Azusa deadpanned, looking at the bump on the drummer's forehead.

"Shh! I sense an increase in affinity!" Yui whispered.

Ritsu's eyebrows drew together. "We're still here, you know. And Mugi, please stop filming us."

The blonde snapped her phone shut with an apologetic smile. "Sorry Ricchan. It was a sweet moment, and I felt the need to preserve it."

The drummer's eye ticked. "There was nothing sweet about it!" 'I am Tainaka Ritsu! Mush and sweetness, thou shan't be associated with me!'

"There wasn't?" Asked a small, timid voice.

The sandy-haired girl groaned. "Not you too, Mio! Stop reading too many shoujo mangas!"

"It's better than wasting my time with video games!"

"Video games are good! They help improve your reaction time, not to mention the agility of your fingers!"

Mio and Azusa choked. "Stop being a pervert, Ritsu!" The bassist scolded.

"But Ricchan is right," Yui cut in. "unlike with Gitah, Muttan, Elizabeth and-" Yui cast a fixed stare at Tsumugi's keyboard.

"Sir Francis Bacon." The ojou-sama supplied helpfully.

"Ahh! So unlike with Gitah, Muttan, Elizabeth and Sir Francis Bacon, drums don't need much work with your fingers. I'm with Ricchan on this, she needs to improve her fingers somehow! And then later there will be more ways to have fun with Mio-chan!"

'Did Yui-senpai mean that in the way I think she did?' Azusa wondered with widened eyes.

"I knew I could count on you, Yui!" Ritsu cheered.




"Yuiiii-oof! Are you jealous, Akiyama-san?" The drummer asked in a sing-song voice.

"No! It's your aggravating stupidity!"

"Shh, you're right Mio-chuan, I should consider your feelings!"

"What? Well...yes..."

"Yes! So I will include you in the game too!"

"Ricchan, you're cheating on me!" Yui yelled in fake agony.

"Forgive thy comrade, Yui! But this is an important matter! Mio!"

"What is it?" The bassist asked suspiciously.

"No, no. You're supposed to yell back my name!"




"No! You're doing it wrong. Say 'Ritsuuuuuu!'. Mioooo!"

"If you think I'm going to do that, you're-"


"You can't be seriou-"


Mio was starting to get angry.


"RITSU! Shut up already!"

"Haha, see? Wasn't that hard!"

Realizing she had been tricked, the bassist let out a growl."Why you little-!"

Yui stared at Ritsu sprinting around the studio being chased by Mio. She then turned to the twin tailed kouhai.


"What is it, Yui-senpai?"

"Ricchan cheated on me."

"Then cheat her back." She replied, not really paying attention to what Yui said. There was no chance of understanding the eccentric thought flow of a Hirasawa. Azusa shivered as she wondered how Yui's parents might be like.

"Azunyan, you're a genius!"



Azusa raised both eyebrows. "...Yui-senpai."

"Yay! We did it!"

"Did what?" 'Uh oh, here we go again. Nonsensical logic á la Yui-senpai.' The kouhai thought.

"I cheated on Ricchan with you!" The smaller girl choked upon hearing that.

"We did no such thing!" Azusa protested with a red face.

The studio was a bit chaotic, with Ritsu still trying to escape Mio's lethal fist and Azusa trying to convince Yui heatedly that there was no cheating nonsense going on. Amidst all these occurences, Tsumugi decided to faint. There was too much Yuri Tension going around.

She landed with a soft thud on the sofa. The rest stopped what they were doing and worriedly hurried to the keyboardist.

"Mugi-senpai!" "Mugi-chan?" "Oi, Mugiii!" "Mugi? What happened?"

"Maybe we should just lay her down properly and wait till she wakes up." Ritsu suggested. They did just that, then sat on the floor next to the sofa, watching Mugi's form attentively.

"Look! She's smiling!" Azusa noted.

"Maybe she's having a nice dream?" Yui supplied.

Tsumugi blinked her eyes. Oh, had she fallen asleep? Where was everyone?

'Maybe they didn't want to wake me up and left after practice ended? But it's strange that they haven't even left me a note.' She thought, crestfallen. The keyboardist also noted that there was something strange in the air, but she couldn't quite pinpoint what it was.

'I feel...bolder. As if I could do anything.'

How strange. Mugi reminded herself to ask the butler if any of their teas or cakes have gone over their expiration date. She just hoped her friends wouldn't be affected when something like that turned out to be the case.

Suddenly, the door to the studio opened and in walked the two guitarists, setting down their cases next to the wall.

"Ahh, Azusa-chan, Yui-chan! I thought you all have left already."

The smaller girl regarded her curiously. "Left? Practice is only starting!"

"My my, it seems that my nap had taken much longer than I thought...but I don't even feel that refreshed." Mugi mumbled to herself.

"Is everything alright, Mugi-senpai?"

"Oh, of course! I'm just a bit disoriented. Please do go on and set up your guitars."


They tuned in their instruments. Afterwards, Azusa tried to persuade Yui to do some warm-up exercises on her guitar, but as expected, the brunette kept refusing with a dozen of ridiculous excuses.

"Azunyaaaan, have mercy!"

"And why should I?"

"Because it's Friday!"

"...So what? The resting day is Sunday. Or both days of the weekend, but not Friday!"

"But but it's in the name! On Fry Day, you fry food! Like takoyaki or yakitori or okonomiyaki-"

"Ugh! I can't deal with this anymore!"

"With what?" Yui asked worriedly. "You have a problem, Azunyan?"

"YOU are the problem!"

"Meanie~ Hey, let's play cheerleading! I saw a movie yesterday where they did that, and it looked so fun!"

"We are supposed to practice!"

"I think it sounds like a fun idea!"

"Ahh Mugi-senpai, not you too!"

"Yay Mugi-chan! Okay, I'll start! Listen to meee!"

The keyboardist let a determined expression cross her face. Her bushy eyebrows drew together, and her lips pouted slightly. Even Azusa seemed to give in, mirroring the blonde's expression.

Yui ran over to get two pillows from the couch, then struck a pose.

"Give me a B!"

"B!" The other two girls yelled in unison.

"Give me a W!"


The brunette jumped to the left. "Give me an S!"

Tsumugi and Azusa also skipped to the side. "S!"

"And give me an R! What do you get?"

"BWSR!" The blonde girl tried to yell out the solution, but ended up blowing a big raspberry in the process. Their kouhai merely shook her head in confusion.

"Yui-senpai, that doesn't make sense."

"It does! The correct answer is Birmingham West Suburban Railwaaaaay! Haaa!"

"What? Where did you hear that?"

"Ehe, mom made me watch a documentary about it. She loves trains! Choo choo!"

'Just as I thought.' Azusa mused. 'Her mother must be even crazier.'

"Anyway, I'm sorry Azunyan, but Mugi at least tried to pronounce it! So it's her turn now!"

"A-ah, may I really?" The keyboardist asked hopefully. Her eyes were shining brightly with excitement.

"Of course!" Yui handed over the pillows.

Tsumugi lifted both of them into the air. "OK! Here I go! Give me a Y!"

"Y!" They chorused.

She skipped shyly to the right. "Give me a U!"


Then another skip to the left. "Give me an R!"


She then raised both hands. "Now the last one! Give me an I!"


"What do you get?"

Yui had a flash of realization cross her face. "IT'S MY NAME!"

"No it isn't!" Azusa shouted, agitated.

"What else could it be, Azunyan? Don't be jealous." The brunette gently patted the head of the smaller girl.

"It was not your name, it was yuri! Y-U-R-I!" 'Come to think of it...why yuri?' Azusa wondered.

"Yuriiiiii? I think you have misheard, Azunyan! You have a dirty, dirty mind!"

Mugi tried to interject softly. "Um it really was yu-"

"It was yuri, you idiot! Yuri!"

"What? I can't think I hear you, Azunyan!" The guitarist asked with a big grin on her face.

"YURI! Yuriyuriyuriyuriiiiiiii!"

The brunette lifted up her arms in a surrendering gesture. "Ok, ok. No need to yell, I can hear you, you know?"

Azusa let out an angry shriek.

"You are so annoying, Yuri-senpai!"

There was silence. The twin tailed girl gasped after realizing what she had said and covered her mouth with both hands. Mugi beamed quietly in the background whilst Yui bore a huge grin.

"Is that my new nickname?"

"Oh, shut up! I'm not in the mood."

"Not in the mood for Yuri, you say?" The brunette shot back with a laugh.

"Yui-senpai, stop! Mugi-senpai, please wake up!"

Mugi shot her a questioning look. "Wha-?"

"Oh, you finally woke up!" Yui exclaimed.

Mugi blinked a few times, not quite understanding the situation."What happened?"

Mio was the one to explain. "You fainted, and we were worried for you, but you had seemingly fallen asleep so we decided to let you be. We've been waiting for you to wake up."

The blonde felt embarrassed. "Oh, sorry to worry you."

"Nonsense!" Ritsu yelled energetically. "The main point is that you're awake and alright!"

The bassist nodded. She then noticed something strange on Yui. "Hey Yui, what's that mark on your neck?"

All eyes flew to the guitarist, who gave them a sheepish grin. "Ahh, this? Mugi-chan took her time in waking up, so I drew a hickey on my neck with crayons! I do that when I'm bored."

'I knew it!' Mio thought triumphantly.

"But Mio-chan, what is on your neck?" The brunette asked back.

"A-ah. That. It's a ...umm..I..I also like to draw with crayons on my neck!"

"Really? Yay!"

Ritsu circled the black-haired girl. "Reeaaally, Akiyama-san? I never would've pegged you as that type. I thought you would only settle for the real thing instead of some cheap copy."

"S-Shut up! I'll hit you!"

"There is only one way to know if it's fake or real!" The drummer boomed.

Yui jumped up enthusiastically. "Oh oh, I know, I know! We have to dump Mio-chan in water! If she drowns, it's a fake hickey! If she floats, it's a real hickey!"

The bassist was horrified. "Where did you learn that method?"

"In history class! This is how we know if someone's a witch or not!"

"I'm not a witch!"

"Well no, but I thought it would work for this too! Noww...where's some water..." The brunette's eyes traveled around the studio, finally resting on Ton-chan's tank.

Mio followed her gaze. "Yui! Don't you dare!"

"No, Yui!" Ritsu shook her head. "She won't fit in there!"

"Of course I won't-"

"She's too fat!"


"Um...what is all the fuss about? We clearly saw Ritsu-senpai give Mio-senpai that hickey." Azusa stated.

Tears welled up in Mio's eyes. "Azusaaaa!"

"Ahh sorry, Mio-senpai! We didn't see anything!"

"But of course we did! And how spectacular it was!" Mugi sighed happily. "Who wants some tea? Now now, Mio-chan, don't be like that."

"Yeah, even my mom saw us." The drummer added.

"Whaaaaat!?" The black-haired girl fainted.


It was a slow, sweet kiss. Fit for a shoujo manga. The bassist almost expected to feel the softness of flying sakura petals around them.

'Wait a minute!' She did feel those sakura petals!

Mio broke the kiss and looked around. Sure enough, there were droplets of pink petals floating about. Even their lovely fragrance could be felt.

Ritsu sneezed as one landed on her nose. "What the hell!"

"Look, they're coming in from the window!"

"Wait a minute, isn't that...Mugi?!"

Sure enough, the tree branch next to Mio's window was occupied by Tsumugi-ojousama in a camouflage suit. She waved at them cheerfully, trying to hide the plastic bag full of sakura petals behind her.

"Ohayou Ricchan, Mio-chan! A splendid day for tree-climbing, isn't it?"

AN: I love you all. Seriously. Your reviews crack me up, and I hope I could return the favour with this new chapter!

You are entitled to scold me! It has been a long time, after all...