"Do I want to know what you're doing, Jun?" Momoka asked, frowning heavily as she looked up toward the ceiling of the girls' changing room for the bathhouse. The ninja in question was stealthily blending in with the ceiling, but Momoka could hear the tell-tale ragged breathing of the pervert as she took her shirt and sweatpants off, prompting her to scrutinize the area above her head. Sure enough, the ceiling seemed to quiver in one area.
"Shush! You'll blow my cover!" the ceiling responded.
"Uh-huh. I'll be the one to blow your cover. Right. Because your funky, perverted breathing ain't already doing that for you," Momoka said, averting her eyes to the side and trying to ignore what seemed to be a puddle of saliva on the floor. She hoped it was just spilled water since it was a bathhouse. She really, really hoped that was the case.
"Stop talking to me! I'm not here for you! I'm here for Ayana and Yuho, and they'll be here any minute!" the ceiling begged.
"I know I should probably stop you out of the best interests of everyone involved, especially your own safety, but I'm too tired to care. Have fun getting slaughtered," Momoka sighed, whipping a towel over her shoulder and opening the door to the bathing area. Hot steam greeted her naked body in a sudden rush, causing her hair to stand on end with the temperature change.
"DO NOT GO FURTHER INNNNNNNNNN!"
Momoka yelped and jumped up into the air at the ominous voice, landing on what felt like a bar of soap and slipping forward to fly through the air, feeling her head crack as she hit something hard when she fell.
Then there was blackness.
The next thing she noticed was the feeling of someone pounding on her head, and she swore to every god in the world that she would kill whoever it was that was smacking her there. Groaning, she opened her eyes and blinked. Realizing that the wooden plank pattern above her head was actually the bottom of the upper part of a bunk bed, she turned her head slowly to the side and looked at the various clothes strewn about the room, obviously the work of a certain idiot she knew. This was her dorm room and there wasn't, in fact, anyone actually hitting her skull. How had she gotten here?
"Oh, you're awake!" Hayate's childish voice broke in. She had just stepped into the room carrying a tray full of what seemed like food. The bedridden girl wasn't too sure because her eyes were still seeing the room in fuzzy, sleepy shapes.
"Yeah. Yeah, I am. What happened, and why am I in your bed? It smells funny here," Momoka complained. The pounding in her head was getting annoying. If she had a dollar for every time something physically ailed her...
"Hey! I lather and rinse properly, thank you very much!" Hayate pouted.
"Then wash your sheets," Momoka replied, not missing a beat. Hayate stuttered for a moment, clearly caught off guard before attempting to change the subject.
"Anyways! You hit your head pretty hard, and it didn't help that Jun and Ayana tripped over your body when they came in, so you must be feeling pretty terrible right now. I brought you food." Hayate smiled to herself because to her, food was always the answer.
"They what?" the bedridden girl blinked. The pounding made a lot more sense, but they'd only tripped over her body, not her head. "Did they kick me in the head too?"
"Nah, you slipped on some soap and went flying! It was pretty amazing. Inu-chan tried to get you to stop, but you kind of freaked out and went ahead to step on the soap."
Momoka blinked as it all came back. "Tried to get you to stop", Hayate had said, but it was actually Wanko's fault in the first place, wasn't it? She sighed. "Well, whatever. Let me see what kind of food you got. I'm hungry." As if on cue, her stomach growled in agreement.
"I got you some good stuff," Hayate grinned, holding the tray out. Momoka felt her eyebrow twitch in annoyance once she saw the contents of the tray.
"Have you got chocolate for brains or something?" She gritted her teeth. The tray was filled to capacity with multiple piles of pudding, stacked with colorful cupcakes, lined with muffins, stuffed with multiple slices of cake, decorated with scoops of ice cream, sprinkled with chocolate, and topped off with pocky. Normally, sweets were a wonderful luxury. It was, however, not when one had a pounding headache and a need for something nutritious.
"If I did, I would have already eaten it!" Hayate happily exclaimed. Momoka stared dumbly at the shining girl before sighing again. There truly wasn't any helping the idiot.
"Thank you, I think. Just, uh, gimme that tray and you can go do whatever for a while. I'll get out of your bed after I'm done with... eating this," she winced, looking down at the massive cavity-inducing size of the pile. After a particularly enthusiastic nod, Hayate rushed out of the room at a blinding speed, spouting something about "Ayana", "panties", and "Jun bleeding to death". Momoka really didn't feel like knowing what was going on in the other dorm.
She looked down at the giant, colorful pile. "I think I'm gonna be sick..."
She poked at a pocky stick before sliding the tray on the ground, setting it down with a clank. Her stomach growled, but the thought of tasting that mountain of sugar was unbearable. And she couldn't go look for food. Her head told her that it wasn't ready to handle walking yet, but she really, desperately wanted some food. Reluctantly, Momoka plopped herself back on Hayate's bed and laid back down. Might as well sleep the hunger off for as long as possible.
Shutting her eyes, the pounding in her head started to fade away before coming back, then fading again, waxing and waning in this familiar pattern as she tried to sleep with the harsh yellow light from the ceiling still on. The rhythm felt like a construction worker incessantly pounding nails, sometimes slamming harshly and decisively in one area while in the next moment, the force would decrease and pause when he reached for another nail or took a short break.
Slowly but surely, her mind drifted off to sleep.
Momoka found herself standing in hot water up to her knees, large rocks surrounding her from both sides and the sound of a waterfall somewhere nearby. Her feet felt smooth pebbles, painless to step on and soothing in a way. Steam rose from the surface of the crystal clear pool and made her light-headed.
"Too much hot water in one day," she muttered to herself, a vague memory in her head about bathing earlier. The mountainous rock walls around her gradually widened out as she waded forward, breathing in the fresh air and tranquil atmosphere. The air was strangely still, though waterfall was coming closer and closer with every step, the roar increasing in volume.
Turning at a corner, she found herself in a large lake, a magnificent waterfall just ahead, the giant torrent coming down in white waves and gushing at the bottom where it met the water, ripples and white foam spreading everywhere. The roar was deafening. Looking down, the water remained so pure and clean, crystal clear, and she had a sudden urge feel it on her skin.
So she closed her eyes and dunked her head in. The warm liquid flowed around her head, submerging her and cutting her off from the rest of the outside world, and caressed her face with its ebb and flow, flowing gently against skin.
A splash caught her attention. It was soft, almost inaudible, but she definitely heard it. Almost immediately afterward, something hot and wet pressed against her forehead and remained sticking there, something that felt suspiciously like a towel.
Her eyes popped open. And blinked.
"Eep!" Isuzu was hovering above her face, eyes wide and hands outstretched over her head.
"Hello to you too, Wanko," Momoka weakly grinned. They stared at each other for a couple more seconds during which Momoka realized the hammer had stopped smashing her head. Isuzu broke the eye contact first, obviously uncomfortable and embarrassed, though Momoka found the reaction cute.
"H- How are you f- feeling?" the quiet voice asked. If Momoka wasn't mistaken, a hint of guilt seeped into her sister-in-arms' tone.
"Better. Honestly, my head doesn't hurt anymore, but my stomach won't shut up..." A tiny gurgle from her midsection emphasized her starvation. A sudden slam made Momoka look up and see Isuzu hit her head on the bottom of the top bunk. "W- Wanko?"
"I have food!" she practically screamed. Momoka winced.
"Ah, ah, ah, ow. Okay. Can I have some, then?" Her sister-in-arms hurriedly scrambled away from the bed and came back with another tray, one that thankfully lacked any sweets from what Momoka could see. At least someone in this school had some kind of sense, even if it was the same person who left her incapacitated...
… Never mind.
With vigor, and maybe some tears, Momoka took the spoon and ravenously devoured the porridge on the tray. Manners were forgotten in the wake of the temptation of a full stomach, even if the porridge was the blandest thing she had ever swallowed in her entire life, and that was saying something.
"Um..." Momoka looked up at Isuzu, pausing her rigorous devouring of food to hear what she had to say. "I- I'm reallytrulysorryaboutearlierIdidn'tmeantodothat-"
"Wanko! Woah, slow down. I can't understand a single word you're saying," Momoka interrupted, holding her hands up in a pacifying gesture. Isuzu visibly swallowed and gathered her wits about herself, wringing her hands together tightly.
"I'M SO SORRRRYYY," she screamed, her dark aura exploding up behind her and giving her the infamous look of a demon. Momoka winced as her headache flared back to life.
"Wanko, it's totally okay." Even though it really wasn't, but she didn't need to know that.
"I w- want to apologize for e- earlier," Isuzu stuttered out, looking like she had just done something as terrible as stepping on a puppy. "I didn't mean to h- hurt you." She looked at Momoka behind her bangs, obviously frightened and fearful of her sister-in-arms' reaction, and, being so tense, she jumped when she heard a chuckle fill the quiet room.
"I think I'm used to such accidents by now, Wanko. It's alright," she grinned. "Don't look so troubled, 'kay?"
Isuzu's shy eyes flickered between Momoka's face and the wall, conflicted between staring at the rump on Momoka's forehead and being impolite. Momoka tried to pacify the girl again, but the pounding had come back and was making her drowsy, lulling her to sleep with its steady rhythm. Peering at Isuzu through half-opened eyes, she noticed the girl turn red and seem hesitant, more so than usual.
"Hmm?" she responded, almost completely gone to the land of sleep and dreams.
"I- It's... There's... Um, Otoha suggested a way to fix your headache quickly..."
With the mention of Kiji's name, Momoka's mind became somewhat more alert. She sensed danger. "What exactly did she advise?"
Isuzu's face, if possible, turned redder, and in response, Momoka felt her heart rate quicken in anticipation. This had to be something embarrassing and totally not good if Kiji was involved in planning it. It seemed to be that way when Isuzu leaned over the edge of the bed and loomed in front of her vision, her long black hair creating a curtain between their heads. Eventually, she was close enough to Momoka that the bedridden girl could feel her soft, warm breath cascade down upon her face.
"W- Wanko?" It was her turn to stutter.
Wide-eyed and mouth agape, Momoka could only watch as Isuzu slowly lowered her head and, once she was close enough, close her eyes to feel something warm and wet press against her forehead, soft and somewhat pleasant, entirely alien as well. The warmth lasted for only a short moment, and when Isuzu pulled away red as a cherry, Momoka found herself desperately wishing for it to return. There was a moment of silence, of tense realization of what had just occurred, and then a flurry of frantic movements followed after, Isuzu was stammering and screaming and yelling, tripping over herself and nearly knocking over the bowl of porridge while Momoka threw her arms around in confusion and was trying to do something logical but not knowing what the appropriate action would be. In a rush of activity, similar to the rapid movements of birds taking off, Isuzu was gone, and Momoka was left in disarray on Hayate's bed, blankets tangled about her body and her face looking like it had gotten dipped in strawberry juice.
"What just... happened?"
The next few days would be infamously known around the school as "that one week when that one crazy sword-bearer went even more insane and hunted that one supernatural sword-bearer without end for a solid one hundred and sixty eight hours". The week following that would be known as "that one week where that crazy sword-bearer chased after her sister-in-arms and both ended up as flushing messes before finally asking each other out, under the pressure of their friends and others". Overall, it can be said that for the price of a few brain cells and a bruise across her forehead, Momoka got a pretty good deal. Not that she would ever vocally admit that, of course.
A/N: I just... that was a terrible ending, and I sincerely apologize for it. But you get what you can get, I suppose.
Happy Birthday to my buddy Ill. May you live a long and prosperous life~~
Edit 9/18/2013: Holy crap FFnet deleted a whole section of words from this doc and I just noticed but NOW IT'S FIXED HOPEFULLY