Hi everyone, Epik121 here. I've been reading for awhile and decided that it's a shame to see the lack of material in the Oreimo section, so I thought I'd contribute.
This story takes place in a time when Kyousuke and Kuroneko aren't dating and Kirino has come back from America. Enjoy!
I entered the living room quietly with my eyes closed. I sneaked one furtive glance to the couch to get a scan of the vicinity and as usual, there she was, browsing one of her fashion magazines. I closed my eyes, not wanting to attract any unnecessary attention from her. I opened the fridge, poured myself a cup of iced tea, and downed it as quickly as I could. I was just about to leave when suddenly...
...Maybe if I ignore her, she'll go away.
"Hey! I'm talking to you!"
"What?" I replied.
I turned around and glared at her, hoping that she'd maybe talk to me a little more nicely like a cute little sister should, but to no avail. I admit that my relationship with Kirino has gotten better recently. I'm happy now that she's back home, and my life has restored its daily pace with her occasional life-counseling sessions. But still, that doesn't mean she's become nice to me.
She kept speaking, "Ayase is coming over for a sleepover tonight. I want you to get a hotel and stay out of the house for the night."
I choked. "What! Like hell I'm gonna go out of my way and stay at a hotel just because your little friend is spending the night!"
She sighed out of exasperation and shook her head, this bratty little girl..."THIS is why people think you're useless! Fine, but you'd better stay in your room and lock yourself up, I'll bring dinner up for you, no excuses! I don't want you to be in a 3 foot radius of Ayase, you hear?"
"Alright alright, I got it...it's not like I want to be with Ayase-san anyway..."
That wasn't completely true. Although Ayase has been a very large source of stress and pain for me in the past, I'm still really attracted to her. She's so cute and pretty and innocent too, ignoring the fact that she can go into this weird, insane killer phase sometimes (which scares the living hell out of me!). I only wish she didn't think of me as such a disgusting person, but what can I do?
Then again, my relationship with Ayase isn't as nearly as bad as it was when she first found out about Kirino's otaku hobby...but still, it's pretty bad.
Kirino gave me one more warning before I trudged upstairs and went into my room. I did some homework, played a little eroge, and finally decided to go downstairs to watch some TV. I plopped down at the couch and had just turned on the TV when I heard the doorbell go off.
I heard Kirino run down the stairs and open up the door. She stopped to give me a death-glare, then went on to greet Ayase and welcome her into the house.
Kirino said, "Ayase! Come in, come in! Just give me a second, I have to get something from my room."
"Alright, take your time Kirino."
Ahhh, Ayase's voice is so gentle and soft, except for when she's talking to me. Then she sounds really irritated but that has some level of attraction in itself too.
She and I made eye contact, and she greeted me,
"Hello Onii-san, pardon my intrusion."
"Hey Ayase-san. How've you been?"
"I've been well. By the way Onii-san, I brought a present for you. Can you come over here?"
A present? From the lovely Ayase-tan?
As I walked over to her, she asked me to close my eyes. What could it be? A photo from one of her shoots? The endless possibilities began to fill my head as I waited in anticipation.
That is, until I felt two cold shackles of metal latch onto my wrists.
I opened my eyes. "...Ayase-san? What are these?"
"No, I know what they are, but why are you handcuffing me?"
"To make sure you don't sexually harass Kirino or me."
Dammit! How can such a cute face say such cruel things? What have I done to deserve this?
"Um, haha...Ayase-san, I really don't think these are necessary-"
"Ayase! you can come up now!" Kirino just came downstairs from her room.
"Got it Kirino! I'll see you later onii-san."
Just like that, I was brushed aside by Ayase and Kirino. I tried to stop them, "Wait! Kirino! Ayase handcuffed me!"
"Oh really? That's great!" Kirino said.
Dejected and depressed that both my imouto and my imouto's best friend had rejected me, I looked at the handcuffs in disbelief and sighed...well, that's the end of that. I hurriedly struggled to get up (the handcuffs made things a lot harder) and returned to the living room. There really wasn't anything interesting on television. As I flipped through the channels I saw an episode of Meruru playing, and I immediately skipped to another channel for fear of Ayase catching me.
My situation with Ayase was really just abysmal. She's even threatened to kill me, and I've tasted the sole of her shoe more than just a couple of times. Sometimes I wish I could just yell, "I'M NOT THE OTAKU! MY LITTLE SISTER IS! KIRINO IS THE ONE THAT LIKES ALL THOSE WEIRD EROGES WITH LITTLE SISTERS IN THEM!"
...But I could never do that. As much as Kirino beats me and doesn't seem to appreciate what I do for her, I am her older brother, and I have the duty to protect my little sister. It's hard, but it's even harder to see Kirino suffer in depression and solitude so I do whatever I can to save her, even if that means sacrificing myself. Ayase might hate my guts, but whenever I see her and Kirino walk side by side as best friends, I get this warm feeling in my heart. If my sister is happy, then I'm happy. I don't need a thank you, or an apology, or a hug from her; my little sister's happiness is enough for me, that's how I feel.
As I delved into these complex thoughts, I dozed off to a peaceful and satisfied sleep...until I was rudely slapped in the face by Kirino.
She curtly said, "Ayase and I want ice cream. Go down to the store and buy some."
I officially take back whatever I said about me being satisfied with just my sister's happiness, screw my sister! I HATE KIRINO...ahh, who am I kidding. Guys like me are bound to be exploited by their little sisters, that's just the sad world I live in.
I opened my mouth to say something back, but I knew that anything I said would basically equate to white noise in my sister's ears, so I just sighed and got up. I dragged my feet, put on my slippers, and proceeded to open the door when suddenly...
I did a double-take to see that...Ayase just asked me to wait?
She said, "I'll go with onii-san to the store."
Kirino and I were thoroughly confused. Kirino asked, "A-Ayase, are you sure? You don't need go out with him-"
"No, it's fine. I feel bad for waking him up and making him buy us ice cream."
"Well, alright then...if you insist I guess." Kirino hesitantly said.
It was a warm summer's night.
The air was comforting and slightly humid while the familiar ring of cicadas filled the background. Ayase and I were walking at a slow and even pace, although it was kind of awkward for me because I wanted to ask her why she had decided to come with me. There was a strange contentment in my heart, and I dare not speak for fear of making Ayase angry again. Today's actually been remarkably well, since I haven't pushed her into her insane mood once so far, and I didn't want to ruin that.
But I decided to break the silence anyway. "Ayase, why did you come with me to get ice cream?"
"Because I felt kind of bad for making Onii-san do this all by yourself. Plus we woke you up."
"Aww, I thought you came with me because you wanted to get to know me..." I always flirt a little with Ayase for some reason, which is kind of weird because I don't flirt with anyone else.
She quickly responded, "Onii-san! Don't be ridiculous! I'll have you know that I came here on a whim! Don't think that I came here because I like you or anything! That's right, I just came to make sure you get the right kind of ice cream, that's all!"
My heart fluttered when I heard those words. Ayase can be so innocent and embarrassed sometimes, except when she tries to kill me, but that's okay because it just adds an extra edge to her gentle yet violent nature.
I smartly replied, "Oh really? And what kind of ice cream are you looking for?"
"The...The strawberry kind!" she said as she pouted at me.
Ahh, my lovely Ayase-tan. It's only a matter of time until this gentle facade is crushed by some unfortunate event framing me as a pervert.
At that moment, some random passerby commented, "Oh my god, look at those handcuffs! Are those two involved in SM play or something?"
My heart shrank in fear as I heard those words. Damn that stupid and oblivious stranger! Oh why did I have to jinx myself?
She angrily yelled, "Onii-san! Look at what you've done! Because of you, people think that we're some weird couple involved in strange fetishes! Do you want me to kick you that badly!?"
"But you're the one who put these handcuffs on me!"
"That's besides the point!"
She started chasing me as I began to run away all the way to the convenience store. We were both a bit out of breath, so we finally gave up on the chase. Well, that's what I thought until she gave me a light slap on the face for degrading her in public. Then she finally took a seat on the curb and caught her breath.
Once she had caught some air, she said, "Just for that, you're buying me two ice creams."
"Alright, alright, I'll buy you two ice creams just because I like you."
"Geez, you're making fun of me again."
"Maybe. Or maybe not."
"There you go again, onii-san."
I got up and walked towards the freezer. I carefully looked at the selection of ice cream the store had. Maybe I'd surprise Ayase by actually getting a strawberry bar, that'd be pretty funny. I started chuckling at how ingeniously clever I was, but then I noticed she was picking her own ice cream. I sadly let go of my genius plan...
Suddenly, I was feeling a bit tired (after all, my sleep was interrupted by Kirino) and wanted to sit down. Ayase was taking her time in choosing the ice cream, so I walked up to her, gave her a little money, and told her I'll be waiting outside. She looked at me and opened her mouth as if to ask something, but I guess she decided against it because she just closed her mouth and nodded.
I was wondering if I should ask what her question was going to be, but I guess it doesn't really matter now. As I started heading out, Ayase called out to me,
"If...If you had to choose between chocolate and vanilla, which would you choose?"
"I don't know, chocolate? Why do you ask?"
She shyly looked away. "It's...um...for Kirino! I don't know what flavor I should get for Kirino so I decided to ask you, that's all."
"I'm pretty sure she prefers fruity flavors instead of chocolate or vanilla."
"I'll keep that in mind."
Once she finished talking, I headed out through the doors, took a seat on the curb, and waited for her to finish...
I felt my eyes starting to drift in and out of sleep as I struggled to stay awake. Finally I decided to succumb to the sleep for just a little nap. I let myself indulge in the darkness for a bit...that is, until I felt a cold sensation on my neck.
"Yah! What is that!?" I yelled.
I turned around to see that Ayase was holding a chocolate bar against my neck. I looked at her questioningly and she replied,
"Yes. Now please take it already."
I hesitantly took the chocolate bar and opened it. I was really surprised (pleasantly surprised) by the extra effort Ayase took to buy me an ice cream too, even if it was my money she used. After I took the first bite, I realized that maybe this is why she wanted to know what ice cream I would choose. I asked,
"So...Ayase-san, when you asked me earlier between vanilla and chocolate, were you really just asking to buy me an ice cream."
She blushed a bit as she replied, "Yes, I did. By the way, why did you have to make it weird by asking why I was asking earlier? Please learn to take a hint, Onii-san."
"Haha sorry sorry...you're such a lovely girl, Ayase-san. You're trying to make me fall for you, aren't you?"
She angrily replied, "Geez, I told you to stop teasing me. I'm going to call you pedophile Onii-san from now on."
"Please don't," I curtly replied.
We continued walking back home. The air felt heavy with warm moisture, but the weight felt kind of nice on my skin because it reminded me of the summer vacation I had in front of me. We were about halfway home when Ayase broke the silence,
"Onii-san, I trust that you've been keeping with our promise, right?"
"Hmm? What promise?"
"Please Onii-san, I'm trying to be serious with you here. You haven't done anything incestuous to Kirino, right?"
"Yes Ayase-san, I haven't been molesting Kirino. How many times do I have to tell you, I'm not in love with my sister!"
"It's hard to believe you, Onii-san. You have lied to me many times. How do you expect me to believe a liar if that liar hasn't proved his words?"
I was about to make another joke again, but I instantly decided against it. There was truth in her words: I have lied to her a lot, and liars are what Ayase hates the most in this world. All the lies I say are usually just jokes and flirts, but I guess Ayase doesn't like it when I play with her heart. I carefully thought of what I should say, as if I was making the critical choice at the confession scene in an eroge, and I said,
"Ayase-san, I'm sorry. I apologize for lying to you so much, and I apologize for all the other times I've teased you. And you're right, I really do seem like a bad person and a liar."
I took another second to think of what to say, then I continued,
"But tell me, how can I prove my words to you? How can I prove to you that I'm really an honest and truthful guy? Whatever it takes, I'll do it. Just say what I have to do and it will be done."
I stared her firmly in the eyes as I spoke, and once I finished my speech Ayase blushed and quickly looked away to hide her face. She stuttered a little at first, but then she said,
"I-I don't know right now! Asking me such a question suddenly out of the blue, it's natural that I won't have an immediate answer! But I'll definitely think of a way to prove yourself in the future, so you better not forget!"
"Yeah, yeah, I promise Ayase-san. I promise that when the time comes, I will prove myself, okay?"
Ayase quietly said, "Mmm, I'll hold you to that...you better not forget, Liar Pedophile Onii-san!"
"Heh, don't make such weird nicknames for me. Come on, I pinky-promise."
Our pinkies entwined, and we held each other tightly. I took the time to carefully take in the feel of her smooth pinky, because this was the first time ever that I've touched Ayase-san and haven't been roundhouse-kicked in the face for it. It was only her pinky, I'll admit, but it was progress nonetheless.
She said with a blush, "You better not break this promise Onii-san! If you do I'll...I'll kill you!"
"Yeah, yeah, don't worry Ayase-san you can trust me on this one."
We arrived home and I opened the door for her. She thanked me and ran upstairs with her bag of ice cream.
What a great night; that quality, personal time with her really raised my mood! I ended the night on a good note with her. Then I noticed that she had just left the key to these handcuffs on the shoe stand next to me. As I unlocked the handcuffs, I couldn't help but think that I just improved my relationship with her.
But I've got to watch out now, I can't break this promise...if it's Ayase, she really will kill me.
It was late now. I was in my bed, ready to sleep but I still couldn't get Ayase off my mind for some reason. I got my phone and looked through my texts and found the first text that Ayase had sent me. The one that she sent me after she and Kirino had made up, the one that was addressed, "to big liar onii-san". I read it over a few times, and recalled my memories of that time. I was proud of those memories because it was one of the greatest things I did for my sister, although I did also ruin my relationship Ayase at that time.
I replayed the memories over and over in my head, until I finally dozed off into a quiet and content sleep for the second time...
Only to be slapped awake in the middle of the night by...Ayase?