Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Chapter two (segment one), 2016, August, Kyoko

Something had broken between Urufu and Kuri-chan, but strangely enough their ties with each other had grown stronger as well.

And Kyoko was filled with shame. And so was Yukio. So now they shared both new-found love as well as shame.

But I have to make a choice, and you're the most important to me, Kyoko thought and threw Yukio a guilty glance. She received one in return.

They were shaking along the rails on a local train to a resort where the Wakayama parents had called in a favour to help the club make staying overnight possible. Two days and one night by the beach counted as their first field trip.

Two rows in front of them Urufu and Kuri-chan sat nestled together sharing a silence Kyoko could only guess what it contained, but she could feel that it wasn't an empty silence.

After they had picked their rooms and settled in Urufu had promised he would give them a more coherent explanation of what had happened. He had to. The entire club regarded Red Rose Academy as a personification of everything that was bad and evil, and Kyoko believed that to be just a bit too simple.

She had spoken about that with Yukio, but he remained adamant that Red Rose Hell, as he called it, was indeed evil incarnate, and so she wanted Urufu's side to it. Loving Yukio didn't mean she took everything he said at face value.

This was too important to be analysed by teenagers only. Urufu would have an adult's insight, and Kuri-chan could be counted on to share her pool of experience as well.

If it wasn't for that silence.

Since the night he drank himself to a stupor with most of the club members in the next room Urufu hadn't spoken much. Kuri-chan forced a promise from both Yukio and Kyoko not to leave his side when she was away on her modelling sessions, and Kyoko wondered how smart that really was. Urufu never got any time on his own.

She watched the backsides of their heads close together. They would open up and talk and laugh when they were ready again. With that thought she snuggled up closer to Yukio and was rewarded with a shy kiss.

The train staggered onwards tapping its thudunk, thudunk, thudunk onto the rails as it ate the distance to their destination. Outside the windows suburban Tokyo slowly gave way to small stretches of countryside interrupted by smaller towns mixing up the rice fields with shopping malls, old industries and apartment buildings with the odd temple or shrine thrown in for good measure.

Behind her Kyoko could hear the club members with the poorest finals results discuss the catch-up exams they had been through this far. Apparently most of them were done for summer break, and if what she heard was true even Kuri-chan and Urufu only had small leftovers to handle.

She looked at the objects of those rumours. They hadn't spoken much about summer school at all, and as Kyoko had cleaned out her score at the first attempt she didn't know how well they did. She would have to ask Noriko about that.

Both twins sat some distance behind her. Noriko most likely asleep, but Ryu kept up his role as the prince of Himekaizen and entertained both his and Kuri-chan's fans to make certain she got some time alone with Urufu. Kyoko sent him a thought of gratitude for that. It had to be hard on him as he was still in love with Kuri-chan.

The Wakayama twins. I can see you both are true to the loves you declared. But why don't you move on? Beside her Yukio stirred as he slowly fell asleep while hugging her close. Stupid question. You can't, just as I couldn't. But I got my reward in the end, and there is nothing coming between those two.

Kyoko looked between the heads in front of her. The backsides of blond and almost black leaned close to each other. Urufu and Kuri-chan kept their silence. Kyoko didn't think they were asleep, but she would have heard the singing Swedish language if the couple had needed to discuss something they wanted to keep to themselves.

For now Kyoko had to satisfy herself with rice fields and rivers passing by as the train rattled further south. At the end of the line a small town taxi company stood prepared to handle the arrival of two dozen high school students.

With that thought, and with the sound of Ryu's merry bantering behind her, she nestled closer to Yukio and allowed the drowsiness to overtake her. His breathing was like the ocean, a steady rhythm of rising and falling filling her with calm and in the cradle of his arms she finally fell into a restful sleep.

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