When morning rose over the Himekaizen cultural festival so did Yukio. He rose to the smell of too many teenagers sleeping in a classroom, the sound of snoring and the heat of Kyoko sleeping in his arms.
Shafts of sunbeams ripped through the curtains and bathed the floor in an eerie red. Drowsy with sleep he realised how the sudden dawn light had forced him awake.
There were sounds from the office area, sounds of someone sleeping over the benches and someone working. Rhythmic clattering of laptop keys sang a well known melody – only Urufu abused a keyboard that way.
Yukio leaned on his elbows, torn between the want to help his friend and the need to feel Kyoko close to him. In the end Kyoko won and he laid himself to rest on her arm again.
Nuzzling his head closer to her face he drank the smell of her hair and listened to her breathing. Ever so gently her calmness rocked him to sleep again.
When he woke again soothing dawn had given way to bedlam. Of his gentle Kyoko there was not a trace. She sat shamelessly astride him, all sense of propriety gone, daring any shocked onlookers to protest. Looking up at her he watched the most beautiful woman in his life glaring at students whispering and pointing at them.
His ears hurt, mostly because she tugged at them with both hands, and so did his balls.
Balls? Crap, Kyoko you can't sit there!
She didn't just sit but merrily bounced up and down. Yukio sincerely hoped she was oblivious to what it looked like. Even more he wanted her to get off him, because those parts were exactly as sensitive as his recollection of the last time he made a spectacular save as goalkeeper in a game of soccer.
Then a loud cough called for his attention, and Kyoko had the good graces to cease bouncing.
Behind her back four chairs lined up with their four best friends straddling them leaning their arms on the backrests. Noriko scowling, Urufu smirking, Kuri rolling her eyes and Ryu grinning wildly.
“Love birds, get a room or get real,” Urufu said in English.
Atop of him Kyoko gasped and turned.
“Rehearsing the racier parts of the play?” Kuri asked in the same language. “Want to continue on stage?” She frowned and dug into her school bag searching for something. After a while her frown made way for a satisfied smile.
A camera? Yukio wondered in panic, and Kyoko must have felt the same, because she rolled beside him and covered herself with the blanket they had shared the previous night.
“The four of us need to have a talk,” Urufu said. It sounded as the start of a sentence, but he was interrupted by Kuri.
“You insensitive moron!” She threw him an angry glare. “Ko-chan and I are going to have some girl talk.” And that sounded more like an order than a suggestion. “You are going to dress down that oversexed friend of yours.” A long finger protruded from her hand and stabbed at Yukio through the distance, but Yukio knew the words were directed at Urufu.
Still, oversexed, me? I was asleep for most of it, so why is it my fault?
Urufu just grinned and tapped Ryu on his shoulder. He had to reach behind Kuri to do so.
What once began as an open display of friendly rivalry from the Wakayama twins was an established habit by now despite Noriko's dating Nao-sempai. Urufu had her by his other side, so the Swedish couple were sandwiched in the middle as always.
Yukio had a hard time imagining them side by side in any other order than Noriko, Urufu, Kuri and Ryu. Usually he and Kyoko trailed a few steps behind whenever the six of them went out together.
“Ryu can you get the patrols and play started? I really need to talk with the moron on the futon,” Urufu said.
Ryu nodded in return and headed for the office area. His chair screeched on the floor as he dragged it behind him. The noise was enough to silence the whispers around them that hadn't subsided until now.
“Noriko, get the food market going. I'll help you after I've knocked some sense into his head,” Urufu said and pointed a thumb at Yukio. “Yukio, boys' locker room. Now!”
With the last words Urufu rose from his chair and left the room.
Before Yukio even had the chance to protest Kuri had already pulled Kyoko to her feet. She did protest, but a shockingly well articulated sentence in Japanese from Kuri silenced her.
“Ko-chan, you absolutely must shower and change your underwear, wouldn't you agree?”
Kyoko barely had time to get her bag, and Yukio used that as a signal to rip open his backpack and pull out one pouch with toiletry and another with fresh underwear. After that he hurried after the girls on their way to the locker room.
When he passed the office area he saw Ryu handing Noriko an old style walkie talkie which she clipped onto a belt. By the windows a dozen more stood recharging.
His footsteps on the stairs down to the first floor were unusually loud but neither corridors nor stairwell were any less crowded than a usual school day. Yukio attributed the sound of his footsteps to a guilty conscience.
They passed the vending machines and then he waved to Kyoko before she vanished into the girls locker room. On the other side of the cafeteria Urufu stood waiting by the door to the boys'. He rolled one of the security armbands over a sleeve and opened the door.
“Security patrol. Anyone not showering evacuate now!” After delivering that lie Urufu beckoned for Yukio to follow him inside.
Yukio didn't see how he could avoid the inevitable, and in the end he meekly obeyed.