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All Dressed Up

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“I can’t believe you talked me into this.”

Maki looked down at herself again. It wasn’t the first time she’d done it since she’d gotten dressed to go out with Nico, and she doubted it would be the last. A little stylized version of her girlfriend’s head grinned up at her from the center of her shirt.

The actual Nico was grinning at her too.

“I don’t see what’s so weird about it,” Nico said innocently, as if she was totally uninvolved in the whole affair. “You’re my fan, right? It’s only natural for you to have fan merchandise.”

“Fan merchandise” was indeed what it was. An official Nico Yazawa 2 5 shirt, priced significantly higher than its quality deserved- because it was official, obviously. Maki did have to begrudgingly admit it was a nice shirt, despite the outrageous price tag. It was comfortable, and the little Nico face was kind of cute. Besides, it wasn’t like she’d paid for it. Nico had given it to her. In fact, the two of them were wearing matching Nico shirts, though thankfully Maki had been spared the accompanying Nico hat.

Still, her utterly mortifying outfit aside, there an enough issue with that statement. Maki was a fan of Nico’s music, of course, but, being described as Nico’s “fan” was...

Seeing the expression on her face, Nico’s smile shifted a little. Instead of a thousand watt grin, filled with satisfaction at getting her girlfriend to put on something ridiculous, it took on the softer look of someone looking fondly at someone they cared about.

“Don’t make that face. You’re not just a fan.” Nico paused for a moment to grab Maki’s hand and give it a reassuring squeeze. “You’re my favourite fan.”

Maki pulled her hand away and crossed her arms, flushing a little. “I-I wasn’t thinking about that,” she mumbled, not meeting Nico’s eye

“And what kind of lame compliment is ‘you’re my favourite fan’ anyway?” she added accusingly.

“Come on, with all the fans I have that’s pretty high praise!” Nico protested. “All sorts of people are my fan now, you know? Even some of the idols I was a fan of when I was starting out. And I like you more than all of them.”

Maki’s blush deepened. Damnit, Nico being sincere wasn’t fair. It might be a little egotistical, and being compared like that was still a little galling, but Maki knew who Nico meant when. A-Rise. Nico had been a passionate fan of idols long before she was an idol herself, and ranking Maki above even the stars she’d obsessively followed was saying a lot.

Before Maki could respond, she was interrupted by a quiet voice.

“Excuse me.” A girl who looked to be about middle school age had shyly approached them, and now she was timidly addressing Nico. “You’re Nico, right?”

“The one and only!” Nico said cheerfully, posing her hands reflexively. Maki suppressed the urge to roll her eyes.

”Would… would it be okay if I took a photo?” The girl asked, her eyes shining. It was kind of cute. It reminded Maki of how Honoka had been when they first started meeting other school idols.

“Sure!” Nico said cheerfully. Maki started to step away, but before she could escape out of sight, Nico had slipped an arm around her and pulled Maki against her.

“Where are you going, Maki?” Nico asked, her voice dripping with fake innocence.

“She wants a picture of you, so-”

“Nonsense!” Nico said, grinning. “You’re a former idol, right? It’s a bonus!”

Unbelievable. Maki realized there was no escape. With Nico’s arm firmly around her waist, holding her tightly in place, she couldn’t slink away and let Nico take care of being photographed. Had this been Nico’s plan all along? No, surely she couldn’t have predicted this. She was just seizing the opportunity when it came.

Letting out one last sigh, Maki buried her face in her hand as Nico posed for a photo that Maki knew was going to end up on the internet.

Nico was lucky she was cute enough to get away with this.