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The Moments Inbetween

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Riku couldn’t sleep.

 

It was impossible. Her heart wouldn’t stop pounding, her thoughts racing. It was like every time she finally got herself to lay still in bed, she’d just so happen solve the last math equation she was stuck on in her head. Or some other miraculous strew of ideas that begged her to get up and do something. It was to the point where getting to sleep was like trying to carry sand across the boardwalk: Fanciful and, pretty damn stupid to try.

 

So, she sat at her melancholy layered desk, pondering the mathematical and statistical demand of being on the student council, sipping on too hot tea on a too humid night. The mid spring heat gratefully wafted through her ajar window in swarms of cool breeze, the gentle sound of passing cars lulling her to a weird state of conscious. The ridiculousness of being exhausted and tired but not exactly sleepy, was infuriating, frustrating, irritating, all of the above.

 

Just as she was about to thrash her pencil down and start fiddling with her phone, two barely noticeable taps rapped against her window. Glancing into the deep darkness clouding the sheen behind the glass pane, she squinted into the abyss.

 

And, holyfuckingshitwasthatShoukoSuzukiatherwindowat2inthemorning?

 

Tripping her way to the window, Riku steadily swung the heavy frame upwards, gaping at the surprise visitor. Shouko, obnoxiously stunning under the glaring moonlight, looked ethereal. Dressed in an old, worn tee shirt, paired with slouched sleep shorts, and very clearly no bra, her wild, auburn hair pulled loosely back. Riku tried her best to keep eye contact under such invitingly dangerous circumstances, but under Shouko’s intense, icy stare, it was even hard hard to do in general.

 

Those striking blue eyes that stared so strongly definitely ran in the family.

 

“Suzuki? What are you doing?” she whisper-yelled, voice strained from the effort to remain quiet. Shouko’s eyes crinkled sweetly as she giggled, floating past and into Riku’s bedroom uninvited, but charmingly despite it.

 

“‘Couldn’t sleep, usually you’re not awake,” her bubbly, enticing voice kid, her feet hitting Riku’s fuzzy, shagged carpet with a soft thump.

 

“Does that imply this isn’t the first time? And hey, no shoes on the carpet!” she squealed, rolling her eyes in annoyance.

 

“Germaphobe…”

 

“American.”

 

“You say that like its an insult!”

 

“That’s because it is. Look, you shouldn’t be here-”

 

Just as Riku was turning back towards the window, a gentle breeze holstering warm air through the small, closed in space once again, she caught a glimpse of Shouko’s stare as it flicked upwards. The duality of such expression, going from playful to deadly in a mere second, was fearful in concept by itself.

 

“You should be asleep. I don’t have daily obligations, I’m aloud to dwell at night. You, babes, don’t have that privilege.”

 

Riku scoffed, throwing the window back down as a sign of acceptance, and plopped onto her bed in defiance. Shouko, face cracking back into its regular teasing joyfulness, made her way over, too.

 

As she sat down, Riku was suddenly swarmed with situation this was. Shouko sat way too close, unneeded, arm just barely brushing her own. How she could smell Shouko, sweat and familiar citrus mingling on her freckled skin, that of which dotted and specked her covered shoulders, expanding under her shirt, coating every inch of skin that the sun had the chance to kiss. Shouko seemed perfectly radical from exact curve of her jaw to the softness of her round hips.

 

Riku could feel her heartbeat in her fingers.

 

“Riku?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“I actually came for a reason,” she breathed out, suddenly quiet and soft-spoken. Riku averted her eyes.

 

“Mm?”

 

“I had… um, I had kind of, like, a freak out, or something.”

 

The air stilled between them, every hair on Riku’s shivering skin standing on end.

 

“Do you want to talk about it?”

 

Shouko pondered the question for a minute, fiddling with the hem of her loose shirt.

 

“Not really,” she choked, tears welling at the corners of her eyes, light and dainty, something that didn’t suit her at all.

 

Riku acted quickly and on instinct, she was used to comforting people after years of worrying and fussing over her brother, so she wasn’t too panicked by the sentiment. Cautiously tilting her friends face towards her own, resting a solid, grounding palm against her cheek and wiping away the stray tear grazing down her cheek, Riku whispered just gentle enough for her to hear,

 

“Shouko.”

 

And the girl closed her eyes, leaning into the gesture, now vulnerable and okay with it. Riku held in her tantalizing breath, their esper auras mingling and flirting in the air, spiking and electrifying. Riku’s heart palpitated ferociously behind her ribs still, smacking forward as if begging to rip out, her cheeks dusted with a faint blush from how soft Shouko became in her presence. How quickly the atmosphere had changed from mock annoyance to compassionate care.

 

As she let her eyes cross over the girl in front of her, Riku let herself swoon now. Even while crying, Shouko was so beautiful it physically hurt. Her skin, smooth, buttery and shining with summers slick, such fluffy and lush eyelashes splayed as her eyes stayed fluttered shut. The way her unruly, bouncible hair stuck in different directions where it wasn’t held in the haphazard hair tie, framing her face so perfectly, her entire figure still under Riku’s tender touch. Shouko, tall and a bit gangly, muscler and unbelievably powerful, looked like she was summer itself. Warm and bright and vibrant and unmistakable.

 

Riku was so head over heels.

 

“Ri-chan.”

 

“Do not call me that, Su.”

 

“Worth trying,” she giggled abruptly at Riku’s turn of harsh tone, and it was music to her ears, light and breathy and sexy, with a hint of cuteness that lingered heavy below it. Disrupting the dire mood in the most fantastical way.

 

“Riku.”

 

“Sh-Shouko.”

 

First names were weird.

 

“Riku.”

 

Shouko.”

 

Shouko was leaning forward, closing the gap painfully slow between them, the space swarmed with heat and excitement and hidden desire lurking behind buzzing fingers as they entwined. Just as Shouko’s lips were inches from Riku’s, bastardly teasing, she felt like her heart was pounding so hard the girl would hear it, too…

 

Her lips briefly smoothed over her cheek instead, lips brushing her ear as she cooed in muted tone, agonizingly with bother.

 

“You’d think Kageyama Riku’s obvious, everlasting attraction for me would fade as I cried in front of her, but the look you gave me was enticingly intense, babes.”

 

Riku shivered at that, her entire body melting at the sensational tickling in her ear. She was sure she’d have a heart attack at this point.

 

“Sh-Shouko?” she mumbled, nervousness coating her wavering voice as she anxiously anticipated what was to come, what she hoped would follow.

 

“Mm, yeah?” Shouko hummed low in her throat, pushing a strand of Riku’s deep black, silky and fly-away prone hair behind her ear, leaning back just enough that it was unbelievably intimate still.

 

“Can you, can you um. You know?”

 

“I don’t know, actually.”

 

That signature shit-eating grin, Riku’s face was now on fire.

 

“K-kiss me.”

 

“Don’t have to ask me twice!”

 

And then, her lips were pressed against Riku’s. And it was warm, and comfortable, and easy as their mouths slid against each other, letting Shouko take full control and ravishing in the attention. It was slow, and sweet, cautious and everything anyone would wish a first kiss to be. Shouko was clearly experienced, and Riku not, but it was fuzzy and masked with girlish love. Her stomach fluttered while explosions nearly sounded off behind her pressed eyes, the world pausing and everything going still, all for them.

 

Shouko pulled back, leaning their foreheads together as she drew her hands firmly to Riku’s waist, holding them there. Letting out a shuddery exhale, Riku kept her eyes closed,

 

“You’re good at that.”

 

“I know, it’s American charm.”