Kasumi flops down onto the floor with an exhausted sigh, resting her arm against her forehead. It’s not like practice had been too hard today, though. Kasumi just thought it was much too hot right now. Thankfully, it wasn’t all that long before Arisa floated back down into the basement with a bundle of popsicles, careful to lift her ghostly tail above the starstruck girl on the floor. “Arisaaaaaaaaaa,” Kasumi calls out. “Do that agaiiiiiiin… You left a nice breeze...”
Arisa, unamused, tosses one of the popsicles into Kasumi’s lap before sitting down in a chair and dropping the rest on the table. “Why do you think I went and got these? You’re not the only one too hot here.”
Tae, resting her head on the table, thinks for a second, then pipes up. “Can ghosts even feel the heat?”
“Yes, we can, and for the love of the gods…” Arisa reaches over, picks up Tae’s head, and places it back on the dullahan’s shoulders. “...keep your head on if you’re going to talk. I’ve told you it’s unnerving.”
Unfazed by what would probably qualify as an invasion of personal space to some people, Tae just grabs a popsicle and pops the end of it in her mouth. “Ghosts are weird.”
“That’s rich coming from you!” Arisa exclaims.
This prompts a bubbly sounding chuckle from Saaya, who was sitting on the floor to avoid getting any slime on anything. This gets Kasumi’s attention, who ever so subtly looks over to the golden slime girl reaching for a popsicle with a gloved hand. “You know it doesn’t bother you as much as you say, Arisa,” Saaya says as she unwraps the cold treat and drops it into her body. She shuts her eyes for a moment and shivers just a bit, her body jiggling like j-
“K-Kasumi-chan… Are you okay…?” Rimi nervously rubs her hand along a curved horn. “You’re k-kinda red… And you haven’t moved in a b-bit…” Her voice breaks Kasumi out of her trance just in time for her popsicle to fall off the stick and into her lap.
“Ah, cold!” says a very red Kasumi as she reaches for a napkin and wipes her skirt clean. “I’m fine, Rimirin, don’t worry! I think the heat’s just getting to me. In fact...” She stands up in a bit of a hurry. “...I think I’m going to go get some air!” And with that, the vocalist rushes up the stairs and right outside, not giving anyone a chance to respond.
Kasumi plops down against the outer wall of Ryuseido and puts her hand to her heart, taking a moment to breathe. Her heart was beating a good deal faster, maybe the heat was getting to her. It wasn’t Saaya’s bubbly laugh or her sweet smile or her… beautiful eyes… Oh, who was she kidding? It was all Saaya, and Kasumi was having a gay panic. Something must’ve just finally clicked in her brain. At about that moment, though, Arisa peeks her head through the wall, and Kasumi just about jumps half a foot in the air. The phantom floats through the rest of the way and takes a seat next to her. “Something tells me it wasn’t just the heat bugging you.”
Kasumi’s taken aback. “Was it really that obvious!?”
“Kasumi, your eyes were practically inside her for a couple minutes. You’re lucky I’m one of the only ones with any brain cells.”
Kasumi lets out a sigh of relief. “So she di-”
Arisa cuts her off. “Saaya has the rest of the brain cells. She definitely noticed.”
Once again, Kasumi turns red. “Oh! Oh jeez, what’s she gonna think? There’s no way she’s gay.”
Arisa stares at Kasumi for a second, slightly dumbfounded. “I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve seen her smiling while you hang off her like some damn monkey. Trust me, I think she feels the same.”
“Yeah, but those were all as a friend! They were friend cuddles! It’s different if they make your heart go all sparkling and heart-pounding!”
“Kasumi, stop being so melodramatic. If she didn’t like it too, she wouldn’t go along with it so often. And just between you and me, I’ve seen her do the same thing.”
Kasumi’s eyes practically lit up like stars. “Really!?”
Arisa grits her teeth for a moment. “Not so loud. Really, though. Hell, I’ve been waiting for the moment the two of you stop just staring all googly-eyed at each other and actually do something about it.” She sighs. “Tell you what. After next practice, I’ll get the two of you alone so you can tell her how you feel. How does that sound?”
Kasumi thinks about it for a moment, rocking her head from side to side. “Hmmmmm… I think I’ll do it. I’ll give it a shot!”
Kasumi figured she should show up to practice a bit early today. It would give her a chance to practice what she wanted to say to Saaya right where she planned to say it. She arrives at Ryuseido, says a quick “Hi, Arisa!” to the phantom moving boxes around, and opens up the trapdoor to the basement, only to stop on the stairs as she hears a familiar voice.
“I think… I really like you, Kasumi. A lot, really.” Saaya’s soft and sugary voice carries all the way up to Kasumi’s ears at the top of the stairs, and the girl stops to listen. “Your endless smiles and optimism have helped me get through so much, and I don’t think I want to even imagine a life without you anymore.” She sighs. “So please, will you be my girlfriend?”
“Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!” Kasumi exclaims, quite excited.
Saaya’s eyes widen, and she looks up to the top of the staircase to see her love. “K-Kasumi!? How much of that did you hear?”
Kasumi starts to quickly make her way down the stairs. “Enough to know you like me too! I was gonna try and tell you to- Woah!” Not watching her step, she sticks her foot right in some loose slime and tumbles the rest of the way down the stairs.
When Kasumi comes to, she finds herself resting in Saaya’s lap with a gloved hand running along her forehead. Saaya always felt like cool jello, and to Kasumi’s aching head, that was a godsend right now. “Ughhhhh… What happened…?”
Saaya sighs, smiling. “Oh thank the gods, you’re awake. You slipped down the stairs earlier and knocked yourself out.”
Kasumi turns a bit red, starting to remember what happened just a bit. She chuckles a bit sheepishly. “O-oh, whoops… At least I think I’m alright now?”
Saaya, realizing she had been staring just a bit, awkwardly averts her eyes. “Y-yeah. I’m glad you’re okay.”
“Yeah, me too…” Neither party seemed to know how best to address the elephant in the room. However, after a bit of a nervous silence, Kasumi slowly sits up, some golden slime sticking in her hair, and wraps her arms around Saaya in a tight embrace. “I, uh… I remember what you said earlier.”
Slowly and nervously, Saaya returns the hug. “Y-you do?”
Kasumi pulls her head back a bit to look Saaya right in the eyes and nods. Her cheeks are extremely red. “Yeah. I just… I want you to know that I feel the same way too.” Taking a moment to breathe, Kasumi does her best to quell the gay panic in her heart. “You make my heart go all sparkling and heart-pounding, Saaya, and I really love you for that.” She then tightens her embrace, squishing her arms partially into the unprepared slime girl and resting her head right up against her neck.
Saaya moves her hand up to the back of Kasumi’s head and shuts her eyes, content with the world as it is. “I… I love you too, Kasumi. Thank you so much.”