Haru Fujita smiled as she reached the end of the novel she’d been working through, before standing up at her desk and stretching out her worn, stiff limbs for the first time since classes had wrapped up.
“Whew, fun volume! But jeez, the illustrations were the real star this time, huh? That shot of Yuuna in her new swimsuit…”
Haru let out a heavy, longing sigh. She knew that, technically, she shouldn’t be talking about this stuff at all on school grounds in case any of the students overheard her. As she looked out the window towards the sun setting on the horizon, though, she knew that there was next to no chance of anyone actually stopping by her classroom. There was no reason, at all, for her to be cautious.
“Besides, I’ve got some otaku in my classes, like Hikawa! Yeah, I bet she’d appreciate Yuuna’s butt…
It was super cute, after all…”
As ridiculous as the idea of bonding over fanservice in a light novel with her students really was, Haru wished that she’d been able to get closer to any of them at all during the time they’d spent in her class.
“Why’d I even stick around today? There was no way anyone was gonna come by.”
She’d learned their names by heart and done her best to make her home economics classes as lively and fun as she possibly could. She even ran an afterschool cooking club, wanting to provide a space for her students to relax and have fun while developing a skill that had, years earlier, completely enriched Haru’s own life.
But as it stood, now almost a full year into a career she’d been absolutely confident was her dream job, they all might as well have been complete strangers to her. She didn’t feel welcome in her new position in the least.
And her club...well, she was beginning to wonder if she could even call it that. A club needed actual members to function, not just an advisor who sat around reading dorky light novels to herself each and every afternoon. Frankly, it was a minor miracle that nobody had told her to shut it down. She’d begun to wonder if they just let her keep it open out of sympathy.
“Just gotta stick with it, that’s all,” she said, smiling and beating back her worries as best as she could. “Just a few more months, and they’ll all be treating me like a trusted friend! I won’t just be a teacher, I’ll be a super teacher, the kind that every student looks up to!
Haaah, that sounds so good…
Also sounds kinda like I’m lonely but, well, let’s ignore that part.”
Haru giggled to herself.
She treated her endeavours in teaching with the same jokey optimism she’d given just about everything in her life, but she really was beginning to feel more than a little dismayed. When she was younger, her home ec teacher had inspired her and helped her to open up and grow in so many incredible ways. If she hadn’t had a teacher like them, she was confident she wouldn’t be where she was today, and if she could help out one of her own students the same way, well…
Honestly, she wasn’t sure anything else could make her quite so happy.
“Well, tomorrow’s another day,” she murmured, smiling softly as she gathered up her things and packed away the ingredients she’d laid out for that day’s unused club meal plan.
It wasn’t long before Haru’s packing was interrupted, her whole body briefly stiffening at the sound of what she’d have sworn was a hand gently rapping against the classroom door.
That was impossible, though.
“Nice one, Haru. You’re hearing things now…” she whispered to herself and giggled softly, before returning to packing.
Just as she was about sling her bag over her shoulder and leave, the knocking came again, a little louder this time, and was accompanied by a shy, shaky-sounding voice.
“Miss Fujita? Can I come in?”
“Oh shit, really?” she harshly whispered in shock, quickly straightening up and hoping the voice on the other side of the door hadn’t heard her. “I...actually have a visitor?”
As she hastily smoothed out the creases in her blouse, Haru called out in return, “It’s unlocked, come in!”
Haru grimaced and blushed after the words left her mouth, realizing just how flustered her voice had sounded.
Still, she fought back that shyness as best she could as the door opened up and a tall, somewhat flat-looking boy stepped inside.
Though he’d been absent for almost every single one of her classes, Haru still recognized him immediately. She had to do her due diligence with every student, after all, truant or no, even if that only extended to learning their last names.
“Ah! Okazaki, right?” Haru asked, smiling warmly at her student.
He nodded back, not saying another word.
Okazaki had always, in the times she’d actually managed to see him, been a remarkably quiet boy. She gathered that the rest of the student body found him cold and distant, but everything she’d seen just told Haru that he was just painfully shy.
“It’s been a while! What brings you by?”
“Ah, sorry,” he mumbled. “Class is...difficult for me, so…”
“Don’t worry! You don’t have to explain a thing if you don’t want to,” Haru reassured him. “Well, apart from telling me why you came by now, of course.”
Okazaki rubbed at his neck, too nervous to look Haru in the eyes as he started to explain, “My grades are bad.”
Assuming it wasn’t just her classes that he’d been skipping, she wasn’t terribly surprised to hear that. Still, she offered up a sympathetic smile, eager to do what she could to help him out, even if this really didn’t seem like a home ec issue, let alone a cooking club one.
“Want some coffee?” she offered. “They let me bring my French press from home for cooking club activities, so I can assure you it’ll be really tasty!”
“If you’d be so kind…” he calmly responded, nodding and shyly taking the seat Haru was gesturing at for him.
“So,” she started, grabbing a bag of coffee from a nearby cabinet and quickly getting to work on making two cups of coffee that she just knew would be incredible, “trying to get your grades up?”
“Mm, kind of.”
“The principal’s been telling me about the school’s 100% graduation rate, and how...well, I’m jeopardizing that.”
Haru grumbled to herself. The principal had pretty much exclusively been heavy handed and rude in all of her dealings with him, so it hardly surprised her to hear that he was exactly like that with students, too.
“Can we keep something between the two of us?” she whispered, looking over her shoulder to see exactly how dejected Okazaki seemed to be.
He nodded again.
“He’s a real hardass, so don’t let him get to you, OK? Struggling or no, that’s a really awful thing to tell someone.”
He smiled a little at that, apparently grateful to have found someone who seemed even a little sympathetic.
“Y-yeah, I...I don’t really wanna think about it, but…”
“You are struggling, aren’t you?” she asked, bringing Okazaki the two finished cups of coffee and taking a seat opposite him.
Another, much smaller, nod.
“He’s not...wrong, I’m not going to graduate if things don’t improve.”
“So did he give you any actual advice, or did he just yell at you and send you on your way?”
“He...well, he said he’d be able to make an exception if I...if I pass even a single class, he’ll let me graduate this year.”
“Well hey, that’s great!” she beamed, putting a hand on her student’s shoulder. “We can get you there, no problem!”
“I just...I really don’t want to be held back. If I don’t graduate...I…
I don’t have any idea what I’ll do, really.”
Haru watched as Okazaki pulled himself away from her grasp and stared into his cup, too nervous to even consider looking somewhere that could lead to eye contact.
Though he was undeniably taller than Haru, he seemed so small as he sat there, desperately trying not to give into the worries that their principal had undoubtedly made so much worse.
“That’s why we aren’t going to think about that stuff. You’ll graduate this year, I promise.”
It seemed to Okazaki that Haru’s tone was just as relentlessly upbeat as it always seemed to be, but it was much gentler now that, despite himself, he couldn’t help but look back at her as she smiled warmly.
“You said you needed to pass a single class, so that’s what we’ll do, right here and now. We’re going to get your home ec grade up.
“Nuh-uh, no buts.”
Haru quickly downed her coffee, picked herself up, and started rooting through the home ec classroom’s cupboards.
“To tell you the truth, I’d love to give you some big motivational speech and get you all fired up with me. I really wish I was better at giving people that kind of reassurance, honestly.”
She gathered up a vast array of ingredients and utensils, and laid them out on an empty table.
“But I’m awful at that sorta thing! The absolute worst! That doesn’t matter, though, right? I’m a home ec teacher, you need to pass my class, and cooking doesn’t exactly take a lot of chatter, does it?”
“I...I guess not,” Okazaki responded, smiling a little in surprise at how straightforward Haru was being.
“So, let’s cook together. Consider it a remedial class. If you can impress me with whatever you make, I promise, I’ll give you the passing grade you need.”
“But...surely the principal won’t let you do that?”
“Look, if he’s that desperate to keep the school’s graduation rate intact, I’m confident it won’t take much to convince him that this counts. Hell, I bet that jerk’ll be grateful he won’t have to think about it again.
You came to me for help, right?” she asked as she started digging through a nearby refrigerator.
Okazaki shyly nodded.
“So just trust me: this’ll work.”
Haru turned back with a grin on her face, and her arms filled up with packages of chicken thighs that she quickly laid down next to the other ingredients.
Okazaki was so tempted to run, to dismiss this all as impossible and retreat back to his apartment, where nobody could see him if he didn’t want them to. But there was something about his teacher’s smile, how sincere and warm she was being, that kept him rooted to the spot, going along with a plan that seemed nothing short of absurd.
Shyly, Okazaki smiled back at her.
“Yeah, gotta try.”
That’s the spirit!” she chuckled. “Gotta warn you though, I’ve got a pretty refined palate! You’re gonna have to really work if you wanna make something that I’ll enjoy!”
“I’m… not exactly the best cook…” he mumbled. “I kinda just...make whatever instant meal I have lying around…”
“Have you ever cooked with fresh ingredients before?”
“Not too often...don’t get out much anymore…”
“Well, I’m giving you a little handicap,” she said, holding out her thumb and forefinger, bringing the tips close enough together that she had to squint to see the tiny gap she’d left.
“Ever made katsu curry?”
“Once or twice.”
“Well, it’s one of my favorite meals. If you ask me, there’s no better comfort food on Earth, and I’ve kinda been craving it all day,” she explained, laughing as she rolled up her sleeves. “So something tells me my delicate, refined palate’ll ease up a little if it gets curry for dinner. Besides, it’s not like you’ll be flying solo; I’ll guide you every step of the way.
Think you can handle the pressure?” she asked, putting her hands on her hips and smiling warmly.
“I’ll give it everything I’ve got.”
Haru watched over her student as he slowly mixed together the sauce for the curry.
“You don’t have to answer this, OK? But I was…”
She sighed, realizing there was no great way to delicately put what she wanted to ask, and decided to just take the direct approach.
“What’s kept you from coming to school? I’m not trying to get your attendance up, but...well, I was just hoping I could give you a space to open up, if you need it.”
Okazaki bit his lip, and kept his eyes firmly fixed on the pot in front of him.
“I won’t pry, but, well, nobody just decides they’re just going to stop going outside. If something’s eating at you, opening up might help,” she added, leaning over the pot and looking inside. “That’s looking great, by the way. Just a few more minutes and it should be good to go!”
Okazaki let out a weary, heavy sigh.
He wouldn’t get into details, he told himself, but at least sharing a little bit of why he’d grown so distant might help him feel a bit more at ease.
“It’s hard to explain, but...I think being around so many people every day, that just…
It just makes the fact that none of them have ever really seen me so much more obvious. I’m cold and scary to them, and nothing’s really going to shake that image. At least, not in the way I really wish I could.”
Despite how downbeat everything he was saying really was, he still smiled softly.
“And I guess at home, there’s...there’s nobody who’ll tell me that I’m someone I’m not or that I’m wrong for being who I am. There I feel at least a little stronger than I do here.”
Okazaki set down his spoon for a moment, then turned to look Haru right in the eyes.
“It’ll take a while, but...deep down, I know that one day I’ll get strong enough to be me, no matter how many people might judge me for it.
Though, I do wish I could’ve reached that point a little faster, ahaha…”
He rubbed his neck and got back to stirring the pot, while Haru wordlessly looked on, grasping for a response that felt right.
“Is this about done yet, Miss Fujita?”
“Oh! Umm,” she hummed as she peered into the pot once more, then smiled at her student.
“Yeah, looks about right. Ready to move on to the cutlets?”
Okazaki nodded, while Haru, still searching for the right words to say, guided him through the seasoning process, taking care of a cutlet herself before handing the rest off to him.
“Y’know, I...I’m sorry I couldn’t say more, Okazaki.”
“That’s OK,” he said softly, smiling.
“No, it’s...it’s crappy of me. I got so hung up on wondering if there was more to say that wouldn’t just be me snooping or prying too deeply, so I didn’t say what I think, honestly, I should’ve said in the first place:
You deserve a place to be yourself. I can’t even begin to understand what that hurt must feel like, but I’m always going to be here for you. And maybe, if you ever want to, you can tell me who it is you really are, and I’ll do what I can to support that.”
“Thank you, Miss Fujita. Really. It’s...not something I think I’ll be able to open up about anytime soon, but…”
He took a deep breath, then continued.
“I’ve never even said this much about it, so this really has helped a lot. I mean it.”
“And I’ll tell you that you’re not cold or scary or anything like that to me. You’re a sweet kid, and I can tell that you’re doing what you can to cope.
And...well, look, my cooking club’s got absolutely no members, so if you want to join, you won’t have to worry about anyone else judging you. It’ll just be you and me. There’s not much time before graduation, but still.”
Okazaki smiled and nodded shyly.
“I think I’d like that, yeah.”
“Oh! That’s great!” Haru beamed, mostly just happy to see that she’d gotten through to a student in need, though a smaller part of her was absolutely delighted to have finally found a member for her club.
“Then let’s consider this your inauguration, huh?” she said, with a grin. “Haaah, getting to have dinner with the cooking club! Today’s ending on a high note!”
It didn’t take much longer for Okazaki to finish cooking, aided by Haru every single step of the way. Their conversation was lively and warm, even if most of the energy in the room came squarely from Haru.
Still, Okazaki felt at ease with his teacher in a way he hadn’t with anyone in years. What most would consider a simple, relaxing evening was nothing short of incredible to him; a much-needed reprieve from a sadness that had, up until that point, seemed utterly inescapable. At times, he found himself forgetting just how much hinged on the curry he was making, more than willing to accept Haru’s upbeat declaration that, no matter what, he’d be graduating this year with no trouble.
Still, by the time the cooking was finished and he’d served up a heaping bowl of curry and rice each for the both of them, he felt more than a little jittery, hoping that it would taste even halfway decent.
The funny thing was, his graduation didn’t even cross his mind at that point. He just wanted to do something nice for his teacher, to thank her for all the warmth and kindness she had showed him.
He watched with bated breath as she gathered up a heaping spoonful of curry, making sure to get just enough sauce, rice, and chicken that she’d really be able to experience every flavor the meal had to offer before popping it into her mouth, while gesturing for Okazaki to start on his own meal.
More than a little flustered, he hastily dug into his own food, doing his best to avoid looking at his teacher all the while.
“So!” Haru started, before he’d barely made a dent in his meal.
“The sauce could stand to be a liiiiittle thicker, and the breading is a tiny bit uneven.”
Okazaki looked up from his bowl, terrified until the instant he laid eyes on her warm, gentle smile.
“But those are all easy mistakes to make, and it doesn’t change the fact that really tasty, don’t you think?
Ahhh, nothing beats home-made curry on a night like this! Especially when you get to share it with friends!”
She started digging in after she’d said her piece, eating with such voracity, as if she was trying to win some kind of contest.
And, all the while, she smiled so happily.
“This chicken’s perfectly cooked, too! So juicy! And the sauce has just the right blend of spicy and sweet to really make it pop! For someone who barely ever cooks, it sure doesn’t show, Okazaki!”
“That’s...that’s because you helped…” he said as he smiled bashfully, more than a little taken aback by the amount of praise she was heaping upon him.
“Nuh-uh, no way! Sure, I helped in places, but you did all the real legwork. So, hold your head high, OK? There’s room to improve, of course, but don’t you think that’s wonderful? Just think, one day you’ll make curry even tastier than this!”
Okazaki’s vision blurred, and he sniffled ias tears welled up in the face of her warmth. He wiped his eyes on his sleeves, and heard Haru put down her spoon and felt her rest a hand on his shoulder.
“Thank you so much for dinner, Okazaki. You’ve passed home ec with flying colors.”
And, welcome to the cooking club. I can’t wait to make even more delicious food with you.”
Haru smiled, and Okazaki, through tears that grew heavier by the second, slowly looked up and smiled back.
“Told you you’d graduate.”
Their laughter filled the largely empty school halls.
Though they finished the meal fairly quickly, both Haru and Okazaki lingered a while longer, both of them having far too much fun to want to leave in a hurry.
The week before graduation had been uncharacteristically chilly.
As Haru walked down a busy city street, carrying a cutely decorated cake box, she cursed herself out for forgetting to bring gloves. She was more than eager to reach her destination and relax with a nice warm drink, provided it was on offer, of course.
“So close!” she shouted out, ignoring the stares she received from the people around her. “Just gotta keep pushing!”
Though she was beating back some feelings of melancholy about losing her first and only cooking club member, she was still undeniably excited about seeing Okazaki through to his graduation. He’d worked so hard over the past few months, showing up, if not to class, at least to the club on a regular basis, and fighting hard against the anxieties that had crippled him so heavily in the past.
And he really had grown a lot for it. Not only had his cooking improved a great deal, but he seemed so much happier than he had when Haru had first met him. He smiled a little more, started speaking up more often, and had come to respect Haru not just as a teacher, but as a dear friend. He was still shy, and more than a little reticent when it came to talking about himself, but he was showing steady signs of growth all the same. Much to Haru’s delight, he’d even discussed the idea of studying at a vocational school after graduation, and hoped to make a career out of his newfound fondness for cooking.
Haru was endlessly proud of him for all of it. Yes, she was sure it would still take a while for him to really come out of his shell, but even though she’d known him for just a few months, his future seemed so much brighter now, so full of potential where it had once seemed so bleak.
Which is why, on this chilly evening, Haru had decided to reward him for his work. To throw him a small, private party and celebrate all the progress he’d made. Though a part of her wondered if she should have given him some warning, she just hoped that Okazaki would appreciate the surprise.
Staring at the entrance to the surprisingly fancy apartment building in front of her, Haru double checked the address on her phone, more than a little baffled to see that it seemed to be the place.
“It was listed on his files at school…” she muttered, “just...kinda surprised it’s nicer than the building I stay in...”
She chuckled under her breath, realizing just how silly she sounded, and stepped inside, more than grateful to get out of the cold.
As big as the building was, it didn’t take Haru terribly long to find her student’s apartment. She took a breath and knocked on his door, then waited patiently for a response.
“Hello...?” Okazaki nervously called out from within, unsurprisingly shaken by the idea of getting any visitors.
“Hi there! It’s Haru Fujita, sorry for the surprise visit! You free?”
“Yep! The one and only! Sorry if I’m interrupting anything?”
“N-no, not at all! Just give me a second, OK?”
“Sure! Take your time!”
Haru hummed to herself while she waited for her student, more than willing to give him as much time as he needed to prepare for what she was fairly confident must have been his first guest in quite some time. Honestly, she was proud enough of him agreeing to let her come inside at all.
Soon, she heard the click of the door’s lock being released, and Okazaki shyly opened up to greet her.
“Hi…” he waved nervously. “Sorry, don’t get a lot of company, so…”
“No need to explain! I probably should’ve called ahead, honestly, ahaha!”
“No, it’s OK,” he said with a smile, gesturing for her to step inside, an offer she readily accepted. “I’m happy to see you, honestly. It’s ummm...it’s a nice surprise.”
“Yeah, that’s the spirit!” she cheered with a smile of her own, turning as he shut the door behind her and holding out the cake box for Okazaki.
“Mind holding onto this while I take off my shoes?”
“It’s a cake from my favorite bakery. You like matcha, Okazaki?”
“I do, yeah.”
“Great! Let’s share it, hmm?” Haru asked, putting her shoes on a shelf by the front door and turning to face Okazaki.
“Are you sure?” he asked. “It’s sweet of you, but I can pay for-”
“The best way you could pay me back,” she started, cutting him off completely. “is by sitting down and enjoying this cake with me. Oh, and if I could trouble you for some coffee or, well, any hot drink, really, that’d be wonderful too, ahaha!”
“Got it,” he yielded, smiling softly. “I could go for some coffee myself, actually. Would you mind waiting in the living room? It’s just up ahead. I’ll bring out a tray for everything in just a few minutes.”
“Sure! No rush!”
Haru was surprised, as she walked through the apartment and took a seat in the living room, to see just how neat and tidy everything was. She’d expected things to be a little run down and uncared for, but if anything, he’d taken better care of his apartment than Haru had with her own.
It didn’t take long for Okazaki to join her, smiling as he laid out a tray with coffee and cake for the both of them.
“You keep a pretty clean house, Okazaki. Didn’t really take you for the type! Ah, sorry if that’s rude of me to say.”
“No, not at all. I just...I spend so much time here, I guess I’d just get antsy if things got messy, that’s all.”
“Still, it’s pretty admirable! Looks like you’re working hard,” Haru praised with a grin, before taking a sip of her coffee. “Ooh, and you make a pretty decent cup of coffee, too!”
“Yeah, I umm…bought a French press after you first made me coffee. It’s been really nice.”
“That’s great! Couldn’t be prouder of the cooking club’s first ever member!
Oh! That’s actually sorta why I came by. Not for coffee, but that obviously helps!” Haru chuckled.
“I wanted to congratulate you for how much you’ve grown over these past few months, Okazaki. I know it can’t have been easy, but you’ve really given the club your all, and you’ve even been showing up to class a little more! You’ve worked so hard, and I just know things are going to get better and better from here on out!”
“Thank you…” he muttered, his cheeks bright red from all of the praise Haru heaped on.
“But, there’s a little more than that. I guess I kinda wanted to say thanks to you, too,” she added, grateful that, even through his embarrassment, Okazaki still managed to look her in the eyes as she spoke.
“It had been a pretty rotten year for me, honestly. I love my job, but...well, it kinda feels like none of the students really care all that much for me, ahaha. I never really felt close to any of them, and once the school year ends, so many of them’ll just be out of my life like that, y’know?” she asked, snapping her fingers. “And I wonder if I’ll have been anything more than a little blip to any of them.”
“There’s no way that’s true. You’re...so amazing…” Okazaki said, blushing furiously over the best compliment he could shyly muster.
“Mm, thank you! But, it’s true, ahaha. Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for helping me out, too. For filling my first year as a teacher with so many happy memories. I’m not too sure what’ll happen to the cooking club next year, but even if it just stopped, it’d leave behind a pretty incredible legacy. So, I just hope that, even when you’ve graduated, you’ll keep me in your thoughts, OK? It’s been a pleasure to have met you, Okazaki.”
“I...I need to thank you too, then,” he started, staring straight ahead even as his eyes started to well up with tears. “For giving me a little more hope these past few months.
It’s been incredible. Every day in the club has been so much fun, I’ve honestly started to feel like I can really be myself, even if...I’m still not there, ahaha. But, it seemed impossible before then, really. It seemed like I’d be hiding away all my life. And...and even though I’m graduating, I don’t ever want to lose you as a friend, Miss Fujita.”
“I don’t want to lose you either, Okazaki,” she reciprocated, smiling and resting a hand on his shoulder. “We might not have the cooking club, but we’ll still be friends, got that?”
Okazaki nodded slowly.
“...But I wish we could’ve met a little earlier…” he mumbled shyly. “I wish I’d met you before school got so scary, I wish I could stay in the cooking club, and spend my time in high school and meet you all over again as...as myself, Harucchi.”
Okazaki and Haru both froze.
“Haru...cchi?” the teacher asked, wearing a bemused smile.
For months, Haru had asked for Okazaki to call her by her first name, telling him that they were friends, and that he didn’t have to be so shy around her. He kept promising he’d try, but he was always far too nervous to ever really manage it.
Now, though, without any real warning, here he was, calling her by a cutesy nickname like they were classmates or something. Not that she minded, of course, but she could tell by Okazaki’s rapidly reddening cheeks that he hadn’t been ready for it either.
“I-I’m sorry! It’s just...umm...well…” he stammered and scrambled around for some kind of excuse, but kept drawing a blank, far too baffled to even begin to make sense of wherever that nickname had come from.
“Ahaha, don’t worry, Okazaki. It’s just a nickname! Honestly, it’s kinda cute.”
It is kinda cute, huh?” he asked, feeling a fair bit less embarrassed the more he puzzled it out in his mind.
“I think so, anyway! It’s not exactly what I expected when I asked you to use my first name, but it’s still sweet! You gave it a personal touch, no way I could be upset about.”
“Yeah…” he said, smiling a little more openly than he usually was able to. “I’m...I’m not great when it comes to using anyone’s first names, honestly. But...I’ll do my best for you, Harucchi.”
Okazaki’s smile was now a full-on grin, one that looked upbeat in a way he never had before.
“You...feeling OK, Okazaki?”
It was good, of course, to see him smiling so happily, but it seemed like such a radical shift from how he’d always been that it still caught Haru off-guard.
“Oh? Hm, that’s weird… I was...embarrassed, right?”
He looked puzzled for a moment, before his giddy smile quickly returned.
“Well, I’m definitely not anymore! Jeez, dunno what that was about! I feel super good right now, Harucchi!”
“I’m…I’m glad, Okazaki...”
“You sure, Harucchi? You’re lookin’ kinda off… You’re not getting sick, are you?” Okazaki asked, furrowing his brow as he leaned in close and pressed a hand against Haru’s forehead.
Though her cheeks reddened a little at how familiar Okazaki was suddenly acting, she was mostly just confused by it all, a feeling that only grew as she started into her student’s eyes, mere inches away from her own.
Had they always been so...bright? She’d never noticed the flecks of green in his pleasant, chocolate brown eyes, nor how thick and, frankly, gorgeous his lashes were.
In fact, now that she could see it all up close, his whole face seemed softer than it had ever seemed before. It was upbeat and friendly in a way that seemed so at odds with his reputation for being cold and scary. His skin looked smooth and supple, suddenly bearing a far healthier, pinker complexion than his usual pallor. Okazaki’s cheeks were fuller too, and he had a cute little nose and lips that, much to her embarrassment, Haru could only think of as plump and juicy.
“Hmmm...a little warm, maybe? I don’t think you’re sick, at least! But don’tcha worry, Harucchi, if it comes to it, I’ll nurse ya back to health!”
Okazaki pulled back, his smile returning in full force as he got started on his slice of cake. Haru could’ve chalked up all the things she’d noticed about his face to a trick of the light, or maybe even shock from his radical change in attitude. It became increasingly obvious, however, as he flashed her a peace sign before happily giggling, that something was undeniably very, very different about her student.
She thought long and hard about bringing it up, and was still trying to convince herself that what she was seeing was all in her head, until Okazaki took a bite of his cake and licked his soft, adorably full lips and looked so damn cute doing it that the poor teacher, already at her limit, just couldn’t hold on any longer.
“O-Okazaki!” she spoke up, turning her head the instant her student looked back at him, his eyes shimmering an even brighter green than they had just a moment earlier, without a trace of brown to be found.
“What’s up, Harucchi? Ahaha, drink up or your coffee’s gonna get cold!”
Even his voice sounds cuter!
“Y-you don’t notice anything different?! Nothing at all?”
“Hmmmm…” Okazaki hummed, scratching at his cheek. “Oh! You got new glasses, Harucchi! They’re ultra cute!”
“I mean, yeah, I did…” Haru responded, rubbing at her neck, bashful from the unexpected, though entirely welcome compliment. “It’s really nice of you to notice, honestly…
But no, not about me! About you! You don’t feel different, or...or…”
She was sure that, after everything she’d just witnessed, she’d be much harder to surprise again, but even so, the sight of Okazaki’s skin steadily darkening and taking on a deep, healthy tan, completely silenced her.
“I feel pretty good, Harucchi! Ehehe, it’s cute how totally serious you’re getting!”
Doesn’t he hear himself?!
It wasn’t just his playful, ultra-casual manner of speech that should’ve tipped him off, but his voice, too. Bubbly and high where it had once been quiet and deep, he sounded, to Haru, practically indistinguishable from some of the more energetic girls in her class.
Haru sighed, mustering up her determination as she grabbed her phone and pointed the camera towards her student.
It was clear that she’d have to make it obvious.
“Oh!” Okazaki fretted for a moment, before holding up both of her hands in peace signs, effortlessly posing cutely in no time at all while Haru snapped a photo. The second after it was taken, Okazaki’s smile faded, giving way to a look of confusion as she finally got a look of her much darker hands.
“Hmm? Do my hands look-”
“Just take a look at this, Okazaki!” Haru interrupted, holding out her phone. It seemed like Okazaki was finally starting to get on the same track as her, but the photos would help him get up to speed a lot faster than she suspected he would otherwise.
“‘Kay!” Okazaki cheerily answered, smiling as he took the phone.
Harucchi, is this some kinda filter or something? That’s like, suuuper crazy, ahaha!”
“There’s not a filter in the world that’d look that good,” Haru said, shaking her head. “Just go back to the camera, you’ll see.”
Okazaki did as he was told, flicking away from the photo and training the camera’s lens back on himself, and watching as the face reflected back at him matched his every movement.
He looked nervous for a moment, baffled by what he was seeing, before his lips curled into a giddy, warm smile, and the student who’d once been the absolute shyest person Haru had dealt with snapped a playful selfie.
“Wow! Harucchi, I’m looking suuuuuper cute, don’tcha think? Ehehe, my eyes are like gemstones! They’re soooo pretty!”
“How are you just...not surprised by any of this?” Haru asked, watching as Okazaki pawed at his face, giggling at how soft and cute it all was. She could swear that her student seemed smaller now, that his clothes looked baggier against a frame that was gradually losing its imposing edge.
“Totally, Harucchi!” he beamed. “But in a super good way! Isn’t this amazing?!”
“But...your whole face looks different.”
“Yeah! Like I said, super cute! Kinda sucks that you’re seeing me without makeup,” Okazaki pouted, before smiling happily again in no time at all, “but I’ll get some soon, Harucchi!”
“Okazaki, you realize that...umm…you look like a girl, right?”
Okazaki’s smile, somehow, grew even wider.
“Yeah! I do, don’t I, Harucchi?! That’s soooo cool! I’ve always been one, like, on the inside, but I didn’t think anyone else’d ever get to see it, too!” Okazaki giggled, getting close to Haru and hugging her arm tightly while looking right into her teacher’s eyes. While Okazaki had once dwarfed her teacher, and pretty much everyone else around her, their height was almost an even match.
Still unpacking everything she’d just heard, Haru grew more than a little flustered as the girl affectionately snuggled up against her. As much as she was happy to see her student opening up and blossoming in such an incredible, practically impossible way, the feeling of Okazaki’s chest pressing against her arm was almost too much to bear.
This, of course, wasn’t made any easier to deal with by the fact that her chest was starting to feel...so soft…
Oh gosh, those are boobs, huh?
Haru peeked down shyly, and was greeted by the sight of Okazaki’s rapidly swelling chest pressing against the girl’s loose, baggy shirt, growing bigger and fuller with every passing second.
As much as Haru didn’t want to admit it, she was getting incredibly turned on by it all.
“O-Okazaki?” Haru stammered, her cheeks on fire. “I’m really happy you’re happy, honestly, but could you…”
She was painfully aware of how flustered she sounded, and swallowed hard before finishing her sentence.
“...Get your boobs off of me?”
“Ah! I’m totally sorry, Harucchi! It’s super cute watching you get all worked up, though!” Okazaki apologized and giggled as she backed away, holding up a hand that was far smaller than before, and connected to an arm that appeared much slimmer..
“Wait, ‘boobs?!’” the girl cried, peeking through the collar of her shirt and letting out an ecstatic little squeal of delight.
“They’re big, Harucchi! Take a look!” Okazaki offered with a grin, leaning forward and holding her collar open for Haru to see.
Against her better judgement, Haru couldn’t help but take a look, nor could she hold back from licking her lips shyly at the sight of the deep, luscious valley of her full breasts, which were every bit as tanned as the rest of her body.
“God, yeah they are…” Haru muttered, biting her lip while failing to hide her growing thirst.
Okazaki sighed, pouting a little as she squeezed her chest between longer, slimmer fingers, that were now tipped with long, extravagantly painted nails.
“Kinda sucks that I don’t have any bras for ‘em, huh? Wanna go shopping together sometime, Harucchi? We can pick out some really cute, flashy pairs that’ll make them look even bigger!”
The thought of Okazaki’s massive, gorgeous boobs cradled in a leopard print bra was almost too much for the poor teacher to bear, and, against her better judgment, she found herself nodding along with the idea.
There was something so infectiously optimistic about Okazaki as she was now, so bright and sunny that the warm, blonde color rushing through her hair felt only appropriate, as if no part of her body was willing to be outdone by her smile, which widened tremendously as soft, fluffy bangs steadily crept into her vision.
“Oooh, that’s so much cuter already!” Okazaki giggled, grabbing at a few stray locks that steadily grew down and framed her face, while the rest of her hair behind her billowed out until it spread down to the middle of her back. “It’s super soft, too! Hehe, I’d always kinda wanted to dye my hair blonde, but this looks totally natural! Suits me, right, Harucchi?”
“Huh? Umm, yeah! Yeah, you’re-I mean, it’s really cute, Okazaki, ahaha…” Haru said, forcing an awkward smile. There was no way she could have admitted that she was too focused on her boobs to notice her hair at first.
“Jeez,” Okazaki pouted, puffing her up cheeks cutely, “Harucchi, you’re not even paying attention! C’mon, this is a big moment for me…”
Shit, I sound like an awkward teenager. Just calm down, Haru…
Haru took a deep breath, and tried to steady herself in the face of her adorable student’s showiness.
“Right.” Haru said, smiling as she took Okazaki’s hand in her own. “Sorry, I got a little...distracted, Okazaki. It’s all a lot to take in, but I’ll be here with you the whole time, until all this stops and you’re comfortable, okay? As long as you’re happy, I’m happy.”
“Ahaha, you look sooooo cool when you act all teachery, Harucchi! It totally feels like you’re stealing my heart all over again!”
Fuck, she’s so cute!
Haru kept smiling sweetly, as politely as she could manage, grateful that she could at least hold a straight face.
“But it’s kind of a shame, huh?” Okazaki pouted again. “No makeup, my hair’s kinda messy, no cute underwear, no cute clothes at all, really… Jeez, I really wanna look better for you, Harucchi!”
“That’s OK!” Haru said, trying to reassure her even though she was still floundering to keep up.
“Like you said, we’ll go shopping for all that stuff together. As for your hair,” Haru continued as she grabbed her purse off the table and rooted around for two small, simple hairpins, “here, some spares.”
She flashed another reassuring smile to her student.
“I can even put them in for you, if you’d like.”
“Oh gosh, really?!”
Okazaki’s eyes lit up, her smile returning in full force.
“Of course,” Haru said nodding, before leaning in close and fiddling with her bangs, just barely noticing the way Okazaki’s cheeks turned a soft pink.
“You might want to style it differently down the road, but for now,” she pulled back, admiring the way the pins accentuated Okazaki’s cute, playful personality, “this should at least keep it out of your eyes, right?”
Okazaki picked up her phone, and looked at her reflection once more with a shy, sweet smile.
At that moment, a fire lit within her belly, the heat of it conflagrating her gratitude as it raged higher and higher, quickly reaching the point where she couldn’t even think about stopping it.
“You’re amazing, Harucchi…”
The boisterous girl spoke in a voice so soft it was practically a whisper, while she stared down into her lap and shyly rubbed her legs together. Haru idly noticed that Okazaki’s pants seemed a little tighter now, practically sausaging in thighs that seemed so much fuller and thicker.
“So amazing that...that it makes my heart pound…”
Okazaki’s breathing seemed to get heavier as the faint blush in her cheeks deepened.
“Okazaki?” Haru asked, furrowing her brow, “You OK?”
“Mmmm,” she nodded, biting her lip. “I feel really, reeeeeally good, Harucchi. Like, umm…”
She looked Haru in the eyes, revealing her painfully aroused face.
In that instant, it was all too clear that, even though she couldn’t see it, far, far more was happening to her student beneath her clothes.
“My belly, like, feels all fluttery and...everything’s so warm…”
“You need to lie down, Okazaki? I’ll give you all the space you need,” Haru replied, just barely hanging onto her own sense of composure.
Okazaki leaned forward, and wrapped her teacher up in a hug that was so tight, and so very loving.
“I really, really, reeeally love you, Harucchi. You’re so cool, and funny, and...and you’re so hot…”
Okazaki breath was hot and heavy against Haru’s neck. So desperate and wanting.
“Ehehe, this feels so nice… I was too scared to even hug you before, but… but…”
Okazaki steeled herself, then slowly tipped Haru over onto her back, staring down at her teacher from above with an almost painfully thirsty expression.
“Okazaki…” Haru gulped, clearly more than a little unsure of what she should do.
Deep down, she was endlessly eager to tell Okazaki that she wanted this just as badly as she did.
“Even if we don’t do anything, it doesn’t matter. But, I reeeeeally want to. I feel like I’m burning up…
Too worn from her body’s drastic changes, Okazaki collapsed, dropping straight down onto Haru’s chest and snuggling in against it, lovingly.
“You’re so pretty, Harucchi… It’s amazing...” she muttered into her teacher’s bosom.
Haru gulped, swallowing her shyness, and responded as best she could.
“You too, Okazaki. You’re so beautiful it hurts...”
And with that, Okazaki passed out, pinning her teacher to the couch.
Haru lightly shook her student, but she just smiled goofily, and nestled in a little tighter.
“C’mon…” the teacher whined, catching a whiff of the sweet, flowery smell of Okazaki’s hair. “This isn’t fair at all… At least let me finish my coffee...”
Okazaki awoke, somewhat groggily, to the sound of something sizzling in a pan, and a delicious, savory smell in the air.
“Haru...cchi?” she mumbled blearily, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes as she sat herself upright, then smiling softly at the sight of the comy pink blanket she saw she’d been tucked under.
“Ehehe, she’s a total sweetheart,” Okazaki giggled, then lifted the blanket to her nose and sniffed it curiously. She hugged it tight as she convinced herself that it smelled just like Haru, endlessly comforted by it all despite how confusing things had really become.
Everything before she passed out was real. It had to be. Just a look at her darker skin and more glamorous figure made that instantly obvious.
But did I really tell Harucchi that I love her?!?!
The girl’s cheeks instantly reddened.
Everything that had happened to her left her feeling so confident, so bubbly and upbeat, but facing down the reality of what she’d told her crush left her a blushing, shy mess.
Okazaki shook her head, lightly slapped her cheeks, and picked herself up off the couch. If she had told Haru, she’d need to be honest and upfront about all of it. She wasn’t going to live as she had before: hiding away from the world, too scared of her own shadow to ever feel comfortable.
Right as she stood up, however, the baggy sweatpants she’d been wearing started to slip, only just barely hanging onto her wide, cushy hips and showing off more than a little of her now full, soft butt.
Naturally, that all happened the moment Haru stepped back into the room.
“Hey there, sleepy...head?”
Haru stared at her student, grateful that, after everything that had happened before Okazaki passed out, she’d been completely dulled to any possible feelings of embarrassment.
And, also, because, though she knew better than to say anything out loud, she did have a remarkably cute butt—among other things.
“Pretty hot, right, Harucchi?” Okazaki beamed as she looked back over her shoulder, head-over-heels at the attention Haru was giving her.
“Ahaha, yeah,’ Haru chuckled nervously, deciding all she could really do was match her student’s pace. “It is. I think we’ve both learned that everything about you is kinda sexy now, though.
Still, we should probably find you something a little cuter to wear pretty soon, huh? Those clothes don’t exactly suit you, even if you still look pretty good in them.”
“Oooh, Harucchi! ‘So beautiful it hurts’, right?” Okazaki teased with a grin, bounding over to her teacher and wrapping her up in a tight hug, then looking her right in the eyes.
“You heard that, huh?” Haru said with an uneven smile, returning the hug.
“Sure did! It made me ultra happy, Harucchi! I had the sweetest dream because of you!”
“Yeah? Wanna talk about things over dinner, Okazaki?” Haru offered, realizing that, despite her new looks, Okazaki seemed to be every bit the sweetheart she’d always been. Or, at least, the one she’d come to know over the past months.
“You can even tell me about your dream, if you’d like.”
“Ooh, yeah! I bet you made something great! But, ummm...the dream’s off limits for now, ‘kay?” Okazaki said with a wink, a slight blush creeping into her cheeks as she recalled a few particularly racy details she was sure Haru didn’t need to hear.
“Ahaha, got it!” Haru laughed taking Okazaki by the hand and walking her through to the kitchen. “Far as food goes, there wasn’t much in the fridge, but I ran out to the store and grabbed enough to make some yakisoba. I hope you don’t mind me using your key.”
Okazaki giggled happily, softly muttering something under her breath that Haru could have sworn was, “It’s like we’re a couple already!”
“So,” Haru started, plating up two portions of yakisoba, “feeling OK? It’s maybe an understatement to say that a lot’s happened, but…
Well, look, all I’m trying to say is that I get if you’re kinda shaken up.”
“Hmmm,” Okazaki hummed, pressing her finger to her chin. “I feel pretty good! I don’t exactly get how it happened, but all that changing stuff’s soooo amazing! Just like a fairy tale, don’tcha think?”
“Oh, does that make you a princess?” Haru teased, choosing to hold back back any comments about how she was pretty sure that none of the fairy tales she’d ever read involved people turning into gyaru, growing extremely aroused, and passing out on their teachers.
“Harucchi!” Okazaki cried out as she pressed her palms against her cheeks, then let out a series of adorably delighted squeals as she followed Haru to the dinner table, which had already been set for their meal.
“You’re, like, such a sweetheart, y’know that? Ehehe, a princess! That’d be suuuper nice, but I’m happy just being me!”
“You deserve to be!” Haru said, as both of them took a seat. “I was pretty worried about everything at first, but I guess seeing you look so upbeat’s done a lot to put me at ease. You’ve wanted something like this a long time, huh?”
“Mhmm!” Okazaki agreed, already slurping down her noodles. “Ooh, this is yummy, Harucchi!”
“Haha, I’ve sorta been craving yakisoba today! Glad it turned out well,” Haru chuckled, using the opportunity to dig into her own portion, easily satisfied with what she’d made.
“But I guess it’s like, hmm…
I dunno! It just kinda feels like a big wish of mine finally came true! Everyone’s gonna finally see me for who I really am! No more getting told I’m scary, or cold, or anything!”
“Everyone who ever saw you that way had you pegged so wrong, Okazaki,” Haru reassured her. “You were kinda shy, but I bet if they’d taken a minute to talk to you, they’d have seen how sweet you really are.”
“Right! That’s why I’m gonna talk to everyone a bunch! I don’t want anyone to think I’m, like, not friendly!”
“No way anyone could at this point,” Haru offered with a grin. “But, hey, sorry if this seems rude or anything. I get that you’re a girl but…
A gyaru? Never would’ve pegged you for the type. Was that part of your big wish?”
“Mmm, you know it!” Okazaki admitted, holding up her fingers in a giddy peace sign. “The thing about gyaru is that, like…
They’re super hot?”
Haru stared at Okazaki, dumbfounded. All she could do was slowly chew her food as she processed the entire, extraordinarily simple explanation for why her student, who was once so painfully shy and reserved, was now a bright, bubbly gyaru.
Not that Haru could disagree with the assessment, of course. Blunt as it was, it was still extremely accurate.
“I mean, yeah,” Haru agreed, nodding. “But that’s all? You just wanted to be hot?”
“What’s wrong with that, Harucchi? Some people just wanna be cute...” Okazaki pouted, puffing out her cheeks.
“You’re right, you’re right,” Haru sighed, wincing at how insensitive the question had been. “And you are hot, for the record.”
“But is there anything else about gyaru that you like? That made you want to be more like one?”
“Oooh, yeah! Tons of stuff, Harucchi!” Okazaki vigorously nodded. “They’re suuuuper sexy and proud of themselves! Like, they’ve got their own style that’s just impossible to miss, and they own that! Isn’t that so cool?! Haaaah, I always wanted to be able to wear makeup, and ultra cute skirts, and stuff without caring about what anyone else thought! But even dressing just a little nice was always so scary…”
Okazaki slumped her shoulders for a moment, before quickly picking herself back up with a smile.
“But it’s not just looks, Harucchi! Don’tcha think gyaru are, like, suuuuper tight-knit? Like, maybe not everyone likes ‘em, but they’ve all got each other’s backs, like they’re all friends for life! I wanted that real bad, ahaha. I dunno if...” Haru continued, pausing slightly, “...if I’ve got any friends right now, but that’s OK! Cause gyaru are brave and I’m gonna be brave too, so I know I’ll totally find some soon! And I’ve got you, right Harucchi?”
Haru smiled warmly, more than a little heartened by her student pouring out her heart and soul like this. It was clear now that gyaru weren’t just something Okazaki was turned on by, or fantasized about, or any of that, but something that she felt was her ideal way to be, having everything she’d been so certain she lacked.
“Yeah, Okazaki, you do.”
“Ehehe, I’m super glad, Harucchi! It’s just that, even with all the amazing stuff that’s happened, I kinda...missed my chance to enjoy high school, y’know? So I’m just, like, really happy you’re still here.”
Though Okazaki tried her best to stay upbeat, it was clear she was fighting off tears.
“I’m so sorry…”
“Nuh-uh, nothing to be sorry about, because there’s no reason to be sad, right?” Okazaki asked, smiling warmly through her own melancholy. “Gyaru don’t just stop being gyaru after high school, right, Harucchi? There’s a whole suuuuuper fun world out there for me!”
“Ahaha, yeah! That’s the spirit, Okazaki!”
Despite Haru trying to reassure her student, she was more than a little surprised by the pout she received in response.
“Jeez, Harucchi, you can’t keep doing that!”
“You keep using my last name… It’s like you don’t understand a gyaru’s heart at all, Harucchi…”
She took a deep breath, then grinned broadly.
“‘Okazaki’ is what you’d call my parents! My name’s Miku! Call me that, ‘kay?”
As bold and excited as Miku first was to declare her name, she suddenly froze at the realization of what she’d just said.
“Wait a sec…”
“Something wrong, Oka-
Miku?” Haru quickly corrected herself, smiling warmly as she said her student’s name for the very first time.
“Oooh, it feels so good to hear you say it, Harucchi! It’s just, like...
I don’t actually know where that name came from?”
Miku looked nothing short of dumbfounded.
“It’s just sorta...there… Like I can remember people calling me that, or something...”
“Sorry if this is insensitive, but is it maybe just the name you’d wanted to use before all this?”
“Nuh-uh.” Miku answered, biting her lip and shaking her head softly. “It’s cute! But, like, I could never pick before. There were so many amazing names I wished I could’ve had but…
I dunno, this one’s just...it’s like it’s always been mine. I just know it. I just dunno how I know it, y’know? Ehehe...”
Haru furrowed her brow as a strange, improbable thought crossed her mind.
“Mind if I check my phone real quick, Miku?”
“Ahaha, Harucchi, you don’t need my permission! Taking food pics?”
“Nah, that’s never been my thing,” Haru replied, digging into her pocket and pulling out her phone.
“No? It’s super fun though, Harucchi! Whenever I get something tasty, I’ve totally gotta take some shots for Makoto and Hana!”
The gyaru froze once more.
“Er...I think I do that, anyway?”
“Yeah, just sit tight a sec, Miku.” Haru quickly cut her off. “I think I get what might be happening, as...impossible as it all seems,” she added, pausing as she realized that, all things considered, maybe what she was thinking was less impossible than it first seemed.
“I’ve got a hunch, anyway…”
Haru quickly pulled up her schools’ student information system, confident it’d have some info that’d at least get her a little closer to understanding what was going on. Opening up the third year’s registry, she quickly ran a search for “Okazaki,” but found no results. Not for the way Miku once was, nor the way she was now.
“Something wrong, Harucchi?” Miku asked, more than a little worried about her teacher’s concerned expression.
“N-no, nothing at all!” Haru stammered, smiling as reassuringly as she could. “Sorry, this won’t take much longer.”
Makoto and Hana, huh?
Those weren’t exactly uncommon names, but two students really stuck out in her mind at Miku’s mention of them. A pair who were nigh-on inseparable, and who just so happened to be hardcore gyaru as well.
Tsuburaya and Ooishi? But they’re...first years…
Haru shook her head. That just couldn’t be right.
Still, she broadened her search to include first years, and very quickly found a result that she’d never expected.
“Hmm?” the gyaru hummed, finishing off the last of her noodles. “Haaah, Harucchi’s food’s always the best!”
“Glad you like it, really,” Haru said, smiling. “But...do you have your student ID on you at all?”
“Uh-huh!” she chirped. “Just by the entrance! The photo’s gonna be a liiittle out of date though, ehehe,” Miku joked, giggling happily to herself. “Need it for something?”
“Mm, could we go get it?” Haru asked, quickly finishing up her own meal and standing up from her seat. “I won’t even look at the picture if you don’t want me to. I just feel like it might help us figure things out.”
“Ahaha, you’re so sweet, Harucchi~!” Miku beamed, standing up and walking with her teacher through to the entrance of her apartment, where the two spied her ID lying facedown on a nearby countertop. “But you can take a look if you need to. No matter what I look like in old photos, I’m always me, after all!”
Even when confronting something that could have easily been so painful for somebody in her situation, Miku’s optimism was absolutely boundless. With a grin, she picked up her ID, flipped it over and…froze.
Miku stared at the ID in her hands, wondering if this was all just a strange dream.
“You OK, Miku?” Haru asked. With Miku clutching the ID tightly in her hands, she couldn’t see what was printed on it, but she had a strong feeling that she knew exactly what was there.
“I’m OK, yeah.”
Her voice was small and more than a little shaky.
“Harucchi, you ummm…
You didn’t mess with my ID, right? You promise you didn’t snap photos of me while I was sleeping or anything, yeah?”
Haru smiled. It seemed her hunch was correct. As Miku loosened her grip on the ID and handed it to her teacher, her suspicions were confirmed.
The info she’d seen on the registry wasn’t just a fluke.
Instead of the shy, scared student Haru had gotten to know over the past few months, her ID showed the bright, smiling face of Miku Okazaki.
Gone was the blank, dull photo Haru had seen in school records, and in its place was a gyaru holding up her hands in a pair of giddy peace signs, so easily showing off her warmth even as she completely ignored the requirements for an acceptable ID photo.
“I’d’ve had to work really hard to catch you sleeping like this, Miku,” Haru teased.
“Yeah, I know that! But like, that says I’m only 16, y’know? A first year!”
“Soon to be a second year, but, yeah.”
“Jeez, Harucchi! Take this more seriously!”
The gyaru puffed out her cheeks, and balled her hands into tight little fists.
“I can’t just...do...high school...over...?”
The gyaru froze, then took Haru’s hand without a word and walked her through her apartment.
“Miku? What’s up? Where are we going.”
“My bedroom, gotta check something.”
Though Miku spoke quietly, her voice was shaky, as if she was desperately holding something back.
Haru just nodded. As strange as this sudden turn was, she wanted Miku to feel things out for herself, to be able to adjust to everything on her own terms.
As they reached the bedroom door, Miku gripped the doorknob tightly, shaking as she weighed up whether or not she was ready to see what lay on the other side.
She shut her eyes tight, took a deep breath, and pushed the door open, hurriedly stepping inside.
“Miku...” Haru spoke softly, placing a hand on her student’s shoulder. “It’s OK. You can take a look.”
“It’s...it’s all just been a lot, y’know that Harucchi?”
Miku bit her lip, still keeping her eyes firmly shut.
“I’m, like, super excited to see what things are like now, but...but…”
“The longer you take, the harder it’ll get. I know how scary this all must be, but you’ve been so brave, Miku, and I promise that you’re not going to be alone for any of it. I’m here, got that?”
“Yeah, you’re right, Harucchi,” Miku said, nodding. “I’ll be just fine, I know it.”
Taking another deep breath, Miku opened her eyes, then let out a shocked gasp at the room around her.
She knew, on some level, that this was exactly what would greet her. She wasn’t sure how, or when, but she’d seen this room so many times before. From the group of plush toys that rested happily on her bed next to a small pile of particularly flashy underwear, to the corkboard practically filled with photos of her with two other gyaru who she just knew were her very best friends, dating all the way back to when she was a child, she’d seen all of this before. And as she looked at it for what was, even if it didn’t feel like it, the first time, she realized that, at last, her room really did feel like it belonged to her, like she was finally living the kind of life she’d always craved.
And the poor girl just wasn’t sure how to handle all of it.
She reached out to hold the sleeve of Haru’s blouse tightly as tears started to flow down her cheeks.
“D-do you see all this, Harucchi? It’s all real, right?” Miku sniffled, her watery eyes casting over every single thing in the room, happy memories, somehow, attached to almost all of them.
“Of course it’s all real. It’s your bedroom, silly,” Haru said, smiling, “No better room for a gyaru, huh? Ultra flashy.”
“Ehehe, it’s...it’s cute, right?”
“Extremely cute! Could I look at some of these photos, Miku? I bet there’s all kinds of wonderful stories you could tell me about them.”
Miku nodded, and smiled shyly through her tears as she and her teacher approached the corkboard.
“Ooishi and Tsuburaya, huh? The three of you look so happy together.”
“Uh-huh! We’ve been besties for years! It’s sooo crazy, Harucchi. I remember every detail of, like, all of these! See this one?” Miku asked, her eyes glistening as she pointed to a shot of the three of them at an amusement park, holding each other close as they smiled happily. One girl, who Haru knew to be Hana Ooishi, seemed to have tears in her ears, though her smile was easily the most elated of the three.
“This was at the beginning of the year! Hana’d broken up with a crappy boyfriend, a real scumbag, y’know? She was totally depressed, so Makoto and I wanted to give her a day where she could just let loose and have a ton of fun! I was kinda nervous it’d go bad, but we both knew that we, like, had to really stick by her and help her feel like herself again. Hana cried so much by the end of the day, but she was ultra happy in the end, like she’d let out all that hurt. She kept telling us how much she loved us and how glad she was to be our friend,” the gyaru explained, constantly pausing to sniffle as she spoke.
“What about this one?” Haru asked, pointing to a photo of the three of them in what looked to be Shibuya, all eating crepes together.
“Ooh, yeah! That’s my favorite! Get this, Harucchi! That was when we all found out we’d be in the same class! I was super happy that I’d get to have ‘em both with me every...every day, and...”
Though Miku was still smiling happily, she couldn’t do a thing to stem the tears that were flowing harder and harder.
Haru knew that she needed this, that she needed to let her emotions flow as freely as they could. So she got up and held her close, hugging her so, so tight.
“H-Harucchiiiii!” she bawled, nuzzling her head against Haru’s shoulder.
“It shouldn’t be possible, right?” Miku sniffled. “It’s so crazy, isn’t it? Like, I’m so totally lucky that I...I get to be like, like this, y’know?”
“You’re you, Miku,” Haru softly replied, gently petting her back.
She only cried harder at that.
“I know I’ve always been a girl, I know that better than anyone. B-but…
But I never could show that to anyone. I wanted to so, sooooo badly, too…
And all this is so amazing, Harucchi! I spent years hating myself, feeling too scared and nervous to even go outside most of the time and, like, before I knew it, high school was over and I’d lost my shot at enjoying it all and now...now…”
“You get to live through all that again. You’ll get to enjoy it to the fullest this time.”
Miku pulled away from her teacher, smiling as brightly as she could through her tears.
“And it’s like, I don’t even have to worry about people being shitty, or any of that because to them…
It’s like they’ll have always known me too! I’ll...I’ll really get to be a high schooler, huh? Like, one who actually shows up and stuff, ehehe…”
“Yeah,” Haru said, smiling. “You will.”
“I’ll get to have friends, and wear cute clothes, and...and...not hide away how much I love you, Harucchi!” Miku cried, hugging Haru right back and holding her as tightly as she could.
“I’m so glad you came here, Harucchi! I’m so glad you let me in the cooking club, and treated me nicely, and didn’t think I was scary, or any of that! But most of all, I’m just super, suuuuuper happy to know someone as amazing as you, Harucchi!”
“Love, huh?” Haru asked, while the gyaru pulled herself off of her teacher once more.
“Yep! Like, totally head over heels!” Miku said, grinning as she headed over to a nearby dresser and searched through it for something better to wear. “I was gonna confess to you after I graduated, but there’s no way I can wait that long now!”
“Hmm, that’s awfully risky for us, you know that, right, Miku?”
“Ehehe, yeah? Harucchi, you read pervy books and manga and stuff at school all the time, right?”
“Right,” she answered, without a lick of hesitation.
“Sooo I just don’t think you’re that fussed about the rules, that’s all!” Miku giggled as she pulled out a particularly sexy thong from her underwear drawer, marvelling over how much she now owned. “And if you are, well...
I’ll just have to keep telling you how much I love you until graduation! Then you can accept it right after!”
“That how it works, Miku?”
“Yup! Pretty romantic, huh? True love, waiting years and years for the day I can be with, like, the best teacher in the world!”
“It’s a cute thought, yeah,” Haru admitted, smiling. “But you don’t have to go that far. With the waiting, I mean.”
As Miku pulled the bra she’d been admiring close to her chest, she stared at her teacher with a look that was equal parts giddy and startled.
“Harucchi! Y-you mean-?”
“Yeah, I have feelings for you too, dummy,” she admitted, the gyaru’s gaze making her more than a little embarrassed. “I guess it took until today to see that, but I’m just so damn happy to see you getting to live the way you want to. You’re amazing, Miku, and I really do love you.”
Miku quickly picked herself up off the floor and wrapped Haru up in a loving hug, letting the clothes she was choosing tumble straight to the ground.
“You’re the best! I love you soooo much!” she beamed, before leaning in and kissing Haru deeply. She giggled softly when her teacher returned the kiss, both of them losing themselves in each other’s love for a few moments that, to them, felt like nothing less than eternity.
“God, you’re so cute, Miku,” Haru sighed lovingly, as the gyaru looked up into her eyes, wearing an endlessly happy smile.
“Awww, thanks Harucchi! You too! You’re, like, a mega hottie!”
Miku didn’t miss a beat, quickly going back to the clothes and picking out something to wear.
“And now you’re my mega hottie girlfriend, ehehe…” she giggled, dropping the pants she’d been wearing without a care in the world before picking up the thong she’d been admiring and sliding it up her long, tanned legs, until it was cradling and lifting her soft and squishy, yet finely-toned, butt.
“How’s it look, Harucchi? Cute?”
“Fuck… Yeah, it’s...it’s so damn sexy, Miku...”
“Show me yours sometime, ‘kay?”
“My panties or my ass?”
Haru swallowed, so caught up in how gorgeous her student/girlfriend’s butt was that she could barely think straight. Trying to pull herself out of her stupor even as Miku tossed aside her bulky shirt, exposing her wonderfully full, bouncy chest for the both of them, Haru shook her head, determined to get things back on track.
“But, ummm… Oh, fuck, it’s leopard print, huh?”
She failed, of course.
“Yeah! Hot, right?”
“God, you have no idea...”
Ahhhh, I can freak out about this all later!
“But, hey, Miku,” Haru sputtered, trying to put things back on track once more, though she was dismayed by how flustered her voice sounded. “We’ve got some things we need to talk about.”
“Ooh, yeah?” she asked, slipping into a comfy sweater dress that, despite covering her up, did nothing to hide her incredible allure, reaching just low enough that her panties would still be visible at almost every angle.
Not that the gyaru cared, of course. They were cute, let people stare.
“Since you’re still my student, we’re gonna need to set some basic ground rules. That OK?”
“Yep!” the gyaru chirped, flashing her teacher a smile and a playful salute.
“We can’t talk about our relationship at school, got that?”
“Jeez, Harucchi, that one’s gonna be tough! Can I at least tell Makoto and Hana? They’re, like, tooootally gonna pick up that I’m all lovey-dovey and stuff, y’know?”
“Those two are...kinda chatty, aren’t they?”
“Yeah, but when it’s between us, there’s no way they’d spill a secret! We’ve got a gyaru code of honor! I promise, Harucchi! It’ll make it way easier for me to hide it from other people!”
“Ahaha, fine fine,” Haru conceded, smiling. “They can know, but that’s it, OK? Otherwise, any talk about us at school is reserved solely for the cooking club. And, er, well, only if it doesn’t get any new members.”
“Got it!” Haru beamed, plopping herself down on her bed and patting the spot next to her.
Haru got the hint, and took a seat next to her before wrapping an arm around her girlfriend.
“But, there’s one other big thing we need to agree on.”
“Living together won’t be a good idea, not until you’re out of high school. I can get a lot of things excused, but there’s no way I’d be able to explain away us living in the same apartment.”
“Right, yeah... I kiiiinda figured that’d be the case, ahaha…” Miku laughed shyly.
“But, well, look, that doesn’t mean we can’t stay over at each other’s place from time to time. I’d be happy to give you a key to my apartment...” Haru added, somewhat bashfully.
“Oooh, of course, Harucchi! I’ll give you a key, too! And y’know, I don’t think it’ll be too bad, living here on my own for a couple more years.”
“Yeah! Things have gotten so much cuter here, Harucchi! My room was totally boring before, but this one’s super fun!”
“Ahaha, yeah, I guess so!”
“And, like, I guess I never could appreciate this place before, so it’ll be nice to, like, really take the time and enjoy it. I’ve got all these ultra-nice memories of it now, but I guess, well, it’ll be a chance to make a whole lot more, y’know? Make it really feel like home.”
“Yeah,” Haru agreed, as she snuggled in a little closer to her girlfriend and gave her a soft kiss on the cheek. “It’ll be great, Miku.”
“Mmhm! And after high school, you and me can, like, choose if we wanna live in my place or yours together! And the wait’ll make those days soooo much more fun, Harucchi!”
“We’re picking your place, Miku,” Haru answered, without missing a beat. “Believe me, you’ve got the nicer apartment by far.”
“Awww, don’t say that, Harucchi! I bet we could make anywhere feel ultra-cozy together!”
“We will! Buuuut, there’s almost no way I’m turning down a place this comfy,” Haru said, winking.
“Ohhhh, are ya that eager to share my bed, Harucchi? It’s not too big, y’know, so we’d have to squeeze in super tight together, ahaha!”
“God, yeah, we would…”
Haru let out a heavy, longing sigh as the memory of Miku’s breasts pressed up against her rushed back to the forefront of her mind.
“Thinkin’ about something dirty, Harucchi?”
“Yeah, ‘bout your boobs,” she admitted.
“Ahaha, you’re meant to act bashful about this stuff, Harucchi!” Miku cackled, showing absolutely no shyness herself.
“Miku, can I be like, ultra honest with you?” Haru asked, her tone serious, despite having briefly slipped into a dialect that was almost identical to Miku’s.
“You’re so hot, Miku!” the teacher yelled, the dam of what little composure she still had left finally bursting.
“Everything about you is perfectly sexy and, God, feeling you lay on top of me with your boobs squishing against me earlier got me so worked up! I was still shaky by the time you woke up, and then when you did, I saw your ass, and- ah! Miku, you’re too damn cute!”
“Harucchi!” Miku gasped, wearing a giddy smile all the while. “I didn’t know you were so thirsty!”
“Painfully; all the time,” Haru confessed with a nod, her tone deathly seriously.
“So, me being so bouncy,” Miku started, grinning as she playfully squeezed her chest, “Probably got you suuuuper excited, huh, Harucchi?”
“Yeah… It really, really did.”
“Ahaha... I dunno if I’m quite ready to do anything dirty so soon, but, like, I’m glad you’re being so honest, Harucchi!” Miku said, before planting a kiss on her girlfriend’s cheek. “It’s, like, flattering too, y’know? Hearing that I get you so turned on? And y’know what?”
“I feel the same way about you, Harucchi! I think you’re super sexy~”
Looking at the endless font of positivity in front of her, the only response Haru could muster was to hug Miku, smiling happily all the while.
“Thanks, Miku. You’re a real sweetie, y’know that?”
“You too, Harucchi!” Miku beamed, hugging her back warmly.
“Let’s stay together tonight, ‘kay? I know we can’t live with each other for a few years, but let’s have a super fun first night as a couple!”
“Ahaha, there’s no way you could’ve gotten me to leave today, cutie,” Haru responded, before lovingly kissing her girlfriend yet again.
It had been a long, endlessly eventful day already, but, wrapped up in the warmth of their love, the two of them knew that their fun was only just getting started.
“Jeez, the sooner I get to sleep, the sooner I can be with Harucchi again!” Miku pouted, burying her head in her pillow before quickly coming back up for air.
After a sweet, surprisingly tender first night together, Miku had been nothing short of giddy all day, even after Haru had left to go back to her apartment. She was worried she’d feel lonely, being left alone in a home that she’d once practically wasted away in, but everything seemed so much brighter to her now, so warm and inviting, that she could hardly begin to feel sad in the least.
Not that it dampened how eager she was to get back to her girlfriend, of course, even if the next time they saw each other would be in school, where Miku would have to at least attempt to hold back some of her flirtier impulses around the woman who was, it was easy to forget, still her home economics teacher.
“Ah, Harucchi said she pulls a lot of all-nighters when she gets caught up in books and stuff! I bet she’s still awake now! Oooh, lemme give her a goodnight present! Something to really end her weekend off with a bang~!” the gyaru said, giggling as she turned on the lamp next to her, then grabbed her phone off the nightstand.
She opened the camera app and switched to the front-facing camera, instantly delighted by how sexy her nightgown looked on her, especially in the fairly low light of her room as it was now.
“Yeah, this is gonna be super hot~!” Miku said, grinning lustfully as she stuck a hand down her gown and adjusting her breasts, using the display on her phone to make sure she had them looking as big and full as possible, with just the slightest hint of her nipple peeking out over the gown.
Flashing the camera a sexy, teasing smile, she took the photo.
Her smile only grew wider at the end result.
“Oooh, nice~! Jeez, it’s even getting me wet! Harucchi’s gonna be ultra happy with this!”
She couldn’t stop laughing as she wasted no time sending the photo to her girlfriend.
Now more than a little too awake to consider trying to sleep, Miku decided to stay on her phone a while longer, waiting to see if Haru would respond. To pass the time, she hopped into a group chat that she and her best friends Makoto and Hana had used for years, and was happy to see that the two of them still seemed to be wide awake and actively chatting.
「Hihi! Soz for being so quiet today! Ive been like ultra busy all weekend」>
<「yo!!! missed ya miku!」
Hana’s giddy messages were accompanied by a cavalcade of cute stickers.
<「Don’t apologize! Been having fun?」
Makoto’s texts were, especially compared to Hana and Miku’s, far more measured and cool, though she, too, had an affinity for stickers, sending Miku one of a girl blowing a kiss with a wink.
「Yeah! Some big news I wanna tell you both about real soon! <3 <3 <#」>
<「ooooh yeah? spill it!」
「Nuh-uh! Wait til tomorrow k?? Ill tell you both about at school」>
<「boooo no fair miku! gotta tell us!」
<「like i said」
Miku giggled, watching as the chat was assaulted by a barrage of stickers and messages that showed exactly how desperate Hana was.
<「I’m with Hana, can’t just tell us that and leave us hanging. It’s like you want us both to get no sleep lol.」
Makoto soon joined in with Hana’s attack, tossing out sticker after sticker in an attempt to force Miku to give them details.
The gyaru just laughed. She could hardly be angry at how enthusiastic her friends were.
「But you both owe me for this k? Weve gotta go get crepes after class!」>
She followed up her message with a playful sticker of a girl holding a peace sign, just to make it clear that she wasn’t actually upset. She knew they’d get the message, regardless.
「Oh and like」>
「This is a secret so you two cant talk about it with anyone else got that? It’s just between us!」>
<「Right right, we’ll fatten you up with sweets <3 And yep! A secret’s a secret.」
<「lolol fair trade!!! not gonna tell anyone else. promise!」
「You know Miss Fujita? The home ec teacher?」>
<「the one with the cute ass yeah?」
<「Nope, that’s not it, Hana.」
<「She’s the one with the *super* cute ass.」
「Right???? Its sooooo cute!」>
「But anyway, she came over yesterday!」>
「And get this」>
<「You two had sex?」
Miku giggled, blushing softly as their replies came in at just about the exact same time.
「We did tell each other we had a thing for each other so...」>
「The two of us are a couple now <3 <3 <3 <3」>
There was, at most, a second of silence, before her phone was bombarded with dozens upon dozens of stickers congratulating her.
<「Seriously? That’s crazy! Crepes are on us tomorrow <3」
<「holy shit miku nice!!!!」
「Ahhhhhh!! Thank you!!!!! <3」>
「Harucchis amazing and a total sweetie and kind of a dork and I love everything about her soooooooo much!」>
<「o she an otaku? cuuuute!」
<「It’s really cute seeing you so upbeat, Miku. I’m glad she’s so good for you <3」
「Yeah!!! And even though weve gotta keep things hidden so she doesnt get fired」>
「She wanted me to be able to tell you two since she knows how important you are to me!」>
<「awwww what a sweetie! tell her we love her!」
「lolol got it! Thanks Hana! <3 <3 <3」>
<「Yeah, if she’s good to our Miku, she’s cool with us, too. Let’s all hang out sometime <3」
She knew those two would get it. She just knew they’d be nothing but supportive. She’d never had that before, but now, Miku knew they were irreplaceable friends.
「Oooh yeah! Come to the cooking club sometime k?」>
<「Oh? Gonna be honest, I meant something like karaoke.」
「Mmmm well all do that sometime for sure but like」>
「Harucchi really helped me get good at making suuuuper yummy food and stuff」>
「I didnt think I could do anything like that but she helped me sooooo much」>
「I wanna make something ultra yummy for you two with Harucchi <3 <3 」>
「If you two are OK with that」>
<「yeah of course we want that!!!」
Hana followed up her texts with a mass of hug stickers
<「Sounds perfect, Miku. Bet it’ll be amazing. You’re gonna make *such* a cute
Makoto followed her message up with a sticker of a mascot character blowing a kiss.
「She never replied to a selfie i sent her so I think shes asleep but ill tell her all about this tomorrow!」>
Just then, a notification popped up on her phone, showing her that, with amazing timing, Haru had apparently sent her a message back.
「Ooh wait a sec! Harucchis still awake!」>
<「Tell her we say hi! <3」
Tapping over to her chat with her girlfriend, Miku was sure she’d find some breathless message from Haru about how hot she thought the photo was.
“Harucchi!” the gyaru squealed, her eyes going wide and a smile spreading across her face at what she saw.
Haru had, instead, sent her a photo of her own. One that was far less revealing than Miku’s, but infinitely dirtier and, against all odds, surprisingly sweet.
Haru’s response was a photo of her fingers, sticky and covered in her own juices.
“Ahahahaha! Harucchi, you perv!!!!” Miku cackled, wiping a tear from her eye, quickly hitting the button to send her a voice message back.
“You’re the best, Harucchi! You’re a perv, and I love you soooooo much! Makoto and Hana say ‘hi,’ by the way! Sleep well, dork~!”
Satisfied, and now carrying an incredible story to tell her friends, she went back to the chat with Makoto and Hana, still wearing a goofy, giddy grin.
「You two wont believe this!!!」>
Haru yawned and grumbled to herself as she walked down the hallway to her classroom, where the one and only member of the cooking club was, apparently, still waiting for her.
Really, though, Haru wouldn’t have blamed her if she’d left hours ago. It sucked that she’d kept her waiting so long, even if it wasn’t her fault.
“I’ll make it up to you, I promise…” she whispered.
I could get us a room at a hot spring for a weekend, she’d probably be into that... Or, hmm, maybe she’d want something a little more exciting…
Who am I kidding? It’s Miku. She’ll be happy with anything we do, as long as we’re together.
Still, I wanna treat her to something she’ll love...
Haru smiled. As crappy as the day had been, just thinking about the two of them sharing something like that carried her through it all. Even if she wasn’t still in the clubroom, she’d make a point to call her as soon as she could and see if she’d want to spend the night on a video chat with her.
I really hope she’s still there, though…
By the time she finally reached the door to her room, she let out another, much louder yawn. Whether or not Miku was there, she couldn’t wait to just relax.
“Pardon the intrusion…” she sleepily mumbled, as she opened up the door.
“Ah, Harucchi! Hi there! We’ve been waiting for you!”
Almost instantly, Haru’s sleepiness seemed to leave her, buoyed by the sound of her girlfriend excitedly greeting her, and by the delicious, savory smell of curry that filled the room. Quickly shutting the door and looking toward the nearby stove, she saw her girlfriend was slowly stirring a large pot, with her best friends, Makoto and Hana, standing at her side.
“Hey everyone! Didn’t expect you two to be here today! Joining us for dinner? It smells amazing...” Haru said, practically drooling by the end of her sentence.
“Ahahaha! Heya, teach! You know you look like a total perv right now, yeah?” Hana, the giddiest gyaru of the lot cackled, being careful to keep her lollipop from falling right out of her mouth by clenching it tightly in her ecstatic grin. “That excited by gyaru? Miku gotcha trained?”
“Harucchi just knows hotties when she sees them!” Miku beamed.
“She does, but as turned on as she’s gotta get from us, I bet nobody gets her as fired up as her adorable girlfriend. Isn’t that right, Haru?” Makoto said, wearing a playful smile as she brushed a lock of her long, midnight black hair behind her ear.
“You know it! I’ve only got eyes for her and about 100 light novel characters,” Haru admitted, smiling as she put her purse down at her desk and took a seat. She let out a long, happy sigh now that she was finally able to rest.
“Buuuut, aren’t you two dating people right now? Pretty dangerous to be talking about this, no? I don’t wanna get angry phone calls from your boyfriends yelling at me for perving over the two of you,” Haru joked, playing along with Miku’s friends.
“Girlfriends, actually,” Makoto corrected with a smile, as she took Hana’s hand in her own. “We both found someone much better for us than those guys.”
“Oh, yeah? Bet she’s a real cutie.” Haru teased, picking up on exactly what they were telling her.
“Yeah, ultra cute! And she’s not the type to get upset about that kinda thing. Hell, she’d probably invite you and Miku to have fun with us.”
“Yeah, same with mine!” Hana boasted. “If anything, she’d be making eyes at you, Teach! Hope you get ta meet her one day. She’s, like, crazy hot and super cool!”
“I bet. Miku and I’ll have to cook for you all sometime.
But, really, congrats, you two. I’m so glad you’ve got each other.”
“Thanks, Teach!” Hana laughed, giving an adorable mock salute.
“Awww, you’re a sweetheart, Haru! Thanks! But, hey, before you get too comfy, mind coming outside with us? We got something important we want to talk about in private,” Makoto asked, walking over to the door with Hana.
“Harucchi, if they try anything dirty, call for me, ‘kay? I haven’t even been able to kiss you today, so no way they’re getting in first!”
“Ahaha, you got it, Miku,” Haru promised, blowing her girlfriend a kiss on the way out.
“So,” Haru started, shutting the door behind her, “what’s up?
“We’re not going to be around for dinner,” Makoto said, smiling even though she wasted no time getting straight to the point.
“Oh? Damn, don’t wanna celebrate you two getting together with us?”
“We do, and we totally will soon, Teach!”
“But we've got plans of our own tonight,” Makoto explained, smirking as her hand drifted down towards Hana’s butt. “Besides, Miku’s been so damn cute and lovey-dovey talking about you all afternoon that we figured it’d be best if you two were alone together tonight.”
“Yeah? She was probably pretty down about me showing up so late, huh?”
“That girl’s a real sweetie, ya know?” Hana asked. “Ultra-crazy pure, and innocent, and totally head-over-heels in love with you. She asked us to spend some time with her today, but she didn’t blame you for bein’ late, not for a second.”
“Mm. She kept talking about how hard you were working for both of your sakes, so she was gonna do her best to make sure your night could be as comfy as possible. So make sure you show her the same kindness, OK?”
“God, yeah, she’s the best…”
Haru bit her lip, somewhat shyly.
“And yeah, don’t worry, tonight’ll be lovely. Think I might stay over at her place, too.”
“Ooh, yeah! She’ll be super into that! Good thinking, Teach!” Hana beamed, playfully patting Haru’s shoulder.
“You’ve got this,” Makoto cheered. “Hold onto that girl, OK? There’s nobody in the world as sweet and warm as her.”
“Hey!” Hana teased, wearing a look of mock frustration.
“Dummy,” Makoto laughed, leaning towards Hana and kissing her lovingly. “Why don’t we get going, huh? You can show me exactly how sweet and warm you really are.”
“Yeah! Gotta say goodbye to our little Miku first though, ‘k?”
“For such a sweet girl, she grew up faster than either of us, huh? Look at her, dating a mature older woman and everything.”
“Yeah, a whole 26 years old. Close to retirement, y’know?” Haru joked. “And you two are more than grown up enough, trust me.”
With a smile, she turned back to open the door, and stepped inside the classroom while Makoto and Hana called out to Miku from the exit.
“Miiiku! We’re headin’ out! You hotties gonna be alright without us?”
“Oh! Have a super fun night, you two! And, yep, me and Harucchi are unstoppable together!” Miku cried, dashing over to her girlfriend and hugging her arm lovingly.
“I bet you are!” Makoto laughed. “Both of you keep Saturday clear, OK? Hana and I wanna spend the day with you.”
“Got it! Love you both!”
“It’s a date,” Haru said, smiling warmly at the gyaru couple. “Now go have fun, you two. Bet you’re itching to get some alone time, yeah?”
Makoto smirked and playfully stuck out her tongue as she and Hana said their goodbyes, leaving Haru and Miku alone at last.
A calm silence soon fell over the room.
“Hey there, cutie.”
Haru broke the ice first, looking Miku right in the eyes before leaning in to kiss her.
“Ehehe, hiya, Harucchi,” Miku giggled, reluctantly breaking away and heading to the pot to serve up two platefuls of curry and rice, handling herself with a practiced ease that seemed like such a far cry from the way she once was. “Work go OK today? The principal’s, like, a total jerk for keeping you in so long...”
Her pout was so adorable it hurt.
“Ahaha, yeah, it went well enough. Definitely a waste of time, but, y’know, that just makes getting to spend the night with you that much sweeter.”
“I know, yeah! I, like, couldn’t wait for you to get here, but now I’m so happy I feel like I’m gonna explode or something, Harucchi! It’s crazy, ahaha!
But Makoto and Hana stayed with me the whole afternoon, and I used all that time to make some super delish curry! Oooh, I can’t wait to see how you like it!” Miku beamed, as she placed plates down for the both of them, then sat across from Haru.
Makoto’s right about you…
“No better comfort food on earth, yeah? That’s what you told me when we first spent time together, ahaha.”
“Yeah, it’s one of my favorites.”
“So I figured that after a long day, it’d make you like, crazy happy again, y’know? I don’t think I need comfort food when I’ve got you around, Harucchi, but there’s no way it doesn’t help make everything at least a little warmer, right?”
There’s nobody even close to being as kind and loving as you, Miku.
“Right!” Haru agreed, grinning as she eagerly picked up a spoon. “Ready to dig in?”
The two wasted no time in starting on their food, each going for the first spoonful of curry and letting out a loud, endlessly happy sigh practically in sync with each other.
“Shit, Miku, this is so good!” Haru cried, giddily going in for mouthful after mouthful of the incredible meal.
“Ahhhh, I’m so glad, Harucchi! I’ve been practicing, y’know? I’ve had a lot of curry lately. I might start putting on weight, ahaha!” she laughed, clearly unconcerned.
“But I think it was totally worth it! This has gotta be my best one ever!”
“Yeah, I’d say so! You’re so amazing, cutie. Thank you for working so, so hard!”
Haru reached across the table, and gently pet her girlfriend’s head.
“Ehehe, it wasn’t work at all, silly! I love this stuff so much, and, like, getting to see you smile like this makes it all worthwhile.”
Haru smiled wider, slowing the pace of her eating just a little.
“Ahaha, don’t worry about that, Harucchi! There’s more than enough for a second helping!”
Immediately, she quickened her pace once more, stopping only to talk to her gyarufriend.
“Hey Miku,” she started, still grinning, “wanna spend tonight together? My place or yours, I don’t mind.”
“Ooh, yeah! I’ve wanted to snuggle up with you aaaall day~ Let’s go to yours, ‘kay? It’s super cute and dorky there~ Jeez, I’m really gonna miss that place when you move in with me, y’know?”
“Ahaha, don’t worry! I’m not leaving a single thing behind, so your apartment’ll be littered with light novels and manga in no time. All my dorky stuff’ll balance out with all your gyaru-ness and it’ll make the place feel…hmmm…”
“Like home, yeah? That’s what you were gonna say,” Miku stated, smiling sweetly at her teacher and cupping her cheek with her hand.
“Yeah, that must’ve been it,” Haru responded, as the two of them slowly leaned in closer and closer to each other, then kissed each other so very gently and lovingly.
“You’re the best, Harucchi, ehehe…” Miku giggled, playfully fiddling with her soft, silky blonde hair as she pulled away. Though she changed her style practically daily, the two hairpins Haru had given her were almost always present.
Those were just spares, but you really treasured them and gave them so much meaning, Miku…
“You too, hottie. I love you so damn much.”
“This is just like when we first spent time with each other, huh? After a long, tiring day, we get to be with each other, eating yummy food and making each other feel, like, sooo much better. Oooh, maybe this means you’ll turn into a gyaru soon, too!”
“Yeah? That’d be, like, ultra crazy, right? Then we’d be classmates and besties,” Haru imitated, smirking all the while.
“Harucchi, you dork!” Miku laughed, digging her spoon back into her curry.
“No matter what happens, though, let’s always do our best for each other, OK, Miku?”
“Yeah, for sure!” she agreed, grinning and holding up an adorable little peace sign. “Because I just know that we’ll aaaaalways be together, Harucchi!”
“Yeah, we definitely will,” Haru said, gathering up another spoonful of curry.
“I’m so glad to have you in my life, Miku.
But, for now,” she paused, flashing her girlfriend a teasing grin, “why don’t we finish this up and head on home, hmm? I’m feeling extra affectionate tonight, and it has been a long day...”
Her words hung in the air for just a moment before Miku pounced on them.
“Harucchi, you perv~!” Miku beamed, rushing to finish off her meal as fast as she possibly could.
“Well, you know…” Haru said, getting up to put her plate in the sink.
“I don’t!” Miku answered, finishing her plate and doing the same. “But, I’m reeeally eager to find out, Teach!” she teased, smirking at her teacher as she seductively licked her lips clean, painting Haru’s cheeks a deep red.
This girl...she’s just, like, too much!
They let the plates sit there, lightly rinsed, as they quickly gathered their belongings and left the room, each eager to experience a heat very different from the fragrant curry spices that lingered on their lips.