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“I knew it,” Mitsuru says, giving Ritsu’s obi a final adjustment. “This color makes your eyes even more stunning.”

“I’m glad you trusted me to help pick out yours," Ritsu answers, blushing too fiercely to manage a thank you. Thank heaven Aya-niisan’s shop isn’t stuffy or she might sweat right through the houmongi; that would be awful…

Mitsuru smiles, wide and sparkling. “Why wouldn’t I? You helped me figure out my style, after all. You have my trust because you deserve it. Now…”

She takes Ritsu by the shoulders, turns her to the mirror, and moves to stand beside her. “Look at us,” she murmurs, tilting her head to Ritsu’s shoulder.

“It really does suit you.” Ritsu’s heart feels even fuller, looking at their reflections. She reaches for Mitsuru’s hand. “Better yet, I think we complement each other!”

“Yes,” Mitsuru says with a giggle. “We do.” Then she straightens up, turning to face Ritsu. “Happy anniversary.” It’s a whisper, said in the millimeters before she leans up for a kiss.

It’s soft and slow, and Ritsu forgets to breathe for a moment. When she opens her eyes Mitsuru’s face is still close, swiftly reddening.

“That was… very forward of me,” she says, looking down. “In public, I mean, h-here, I shouldn’t have–”

Ritsu cradles her face and pulls her back in. Even after all this time, even here, nothing can distract her from Mitsuru’s mouth on hers, not even bumping into the wall. She swallows a whimper as Mitsuru’s tongue presses against her lips– 

“So what do you thiiiooh my gosh–!”

With twin yelps they pull apart. Ritsu’s vision snaps back to normal and registers Mine standing there, hand to her mouth.

“Sorry,” she exclaims, turning away, and Mitsuru’s also apologizing profusely.

Ritsu can’t find her voice.

“You both look wonderful I’m glad let me give you some privacy.” With that run-on sentence, Mine hurries from the room.

A snicker slips from Ritsu. An arm to her face does nothing to stop more laughter. Then Mitsuru starts giggling too, and it’s all over.

“I’m– I’m not sorry,” Ritsu says, gasping. Think of that!! “I’m really not…!”

Mitsuru leans against the wall, trying to compose herself. “Me neither.”

Ritsu can’t help kissing her cheek. “Well,” she says, helping Mitsuru stand, “there is one thing I might regret…”


Ritsu chuckles nervously. “Oh, dear…”

Ayame bursts through the door, Mine at his heels. “I can’t begin to tell you how my heart sings! To have my lovely creations for this wonderful occasion spark a flame of romance too powerful to hide away demurely in your beautiful sleeves! What a blessing upon my prowess and on your love, the love most pure, the love between women…!”

With some mix of chagrin and amusement, Ritsu watches Mitsuru watching Ayame’s rhapsody. She feels a tap on her shoulder suddenly, and her gaze finds a pleading Mine.

“I didn’t tell him anything, I promise,” she whispers desperately.

“I know. It’s all right.” Smiling, she puts a hand under Mitsuru’s chin. The touch pulls her away from Ayame to meet Ritsu’s eyes.

“Happy anniversary.”

And she kisses Mitsuru again.