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A Senpai For a Day

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Kasumi skipped ahead, leaving Yu to catch up as they entered the shopping complex. "Kasumin is excited to show you my favorite stores, senpai!"

A hand grabbed onto hers, tugging her along. Yu gave a simple smile, allowing herself to be dragged along by her excited first year. It was the plan, after all. The Nijigasaki School Idol Club decided to prepare a surprise party for Kasumi. A week-long preparation of decoration, food, and cake were all handled behind the knowledge of the birthday celebrant herself. However, on the day of the birthday, they needed Kasumi out of the room for as long as possible for them to set up the club room.

Enter Yu, tasked to keep Kasumi distracted as much as she could until she got the signal to bring her back to the club room. It wouldn't be a simple, Kasumi might even grow suspicious of where everyone was. Still, Yu must do her best not to spoil the hard work of the other members in keeping the birthday party a surprise. 

She practiced dodging questions. Yu was never good at lying, but it was needed as Kasumi jumped on the earliest opportunity to have the club's pseudo-leader all to herself for an afternoon. When Yu prompted what she would like to do, Kasumi suggested they go to the mall. 

And so here they were, Yu submitting to all of Kasumi's wishes to keep her distracted. Well, so much for prepared planning. "Where do you want to go first, Kasumi?"

She bumped closer, pointing a finger up at the mall atrium to the third floor. "There's Kasumin's favorite bakery! I always go there on the weekend."

Yu nodded, intrigued. She remembered someone telling her that Kasumi gave Maki a bouquet of bread after her piano recital with Riko a while ago. Could it have been the same bakery? "Do you want to get some bread together, then?"

Kasumi beamed, her smile growing wider at the mention of 'together.' She bounced on her feet, quickly dragging Yu to the escalator. It was as clear of an answer as any, Yu thought with a smile.

Their short walk to the bakery was filled with idle chatter, or what Ai would've called idol chatter. Yu and Kasumi brought up exciting news about idols that they've discovered through their sporadic saunters through the internet. It was a conversation they both enjoyed, kept alive even as they entered the bakery. However, Kasumi's gaze was soon drawn to the glass displays of bread. A thin mist of steam layered the glass. They were freshly baked. 

"Lucky us, senpai!" Kasumi cheered, hopping over to the cashier to pick out her choice breads. Yu stood behind, watching in silence before Kasumi turned around with an excited grin. She pointed to the upper glass displays, housing large bread rolls. "Senpai, Kasumin recommends this!"

"Oh?" Yu looked up, inspecting the large pastry. It was as large as her face. "Then, I'll have one, please!"

They both waited as the baker stuffed their orders into brown paper bags. Kasumi reached to pay, but Yu stood forward with her wallet in hand. "It's my treat for showing me this wonderful bakery, Kasumi!"

"Are you sure it's not because it's my birthday, senpai?" Kasumi asked with a smirk, prompting a short string of stutters from her upperclassman. 

"H-How did you know?" Yu facepalmed a moment later. Of course Kasumi would know her own birthday. She looked off, ignoring the laughter in front of her. 

"Don't worry, senpai. Kasumin appreciates it!" Kasumi smiled, stepping aside for Yu. "Kasumin will let you do the honors."

"Thanks, Kasumi," Yu mumbled, a faint dust of embarrassment still on her cheeks. She looked up at the baker, who slipped another type of bread into their bag. Before she could ask, the baker only gave a smile, setting their order on the counter. 

"A special treat for the birthday girl."

Kasumi giggled, hands on her cheeks. "Thanks!"

After paying, they both left the bakery with bags of bread. Kasumi bit into a fresh cinnamon roll with both hands, a satisfied hum leaving her lips. "So good~"

Yu laughed, nodding in agreement as she bit into her own roll of cinnamon. "Mmh! These are delicious!" 

"Senpai," Kasumi interrupted her enjoyment with a huff. Yu looked over, gazing at the leer sent her way. "Are these the best bread rolls you ever had?"

If it was anyone, the answer would've been yes. However, Yu Takasaki is a seasoned veteran when it came to handling eccentric individuals like Kasumi. Judging by the stare between her and the bread roll in her hands, Yu understood her intentions. 

Yu gave a smile, swallowing the bread in her mouth. "The best bread rolls are without a doubt the ones Kasumi bakes!"

Kasumi blinked, then grinned widely. She cheered, taking a big bite from her roll. Crumbs were left on her cheeks. "Kasumin's bread rolls are number one, after all!" 

They both found a seating area, taking their time to eat their bread. Yu opted to buy them a drink, a gesture Kasumi appreciated. As she walked back from the vending machine, she stopped once she saw Kasumi sitting on her own at a bench, happily swaying to non-distinct mall music as she chewed on her cinnamon roll. 

It was too cute to pass up, Yu decided as she brought out her phone. Carefully balancing the drinks in her hands, she snapped a photo from afar. Successful, she walked back to Kasumi. "Enjoying yourself, Kasumi?"

"Mmph!" She nodded, chewing happily. "Thanks for the drink, senpai."

Yu sat down at her side, resuming in the consumption of her own bread roll.

Yu sat down at her side, resuming in the consumption of her own bread roll. She checked her watch, noting the hour. Her phone sat silent in her pocket, it wasn't time yet. Swallowing a bite of bread, she looked to the side. "Anywhere else you had in mind, Kasumi?"

There was a strange glint in Kasumi's eyes. Yu quirked a brow, curious at the coy smirk. Kasumi hummed aloud, a hand on her chin. "Well, Kasumin was thinking of meeting up with the others in the club!"

Not good. "Eh?" 

"Everyone needs to know about Kasumin's big day!"

Yu cleared her throat, taking a quick sip of her drink. "With how you phrased that, Kasumi, it sounds like you're excited to tell them you're getting married."

"M-Marriage?" Kasumi stammered, but after a moment of thought, giggles bubbled from her lips. "If it's with senpai, I'd love to announce our marriage to them!"

"T-that's not what I mean!" It was Yu's turn to blush, heat crawling up to her face. Kasumi stifled laughter, finishing her cinnamon bread with two large bites, puffing her cheeks. In silence, Yu began to sweat. The signal wasn't given yet, so she still had to stall Kasumi for a while longer. 

Nodding to herself, she destroyed her cinnamon roll, chewing with determination before looking back at vibrant taffy pink. "Uh, I wanted to check out a music store while we were still here!"

Kasumi stared in suspicious, drawing off the evergreen gaze. "Senpai, could it be you..."

Yu bit her lip. The jig was up. She could at least walk slow, or send a text to the others to prepare as much as they could before Kasumi arrives-

"You want to spend more time with Kasumin?"

"Huh?" Yu looked back, finding a sly grin plastered on Kasumi's face. She muttered self-praise, but Yu was not about to let this chance slip by. "Y-yeah! Looks like you found me out, Kasumi!"

Light laughter filled the air as Kasumi stood up, performing a twirl before standing in front of her. "You can't hide anything from Kasumin!"

Yu nodded, feigning defeat as she stood up as well. This gave the rest of the club time to prepare, and spending time with her was always a joy.

Kasumi skipped to her side, locking arms together before hugging close. Yu smiled at the warmth before walking forward, Kasumi at her side. "Then, let's go Kasumi!"

Yu chose her favorite music store, luckily found in the far side of the mall. On the way, they chatted on any passing topic, whatever pleased Kasumi. They stopped by an ice cream stand on the way. Yu insisted on holding off on sweets so as to not spoil her appetite, glad that Kasumi didn't stop to think more about it. 

It would be a shame if Kasumi arrived at her own surprise party without an appetite. Yu wanted the entire plan to go without a hitch. 

At the music shop, Yu brought her to the shelves of sound equipment, musical instruments, and all that involved the musical aspect of idol work. Kasumi watched as Yu's attention was drawn to a sleek-looking electric piano. It had too many buttons for her to recognize, and the price tag was steep. 

"Senpai, are you planning to buy it?"

Yu looked back, shaking her head as she laughed. "This? My mom would never let me. Besides, I already have my own piano at home." 

Kasumi hummed with interest, taking up the spot beside her. "How long has senpai been composing songs?"

"Me?" Yu raised a brow at the sudden question. "Ever since I started getting into idols, I guess. I had some practice with the piano before, but composing was all new to me."

"Really?" Kasumi said, staring in awe. "But your songs are so good! They're perfect for Kasumi to sing!"

Yu laughed, embarrassed, but thankful. "Thanks, Kasumi! When I see everyone, the perfect song just pops in my head! After that, I just have to make them for everyone."

"Senpai truly is amazing to compose songs for all ten of us," Kasumi remarked with a serious tone, nodding to accentuate the sentiment. "Still, Kasumin knows she puts extra effort in composing Kasumin's songs!"

"Of course," Yu returned with a smile, patting Kasumi's head. "Only the best for the world's cutest idol!"

Kasumi purred, leaning into the warm touch atop ash-brown hair. "Praise me more, senpai!"

Her phone buzzed as she combed through Kasumi's hair. Yu looked down, swiping her screen to read the message. It was a simple text from Ayumu. They were ready. 

"Hey Kasumi," Yu said, moving her hand away. She did her best not to laugh at the pout forming. "You wanted everyone to know it was your birthday right?"

Kasumi blinked, looking up at her with wide eyes. She nodded, raising a curious brow. "Ayumu said they're all at the club room. Do you want to go surprise them?"

"A surprise, huh?" There was that peculiar glint in her eye again. Kasumi narrowed her gaze, meeting Yu's evergreen. "Kasumin loves surprises!"

Yu nodded, loading excitement in her tone. "Yeah! Why don't we go now?"

Arms slipped back around her own. Kasumi stuck close, smiling widely. "Of course! Kasumin can't wait to tell them that she had senpai all to herself today!"

Yu laughed nervously, rubbing the back of her neck. She felt that bit of news wouldn't sit well with some of the members. But, it was Kasumi's birthday, so they'll likely let it slide. "Let's hurry, then."

"Kasumin can't wait to see what's in store for her?"

They shared a laugh as they walked, her words not sinking in until a few minutes later. When they did, Yu shot a look at the cutest smile. "U-uh, Kasumi? Could it be you-"

"Shh!" Kasumi broke away, skipping ahead. She spun on her heels, looking back at Yu with the same captivating smile. A giggle broke out from her lips, the smile only growing wider. "You can't hide anything from Kasumin!"