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you, i kind of like you.

Chapter Text

Sayaka enjoyed working at Herbal Harmony. Some days she found herself craving her shift. The rustic, light wooden walls contrasted greatly with the rich greens of all the plants scattered about, giving the quaint building a rather warm feel. Even the accenting lights and various artworks that were hung up provided an intimate and welcoming atmosphere. Her apartment couldn't have provided an aroma so cozy.

She didn't even mind her strange coworker, Midari, who would purposely burn her hands while brewing tea sometimes.

"Ah, fuck!" Midari shouted with a hint of underlying bliss, "I wonder if this is what the depths of hell feel like!"

On second thought, maybe she did mind.

"Midari!" Sayaka rushes from her station in front of the register towards the masochist, "how many times must I tell you to at least wait until the end of your shift to indulge in your fantasies?"

"We never get customers at this time!" Midari whined, stomping her foot much like a child throwing a temper tantrum while her coworker yanked her hand under the nearest faucet. She frowned as the cold water hit her burn, soothing some of the pain.

"That isn't the issue here," Sayaka darted a glare towards the woman, "however since you've brought it up, maybe there could've been a customer at this time. What if they heard you being disgusting and we lost business? What then?"

Midari snorted, "relax, would ya? I doubt it. You're way too serious."

After applying a bandage to the injury, Sayaka flicks her coworker's forehead, "it is a valid concern! A reasonable one, in fact!"

Midari's eyes widen as Sayaka's complaints go in one ear and out the other. "Do that again!"

"No." Sayaka hisses.

A chime is heard, gaining their attention and alerting both of them that they have a customer.

"Be right with you!" Sayaka shouts as she inspects Midari's hand one last time, "will you be okay to keep brewing the tea tonight?"

Midari rolls her eyes, "yes, mother."

Right. A masochist like her would welcome the pain. Why did she even ask?

She sighs before making her way back to the register. The customer that's waiting for her instantly makes her heart pound.

A woman is standing before her, looking rather flawless. She's a few inches taller than Sayaka, has snowy white hair styled in two braided loops, dazzling aquamarine eyes with matching blue lipstick and nail polish, and an elegant posture that screams confidence.

Well, if Sayaka ever doubted her sexuality, she was sure of it now.

Sayaka's face reddens and she gapes at her for a moment before remembering she must serve her. "Ah! W-welcome to Herbal Harmony. May I take your order or would you like a moment to look over the menu?"

The stranger stares just as long at the barista as if she's trying to remember every detail of Sayaka, before grinning, "chai tea, please."

Sayaka thinks that voice must be what the gates of heaven opening sounds like.

"Of course," Sayaka responds, far too quickly for her liking. Fidgeting in place, she tacks on, "would you like anything to eat with that?"

"Just the tea is fine, thank you, Sayaka," her grin widens.

Sayaka jumps, startled by the mention of her name, "h-how did you know my name?"

Kirari leans over the counter, resting her elbows on the smooth surface while her amusement never fades, "you're wearing a nametag, no?"

Oh. Duh.

Sayaka feels her palms sweating and nervously wrings them together, trying to form a response that won't embarrass her further.

She doesn't have to. Thank god.

Midari sets a steaming cup down on the counter, unimpressed with Sayaka's behaviour, "three seventy-one, pay up."

Why did she phrase it like she's trying to mug her?!

Before Sayaka can rush to appease the customer, the woman laughs, but ultimately has her gaze locked on Sayaka. She places a hundred-dollar bill down, picking up her drink.

What? That must've been a mistake..

"Um-!" Sayaka flounders, caught off guard by the payment method.

"Oh, my apologies," the woman says, "do you not take those?"

"No-" Sayaka blinks, "I mean- we take them, but is that really your smallest bill? You'll be given a lot of change for this, and I'd hate to inconvenience you."

The woman raises a brow, "Is that so?" She picks up her money and sets it in Sayaka's hand, making sure to brush their fingertips together, "in that case, keep the change."

Sayaka balks. Surely, she's joking. She's seen enough distasteful TikToks from Midari to recognize a prank. She visibly searches for a camera, whether out in the open or hidden and feels stumped when she comes up empty.

Giving up, Sayaka meekly asks, "are you sure?"

"Very, buy yourself something nice. Consider it a tip." She's smirking now. Eyeing Sayaka like she's her favourite form of entertainment.

Sayaka blushes, this time from embarrassment, "would you like your receipt, uh-"

"Kirari," she supplied, "and no, not this time."

"This time?" Sayaka echoes, breathless.

Kirari laughs again, airy and free, "I'll be back soon. Don't be so chai next time."

So she was rich and witty. Wonderful.

She throws a wink at Sayaka's way before sauntering out the door, cup in hand.

"What the hell was that?" Midari cackles, holding her stomach and slapping the counter.

Sayaka can only take a deep breath in an attempt to drown out her humiliation.


She did end up purchasing a white hair tie with Kirari's tip. Her excuse? The full effects of summer were in progress, so it'd be best to wear her hair up.

True to Kirari's word, she did end up visiting again. It was during a busier hour. A few students were seated at tables, enjoying their refreshments while working, as the others were currently in line. Kirari was at the front now.

Sayaka was determined to not mess up this interaction.

She stood up straighter, "what can I get for you, Kirari?"

She smiled, delighted when Sayaka remembered her name and tapped her chin in faux thought, "I'm having trouble deciding. You wouldn't have any light, earthy blends by chance, would you?"

The barista almost missed her answer entirely, as her eyes had been wandering along the woman's figure. Almost.

Clearing her throat, Sayaka suggests, "Rooibos tea has a nutty taste and a natural sweetness. Is that alright with you?"

Her favourite customer flashes her a dazzling smile, "it is, Sa-ya-ka."

Sayaka damn near short circuits but manages to gulp and collect herself.

"Right away."

She was almost done making the tea when Kirari mused, "such skillful hands. I wonder what else they can do.."

Sayaka stiffened and bit the inside of her lip, choosing to complete her task instead of answering her.

When Sayaka had succeeded, she swiveled on her feet, cup in hand, and made her way back to the counter.

Of course, things would not go as smoothly as she'd wished.

"Apparently, they also style you a side ponytail," Kirari simpered, looking pleased with herself, "you're so very cute."

How Sayaka didn't drop her customer's order right then and there, she will never know.

Her face was on fire as she thrust the drink into the woman's hands, "th-thank you.. here's your tea. That'll be three sixty-two, please."

But, oh no, the woman's torment didn't end there. It should have!

Whether she didn't hear her or didn't care, Kirari continued with one final tease, "your face rivals the colour of this wonderful tea."

Sayaka made a strangled noise in the back of her throat as she struggled to form a coherent response.

"Are you done yet? You're holding up the line!" an older gentleman yelled.

Quick as a flash, Kirari had spun to face the man, leveling him with a harsh glare. She'd already faced Sayaka as the man spluttered a useless apology.

She offered a twenty this time, "keep the change. No receipt this time, either."

"O-okay," Sayaka stuttered, "have a good day!"

A soft chuckle, and then, "you too, my dear."


So she'd dropped the ball last time, but Sayaka had more confidence for their next meeting.

The gorgeous stranger's compliments had frazzled her, but she was prepared now. A few days of reciting pick-up lines to herself in the mirror had motivated her to not only keep a level head but to give her the courage to compliment her back.

She would do it.

Admittedly, she was worried after a few days when Kirari didn't show up.

That changed today.

While Sayaka had been styling her hair the same ever since she'd received a compliment from Kirari, it seemed the white-haired woman was wearing her business uniform.

It was a tailored black suit that hugged Kirari's curves snuggly.

Sayaka has never been envious of a suit before, but there's a first time for everything.

She deduced Kirari wouldn't be staying as long today and took a deep breath as Kirari approached her register; in through her nose, out through her mouth.

"Good to see you again, Sayaka," she held a strand of said girl's hair, admiring it.

Even as Sayaka's resolve weakened from such a display, she pressed on.

"K-Kirari, indeed," she swallowed, "you look.. rather d-dashing yourself!"

The effect of Sayaka's words was immediate. Kirari openly preened, "sweet girl. You've put me in the mood for a honey-like blend. I'm thinking Chamomile."

"Good choice, one moment."

On the outside, Sayaka was as she usually was. On the inside, she was over the moon with pride for herself. She'd pulled off a compliment! To a divine specimen, might she add!

She passed the prepared tea to Kirari, "three-fifty, please."

Kirari's smiled charmingly, laying another twenty down, "I might want a receipt tomorrow."

Then she was gone.


Tomorrow arrived rather suddenly.

Sayaka didn't have time to formulate a game plan since she'd been studying for the majority of the day. All she knew was that she wanted to establish the woman's intentions with her.

It was late afternoon when Kirari came strolling in the shop. Sayaka usually took a break during this hour, but she would gladly put it off if it meant she could serve Kirari.

"What tea would you like today, Kirari?" Sayaka asked sweetly.

"None today," Kirari replied, stunning the barista.

None? Then why was she here? She always orders tea when she's here!

"I'd like to share some strawberry cake with you, if that's alright," Kirari asked, almost sheepish.

It baffled Sayaka. Had the woman memorized her schedule in order to plan this?

"That's.. fine with me," Sayaka settled on.

Kirari's ego resurfaced, "excellent. Shall we?"

Sayaka snatched a piece of cake from the display case and hurried after the woman. Kirari had led them to a well-lit booth towards the back of the building and outstretched her hand, "after you, my dear."

Sayaka blushed and seated herself, Kirari following shortly after.

"One piece?" Kirari eyed the singular cake slice that was sat in the middle of the table with interest.

Flaring up even more, Sayaka rushed out, "I- I wasn't thinking! I can go get another if-"

"Relax," Kirari soothes, cupping one of Sayaka's hands on the table and caressing gentle circles on it, "one is just fine."

Sayaka releases a shuddering breath she'd been holding in.

Kirari gingerly holds a plastic knife and cuts the cake, stabbing the piece and offering it to Sayaka.

Why, oh why was this woman so precious?

Sayaka glimpses around the shop, making sure they're not being supervised before she accepts being hand-fed.

"Mm-!" Sayaka hums in appreciation as Kirari melts, much like the cake did in the girl's mouth.

"Adorable," she whispers.

Remembering herself, Sayaka slides the plate closer to Kirari, "you need to eat too."

And she does. They both take turns sharing the cake, and pretty soon the piece is completely gone.

Sayaka smiles softly, not having gotten over Kirari pampering her. It falters slightly when the woman across from her looks nervous.

Before she can ask, Kirari blurts out, "I ordered cake today because you are my cup of tea, Sayaka."

Both women are silent.

Kirari, silently dreading rejection while Sayaka is processing.

She's pretty sure that was a flirtatious advance, but she needs to be certain.

Sayaka gives a low laugh, "does that mean you also like me?"

Kirari relaxes in relief, instantly falling back into her typical playful smirk, "it means I'd like the receipt this time."

Huh?! Had she misread the signals?!

Sayaka is bewildered and flustered but ends up printing out a receipt for Kirari.

The woman takes it and pulls out a fountain pen from her shirt pocket. Sayaka watches as she scribbles something down and hands it back to the barista.

"I do hope you'll do something with that." Kirari grins smugly.

Curious, Sayaka looks at the receipt and gasps.

A phone number. Her number. Along with the message, 'I'd like to get to know you better.'

When Sayaka glances back up to respond to the woman, she's already left.

She snorts before registering the number on her phone and shooting it with a quick text.

'You might also be my cup of tea, Kirari.'

Chapter Text

Relaxation was just what Sayaka needed after such a tiring day. By the time she'd finished an astronomical amount of essays and endured endless lectures for her classes, it was already well past supper time. Hell, she'd even purchased a salmon onigiri on her way home and opted to eat it on public transportation in hopes of being able to crash the moment she got home.

This leads to now, as Sayaka fumbled with her keys, desperate to get inside and catch some sleep. Of course, she dropped them.

The simple clunk of the keys hitting her welcome mat had Sayaka staring at them incredulously, wishing she had a self-destruct button.

Crouching down to pick them up, she exhaled, "I'm about to just call it a day and pass out right here, I swear."

Thankfully, she was able to unlock her door on her second try. After entering her apartment and closing the door behind her, she called out, "Kirari?"

A beat. Two. Three, even. No response.

"Guess her clan meeting is running late," Sayaka concluded, hanging her keys on a hook and making her way to their shared bedroom, throwing off her boots in the process.

Maybe it was a hidden blessing that Kirari was also having a long day. It meant that they would have a chance to only cuddle and fall asleep together, without a care in the world.

The moment Sayaka's body hit the mattress, she let out a dreamy sigh. The aches in her body dulled from how wonderful this felt. Rolling on her back, Sayaka glanced at their wall that was covered with Polaroid photos, causing her to smile.

Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to look them over before going to bed.

Sayaka turned on the bedside lamp and sat up, pulling one of the closest photos from its clothespin. Ah, it was one of her favourites.

The picture was taken at a zoo, in the aquarium section. Specifically, the part where you could walk through a tunnel encased in glass as sharks, turtles, and schools of fish swim all around you. In the photo, Kirari is giving her a thumbs-up as a hammerhead shark swims to her left, her eyes closed with a bright smile. Warmth fills her chest as she admires the sheer joy on her girlfriend's face.

She squeaks and startles when a pair of arms wrap around her waist but calms when a kiss is placed on her cheek, no doubt leaving a smudge of blue lipstick in its wake.

"Did you miss me, my dear?" a soft voice lilts out.

She can feel the woman smirking in the crook of her neck and smiles, "you're home."

"Indeed," Kirari relaxes further as Sayaka takes one of her hands to press a delicate kiss on her knuckles.

"I was just thinking of you," Sayaka confessed, blushing as she lifted the Polaroid for Kirari to see, "remember this?"

Kirari paused to take a closer look before her smile grew, "that was a wonderful day. One of our best dates by far."

"You say that about all of our dates," Sayaka sleepily giggles, sinking into her girlfriend's embrace.

"I can't help it if every second with you is perfect," Kirari huffs, making Sayaka melt just a fraction more, "we took another picture that day, too."

Kirari keeps one arm around Sayaka as she takes down another photo. This one was in the safari exhibit, near the giraffes. Kirari had paid a little extra so Sayaka could feed the giraffes a few leaves of lettuce. She was completely oblivious of her picture being taken, far too fascinated by her favourite animal.

"I remember wishing he would eat slower," Sayaka pouted, "they only gave us two leaves! I could have fed him for hours!"

Kirari chuckled, "I did offer to buy more."

"I was still happy I got the privilege to do it at all."

"I see that," Kirari teased, "you completely forget your surroundings when something captures your attention that bad. Look at how enthralled you are, I could've explored the rest of the zoo by the time you noticed my disappearance."

"Are you jealous of a giraffe?" Sayaka burst out laughing, unable to contain her humorous affection.

Kirari beamed, proud of herself for making her girlfriend laugh, "no. You've fed me much more lettuce."

Sayaka scoffs playfully, "unbelievable. As if you didn't list so many facts about tiger sharks in the aquarium to the point where I couldn't even continue writing them all down in my notepad."

"Did it bother you?" Kirari asked, serious.

"No," Sayaka stills, letting a lovesick smile take over, "even though I couldn't understand a lot of what you said about them, you were so passionate about them. I couldn't help but love you even more."

Kirari's eyes soften, giving Sayaka a light squeeze and a tender kiss on the crown of her head. Both of them take a moment of shared silence to admire the rest of the photos.

Kirari's the one to break it after a while, "our personalities are so different."

"What brought that on?" Sayaka furrowed her brows in thought.

"Even our style of photography shows our differences," Kirari absentmindedly rubbed the pad of her thumb along Sayaka's abs through her shirt, "you always tell me ahead of time when you're taking my picture. You never fail to inform me of one of your plans, even the little ones, and I like that just fine. After all, it makes me feel safe. Like I can always loosen up with you."

"I never want to catch you off guard or worry you," Sayaka twisted in Kirari's grasp, nuzzling her girlfriend's collarbone, "I like your pictures too. You always snap one when I least expect it, when the only one in the world paying attention to me is you. It makes me feel appreciated and-"

Kirari continues to listen to Sayaka going off on a passionate tangent, stealthily taking hold of their Polaroid camera. Once she confirmed that Sayaka was in her own world, she lifted the camera, pressed closer to her, and took the photo.

As soon as Sayaka saw the flash, she froze. Tilting her face up towards Kirari, she saw her biting her lip, desperately trying to hold in her laughter.

Sayaka was the first to laugh, hers in disbelief while Kirari's amusement was mischievous.

Quieting down, Sayaka asked, "how does that one look?"

The image was both different and much like the rest. Sayaka was spacing out with a captivated, wondrous smile as she spoke. Kirari was merely observing her with affection as she held her. The photo itself looked like the definition of love.

"Perfect," Kirari decided, hanging up the photos, "time for bed, don't you think so, dearest?"

Sayaka made a noise of contentment when Kirari slung an arm around her and pulled her close as they lie down, "yes, my love."

They both fell asleep pondering how lucky they were to have each other.

Chapter Text

Kirari takes a sip of her tea, savoring the taste. Floral with a distinct citrus flavour. Her lips quirk up ever so slightly. Her darling secretary must've prepared her some Earl Grey today.

A splendid choice for relaxing after a day filled with triumph. Her secretary seemed to always know what she wished for.

Which was so delightfully interesting to the President.

She had always been described as hard to read, and yet Sayaka could take one glance at her to decipher her mood and develop a plan of action to either uplift or build off of it.

If she was happy, Sayaka would make sure nothing disturbed her peace. If she was upset, Sayaka would make her tea and complete her council work, silently offering her support. If she was bored, Sayaka would entertain her by indulging in anything her beloved President asked.

Always a reliable shoulder to lean on. Such a sweet girl that was so eager to please Kirari.

Adoration made itself known as Kirari let a soft smile spread on her face. Her secretary really was something. She ought to reward her more often.

Is every chance she gets, too much?

"President?" Sayaka interrupts her train of thought, "Is something troubling you?"

Ah. Of course, she would notice simple subtleties. Kirari knows she's only asked because her silence is usually reserved for when they're working together, instead of when they're appreciating their leisure time.

"There is," Kirari twirled a strand of her secretary's hair around her finger, "Sayaka, bubbles or no bubbles?"

"Wh-what?!" Sayaka screeched, "b-bubbles are fine.. why do you ask?"

Kirari offers an ominous smile, "you'll see, dear."

While Sayaka looked like the human equivalent of a loading screen, Kirari thought about how she could repay her tonight for being her number one.

She'd stressed out a lot, worrying over Kirari's several high-stakes gambles. A warm, scented bubble bath would help soothe her muscles and clear her mind. She could also order the chefs to make Sayaka's favourite foods for their meal tonight.

That sounded promising.

"Sa-ya-ka," Kirari gripped her secretary's chin carefully, "you'll come home with me tonight, won't you?"

Sayaka melted into the touch with doe eyes, "of course."

"Good."

Since Sayaka spoils her with undying devotion, Kirari will give her grand displays of affection in return.

Yes, tonight will be lovely for both of them.

Chapter Text

For the most part, she'd gotten away with her crimes unscathed. Only a few cuts and scrapes here and there, hardly any bloodshed on her part. Most of them were due to her reckless abandon and lack of care for her surroundings. Whether she paid attention in fights or not hardly mattered when everyone was so weak in comparison. Very few could compete with her.

Kirari wipes away blood from the cut on her lip with her thumb, where a small-time criminal had gotten a lucky hit on her in their one-sided brawl.

Honestly, why had he thought he stood a chance against one of the most dangerous supervillains?

A condescending sneer worked its way onto her features as she manipulated a small flow of water over her wound, cleansing it as she strode down the town's deserted, silent streets.

It was late, her only form of vision was the broken street lamps that lined the sidewalk and gave occasional flickers. Troubling conditions to walk in, but Kirari reasoned it was worth it if nobody would see what she was up to.

Coming up on an alleyway, she noticed multiple knocked-over dumpsters, some of the trash having been set on fire along with dented walls shaped like large fists.

Someone had fought here.

Her hypothesis was proven correct when she heard a groan and slow, heavy footsteps.

This target was injured to the point of hobbling.

Kirari smiled wickedly. More fun for her! She stalked down the alley to where she determined the footsteps sounded.

Just before she reached the intersection where several other alleys met, she heard a pained cry before she saw the assumed target falling, knocking over a silver garbage bin and sprawling out on the ground.

From Kirari's perspective, she could register a pale hand lying palm down, the target was rather small in build, and the voice was distinctly feminine.

Kirari scowled. Her target had barely escaped their last fight and was now too feeble to put up a decent one with her.

How dull.

Who cares.

She'll get it over with quickly and head home, then.

Adopting nonchalance, she approaches the target and freezes.

A popular vigilante.

Her vigilante.

The girl indeed looked horrific. Her clothes were torn up where several gashes on her limbs bled profusely, some had burns scarred over them in a desperate attempt to stop herself from bleeding out. Dirt and grime were caked on her skin.

She blinks herself out of her shocked stupor when the woman on the ground attempts to generate electricity in between her fingertips to ward off the danger she couldn't make out due to her injuries.

"Sayaka!" Kirari shrieked.

Just like that, the lightning fizzles out, "Ki.." Sayaka softly whimpers, "..ri-"

Kirari wastes no time kneeling beside her, "any broken bones?"

A nod. "Rib.. right side.." Sayaka croaked, "leg maybe.."

"Okay," Kirari asks, "could you roll onto your back for me?"

Sayaka does, grunting and gritting her teeth.

Kirari carefully hoists the girl up bridal style, cradling her partner to her body, "you're safe. Please stay awake for me until we reach the hideout."

"Ki.." Sayaka continues when Kirari looks down at her, "'m not gonna make it."

Tears threatened to well up in Kirari's eyes before she wills them back down with a forced swallow.

"No. I'll save you. I have to."

And she sets off with Sayaka in her arms.

Kirari collects water she drained from plants and trees around them, water buckets sat outside people's houses and even some of Sayaka's sweat. She uses all of it to shape a path in front of them, freezing the water and gliding across it like an Olympic ice skater aiming for a gold medal.

It takes less than five minutes. Kirari pants from exertion as she descends into her lair.

Upon reaching her infirmary, she sets Sayaka down gently and begins the process of disinfecting and cleaning her injuries with water she whisks from several of her surrounding fish tanks.

"You awake?"

Sayaka hums, grimacing.

Good.

"I've been working on a serum," Kirari informs, hurrying along with her tasks, "I've perfected it and know it works. Hang in there a few more minutes, I promise I'll take good care of you."

Kirari is aware her tone is desperate and shakey, but she can't seem to care enough to reign in her feelings.

The idea of losing Sayaka fills her with anguish.

As she finishes up with Sayaka's forehead wound, she thinks of how foolish her actions were in the alleyway and how she could've helped her much sooner had she not been so focused on her status.

Shaking away the thought, Kirari picks out a syringe, cleaning it and filling the instrument with the serum. "This will hurt, but will ultimately help you."

"Okay," Sayaka said, eyes kind despite the situation, "I trust you."

Kirari steeled herself and injected the serum into Sayaka's arm.

"You'll want something to bite on," Kirari pulled her uniform jacket over her head, taking it off and offering it to Sayaka.

She reached out to take the clothing, "why do i-" she cuts herself off with a howl of genuine agony, yanking the jacket and stuffing it into her mouth to muffle the screams.

Kirari held her securely and whispered sweet praises to Sayaka, trying her best not to wince at the sound of the girl's broken bones snapping back together.

Every time a tear escaped Sayaka's eyes, Kirari would wipe them away and rub slow circles on her back. Occasionally, the girl's fingertips would spark as a defense mechanism in response to all the pain.

When Sayaka's rib reformed itself and she let out a sob, Kirari pressed a lingering kiss to her cheek, "you're doing great, dear."

"Fuck," Sayaka choked, "that hurt so bad!"

"I know," Kirari murmured in sympathy, "the worst of it is over."

Sayaka mellowed out after a while and Kirari gradually unhanded her.

There were so many questions that needed to be said, but the loudest one in Kirari's mind was the one she decided to ask.

"Who did this to you?" she implored darkly.

Sayaka crossed her arms over her chest, furrowing her brows in thought, "it doesn't matter."

Kirari couldn't believe her ears. She'd almost watched the love of her life die. And that didn't matter? Whoever hurt Sayaka deserves to pay a permanent visit to the devil. She was fuming.

"Like hell, it doesn't!" Kirari snapped, clenching her fists. The action generated small cracks in the glass of her fish tanks, but she was too upset to notice. "If I wasn't there you would be dead!"

Sayaka, having heard the glass threatening to break, nervously raised to her feet, "Kirari, you're raising the water pressure. You'll hurt the fish."

The villain allowed Sayaka to take her fists in her hands and loosen her curled fingers. With the threat of murdering creatures and possibly drowning out of the way, Sayaka eased Kirari to have a seat.

She then guided her love's forehead to rest over her chest. Kirari soon noticed how Sayaka's pulse was racing.

"I understand you're mad at me, but I don't regret what I did," Kirari wanted to retort, but Sayaka threaded her fingers through the villain's hair and carried on, "I was prepared to give up my life if it meant that this person would go down with me."

Kirari gave a short laugh devoid of humor, "why would you do something so stupid?"

"For you," Sayaka answered immediately.

Kirari jolted, carefully shifting to make eye contact. When she did, all she saw was utmost sincerity. "Yumeko was always a thorn in your side. She needed to go by any means necessary."

Those gorgeous, abyss-like eyes could always disarm her. Kirari's lower lip wobbled, "it wouldn't have been worth it."

When Sayaka remained silent, Kirari asked, "what do you think is most important to me?"

Kirari saw the way Sayaka's jaw clenched ever so slightly and averted her gaze, "I'm not sure."

Frowning, Kirari cupped her jaw, "it isn't my job," she leaned in to connect their lips, "it's you."

Sayaka wore a quietly optimistic expression as she whispered, "really?"

"Really. So please don't put yourself in that much trouble ever again, lest I have to give you more of that serum." Kirari attempted to lighten the mood with a joke.

Sayaka laughed softly before kissing her, framing her face in her hands, "deal."

Chapter Text

Losing the election was something Sayaka thought was impossible for Kirari.

It was even more jarring to find out that it would be the cause of her death.

Kirari had faced her consequence with a bland look. As if her death wouldn't be the most catastrophic thing in the world to her secretary.

The days leading up to her death were spent evolving her relationship with Sayaka at a quicker rate. They had gotten to share many touches, alone time, and even kisses.

That made it all the more devastating when Kirari had met her end.

Sayaka had wept for days, mourning a business partner, a best friend, and a girlfriend. Her mind was so tortured by the loss that she couldn't sleep, developing an even worse case of sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Stomach and chest pain was a regular occurrence for her then.

She'd felt overwhelming hopelessness. Since the day she had met Kirari, the woman had opened her eyes to new possibilities of living life. Kirari had shown her that childlike wonder was still an important thing to hold onto; to cherish it. She'd reminded Sayaka every day she worked for her that she was needed and important. That chaos existed better when there was order. She'd taught Sayaka that the world was built for two. For Sayaka and Kirari.

After receiving the great honour of existing in Kirari's world, how was life supposed to be fascinating now that she was gone, and their world had crumbled? When Sayaka had previously been comforted by her dull life, that changed when her beloved president made her feel what it's like to be truly alive. She'll never find the same solace in black and white again now that she knows what colour looks like. How was she supposed to live?

Her hopelessness had transformed into rage. Gambling had always been her least favourite. Yet, her soulmate ended up being the greatest risk-taker of them all. Sayaka could only support her from the sidelines, knowing fully well that any efforts to put her addiction to a stop would be futile.

Luck was bound to run out.

The President herself even told her this, after they had fallen from the tower together and had their first, true heart to heart.

'If I'd died, I would've had it coming.' She'd said with a smile.

Sayaka wasn't angry with Kirari, though. She couldn't be. Not for gambling, at least. She'd been aware of her thirst for risk every moment that woman breathed. Yet, Sayaka still made the decision to stay by her side.

She could only be furious with herself for loving a woman that welcomed death.

Rage was short-lived and had taken a quick turn into resentment. Kirari was often coldhearted with little regard for other life, but she seemed to truly treasure her secretary.

That theory was amplified in Kirari's final days. She'd gone the extra mile to check up on her beloved; massaging her hands when she overworked, kisses rooted with deep yearning when she needed reassurance, even making her tea for a change.

Kirari was ruthless, but never with her. Which begged the question.. why offer everything Sayaka ever wanted, only for it to be cruelly taken away? How dare she leave her?

Along came the numbness. The kind that dulled a person's appetite even when the throbbing feeling of hunger was painful. Grieving made Sayaka discover that many feelings are fleeting, but the emptiness remained.

Waking up to and ending her days with zero texts from her President for days on end had understandably caused her to be detached from reality. Denial had embedded itself into Sayaka, making the whole experience feel unreal.

How Sayaka wished it was only a dream.


Today was the day of Kirari's funeral. The service took place in a church Sayaka felt was undeserving of Kirari's beautiful, complex soul. Many people had attended, ranging from her family, other rich folks, and the student council. Sayaka had seen Mary there, too, offering Ririka her support despite the fact that she'd hated the President.

Not having a lot of connections growing up, Sayaka forgot how quiet funerals could be. Any conversation was in hushed voices. It was welcomed, nonetheless. She wouldn't know what she'd be capable of if she overheard people bullshit about missing Kirari, knowing they'd prayed on her downfall.

There were only a few photos of her with her family arranged on tables. One detail Sayaka couldn't help but catch was how all of Kirari's joy was fabricated, or deliberately placed on anything but her flesh and blood, Ririka being the only exception.

Many of the pictures revealed Kirari's eyes straying from the camera, curious about paintings, her sister's expression, or fish.

A big part of Sayaka was grateful she'd been blessed to see Kirari's feelings, unaltered or forced. She was proud of being trusted enough that the President felt she could drop her guard around her.

It was abruptly tarnished by the fact that she'd never get to experience that again.

Open caskets were always unnerving to Sayaka. Here was her President, lying peacefully in a box, yet not her at the same time. The flat expression paired with closed eyes was all wrong to Sayaka. Kirari was always seeking a new way to feel something. Always peering about.

It looked nothing like her, yet logic still won out in the end. This was her shell, and Sayaka needed to accept that Kirari was never coming back.

Holding the corpse's hand only served to further break Sayaka's heart. Instead of being warm and comforting, it was so very cold and stiff. She couldn't creep up her wrist and feel a pulse, no, Kirari was no longer here with her.

The confirmation crushed the poor girl. Tears streamed down her face, but she didn't make a sound. No sniffling, sobbing or stuttered breathing.

When a hand rested itself on her shoulder, she hastily wiped away her grief before glancing at the owner of the said appendage.

"You've been up here a while," Midari stated the obvious, "I'm sad too. She didn't even kill me before dying like she said she would."

Sayaka knew she was attempting to clear the air of tension, but she couldn't muster up a laugh.

A twisted part of her rang out, 'I wish it was you instead.' She squashed the thought immediately.

Just how sick was she?

A noncommittal grunt was all Midari got out of Sayaka.

"I'll be outside having a smoke," she squeezed Sayaka's shoulder before making to walk away, "come join me when you're done."

Sayaka nodded, waiting until the footsteps were gone. Then she pressed a lily to the body of her deceased girlfriend, maneuvering one of her hands to grip the flower.

Next, she placed a kiss on Kirari's forehead.

"I miss you terribly," Sayaka offered a watery smile, "I'll see you again soon, my love."

Chapter Text

Coughing fits were not pleasant things to wake up to.

Kirari was currently keeled over her bedside, hovering over her trashcan and wondering if it was possible to hack up a lung.

The thought worried yet intrigued her. If she heaved hard enough, would it launch out of her throat? Maybe it would get stuck-

She was pulled out of her thoughts when yellowish-green phlegm landed on the back of her hand after a particularly rough cough. She scowled in disgust before wiping it off with a tissue and discarding it in the garbage bin.

Having calmed from her fit, she rested back on the pillows and contemplated her day.

Her twin sister had taken her place today, forcing her to stay home while Ririka fussed over her.. broccoli? Brontosaurus? Barack Obama? It had started with a B. Alas, Kirari had been too agitated to pay attention.

This illness, whatever she had, was infuriating. Most of her day was slept through because of her fatigue, only waking up when her maids brought her meals, medication, or water.

Her waking moments were equally terrible. She'd had a stuffy nose, a mild fever, and coughed so hard tears would well up in her eyes and she'd sweat through her clothes. Even breathing was annoying, accompanied by a faint whistling sound.

Her bedridden state was boring to a dreadful degree. Kirari found herself thinking she'd commit the most heinous of crimes if it meant she could do something as simple as shuffling a deck of cards without interruption.

To top it off, it was a Monday.

That's three whole days without her secretary!

It was easily the worst offense. She would never forgive her cells for this betrayal.

An itch in her throat alerted her that she'd be busy coughing for a few minutes. Lovely.

Her bangs, which had previously been stuck to her forehead thanks to all the sweat, dangled as she hunched over in pain from the burning sensation down her throat.

Through her misery, she managed to hear her bedroom door open and chanced an indifferent glance up before her eyes widened.

Were hallucinations part of her symptoms?

Scurrying through the door with a bag of supplies was none other than Sayaka Igarashi.

Kirari held her bed covers around her tighter, "Sayaka?"

"President!" Sayaka bowed hastily and set her bag down, already rummaging through it, "I've been informed of your condition. I'm here to check up on you. Please refrain from unnecessary talking, your throat must be so sore."

Kirari gave a dopey, tired smile. She got to see her secretary after all. And she was pampering her!

"How does the center of your chest feel? Does it ache?" Sayaka asks, worried, as she halfheartedly reaches out in a mental attempt to soothe the pain with her own hands.

Now that Sayaka brought it up, Kirari did feel discomfort in her chest from all the coughing. She nods feebly.

In the blink of an eye, Sayaka is moving and pulling pills and a water bottle out of her bag, ready to offer them to her President, "I brought some Aspirin." She sets two pills in the palm of Kirari's hand and unscrews her bottled water for her. "They should kick in soon."

Kirari downs the medicine with the help of the water, grimacing and flinching when they drag along her throat. She looks back at Sayaka, taking in her features.

The secretary was peering at her with such caring eyes, they seemed to glisten with both relief and concern. Kirari's always loved those eyes. So dark violet that she could never read her thoughts completely, but still so expressive.

"How many glasses of water have you had today?"

Kirari holds up six fingers, "I'll be fine. You don't need-" a cough, "to trouble yourself so much over my condition, really."

Sayaka is alarmed, "President, you have bronchitis-"

Oh, that's the B-word that Ririka had used this morning.

"-fluids are vital to your recovery!" She digs through her bag, pulling out three more bottles of water, setting them on her bedside table, "they thin out the mucus and help with your cough."

Kirari hums, amused and comforted by Sayaka spewing out facts like a textbook. The normalcy is enough to dull her awareness of her declined health.

"Have you eaten yet? There's some chicken noodle soup here if you'd like," Sayaka asks.

Instead of the discomfort in her chest, there's an overwhelming warmth in it. Her secretary was so thoughtful. What had she done to deserve her?

Kirari gestures with grabby hands, which Sayaka takes as confirmation of wanting the soup, and holds it out to her with a spoon, "rest assured, I warmed it just before coming to your room. It should be to your liking."

Sayaka was not wrong. The first spoonful had Kirari feeling beyond grateful. As she continued to eat, Sayaka droned on about how their council affairs were going.

Maybe being ill had its perks.

Sayaka had gotten up to rinse a cloth with cold water when Kirari was finished with her soup and laid it gently on her forehead, brushing her bangs back. The instant relief of the cold material made Kirari give a pleased sigh.

"Better?" Sayaka grinned. When Kirari gave a thumbs up, she made to stand, "I'll be heading home now, President. Take ca-"

A strong grip on her wrist rooted her to her spot with a surprised cry. Turning around, she saw Kirari looking at her with wide, pleading eyes as she asked hopefully, "see you tomorrow?"

Sayaka chuckled softly and gave Kirari's hand a quick squeeze, "yes, at the same time. Get some rest, please."

She'd do anything that girl asked of her.

"You too, Sayaka."

Chapter Text

"Kirari, may I borrow one of your sweaters?" Sayaka asks as she scavenged her girlfriend's walk-in closet.

"They're all in the wash darling," Kirari's eyes lit up in curiosity, "why did you need one? Surely you have some of your own."

Sayaka's cheeks dusted pink as she floundered to put some clothes back on their racks, "it- well.. it's different when I'm wearing yours versus wearing mine."

Kirari was properly intrigued now. The temptation to tease the girl was too strong to ignore.

Approaching Sayaka from behind, she grasped onto her hips and whispered near the shell of her ear, "you want everyone to know who you belong to that badly?"

Her girlfriend's surprised, hitched breath was music to her ears. Poor Sayaka was struggling to stand upright in Kirari's grasp as if she was a newborn animal.

Trying to regain some form of control, she weakly protested, "I think a vast majority of the school already knows that I'm yours."

It wasn't a total cop-out; there was truth to the statement. Both girls worked closely together on the student council, Sayaka was consistently getting the highest grades out of everyone, and Kirari was on the varsity basketball team. They each attended any competitions either of them participated in, without fail.

Upon closer inspection, Sayaka appeared to be struggling to keep her eyes open. Chuckling, Kirari relented and gave her girlfriend a soft peck on her jaw, "that wouldn't be surprising, no. Come, let's take a nap."

"A nap?" Sayaka questioned, confused as she was being dragged over to the bed, "but I don't-"

"Hush, Sayaka," Kirari swiftly cut in, "I'd like to be close to my favourite person right now."

Sayaka shyly nodded her head and averted her gaze, accepting her fate. As Kirari plopped down, she pulled her girlfriend with her so she landed on top of her with an adorable yelp.

Having repositioned herself so she was snuggled up to Kirari's right side, Sayaka started to feel how drowsy she was. She drifted off to sleep as Kirari stroked her fingers through her dark violet locks and peppered gentle kisses all over her forehead.

"Rest peacefully, my dear."


Sayaka awoke hours later with a yawn. She reached out her arm in an attempt to touch Kirari, only to frown when she came into contact with a wool material instead. Blinking away her exhaustion, she sat up for a closer look.

On the bed next to her was a varsity jacket. The leather sleeves and buttons were scarlet red, while the torso portion was black wool. Kirari's name was embroidered on the right side of the chest.

Sayaka promptly pulled the clothing to her chest, hugging it. She was delightfully surprised to catch a whiff of her girlfriend's peach perfume already clinging to the jacket.

The faint sounds of scrawling prompted Sayaka to look up and notice Kirari working diligently on some assignments at her desk.

"Kirari?" Sayaka rasped, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

Said woman hastily turned in her seat, smiling at the scene of her love clutching her clothes, "welcome back, dearest. The jacket's for you."

Sayaka wasted no time putting on the garment. Since Kirari's shoulders were slightly broader, along with her height advantage, the jacket ran a tad large on her. She loved it all the more.

Kirari found the sight of Sayaka burying herself in the jacket entertaining. "You look very pleased," she mused, making her way over to Sayaka.

"Very!" Sayaka chirped as she latched on to Kirari the second she settled next to her. Kirari returned the embrace with a kind smile, laying them down.

Both were content to resume where they left off before Sayaka remembered in a frenzy, "wait- it's getting late and I have homework as w-!"

"You don't," Kirari tightened her hold around her girlfriend, "I just finished it for you."

Oh, so that's what she was doing.

Sayaka made a face, upset that she had troubled Kirari, "I'll make up for it."

"Nonsense," Kirari traced Sayaka's jawline with her forefinger unhurriedly, admiring her sweet face, "you already go above and beyond for me every day. Let me do this for you."

A request like that was impossible to reject. Sayaka's feelings of inadequacy were tempered by Kirari's overwhelming concern and care for her. She slumped back down in Kirari's arms, "thank you."

"Anything for you, Sayaka," she smiled against her temple, "anything at all."