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Girlfriend Syndrome

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It’s raining. 

 

Gura eyes it critically. The rain doesn’t bother her. Maybe it’s something with it, something in the quiet pitter-patter of raindrops that drives down the blue feeling in her gut. Her umbrella is painted with smiling fish. It stands out uncannily in this weather. 

 

It’s not like she’s out here for a reason. It’s a compulsion in her stomach that has her putting on rain boots and throwing on a coat. It’s something that tugs at her breast and drags her into the rain. It’s not heavy rain. It’s a drizzle that’s fast enough to make a noise like TV static on her umbrella. 

 

She’s not here for the rain. 

 

It’s not often she sees Amelia and by that, she means other Amelia’s. Ame offhandedly mentions that Ame’s have a lot of work to do regardless of where they are and leisurely joy hopping to another timeline, well, it’s definitely something every single one of them can do. Gura tries to retain the information the detective shared with her. It was a whole bunch of math and science that made smoke come out of her ears. Ina understood it better than her. 

 

The point is they can visit. They usually go straight to her Ame instead of strolling around. Gura notes that. No matter what, all Amelia’s are shy. It feels nice to know that. 

 

This Amelia is leaning against a stop sign. At first glance, she doesn’t look any different from Gura’s Amelia. The coat is the same yellow, her hat is there to shield her from the rain, her shoes are the same as well. Gura takes her in more. It's the little differences that start to add up. 

 

Her coat is torn. Her stockings have holes in them and she can see the bruises and bloodied skin underneath. Her clothes are dirtied with travel wear. She's not paying attention to anything around her as she stares down at the sidewalk. She's been there for a while. The rain has soaked down her shoulders to the ends of her sleeves. 

 

Gura watches her warily. Instinct knows that's not her Amelia. She can disappear back into the rain pretending she saw nothing and no one would be the wiser. She could forget she ever saw this Amelia. This one wasn't hers. 

 

She approaches quietly. She silently lifts the umbrella up over the both of them. Amelia startles, her gaze snapping up to meet Gura. Her eyes are different. They're a foggier blue than the blue she is used to. It's pitiful to look at. 

 

"Oh." Amelia croaks. Her voice sounds wrecked and dry. "Hi Gura."

 

"What are you doing here?" Gura keeps her voice low. She feels like she's talking to an injured animal, small and shaking in the cold. 

 

Amelia crosses her arms. It's not loose and casual. She winds them tightly around her waist. She murmurs, "Taking a walk."

 

"Why?" Gura presses. 

 

"Nosy," Amelia says. There's nothing teasing in her voice, no small tilt of her lips like she's joking. It's not unkind either. She just looks tired. 

 

Gura doesn't like seeing Amelia like that, hers or not. She steps closer to brush blonde bangs away from her face. The foggy blues watch her. There's no flinch. There's barely any reaction at all. Gura feels something in her tremble. 

 

"Ame," She breathes, "What happened?"

 

"Nothing." Amelia says emotionlessly, "don't worry. I'm just taking a walk. I'm not lying."

 

Gura's throat feels dry as she says, "Do you...have somewhere to go back to?"

 

Amelia doesn't say anything. Her gaze drops back to the pavement. 

 

"Ame." Gura hooks her fingers under her chin. The way this Amelia doesn't fight her despite being strangers, the way she lets Gura lift her chin up so they can look eye to eye, the way she doesn't care - "How long have you been on a walk?"

 

Amelia exhales a little, "You shouldn't worry."

 

"I can't help it." Gura mutters, "I want to help."

 

"You always do," Amelia whispers. The nostalgic way of that catches Gura's attention. She tries to imagine why that is. Every possibility makes her head hurt. To Gura, it almost feels like she likes being held by her. 

 

"Did something happen?" Gura whispers. She reaches up to fix her bangs and her heart stutters when Amelia's eyes flutter closed. She looks a thousand times more tired like this. "Ame?"

 

"I miss you." Amelia's voice is quiet and weary, thousands of miles away and fading. "I miss your voice."

 

Gura feels pressure behind her eyes. Her voice shakes, "Where is your Gura?" Why isn't she here for you? 

 

Amelia's eyes open slowly. She withdraws her chin from Gura's hand. Gura wants to chase her, to grab her and hold her and tell her everything would be alright. 

 

"It's fine," Amelia murmurs. "... Thank you, though. It was nice to..." She exhales softly, "...to see you again."

 

Gura stares at her helplessly. Amelia pulls out her watch and its shine is gone, the gold is scratched and rusted. It's more brown than yellow. The glass is fogged up. It's hard to see the hands ticking away underneath. 

 

"... You don't want to stay?" Gura asks. "Say hi to Ame. She can talk to you." Amelia had a better grasp on her other selves than she did. She probably would know what to say. 

 

This Amelia glances at her, "... Goodbye, Gura."

 

There's a flash of gold. The street lights flicker. Gura blinks and the space in front of her is empty. It's just her beside this stop sign. The rain hasn't stopped. It's like nothing happened. 

 

Gura sighs. She grips her umbrella tightly as she turns on her heel and walks home.

 

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She gets home to the smell of dinner wrapping warmly around her. There's a familiar voice humming from the kitchen. When Gura closes the front door Amelia's voice calls out, "Welcome home! Is that you Ina?"

 

Gura quietly shucks off her boots. She sets the umbrella aside and goes through the motions of taking her coat off. She hears footsteps approaching. 

 

"Hello?" Amelia says, "Ina? Gura?"

 

"I'm home," Gura whispers. Amelia turns around the corner. She's swearing Ina's apron, a cute purple thing with little takodachi climbing up the sides of it. Her hair is pulled back into a ponytail. There's a smudge of something on her cheek that brings out the blinding grin she's giving Gura. 

 

"Jeez, welcome home." Amelia is wiping her hands off on a towel. "Next time get a cup to carry all that water."

 

Gura stares at her. The rosy cheeks, the bright eyes, the liveliness of her. It's a stark contrast to the Amelia earlier. The very thought of her encounter twists her insides. Amelia's smile is dimming, "Gura?"

 

No, Gura's heart aches, no don't ever look at me like that again. 

 

She's marching across the space between them. She's grabbing Amelia's shoulders and tugging her down to her. Amelia sputters a laugh, her arms draping over Gura's shoulders. Gura doesn't hesitate. She grabs Amelia by the back of her head and brings her in for a kiss. Amelia makes a happy noise, the kinda that hums against her lips and makes her toes curl. Gura wants more of it. She wants every delightful noise and smile and she wants it forever. 

 

She pushed Amelia until they lose balance and topple. Amelia giggles against her lips. Gura cushions her head as they land but she doesn't stop, doesn't let up at all as she rakes her teeth over her lips. Hands are carding into Gura's hair and tugging at her scalp. The electric feeling goes all the way down to her tail. 

 

They part for air. Amelia gasps out, "Hello to you too."

 

"Not done." Gura pants. "Not nearly done with you, come here." She draws Amelia back for a kiss and loves the way Amelia lets her, loves the smile against her lips and the laugh she can feel all the way to her heart. 

 

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"Ina."

 

"Hmm?" Ina has her head in her lap. The priestess's eyes are on her switch. Gura's fingers play with her hair, dancing around the flaps on her head and carding down each midnight strand. "What's up?"

 

"Do you…" Gura thinks about her words and frowns, "No, wait, I don't know."

 

"What's wrong?" Ina looks up at her. "You've been quiet all day."

 

Gura purses her lips. She mutters, "How often do you run into an Ame that's not ours?"

 

Ina's gaze sharpens. She's reaching her hand up to grab Gura's and tug it down. She touches her lips to her knuckles. Gura doesn't know why that's comforting. She can't explain how the rubber band wrapped tightly around her ribs loosens up. Gura bows her head to press her forehead to Ina's.

 

"How do you do that?" Gura whispers. "What are you, magic or something?"

 

Ina smiles, "Did I cast a spell on you?" She giggles at her own joke. "I know how it is."

 

"To see a different Ame?" Gura guesses. 

 

"Yes." Ina's eyes soften, "Most of the time they're nice to talk to, but sometimes…" She looks at Gura searchingly, "Did that happen to you?"

 

Gura exhales. She rambles, "We can't let anything happen to her, ever, I couldn't stand to see her- god, Ina, she was-" Gura's voice shakes, "She wasn't even there."

 

"Shh." Ina leans up to kiss her cheek, "It's okay. Nothing is going to happen to her. We're not going to leave her alone." 

 

"I know." Gura says, "I know I'm just-"

 

"It's scary." Ina continues. "I think about it a lot. How could that Ina just let something horrible happen to her?" She closes her eyes, "If that Ina is dead, I can't imagine the pain that Ame goes through." 

 

Gura sniffles, "I can't stand it."

 

"I know." Ina soothes. She peppers a few more kisses over her face, "Shh, I know. We're here. She's not going anywhere and neither are we. It's okay. We'll be okay."

 

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It's not always bad. Gura is shopping when Amelia stands beside her. It's abrupt and unexpected. She knew Amelia was home with Ina. She also knows Amelia can be all about time travel and messing around with the past and future. At least that's what she thinks up till she sees the green eyes. 

 

"Oh god that's gross" Gura hisses.

 

Amelia says, "That's rude, I'm just standing here."

 

Gura snorts, "You're weird looking." She peers at this Amelia, "What the heck happened to you? Did you get kicked by a horse or something?".

 

Amelia wrinkles her nose, "What are you talking about? I'm normal. Stop making fun of me."

 

"Your eyes are green," Gura says. 

 

"Are they not green here?" Amelia asks. She's got that spark in her eye she gets when she investigates something unique. 

 

"No, they're blue."

 

"Woah, sick." She leans back on her heels. She's frowning now, "Hey wait you think I'm ugly with green eyes?"

 

"It's weird. " Gura huffs. "Besides you're not even my Ame, I'm not gonna kiss you."

 

"Rude!" Amelia laughs, "What if I started wearing contacts, hm?"

 

"I can smell your lies," Gura says. 

 

Amelia grins mischievously. This Amelia has a charming little gap between one of her teeth. "My Gura likes my eyes."

 

"She's crooked," Gura says. "She's insane."

 

"Yeah." Amelia looks happily at the shelves around them. "She's crazy."

 

Gura's tail wags. She says "Wanna take a picture together and make out girlfriends jealous?"

 

"Hell yes."

 

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There are lipstick smears over her shoulder. Gura can barely breathe because Amelia has been kissing her until her vision goes fuzzy. She has a hand fisted in snowy hair and she won't let go. Her other hand is running up under her shirt and sending fire over her skin. Gura feels like she's going to pass out under this attention. 

 

"I should," Gura gasps, "I should make you jealous more often."

 

"Shut up," Amelia says but she's smiling as she drowns her in another kiss. 

 

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