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Twin Love Panic

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Haneoka Girls’ Academy - Student Council Room

“Great news, Tsugu-chan!” Hina said, as she burst through the door. And the day had been off to such a great start too…

With a sigh, Tsugumi steeled herself for the worst. Bad news she could deal with. Good news might be something normal. But great news from Hina was always a problem. Did she get approval to add a comedy segment to the daily broadcast? Were they going to have to decorate the entire school again?

“Oh, um,” Tsugumi gathered her courage and asked, “What is it, Hina-senpai?”

“I’ve been talking things over with Onee-chan,” Hina explained, “And it looks like we can be girlfriends now!”

Tsugumi waited a moment for Hina to elaborate, but the girl never dropped her gleeful, expectant look. There had been a faint hope that it would be something reasonable, when Hina mentioned that she had consulted Sayo. But this? Girlfriends?

“Hina-senpai… I… You said with Sayo-san?” Tsugumi attempted to piece together a coherent response, but only managed to voice her own confusion. Hina had been talking to her sister about this?

“Yeah, with Onee-chan!” Hina affirmed with a nod, “I was a bit surprised too, but she said she’d be really happy if we gave it a try.”

Tsugumi’s mind couldn’t dance around the issue any longer. Hina was asking her out. She hadn’t even known that Hina was gay. Imagined it? Vividly. But that was quite different from believing it.

Even if Tsugumi had known, there was no reason to think Hina would choose to direct any of those sapphic impulses towards her of all people. Who would give Tsugumi a second glance when they spent their days around girls like Chisato? Or Aya? Or Eve or Maya—

Tsugumi shook her head clear of beautiful idol girls, save the one standing right in front of her, still waiting on her response. None of Hina’s other decisions had ever made any sense to her, so why should things be any different when it came to love?


Tsugumi tasted the foreign word on her tongue. Did Hina love her? Did she love Hina? Tsugumi had never needed to give serious thought to such things before.

“Ahhh! Tsugu-chan!” Hina squealed as she clasped both of Tsugumi’s hands in her own, “Do you love me too? Do you? Do you?”

Hina bounced up and down as she repeated the question. Her senpai was—as always—impossible to ignore, when all Tsugumi wanted was a moment to think. The answer felt so obvious, yet it hovered just out of reach.

“Yes, Hina-senpai—”

Tsugumi was shocked by her own response, but pressed on, “—Or, I think so? For sure, I can say, I would love to be your girlfriend.”

“That’s amazing, Tsugu-chan!” Hina said, and promptly claimed the other girl’s lips.

All of Tsugumi’s confused feelings melted away instantly. Not out of any sudden clarity or realization, but due to the entirety of her attention being stolen by the cute girl kissing her. Panic took over briefly, Hina’s grip on her hands feeling so much more restrictive than before. But it soon faded as Hina’s tongue slipped inside her mouth, and Tsugumi could linger on every blissful sensation.

Was this love? It felt nice, either way.

Her mind was filled with Hina. Her taste, crisp and with a hint of mint. Her technique, confident yet gentle, taking hold of Tsugumi’s senses with the slightest of movements. Her entire being, the countless memories she had of Hina—every laugh, every grin, every strange idea and spontaneous act. Tsugumi loved it all, and was enveloped by these spinning thoughts. As Hina’s tongue slid across her own, everything else disappeared. Tsugumi couldn’t find it in herself to mourn the loss.

“I can’t wait to tell Onee-chan!” Hina said, as she broke the kiss, unaffected by whatever spell it had placed on Tsugumi.

Taking a moment to catch her breath, Tsugumi held fast to Hina’s hands, afraid everything might end as soon as she let go.

It did strike her as a touch strange that Hina’s first thoughts—after a kiss like that—were of her twin sister. It was hard for Tsugumi to imagine being able to focus on anything beyond the two of them, in that moment. But with a bit more thought, it began to make some sense to her. In as much as Hina ever made sense to her.

Before today, Tsugumi couldn’t have imagined anyone would compare to Sayo in her sister’s eyes, be it Tsugumi herself or otherwise. Hina might love her, for whatever unclear reasons, but she had not by any means lost her near-obsession with Sayo. It was best to get used to that now, because if all went well, Tsugumi was going to start spending even more time with Hina than she already was.

Everything hit her all over again. Hina had asked her out. The breathtaking idol, the unrivaled guitarist, her incomprehensible student council president. Choosing a simple, unremarkable girl like Tsugumi. Would they have to hide their relationship from the tabloids? Would anyone even believe such a thing to begin with?

Hina didn’t strike her as the type to worry about any of that. So instead, Tsugumi smiled to her new girlfriend—and such a precious phrase that was—slipping her fingers out of Hina’s grasp, sliding down to wrap around her wrist.

“I’m sure Sayo-san will be thrilled to hear all about it, Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi said, pulling out a stack of papers with her free hand as panic started to creep into Hina’s expression, “But for now we have to review those budget reports you promised to take a look at yesterday. Remember?”

Hina tried to squirm out of Tsugumi’s grip, but she had been completely blindsided, not noticing what was happening until far too late. Tsugumi had caught her, and it wouldn’t do to let her escape now.

Hazawa Coffee

“Thank you!”

Tsugumi bowed to a few of the last trailing customers of the day, as they headed out the entrance to the café, making sure to call after them, “Please come again soon!”

She let out a small sigh as the doors closed once more, and she was left alone in the empty shop. Or, more accurately, nearly alone.

One single customer remained, where she had sat for the better part of the past hour, occasionally sneaking glances towards Tsugumi. One particular, green haired guitarist—though not the one she had expected to see, today of all days.

Sayo nursed her third cup of coffee, as she pretended to read the book held out in front of her.

On any other day, this would be nothing more than a pleasant surprise. Sayo was an infrequent customer of the café, always polite, always happy to talk when business was slow or her shift was wrapping up. If Tsugumi had been braver, she might have considered pushing for even more. But Hina’s confession today should rid her of any such thoughts, no matter if they never amounted to anything more than thoughts.

It was perfectly natural to find your girlfriend’s sister attractive, though. Wasn’t it? Doubly so for twin sisters. It would almost be an insult to Hina if Tsugumi didn’t at least find Sayo a little hot—or a lot hot, as the case might be.

The question still remained, what was Sayo doing here? She could have chosen to visit today by chance. Tsugumi could be reading too much into things. But Sayo’s visits weren’t all that common, between her commitment to Roselia and her own responsibilities at school, student council and otherwise.

Had Hina already told her about what happened this morning? Was this the famous “hurt her and die” speech that television and manga taught her all older siblings were required to give to any potential romantic partner?

Tsugumi put down the rag she had been using to polish the same part of the counter for the past three minutes. Sayo had clearly stuck around to the end of her shift for a reason, and ignoring her wasn’t an option. She was still a customer, after all.

“Um… excuse me,” Tsugumi said, as she approached Sayo’s table, “Did you, um, do you have everything you need, Sayo-san?”

Sayo slammed her book closed far too loudly as she looked up, but there was no one else in the coffee shop, so Tsugumi brushed it off without comment.

“Ah, Hazawa-san,” Sayo started, but then shook her head, “Er, Tsugumi-san—Tsugumi. I did want to see you. As soon as possible. I, um, assume you can guess why. Hina told you today, right?”

Tsugumi gulped, but didn’t want to show any weakness in front of her new girlfriend’s sister. Sayo could be quite intimidating when so inclined, though Tsugumi had never imagined she would have to experience it first hand.

“Yes, Sayo-san,” Tsugumi said, fidgeting about in her café uniform, “Hina-senpai… she was really excited to, um, tell me—and also to let you know I said yes, it seems.”

Sayo laughed at her description, and Tsugumi could hardly believe the carefree smile Sayo gave her. The serious image of Roselia’s guitarist clashed so heavily with what she was seeing, and more worryingly, she couldn’t figure out why. Though, Tsugumi wouldn’t complain about a lack of death glares or threats of bodily harm.

“Yes, excitable, that’s certainly fair,” Sayo said, a hint of affection slipping into her casual tone, “Hina never does anything by half measures, once she’s set on something.”

Tsugumi nodded in agreement. Sayo doubtless had even more experience trying to reign Hina in, as futile an endeavour as that often might seem. But there were certain advantages to having a girlfriend with a lack of restraint, she conceded. Hina’s enthusiasm that morning had been… quite the experience.

A blush must have started to form at the thought, since Sayo’s expression narrowed, focusing on her face a bit too deeply.

“She’s already kissed you, hasn’t she?”

Sayo’s bluntness caught Tsugumi off guard. It was a reasonable conclusion to draw, granted, but did she need to make it sound like such an accusation?

“Well, um, Sayo-san,” Tsugumi attempted to explain herself, but it was too embarrassing. Trying to relate the moments leading up to the kiss, well, inevitably led to the kiss itself. And Tsugumi still hadn’t gotten used to the idea of a cute girl wanting to kiss her like that in the first place. If she would ever get used to it, that is.

“It’s alright, Tsugumi, you don’t need to justify yourself, not to me,” Sayo smiled at her, but there was a note of sadness Tsugumi couldn’t place, “Could you… could you sit with me for a moment?”

Before Tsugumi could move to pull up another chair, she noticed that Sayo was gesturing to her own seat. Inviting Tsugumi, though there was hardly enough space for two people to sit comfortably. Still, Sayo clearly had something she wanted to say, and maybe lacked the courage to say it.

Sitting on someone’s lap wasn’t exclusively a romantic gesture, after all. Friends could do it, family could do it. Tsugumi hadn’t thought Sayo would be the type in either case, but there was no harm in hearing her out. And if Tsugumi was going to start dating her sister, it made sense that Sayo would want to get closer to her as well.

Tsugumi gave a mostly ceremonial brush of dust from her apron before joining Sayo, allowing the girl’s arms to gently wrap around her. Once she had sat down, the whole situation felt much more intimate than she had prepared herself for. Sitting on Sayo’s lap, just the two of them alone, nothing but dim street lights visible from out the café’s windows. She could feel Sayo’s soft breath on the back of her neck, and for a moment, neither girl spoke.

“It’s a bit childish of me, I know,” Sayo said at last, her voice wavering in a fashion Tsugumi never imagined hearing from the girl, “Hina has always been the best at everything. Always better than me. Even when I tried to get away from her, she would follow right behind me every time. And without fail, in time, ahead of me. She wouldn’t even be in Pastel✽Palettes if I’d never picked up a guitar first. Now, it’s just one more time she’s bested me.”

Tsugumi had never delved too deeply into the Hikawa twins’ relationship with one another. She had pieced together—mostly from Hina’s off-handed comments—that it had once been far worse, but getting straight answers from Hina was rare, and Sayo opening up even rarer. And yet, she was doing so right now, and to Tsugumi of all people.

She twisted in Sayo’s arms as she turned to face the girl. Tsugumi’s breath caught when she finally looked Sayo dead on. Were those… tears?


Despite herself, Tsugumi couldn’t manage to form a coherent question. She had no idea what she was supposed to say, when a beautiful girl started crying right in front of her. And so she said nothing, as Sayo pulled her in closer.

“I’m sorry, Tsugumi,” Sayo managed after a deep breath, “I didn’t want things to go quite like this, but I also don’t want to hide how I feel. Not from you. I had just been hoping that maybe—just this once—I’d be able to get away from Hina, do something all on my own. That love could be different.”

“Love…?” Tsugumi repeated, the word echoing in her mind for the second time that day. Did Sayo…?

“No, no, Tsugumi, it’s alright.”

Sayo tried to reassure her. Called her Tsugumi again. Had she been doing that all this time?

“I accept Hina for what she is, for who she is,” Sayo continued, “At least, I do now. If she loves you, then she loves you. I wouldn’t want my feelings to stand in the way of that.”

Tsugumi froze. Sayo’s feelings… Now Sayo was in love with her too? How was she supposed to respond to something like that?

Even Hina’s confession this morning seemed almost normal by comparison. Sayo looked so passionate, so self-assured, even as she told Tsugumi of how her love had fallen apart before it even began. That was likely the only reason why Tsugumi hadn’t started crying herself—at least, not yet. It felt like all too much.

“I’m happy for Hina,” Sayo said, and Tsugumi nearly believed her, “It’s only in her nature that she’d steal the first kiss of the girl I love. But I’ve decided now, I think I can accept that…”

Tsugumi didn’t understand how. Couldn’t understand Sayo smiling at her, at a moment like this. Pouring her heart out to Tsugumi, all too late. She had so thoughtlessly accepted Hina’s confession, unable to imagine another girl might feel the same for her. That Sayo, somehow, could—

Tsugumi’s train of thought screeched to an abrupt halt. Something warm had pressed up against her lips. It was an oddly familiar sensation. Rougher, more insistent, but familiar all the same.

Sayo had kissed her.

Sayo was kissing her. Right now.

There were many ways to react to getting kissed by your girlfriend’s sister. Righteous indignation. Disgust. A firm shove and firmer denial.

Tsugumi let out a soft moan, as Sayo broke the kiss. Her mind still hadn’t quite caught up with her body.

“Wouldn’t you agree, Tsugumi,” Sayo asked, a mischievous grin forming across her lips, the same pair that had just claimed her own, “that second kisses can be quite nice too?”

Tsugumi let Sayo rise from her seat, pushing her up onto her feet, then watched her walk out the door without another word. She stood there, unable to move, as everything started to crumble around her.

Chapter Text

Haneoka Girls’ Academy - Class 2A

Tsugumi was lost. Terribly lost. Not in the physical sense—she had been going through school almost on auto-pilot.

No, Tsugumi was the particular kind of lost that came with unexpectedly getting a girlfriend one morning, then getting kissed by her sister later that evening. The kind of lost that would be easier to deal with if that sister wasn’t so painfully attractive.

At least everything had spun wildly out of control right at closing time. Tsugumi wasn’t sure what she would have done if she still had a shift to finish after Sayo kissed her. Though, it wasn’t as if she had any idea what to do now.

She needed to talk to someone, Tsugumi decided. Someone who hadn’t had most of their brain cells fried the other day by a handful of kisses. Someone to look at the situation with fresh eyes.

Moca sat in front of her, as always.


Ran was off to her left, taking notes and paying far more attention to the lecture than Tsugumi could manage at the moment.

Unfortunately, also disaster, if for different reasons.

Of all the days for Tomoe to have a doctor’s appointment, it had to be today…

Himari glanced towards Tsugumi again, clearing her throat slightly, before turning away to feign interest in the lecture once more. She puffed her cheeks out, failing to hide her annoyance.

Himari was… a girl, Tsugumi supposed. She wouldn’t simply see it as an excuse to tease Tsugumi, at least. And there was a chance she could think of something useful. It was just that—and nothing against her friend, to be clear—it sounded like a bit of a stretch, even in her own head. Himari broke down at particularly touching instant ramen commercials. Asking her advice for something like this…

It was probably the best Tsugumi was going to get.

As class came to an end, Tsugumi allowed Himari to corner her in the hallway, picking a fairly isolated spot clear of the heavier trafficked areas.

“There’s something bothering you, Tsugu,” Himari accused, “You were hardly paying attention in class at all today.”

“You weren’t either, Himari-chan,” Tsugumi said, though she realized this was a rather flimsy argument even as she spoke.

“That’s only because I was worried about you!” Himari cried, “Yesterday you were so excited about all that… all that—stuff—you did with Hina-senpai, but this morning it felt like you barely showed up at all. Did she do something to you? Did she hurt you?”

“Hina-senpai? No!” Tsugumi protested, not wanting Himari to jump to more conclusions than she already had, “No, Himari-chan… it was Sayo-san.”

“Ah, that’s good to hear, it was Sayo-san, not Hina-senpai.”

Himari nodded and started to relax her posture. She almost let out a sigh, when her eyes snapped wide open.

“Eeeh? It was Sayo-san?” Himari asked, gripping Tsugumi by the shoulders, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

If Tsugumi had an answer to that, she wouldn’t be in this mess. Why had Sayo done it… kissed her like that? It was like Tsugumi was some rare strain of catnip that drew in only the Hikawa twins.

“I don’t really know, Himari-chan,” Tsugumi admitted, “She showed up at the café last night, at the end of my shift. She told me that she… that she also loved me. And then she kissed me.”

“What?” Himari said, shaking Tsugumi’s shoulders as if trying to force the answers loose, “Sayo-san? That girl—”

“Oh my, Tsugu,” came a voice from behind Himari, “So one girl wasn’t enough for you, huh? At this rate, Afterglow is going to develop a reputation.”

Tsugumi couldn’t see much with the way Himari stood over her, all but pressing her up against a wall. But she would recognize that smug tone anywhere—no matter how much she might wish otherwise.

“Moca-chan,” Tsugumi said, peeking her head around Himari’s, “this really, really isn’t the time.”

“It’s an emergency, Moca!” Himari said, turning to face the other girl, “Tsugu’s purity has been violated!”

That wasn’t quite how Tsugumi would put it. Sayo’s kiss had been a shock, yes. And it would be a betrayal of Hina-senpai’s trust to do nothing about it, to risk it happening again. But Tsugumi couldn’t hate Sayo for what she did.

Between the tears, the confessions—the kiss. Sayo had laid herself bare. It was heartbreaking, it was confusing. Tsugumi just wanted everything to make sense again, the way things had before Sayo kissed her.

“Please, Moca-chan,” Tsugumi said, hoping she didn’t sound too pathetic, “I just don’t know what to do. About all of this.”

“Ho ho,” Moca smiled, “So, you’ve finally come to Moca-chan for advice. Well—”

Tsugumi braced herself for the worse.

“—unfortunately, Moca-chan is also hopeless when it comes to relationships,” Moca apologized, “Unless you’re wondering if you should ask a girl out solely because she works at a bakery… turns out that’s a terrible idea.”

Tsugumi let out a breath. It seemed that Moca was taking things about as seriously as she could hope. And it had been kind of impressive how efficiently Saaya had rejected her back then. Maybe Tsugumi should be asking her for advice instead. But Hanasakigawa was clear on the other side of town, so she’d need to table that idea for the time being.

For now, she couldn’t put off heading to the Student Council any longer. It was time to see her girlfriend again.

Haneoka Girls’ Academy - Student Council Room

“Tsugu-chan! You’re late!”

Hina perked up as soon as she saw Tsugumi enter the room.

“Sorry, sorry,” Tsugumi said, waving her hands defensively in front of her, “I’m sure Hina-senpai must have already started without me.”

All of Hina’s accusatory bluster collapsed at that comment, as she sheepishly laughed things off.

“Well, you know, this and that…”

Tsugumi smiled at Hina’s rather weak defense. Everything else might be spiraling out of control all around her, but some things never changed. Hina had always been a “big picture” sort of leader, to put it generously. She was quite capable when she wanted to be. Definitely, when she wanted to be…

“But before we get into any of that stuff,” Hina said, ever eager for a distraction, “I’ve got a present for you, Tsugu-chan.”

A present? That seemed fast, after only one day. Tsugumi had heard rumors of girlfriends who would celebrate one month anniversaries, or even one week, but surely one day was way too ridiculous. But most girlfriends weren’t Hina, so maybe she should have expected something like this. Did Hina think Tsugumi had brought a present too? She hoped not.

“Now, now, close your eyes, Tsugu-chan,” Hina said, digging around in her school bag as Tsugumi grew increasingly concerned, “It’s gotta be a surprise.”

Tsugumi embraced the path of least resistance, and followed Hina’s instructions. With her eyes shut tight, her trepidation doubled, helpless to do anything but wait until Hina was ready. Ready for… whatever this was supposed to be.

“Great!” She heard Hina say, somewhere off to her left. She seemed to be walking towards Tsugumi now, judging by the footsteps.

And when the kiss she’d half-expected finally came, Tsugumi was almost relieved. She wouldn’t put it past Hina to draw on her face with marker or something, so the surprise kiss—as much as it was a surprise—was far more welcome than some of the alternatives.

Quite welcome, indeed. Same as yesterday, Hina’s kiss was soft, inviting. Tsugumi’s lips parted almost subconsciously, letting Hina taste her fully once more. Had Hina dated anyone before? Kissed anyone like this before? Tsugumi didn’t think she had, but Hina’s easy confidence stunned her, if yesterday was really the girl’s first time.

The kiss was so relaxed, yet all encompassing. So unlike how Sayo had kissed her last night. None of the panicked urgency, the roughness that came with uncertainty. Hina made kissing feel more like a game, something fun to do to pass the time.

Tsugumi really shouldn’t be comparing her girlfriend’s kisses to her sister’s, should she? That sounded like something that she shouldn’t be thinking about while kissing Hina. Or rather, she probably shouldn’t know how Sayo kissed at all, but the ship had unfortunately already sailed on that.

Tsugumi opened her eyes as Hina broke the kiss. She hadn’t noticed that she had still been keeping them closed, Hina’s “surprise” long since passed. But in her defense, Tsugumi had been… otherwise distracted.

“So? What do you think?” Hina asked, lifting Tsugumi’s hands up in front of them.

“It was… it was great, Hina-senpai?” Tsugumi said, unsure if Hina was asking for feedback or something.

“No, no! Not that,” Hina said, shaking Tsugumi by the wrists, “The present! The ticket!”

Tsugumi looked down to where Hina held her hands, and found that a ticket of some sort had indeed found its way there, somehow. Her mind had been focused elsewhere, of course, but it was still an embarrassing thing to have missed.

“Roselia is performing tonight,” Hina explained, “Onee-chan said she would be really happy if you could make it. It’s at CiRCLE, so I’m sure you’ll be able to get there just fine.”

Roselia. Sayo-san had asked for her specifically? That didn’t sound good at all. Though, there was no way for Hina to suspect anything like that. How could she, when Tsugumi still hadn’t told her anything? Hadn’t tried to break her heart like that. Hina was strong, but right now Tsugumi and Sayo were the most important people in the world to her. Tsugumi didn’t want to find out how she would react to both of them betraying her at once.

No, it was best if Tsugumi took care of things herself. Sayo needed to understand that Tsugumi didn’t want to ever hurt Hina, that she should never want to hurt her sister either. And the perfect opportunity to confront Sayo had literally just been handed to her. But there was still one thing bugging her…

“Hina-senpai…” Tsugumi asked, looking down at the ticket, “aren’t you going to come too?”

Hina loved her sister to an almost concerning degree. Did she really not go to Sayo’s performances? Even one that her girlfriend had been invited to?

“Eh he he,” Hina laughed nervously. Tsugumi could hear her mutter something along the lines of “still banned from Onee-chan’s shows” as Hina backed away and gained a sudden interest in some paperwork left lying about.

Tsugumi shook her head, letting the issue drop. It seemed even her sister appreciated Hina most in small doses. And if this got Hina to actually focus on Student Council work for a change, then she couldn’t complain too much.

CiRCLE - Stage

Tsugumi arrived at the live house some twenty minutes early. She might have been overly cautious in her efforts to make it to the show on time. But that left her plenty of time to calm down, as she waited until they began admitting audience members. Or rather, she had time to let that immediate panic of missing the show sink into a deeper, more numbing panic about what would happen once the show was over.

Tsugumi wasn’t the confrontational type. She didn’t like to cause problems for others. But right now, Sayo was causing some huge problems, and Tsugumi was the only one who could tell her to stop. Had to tell her to stop. Tonight.

Once inside though, in the middle of the crowd as the spotlights turned up on stage, Tsugumi could forget all that for a moment and let the music wash over her. The talent of every member of Roselia was outstanding, but Yukina’s voice especially held a captivating tone, drawing the entire audience in with every line.

Tsugumi stole a glance over towards Sayo on guitar. There was no conflict there, no distractions. She put her all into the performance, betraying no hint she even knew Tsugumi was watching.

Each note Sayo played bled into the next, and Tsugumi realized she couldn’t look away. There was a grace to her performance, to the confidence in her skill. And she was also really, really pretty.

Tsugumi still didn’t understand why Sayo had chosen her of all people. Up on stage, she looked absolutely dazzling, so unlike Tsugumi when she performed. Demanding attention, rather than fading into the background.

If Sayo had confessed first, before Tsugumi had even the faintest idea of how Hina felt towards her, she would have accepted. Gladly. She wasn’t ashamed to admit that. But Hina trusted Tsugumi… loved her, even. Tsugumi couldn’t have dreamed of a reason to deny Hina, when she had first confessed, but then Sayo came along to turn all those warm and pure feelings on their head.

It had been so much simpler when the Hikawa twins had felt so far above her. Beautiful? Yes. Talented? Naturally. But not the sort of girls to fall in love with someone as plain and ordinary as Tsugumi. They were going places, and while Tsugumi was proud of the music Afterglow made, she had no illusions about her own band’s future.

Yukina held the final note as the rest of the band faded out, and another song came to an end. Tsugumi allowed herself to breathe once more, tearing her gaze away from Sayo before she risked making eye contact.

“They really are something else, aren’t they?”

“Eh? Ran-chan?” Tsugumi asked, surprised to find her friend now standing next to her. How long had she been there?

“That should be my reaction, Tsugumi,” Ran smiled, “I don’t think I’ve seen you at one of Roselia’s concerts before. When we haven’t all gone together, that is.”

It was a fair point. While Afterglow and Roselia had performed together at times, attending each other’s separate performances was much less common. At least, after that first wave when Tomoe had insisted on dragging everyone along to all of Ako’s shows.

Tsugumi should have guessed that Yukina had invited Ran tonight, much as she had been invited by Sayo. Well, Ran was actually dating Yukina, not caught in a tangled mess of kisses and confessions and confusion. So not quite the same thing, but the general idea still stood.

“It’s a bit hard to explain,” Tsugumi started, before deciding it was best to get this over with, before the next song started, “See yesterday, Sayo-san sort of, maybe, er, kissed me.”

“Ah, that explains things, your eyes were all over her during that last song,” Ran nodded to herself, before frowning, “But I thought you said yesterday that it was Hina-senpai who confessed to you?”

Tsugumi laughed awkwardly, “Um… yeah, that’s basically the problem…”

Ran’s eyes widened as the pieces started fitting together, forming a rather unpleasant image.

“Ah, I see… um,” Ran said, patting Tsugumi lightly on the shoulder, “Good luck.”

“Oh… uh, thanks,” Tsugumi said, accepting the somewhat awkward gesture, as the other girl started to pull away.


Tsugumi reached out after her, but Ran had already ducked back into the crowd. Before Tsugumi could try to shout for her to come back, the stage lights turned back up to full force, and Roselia started into their next song.

CiRCLE - Lobby

Sayo smiled as she spotted Tsugumi waiting there, silently dreading the inevitable. It felt different than it had when Sayo was on stage, during that final song. When Tsugumi was just another face in the audience, and she could pretend that Sayo wasn’t specifically smiling at her. Because Sayo was just such a happy, upbeat sort of performer, who would just smile for no reason at all.

Or was that Kokoro?

“Thanks for coming out tonight, Tsugumi,” Sayo said, with a sincerity that surprised Tsugumi, “I know you must have seen Roselia perform before, and it’s a bit silly of me to have asked. But I’m glad to see you all the same. I was a bit worried Hina didn’t tell you, at first.”

Did Sayo feel bad about last night as well? The girl had been something of an emotional wreck at the time… especially compared to her usual self. She must have regretted it before she even got home that night.

Tsugumi couldn’t blame her too much for acting out in the moment, if she was trying to make up for things now. While Hina was definitely more open about her love for her sister, Tsugumi should have known better than to think that Sayo would want to hurt her like that.

“Don’t worry, Hina-senpai was more than happy to pass the invite along,” Tsugumi said, “I’m glad to see you’re doing better than you were, um… last night.”

“Ah,” Sayo blushed at the mention of her earlier actions, “I’m… sorry I put all that on you. I thought I had left all those feelings behind me… the jealousy… the inadequacy. Hina is trying to make things easier on me, but I still can’t always help how I feel.”

Tsugumi almost felt bad letting Sayo apologize like this. Yes, the kiss was totally inappropriate, but she shouldn’t apologize for feeling the way she did. Even if it was still a bit hard to believe that Sayo felt that way about her. It was also good to hear that Hina might not be completely in the dark about her sister’s feelings, if perhaps unaware of the kiss specifically. That sounded like something Sayo would choose not to bring up.

“It’s alright Sayo-san, it really is,” Tsugumi reassured her, “I won’t hold it against you. And I don’t think Hina-senpai would want you to beat yourself up like that either.”

Sayo reluctantly nodded along, “You’re right, dwelling on mistakes of the past, or might-have-beens, has never helped anyone. It certainly doesn’t sound like something Hina would do.”

Tsugumi laughed, what felt like years of tension rolling off her as this whole mess started to wrap up far better than she had ever possibly hoped. She really shouldn’t have thought so little of Sayo, assuming she had invited Tsugumi just to kiss her like that again. Surrendering to a single moment of weakness was one thing, but actively planning to go behind her sister’s back would be a whole new low.

“I’m glad to hear it, Sayo-san,” Tsugumi said, before smirking, just a bit, “—and don’t tell Hina-senpai, but just between you and me… it was a pretty great second kiss.”

“You don’t have to lie to me just to make me feel better,” Sayo joked back, “I’m sure Hina’s kisses have gotten better in just one day than mine will ever be.”

Tsugumi blushed despite herself. The idea of a girl like Hina wanting to kiss her still felt strange, but the kisses themselves were undeniably amazing. In any case, she had hardly been in a proper state to judge Sayo’s own kiss, far too busy trying to understand what was happening to begin with.

“But that sort of thing doesn’t matter to me anymore,” Sayo continued in a more serious tone, taking a step closer to Tsugumi, “I don’t care how Hina might kiss you, as long as I can still do… this—”

Tsugumi had let her guard drop. Sayo’s arms wrapped around her, meeting no resistance, and then—

It was gentler than their last kiss. Sayo was less desperate, more playful. More confident than before that Tsugumi wouldn’t push her away.

It still wasn’t quite like Hina’s kisses, though. Hina never did anything except for her own amusement, and that reflected in her technique. Tsugumi enjoyed kissing Hina all the same, but it was more of an accident—things falling into place just right—than anything Hina was actively trying to do.

There was direction behind Sayo’s kiss. She wanted Tsugumi to feel every inch of it, wanted Tsugumi to know what she was doing. The way her tongue—

Tsugumi froze up. Or maybe at last stopped freezing up. In either case, she was now quite aware that she’d ended up in the exact situation she’d been trying to avoid. Aware of how her girlfriend’s sister was exploring the inside of her mouth. How her hands were exploring other places, brushing over thin fabric.

With only some effort, Tsugumi broke the kiss. She couldn’t believe it. Couldn’t believe Sayo would…

“Fuck I love you… Tsugumi,” Sayo spoke in a whisper. Insistent on tearing down every charitable thought Tsugumi had had of her that night. It had been a mistake coming here to begin with.

Tsugumi ran, not knowing what else to do. She didn’t look back toward Sayo. Didn’t want Sayo to see the tears in her eyes. She didn’t know what she wanted, really. Other than to get as far away from all of this as possible. She wanted Hina. She wanted to be held and kissed and to feel wonderful for it—rather than horribly guilty. But instead, Tsugumi ran home.

Hazawa Residence - Tsugumi’s Room

Safe back in her own room, but alone in her own thoughts, Tsugumi’s mind wandered in useless spirals. She wondered why Sayo had done it. She wondered if she even had the right to see Hina again. Noble intent was all well and good, but kissing the same girl twice was harder to write off as simple misfortune.

Tsugumi had known Sayo would try to pull something like this—why had she even considered confronting her alone? And forget about telling Hina directly, of course. Had Tsugumi really been trying to spare Hina’s feelings by dealing with this without her, or merely been sparing her own? Too afraid to admit to Hina what had happened. Still too afraid, all the more so now.

Tsugumi curled up on her bed, hugging a heart-shaped pillow close against her chest. Everything had become such a mess. She’d never had to second guess herself like this before, had never had any decisions in her life that really mattered in quite the same way. But now her decisions had hurt the people she cared about, and she didn’t know how to fix things.

Person she cared about. Tsugumi mentally corrected herself. Whatever she might have felt about Sayo before all this, it was gone, torn up and thrown away. Hina was the only one she should be worried about right now.

Hina. It was still hard to believe what happened, just yesterday morning. Hina, her beautiful, genius, often mentally and physically taxing president, loved her. And Hina did nothing by half measures either. Sayo was… eager to please, Tsugumi had to admit, but Hina was all that and more. Her kisses tainted with none of the horrible feelings she felt right now.

There was a trace of mint, Tsugumi recalled. Hina’s kisses were refreshing, like cool spring air against her lips. Emptying her of all worries, all thoughts. If Hina had tried to touch her like Sayo had, tried to go further than that, would Tsugumi have let her? She didn’t think Hina would be quite so… zealous. Hina might let her hands roam one day, but it would be on a whim, not the desperate need she had felt from Sayo.

Tsugumi could picture it. Hina kissing her in the Student Council room, with little regard for the chances of someone else walking in. Hina whispering in her ear, telling her that everything would be fine. That she would make Tsugumi feel amazing.

Tsugumi’s hand slipped lower, under the bedsheets, as she imagined Hina’s hands unbuttoning her shirt. She didn’t wear any sort of naughty underwear, definitely not to school, but Hina wouldn’t care. Lace or cloth got in the way all the same.

Tsugumi would protest that there wasn’t any point. That she wasn’t as gifted as Hina with those sorts of curves. Hina would touch her, pinching and rubbing her nipples, asking Tsugumi if it didn’t feel good anyway. It was wonderful, Tsugumi imagined it was Hina’s hand against her chest right now. Her fantasies didn’t explain why her other hand had crept between her legs, but Tsugumi didn’t stop.

She wouldn’t let Hina do something like that at school, maybe not even take off her shirt there. But did that mean Tsugumi’s only problem with the idea was the location? Tsugumi wondered what she would do if Hina was in her room right now. What Hina would do if she saw her girlfriend in this state.

Hina would want to help, of course. She liked having fun, and she would try to tell Tsugumi how it would feel way better if she curled her fingers like this—

Tsugumi’s hips bucked, unsure if she was reacting to her own fingers, or the thought of Hina… helping her. Either way, Tsugumi was close. She could feel Hina’s lips around hers. Her hands groping at Tsugumi’s chest. Tsugumi’s hands answering back. Sayo nibbling on her ear, telling her everything was alright, as her fingers reached lower, rubbing at Tsugumi’s core.

Tsugumi let go. And in that moment, everything felt perfect.

The moment passed, and it didn’t take long for Tsugumi to notice how her horny mind had turned against her. She wanted to believe it meant nothing, that it wasn’t anything more than an unpleasant thought that had forced its way in, because of what had happened after the show. But it hadn’t felt unpleasant, not as she was imagining it. Only in the clarity of her own, personal afterglow, did Tsugumi wish to unthink such thoughts. Wanted to be everything Hina believed in her to be.

Far too late into the night, Tsugumi at last surrendered into sleep.

Chapter Text

Haneoka Girls’ Academy - Roof

Tsugumi looked out at the early morning sky, and pretended life was simpler. All alone up here, she couldn’t stumble into betraying Hina again. So long as she sat still and stared at the clouds above the horizon, everything would be fine.

She was supposed to be helping Hina in the Student Council room this morning, but it was easier not to face her right now. Tsugumi still didn’t know what she was supposed to say. Sorry, your older sister kissed me? Twice?

Was that better or worse than having Sayo show up in her fantasies, even the one time? Well, only once since Hina had asked to be her girlfriend—and Tsugumi refused to elaborate any further.

She knew, deep down, that Hina would never hold it against her. Probably not even against Sayo. Hina was far too accepting like that. Which only made things worse, since then it would be up to Tsugumi to explain why she should be upset. To convince Hina to hate her as much as she hated herself right now.

“Skipping out on your responsibilities, Vice President?” a voice behind her asked, “Himari made it sound bad, but it must be worse than I thought.”


Tsugumi tilted her head over one shoulder, but let her gaze drop back down once she caught a flash of red hair, not wanting to meet her friend’s eyes.

“Yeah, it’s bad. Really bad, Tomoe-chan.”

Tomoe sat down on the ground next to Tsugumi, staring out over the roof with her.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Tsugumi didn’t. She wanted all of it to disappear forever. To never have to think or speak of it again.

“Yeah,” Tsugumi forced herself to say, “Or at least, I think I need to.”

Tomoe placed a hand on her shoulder, but said nothing, waiting for Tsugumi to continue.

“She did it again, last night,” Tsugumi said, staring down at her hands, “It seemed like things were going so well, too. She apologized and everything, really convinced me it was all behind us. I was laughing with her—I got careless, Tomoe-chan.”

Tsugumi shut her eyes. She didn’t want to start crying again. Tomoe wouldn’t mind, but her explanation was enough of a mess already, without her voice catching on every other word.

“You aren’t responsible for Sayo-san’s actions, Tsugu,” Tomoe said, daring Tsugumi to disagree, “If she… kissed you again, that isn’t because of a mistake you made, or because you were weak. She never should have done it to begin with, and all that matters now is that she never does it again.”

Tsugumi wanted to argue, but already knew what Tomoe would say. She shouldn’t blame herself for hoping that things would go better than they had, for giving Sayo a chance to explain herself. And what an explanation it was…

“She said she loved me,” Tsugumi said, wanting someone else, anyone else, to understand the hopelessness of it all, “What am I supposed to say to that, Tomoe-chan? Two days ago I never would have believed a girl like her could feel that way about me. Why did she never tell me before?”

Tsugumi gave up on holding back her tears. She didn’t have anything left to say anyway. No answers, only a million useless questions.

“I can’t say I understand Sayo-san’s actions,” Tomoe admitted, “But what I do know is that she’s hurting you, and she’s hurting her sister. That might even be the point. Her relationship with Hina-senpai always seemed… troubled, to say the least.”

Tsugumi nodded in agreement. She remembered, each time Sayo kissed her, they had spoken of Hina kissing her just before. It fit together quite nicely, that Sayo never cared about her—not until Hina did.

Yet, it didn’t feel right. Tsugumi had been exposed to quite a bit more of Hina than was recommended, during her time as Vice President. And while Hina wasn’t the most reliable source in general, Tsugumi genuinely believed her when she talked about things improving between her and her sister. Which also lined up with what little she had heard from Sayo. Both on… that night, and on days prior.

No, if Sayo was mad at Hina—if she really wanted to hurt her—something had to have gone wrong between them. Recently. Say, the day that Hina first asked Tsugumi out.

If Sayo’s feelings were genuine—and Tsugumi couldn’t imagine being able to fake things that convincingly—then it all circled back to where it started. Hina approached Tsugumi first, but Sayo decided that this one time, she wasn’t going to accept losing to her sister. Not when it came to love.

“I won’t tell you what you should feel right now,” Tomoe said, after it became clear that Tsugumi wasn’t going to break the silence, “but it won’t help anyone to let things go on like this. It’s hurting you, it’s hurting Hina-senpai, and I’d imagine, somewhere in there, it’s hurting Sayo-san too.”

Tsugumi had to admit Tomoe had a point. Letting this continue couldn’t possibly end well. She had thought as much yesterday, she still thought as much today. But trying to stop things at the source last night had gone… poorly. And now Tsugumi was even more uncertain of taking things to Hina. That was most of the reason why she was up here on the roof, skipping out on her Student Council duties. Avoiding what she knew she had to do.

It wasn’t any one particular outcome Tsugumi was worried about. While she knew Hina better than most, that only meant Tsugumi knew she couldn’t be certain how the girl might react. That said, it was not nearly as hard to predict that things wouldn’t go well, one way or another.

Sayo was the most important person in the world to Hina. Even after becoming her girlfriend, Tsugumi wouldn’t presume otherwise. Whatever Hina’s reaction might be to the… kisses, it would cut through every layer of the girl. Whether she blamed Tsugumi or not hardly mattered, the betrayal from her sister would sting so much worse. Maybe Hina would even blame herself, for failing to notice Sayo’s own feelings for Tsugumi beforehand.

The thoughts continued to swirl inside her head, going nowhere. Tsugumi was stuck, her situation untenable. But the idea of telling Hina equally—

“Are you even listening, Tsugu-chan?” a voice asked her, possibly whoever it was that Tsugumi now realized was shaking her by the shoulders.

Tsugumi snapped out of her trance. Tomoe was gone. In her place, Hina knelt down to her level, a dash of urgency flavoring her movements.

“I’ve never seen Onee-chan like this,” Hina continued, once it was clear Tsugumi was alert once more, “She locked herself in her room as soon as she came home last night, and I could hear her crying. She refused to even speak to me, I’m worried something’s seriously wrong!”

Yes, Hina. Something was seriously wrong. Tsugumi failed to say anything.

“Anyway, it’s up to us to fix it now!” Hina announced, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. As if Tsugumi had even the faintest idea of how to fix things.

“What? How?” Tsugumi almost shouted, her earlier desperation now wrapped up in Hina’s more excited energy.

“I don’t know what’s wrong,” Hina said, though the admission didn’t shake her confidence in the slightest, “but she’s clearly upset about something, so we have to cheer her up. We haven’t done anything together, all three of us, since we became girlfriends, so I was thinking we could go out somewhere today. What do you think?”

Tsugumi nearly laughed at the absurd suggestion, held back only by how nonchalant Hina’s delivery had been. It was true, she could count on one hand the number of times she’d done anything together with both Hina and Sayo together, and never just the three of them alone. But this seemed like the worst possible time to think about starting.

Being in a room with either Sayo or Hina already felt like courting disaster in her mind, she hadn’t even entertained the idea of both at the same time. But the longer Hina’s suggestion sat in her mind, the more sense it made, at least from Hina’s perspective.

If Tsugumi wanted to keep dating Hina, she would want to get along with her family eventually—just not quite the same way Sayo kept trying to get along with her. So, of course Hina would want to spend time with both Tsugumi and Sayo, together. And while that felt like a major problem at the moment, it was one Tsugumi had to face eventually. Maybe having Hina along would even help reign Sayo in, not daring to go quite so far right in front of her sister. Maybe.

“Alright Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi said, against her better judgment, “I think I can handle that.”

Hina bounced up to her feet, pulling Tsugumi up with her, “Yes! Let’s get going Tsugu-chan!”

As Hina raced back inside the school, Tsugumi let out a tired sigh.

“Hina-senpai!” she shouted after her, “You do remember we still have class today, right?”

Tsugumi wondered if she should chase her down, just to be sure. Knowing Hina, she started running after her.

Shopping Mall

Tsugumi had been growing more and more nervous, ever since they arrived at the mall. Even before that, really. Not because of the inevitable confrontation with Sayo—she couldn’t show up until closer to the movie’s start time, a few hours from now. No, as she walked past all the same familiar stores, it was finally occurring to her that she and Hina would be spending the afternoon out together. Alone, for now.

This was totally a date, wasn’t it?

When Hina had asked her about things in the morning, it hadn’t even occurred to her that Sayo could be busy after school. That they would have to plan to meet up later in the day. She had been too sucked into Hina’s odd way of thinking, as if everything would naturally work out all on its own.

It left Tsugumi mentally unprepared for this afternoon. She hadn’t spent any time with Hina outside of school since the girl had asked her out, so this was definitely a first date. Was wandering around the mall for a few hours, waiting for her sister, really what Hina wanted in a first date?

Though, to Hina, getting to see her sister at the end of all this was a bonus, rather than an impending doom. So maybe Tsugumi was overthinking things.

“Wait, Tsugu-chan! Over there,” Hina grabbed her by the shoulder, pointing toward a small kiosk set up on the floor of the mall, selling random knick knacks, “I can’t believe they have the same ones!”

Tsugumi allowed herself to be dragged over to the display—phone straps, cases, and countless accessories with all sorts of colors and characters greeting her. Though, she couldn’t quite see what here had caught Hina’s eye.

“Look, look,” Hina insisted, holding out her phone against one of the display items, “this is the same case I got with Onee-chan! Now we all can match!”

Tsugumi couldn’t help but laugh a little. It was a bit of a strange arrangement to want to have matching phone cases with both your sister and girlfriend, but it did fit Hina well. She probably had to work hard to convince Sayo to go along with it in the first place, so there was no harm in indulging her a little.

It wasn’t as if she was particularly attached to her current phone case. Among her friends, only Himari ever made a big deal of wanting matching accessories and the like.

“Alright, let’s get it,” Tsugumi said, digging around in her bag as she checked the price.

“No! No!” Hina said, as she saw Tsugumi make for the register, “Let me buy it, it’s a present!”

Tsugumi surrendered the teal phone case to her girlfriend, well versed in the art of acquiescing to Hina’s demands. A few minutes later, with the packaging removed, she fitted it on her phone, much to Hina’s delight. She stuck her old phone case back in her bag, having no better idea what to do with it.

”We match, we match! All three of us!” Hina shouted, holding up her phone in front of Tsugumi’s, “I can’t wait until Onee-chan gets to see.”

Tsugumi nodded, despite her far more mixed emotions towards Sayo’s eventual arrival. At least with Hina here, it was far less likely the girl would try to kiss her again… she hoped.

She continued to let Hina lead them onward, as they left the kiosk behind. Hina grabbed her hand with barely a thought, clearly less embarrassed to walk around the mall like this than Tsugumi was.

As they passed by various signs and stores, Tsugumi wondered more on what a date at the mall entailed. Was it any different than if she had gone shopping with Hina a week ago? Tsugumi had read manga where couples would do things like shop for bikinis, or even underwear, but surely no high school girl would actually do something like that on a date. Though, with Hina, things like shame and common sense weren’t always the most reliable.

“So,” Hina started asking, as she turned her head back towards Tsugumi, “where are we going, Tsugu-chan?”

“Eh?” Tsugumi responded, “I thought you knew where we were going. Why would I be following you otherwise?”

“Ah ha ha,” Hina laughed, “I was just thinking about how boppin’ it was to be together like this.”

There was a glint in Hina’s eyes as she squeezed their hands together. Tsugumi had to admit, just walking around like this felt… special. She couldn’t even get too upset about Hina leading them absolutely nowhere, though luckily they seemed to have ended up not too far from the theater.

“You’re just too cute, Tsugu-chan,” Hina said, leaning in close, watching Tsugumi blush under the praise.

All at once, Tsugumi became incredibly aware of the position Hina had maneuvered the two of them into. Up against a wall, hands clasped together, almost no space at all separating the two girls. Hina wasn’t about to kiss her, in the middle of a crowded mall like this, was she?

Unfortunately, as Tsugumi had noted previously, Hina wasn’t one to worry about such things, and quickly closed the remaining distance. Once their lips met, Tsugumi found it a bit easier to stop caring as well.

Hina let her lips linger long enough for Tsugumi’s mind to empty of all other thoughts, before breaking off to pepper her cheeks with soft pecks. Tsugumi closed her eyes and took in the sensations, every inch of her face tingling in the wake of Hina’s attentions.

“I love you, Tsugu-chan, you know that right?” Hina asked, but kissed her again before Tsugumi could even think about answering. That made it harder to think, to focus on anything other than Hina’s taste, her tongue. Her hands, that were so frustratingly still against her shoulders, when they could be doing so much more.

“Hina…” Tsugumi broke the kiss, at last remembering exactly where they were, “I love you too, I really do. But, um… maybe save this sort of thing for somewhere a bit more private?”

“That’s no fun, Tsugu-chan! There’s not even anyone around right now,” Hina complained, and—miraculously—she appeared to be right, “Just a little more, please?”

Tsugumi couldn’t deny her girlfriend when she was asking so adorably, letting out a sigh. Hina squealed as she pushed Tsugumi back up against the wall, determined not to let the opportunity go to waste.

Faintly, Tsugumi heard the artificial shutter click of a smartphone camera, somewhere behind Hina.

“My, how scandalous,” a voice called out, “the guitarist of Pastel✽Palettes caught acting so improperly in public? What will the tabloids say?”

For a terrifying moment, Tsugumi’s heart dropped, before she realized she recognized the voice in question. Though, she couldn’t decide if this was a more welcome interruption than those imagined possibilities. Tsugumi stared at the green-haired girl in front of her. Both of them, in fact.


Tsugumi watched as her girlfriend smiled and turned around to wrap her twin sister into a hug, which Sayo reluctantly accepted. Tsugumi could sympathize with the resigned look on her face, knowing it came with the territory of dealing with Hina.

After humoring her sister for long enough, Sayo gracelessly pushed Hina away, addressing Tsugumi directly.

“Tsugumi, I—,” Sayo started, reaching for the words she wanted to say, “I shouldn’t have done that last night. It doesn’t matter that I got caught up in the moment, that I was so happy to see you. I acted without caring about how you felt… I went too far. I hurt you.”

Tsugumi paused. Sayo was saying all the right words. Just like she had last night, right before she kissed her.

Tsugumi glanced towards Hina, looking slightly nervous about the tone of the conversation, but otherwise not reacting to Sayo’s words. Had she not picked up on what Sayo was alluding to? Hina couldn’t have already known, and there was no way to interpret what Sayo was saying that didn’t sound rather grim.

“I want to trust it was all a mistake,” Tsugumi said to Sayo, still trying to pin down her own feelings, “That something like that won’t happen again. But it’s hard to believe that after what you did… I almost feel stupid for wanting to believe.”

“You aren’t stupid, Tsugu-chan!” Hina shouted, distraught over her two favorite people in the whole world being at odds with one another, “Onee-chan makes mistakes sometimes, but she hates making mistakes. If she did something that upset you, I know she would do everything she could to fix things. It’s not wrong to believe she’d regret hurting someone she cares for!”

Tsugumi let Hina’s rant wash over her, before getting caught up on those final words. Sayo cared for her. Whatever else might be going on, Tsugumi was forced to admit Sayo’s feelings were genuine. That was the entire problem, but as Hina said, maybe it didn’t have to be. If Sayo regretted hurting her like that, betraying Hina like that, then maybe those feelings would—in time—encourage her to do better.

Tsugumi felt that was a bit of a dangerous thought, that it could go wrong in so many ways. Already had gone wrong, perhaps. But it was tempting to believe. To take the path before her, where she could pretend that everything was going to work out.

“Just for today, Tsugu-chan,” Hina offered with a hand outstretched, “Let’s put all those mistakes aside, whatever they might have been. Go back to that first day, when I kissed you in the Student Council room and you were nothing but happy that we could be together. I’ll make sure Onee-chan is on her best behavior, until you decide if you can trust her like I do.”

Having no better response, Tsugumi took Hina’s hand once more.

Shopping Mall - Movie Theater

They were still a bit early for the movie, when Sayo showed up, so the three girls killed some time at the mall’s arcade.

Tsugumi hadn’t understood why Sayo had just sadly shook her head when Hina had asked her to join in on a round of Zombies of the Dead XIII, but quickly learned her role was entirely superfluous. Hina shot down every zombie before Tsugumi even noticed them pop up, it was actually a bit embarrassing. But Hina seemed to enjoy herself, and it was fun to watch, after Tsugumi put down the plastic gun and gave up entirely on trying to help.

Tsugumi had never really thought about the downsides of having an amazingly talented girlfriend, but perhaps she had never given Sayo enough credit. Having to deal with a sister like Hina, who never failed at anything…

Well, Tsugumi could better understand how that kind of thing could drive a girl to break down into tears in front of her sister’s girlfriend—and then try to kiss her. Sort of.

Hina bought both the tickets and popcorn, ignoring Tsugumi’s insistence that she could pay for herself, and the three of them made their way to seats.

“Tsugu-chan, here!” Hina said, patting the seat next to her, “You can sit between both of us!”

Tsugumi took her seat, eyeing Sayo sitting down beside her. It seemed odd that Hina wouldn’t want to have both her sister and girlfriend on either side of her. Especially with… well, surely Sayo wouldn’t try anything during the movie, with Hina sitting right there. Even if it could get pretty dark in these theaters…

As the movie finally started, Tsugumi was greeted with an opening scene depicting Earth from space. It was only then that she realized she never took the time to ask Hina what movie she had wanted to see today. The looming meeting with Sayo had been a major distraction, but unless Hina’s taste in movies significantly deviated from the rest of her personality, that was probably an oversight she would soon regret.

A flying saucer panned into view above the planet, and through the porthole, Tsugumi watched the camera zoom in on the pilot…

“…Michelle!?” Tsugumi shouted, a bit louder than was appropriate, though it was drowned out by far less questioning cheers from a half dozen kids of varying ages behind her.

Hina, of course, cheered right along with them, enraptured by the story unfolding on the screen before them. A young alien bear, stranded on Earth, learning the strange customs of the humans that called the planet home. A high-stakes game of baseball to save Michelle from a shady government agency. An invasion by an army of evil red Michelles seeking to wipe out all smiles.

All of that had taken only twenty minutes, at most. What the hell was this pacing? Who would write a script like this?

No, scratch that. Tsugumi could make a pretty good guess. The real question was why didn’t Misaki stop her before things had gone this far? Those special effects were no joke—though undoubtedly within reach for the Tsurumaki family.

As the courtroom drama came into full swing, Tsugumi found herself too exhausted to keep following along. Wasn’t this supposed to be a kid’s movie? Putting aside the rather gruesome way the army of evil Michelles had been dealt with. Tsugumi hadn’t realized that felt and stuffing flying about in every direction could look quite that graphic. Though, the kids did keep cheering straight through the end of the scene. Not that they ever stopped for more than five minutes at a time.

Daring to sneak a glance at Sayo next to her, it seemed the other girl was also completely checked out at this point. Instead, she had found her own entertainment watching Tsugumi’s increasingly irritated reactions to the next abrupt genre shift.

Tsugumi glared at her, and definitely didn’t pout at all. Sayo laughed harder, though the sound was drowned out by the applause line at the end of Michelle’s impassioned speech to the jury about the fundamental rights of all living beings and how you should always treat others how you want to be treated.

The treasonous part of Tsugumi’s brain almost wished Sayo would kiss her again, under the cover of the dark theater. Anything to distract her from the odd mix of boredom and complete sensory overload that the movie was putting her through. But Tsugumi squashed such thoughts immediately, and Sayo made no such moves. Content to sit and stare at Tsugumi, with a knowing smile, as Tsugumi stared back at her.

Blushing at the realization, Tsugumi broke eye contact, though she was sure that this too would amuse Sayo to no end. She had no idea what the runtime of the movie was, but Tsugumi desperately hoped for it to be short, to get out of this theater as soon as possible.

Kokoro was not a girl known for her restraint, unfortunately. And given that no one else at the casino had figured out that Michelle was secretly a double agent yet, it couldn’t be more than halfway through the movie. There was still way too much left unresolved. Or maybe, with luck, the ending would be as incomprehensible as the rest of the film, caring little to wrap up any of the growing pile of plot threads.

Tsugumi sighed, as the credits failed to inexplicably appear mid-scene. At least Hina was enjoying herself.

Chapter Text

Hazawa Coffee

Tsugumi had a moment to breathe, after the night of the movie. She and Sayo went to different schools, and Tsugumi could enjoy her days with Hina in peace, pretending that everything had been fixed.

Then Sayo showed up at the café, just like she had many times before. Just like she had that first night. She wasn’t trying particularly hard to hide her reason for being there, shooting small glances at Tsugumi ever since she first arrived.

Tsugumi shoved a slightly confused Eve in the direction of her table, content to go on acting like this wasn’t happening. Though, it was earlier in her shift than last time, so Tsugumi admitted this wasn’t a great long term plan. Mostly just hoping Sayo would go away on her own, if Tsugumi ignored her long enough.

“Tsugumi-san,” Eve whispered to her as she passed by, Tsugumi nearly dropping a plate in surprise, “I can cover for you, just for a few minutes. I know we’re busy right now, but Sayo-san really wants to talk with you.”

Yes, Tsugumi was aware. That was the problem. Tsugumi didn’t know what Sayo was here for, but so far, nothing good had come from trying to speak to her alone. Though, as Eve said, they were quite busy at the moment. Maybe it would be safest to get this over with now, when Sayo couldn’t try to pull anything—not in front of so many people.

Tsugumi really hoped that would stop her, at least. She sighed and headed over to the table, Eve cheering her on from behind.

“Um, Sayo-san, this is… an unexpected surprise.”

“Ah, Tsugumi,” Sayo brightened as she noticed the other girl approach at last, “I’m glad I could catch you for a moment. I’m sorry it’s not a more convenient time for you, but I can’t stop by for very long right now. It’s nice to see you, though.”

“It’s no problem, Sayo-san,” Tsugumi said, more out of politeness than any actual truth, “Eve-chan said you needed to tell me something?”

“Oh, yes,” Sayo said, realizing she had gotten distracted, “it’s more passing along a message. Hina said she wanted to go stargazing tomorrow night. Something about a romantic night out, alone under the stars… except she said it with more words like boppin’, or zappin’, or what have you.”

Tsugumi nodded along, knowing well the difficulty of relating something Hina said verbatim.

It sounded nice, stargazing. She had gone with Hina before, as had Sayo that night, what felt like so long ago now. But it was one thing to go out as a large group, quite another with only Hina alone. Only her girlfriend. Alone, together.

“Tell Hina-senpai that I’d love to,” Tsugumi smiled, glad that she had not simply avoided disaster with Sayo’s visit, but also had something to look forward to tomorrow now. Maybe things could finally start getting back to normal between her and Sayo. One step at a time, perhaps.

“She’ll be thrilled, I’m sure,” Sayo laughed, seeming genuinely happy for her sister, as always—in a way Tsugumi still struggled to untangle, “but I do need to get going now, Tsugumi.”

“Oh, sure,” Tsugumi said, blinking once before remembering where she was, “I’ll go get Eve-chan!”

Tsugumi left the table as quickly as she could, without giving the appearance of retreat. Leaving no opening to let things take a last minute turn for the worse.

“Hey, Eve-chan,” Tsugumi said, as she reached the girl, off by some other table, “Sayo-san is ready to leave, when you can get to her…”

“Ah, Tsugumi-san,” Eve perked up, “I heard. I might have been listening in, a little bit. Stargazing sounds like it will be amazing. Just the three of you, I take it?”


“Oh, no Eve-chan,” Tsugumi corrected her, “Sayo-san won’t be there, she was just here to tell me, that’s all. It’ll be Hina-senpai and I, all by ourselves. It has me a bit nervous, to be honest, going there only the two of us.”

“Ah, that’s a shame,” Eve said, with a disappointment Tsugumi couldn’t quite place, “But I’m sure it’ll be fun for Hina-san to have you all to herself. She’s been so excitable at practice lately. More than the usual Hina-san amount, that is.”

Tsugumi laughed at the thought, but then waved the girl off, heading for another table herself. She had a date with Hina tomorrow, and nothing was going to ruin this feeling.

Riverside Park

Sayo was here.

She had been standing right next to Hina when Tsugumi met them at the train station. She had sat next to Tsugumi on the train ride here. Even now, she held Tsugumi’s hand as Hina in turn pulled both of them through the darkness, towards a specific hill she claimed to remember from some past visit.

Why was Sayo here?

“This way! Come on, come on!” Hina yelled over her shoulder, hurrying the other girls along, seemingly unburdened by the massive travel case that held her telescope, hanging over one shoulder.

No matter how close she got to Hina, she never made any more sense. And if Sayo was any indication, it wasn’t something that would come with time, either. But Hina had to understand that her sister didn’t belong on a romantic night out under the stars with her girlfriend, right? Unless Sayo had purposely misrepresented what Hina said, just to tease Tsugumi for it later.

Tsugumi shot a glare back at Sayo. It didn’t seem out of the question. But Hina’s pace was too frantic for Tsugumi to afford to look away for more than a few seconds, and the sun had set too long ago to discern Sayo’s expression now, in any case.

Tsugumi resigned herself to keep following Hina. She was afraid of where the girl might run off to on her own, if she let go of Hina’s hand. And while, to Tsugumi, none of these dark, grassy fields looked any different from one another, Hina was the one who knew things about astronomy. If she thought this one spot really was so much better than everywhere else, Tsugumi had no reason to doubt her.

At last, Hina stopped on a particular hill, the details of which Tsugumi could barely even make out. But Hina seemed quite pleased with it.

“Onee-chan! Tsugu-chan!” Hina shouted, swinging her small, red-filtered lantern about, “This looks like a good spot to lay out the blankets. I’ll set up the telescope for us.”

Tsugumi nodded, though she wasn’t sure if Hina could actually see her well enough to tell. Behind her, Tsugumi could hear Sayo’s bag rustling.

“Tsugumi,” Sayo said, handing her a corner of fabric, “take this side, will you?”

Wordlessly, Tsugumi helped Sayo cover the patch of ground Hina picked out. It was at a slight incline, but otherwise relatively even-surfaced—free of any random spots of weeds or thicker grasses. Sayo threw the rest of the blankets on top of them with far less ceremony, sliding closer to Tsugumi than felt entirely proper.

“Are you warm enough, Tsugumi?” Sayo asked, placing a hand so casually on her arm that Tsugumi didn’t immediately notice—not until after she found herself leaning back into Sayo’s chest. It was certainly warmer this way.

Tsugumi wasn’t sure what to think. Had Sayo’s earlier advances left her jumping at shadows? Tsugumi couldn’t quite imagine Sayo doing something like this with just any random acquaintance, but… it wasn’t objectionable on its face. Besides, Hina wouldn’t have told them to lay out just a single set of blankets like this, if she expected Sayo and Tsugumi to keep at arm’s length the entire night. Though that might be giving Hina too much credit, to assume she had thought that far ahead.

“It really is beautiful out here, isn’t it?” Sayo asked, sounding far more at peace than Tsugumi could hope to right now, “Nothing to see but countless brilliant stars.”

Tsugumi looked up at the glittering night sky, trying not to focus too hard on how her head fit under Sayo’s chin. And it truly was amazing, how much more vivid everything was here, away from the lights of the city, of all the people. How much light and color could be found within the empty blackness, without so much as the light of the moon.

“Yup!” Hina agreed, as she—without warning—slipped in under the blankets with them, climbing on top of Tsugumi, “It’s almost as great as Tsugu-chan!”

Sandwiched between the Hikawa twins, wrapped up together in several blankets, Tsugumi was well insulated from the chill night air, at least. The way Hina pressed her body against Tsugumi’s was starting to heat her up for several reasons. And if this also pushed her further back into Sayo’s embrace, Tsugumi was doing her best not to think about it. Hina seemed happy, and that was what mattered most.

“Really Hina?” Sayo laughed, “You couldn’t even pretend to simply enjoy the evening for a few minutes, before draping yourself over Tsugumi? You can’t even see the sky like that.”

Hina pouted, “I saw plenty of it when I was checking the telescope. Besides, I’ve spent way more time investigating the stars than I have Tsugu-chan.”

Tsugumi blushed at the implication, especially to say such things in front of Sayo like that. And then to—

“Wait, Hina-senpai!” Tsugumi cried, as Hina climbed further up on top of her, until they were face to face. Just inches apart.

“What are you—”

Tsugumi’s confused shout was silenced by Hina’s lips, but it did nothing to quell those feelings. What the hell was Hina thinking, kissing her like this? Sayo was right there! Maybe she hadn’t given the kiss at the mall enough thought, at the time. Tsugumi hadn’t realized she would need to explain to Hina such fundamental concepts about reasonable boundaries and public displays of affection.

Though, thinking on it—as difficult as thinking might be at present—assuming Hina would both be aware of such things, and furthermore pay them any mind, had definitely been a mistake. But on the list of stupid things Tsugumi really should have stopped Hina from doing beforehand, this was definitely on the more enjoyable side. If perhaps just a tad unfair to Sayo, forcing her to watch something like this. Or at least, listen to Tsugumi moan into Hina’s lips, given how poorly their one small lantern lit up the area. And maybe also feel the way her back was arching under the sensations, Tsugumi’s head digging further into Sayo’s collarbone.

With some reluctance, Tsugumi wriggled out of Hina’s grasp, gasping for air while also trying to at least partially conceal from Sayo how turned on she was right now.

“Eh, Tsugu-chan?” Hina asked, sitting up on her knees, blankets falling down around her as she tried to give her girlfriend a bit of space, “Is something wrong? Was that too fast for you?”

Tsugumi, still reeling from the kiss, tried to come up with an explanation of why Hina shouldn’t make out with her on top of her sister. Especially when that sister might definitely still be harboring feelings for Tsugumi.

It was hard to know where to start, when Hina refused to show any sense of shame or awareness of the situation.

“Um… Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi began, “it’s just, well… with Sayo-san here too. I guess—I guess it feels like you don’t really know when to stop, sometimes. Most of the time, really.”

Tsugumi looked to Sayo, hoping the other girl could maybe explain things better, in a way that Hina could understand.

“Don’t worry Tsugumi, I expected something like this,” Sayo admitted, failing to reassure Tsugumi in the slightest, “I did my best to talk to Hina about respecting boundaries before we went out tonight. But she really isn’t the type to think before she acts. So, we just have to keep reminding her when she forgets.”

Tsugumi nodded to herself. That did make some amount of sense, and was something she probably should have realized she was signing up for—when she first agreed to start dating Hina.

“It’s okay, Tsugu-chan, it really is,” Hina said, wrapping both her hands around Tsugumi’s, letting their fingers intertwine, “I just want to understand. Were you scared, did you not like it?”

“That’s… not quite it, Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi laughed, still in disbelief of how off the mark Hina could be, “I was mostly thinking about how Sayo-san was feeling.”

“Onee-chan!?” Hina asked, looking up towards where she knew Sayo was sitting, “Really? Did you think she was feeling left out?”

Left out? That wasn’t quite how Tsugumi would have worded it, though it was accurate enough, in a Hina sort of way. It seemed like Hina was at least starting to figure it out. Even Tsugumi herself struggled to pin down exactly how all of this made Sayo feel, so it was alright if Hina needed some time to think it through. The important thing was that Hina tried to consider Sayo’s feelings now, before doing anything like that again.

“I’ve told you before, Tsugumi,” Sayo spoke up, gently adjusting Tsugumi’s shoulders to turn towards her, “It’s okay, it really is. Hina can kiss you all she likes. I’m happy for her. Happy for you.”

Distantly, alarm bells started ringing in the back of Tsugumi’s head. That sort of sentiment sounded familiar. Very familiar. She’d heard it from Sayo twice before now, after all.

Once for each time that Sayo had kissed her.

“Sayo-san,” Tsugumi said, silently cursing herself for staying fixed in place as she spoke, despite knowing what was coming, “Hina-senpai is sitting right there…”

Unfortunately, this did little to dissuade Sayo, as she drew Tsugumi closer.

“I know,” Sayo said, though Tsugumi was only just able to see the movement of her lips in the dim light, “but now she’ll just have to wait her turn.”

Their lips met once more.

Tsugumi desperately wished to hate it, but mostly hated herself. She had let Sayo kiss her, again. Wanted it to happen, maybe. And there was no hiding it from Hina this time.

Because that was what she had been doing all this time. Not dealing with things on her own, not sparing Hina’s feelings, but hiding mistake after mistake, hoping that Hina never found out.

Before she could entertain any thoughts of Hina not being able to see what Sayo was doing through the darkness, Tsugumi’s treacherous body let out a low moan. She hadn’t pushed Sayo away, hadn’t broken the kiss, had instead let Sayo taste what wasn’t hers yet again. And it would have been all too easy, fighting it. Sayo was far gentler this time, as if knowing that Tsugumi would do nothing. Just like she had let Sayo get away with it the last two times.

Tsugumi tried to listen for Hina’s reaction, the girl sitting somewhere behind her in the shadows. But she heard nothing, the darkness making the silence so much more pronounced. She could barely even see Sayo’s face right in front of her. Pressed up against her own, more accurately.

Tsugumi felt so useless. It had been bad enough that she needed to break Sayo’s heart, refusing her feelings. But now she was breaking Hina’s heart too. She had let Sayo trick her again and again—it was inevitable that Hina would eventually find out. Tsugumi couldn’t even honestly call it being tricked at this point, not for a third time.

With a burst of willpower, Tsugumi tore herself away.

“No… no,” Tsugumi whispered, shaking her head, wishing this was all a bad dream. She shut her eyes, ridding herself of the faint, dark world around her.

“Tsugumi?” Sayo’s voice called out with concern, but Tsugumi ignored her.

“Tsugu-chan?” Hina’s voice wavered, sounding almost on the verge of tears, “…what’s going on?”

Tsugumi couldn’t explain. She had no excuses. No defense. Tsugumi had hurt Hina, who had done nothing but care for her. Love her.

Unable to answer Hina’s question, Tsugumi responded the only way she had left—and ran.

Forest Trail

For the first few steps, Tsugumi hadn’t noticed the darkness. And by the time she realized the faint light of the lantern had grown more and more distant—finally disappearing behind a hill—it was too late to turn back. Tsugumi couldn’t face Sayo and Hina now, anyhow.

So instead, Tsugumi continued to run. Back across the grassy hills Hina had led them through, but without any such direction. Only seeking to get away. To never be found again.

It was only when Tsugumi at last stumbled in the darkness—tumbling into the dirt—that the adrenaline began to fade, and she could fully appreciate how lost she really was.

There were dark shapes all around her, but Tsugumi couldn’t tell if they were real or imagined. Only the stars above—dipping in and out from behind the faint outlines of tree branches—gave any hint of her surroundings. She wasn’t sure which way would lead back to Sayo and Hina, even if she wanted to go back.

She didn’t. It was terrifying, out here alone in the darkness, but Tsugumi knew that the night wouldn’t last forever. The damage to her relationship with Hina could not so easily be wiped away by the light of dawn. Hina deserved someone better than Tsugumi, someone who wouldn’t cause her so much pain. Someone who wouldn’t make her cry.

All the same, spending the night alone out here was far from an appealing prospect for Tsugumi. It couldn’t be that hard to find her way back to the train station from here, could it?

Once Tsugumi had collected her thoughts, she took out her phone. She didn’t have much charge left, but all she needed to do was find the path Hina had taken them along. The walk there couldn’t have been more than fifteen minutes.

It didn’t take long for Tsugumi to find it. Or find a path, at least. Recognizing landmarks she had paid no attention to at the time was beyond impossible, but Tsugumi could only hope it led back to the same place. One way or another.

The uncertainty was nice, in a way. Tsugumi was too focused on getting through the forest, on the rustling sounds in the darkness around her, to dwell too long on how Hina must be feeling right now. In a stray thought, Tsugumi wondered if that meant she cared more about herself than Hina. Tsugumi really didn’t want to think about Hina anymore. Not right now.

It took the better part of twenty minutes before Tsugumi began to worry. She had used almost half her remaining battery. If she continued much further, she wouldn’t even have the option of turning around, heading back the way she came. And this path didn’t seem like the way back to the train station at all.

That was when Tsugumi spotted it. A flickering light—not in the night sky above, but out in front of her. She drew nearer.

A fire?

“Look, Kaoru, look!” Tsugumi heard a voice call out, “You can cook so much faster if you stick the marshmallow in the fire!”

“Alas, dear Kokoro,” another familiar voice responded, “I cannot stomach such a charred treat. You must eat it without me.”

Nervously, Tsugumi pressed forward. She didn’t want to interrupt such a peaceful night out, but she had to admit she had gone hopelessly off course, if she had somehow stumbled into the camping grounds.

“Um, hello? Kokoro-chan? Seta-senpai?”

Kaoru was the first to turn towards her, sitting next to Kokoro by a roaring campfire. Behind them was a small tent, the door flap hanging open, partially unzipped. Various indistinct shapes were spread across a wooden picnic table, presumably including a bag of marshmallows somewhere in there.

“Do my ears mistake me, Kokoro?” she asked, with a grating amount of flourish, “Is that Tsugumi-chan I hear?”

Kokoro tossed her marshmallow roasting stick aside, tip landing at the edge of the firepit, and followed Kaoru’s gaze.

“Ah, Tsugumi,” Kokoro clapped her hands together, “what a wonderful surprise! Kaoru and I are camping alone in the woods tonight, so we weren’t expecting any guests!”

Tsugumi felt a growing sense that she was intruding. It was hard to tell what people like Kokoro and Kaoru were thinking at times, even if at other times it was all too easy. But this scene struck her as unusual. Not a get-together, along with the rest of their band, but something personal. Something that Tsugumi shouldn’t be a part of.

Kokoro would never dream of turning someone away, of course, and Kaoru only knew how to “yes, and…” a sudden interruption. But Tsugumi was still a distraction from the time they’d likely rather spend alone. For Kaoru, at least—Tsugumi didn’t think Kokoro had ever found a distraction she didn’t like.

Those were thoughts for later, though. When she wasn’t lost in the woods with a nearly dead phone battery—and a crying girlfriend somewhere off far away. Tsugumi would do her best to make it up to Kokoro and Kaoru at some point, but for now, she couldn’t exactly turn away their help.

“I’m sorry…” Tsugumi said, “I hate to intrude, but I’m afraid I’m in need of a bit of help. A lot of help, really.”

“Don’t look so sad, Tsugumi,” Kokoro reassured her, “there’s nothing in the world that can’t be made better by letting more friends join in!”

Kokoro jumped from her seat on the conveniently placed log and half-urged, half-pushed Tsugumi to join them by the fire. It was comforting, watching the flames, knowing that she was safe around friends. Trusting that the light wasn’t threatening to go out at any second, leaving her all alone in the dark.

“I fear, Kokoro, that our dear kitten’s problems run far deeper than regret for her… untimely appearance,” Kaoru lamented, grabbing Tsugumi by the shoulder, touching a hand to her cheek, “You’ve been crying, Tsugumi-chan.”

“What? Tsugumi?” Kokoro shouted, running around to stand beside Kaoru, staring far too intensely at Tsugumi’s face, “That’s no good! You’re our friend, and if you’re sad—if you’re sad, then I’ll be sad too.”

Tsugumi hadn’t quite known what to expect when she sat down by the campfire, but Kokoro breaking into tears and hugging her definitely hadn’t been involved. It was surreal, for a girl that—in all honesty—she knew mostly by reputation, to show such genuine sorrow for Tsugumi’s troubles. Before she could even start to explain why she had been crying.

It felt nice, the way Kokoro held onto her, expecting nothing of Tsugumi. It made her not want to explain. Not want to see the look on Kokoro’s face when she learned what Tsugumi had put Hina through. If Kokoro got this worked up over the struggles of a girl she had met only a handful of times, Tsugumi couldn’t imagine how she might react for an actual friend like Hina.

“I’m sorry, Kokoro-chan,” Tsugumi said, realizing—as her voice wavered—that her own tears had returned in full force, “I don’t want to make you sad. I don’t want to make anyone sad. I just can’t help it.”

Accepting Kokoro’s unstated offer, Tsugumi cried back, burying her face into the girl’s shoulder. She stopped thinking about all the reasons she didn’t deserve help, and let out all the tumultuous feelings she had kept inside all this time.

It was warm. In the light of the fire. In the arms of a friend. Kaoru gently patted both girls on the head, until the tears died down and all that could be heard were the occasional crackle of flame.

“It’s alright, kitten,” Kaoru said, gently pulling Tsugumi away from Kokoro, leaning her up against her chest, “whatever ails you, we are here for you. And if it would help to talk about it, we are more than happy to listen.”

“Yeah!” Kokoro agreed, pumping her fist in the air. But when Kaoru shot her a glance she settled back down, focusing on the listening part of active listening.

“I don’t really want to talk about it,” Tsugumi admitted, “but I think it will help.”

So, she told them. About Hina’s confession. About Sayo’s reaction. About the kiss. All the kisses. About how she had stomped all over the heart of her friend. It hurt to talk about, but Tsugumi didn’t want to ignore the pain anymore. She was done pretending there would be some easy way through all this. Hina deserved that much, at least.

Tsugumi stopped talking—stopped rambling—and for a moment, there was silence once more. The girls needed time to collect themselves, each in their own way.

“Tragic!” Kaoru cried, the first to speak once more, “For two sisters to be torn apart by a shared love. Jealousy! Anguish! Romance! Truly, the bard himself could only hope to capture such raw emotion!”

“I know!” Kokoro nodded along, “It’s so sad, I can’t imagine such rotten luck. Sayo and Hina both love Tsugumi. Why can’t they all be happy?”

“Alas, Kokoro-chan,” Kaoru sighed, “love triangles are far messier than such clean geometry would suggest. Untangling them is a problem of the heart, after all—impossible to quantify.”

Tsugumi could only mournfully agree. The entire situation was a mess, had been a mess well before she had been made aware of any of it.

Tsugumi could have done better by Hina. She could have, perhaps, done more to help Sayo too. But things were never going to end how Kokoro wanted. Someone had to lose out, and that was never going to be pleasant.

It was nice to hear the other girls say it, though. To tell her this wasn’t all her fault, that making mistakes didn’t make her a bad person. That—after all they heard—Kaoru and Kokoro were still just as committed to helping out their friend. That Tsugumi was still worth helping, in their eyes.

…Even if, by Kaoru’s own admission, they could do nothing more than help Tsugumi come to terms with her situation. There was no insight or wisdom to share, which would clean everything up nicely. She had to sort this out once and for all, as best she could manage.

Tell Sayo off, so she wouldn’t come back again. Come clean to Hina, and ask for her forgiveness. Let all of this come to an end, one way or another.

Tsugumi could only hope for so much. But she had hope.

Riverside Park



The calls drew closer.

Kokoro and Kaoru led out in front of Tsugumi, holding their flashlights to guide the way back through the woods. As they reached the end of the path, Sayo and Hina’s voices greeted them. Despite Tsugumi having been gone the better part of an hour, they were still out there looking for her.

On one hand, this meant that the sisters were indeed willing to look past their differences when needed. On the other hand, it made Tsugumi feel even worse about running away like that. Though, Kokoro and Kaoru had helped her out a lot, so it wasn’t all for nothing.

“Hina-senpai! Sayo-san!” Tsugumi called back, “I’m okay!”

Kokoro stopped at the edge of the woods, drawing lazy circles with her flashlight in the direction of Sayo and Hina’s own distant lights. Tsugumi stood next to her and Kaoru, feeling oddly secure in between them. She had never quite bought into the rumors and hype at school surrounding Kaoru, but it turned out the girl was dependable when it counted. As for Kokoro… she definitely tried her best, which sometimes was all that was needed.

“Tsugu-chan!” Hina cried, running the last dozen meters to close the gap between them, throwing her arms around Tsugumi, “I’m so glad you’re alright. We were so worried.”

Sayo trailed behind, though there was a notable haste to her steps. Tsugumi couldn’t quite meet her eyes. But there were things she needed to tell Sayo, and she couldn’t let herself back out this time.

“But Tsugu-chan,” Hina continued, in a more serious tone, “you can’t run away like that. It’s dangerous to be out here alone at night. What if—”

Hina quickly glanced towards Tsugumi’s companions—

“—What if Kokoro-chan and Kaoru-kun hadn’t found you?” she asked, “…Thanks for that, by the way, you two.”

“It’s no problem, Hina!” Kokoro chirped, “We always have time to help our friends!”

“Um, yes,” Kaoru coughed, “certainly. Though, perhaps it is time we retire once more. We shan’t leave our campsite unattended for so long.”

Kokoro tilted her head in confusion, “But Kaoru, this is when Tsugumi needs our help most, we can’t abandon her now! I’m sure the Suit People will keep everything in order for when we get back.”

Tsugumi blinked. It hadn’t occurred to her earlier, but the Tsurumaki family was extremely protective of their heiress. She had only seen it for herself a handful of times, but the—handlers?—that followed Kokoro everywhere were truly something else. And had been uncharacteristically absent all night.

Her eyes shot back towards the trees, but couldn’t distinguish one dark blob for another. If Kokoro thought they were here, Tsugumi could only believe her. But had they really been watching this entire time? Were they some sort of modern day ninja?

Best not to think too hard about such things. They might take exception to that.

Sayo, perhaps reaching a similar conclusion, brought the conversation back on track, “Really, Tsugumi. Please don’t run off like that again. If something is wrong, you can tell us. There’s no need to be afraid.”

Tsugumi could only stare blankly at her. Did she really need to explain what was wrong? Sayo had kissed her, right in front of Hina! If anyone needed to explain anything, it was Sayo.

“Yeah, Tsugu-chan!” Hina nodded, as if Sayo’s words made perfect sense, “I was really worried, when you took off without warning… I didn’t even know what was wrong. Is Onee-chan a bad kisser or something? I can teach her!”

No Hina, unfortunately Sayo’s kisses were amazing—though Tsugumi would never dare admit that to her girlfriend.

…Wait, wasn’t what Hina just said a bit off?

“Er, excuse me, Hina,” Kaoru interrupted, “Is it not plain to see why Tsugumi would react so poorly to Sayo kissing her?”

Tsugumi silently thanked the girl for cutting in, her mind nowhere near sharp enough right now to try to decipher whatever Hina was talking about.

“Huh?” Hina paused a second, as if she misheard, “Why wouldn’t Tsugumi want her girlfriend to kiss her?”

Just what was Hina on about now? Tsugumi had thought she had mentally prepared herself for a serious conversation with Sayo and Hina. She had unfortunately forgotten the difficulty of having a serious conversation with Hina, even in the best of circumstances. Tsugumi closed her eyes, counting back from ten, before she made a proper attempt to understand what the girl was trying to say.

Kokoro, having no such mental filters, immediately shouted out, “Wait! I thought Hina was Tsugumi’s girlfriend? You told me that, Hina! And Tsugumi said so too, there’s no reason both of you would lie about something like that…”

“Of course Hina is Tsugumi’s girlfriend,” Sayo said, “we both are!”

“Oh. Oh my…” Kaoru’s face betrayed nothing, features schooled from countless performances, “Kokoro, dear, I feel it’s quite past time we returned to camp.”

“But what about Tsugumi?” Kokoro asked with worry, “She still needs our help, right?”

Kaoru laughed, a practiced but not quite genuine laugh, and began to drag Kokoro back along the path through the woods.

“It was a pleasure to see you, Sayo-san, Hina,” Kaoru shouted behind her, “Goodnight, Tsugumi… and good luck.”

“Bye-bye!” Kokoro said, letting Kaoru lead her away by one hand, while she gave a confused wave with the other, “Have fun!”

And with that, Tsugumi found herself alone with the Hikawa twins once more.

With her girlfriends?


Tsugumi’s mind was replaying a dozen conversations all at once, trying to make sense of it all. And slowly, things started to become clear.

As in, she was clearly an idiot.

“Tsugumi,” Sayo asked, “Are you okay? Would you like to head home?”

Tsugumi took a moment to collect herself.

“Sayo…” Tsugumi said to the girl, “you’re my girlfriend, right? And Hina-senpai, you are too?”

Both girls nodded, unsure where Tsugumi was trying to go with all of this.

“And, you love me?” Tsugumi asked, perhaps pleaded, “Both of you?”

“Well—” Sayo started nervously.

“—Of course we do!” Hina cut in, “Onee-chan would have never agreed to something as ‘ridiculous’ as sharing a girlfriend otherwise!”

Tsugumi was torn between laughing at the way Hina presumably mimicked her sister’s tone on the word “ridiculous”, and screaming at her for considering that her idea—and it had clearly been Hina’s idea—had been anything less than ridiculous.

More than anything else though, there was relief. The past week had been an emotionally exhausting series of disasters, never had she dared imagine things could end well for all three of them. Sayo loved her. Hina loved her. No matter what she did, it had seemed, she would have to break someone’s heart along the way.

That wasn’t the whole story, Tsugumi realized now. Hina loved Sayo. And—though it had been a long road getting there—Sayo also loved Hina. They would never want to hurt each other, and so refused to let things end like that.

It was so like Hina to find such a simple answer, requiring nothing more than casting aside all that useless common sense weighing the rest of them down.

Tsugumi smiled, a tired smile. One she held onto with all her might, so that she wouldn’t start crying again. But the tears wouldn’t be the same as before, even if she did.

She offered out a hand to each of her girlfriends.

“I love you too. Both of you. Let’s go home.”

Chapter Text

Hazawa Residence

Tsugumi’s parents weren’t there when she finally made it home. She expected as much, given Tsugumi had told them that she wouldn’t be back until well after dark, and they had taken the opportunity to go out for the night.

It was also the only reason she had been willing to—in a snap decision—invite Sayo and Hina to walk home with her when the train reached her usual stop. She had been apprehensive enough about just introducing Hina as her girlfriend to her parents. And while Sayo might certainly benefit from the comparison, adding in a second girlfriend wasn’t going to make things any easier for Tsugumi.

The idea still felt foreign to Tsugumi. It had been hard enough to imagine both of the Hikawa twins falling in love with her, but to… share… her like this? Well, Tsugumi could fantasize, but to think such a thing could actually happen was something else altogether.

It had been a wild past few hours for Tsugumi. A wild past week, more accurately. She was willing to accept anything at this point, if she could box up those painful and embarrassing memories without Sayo and Hina learning what an idiot she had been.

“Are you sure this is alright, Tsugumi?” Sayo asked, as Tsugumi collected their coats, “Your parents won’t mind?”

“Don’t worry, Sayo, it’s not like you two are complete strangers,” Tsugumi said, side-stepping the question of whether her parents would approve of her being alone at home with both her girlfriends. Or even having multiple girlfriends to begin with.

“Yeah! Your mom is really cool, Tsugu-chan,” Hina nodded in agreement, “I met up with her at the cafe a few times. She helped out a lot when I told her about my plans to confess!”

“See Sayo? You two are—” Tsugumi started, before her brain fully processed an entire dose of Hina, “…Wait, Hina-senpai, you told what to—”

“—How about you show us your room, Tsugumi?” Sayo cut in, having had more than enough nonsense for one night, “I have to admit I’m a bit curious.”

The way Sayo stretched out those last few words evoked certain memories in Tsugumi. The feeling of danger Tsugumi felt back then, they hadn’t entirely faded away. The kisses, the touches. Even now knowing Hina didn’t mind, Tsugumi wasn’t sure how she felt about it all herself. Maybe Tsugumi hadn’t quite understood Sayo’s view of things at the time, but her core motivations were all too clear.

If Tsugumi took a girl like that into her room, then she was all but sending an invitation. Was that something Tsugumi wanted to do? Not as part of some ill-conceived fantasy scenario, but with the actual Sayo, who loved her—and also quite clearly wanted her.

“That sounds great, let’s go!” Hina said, lacing her fingers between Tsugumi’s, nodding to Sayo to take up the other side.

Tsugumi led them down the hall, trying not to think about how terrible an idea this was. That maybe her parents would be right to object to her bringing home a pair of girls who had invited her out alone for a night of “stargazing” like that. While Tsugumi ran off too quickly to find out how the girls had intended for the night to go, even Hina seemed to only put a token effort into her hobby, before dropping pretenses.

Tsugumi took a deep breath as she reached her bedroom door. It had never intimidated her quite like this before. She let go of Hina’s hand, and opened the door.

Hazawa Residence - Tsugumi’s Room

She had left a real mess behind. A manga volume lying flat on her desk, chair not pushed in—she had even forgotten to put the pen she had been using earlier back with the others. Tsugumi surreptitiously picked up her school bag, dropped carelessly on the floor in front of her dresser, trying to hang it up on its hook before Sayo or Hina noticed.

“Wow, Tsugu-chan!” Hina gushed, hopping for the bed, “Your room is so boppin’. I love your pillows!”

Tsugumi glanced towards the bed, keeping her features measured. Of course, it was perfectly normal for a high school girl to have a pillow in the shape of a pig, lying on her bed. Completely different from a stuffed animal she had owned since she was five.

“Hm,” Sayo nodded as she took in the small space, “it suits you, Tsugumi.”

Tsugumi started to relax, seeing the twins’ reactions. To begin with, it was a bit silly to think two girls who loved her enough to consider dating her together would change their minds over something so trivial.

That left only the other reason for Tsugumi’s panic.

Hina had flopped back onto the bed, grabbing hold of a heart-shaped pillow. Tsugumi had never thought anything of it before, but seeing it pressed up against her—against her girlfriend’s chest—it certainly made Hina’s pose much more provocative. Sayo caught her staring, and tilted her head towards Hina in unasked question.

“So… I’m sorry about running off like that,” Tsugumi said, reaching for a distraction, “I’m sure you two were looking forward to, er, stargazing tonight.”

“Ah, Tsugu-chan,” Hina said, rising to a seated position on the bed, “We’re girlfriends now, we can do stuff like that all the time! No need to worry.”

“Hina’s right,” Sayo said, Tsugumi all too aware of how rarely she must say such a thing, “it’s more important that we talk about what went wrong, about how we can do better. It hurts to think that you felt like your only choice was to run, that you couldn’t trust us to listen.”

The idea also hurt Tsugumi, she realized at that moment. She had been all too eager to forget about the mess of this past week. A convenient ending for her, but one that left Hina, and especially Sayo, in the dark about why she had acted the way she had. Would she really shut them out here? Lie to them, even? To save her own pride, more than anything else. It struck Tsugumi now as a selfish choice. But not one she was stuck with…

Tsugumi sat down on the bed next to Hina, and beckoned Sayo to join her. Her bed wasn’t designed for three people by any means, but there was enough space along the side, at least if they squeezed in a little. Tsugumi then pointedly stopped thinking about the logistics of sharing a bed with the Hikawa twins—before it headed in its inevitable direction.

“I might have, maybe,” Tsugumi started, Sayo and Hina each taking one of her hands in theirs, “never realized I was supposed to be dating Sayo too…”

Hina had been leaning in close, contrasting Sayo’s look of concern with the raw curiosity that she always held, even in the least appropriate of moments. Tsugumi’s words caught her off guard, to the point that Hina toppled forward into her.

“Tsugu-chan?” Hina shouted, pushing down on the other girl’s shoulders to right herself, “Why wouldn’t you want to date Onee-chan? She’s amazing, and attractive, and if you’re really good and don’t disturb her when she’s practicing she’ll even take you out for ice cream sometimes!”

Luckily, Tsugumi was saved from the bulldozer that was Hina by the sister in question, Sayo grabbing Hina beneath the ribs and prying her off.

“I believe what Tsugumi was trying to say,” Sayo said, forcing Hina to look her in the eye, “was that someone never actually let her know about our discussion. What we agreed to that night. You remember, that thing she was ‘totally 100% thrilled’ about?”

Hina opened her mouth to defend herself, then stopped short, fidgeting under the gazes of Sayo and now Tsugumi as well.

“But I definitely did, Onee-chan,” Hina protested weakly, “I might have got a bit excited and distracted kissing Tsugu-chan, but I’m sure I mentioned you before that. She was super happy about it all!”

“You ‘mentioned’ me, Hina?” Sayo’s eyes narrowed, “As in, you told Tsugumi that we both wanted to date her, and were comfortable with sharing her together? And Tsugumi clearly indicated she understood this, before you ‘got a bit excited and distracted’?”

Hina glanced towards Tsugumi, knowing there was no right way to answer such a question. Tsugumi herself tried and failed to recall anything Hina said that might have been an invitation into a relationship, the like of which she was only familiar with through the sort of manga that wouldn’t be found on a display shelf. But Hina’s words were often hard to untangle, and Tsugumi had also been, say, “a bit excited and distracted” at the time.

Sayo let out a beleaguered breath, “Do you have any idea how all of this must have looked to Tsugumi? I kissed her! Multiple times! And she thought she was only dating you…”

“Hmm…” Hina considered her sister’s words, slipping out of her grip to look closer at Tsugumi, still splayed out over the bed, “I guess that would be confusing. If I thought I was only dating Tsugu-chan, and Onee-chan started kissing me, I wouldn’t know what to do either.”

Tsugumi stared back at Hina, putting aside the strange comparison to focus on her girlfriend’s clear forgiveness—or indifference, perhaps—of whatever transgressions she and Sayo might have made together. She still felt like she should have done better by Hina, regardless of how things turned out in the end. But it had been an exhausting day and Tsugumi didn’t expect Hina to care, even if she did manage to explain why what she had done was wrong.

“Hina-senpai, I know you don’t want an apology,” Tsugumi started, sitting up and climbing to her feet, “so I want to say ‘thank you’. You’re a wonderful girlfriend, and I promise I’ll try my best to be one too. And Sayo… I’m really sorry. I know you don’t blame me, but I still hurt you, and assumed the absolute worst of your… intentions.”

“Tsugumi, you don’t have to—” Sayo stopped, shaking her head in defeat, “It’s fine, Tsugumi, we all made mistakes. If I had just asked properly if you were comfortable kissing me, like I should have, things would never have gotten this far. But those mistakes are behind us now, and we’re all still okay.”

Tsugumi smiled at Sayo, relieved to finally have the whole truth out there. Hina nodded along, all too eager to let Sayo shift the blame away from her own initial mistake. But Sayo was right, nobody here was perfect, not even Hina, and what mattered most was that they could be together now. Lay this whole mess to rest.

“So, Tsugumi…” Sayo continued, taking Tsugumi by the hand, “if it isn’t too late to ask, could I kiss you? It’s been a very trying day, and it would be nice to end it by doing things right this time.”

Some stupid part of Tsugumi’s brain wished Sayo had just kissed her. It turned out it was pretty embarrassing to have her girlfriend ask something like that. Especially in front of her other girlfriend. But then some other stupid part of her brain interjected with the first response that came to mind.

“Something tells me you want to end the day with more than just kissing…” Tsugumi half-joked, half-recalled how Sayo had failed to restrain herself in the middle of CiRCLE’s lobby, paying little mind to the handful of other stragglers still hanging around after the show. It felt much less like a joke as soon as she said the words out loud, but by then it was too late.

To her credit, Sayo at least acted taken aback by the implication, but she wasn’t particularly quick with a denial.

“Well, um…” Sayo gained a sudden interest in Tsugumi’s hands, looking down to where their fingers intertwined, “...I’m asking because I care about your answer Tsugumi. I don’t want to do anything you aren’t comfortable with. Not again.”

With that, things were squarely within Tsugumi’s court again. No one else could decide what she wanted. Not Sayo, not Hina, not her parents. She could safely keep things to harmless kissing tonight. She could refuse to go even that far. But Tsugumi had spent long enough denying what she wanted when it came to Sayo.

“I’m not a delicate flower, Sayo,” Tsugumi sighed, “I might have run from you before, but don’t mistake my reasons. If anything, I ran because I liked what you did a bit too much. So, my only question is… what do you want to do to me?”

“—Ah, that’s easy!” Hina chimed in, apparently growing bored of watching passively from the sidelines, “Onee-chan wants to fuck you! She’s a bit obvious about it…”

“I mean—you see…” Sayo stammered a protest that wasn’t much of a refutation, before letting out a sigh of her own, “…Yeah, um, more or less what Hina said. I’m fine with taking things slowly if—”

“—Sayo, just fucking kiss me already,” Tsugumi demanded, lifting a hand to pull her in by the collar, “and then I’ll decide how slowly I can stand to take things tonight.”

Left without any reason to hold back, Sayo closed the last few inches between them, claiming Tsugumi’s lips. It wasn’t their first kiss, or even their second, but it felt special all the same. For the first time, Tsugumi could fully appreciate Sayo’s taste, without panic or guilt, without Hina’s shadow cast over it.

Well, without Hina’s figurative shadow, at least. Hina was captivated by the sight of her girlfriend and her sister making out in front of her, leaning in close, before Sayo pushed her back with one hand.

Tsugumi didn’t really mind if Hina watched, though. That was probably strange, but Tsugumi was focused on more important matters. Like how Sayo’s fingers played across the back of her shoulders, itching to let her hands dip lower. Sayo had regained her passion from their earlier kisses, no longer afraid she might scare Tsugumi away with her desire. Tsugumi wanted her, and she sure as fuck wanted Tsugumi.

Tsugumi let her eyes close as Sayo pushed her down on top of the bed. The force of Sayo’s lust was so much more pronounced, pressing her into the mattress. It made her excited, that a girl like Sayo would direct her need toward Tsugumi. She still didn’t quite understand why either of the Hikawa twins had chosen her, but the attention was certainly appreciated.

“So, Tsugu-chan,” Hina’s voice greeted her, inches from her ear, “what do you think? Onee-chan really wants to do it with you…”

Sayo backed off with some reluctance, giving Tsugumi a chance to catch her breath, and maybe gather her thoughts as well. Hina lying on the bed next to her started to drive home some of the rather basic mechanics of what this would entail. Tsugumi barely had time to process having two girlfriends to begin with. Would they… all three of them… together?

Tsugumi rolled onto her side, coming face to face with Hina, their noses nearly touching. She didn’t imagine Hina planned on discreetly stepping out of the room if she and Sayo went further. And of the few remaining possibilities, Tsugumi might actually prefer to assume Hina wanted to join in. Hina standing back and watching her kiss Sayo was one thing, but much more than that and such interest rapidly grew less endearing.

“Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi at last said to her, meeting the other girl’s gaze, “my answer isn’t all we’re waiting for. It might sound a bit silly, but I’d be more comfortable… with both of you, together. Is that—is that alright?”

It wasn’t as if, certain illicit fantasies excepted, Tsugumi had much time to think about the three of them… all having sex like this. But it didn’t feel right, choosing either girl, and leaving out the other. She didn’t want Sayo to feel like she was losing to her sister once again, but it also felt unfair ignoring Hina to that end.

In lieu of a reply, Hina leaned forward, taking Tsugumi into another kiss. Her lips were just as soft as before, but the promise of what was to come next made the act feel so much more erotic. Hina’s parting lips always felt like an invitation to Tsugumi, but never in such an impure manner as they did now. It was finally sinking in that two of the hottest girls she knew were on her bed, determined to take her. That she had just asked them to do so.

Hina, unphased by the situation, bounced up and away from the kiss, leaning back as she took in Tsugumi lying on top of the bed, and her sister still half on top of her girlfriend.

“Is it alright?” Hina laughed, “You, me, and Onee-chan, all having sex together? That sounds, like, totally extra boppin’!”

Restraining laughter with minor effort, Tsugumi sat up, pushing Sayo back onto her feet. Sayo had already made her intent quite clear, with some help from Hina. But Tsugumi could quite pin down how she felt about her sister continuing to help for the rest of the night. Had they discussed this sort of thing at all? Or was Sayo, like her, only now realizing the difference between sharing a girlfriend in the abstract sense, and the absolutely physical one.

“Well then, what the hell are we waiting for?” Sayo smiled, slipping behind Tsugumi, wrapping her arms around her sides, hands landing on her chest. No, she was unfastening Tsugumi’s top buttons. This was really, actually happening.

In one last flash of clarity, Tsugumi reached behind the small pile of pillows, and quickly tossed a certain pig down over the edge of the bed, landing somewhere on the ground out of view. Having her on the bed felt way too weird, making her watch something like this.

Then Hina kissed her again. Pushing her deeper into Sayo’s embrace. Hina’s tongue weaved around hers, demanding and needy. Hina was never one for shame, but Tsugumi was still surprised by how quickly she had fallen into a stream of immodest moans, asking her for more without words.

Sayo’s fingers continued to work, in the space between where Hina and Tsugumi’s bodies pressed together. As her hands drifted down as she progressed, lower and lower, she began peppering small kisses near the base of Tsugumi’s neck. Much lighter than Hina’s efforts, but the sensation was completely foreign to Tsugumi. The twins had taken her lips enough times that she no longer felt completely lost, but she was helpless to respond to Sayo seeking out every inch of exposed skin.

Hina’s hands moved to fill the empty space above Sayo’s, playing with the bow of Tsugumi’s shirt. The girls encompassed Tsugumi from all directions, her body starting to writhe under their attentions. Tsugumi thought she should be doing something, anything, as Sayo and Hina explored her with a confidence she sorely lacked. But she didn’t even know where to begin, it was all too overwhelming.

A last button came undone, Sayo’s hands ran back up her sides, lifting the knitted fabric up off her shoulders, parting the two halves. Hina moved from Tsugumi’s lips to her cheeks, planting wet kisses on each one in turn. Sayo tugged her arms back hard, fighting with the sleeves. Hina leaned forward, wrapping her legs around Tsugumi’s lap to close the distance between them.

Tsugumi was caught perfectly between them, Sayo behind her, Hina in front of her. Hina’s hands pressed into her chest, both for support and to feel at the thin cloth of Tsugumi’s shirt. It was like when Sayo had touched her, after the concert that night. Stuck in place, helplessly growing aroused. But she didn’t need to run this time. This was fine, she was fine.

She did her best to twist her arms out of her sleeves, but Sayo was too close against her back, Hina gave her no space to move. She couldn’t do anything except let them press onward. Kiss her, touch her. She couldn’t move—

“—Tsugumi!” she heard a voice shouting out. It was too loud, too close. Tsugumi leaned away from the noise—and promptly collapsed onto the bed.

Tsugumi pushed away a random pillow from her face, disoriented by the sudden lack of weight on her. Her arms were free, her legs were free. Her breathing was ragged. Sayo and Hina were trying to say something to her.

“Tsugu-chan? Tsugu-chan? Are you okay?” another voice asked. Probably Hina.

Tsugumi wasn’t sure. She didn’t even know what went wrong to begin with. What was there to be scared of here, in her own room, with two people who loved her?

“Tsugumi,” Sayo said, her voice soft and far away, “if something’s wrong, you only need to tell us. You know that, right?”

Someone was stroking her arm. It felt nice. Tsugumi couldn’t say anything. Couldn’t explain herself. Sayo and Hina had been absolutely wonderful, up to the moment when she panicked. What must Sayo have thought, to see Tsugumi struggling to get away from her yet again, after everything finally seemed to be okay?

Tsugumi said nothing. She lay there, half draped over the bed, the heart-shaped pillow Hina had found earlier somehow making its way into her arms. She hugged it close to her chest and shut her eyes. Breathed in. Breathed out. Let Sayo run her fingers through her hair. Or was it Hina?

“Pushing yourself is no good, Tsugu-chan,” Hina said, fingers drifting down Tsugumi’s arm, clasping onto her hand, “There’s no way Onee-chan and I would want to do something if you didn’t like it.”

Tsugumi appreciated the sentiment. She was glad Sayo and Hina wanted to make sure she was okay. She hated the fact she wasn’t, though. She wanted to make her girlfriends happy. To touch them, to please them. All those desires, without the courage to act. She couldn’t even manage taking a passive role.

“I do want to, Hina-senpai, I just don’t know how,” Tsugumi said, squeezing the pillow in her arms even tighter, “I couldn’t do all the things you and Sayo knew to do. I couldn’t handle it all. And then I couldn’t even move…”

She felt inadequate, admitting as much. But Tsugumi had always felt inadequate, and Sayo and Hina fell in love with her all the same.

“Hmm… Tsugu-chan doesn’t know what to do…” Hina sounded deep in thought, before she let out a sharp gasp, “I’ve got it! We can practice on Onee-chan!”

Tsugumi opened her eyes, turning to stare at Hina.

“Eh?” she heard Sayo echo her own reaction.

“You didn’t like it when we were going too fast for you and you felt lost,” Hina explained, “If you take the lead, though, we’ll definitely keep at a pace you’re comfortable with.”

“H-Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi protested, blushing at the mental images of her taking the lead on Sayo, “I can’t. I just told you I have no idea what to do. Not like you or Sayo.”

“So what?” Hina asked, “That’s why it’s practice. I’ll be there to help you out, to lead you through leading.”

Sayo at least had the courtesy to act embarrassed at Hina’s suggestion, giving her a strange look. But she didn’t reject the idea outright. Tsugumi had to admit Sayo’s face looked cute like that. It made her want to see what other faces she could have Sayo make, with Hina’s help.

“Alright,” Tsugumi nodded, though she could hardly believe it, “I think I can handle that much.”

“It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard…” Sayo accepted with a sigh, moving back a bit to the far corner of the bed, where the headboard met the wall.

Hina’s eyes lit up, pulling Tsugumi up to a seated position on her knees, before taking position to the right of Sayo.

“Over here, Tsugu-chan!” Hina beckoned her, patting the covers on the other side of her sister, “Don’t worry so much, Onee-chan is going to love this.”

Tsugumi obeyed, climbing over Sayo’s outstretched legs, mirroring Hina’s position. Sayo’s eyes darted back and forth between her sister and her girlfriend, noticeably less prepared to be on the receiving end of things.

“Let’s get started, then,” Hina said, bouncing in place as she tried to contain herself, “Onee-chan is super pretty and kind of scary, so it’s alright to be a bit nervous at first. But we can start at the top and work our way down. Does that sound good?”

Tsugumi nodded, unable to disagree with Hina’s rather odd assessment of her sister’s looks, but uncertain beyond that. She hoped Hina’s plan was a bit more concrete than this. It was easy to forget how terrible she was at teaching things, but Tsugumi really couldn’t handle trying to struggle through any of Hina’s bizarre explanations, not tonight. This was already embarrassing enough, without needing to stop and ask Hina for further clarification.

“In that case,” Hina said, inspecting the collar of Sayo’s shirt, “Onee-chan, you’re a bit overdressed for our needs.”

“Eh? Oh, I—sure, Hina,” Sayo managed to reply, finding interest in a blank section of wall as she let Hina reach for the top button of her shirt.

“Now, Tsugu-chan, it’s actually really simple,” Hina explained, working through the second of Sayo’s buttons with great efficiency, pulling her collar open, “When you love someone, you want to kiss and touch them all over. But some places will make them feel better than others. Like this—”

“Wait, Hina, what—?” Sayo’s eyes widened as Hina dipped her head down, only to shut tight when Hina’s lips found her collarbone. An unconscious groan escaped her lips, as Hina nipped and licked across her bare skin.

Tsugumi sat there transfixed, watching Sayo’s face screw up with pleasure, a hand over her mouth. Hina’s practical demonstration continued as she slipped a hand down her sister’s open collar, only faint imprints of fingers beneath the fabric giving Tsugumi any hint of what exactly she was doing.

Was… was this okay? Tsugumi was an only child, but even with no firsthand experience she could confidently say most sisters didn’t want to—how to say it—fuck each other through their clothes. Hina’s obsession with Sayo made the sight not quite as shocking as it might have been, she had always been eager to please her sister… Tsugumi had just always assumed there would be reasonable limits to that. As if Hina knew the definition of the term.

That still left the question of what Sayo was thinking. The girl wasn’t voicing any complaints right now, not by any means, but Tsugumi knew better than to take such things at face value. A pretty girl like Hina—or Sayo—doing things to you. Kissing you. Touching you. It could feel good despite whatever else you might be feeling. Distractingly so, paralyzingly so. Speaking up, pushing back, that was hard. It was so much easier to give up, to let it happen… or watch it happen.

“Sayo… Hina-senpai…” Tsugumi said, not as loud as she had hoped. A part of her didn’t want Hina to stop, to end the lurid display in front of her.

“Eh? Tsugu-chan?” Hina looked up, hand still inside her sister’s shirt, “Did you want me to repeat something? I kind of forgot you were there, towards the end…”

Sayo recovered after several frazzled breaths, straightening her posture and gently guiding Hina’s hand away from her chest. She didn’t look mad, or about to cry or anything. Tsugumi wasn’t sure if there was an expected response to being groped by your sister, in any case.

“Sayo…?” Tsugumi started, knowing the question had to be asked, if not precisely what the question was supposed to be.

Sayo avoided their eyes, looking downward, continuing to steady her breathing, in and out. She no doubt understood what Tsugumi was asking, and had no interest in answering.

“Onee-chan, what’s wrong?” Hina asked, leaning in close, hands on Sayo’s thigh, “Didn’t it feel good?”

“Hina-senpai, I—” Tsugumi attempted to produce an explanation, “You know it isn’t normal to want to, er, pleasure your sister like that, right?”

“Huh? But Onee-chan is so sexy and boppin’,” Hina said, looking Sayo up and down before turning to Tsugumi, “Who wouldn’t want to?”

It sounded so simple when Hina said it like that. Tsugumi personally felt the same way, when she looked at Sayo—though perhaps phrasing it differently. It threw her off, trying to figure out how to tell Hina that… her feelings were wrong? That she shouldn’t want her sister like that to begin with? That she should bury it all away?

Tsugumi’s eyes drifted back to Sayo. She still hadn’t said a word, sitting there, pointedly looking away from Hina.

“Sayo, you can talk to us, you know,” Tsugumi said, sitting beside her up against the wall, “Whatever you’re feeling, we want to know. Hina-senpai’s feelings might be… unconventional, but it’s still better that we know. If you don’t tell us how—”

“—There’s nothing to tell,” Sayo said at last, in a low voice, “Hina doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Sisters don’t—sisters aren’t supposed to feel that way. You can’t be taking her seriously, can you?”

“I can’t say I really understand Hina-senpai, I’ve never claimed to,” Tsugumi admitted, “But I don’t think I need to, not completely. She’s honest about how she feels, and that’s enough. I’ve learned quite well now, that denying what you feel, hiding it away… that doesn’t do anyone any good.”

Tsugumi brought Sayo’s arm to her chest, locking their hands together. She had no idea what to say. What she wanted to say.

“It hurt, you know,” she started, closing her eyes as she looked back on everything that had happened since Hina first kissed her, “Knowing that you loved me. That I maybe had feelings for you too. I couldn’t look past the idea that I was Hina-senpai’s girlfriend. That I had no choice but to push you away.”

Sayo looked vaguely guilty, as if she still blamed herself. But Tsugumi held fast to her hand, and pressed on.

“But, Sayo, when the truth came out, when I learned you both wanted to be my girlfriends,” she paused, glancing over to Hina, who had cautiously taken Sayo’s other hand, “It felt absolutely incredible. That was only possible because of you and Hina-senpai. Because of how much you cared for each other. That the two of you couldn’t bear the thought of choosing between your sister and me.”

Tsugumi watched Sayo’s expression. Hoped she was conveying her feelings. Hoped she wasn’t messing all of this up.

“Onee-chan,” Hina cut in, a rare serious streak in her tone, “Tsugumi said a bunch of things, and I didn’t quite get all of it. But I know you love me. Love me like I love you. I know you do.”

“Hina,” Sayo whispered, staring at where her fingers intertwined with her sister’s, “it’s not that simple, it can’t be—”

“I don’t know about any of that stuff, Onee-chan,” Hina smiled, looking Sayo in the eyes, “but all that overthinking is only making you miserable. So why not just forget about it all? Do what you really want? Please, Onee-chan?”

Sayo looked over to Tsugumi, searching for a voice of reason to bring her back to reality. To tell her how silly Hina was being. That it could never possibly work.

Tsugumi sighed, “Just fucking kiss her already.”

Chapter Text

Hazawa Residence - Tsugumi’s Room

Sayo took a breath, slipping her hand from Tsugumi’s grasp, and met Hina’s lips. Tsugumi had to admit it was hot to watch her girlfriends make out for the first time, sitting on her bed, only inches away. Sayo wrapped her free hand around the back of her sister’s head, tilting it slightly as she pushed her tongue into her mouth. Hina made adorable little noises as Sayo tasted her, holding tight to Sayo’s other hand.

Hina pushed back, forcing Sayo up against the wall of Tsugumi’s room. Hands tried at Sayo’s remaining shirt buttons. Hina pulled back from the kiss as she reached the bottom of her sister’s shirt, turning to Tsugumi expectantly.

“Tsugu-chan, come on! You have to join in too!” Hina said, as Tsugumi stared at Sayo’s bare midriff, the hints of a lacy black bra peeking out above. Was Hina wearing something like that too? Tsugumi hadn’t expected the night would go quite like this. She didn’t have much else she could have worn instead, even if she’d known.

Cautiously, Tsugumi took both sides of Sayo’s shirt, pulling them apart to reveal her respectable bust. She still wasn’t entirely sure she could do what Hina had shown her to do, but it looked simple enough. She took Sayo by one shoulder, lowering her head down to a generous patch of now exposed neck. She felt a bit silly, licking at the soft skin, but Sayo’s low moans sounded appreciative enough.

Hina slipped behind Sayo, working to get her shirt off completely, planting a single kiss on her sister’s cheek. Tsugumi’s free hand wandered across Sayo’s chest, exploring the shape. It felt nice in her hand. Soft, warm. Tsugumi squeezed down experimentally.

“—Ah, Tsugumi,” Sayo let out a pant, as Hina finished pulling her shirt free, tossing it carelessly off the bed onto the rug. It was a more desperate whine than she’d yet heard from her girlfriend—either of them—and Tsugumi decided she rather liked the sound.

“Ooh, how bold, Tsugu-chan!” Hina nodded in approval, prompting Tsugumi to lift her head to figure out exactly what the hell her girlfriend meant.

Tsugumi then gave Sayo another squeeze, making sure she was seeing things correctly. Sayo moaned, pressing her back harder against the wall.

Yes. That was definitely her hand slipped under Sayo’s bra. With a twist of her wrist, her fingers grazed against something decidedly less smooth. She pinched at the nub of skin, watching Sayo’s lips twitch with pleasure.

Acting on impulse, Tsugumi claimed those lips, wanting to share in Sayo’s passion. Her girlfriend was demanding in all the most wonderful ways, Tsugumi’s teasing fingers wearing away at what little remained of Sayo’s earlier restraint. Pressed up against her, Tsugumi could feel every flinch and shudder Sayo’s body made as she lifted up her bra with both hands.

Hina snuck her head in between them, Tsugumi reluctantly giving up one of Sayo’s breasts to her. Sayo’s back arched as Hina’s lips wrapped around her nipple, desperate moans bottled up by Tsugumi’s tongue.

Tsugumi broke the kiss to better appreciate her girlfriend’s writhing form. To hear her cries of pleasure, as her sister tugged at her nipple with her teeth.

Hina was naked from the waist up as well now, Tsugumi noticed. Marveled at the unblemished stretch of bare skin from her shoulders on down, more accurately. The girl could move fast, when she wanted to, Tsugumi hadn’t even seen her taking off her shirt. Though, she had been quite distracted…

Tsugumi felt overdressed, and just a tad inadequate, feeling the way Hina’s assets pressed up against her sister’s—her hand caught in between—as she moved to take Sayo’s lips once more. Tsugumi could consider herself on par with Sayo, with a hint of optimism, but Hina’s bust put both of theirs to shame.

Deciding it was useless to fight off the inevitable, Tsugumi pulled back and reached for the still half-tied ribbon around her collar, tugging it off before starting on her shirt buttons. She would prefer taking it off herself, going through the same motions she had hundreds of times before. It had never felt quite so scandalous, but there was still a comfort in the familiarity.

Tsugumi’s shirt met the growing pile of clothing littering the floor of her bedroom, but she wasn’t quite brave enough to let her bra go with it. Not yet. Letting her girlfriends see the plain white cloth was slightly less embarrassing than taking it off entirely. No matter if she was certain that it would be gone before the night was out.

Tsugumi could only let the pair of topless sisters make out in front of her for so long, before the urge to pounce—buried deep inside her—rose to the surface. Grabbing Hina by the shoulders, Tsugumi guided her onto her back, lying over top of Sayo. Hina’s bare chest swayed in full display as she turned.

Tsugumi ran her hands down the smooth skin of Hina’s sides, tracing the surface with her fingertips. Hina shivered under her touch, but it wasn’t enough, Tsugumi needed more. A hand reached Hina’s waistline, the thin black band where her leggings began. Tsugumi kept going, sliding under the fabric, as it stretched around the shape of her hand.

Tsugumi crept along Hina’s thigh, her girlfriend biting her lip in anticipation. Sayo’s hands found their way to her sister’s breasts, wrapping around from behind her. There was a naughty feeling to reaching under her girlfriend’s waistband, one that grew as Tsugumi’s fingers trailed inward, brushing the tender skin of Hina’s inner thigh. Closing in on the inevitable.

“Ah! Tsugu-chan—” Hina squealed, hips bucking as Tsugumi’s fingers reached their target.

Tsugumi’s mind halted for a moment. She rubbed the area experimentally, feeling out the unexpected yet disconcertingly familiar texture. It was warm, and damp, and slightly sticky. Hina bit her lip harder to stifle further moans of appreciation, as Tsugumi’s fingers stopped moving.

“Hina-senpai!” Tsugumi cried, using her indignant Vice President voice that she never expected to have need of in the bedroom, “Why aren’t you wearing panties?”

The way the night was headed, Tsugumi knew it would reach this point eventually. She had just been hoping for a bit more time to… mentally prepare. The last barrier between her and Hina had been ripped away so suddenly, her fingers touching her, pleasuring her. In ways that Tsugumi had never done for anyone but herself.

“Eh?” Hina asked, somewhat more coherent as Sayo ceased her groping, “Aren’t leggings good enough? I was wearing shorts over them, they’re basically a really big pair of underwear at that point!”

Tsugumi snuck a single glance away from the bed, at the mess of clothing below, remembering that Hina had been wearing something along those lines. She was less clear on when exactly Hina had managed to take them off, but it was long past time for her to linger on such thoughts.

It wasn’t even that outrageous a choice, dressing like that. Especially when grading on a Hina curve. Tsugumi had assumed wrong, and now she had to deal with the consequences. The hot, dripping consequences.

“Hey, um, Tsugu-chan…” Hina began, a pitifully worried look forming across her face, “You aren’t going to stop, right? And you too, Onee-chan! Your hands feel nice right now, but it’s so much better when they’re moving.”

Tsugumi opened her mouth to reassure her girlfriend, as strange as the concern struck her, until a clasping of fingers around her wrist gave her pause. The wrist that was halfway inside Hina’s leggings, to be precise.

“Let’s not be too hasty, Tsugumi,” Sayo smiled, relaxing her grip on Tsugumi’s wrist only slightly, “We both love Hina, no doubt, and want to make her feel good. But I think you’ve learned just as well as I have… Hina never looks cuter than when she’s begging.”

Tsugumi’s mind treacherously followed Sayo’s train of thought. It was a mean thing to suggest… but Tsugumi couldn’t bring herself to disagree. Hina all too happily threw away her shame the moment she wasn’t getting her way, whining, crying, groveling on the floor, making all sorts of promises she had no intention of keeping.

This could be annoying at times to deal with, when it came to Student Council matters… but Sayo’s suggestion was nothing more than amusement for its own sake. There were no serious stakes, the only one who stood to lose out was Hina herself.

It was a deliciously attractive idea, and Tsugumi could do nothing but give Hina a silent apology as she nodded back to Sayo. The quiet panic within Hina caused her to squirm in place, as it became clear that Tsugumi wouldn’t be coming to her defense. In a rather pitiful move, Hina lifted her hips up, attempting to rub against their hands, held just out of reach. But Sayo was too quick for her, sliding Tsugumi’s hand back out of Hina’s waistband, denying any chance of contact.

“Onee-chan… Tsugu-chan…” Hina moaned, “Don’t, please I—”

“Don’t worry so much, Hina,” Sayo said, gently pinching her nipple with the hand still draped across her sister’s breast, “We’ll still touch you a little. We can’t let you forget how much you really want it.”

Hina writhed under Sayo’s touch, pushing her chest further into her hand. Tsugumi wanted to touch Hina like that too. To have her desperate for the stimulation, desperate for Tsugumi. She had already gone this far, Tsugumi wouldn’t let her nerves keep her from what she wanted any longer.

Her hands took hold of the waistband riding above Hina’s hips, of the last stitch of clothing she still wore. The material was dark, and entirely opaque, but Tsugumi managed to make out a damp spot forming on the crotch of Hina’s leggings, if only barely. Tsugumi had no doubts what she’d find beneath the cloth, but the idea filled her with trepidation nonetheless.

Taking a deep breath, Tsugumi pulled. Her eyes followed the motion of her hands, not wanting to let the sight of Hina’s exposed form cause her to falter halfway through. Finishing things properly, Tsugumi let the material bunch up around each ankle, before pulling it off Hina’s feet in one mostly smooth motion. Well, Hina might have helped a bit, twisting a heel free of the cloth when it got stuck.

Tsugumi tossed the leggings aside, preparing herself for what came next. Eyes traveling back up Hina’s long, slim legs, Tsugumi was met with her girlfriend’s nudity in its entirety. Sayo sucked gently on the side of her sister’s neck, making Hina arch her back, lost in pleasure. Every curve was fully accentuated, flowing flawlessly together, drawing Tsugumi’s gaze inward to a single central point.

Tsugumi found herself unable to look away. Hina’s pussy, in the full light of her bedroom, awaiting her touch. Her thighs parting unconsciously, spreading her folds the barest amount, inviting Tsugumi in. She inched up towards Hina, fingertips dragging behind her, from ankle to thigh, until they were poised so tantalizingly close.

“H-Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi started, before finding her voice, “do you want me to touch you?”

She drew a single finger across Hina’s entrance, gathering slick juices, parting her lower lips ever so slightly. She had Hina’s complete attention.

“Tsugu-chan, pl-please,” Hina whined, voice hitching as Tsugumi’s trail passed over her clit, “You don’t have to listen to Onee-chan like that…”

Tsugumi lifted her hand to her lips, sampling Hina’s taste. To little surprise, her lower lips weren’t quite as sweet, but Tsugumi found the sensation arousing enough that it hardly mattered.

Popping her finger out of her mouth, Tsugumi found Hina’s pussy once more, lining it up against her entrance. Hina said not a word more, waiting with apprehension to see which sister had swayed Tsugumi.

Tsugumi slipped inside with ease, the saliva on her finger sliding against the wetness of Hina’s inner walls, juices mixing together. Hina moaned in appreciation, her hips gyrating against Tsugumi’s hand, demanding that the delicious friction continue. Sayo smiled at Tsugumi, knowing what was coming next before her sister did.

Tsugumi sat there, just long enough for Hina to notice that her finger had stopped moving, through her lustful haze. It was surreal, being inside Hina like this, feeling the trepidation building as each cruel second dragged on.

“Sayo thinks I shouldn’t do this, Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi climbed up to whisper into Hina’s ear, though there was no mistaking that her sister could hear every word, “What do you think? Should I keep going?”

Slowly, she slid her finger back out of Hina’s pussy, until only the tip of her finger held her lips open. Hina’s hips wiggled as Tsugumi entered once more, a single finger providing far too little stimulation. But Hina was worried what might happen if she objected.

“That’s enough, Tsugumi,” Sayo said abruptly, and Tsugumi complied without question, freezing in place, “Now, Hina. Why don’t you tell Tsugumi what you want her to do to you?”

Sayo was really laying it on thick now, making her demands in stern if sultry tones. But Tsugumi couldn’t fault an excess of enthusiasm, given the situation. While it was quite cute how hard Sayo was trying, it was also really hot to have her girlfriend talk her through fucking her sister. Or at least, asking Hina to explain for her.

“Ah! Tsugu-chan,” Hina snapped to attention after hearing her sister’s request, “one finger is way too small! And you’re going so slow! And maybe you could also—”

“Hina!” Sayo cut it, “Tsugumi isn’t waiting tables right now—stop asking for things and start trying to convince her!”

A motivational pinch of Hina’s nipples drew another scream of pleasure, but it was short-lived, and Hina desperately wanted more.

“Your fingers, Tsugu-chan,” Hina whined, “they feel all zappity and stuff, when you touch me. I need them, Tsugu-chan! I really do! Inside me—please!”

Tsugumi, not needing much of an excuse to start fingering her girlfriend again, deemed Hina’s begging adequate. Enough for a second finger, at least. It would still be hard for Hina to cum from just this—Tsugumi knew from… personal experience. But it could feel wonderful all the same, and as Tsugumi started pumping two fingers inside of Hina in earnest, the girl sounded like she agreed.

“Does that feel nice, Hina?” Sayo asked, stroking her sister’s bare midriff as Tsugumi’s fingers thrust in and out, making crude, sloppy noises, “You should thank Tsugumi for fucking you like this.”

“T-Tsugu-chan—” Hina panted, swallowing back a moan as Tsugumi’s thumb rubbed against her clit, “I love you, don’t stop! Your fingers are making me feel so boppity bop boppin’ right now—”

Tsugumi’s rhythm faltered a moment, as she stumbled at Hina’s description. Sayo hid it well, but Tsugumi heard a single chuckle escape before she clamped her lips together tightly.

“Uh, Hina-senpai…” Tsugumi said, slowing her pace enough to draw Hina’s attention, “maybe you could… um—It’s just that…”

“Huh?” Hina looked up in a mixture of disappointment and confusion, before there was a flash of recognition, “Oh! Sorry, Tsugu-chan… would something like this be better?”

Hina leaned over, draping her chest across Tsugumi’s, lips nearly touching her ear, as she let out hot, panting breaths for Tsugumi alone to hear.

“Ahn~ ...Fuck me harder, Ts-Tsugumi! Finger my cunt,” Hina gasped out, all but moaning each word as she pumped her hips against Tsugumi’s hand, “Make me cum, make me your bitch—show me what a dirty sl-slut I am…”

Hina leaned back, as Sayo and Tsugumi stared at her, neither able to respond.

“How was that?” Hina asked with a tilt of her head, trying to not appear too disappointed by the way Tsugumi’s hand had stopped in place.

“H-Hina,” Sayo stuttered, giving Tsugumi an uneasy look, “that was…”

“Please, Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi backed her up, placing a hand on Hina’s bare shoulder, “Never do that again… let’s go back to the fizzity-zappity stuff.”

Tsugumi had always assumed her idol image of Hina had already been well-tarnished by so much face to face interaction with the girl herself. But that… that had been something else entirely. The way she had said all those things, without so much as blinking. Well, she sounded exactly like a dirty slut. Not a term she had ever thought would fit Hina—but then, nothing about that display had fit Hina in the slightest.

At least Sayo’s sexy dominatrix voice somewhat agreed with her image of Sayo. For example, she was terrified of Sayo hearing her admit any of that out loud.

“Alright, Tsugu-chan!” Hina nodded, before giving a small frown, “Um… you’re going to start doing the fizzity-zappity stuff with your fingers again, right?”

“Uh, yeah, Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi said, caught off guard by how earnest the term sounded when Hina said it, “Maybe—maybe it would be better if you couldn’t say anything for this next bit…”

“Huh? What do you mean, Tsugu—” Hina was silenced mid-sentence, as Tsugumi’s lips pressed against her. Hina’s appreciative groans were far less distracting, and far more arousing, than her… unique words of praise. That seemed worth a reward, in Tsugumi’s opinion.

Tsugumi’s fingers twisted within Hina’s folds, flesh slipping against flesh. It was incredible, Hina’s tongue against hers, responding to her touch, moving in time with every jolt of pleasure.

Gently, Sayo peeled Hina off her chest, allowing Tsugumi to press her sister’s bare back firmly against the wall. Tsugumi didn’t have to wonder what she was planning for long though, as the girl slipped up beside her. Hands reaching for the small clasp on Tsugumi’s back that held her bra in place.

Her chest was stripped bare, bra joining the others on the floor, but the time for worrying about how she stacked up to Sayo and Hina had long since passed. She already had her hands full dealing with Hina, and what Sayo was planning to do next.

There was no question as to what the girl intended, of course. Tsugumi just wasn’t sure if she had properly prepared herself for it. For Sayo’s hands. She focused her efforts on Hina’s pussy to distract herself, now rubbing small circles into her clit as they kissed. The same rote motions she always made, when she really needed to get off, but so different when it was her girlfriend instead of herself.

Sayo’s hands ran across Tsugumi’s bare back, dipping under her arms, slipping into the gap between her chest and Hina’s. The motion was smooth and without hesitation, Sayo closing the distance to her goal, palms finding Tsugumi’s breasts.

It felt extra dirty, letting Sayo grope her from behind, unable to see her hands or face. Only let gentle waves of stimulation wash over her, as Hina demanded her full attention. Sayo was not one to be ignored, and Tsugumi broke the kiss with a shriek as something hot and wet rolled across the back of her neck.

Tsugumi had to pull her hand back to keep upright, leaning on Hina’s thigh for support. With the loss of Tsugumi’s fingers and lips, Hina fell out of the carnal trance she was under. She took in Tsugumi’s exposed form, now down to nothing but her skirt.

“Onee-chan, our girlfriend looks super sexy and boppin’ right now, doesn’t she?” Hina asked, sending tingles sweeping through Tsugumi’s skin as her hands roamed all over.

Sayo backed off from Tsugumi’s neck, getting a better view of her wanton expression, “Obviously. We picked pretty well, didn’t we?”

Sayo rolled the soft tips of Tsgumi’s nipples between her fingers, drawing out another cry of lust to accentuate her statement. Tsugumi wasn’t sure how much more of Sayo’s teasing she could bear, but was certain Sayo would be happy to drag things out far longer. She gave Hina a look, hoping the other girl understood that it was up to them to help each other out.

Through some miracle, Hina caught Tsugumi’s expression, and smiled at her sister, “Yeah, we really did, Onee-chan. But it’s unfair that I’m the only one totally naked! I want to see both of you too, with no stupid skirts hiding all the best parts!”

Hina’s outburst sat in the air, as Tsugumi cautiously looked between the twins on either side of her. Then she heard a quick, sharp grinding of metal against metal. A zipper, somewhere. And there weren’t too many places left that it could be.

Turning back to Sayo, Tsugumi caught the girl slipping out of her skirt, left with only a small, black piece of lace covering her nakedness. And it really didn’t cover much at all…

Sayo crawled over her, making no effort to avoid direct contact, but pausing no more than a moment as her skin brushed over Tsugumi’s. She found her sister, waiting nervously, back still against the wall. Sayo straddled Hina’s leg, adjusting her posture for a second or two longer than strictly necessary. Crotch grinding against her sister’s thigh, only the barest fabric between them, also doing little to obstruct Tsugumi’s newfound view of Sayo’s rear.

“So, now you think you can start making demands, dear sister?” Sayo leaned in, tilting Hina’s chin with nothing but a finger, “You don’t need to worry so much, Hina. You’ll get to see plenty of both of us before the night is over.”

Sayo’s lips captured Hina’s, tongue overpowering her sister’s meager defenses. She let her hand trail downward, passing over Hina’s breasts, finding her entrance. Sayo drew lazy shapes with her finger as Hina fought to keep upright. Finally slipping inside when her sister’s kiss grew too needy and desperate.

Tsugumi watched Hina melt in her sister’s arms, comparing her earlier amatuer attempts to Sayo’s motions. But there were no thoughts of inadequacy, of wishing she could do those sorts of things to Hina as well as Sayo did, or even turn the tables back on Sayo. No, Tsugumi was completely overwhelmed by the desire to be in Hina’s place. To be brave enough to throw away the last of her inhibitions, to let Sayo take her.

At this rate, Tsugumi’s panties were going to be embarrassingly soaked through, when her skirt finally came off. It wasn’t enough to convince Tsugumi to take it off herself, not quite as brazen as Sayo. It only served to fuel her horny thoughts further, imagining how Sayo would react to the sight of her growing dampness. Not that Tsugumi needed much imagination, with the demonstration Sayo was giving with Hina right in front of her.

“How do you feel, Hina?” Sayo asked, whispering in a breathy tone, “Are you close?”

“Ah, Onee-chan—” Hina whined, struggling to form a coherent sentence under Sayo’s touch, “Please, your fingers are so good Onee-chan, don’t stop. I’m almost there!”

Hina ground her hips frantically against her sister’s hand—but Tsugumi only needed to see the smirk on Sayo’s face to know how this was going to end.

“Stop?” Sayo asked, playing up her confusion, hastening her pace as Hina let out hot pants, approaching her climax, “That would be horrible, just when you’re about to cum like this…”

Desperation was building, Hina was right at the edge. But she knew Sayo wouldn’t make it that easy, even as Hina put her all into stealing away that final push.

“—Though,” Sayo paused, raising a hand to her lips in thought—the wrong hand, judging by Hina’s sudden cries of protests, “it would be a real shame to leave Tsugumi out of this…”

The way she licked Hina’s juices off her hand didn’t lend much credit to the idea that the thought had only just occurred to her. Not that Tsugumi was in a position to throw stones, having also played a part in how much the girl had gotten worked up and teased.

Well, if Tsugumi could put an end to Sayo’s teasing, and get to touch Hina some more along the way, she wasn’t going to object. Sayo, however, grabbed her wrist when she sought out Hina’s folds once more.

“That’s not quite what I had in mind, Tsugumi,” Sayo said to her, as Hina watched the two girls intently, “This is the first time we’re making Hina cum, it should be special. Maybe try something a bit more fun—like your tongue.”

“My t-tongue?” Tsugumi asked, though there was no doubt in her mind what Sayo was suggesting. But fantasies and thin, self-published manga booklets were one thing; having her girlfriend’s legs spread right in front of her was quite another entirely.

She could imagine it vividly, leaning up to Hina’s already dripping entrance. Tasting her, pleasuring her. But was the way she thought she should be moving her tongue actually right? Was there a right way to do it? A wrong way? Tsugumi had a pretty good idea of how to use her fingers, even if the angles were all off when it was another girl. But this was something else altogether…

“Well, too bad, Hina,” Sayo let out a not particularly convincing sigh, after Tsugumi failed to respond further, “I really thought Tsugumi would be able to help you finally cum. But it seems she isn’t up for it—unless you think you’ll have better luck convincing her, that is.”

Hina didn’t need to be told twice, and Tsugumi was hit with the full force of her desires.

“You’ll do it, right Tsugu-chan?” Hina half-asked, half-begged, “Tsugu-chan’s tongue… it would be so bopp—I mean, it would feel amazing, I know it. I need it. Please!”

“I’m sorry, Hina-senpai,” Tsugumi shook her head, “I just don’t think I can do it. I’m not like you, or even Sayo. I’m not good at a lot of things, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”

Sayo frowned, and opened her mouth to speak, but was cut off by Hina’s continued pleading.

“That’s okay, Tsugu-chan! I can help you out,” Hina offered, “let you know when it feels good. Just… I need to cum—so badly, Tsugu-chan. I trust you, I know you can do it!”

Tsugumi had far less confidence in her abilities than Hina apparently had in her, but it felt cruel to refuse to even try. Sayo would let Hina cum eventually, of course, but she definitely wasn’t in any rush to do so. If this was how Sayo and Hina could both be satisfied, figuratively or literally, then Tsugumi should give it her all, and hope for the best.

“Alright, Hina-senpai, I’ll—” Tsugumi paused, she couldn’t bring herself to say something like this out loud, “—I’ll, um, help you out…”

Sayo smiled at her declaration, grabbing her sister’s legs at the knees, spreading them further apart to give Tsugumi easier access to Hina’s naked core.

“I’m sure Hina appreciates it, Tsugumi.”

Tsugumi had no words left to respond, too nervous as she crawled up to Hina’s bare pussy, still twitching and glistening from the girls’ earlier teasing touches. Waiting for her.

Tsugumi placed her hands along the inside of Hina’s thighs, as much for support as to keep her legs in place, open in front of her. She was so close now, only inches from Hina’s womanhood. Tsugumi could smell her arousal, the swirling musk of sweat and fluids, see every fold and crease of skin around her entrance. And if she inched just a bit closer, she would be able to taste Hina too.

Tsugumi hesitated. She had… tasted… Hina once already tonight. A lick of her finger, out of curiosity. It was hard to place exactly, but she wouldn’t call it a pleasant taste. Maybe bland was the best she should hope for.

Hina gave an almost pained whine, “Tsugu-chan? Are you ready?”

There was no use putting it off any longer. Tsugumi pressed her face up against Hina, sticking her tongue out to meet her slit. She licked Hina’s lower lips, experimentally, not sure what reaction to expect.

Hina’s legs jostled slightly beneath her palms, threatening to close in on Tsugumi. But it was easy enough to hold her in place, the movement unfocused and involuntary.

Tsugumi could do better. While Hina could clearly feel her tongue, she wasn’t anywhere near as vocal as Tsugumi knew she could be. There wasn’t all that much area to cover, Tsugumi just needed to explore a bit more. Find the places that Hina loved the most—even if she was somewhat nervous about looking for them.

After the first few licks, Hina’s outer lips were little different from skin, slightly salty, but unremarkable as her tongue ran across it. Inside was another matter. All of Hina’s juices, the inner flesh of her walls. But she had to at least try, having already gotten this far.

Tsugumi pushed her tongue inward, her own lips pressing against Hina’s opening. She felt around with her tongue, far more awkwardly than she had with her fingers earlier. Hina let out a few breathy pants, continuing to try to curl her legs around Tsugumi’s head.

It was less overbearing against Tsugumi’s tongue than she expected. The taste was there, for sure, sharp, almost bitter, but that took a backseat to the sensation of moving between Hina’s folds. Parting her, exploring her. The act of tasting her girlfriend stimulating in a manner far beyond the physical alone.

“Tsugu-chan! There—!”

Hina cried out as Tsugumi swept her tongue upward, trailing up and over her clit. Her legs thrashed wildly about, and Tsugumi figured she must be doing something right. Another long stroke of her tongue drew out another cry, though Tsugumi was pushing down against Hina’s thighs more forcefully now, palms pressed deep into her soft flesh.

The movement still felt awkward. Tsugumi never had much need for any particular dexterity with her tongue, but she could tell Hina wanted her to go faster, by the way her hips ground against her face. Could tell Hina still desperately needed to cum, that Tsugumi’s slow, clumsy technique only teased her further.

Tsugumi decided to change tactics, tilting her head up, taking the crown of Hina’s lips inside her mouth. Her clit was now trapped, right up against Tsugumi’s tongue, and she gave several quick flicks to test Hina’s response.

Two sets of fingers nestling their way into Tsugumi’s hair could only be taken as a good sign. Hina pushed her head harder against her clit as Tsugumi drew all sorts of beautiful noises out of her girlfriend. It was an addicting and arousing sensation, pleasuring Hina like this. Tsugumi could feel something building down within her own folds, a burning wetness—and something moving?

Tsugumi released Hina’s clit with a sharp gasp, but the wriggling inside her continued. Something, multiple somethings, had slipped under her skirt, under her panties. And Tsugumi didn’t need to look all that hard for the culprit.

“Oh, sorry Tsugumi, I didn’t mean to distract you,” Sayo apologized, ceasing her work for the moment, but not removing her hand, “You just looked a little lost at first, and I thought some encouragement might help. Do you want me to stop?”

“No!” Tsugumi shouted, a bit too quickly, but Sayo had already shown herself more than willing to follow through on such a threat, “—I mean, it feels nice, Sayo… your fingers. And I should probably, um, get back to Hina. She might explode if we just keep teasing her like this—and not in the way that she so desperately wants.”

“Hina?” Sayo asked, though her acting skills left something to be desired, “Oh, were you about to cum? I guess Tsugumi will just have to start over again, then. She has taken quite well to eating you out like that, I have to say. If you think you’ve had enough already, I’d be happy to take her off your hands—or other places, rather.”

Hina’s glazed over expression snapped upward, trying to catch up on what her sister said after hearing the tail end of a rather dangerous idea.

“Onee-chan, no way!” She shouted, then looked down between her legs at her girlfriend, “Tsugu-chan! Don’t listen to her! You’ve got to keep going, and only stop when I tell you to stop. Okay? It’s really, really important. It’s—it’s—it’s driving me crazy, Tsugu-chan.”

If Tsugumi had given Sayo’s suggestion any weight at all, Hina’s pathetic whines would have convinced her that such a thing would be far too cruel. At this point, she agreed with Hina. There had been more than enough teasing, and now Tsugumi wasn’t going to stop until she made her girlfriend cum.

“Don’t worry so much, Hina-senpai. I’m going to make you feel amazing, promise.”

No matter what Sayo might do, Tsugumi wouldn’t let herself get distracted again. She ran her tongue across Hina’s outer folds several times, working her girlfriend’s arousal back up to the heights she had just fallen from.

Sayo took this as an invitation to challenge Tsugumi’s resolve, rubbing at her clit with fingers slipped inside her underwear. Her other hand snaked up to find Tsugumi’s chest, squeezing at her slight curves with blatant greed. Tsugumi fought to stay focused through the stimulation, when Sayo started to drag her wet tongue in long, lazy strokes across the small of her back.

Tsugumi let out a whimper, her body trying to make sense of everything Sayo was doing to her. Of all the ways she was driving Tsugumi wild with lust. Tsugumi couldn’t shut it out—wouldn’t want to even if she could—and so used every ounce of frantic passion to eat Hina out. Exploring every inch of her, licking and sucking on every fold.

Sayo’s fingers moved without any of the careful restraint she had shown with Hina. Tsugumi felt a near constant heat on her clit, climax feeling ever so close. If Sayo sought to interrupt Hina one last time, by bringing Tsugumi to orgasm first, she was quite mistaken. Tsugumi wouldn’t stop, couldn’t even think clearly enough to consider stopping.

“—okay to——Tsugumi—Hina——if you cum,” Sayo’s voice was far off, distant, too indistinct to properly register whatever it was she was saying. Tsugumi understood the teasing tones alone well enough, though. And she refused to let Sayo win like that.

All the determination in the world didn’t do anything to help slow Sayo’s pace, of course, and Tsugumi’s own technique using her mouth was still woefully lacking in comparison. Sayo’s fingers were so much more practiced in those small, precise motions than Tsugumi’s tongue could ever be. Hina was loving every second of it, but Tsugumi was undeniably closer.

So, so close now. Tsugumi devoted every scrap of her attention to pleasuring Hina, to keeping up the pace, but more and more of it was slipping away. Down, down, to her pussy, soaked with desire, throbbing from Sayo’s attention. Tsugumi had brought herself to orgasm before, too many times to count. But this close to the edge, when her own fingers would have inevitably faltered, slowed, Sayo’s continued with full force. Faster, even, as she could tell how close Tsugumi was. Wanted to give her that final push.

It hit her unlike anything she’d ever felt before. A burst of pleasure, followed by an even greater aftershock, her legs closing around Sayo’s hand. Collapsing onto her bed covers, head still between Hina’s thighs. But she pressed on, running her tongue over Hina’s clit with raw abandon.

“Wow, Hina,” Sayo said, sounding genuinely impressed, “You have such a considerate girlfriend. She won’t stop even as she’s cumming all over my hand. Aren’t you glad?”

Hina was in no state to respond at this point, all the teasing and stimulation leaving her mind entirely blank, now that she was at last so desperately close.

“Tsugu-chan—Tsugu-chan—” Hina muttered over and over, her breath hitching as Tsugumi’s fingers joined her tongue, prodding at her folds.

Tsugumi felt Sayo climbing over her on the bed. When the incessant chanting turned into muffled moans, she could only assume Sayo had taken Hina’s lips once more. An admission of defeat, after a fashion, accepting that there was nothing more she could do than help Hina have the orgasm she so primally craved. Tsugumi couldn’t help but feel a strange pride bubble through her at the thought, having somehow bested Sayo in this strange contest.

With both Tsugumi and Sayo putting their mouths to good use, Hina couldn’t hold out much longer. She had been more than ready to fold at the first opportunity. Finally—and so wonderfully sweetly—Hina at last let go.

Even with Sayo’s tongue down her throat, Tsugumi could hear the moans of Hina’s orgasm quite clearly. If she couldn’t tell simply by the way Hina’s pussy writhed around her fingers, the way her body shook with pleasure. And then Sayo broke the kiss, and it was over.

Hina took several deep gasps for air, and Tsugumi—no longer driven by such a singular objective—found herself joining in. It had been difficult to remember how to properly breathe through all of that, even without the taxing effects of her own climax.

“How do you feel, Hina? Tsugumi? Are you alright to keep going?” Sayo asked, soft affection replacing her commanding tone from earlier. She had had her fun, and now it was time to make sure Hina and Tsugumi had also enjoyed themselves.

“That was incredible, Sayo,” Tsugumi said, flipped over on her back now, momentarily too spent to right herself.

She mourned the loss of Sayo’s fingers under her skirt, but Tsugumi had definitely needed the chance to catch her breath and cool herself down. Her pussy still felt raw and sensitive, even now, so she slipped off her skirt—absently noting Sayo must have already started to unzip it at some point—and dragged her panties down with them.

Tsugumi liked the way her girlfriends watched her, discarding the last of her clothing, the way they stared unabashedly at her naked form. She felt sexy. Wanted. Like she belonged with them.

“Onee-chan… Tsugu-chan… I love you, both of you,” Hina smiled a disheveled grin to her lovers, before turning to Sayo, “Could we—um, could we kiss one more time, Onee-chan?”

Sayo was taken aback by how innocent a request Hina had made, but couldn’t refuse her. Tsugumi knew from experience how hard it could be to turn down that sort of request from Hina.

Sayo wrapped her arms low around Hina’s back, closing the distance once more. Tsugumi wasn’t sure she would ever tire of such a sight. Green hair mingling together, bare curves aligning, drifting across one another. Sayo’s lips meeting Hina’s, the twins moaning in a melody Tsugumi alone could hear.

Hina wrapped her arms around Sayo’s, then shouted to Tsugumi as she broke the kiss—

“Quick, Tsugu-chan, get her panties!”

It took a second for both Sayo and Tsugumi to make sure they had heard Hina correctly. That they unfortunately understood what she had said.

“Hina! What are you doing?” Sayo tried to squirm out of her sister’s grasp, but it was no use, “—Wait, Tsugumi? Not you too!”

While it was ridiculous, like everything Hina did, Tsugumi could appreciate Hina’s sentiments. Sayo had so generously guided them to orgasm, it was only fair that they helped her out in turn.

“Come on, Sayo,” Tsugumi said, as she played with the waistband of Sayo’s panties, “You’re the only one here who isn’t naked yet. The only one who hasn’t gotten to cum yet. Why shouldn’t Hina and I want to fix that? We care for you, you know…”

Tsugumi tugged down sharply, exposing Sayo’s shapely ass as she pulled the panties further down her legs.

“The night’s still young, Sayo,” Tsugumi continued, tossing the panties away as she reached for Sayo’s crotch once more, “Why don’t we find out how many times you can cum before it’s over?”

Sayo stared at her sister, as Hina nodded in agreement.

“It’s only fair, Onee-chan…”

The shock passed quickly, and Sayo could do nothing but smile, as she closed her eyes in acceptance. There was no point in trying to fight it, after all.

“Fuck I love you, Tsugumi… Hina…”

Both girls closed in on her, eager to make good on their promises.

Chapter Text

Hazawa Residence

Morning light filtered through the thin curtains of the windows around Tsugumi’s bedroom. The covers over her felt strange, though Tsugumi couldn’t place why as she came to.

There was a stirring beside her, and Tsugumi’s eyes snapped open. She was naked. She always slept in pajamas. Sayo was naked as well, arms draped over her.

Her girlfriend, Tsugumi idly thought, feeling where skin touched upon skin. Unless last night had all been some bizarre fever dream—which Tsugumi refused to consider, given how she woke up—Sayo was hers now, same as Hina.

Hina. Tsugumi’s eyes shot to the floor of her bedroom, but nothing looked out of place from how things were usually arranged. Which was odd, since Tsugumi definitely remembered moving that table out of the way last night, to lay out the futon for Sayo and Hina. And also remembered Sayo falling asleep with Hina, not in her bed.

No futon, no small mountain of discarded clothing, no Hina. Tsugumi wasn’t awake enough to guess at what it all might mean, but a sense of dread was building. Not the terrible, heart-wrenching kind she’d known all too well, this past week. No, this was the old, familiar, Hina kind of dread.

It felt nice, in a peculiar way. To worry about whatever the hell Hina was doing, but letting Sayo snuggle up against her, breasts curving around Tsugumi’s arm. No matter where Hina might have snuck off to or what trouble she might be causing, Tsugumi knew they would still be—all three of them—together and happy at the end of it.

The feeling died after only moments, as the doorknob of Tsugumi’s room twisted from the outside, and Tsugumi belatedly realized that her parents must have come home at some point, late last night.

The door swung open, and Tsugumi was relieved to see Hina on the other side. She dropped the bags she had been carrying onto the floor, before taking a bit more care to lay out a pair of folded school uniforms on the table in the middle of Tsugumi’s room.

“Good morning, Onee-chan, Tsugu-chan,” Hina chirped, Sayo blinking sleepily as she woke to the sound of her sister’s voice, “Your mom said breakfast would be ready soon, Tsugu-chan, so you two need to get dressed and out of bed. Or, I guess, maybe reverse that order…”

Sayo’s eyes shot open, pushing against Tsugumi’s chest for support as she sat up, “Hina! We only have our clothes from last night! What time is it? We can’t possibly make it back home—”

Hina laughed, letting her sister take a better look at her surroundings, “Don’t worry so much, Onee-chan. I needed to drop off my telescope at home this morning anyway, so I grabbed a uniform from your closet. And our school bags, too.”

“Ah, that’s a relief, thanks Hina,” Sayo let out a breath, before looking down at where her hands had landed, “Wait, Tsugumi? Why am I in your bed? I thought we decided it was too small.”

As an afterthought, Sayo slid her hands off Tsugumi’s chest. The sudden skin on skin contact had helped wake her up more, but unfortunately Tsugumi had no better answer. Though, glancing over at Hina, she could make a confident guess as to who might have an idea.

“Well—you see,” Hina chafed under the gazes of both girls, “Onee-chan looked cold once I got up, okay? And Mei-chan said to make sure we put the futon and blankets away when we were done with them… so I figured it would be easiest to just move Onee-chan over and let her sleep with Tsugu-chan.”

The explanation quite nearly made sense. They had to get to school soon, and if Hina already needed to wake up early to make a trip back home, it wouldn’t have been too much extra work to clean up on her own, and let Tsugumi and Sayo sleep a bit longer. But one thing was tripping her up…

Mei-chan?” Tsugumi repeated, cautiously, “As in, um, Mom?”

“Ah, yeah,” Hina nodded back, “she said I could call her that too! She was really impressed by my telescope, even when it was just in its carrying case.”

Of all the ways Tsugumi’s mother might have come across Hina this morning, she had to admit it was far from the most disastrous. But without knowing exactly what Hina might have said, the sense of doom didn’t leave entirely. It made her nervous, thinking of Hina talking to her mother like that. Without Tsugumi there to stop her from saying anything she really shouldn’t.

Deciding it was best to find out sooner than later, Tsugumi untangled herself from the bedcovers and Sayo’s limbs, slightly hunched over as she walked to her dresser. Sayo and Hina had seen plenty of her last night, but in the early morning light, without any pretenses of the night, it was a lot more embarrassing to have her naked body on display. And it had already been embarrassing enough then.

“Here, Onee-chan, I brought yours too,” Hina said, carelessly tossing a set of bra and panties at her sister. Tsugumi finished putting on her own, grabbing the Haneoka uniform Hina must have found in her closet.

—Unless this was actually one of Hina’s spare uniforms, a stray thought of Tsugumi’s suggested. It shouldn’t matter either way, assuming they wore the same size, but putting on your girlfriend’s clothing after a night like that felt a lot different nonetheless. At least Tsugumi had picked out the underwear herself, from her own dresser, and wouldn’t have to spend the day wondering about that part.

With the three of them fully dressed once more, there were no excuses left. Even if Tsugumi had been so inclined as to try to sneak the twins out of her room without her parents knowing, Hina had already spoken to her mother this morning. No point in trying to hide them… just the more incriminating details.

She led Sayo and Hina from her bedroom, through the hallway, finding her father already seated at the kitchen table, coffee in hand, looking through something on his laptop.

“Oh, good morning Tsugumi,” her father said, looking up at the girls, “I see we have some guests for breakfast.”

“Honey!” he tilted his head toward the kitchen, “Looks like Sayo-chan really is here, didn’t I tell you? Now get out here and say hello!”

Huh? Her father was expecting Sayo? Tsugumi hadn’t even expected Sayo to be here, when she headed out for the train station yesterday. He didn’t seem to recognize Hina by anything other than Tsugumi’s own description of her president, but then that left the question of who possibly could have told him. And if he knew that much…

“Hmm?” a voice called back from the kitchen, before her mother’s head poked out from behind the divider wall, “Ah, good morning, Tsugumi, Hina-chan… Sayo-chan? Oh, wow, she is… I mean—it’s nice to properly meet you, Sayo-chan. I take it you had to reign in these two last night?”

Her mother too… Tsugumi was fairly certain her parents weren’t secretly Roselia fans. They might go to Tsugumi’s concerts on occasion, but she had no reason to believe that her parents would otherwise seek out the sort of music a teenage girl would listen to.

Did they recognize her from the café? That sounded slightly more plausible, even if Sayo was only an occasional customer. Her parents tended to pay a bit more attention to anyone they thought might be one of her friends… but their attitude was all off. They couldn’t possibly know, could they?

How could they? Even Tsugumi hadn’t known she was dating Sayo, not when she had last talked to her parents about going stargazing.

Sayo knew, though. And so had Hina. Hina, who had spoken to her mother without her, on multiple occasions, apparently. But Hina had to know not to mention that sort of thing. Right? Ignoring that Tsugumi had already worried if Hina had done exactly that, even before she had seen how weird her parents were acting…

“I only found out last night, okay?” Tsugumi said, defensively, “I promise I wasn’t trying to hide anything. I just—I just—it was hard enough when I only needed to tell you about Hina-senpai!”

Behind her, Tsugumi’s girlfriends stared at her. In front of her, her parents stared with them. Perhaps that outburst seemed a bit unprompted, but they had to know. Right?

Her parents shared a look Tsugumi couldn’t quite place, before her father decided to speak up.

“Tsugumi, dear,” he said, trying to maintain an even tone as he looked between Sayo and Hina, “is there something we should know?”

Tsugumi considered curling up and dying. It would be a lot simpler. Of all the ways to tell her parents she had more than one girlfriend, accidentally didn’t strike her as the ideal approach. But she was cornered now, and running away would only abandon her girlfriends to who knows what fate.

“But—I mean—” Tsugumi stuttered, “You had to have known! Why would you be paying such special attention to Sayo unless you already knew we were dating too?”

The way her father’s eyes widened as she finished her sentence gave perhaps another hint that, no, her parents hadn’t known. Her mother burst out laughing, forced to lean onto the kitchen counter for support. Her father kept a straight face for a moment longer, before joining her.

Yes, it wasn’t too late to curl up and die. Or at least run away. Sayo and Hina were closer to the door than her, she could grab them as she escaped.

“Wait a minute,” Tsugumi’s mother said, recovering before her husband, “If Tsugumi is dating both of them… and they all spent the night last night…”

Her mother was putting things together. Not that it was particularly difficult, when Tsugumi had taken the time to all but spell it out for them. She couldn’t meet her mothers eyes… but she wasn’t looking at Tsugumi.

“What, no!” her father said, more shouted before he caught himself, “That—that—”

“Yes!” her mother said, with a bit more enthusiasm than Tsugumi entirely appreciated, given the subject at hand, “Tsugumi and Hina-chan didn’t lie about Sayo-chan coming along to steal away some time alone. Sayo-chan came along because they wanted to have some time alone—all three of them!”

Her mother started cackling again, more triumphantly than before. Tsugumi’s eyes darted back and forth between her mother and father, trying to make sense of the exchange. Based on the looks she was getting from her girlfriends, they were just as lost as she was.

“Possibly…” Tsugumi’s father frowned, but then shook his head, “irrelevant, though. Sayo-chan did go with them, and unless Hina-chan only brought her telescope along to appear particularly convincing, they really did go stargazing. Just admit it.”

“‘Admit’ nothing!” Tsugumi’s mother shot back, “Don’t be naive—as if they really spent all night stargazing while we were out. I recall a certain Hikawa sister warning us away from our daughter’s super messy room this morning—because we both know how much of a mess Tsugumi’s room usually is…”

Tsugumi slowly backed away from the table, as her mother approached her father, more worked up than she could ever recall seeing her before. She hadn’t exactly expected her parents finding out to go well, but it was quite another thing to see their argument actually play out like this. Even if she couldn’t quite place what they were arguing about…

And, really, Hina? That was all but admitting what they did last night. Though, she had never held Hina to be a particularly skilled liar.

“It’s not naive,” Tsugumi’s father said, sipping his coffee with a flat expression, “it’s the truth. Sayo was there, and anything beyond that doesn’t matter. You lost, end of story. Maybe next time you’ll choose your terms more carefully…”

Tsugumi’s mother wore an expression that screamed “this isn’t over yet”, but then let out a sigh of defeat. Behind her, she could hear Sayo and Hina letting out breaths of their own.

“Wait,” Tsugumi said, breaking out of her stupor, “you two made a bet on me? That I, what—?”

“Tsugumi, dear,” her mother said, in a soft but firm tone she usually reserved for talks of sex, drugs, and rock & roll, “let’s be honest for a minute. If your daughter’s new girlfriend tells you about her plans to go out ‘stargazing’ together, would you believe her in the slightest if she assured you that her sister was ‘definitely coming along too’?”

Tsugumi had to concede the point there. When framed like that, Sayo coming along sounded a lot more like a cover than something that would ever actually happen. Tsugumi had certainly been surprised herself to see Sayo at the train station.

“But that’s just it, isn’t it,” her father cut in, “they really did go stargazing, all three of them. And if you listened to our daughter, she, um, hadn’t… figured out? She didn’t think she was dating Sayo-chan at the time, but agreed anyway. Hard to be planning an illicit getaway with your girlfriend if you’re expecting her sister to be there the whole time. Stop trying to make everything fit your theories, and just accept you don’t understand Tsugumi quite as well as I do.”

Tsugumi couldn’t believe it. She had been terrified, confused, wondering if her life was falling apart completely. And this was what her parents had been arguing about? Some stupid bet!

…Though, if she had already admitted to this much, she might as well make one last, minor correction.

“Um, Dad,” Tsugumi began, “I’m really glad you believed in me, and all that… but I didn’t actually know Sayo would be coming along. I, um—I sort of thought it would just be Hina-senpai and I going up alone…”

Her father’s victorious grin faltered, and his eyes darted back to his wife.

“Ha! You hear that?” Tsugumi’s mother shouted with glee, snatching a set of keys from off the kitchen counter, “I may have lost the bet—on a technicality, to be clear—but never claim that I don’t know our daughter. Now, if you all will excuse me, it looks like I’m stuck opening the café today after all. Enjoy your breakfast, girls.”

And with that, Tsugumi let her mother push past her, headed for the front door. For a moment, no one knew quite what to do next.

“—Well,” Sayo coughed once, “it was nice meeting you, Hazawa-san. But, uh, I have Student Council activities that I really should be getting to.”

Tsugumi quickly nodded along, “Um, yeah, us too—”

Placing a hand over Hina’s mouth to stifle a confused “wait, really?”, Tsugumi led her girlfriends to the entryway, trailing behind her mother’s footsteps. It was a shame to leave the breakfast her mother had cooked behind, but nothing in the world could convince Tsugumi to stay in that room a minute longer than she had to.

This morning had been a disaster, no doubt, but a disaster that Tsugumi felt she could deal with. At least, with Sayo and Hina helping her along.

Haneoka Girls’ Academy

Sayo went her separate ways from Tsugumi and Hina, as the girls all headed off to school. If a bit early, for a Monday.

This past day had been a fittingly wild end to a crazy past week. And even now, Tsugumi couldn’t claim her life was entirely back to normal. But she felt she was finally on the other end of things, and much happier for it.

“Tsugu! Hina-senpai!” a voice called out to her, “over here!”

Tomoe waved at them, standing next to her sister and Moca. Tsugumi had never gotten the chance to discuss with Sayo and Hina exactly who should know about their… relationship. Either those who had already been told, or were alright for Tsugumi to tell. She also wasn’t sure herself, how much she wanted to tell.

She couldn’t leave her friends completely in the dark, though. Still worried about what Sayo might do to her. Tsugumi had to tell them something. And Hina was there, to stop her from saying anything she shouldn’t. Theoretically, at least. In practice, she couldn’t imagine Hina really giving any of this too much thought.

“Oh ho,” Moca laughed, as the girls joined into a small circle, “showing up together with Hina-senpai, eh Tsugu? We really won’t be able to stop the rumors from spreading, at this point. But I have to imagine that means the night went… well for you.”

Tsugumi blushed, certain Moca didn’t realize quite how well the night had gone—even putting aside everything with Sayo. Which was fair, since Tsugumi hadn’t expected the night to end like that either, not until everything was actually happening.

“Yeah,” Ako piped up, “Sayo-san is always a bit hard to read, but it was clear she was pretty excited about it! What happened?”

“Eh?” Tsugumi said, forgetting for a moment that Sayo might have mentioned their plans to other people, at some point.

“Eh?” Tomoe echoed, staring at her sister, “What do you mean, Ako? What’s Sayo-san got to do with any of this? …She wasn’t planning anything, was she?”

“Tomoe-chan, wait!” Tsugumi said, not quite sure what she should share, but knowing she had to defend Sayo somehow—if only to make up for accidentally getting Tomoe mad at her, “It’s—um, it’s hard to explain…”

“Don’t worry, Tsugu, Moca-chan’s got this,” Moca flashed Tsugumi a thumbs up, and far too smug a grin, “You see, Tomo-chin, our little Tsugu here never realized she was supposed to be dating Sayo-san too—not until last night, that is. Hina here, before she first confessed, apparently came to some arrangement with her sister… what do the French call it again…?”

“—What? Really, Tsugu-chin? You didn’t know?” Ako said, “But she kissed you, didn’t she? Lisa-nee was absolutely sure of it, no matter how much Sayo-san tried to deny it…”

Tsugumi took a small step towards Hina. If her friends already knew this much, it was pointless trying to pretend otherwise. But it was embarrassing… both explaining her mistake about Sayo, and enduring who knew how many jokes Moca was going to make about sleeping with twins. Not that Tsugumi was going to give her any hint that things had already gone that far. Not for at least… a decade. A decade sounded good.

Though, if Moca had found out what happened last night at the park so quickly, Tsugumi didn’t have much hope for keeping the rest of the night a secret, even through the end of the week.

“Oh,” Tomoe said, letting Moca’s words fully sink in, “...oh, Tsugu. Wait, then Sayo—!”

“Moca-chan!” Tsugumi finally shouted, cutting off any questions she absolutely did not want to answer in front of the school like this, “Did you have to say it like that? Have a bit more tact! How the hell did you find that out anyway?”

As soon as the words left Tsugumi’s lips, it struck her just how truly odd it was. Tsugumi herself hadn’t known at all until last night, and Hina was standing right next to her. Unless Sayo decided to shout it from the rooftops as soon as she got to Hanasakigawa this morning, and it had already spread over here by texts, where could Moca possibly have learned it from?

“Ah, Tsugu,” Moca lamented, “Rumors move in mysterious ways, you know. Who can say, really?”

Tsugumi shook her head. It was useless trying to get anything out of Moca. Regardless, she was right. Rumors spread quickly, and pinning down their source was largely an exercise in futility. Word had gotten out, one way or another, and maybe that’s the most Tsugumi would ever know.

“—Ah! Really, Kaoru-senpai? Both of them, together?” Tsugumi caught a voice from down the hall. Himari?

“Indeed, Himari-chan, it’s truly a tumultuous tale, though that is but the start of things…” Kaoru waxed on, before she noticed Tsugumi staring at her, and stiffened, “—But alas, sweet kitten, the rest must wait for a more opportune moment. I bid thee well! Alarum! Exeunt!

Kaoru shouted her goodbyes to Himari over one shoulder, taking off in what was not quite a sprint. Tsugumi could do nothing but oblige, giving chase after her.

“Seta-senpai, if you don’t get your Shakespearean ass back here this second,” Tsugumi yelled, “I don’t even know what I’m going to do to you!”

As Hina followed up behind her—confused but eager to help—Tsugumi couldn’t seem to fight back a smile. Maybe her life would never quite get back to normal, but she didn’t mind the chaos.