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Moments of Freedom

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After Rise recovered from her shadowy ordeal, she got a visit from Yukiko Amagi; an unexpected visit that would change their lives forever. Yukiko has something to confess to Rise…

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“I used to be so jealous of you. You had all the freedom in the world. You could travel, you could meet new people, learn new things…and here I was, stuck in this old inn in the middle of nowhere. I hated it. I wanted to be like you. But then I met you. I met your shadow, and I realize that we’re not so different after all. You were trapped in a cage, much like I was; only your cage was different…and I couldn’t see that.” her eyes look downwards to the side, shamed to look at her good friend “I’m sorry…for the longest time I misjudged you, without even getting to know you. I feel like such a horrible person…” instinctively she placed one of her hands on the back of the other on her elbow; a priestess tradition it seems.

She was surprised when Rise walked up to her and with open arms, embraced her in a gentle hug, her arms wrapped around her waist and joining hands. Rise’s face on her neck, Yukiko sniffed the Lovers hair in surprise ‘Cinnamon…’ she thought, admittedly liking the scent. It fit Rise rather well, sweet but with a kick.

Her eyes look upwards to meet Rise’s own gaze, and her smile “I forgive you Yukiko-senpai. You didn’t mean it after all. I understand…” she said in a sincere tone of voice “I don’t hold it against you. It wouldn’t be fair now would it?”

“W-well um…” Yukiko stuttered at the intimate act from her kouhai, sure that she didn’t mean it (You’re so wrong there Yukiko) “Of course Rise-chan! I no longer think that of you, not after meeting and seeing the real you after all.” Her eyes cast a downward gaze “I was just simply angry with my cage and saw you as a scapegoat…”

“No harm done” Rise giggled “It’s in the past, so please senpai” she pouts a bit “for me, can you forget about it or at least try to? A sad face doesn’t suit a pretty princess.” She smiled as Yukiko’s cheeks redden as much as her hairband.

“I-I’m no princess…” Yukiko glanced away for a moment, feeling rather embarrassed at the compliment. Rise merely continued to smile.

“Well I think you are~” she giggles “So come on! Let’s go somewhere senpai!”

“…Sure” The heiress smiles “Wherever you want Rise-chan.”

The two girls walk together around town, making small talk and getting to know each other…

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Rise came out of school and notices that Yukiko is alone outside. She frowned a bit, feeling this to be odd; Yukiko is usually with someone else, namely Chie. She begins to approach Yukiko, but a pack of boys approach her before she could do anything.

“Oy– Amagi! Hey, you look pretty free today. No work down at the Inn? Awesome! Means you can hang out, right?”

Rise shot the three boys a leer, those arrogant smirks and lecherous eyes could only mean one thing…she decides to watch…for the moment.

"I-I’m sorry, but I would rather not…” Yukiko said, her words rather soft-spoke and tame, the trio of boys let their ego keep egging, and Rise has enough.

“There you are Yukiko-senpai!” Rise called out, hurrying to Yukiko’s side and latches her arm against her own “Ready to go to Okina?” she says, obviously lying but hoping that Yukiko catches her drift and flows with it.

She does “Ah…yes.” She smiles “I’m ready to go Rise-chan.” Quickly making connection with Rise, and silently taking the girl for showing up to her aid.

The boys however now have their ego damaged, but see it as an opportunity, clearly not getting it “Hey Risette, how about you come with us too?”

Rise immediately glared at the trio with a disgruntled look “Don’t be presumptuous. Girls day out.” She huffs as she drags Yukiko out “Boys” she rolls her eyes as the duo troop out of the gates in record time before the boys can follow, stopping at an alley to catch a breath.

“That was close…” Rise sighed in relief, leaning against the wall while Yukiko slumped down on her butt, knees high; she hugs herself, something that Rise notices “Senpai…?”

“…Thank you Rise-chan” Yukiko smiled, though Rise could tell it was a bit forced “They’ve been trying to get me for a while now.” She confesses “Chie tends to drive them off, but she was busy today so…”

“Man what a bunch of pervs.” Rise frowns “I could tell the way they were looking at you that they probably had ‘plans’” she says

“…I know.” Yukiko looked disheartened “I’m sorry you had to get dragged into it Rise-chan.”

“Nonsense!” Rise shook her head “You’re my friend Yukiko-senpai, I’ll protect you like you saved me.” She offers the girl a sincere smile, taking a step towards her and kneels down, placing a hand on her shoulder for support “If those boys come again, I’ll be there to get you out ok? They won’t harm you, I promise.”

“….Rise-chan…” Yukiko felt amazed at Rise’s confidence, and how easily she made her feel safe with just words, not actions. The complete opposite of Chie. She had to admit, it felt…reassuring, comforting even. She conjures up a smile, a sincere one this time, Rise could tell. “Thank you Rise-chan.”

“Anytime senpai” Rise said, returning the smile “So” she stands up and offers her hand to Yukiko “Shall we enjoy the afternoon together?”

“O-oh…” she blinked in surprise “W-we’re really going…?”

“Well yeah.” Rise grins “Just the two of us! An adorable kouhai and her gorgeous senpai. Let’s watch a movie or just hang out!”

Yukiko had to admit, the idea sounds fun; and she doesn’t have to work at the inn until the evening, so… “Ok…” Yukiko takes Rise’s hand and stands up “Shall we part?”

“Mmhmm!” Rise nods and the two head out; hands intertwined. Neither of them noticed they were still holding hands the entire trip…

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“Was it really that hot…?” Rise contemplated with Yukiko the next day after the Omelet event at Junes.

Yukiko puts down her melon soda and shook her head “It was too spicy Rise-chan, not too hot.”

“I thought it was fine.” She pouts, huffing “I can’t believe I lost the contest.”

“To be fair, nobody really won either.” Yukiko sweatdrops “How could my omelet have ‘no taste’? It tasted fine when I tried it…” she just didn’t understand.

“Eh don’t listen to Kanji-kun.” Rise waves it off “I mean what does he know of tasting food?” she huffs, crossing her arms “Mine was fine. Yosuke-senpai just can’t handle spice that’s all! And Teddie’s a bad judge of character!” she grumbles “Who made him judge of human food…?”

Yukiko couldn’t help but smile at Rise’s antics. They were so childish, but so…fun to watch. It felt refreshing. She happily giggled, which confused Rise.

“What’s so funny senpai?” Rise asks curious. Yukiko points at her.

“You.” Yukiko deadpans. Rise reels back a bit and blinks a few times “Huh?”

“Yes.” She giggled again “You’re so funny; taking an omelet contest so seriously.”

“…Hmph.” Rise pouts, crossing her arms and sinking more into her seat “No fair senpai. Poking fun at your cute kouhai…”

“I don’t mean it Rise-chan.” Yukiko smiles at her “It’s just…fun to see this side of you.”

“…Really…?” Rise eyes Yukiko with suspicion, rising a little out of her chair and unfolding her arms. Yukiko nods.

“I do. It’s fun to hang out with you Rise-chan. We should do it more often.”

“Oh my Yukiko-senpai…” Rise pretends to be flustered “Hitting on your kouhai…has our relationship advanced that much?”

Yukiko nearly spills her melon soda, having to put the can down and wipe her mouth, hiding her blush and sudden heat in the atmosphere “I-I didn’t mean it like that Rise-chan!”

Now Rise laughs “Oh man senpai, you should have seen your face!” her laughs turn to giggles “I got my revenge on you~”

“…Oh you…” Yukiko pouts “You’re a mean kouhai Rise-chan.”

“And you’re a fun senpai Yukiko-senpai.” Rise sticks her tongue out at her. Yukiko couldn’t feel mad at her though, and let it go, giggling in return at the fun of it all. She really enjoys hanging out with Rise for these very reasons. She hopes they happen a lot more often.

>Yukiko and Rise spent the afternoon together…

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“Oh so you can dance senpai?” Rise asks Yukiko as the two watch TV at her room, a sleepover. Chie was invited but she went to get food. Yukiko nods to her.

“Ballet.” She confesses with a small smile “I used to dance it a lot when I was a kid. I still do from time to time to keep my body in shape, but not too often.”

“That’s amazing!” Rise exclaimed “I’ve never danced ballet before!” she grabs Yukiko’s hands together with her own “You gotta teach me someday senpai!”

“Ah…” Yukiko blushed, a little embarrassed “I-I’m not sure if I would be a good teacher Rise-chan.”

“Well you can try senpai.” Rise pouts; fluttering her eyelashes “For me?” she leans forward a bit and puts up her big innocent puppy dog eyes.

Yukiko eeped, her blush now tinting a bigger part of her cheeks “O-ok ok sure!” she exclaimed. Rise immediately backed away and lets go of Yukiko’s hands, clapping her own together

“Yay! More time spent with Yukiko-senpai!”

“…Is that all you really wanted?” Yukiko asked, feeling somewhat guilty. Since their trip to Okina City, the duo hasn’t hanged out at all. The inn has kept her quite busy. Then there was Mitsuo’s capture… “Rise-chan…” she places a hand on her shoulder “I’m sorry we haven’t been able to hang out again. Let us try again after the beach campout.” Yukiko offers her a smile “Just you and me.”

“You mean it…?” Rise says pouting a bit. Yukiko nods

“Promise.” She giggles and wraps her arms around Rise in a hug. Rise’s cheeks now turn as red as Yukiko’s headband. Instinctively she rests her head on her shoulder, her nose inhaling a bit of her scent.

‘…Yukiko-senpai smells nice…’ Rise thought, closing her eyes and relaxing in Yukiko’s embrace. She didn’t mind staying here all day if she could.

That is until Chie bursts in and ruins the moment.

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“Drive safely now senpai” Rise says with a frown to the priestess “It’s a big order of tofu, so take it easy down the road.”

Yukiko nods in understanding, patting the box of tofu that’s on her lap “I will Rise-chan. Thank you again for working so hard on this.”

“Hey” Rise smiles at her “It’s my pleasure senpai; anything for you.” She took a bit of pride in seeing Yukiko’s cheeks turn nearly as red as her sweater, her fiddling is also rather cute.

“W-well I’ll be seeing you” she stuttered, quickly driving off on her scooter with the big tofu order, Rise watching her go farther and farther, until she couldn’t be seen anymore.

‘Senpai’s cute when she blushes…’ Rise thought to herself as she returned back to the counter.

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A week or so later after the campout, Yukiko and Rise came back on their own to spend the day together. Days before summer ends and classes resume, they want to hang out again like they did in Okina; just them and no one else.  “I’m so glad we could do this again senpai” Rise exclaimed, a big smile on her face as she playfully leans on Yukiko, who merely smiles back.

“I as well Rise-chan.” She said, not minding Rise’s closeness “It has been a while and I wish to make the most of it.” She turns to her “I like your outfit though.”

Rise is wearing a print pink playsuit, with a sleeveless white shirt underneath, her two piece bathing suit underneath that as well as sandals and an orange purse bag. “Really?” Rise giggles “Thank you! I like yours more though” she says, eyeing Yukiko’s outfit; A red beach cover-up dress with a sleeveless white shirt underneath, and like Rise; her two piece bathing suit underneath that.

“Ah, really?” she blushed “I don’t think it’s that special…”

“Nonsense! It looks great on you.” She grins “I take it the bathing suit is equally great?” she teases

“A-ah…” Yukiko averted her gaze, her blush mildly intensifying “M-maybe…”

“Hehe…I can’t wait to see it” Rise confesses, still grinning. Yukiko merely kept her gaze averted as Rise leaned on her for the rest of the bus trip.

The duo get off at Shichiri Beach, still early in the morning hours of the day, though neither of the girls minded it as they tread through the sand and stop near the shore to set up their towels and such, sitting together and remaining there for quite some time. They weren't sleeping or anything of the sorts, but rather, enjoying the intimacy they were sharing together, accompanied by the sounds of the nearby waves, blowing wind…it was all peaceful to the duo after arduous work days compiled with stress.

You don't see something so...calm and enjoyable like this in the city” Rise admits. Yukiko looks at her with a surprised expression.

“Really?” Yukiko asks “I admit I’ve never been to the city before. Well Okina City is not really that big” she admits “But something like… Shibuya, or Akihabara. I hear those places get super crowded with people.”

Rise nods “They do. I don’t mind it much, but I enjoy days like these as well.” She lets out a small relaxed smile “Some days you just want to wind up and enjoy the atmosphere.” She turns to Yukiko “And it’s better with lovely company.”

Yukiko’s eyes widen a bit and blushes “R-Rise-chan…”

“I mean it” Rise says, placing one of her hands on Yukiko’s “You’re a good friend senpai, thank you for coming…so we could bond a little more.” Her smile and tone are sincere. Yukiko is touched by Rise’s honesty.

“…Thank you Rise-chan” Yukiko said “For…believing in me.” She confesses with a heartfelt look “I wasn’t trapped after all.” She smiles, as if relieved “I was limiting myself.”

Rise watches Yukiko say those words and understanding them to some degree. She’s not fully sure what happened to Yukiko, as she was not present to see her shadow, but she has a general idea now, especially recalling what she said to her in the beginning…like her, Yukiko was trapped, but her cage must have been different. Still she’s free now it seems, truly free…

“Hey…wanna go for a swim?” Rise asks Yukiko. The Priestess nods

“Sure.” She stands up and takes off her dress, kneeling down and placing it in her purse bag. Rise’s cheeks tinted red at seeing Yukiko’s swimsuit, and being closer to looking at Yukiko as a whole. She spent time with Yosuke and Kanji on the summer camp out, so she didn’t really pay much attention to Yukiko. Seeing her up-close is quite an experience.

‘She’s beautiful…’ Rise thought, admittedly checking Yukiko out as she places sun cream around her body.  She truly has the body of a princess in every respective area.

“Rise-chan.” Yukiko hands her the cream as she lies down, exposing her back “cover my back please.” She says, untying her top. Rise’s cheeks immediately went as red as Yukiko’s dress, but kept focus and covers her hands in cream then slowly courses them all around the amagi heir’s back. ‘…Soft.’ She thought, feeling Yukiko’s silky skin, almost like that of a pillow’s. ‘How does she keep it like that…?’ she briefly wondered, pulling back once done and helps Yukiko re-tie the top (somewhat blushing while doing so). Yukiko stands back up and takes out a hair tie, then ties up her hair in a ponytail fashion, like she did before.

“Ok…I’m ready” she tells Rise

“R-right…” Rise nods “Let me get ready…” she says, pulling off her dress and applies sun cream all around her body, then asks Yukiko to do the same to her back, untying her top. Her cheeks tint red at Yukiko’s gentle touch ‘Oh that feels good…’ she thought, biting her lip as to hold a sudden moan. ‘She knows how to use those fingers…’ a little perverted thought crossed her mind there. Once done (sadly), Rise, with Yukiko’s help ties her top, then grabs her goggles and nods to Yukiko “Let’s go senpai!” she giggles and takes her hand. Yukiko smiles, gripping a little harder, and then the two sprint towards the ocean and jump in.

Rise and Yukiko spent the morning and afternoon together

On the way home, Rise leaned her head on Yukiko’s shoulder, crossing back and forth between awake and asleep. She started to give away to sleep though. “Senpai…” Rise mumbles to Yukiko “I had lots of fun…let’s do this again…I love spending time with you…” she yawned and succumbed to sleep.

“!” Yukiko blushed at Rise’s words, but before she could respond, Rise fell asleep on her. With care, she gently grabs Rise and moves her head gradually to her lap, making sure that Rise stays in a comfortable position. 'She must have pushed herself rather hard today.' she thought, her hand softly traversing the ex-idol’s hair while the other rests on Rise's waist.

"Mnh..." Rise squirmed slightly as Yukiko laid her hands upon her, but she did not wake up. A small smile tugged at her sleeping face, as if comfortable and happy where she is.

‘Rest well Rise-chan…’ Yukiko smiled to herself, watching the sunset from the bus.

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On a rather thunderous rainy day, Rise exits the school, a bit nervous of using her umbrella given the weather and opts to rush home right away. That is until she sees Yukiko, being harassed by those 3 boys from before. This made her rather mad ‘Didn’t they learn last time? Ugh…!’ she thought with disgust and rushes over to help Yukiko, grabbing her hand and pulls her away, glancing at her. Yukiko smiles and immediately runs alongside Rise, gripping her hand over Rise’s a bit tighter as to not let go of her. They hear the boys shout but ignore it and make a dash for it, Rise sensing (her Persona most likely) that they were chasing after them. The chase was a rather intense one. The umbrellas did little to protect the girls from the strong rain and winds, eventually their school clothes got rather drenched.

Until Yukiko thought of a way to lose them by taking the bus to the Amagi Inn.  They got lucky as they turn the corner to the bus stop at the shopping district, the bus was ready to leave. They board it and duck over the seats so the boys don’t see them. A minute later, they stand up and sit on one of the bus seats together. “That was close…” Rise sighed, leaning back and breathing softly.

“But fun.” Yukiko smiled “Thank you for helping me again Rise-chan.”

Rise couldn’t help but smile, turning her head a little to see Yukiko “Anytime Yukiko-senpa-Aatchoo!” she sneezed.

“!” Yukiko’s eyes widened “Rise-chan?!”

“It’s ok.” Rise feigned a smile “It’s probably because of the rain. Don’t worry about me senpai.”

Yukiko frowned and eyed Rise cautiously during the bus trip to Amagi Inn. She sneezed again when they got off, but Rise insisted she was fine. Yukiko disagreed and practically forced Rise inside the Inn.

“I’m fine senpai, really…!” Rise frowned as she enters Yukiko’s room. Yukiko immediately closes the door behind her and enters her bathroom, returning with a towel and hands it to Rise “It’s raining so you can’t use the hot springs. Use my bathtub. Take off your clothes and hand them over, I’ll wash them right away.”

“W-wha…?!” Rise’s face nearly turned red at what Yukiko is telling me. “R-right here…?”

Yukiko sighed “No Rise-chan, the bathroom, but please hurry and bathe with hot water ok?”

“R-right…” Rise nods, flushed and enters the bathroom, slowly stripping her clothes down and folding them for Yukiko. She then wraps the towel around her and opens the door halfway, handing Yukiko her damped clothes “Here you go senpai…”

Yukiko takes the clothes “Thank you. Now please bathe quickly.” Yukiko said and leaves the room, closing the door behind her with a shut. Rise closes the bathroom door and takes off the tower, entering the bathtub and pulling the curtain to cover the tub, then turns the handle to hot, letting the shower head rain pleasant hot water all around her body.

‘Ah…this feels a lot better…’ Rise thought, slowly starting to feel relaxed. As she cleans herself, her mind wanders to Yukiko ‘She sounded so worried…but I’m fine…’ she pouts ‘I’m not going to catch a cold. We weren’t out that long in the rain were we…?’ she tries to count the time that she and Yukiko ran from those boys up to the point that they got on the bus. It couldn’t have been more than 7 minutes…maybe 10 at the longest.

‘…I should take some medicine just in case…maybe eat soup.’ Rise thought as she laces her fingers through her hair, eyes closed ‘Come to think of it, I need to call grandma and tell her where I am. This rain is nasty though, maybe I should stay over. Tomorrow is Sunday anyways; I don’t think she’ll mind.’

Washing away the soap and shampoo/conditioner, Rise turns the valve back to off and grabs the large towel, then wraps it around herself, then grabs the smaller towel and wraps it around her hair. Carefully exiting the bathtub, she makes her way back to Yukiko’s room and sits on her bed ‘Senpai’s not back yet. She must be taking care of my clothes.’ She thought, glancing at the window that peers outside. The rain continues to pour hard; the thunder and lightning seem to be happening more frequently. ‘…I should call grandma…’ she thought, rummaging through her backpack and taking out her phone. She calls her grandma and tells her where she is and what happened.

She allows Rise to stay just in case, until the rain subsides, even if it takes the next day. Rise wishes her well and hangs up. ‘I hope Yukiko-senpai doesn’t mind me staying over unexpectedly.’ She thought, crossing her legs and leaning down on Yukiko’s bed. ‘…this bed is really comfy…’ Rise thought, relaxing into it; so much that she fell sleepy ‘…Maybe I’ll close my eyes for a few minutes…’ she pondered and does so, closing her eyes and…falls asleep.

She wakes up around 3 hours later. Given the darker sky, it must be evening. Rise however felt horrible. She sneezed again and coughed ‘Oh oh…’ she grimaced ‘I…guess I caught a cold after all.’

And luck has it; Yukiko enters the room, with Rise’s clothes in hand. They seem to be well cleaned and dry. “Rise-chan!” Yukiko gasped, placing the clothes aside, she sits next to her and places a hand on her forehead “Oh no your temperature is rising…! I better get you some medicine and soup. Wait right here!” she stands up and sprints back out, closing the door behind her.

Yukiko returns around 13 minutes later with a bowl of soup and a bottle of medicine. She moves her desk chair next to her bed (where Rise is lying down face up) and looks at her. “Rise-chan…”

“Hey…” Rise smiles weakly at Yukiko “Guess I’m not ok after all…” she says, coughing right after that.

“Oh dear…” Yukiko frowns “Let’s get started. Open wide. Say tooofuuu…” she says and feeds Rise a spoonful of…chicken noodle soup, with lots of vegetables it seems. Rise swallows and opens her mouth again…

>Yukiko fed Rise and then gave her some medicine

After all of that was done, Yukiko helped Rise into some warm clothes for the night. They fit Rise rather nicely. “Anything else you need Rise-chan?” Yukiko asks her.

"…Can you tuck me in?" Rise asks, blushing a bit “I feel like I’m invading your bed though…”

Yukiko offered her a sincere smile and nod “Of course I can. Don’t worry about taking over my bed. Your health is right now my top priority. I am…” she averts her gaze in shame “somewhat responsible for this happening to you…” she shook her head as to dismay those negative thoughts “D-Did you need anything else…?” Yukiko was at the side of the bed looking down at her with a soft smile as she pulled the covers up to Rise’s neck.

“…It’s not your fault senpai…” Rise said, but Yukiko shook her head

“It is entirely my fault. You came to my rescue and the chase began.” Yukiko insisted

“I intervened because you were uncomfortable senpai…” Rise confesses “I understand how that feels. The harassment, the looks…” her eyelids drop halfway, hands gripping the cover hard “Their sweet tones and arrogant smirks…I hate it all. Viewing us as objects instead of people…” she shook her head “I couldn’t let you go through that, even if you’ve gone through that before; it comes to a point where enough is enough and they need to get the idea that you’re not interested, and no amount of sweet talk is going to change your opinion.” Rise sounded so serious and angry, it surprised Yukiko.

“…Rise-chan…” Yukiko didn’t know what to say.

“You deserve better…someone that loves you, knows you, supports you, and most of all lets you run free to be yourself.” Rise says, looking at Yukiko “Not someone that will cage you all over again. That’s not right…” Rise mumbled, but Yukiko heard it as Rise slowly began to fall asleep “You deserve someone that understands you…” with that, Rise went to dreamland.

Yukiko stayed quiet next to Rise, pondering on her words. She couldn’t help but feel that maybe….just maybe she does deserve someone special. Her mind wandered to Rise. Understandable, supportive, cares for her, lets her be free; hell supports that freedom and flies with her, talks to her about nearly everything. They have spent a lot of time together recently.

‘…Maybe that special person is you Rise-chan…’ Yukiko thought with a smile ‘Sleep well and…sweet dreams’ she stands up and leans down, gently pecking Rise’s forehead before leaving to get a spare futon to watch over Rise.

She failed to see Rise’s smile after the kiss.

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The train ride back to Inaba from Port Island was an awkward one for Rise and Yukiko. They both awoke on their hotel room, but neither remembered how they got there. That is until they notice that…they are practically lacking quite the number of their clothing, Rise is on top of Yukiko, embracing her in a tight hug and upon checking herself in the mirror, she has bite marks and nibbles on her neck, same for Rise.

Yukiko didn’t want to think of it, but Chie confirmed it. The two got drunk at Escapade and upon returning to the hotel room, their drunken nature got the duo to flirt, and before Chie could do anything Rise was already pressing her lips against Yukiko’s and pushing the amagi heir onto the bed, where then Rise sat on her lap and…well nobody knows what happened after that. Chie had left the room by then and had snuck in to Ayane and Yumi’s room, who allowed her to stay with them.

Needless to say Yukiko and Rise still didn’t remember a thing after Escapade, but hearing what happened was a bit conflicting and awkward. Yukiko wanted to say something, but what can she say?

I’m sorry my hand went through your panties and- she immediately shook her head, blushing at the thought. Not because she didn’t want to think about it, but she can’t deny that it was alluring to imagine.

Thankfully, Rise spoke first “Yukiko-senpai…” Rise looks at her “…Do you think I’m worth dating?”

“H-huh…?” Yukiko blinked. Ok she admits that’s not what she was expecting Rise to say. Her sudden silence unnerves Rise, evident by her sorrowful look.

“It’s okay…” Rise says, looking back outside the window “its okay senpai you don’t have to answer.”

“Rise-chan wait” Yukiko frowns and tries to grab Rise’s hand, but Rise had gotten up before she could grab it and walked away to another set of seats, leaving Yukiko alone “Rise-chan…”

The worst part is she didn’t see Rise’s eyes well up tears. She’s crying…

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It’s been a rough 3 weeks for Yukiko. Every attempt to talk to her is met with ignorance or Rise suddenly being ‘busy’.  It didn’t help that Naoto, that detective prince was the next target, so her priorities had to wait until he was saved. Rise certainly didn’t make things easier, calling her ‘Amagi-san’ really hurt. Those 3 weeks were a long haul for Yukiko, but it made her realize how she felt towards her cheerful kouhai, and come to terms with what happened in Port Island. She decided to talk to Rise after Naoto was saved…finding out Naoto’s a girl though, that was surprising. Yukiko is still confused by that but decided to not think of it much once she explained her situation. It wasn’t until the last week of September that Yukiko finally got to Rise by leaving a note on her locker to meet at midday on the rooftop. She was happy that Rise answered, but Rise’s mood didn’t seem to be any different.

“What is it Amagi-san…?” Rise said, sounding cold. “I’m bu-“

“You’re not busy, we both know that.” Yukiko said, looking at Rise with a serious gaze “We need to talk Rise-chan.”

Rise scoffed “About what?”

“Us.” She deadpans “You asked me 3 weeks ago on the train if you were worth dating. I didn’t answer, but you left before I could give you an answer. I didn’t give one to you right away because your question surprised me. Since then you’ve been avoiding me…and it hurt.” She admits with a hurtful look, casting a glance downwards “For me, and you…but it was a good time to contemplate about the question, and what happened at Port Island. I don’t remember…much yet, sadly.” She says “But I do remember one thing…we enjoyed what we did, even if were drunk or…whatever made us that way that night.”

“…” Rise stayed quiet as she listened to Yukiko’s words.

“So…in answer to your question Rise-chan; I think you’re worth dating.” She answers with a smile and a blush “I like you Rise-chan; more than a friend, I well…like you like you. I want you to be my girlfriend. So…” she shyly looks at her “I’d appreciate an answer soon, but if you want to take your time, that’s fine. I understand if you decline though.” She closes her eyes “I won’t hold it against you.”

“…” It was silent for quite a while. Yukiko figured Rise would say no, but she suddenly felt something glomp her tightly, and opening her eyes she sees Rise hugging her, with her eyes welling up tears “Yukiko-senpai…!” she sobs onto her chest.

“Rise-chan…” Yukiko smiled and hugs back, helping Rise calm down until she stops crying, eventually pulling back.

“I thought you didn’t like me that way…” Rise sniffed, wiping her eyes “I’m sorry. I overreacted and-“

“Shh…” Yukiko smiles and places her hands on Rise’s cheeks “its okay Rise-chan…I don’t hold it against you. I forgive you.”

“…You’re too nice to me senpai…” Rise mumbled.

“No senpai.” Yukiko frowned.

“H-huh…?” Rise blinked

“-chan. Yukiko-chan.” Yukiko says “If we’re going to date…then that means you’re my girlfriend. I see you as my equal Rise-chan, so no kouhai and senpai surnames. You’re…my girlfriend.” She smiles with a blush on her face “My dear Rise-chan.”

“…” Rise’s cheeks turned red, but she meekly nods to Yukiko’s requests “Yukiko-chan…” she giggles in joy “my girlfriend…”

“Mmhmm” Yukiko smiles, and to seal the deal, she leans forward and presses her lips towards Rise’s gently for a soft kiss. Rise was surprised, eyes widened and her body froze at the kiss, but soon after she returned it, embracing Yukiko in a hug as they kiss for a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity for her. Pulling back for air, the two look at each other with big smiles on their faces.

“So…Yukiko-chan” Rise asks “What would you want to do together? I mean, I can think of some ideas, but I want to know what you’re thinking of.”

“…Right now, I wouldn’t mind being alone with you.” Yukiko says “Just…the two of us like this, silent and talking a little. Is that ok with you Rise-chan?”

“……” Rise nods “…I’d like that…” she takes Yukiko’s hands with their own, and the two spend lunchtime together on the rooftop. Their first day as lovers…

-----------------------------------

A week later, Rise was cleaning off her room when she found Yukiko’s Cardigan. She must have left it there when she slept over last night and things got…well a little dirty so to speak. Rise blushed at the memory, and looks at the Cardigan. ‘I think this would fit me…’ she puts it on and zips it up. A near perfect fit… somewhat. A little baggy and long, but otherwise ok ‘I guess I can keep it until I return it to Yukiko-chan later’ she thought, sitting on her bed and pulling the cardigan up to her nose. She sniffs it ‘…It smells like her…’ she thought, blushing a bit and gets cozy in her bed, deciding to sleep it with; almost as if Yukiko is there with her…

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Rise was exhausted. So was Yukiko. Their date for the day was on her room, having decided to do dance practice together, as Yukiko had promised Rise to teach her ballet and dance together. Since they were now dating a bit more seriously, Yukiko had invited her to fulfill such promise. Rise sadly was not meant to dance ballet, but she could dance a lot of other styles. She taught Yukiko a few of her own in return; in particular the tango, as it involves close body proximity (Rise chose it for obvious reasons). The dances as well worked great for working out, and having a partner helped the duo unleash more creative moves which helped keep things interesting and entertaining. Both girls fell down on each other due to fatigue, Rise resting her head on Yukiko’s stomach lightly, Rise pushed up her track suit hem and kissed her girlfriend’s navel gently, smiling with pleasure.

“Hey…” Yukiko giggled “That tickled”

“Really…?” Rise giggled “I’ll keep that in mind for next time.”

“I know where you’re ticklish at Rise-chan, don’t tease me.” Yukiko playfully threatened, breathing slowly.

“Oh noez…” Rise pouts “no fair Yukiko-chan.”

“Ah ah ah” Yukiko pokes Rise’s forehead “Love is all about fairness Rise-chan.”

“…Really now?” Rise grinned, and quickly moves her hands towards Yukiko’s ticklish spots “Then taste my fingers of doom Yukiko-chan!”

Yukiko suddenly erupted in a fit of laughter “Ri-Rise-chan you…ahahahah!!!” Yukiko couldn’t control herself, though manages to counterattack and attacks Rise’s ticklish spots back.

“Ahaha Yuki-ahaha-chan!” Rise giggled and the two began to try and defeat the other in their ticklish war, both girls trying to pin the other as they roll around her room floor.

In the end, nobody won. Rise pants heavily next to Yukiko, who also looks quite exhausted herself “truce…?” Yukiko asks

“…Truce” Rise gives in, smiling at Yukiko and holding her hand with her own, fingers intertwined. No words were spoken, but the smile and look they were giving each other expressed their feelings quite clearly.

>Yukiko and Rise spent the night together…

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Rise was entering her last half hour of her shift at Marukyu’s, when she got a text message from Yukiko

“Rise-chan… please… I need to talk to you… I… I have something to tell you.”

Feeling a cold shiver down her spine at Yukiko’s text, she finishes helping her grandma and locks herself in her room, immediately calling Yukiko. “What’s wrong, Yukiko-chan? Has something happened?”

“…Rise-chan…” Yukiko sounded terrified on the other line “My parents…th-they know. About us.”

Rise nearly dropped the phone at that. They’ve been dating for more than 2 months now, and have kept their relationship secret. “How did they find out…?”

“I-I don’t know. Father spoke to me earlier during the day about it. I-I don’t know what to do Rise-chan…” Yukiko sounds like she’s ready to cry at any moment “What if they disown me as the next heir? What if they…disown me?”

“….” Rise couldn’t deny that she was afraid right now. Not just for herself, but for Yukiko. If her father disowns Yukiko, the town will know immediately of their secret relationship. It will be a disaster, as not even their friends know. “…I think we need to talk to them Yukiko-chan. Come clean.” She hated to admit it, but if this gets prolonged any further, it could have serious consequences “I’ll come over and walk with you on this ok? Please…Yukiko-chan.” Rise spoke softly on her line “Be strong…we’ll make them understand.”

“…Ok…” Yukiko nods on her line, sniffing a bit “I’ll wait for you. Please come quick…”

Rise nods and bids Yukiko farewell, hanging up and dressing as appropriate as the can, then rushes to the amagi inn. Yukiko’s waiting for her and the duo walk towards Yukiko’s parents’ room. Rise held Yukiko’s hand tightly, giving her a firm and confident gaze that they’ll make it through this. Yukiko nods in return, though not as confident as Rise, she is willing to try; for her.

They open the doors and go in…

-2 hours later: Yukiko’s Room-

“Wow” Rise blinked “Your father’s a nice guy! …When he’s not a strict businessman that is.”

“Y-yeah, I’m surprised as well” Yukiko sweatdropped, but smiles quickly at Rise “Still…he accepts you.” She holds Rise’s hand tightly “Rise-chan…He…”

“Hey…” Rise smiles and caresses Yukiko’s cheek “The worst has passed ok…? Now we have to tell our friends, but…” she frowns “maybe after Adachi is caught.”

“…Yes” she nods “That would be a good time to tell them.”

“So let’s work hard to capture that creep.” She says “And then prepare for Christmas and Nanako-chan’s recovery!” she smiles, leaning forward and whispering something to her ear “And who knows? I might prepare something…special for you for Christmas Yukiko-chan…” she teasingly whispers and pulls back with a grin, enjoying Yukiko’s reddened face.

Needless to say, Yukiko can’t wait for Christmas…

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It was the morning before Christmas Eve; Yukiko began to prepare the last day requests of the inn before midnight. Around her break at lunch, she got a picture text message from Rise. Yukiko’s eyes widened and her cheeks tuned as red as her kimono as she quickly closes her phone and looks around. Nobody else…she takes it back out and looks at the picture, blushing at the lovely sight of her girlfriend in a rather skimpy Christmas outfit. Rise wrote a message below.

‘A preview of your holiday gift senpai ;D’ – Rise~

Yukiko took a deep breath to calm her raging hormones, knowing for sure that this is Rise’s Christmas gift that she mentioned weeks back. She quickly replies back ‘I like it…especially those red glimmering panties. I’ll be taking those off later I presume?’ – Yukiko

Rise quickly replied back ‘Mmm…with your hands or your teeth? Doesn’t matter, the answer is yes 8D’ –Rise.

Yukiko couldn’t wait until evening when her shift ends and Santa Rise pays her a most delightful visit…

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The next day, Christmas Eve, Yukiko stirs awake, groggily opening her eyes and yawning a bit. She looks at her naked girlfriend next to her, practically glued to her with a smile. Yesterday was…an experience for the two, and it ended on a happy note. Yukiko brushes away some of Rise’s hair away and gently kisses her forehead ‘Merry Christmas Rise-chan…thank you for the gift...’ she thought, slowly getting up and breaking away from Rise’s hug. She didn’t want to, but bathroom beckons. She’ll get right back into the warmth once she gets some business done.

The rest of the day for Rise and Yukiko was spent in her futon watching TV and chatting about the future.

“Can we make it work…?” Yukiko wondered, looking concerned and sad “I don’t want you to leave Rise-chan…”

Rise’s eyelids lower a bit to that, and answers by pecking Yukiko’s cheek “We can. I know it will be difficult; me not…being here and all.” She sounded sorrowful “But I love you Yukiko-chan, that’s the truth.” She places a hand on her cheek and gazes at her with her loving eyes “I want to spend my life with you. I mean it.”

“Rise-chan…” Yukiko felt the sincerity of Rise’s words and places a hand on her cheek, tracing her fingers slowly as to appease her “If you say so, then I believe you. We’ll make it work.”

Rise nods “I’m serious.  I’ll text you every day, okay? And I’ll call you and use that video app as much as I can. I’ll miss you too… but we can make this work, okay? I swear it.”

“I know you will Rise-chan” Yukiko smiled and gently kisses her girlfriend’s lips with her own “We’ll work hard on it.” She then embraces Rise in a hug and pulls her closer. Rise gladly welcomes it and rests her head on Yukiko’s chest, hearing her gentle heartbeat and returns the hug.

“…I love you Yukiko-chan…” Rise mumbled happily.

“I love you too my Rise-chan…” Yukiko whispers with a smile.

>Yukiko and Rise spent the day together…

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Summer 2013….Rise and Yukiko meet with their friends for a grand reunion. Once the reunion came to a close, Yukiko took Rise to the top hill where the flowers bloom to spend the rest of the day together. So much has happened since 2011. Both girls are now young women that have made their love work throughout tough boundaries, and have maintained a healthy loyal relationship.

“Hard to believe it’s been 2 years…” Rise smiles, overlooking Inaba “I miss this town.”

“It has been rather peaceful since everything came to a close.” Yukiko says “We’ve made some recovery since that time. We still have some ways to go, but we’ll get there.”

“Hm…maybe I should promote the Amagi inn.” Rise teases “That should bring customers to Inaba.”

“O-oh please don’t…” Yukiko blushes at the mere thought of that happening “I appreciate the offer though Rise-chan. Thank you.” She smiles at her.

“Anything for you Yukiko-chan.” Rise smiles back “…Say why did you bring me up here?”

“…We’ve been together for 2 years now.” Yukiko admits “And I don’t regret dating and falling in love with you Rise-chan. It’s been a lovely time.”

“…But?” Rise inquires “Come out with it Yukiko-chan.” She frowns “What aren’t you telling me?”

“Y-Yes well…” Yukiko blushes, averting her gaze “Oh dear and I even practiced for this…” she clears her throat “M-maybe I should just…do it instead of talking. Hold out your hand.”

“…?” Rise blinks and does so. Right away Yukiko grabs her hand and feels something being put in her finger. Upon Yukiko pulling back, she sees a ring. A….wedding ring. Her eyes nearly popped out of her sockets, immediately turning her look at the blushing Yukiko, who also has the same wedding ring on her finger.

“W-well…?” Yukiko shyly asks. Rise didn’t even answered, rather responding in the most appropriate way. She embraces Yukiko in a hug and presses her lips on hers, Yukiko returning the kiss right away, lasting quite a few seconds as it deepened, but it was a kiss that told her the answer she desired.

Rise accepts. The duo pulls back from their kiss and stare at each other with joy and hope in their eyes. “I love you Rise-chan…”

“I love you too Yukiko-chan.” Rise smiled, holding Yukiko’s hand with her own, the rings now uniting them forever.

Rise Amagi…that has a nice sound to it. The two lovers stare at their hometown for hours in silence, thinking of their eventual futures and how they’ll spend it together despite their distance apart.

>Rise and Yukiko spent their lives together…