Chapter 1: Backstoked
The girls were waking up after an overnight road trip to a prefecture tournament. Sanae and Mirei walked up to where Amuro was still sleeping and stared at her.
Amuro was asleep on her back, but she was flailing her arms over her head, scissoring her legs, and gasping for breath. "Faster..." she said in her sleep. "Faster!..."
Sanae frowned. "Either she's dreaming about swimming the backstroke, or..."
"Or?" Mirei asked.
"...or she's dreaming about something ELSE," Sanae said, "and we'll need to hear ALL the details when she wakes up!"
"I might be... interested..." Mirei said with unconvincing reluctance.
Chapter 2: Huff And Puffer
Amuro walked up to Kaname, at the side of the pool, but suddenly fell into a coughing fit. "Are you alright?" Kaname asked.
"Something's been stuck *hok* in my throat *hok* since breakfast," Amuro gasped, coughing deeply like a cat with a hairball.
"Should I get a doctor!?" an alarmed Kaname asked.
"*HOK*!! *HOK*!! *HAAAUGHK*!!" Amuro suddenly coughed up a live pufferfish.
"THAT was your BREAKFAST!?" Kaname asked. "Aren't pufferfish POISONOUS!?"
"Only if you chew them," Amuro said cheerfully. "Ya gotta just suck 'em down!!"
Kaname silently resolved to keep his hands away from Amuro's mouth while she was eating.
Chapter 3: Swimmer My God To Thee
"I saw some guy have a religious experience this morning," Amuro said to Momoko.
Momoko raised an eyebrow. "What are you talking about?"
"He was swimming," Amuro said, "when he suddenly started waving his arms and screaming, 'OH GOD! HELP ME! GOD, PLEASE, HELP ME!'"
Momoko gasped. "Didn't you swim out to help him!?"
"Why?" Amuro said. "I'm not God. Anyway, a lifeguard got to him first."
"That's a relief," Momoko said.
"Y'know," Amuro said, "it really wasn't right for that lifeguard to come between a man and his God."
Dear GOD, Momoko thought to herself, she is SO STUPID.
Chapter 4: Think Or Swim
Amuro found a pool-side Kaname studying a textbook. "Whatcha doin'?" she asked.
"Brushing up on the basics of swimming," Kaname said. "'...from the initial position, the palm of the hand turns 45 degrees with the thumb-side of the palm towards the bottom—"
Amuro giggled. "If you think about all that technique, you'll be too busy to swim! Just trust your instincts and follow your heart."
She dived into the pool, effortlessly swam its length with inhuman speed— and whacked her head against the far wall again.
"Maybe we could trust instinct and still employ SOME thought," Kaname said to himself.
Chapter 5: Pacific Coaster
Published 15-Feb-2016; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "he is slow, and the sea sings to us both, but he returns to me" prompt.
Kaname had followed Amuro to the beach to greet her father, who had just returned from an extended fishing trip.
"Where did you go?" Kaname asked Amuro's father.
"Hawaii," Amuro's father said casually.
"What!?" Kaname did a double-take. "You took a home-made houseboat across the deepest ocean in the world!?"
Amuro's father shrugged. "You can drown in five centimeters of water. All the water under that doesn't matter."
"But— but—" Kaname stammered. "But you were alone, and hundreds of kilometers from the nearest people!"
"You say that as if it were a bad thing," Amuro's father said with a grin.
Chapter 6: Green Field
The female swim team, less Amuro, walked up to Kaname. All of them had dyed their hair bright green and donned X-shaped hair-clips.
"When I asked you to study Amuro's swimming technique," Kaname said, "this is not what I had in mind."
Amuro walked up. When she saw the other girls' hair, she held a hand on her head, leaned to one side, and smiled in embarrassment.
And then, the rest of the female swim team also held a hand on their heads, leaned to one side, and smiled in returned embarrassment.
Still not helpful, Kaname thought, but super cute.
Chapter 7: No Time For Training
Amuro swam up to the side of the pool, next to where Kaname was standing. She rested her crossed arms on the edge of the poolside and looked up at him with a smile. "It sure is nice today," she said.
"Uh, Amuro?" said Kaname. "Now isn't a good time for small talk."
"Why?" Amuro asked.
Kaname held up a stopwatch. "Because I was timing you."
"Why?" Amuro asked again.
"Because you're training," Kaname said patiently.
"Because YOU'RE ON THE SWIM TEAM!"
"Oh," said Amuro.
She still isn't clear on the concept of competitive swimming, Kaname thought to himself.
Chapter 8: Cold Feet
Amuro ran up to the pool and dived in. But Mirei shivered after dipping a toe in the water. "C-C-COLD!!" she cried.
"Oh come on," Momoko said. "It might be September, but it's twenty-four degrees Celsius today."
Sanae also shivered after dipping one toe in. "If I try to swim in THAT," she said, "I'll freeze my CENSORED off!!"
"It's not that bad!" Amuro said. She playfully splashed water at the others— and most of the water hit Momoko.
Momoko went half-blue in the face. "Are you OK?" Sanae asked.
"I think," Momoko said, "Amuro just froze my CENSORED off."
Chapter 9: Different Strokes
Published 3-Nov-2016; humor; 100 words.
"So," Kaname asked the swimming team. "Has anyone learned any new techniques recently?"
Amuro raised a hand. "Actually, I've just invented a brand new stroke," she said proudly.
"That's great, Amuro," said Kaname. "Would you like to demonstrate it for us?"
Amuro dove into the pool, and then began to thrash as if she had a weedeater in her swimsuit.
"That doesn't look very competitive," Kaname noted.
"I only said that it was NEW," Amuro shouted without stopping. "I didn't say it was GOOD."
"I'm not sure if she's demonstrating a stroke," Momoko said, "or if she's HAVING a stroke."
Chapter 10: Wake Up Call To Arms
The girls were waking up early before a swimming event... except for Maaya. "...five more minutes," Maaya whined sleepily.
"Get up RIGHT NOW," Momoko said, "or we'll carry you to the pool and THROW you in!!"
"Isn't getting her to the pool already what you're trying to get HER to do?" Sanae asked.
"That's a good point," Momoko admitted. "That'd just make it easier for her."
"Shut UP!!" Maaya said as she snuggled up in her bedroll. "Maaya-chan is trying to sleep!"
"We GOTTA do SOMETHING cruel to that spoiled little snot," Momoko growled.
"Something cruel and fan-servicey," Sanae added.
Chapter 11: Were-Fish Were Fishy
Momoko and Sanae watched Amuro swim with effortless inhuman speed. "I think she must be part mermaid," Momoko said to Sanae.
"Maybe she's a 'were-mermaid'," Sanae thought out loud.
"Is there such a thing?" Momoko asked. "I mean, I KNOW there's no such thing, but I've never heard any stories about were-fish."
Amuro swam up to the girls. "Whatcha talkin' 'bout?" she asked.
"Are you a were-fish?" Sanae asked bluntly.
Amuro blinked in confusion. "A where-what?"
"Were-fish," Momoko said again.
"Fish in ocean," Amuro said. "I mean, that's where they were, the last time I looked for one."
"We're not asking you where fish were," Sanae said. "We're asking you if you ARE a were-fish."
"Aware fish are what?" Amuro asked.
"WERE-fish," Momoko said impatiently.
"Um... I guess most fish are aware of where the other fish are..." Amuro said nervously.
"Let's try a different approach," Sanae said. "Do you turn into a fish in the light of a full moon?"
"Not usually," Amuro said. "During the last full moon, there was enough light to see where fish were. I didn't collide with any."
"NOT WHERE FISH WERE!!" Momoko yelled. "WERE-FISH!!"
"FISH IN OCEAN!!," Amuro yelled.
"THIRD BASE!!" Sanae yelled.
Chapter 12: Me And My Big Mouth-To-Mouth
"Can I ask a favor?" Kaname asked Momoko. "Could you lead the swimming club's mandatory training on artificial respiration?"
"Sure," Momoko said, "but why can't you lead it yourself?"
"Our club has mostly girls," Kaname said, "and it'd be weird for me to ask girls to, well, kiss other girls."
"Oh," Momoko said. "Well, alright... but aren't you just asking a GIRL to ask OTHER girls to kiss each other?"
"I hadn't thought of it that way," Kaname said, "but since you mentioned it, that'll be even more fun to watch!"
"Me and my big mouth," Momoko grumbled to herself.
Chapter 13: Mudslinger
Amuro was strolling with Momoko and Sanae when she suddenly ran off while pulling off her clothes.
"Amuro?" said Momoko. "If you're going swimming, the ocean is in the other direction—"
*SPLAT!* A giggling Amuro did a bellyflop into a wide shallow clay pit.
Momoko and Sanae walked up and watched Amuro play in the mud. "That looks like fun," Sanae said.
"Knock yourselves out," Momoko said. "I have better things to do than—"
*SPLAT!* Momoko took a mudball to the face from a mud-covered Amuro.
Momoko also began to strip. "Kiss your butt goodbye, Amuro! I fight dirty too!"
Chapter 14: Barefoot Hotfoot
Amuro and Kaname were walking from Kaname's house to the beach on a blistering summer day.
"OW! OW! OW!" Amuro cried tearfully while dancing from foot to foot. "The path is so hot!"
"I told you to wear sandals," Kaname said. "But we're almost at the beach now—"
"OW! OW! OW!" Amuro cried tearfully while dancing from foot to foot. "The sand is so hot! Could you carry me until you unroll our blanket?"
"Alright." Kaname lifted Amuro into a bridal carry.
"Thanks," a relieved Amuro said. "I'm sorry I'm all hot and sweaty."
"Not a problem," Kaname said sincerely.
Chapter 15: Take My Breath Away
"Where's Amuro?" asked Kaname.
"She was suspended," Momoko said, "for swimming while naked."
Kaname blinked in surprise. "Why now? She's been skinny-dipping regularly ever since she transferred here."
"She saved some guy from drowning yesterday afternoon," Momoko said.
"But that's great!" Kaname cried. "Why would she get suspended for that!?"
"The guy almost drowned," Momoko said, "because he was distracted by the naked girl swimming nearby."
"Oh," Kaname said.
"And when he came to," Momoko added, "he found a naked girl doing artificial respiration on him, and he passed out again from shock."
"That's an understandable repeated reaction," Kaname said.
Chapter 16: Misplaced Trussed
Sanae was telling the team another tall tale. "...and that's how I met my Canadian boyfriend," Sanae said.
The others silently stared at Sanae. "...what?" Sanae asked nervously.
"No offense," Momoko said, "but you're not known for being truthful."
"Trust Once Lost Is Not Easily Found," Kaname agreed.
"Tie her up tighter," Amuro suggested, "so that she can't escape."
The others silently stared at Amuro. "...what?" Amuro asked nervously. "Oh! I thought he said 'TRUSSED'."
"We knew you were an exhibitionist," Momoko said nervously, "but this is a whole new level of perversion."
"I might be... interested..." Mirei said predictably.
Chapter 17: Totaling Losses
"Well," Momoko said to Kaname, "our team has lost another match."
"Yep," Kaname said. "Whadya gonna do."
Momoko frowned. "Don't you care if we lose? You ARE the manager."
"I've gotten used to losing," Kaname said. "And I've lost most of my self-respect in the process."
"Oh," said Momoko. "Well, um... I'm at a loss for words."
Kaname and Momoko paused to watch Amuro swim past.
"It looks like Amuro has lost her swimsuit," Momoko thought out loud. "...Kaname?"
She turned back to Kaname, and signed. "Aaaaaand you've lost a dangerous amount of blood to a nosebleed and passed out."
Chapter 18: Remember The Amuro
Published 19-Aug-2017; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "not one girl, I think, will ever look on the sunlight of another time who has such talent as this one does" prompt (posted to AO3 only).
This contains the usual Umisho nudity. Reader discretion is advised.
"Did you hear that Amuro broke another school athletics record?" Kaname asked Momoko.
"If only she could use her aquatic powers for Good instead of Stupid," Momoko said dryly.
"That's not very kind," a frowning Kaname said. "She's making history, Momoko. She's setting records that will be remembered for years."
As if on cue, Amuro walked past them, casually pulling off her school swimsuit, and going nude well before she entered the changing room.
"She might be remembered for years," Momoko said, "but I doubt it'll be for swimming."
"Sorry— what were we talking about?" a completely distracted Kaname asked.
Chapter 19: Glass Of Water
Momoko and Sanae watched Amuro dive smoothly into a still school swimming pool.
"It's amazing how cleanly she dives," Momoko said. "She barely disturbs the water."
"It's like she's disappearing into a pane of glass," Sanae agreed.
Takeda suddenly did a cannonball, splashing Momoko and Sanae.
"...and then there's THAT," Momoko noted, shaking off water.
"Sorry about that," Takeda called back. "Are you OK?"
"You've showered us with shards of broken glass!" the ever-imaginative Sanae cried.
"And now we'll slowly bleed out and DIE," an unusually melodramatic Momoko added.
"Oh," Takeda said nervously. "So... that would be a 'no', huh."
Chapter 20: Santa Claus Isn't Coming To Swim
"I wonder if Santa will bring me a new swimsuit for Christmas," Amuro said to Momoko and Sanae.
"He might not be able to find a swimsuit at the NORTH POLE," Sanae said thoughtfully.
"And I wouldn't ask for a swimsuit from some overweight geezer," Momoko added. "I mean, EWW."
Maaya walked up. "Why are you talking about Santa as if he were real?" she asked smugly.
Amuro's face fell. "Santa?... Not real?" She suddenly began to cry.
Maaya blanched. "Wait— I didn't mean to make her CRY!"
"Too bad," Momoko said angrily. "You're definitely on the 'Naughty List' now."
Chapter 21: Little Lighthouse
Ikamasa found Kaname and Momoko tending to a tearful Amuro at the far end of the pool. "What happened?" Ikamasa asked.
"Amuro whacked her head against the side of the pool again," Kaname said.
"The pool needs a lighthouse to warn me when I get too close to the edge of the water," Amuro added.
Momoko face-palmed. "There's no such thing as a swimming-pool lighthouse!"
"Would this work?" Ikamasa reached back, held up an air-horn, and sounded it.
"YEEEK!!" A startled Momoko fell into the pool.
"That might be TOO loud," Kaname said nervously.
"WHAT!?" a temporarily deafened Ikamasa asked.
Chapter 22: Topless That
Published 11-Feb-2018; humor; 100 words.
For the 31_days "for everything made more difficult for you to do there will be something that you find easier than eveyone else" prompt (posted to AO3 only).
This contains mild adult humor. Reader discretion is advised.
"Do you think I'm useful to the team?" Kaname asked Momoko and Sanae.
"Sure," an unusually friendly Momoko said. "You're a great manager."
"But I can't even swim," Kaname said, "and you can also do everything else that I do."
"There's one thing you can do," Sanae said, "that none of the girls on the team can do."
"What's that?" Kaname asked.
"Go topless," Sanae said.
"What are you talking about?" Momoko said. "Amuro swims naked all the time."
"Yes, but she doesn't go topless," Sanae said. "She goes straight from clothed to naked."
"You got me there," Momoko admitted.
Chapter 23: Heads Under Water
Amuro ran up to Momoko by the side of the pool. "Wanna race one-on-one?" she asked.
"No thanks," Momoko said. "I'd rather not play a game when I already know that I'll lose."
"Well, let's do SOMETHING fun," Amuro said. "Ooh! How about a breath holding contest?"
"Yeah, alright," Momoko said. The girls kneeled at the pool's edge, and then held their heads under water.
And then, Kaname walked up from "behind." I don't know which is worse, Kaname thought. The urge to Touch The Booty... or the urge to shove both of them "base over apex" into the pool.
Chapter 24: Know Can Do
Maki walked up to Kaname and looked at him with admiration. "...what is it?" Kaname asked nervously.
"I think it's amazing that you're such a good manager," Maki said sincerely, "even though you can't swim."
An embarrassed Kaname rubbed his neck. "Well, you know what they say," he said modestly. "'If You Can't Do, Teach.'"
As if on cue, Amuro strolled by. Maki and Kaname watched her pass by.
"If that's true," Maki thought out loud, "Amuro should work in a clothing store, since she can't keep her own clothes on."
"I was thinking 'fashion designer' myself," Kaname mostly agreed.
Chapter 25: Foam Alone
Kaname and Momoko were standing next to a huge mound of foam that completely covered the swimming pool.
"Just when I thought the swim team couldn't slack off more," Momoko said, "they rent a freakin' foam machine."
"It sounds like they're having fun," Kaname said. "I can't swim, but aren't you going in?"
"No," Momoko said, "my leg is hurting again."
"Sorry," Kaname said. "Well, I guess I'll leave early."
"Really?" Momoko asked. "Are you abandoning your injured vice-captain?"
"Oh. Sorry," Kaname said again. "Wanna hang out in the student lounge?"
"Snacks are on me," Momoko said with a smile.
Chapter 26: Cootie Cuties
The girls were showering after swimming practice.
"Say, why do we take showers, anyway?" Mako asked. "The swimming pool and the showers use the same water."
"I generally prefer to shower after swimming with BOYS," Momoko said.
"What's wrong with boys?" Maaya asked.
"They might have cooties," a mischievous Sanae said.
"I've almost caught cooties a few times myself," a serious Amuro added.
Maki and Maaya opened their showers' hot water taps. "What are you doing?" Momoko asked.
"We might have COOTIES!!" Maki cried. "We have to wash 'em OFF!!"
"This must be how mysophobia starts," Momoko thought out loud.
Chapter 27: Bottle Return
Amuro and Kaname were walking along the ocean shore when Amuro found a large glass bottle.
"Look, Kaname!" said Amuro. "There's a message in it!"
"I wonder who it's from," Kaname thought out loud.
"It's from ME!" Amuro said excitedly. "I wrote this message while I was at sea."
"That's an amazing coincidence," Kaname said. "...what are you doing?"
"Writing a reply to myself," Amuro said. "Do you have anything to say to me?"
"You know," Kaname said, "the chances of your finding it a SECOND time are..."
Amuro grinned at him eagerly.
"...just say I said 'hello'," Kaname said.
Chapter 28: Don't Throw Her A Bone
While eating lunch with the team, Amuro gnawed on a bone, and then casually tossed it aside.
"Amuro!" said Kaname. "You can't do that!"
"Why not?" Amuro said. "The ocean is full of scavengers. Other fish will finish it."
"You're forgetting where you are," Kaname said. "You're not in your houseboat on the ocean."
Amuro turned, and saw her bone in Momoko's lunch. "Oops," said Amuro. "Sorry."
Momoko picked up her lunch— and dumped it over Amuro's head in retaliation.
Amuro blinked— and then she grinned.
The rest of the team grabbed their lunches and ran from the pending food-fight.
Chapter 29: Two Hoopy Froods
Kaname and Amuro were washing and drying the swim-team's towels at the laundromat.
Amuro pulled towels out of a dryer. "So warm and fuzzy!!" she said happily.
"When I was a kid," Kaname said. "I would curl up and go to sleep on..."
Amuro dropped the towels into a basket, and then curled up on top of them.
"Yeah," Kaname said, "I did that."
"Can we keep 'em?" Amuro asked.
"If we do that," Kaname said, "naked and wet people will come looking for us."
"Is that a BAD thing?" Amuro asked innocently.
"In this case," Kaname said nervously, "yes."
Chapter 30: Sleeping With The Fishes
Published 28-Oct-2018; horror?/humor; 100 words.
This contains YIKES. Reader discretion is advised.
"I had a wonderful dream last night," Amuro said to the other girls. "And all of you were in my dream too."
"Really?" Maki asked. "What were we all doing?"
"We were sleeping with the fishes," Amuro said.
"WHAT!?" Maki cried. "That's an AWFUL thing to say!!"
"It's alright, Maki," said Momoko. "Knowing Amuro, she means literally sleeping under water."
"Oh," a relieved Maki said.
"And then," Amuro added, "a giant squid woke us up by wrapping his tentacles around us and—"
"STOP. RIGHT. THERE," Momoko growled while covering Maki's ears.
Meanwhile, Mirei remained silent. For once, she WASN'T interested.
Chapter 31: Maaya's Got A Brand New Bag
As the team boarded their bus to go home after a tournament, Momoko and Sanae carried a duffelbag between them.
"What's that?" Kaname asked. "And have you seen Maaya this morning?"
Momoko and Sanae set down the bag (which began to squirm), and then they smiled identical bone-chilling smiles.
"MAAYA!?" said Kaname as he kneeled and began to unzip the bag.
"akenaide yo!!" Maaya said from inside the bag. "They stripped me NAKED!!"
"GIVE HER CLOTHES BACK," Kaname said sternly.
"Can't," Sanae said smugly. "We threw them away."
Maybe being manager isn't really MY 'bag', Kaname sadly thought to himself.
Chapter 32: Kamogawa Sun
Amuro and Kaname had gone to the beach. Amuro headed for the water before Kaname had spread their blanket.
"Wait!" Kaname said. "Aren't you going to put on sunscreen first?"
"Nah," Amuro said. "You don't need sunscreen if you keep moving."
"I don't think it works that way," Kaname said with a smile.
"Have you ever seen me with a sunburn?" Amuro asked.
"Well, no," Kaname admitted reluctantly. "But *I* still need to use sunscreen. I'm not a 'magical girl' like you."
"Wanna smear sunscreen all over each other's bodies anyway?" Amuro asked.
"Yes, please," Kaname said with remarkable restraint.
Chapter 33: Our Lips Are Sealed
Amuro led Sanae up to Kaname and Momoko. "Sanae needs to go see the nurse," Amuro said.
"What's wrong?" Kaname asked them.
"Her lips were chapped from swimming," Amuro said, "and she accidentally used superglue instead of lip-balm."
"Mmm," said Sanae.
"At least we won't have to hear your tall tales for awhile," Momoko said smugly.
Sanae glared at Momoko— and then she grabbed Momoko's face and kissed her in revenge. "MMM!?" said Momoko.
"Make that TWO people to see the nurse— TOGETHER," Amuro noted.
Kaname predictably suffered a nosebleed and passed out.
"Make that THREE people," Amuro said cheerfully.
Chapter 34: Frogging Dance
Kaname and Amuro watched the usually-reserved Mirei run around the pool while screaming like a banshee.
"She's acting like she's got a live frog down her swimsuit," Kaname said.
"That's probably 'cause she has a live frog down her swimsuit," Amuro said.
Kaname frowned at her. "...what?" Amuro said. "Don't blame me."
"Whom should I blame?" Kaname asked.
"Blame the frog that I brought to school and that went down her swimsuit," Amuro explained patiently.
"Why would you bring a live frog to school?" Kaname asked.
"Why not?" Amuro asked casually.
"It does seem to inspire athletic exertion," Kaname admitted.
Chapter 35: Help, I'm A Rock
While taking a Long Walk On The Beach, Kaname and Amuro walked up to some tall rocks along the waterline.
"I feel sorry for those rocks," Amuro said wistfully.
"Why?" Kaname asked. "Is it because the tide will erode the rocks over thousands of years and destroy them?"
"No," Amuro said.
"Oh," Kaname said. "Is it because the sea level is expected to rise, and so the rocks will become submerged?"
"I just feel sorry for them in general," Amuro said. "It must suck to be a rock."
"In that case," an amused Kaname said, "let's try to avoid Medusa."
Chapter 36: Gliding Like A Whale
Amuro was chatting with Kaname after returning from a fishing trip with her father.
"It was so much fun!" Amuro bubbled. "We even saw a whale!"
"Really? Wow!" Kaname said. "Where was it?"
"It was IN the OCEAN," Amuro said patiently.
"Yes, but WHERE in the ocean?" Kaname asked.
"In the bottom part with the WATER," Amuro said.
"Still missing the point," Kaname noted.
"Where else would you put it?" Amuro asked. "The best place for a really big thing like a whale is in a really, REALLY big thing like an ocean."
"I can't argue with that," Kaname agreed.
Chapter 37: Sturm Und Drang
Kaname blew his whistle, and then shouted across the school pool. "Heavy storms are rolling in faster than the forecast!" he cried. "Everyone needs to get out of the pool in an orderly fashion—"
Most of the swimmers suddenly jumped out of the pool, ran past Kaname while screaming, dashed into the changing rooms and slammed the doors behind them.
"HEY!!" Kaname shouted. "I said ORDERLY!! There's no need to PANIC!!"
Ikamasa suddenly surfaced with two fistfuls of safety razors. "IT'S SHAVIN' TIME!!" he declared.
On the other hand, Kaname thought to himself, an immediate evacuation might be in order.
Chapter 38: Herded Into Pools
"Can we have a bigger swimming pool?" Amuro asked Kaname and Momoko.
"Grab a shovel and knock yourself out," Momoko said dryly.
"This is a regulation-size pool for competitive swimming," Kaname said, "but it might seem small after swimming in the ocean."
"Sometimes," Amuro said, "it feels like we've all put on swimsuits and stuffed ourselves into a bathtub."
"Enjoying that mental picture?" Momoko asked Kaname.
"Yep," Kaname said bluntly.
"If you think it would be fun," Amuro said innocently, "we could find an old-fashioned phone booth and—"
"Amuro?" said Momoko.
"Yes?" said Amuro.
"NO," said Momoko.
"Oh," said Amuro.
Chapter 39: Kiss Of Life
Published 1-Feb-2020; humor/romance?; 200 words.
For the 31_days "I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment" prompt.
This contains predictable mild adult humor. Reader discretion is advised.
"Kaname?" asked Amuro. "Do you think you might drown any time soon?"
"I wasn't planning on it," Kaname said. "Why do you ask?"
"I wanna give you the Kiss Of Life!" Amuro said eagerly.
Kaname blushed. "You do?" he asked nervously.
"Yep!" Amuro said. "It'd be fun to save your life."
"Are you sure that you don't just want to kiss me?" Kaname joked awkwardly.
"Well, yeah, that'd be fun too," Amuro said without any hesitation whatsoever.
Kaname quickly changed the subject. "Do you remember how to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?" he asked as he laid back.
"First," Amuro said as she kneeled over him, "turn the head to one side and drain any water."
"Ouch," Kaname said as Amuro grabbed his head in both hands and turned it none too gently.
"Then, make sure the tongue isn't blocking the airway." Amuro peeked into Kaname's mouth. "Hmm. It's really dark in there."
"Please don't stick your finger down my throat," Kaname whimpered.
"And then, um..." Amuro pinched his nose, held her mouth over his, and exhaled.
After a tender moment, Amuro sat up again. "How was that?" she asked breathlessly.
"Nyou can nlet go nof my nose now," Kaname said patiently.
Chapter 40: She'll Get Her Coat
Kaname was walking to school with Momoko and Sanae.
"I can't remember when the weather was this cold," Momoko said.
"It's winter," Kaname said, "but every winter I can remember was mild."
"Poor Kaname," Sanae said smugly. "No girls in sailor-uniforms or skimpy swimsuits for you."
"It's not like that!" Kaname protested.
And then, Amuro joined them in a long heavy coat. "Amuro? It's not THAT cold," Momoko said.
"I forgot to do laundry," Amuro said cheerfully, "and so I just came to school naked under this coat."
"OK, maybe it IS like that," Kaname admitted through a sudden nosebleed.
Chapter 41: Get Used To Disappointment
Published 11-Apr-2020; angst/humor; 100 words.
Momoko found Maki softly crying after the swim team lost another match. "Hey, c'mon," Momoko said gently. "It's not so bad to lose."
"I know that you an' Kaname are the only others who care about the team doing well," Maki sniffled, "but losing still makes me sad."
Momoko crouched and brushed the tears from Maki's eyes. "Maki, I want you to take all those feelings of sadness and frustration..."
"Yes?" said Maki.
"And GET USED TO THEM," Momoko said bluntly, "'cause we might not even win a single match this year."
"That's probably good advice," Maki thought out loud.
Chapter 42: Not Playing In The Rain
Two members of the Umineko Shougyou high-school softball team stood at a window and gazed at a warm heavy spring rainfall.
"How long will the rain last?" one player asked.
"This is the rainy season," the other player said. "It could be WEEKS."
"I don't know how the softball team ever completes spring training," the first player said. "Do you think we joined the wrong club?"
As if on cue, the swim team walked past the window in their swimsuits. Several of the girls were dancing and laughing in the rain.
"Yes," the second player said, "and for multiple reasons."