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Red Eyes, Red Lips, Blue Berries

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Kyouko Kirigiri sat at the round table in Celestia Ludenberg's room. She glanced around the place. It was definitely very... Celes-like. There were gothic lolita dresses displayed on mannequins, black sheets on her bed, and roses everywhere. As she absentmindedly toyed with the very frilly black tablecloth, she wondered exactly how necessary the gothic-style chandelier was. She was coaxed here by a proposal to talk over the situation they had been forced into - Celes confiding that she thought she and Kyouko were the sharpest wits here - and, as Celes sweetly added, fresh blueberries she'd found in the kitchen. Not that she minded being coaxed here. She dashed that thought in her mind with an angry blood-pink line. (Never would she admit to herself that she'd accept Celes's invitation, no matter what the conditions.)

"A school life of mutual killing, then," Celes began. "An interesting situation, to say the least."

"Yes. Interesting... Well, that's one word that could describe it," Kyouko glanced at her before returning to examining the wall beyond her thoughtfully.

"Of course. But enough of this describing. Let's talk about what this situation entails."

"I think we've unfortunately seen what it entails. Or should I remind you of what happened to Maizono Sayaka and Kuwata Leon?"

Celes sighed. "I need no reminder. You also need not remind me of the silly casualty made of Enoshima Junko."

"Good. So then what do you mean when you say you wish to discuss what this entails?" Kyouko asked, a hand on her chin.

"I mean I wish to discuss what'll happen when there's no one left to kill."

"You really think it'll go that far? Until there's a single student left?" this new thought brought some life into Kyouko's eyes.

"Perhaps. This is a rather unprecedented situation, and therefore unpredictable."

"So you don't think people will adapt, like you told them to."

"People aren't so easy to convince," Celes said, twirling her hair on her finger. "Especially when placed in an environment that requires a more... Preditor/prey way of thinking."

"That is true. So if you're so willing to adapt, why are we talking about this?"

"Adaptation means considering all possible outcomes, and reasoning towards actions that will bring about the most desirable one. Don't you think?"

"That could be a way of going about it."

They'd thrown some more old information back and forth, and had settled into picking at the white ceramic bowl of blueberries between them. Kyouko closed her right eye slightly as she bit down on an underripe berry.

"Sour?" Celes asked with a half-smile. Kyouko blinked. She was never very emotive, and the way Celes read her so quickly and accurately based on a small twitch - well, it almost startled her. But, she reasoned, an unbeatable gambler like her would undoubtedly have the skill to read every little movement. Her bet could hinge on noticing an irregularity in breathing or a twitched corner of the mouth. Finding someone with a keen knowledge of body language comparable to her own was by all means intriguing to her.

Kyouko half-smiled in return. "Yes."

"You know," Celes said, plucking a small, visibly underripe blueberry from the bowl, "the sour ones always were my favorites." She slid it through her red lips and chewed it daintily.

Kyouko smiled at this tidbit. "I'll let you have them, then."

A few more blueberries and words passed through their lips when Kyouko held aloft a particularly small one. "This one must be sour."

"Would you be willing to bet on it?" Celes asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Against you? That's a risk I'm not willing to take," she replied. "no matter how definite the outcome seems."

This earned some petite laughter from Celes. "Perhaps so. I suppose I'll taste it and find out." She opened her mouth, and it felt completely natural when Kyouko stood and reached across the table and set the blueberry on her tongue. If felt completely natural when her gloved fingers lingered on her lips as she closed them, brushing lightly on their smoothness before pulling away and sitting down with slight embarrassment at the action. But it was either accepted or went unnoticed.

"Sour," Celes declared.

Kyouko found another small berry. "What do you think?"

Celes closed her eyes and smiled thoughtfully. "Sweet."

As she was about to open her mouth again, Kyouko stated softly, "If we're going to continue this, perhaps we should move closer."

With a nod from Celes, their chairs were pushed next to each other at the round table. It didn't feel awkward at all when Celes's pigtail rested against Kyouko's shoulder or when their knees bumped together as they turned to each other. Kyouko placed the blueberry in Celes's mouth. "Sweet," she declared.

"My apologies," Kyouko smirked. "For raising your hopes falsely."

Celes hummed. "Yes, you'll have to pay for that."

"Anything to amend for my misguidance."

"How about a kiss?"

Kyouko blushed immediately, but she tried to act like it wasn't there on her cheeks, like she couldn't see Celes's pleased smile out of the corner of her eye. "Th-that would hardly be a punishment," she admitted quietly.

"Would you prefer to be punished, then?" Celes asked in a lower voice.

"I..." She was at a loss for words and felt betrayed by the blood rushing to her face.

"Your poker face really is terrible." Celes's cold metal claw poked into Kyouko's chin as she prodded her to turn her head towards the gambler. She looked into Celes's dark red eyes and tried to find safety in the stony indifference she'd been trusted to have, but it didn't work. Her eyes were almost hypnotic, two red suns burning into her, reading her, entrancing her. "Kiss me, dear," Celes said in a sweeter voice.

Kyouko closed her eyes but the suns still burned inside her. She came nearer until the tiniest brush of their lips sent a charge of lightning down her spine. She let her hand rest on Celes's knee, and felt reassured when the hand that wasn't at her chin rested on top of it. Taking in a breath, she tilted in towards Celes. They kissed a beautiful cacophony of electricity and red suns and warm lips and cold hands and murder and trial. They parted, the cacophony closing with the feeling of each others breath on their mouths.

They both sat in silence, faces inches apart.

"I won't mind this place so much with you around," Celes mumbled, dragging her claw ring along Kyouko's jaw.

"Well then, it's fortunate that I'm here, isn't it," Kyouko smiled.

Celes shushed her and they kissed again.

When they later headed to dinner together, there was a small group already in the cafeteria. No one noticed the extra glances between them or the extra color in Kyouko's face. But they did notice when they held hands as they left for their rooms after the meal.