When Kyoko received a message from an old acquaintance asking her out for dinner to “catch up” she had no intention of accepting it.
She has just escaped from jail after all, her mentor of 12 years had died, and she herself had nearly had her consciousness deleted by the Tower of Hanoi. She was really rather disinterested in meeting up with an old university classmate and pretending her life hadn’t fallen apart.
But lately Aso seemed to have decided she seemed depressed, always talking of ways she could disguise her appearance if she wanted to go out for a walk, or things of that nature. He kept threatening to take her out somewhere himself, so in an effort to avoid his pity, she found herself reluctantly accepting Ema Bessho’s invitation.
After being broken out of prison, Kyoko had been living with Genome in his apartment on the outskirts of the city. She certainly missed living by herself, but he wasn’t a bad roommate really. For all his eccentricities of character, he at least kept a tidy living space, and he was certainly the safest one to be living with, in terms of proximity to the ever-present surveillance cameras filling Den City proper. And he was out most days working anyway, leaving Kyoko to herself.
Really her biggest loss was that of her job.
Kyoko had originally pursued a dual-degree in biology and computer science at university, where she her hard work and natural intelligence had been rewarded with a prestigious internship with SOL Technology’s highly respected researcher, Dr. Kogami. As a bright young student, eager to change the world, Kogami’s work studying artificial intelligence as a means to help humanity had always resonated strongly with her. She took her work very seriously, and ended up working in his lab for a couple years before being invited to work with him on what she understood to be a top-secret project with an elite team, funded by SOL Technologies. She had been beyond proud to accept the research assistant position, and beyond honored to work with the brilliant scientist on whatever he was doing next.
However, after the relatively brief life of the project (which had seemed agonizingly long to her and the other staff), she had decided to drop computer science, and graduated a year and a half later with her APRN. And while her nursing degree was still useful in her side hacking projects, the power to heal people had become invaluable to her, perhaps as a way to begin atoning for all the harm she had done in those six months.
So not being able to work at the hospital was not just frustrating, but seemed to drain Kyoko or any purpose in life. She spent her days drowning in guilt and anxiety, locked up in the humble apartment. The best solution she could come up with to make herself useful while Genome was off at work by becoming a sort of freelance hacker.
Which was rather dull, but fine really. While it was hardly a replacement for the legitimately important work she had done at the hospital, it felt adequately productive, and it wasn’t going to get her recognized by any of the authorities that were presumably looking for her. Though her hacking signature did get her recognized by an old college classmate of hers from back when she studied computer science.
Honestly, she had never cared much for Ema. Kyoko had always found her flirtatious behavior incredibly aggravating. Here she was working diligently, expecting to be taken seriously by the other (mostly male) cohorts in the field, while Ema seemed to be using her looks to get higher marks, or less work.
They had never been particularly close. Kyoko knew Ema dropped the program around the same time she did, but she knew enough from working with her on various projects to recognize she did in fact have talent, despite her inclination to act foolish.
Yet here Ema was offering to meet up with her for dinner. She had specified that dinner would be at her place, as to “be more private,” implying Ema was in fact already aware of her current situation with the law. Though judging by the sites she must have been working on to find her Kyoko doubted Ema was much of a law-abiding citizen herself. So she accepted the invitation, and they arranged a place for Ema to pick Kyoko up where she could get to without revealing the location of her hideout or being discovered, until Ema could disguise her with a motorcycle helmet.
Kyoko almost isn’t surprised when Ema says she’s running late. Why would she take a timed commitment any more seriously than anything else. But sure enough Ema does arrive. Kyoko recognizes her signature long pink hair even before she removes her helmet. Though her skintight riding suit seems somehow even more alluring than Kyoko remembers her dressing in school. She greets Kyoko with a warm smile and helps her into the helmet and onto the motorcycle. Kyoko nervously grips onto her old classmate’s waist, unintentionally nuzzling into her flowing pink hair as they speed away into the city.
“I really am sorry about missing dinner. Something came up,” Ema admitted, “but I do have tea! Feel free to make yourself comfortable at the table, I’ll be right back.”
Kyoko nods and pulls out a chair. She looks around. Ema’s apartment is sort of what she expected. It’s classy with elegant minimalist furnishings, and relatively few personal items. Kyoko frowns as she begins to realize that for all Ema’s seeming “openness” in her overly friendly behavior, she really doesn’t know all that much about her.
It isn’t long before Ema’s back at the table, setting down a cup of tea in front of Kyoko.
“I brought some fixings, I wasn’t sure how you liked it,” she admits.
“Oh, it’s fine as it is, thank you.” Kyoko warms her hands on the cup while she waits for it to cool.
“So…how have you been?” she starts, unsure what to expect of this meeting.
Ema laughs, as she always seems to do when Kyoko displays any sort of discomfort. “Oh I’ve been better I suppose, though presumably not quite as down on my luck as…others.”
So this is how it’s going to go. Kyoko resists the urge to swipe her hot tea off the table and all over Ema’s perfectly white carpet, and takes a deep breath.
“What do you want Ema? I know you don’t care about turning me in” she responds flatly.
Ema smiles. “No, I don’t,” she confims, “I’m just genuinely curious about how you’re doing.” She stirs her tea a bit. “I only recently learned about what became of your professor. Kogami was it?”
“What of him?” Kyoko can’t help but bristle at the mention of her late mentor. She senses Ema is fishing for information, but she’s not in a particularly giving mood.
“I’m sorry for your loss. I know he passed away right after I left university to pursue other opportunities.” Kyoko relaxes a little, somehow calmed by the realization that Ema does not in fact know the whole story.
“Yes, it was quite sudden.”
“You know his son, correct? Revolver?” Ema continues, apparently done with her faux sympathy.
Kyoko takes a long, deliberate sip of her tea. “You know I do.” She more or less raised the child, but she doesn’t see any reason to mention that to Ema.
Ema sighs and looks out the window at the lights of the city below, blurry in the distance.
“I met him once. Dueled him in Link Vrains actually. You were…indisposed at the time, but I was doing some research into the Tower. He ended up defeating me, but I managed to get my data to Playmaker before being…deleted” she shudders a bit involuntarily at the memory.
Kyoko can’t help but smile a bit at the thought of their leader defeating Ema, but returns her face to a more neutral expression before replying.
“I see. Are you upset with him? Looking for revenge, just like Playmaker?” She looks up into Ema’s rosy eyes, searching for an answer.
Ema simply shrugs. “Not so much. I suppose I feel more indebted to Playmaker for saving me than angry at Revolver for destroying me.”
“Is this about Playmaker then? I’m afraid I can’t tell you who he is. Revolver would never forgive me.”
Ema smirks. “Aww, you’re no fun, Kyoko. Same as in school.” She drums her fingers on the table and looks to the side again. “But do you ever regret dedicating yourself to the Kogami family? After everything they’ve done?” Her tone has become uncharacteristically serious, and the question pierces through Kyoko to her core, guilt and regret bubbling from the wound.
She almost chokes a bit, but collects herself, and narrows her eyes at Ema. “Of course not! You don’t know them. Everything they’ve ever done, everything we’ve sacrificed has always, and will always be for the benefit of mankind! A selfish person like you could never understand!” she hisses.
Ema smiles again, but it’s almost sad. “No, I suppose not,” she agrees. “But, I think I’m beginning to understand. Sacrifice I mean.” She sips her drink. “You have to find something worth sacrificing for though in order to really grasp it. That’s been the hardest part I think.”
Kyoko can feel tears beginning to form in the corners of her eyes, and she blinks them away, wiping carefully with her finger as to avoid messing up her makeup.
They’re both silent for a moment. Ema looks vaguely uncomfortable, or at least unprepared to see Kyoko so close to tears.
“I’m sorry,” Kyoko finally admits. She isn’t sure what she’s sorry for. For raising her voice? For judging Ema too harshly? For Revolver deleting Ema, for making the Another virus that landed her in jail, for not raising Ryoken better so he felt the need to make the same mistakes as his father, for being too proud to admit that the Hanoi Project wasn’t worth the wildly heavy cost?
“It’s alright.” Kyoko is surpised at how quick Ema is to accept her confused apology.
Ema sighs. “I really did just invite you here to check in with you. I remember in school you used to take everything so seriously. You were practically an adult at 18.”
She purses her lips. “I’ll tell you what, why don’t we go out and do something fun tonight? We can dress up and do some crazy makeup, no one will recognize you. Just go dancing or something.”
Under normal circumstances Kyoko would find the offer incredibly unappealing, but she’s just so tired of feeling guilty and sad and scared. Yeah, maybe she’ll just get really drunk and make a fool of herself at a club with Ema. Whatever. She hasn’t so much as kissed anyone since her first year at university. She can’t really feel all that much worse than she already does.
She gives a weak smile, “yeah, ok.” And honestly, she’s starting to feel a bit lighter already.
The smile Ema returns is almost genuinely sweet.
Then, she sits up and claps her hands.
“Alright! Let’s go through my closet and find something to wear!”
She looks more skeptically at Kyoko for a moment.
“Hmmm, that skirt is short enough, it’s probably fine, but I can definitely find you a sexier top. C’mon.” She pulls away from the table and disappears down the hall. Kyoko lets out a deep breath before following her.
After an arduous effort that involved relocating nearly half of Ema’s wardrobe to new positions across the floor of her hallway, Ema has managed to select an appropriately low cut top that she thrusts into Kyoko’s arms, as well as a tight-looking black dress and fancy bra, presumably for herself.
She sets down the ridiculous lacey bra and dress and Kyoko nearly rolls her eyes as Ema begins to unzip her riding suit right in front of her, in the hallway attached to her main living space, because of course Ema is one of those people, incredibly confident in everything, who feels like she has nothing to hide. But as the zipper lowers to reveal more skin across Ema’s chest Kyoko finds herself inexplicably entranced and feels face growing incredibly hot.
Ema looks up innocently, batting her eyes.
“You’re...not wearing a bra,” Kyoko observes stupidly.
Ema laughs a little. “In this outfit? Anything underneath shows! I really can’t even get away with a thong.”
Kyoko is momentarily distracted by a mental image of Ema wearing a small lacy black undergarment to match her atrocious bra before she registers what Ema actually said, and her mind short circuits a bit, unable to process the concept of Ema, without that thong.
When she zones back in, Ema has stopped unzipping, hand still gripping the clasp right below her belly button. Kyoko can start to see one of her soft pink nipples now, peeking out of the side of her suit as the fabric has begun to slide to her shoulders. She vaguely registers Ema tense up at the realization she’s being watched and quickly turns her gaze to the floor, face still on fire.
“Oh...I didn’t realize you were into girls, I’m sorry if I’m making you uncomfortable sweetheart.” Ema smiles, but makes no move to find somewhere more private. Instead she looks almost expectantly at Kyoko.
“I’m not...I...” Kyoko inwardly cursed herself for letting Ema’s overconfidence get her worked up. Does she like women? She’d never considered herself to be...that way. But she’s never really been attracted to men either. Kyoko nervously swats her hair out of her face before looking back up at her acquaintance’s sly smile. “I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it,” she admits. “I’ve never been in a relationship or anything, I’ve been so busy...” she trails off awkwardly.
“I see.” Ema pauses a moment as if giving her answer serious consideration before turning around abruptly to sit on a nearby couch in the next room, nodding at Kyoko to sit with her. Her cleavage is still exposed, one sleeve of the riding suit has now slid completely off her shoulder revealing her entire left breast.
Kyoko makes a desperate effort to find somewhere else to sit, but of course the only other chairs are in the next room. Ema lives alone, why would she need more furniture in this small room? She tentatively joins Ema on the sofa, sitting as far away as she comfortably can, not that it’s terribly far given the way Ema has reclined, one leg up, encroaching onto Kyoko’s half of the seat.
“So what about sex dreams? What do you think of when you masturbate?”
Kyoko’s eyes widen. This conversation clearly wasn’t going anywhere better.
“That’s none of your business!” she stammers, face fully red now.
Ema reclines and adjusts her legs into a more comfortable position, one draped lazily over the other. Kyoko makes a pointed effort to keep her eyes on Ema’s face, rather than her now fully exposed breasts.
Ema waves her hand dismissively. “I’m just trying to help you figure out some things about yourself here. Take it or leave it.” But the intense look in her eyes seems to contradict her words.
Kyoko sighs. “Ema, I worked full time as a nurse and on my days off I worked full time as a hacker. I’ve never had time for that sort of stuff,” she reminded her, conveniently leaving out the part where she became an unofficial guardian to two children at age 20. She was hardly in the mood to delve back into her past more than once tonight.
Ema shook her head. “Oh come on baby, all that hard work for the benefit of others, but no time for yourself? That’s no good,” she purred, her lips landing in a rather insincere pout.
Kyoko’s relief at Ema not prying further into her college and worklife activities was instantly replaced with a spike of adrenaline akin to panic as she leaned forward to face Kyoko with an almost predatory smile on her bubblegum pink shimmering lips.
“I’ll tell you what.” She stretched, raising her arms up over her head and arching her back, thrusting her chest forward in Kyoko’s direction for a couple of seconds before returning to her original position.
“How about we skip going out tonight, and we go on a journey of self-discovery here, in my bedroom.” She smirked, giving her a playful wink.
There was no hope for Kyoko now, thoroughly flustered, she gathered all her strength to pull her eyes away from Ema’s expanse of exposed skin, tapering dangerously close to her pelvis. Kyoko wondered what kind of ridiculous wax job it was hiding.
“I...what?” Is all she can manage, hyper aware of how breathy it comes out.
Ema has the audacity to laugh before shifting her weight forward to lean into Kyoko’s face, one hand supporting herself on the couch next to Kyoko’s waist and the other gently rubbing circles on Kyoko’s knee.
“I’m asking if you want to have sex. I could even give you some tips to use at home too while we’re at it, when you need a break from your ever-busy life.” Her breath was ghosting on Kyoko’s face, soft pink lips curled into a deceptively predatory smirk. “What do you say?”
Kyoko swallows thickly, feeling a surge of adrenaline as her eyes flicker from Ema’s lips, to her hand, perfectly manicured black nails now moving slowly up her leg, back to her bare chest. She has half a mind to get mad at Ema for changing their plans yet again today. Part of her wants to resist Ema’s charm, out of spite; she’s always hated how Ema used her appearance and flirty behavior to get her way even back in school. But damn it she’s getting nearly lightheaded with giddiness just thinking about kissing those beautiful lips hovering over her, and she can feel the tingling excitement rushing through her body already with only the feather light touch on her thigh.
She opens her mouth to answer, but the words don’t seem to come out. She clears her throat before replying, “Alright. Show me.” Kyoko knows she’s already made some incredibly poor decisions in her youth. Ema is hardly the stupidest person she will ever trust.
Ema springs up from the couch abruptly, grabbing Kyoko’s hand as she makes her way to the bedroom. “I haven’t been with a woman in forever, we’re going to have so much fun!” She giggles and Kyoko can’t help but smile.
Ema’s bedroom matches the rest of her home in style. The furnishings are simple but elegant, and hardly any personal artifacts are on display. Kyoko vaguely wonders about her personal life as she sits down on the bed, legs crossed. Ema fishes a few things out of her nightstand drawer, and drops them on the top of the table. She then returns to face Kyoko, smiling and stroking the side of her face before leaning in to give her a quick kiss. Her lips are soft and glossy, and it’s been so long since Kyoko has been kissed, she wants to melt into it a little but Ema pulls away.
Kyoko’s eyes flutter open to find that unusually serious expression on Ema again. “Seriously, just let me know if you don’t like anything or you want to stop, ok?”
“Of course.” Ema smiles and leans back in, and a moment later Kyoko’s eyes close again, and she finds Ema’s tongue slipping into her mouth. She sighs lightly as Ema deepens the kiss, and she moves back a bit on the bed so Ema can join her, which she does, swinging her leg around to straddle her partner. Ema hums quietly, slowly swirling her tongue around Kyoko’s and nibbling at her bottom lip, but is otherwise silent as she slides the sleeves of her riding suit off the rest of the way. With her arms now free, she wraps one arm around Kyoko’s back, and uses the other to caress her ass through the tight fabric of her skirt, earning her a soft moan.
After awhile, Kyoko leans back, panting, in an attempt to catch her breath, and feels a surge of pride, accompanied by a sort of primal possessiveness when she finds her own darker orange lipstick smeared on Ema’s face.
Ema is already starting to look a bit flushed as well, and her lips vaguely swollen. She smirks and pushes Kyoko down on her back.
“You look hot, I think it’s time to get you out of some of this,” she remarks, playing with the fold of Kyoko’s blouse. Kyoko nods eagerly and begins to fumble with the buttons. With a bit of help on Ema’s part, she tosses the shirt aside.
Ema licks her lips hungrily before she starts to move her hands over Kyoko’s waist, then slowly moves them up to grab her breasts, giving them a light squeeze before reaching around to unhook her bra. Kyoko lifts herself up slightly on her elbows to help her, unintentionally grinding her crotch against Ema’s and hears Ema’s breath hitch.
After she tosses her bra over her shoulder Ema catches her wrists, pinning them down above their heads as she sinks down on top of Kyoko and gives her nipple an experimental lick. Kyoko gasps and feels her tingling nubs harden as Ema swirls her tongue around, her messy pink hair tickling Kyoko’s stomach.
“Mmmm looks like you like that,” Ema comments without taking her eyes off Kyoko’s chest. Kyoko only manages to whimper in response before Ema closes her mouth around one of her nipples and sucks while grinding her hips down, reducing Kyoko to a writhing mess.
When Ema finally removes her mouth from Kyoko’s chest, she also releases Kyoko’s arms, and sits back, admiring the wet shimmering streaks of saliva and soft pink smudges of lipstick on her partner’s chest, rising and falling as she pants.
“Are you ready for us to move a bit lower?” Ema asks.
“Haaah yes…please,” Kyoko nods desperately, already aware of how slick her panties have become during Ema’s endeavors.
Ema smiles, and removes herself from the bed. Kyoko sits up, vaguely wary, but very much aroused and in need of further stimulation, whatever form that may take.
Ema beckons her closer to the edge of the bed, before guiding her back down onto her back, and lifting her knees up.
“Good girl,” she purrs as she bunches Kyoko’s short skirt up to her waist so she can spread her legs further apart.
Kyoko wishes she had it in her to feel more embarrassed at this, but somehow Ema’s taunts only seem to make her body tingle in anticipation.
“Haaa” she moans a little too loudly, as Ema strokes her through her already thoroughly soaked underwear.
Ema laughs, “It looks like you’re already pretty excited.” She punctuates her words rubbing Kyoko’s already throbbing crotch. “But again, just let me know if you want me to slow down or stop,” she reminds her before removing her hand from her privates to wriggle her underwear off. Kyoko moves her knees back together to assist, and as she finishes kicking her panties to the side, she watches Ema stand up to quickly finish removing her own clothing.
Kyoko can’t help but admire Ema’s fully naked form, her muscular legs now freed from the riding suit. She’s interrupted though, as Ema kneels back down on the floor, once again guiding Kyoko’s legs apart. Kyoko obliges and soon Ema is rubbing teasing circles on the inside of her thighs, as if there isn’t already enough blood flowing to her lower half right now. She almost cries as Ema begins to nip and lick there, agonizingly close to the part of her that truly needs attention.
When she finally does feel Ema’s tongue swiping over her clitoris Kyoko can’t help but curse and arch her back.
Ema’s laughing is muffled from between Kyoko’s legs, but she pulls back a bit to comment “Oh, I didn’t know you knew words like that!” before once again burying her face in Kyoko’s thighs, dipping her tongue into her already slick vagina and swiping it back up across her now hyper sensitive clit. Soon Ema’s fingers join in, rubbing circles around her sensitive spot while her tongue works its way further inside Kyoko.
“E…ma…please! Deeper!” she cries, arching her back in an attempt not to thrust into Ema’s face. Kyoko feel incredible, her nerves are all on fire, but damn it she wants Ema to stop teasing and fuck her harder!
Ema doesn’t even laugh this time, but she does remove her fingers and tongue, only to slide her fingers into Kyoko’s passage a moment later. She experimentally strokes her insides until she finds the spot that makes Kyoko shudder before removing them, and thrusting them back in again. Kyoko can hear herself crying out every time her long fingers brush her delicate insides, but she feels so good, so close. She moves her hips to meet Ema’s rhythmic motions, until Ema puts her other hand on her to hold her still while she resumes swirling her tongue over her clitoris again.
One rough suck is all it takes to bring Kyoko over the edge, arching her back, crying out, and curling her toes as she feels the intense surge of pleasure explode through her body.
When she can start to think again, she sits up to find Ema lazily licking her lips. “So how was it?” she gives Kyoko a sly smile. “Do you feel…enlightened?”
Kyoko snorts and smirks back at her. “I don’t know, I can’t say if I’ve really learned anything until I see if I can make you come.”
She relishes the way Ema’s eyes widen and face seems to flush at that. “Alright, fair enough.” She gets back up to flop down on the bed next to Kyoko. “Show me how it’s done, doctor.” She smiles. “And the vibrator is on the nightstand. I’m already pretty close, so hurry.”
Kyoko would normally correct her at the inaccurate title, or reject her demanding tone, but she has more important pursuits on her mind. She crawls over to the nightstand and grabs the pink wand (of course it’s pink) before returning to Ema, who is already lying on her back in the center of the bed. Kyoko kneels in front of her and lifts up those beautiful strong legs, and nestles between them, lifting Ema’s bottom a bit over her knees.
She experimentally rubs her thumb across Ema’s vulva, pleased to feel how wet she already is. She palms the area a couple times, earning her a small whine from Ema, before spreading her apart with her fingers to swipe her other thumb over her clitoris. Ema’s legs tense up a briefly as she arches her back in response.
Kyoko continues to stimulate her with her thumb, as she reaches behind her to grab the vibrator. While Kyoko can’t honestly say she’s used one before, it’s a simple enough tool. She flicks in on to the lowest setting and watches Ema squirm underneath her in anticipation, biting her lip to prevent herself from begging.
Kyoko finds it thrilling to have the undoubtedly powerful and confident Ema Bessho so completely at her mercy. Perhaps she could even get off on the feeling, she muses, beginning to understand Ema’s constant taunting. But she has a job to complete, so she presses the pink wand to where her thumb had previously been working, rolling it around. Ema gasps and her chest rises off the mattress for a moment. Kyoko starts to get a rhythm going, pressing the tool down, then removing it a bit, and she finds Ema thrusting her hips to meet it. Finally, she switches the power up and gives it another roll and Ema lets out a loud moan as she comes.
She flicks the vibrator off and set it down, smiling as she watches Ema, panting, attempt to collect herself after her orgasm.
“Haaah, I guess you know your stuff.” Kyoko watches as Ema sits up to face her. “And you’re definitely into girls. No straight girl gets that wet just looking at another girl’s tits. If you’re still in denial.”
Despite the lingering feeling of euphoria, Kyoko finds herself a bit embarrassed at Ema’s bluntness. “Yeah, but a ‘straight girl’ wouldn’t be so eager to rub her mouth all over another woman’s chest either.”
Ema giggles. “I never said I was straight. I enjoy the company of men and women. Though I’m guessing you’re not so interested in men.”
Kyoko feels her face heat up again.
“It’s alright though, your ‘leader’ is probably gay too.”
“What makes you say that? He probably just wasn’t interested in your flirting because you’re too old. He’s barely an adult you know.”
Ema finally looked a bit indignant for the first time that night. “I am not! And it’s not just that! Have you heard the things he’s said to Playmaker? Anyway, you should probably stay the night. Get the full experience. Walk of shame and all.”
Kyoko rolls her eyes a bit. “Thanks, I think I will.” She’s definitely starting to feel a bit tired. “But is it ok if we clean up first?”
Ema smiles mischievously. “Yeah, of course.” She swings her legs over the side of the bed and slides to her feet, then stretches. “I could show you how to have a little fun in the shower, too, while we’re at it.”
Kyoko wants to reject that invitation, she really does, but she finds herself following Ema to the bathroom anyway.
Ema drops Kyoko off at the park where they originally met the next morning, and she walks back to Genome’s apartment. It’s the weekend and he’s off from work, but he’s still typing away at his computer, presumably working on Hanoi business when she walks in.
He immediately stops typing the moment he sees her. “Ah, Kyoko you’re back!” He glides across the room to hug her, in the ridiculous overdramatic way that she’s come to expect from Genome.
She rolls her eyes. “Of course I am!” Kyoko knows without a doubt that Ryoken has tracking information on her burner phone, but she can’t help feel a small pang of guilt at the way she’s worried her roommate. It almost reminds her of the way Ryoken would cling to her as a child, whenever she came home from work, relieved she had not vanished the same way his father had.
She supposes there’s a lot of work to be done, a lot of atonement rather, but she can never truly regret her place in what has become the Hanoi family. In fact, she feels a lot better about her situation than she has in a while.
(At least until Genome suggests she seems much more relaxed, and should sleep over with her friend more often.)