Sorry if this is a bit boring, but it'll take me a chapter or two to get into the writing flow again
How long has it been now? >.>
Anyway, this will be a little different, as it's not your standard "story" fic but more a... collection of sorts. You'll see what I mean as it goes on
I think it's also time we had a bit more material for certain girls... Well. Read on if you'd like. ^_^Sayashi Riho
Riho watched with heavy-lidded eyes as Suzuki Kanon munched happily away at the dry biscuit she held in both her hands. Kanon-chan hunched over the table, her eyes partially glazed with lips wide in a blissful smile, as she took another big, crunchy bite. Riho on the other hand slumped in her chair, her legs curled up beneath her as the hypnotic repetition of bite, chew, chew, bite caused her to slowly doze off. Then again, just about anything caused her to do that.
“Whaddya have after this?” Kanon mumbled around a mouthful of biscuit.
“Some photobook press thingy,” Riho replied through a yawn.
Kanon-chan’s eyes widened. “Photobook event?” she asked. Somehow Riho’s statement had actually made her forget about food for a moment. A loud crunch made Riho’s eyelids flutter again. Well, a very short moment. The other girl looked deep in bewildered thought. “Another one? I thought I was done for the day…”
“No, not that,” Riho replied, hugging herself tighter with her arms as she tried to curl up even tighter into a cat-like ball. An unfortunate side effect of her growth spurt made this a slightly more difficult proposition than she was used to. “The French thing.”
“Oh,” Kanon said, peering at Riho while crunching away. “That’s right. That’s out today, isn’t it?”
“Mmm,” Riho murmured blandly. She tried not to talk too much about her new solo photobook to the others, even Kanon-chan, so the subject hadn’t even come up until now. She didn’t know if they’d be jealous of her doing her second while none of them had even released one yet, but still thought she’d play it safe. At least she wouldn’t be alone in this for too much longer, and who knew what would happen after they go to Hawaii.
Then she jerked more fully awake as the room was suddenly awash in the giggling and chatter of two more girls, and she glanced up through her eyelashes at Kuduu and Maa-chan entering the room while focused on something held between them. Most of the giggling of course was from the Hokkaido girl, while Kuduu seemed to tolerate it the best she could with a crooked grin.
The instant Maa-chan saw the cookies in front of Kanon, who reflexively wrapped her arms protectively around them, she yelped and ran toward her. “Suzuki-saaaa~n!” the girl cried, and poor Kanon-chan played the deer in headlights as Maa-chan sidled up to her and snuggled into her shoulder.
At a look into those eyes Kanon sighed, helpless as anyone to them, and reluctantly moved her arms as Maa-chan darted a hand in for a biscuit. Kuduu rolled her eyes from back where the girl had left her and stuck her hands in her pockets, quite used to the other’s fluttering about. With her limp, she also certainly wasn’t up to running around with the energetic youngster for the time being.
Now hearing stereo crunching, as well as the giggling and chattering, Riho sighed as she realized she wasn’t going to get any sleep here and unfolded to slip out of the chair. Kanon-chan gazed up at her as if pleading for rescue from the girl who now hugged her arm tightly in both of her own, but Riho just gave a small half smile as she sauntered toward the locker room. It had only been a matter of time after all until someone else noticed the box of treats.
When she entered the locker room another girl was already there, her attention focused on the compact in front of her as she worked on making sure her makeup was completely off, but Riho caught a glimpse of a book lying open beside her on the bench. Something familiar in it tugged at her, and she walked noiselessly, catlike toward the girl. At about the same time she realized what was in the book, the other caught sight of her through the mirror and a face stared wide-eyed back at her as pale as if she hadn’t likely just spent the last quarter of an hour removing makeup which had provided much the same effect.
“Aiy-eeeeee!” the girl squealed, and she jumped up before dropping back down heavily and gathering up the book, slapping it shut before stuffing it in a bag beside her. She also winced slightly in pain, and Riho glanced down to the wrapped ankle she retracted back under the bench.
“Thank you for buying my photobook,” Riho stated bemusedly.
“It… it was a gift…” the girl stuttered, fists gripping the skirts spread across her legs as she stared fixedly at her locker. Riho could still see the red in the visible side of her face though, and as she wandered up to plop down on the bench beside her, she found that it did indeed cover all of it.
“Oh,” Riho replied. “Still. But… why do you look so embarrassed?”
A forced giggle escaped from the other’s mouth. “Em-embarrassed?” she said. “I am not! I just… can’t be seen holding onto the photobook of my greatest rival, after all.”
Riho giggled herself. “Daishii~” she said, poking at the girl’s arm, “You’re still set on keeping that up? Not that I mind the flattery…”
“It’s not flattery, Sayashi-san,” Ishida Ayumi said, turning stiffly to look into Riho’s face. “But I won’t lose.”
Riho stared back into those determined eyes, eyes which she’d seen on most of her new friends and coworkers, at least from time to time. “I won’t either,” she said quietly after a moment.
They continued the staring match a moment before they both looked away and fell into soft giggles. Riho’s died out quickly though as she caught sight of the wrappings once again.
“Does it hurt bad today?” she asked.
“Just when I let my weight fall on it,” Ayumi replied. “Thankfully I don’t have much of that.”
“You’re so lucky,” Riho said, taking in the other’s body. “You’re so tiny!”
Ayumi raised an eyebrow as she glanced back to Riho. “I wouldn’t exactly call Sayashi-san fat, either.”
Riho shrugged uncomfortably. “I guess it’s this growth spurt. I have a hard time telling what’s going on in my body anymore. I’m just glad I haven’t gotten injured again too.” She glanced quickly at Ayumi. “Sorry.”
The other girl waved it away. “Don’t worry, I’ll be back and dancing circles around you in no time. You just wait.”
“I will,” Riho replied, smiling. They were both very intense about their rivalry, Riho focused on keeping her spot as the up and coming focus of the group while Ayumi was determined to prove herself, but they respected each other as well, shared a bond that Riho felt was different from the others. Takahashi-san might have been the only exception when she was around, but that was different in another way…
As they looked smiling into each other’s eyes, Riho didn’t know who started it, but she felt their faces inch closer together, until she thought she could almost feel the other’s breath on her lips…
“Riho-chan!” Kanon-chan called out as she strode into the room. There were two soft thuds as Riho and Ayumi dropped down once more onto the benches after levitating a few millimeters for a split second, both pairs of eyes snapping straight ahead to stare fixedly at the lockers in front of them. The sound made Kanon narrow her eyes for a moment, but since she hadn’t been looking at them as she entered, she didn’t notice what was going on. “You left your cell phone in the lounge.”
Then as Ayumi quickly gathered the rest of her things and stood up carefully to slide her bag on before gathering her crutches and heading back the other way, Kanon stepped up and dropped the cell phone into Riho’s lap. She then turned back to her own locker as if this was an every day occurrence.
After glancing at the cell phone – it wasn’t every day – Riho looked up and her eyes followed the tenth generation girl out the door.
Then she jumped up nimbly, no injuries currently dragging her down. After snatching her cell phone from the air since she’d already almost forgotten it again, she grabbed Kanon’s arm. Kanon-chan turned to blink at her.
“I need to talk to you,” Riho said in an almost-whisper, although there was no one around anymore to hear them. “Will you come to Starbucks with me? It’ll just be quick, before I have to head out for the event.”
Riho could see the war on Kanon’s face as she considered the request. She’d just had the biscuits, so she really didn’t need any more food… But then again it was more food, and maybe even a frappuccino. In case she needed more convincing though…
“I’ll buy you a cookie,” Riho added, and Kanon sighed, resigned to her chocolatey fate.
“What’s going on with you anyway?” the girl said, turning back to gather the rest of her things. “You’re being weird.”
Riho glanced around the room, but again found no one nearby. Then she swallowed. And anxiously licked her lips before swallowing again.
“I think I almost kissed Daishi…”