I'm not late this time! UNREQUITEDChapter 7: Thanks
Haruna brought back Ayumi to the dance room which was empty and much quieter than the corridor.
“Thank you Haruna for warning me! So, where is Dance Sensei?” Ayumi asked naively.
“She is not here. In fact, she never asked to talk to you. I brought you back here because I thought you might prefer a calmer place to spend your break.” Haruna confessed with a sweet smile.
“Oh…Thank you Haruna! You rock! You saved me!” Ayumi exclaimed, relieved, while hugging the taller girl.
“You’re welcome darling~!” Haruna answered jokingly.
“Don’t call me like that, it’s gross!”
The two friends laughed out loud at this and finally sat on the floor. Fortunately, Haruna had taken a few snacks to fully enjoy the moment.
“But it’s too bad…I didn’t succeed in clearing this misunderstanding…” Ayumi noticed regretfully.
“You know…Whatever you would have told, I don’t think you could have succeeded. They are all so fired up right now…” Haruna answered on reassuring tone.
“I don’t understand why they make such a ruckus for this…” Ayumi frowned.
“Well…Everybody considers that Yassui and you are made for each other so…”
“What?! No…it’s not…” Ayumi stuttered while blushing heavily.
“You would love it to be true, right?” Haruna asked with a knowing smile.
“Well…yeah…” Ayumi confessed while looking at her feet.
“LET ME GO! IT HURTS!” A deep voice cried out while entering the room.
“That’s the way you thank me for saving you from this bunch of gossips?!” A sharp voice answered on an indignant tone.
“DAMN! You’re gonna break my fucking arm!” The deep voice grumbled from pain.
“Ok, ok little girl, you’re free!” The sharp voice announced while releasing the shorter girl.
“If you keep calling me like that and do this to me ever again, you’ll regret it!” The abducted girl threatened.
“Oh…ok, ok! And what are you gonna do?” The taller girl teased on a provocative tone.
“I…I…don’t worry! I’ll find by the time!” The shorter girl retorted while doing her best to not lose face.
“Pfffffff…bullshit!” The taller girl ssexy beasted.
They were now looking at each other with anger and irritation.
“Girls, please, don’t fight over stupid things…” Haruna asked to the two intruders who interrupted the tranquility of the room.
“It’s Eri’s fault! She nearly broke my arm!” The deeper voice pleaded on an indignant tone while massaging her painful arm.
“If I really wanted to break your arm Bocchi, it would already be broken!” The sharp voice retorted sarcastically.
“I forbid you to call me that way!” The shorter girl spat.
“ENOUGH!!!” Ayumi shouted while standing and interposing between the two kyukky members.
“Ikuta-san, please, calm down and don’t hurt our ace. I need her to dance later…And Sayashi-san, Haruna brought a lot of snacks. I’m sure, she’s more than willing to share them with you.” Ayumi arbitrated with authority and a big smile.
“Oh…ok!” Riho nodded while looking away. She was slightly blushing beside her dance partner. She quickly left to join Haruna.
“Why am I the only one to be lectured?! As always you favor her! That’s unfair!” Erina cried out, frustrated.
“No, that’s not true! Well, maybe a little…But I really thank you Ikuta-san! You’re the best!” Ayumi confessed with a satisfied smile while patting Erina’s cheek.
Finally, the duo known as Suberizu joined Haruna and Riho and ate snacks with them. They all spent a quiet and peaceful break.
Today’s rehearsals were finally over. Riho was lying on her stomach, covered in sweat and exhausted. She was thankful this day was over. It was such a strange, hectic and difficult day after all. But she was still glad she could have taken a taste of Ayumi’s lips. After all, she had loved them for quite some time now.
As she turned her head, she saw that her dance partner was sitting not far from her, drinking water and still panting. Her hairs were tied tightly in a high ponytail and her face was tired but still bright. Riho surprised herself finding Ayumi beautiful and very attractive.
The ace was taken out of her daydream by a sudden weight on her back, again.
“Yassan, what are you doing~?” Masaki asked while resting her head against her friend’s one.
“Nothing…just relaxing…” Riho simply answered with a quiet and calm voice.
“Oda-chan and I decided to go eat ice cream tonight! Do you want to join us?” Masaki suggested cheerfully.
“I would love it but I have to help Ayumi-chan with her steps.” Riho stated on a tone full of sorry.
“Again?!” Masaki exclaimed, unable to hide her disappointment and the pout on her face.
“She is struggling with some of the moves, so, no choice and remember, it’s part of my New Year resolutions! I decided to be more open to others.” The ace answered with a sweet smile.
“But Ayumin is never satisfied with her way of dancing. She repeats her steps again and again and again. She spends countless hours watching your live performance on DVD. She’ll have a burn out if she continues like this…”
“Don’t worry, I won’t let that happen! She is perfectionist, you can’t blame her for that…And I make progress when I help her, so it’s a win-win deal!” Riho stated enthusiastically.
The two girls stayed quiet for an instant, which was quite unusual for Masaki. Riho turned around and took the younger girl in her arms. Masaki rested her head against Riho’s neck and asked seriously:
“Say Yassan…Are you in love with Ayumin?”
“What?...What the…What are you talking about Maachan?!” The ace stuttered, shocked by the sudden and strange question. She was now bright red and embarrassed.
“That’s why you always stay late after rehearsals! You help her so much because you’re in love with her!” Masaki concluded with pride and a teasing smile.
“No! I mean…” Riho tried to lie but failed, as always.
“I really don’t understand what you love about her…She is short, flat-chested, strange and she is scary when she is angry and she is often angry! She is bad tempered…” Masaki stated with conviction while frowning.
Ayumi heard the words “short” and “flat-chested” and began to look at the two girls suspiciously. She had the feeling that her jukky comrade was plotting against her and she didn’t like the idea. She decided to prick up her ears to their conversation.
“But she is strong willed and reliable! And her smile is bright and comforting! And I love her plumped lips! And she is good at cooking, which is definitely a bonus for me! And…I find her very pretty lately…” The ace answered with honesty and passion, her smile growing bigger with each word. However, she was still blushing furiously.
The only reaction she got was Masaki’s skeptical face. Riho didn’t remark that Ayumi heard everything she just said and was now looking at her with wide eyes and a crimson face.
“You know Maachan…Michishige-san once told me that imperfection could be quite attractive, even more than perfection. I didn’t understand what she tried to tell me at the time but now I think I understand…” Riho confessed with a confident smile and a surprising peaceful face.
“Minishige-san is always right…Tanasatan too!” Masaki concluded with a nod.
“Yes, that’s our precious senpai…” The ace added. She seemed quite nostalgic now.
“Don’t worry Yassan! I’ll support you even if you choose Ayumin! I’ll always be there for you!” Masaki stated on a serious and solemn tone.
“Thank you~!” Riho answered with her usual smug smile.
Masaki got up when she remarked that Sakura was waiting for her at the door. After waving at Riho, she finally left the room.
Not far from here, Ayumi had dug her face in her hands to hide the shock and the red that was all over her face.
Ayumi was repeating her steps. The dance room was now empty. Only Riho was still there, lying on the side, one elbow up, her chin resting in the palm of her right hand.
Ayumi felt her gaze on her.
The ace was staring intently at her and it made her feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. She was trying her best to stay focused on her moves to avoid blushing too deeply. Suddenly, she felt a familiar silhouette beside her.
“No, not like this. To make that move look stiffer and more powerful, you have to perform it this way.” Riho advised seriously while showing a perfect movement to her dance partner.
Ayumi repeated it a few times and finally mastered it.
“I think I got it! Thank you Sayashi-san!” The shorter girl exclaimed with a smile full of gratitude.
“You’re welcome Ayumi-chan! Do you want to repeat our dance session again, since we couldn’t do it yesterday…” Riho asked shyly while trying to keep a stoical face.
“Yes, it’s a good idea!” Ayumi answered with enthusiasm.
The ace took off the towel she kept until then around her neck and let it fall on the floor.
“Sorry, I sweated a lot today…” She confessed apologetically.
“Don’t worry, it’s ok.” Ayumi answered with an embarrassed yet reassuring smile.
She then put her arms around Riho’s neck while Riho put her right hand on her partner’s hip. Her left hand began to mark the rhythm. Ayumi felt that Riho’s body was very warm and moist. Oddly, she found it very attractive.
She often felt her partner burning gaze on her lips but the ace never forgot to be careful with her moves and to help her with her steps when needed.
“You know Sayashi-san…I’m really sorry for earlier…” Ayumi broke the studious atmosphere with an uncertain and low voice.
“Earlier?” Riho asked dreamily, still focused on her dance routine and especially on Ayumi’s lips.
“I didn’t intend to fall on you…to hurt you…” Ayumi continued while looking at her feet. She was now quite red.
“I know, don’t worry and I wasn’t hurt! Just surprised but it was not that bad!” Riho stated with a playful grin.
“Would you…would you accept to dine with me tonight, as an apology…” Ayumi asked while suddenly looking her dance partner in the eyes.
Taken aback, Riho couldn’t help but blush and look away. She didn’t expect such a bold move.
“I want to invite you to a restaurant to thank you for always helping me with my steps and as an apology for today…” Ayumi continued slowly but seriously, her tone nearly solemn. She was now looking fondly at her dance partner.
“I…I don’t think it’s a good idea Ayumi-chan…You know I have a big appetite and…” Riho began awkwardly, still unable to look the shorter girl in the eyes.
“It’s ok, I was just paid yesterday!” Ayumi answered while giggling lightly. She was highly amused by her partner’s lame excuses.
“Then…o…ok!” Riho stuttered.
“Great! And where do you wanna eat?” The older girl asked on delighted tone. Her smile was now very bright.
Riho felt Ayumi’s arms tightening around her neck, as if the girl wanted her to get closer to see her face. The ace felt her face was now a crimson red and she didn’t want her partner to have a chance to see it, so, she stubbornly kept it turned and managed to answer the questions while looking away.
“Ya…Yakiniku!” Was all she could articulate.
“Oh…Good choice!” Ayumi exclaimed, totally happy.
Relieved to have somehow managed to get out of this embarrassing conversation, Riho finally turned her head and looked at Ayumi. The girl was smiling brightly at her, her eyes literally sparkling. The ace, still red, thought that her dance partner was close, too close as she could practically felt her chest, her heart against hers. She decided it was time to end this dangerous, yet sweet, break.
“Now, let’s continue with our dance session and then we’ll go to eat yakiniku, ok?” Riho suggested softly with a tender smile.
“Roger!” Ayumi answered enthusiastically while resuming her posture. She was now more pumped up than ever. TO BE CONTINUED