Mai-HiME Fan Fiction ❯ Mai-HiME: Royal Flush ❯ Chapter 3 ( Chapter 3 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
ROYAL FLUSH: PART 3
Peals of golden laughter filled the tiny dormitory room as Aoi collapsed in an amused heap onto her bed. Chie was sitting next to her sans her trademark glasses bundled up in one of Aoi's oversized, fluffy towels. Her cheeks shone pink with embarrassment. She had tried to explain why she and the others were sitting around drinking and playing cards in the buff, but with every word, Chie dug herself a deeper hole from which she was sure she couldn't get out of.
Aoi gasped several times in an attempt to catch her breath from laughing so hard. “I just can't believe you let them talk you into this.”
“It's not like I set out to get naked in front of my classmates,” Chie pouted. “Besides, I had every intention of winning until that hellcat Kuga and the ever-sly kaichou-sama dismantled us all with their little rivalry. Who knew they could be so bloody dangerous?”
A short bark of laughter escaped Aoi despite a vain attempt to regain her composure. “I could've told you that they were a force to be reckoned with. Nao twitches anytime Fujino-sama is within sight so whatever happened between them, it can't have been good.”
The brunette leaned back on her elbows and stared out the dorm room window with a wistful look in her blue eyes. She inwardly cursed her slave-driving boss for making her take someone else shift. The perfect opportunity to tell Chie how she felt had presented itself in her absence and for the first time in her life, the metallic taste of irony filled her mouth. Maa,” she chirped. “What's done is done. Although I am a bit jealous.”
Chie blinked owlishly in surprise. “Why?” Aoi was glad that she couldn't see very well without her spectacles as a wicked grin slid across her pretty face.
“Well, for starters, I would have definitely wanted to be there for the actual stripping.” She moved ever so slightly closer to the object of her crush, taking note of just how well her friend's endowments held up the towel.
Chie blushed even harder and her ears turned the colour of a ripe tomato. “Y-you would?” She mentally kicked herself for sounding flustered; she knew that she couldn't keep up her Rico Suave act around Aoi. The brunette's open, unassuming nature disarmed her every time. Whenever they met for coffee at that hole-in-the-wall café in Aoyama-cho during school breaks, had lunch together in the grassy picnic area near the lake or simply watched a movie in Aoi's room, all of the smooth pick-up lines died behind Chie's lips. She never felt the urge to use any of them on the object of her affection, a fact she found quite odd and more than a little disturbing. Maybe I'm losing my touch. “I highly doubt it,” countered Aoi's amused voice.
“Did I just say that out loud?” Chie gasped as she clamped a hand over her traitorous mouth.
Chie banged her head on a nearby wall in mortification. She had given away the secret that she had held in her heart for so long and was prepared to take her lumps like a woman. “Caught me, eh?”
Warm blue eyes sought out Chie's face leaving her to squirm uncomfortably under its gentle inquisition. The two friends continued to sit in silence for a few long moments. A sudden whirlwind of tepid night air from without ruffled their hair, giving them relief from the closed warmth of the dormitory room. Chie closed her eyes against the burning sting of rejection she felt sure was coming.
“That would be a first, wouldn't it?” Aoi murmured after a while. She reached out to take one of Chie's strong, limber hands into her own. Her fingers traced lazy strokes on the soft calloused, flesh. “You know, everyone thinks that you're pretty fearless.”
“Is that so?” Chie sniffed, aware that unshed tears were reducing her vision to a muddled haze but she didn't want to let go of Aoi's hand. “What do you think?”
Silence reigned once more as the two women continued to stare at each other. They each felt like they were breathing rarified air; it was as if the oxygen was slowly, inexorably drawn out of the room until all that was left was this leaden stillness. Aoi reached up to move a bit of hair that had fallen into the older girl's eyes. The act itself, so simple and so caring, became the catalyst for all that came after. Chie breathed a deep sigh of relief as kisses, soft as fairy wings, rained on her nose, her neck, her eyes. She wrapped unsteady arms about Aoi and pulled her close, heedless of the loosening towel about her chest. As Aoi's lips found their intended mark, their world went supernova.