YUUKO: "Hello, Hisao. Good to see you again! What are you looking for this time?"
HISAO: "Nothing in particular, I guess. I just didn't really feel like going back to my room, is all."
NARRATOR: "Yuuko nods."
YUUKO: "Well, if you're unoccupied, maybe you could help me look for something?"
HISAO: "Sure, what do you need?"
NARRATOR: "Yuuko brings a finger to her lips and looks around furtively. She seems to be looking for eavesdroppers."
YUUKO: "Come closer."
NARRATOR: "I take a few hesitant steps forward while feeling distinctly unnerved. Yuuko lowers her voice to a confidential whisper."
YUUKO: "I'm on the trail of the Yamaku Cat Burglar."
HISAO: "The what?"
YUUKO: "Shh! The walls have ears, Hisao! Or they might. But listen! Those missing books, remember them?"
HISAO: "Er, yeah?"
YUUKO: "Well, they weren't missing! They were stolen! I'm convinced of it!"
HISAO: "I remember you saying something of the sort earlier, but how do you know?"
NARRATOR: "Yuuko leans in closer and, if possible, whispers even lower."
YUUKO: "Because I found one of his hiding places!"
HISAO: "You did what?"
NARRATOR: "Yuuko looks triumphant."
YUUKO: "Found one of his stashes! It was under one of the stairwells in the boy's dorm! Three books I'd been looking for, all there! I'd suspected a thief before, but this proves it!"
HISAO: "So did you take back the books?"
NARRATOR: "Yuuko looks as if I've just suggested she walk around naked."
YUUKO: "Are you nuts? He can't know I'm on to him! He might go to ground and evade capture!"
HISAO: "Uh... huh. So what do you need my help with, then?"
NARRATOR: "Yuuko casts another glance around the library and leans in closer."
YUUKO: "You've got to spy for me."
YUUKO: "Yeah, like when you're in the dorms, you know. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity."
NARRATOR: "What constitutes suspicious, anyway? I mean Kenji's a pretty suspicious dude, but I'll wager he barely goes to class, much less sneaks into the library to pilfer books. Still, what's the harm in saying yes? At the least it'll get me out of this weird conversation."
HISAO: "Yeah, I can do that. No problem."
NARRATOR: "Yuuko straightens up and claps excitedly."
YUUKO: "Great! Now, hurry up and talk about something else in case someone comes in! How's the school treating you?"
HISAO: "Er, pretty well, actually. I've been running in the mornings with—"
YUUKO: "Emi Ibarazaki, right?"
HISAO: "Uh, yeah. How'd you know?"
YUUKO: "I served you two in the teahouse, remember? I deduced that if you were going to run with anyone, it would probably be her."
NARRATOR: "She looks pleased with herself."
HISAO: "Impressive. Anyway, yes. We've been running in the mornings. And uh, we kinda started dating."
NARRATOR: "Yuuko claps her hands together excitedly."
YUUKO: "Really? That's great! I'll bet you two are great together! I love seeing people find one another like that, you know? I even thought to myself when you walked into the Shanghai that one time, “I wonder if that kid will wind up with one of those girls.”"
NARRATOR: "Yuuko doesn't seem to notice my somewhat weirded out tone and nods affirmatively."
YUUKO: "Yup! I could tell that you'd wind up with one of them, you know. I've got an eye for that sort of thing. Of course..."
NARRATOR: "Her expression droops slightly."
YUUKO: "I'm not so good at it myself."
HISAO: "Aw, I'm sure that's not true."
YUUKO: "Oh, it's true. I met this guy once... We got along really great, but it turned out he was younger than me. And that was kinda weird, but not terribly so. What was really weird was that he disappeared one day, and I've not seen him since then."
HISAO: "Huh. That does seem kind of odd."
YUUKO: "Doesn't it? I hope it wasn't something I did..."
NARRATOR: "I feel compelled to reassure her."
HISAO: "I'm sure it wasn't."
NARRATOR: "I intend to try and calm her down further, but the both of us jump in surprise at the ringing suddenly coming from my pocket. Yuuko sighs to steady herself as I pull the phone from my pocket. I feel a little sheepish for indirectly causing the incident."
HISAO: "Emi? What's up?"
EMI: "Oh thank God I haven't called your phone before so I didn't know if this number would work or whether you would pick up and I can't—"
HISAO: "Woah there Emi, slow down. What's wrong?"
NARRATOR: "There's a pause on the other side of the line, during which I can hear Emi trying to control her breathing in order to calm down. Something's got her terribly agitated, and it's starting to agitate me."
EMI: "Can you just... Can you stop by? Like, now? Or shortly after now? I really, really need to talk to you."
NARRATOR: "There's a tone of pleading in the last sentence that I don't think I've ever heard from her."
HISAO: "Of course, I'll be right there. Hold steady, okay?"
NARRATOR: "In my increasingly agitated state I've apparently started saying things that don't quite make sense."
EMI: "Okay. I'll be okay."
HISAO: "See you soon."
NARRATOR: "I press the button to end the call before slipping the phone back into my pocket, apologize to Yuuko for running off, and run off. Perhaps at some point I would have stopped to think about the time, or how suspicious it looks for a guy to enter the girls' dorm at this hour. Except right now I'm just concerned with getting to Emi and finding out what's wrong and how I can help her. I knock on the door and am greeted with a subdued “Come in.”"
NARRATOR: "Something is very wrong as I stare at the scene before me. Emi's there, yes. But she's in a wheelchair. And her legs are missing. I glance around the room and see them sitting in a corner, looking like they've been thrown there. Emi responds to my entrance with a lopsided grin that is both pleased to see me and completely, utterly heartbroken."
EMI: "Hi, Hisao."
NARRATOR: "It looks like she's been crying, but if she was, she's stopped now. I notice that I'm a little out of breath, having taken the stairs two at a time in order to get here. My heart doesn't seem to mind the strain, though. I file this happy fact away for later consideration. Like when I am not staring somewhat dumbstruck at my girlfriend in a wheelchair. Realizing I've still not responded to her greeting, my brain lurches into gear."
HISAO: "Emi? What happened?"
EMI: "Guess I should've listened to you, Hisao. My leg's got a nasty infection. I'm not allowed to run on it for at least a couple of weeks."
NARRATOR: "She gives a bitter laugh that shouldn't be coming from her."
EMI: "Heh, I can't even walk on it. I could have used a crutch and kept one of my legs, but I didn't see the point. Why hop? You can't run on one leg. At least this way I can still, I dunno, roll fast or something."
HISAO: "Y-yeah, that's good, right?"
NARRATOR: "My awkward attempt to look on the bright side seems appreciated, but not really effective. Emi shrugs again."
EMI: "It's just... kind of a nuisance. I mean, we can't even eat up on the roof now. No wheelchair access."
HISAO: "Yeah, but that's not a big deal, right? I mean we can still eat together, and that's the important thing."
NARRATOR: "That lopsided grin again. It hurts to look at."
EMI: "I suppose so, yeah. But like I said, it's a nuisance. I mean, I haven't really used a wheelchair in..."
NARRATOR: "She thinks for a minute."
EMI: "Maybe seven years? Something like that, anyway. A long time. I'm afraid I'm a bit out of practice."
HISAO: "Well, fortunately it's only temporary, right?"
NARRATOR: "Emi nods."
EMI: "Oh yeah, of course. It's not like I've lost 'em permanently. But it's a pain in the ass all the same."
NARRATOR: "I nod sympathetically. There's not much else I can do, after all. What am I gonna do, say “I told you so?” Although I did tell her to get that leg looked at. But by the time I noticed, it was too late anyway."
HISAO: "Do you need help with anything? Er, that is, can I help with anything?"
NARRATOR: "Emi shakes her head and there's a bit of her usual grin back."
EMI: "Nah, I can manage fine by myself. Although if you want to help me over to my bed, it would save me the trouble of rolling over there myself."
NARRATOR: "I blush, in spite of myself. Emi giggles."
EMI: "You're such a prude, Hisao."
HISAO: "I'm not a prude! I just wouldn't want to take advantage of a young woman such as yourself. It's ungentlemanly."
NARRATOR: "I wheel Emi's chair to her bed, and easily scoop her up and deposit her there. She quickly sorts herself out and sits on the side. She's actually a little heavier than she looks. It would be rude of me to observe this aloud, of course."
HISAO: "Man, you're kind of heavy."
NARRATOR: "Emi hits me with a pillow."
HISAO: "Just sayin', is all. Must be all that running."
NARRATOR: "At the mention of running Emi's grin falters slightly."
EMI: "Heh, well I guess I won't have to worry about that for a bit, huh? Maybe I'll lose some weight."
HISAO: "That's what you do to lose weight, right? Cease physical activity?"
EMI: "I'm pretty sure that's what the nurse would recommend."
HISAO: "Speaking of which, are you going to still be showing up in the mornings? I'd hate to run alo—"
EMI: "Ah, shit..."
NARRATOR: "Emi's sudden interjection, more a disquieted muttering than anything too profane, causes me to look over in shock. She's leaning forward, trying to cover the fact that she's crying by covering her eyes with a hand. Of course, the subdued sobbing makes it pretty obvious that she's crying."
HISAO: "Hey, I'm sorry. Forget I said anything, okay?"
NARRATOR: "I place a hand gingerly around her and pull her close. I can think of nothing else to say or do. How do you comfort someone who's just lost their legs again? Emi wraps me in a hug and stays that way for a while."
HISAO: "Sorry. I'm pretty bad at this whole comforting thing, I guess."
EMI: "Don't say that. I'm fine, really."
NARRATOR: "Her voice is slightly muffled by my chest. I pat her head reassuringly."
HISAO: "That's the spirit, right? You'll get through this fine, I know it. Besides, I'm here to help you, remember?"
NARRATOR: "Emi lifts her head and stares at me with tear-stained eyes."
EMI: "Can you? Can you really?"
NARRATOR: "She's grinning lopsidedly, and something sparkles in her gaze. I can't tell if I'm being mocked or not."
HISAO: "Of course. I mean sure, you're a bit heavy, but -"
NARRATOR: "Mmph! My witty comment is cut off by the sudden press of Emi's lips on mine. I'm caught off guard, and am rewarded by hitting my head on the wall behind her bed."
NARRATOR: "Emi pulls back, trying to look concerned rather than like she's about to laugh."
EMI: "Are you okay? Sorry!"
NARRATOR: "I rub my head ruefully and grin back at her."
HISAO: "Caught me off guard, there. Is that going to become a habit? Am I going to be lectured by Shizune and Misha more?"
NARRATOR: "At the mention of the duo, Emi giggles."
EMI: "Honestly, those two... If I didn't know why, I'd be utterly confused as to why she hangs around with someone so bossy."
HISAO: "Which one are we talking about?"
EMI: "You know exactly which one, Hisao. Misha's hardly bossy."
HISAO: "So what's the reason, then?"
HISAO: "The reason why Misha hangs around Shizune."
NARRATOR: "Emi waves my question off with a smile."
EMI: "No idea."
HISAO: "I see."
EMI: "Anyway, you seem to be forgetting the original question, don't you?"
HISAO: "Oh yeah, I guess I am. You wouldn't mind giving a guy a little warning, would you? Otherwise I'm liable to wind up with a concussion."
NARRATOR: "I emphasize the point by rubbing at the back of my head. Emi giggles madly."
EMI: "You could wear a helmet. Some kids here do, you know."
HISAO: "Or I could just take revenge!"
NARRATOR: "I grab a pillow from beside me and whack Emi over the head. Emi topples off the bed and lands on the floor with a thump. Her arms promptly reappear on the bed, and she manages to pull herself back up. She really has a surprising amount of strength in that little body. Her face is turned downwards and away from mine, making me think I might have accidentally hurt her."
HISAO: "Emi? You okay? You didn't hit your—"
NARRATOR: "A hand shoots up and grabs my collar. She pulls me in with a sharp tug, her face now barely an inch away from mine as she grins cheekily."
NARRATOR: "She gives me a sharp headbutt, our foreheads making quite a loud thud. I sit back and rub my now sore head as Emi smirks victoriously."
EMI: "How's that for revenge?"
HISAO: "No fair! You can't take revenge for revenge!"
NARRATOR: "For someone missing most of her legs, Emi's surprisingly agile. I swipe at her, but she deftly rolls out of the way and lands a hit with her pillow. Of course, the odds are against her. I can stand up, for starters. Oof!"
NARRATOR: "Guess I can't, after all. Emi seems to have effectively tripped me up, and is now sitting primly astride me as I lay on my back. I'm not even sure how she managed it."
EMI: "I win!"
NARRATOR: "Her eyes twinkle mischievously. I've been thoroughly defeated, and by a girl that's a fraction of my size, at that. Then again, being defeated doesn't seem quite so bad. Emi being positioned over my waist isn't something that I, or my body, can ignore easily. I open my lips to speak, but Emi's head darts downwards before I can get so much as a word out. I give no resistance as she presses her mouth to mine, not that I'd want to. This is... different, somehow."
NARRATOR: "She pulls back, nips at my lower lip, and reinitiates the embrace. Her tongue darts inside my mouth, exploring. I can feel a warmth spreading through my body as my heart begins to beat faster. My mind starts to go foggy, and I become vaguely aware of my hand traveling up Emi's blouse. Emi gasps as I reach a breast, then there's a giggle, and then—"
NARRATOR: "I stare up at a grinning Emi."
EMI: "Told you. That makes my second win, now."
HISAO: "What? That doesn't count; you used feminine wiles."
EMI: "“All's fair in love and war,” right? Ha, and you're even blushing! I didn't know you were a blusher, Hisao."
HISAO: "You were blushing too, you know. Probably because of your prudish ways."
NARRATOR: "Even I've got to admit this is a stupid thing to say to a woman who is currently straddling me and has been, up until a few seconds ago, playing tonsil hockey with me."
EMI: "A prude, am I? Well then, let's see who blushes first, shall we?"
NARRATOR: "I'm not sure whether the tone of her voice terrifies or arouses me, but that question is quickly made rather moot."
|NARRATOR: "In a motion of practiced ease, she peels her blouse off and tosses it carelessly aside. Her bra and skirt quickly follow it onto the floor."
NARRATOR: "I fight the urge to blush. It's a rather hard task."
HISAO: "Escalation, is it?"
NARRATOR: "My own shirt follows suit, albeit with some difficulty thanks to my position. Emi mock-yawns."
EMI: "You'll have to try harder than th— Ah...!"
NARRATOR: "My hands gently caress Emi's bare skin, causing her to shiver. It would seem that my hands are acting on their own, again. If our position had let me, I'd probably have finished her undressing for her. I start to say something about how Emi's starting to blush, but both of us are very rapidly reaching the edge of something very barely holding us back. Conversation grinds to a halt, and I feel my arms losing energy. Neither of us, however, are prepared for this sudden new sensation."
NARRATOR: "An indescribable heat surges through me, coming from both myself and, it seems, Emi as well. With one hand on my chest to steady herself, and another holding mine to make sure that I can't have my way with her body again, she looks quite pleased with herself. And then, after a moment's hesitation, she moves. And she moves again. And again."
NARRATOR: "As she moves, Emi's breath hitches. My breathing is starting to come faster, and more raggedly as well. Emi's body shivers and shudders against mine, and I can feel her starting to lose her balance. It must be harder for her to keep steady because she's missing her legs. I steady her as best as I can, cupping my hands around her backside. It's firm and taut. Makes sense, considering how much she runs. The potential power in those muscles makes them flex as she responds to my touch. What I fail to take into account is the fact that my attempt to steady Emi kind of slides her forward and, well... It feels amazing."
NARRATOR: "Her panties slide easily against my trousers, and it doesn't take us long to figure out a rhythm. But Emi refuses to keep to it, going now fast, now slow, now pausing for what feels like an eternity. I'm not sure whether she's doing this to toy with me, or if it's to make her feel better, but I'm well past caring. The heat between us is growing more intense, and I can't hold back a gasp. The noise only seems to drive Emi along. I begin to punctuate her movements with some of my own, which causes her modest breasts to bounce in time with my movements. Her breath begins to come faster as we continue, my own breathing becoming equally quick."
NARRATOR: "With her eyes closed, her lips purse expectantly. I just manage to lift myself up for a few moments. Our mouths seeking one another, her chest sliding against mine as our sweat mingles. As I flop back down, my trousers are soaked with sweat. I would take them off if it didn't mean stopping what we're doing. And I don't want to stop what we're doing, stop this growing pressure, this tickling in the back of my brain. Emi is sliding faster and faster, panting heavily, her voice seemingly unable to convey what she's feeling. Her body, on the other hand, is doing a fine job."
NARRATOR: "Suddenly she moves a little more erratically as my own breath hitches in my throat, ending in a final desperate thrust that sends me over the edge into a surging feeling I didn't know existed. My mind blanks, fills with white noise, and I succumb to the feeling of climax."
NARRATOR: "For a few seconds, everything else in the world falls away except for this amazing feeling of Emi and I, together. And then... it passes. The white noise clears, and I am left staring up into the eyes of the girl atop me. For a few minutes, neither of us speaks. The sound of our breathing fills the room, our chests heaving from the experience. She eventually, reluctantly, shifts off of me and sits against the wall. I join her."
EMI: "So... did I blush?"
HISAO: "I didn't notice. Did I?"
NARRATOR: "Emi shrugs, still breathing a little heavily."
EMI: "Didn't notice either."
HISAO: "Well, maybe we should—"
RIN: "I need to use your window."
NARRATOR: "My first instinct is to hide, but then I realize that I'm still utterly exhausted and sitting next to a topless Emi, so there's no running anyway. Rin's eyes pass over Emi, and me, and focus on the window."
RIN: "There was a cloud."
EMI: "A cloud?"
NARRATOR: "Rin nods."
RIN: "I was watching it from my window, but it didn't stay in my window. So I need to use your window."
NARRATOR: "Emi shifts a little, causing me to cough in order to cover up a giggle of my own."
EMI: "How long do you need the window for? We're uh. Busy."
NARRATOR: "This time I can't contain my laughter. Rin ignores both Emi and me and peers out the window. Her shoulders slump, and she looks disappointed."
RIN: "Hmm. It changed into something else. Disappointing."
NARRATOR: "Emi is having trouble keeping a straight face."
EMI: "Sorry to hear that, Rin. Could we have a little privacy now, please?"
NARRATOR: "Rin shrugs, as if to say “Can you?” and hooks her foot around the door, pulling it closed behind her. We both dissolve into raucous laughter, unable to deal with Rin's bizarrely timed visit any other way. After our laughter dies down, I look to Emi. We're both a total mess."
NARRATOR: "Emi raises an eyebrow."
NARRATOR: "Emi grins and laughs, and then she nods."
EMI: "We should probably ditch the clothes, this time."
Next Scene: Storage Space