Chapter 5:

Chapter 5

Hakama


Ikkimaru arrived at the family bakery where Ryuko worked and walked through the front door. He looked around before Ryuko came from the back carrying a large tray of bread, “Oh! Hi!” She said as she set it down on a countertop and and dusted off her hands, Bookmark here

“Hey,” he responded,Bookmark here

“So what kind of cake were you thinking of making?”Bookmark here

“I don’t know,” he said, “I just want something simple for her, I don’t think it’ll really matter.”Bookmark here

“Well, there’s Castella Cake, Chocolate Cake, Steamed Cake, Crepe Cake, we could do a Matcha Tiramisu, Roll Cake, Baumkuchen, Christmas Cake, Montblanc, Sponge Cake-“Bookmark here

“Did you make some of those up…?”Bookmark here

“No,” she giggled, “There’s a lot of cake that we can make. It all depends on what you want.”Bookmark here

“Well, uh…” He then scratched the back of his head as he said, “I have no clue what she’d like. What do you like?”Bookmark here

“I really like the Crepe Cake, but that’s because I like Crepes in general. I also think Chocolate Cake is good. However, I really think she’d like Sponge Cake. We can really make it any flavor and top it with anything.”Bookmark here

“Great! Lets do that!”Bookmark here

“Alright,” she said, “But before we do that, I want you to try something.”Bookmark here

“Oh yes! That’s right!” He said as he walked over to the counter as she bent down and grabbed something from a small fridge. She then placed a plate with a square bar with white frosting on top of it. “What is this?”Bookmark here

“Hold on,” she then grabbed a jar and took the lid off. Inside she grabbed the honey dipper and swirled it around before she then drizzled honey on top of it, “Okay, now give it a try!”Bookmark here

“Alright,” he picked up the bar and took a bite out of it. “Oh my god…” he said with his mouth full of food as he began to chew, “This is amazing! What is it?”Bookmark here

“Well, these are Banana Bars with a Cream Cheese frosting. The honey I put on top is home grown.”Bookmark here

“You own bees?” He asked as he continued to eat,Bookmark here

“Yeah, my parents do! They said I could borrow some of the honey for when I bake!”Bookmark here

“Well this is amazing! Seriously, I’m gonna get fat if we keep hanging out.”Bookmark here

“Is that bad?” She asked with a smile,Bookmark here

“No, not at all.” He said as he finished the banana bar and licked off his fingers. Bookmark here

“Good,” she smiled before she walked through the gate and turned off the sign to the bakery, “Alright, come on back.” She said before he followed her through the gate to the kitchen. “Alright, now what flavor of sponge cake are we going to make? Do you know what her favorite flavor is?”Bookmark here

“I’m not sure,” he said Bookmark here

“Well, what flavor do you think she’d like? What flavor reminds you of her?”Bookmark here

“Hmmm…” he paused to think for a second before saying, “Well, she’s a bit round and very soft, almost like a peach.” He then jumped a bit before he said, “I-I’m not saying she’s fat, I mean if anything she’s more chubby, but her chubs just reminds me of a peach.”Bookmark here

“Alright, so a peach sponge cake sounds nice.” Ryuko said with a smile, “We could use heavy whipping cream as well as a buttercream. If we do buttercream it’ll hold everything together, and then use the heavy whipping cream for the trim.”Bookmark here

“Sounds good! Let’s do it!” He said as he went to grab some bowls for the ingredients,Bookmark here

“Woah! Hold on!” Ryuko said, causing him to stop, “You have to wash your hands first! Don’t pretend like I didn’t see you lick your fingers off just now!”Bookmark here

“Oh! Y-Yeah! Sorry!” He then rushed over to the sink and started to wash his hands. “So…uh…can I ask you something…?”Bookmark here

“Sure, what is it?”Bookmark here

“Well, I was a bit curious….are you and I…like….official…?” Bookmark here

“What makes you think that?”Bookmark here

“Well, you did kiss me, and I-“Bookmark here

“I did,” she said with a smile as she started to grab all the ingredients, “I kissed you because you told me the truth, so it was a reward.”Bookmark here

“Oh, I see…”Bookmark here

“Do you want to be official?”Bookmark here

“Well…” he blushed heavily as he turned off the sink and started to dry off his hands, “I don’t know…”Bookmark here

“What do you mean?”Bookmark here

“My past two relationships weren’t the best….I was left abused and vulnerable to everything…as such I put up walls, and I just don’t want to go through that again…but I do know that I like you, I’ve liked you for a long time. Whenever I look at you, I just feel like maybe there’s hope…and that everything will be alright.” He sighed as he turned around and faced her, “I don’t know if I’m making sense.”Bookmark here

“No, you are.” She said as she approached him, “If you want to be official then that’s fine, I like you too, however I’m willing to take things at your pace, so if you want to wait then I can wait too. I just ask that you let me know when it becomes too much.”Bookmark here

“Thank you,” he said with with a smile,Bookmark here

“Yeah, no problem.” Bookmark here

He then paused as he looked into her eyes and said, “Wait a second…”Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“Do you have a…?”Bookmark here

“A what?”Bookmark here

“Just now when you were talking to me, did I notice a tongue piercing?”Bookmark here

“Hm?” She then smiled and said, “Yeah! You did!” She then playfully stuck her tongue out at him to show off the piercing on her tongue. Bookmark here

“Wow,”Bookmark here

“Is that a bad thing?” She asked as she took him over to a metal table,Bookmark here

“No, I don’t think it is, I just don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl with one before.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I got it after I graduated highschool.” She then grabbed an apron off a hook from behind them and tossed it to him, “Here! Put this on!”Bookmark here

“Yeah, sure.” He said as he caught the apron and started to put it on. Bookmark here

“Do you have any piercings?”Bookmark here

“Oh! No, I don’t. I don’t think I ever want any though.”Bookmark here

“Oh, I see. What about tattoos?”Bookmark here

“Nope, none of those either!”Bookmark here

“Wow, you must have the perfect body then.”Bookmark here

“Well, sort of, I’m not really muscular, if anything I’m scrawny and pathetic.”Bookmark here

She laughed as she said, “That’s alright! If you ever get winded then I’ll carry you for a bit if you want!”Bookmark here

“N-No! It’s okay! If that happened I wouldn’t be able to live with myself!”Bookmark here

“Alright, alright, that’s fine.” She said as she turned to the ingredients, “Alright, how do you want to do this? We can do it the long way, or the faster way with four ingredients.”Bookmark here

“Uh, let’s do it the faster way, I still need to go find Hakama’s present.”Bookmark here

“Alright, that’s fine.” She then opened up the carton of eggs and grabbed her measuring spoons, “Care to help?”Bookmark here

“Yes, of course, what should I do first?”Bookmark here

“Well, we need six eggs.”Bookmark here

“Alright,” he said as he grabbed some eggs from the carton. He took a deep breath before saying, “How do I do this…?”Bookmark here

“You’ve never cooked with eggs?” She asked as she scooped a cup of sugar,Bookmark here

“Last time I had eggs was when my mom made them, I never actually cooked with them.”Bookmark here

“Well here,” she said after pouring the sugar into the mixing bowl before standing behind him. She reached her arms around him and gently grabbed his wrists. Ikkimaru swallowed heavily as his face turned red,Bookmark here

“S-Something soft is touching my ba-“ He then froze as it all suddenly clicked, “I-I-It’s her b-bo-“Bookmark here

“Here, now just gently tap the egg against the bowl, like this.” She moved his wrist and gently tapped the egg against the bowl causing it to crack. She then reached her other hand around to the front of him and put her thumb in the crack of the egg, “After that, you just split it apart.” She then pulled the egg shell away from him and the contents of the egg slid into the bowl. “Just like that!” She said as she moved from behind him over to his side.Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah, okay.” He then took one egg at a time and put them into the bowl. Ryuko then added a cup of flour followed by a half teaspoon of baking powder. Bookmark here

“Alright,” she said as she took a rag and wiped off her hands, “Can you turn on the oven for me?”Bookmark here

“Yeah,” he then raced over to the oven before he called over his shoulder, “What temperature?”Bookmark here

“350 Fahrenheit, or about 176 Celsius. It has both on there, but I didn’t know which you used.” Bookmark here

“I can use both,” he said as he turned on the oven and started to preheat it.Bookmark here

Ryuko went to the fridge and grabbed a tub of peaches before grabbing peach extract from a nearby shelf. She put three tablespoons of peach extract into the mixture before she put the bowl on an electrical mixer and turned it on. As the mixer started it’s work Ryuko then peeled and cut up two peaches before she diced the slices into smaller pieces. Ikkimaru stood back watching her cut the peaches, Ryuko looked really good when she was baking. It seemed to really suit her. She slowly looked over at him with her eyes before she blushed and looked back at the peaches.Bookmark here

“So um….” She said, “What was it about me that made you feel safe?”Bookmark here

“Oh, uh, well,” he then walked over to her and said, “I think it was mostly how you are with your friends,” he smiled as he started to think back, “You seemed just so friendly and kind, everyone was so happy to be around you. Seeing someone who was causing so many people such joy, I guess that’s what made me realize I wanted to spend time with you. I guess that’s also when I knew I liked you. Even if we never ended up dating, I still wanted to be your friend.”Bookmark here

“I’m glad,” she said with a smile, “I’m honestly glad I got to know you too, our dinner date was a lot of fun. It was the first time I’ve had a date in such a long time.”Bookmark here

“When was your last one?”Bookmark here

“It was a year or two ago,” she said, “In highschool I was head over heels in love with my homeroom teacher. He always helped me study after school, and we even would hang out during field trips and stuff. After I graduated I confessed to him, and we went on a date. One date became two and eventually he became my first boyfriend. We were even engaged for a while, but…it all changed.”Bookmark here

“What happened?”Bookmark here

“I found out he was lying to me,” she turned off the mixing bowl before she added the diced peaches and turned it on for a bit longer, “I wasn’t the first student he dated, hell, the first one dated while she was still in school. I eventually found out he was cheating on me with a new student of his at the school, and then later I found out he was dating several other students at the same time.”Bookmark here

“How’s you find out?” Bookmark here

“After we announced our engagement, it was about a week or two later when lots and lots of school girls showed up at our place.” She sighed as she turned the mixer off and took the whisks off, “I called off the engagement, and I contacted the authorities. I moved out and got my own place and since then washed my hands of him.”Bookmark here

“That sounds awful,”Bookmark here

“It was,” she said as she pulled the large bowl over to them and she handed him a whisk, “However, I found baking helped with my depression, and since then I’ve been doing it ever since!”Bookmark here

“I see,” he took the whisk and started to lick it off, “Wow! This is amazing!” Bookmark here

“I’m glad,” she said as she licked off her own whisk before she put the cleaned off whisk in the sink. She then grabbed some baking pans from beneath the table and put them on the tabletop. Bookmark here

“So, uh, was he uh…well…” he then put his cleaned off whisk in the sink before his face turned red and he said, “You know…?”Bookmark here

“My first time?” She said finishing his sentence, “He was, unfortunately, but I’m over it. I don’t think he was that good at it.”Bookmark here

“Oh, I see.” He said as she began to pour the mixture into the pans, “What about you?”Bookmark here

“Oh! No! I haven’t, since my first relationship I’ve always been a bit scared of physical affection.”Bookmark here

“Oh,” she then gasped as she looked up at him, “Wait! Did our kiss freak you out?!”Bookmark here

“What? No! No no!”Bookmark here

“Thank god,” she said as she tipped the bowl upwards before she moved on to the second pan, “The last thing I need is to freak you out.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, no, I’m fine.”Bookmark here

“Good, I’d hate to scare you off. You’re honestly the nicest and most sincere guy I’ve met in a long time.” Ikkimaru blushed before he looked down a bit as she finished filling the pans. “Would you mind opening the oven for me?”Bookmark here

“Oh, yeah, sure.” He then went to the oven and opened it up as she carried the pans over to the oven and put them inside. As he closed the oven Ryuko grabbed an egg shaped timer and twisted it over to the 25 minute mark. Bookmark here

“Alright,” she said as she set the timer down, “We have 25 minutes. We already have the whipped cream and the buttercream made, so what would you like to do until it’s done baking.”Bookmark here

“Well, I still need to go and try and get Hakama a present. I’m fairly certain Shobudo Sangyo is still open. If not I’ll try Sakuraya or Ichiryoya Hirakawa, Tozando is a good place to.”Bookmark here

“What’re you getting there?”Bookmark here

He sighed as he said, “Well, she’s got this sword that she really likes. Anyways, trying to get her to leave it home is hard, she nearly started crying. Anyways, I’m going to get her a Wagasa that she can store the sword in. That way people won’t be suspicious of her.”Bookmark here

“That sounds nice, do you want to run out real quick and see if you can find one?”Bookmark here

“I might have to, I have no idea how long they’re open for. I hate to leave you here alone.”Bookmark here

“No, don’t worry about it, I’ll make sure the cake looks nice and pretty.”Bookmark here

“Thank you,” he said before he removed the apron and dashed out of the bakery. After commuting through town he came to the first store. He walked inside and looked around before he came over to a man behind a counter.Bookmark here

“Ah! It’s nice to meet you sir!” He said, “How can I help you?”Bookmark here

“I have a question, I have no idea if you have them, but I really need to get one for a friend of mine.”Bookmark here

“Ah, what is it?”Bookmark here

“She’s got this sword she carries around with her everywhere, anyways I don’t want people to get suspicious of her, so I was wondering if you had, like, a Wagasa where the sword can go inside it.”Bookmark here

“Hmmm,” he then paused to think for a bit before saying, “Possibly, I know they’re popular with women, and sometimes movie producers will have them made for a film. Let me go check.” He then turned and walked away from the counter and went into a back room. Ikkimaru sighed as he looked around at the different swords in the shop. Not only that but they had other samurai equipment such as armor, helmets, and even shurikens. He wasn’t sure how many of them were fake and how many were real. After a few moments the main came to the front carrying a wooden box, “Looks like this is the last one.”Bookmark here

“Are you serious?!” He asked as he turned to the box that the man opened. The main color of the umbrella was black and it had a large purple dot which contained three black tomoe. “Wow…”Bookmark here

“Yes, it’s very nice. They’re mostly used for cosplay and display purposes, and are often used in photo shoots and movies. It’s made similar to that one movie about the guy with the Cane Sword, but with an umbrella instead. They’re called Shikomizue. You could call it a Junbigasa.”Bookmark here

“Wow, thanks, I honestly wasn’t expecting to have much luck with it.” Ikkimaru said with an embossed chuckle, “How much will it cost?”Bookmark here

“Since it’s not a Shikomizue, and it’s more like an umbrella, and it doesn’t have the blade. They usually cost about ¥44,229.”Bookmark here

($400 USD)Bookmark here

Ikkimaru swallowed heavily as he felt his wallet fall into deeper despair after his purchase at the aquarium. However, he was willing to put his wallet through hell if it meant he didn’t have to fight with Hakama about bringing her sword with her. “Fine…that works,” he said as he took out his wallet and then proceeded to pay for it.Bookmark here

“Thanks for your purchase! Here’s a booklet on how to clean and take care of it.” He said as she slid a pamphlet into the wooden box before he closed the lid, “Would you like the brown shipping container it came in?”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah….it’s not extra is it?”Bookmark here

“No, of course not! I was going to throw it out anyways!”Bookmark here

“Cool,” Ikkimaru said as the man then went to the back and grabbed the shipping box. Ikkimaru huffed slowly as he held his phone to his ear after dialing in Ryuko’s number. Bookmark here

“Hello?” Ryuko responded,Bookmark here

“Hey,” Ikkimaru said as the man then began to pack the glazed wooden box into the shipping container, “I got it…”Bookmark here

“Got what?”Bookmark here

“The thing for Hakama.” Bookmark here

“Really?! That’s great!”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah, great,” he said as he mouthed the words ‘thank you’ to the man as he then picked up the box and started to head out of the store.Bookmark here

“You don’t seem happy.”Bookmark here

“I mean…not really, it was crazy expensive.”Bookmark here

“You didn’t have to get it for her.”Bookmark here

“Yes, but if I didn’t I’d have to deal with a temper tantrum. You didn’t see her earlier today! She nearly bit me!” Bookmark here

“I’ve seen Hakama, and she doesn’t seem like that type.”Bookmark here

“You clearly haven’t lived with her.”Bookmark here

“You sound a bit dramatic,” she said with a soft laugh, “However, I’m sure she’ll be happy with what you got her.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, but I’m going to be eating cheap cups of ramen until I can save up more money.”Bookmark here

“If you want I can bring you by some food every now and then.”Bookmark here

“Wh-What?! No! I can’t have you do that!” He said as he came to a bus stop, “It would be a waste of money, and time, and-“Bookmark here

“It wouldn’t be a waste of time. I’d get to see you, so I don’t see how it’s a waste.”Bookmark here

He blushed before sighing, “I mean…I guess, if you want.”Bookmark here

“It’s really no big deal.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, of course…”Bookmark here

“So how far back did the present for Hakama set you back?”Bookmark here

“Well over ¥44,000.”Bookmark here

“Wow…”Bookmark here

“And on top of that she got this shark, so I’ve spent about ¥60,000 on her today, give or take.”Bookmark here

“Have you suggested that she gets a job?”Bookmark here

“I-“ he then paused before saying, “No, I haven’t actually. Do you think she’d really go for something like that?”Bookmark here

“You never know, it could save you a lot of money.”Bookmark here

“Yes, I see, I suppose I’ll suggest her getting a job tomorrow.” He then paused, “Come to think of it, she might do a good job at the store I was just at.”Bookmark here

“That’s great!”Bookmark here

“How’s the cake coming along?”Bookmark here

“It’s about ready to come out, I’ve gotten all the frosting and toppings ready.”Bookmark here

“That’s great,” he said as the bus then came to the stop. He got on the bus and started to walk towards a seat, “Again, I’m sorry to run out on you like that.”Bookmark here

“You’re totally fine! I honestly liked baking with you, even if it was for a little while.”Bookmark here

“I liked it too,” he said as he sat down and bus began to take off, “Anyways, I’ll see you at the bakery?”Bookmark here

“I can meet you at your place if you want, decorating won’t take long. Plus I’ve got that couch attached to my car so…”Bookmark here

“Ah! The couch! I forgot about that!” He then gave a soft groan as he said, “Yeah, yeah, just meet me at my place.”Bookmark here

“Alright, see you there!”Bookmark here

“Yeah, see ya.” Ikkimaru then hung up the phone before he leaned back with a sigh. The bus seemed to go slower than he had hoped. After what felt like an eternity he finally got off at the stop near his apartment. He walked up the street and came to his apartment building when he saw Ryuko’s car with the couch attached to the top. As he drew closer to it she got out before she opened the back door and grabbed a white box which contained the cake. “Hey, is that-?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, it’s the cake!” She said as she pushed the back door shut with her butt. “Have a look!” She opened the lid and Ikkimaru’s eyes dazzled at the cake inside. It was frosted with a white frosting, and around the circumference of the top was whipped cream which looked like slime monsters from a popular video game. The entire top of the cake was covered in mangoes and mango sauce as well as sugar giving the top a bit of shine to it. Bookmark here

“Wow, it looks amazing!”Bookmark here

“I’m glad you like it,” she said as she closed the lid, “Shall we take it inside?”Bookmark here

“Yeah! Of course!” He then led her up to his apartment where he grabbed the keys from his pocket to unlock the door. He gently pushed the door open ajar before he looked inside with his eye. He pushed the door further open to see Hakama was nowhere in sight. He turned to Ryuko and placed his finger over his mouth to tell her to stay quiet. Ryuko nodded understandingly! Ikkimaru quietly walked into the apartment followed by Ryuko. He took Ryuko to the fridge where he opened it and put the cake inside before softly closing the door.Bookmark here

He then quietly moved over to his bedroom where he opened the door slowly. He assumed he saw Hakama on the bed so he walked through the room and put the long box in his closet before closing the door. Ryuko came to his side before he looked to the bed, “Wow, the aquarium really must’ve tired her out, she’s been asleep since we got back.” He whispered,Bookmark here

“I see,” she then paused as she looked to the bed and said, “Wait, why isn’t she breathing…?”Bookmark here

“Huh?” He said as they moved over to the bed, “Hakama…” Ikkimaru whispered as he tapped the mass on the bed, “Hey, Hakama…!” The mass on the bed then rolled onto the floor and Ryuko gave a soft squeal as she latched onto Ikkimaru. Ikkimaru saw the shape of the mass from the light of the moon before he sighed and said, “Ah, it’s yay Hakama’s whale shark…”Bookmark here

“Are you sure?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, it’s harmless.”Bookmark here

“Oh…okay, well…if the whale shark is on the bed, then-“Bookmark here

Ikkimaru swallowed as he then slowly turned over his shoulders and said, “That can only mean…” His eyes then met a pair of golden glowing eyes. Bookmark here

“Don’t yoU DARE TOUCH DEKAIANA!!!” An evil voice shouted causing the couple to scream before Ikkimaru dashed to the lamp and turned the light on. And much to his surprise Hakama was there in the room with a glare on her face about ready to pounce,Bookmark here

“Haka-“ Ikkimaru began before Ryuko then squealed and finished her instinctive move of tasering Hakama. Hakama clenched her teeth as electricity surged through her body before she screamed and smoke then blew out her ears before she fell onto her back. Bookmark here

“Oh no…” Ryuko said,Bookmark here

“RYUKO WHAT DID YOU DO?!?!?!!!” Ikkimaru screamed as he rushed to Hakama’s side,Bookmark here

“I-I’M SORRY!!! I THOUGHT SHE WAS SOME CREEP OFF THE STREETS THAT FOLLOWED US INSIDE!!! I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS HAKAMA UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE!!!!” Ryuko sobbed,Bookmark here

Ikkimaru grit his teeth before he let out a deep breath and said, “You know what, let’s take advantage of this. Now that she’s out, let’s get the couch inside!”Bookmark here

“What?! Right NOW?!?!??!!!”Bookmark here

“Yes!”Bookmark here

“I JUST TASERED YOUR LITTLE SISTER!!!!”Bookmark here

“She’s-“ he then turned to Hakama to see her eyes had turned to swirls, but she was still breathing, “She’s honestly fine,” he then snickered before he chuckled, “Honestly she’s okay.” He then burst out laughing before he got on his feet and turned to Ryuko, “Honestly you should’ve seen the look on your face!!”Bookmark here

“Huh?!” Her next instinct was to slap him, but after everything he told her about himself today, she didn’t think she’d actually get to see him smile, let alone laugh. It was cute. “My face?” She said as she started to laugh, “You screamed like a little girl!”Bookmark here

“What?! No I didn’t?!”Bookmark here

“You did! You did! I sounded like a guy powering up in anime compared to you!” She said as she wrapped her arms around herself and bent over being unable to contain her laughter. She then looked up at him with a smile and tear in her eye, “I’ve never heard a guy scream like that! You’re honestly super cute!”Bookmark here

Ikkimaru blushed before saying, “Y-You think I’m cute…?”Bookmark here

Ryuko then stopped laughing. Her face turned a dark red when she realized what she had just said. “Oh…uh, well…” She looked down rather embarrassed, “Sorry…”Bookmark here

“No, it’s alright.” He said as he knelt down and picked Hakama up as best she could. He dragged Hakama to the bed before he laid her down and pulled the covers over her. He then grabbed her shark from the floor and put it beside her before Ryuko came over to Hakama and gently removed the hooks from her body. As her taser coiled back up Ikkimaru turned off the lamp before they left the room. “Let’s get the couch outside, there’s a dumpster nearby and-“ Ikkimaru then stopped talking as Ryuko grabbed onto his sleeve. “What’s wro-“Bookmark here

“I meant it when I said you’re cute…” she said softly, “I know you said you’ve been mentally and emotionally abused but…I wanted you to know that I’m sincere…even though it came out by accident.” Bookmark here

Ikkimaru sighed before he said, “It’s alright. I can tell you’re being honest…but,” he then turned to her and grabbed her shoulders as he said, “Even though you’re telling the truth, I just…I don’t know if I can actually believe that, but, I appreciate your honesty. It does make me feel better that you’re being honest with me.” Bookmark here

“Yeah, okay.” She then looked into his eyes before saying, “Come on, let’s get the couch moved.”Bookmark here

“Yeah,” he said as he quickly placed his hands on his hips and moved over to the couch. The two picked up the couch and got it out of his apartment. They took it down the stairs and eventually around the corner to the dumpster, the whole while they said nothing to each other. They then got the newer couch from the top of Ryuko’s car and took it up the stairs and into the living room of his apartment. They then sighed as they then sat on the couch completely worn out, “Wow…”Bookmark here

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

“Thanks for this…really.”Bookmark here

“Don’t mention it….”Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah, of course…” he then looked at her and said, “So you said it becomes a bed right…?”Bookmark here

“Yeah,”Bookmark here

“Want to show me how…?”Bookmark here

“Oh, uh, okay.” She then stood up followed by Ikkimaru. She removed the cushions before she grabbed a metal bar which pulled our half off the bed from the couch. Ikkimaru quickly moved and pulled the coffee table aside as Ryuko pulled out the rest of the bed. She then placed the cushions at the head of the bed and said, “There you go!”Bookmark here

“Wow, that’s cool.” Bookmark here

“Yeah,” Ryuko said as she rubbed the back of his neck, “These are the kind they have in America. My dad got it when he went on a trip there. The couch-beds they have here are super nice, and I actually have a newer model. I think Hakama will be happy with this one.”Bookmark here

“I think she will be too,” Ikkimaru said as he sat on the edge of the bed, “Oh!” He then laid down and gave a sigh of relief, “This is nice. Forget Hakama, maybe I’ll sleep on it.”Bookmark here

“You can if you want,” Ryuko said with a giggle,Bookmark here

“Care to join me?”Bookmark here

“Oh, uh, I don’t know, I should get home.” Bookmark here

“You could…” He then sighed before saying, “If you want, you can stay here…I mean, you’ve already done so much for Hakama already, I figured the least you could do is stay for her birthday…”Bookmark here

“I…” she sighed and said, “Like I said before, I don’t think Hakama likes me and-“Bookmark here

“Well I do,” he said to her, “I…want you to stay tonight for me.”Bookmark here

She blushed before she said, “Um…yeah, sure.” She then sat on the bed before she said, “Can you turn around for a bit…?”Bookmark here

“Why…?”Bookmark here

“I need to take my bra off…”Bookmark here

“O-Oh! Yeah! Of course!” He then looked away for a few seconds as Ryuko removed her bra and put it on the floor. She then got onto the bed and laid beside him. Bookmark here

“…you know, this isn’t how I imagined our first night together would go, but…it’s fine.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, it’s fine with me too.” He said as he turned onto his side and looked at Ryuko the same time she turned to look at him. “I…” he paused before he said, “I really appreciate all the effort you’ve put in for me and my mental state….whenever I bring it up, I’m always told I’m just being soft or a crybaby…”Bookmark here

“Well, it’s alright, I mean, I get it. My dad has had mental health problems because my grandfather was abusive to him. He’s always taught me to be aware of others' feelings and to treat others the way I’d want to be treated.”Bookmark here

“Well you’re doing a great job,” he then smiled as he said, “Maybe I should give you a reward.”Bookmark here

“Oh, no, you don’t have to-“ Her eyes then widened as Ikkimaru cut her off by quickly leaning into her and giving her a kiss. Her eyes softened as a blush decorated her face. As her eyes closed she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer to return his kiss. “I really really like him…”Bookmark here

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