Notes and Disclaimers: The characters of the Yamayurikai are the property of Konno Oyuki, Shuiesha and Geneon.
This story was written because Adam is a lame-ass. Just wanted to say that right up front.
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My thanks, once again, to the The Fanfic Revolution, and Adam, in particular.
As always, if you enjoy this story, I’d love to know. You can reach me at email@example.com
First Kiss Incident
“Where shall we go now?” Noriko asked, as they walked out of the dark theater into blinding afternoon light.
“I don’t know, are you hungry?” Shimako rearranged the angle of the wide-brim straw hat she wore, trying to block out the sun.
Noriko made a gesture of ambivalence. “Not hungry, but maybe a drink…”
“Let’s go to the park, then, and have some tea.”
As they walked, Noriko thought over the days leading up to this one. The fight with Shimako, the tears, the reconciliation. Her heart beat a little faster at the memory of the words that set it all off.
“What are you thinking about?” Shimako asked, smiling.
“Nothing,” Noriko lied.
“Oh.” Shimako looked a little put out at that, her smile fading. “I was worried that you were thinking about…before.”
Noriko sighed. “I was. I can’t help it. My feelings haven’t changed.”
“I know,” Shimako’s voice was sad. “I’m sorry.”
Noriko opened her mouth, then closed it. Blowing out a frustrated breath, she turned towards Shimako and blurted out, “I…”
“Noriko, I…” Shimako’s mouth was half open, staring down at the younger girl. She closed her mouth, and nodded. “Go ahead.”
Noriko couldn’t take her eyes off Shimako’s mouth. “I want to start over again. I want…”
“Noriko,” Shimako’s voice was breathier than usual. “Me too. I want that too.”
When it had started, Noriko thought, she had no idea it would go this far. It was, to be honest, a dare. And not even a dare for her, specifically. She had been in the classroom and a few of the girls had been joking with one of the others, and someone joked that on a dare, she should try to get a kiss from her onee-sama, which had prompted the expected squeals of titillated outrage. And then one of the girls said she’d do it, and so did the other two and they promised to report back the next day.
Noriko, who had been finishing up her homework, hadn’t thought about the dare at all until she had arrived at the Rose Mansion to find Shimako alone. And it just popped into her head, to try and steal a kiss from Shimako.
Noriko considered as she entered the room. How would she do it? She could always go with the “look over there!” gambit, but that was lame. How about sharing food…or maybe just…
Noriko walked over to the table, dropping her schoolbag onto the chair and leaning over Shimako, kissed her quickly.
It was nothing, just a quick brushing of lips, a buss, a peck. But Noriko’s eyes were filled with blood and her heart was bursting out of her chest as she pulled away.
Shimako’s face was pale, her hands covering her lips. “Noriko?”
“I’m sorry…I,” she took a step back. She knew, absolutely, that what she had just done was the worst thing in the world she could have ever done. Not because it was a sin, not because it was wrong, but because she suddenly realized that she wanted to do it again so badly, she might die.
Standing, Shimako faced her, her eyes huge in her face.
The problem, Noriko thought, with getting what you want, is figuring out what to do with it. She and Shimako had danced around each other for days, then weeks, snatching a moment alone here and there, a kiss, an embrace, a gentle touch of skin against skin or tongue against tongue.
The fight was so stupid that it was embarrassing to think about, really.
They were alone in Shimako’s room sitting together at the table, legs intertwined, working on homework.
“Isn’t it funny,” Noriko had joked, “that if I hadn’t kissed you on a dare, we wouldn’t be together?”
Shimako had looked at her strangely. “That wasn’t our real first kiss, though.”
“Of course it was. The first time we kissed.” Noriko looked up at the ceiling. “I want to remember it.”
“That wasn’t,” Shimako emphasized the word, “our first kiss. That was your first kiss. Our first kiss was the one after that.”
Noriko disagreed. “I kissed you – you were involved.”
“But I never kissed back.”
“Shimako-san. Don’t you think that the distinction is a little silly? It was the first time our lips touched. Therefore, it was our…”
“No, it wasn’t.” The usually gentle Shimako had a surprisingly firm tone. “And it’s not silly. Is it silly to want to think of my first kiss as one that I actually participated in?”
“Well, yes. Most girls call it their first kiss when someone else’s lips and theirs’ touch.”
“That’s not what *I* consider a kiss.” Now Shimako’s face was a little dark and Noriko could tell that she was angry. Very angry.
“I’m sorry, Shimako-san, I…”
“No, that’s not good enough. You think it’s all right to take a first kiss without a person’s consent? How would you feel if I had done it to you and walked around telling everyone that that was your first kiss?”
“I…” Noriko took a deep breath. “I wouldn’t be…no, I know, I wouldn’t mind.”
“Well I do.”
“Shimako-san, I’m sorry if I offended you.”
Shimako pulled her legs away and stood abruptly, “That’s not the point. I can’t believe that you, of all people, would be okay with a ‘first kiss’ being taken without being returned.” Her hands clenched. “I’m surprised – and a little disappointed in you, Noriko.” Her lips tightened. “I think maybe you should go home.”
Stunned, Noriko stood. “If you feel that strongly about it, I will.” And she had.
The next few weeks were horrible. The first kiss argument had spilled over into every interaction. Their disagreements divided the Yamayurikai on any number of issues, from the color of the backdrop for the school play, to the approval of a new club. Both sides refused to back down and repeated attempts by Yumi, Yoshino and Rei to play peacemaker had been rebuffed coldly. Only when Sachiko had demanded that they find a way to work together properly, had tempers cooled a little.
But only a little.
Where before they had arranged their schedules to meet anytime they could, now they were avoiding each other like the plague.
Why they had fallen out, no one ever learned. Rumors were rampant, of course, and creative. Touko had come right out and asked, but all Noriko would say was that she and Onee-sama had “disagreed.” Rumor focused on why they didn’t then split; as if that would have been the normal course that any reasonable person would take in the situation.
Noriko was angry. That she would admit. She couldn’t understand why Shimako would discount that first kiss – even if it had been one-sided. It was if she herself was being discounted.
Shimako, impenetrable, as always, made no other reference to the matter. No one would ever come right out and ask her what the fight had been about. Yumi came the closest, but failed in the end to get a satisfactory answer.
It was Shimako who had started it, and it was Shimako who ended it.
Once again alone in the Rose Mansion, she looked up as the door opened. Noriko entered, met Shimako’s eyes and nodded.
“Are you busy this weekend?” Shimako asked – quite out of the blue, Noriko thought. “I thought we’d go to a movie together, if you’d like.”
Noriko thought about it for a moment. “I’d like that.” Then burst into tears. Shimako ran over, put her arms around the younger girl, and they cried together for a while.
And then it was all over.
The park was busy, but they found a place to sit on the edge of a wall looking out at a fountain. Each had a crepe in one hand (chocolate for Noriko, mixed fruit for Shimako) and a can of tea in the other.
“It was totally my fault,” Shimako said. “I’m sorry.”
“I was insensitive,” Noriko suggested, trying to shoulder some of the blame.
“No,” Shimako shook her head. “There was something you didn’t know.” She looked away, her voice small and a little quavery. “It wasn’t *my* first kiss.”
Noriko gaped. “Oh.”
“And the other one, the first one, was just the same as when you…”
And then it all made perfect sense.
“Shimako-san,” Noriko said, smiling. “Can we make a deal? You said you wanted to start over, right?”
Shimako nodded, unsurely.
“Finish up your crepe, drink your tea and come with me.” Noriko bit into the ice cream crepe, moaning as the inevitable brain freeze hit. They ate quickly and steadily, drank their tea and threw away the refuse. Taking Shimako’s hand, Noriko led the way to the subway, laughing.
When they arrived at Noriko’s aunt’s home, they were both laughing. And they laughed as they removed their shoes, greeted Sumireko and politely refused the offer of tea.
When they were alone at last, Noriko took Shimako’s hands in her own.
“Here’s the deal. We start over, right here, right now. And we don’t fight anymore.”
“Deal,” Shimako agreed, with a voice like she was praying.
Hand in hand, they moved towards each other.
For their very first kiss.