“So,” Reito Kanzaki smiled as the black haired president of the student council walked by Yukino’s side, “has Chie gotten out of the dog house yet?”
Yukino smiled wryly, her short brown hair giving her a boyish look. “Well, I think Aoi has finally calmed down,” she said as she pushed up her glasses, “though I expect Erstin won’t be talking to her for a long time to come.”
“Poor child,” Reito nodded. He looked concerned as he waved charmingly to several students, “Is there anything I can do?”
Yukino shook her head gravely as she answered, “Not unless you have a miracle cure for a broken heart.”
“Well, I think all of us could use something like that at one time or another,” Reito noted just a bit sadly.
Yukino looked up at him in surprise, but Reito’s expression was largely unreadable. ‘I wonder if he was more serious about Mai than I thought?’ she mused as they left the school halls and went out into the open air.
“Yukino-sempai,” Erstin Ho smiled as she saw them coming, the younger blonde waiting as promised by the front doors.
“Excuse me,” Reito hid a smile as he slipped away.
“You don’t need to call me that,” Yukino reminded her, even though she was secretly a bit tickled that a fellow student viewed her as a upperclassman. Especially from a girl that was actually a bit taller than she was.
“Sorry,” Erstin blushed cutely.
‘Nina Wang,’ Yukino thought as she met the girl’s kind gaze, ‘is a idiot.’ She smiled as she asked, “Lunch in the cafeteria?”
“I’d like that,” Erstin agreed. As they walked along she looked over at Yukino, “I don’t suppose you know why the rumors have suddenly stopped?”
‘Uh oh,’ Yukino thought, silently debating what to say. Deciding honesty was the best policy she confessed, “I had a word with Chie, and she’s putting her network to work on squashing the story.”
“Thank you,” Erstin said softly. She made a face as she added, “Chie came to me and apologized too.”
“Good,” Yukino nodded.
While she talked a faint smile tugged at Erstin’s lips, “Rumor says that Aoi refused to talk to her till she did.”
“I’m not sure it was quite that bad,” Yukino said wryly, “but Aoi was certainly annoyed with her.” They entered the busy cafeteria, both collecting their favorite items before heading to a table. “How are things in class?” she asked.
“Better than I was expecting,” Erstin conceded as she snapped her wooden chopsticks apart. “I think having Shizuru and her fans here has made people a little more accepting than they might otherwise be.”
‘I sometimes underestimate her brains, then she says something like that,’ Yukino mused. A bit tentatively she asked, “And Nina?”
Erstin swallowed her soup uncomfortably, her face pained. “We’re still not talking,” she softly admitted.
Yukino reached out to pat Erstin’s hand gently. “Sometimes it takes a while for people to adapt,” she offered.
“Do you really think so?” Erstin gave Yukino a searching look, her eyes filled with lingering pain.
Yukino debated what she should say then answered quietly, “When my sempai found out about my feelings for her, it created problems but we did get over it.”
“Haruka-san?” Erstin guessed.
“Hmm.” Yukino nodded slightly, “Has the rumor been circulating again?”
A faint blush colored Erstin’s cheeks, “I was sort of told it by a friend when they heard I was working with you.”
“Warned away from the evil lesbian?” Yukino looked amused rather than offended by the whole idea.
“I think so,” Erstin blushed cutely.
“Heh,” Yukino actually chuckled softly.
“It was Nina who warned me,” Erstin looked thoughtfully off into the distance, “I wonder if that means something?”
Deciding it might be best to change the topic Yukino asked, “Did you have a chance to write up the notes for yesterday’s meeting?”
Much more cheerfully they talked business for a bit, including a bit of student council gossip too. Chatting with Erstin Yukino noted how the girl’s eyes could sparkle, her naturally cheery manner overcoming her lingering sorrow to brighten up the room.
“Uh oh,” Erstin murmured, a slight smile on her face as she saw who had entered.
Turning a bit in her chair Yukino saw Mai and Mikoto enter the room, then swiftly realized she had earlier seen Tate and Shiho cuddling at a corner table. “How annoyed is Mikoto at Tate right now?” she mused.
“Ah, quite a bit I heard,” Erstin admitted.
“I’d better go intercept her,” Yukino sighed, getting up and briskly heading over to where Mai and Mikoto were walking through the crowded cafeteria.
Erstin watched her go, once again struck by Yukino’s confident, bold manner. Yet she also had a sweet, gentle side totally at odds with being the head of the executive and the doer of dirty work for the student council. In the two months Erstin had known Yukino she had always taken the time to help, even when she probably had things of her own to do too.
‘Like with Mai now,’ Erstin mused as Yukino and Mai talked, the shorter woman doing her best to fend off a possible scene that would have gotten both couples in trouble.
“That was close,” Yukino sighed as she returned.
“Oh?” Erstin blinked.
“Mikoto had her practice sword with her and fully intended to use it on Tate’s head,” Yukino explained with a wry smile.
“Her versus Tate would be a sight to see,” Erstin noted.
An odd look passed over Yukino’s face, almost like she was remembering something. “Trust me,” she said as she polished off her meal, “Tate wouldn’t stand a chance.”
“Oh?” Erstin asked but Yukino just shook her head with a mysteious smile on her face.
“Well well,” the voice purred from behind Yukino, “isn’t she a bit young for you?”
“Nao,” Yukino said flatly as she turned.
Nao Yuuki wore the same sort of uniform as everyone her grade, yet somehow the redhead made it look sexier as she looked at them with wicked implications in her smirk. “Though I must admit,” Nao added as she looked Erstin over, “you have good taste.”
“Rein in your imagination,” Yukino gave Nao a surprisingly dangerous look, “we’re collegues on the student council.” A smile teased her lips as she looked over at Erstin a moment, “And friends.”
“Too bad,” Nao looked amused, “think of the stories that would spread if you caught her on the rebound.”
“Miss Yuuki,” Erstin frowned.
“What do you want, Nao?” Yukino said, trying not to let on how much the redhead was annoying her. ‘Would it be abusing my powers as head of the Executive if I had Chie investigate her? I’m sure we could find something to charge her for,’ she thought.
Nao smiled a very catlike smile. “I’m just here to see a friend,” she nodded towards Mikoto, “and thought I’d say hi.” She smiled as she sauntered away, “Bye!”
“Is she always like that?” Erstin asked after a long moment of silence.
“Occasionally,” Yukino admitted, “though not so often since she became a nun.”
“She’s a nun?!” Erstin looked disbelieving.
“I think she’s Sister Yukariko’s current redemption project,” Yukino shrugged wryly.
“That’s going to take some work,” Erstin murmured.
To be continued...