Story: Crossing Paths (chapter 7)

Authors: Shanejayell

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Chapter 7

Title: Chapter 7: Final

Crossing Paths


Yukino finished up her presentation to the Student Council, a revision of the campus police idea they had discussed earlier. She lowered her papers and nodded to Reito and Alyssa, then sat down as she looked up to meet Erstin’s warm gaze, the secretary having already finished with her own note taking.

‘There’s something different about her,’ Yukino found herself thinking, ‘like she knows something... or made some kind of decision.’ There was a certain kind of certainty in her gaze, and Yukino rather liked that.

“Do you have any suggestions for membership in this new police force?” Reito asked, the black haired man smiling slightly.

“I was thinking of asking several reliable individuals,” Yukino answered him promptly from memory, “such as Natsuki Kuga, Tate Yuuichi and others. We’ll also take volunteers from the executive too.”

“I’ll pass this on to Fumi,” Reito said thoughtfully, “and possibly we’ll be able to make these paid positions too.”

Alyssa looked thoughtful, “I may ask Miyu if she wants to apply too.”

The remainder of the week’s student council business was soon wrapped up, and Reito called the meeting to a close. “Good work,” walking over to Yukino Reito said, “a very professional report. I think Fumi will like it.”

“Thank you,” Yukino answered him, “I’m sure Erstin and the others will appreciate hearing that too.”

Reito looked over Yukino’s shoulder at something and smiled impishly as he drawled, “I think I’ll catch you later.”

“Huh?” Yukino blinked as she felt a gentle touch on her arm.

Erstin smiled as the smaller blonde stood close to her, and Yukino felt a odd twinge in her belly as she picked up the soft sent drifting over from her. “Yukino,” she asked her quietly, “are you busy?”

“Yes...” Yukino started, feeling oddly confused then she shook herself, “no, I mean, no I’m not busy at all.”

“Good,” Erstin said as she took Yukino’s hand in her’s, the two of them making their way out to the hallway outside the student council room, “I was wondering if you’d like to go out to dinner tonight?”

Yukino blinked at Erstin’s surprisingly serious tone, “To talk about the campus police? I guess we could hash out...”

“No, I mean out to dinner, together,” Erstin said firmly, “no business, just you and I.” Her smile was suddenly a bit more tentative and shy, “Please?”

Yukino felt her cheeks color a bit but she smiled back at Erstin as she agreed, “All right, let’s go out. Where to?”

“Ah...,” Erstin blinked as she laughed sheepishly, “I hadn’t gotten that far.”

Yukino chuckled warmly, not in a mocking way as she said, “I can sympathise.” She debated saying anything more as they walked then said, “I was thinking of asking you out, too... but I couldn’t get up the nerve.”

Erstin smiled up at her, “Really?”

“Really, really,” Yukino nodded as she moved to push the door open for her.

“Thank you,” Erstin smiled, the two of them walking outside the school as the sun began to dip on the horizon. She shook her head wryly, “I’d like to suggest something a bit more romantic than the Linden Baum, but...”

“It is late,” Yukino agreed. They walked together down the street as she said, “You seemed very... forceful for a moment there.”

Erstin blushed. “Ah... I kind of went to Aoi for some advice,” she confessed.

Yukino chuckled, “I talked with Natsuki a few days ago.” She smiled at the memory, “I suspect you got better advice than I did.”

“Oh?” Erstin looked curious as they made their way off the main campus and out towards the small town of Fuka nearby.

Yukino smiled wryly, “Most of her suggestions involved borrowing a leather jacket and bike and sweeping you off your feet.”

Erstin’s mind nearly boggled at trying to imagine Yukino all decked out in Natsuki’s biker gear. “Somehow,” she confessed, “I don’t think it would suit you.”

Yukino chuckled, the two pausing outside the brightly lit Linden Baum, “No, it wouldn’t... though sometimes I wish it would.”

“You shouldn’t say that,” Erstin reached out to stop her from going in, “the things I like about you are your kindness, your warmth, how smart you are...” she blushed, “and how pretty you are too.”

“I’m not used to people calling me pretty,” Yukino smiled as she looked down at Erstin, “but thank you.” Looking down she realized she was looking right at Erstin’s full breasts and looked up only to meet Erstin’s amused gaze.

Clearly un-bothered by the inadvertant stare Erstin offered her hand, “Let’s go in?”

“Let’s,” Yukino took her hand and they walked in. Clearly Erstin was someone who was aware and reasonably comfortable in her body, a trait Yukino sometimes lacked.

The inside of Linden Baum was thankfully not too crowded, and the two young women headed for a corner table by a window. Outside the trees shifted under a breeze, the fading light shining through the branches. Inside the American styled table and cushioned benches were comfortable as they sat across from each other, smiling.

“Hello Yukino,” Akane said cheerfully as she appeared, notebook in hand, “what’ll you be having tonight?”

Both women placed their orders and Akane hurried off, her red skirt swirling in the breeze. “By the way,” Erstin said quietly, “I’m paying tonight.”

“You don’t have to...,” Yukino started to protest.

Erstin looked at her earnestly, “I asked you out and I planned to pay anyway.”

Yukino tilted her head as she studied Erstin and smiled, “All right, but next time we split the bill, okay?”

“Okay,” Erstin smiled, glad to know that Yukino was planning for a second night out.

“Here you go,” Akane dropped their plates off gracefully as she added, “If you need anything else, just ask.”

Yukino looked amused as Akane left the table and she whispered, “Dim lights and candles, maybe?”

Erstin chuckled softly as classic rock music played in the background, “And some nice, romantic music, too.”

Yukino reached out to squeeze her hand, “Well, we can always use our imagination.”

Erstin blushed faintly as she confessed, “You don’t want to know what’s been going on in my imagination lately.”

Yukino smiled warmly, her glasses gleaming as she asked, “Oh really?”

Erstin shook her head, “Not telling.”

“Is it as bad as Natsuki and Shizuru’s antics?” Yukino asked, winking.

“Well...” Erstin blushed as she quickly changed the subject, both of them talking together with surprising ease.

Yukino chuckled again, once again faintly astonished at how much she enjoyed being with the younger woman. It was such a different feeling than the adoration she had experienced with Haruka, always feeling like she was a step behind her energetic friend. Looking back on it Yukino was beginning to realize that the love she had felt for Haruka had mostly been admiring a older, more confident friend rather than romantic love.

Yukino was reluctant to bring it up, but she felt obligated. “Erstin,” she said in a pause of conversation, “you know I’m a older, mentor figure to you and I’m...”

“You’re worried I’m letting simple admiration get the better of me,” Erstin finished, smiling a little wryly.

“Already had this conversation?” Yukino guessed, smiling.

“My friend Arika brought it up,” Erstin said as she took a drink. She smiled at Yukino, “And I’ve thought about it a lot, too. All I can say is that I can tell the difference between hero worship and love, and I’m certain of what I’m feeling.”

“I can accept that,” Yukino agreed as she reached out to gently stroke the girl’s hand reassuringly.

“Hi there,” Mai Tokhia walked up to the table with a apologetic smile, “I hate to interrupt but it’s getting near closing.”

“Sorry,” Erstin said a bit sheepishly.

Yukino looked down, realizing she and Erstin had cleared their plates a while ago, so captured by their conversation she hadn’t noticed. “Sorry to keep you,” Yukino said as she and Erstin got up.

“Akane didn’t want to interrupt,” Mai winked, “so we held off as long as we could.”

Erstin smiled through her blush, adding a extra tip for Akane as she paid for their meal, “Thank you very much.”

Yukino and Erstin were quiet as they walked to the dorms, each one wrapped in their thoughts. “I had a really good time tonight,” Yukino said as they stopped in front of Erstin’s building.

“Me, too,” Erstin agreed, “would you... like to come in?”

Yukino hesitated, torn between common sense and desire. “Not tonight,” she said as she brushed Erstin’s hair back, “but would you like to join me for dinner tomorrow?”

“I’d love to,” Erstin smiled, accepting that Yukino wanted to take things slow, then tilted her head back and closed her eyes.

Taking the cue Yukino bent forward, kissing her gently like she had wanted to do for weeks. “Wow...” she murmured, reluctantly pulling back.

Erstin nodded, her cheeks flushed. “See you tomorrow,” she smiled as she stroked Yukino’s cheek then turned and walked into her dorm.

“See you then,” Yukino agreed, wishing she was not quite so noble. ‘Still, there’s always tomorrow,’ she thought as she walked home, smiling. Somehow, she got the odd feeling that after all the trouble she had ended up exactly where she needed to be...


Notes: Yes, I could draw this out a few more chapters and drop them in bed together, but I thought their first date was a good point to wrap it up. They’re on the way to being together and probably the worst they have to look forward to is Nao’s snarky comments about Yukino cradle robbing.

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