Inter-High Intermission, part 2
Wednesday June 9th;
It was the second day of midterms and Class 1-C was almost finished with their Math midterm. Thanks to recent tech, they were taking their exams with Tablet Computers. When they were finished, they were to send their exams to the one held by Mai. If they didn't finish before the period ended, a program would automatically send it to Mai's tablet, whether they were finished or not. Chloe was the only one in class not having to take the midterms, since she had only just arrived.
"Finished." Keiko thought as she sent her finished test to Mai. Math was one of Keiko's better subjects
"Five minutes to go everyone." said Mai
"I wonder how the kids are doing. Elementary kids don't have midterms." Keiko took a look at the clock on her smartphone "Hiroki doesn't have another match until Saturday. Koichi's first match, on the other hand, has ended by now. Sorry I couldn't be there, little brother."
Just then, Keiko received a text from Koichi. She had muted her phone before the start of the exam"'We won! 6-2 \(^o^)/!'" The text said
"Good job!" Keiko thought
There was a groan through half the class as the bell rang, the signal meaning that the exam was over.
"Make sure you study for the last ones for tomorrow." said Mai as everyone got up to leave
"Kei-chan, wanna head somewhere before going home?" Yuki asked
"Hiroki asked me to meet up with him." Keiko replied "Wanna come?"
"Can I come too?" Chloe asked
"Why not." said Keiko
"Saito-kun?" Yuki asked
"Sorry girls, I gotta go get Michiru." said Saito "Knowing her, she's probably having a nerve breakdown. Say 'hi' to Hiroki-kun for me."
"See ya then." Keiko called after Saito. Down in the shoe locker room "I got a text from Koichi. His team won, 6-2." Keiko told the girls
"That's great!" said Yuki as they changed their shoes
"Hiroki, Koichi, are those your brothers?" Chloe asked
"Yeah. You've seen Hiroki before though. He was that boy who came to cheer me on at our match together."
"I remember. I'm guessing those two girls with him that day were your sisters?"
"The one with light brown hair was Ryo, Hiroki's twin. Michiru, the one who had black hair, is Saito's little sister."
"Speaking of Ryo-chan," said Yuki as they walked out of the building "Where's she today? Are we meeting her along with Hiroki-kun?"
"No," said Keiko as they exited the school gates "Ryo's most likely with Michiru, trying to keep her calm about the midterms. We're just meeting Hiroki today. Mostly because he wants to introduce me to his girlfriend."
"When did he get a girlfriend?"
"Apparently, the same day as my match with France."
Meanwhile, in town, Hiroki and Saki were at a family restaurant waiting for Keiko.
"It's so unusual for you to ask me out like this, Hiroki-kun." said Saki "What's the occasion?"
"Mostly, I wanted to introduce you to someone." Hiroki replied
"How do you think you did on the midterm?" Saki asked
"Not bad I guess. Congratulations on getting first place last week."
"You've said that already. Thanks for coming to cheer me on."
"No problem. I guess your family issues aren't bothering you anymore?"
"No, they aren't. I'm having issues with my new sister though. I guess it's because I now have you to keep me happy. Congratulations on last Sunday's game. You're a great Keeper."
"Are you kids ready to order?" the waitress asked
"Shall we order while we're waiting?" Hiroki asked "My treat."
"Sure. I'll have a small hamburger steak." Saiki told the waitress "Milk to go with it."
"Same here." said Hiroki
"Two hamburger steaks with milk. I'll be back shortly." The waitress took her leave
"Wait a minute, can you even afford to pay for those?" Saki asked, making Hiroki flinch "Irresponsible."
"I can pay, I swear!"
"Pay for what?" said Keiko. She, Yuki and Chloe had turned up
"Oh my gosh!" said Saki when she realized it was Keiko
"Nee-chan, Yuki-nee-chan, You're early." said Hiroki as Keiko and Yuki sat down next to him, while Chloe sat next to Saki "Aren't you that Lafayette player?"
"You remember me, huh? said Chloe "Yes, that's me. I just transferred to your big sister's school."
"So this is your girlfriend?" said Yuki
"Saki Takasugi, isn't it?" Keiko asked
"Y-y-y-y-yes! I-I-I-I-I-I'm S-S-S-S-Saki Takasugi. Hiroki-k-, er, -san's girlfriend." Saki told her nervously
"What are you so nervous for?" Keiko asked
"She's big fan of yours actually." Hiroki told her
"I see. You don't need to be so nervous or formal. You don't need to call Hiroki 'san' in front of me."
"O-of course, A-Aizawa-san." said Saki
"You don't need to be formal with me either. You're my brother's girlfriend, you can just call me 'Keiko' or 'Onee-chan'."
"I-I can't do that!"
"Your orders, kids." said the waitress, who just returned and placed the two steaks in front of Hiroki and Saki "Anything for you ladies?"
"Yuki? Chloe?" Keiko asked
"A banana parfait." said Chloe
"Make that three." Keiko and Yuki said in unison
"Three banana parfaits. I'll be back." the waitress left again
"So, Saki, I hear you're on the Swim Team." said Keiko
"Y-yes." Saki replied
"Saki-chan's team had a meet last week, and she won first place in the Freestyle event, earning the 'Rookie of the Year' title." said Hiroki "It was amazing. And to think she was worried about her times."
"You were there?" Yuki asked
"Uh-huh. It was incredible! I've never seen anyone swim that fast. She even beat her best time. She was like a mermaid!"
"Hiroki-kun," said Saki, who's face was going red "I really appreciate the compliments, but could you please not talk as if I'm not here."
"Oh! Sorry, Saki-chan."
"Sacrebleu, you say she was the fastest there?" said Chloe, eyeing Saki's chest "With those jugs, I'm amazed the resistance didn't slow her down."
"Seriously." said Yuki "You've gotta be the same size as Ryo-chan and these two."
"I-it's not my fault!" Saki, who's face was getting redder, cried, covering her chest with her arms "Halfway through 6th Grade, they just... grew."
"Same as Ryo. Her's really started growing halfway through 6th grade as well" Keiko thought as the waitress returned with their parfaits "Alright you two, don't tease her." Keiko told Yuki and Chloe, then realized Hiroki's face was red as well "What's with you?"
"I am a guy you know." said Hiroki "Please don't say things that will incite my fantasies."
"Pervert." said Saki
"I am not! Also, Nee-chan, I was thinking Saki-chan could also teach you how to swi-"
"We're not gonna talk about that!" Keiko told Hiroki, rubbing the sides of his head with her knuckles
"I'm sorry!" Hiroki cried
"You can't swim?" Saki asked when Keiko stopped punishing Hiroki
"(sigh) No, I can't." Keiko admitted while starting on her parfait "But we're not gonna talk about that."
Yuki gave the girls a look that told them it was pointless to pry further.
After they finished eating, Yuki paying the bill, the five of them took a stroll around town.
"So how did you two get together?" Yuki asked as they walked
"It's a bit of a funny story actually." said Hiroki "The day after you and Nee-chan left for training camp, I confessed to Saki-chan, but she rejected me."
"You rejected him?!" Keiko snapped at Saki
"It wasn't what I wanted to do, honest." Saki replied "But, it was so sudden, I didn't know what else to say. But the following day, as we were coming back from watching your match, Hiroki-kun, along with Ryo-san and Shirayuki-senpai, saved me from being assaulted by a bunch of delinquent high school girls, and I confessed my own feelings. I've had a crush on Hiroki-kun since 4th grade, but I was too shy to act on it."
"Two peas in a pod." said Keiko sweetly
"What do you mean by that?" Hiroki asked
"So how far do you think those two've gone?" Yuki whispered to Keiko
"What are you talking about? They're only 12." Keiko whispered back
"I know, but they seem to be pretty close already, they're even holding hands." Keiko glanced behind her and saw that Hiroki and Saki were indeed holding hands. "Think they might've kissed yet?"
"What part of 'they're only 12' did you not get?" Keiko whispered fiercely
"Whatever." Yuki whispered back, she then noticed that Chloe looked a bit tense "Something wrong, Chloe?" Yuki asked
"I just feel like we're being watched." Chloe replied
"By who?" Saki asked
"(sigh) My brother. He's been stalking me since Monday."
"He's determined to take you back to France, isn't he?" said Keiko
"It's not like he doesn't have a legitimate reason. He's already been working his way into politics for months. He wants to be a future President of France, leaving me to be the successor to our father's company." Chloe explained "But, if I don't go home, he'll have to succeed our father instead, and that will ruin his chances of being a politician. He was serious when he said that father will disown and disinherit me."
"That's why you left." said Yuki "And here you said that it was because Les Bleues was boring."
"I wasn't lying when I said that. But there's one more reason." said Chloe
"What's that?" Hiroki asked
"An arranged marriage. If I go home, I'll have to marry the son of an affiliated corporation."
"That's a good reason to leave." said Keiko
"Tell me about it."
"What's going on over there?" Saki asked, referring to the apartment building in front of them. Someone was moving things out of the building
"That's that apartment building I'm living in." said Chloe. They then went over to see what was going on. "Mr. Landlord. What's going on?" Chloe asked
"It's 'manager' now, not 'landlord' anymore." said the manager "These are your belongings. Your brother just bought the building and ordered that you be evicted."
"WHAT!?" the five of them shouted
"I'm sorry, Ms. Lafayette." said the manager
"Sacrebleu! Leon you fiend! Resorting to dirty tricks to get me to go back to France!"
"The bigger issue is that you now have nowhere to stay." said Yuki "And I doubt you'll be able to afford a hotel for very long."
"I know." Chloe groaned "What am I gonna do?"
"Um," said Keiko, catching everyone's attention "If I might be so bold...."
Later at the Aizawa residence;
"So there you have it." said Keiko when she finished explaining Chloe's situation to her parents
"In that case, you're welcome to stay here, Chloe." said Kakeru
"You sure this is okay?" Chloe asked nervously "I don't wanna impose."
"It's no problem at all." said Nana earnestly "We have a free room that we use for guests, it's really no trouble."
"Well, if it's really okay, I guess I'll take you up on your offer."
"That settles it!" said Yuki
"Definitely. From today on, you're part of the family." said Keiko.
"Welcome!" Hiroki and Koichi said in unison
"I'm touched. Thanks a lot." said Chloe, then noticed that Saki, who had come to the Aizawa house with them, seemed to be rather tense "What's with you?" Chloe asked Saki
"It's just, when I woke up today, I didn't think I'd be introduced to Hiroki-kun's family." said Saki
"We've been wanting to meet you, Saki-chan." said Nana "You're cuter than Hiroki described."
"Being his girlfriend must be rough." said Kakeru
"Dad!" Hiroki exclaimed
"It isn't, really!" Saki said hastily "Hiroki-kun's been really good to me, really!"
"Calm down, I was just kidding." said Kakeru, as they heard the front door open and close, followed by Ryo's voice
"I'm home!" Ryo called, then entered the living room a second later, Michiru behind her
"And I'm here too!" said Michiru
The both of them then noticed that there were a few guests
"Saki-chan, Yuki-nee, you're here as well?" Ryo asked
"Aren't you...?" Michiru inquired to Chloe
"Yes, yes, I'm Chloe Lafayette." said Chloe
"And starting today, she's going to be living with us." said Kakeru
"Really?" Ryo inquired
"I've got no place else to go, and you're sister was kind enough to offer me to stay here." Chloe explained
"Where's Saito-kun?" Yuki inquired as Ryo and Michiru sat down
"Yeah, we were sure he'd be with you." said Keiko
"He was earlier, but he had to go home to take care of Onee-chan." said Michiru
"'Take care of her?' Isn't she 20?" Keiko asked
"She's blind and paraplegic from the waist down, remember?" said Michiru
"Right. Then, what are you doing here?"
"Ryo-chan offered me to spend the night."
"Can she?" Ryo asked her parents
"I don't see why not." said Kakeru
"What about you, Saki-chan?" Nana asked "Wanna stay over tonight?"
"I'd love too, but I'll have to call and ask my mom first." Saki replied
"Then, with that out of the way, I should get going." said Yuki as she stood up
"You're leaving already?" said Nana "You can stay for dinner you know."
"I know, but we have one more day of midterms tomorrow, and I'm not gonna get any studying done if I stick around. Girls, kids, c'ya tomorrow." they heard the door open as they heard Yuki's voice once more "Oh, welcome back, Mito-san."
"Thanks. Leaving?" they heard Mito say
"I am. See ya."
they then heard the door close and Mito walked into the room
"You come around here pretty often even though moved out a few years ago." said Kakeru
"Even though I don't live here anymore, it's still my home." Mito replied in a surly voice
"So what brings you here this time?" Nana asked
"Oh nothing. I just broke up with my boyfriend."
"Again?" the Aizawas chorused
"Geez, aunt Mito," said Keiko as she and the girls all took a bath together after dinner. Keiko and Ryo were having a furo, while Chloe, Saki and Michiru were in the tub "She goes through more men than a prostitute does. How many does that make? Ten?"
"Fourteen." Ryo, who was shampooing Shiro on her lap, corrected her "Nine break-ups, and five cancelled marriages, in just two years."
"Five? She's such a player. Ha!" said Chloe
"Don't talk that way about her!" Keiko and Ryo said in unison
"Sorry, sorry. Thanks again for the room. Is it really all right for me to stay in there?"
"Chloe, we've been through this already." said Keiko, now applying shampoo to her hair "It's perfectly fine. That's what our guest room is for."
"Which reminds me, didn't Papa say that used to be uncle Suguru's room?" Ryo asked while rinsing Shiro's fur
"That was twenty-six years ago, before we were born, before he passed away." Keiko told her, suddenly remembering Silva's claim that she was Suguru's reincarnation, but she quickly put it out of her mind.
"That's quite a long time." said Chloe "What about sleeping arrangements tonight?"
"Your room only has one bed, and we have no futons, so you three can share with Ryo and I tonight. You'll sleep in my bed with me, Saki and Michiru can share with Ryo."
"As for sleepwear," said Ryo "Chloe-san has her own, but as for you two, we have some spares, so do you want pajamas or a nightie?"
"I sleep completely nude." said Michiru
"It's true." said Keiko, knowing that Michiru was a nudist
"I'm not gonna ask." said Chloe
"Saki-chan?" Ryo asked
"I'll have a nightie." said Saki
"Alright then." said Keiko
Chloe then noticing that Saki was staring wide-eyed at Shiro "Admiring Ryo's cat?"
"She's just... so cute." said Saki
"Isn't he?" said Ryo holding Shiro up to see better "And, by the way, it's a boy."
"Right. Also, is it really all right for me to be here?"
"What are you so concerned about?" Keiko asked "We're all girls here."
"Though you and I usually take baths with the boys." said Ryo
"You mean Hiroki-kun has already seen girls' naked bodies?!" Saki exclaimed surprised "Then why is he so bashful around me?"
"Don't tell me that you wanted to take a bath alone with him." said Chloe
"What?! No no no no, there's no way I can show my naked body to him!"
"You're right." said Keiko slyly "You'd probably give him a nosebleed."
"Please, don't tease me."
"By the way, what was that phone call with your mom earlier about? She said that you could stay the night, didn't she?" Keiko inquired
"She did, but...."
"But what?" Ryo asked while drying Shiro
"I had to leave out the part that I'm staying with boys, and that I'm dating Hiroki-kun."
"Why?" Chloe inquired
"She... doesn't like boys." Saki admitted "She's paranoid that I might get pregnant if I get too close to one. If she found out about my relationship with him, she'd force us apart."
"That reminds me," said Ryo "aren't you parents divorcing?"
"Hiroki-kun told you, didn't he?" Saki inquired after a pause "Even though I asked him not to."
"No, I kinda figured it out based on what those girls who assaulted you said."
"(sigh) They are. The divorce was made official just the other day, and dad's moving to Hiroshima with his new woman. One of the girls who tried to hurt me, who tried to take out her frustration about the new union out on me, was Yukita Sagami (雪田 相模). My soon-to-be stepsister."
"You've got it rough, don't you?" said Chloe
"I do. Now can we please stop talking about this?"
"Alright, alright." said Chloe, then noticed Michiru had been scowling for some time "What's that look for?"
"You and Keiko-chan are at least two years older than me, so it's understandable. Onee-chan's twenty, so she's understandable as well. But, I'm at least a year older than these two runts!" Michiru let out with her hand over her nipples "Why is it that they have bigger boobs than mine?!" Keiko and Chloe both let out sniggers at this "It is not funny!"
"Just let it go." said Ryo "Leave the impossible alone."
"Anyway, Aizawa-sa-" Keiko went "eh-hem!" gave Saki a piercing look "I mean... Onee-san?"
"It's an improvement." said Keiko
"Don't we have more midterms tomorrow?" Saki asked "Shouldn't we be studying?" This question suddenly caused gloom to spread into the bath "Oh dear. What subjects do you have tomorrow?"
"1-C has English." said Chloe "Shouldn't be too hard for you."
"Waddya mean 'too hard'? It's my worst subject!" Keiko cried
"But you can speak English fine." Chloe said in English
"Just barely." Keiko said in English as well, then reverted back to Japanese "But reading and writing English is a whole 'nother matter."
"Kei-nee just barely avoided failing English for the last two years." said Ryo
"You didn't need to tell them that!" Keiko cried
"Don't worry, Keiko." said Chloe, speaking Japanese again "I'm very fluent in English literacy, and I can help you study."
"I'm forever grateful." said Keiko holding her hands in a Shinto prayer
"Drop the crybaby act already."
"What about you, Shirayuki-senpai?" Saki asked
"First of all; call me by my first name. Second; I've got Math. Why does it have to be math?"
"Suck at it?" Ryo asked
"I'm pretty good at math. I can help." said Saki
"Saki-chan!" Michiru cried while hugging Saki "You're the best!"
"No problem, Shira- I mean.... Michiru-senpai."
Outside the door;
"Sounds like those girls are getting along well." Kakeru said to Nana. The pair of them had been eavesdropping on them for some time.
"Think we'll survive having another girl in the house?" Nana asked
"I'm sure we'll manage. Shall we take a bath together ourselves later?"
"I know what you want." said Nana, then giving Kakeru a kiss "But wear protection. We've got enough kids in this house."