Ōkami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi Fanfiction: Okami-san is the True Sweetheart (But Not a True Maid) - 33. Chapter 33
We hit up the nearest crepe stand and sit under a shaded patio outside a shop, just a few blocks from the academy. The flood of questions from the girls squeezes every drop of the story out of me: Jared and Amaterasu, sneaking around at night, the power outage, and obviously, the grand escape. Ringo burst into giggles at Jared’s drunk striptease and Otsu gasped at Ryoshi’s mom and her getting locked in the room. As we talked, my stomach knotted in worry. Ryoshi’s mom… Was she still in the room? Was she coming after us? What about Jared, would he lose his job?
Sensing my uneasiness, Ryoshi’s hand found mine quietly, nestled in the space between our sides on the bench.
“I guess she’s probably still pretty mad,” concluded Ryoshi, “But I know my mom. I guess I believe she’ll understand after she has some time. She respects me.” He glanced at me with a warm smile.
“She knows I belong here. She’s a good person, really—she just… She worries.”
I nod, and Taro says smoothly, “Well, we’ll just have to see. Hey, it’s been a long day and it’s gonna be dark soon. Let’s split.”
“I should be getting home soon too,” admits Ryoshi with a sigh. “I don’t know if I can survive the third degree from Aunt Yukime, she won’t let me get some sleep until I spill everything.”
Disappointment panged my insides, but I smile.
“We’ll see you all at school tomorrow! No one come up missing this time, ‘kay?” The President clasps his hands together. We stand up, and the setting sun casts purple shadows over our faces. Without another word, Liszt turns, hands in pockets, toward home. Alice straightened her glasses, cast a smile over her shoulder, and followed behind him. With a hug, Otsu chased after them, no doubt wanting to clean the HQ for the end of the day. Besides, according to her, Majo had stayed behind to handle requests—so the whole place was probably covered in goo and glitter at best and totally burned down at worst.
“Bye you guys! See you tomorrow!” Otohime enthused with a flutter of her long lashes, Taro’s arm resting on her slim shoulders, and they turned down the street, Otohime’s hair drifting in the twilight breeze. I turn to my best friend, and my… b-…b-…boyfriend. My boyfriend. Ugh, wow. My cheeks flush at the thought, and Ringo’s ruby irises mischievously glint in recognition.
“Okay, Ringo. Let’s go home,” I blurt out, before she can open her mouth.
“Ryoshi? Are you coming along?”
“Sure Ringo.” He glanced at me. “I mean if you want me to.”
Hearing the hesitation in his voice, I blink. Is he scared of me? The punching days are over, he doesn’t have to worry about—
It clicks in my head, and I feel ashamed. Ryoshi isn’t scared of me, he’s scared of scaring me off. I can’t blame him. What if I decided to snap back to my old self as soon as we got back to the city? What if I wasn’t strong enough, and I pushed him back out? I was so busy trying to protect my own heart, in the past I never let myself think about how all those rejects made him feel. No wonder he looked nervous about asking me to actually spend time with him like that.
Well, I was gonna make it up to him. A determination rooted in my heart as I watched him. His brilliant green eyes glowed in the dusk and my chest filled with an intense desire to make him as happy as I possibly could, for as long as I possibly could. You’ll see, Ryoshi. I’m going to let you in as deep as you want, I promise.
“Yeah, of course… I want that.” I gave a smile that hopefully didn’t look too shy.
Ringo let out a squeal, shattering the moment.
“Let’s get you two home! You’re probably still tired from last night’s festivities.” She winked.
“Festivities? What festivities?” I frown.
“Didn’t you two…share a bed at that motel?”
I narrow my eyes. “What are you getting at, Ringo?”
“Don’t make me say it, it’s bad enough Ryoshi took your virginity before I could!” Ringo exclaimed with a whine. I stare in mortification.
“What the—took my-?! No one took anything! And why would you want my virginity, you total weirdo?!”
“He’ll have something with you I’ll never get, naturally I’m jealous!” she snickers.
“We’re not—I mean, there was no—RYOKO HASN’T DONE ANYTHING,” gasps Ryoshi, who’s face is as red as a tomato with embarrassment. I jump in.
“Yeah, Ringo! Jeez.” I duck away so she can’t see how red I am.
“But you want toooooo!”
My eyes dart to Ryoshi and before I can hurt his feelings—
“I mean yes—I mean—GAHHH! SHUT UP RINGO!”
It’s night now, and the only light is from the hallway ceiling bulb outside my shabby dorm room.
Home sweet home.
Ringo slumps against the open doorway’s peeling frame, her eyelids lazily fluttering over tired eyes.
“Phew! I’m going to go inside and make some tea. Then I’m hitting the sheets, ‘kay Ryoko?”
She yawns, and leans forward to hug Ryoshi’s waist.
“Night, Great Hunter.”
Ryoshi chuckles. “Goodnight Ringo. Sleep tight.” And with a whisper of skirts, Ringo disappears inside the room, shutting the door softly behind her.
Ryoshi and I turn to each other. Sleep fights inside our eyes. With every passing moment, the exhaustion of the past few weeks seems to rush at me with open arms, drowning my energy and calming the stress of the day. I take a moment to listen, but the dim hall is silent. Everyone is inside for the evening, and Ryoshi and I are alone in the universe.
“Come here,” Ryoshi commands gently.
I obey. Love and tiredness have disabled my self control, and I stand only a few inches from him.
His hands caress my sides, and I quietly slump against him. God, he’s so warm. The fabric of his cotton T-shirt feels nice against my cheek, and I absent-mindedly clutch a small handful of it against his strong chest. He breathes deep, in and out, and I’m conscious of nothing but the closeness and warmth, and how secure his arms are, Ryoshi, my protector and my safe place. I tip my head up. He’s nearly my height, just a little bit taller, and our eyes are locked, until his drift downward, only a little. My mouth.
My eyes flutter sleepily, and I yawn.
“M’sorry. I’m…I’m so…” Drunk, I think. Drunk on exhaustion and endorphins and Ryoshi’s warm warm everything, and my warm, warm feelings and it feels so amazing.
“Hey,” he whispers, and I can feel his breath, “Leave it to me.” Leave it to me, I think tiredly. How long have I been waiting for someone to tell me, Leave it to me. You can come to my arms and be yourself. Yes, Ryoko. Come here. You just put the wolf’s clothing down on the floor. My heart floods with happiness.
Something stirs in my head. Have we done this before?
“Leave it to me,” he whispers,
“I know how to wake a sleeping princess.”
And then his warm, soft lips meet mine, and just like that, he’s woken me up.