Love Letter Lovelies 7:
by C.M. Lacey
Bursting into Shiho's bedroom, bringing in all the cheerful rays of sunshine that the world had to offer was Makoto Ozawa. She had proclaimed her sing-song greeting in her best English, which of course was thick with an accent. All that could be forgiven because the girl was bounding in with such happiness and energy that it was endearing. Never mind that it was way too early in the morning to suddenly get tackled by the girl, she just was too sweet to rebuke.
"Mako-chan, it's 6:15 in the morning." Another voice followed the bouncing girl who now was straddling Shiho on her bed.
"It's Christmas, Kaede!" Makoto said, even though the actual day was half a week away. "I'm so excited!"
"Yeah well, tone it down! You're a not kid anymore, baby-sis." Another voice called from behind Kaede. It was obvious that Makoto's sister, Nori, had come down from Tokyo as well.
Shiho gave a small laugh, and rubbed her eyes. Turning to the door, she saw the stoic actress in question, offering an apologetic expression to the bed-ridden Shiho, but still had that small barely there Kaede-smile. She looked different than she had a few months ago, but even in Shiho's groggy mind she knew that Kaede most likely was wearing a wig, glasses, and ball-cap as a disguise in order to sneak away from fans. If Kaede was hoping to be stealthy, dragging along the ever hyper Makoto and her older sister wasn't exactly the best tactic.
"Mako-chan, if you keep jumping up and down on me in bed, I might attack you." Shiho warned.
"Go ahead punk! Make my day!" Makoto spoke in a lower tone, returning back to her horrific English.
"Oh! That's it!"
With that Shiho burst forward and grabbed Makoto on her sides and tickled her. As predicted, the girl flopped over, giggling like mad. Pouncing on top of her, Shiho kept tickling her until Makoto cried uncle. If Nori or Kaede though this was improper or immature, they didn't say anything. They were too busy laughing. Makoto somehow always could bring the kid out in people.
"Now that you're up, you might want to put on some bottoms." Nori pointed out. "Unless you plan on flashing your panties to the world."
"If I knew I was going to be attacked first thing in the morning, I would have warn pajamas." Shiho joked as she got off Makoto.
"Sorry about my sister. Typically 'Good Morning' is enough to wake up a person."
Makoto stuck her tongue out at Nori, then climbed off the bed. Even though she was still in a playful mood, she had gotten the point to calm down. Even being rebuked though, she skipped over to Shiho's dresser and started rooting around. If it had been anyone other than the Lovelies, Shiho might have complained, but instead she just sat up and reached for her glasses on the night stand.
"We used a private jet to come here." Nori explained, as if Shiho had asked. "Kaede-chan is so famous now, we had too. We landed in Nikko and rented a car for the rest of the way. Even still, I'm worried that word might leak out that she's home. I mean, how many people use jets to travel to Nikko?"
"Don't worry about it. Jessie used a plane to get from Tokyo to here a few times." Makoto stated, the paused. She had said the 'J' word.
"It's fine." Shiho reassured her bubbly alarm clock. "You're allowed to say her name. It's not like I'll burst into tears whenever she's brought up."
Making a doubtful expression, it was clear Kaede thought different.
"Sarah's really helped me out, Kaede-chan, I'm fine… really."
That seemed to be enough for her, though if she objected she didn't have time for it. Makoto was back with a set of clothes. "Hurry up! Get dressed! It's Christmas!"
"Geez, she's at it again." Nori moaned.
Makoto's holiday spirit was infectious as once Shiho had gotten dressed, then had some morning tea, she felt just as excited. After waking Shiho up, Makoto dashed into Yui's room and tackled her. Yui literally screamed and started swinging madly, almost knocking Makoto's lights out. Once she had calmed down, the sleepy Yui perked up right away on seeing her two Tokyo friends in her room. For the moment, it seemed Yui had forgotten that she was still holding a grudge over Makoto. She was too sleepy.
"Yui-chan!" Makoto giggled and hugged her after making sure she wasn't going to get attacked again. "Where's your girlfriend?"
Yui blinked heavily, still confused. "Mari's at home. She's coming after work..."
"Great! I've missed the two of you." Makoto said.
Shiho got the impression Makoto was really sucking up, as she knew the grudge between her and Yui still hadn't ended. Still, she was trying her best to act like nothing bad had occurred between them, once again reaching an olive branch to the tall girl. Yui, slowly waking up, was starting to realize what was going on. Her groggy mood started to be replaced by a cold one.
"Soooo, where's Sarah at?" Makoto changed the subject and meekly got off Yui's bed once she started to feel the mood. "That sleepy-head isn't going to escape my wrath!"
"You almost got murdered last time you ran into a room." Nori pointed out, not catching the thick air between the former friends. "I think you should calm down."
"Nee-chan is no funnnn." Makoto made her voice sound cute and grouchy. She really was trying hard to lighten the mood.
Kaede glanced from Yui back to her wife, keeping her thoughts to herself. If Shiho had noticed the tension between the two, Kaede certainly had. As Makoto was prancing out the room, determined to get everyone in the Christmas spirit even if it killed them, Shiho joined her faux-sister, eyeing the disguise she was wearing.
"You look funny like that."
"I can take them off now that I'm here." Kaede suggested, but made no attempt to do so.
Shiho admired the wig, remembering Kaede's longer-haired days. "I think this looks nice. Not sure about the glasses thought. Trying to copy me?"
"Perhaps." Kaede spoke softly, then tilted her head. "Besides that, you're looking healthy."
"Last I saw you, I was worried about your health. You lost so much weight…"
"Yeah, I know." Shiho felt a little ashamed by her behavior. "I had put everything I was into my relationship with Jessie. When she said I couldn't move in with her, it broke me. I shouldn't have been so dramatic, but-"
"If Mako-chan left me, I'd die." Kaede spoke softer than she normally would have. "It was the same for you."
"I don't think I was suicidal…" Shiho muttered, though she had been very close.
"You loved her." Kaede stated bluntly. "And she loved you as well. It's just that some times things don't work out the way we want them too."
Shiho remembered Kaede saying similar things at the beginning of the year, but at the time she was too grief stricken to take it to heart. Now that she was in the right frame of mind, she could hear her properly. She also was pleased that while she had witnessed the break-down of her pseudo sister, she didn't hold any resentment towards Jessica herself.
"I wonder if she had as hard of time of it as I did." Shiho found herself saying.
"Would that make you feel better?"
After some thought, Shiho shook her head. "I guess not. Maybe some small vindictive need or something nasty within me hopes for that. But you're right. I don't wish Jessie to be unhappy. That would be small of me."
Returning that to that Kaede-smile, the girl nodded her head in approval. "You've matured. I'm pleased."
"You say that after witnessing me having a tickle battle with your wife." Shiho reminded her.
They journeyed towards the guest area of the inn, and it was here that Makoto had to stifle her voice because of the other customers. Once they arrived at Sarah's room, Shiho stopped them and gestured towards the door. Makoto gestured a silent evil laugh and went to the door. No one stopped her, even a now awake and less than amused Yui.
Slamming it open, Makoto burst into the room again and started singing some made up song she invented called "Happy Christmas! Happy Christmas!" The covers on the bed flew up and a startled looking Sarah, shot up. Like Shiho, she wasn't prepared for some wild woman exploding into her room singing awful Christmas songs. Her hair was a mess, and it looked as if she didn't any clothes on.
"Mako-chan!?" Sarah blinked, covering herself up with her comforter.
"Happy Christmas, Sarah-chan!" Makoto squealed and bounded over to the bed.
"Wait… don't-" Sarah warned, but too late.
Makoto leaped into the air, about to pounce the nude, London Lovely. When she landing on the bed, she looked like she landed awkwardly on something, and slid off Sarah's lap to the side. From within the covers aloud outburst sounded. Seconds later, an angry blonde girl popped her head out from underneath the comforter. It took a second to register that it was Nanami.
"You maniac! That hurt!" The girl screamed, rubbing her head.
"Nanami-chan?" Makoto blustered, her eyes going down and noticing Nanami didn't have a top on. "Oh!"
"Get off!" Nanami nastily shoved Makoto to the side, then pulled the comforter up, shrinking next to Sarah. "What kind of person just jumps on someone's bed first thing in the morning?"
"Makoto." Shiho and Yui spoke in unison.
It might have been funny if everyone wasn't blushing at the scene. Clearly the two of them were naked, and had been up to some sexual adventure the previous night. Shiho knew that these two would hook up eventually, but given Nanami's nature, she hadn't expected it to be so soon. On looking at them now, Shiho was positive that it was a mutual desire. By the way Nanami was acting, cuddling up next to Sarah while obviously pissed off at Makoto, she wasn't acting like she had been taken advantage of at all. If anything, Sarah looked more embarrassed.
"Perhaps we should allow them to get dressed." Nori muttered for lack of a better thing to say.
Makoto ignored her sister. "So you're going out? For how long? Has this been going on the whole time? Are you-"
"You're so annoying." Nanami answered.
"Last night was the first time." Sarah said, just wanting to get it over with. "We're going out now."
"Yeah. Thanks for ruining morning sex, by the way." Nanami spat out as blunt as ever.
It only dawned on all of them that when Makoto landed on the bed, she was aiming for Sarah's lap. Since Nanami had been rubbing her head, it was obvious what she was doing. Yui was the first to make a moan of embarrassment.
"Oops." Makoto was slipping off the bed now. "I guess… I think we'll go now."
Shooting Makoto a look, Nanami gave her trademark pout. Shiho couldn't help but smirk at that. Makoto left the room and slowly they all piled out. For some reason it wasn't as awkward as it could have been, even though they literally interrupted Sarah and Nanami having sex.
"Well, that happened." Kaede stated, glancing at Shiho. As ex-girlfriends of Sarah, they both had a different perspective on the ordeal.
"Maybe we should have breakfast." Nori suggested. "Yui-chan, you hungry."
"No. I'm sleepy, but someone woke me up." Yui glared at Makoto.
Given they had nothing else to do, breakfast did seem like a good idea. So they trooped towards the family part of the Inn again, Shiho and Kaede taking their usual places in the kitchen. They always were the cooks among the Lovelies, and that didn't change now. At some point, Makoto had come up behind Kaede and took Kaede's wig and glasses off, but popped the ball-cap back on Kaede's head backwards, as her hair still wasn't styled. It was cute how Kaede just kept doing what she was doing, as if this was a normal thing.
"How's London?" Kaede asked casually.
She knew. Makoto and her big mouth probably told her everything she suspected on their earlier trip. Ever the sister, Kaede seemed like she was checking off the major conversations she was meaning to have with Shiho one by one. First Shiho's health, then Jessica, now this. It was sweet, if not rushed, but Shiho couldn't blame her for that. She hardly ever had a chance to just talk with the superstar.
"I think you already know."
"Mako-chan thinks you're happier at home." Kaede guessed. "She didn't get the impression you liked London very much."
"She's right. But don't worry. I already talked to Mama about it."
"My Mom?" Kaede had a hint of amusement in her voice.
"Mmm Hmm." Shiho nodded. "She asked me to come back home and stay. I think… I think I might."
"Really?" Kaede glanced at her. "Is that what you want?"
"I think so." Shiho nodded, returning Kaede's gaze. "I really think so. I want to talk to Nanami-chan and Sarah about it, but… I feel so at peace here. I realize that I'm on vacation but I just feel like… well, that I'm home."
Kaede listened to her, taking it all in. Then she bumped Shiho with her hip. "Take care of the Inn for me."
Snickering, Shiho thought that was an odd way to show her approval. "Okay?"
"When I retire, I'm moving back home. I want the Inn to be here for my children, to carry on the Ozawa name. So I'm trusting you to take good care of it."
Shiho realized Kaede wasn't just being her strange Kaede-self, they were having a moment. It was implied, but she was trusting Shiho with not only the Inn, but her family as well. They acted like sisters sometimes, but this really was touching. It was something a real sister would say. Then something else stuck out in that statement. In the emotion of Kaede accepting her decision, she almost missed out on it.
"Wait a minute! Children?"
End of Part III