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Chapter 6 Main Chapters Chapter 7


Interlude 6

Dee and her two best friends walked up the path to the Sanada residence, laughing at a joke. Dee had invited them over for a purely social occasion, and they had been glad to oblige. Before the world became a synthesis, the idea of Dee being sociable at all was incomprehensible. Now it was natural to her.

Izawa and Shiozaki risked a quick peek around the wall and through the gate at the house, then leaned back. They had finally managed to locate Kazuki's house by following his young cousin Dee home- he was so lucky to have so many attractive cousins. The object of their stalking, though they would not have called it such, was actually Mitsuki Sanada. Now the only thing necessary was to wait a good amount of time so it wouldn't be obvious that they had followed Dee.

One second after Dee and her friends entered the house, they sprinted up the pathway and rang the doorbell. They were not shocked. Both of them were waiting eagerly to see Mitsuki Sanada open the door and welcome them in. At long last, they would be able to talk to their idol in person. She would return the fierce devotion they held for her, and-

Sharing a puzzled glance with her friends, Dee turned around and opened the door. After all, she was the closest household member to it. "Good afternoon," she greeted Shiozaki and Izawa, wondering why they had appeared so soon after she and her friends had entered the house. Yoshiko had been almost certain someone was following them, but Dee and Michiko were less certain, though they had seen evidences. Were these the mysterious people who had been pursuing them?

She surveyed the crestfallen teenagers on the doorstep a moment before recognizing them. "Kazuki," she called behind her, "your friends are here."

Kazuki tried to sound cheerful. "They are? I wasn't expecting them! That's great, Dee! I'll be down in a second."

Mitsuki Sanada had been working unconcernedly in the kitchen, but now frowned and began chopping vegetables with more vigor.

Shiozaki and Izawa greeted Dee and Kazuki pleasantly. Kazuki sensed he had no polite alternative but to let them inside.

"Shiozaki, Izawa," Kazuki said nervously as he conducted them to the couch, "this is a," he hesitated, "pleasant surprise."

"Yeah," Izawa gulped out in broken fragments, "we wanted to call on you, as friends."

"We're great friends, Kazuki," Shiozaki intoned with more fervor than the statement deserved, "I had to know how you were doing. I'd do anything for you. You know that."

"I guess," Kazuki sighed. He had known from their strange manner at the door what they were really after.

Dee and her friends had lost no time getting to her room. Now they began to confide secrets in each other, some secrets causing peals of laughter to echo down the stairs.

"Kazuki," Izawa began, "how is your cousin Mitsuki doing?"

"Yes, is she well?" Shiozaki asked eagerly.

Kazuki shifted uncomfortably on the couch. Of course they wanted to get near their idol. Kazuki was sure that it was Mitsuki who, when making this world, had ensured that these two friends of his never visited his house. She had made it perfectly clear that he was never to bring home any males obviously abusing friendship with him to get close to her. Kazuki liked Shiozaki and Izawa, but it was embarrassing watching them act so oddly, and their insincerity was disconcerting. He also had no idea how Mitsuki would react to all this.

Dee and her friends entered the kitchen to feed Kumu, petting the dog, who wagged her tail at them. They continued to whisper confidences to each other, except when they laughed. Then the threesome returned to Dee's room.

After they left, Mitsuki Sanada considered her situation. It would be selfish of her to expect Kazuki to rudely throw his friends out, even though he knew perfectly well they wanted to see her, not him. When they were gone, she'd be thorough in learning just how they had found her house. Its location was a necessary secret; no one wanted to be deluged with fan mail, least of all at their own residence.

Mitsuki Sanada entered the room, behind Kazuki and in front of his friends. They leapt up, their faces quite red, and bowed. She bowed back, as Kazuki turned his head and said, "Mitsuki, these are my friends Shiozaki and Izawa." Kazuki laughed nervously as she met his eyes impassively.

Shiozaki and Izawa stammered in unison, "We're very pleased to meet you, Ms. Sanada."

The secret sharing was done; now Dee and her friends were simply talking at great length. They talked about Yoshiko's love of arranging flowers, a subject Dee was familiar with from long association with Mrs. Nanjyoin. The conversation then turned to Michiko's perspectives on romance, causing them all to share opinions of first kisses and other such things as to make giggles erupt once again.

Now it was Dee's turn to pontificate. She said, "I really want to go with my whole family into outer space!"

"Outer space!" Michiko repeated in surprise. Yoshiko was stunned as well. After a moment, Michiko considered, "It does sound exciting, but it's scary too!"

"Yes, what if you met aliens?" Yoshiko inquired.

Dee scratched Kumu's behind her ears as she seriously stated, "That might be frightening, especially if they were evil aliens. If they were evil, my family and I wouldn't stop fighting them. We'd be ready." She smiled slightly. "If they were good aliens, though, we'd be able to make friends with them, and then we might be able to go to school with them!"

There was compulsive giggling at that thought.

"And your lunches are always the best, Ms. Sanada!" Izawa told Mitsuki Sanada.

"Yes, they're just wonderful, like you!" crooned Shiozaki.

Mitsuki Sanada arched an eyebrow and smiled slightly. "How would you know that, gentlemen?" she put it to them.

"Kazuki's always so nice as to bring us a lunch you made," Izawa informed her.

"You two steal them from me!" Kazuki accused.

She frowned. "I really wish you'd be nicer to my cousin. Kazuki needs good food. I hate to think of him having to buy ramen after having his lunch stolen."

"Don't worry, Ms. Sanada," Izawa leaned towards her and said, "I'll replace it with hot soup from the vending machine."

"I'll replace it with ten hot soups!" Shiozaki amorously declared as he tried to lean around Izawa.

Mitsuki Sanada thought sadly to herself, "Kazuki, I've done my best, but they'll still be after your lunch."

Yoshiko asked Dee, "Why did those guys have to follow you home to visit your cousin Kazuki?"

Dee shook her head and replied uneasily, "I think they really wanted to visit Mitsuki."

The giggling was somewhat muted.

As the Shiozaki and Izawa babbled on, there was only one thought in Kazuki and Mitsuki's minds; when would these troublemakers leave?

Chapter 6 Main Chapters Chapter 7