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A Misguided House Cleaning Yields [X]

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“How absolutely mortifying…”

Masaru Kirisu muttered to himself as he left the grocery store, the overly-cheerful chime of the bell that sounded in time with sliding doors only serving to frustrate him further.

It’s completely preposterous to assume that someone is supposed to know what it is they need to buy when there are several shelves packed end-to-end with such similar products. All I need is something to clean my apartment. How can there be that many options?

He continued to scowl as he hit the sidewalk and turned the corner, heading back towards the mess of an apartment that he called home.

Am I meant to get something liquid? That would certainly make sense, but then they had so many powders as well. And do I need something that has to be left on the surface for a time? Have I truly let things get that bad? Or do I want something simpler?

Not that anything there was even remotely simple...

Masaru had left for the store over an hour earlier, and had spent the better part of that time wandering the same, singular aisle in the grocery store, playing out the first run of the debate that was still stuck on repeat in his head.

It seemed like a good idea to him at the time.

It stands to reason, he thought as he locked the door when he left, that a grocery store, existing for the purpose of stocking a house with food and other essential miscellany, would be uniquely equipped to provide the best options possible for cleaning my apartment.

Unfortunately, he soon discovered that he was all too right, and that the options waiting for him were both exhaustive, as well as exhausting.

And that’s to say nothing of the fragrances. I understand flowers and citrus fruits being used so often, though I hardly want to live in a place that smells like a botanical garden or an orange orchard, but how on Earth am I supposed to understand what ‘fresh’ is meant to smell like? That’s a subjective descriptor, nothing more…

Masaru was thoroughly stuck in his own head as he made his way down one of the town’s busier streets.

The trip to the grocery store was a mortifying mistake, but I still need to do something about my apartment. I suppose that I could eke out another day or two, but that’s simply stalling for time. Maybe a convenience store would be a better place to look? They stock a fair number of essentials, though their size likely prohibits them from being quite as comprehensive as a larger store…

As he shifted his train of thought to consider what convenience stores were near him, he found himself brought to a sharp halt by the sensation of a hand slamming into his chest.

Startled, he looked down to see that, in actuality, it was a piece of paper that had been slammed into his chest, though that interpretation only served to absolve the hand in question responsible for the act.

“Interested in an in-house cleaning service, Mister?” the owner of the hand asked, her voice almost gratingly sweet considering Masaru’s chest stung from the power of her hard sell.

“No,” Masaru sighed, looking down at the hand ruffling the flyer against his chest, “I have no use for such a-”

As his eyes traveled up her arm, though, and his gaze settled on her face, the girl let out a sharp squeak.

“Ahh!”

How mortifying...

For his part, Masaru simply sighed again, memories rushing back as he recognized the small, purple-haired maid that was looking up at him.

The knot in his stomach tightened even more as her expression abruptly shifted, her wide, bright eyes narrowing and her childish smile suddenly becoming far more impish than anyone not familiar with Asumi Kominami would have ever expected.

“Heya, Teach! Funny runnin’ into you here!”

The saccharine sweetness that had laced her words was completely gone now, replaced with what could only be called mocking contempt.

“Likewise, Miss Kominami,” Masaru groaned, noticing that, despite their recognition of each other, Asumi’s hand had only gotten more persistent with the paper she was now crumpling against his chest.

“Still the same, stuffy Mister Masaru, huh?” she said, grinning even wilder.

Something about the way the small, twin braids at the back of her head bounced in time with her teasing only served to frustrate Masaru more.

“That’s ‘Mister Kirisu,’ thank you very much, Miss Kominami,” he groaned.

“Nah, not anymore, Teach! I graduated, remember? Which means I’ve got the green light to call you anything I want! I could even just call ya Masaru if I wanted to!”

“By that measure, then, I suppose you’d have no objections to me using your first name, then?”

“Oooh, Teach! Look at you, getting so forward! You keep that up, there’s gonna be rumors flyin’ around about us, you horn dog! Everyone’s gonna be sayin’ that ‘Mister Kirisu’ waited til just after graduation to pluck this young flower!”

Masaru instantly remembered why he’d made it a habit to never get in an argument with Asumi Kominami.

“Point taken,” Masaru conceded, finally ripping the flyer out of Asumi’s hand.

“So, what, then, are you peddling here?” her grumbled, doing his best to straighten out the piece of paper into something legible.

“Like I said, Teach: in-house cleaning service!”

Masaru nodded as he looked over the ad, promoting quite boldly that the girls of High Stage, whatever that was, were pleased to be making house calls at rates so low that they had to be seen to be believed.

It sounded astonishingly dubious.

“So...you’re a maid, then? The kind that goes to and cleans people’s houses?” Masaru asked, trying not to get caught casting glances at the signs around him, suddenly convinced he’d wandered into a red-light district by mistake.

“Well, I’m usually the type that brings people drinks and casts spells over their food to make it extra yummy, but our café is expanding our business a bit!”

Though he’d never admit it to her, Masaru felt a crushing weight lift off of his shoulders as Asumi explained her situation and cleared up his, in his opinion, completely reasonable misunderstanding.

“So, how ‘bout it, Teach? You interested?”

“Not at all,” he said definitively, crumpling the paper once again and jamming it into his pocket.

“Aww, come on, Teach! Ain’tcha gonna help a former student of yours with her job? I’m tryin’ to pay my way through cram school, ya know?”

Masaru looked at her for a second, noting that Asumi’s eyes were the large, bright ones he’d first seen again, though now they were watery, with tears welling up in the corners.

He wasn’t a stranger to that look, though.

“Sorry, I simply have no need for someone to come into my home, Miss Kominami.”

“Ah, oh well!” Asumi said, cheerily, the tears in her eyes evaporating in an instant.

“Ya win some, ya lose some.”

“Well, then, if there’s nothing else,” Masaru started to stay, before getting interrupted by another hand to his chest.

“Actually, there is! If ya don’t want someone doin’ it for ya, Teach...ya know, if you’re into a bit more...solo play…” Asumi let her words hang subjectively, overkilling the gag with the rising and falling of her eyebrows, “we’re also sellin’ the cleaning supplies we use.”

“...Are you, now?” Masaru asked, blocking out all but the most important words he’d heard out of her all day.

“Yup! Like I said, you won’t get the personal touch that only the maids at High Stage can offer, but the stuff we’re usin’ is top notch, too!”

“What sort of supplies are you talking about, then?” Masaru continued to press, trying to hide the desperation he felt from seeping into his voice.

“It’s a pretty comprehensive kit, honestly. Stuff to clean wood, windows, tiles, a scrub for the bathtub and sink...ya know, like, regular cleaning supplies? I mean, there’s a coupla’ buckets, a mop, and stuff like that, too, so pretty much all ya might need is just some hot water from the tap.”

H-how can this girl talk about something so complex like it’s mere common knowledge?!

He tried to keep his head from spinning as Asumi continued talking nonchalantly about what their package contained.

“...And all that’ll only run ya 4,000 yen! Not too bad if you’re lookin’ to get things done yourself, but if you’re lookin’ for a one-day clean,” Asumi explained, again lacing her words with a completely uncalled for eroticism, “a house call’s much cheaper.”

Masaru hardly heard the teasing, though, as his hand had long since pulled out his wallet, his attention preoccupied as he counted out the notes.

“Here, then,” Masaru said hastily, practically shoving the money against Asumi’s chest the way she’d done to him with the flier.

“I’ll take it.”

“Whoah, there, Teach! Take it easy! I’m a delicate flower, ya know?” Asumi scolded, snatching the cash as Masaru remembered himself and pulled his hand away from the small girl’s modest chest.

The self-proclaimed “delicate flower” counted the money with a greedy smirk on her face as Masaru put his wallet away and, after a wave of her hand, a buff, bald man wearing sunglasses came shuffling out, his arms overladen with buckets and bottles filled with artificially-colored liquids.

“Hehehe, pleasure doin’ business with ya, Teach!” Asumi chuckled, while Masaru tried his best to juggle everything the man had unceremoniously dumped in his arms.

“P-pleasure’s all mine,” he groaned in response, shuffling a bottle of worryingly-purple liquid under his arm as he adjusted his grip on the buckets.

“If you’ll excuse me, then.”

“Sure thing, Teach! See ya later!

Ah! Interested in an in-house cleaning service, Ma’am?”

Masaru had hardly had time to turn his back on his former student before she leapt upon another unexpecting passerby.

Quite the operation they have here, Masaru thought as he trudged away from the maid café, pleased that, despite how arduous the exchange had been, he’d managed to come out of it with the cleaning supplies he’d gone out for.

~~~

Masaru sat on his bed, his legs crossed underneath him as he stared down at the bucket on the floor, surrounded by bottles of cleaner as though he were trying to create a summoning circle for a god of cleaning that would solve all of his problems for him.

How utterly mortifying, he thought, glaring at the bucket in the center with contempt.

I have all of this now, but what on Earth am I supposed to do with all of it?

Furrowing his brow, Masaru jumped off the bed, his irritation melting into a misguided sense of determination.

Honestly, you’re overthinking this, Masaru. If a girl barely out of high school like Miss Kominami can handle this, you certainly can, too. After all, it stands to reason that the job of a cleaning solution is to clean. That is, to eliminate dirt. Therefore, it only makes sense that the individual, advertised uses and features are all secondary to that one, primary purpose.

Masaru nodded sagely to himself as he went around the circle, unscrewing caps and breaking taped seals.

All of that is to say, of course, that any one of these will clean my apartment adequately. However, seeing as I have a plethora of options, their effectiveness is bound to increase, perhaps even multiplicatively, if I simply combine them together.

It was, in Masaru’s mind, an iron-tight argument, and he wasted no time in starting to pour the various cleaning agents into the bucket.

Neon green liquid mixed with white powder laced with blue crystals.

A rainbow of eye-catching, artificial colors mixed and muddled in the bucket, while the fragrances of various citrus fruits and flowers mingled and wafted up, working together to form the beginnings of a headache almost instantly.

Masaru stared down at the menacing, brownish-black liquid, his nose scrunched up in self-defense.

Certainly it must be potent if it smells that strong…

Ah...perhaps that is what Miss Kominami was talking about, Masaru thought, as he recalled what his former student had said earlier.

Groaning as he lifted it up, Masaru brought the bucket over to the kitchen, and carefully set it down in the sink.

Some hot water, hmm? I suppose that might serve to dilute it somewhat…

Fighting back a cough, Masaru turned on the tap and filled the bucket until the vile concoction was steaming.

There, perfect, Masaru thought, having never misused a word more in his life.
He brought the bucket back to the floor, and stuck the mop in it, noticing that it had trouble reaching the bottom.

Hmm…

I suspect some of the powdered cleaner must not be properly integrated…

Well, we can’t have that, then.

Blazing past every conceivable chance to stop, Masaru gripped the mop, hardly realizing that his head was spinning so much that he practically needed its support to stand, and began mixing the contents, looking much like a witch toiling over a cauldron.

Not missing out on its part, the contents of the bucket started to bubble, the chemicals interacting with each other in a way that produced a fragrant, foamy head that only overwhelmed Masaru’s senses even further.

That should do it… Masaru thought, pushing the idea out of his head as though he were forcing it through a sieve, the whole room an indistinguishable blur at this point.

Taking a deep breath and filling his lungs with more of the foul air that now permeated the whole of his apartment, he pulled the mop out, prepared to start cleaning away at the stains on his floor, only to immediately lose his balance and fall back onto the bed, kicking over the bucket in the process.

How...how mortifying…

Masaru blinked absentmindedly on the bed as he tried to figure out just where he’d gone wrong.

A couple dozen possibilities into the list, though, Masaru realized that he’d developed far too much of a headache to add any more equally-likely options to the pile, and instead decided that staring up at the ceiling was a far better use of his time, even if said ceiling seemed very intent on spinning, along with the rest of the room.

As the ceiling neared its hundredth rotation, Masaru started to feel his headache start to dull, or, at the very least, had become accustomed enough to it that he was able to ignore it. The scratchy eyes and hoarse throat were still another issue entirely, but Masaru was, at this point, more than willing to count his blessings rather than gripe about more minor inconveniences.

Very carefully steadying himself with his hands, he slowly pushed up from the bed, tilting too far to the left at first, and then the right, until, on the third attempt, Masaru was able to push himself straight up into a sitting position.

My word...and those young women go into houses working with chemicals like this? he thought, staring down in disbelief at the murky mess of cleaning supplies that had now, ironically enough, dirtied his floor.

Looking down and seeing that as he’d been recovering on the bed his socks had become soaked and even his pants had started to wick up the cleaning solutions, Masaru sighed deeply.

Of course. The one time I decide not to change out of my work clothes…

Perhaps this actually was beyond me to begin with…

Crestfallen, Masaru leaned over to see that his pleated slacks were well beyond saving, to say nothing of the socks that had swelled with moisture. He went to take one off, only to have it fall and splatter onto the floor, sending more cleaner splashing onto his pants, before it pitifully flopped over.

Before he could do anything else, his other sock joined it on the floor, happily soaking in what little of the murky liquid it could still hold as Masaru’s pants drooped over and clung to his bare feet.

Well, I suppose at this point I’ve little else left to lose, he thought, sighing.

Accepting the pants as a truly lost cause, he leaned back and undid the button, before slightly raising his hips and sliding the pants off onto the floor below.

The cleaning solution they landed in wasted no time claiming the pants as its own, deepening the color of the fabric as more and more was absorbed, though this did little to thin out the considerable amount that had turned his apartment floor into a modest pool.

Sighing once more, Masaru pulled his legs up onto the bed, trying to ignore the slick, wet feeling between his toes, and sat with his legs pulled close to his chest.

What an absolutely mortifying situation…

He rubbed his legs as he huddled on the bed, suddenly very aware that, in an effort to fight back the sweat that had soaked his shirt as he hauled the supplies, he’d cranked the air conditioning before starting to clean.

It has gotten rather chilly all of a sudden...and losing my pants certainly doesn’t help matters…

Still, you would think body hair would account for at least some insulation…

“Huh?”

Masaru stopped rubbing his legs for a moment, only to rub them more frantically the next, suddenly realizing that the thing, wiry hairs that had always covered his legs were now completely gone, leaving his legs remarkably smooth and his skin noticeably pale.

How mortifying...did the cleaner do this? That’s impossible, though, isn’t it? In terms of raw percentages, the amount that touched my body is negligible. Perhaps I could understand if my feet and ankles were stripped bare, but every last hair over every last inch of my legs has completely vanished…

Obviously fire can burn off body hair, that’s a fairly common mishap with cooking, but can a chemical’s odor do the same? No, no, that’s all far too impossible...

Shaken, and realizing that he’d already gotten the blanket wet already, Masaru bunched up the blanket he was sitting on and started wiping at his feet, doing his best to dry them off, all while trying to push out of his mind how eerily soft his skin felt.

I swear, my feet feel smaller, somehow, he thought, closing a hand around his foot and finding that his fingers now wrapped around and touched his thumb, a feat he was certain was impossible before.

How peculiar…

His curiosity got the better of him as his hands gave up on the blanket, choosing instead to travel up his legs. Like he’d suspected, not an inch of the creamy skin his fingers brushed against seemed to have been touched by the cleaner, yet, much like his feet, everything about them seemed to be proportionally different.

What a strange mixture of textures…

The skin is certainly soft and pliable, and yet the muscle underneath is remarkably firm, and I can clearly feel their definition even with a grazing touch…

At least, I can with my calves. My thighs seem a bit...less defined, perhaps…

Masaru frowned as he looked down, not sure why the stark contrast between his upper and lower legs irritated him as much, but the difference in fullness between the two was remarkable, so much so that he couldn’t help but fidget on the bed, suddenly self conscious that the same fullness had spread to his butt underneath him as his body invented a reason to feel uncomfortable.

As he did, though, he couldn’t help but notice a tickling feeling by his ears, and was doubly shocked by the sudden curtain of pink draping down over his vision, accompanied by a soft, silky sensation brushing against his forehead.

He couldn’t help but let out an embarrassingly high-pitched shriek at the sensation.

“B-bug! I-i-i-it’s a bug, isn’t it?! I knew I should have cleaned sooner!”

Masaru retreated on the bed, his legs kicking out furiously in front of him as he shook his head all about, far too distracted to notice the air around him picking up as he did so, until his back was against the headboard. He patted at his head as though he were beating at bongo drums, and pulled his knees up close to his chest, trying to make his body as small as possible.

Both relieved and worried that he didn’t feel his hands brush against anything hard or crunch into anything, he let his hands rest on is head for a moment as he tried to catch his breath.

C-calm down, Masaru. You only saw the one c-c-c-bug the other day, and it clearly scurried outside of the apartment. Besides, there’s no way a bug would have gotten to my forehead without me feeling it somewhere else, first.

A shiver rocked its way up his spine.

P-probably…

B-besides, what about that pink I saw before I felt...whatever it was?

Slowly opening his eyes once more, Masaru let his hands fall down, his fingers intertwining with long, silky strands of hair that were most definitely not on his head before, his locks having grown exponentially in such a short span of time. Looking up, he could see the fringe of pink that had kicked off his panic, gently bobbing right in the center of his vision.

Cautiously, he brought a hand up to his bangs, and grabbed at the hair, knowing in an instant that it was firmly connected to his head. His other hand went behind him, tracing the path of the hair that tickled against the nape of his neck, and brushed against his back as it went down, until it shallowly pooled on the mattress beneath him.

Blinking, he brought his hands back in front of him, and wrapped them around his smoother calves, hugging his legs.

How...how mortifying! his head screamed, as he considered just how surreal his situation was.

He could have dismissed things up to that point as the simple hallmarks of a bad day.

His apartment was a mess? Par for the course.

The cleaners he’d mixed were flooding the floor? Comeuppance for his misguided hubris.

Stranded on the bed in his underwear, unable to get off because of said mess? Excessive, but not uncommon.

Smaller feet, more toned calves, and worrying soft thighs? Starting to push it, but not completely impossible, considering how dizzy he still was from the fumes.

But long, silky-smooth pink hair that seemed to stretch down to what was now, he was certain, a much fuller butt?

That was what crossed the line.

There was no answer for that.

Wh-what on Earth is even happening anymore?

If this is some kind of bad dream, I would certainly appreciate waking up soon. Or, at the very least, if that suffocating odor would go away so I could think…

Masaru’s nose scrunched up as he griped in his head, and he could feel his eyes watering once again.

Ugh...it’s so overwhelmingly mortifying…

He buried his face into his knees, trying to do anything he could to lessen the smell as his sinuses started to burn, causing his whole face to tingle.

This is horrible...how can mixing simple cleaners like this have such a pronounced effect?

Would I truly have been better served taking Miss Kominami up on her proposal? Did I really get this far out of my depth?

Masaru couldn’t help but sneeze and cough as he chastised himself for his stubbornness, his breathing growing heavier as his throat grew scratchier. A tightness was growing in his chest, and he could feel his body practically shaking, his knees nearly pushing out of his grasp one moment before his arms wrapped firmly around them the next.

Peeking out of the sides of his eyes and trying to cut through his watery vision, he was surprised to see that the room wasn’t spinning again, despite his lightheadedness being far worse now than it ever was, accompanied by a light, floaty feeling that, while endlessly captivating if he let it was over him, was equally worrying.

It isn’t possible for this to do any kind of lasting harm to me, surely? This will all pass at some point...it must…

Please...please just let it end…

I swear, I’ll do whatever it takes if this all just stops...

Just as he thought he was reaching his limit, his throat loosened, and air, though no less foul, more easily filled his lungs. His cheeks were still wet with tears, but the scratchiness in his eyes faded, and feeling returned to his face once more as his sinuses stopped burning and his expression relaxed.

Cautiously, he pulled his head back up, not in the least surprised that his apartment was still, undoubtedly, an absolute disaster, but infinitely relieved that, at the very least, he’d overcome what he prayed with every fiber of his being was the worst of it.

True to his word, he wasted little time darting up off the bed, his slender feet splashing the cleaner as he landed. He didn’t even notice his underwear slipping off his legs or his shirt draping over his shoulders as he ran to the counter in the kitchen.

Surely I wouldn’t have thrown it away…I hope...

His heart practically leapt through his chest his hands gingerly picked up the crumpled ball of paper he’d had in his pocket. He desperately smoothed it against the counter, thankful that the part he needed most was still legible.

Masaru grabbed his phone, and swore silently in his head as he struggled to unlock it, eventually having to forgo the fingerprint sensor to use a password he was lucky to remember. Once he was in, he wasted no time dialing the number, and practically held his breath as he heard the call connect and the phone on the other end start to ring.

“High Stage in-home cleaning service, how may we help you, Master?” a cheery voice, thankfully not Miss Kominami’s, answered.

“Yes, hello, I-”

Masaru froze, and nearly dropped the phone as the words left his lips and reached his own ears, all in a voice that was feminine and soft, yet markedly firm and to-the-point.

He’d been so caught up in his own head, thinking about and trying to process everything that had happened to him, that he never, not even for a second, had considered that more than what he could see was being affected by whatever havok the cleaning solutions were wrecking upon him.

As he held the phone up to his ear, unmoving and silent, the true gravity of what had happened hit him.

“Are you interested in the in-home special, Master?” the maid on the other end chimed in, not missing a beat.

“Our maids are on call and ready, and can be at your home in under an hour!”

“Y-yes!” Masaru blurted out frantically, the tiny, sweet voice snapping him out of his fugue, and, at the same time, pushing him further from any sort of important realization.

“Right, I’d like that, please! One maid!”

“Alright, Master! If we could trouble you for your address, please?”

Masaru offered up all of his information, no questions asked, readily disclosing his address, name, and, after some fumbling for his wallet, credit card information to pay for the visit, until the maid kindly informed him that gratuity for exceptional service was much appreciated, as well as the duty of any gracious master, and that his maid was in the area and would be there in fifteen minutes.

Relieved that, at the very least, something was finally looking like it was about to be sorted out, Masaru put his phone back down on the counter, and turned around to look at the apartment in front of him.

A knot started tying itself tight in his stomach as he gazed out at the carnage.

As had always been the case, the clothes that weren’t strewn about the floor or under the bed were piled high in a corner, the stack reaching so tall that it looked more like an art installation than anything else. Thanks to the cleaners, though, they all now looked significantly browner than they had before, the clothes in contact with the solutions having absorbed as much of the foul brew as they could. Masaru couldn’t help but wonder just how much of a wardrobe he’d have left once the maid was done.

And that was to say nothing of the various take-out boxes and ready-made meal containers that were happily bobbing along in the pool of cleaning liquids.

Or the disposable chopsticks that had long since floated off to form a makeshift dam in another corner of the apartment.

Or the horrible, headache-inducing smell that still persisted, like a fruit stand collided with a flower cart.

Oh…

Oh no…

I’ve brought someone here to see this.

...How absolutely mortifying…

Whether it was an effect of the cleaning solution or just garden-variety depression, the color seemed to fade from Masaru’s world as he stumbled back to his bed and huddled back on it.

I could try and clean this up before she gets here, I suppose…

No. That’s preposterous. That’s how I got in this situation in the first place. And, if I couldn’t clean the apartment when it was far less awful than it is now, how on Earth would I be able to clean it now?

No...this shame will be the price I pay…

I only pray it isn’t Miss Kominami who shows up…

As though he’d phoned her himself, a knock rattled the door, followed by a familiar, cheery voice calling out, “High Stage in-home cleaning! Open up, if you please, Master!”

And then, in an equally familiar, but far snarkier tone, “That means you, Teach~!”

Shit, Masaru thought, all vestiges of formality flying out the window.

As he sat there on the bed, stunned, the door rattled again.

“High Stage in-home cleaning~!” Asumi called out again, mixing her two tones in a way that was endlessly frustrating.

The whole complex will hear her at this rate!

Panicking, Masaru leapt off the bed and hurried over to the door. As he hit the slick kitchen tile, he lost his balance, and slid into the door, provoking a startled shriek from the other end.

“H-hey, Teach, this isn’t funny!”

Desperate to get her to be quiet, Masaru through the door open, quickly reached a hand out to wrap around her arm, and pulled the tiny maid inside before closing the door.

“Whoah, there, horn dog, this isn’t that kinda house...call…?”

Asumi’s taunting faded off as she saw the absolute disaster of an apartment she’d been brought into, and then as she saw the barely-clothed, pink-haired woman who’d pulled her inside, a devilish smirk spread across her face.

“Oooh? What’s goin’ on here, Teach?” Asumi called out to the apartment, content to ignore Masaru right in front of her.

“Callin’ over a cleaning service when ya got a hot date, huh? Tryin’ to prove some kinda weird point or are you really that big of a helpless perv?”

“I’m none of those things, I assure you!” Masaru snapped back, realizing as soon as he heard his own voice that he’d ruined any chance he may have still had at playing things off.

“Eh?” Asumi asked, blinking up at Masaru.

“S-sorry, this is Masaru Kirisu’s apartment, right? I don’t have the wrong place, do I?”

“Y-you don’t, but if I’d known they’d be sending you, I’d have never called in the first place,” Masaru answered, crossing his arms over his chest before turning away from his former student.

W-wait, what felt so soft just now?!

Before Masaru could think about things any longer, he could feel Asumi laughing behind him.

“Huhuhu...Teach, what are you playing at?”

“I-I’m not playing at anything at all!” Masaru stammered, not knowing what problem he should be dealing with first.

“Nah? Then what’s all this?!” Asumi cried out, leaping up as she wrapped her hands around the breasts Masaru had just discovered he had.

“Whoah, Teach, what are these things, really? They feel super realistic!” Asumi pressed, practically wrapping her legs around his torso to hang on as her tiny hands squeezed and kneaded his chest.

“M-Miss Kominami!” Masaru shrieked, his voice an equal mixture of shock and arousal at the sudden stimulation.

He flailed around, a little unsure of what to do, and why such a tiny girl felt so heavy on his back, all while Asumi giggled like mad, her comments, and hands, soon turning elsewhere.

“Oooh, and this hair, too! Feels great, Teach! Haha, and wow, it’s really on their tight, huh? Maybe I need to be taking lessons from you again!”

“I-I assure you, I have nothing to do-OOF!”

Masaru exhaled sharply as his foot struck against the jamb between the kitchen and the living room, and felt his balance fail him, sending him stumbling forward. Between his bare feet slipping on the slick cleaner and the sensation of Asumi suddenly slipping off of his back, he was propelled forward, his arms flailing wildly and sending him spinning until the back of his knees banged against the bedframe and he flipped onto the mattress on his back.

“Hahaha, wow, you okay Tea-

W-w-w-wait a second, what the hell’s goin’ on here?!”

Masaru groaned as he looked up from the bed, his embarrassment rising as he realized he had to account for the height of his chest to see Miss Kominami. It took him a moment to figure out just what it was that was distressing her, considering she had been the one antagonizing him, but then he felt the breeze between his leg, and realized his legs were spread wide open.

“I-I swear, Miss Kominami, this isn’t-”

“Where the hell’s your dingus, you doofus?!” the petite maid shouted, her mouth agape, though she seemed to have little interest in looking away.

Masaru couldn’t see what she meant, but he sure felt it as he slammed his legs shut and tugged his shirt down over his crotch as far as he could. Sure enough, there was nothing there that even remotely suggested the presence of a “dingus,” as Miss Kominami had so eloquently put it.

“I-I-I-” Masaru sputtered, before sliding back on the bed, facing his back to his former student, and entirely clamming up.

For her part, Asumi stood at the threshold to the living room, and eyed the pool of cleaning agents suspiciously.

“Jeez, Teach, I’m not sure where to even start here. I mean, with you, or with cleaning. I think ya might’ve put the package we sold you to so much of a good use that ya circled around back to bad.”

“I was simply trying to be efficient, that’s all! It only stands to reason that the more cleaning solutions involved, the more effective the final product!” Masaru yelled from the bed, too frazzled to not get caught in Asumi’s rhythm.

“Hahaha, that’s not how it works at all, Teach! All those different bottles are for different things, and there’s a reason for that! Yeah, you could probably switch up how ya use some of them, but using the right one for the right area keeps things from staining or breaking down. I mean, ya can’t just put olive oil in a car and say ‘close enough’ because they’re both oils, ya know?”

“I...I suppose I never thought of it that way…” Masaru conceded, pensively.

“And that’s to say nothing of the smell. Hell, I’m gettin’ dizzy just standing here. We gotta open some windows before it gets much worse, Teach,” Asumi explained, before she cracked the window in the kitchen, and carefully stepped into the living room, not bothering to take off her shoes.

“I-I can get it,” Masaru said, and started to slide off the bed, before becoming extremely self conscious and scuttling right back to his spot.

“Nah, don’t worry about. You hired a maid from High Stage, and she’s gonna do her job. But, you’re gettin’ charged double for this mess.”

“Double?!”

“It’s on the flyer. ‘We reserve the right to increase the initial quoted cost if the premises is found to be excessively dirty,’ or something like that.”

“‘Excessively’ seems a bit excessive.”

“Does it? Does it really?” Asumi groaned, standing on her tiptoes to crack open the last window.

“M-maybe not…”

“Damn straight. Now, I’m gonna grab the supplies I left outside when you abducted me, and get to work on this wreck of a room.”

“‘Abducted’ is definitely excessive!”

“Don’t care!” Asumi called back, before bringing in a cart of cleaning supplies that, sure enough, looked identical to the ones Masaru had just thrown together.

“Now, then,” Asumi said, hefting a mop and bucket into the living room and starting to wick up the pool of cleaners, “we can talk about the other big issue here.”

“That being…?”

“What happened with you, you idiot!” Asumi yelled, wringing out the mop.

“Oh...r-right…”

How mortifying...where do I even start?

“Like, I get that you just tossed all the cleaners together in a bucket. Even an idiot could tell that. And, I dunno, I guess I just thought you had a much different home life than how ya were at school at first, but something’s definitely happened between this morning and now.”

“I...I wish I could tell you what it was…”

“Come on, Teach,” Asumi said, leaning heavily against the mop and side-eyeing Masaru, “you can’t honestly expect me to buy that this all just happened outta the blue and you’re totally clueless?”

“That’s exactly what the situation is, though!”

Asumi just sighed, before getting back to drying the floor.

“Next you’re gonna tell me it was our cleaners that did this to ya...”

“That must be it!”

“Don’t screw with me, Teach!” Asumi snarled.

“This ain’t any different from the stuff you can get at the convenience store.”

“I’m not trying to blame you or your employer, no! Clearly, I must be at fault, but there’s no other explanation than the cleaners!

If you think about this logically, no matter how improbable that explanation sounds, it’s the only possibility.”

“Yeah, yeah, I think you taught us something like that,” Asumi grumbled, prodding at the pile of clothes with the mop.

“Not really sure what you’re on about, though.”

“Alright, listen, then.

Any one of the things that has happened to me—the different hair color, the longer hair, the higher voice-”

“-The shorter height, the totally different face, the huge rack, the curvy figure, the missing dingus-”

“-Th-thank you, Miss Kominami, that’s enough!” Masaru interjected, too embarrassed to really let the weight of Asumi’s assessment of him sink in.

"A-anyway...any one of those things would take longer than a span of mere hours to happen-”

“Nah, a good stylist could handle the hair stuff, if that was your thing. But I guess that’s kinda just being pedantic, huh?” Asumi said, smirking.

Masaru just glared.

“Any one of those things,” he repeated, emphasizing each word, “would take longer than it has been since we last saw each other.

For all of them to have happened in that time period is completely, absolutely, and entirely impossible.

Therefore, their occurrence must be a freak outcome of extraordinary circumstances.”

“And you think our cleaners are those ‘extraordinary circumstances?’” Asumi yelled from the kitchen, dumping her bucket down the sink.

“There’s nothing else I’ve done, quite frankly, that would be out of the ordinary.”

“Well,” Asumi started to say, sniffling, “given the friggin’ smell of this stuff, I’m inclined to believe ya, Teach.”

“Mmm...that must be it,” Masaru murmured, spreading his legs out in front of him, but keeping them from revealing anything that he himself hadn’t even seen yet.

“Then...the question remains of what to do about this…”

“Yeah, that’s the question I’ve got too, Teach,” Asumi said, pointing her thumb at the pile of clothes.

“The hell’s all that supposed to be?”

“Those are my clothes.”

“Like, the old ones you’re donating to charity, or…?”

“No, they’re simply the ones I haven’t gotten around to washing.”

Asumi looked at the pile, then back at Masaru.

“Well, I sure as hell ain’t doin’ that for you. Which is fine, cause, going off of the shirt you’re wearing as a dress—and a pretty revealing one, at that—you wouldn’t be able to wear most of them, anyway.”

“H-how mortifying…” Masaru muttered, realizing that Asumi was entirely correct.

“But, then, how am I meant to get any more? I have nothing else clean to wear…”

“I mean, the internet’s a thing, Teach. Besides...”

Asumi paused as she opened up the closet, tossed open a few drawers, and then gave up.

“Well, okay, ya don’t have much. But, you do have an old track suit in there you could wear. Ya’d have to go commando, of course,” Asumi taunted, her voice dropping to the impish register Masaru hated, “but it’s better than nothing. Here, get to it, Teach,” she said, throwing the clothes at Masaru.

“Miss Kominami,” Masaru sighed, pulling the jersey off his head, “surely I can just take a pair of undergarments from the pile there to tide me over?”

“Uh, you mean from the pile of dirty clothes?” Asumi asked, incredulously.

“Yes. There’s no reason why another day’s use wou-”

“No? No! Eww! Gross! Teach, how many times did you come into class wearing old undies, you friggin’ slob?!”

“N-never! B-but on the weekends…”

“Yeah, no, ain’t doin it, Teach,” Asumi said, slipping on a second pair of rubber gloves over the ones she was already wearing before continuing to dig through the pile.

“Besides, even if I did let you put on a gross pair of these grody, old undies, that ain’t even the start of your underwear problems.”

“Whatever do you mean?” Masaru asked, resigning himself to slip into the tracksuit bottoms before unbuttoning the dress shirt.

“I mean that chest, Teach. Look, a gal like me might be able to get around with no bra, no problem, but with a figure like yours...well, look, if the sore shoulders don’t getcha, the stares will,” Asumi said, arching her eyebrows at Masaru as he pulled a tight, white undershirt over his chest.

“Case in point, those nipples are clear as day. Can see the color and shape and everything, Teach.”

“T-that’s quite enough, Miss Kominami!” Masaru shouted, hastily slipping the jersey over his shoulders and trying to ignore just how much he’d definitely stuck his breasts out before zipping it over them.

“You’ve made your point! I’ll simply have to budget in new underwear along with a new wardrobe for home and...and for work…”

Masaru paused, and looked down at his body, realizing something he’d been overlooking.

“How mortifying…” he muttered.

“What on Earth am I supposed to do about work?”

“Well, Teach, I’m kinda noticing a trend here. Shirt and tie with dress pants, tracksuit, shirt and tie with dress pants, tracksuit. No reason you can’t just stick with what works if...if this is what works for you…

I mean, worst case, you just sub in a pencil skirt for the pants, toss on a nice blouse, and call it a day. And if the underwear that’s trippin’ you up, worst case, I can always go shopping with you. I might not look it, but I’ve got a pretty good eye for these things, ya know?”

“It’s more than that! I can’t just go into work like this...or like that...and just go in front of my students like nothing’s different.”

“Uh, duh? I don’t think anyone’s askin’ ya to do that, Teach.”

“Miss Komi-”

“I getcha, I getcha,” Asumi interrupted, finally finishing with disposing of Masaru’s clothes.

“Look, you don’t have an answer for how this all happened, I don’t have an answer for what you do about it, but what did you always tell us to do when we didn’t have the answer, Teach?”

“This hardly seems-”

“You told us to make the best guess with what we knew and with what was in front of us. So that’s what we gotta do here.

Only thing you did different was mix a bunch of cleaning solutions together like a dumbass? Gotta be that that changed you.

Can’t fit in your old clothes right? Gotta get new ones that do fit.

Ain’t gonna be recognized at work? Then you gotta just go in there, explain what happened, and deal with ‘em looking at you like a total idiot until you can prove you’re you.”

“How can you say it like it’s so simp-”

“It ain’t simple at all, Teach!” Asumi yelled out, interrupting her teacher for a third time and making Masaru wish there was an office he could send her to.

“It’s hard as hell! All of us in class felt the same way you do now whenever you’d tell us that stuff. But we had to try it anyway, because that’s all we could do. Some of us got by well enough to pass or get in to college, and some of us are workin’ jobs at a maid café to pay for cram school til we can make it.

I can’t tell ya what way life’s gonna cut for you, Teach, but the least I can do is tell you what you told me, and tell you that High Stage is always hiring. Can’t say how well ya’d do there, all things considered, but if you pass your mistakes off as being clumsy, they might just have a spot for you.”

“Y-you must be joking, Miss Kominami! A teacher working in a maid café would be a scandal! It’s completely unacceptable! Absolutely mortifying!”

“Then I guess you better start thinking about how to explain things to the principal, Teach.”

“That’s...that’s only slightly less mortifying…” Masaru whimpered.

“Jeez, Teach, you can’t handle anything on your own, can you?” Asumi asked, picking up the loose pieces of trash that still littered the room.

“I’m not sure what would give you that idea, Miss Kominami, but I assure you-”

“Oh, come on, Teach. You really don’t know why I’d think that?” she asked, stretching her arm out to emphasis how Masaru’s apartment had only gone from a total disaster to a run-of-the-mill mess despite all the work Asumi had been putting in.

“I-I could have cleaned it up on my own just fine, thank you!” Masaru pouted, before starting to get up to reach a can that was by the foot of the bed.

“Stop, stop stop! You just stay right there!” Asumi scolded, sniping the can from his grip.

“I don’t need you causing any more messes, Teach.

So, fine, you’re worried about smoothing things over with the boss? Then I’ll just have to come with you.”

“You...you’ll what?” Masaru asked, as flabbergasted at the offer as he was at the idea of being told to stay put in his own home like a child.

“I’ll vouch for ya, Teach. Say it’s really you and all that, make sure things go smoothly with your students and all that. I’m sure once ya get up there teaching, there won’t be a bit of doubt in anyone’s mind whether it’s really you or not.”

“You would really do that, Miss Kominami?”

“Yup! And all it’ll cost ya is some free tutoring! Enough to get me to cut back on cram school to only a couple nights a week!”

“And if I refuse?”

“Then you’re on your own, Teach! For pickin’ out undies, too! Sizin’ up a chest like that’s kinda tricky, you know? Sure, someone at the shop might be able to do it for you, but would you really be able to ask them?” Asumi posited, clearing off the floor so she could vacuum.

Masaru sat still on the bed, contemplating Asumi’s question.

He shuddered at the thought of Asumi holding a tape measure up to his breasts.

He nearly retched at the thought of a stranger doing the same.

“So...I’m meant to just go there with you, and say, ‘I’m Masaru Kirisu,’ then?”

“Hmmm…”

Asumi looked up at Masaru on the bed from the outlet she’d just plugged in at.

“Yeah, I suppose you could do that.

Can’t really say ya look like much of a ‘Masaru,’ anymore, though, Teach, but that one’s on you.”

“Oh…” Masaru gasped, looking down at themselves in surprise for about the dozenth time that day.

“I hadn’t even considered that…”

“Look, you don’t have to change any of that. It’s not like you’re lookin’ for some kind of fresh start or anything like that. Hell, you can still be ‘Mister Kirisu’ if ya want, and while I ain’t backin’ down about the bra, you can still wear the same boring shirt, tie, and pants that you always did.

But, ya know, if you wanted to just roll with it, that’s good too.”

“‘Roll with it?’”

“Yeah, ya know...own it? Make it your own?

I work as a maid, right? But I’m not ‘Miss Kominami’ when I’m working. I’m not even ‘Asumi!’” she explained, putting her hands on her hips with a smile.

“When I’m with High Stage, I’m Pixie Maid Ashumi!” the petite girl declared, her voice rising to a sickeningly saccharine register while her index fingers went up to her mouth to emphasize her dimples.

“How mortifying…”

“How rude!

Look, you don’t have to go all out like that or anything. I’m just giving you options. Call yourself somethin’ like ‘Mafuyu’ instead of ‘Masaru,” or keep that and be ‘Miss Kirisu,’ or just leave it all the same. Doesn’t matter to me; just tryin’ to help, Teach,” Asumi grumbled, drowning out any retort by flipping the switch on the vacuum.

Masaru closed his mouth, knowing that anything he said now wouldn’t be heard over the motor.

Instead, he simply nodded to himself, turning over Asumi’s—or rather, Ashumi’s—advice.

“Mafuyu…”

It certainly is an option…

~~~

“Miss Kirisu!”

Mafuyu tried not to sigh or click her tongue when she heard her name called behind her.

Right as I was about to leave, too…

She tried to look as professional and welcoming as possible as she turned to face the voice, wondering if it was one of the many admirers she’d suddenly found herself with since she’d changed.

Ah...she’s one of mine, at least.

Despite the reputation she’d garnered before that fateful day as a, to quote a note once confiscated from a student, “complete hard-ass with all the personality of a brick,” as of late she’d found her image softened somewhat, though she wasn’t sure just how much of an improvement being regarded as the school’s “Ice Queen” really was.

“What can I help you with, Miss Umihara?”

“U-uhm,” she started to say, shyly holding a piece of paper in front of her, “I just wanted to thank you for tutoring me. Thanks to you, I passed my last math test!”

The girl’s whole face seemed to light up as she showed the test to Mafuyu, the red “63” on it clearly a badge of honor to her.

“I assure you, Miss Umihara, that any accomplishments you’ve made are your own. Though I must admit, I’d set the bar a bit higher than barely passing, if I were you,” she said, adjusting the bag over shoulder and turning to leave, completely missing the way her student’s smile dropped.

“Still,” she continued, sighing softly, “it’s a good start. And little goals help make the bigger goals seem more attainable. Let’s try for something in the seventies next time. But we aren’t stopping until you’re getting nineties.”

“R-right, Miss Kirisu!” Umihara yelled back as her teacher walked away, the tears welling in her eyes conflicting with the smile spreading wider in her face as she tried to deal with the emotional whiplash.

~~~

Mafuyu closed the apartment door behind her and sighed, glad to be putting another day of work behind her. She leaned her back against the door, a little ritual she’d had for as long as she could remember, something about the act cementing that she was home now, that she was free from the expectations outside.

Smiling softly, she raised a hand up to lock the door, while her other shoulder relaxed, sending the bag that resting on it falling to the floor unceremoniously. It sat there, unneeded and unwanted, as she strode further in, beelining for her closet like a woman on a mission.

Once she was there, she threw open the door, and instantly set her sights upon one of the many identical tracksuits that made up half of the clothes hanging in the closet. The other half were pencil skirts, blouses, and the like, all the formal clothes that Asumi had helped her pick out. The red tracksuit she grabbed with a flourish, though, was an outfit she was insistent on, despite how loudly and adamantly Asumi had pleaded with her that she didn’t even need one, let alone one for every day of the week.

In a practiced motion that inspired an awe that conflicted with just how lackluster the end result was, Mafuyu quickly changed her clothes, letting some of her formal attire simply fall to the floor while others were thrown to the far reaches of the apartment, all while slipping on the track pants, undershirt, and jersey that she’d been wanting to get into all day.

She let out another sigh once she was finished, one that was long and full of relief and self-satisfaction, then turned around to see Asumi glaring at her, her tiny arms laden with the blouse, jacket, and tights she’d already recovered.

“Teach, ya know we’ve got a laundry basket, right?” she complained as she bent down and lightly slapped Mafuyu’s calves, urging her to move her legs so she could collect the skirt she’d left around her ankles.

“Good afternoon to you as well, Miss Kominami,” Mafuyu said, complying with her roommate’s request.

“And you can stop with the ‘Miss’ stuff anytime, too,” Asumi griped, dusting her hands off. “I told ya, I’m not your student anymore.”

“Oh?” Mafuyu asked, arching an eyebrow at Asumi as she flopped down on the couch. “Then I suppose you won’t be needing my tutelage anymore, will you?”

Asumi stood there for a moment, amazed at just how snippy Mafuyu was being today as she crossed her legs and took a sip of the coffee that she’d made sure would be ready for her when she got home, before a wide, teasing grin spread over her face.

“Let’s not go that far, teach,” Asumi said, before joining Mafuyu on the couch.

“Bu~ut,” Asumi started, her lyrical interjection interrupted by a sip from her own cup, “enough whining from me, I wanna hear more from you. Somethin’ good happen today, Teach? You seem in high spirits. Heck, I mighta even seen a smile.”

“T-that’s preposterous,” Mafuyu blustered, frowning. “My day wasn’t any more or less noteworthy than they usually are.”

“Riiiight…

Ya know, I think you were a little late today, Teach,” Asumi pointed out, her smile growing wider as Mafuyu looked at her in horror. “Oh, not a lot, no, but by a few minutes. Somethin’ happen? Get confessed to by a student on the way home?”

“H-how mortifying! A student having feelings for a teacher is absolutely scandalous!” Mafuyu cried out, before burying as much of her face as she could in her coffee cup.

Even though what had actually happened was far less salacious than what Asumi had fabricated, Mafuyu couldn’t help but feel endlessly embarrassed and completely unable to bring up what had really transpired that afternoon.

In all honesty, Mafuyu was still trying to process it herself. She was one of the newer teachers at the school, but had been there long enough that, under normal circumstances, students expressing their gratitude for her wouldn’t have been a new occurrence.

For her, though, it was.

Nobody had gone out of their way to thank her before she’d changed. If anything, she’d heard her share to suggest the opposite, that most of her students were upset to be under her tutelage.

Since becoming herself, since accepting that she was Mafuyu Kirisu, though, her students attitudes towards her had gradually shifted in a way that she was endlessly fascinated by. She’d expected, of course, that there might be some who’d gawk at her, considering the figure she had, but, more than anything, her students seemed to be more invested in what she taught, and actually seemed to be performing better in class for it. She had to wonder if, perhaps, more about her had changed that day than she’d initially thought.

But, of course, there was no way she could voice any of that to the petite gremlin grinning up at her from the couch.

“W-what about you, then? What have you been up to today, Miss Kominami? Did you review those pages I assigned you?” Mafuyu stuttered out, desperate to move things away from her.

“Jeez, Teach, it was my day off, ya know? Bu~ut,” she said, throwing her arms behind her head as she leaned back on the couch, “yeah, I read over them. Made a lot more sense this time, after all that stuff you said last night. Ya know, it’s funny, but I don’t remember ever havin’ this easy of a time learnin’ from ya back when I was in your class in high school. For some reason, it’s all just stickin’ a lot better.”

Mafuyu did her best to not spit the coffee she’d just taken a drink of out in shock.

“Guess maybe you’ve picked up a few tricks since then, huh?” Asumi asked, grinning.

“Y-yes, that must be it,” Mafuyu answered, trying to hide her sigh of relief as she put down her coffee cup.

“Still, though, it seems like you’re a lot less dismissive than ya used to be,” Asumi continued, casually drinking her coffee. “Like, you haven’t said I should give up on trying to get into medical school,vor that I should study something else, or anything like that. Heck, goin’ offa what I knew, I really expected you to say I should just go all in on being a maid after how glad you were that I cleaned up around her.

Mafuyu reached for her coffee again, if only to have a way to hide the grumble she couldn’t hold back any longer.

“But you’re really helping now, tryin’ to get me to the point where I actually understand what’s on those entrance exams. I was just lookin’ to save some yen when we started, but you’re actually helping me better than that cram school ever did,” Asumi admitted.

“Ya know, I was pretty worried about you back when everything happened. I was kinda casual and nonchalant about it, but there was a lot to get through, and wasn’t sure ya’d be able to do it. Heck, that’s part of why I offered to move in with ya in the first place. I mean, I knew you’d need someone cleanin’ up, that was a given, but I figured you’d be pretty lost with everything else, too.

You seem to be doing alright, though,” Asumi said, punctuating her statement by throwing back the last of her coffee. “Honestly, it’s been a helluva thing to see, from the moment I first stepped through that door. Absolutely crazy. But, ya seem happier and better for it, and, well, I can’t deny that I’m in that boat, too, Teach. Guess I’m kinda lucky to have stumbled back into your life,” Asumi finished, sheepishly laughing.

Mafuyu sighed, pushed a stray hair from her face, and smiled softly as she crossed her legs.

“Well, I suppose then I’m fortunate as well, Miss Kominami. As mortifying as it is to admit, I can’t disagree with your initial assessment of my situation, nor of my situation as it is now. We do seem to be greatly benefiting from each others’ company, despite whatever little spats may crop up.”

“Oooh, ‘little spats,’ huh, Teach? Is that what you’re callin’ our lovers’ quarrels now?” Asumi teased, her face shifting back to the same, irritating grin Mafuyu hated only slightly less than she used to.

“‘L-l-l-l-lover’s quarrels?!’” Mafuyu sputtered, her face brightening to a deep red.

“That’s right, Teach!” Asumi continued, running a finger along Mafuyu’s thigh and trying to pretend it wasn’t covered in loose, red track pants. “What else would you call the little arrangement we’re in? We’re not a student and teacher anymore, and, well, like you said, it would be ‘scandalous’ to have a teacher living with her student.”

“W-we’re roommates, nothing more, Miss Kominami!”

“Are we, Miss Kirisu?” Asumi asked, mockingly. “Have you always slept in the same bed as your roommates? Have you always let your roommates cuddle up next to you next to the couch and wrap their arms around you?” Asumi continued to press, clearly getting into it as she did just as she said.

“And you let them get so close to your face,” she pushed, her face hardly an inch from Mafuyu’s, “that you can feel their breath on yours?”

Mafuyu stared at Asumi, whose arms were wrapped around her neck, and tried to ignore the goosebumps prickling up against her skin as she endured the girl’s teasing. Just as the seductive gaze the petite girl had adopted gave way to a wide-eyed laugh, something inside Mafuyu snapped, and she put a hand behind Asumi’s head, and pulled her lips up to her own, locking them in a kiss.

After a brief moment of shock, Asumi returned the kiss, her small lips lightly pressing around Mafuyu’s, before she pulled away and bounced off her teacher’s lap.

“Jeez, Teach, never knew your roommates had it so good,” Asumi teased, wiping at her lips as a slight pink crept into her cheeks.

“I would never let a roommate do such a thing,” Mafuyu huffed, still blushing furiously. “But...no, I don’t know what I’d call our arrangement.”

“Well,” Asumi said, laughing as she hopped off the couch, “I guess we can just keep figurin’ that out, huh, Teach? We’ll study up on it. I don’t mind at all, ‘specially if it’s gonna be that much fun!”

Asumi continued to laugh as she grabbed the coffee cups and made her way to the kitchen to clean them.

“How mortifying…” Mafuyu sighed, her shoulders slumping.

She uncrossed her legs and threw her back against the couch, letting the softness of it envelope her and wishing she could just stay that way until work tomorrow as her expression softened, and a small smile lifted the corners of her mouth.

“But...yes...we’ll figure it out, one of these days, Asumi,” Mafuyu whispered, convincing herself that she hadn’t just heard Asumi’s humming interrupted by a snicker.

Surely, her hearing isn’t that good...