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Words I Thought I'd Never Speak

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"I can't believe I'm finally getting to visit the Magic Kingdom!" Ayu whispered to Nina, looking nervously around the MK International Education Center. This was the first time she'd ever been inside, and she half expected to see people casting spells this way and that, but so far it was just as ordinary on the inside as it looked from outside.

"Me either," Nina said. "I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and find it was all a dream."

The lady behind the desk finished stamping the last of Ayu's paperwork and looked up at them with a smile. "You're all cleared to go, Tateishi-san." She handed Ayu back her new Magic Kingdom passport. "Just follow the arrow down the hall for the transportation chamber."

"Thank you," Ayu said. She clutched her passport tightly in one hand and grabbed her suitcase, letting Nina lead the way.

She wondered if the woman at the desk had voted for the new law. She seemed friendly enough, and working here on Earth must mean she interacted with humans a lot. According to Nina it had been a pretty close vote, though. In fact, some people who opposed it had taken the opportunity to argue that the laws should actually be tightened even further, prohibiting study abroad programs and marriages between witches and humans. But in the end, the law had passed, and now Ayu was going to be one of the first humans allowed to visit the Magic Kingdom in generations. There was still the threat of mindwiping if she stepped out of line, but it was more than she'd ever hoped for.

The hallway led to a large room where they showed their passports to a man who scanned them with something that looked like a barcode reader, but presumably ran on magic rather than batteries. Or maybe magic batteries. Once satisfied their passports were real, the man waved them through and they lined up behind half a dozen other people waiting to be transported to the Magic Kingdom.

"Do we go one by one?" Ayu asked. "Why is everyone just waiting around?"

"It takes a lot of energy to send someone back and forth between worlds," Nina explained. "But it doesn't make a difference how many people you send. It's the portal itself that's the hard part." She pointed to what Ayu had taken for an elevator door on the far wall. "That's the transportation chamber. Once everyone's here who's scheduled to depart today, they'll send us all together."


Despite knowing of the Magic Kingdom's existence since middle school, there was still so much Ayu didn't know about it. It wasn't that Nina never talked about magic or the Magic Kingdom, but there were so many things Ayu had never even thought to ask before. Up until just a few years ago, she hadn't even realized Nina and Yuta and everyone couldn't just pop back and forth between Earth and the Magic Kingdom on their own. It was possible, if you were powerful enough, but also illegal. Apparently governments wanting to track the comings and goings of their citizens wasn't just an Earth thing.

The man in front of them yawned and looked impatiently at his watch. Ayu was impatient, too, but her stomach was full of butterflies and if she yawned, it was because she hadn't slept a wink last night, not because she was bored. She felt more than a little out of place surrounded by people who thought a transdimensional journey was no big deal.

As exciting as it was to be able to finally be able to visit Nina's home and meet her family (and of course just see the Magic Kingdom in general), it was also kind of overwhelming. Some of her friends from uni were going to Hawaii over break, sort of a last big summer before graduation thing, but Ayu had never even been outside of Japan, much less to another world. At least she wouldn't have to worry about not speaking the language, thanks to translation spells. But she couldn't stop worrying about how different everything would be. She hoped she didn't end up doing or saying something horribly wrong or offensive.

Ugh, why couldn't they just go? All this waiting was giving her too much time to think.

It didn't help that Nina was oddly quiet today. She was probably just tired, too (she'd said she hadn't slept much, either), but what if she was having second thoughts about bringing a human home? Or maybe she was wishing she'd used her guest allowance to bring Tsujiai-kun instead.


Oh no, what if that was it? Nina was having second thoughts about inviting Ayu instead of Tsujiai-kun. The butterflies in her stomach suddenly turned vicious and Ayu squeezed her eyes shut trying to banish the thought.

"Ayu-chan." Nina's concerned voice broke into her thoughts. "Are you okay? It looks like everyone's here now."

Ayu looked around. The chamber door was open and the first few people were filing in. If there'd been an announcement, she'd totally missed it. She forced a smile and said, "I'm fine. Just tired and nervous."

Nina slipped her free hand in Ayu's and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "Don't worry. We'll be there soon, and you can lie down once we get to my house if you want."

"I think I might take you up on that offer."

Nina squeezed her hand one more time before letting go. "I might just join you," she said with a yawn, and Ayu's stomach did a funny flip that was totally different from the nervous butterflies that had been plaguing her all morning. She had to stop herself from reaching for Nina's hand again.

"So, uh," she said as they stepped into the chamber, "is your house close to the..." She realized she didn't even know what the place they were transporting to was called. Probably not the MK International Education Center. "To where we'll be arriving?"

"Hm? Oh, not really. It's not far, but not particularly close, either. We can just transport there, though, so it won't take any time."

"Oh, right." Distance must not mean much in the Magic Kingdom. "I hope we don't just transport ev--"

"Attention, please." A voice that didn't seem to come from anywhere interrupted her. "The portal will be opening in thirty seconds. Please keep a firm hold on any luggage you may be carrying with you today."

The announcement was followed by a buzzing that wasn't quite a sound but more a pressure that concentrated at the back of Ayu's head. She opened her mouth to say something about it to Nina, but then it was gone and the door was opening with a chime and a different voice telling them to exit in an orderly fashion.

Which everyone seemed to ignore in their haste to get about their business. People behind Ayu jostled her as they pushed ahead and out the door, leaving her standing alone with Nina. She blinked. "W, we're here? Already?"

"Yup." Nina grabbed her hand again. "Come on."

This side of the portal was much busier than the Earth side, and apparently provided portals to destinations within the Magic Kingdom as well as the one to Earth, if the signs--which Ayu was sure weren't actually written in Japanese the way they appeared to be--were anything to go by. Witches as powerful as Nina could easily transport themselves and others halfway around the world, but Ayu knew not everyone was that gifted. Apparently some witches were even born without any magical talent at all.

"Nina! Ayu!" The voice was unfamiliar, but Ayu recognized Nina's parents from the photos Nina had shown her. Nina's mom pulled them both into a tight hug. "It's so good to meet you!"

"You, too, Mr. and Mrs. Sacreal," Ayu said, the translation spell keeping her tongue from stumbling over the unfamiliar sounds of Nina's real last name.

She realized she was still holding tight to Nina's hand, but before she had time to feel awkward about it, Nina was telling her to keep a good grip on her suitcase because they were going to transport again.

This time there was no weird buzzing or pressure, just the same blink-and-you're-somewhere-else disorientation she'd felt whenever Nina had transported them somewhere on Earth. She wasn't sure she'd ever get used to that.

"Well, this is it," Nina said with a smile. Her mom and dad were already walking up the path to the front door.

Their house was bigger than most of the houses in Ayu's neighborhood, but not palatial by any means. The architecture, however, would look distinctly out of place in Japan. There was a turret rising up from the back, and scrollwork around the door and windows that didn't look like anything Ayu had ever seen before.

There was also no doorknob. Instead the door swung open automatically with a light touch and a murmured spell from Nina's father.

Ayu stepped out of her shoes in the genkan, but Nina's and her parents' just disappeared right off their feet. When Ayu opened the shoe cabinet to put hers inside, she found theirs already neatly lined up. Their luggage was similarly whisked away.

She felt like a country bumpkin staring at everything, but it was just the weirdest mixture of familiar and alien. On the walls of the living room were photos that moved, and the TV was a thin panel that hovered above a small cabinet filled with movies Ayu had never heard of.

Of course Nina's room was in the turret. Ayu had known it would be since the moment she set eyes on the house. A spiral staircase led up to it, though Nina said now that she had better control of her magic she didn't even bother with stairs half the time.

From the outside, it had looked perfectly ordinary, but a button on the wall turned out to be, not a light switch as Ayu had originally assumed, but a switch that made the walls and ceiling transparent. The view was beautiful, but it was a little disconcerting, to say the least, and Ayu immediately switched it back to normal.

Nina hadn't lived at home in years, and the room was preserved in all its preteen glory. One poster on the wall showed a group of pretty teenage boys who looked like they'd fit right in with Arashi and NEWS and all the Johnny's idols Ayu'd had a crush on at that age. A heart drawn around one of the members still pulsed subtly, alternating between pink and red.

Ayu picked up a small framed photo of Nina, a wee Leo wriggling in her arms. Ayu had to admit she missed the cute little kitten he used to be. He hadn't even wanted to come with them this time, opting to stay behind and try to seduce a stray who'd been hanging about the neighborhood recently. She smiled remembering how he'd rapturized about how dangerous and sexy this ragged old tomcat was. Okay, maybe Leo was still cute, just in a different way.

"Do you still want to lie down for a bit?" Nina asked. "Mom has a big dinner planned later, but that's still hours away."

Ayu set the photo back down and turned to look at the bed. It looked so soft and inviting and suddenly she felt as if she might fall asleep before she could even get there.

"Definitely," she said, taking a step forward. "Oh. Is it, I mean, this is your bed." Both their suitcases had been deposited here in Nina's room, but she didn't want to assume. "Is there a spare bed or futon or...?"

"Oh! Well, there can be if you want. I just thought..."

"No, no! This is perfect." The bed was certainly big enough for two, and it wasn't like she'd never shared a bed with Nina before, though it had been a long time. "Sorry. I just...this is all so new to me, you know?"

"No worries." Nina smiled. "I know what it's like visiting another world for the first time," she added, poking Ayu playfully on the arm.

She didn't think Nina really did, though. Nina had come to Earth with a spell that made her as familiar with Japanese culture as if she'd been born there. Nina had offered to cast something similar on Ayu for the trip, but the translation spell was the limit for Ayu. It wasn't that she distrusted Nina, but the thought of having stuff put in her brain with a spell, handy as it might be, just weirded her out.

She sat down on the edge of the bed and fell backwards with a flop. "Oh wow, this is the softest mattress ever!"

"And it never gets lumpy," Nina said, the mattress dipping as she sat down next to Ayu.

Ayu yawned and scooted up the bed until her head was on one of the pillows. "Now that is some magic I can really get behind."

She curled up on her side and yawned again, and the next thing she knew, someone was shaking her gently.


"Mmm...just five more minutes, Mom..."

Nina's laughter broke through the fog of sleepiness. "Who're you calling Mom?"

"Ugh, sorry..." Ayu sat up and rubbed her eyes. "How long was I asleep for?"

"Just a couple hours. I thought about letting you sleep, but my mom's really excited about this dinner. She even cooked and everything."

"You mean like real cooking?" Ayu said, smoothing her hair and clothes and hoping she didn't look too rumpled. "Not magic?"

Nina grinned and nodded. "Not magic. She wants to impress you with her authentic human cooking."

"Wow..." Ayu tried not to sound too dubious, but 'authentic human cooking' could be a recipe for disaster. She smiled brightly at Nina. "I can't wait!"

The dinner actually turned out to be pretty good, if an odd mish-mash of dishes. There was tarako spaghetti and meatballs, gyoza, a cold pink soup that Ayu had a vague feeling was maybe something Russian, and an equally random selection of tsukemono. Dessert was daifuku mochi and churros. Ayu smiled and told Nina's mother it was just like home.

"Oh, I'm so glad!" Nina's mom said. "You just never know how authentic these ethnic cookbooks are."

"Do you cook often?" Ayu asked. "Without magic, I mean."

"It's one of her hobbies," Nina's dad said. "A new recipe every week!"

Ayu hid a smile. He didn't seem as happy about that as he was trying to sound. But the food really was tasty. Nina's mom might not have a good grasp on Earth cultures, but she wasn't a bad cook.

"It really was delicious, Mrs. Sacreal," she said again once the table had been cleared and the dishes washed (no exotic human methods there; it was magic all the way). "You didn't need to go to all this trouble for me."

"Don't say that, dear." She came over to Ayu and gave her a big hug. "We've heard so much about you from Nina, you're like part of the family."

"Well, Nina's like family to me, too."

Was it just her imagination or did Nina's smile falter a little at that? Unable to come up with a reason why Nina would react that way, Ayu shrugged it off as exhaustion. The nap had helped, but she really did need a good night's sleep.

Nina's dad had the news on after dinner and Ayu stayed downstairs to watch it for a while out of curiosity. Even the weather report seemed interesting, though Nina had told her that magic was just as unreliable as science in predicting whether it would rain or shine. There were local stories about a kappa escaping from a pet shop, and a new permanent portal set to be established next month, but the biggest story was a group of teenagers who'd caused some havoc on Earth, prompting a mass mindwipe. The reporters didn't seem to care at all about the humans affected, only about how much trouble the kids has caused and the hassle of cleaning up after them. They didn't even say where on Earth it happened.

Suddenly watching the news wasn't fun anymore. With an exaggerated stretch and a yawn, Ayu said, "I think I need to turn in for the night."

"Me, too." Nina stood up with her. "Night, Dad. Night, Mom."

"Good night," Ayu echoed.

"Good night, girls."

When they got up to Nina's room, Nina said, "Hey, are you okay? It was the news, wasn't it?"

"How'd you know?" Ayu said. To be honest, she hadn't expected Nina to notice. Or to understand.

"I know I used to be like that," Nina said, frowning. "I didn't really think about mindwiping as a big deal except for how much I'd get in trouble if I did something to cause it."

She grabbed Ayu's hands, squeezing them tightly. "But I don't... I haven't thought like that for a long time, you know. And I don't think humans are less than witches, you know that, right?"

Nina was so earnest it was almost funny. "Of course! I never thought you did." She extracted her hands from Nina's grip and gave her a light punch on the shoulder. "Besides," she added, grinning broadly, "you and Tsujiai-kun wouldn't have lasted this long if you were prejudiced against humans."

At Tsujiai-kun's name, Nina looked away, but when she looked back at Ayu, she was smiling. "Yeah..."

"It was just weird seeing something like that on TV," Ayu said.

"Good," Nina said. "I just didn't want you to think we're all like that."

"Nina!" Ayu laughed and pulled Nina into a tight hug. "How could I think that? You've been my best friend for almost ten years!" Nina was so warm and soft in her arms, and her breasts were...oh God, she should not be thinking about Nina's breasts! She pulled away, blushing. "A, anyway, I think I know you better than that."

"Good," Nina said again. "Anyway, I really am exhausted. Unlike some people, I didn't take a nap."

"Well, unlike some people," Ayu said, sticking out her tongue at Nina. "I didn't get any sleep at all last night."

Nina changed into her pajamas magically, going from skirt and t-shirt to a cute little nightshirt in the blink of an eye. She magicked her hair out of its pigtails, too, and shook her long curls free.

Ayu had almost forgotten their ill-fated night club escapade with Mito-san until a couple years ago when she'd looked in the mirror one day and seen herself and Nina with the exact same haircuts they'd had that night. Whether the magic had somehow known what they would look like or they'd unconsciously mimicked its choices, she didn't know, but it was just another weird little thing about life with Nina.

She changed into her own nightshirt the old-fashioned way, and carefully folded up her clothes and laid them on top of her suitcase.

"Oh, do we have to go back downstairs to brush our teeth?" she asked, suddenly realizing what was missing.

"Nope!" Nina waved at the wall and suddenly it opened up onto a bathroom. "Well, technically we are going downstairs," she said, "but there's no stairs involved."

It took Ayu a minute to get it. "You mean this bathroom isn't really up here?"

"Exactly." Nina stepped inside and turned on the faucet as Ayu dug in her suitcase for her toothbrush. "It's a permanent portal to the downstairs bathroom."

Ayu frowned. "So someone else could come in while we're in here?"

"No, it can sense when someone's inside and you can't open the door." Nina didn't really need to brush her teeth. Ayu knew she had a spell to keep them clean and cavity-free. But she liked to do it. Her lips were coated in toothpaste as she explained, "It wouldn't have let me open up the portal if Mom or Dad had been inside, either."

"Wow." She had to come up with a better response to this stuff than 'wow'. She felt like she'd said it a million times today already and she was going to be here for two weeks.

The lighting was all magic, too, which Ayu was used to because it's what Nina's host family used back home, too. Not only did it save on electricity, but it was really nice to be able to get in bed and under the covers and then turn the lights out. Ayu's room wasn't what anyone would call messy, but she still managed to stub her toe or stumble over something more times than not.

Despite her exhaustion, Ayu didn't fall asleep right away this time. Instead she lay there under the covers (which according to Nina were woven with a spell that meant you never got too cold or too warm) and listened to Nina's soft breathing beside her.

"Nina?" she whispered at one point, but there was no answer. She snuggled a little closer, not touching, but almost.

She did fall asleep at some point, and woke up late in the morning to find Nina already awake and sitting cross-legged on the bed, looking at something on her phone. Unlike Ayu's ordinary smartphone, which seemed more like a dumbphone in comparison, it was a magic phone that could get internet both on Earth and in the Magic Kingdom.

"Texting Tsujiai-kun?" Ayu asked, trying not to stare at Nina's bare thighs.

"Huh? Oh, no, just letting Tess know we're here. I know he'll want to get together." Nina looked up from her phone, her face breaking into a smile as she looked at Ayu. "You have the cutest case of bedhead ever," she said fondly.

"What!?" Ayu laughed. She knew what her hair looked like in the morning well enough to know what a mess it must be. "Nooooo! It's horrible!"

She sat up and tried to flatten it down, but the cowlicks popped right back up as soon as she took her hands away. "Fix it!"

"No way! I love it." Nina looked at her mischievously. "I'm going to cast a spell to keep it like that permanently."

"Argh! You!" Ayu threw herself at Nina, tickling her mercilessly. Nina's legs slid against hers, smooth and soft and so warm.

"Stop!" Nina shrieked, wriggling beneath her. "I promise," she gasped, winded from laughing too much, "I swear I won't!"

Ayu stopped tickling her, but didn't let go. Nina's chest heaved. Her hard nipples grazed against Ayu's through the thin fabric of their nightshirts. Her mouth was open and wet.

Ayu swallowed hard and sat up. What was wrong with her? Nina was her best friend, not...not anything else.

"Okay," she said lightly. "But you'd better not even think about it again."

"Or you'll punish me?"

Ayu had to be imagining the hopeful note in Nina's voice. She swatted Nina lightly and got out of bed. With her hands on her hips, she gave Nina the sternest look she could manage and said, "You got it," before bursting into giggles.

"Yes, mistress," Nina said, laughing with her.

Way to go, self, Ayu thought as she got dressed. She hoped Nina hadn't noticed how wet her panties were. It had obviously been too long since she got laid. But even though it had been...God, had it really been almost a year since she and Kaji-kun had broken up? Even though she'd long since stopped moping over it, she just hadn't felt motivated to find a boyfriend. Dating the same boy since middle school had left her without any idea of how to date as an adult, but that wasn't the only reason.

She'd always told people Kaji-kun was the perfect boyfriend, and he was, but not in the way they probably thought she meant it. He was exactly the sort of guy you'd want to date if you didn't really want a boyfriend. The truth was, he was a guy who was nice enough to spend time with, and Ayu liked him as a person even now. But in hindsight, her feelings for him had been based on an ideal, and she'd stayed with him as long as she did because having a boyfriend was what you were supposed to do.

But although she found plenty of guys attractive, or nice, or both, there just wasn't any spark. She didn't understand the way some of her other friends talked about guys, when her own feelings were stuck at that middle-school stage of dreaming about the ideal boy but not really wanting an actual boyfriend.

She sighed and stared at her hair in the mirror. No amount of water and smoothing was getting rid of that last cowlick. Why had she thought short hair was a good idea?

"Please, Nina?" she wheedled, grabbing Nina's arm and resting her head on Nina's shoulder. "Please fix my hair?" She batted her eyelashes. "Pretty please?"

"Oh, all right," Nina huffed, her lip poking out in a pout. "If you insist."

And like that, Ayu's hair was smooth and straight, not a strand out of place.

"Thank you, Nina-sama!" she said. "I love you!"

"You just love me for my magic."

Ayu grinned. "Oh no, my secret is out."

"Come on," Nina said, pulling away. "We have a busy day ahead of us."

That turned out to be an understatement.

The day's schedule included two museums, three restaurants, and an amusement park. All of which were paid for by Nina's parents, thankfully, since Ayu's part-time job wasn't exactly raking in the dough and anyway, she doubted any of these places would accept yen or her bank card.

The art museum was full of paintings that moved and sculptures that came to life when you walked by, and the museum of natural history had what Ayu could have sworn were real live dinosaurs, but it was the amusement park that was the highlight of the day. According to Nina, it was one of the smaller ones (an all-day trip was planned for later in the week to what sounded like the equivalent of Disneyland), but it was still pretty impressive.

Its most famous attraction was a ride on the back of a real dragon, which looped and dived in a preset path like a rollercoaster. A magic camera snapped their picture during the ride and Nina bought a framed copy of Ayu clinging to her in terror.

They ended the day at a cafe not far from the amusement park where they sat and sipped something Frappuccino-ish from glasses that never seemed to get empty.

"I think tomorrow I want to do the zoo, some skiing, and maybe a movie," Nina mused.

"Isn't that a little much?" Ayu said. "Maybe we should limit it to just one big thing per day..."

"Aren't you having fun?"

"Of course I'm having fun! But just relaxing and hanging out is fun, too, right? I'm just happy spending time with you." Ayu felt her cheeks heat up and she looked down at her drink. "I mean, just you and me, no Tsujiai-kun or Leo tagging along."

"Me, too," Nina said softly. Ayu looked up and their eyes locked. She felt her cheeks heating up again, but thankfully it was Nina who looked away this time, turning to watch a couple walking arm in arm outside the window. When she turned back to Ayu, she was smiling. "I just want to show you everything."

"Well, there's always next time," Ayu said. "I hope?"

"It won't be the same after graduation, though," Nina said sadly. "There'll be jobs and marriage and kids and there won't be time for all this."

"Wait, wait, marriage?" Ayu's stomach dropped. "Oh my God, are you and Tsujiai-kun getting married?"

"What!? No!" Nina squeaked. "No," she said again. "But that's part of growing up, right?"

"I guess so..." The jobs thing, certainly, even if Ayu couldn't really imagine getting married and having kids. But it was true that this time next year she wouldn't have summer vacation anymore. "Still," she added, forcing a smile, "I think the zoo and skiing and a movie is maybe overdoing it a little."

"Maybe." Nina smiled back. "Just a teensy bit."

It didn't take any time at all for Ayu to fall asleep that night, but something woke her in the wee hours of the morning. Half-asleep, she thought she'd imagined the noise at first, but then it came again, louder. That was definitely the sound of someone sobbing into their pillow, and seeing as Ayu wasn't crying, that left only one other option.

"Nina?" she whispered. "Nina, are you okay?" She scooted closer in the dark, feeling around for a shoulder or something to touch reassuringly. She got Nina's cheek instead, wet with tears and hot to the touch. Her heart clenched. "Hey..."

"I'm sorry," Nina sobbed.

"Sorry for what?"

"F, for waking you." Nina hadn't pulled away, instead it felt like she was pressing her cheek into Ayu's hand. It didn't feel bad at all. "And just sorry."

"You're not making sense."

"Ayu-chan, I..." The room began to glow a little. Not bright, but enough that Ayu could make out Nina's face. Nina bit her lip. Ayu wiped away a new tear with her thumb. "Ayu-chan, I broke up with Tsujiai-kun."

"What!? When?" No wonder Nina hadn't quite seemed like her usual cheerful self lately. Ayu wanted to punch Tsujiai-kun in the crotch for hurting Nina like this. "Tonight? Oh my God, did he break up with you by text? What an asshole!"

"No! It was last week, and...and he didn't break up with me." Nina sniffled. "I told you, I broke up with him."

"But..." But that didn't make any sense. "Did he cheat on you?"

"He didn't do anything. He's a great guy." She smiled sadly. "I just couldn't keep lying to him. Or to myself."

Ayu brushed a strand of hair from Nina's face. "Lying...?"

"I don't love him. I..."

"Oh, Nina," Ayu said softly. She pulled Nina into a hug. "It'll be okay. Being single after all that time will take some getting used to, but you'll fall for someone even better."

"That's the thing," Nina whispered, so quietly Ayu almost couldn't hear her. "I already have."

"Oh." Ayu tried not to sound disappointed. She had no right to be disappointed.

"Ayu-chan..." Nina's lips were only a breath away. "Ayu-chan, I love you."


"Ayu-chan, I'm so sorry." Nina buried her head against Ayu's neck, sobbing. "Please don't hate me. P, please don't stop being my friend."

"Why would I... Nina," Ayu said, and for some stupid reason she was crying, too. "Nina, look at me."

Nina looked up, and this time instead of wiping away her tears, Ayu kissed them away.

"What are you--"

"Nina, Nina..." Ayu trailed kisses down to her mouth. "I love you, too."

Ayu was trembling, or maybe Nina was. She pulled Nina even closer against her, one hand sliding down her back. Nina moaned into her mouth and hooked one leg over Ayu's hip.

Nina's breast fit just right in her hand, the nipple rubbing against her palm. Ayu had never touched another girl's breasts before, but she'd thought about it way more than she ever would have admitted. Thinking about it was nothing like actually touching, and touching wasn't enough. She wanted to taste them.

She pushed Nina onto her back and pulled up her nightshirt. She cupped one breast in her hand and tentatively flicked her tongue over the other. "Ayu-chan..." Nina moaned breathlessly as Ayu began to suck. Nina wriggled around so one of Ayu's legs was between hers, her wet panties rubbing against Ayu's thigh. She kept saying Ayu's name in gasping little breaths that became more and more desperate.

Finally Ayu reached down between them, slipped her fingers into Nina's panties and over the slick, hard nub of her clit. Nina jerked as if an electric current had run through her and bucked up against Ayu's hand. "Oh, please, please, Ayu-chan, please..."

Ayu moaned around Nina's nipple, taking it in her teeth as she rubbed Nina's clit. "Yesssss...oh, oh..." Nina tensed and then came, her clit pulsing under Ayu's fingers, and Ayu kissed her way up to Nina's mouth, slipped her hand into her own panties and it didn't take long before she was coming, too.

"Hey," Nina murmured, reaching down to place her hand over Ayu's. "I wanted to do that..."

"I couldn't wait." Ayu grinned. "But I doubt I'm going to get back to sleep at this point, so since there's nothing else to do..."

Nina kissed her nose. And then her mouth. She said, "I think you have too many clothes on," and then they both had none.

Ayu wished it were lighter. She'd seen Nina naked before, but hadn't dared to really look. She contented herself with touching for now, mapping out Nina's body with her hands and lips and tongue and teeth.

By the time the sun was up, they were exhausted, limbs sweaty and tangled in the sheets.

"Maybe we could skip the sightseeing today and spend the day in bed," Ayu said with a grin.

"Nooooo!" Nina laughed. "I have to show you everything!"

"What about that spell that stops time?"

"We shouldn't!"

"Just for a couple hours." Ayu kissed her and then kissed her again. "I've wanted to do this for so long."



"Me, too." Nina pulled away and looked at her sternly. "But. We are going out today."

"Oh, fine." Ayu pretended to pout for a second, but then smiled. "So where should we go on our first date?"

"Well," Nina said, "I was thinking of maybe the zoo, and then skiing, and maybe finishing it off with a movie."

"You!" Ayu tickled her. "You're incorrigible!"

"Are you going to punish me?"

Ayu couldn't tell if she was serious or not. She wasn't sure if she wanted her to be serious or not. "Maybe."

"Fine." Nina stuck her tongue out. "We'll see how you feel after our zoo skiing movie date...eek!" Nina giggled as Ayu tickled her again. "Okay, just the zoo! Just the zoo, I promise!"

"Just the zoo."

Ayu kissed her quiet, and then kissed her some more, until it was clear they weren't getting out of bed any time soon, which didn't bother her at all. The zoo was probably amazing, and full of the most wondrous exotic animals anyone could imagine, but it couldn't compare to Nina.

Not even a little bit.