“I still can’t believe you got Diana to play Truth or Shot with us,” Akko whispered to Amanda.
“I can’t believe she hasn’t taken a single shot yet,” Amanda said. “She’s gone for truth every time and we’re not even getting any interesting truths out of her. What a rip-off. I want to see little miss perfect get drunk as a skunk.”
Akko made a non-committal noise. She was torn between the need to learn more about Diana and the desire to see her get tipsy. Predictably enough, it did not occur to her that the tipsier Diana became the more uninhibited she would be with her truths.
Technically they weren’t drinking alcohol; Sucy had mixed up a potion with very similar effects and the significant advantage of not being a banned substance on school grounds. Even still, it was a wonder that Diana agreed to the idea. She got very cagey when Sucy commented on this out of character moment, to Hannah and Barbara's amusement.
"Quit whispering, you two," Hannah said. "It's your turn, Akko."
"Hit me with your best shot, Carrot Head!"
"Truth or shot: who do you have a crush on right now?"
Akko's shot of not-alcohol disappeared in a blur. In her haste she didn't notice Diana's eyes widen to the size of dinner plates due to Hannah's question.
"Damn!" Barbara said smugly. "I wonder what Akko's trying to hide..."
The answer to that question was obvious to everyone in the room with the exception of a particular oblivious lesbian. Akko had been nursing feelings for Diana for a month with no progress. She'd been hoping she could figure out something through the game but she didn't realize the potential for her own feelings being exposed. Classic Akko.
Several uneventful turns passed. Akko tried to think of a question she could ask Diana that would help her with her aspirations to date her sorta-kinda-rival.
Amanda got the next chance to ask Diana a question, and unlike the goody two-shoes, Amanda had taken more than a few shots. Not because she was reluctant to answer “truth” — it was because she was Amanda and she wanted to get turnt. Thus, Amanda was on her worst behaviour when she asked her question.
“A'right, Princess, it's time for you to Caven-dish,” Amanda slurred. “What are your turn-ons?”
Silence fell over the group. Blood rose to Diana’s cheeks. Her eyes momentarily flickered over to Akko before returning to Amanda. Without breaking eye contact with her, Diana poured a shot of potion into her glass and downed it.
Amanda laughed. “Looks like somebody’s got some secrets! We should’ve tried that ages ago!”
Akko had neither blinked nor breathed since Amanda asked her question. Diana’s… turn-ons… Her tiny gay mind wasn’t prepared for that idea. Diana seemed too proper for turn-ons. A whole new world of possibilities opened up to her and obliterated her ability to think straight. Pun intended.
“T-t-turn-ons!?” Hannah and Barbara said in unison. They tried to say it as if they’d never heard of the concept, but no one was buying it; Diana had doubled her night patrol shifts after Hannah and Barbara started dating and everyone silently agreed on the cause. The very noisy cause.
“Yeah,” Amanda said. “Turn-ons. Y’know, like does Cavendish like getting her clit sucked? Trick question. As I’ve been saying since day one, Cavendish sucks.”
Akko cocked her head to the side. “What’s a clit?”
Everyone looked back and forth between Akko and Diana. “This one’s yours,” Sucy said, nodding at the heiress.
Diana poured herself another shot, but Hannah and Barbara took it away from her. “It’s not that kind of question,” Hannah said.
“You don’t want her not to know, right?” Barbara added.
Diana sighed deeply. She stood up and kneeled next to Akko, getting as close to her so she could explain a certain anatomical feature as quietly as possible. It was difficult to say who was blushing harder by the time Diana returned to her place between Hannah and Barbara. Akko was just about ready to pass out from the combination of the information being relayed to her, Diana's proximity to her, and the sound of her crush's quavering voice in her ear as she whispered the phrase "sexual stimulation." That definitely counted as some kind of torture, and she totally wasn't turned on at all.
Amanda nudged Akko. "Watching that was worth hearing all the boring Nightfall trivia I had to hear from Lotte and Barbara. If you had as much magic as you have hormones, you could wipe the floor with the Nine Olde Witches."
"Shut up," Akko hissed.
"Don't be like that. I was just trying to help. Y'know how hot and bothered you are right now? Imagine getting Diana like that. You're welcome for the mental image."
"Shut. Up." That was the last thing Akko wanted to think about right now. She had enough trouble keeping a lid on her thoughts when she was sober; another few shots and her friends would know exactly how she felt about Diana. Later, once safely in bed, she allowed herself to ponder the question: what were Diana's turn-ons? She was still half-drunk when she decided upon an ill-conceived plan to discover Diana's turn-ons.
“Hey, Diana,” she said. “Whatcha doing?”
“Good afternoon, Akko,” Diana replied. “Professor Finnelan requested that I ensure these mandrakes are doing well. Are you alright, Akko? You seem nervous.”
“Do I? Haha.” Akko fidgeted, shifting her feet anxiously. “So… I was wondering… I had a question about last night..."
"Is... is that so?"
"Um... well..." Akko swallowed loudly and screwed up all her courage. "What are your turn-ons?” She may or may not have yelled.
Diana blushed but gave no other indication of embarrassment or discomfort. “Whatever possessed you to ask such a thing?”
It was then that Akko realized she hadn't prepared an actual response to Diana's inevitable refusal. “Because I want to know! Duh!”
"And what possible reason would you need that sort of information?"
"Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuh..." Akko fumbled for a response. "For, uh, rival reasons."
Diana raised an eyebrow. "I'm not sure how rivals and... that subject are connected."
"That's because you've never read fanfiction..." Akko muttered.
"I beg your pardon?"
This is going horribly, Akko thought. This was a terrible idea! She's going to think I'm a weirdo and she won't want to be friends anymore. Wait! That's it!
"I'm asking because I want to know more about you!" she said. "Yeah, that's it! I want to be super-duper close to you, so I want to know something about you that nobody else knows!"
Diana didn't respond immediately. Instead, she observed Akko closely. Akko felt like a handful of potions ingredients being meticulously weighed on a scale. At last Diana reached a conclusion, shaking her head as if ridding herself of a dubious idea...
"Be that as it may, Akko, I'm afraid sharing such intimate information would be inappropriate. Not that I have any turn-ons. I don't. But if I did, I wouldn't share them with anyone. Good day." Diana practically sprinted out of the greenhouse.
"Dang it," Akko said. "I really thought I had her hooked with the friendship stuff."
Akko heard a familiar chuckle. An invisibility enchantment dispelled to reveal Amanda, flourishing her wand as she grinned at her friend. “Akko, Akko, Akko. Haven’t I taught you that you can’t get anything by taking the straight-forward approach.” She laughed again. “Since when does the straight way get anything done.”
When Akko had told Amanda about her feelings for Diana, her friend’s advice was to try to figure out Diana’s feelings rather than admit her own — after all, nothing was scarier than confessing to a girl who wasn’t into you. That being said, Akko had no idea how to go about doing that. So far her attempts to innocuously probe Diana information left Diana confused and herself embarrassed. She had hopes that knowing Diana’s turn-ons might help her out in some way, but damned if she could figure out how.
“Well what am I supposed to do?” Akko demanded.
“Lucky for your sorry ass, Mommy Amanda has a present for you.” Amanda handed Akko a slip of paper.
Akko accepted the paper, which turned out to be a very filthy list. “Thanks, but please never call yourself "Mommy Amanda" ever again. Is this a list of turn-ons?"
"Damn right it is. Cavendish isn't going to just admit what her kinks are. You can’t just ask her; you gotta try ‘em out.”
Akko raised an eyebrow. “That sounds… sketchy as hell.”
"Trust me. How could this possibly backfire on you?" Amanda knew damn well how it could backfire on Akko. She was counting on it. Though she was leading Akko astray, she only had the best of intentions. Well, other than her own amusement. It was pretty damn obvious that Akko and Diana would inevitably become a couple; why not get a little fun out of them?
Akko shrugged. "I guess I don't really have much to lose after what just happened."
"That's the spirit!"
Amanda added a note: "She's always doing that annoying hair flip thing, right? That's got to be a thing for her."
"I guess it's worth a shot," Akko said to herself.
She struck when her quarry was outside. She concealed a leaf in her sleeve and walked up to Diana.
"Hey, Diana! How are you—wait, hold still for a second."
Before Diana could react, Akko ran a hand through her hair, caressing the beautiful, blonde tresses. She was careful to graze Diana's scalp with her fingertips. What the hell, she thought. Diana's hair is so soft. I gotta ask her what her secret it.
Diana froze under Akko's touch. When Akko's hand came away, she recovered enough to splutter uncontrollably.
"You had a leaf stuck in your hair," Akko lied, producing the leaf she'd prepared. "Can't let the school's star student run around looking like a mess."
"Quite right," Diana said in a strained voice. "If you'll excuse me, Akko, I have urgent business. In the library. The books asked me to rearrange Professor Badcock." She then hurried off in the opposite direction from the library.
Diana's errors went right over Akko's head. "She didn't even blush! I guess it'd be too easy to hit gold on the first try. Onto the next one!"
"I guess that's kind of a turn-on?" Akko said. "Lotte has a spare pair of glasses I can use..."
Akko had a study session schedule with Diana in the Blue Team's dorm. The perfect setting! She arrived wearing the Lotte's spare glasses as planned. Diana greeted her at the door with a look of confusion.
"Akko, since when do you need glasses?"
Confusion wasn't what I was hoping for, Akko thought, disappointed. "Oh, I think my eyes might be going bad, so I thought I might try it out."
Diana nodded. "I myself sometimes find it hard to focus my eyes after hours of studying. Thankfully I've enchanted a pair of glasses to ease the stress." She disappeared behind the bookshelf that divided her side of the room from Hannah and Barbara's. "I haven't needed them for some time, but I could use them after all that ahem book sorting I did earlier."
Diana appeared again wearing a pair of thick-framed glasses. "Do they look peculiar"
"What do you mean?"
How can something like glasses make someone so much cuter!? This isn't fair! Akko felt like she'd discovered something monumental. I should've known that glasses would max out Diana's smart girl stats! I wonder if I could get her to wear those every day...
"...are you alright, Akko?"
Akko looked down at the amount of skin exposed by her short skirt. "I think that one's covered. But I guess I could go a little farther."
She hiked up her skirt another inch and sought out Diana. Akko found her sitting on a bench, reading a book. The reading came to an abrupt stop when Akko sat down on the bench and laid her legs over Diana's lap. The other girl blushed and stared at her book, refusing to acknowledge Akko's thighs and calves but forgetting to actually turn the pages of the book she was supposedly reading. Akko grinned and chalked up another victory for herself.
Diana is a confirmed legs girl.
"Call her 'daddy'."
"What the fuck, Amanda?"
Amanda's note: "feet are just decorations on legs, and who doesn't like legs?"
"I can't tell if she's trolling me," Akko said, "Or if I should be concerned for her."
Amanda's note read: "after all, it worked pretty well on you."
Akko cursed her friend, but acknowledged that she had a point.
She waited until late in the day when Diana would be studying alone in the library. With a quietness she usually couldn't achieve, Akko snuck up on Diana and embraced her from behind, slipping her arms around her crush's waist and pulling her in close.
"Studying hard or hardly studying, Diana?" she whispered. The low volume of her voice contrasted nicely with the internal screaming happening in her head. OH SHIT! I'M HUGGING DIANA! I'M GOING TO HAVE A GAY HEART ATTACK! I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING! There was nothing to do but see it through.
"A-A-Akko! What are you—"
"You're being a little loud," Akko murmured into Diana's ear. "This is a library, after all."
Diana adjusted her volume, but her voice was shaking. "Akko, please release me."
"B-b-because you're interrupting my studying!"
"But you're shivering! You need someone to warm you up!" Akko mentally patted herself on the back for picking up on that.
"I'm not sh-shivering!"
"Then why are you shaking?"
"That settles it! I'll be your blanket!"
Diana didn't argue further. Akko could feel heat radiating off Diana's face, and even she couldn't not see that her crush was flustered. Another win for Akko!
Diana was profoundly confused by Akko's behaviour but was nonetheless pleased by the situation. Not that she would ever admit it. Though Akko had been acting overly familiar with her—overly familiar even for Akko—she wouldn't allow herself even the slightest hope that Akko was attracted to her. Hannah and Barbara had been attempting to convince her to take a chance, but Diana Cavendish was nothing if not cautious, and she wouldn't act on her feelings until she had good reason to believe that Akko returned them.
That good reason came sooner than she might've expected.
Akko stared in horror at the next item on the list: "BDSM".
"There's no way I can pull that off without her figuring out what I'm doing!"
She flopped onto her bed and let out a deep sigh. Lotte and Sucy were out for the rest of the afternoon, so Akko had her dorm room all to herself to freak out.
"I almost didn't live through giving her a hug, how am I supposed to do any of that stuff!?"
Maybe I should give up now, she thought. I already learned some stuff, and I should quit before she catches on. That would be super embarrassing.
There was a knock at the door and Akko almost hit her head on the bunk above her.
"Wh-who is it?"
"It's Diana. I was wondering if you had any free time—"
"Sure! Come on in!"
Diana entered the room, silently noting the absence of either of Akko's roommates. They would be alone. Perfect.
Akko patted a spot on the bed next to herself. "Make yourself comfortable."
"Thank you." Diana smoothed out an area of blanket and sat down. "What are you looking at?" She eyed the note Amanda has written.
Akko shoved the offending list under her pillow. "Nothing! Definitely nothing suspicious! Nothing you need to worry about!"
"I've never been more worried about something in my life," Diana said. "What are you up to?"
"Don't worry about it!" Akko couldn't believe she was stupid enough to let Diana see the list, even if she didn't get a chance to read it.
"Akko, you're acting ridiculous." Diana leaned closer to her. "If you're doing something suspicious, it's my duty as your classmate to investigate."
She isn't going to let this go! Akko cursed her crush's diligence. How can I get her to do what I say and leave me alone? Wait, get her to do what I say... That's it!
In a stroke of sheer stupidity, Akko decided to hide the turn-on list and try the next item on the list at the same time.
She challenged Diana by leaning toward her. "Didn't anyone ever tell you to respect other people's secrets, you bad girl?"
"I beg your pardon?" Diana was surprised by Akko's sudden change in demeanour.
Akko leaned in farther, right into Diana's personal space. "You're in my room so you'll respect my rules, you naughty girl."
"I b-beg your p-pardon?" Diana wasn't sure how to take Akko's face being so close to her own.
Akko took Diana's chin in her hand and gave her as commanding a look as she could muster. "You filthy slut!"
"I BEG YOUR PARDON!?!?!?" Diana had never been so insulted in her life. And she was not into it.
Uh-oh. Diana was red, but not the good red. Not the embarrassed kind of red. The angry kind.
Akko pulled her hand back as if it had been burned. I'm going to kill Amanda, she thought as she backed away from her enraged friend.
"I don't know what's gotten into you lately, but this is simply unacceptable!" Diana wasn't about to let Akko have her space; she crawled forward on the bed and practically into Akko's lap. "If this is your idea of a joke, allow me to make it perfectly clear that I don't find it funny!"
Akko was both intimidated and kind of turned on. She turned the tables on me! she thought. Oh, and she's also kinda pissed at me. There's got to be some way for me to defuse this situation...
"You might find this funny instead!" Akko reached out and ran her fingertips over Diana's thighs. She ignored the gay feelings associated with touching her crush's legs and focused on the pressing need to distract her. "Tickle, tickle, tickle!"
Luckily for Akko, she had hit one of Diana's weak spots. Diana could barely hold in her giggles and her arousal from being touched there. Unluckily for Akko, she had made a tactical error. With her hands busy on Diana's thighs, she had left her secret open. Diana reached under the pillow and retrieved the note, backing away from Akko as soon as she did so she could read the note.
"Is this... a list of turn-ons?" Diana asked.
"I mean, it's definitely not a shopping list..."
"And what are you doing with—" And then it hit Diana. "You're still trying to figure out what my... interests are, aren't you?"
Diana sighed. "Akko, you are simply impossible. Why does this matter so much to you? Why is learning this worth harassing me?"
"Hey, I'm not harassing you!" Akko objected. "I'm trying to show you a good time. You're welcome, by the way."
"You want to... show me a good time...?" Diana lingered on the words, attempting to ask a particular question without actually saying it out loud.
"Yeah, totally," Akko said, shifting verbal gears into reverse. "That's a totally normal things friends do for each other and they say it just like that. In a not gay way." You just had to add that at the end, didn't you? she chided herself.
"I see." Diana didn't seem to be buying it and Akko could already feel herself sweating.
"Very well," Diana continued. "Perhaps I can illuminate you on that particular subject... if you give me the same information about yourself first."
"Wait, why do you want to know about my turn-ons for!?" Akko asked, panicked.
"Are you really going to ask me that after everything you've done as of late?" Diana asked.
"Hey, you can't just ask an innocent maiden what gets her hot and bothered," Akko said.
"Are you insinuating that I'm not an innocent maiden?"
"Look, I can't run the risk that you might use that info for something salacious, and—"
Just then Diana made a weird sound. Almost like a squeak.
"What was that?" Akko asked.
"Nothing," Diana said hastily. "Say that again."
"Not that. Say what you were going to say before I interrupted you."
"What, you mean the thing about you doing something salacious?"
Diana made the squeaking sound again.
"Am I using that word wrong?" Akko asked. She desperately hoped she wasn't making a fool of herself in front of Diana. She'd picked up the word from a fanfic she read. Yes, Akko did read. She read gay fanfics and nothing else, but it was at least some kind of reading.
"No, you're using that word properly," Diana said breathlessly. "You're using it perfectly."
"Um, okay." Akko wasn't sure what was going on. Diana's face was flushed, her breath was short, and she trembled slightly as she supported herself on the mattress...
"Hey, are you turned on right now?" Akko asked.
Diana let out a laborious sigh. "If you must know, one of my interests is hearing adorable, brown-haired, red-eyed, Japanese girls say big words."
"That's... oddly specific," Akko said. "Wait, are you saying you like me?"
Diana didn't answer. Instead, she summoned a piece of paper and scribbled something down. She handed the note to Akko and told her to read it.
"Wait, are you saying you're infatuated with me?" Akko recited.
Diana nodded vigorously and giggled. Diana never giggled.
"Wow! That's great! Because I like you too, and that means—"
Diana placed a finger over Akko's lips. "We can sort that out later," she said. She removed the finger and leaned forward, embracing Akko. "Right now, I have a shortlist of loooooong words that I've wanted to hear you say for quite some time."
Akko couldn't decide if that was the nerdiest or the cutest thing she'd ever heard and decided that she didn't care. Whatever floats her boat, she concluded. "I'd love to do that for you," she said. "In fact, I'm, uh, enthusiastic, ecstatic!"
Diana made another weird happy sound. "I'm thankful that you're being so accommodating of my... interests. If you wanted to test out more of those turn-ons, I'd be more than happy..."
Akko couldn't believe what she was hearing. She was about to ask if Diana could put on her glasses again when Diana added something else.
"But under no circumstances are we doing the feet thing."