Actions

Work Header

Fall of the CEO

Chapter Text

It’s only a date. A harmless date that doesn’t need to amount or lead to anything. They’re not breaking any rules or doing anything that can harm their careers.

At least, that’s what Diana tells herself.

She tells herself that it isn’t morally wrong to date her assistant especially if said assistant is officially on a break and technically no longer working under Diana’s direct supervision.

Of course, Diana has thought about the morality of her blossoming relationship with Akko. She has thought about it a lot. So much so, she thinks it may have embedded itself in her brain already.

All of Diana’s reasons why she shouldn’t date Akko – having imbalanced power relations, her emotional abilities rivalling a roach, her busy work schedule, her inability to show physical affection – and yet here she is, preparing to go on a date with her.

As Diana looks at herself in the bathroom mirror, she can’t help but wonder – since when does she wake up with a smile on her face that just won’t go away? Since when does she get out of bed anticipating the events of the day instead of just mechanically completing them? Since when does she feel as light and bouncy on her feet as she does now?

After six weeks with Akko, she supposes, almost – if not all – of her defenses have been broken down, beaten ten times over, and then some.

Surprisingly, it isn’t as much of a shock as Diana initially thought that realisation would be. She knew going in that Akko would be different – that she is different. From her sunny smiles and her sweet, sweet perfume to the way she does everything with relative ease – which includes but is not limited to worming her way into Diana’s life – Akko is just… a force to be reckoned with.

And Diana can’t believe her luck that someone as bright and as warm as Akko genuinely likes someone as callous and cold as her.

Thank heavens she agreed to go out on an official date with her today.

Which, unfortunately, brings her to a dilemma she never thought she’d face in her lifetime: deciding what to wear with limited options.

Of all the planning that she did before going on this trip, she never once anticipated – or dare she say, hoped – that Akko would finally ask her out on a date.

Diana knows how much Akko values standing by their agreement – useless as it is now – so she really hadn’t thought that it was possible to have their first ‘official’ date here in Canada.

“Damn it,” she mutters to herself as she decides whether she should pick tight-fitting trousers or go for the denim shorts. Knowing that Akko is just lounging in bed in her signature red shorts and black shirt with a band logo doesn’t help Diana’s predicament.

It’s just clothes. It shouldn’t be so hard to pick, for heaven’s sake.

And yet, deep down Diana knows she’s stressing so much because this date matters a lot to her, whether she admits it to herself or not.

She knows this will be the turning point in her relationship with Akko. After today, they can’t turn back to what they were before they landed here.

Diana doesn’t want them to. She likes the dynamics they have now – how easily the conversations flow between them, how happy it makes her whenever she sees Akko grinning or almost crying from laughter, how she feels whenever she’s in Akko’s presence.

She’s tired of restraining herself and suppressing the feelings she has for Akko.

She thinks Akko feels similarly. Hasn’t she mentioned that she’s already thought about asking Diana out on a date even before what happened yesterday? Diana reckons she isn’t the only one feeling like this in terms of the progress of their relationship. She knows she can’t be the only one who has butterflies in her stomach at the mere thought of spending the day together on a romantic date. Akko may seem composed but Diana has seen her panic at one point.

That can only mean that Akko is also enthused – and nervous, too – about this just like Diana is.

With that thought in mind, Diana finally decides on the denim shorts and a light blue shirt. Akko said casual and comfortable and this is as casual and comfortable Diana can get considering how limited her options are.

Literally and metaphorically squaring her shoulders, Diana gathers her things from the basin and goes out of the bathroom.

At the sound of the door opening, Akko sits up from her position on the bed and opens her mouth only for her to close it again when nothing but stuttered breath comes out.

Diana suddenly feels self-conscious under Akko’s unwavering stare. Did she pick wrong? Perhaps she should wear the trousers after all despite knowing she’ll suffer with that later –

“You look amazing.”

The words are breathed more than spoken and it takes a moment for Diana’s mind to register the words. Once they do, she feels the inevitable heat rush to her cheeks. She ducks her head and tucks a stray hair behind her ear.

She is used to hearing compliments from people all her life and she admits that the glamour of praises has long worn off on her. But coming from Akko, the compliments sound so genuine that she can’t help but feel self-conscious. Like Akko sees something more in her. Something that isn’t related to her last name and achievements in life.

“I – thank you.”

Akko giggles at her reaction before she uses the pliability of the bed to bounce off it and land on her feet on the floor with a quiet thump. “Kawaii,” she hears Akko mutter under her breath just before grabbing hold of a disposable camera sitting on the bedside table and quickly snapping a picture of Diana.

Surprised, Diana steps back and angles her face away from Akko’s camera. “What – Akko! A warning would be nice,” she huffs, feeling her cheeks grow even hotter, unused to the attention Akko is bestowing upon her.

“Surprised you is a cute you,” Akko argues with a huge smile plastered on her face.

A face that Diana wants to pinch until she stops being so cute – or kiss so she won’t take candid photographs of her again.

The latter sounds so much better in Diana’s head and she has more inclination towards it, to be honest.

Shaking her head to rid herself of the thought before it can burrow itself in her mind deeper (they won’t get out of the room if she were to let that thought fester), Diana huffs before straightening up and asking, “Well? Shall we go?”

“Impatient, aren’t we?” Akko teases with a playful smirk tugging at the corner of her lips.

Diana rolls her eyes with a fondness only reserved for Akko before her own lips break out into a smile. “Can’t a lady be excited for a date with someone she really likes?”

The resulting blush on Akko’s cheeks is instantaneous and Diana revels in her small victory. When Akko glares at her the next moment, Diana simply laughs before looping her arm through Akko’s and maneuvering them towards the door.

“You’re cute when you’re flustered,” comments Diana offhandedly as they walk out the door of their hotel room.

“You’re lucky you’re pretty,” Akko sasses back, still sporting a pout on her face.

Diana simply laughs quietly, relishing the light feeling in her chest. The day has yet to begin but somehow, Diana can already tell this will be the best date she’ll ever have and one of the happiest and most memorable days of her life.

When Akko opens the door of a rental car, she says ‘my lady’ with a fake British accent and bows with an exaggerated flourish. And as Diana chuckles at Akko’s ridiculousness, she can’t help but think that, yes, this is what happiness feels like.

 


 

After everything that has happened the past weeks –  all the denial, the almost-kisses, the actual drunk kisses, the sexual and romantic tension – Diana still can’t believe that she’s here with Akko.

On a date with her.

In an amusement park under the blazing heat of the July sun in Canada.

It can’t get better than this.

Well, the weather could be a bit colder so that Diana wouldn’t be perspiring too much and the people milling around could be more mindful of personal space. However, what do those matter when every single time she glances at Akko’s way, she sees so much brightness in crimson eyes and a huge smile that almost breaks her face in half?

Everything fades into nothing when Diana looks at Akko.

So really, Akko is the only one that matters.

Sweaty armpits be damned.

“I purchased flash passes for us and printed them yesterday so we don’t have to line up for tickets,” Akko informs her as they walk towards the park’s entrance. It’s a little after ten and the place is just beginning to be swarmed by people of all ages.

Diana thinks the day is perfect already.

“We don’t have to wait in long lines because of these,” Akko continues with a giddy and infectious smile. “They make us kind of a VIP.” She waves the said passes in front of her.

Diana arches a brow at that. So, Akko really did plan for this. It makes Diana’s heart swell because Akko never does anything halfway and their first date is no exception to that.

It’s endearing.

However, one question still lingers in Diana’s mind. She can’t help but ask, “Is that what you’ve been doing yesterday?”

Akko finally came back and stayed in their room around nine in the evening yesterday with her hands gripping two plastic bags brimming with cartons of Chinese takeout.

Diana balked at the quantity of the food but she realised then that those were mostly for Akko, anyway.

They ate in relative silence, the only sound in the room was the animal documentary Diana decided to put on as she waited for Akko to come back. She had finished everything concerning the business portion of the trip and she didn’t want to burden herself with going over emails.

After their dinner, Akko announced she was going to shower and Diana didn’t even have the time to ask her about her plans before she fell asleep.

She only woke up to Akko beaming at her from the side of the bed. The sight of which frightened Diana enough to wake her fully and make her scoot away from Akko.

And now here they are.

Akko’s yet to answer her question, though. Her attention is caught by the tall rides that almost obscure the cloudless sky.

Akko is eyeing the rides with a childlike wonder and her expression isn’t dissimilar to the kids tugging at their parents’ hands so they can finally go through the entrance to begin their ‘adventure.’

It’s both cute and amusing at the same time.

“Akko?”

“Hai?”

Diana smiles. If this were anyone else, she would’ve been irked by the inattention. But this is Akko. And the utter fascination and wonder in her features are enough to make Diana crack a smile and remind her why she’s so infatuated with this woman.

“Did you hear what I said?”

Akko tears her gaze away – with much difficulty, Diana notes with a wider smile – from the towering ride they can see from their position. “I – uh, no.” She rubs the back of her head, sheepish. “What is it?”

“I asked if this was what you were doing yesterday,” Diana tells her.

Understanding blooms on Akko’s face and she nods vigorously. “Yeah! Wasn’t expecting to have our date to happen in Canada so I had to prepare stuff,” she says, voice casual.

Oh. Now that makes Diana’s heart beat wildly in her chest. She already thinks Akko put a lot of planning into their date but hearing it out loud is somehow… different. It makes it real.

And so, she doesn’t even bother hiding the fact that she’s extremely flattered and thrilled with this new improvement in their relationship.

Akko put a lot of effort into this. The least she can do is express how much she appreciates it.

“That’s so sweet of you.”

Akko, however, is unprepared to hear such words from Diana because she almost trips at nothing when the words reach her ears. She rights herself in time before sputtering, “Wha – nani?”

“Akko, why are you so flustered?” Diana asks, chuckling. She knows she isn’t the most affectionate – physically or verbally – but seeing Akko sporting the shade of a tomato is making Diana question her own aloofness. She thinks she has already improved somewhat. Has she not? “We’re literally on a date.”

“I – I know. I just… you…” Akko motions her hand at Diana, expecting her to understand what she’s saying with just gestures.

Seeing Akko so flustered never fails to amuse Diana and so she can’t help but tease, “Words, Akko. Use words.”

Akko sees through her façade, though, and she scrunches her face in a way that reminds Diana of an angered baby. An adorable angered baby. “Meanie!”

“You like this meanie,” Diana reminds her with a wink. She doesn’t even know why she does it but seeing Akko’s jaw dropping is oh so worth the thoughtless action. Perhaps not thinking about every action she does and every word she says can be a good thing.

Being thoughtful of every little thing isn’t something Diana is used to, but she can just chalk this up to another thing that Akko has changed.

“I am not going to survive this day,” murmurs Akko under her breath.

Diana doesn’t try to tell Akko that she isn’t the only one who has that sentiment. 

 


 

The first ride they line up to is quite cozy and relaxing – and not what Diana is expecting, to be perfectly honest.

As Akko mentioned while they were waiting for their ride, it’s the Minirail, which goes around the park, allowing them – and the other visitors – to point out which rides attract their attention or they think they’ll enjoy.

Expectedly, Akko does just that with a bright twinkle in her eyes every time she spots a ride that strikes her curiosity and has her squirming in excitement.

“I read that the Gravitor is moderately thrilling,” Akko says when they pass by the said ride.

Diana doesn’t even tear her gaze from Akko to look at the said machine, too content to simply nod and watch as Akko continues listing down the rides they see in passing. She’s never been adventurous, opting to do activities that can be learned, but she’s already on her way to changing that, too.

Akko might just make her like going to spontaneous ‘adventures’ like this, even though Diana knows it’s Akko’s reactions and contagious happiness that make her enjoy such an outing.

Especially her exclamations and her snapping of pictures every chance she gets.

“And that Boomerang ride! I don’t know what it is but I’ve read that it’s nice!” Click.

Click. “You can’t go to an amusement park without riding the roller coaster!”

“Carrousel, too!”

“And never forget the Ferris Wheel. Oh, I’m so excited for us to ride them all! Well, not all but most of them!”

Diana has never been to any of those rides, so she reckons this will be an eventful day indeed. She just hopes that this won’t result in her throwing up the sandwich she ate on the way. That would be mortifying.

Akko tells her that the best way to enjoy amusement parks is to go for all the rides they could take and save the Ferris Wheel for last.

“It’s tradition,” Akko explains when Diana asks her why. They’ve just finished the whole trip around the amusement park aboard the MiniRail ride and are now walking to queue for the… disk ride Diana doesn’t remember the name of. “I’ve read in a post somewhere that when you ride the Ferris Wheel last, you can see everything from the top, and then you can talk about your most memorable memories during the day.”

Which is a good reason, Diana can’t deny. Who even thinks of such things? Romantics?

Akko can’t keep the smile out of her voice as she says, “Now, we go to the Boomerang!”

“You have this whole day planned out, don’t you?” Diana asks even though she thinks she already knows the answer. Akko did plan for this. Diana won’t be surprised if she laid out a very detailed plan. She can be really organised despite her chaotic nature. “Up to the rides and breaks?”

Akko hums, contemplative. She taps a finger on her lips and Diana doesn’t even try to deny to herself that the action causes her to focus on how soft-looking those lips are and how Diana wants to just… taste them.

She’s human, she likes Akko, and she’s damn exhausted denying how much she wants her.

With those thoughts swirling in her head, Diana doesn’t even notice that Akko’s already halfway through her answer.

Goddamnit. She got side-tracked.

“– eat when you want. Rides, yes, although they’re subjected to change depending on you,” Akko is saying, tone serious as if she was talking to a snobby board member. “This is our date, Diana. I want you to enjoy it.”

Not wanting Akko to question why she only caught half of her answer, Diana simply tells her, “I already am enjoying our date. Immensely.”

The simple statement produces a pinkish flush on Akko’s cheeks and Diana purses her lips to stop the wide smile threatening to break to the surface.

She will never tire of pulling such reactions from Akko. Gods, Diana can’t even believe how full her heart feels and how warm her insides get just by simply watching Akko stuttering and trying to hide her blush.

She’s just so adorable and beautiful and warm and bright and –

“You’re wonderful, Akko.”

Akko squeaks and her reaction confuses Diana. Did she say something wrong? Was that the wrong thing to say? Bloody hell, how does one do dating? She hasn’t felt this lost since she entered high school when her guide-slash-handbook didn’t mention how hot her female classmates would be.

It takes a few moments for Akko to compose herself enough to say, “Kuso, Diana, don’t say things like that, or I might just –” and then she stops abruptly as if realising what she’s about to say.

“You might just what?” Diana presses, intrigued. Being on a date with Akko has successfully broken down all of her defenses and none of the boundaries that used to matter exist anymore.

(Who is she kidding? Those boundaries were non-existent in the first place.)

Akko takes a deep breath – as if bracing herself for her next words – before quietly saying, “Kiss you.”

She doesn’t know where it comes from but the words, “Why don’t you, then?” come out of her mouth before Diana can think twice about them.

At the taunt, Akko smirks at her and Christ, that alone does things to Diana that she knows she shouldn’t be feeling in an amusement park. “Later.”

It’s Diana’s turn to blush and stammer. That’s… bold. She genuinely didn’t think Akko would bite. But she did and now she’s the one feeling embarrassed. Damn it. “L-Later?”

Akko is looking smug at being able to make Diana stutter. It should be infuriating but Diana only finds it… hot. Heavens, she’s in trouble. An exciting one but trouble, nonetheless.

“Now who’s getting all flustered?” Akko teases her, smirking playfully with a mischievous glint in her eyes.

Diana glares at her at which Akko only laughs. Thankfully, the tension between them slowly dissipates and turns into a comfortable silence as Akko’s gaze changes from smouldering to soft.

Once she gathers her wits, Diana mutters, “I’ll get back at you.”

“Can’t wait.” Akko winks at her before grabbing Diana’s hand and pulling her so they’ll resume walking. “Now, rides. Boomerang, here we go!”

 


 

 

The Boomerang, as it turns out, would’ve led to Diana’s sudden death if it weren’t for the piercing screams Akko was letting out.

As someone who had no prior experience riding a damn roller coaster, the ride almost gave her a heart attack because of the sheer force she felt during the dip. And it really would have – if her attention didn’t latch onto Akko who was screaming at the top of her lungs the entire time.

Diana can still hear the piercing exclamations in her ears.

Akko is amazing but her voice is just –

“Whoa! That was wild!”

Diana can only shake her head as she still feels a little wobbly on her feet. That’s only their second ride of the day and yet she already dreads the other rides that has the patrons screaming to the skies.

But then Akko gives her a beaming smile and all her reservations – and plans to tell Akko to avoid the ‘extreme’ rides – melt away.

Whipped.

Just like Hannah and Amanda would say.

Whatever.

It’s Akko who’s gotten her whipped – sweet, kind, gorgeous Akko. She has no regrets.

Before Diana can get lost in her thoughts, Akko’s attention is caught by the candy floss stand and she hurriedly grabs Diana’s hand and pulls her along. Diana does her best to keep up with Akko despite her still unsteady legs.

“Amusement park adventure isn’t complete without candy floss!”

With all the statements Akko has said today regarding what one has to do in an amusement park, Diana is beginning to think that there is some sort of guidebook on amusement park etiquettes and activities. Perhaps she should’ve gotten one if she only knew they were going here.

That would’ve prepared her for heart attack-inducing rides.

“Do you want one?” Akko asks her once they’re in the queue. The smile on her lips has taken a permanent residence on her face and so, even though Diana personally thinks candy floss is a pure sugar dose – and she might just throw it up anyway after that damn ride – she doesn’t want that smile to falter even for the tiniest fraction. Thus, she nods.

And thank heavens she does because the smile turns into a wide grin and how can Diana resist falling for a woman as joyous and bright as Akko?

“Two, please!” Akko orders once they’re up front. She presents their flash passes – they apparently cover food and drinks as well – for the payment before the lady behind the counter gives them their order with a smile and a thank you.

Once the candy flosses are in their hands, Akko snaps a quick picture of them holding it up near their faces before she practically slurps on hers.

Diana isn’t willing to admit to it but she is at loss on how to eat the stick of sugar cloud. It’s like cotton – wispy and sticks to where she doesn’t want it to stick.

Akko, who has practically devoured half of her candy floss, notices Diana’s troubled expression. “What’s wrong?” she asks once she swallows the portion of sugar in her mouth. “Don’t tell me you’ve never eaten a candy floss before!” Akko puts a hand to her chest, aghast like Diana just insulted her mother.

Diana’s blush is enough of an answer for Akko.

The widening of Akko’s eyes is almost comical if Diana weren’t stressing over a damn sweet. “Mou, Diana. Really?”

“I deem candy floss as a big pile of sugar cloud,” Diana admits with a bashful chuckle and a slight flush on her cheeks.

“But, this is like a staple of amusement park visits!”

“I’m not exactly a fan of sugar.” Diana shrugs as if it explains it. And then almost as an afterthought, she adds, “I didn’t grow up eating it at an amusement park.”

The last time Diana has been to an amusement park was… well, she’s never been to an amusement park. Her mother died before she could take her to one. And Aunt Daryl wasn’t exactly the type to go to excursions with her niece – hell, even with her daughters. Hannah and Barbara, on the other hand, deem themselves too ‘posh’ for such a frenzied place.

So, yes, it is apt to say that this isn’t just Diana feeling things as if it’s her first time. It is actually her first time.

Akko tilts her head as if she’s trying to understand the underlying meaning of Diana’s words. “But why would you not grow up eating candy floss? If you visited amusement parks, it would’ve caught your eye like it did mine even if you were most likely a posh kid.”

“I didn’t.”

The thoughtful haze in Akko’s eyes clear and gets replaced with astonishment. “What?”

“I never visited an amusement park before today, Akko,” Diana gently explains, ensuring that her voice remains as neutral as possible. She doesn’t want to ruin this day by bringing up sad memories of her childhood.

“Kuso, you mean I just took your amusement park virginity today?”

If she weren’t trained to be composed all the time, Diana would’ve choked on her spit at the sudden mention of virginity. Even though it’s said so innocently and in such an odd way too, its connotation and attached… action still take root in Diana’s mind.

Damn her libido for making such a statement sound so dirty.

Akko looks confused at her reaction – or lack thereof. “You okay?”

“Christ, Akko,” Diana mutters under her breath once she’s sure she isn’t going to die because she choked on her own saliva. Is that even possible? Gods, she doesn’t know anymore. This day is both joyful and embarrassing at the same time. “Amusement park virginity? Really?

Akko’s eyes widen as the words sink into her mind and she actually has the decency to duck her head and be bashful. “Oops? Sorry?”

Diana just sighs and as a gesture of an apology, Akko gently teaches her how to eat the candy floss without it sticking where it doesn’t belong.

Once they’ve settled down after finishing their sweets – more than half of Diana’s went to Akko, which Diana is kind of thankful for – they decided to sit at one of the nearby benches.

“Never been to an amusement park, really?” Akko asks, still in disbelief. She seems as though she cannot fathom how a child never went to an amusement park before. Is it part of a parenting handbook or a mandatory thing to take a child to an amusement park?

She’s read a lot of books in her lifetime but she’s never discovered a handbook for such things.

Diana hums. She doesn’t bother taking her eyes off the people walking around the park when she answers, “My mother never got the chance to bring me. Aunt Daryl is… well, Aunt Daryl.”

Akko doesn’t say anything in response to that, perhaps lost in her own thoughts.

Somehow, Diana is glad for it. She doesn’t want to bring down the mood by bringing such forlorn memories anyway – especially not on their first ‘official’ date.

There… can be another time to talk about her mother and childhood. Perhaps.

“I’m glad then,” Akko says suddenly, a few minutes after the silence has engulfed them both. “I’m glad I got to spend this special moment with you. One thing off your bucket list.”

Diana is just about to say she doesn’t even have a bucket list when she notices the soft, warm smile painted on Akko’s lips, which she doesn’t expect.

She didn’t even push. Didn’t even ask even though Diana can feel the curiosity coming off of Akko in waves.

She just… understands without explanation.

Tears burn at the back of her eyes at the sincerity and affection she sees in Akko’s gaze but Diana manages to hold herself back. She wants this to be a happy day because she is happy.

She is happy now.

And isn’t that what matters? Isn’t that what her mother would’ve wanted?

 “Me, too, Akko,” Diana says, softly. The words were almost carried away by the gentle summer wind. “Me, too.”

 


 

 

The following rides are not as harrowing as the damn roller coaster.

Okay, perhaps, they are but Diana cannot lie and say she didn’t enjoy most of them.

With Akko’s constant laughter and clicking of the camera in her ears and the gleeful expression Akko wears every time Diana glances her way, Diana couldn’t care less if she just developed a fear of heights after all the rides they’ve just gone to for the past few hours.

“Man, I’m starving,” Akko grumbles once they’ve finished the… ride that made her feel like a pendulum in a grandfather clock – except it’s swinging faster than human eyes could track it.

Diana can still feel her stomach swaying in time with the ride.

“Want hotdogs?” Akko asks, eyes already looking for the food stalls.

“Let me guess,” Diana begins with a small smile, “getting hotdogs is also an amusement park tradition?”

Akko’s eyes light up before she takes a picture of Diana – for the nth time, she might add – and saying, “Nice one! You’re already getting the hang of it.”

Diana fondly rolls her eyes even as she trails after Akko who’s finally spotted the hotdog stand. “Akko, literally everything we’ve done today is an amusement park tradition. It’s like you plucked them out of an amusement park handbook or something.”

Akko halts and Diana would’ve bumped right against her if she didn’t back away a few steps. “How’d you know?”

Diana tilts her head to the side, uncomprehending. Did that pendulum ride also sway her brain? “Know what?”

“About that.”

“About what?”

Akko stomps her foot and it reminds Diana of the child she saw just a few minutes ago. “Stop answering my questions with questions!”

Diana purses her lips. “Akko, I have no idea what you were talking about.”

Gesturing her hands in the air, Akko tries to explain what she was trying to say without actually saying any eloquent words. “You know… that.

Diana is smart but she is not that smart. “Words, darling, please.”

Akko huffs like a petulant child but she finally says, “How’d you know there is an amusement park handbook?”

“There is?”

Wait, there is actually such a thing that exists? Seriously? Who makes such things?

“You just said –” Akko stops abruptly before she tugs at Diana’s hand while saying, “Hotdogs! We need hotdogs, like, right now.”

Once in line for the food, Diana tries to pry a solid answer from Akko without being too obvious. She still can’t believe there’s actually a handbook for amusement park etiquettes! “So… how’d you know all these amusement park staples, anyway?”

“Okaasan and I used to go to amusement parks all the time,” Akko answers without even turning away from the hotdogs cooking in the grill. Diana thinks the only thing stopping Akko from salivating is public decency. “We did all these things so they became amusement park traditions to me.”

Diana is getting more confused than enlightened. “Wait… so there’s no amusement park handbook?”

Akko looks at her with a serious gaze before saying, “There is.” Then goes right back to gazing at the hotdogs. “I don’t need it, I practically memorized these traditions anyway.”

Realisation dawns on Diana. “You were playing me.”

Akko finally tears her eyes from the food before saying with a shrug and a barely concealed laugh, “You’re so cute when confused, Diana. You can’t blame me.”

Diana huffs, crossing her arms to let Akko know she’s displeased. Okay, not displeased, not really. Perhaps just a tad put out that she was nearly considering buying such a silly thing to understand where all of these traditions are coming from.

“Consider yourself lucky that you’re cute. Or else I would be pissed at you right now.”

Akko looks at her as if saying, You can’t even be pissed at me when I scream or talk with my mouth full.

(Whipped.)

“I just want you to enjoy this date,” Akko says once they’ve gotten their hotdogs and sat on a nearby bench, away from the bustling crowd to get some quiet.

“I didn’t plan it to be here but I saw the opportunity when I saw the ad and I just…” Akko trails off, trying to find the right words as she nibbles on her lip with her teeth. And no, Diana does not let her eyes linger on the action. “It’s something I’m familiar with and I didn’t want to mess anything up so I went with it. I know it seems a little childish but –”

“Akko.”

Akko inhales before whispering, “Yeah?”

Diana reaches for Akko’s free hand, squeezing slightly. She knows her cheeks are tinged pink – and so are Akko’s – but Diana at least knows when to take the opportunity to compliment such a sweet and thoughtful gesture from the woman she likes. “It’s not childish. It’s perfect. This day is perfect, I love it. Sure, I might have developed a fear of heights after today –”

“Wait, what?”

“– but I’m with you and that’s all that matters to me.”

Akko’s worried expression morphs into a soft smile as she squeezes Diana’s hand in hers. “You’re perfect. I’m so lucky to be on a date with you. Thank you.”

“No.” Diana shakes her head with a small smile. “Thank you. You made this day perfect.”

“It’s because of you.” Akko grins, eyes twinkling with what Diana can only describe as joy. “You bring out the best in me.”

“You know,” Diana says when she’s halfway done with her hotdog and Akko has already eaten both – yes, she ordered two – of hers. “I might even say this is the best date a girl could ever ask for.”

Akko – thank God – swallows and drinks from her soda before saying, “No way.”

Diana nods as she takes a small bite from her snack. “Yes way.”

Akko grins at her and if Diana needs to go on another life-threatening ride, then she’ll willingly do it just to see Akko this happy.

“Let’s go to the third to last ride!” Akko stands up after a couple of minutes of just idly sitting and chatting. She’s still got so much energy even after such an exhausting day and Diana doesn’t even try to guess where Akko gets it from.

(Food, most likely. And the candy floss. That was pure sugar.)

“Third to last?”

“Yeah!” Akko exclaims with a smile that has taken permanent residence on her face. “We go to the… tour du – tour the… something then the carousel and then the Ferris Wheel!”

“Alright, then,” says Diana, unable to stop herself from chuckling at Akko’s failed attempt at saying another French-named ride. Diana really ought to hold a lecture on French for Akko. “Let’s go to the tour the .”

Akko glares at her but Diana only pecks her on the cheek before saying, “Come on now. I want to go to the merchandise store after this ride. I need to buy a souvenir for the best date ever.”

Diana’s already walked a few metres towards the direction where she thinks the ride must be – she’s purely relying on a hunch – when she notices Akko isn’t walking beside her. She stops and looks around before spotting her date standing stock still where she left her.

“Akko, you can’t be serious,” Diana mutters once Akko’s within her reach. “I just kissed you on the cheek. That was hardly the first time I have done that.” She doesn’t dare say that a kiss on the cheek is probably the least intimate thing they’ve done.

That’s just asking for stray and dirty thoughts she doesn’t need in an innocent place.

Akko shakes her head to snap herself out of her temporary stupor. “Yes, it is.”

“Oh,” Diana sighs, “you heard me.”

Gaining back her bearings, the corners of Akko’s lips twitch into the beginnings of a smirk. “So, best date ever, huh?”

“I take it back.” Diana promptly turns around and starts walking away, knowing that Akko will follow this time.

Sure enough, Akko sprints to get ahead of her just to tease her with an, “Admit it already, Miss Cavendish. Best date ever?”

“I won’t be saying it a third time, Akko,” Diana says with a huff but she’s having a hard time stopping her lips from curving into a smile. Yes, this is the best date Diana’s ever been on but she isn’t telling that to Akko again.

It’ll get into her pretty head.

“Please?” Before Diana can look away, Akko bats her eyelashes in a way that makes her look like an adorable little puppy and a child at the same time. Shouldn’t make her look cute at her age but it does.

And Diana is utterly helpless against it. She’s weak against pretty and cute girls, sue her.

(Whipped. Hannah and Barbara would probably be rolling in laughter if they were to see this.)

“Fine. I’ll say it again.” Once she says this, Akko stops moving and waits with bated breath for Diana’s next words.

“The day isn’t over yet but… I think this is the best date ever, Akko. Thank you.”

For a moment, nothing happens. Then, suddenly, Akko pumps her hands in the air like she just won the lottery before exclaiming, “Woo-hoo! Best! Date! Ever! Yes! I told you I’d sweep you off your feet.”

Akko twirls around, laughter and the occasional “best date ever” bubbling from her parted lips and Diana has never seen anything more beautiful than the sight in front of her.

Ponytail and fringes swept by the gentle breeze and warm crimson eyes twinkling in joy.

Akko looks so carefree, delighted, and bright.

It makes Diana so, so happy to see Akko like this. She knows Akko is sunshine personified but it seems as though this moment right here is the one that truly encapsulates that thought.

What Diana will do just to capture this moment and tuck it away in her heart.

The moment, however, is interrupted by a boy who comes out of nowhere and barrels right into Akko’s legs.

Diana doesn’t even know where he came from, one minute Akko is spinning around with her arms spread wide then the next there’s a child running towards Akko with breakneck speed.

With Akko’s head tilted towards the orange sky, she doesn’t see the boy bumping into her and thus, loses her balance.

Before she can be toppled over by a child half her size, though, Diana’s body bolts into action – she steps forward and is just in time to catch Akko in her arms.

And gets promptly reminded of how heavy Akko is.

Fuck, she needs to go to the gym. And soon.

The thought of working out, however, is wiped away from her mind when she sees how close their faces have gotten near each other. Diana can practically see every fleck of red in Akko’s eyes.

She hears Akko’s sharp intake of breath and hands tightening against her biceps and Diana realizes then that she’s practically dipping Akko like they’re in the middle of a romantic film.

And Diana might have just forgotten that they’re in an amusement park with children running around like maniacs and kissed Akko then and there if it weren’t for the boy’s mother rushing towards them with apologies.

“I am so, so sorry! I didn’t even see him run off. Are you okay, miss?”

With the spell broken between them, Diana gingerly helps Akko stand upright before clearing her throat and facing the distressed woman.

“I’m okay!” Akko reassures the mother with a smile and blush that doesn’t go unnoticed by Diana. She’s probably sporting a similar shade of red, too. “No broken bones here, see?”

Despite the reassurance, the boy’s mother still looks upset about her son causing an almost fall. “I’m really sorry. Dylan, I told you not to run or you’ll hurt people. Please apologize, honey.”

“I’m sorry, miss,” the boy – Dylan – mutters with an apologetic look. “I won’t run like that again to avoid bumping into people.”

Akko waves her hands in front of her. “Oh, no, it’s okay! Really. Diana here caught me like a pro.” She jerks her thumb in Diana’s direction and Diana gives the mother and son a small smile.

She can feel her arms burning from the effort of holding Akko up now that the haze of another almost kiss has worn off. Akko is heavy, okay? And she’s hardly worked out ever since she met this woman.

“Well, I must thank your girlfriend for catching you then,” the woman tells them with a smile now that she deems Akko really is alright. “Again, we apologize for what happened. We’ll see you around. Let’s go, honey.”

“Bye!” Dylan says over his shoulder before they blend into the crowd.

“So,” Akko starts and Diana already knows where this is headed towards. “Girlfriend… who knew you could dip me like that?”

Diana doesn’t even try to respond to that. She cannot think about girlfriends and such things when they’re barely finished with their first ‘official’ date. The whole incident was already a cliché, for heaven’s sake. She doesn’t want to further it by dragging Akko to the nearest private area and kissing her senseless.

“Tour de Ville. Now.”

“Wait, you know the name? How? Wait. Diana!”

 


 

 

After the dipping incident and a ride on the Tour de Ville – which made Diana feel like a ball at the end of a swinging string – and the carousel with five-year-olds, Akko tugs her to the merchandise store.

Once inside, Akko immediately wanders off after muttering something about a… talking bear (?) and Diana goes around the aisles, trying to determine the best stuffed toy to represent her date with Akko today.

She’s debating between a dog– because it reminds her of Akko’s look she can never say no to – or an elephant – because it reminds her of Akko’s weight – when Akko comes up next to her and picks up a rabbit and holds it next to Diana’s face. Her eyes dart between them with her lips pursed as if in thought.

Diana resists the urge to step back and push Akko’s hand away, even as she keeps a hold of the stuffed toys in her hands. “A-Akko?”

“Shh, I’m thinking if this rabbit looks like you. It’s got your eyes.”

“It certainly doesn’t have my hair.”

Red eyes snap to Diana’s cerulean orbs and it takes a second of them staring at each other before they both burst into a fit of giggles.

They probably earn some concerned gazes but Diana doesn’t care one bit. She means what she said earlier when she mentioned that nothing and no one else matters today aside from her and Akko.

“Whatcha got?” Akko asks when she notices Diana’s eyes constantly darting between the dog and elephant toy.

“Both,” Diana finally decides, holding the toys up with a smile.

“Nice! Why?”

“They’re cute like you,” Diana easily deflects. She’s more open to admitting her feelings now, sure, but she won’t be sharing why she’s chosen these particular stuffed toys lest she upsets or offends Akko.

Though, she thinks distantly that such things will just make Akko guffaw with unrestrained mirth.

“How about you?” Diana asks, wanting to steer Akko’s attention away from her chosen souvenirs. “Have you found something?”

Akko shakes her head, looking contemplative. “Not yet. You go ring yours up first while I have another look around.”

Diana knits her eyebrows at that. Spending the whole day with Akko by her side has made her appreciate Akko’s closeness and the sudden alone time is making her insides clench with… longing. “Are you sure? I could just wait for you and –”

“Wait for me outside, okay?”

Confused but not wanting to be too clingy – it’s just for a few minutes, bloody hell – Diana just nods as Akko smiles at her before directing her towards the counter. As the cashier wraps her purchase, Diana does her best to not overthink why Akko asked her to just wait outside.

Akko, despite her outward behaviour and personality, can still keep things private if she so wishes. And Diana shouldn’t let one action dictate her mood.

For all she knows, Akko is just buying her a surprise gift or something.

When Akko comes back, Diana is simply watching people mill around and she smiles when she sees Akko already holding onto a paper bag just like the one in Diana’s hand.

“What did you buy?” Diana inquires, eyeing the bag and trying to get a glimpse inside.

As if sensing Diana’s curiosity, Akko grins and grabs the stuffed toy’s head, allowing Diana to see what it is. “It’s a bear. To commemorate our date.” Diana doesn’t even get the chance to ask why when Akko immediately puts the bear back into the bag and says, “Now, Ferris Wheel!”

 


 

The Ferris Wheel is the perfect last ride to a perfect date.

Even before they ascend, Diana can already see the rides they’ve picked and the memories that come with them make her heart swell with – joy. Just… so much happiness that she feels like she’s about to burst with the sheer amount of it she feels.

She never thought she’d experience it again after losing her mother but Akko brought sunshine into her life and –

Gods, it’s so unoriginal but so accurate.

Looking at it now, with Akko sitting with her, Akko has become the sunshine in Diana’s life and she never knew she’d like the warmth that she tried so hard to shield herself away from.

“It’s beautiful,” she mutters as she sees the twinkling lights below them as they slowly ascend higher. “Thank you so much, Akko. This was really perfect.”

“Best date ever?” Akko grins.

Diana laughs softly but she can’t agree more. “Best date ever. And this view… wow.”

“I know, right?” Akko watches the small blinking lights at the ground with a wide smile. “I didn’t know it’ll be this pretty.”

The view isn’t even that lovely compared to Akko’s beauty right this moment. The way the dim lights illuminate her face, the smile gracing her lips, and the twinkling in her eyes – Diana swears then and there that nothing can ever compare to them.

She’s in too deep and she just wants to kiss Akko right now.

God, does she want.

Even if this is practically in every cheesy rom-com Hannah and Barbara force her to watch.

How hard will it be to just pull Akko’s body into hers and just… kiss her?

As if sensing Diana’s thoughts, Akko’s gaze shifts from the wonderful view, eyes swimming with an emotion Diana can’t quite place. The intensity of her stare, however, is enough to have Diana squirming in her seat, unsure of what to do with Akko looking at her like that. Like she wants to do something – like she wants to kiss her too.

It’s so clichéd to want to kiss Akko while in a Ferris Wheel car, and as much as Diana wants to not do that after much contemplation, she is helpless to resist the pull that has her leaning in towards Akko’s personal space.

“Oh, fuck the stars.”

Confused, Diana leans back a little and incredulously mutters, “Fuck the wha–”

Whatever Diana’s about to say next is stolen from her mouth by Akko’s lips crashing to meet hers.

It’s messy; all teeth and misaligned lips and not what Diana thought their ‘first’ kiss will be like after weeks of imagining it, but then Akko seems to realise she’s pushing too hard so she backs off slightly before she’s claiming Diana’s lips again – gentler this time.

And –

Oh, heavens.

Diana can’t –

She can’t think of words to describe the sensation, the feeling of finally being able to kiss Akko again after wanting it for so long, after imagining doing this again the moment she saw Akko at Accounting.

Diana’s desired this for such a long time that it feels utterly surreal now that it’s actually happening. With them wide-awake and sober.

And not a dream this time, either.

And if it is, then Diana doesn’t ever want to wake up because all her memories of kissing Akko before pale in comparison to the actual feeling of doing it.

They both tilt their heads to the side and Diana’s fingers curve to carefully take hold of Akko’s chin as her thumb gently brushes over the skin just below Akko’s lower lip.

Akko throws herself into everything wholeheartedly and Diana really shouldn’t have been surprised that kissing is no different – but she is and it takes her a full second before she's sighing into the kiss, the tenseness in her shoulders and back relaxing as Akko’s arms tighten around her waist.

It’s really happening. She’s kissing Akko. Again.

It isn’t like this is their first or second kiss. Both of which were fuelled by alcohol. The first one was due to pure unadulterated lust. The second was filled with guilt and hesitation. And even though Diana will cherish them both because they tasted like Akko, this one is just…

There is no comparison. No competition really.

Because this kiss is… it’s perfect.

It’s clichéd. To think that it’s perfect that they’re sharing their (third) first kiss inside a Ferris Wheel car after their first (official) date. But it is, dear heavens, it is.

It isn’t because of the location or the timing, really.

It’s because it’s Akko.

But this kiss might as well have been their first with all the new sensations she feels – the tingling from where her lips are pressed against Akko’s, the firmness of Akko’s hands clasping Diana’s waist, the heat underneath Akko’s skin where Diana is clutching at her jaw like it’s her lifeline.

Their lips claim each other’s and explore slowly – all softness and tentative, afraid of going too far but wanting to push just a tad more – to see what else lies beneath the coiling tension underneath their skins.

Diana – they – waited months for this. And for it to happen now is overwhelming and she’s giddy and a little dizzy when Akko pulls away just a little.

Akko sucks in a breath, perhaps meaning to say something sweet or ridiculous – Diana can never tell when it comes to her – but Diana’s lips steal whatever she's planning to say next. Diana smirks a little when Akko squeaks, clearly surprised at being kissed again so suddenly and so quickly after the first.

When they pull away the second time, Diana is pleased to note that Akko’s cheeks are as bright pink as they can be and black has practically eclipsed the red in Akko’s warm eyes.

“Sugoi. I m-mean, wow. Just… wow.

The sentiment is so unexpected that Diana just blinks at Akko before laughter bellows out of her mouth faster than she can stop it.

She doesn’t even know why she’s laughing. What Akko just said wasn’t even remotely funny. Relief, perhaps? Elation at finally doing what they both wanted for so long? Most likely. But whatever it is, it makes Diana continue laughing until tears are already prickling at the corner of her eyes.

Akko is (cutely) glaring at her when Diana finally gets a hold of her laughter and composes herself.

Still, though, she can’t help the grin that overtakes her lips and she might be exaggerating but she’s sure that it lights up her whole face.

Akko is glaring and pouting now and Diana smiles wider before she’s leaning in again to capture Akko's lips once more to erase the adorning pout. Just a chaste peck but just as satisfying as the ones they just shared.

Diana leans back a little but she stays close enough to murmur the words right against Akko’s lips, “Wow indeed.”