Chapter 1: Prologue
Mary woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
No, really, this isn't her room.
It is an unfamiliar territory and it made her drowsiness fade as quickly as she rose up from the comfortable sheets. What the hell? Where am I?! The theory of being dead is there floating in her mind. Her breathing went ragged, finding it hard to inhale as if something is weighing on her chest.
She looks down, "Gah!" And was surprised at what she saw. Since when did I have big boobs?! Her palms automatically rest upon those mountains, in disbelief when she squeezed it and find it realistic.
Just then, some strands of her hair fell down on her shoulders. But instead of her bright golden locks, she is greeted by long, lovely silver ones. Familiar color.
Mary rushes to the full-length mirror by the wall. This time, she screamed in terror. She doesn't possess her sharp eyes, and her cheeks are flushed.
She's.. in her girlfriend's body?
Then where the hell is Ririka?
A knock on the door interrupts her inconvenient morning, followed by a soft voice. "Momobami-sama, is everything okay?"
"Uhh, yeah! I'm fine!"
"Alright, please head to the dining room for breakfast. Your sister is waiting for you."
No point of staying here. I better see Ririka soon. Mary shrugs the shiver away and went to the bathroom. As astonished as she is from seeing how modern and big it is compared to her own at home, she managed to figure out which is which. Ririka sure does have a lot of necessities. Then came the uniform. She had no problem with that one. It is similar to hers.
After finishing getting ready for school, Mary went to the dining room, partly having an unintentional detour as she doesn't know where it is located. Though she had been dating Ririka for awhile, she haven't stayed at the Momobami Manor knowing Kirari is around. She would rather die than be in one room with the twin for longer than usual.
"Sister, pleasant morning. Let's eat." Kirari greets her with a warm smile. It distracts Mary for a brief second, but she took a seat beside the twin, facing the cuisines they will have for breakfast. It was nothing like what Mary have at home.
"You are dating Saotome, right?"
At the mention of her name, Mary's ears perked up. Right, she thinks I'm Ririka. "Yes, why?"
"I have been seeing Jabami getting too close with her, and Saotome doesn't seem to mind. Just know that if she ever hurts you, I will do what I have to do and finish her off."
Did Kirari just threaten Mary? Well—not really. It did not fail to make Mary's blood boil though. It was already accustomed that they both dislike each other, and that Kirari still hasn't given her blessing for her relationship with Ririka, but goddamn you, Momobami.
"I trust Mary. She will never do things like that."
"Bold of you to assume the future, dear. But it can't be helped. I'm just trying to protect you. Mary is another thing. You know how she gets, so try not to get too attached."
"Fu—" Mary immediately slaps her mouth to prevent her from cursing. Fuck you! If only I'm in my right body. Kirari eyes her quizzically, trying to figure out what she was supposed to say.
The short breakfast ended in a blur. Mary finds herself rushing outside, the strap of Ririka's designer bag wrapped around her fingers. She stopped on her tracks when Kirari proceeded to use that same look, that she seemed to be in confusion. "Do you feel well?"
"Yes, I do. Why do you ask?"
"You're not wearing your mask. Though it's your choice if you want to or not, but about our identity—"
"Ah! Yeah sorry!" I'm not listening to any of your shit. Mary runs back inside her room and grabbed the theatrical mask laid on the bedside table. Once putting it on, she takes a deep breath in hopes she is ready for the day.
Mary knocks on the door of her supposed to be classroom. She did the honor of sliding it open as well, peeking inside to see most of the eyes watching her with nervousness. Right, they’re scared of Ririka.
“Can I excuse Riri—I mean, Saotome?” She adjusts the mask over her face, nose scrunching. Damn, how does Ririka even breathe in these?! I feel like suffocating.
“Saotome-san, the Vice President would like to have a word with you!” Mary’s perspective move to a certain raven, squishing a disheveled blonde woman with her embrace. To think that she is seeing her own body (that is controlled by someone else) have her shuddering.
The blonde immediately walks out of the class, shutting the door close before giving Mary a bone-crushing hug. “Mary!”
“Woah, calm down.”
Ririrka looks up to her with tears brimming on the corner of her eyes. Wouldn’t you believe it? To see that Mary looked completely invulnerable when Ririka is the one using her body. It is definitely Ririka inside the blonde’s body. They did switch bodies for some unknown reasons.
“What is happening, Mary? Why are you inside me? Why am I inside you?”
“That sounds so impure.. but, I don’t know either. We need to find a way back. I need my body back. But we can’t do it during class so try to endure until dismissal, then we’ll figure it out.”
Ririka nods as Mary lightly wipes the tears away, fidgeting to feel stares of curiosity from inside the classroom. It already felt difficult enough to be herself, but to be Ririka? To be the Vice President? Mary isn’t sure she would even survive.
The bell chimes, indicating the start of the classes. Mary bids farewell to her girlfriend, ushering her back inside the class as well as noting to sustain the energetic Yumeko. Ririka will be okay, as long as Ryota is there, anyway. Mary hoped Itsuki wouldn’t bother her as much as she always do.
Chapter 2: Dealing with Mary’s Enemies
Ririka sighs out of relief when the third subject of the day went by without any mishaps. She has been called for an appropriate amount of times, called as 'Saotome', of course, but she managed to answer quite well considering she already been over this lesson a year ago.
Being Mary Saotome is not as bad as it seems to be. Observing her girlfriend for the past few months is paying off, when none actually noticed she is Ririka, inside Mary's body. Though it's not like she is not used to it—she did portray Kirari since children.
It is currently break time, Yumeko had her grasping her elbow and pulling her to the school's cafeteria. The haste they have had a breeze touching her face, reminding Ririka that she is not wearing her mask. Not like she could, when she is Mary as of the moment.
"I heard they added a spicy meal! Let's have a game, Mary-san! Whoever finishes first will pay for our drinks!"
Yumeko smiles in glee, eyes forming a crescent as Ririka sweats nervously. She is not a fan of chili, let alone a gamble for it. She adverts her look to Mary's two other friends. "Play with Sumeragi-san instead! Or Suzui-san! Surely they want to bet with you! Excuse me!"
Then, she quickly walks away, out of the school building and at the back.
"S-Sumeragi-san?" Itsuki repeats, brows furrowed together as she watched 'Mary' practically running away from them, then looked at Ryota. "Suzui-san? Since when did Mary senpai start calling us that?"
Ririka takes a deep breath once she is outside. The secluded area filled with nothing but peace is something that eased her mind. May it be that she is anti-social, but Ririka thought Mary would be very exhausted for hanging around with her friends for 8 hours of class.
"Mary must be with Kirari right now, I better call her out to calm her down." Ririka mutters to herself, grabbing her phone out of her pocket (actually Mary's phone). The password is what she predicted to be her birthday, which is correct.
She opens the messages, seeing her nickname that Mary gave her right at the top of the chat boxes, making Ririka smile. There are some other messages as well but it looked like Mary never opens them, except hers, Yumeko and Sumeragi's.
Ririka taps on her private conversation, the one with 'Riri' and a heart beside it. Assuming Mary is with her phone right now, she gives her a quick text about meeting at this location to have fresh air.
"Oi, Saotome!" Ririka looks up to see a trio of girls scowling at her, fuming angrily. One is cracking her fingers, and it had Ririka purse her lips. Trouble.
"Tch, you're paying for what you did to us, cheater!"
"I.. don't have money with me as of the moment."
She couldn't recognize who these women are, though it must be someone Mary had gambled with before and won over with dirty playing. Her girlfriend never mentioned them for once in their time.
"You're paying with something else, bitch!" The one with orange hair suddenly lunges in and slapped her. Ririka felt stinging pain on her left cheek from the force.
But she knew better than to fight back.
"Please, I wouldn't want to hurt you. We can settle this through talk and no physical violence."
"What? Are you fucking kidding me? Come on, Saotome, didn't you give me this bruise a week ago? Now you're all talk!" The raven shows the skin on her neck, where a dark purple spot is located. Ririka's eyes widened to see it. Did Mary strangle this woman? For what reasons?
"Enough talk!" The raven then proceed to throw her fist, enough to make Ririka stumble down on the ground, the three ladies surrounding her to kick her over and over.
"Fight back, you bitch!"
"You deserve this!"
"Hey!" That voice. It belonged to no one other than Ririka's. That meant that.. Mary's here!
A flying shoe came and hits the raven on the back of her head. When she looks back, a masked woman punched her right on the face.
"Haha! I'm here too!" The beautification officer, Midari, is also present. Along with her prized possession, a gun, pointed at the three girls. "I wouldn't let Ririka have all the fun!"
"Shit." The orange haired assisted her friend to stand up, before running away with terror. Ririka uses her elbows to support her, looking up to see her own body and Midari watching the girls scramble away.
"If I see you again I will fucking wreck your faces, bitches!"
"Did our quiet Vice President swore.. twice? My!" Midari laugh hysterically, yet the other two paid no attention. Ririka, who is on the ground, felt constant pain. Mary lends her a hand, which she took gracefully.
Mary removes her mask, breathing heavily. Her face is flushed, most probably because of the lack of air on her face. Her bangs are wet with sweat, it's strands sticking together. "Are you okay, Ri—Mary..?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I think I just need to go to the infirmary." Ririka eyes her, brow raised up questioningly as if to say 'you better explain to me what that was' and was responded by a nervous chuckle.
Mary faces Midari, "You can go pass the remaining life plans without me. I will assist Mary to the nurse."
"Eh? But we still have a lot!"
Mary ignores her once again, hands resting on Ririkams waist as they both walk away from the one-patch eyed woman on her own. It felt a bit different to feel how she is smaller than Mary right now, since she is inside Mary's body, who is 5 foot 4.
No complaints could be heard anyway. She loves it when Mary is the one who takes care of her other than herself. Mary is the only one who does that, and it is the only thing that reminded her she is Ririka.
"I love you."
Mary's breath hitches, gulping at the confession out of the blue. Ririka is that woman who can have her act like this, and she could not decide whether it is a good thing or not.
But then again,
"I love you too."
Having Ririka is enough.
Mary grunts after revising (or just skimming) the nth life plan given to her by the secretary of Kirari's. Pity is one word to describe seeing how her fellow students had the rest of their future planned out for them by the President herself, but she was thankful enough to get out of that situation.
"Vice President," Sayaka comes closer, placing a few more files on the table that made Mary's soul go out of her body. Kirari is by the end of the desk, on her rightful place to be as the student body. "Here's three more, then I can go distribute it after. Thank you for the hard work."
"Thank you for your hard work," Mary corrects, seeing how tired Sayaka is. The secretary was taken aback at the acknowledgment, cheeks warming up before she nodded and skipped away.
Weird. Mary clears her throat and grabbed a Life Plan. She was about to open it when her eyes caught something she never expected to see. Her name, on the file.
Kirari rose her look up from her older twin, head slightly turning on the side. "Yes?"
"Why do I—why does Mary have a life plan? She redeemed herself back, did she not?"
"Oh, that's just a precaution in case she did hurt you—"
"She won't!" The masked twin cuts Kirari off, which had the younger look at her with a deep frown. It was unlikely for 'Ririka' to act out so irrationally; never did she raise her voice at Kirari.
"Saotome is really influencing you, huh? You yelled at me."
Mary could feel anger building up inside her, that all there is left to do is to lash it out on the grinning woman in front of her. She couldn't understand why Kirari dislikes her for Ririka when she never did anything to put her girlfriend in any sort of ache.
And getting herself back with the life plan is clearly unacceptable. Mary will never let herself be back in that situation ever again. And Kirari is absolutely pissing her off with it. "Mary loves me.. as I love her. All I ask from you is your blessing."
"My blessing? I do not want your future to end up down in the dumps just because you are in love with a middle-classed woman."
"You don't know what's good for me, Kirari."
Kirari halfheartedly laughs, standing up from her seat. She circles around her table, the soles of her shoes clicking on the wooden floor as she ends up in front of her twin sister. "We're twins, Ririka. I know what's good for you and it is not Saotome. Could you not see how reckless she is?"
"Um, President.. I don't think it's the right time to have this." Sayaka butts in, feeling uneasy with the thick tension surrounding them. Mary could not even give a damn about her right now when she all wants to do is to defend her name.
But a ringtone stopped her from doing so. The vibration came from her leg, which meant it was her phone in her skirt pocket. Mary takes it out, seeing a message coming from her girlfriend telling her come outside.
"Sayaka!" Midari enters the room, oblivious of what the commotion is though if she knew, certainly she will not even stop it either. "Let me copy your homework, please?"
"I'll take my leave." Mary turns her heels and was about to strut away, when Kirari called her again.
"Take the Life Plans and distribute it with Midari. I need my secretary as of the moment."
"Fine." Mary carries the stack of files and forcefully gave it to Midari, who catches it without any difficulties. They both exited the room by then, with Mary carrying nothing but her anger.
"Oi, Ririka! Could you not walk too fast? I'm the one carrying these!"
Mary's in her own world. Despite the constant whines from Midari, the loud chatters of the students by the hallway, it was broken off by her thoughts. How could Kirari treat Ririka like this? She's the younger sister for fuck's sake!
"What?" Mary finally answered.
"Are you okay?"
"I'm fine." I just need to see Ririka. Mary thinks. They were already outside where only a few students are hanging out. Strangely enough, she did miss Yumeko's clingy self, Ryota's fear and Itsuki's loud ass voice. Being Ririka tired herself out.
Then came in her view is those three girls she gambled with, beating up her body. She and Midari managed to scare them away, but she got herself carried away to the point of profanities. But that didn't matter, she can just go speak with Midari to tell no one about it. All that matters now is Ririka's safety.
She leads them to the empty infirmary. Ririka takes a seat on one of the beds, whilst Mary went to grab aid to treat the latter's bleeding lip. "You should have fought back, you know. You're in my body. They know I fight back."
"Making enemies is just an additional to your problems, Mary."
"And you think letting them ruin my perfectly good looking face doesn't?" Mary fires back, dumping alcohol on a cotton ball. She lightly damps the cotton on the wound, with Ririka wincing every now and then. "Sorry you had to deal with that. I didn't think they would take revenge or whatever."
"It's fine. Nothing I couldn't handle. How about you? How is Kirari?"
"An asshole as she always is, let me tell you that. I don't understand why you let her talk to you like that, babe." Ririka gently held Mary's wrist, pulling it down before leaning in to plant a kiss on her lips. They stayed still for a bit, before Mary moved her lips first, slightly opening it, and tilting her head to gain more intimacy.
But Ririka is first to pull away, smiling adoringly, only for Mary. "She's the leader, Mary."
"But you're older."
"That doesn't mean anything as long as Kirari is more powerful than me. It is why she got the position, the praise, the attention, everything."
Another reason why Mary doesn't like Kirari. On purpose or not, she made Ririka feel worthless. Like the only use she had in this world is to be her shadow that cleans every mess she did. And that is unfair.
"But it's okay."
Mary sighs, her tense shoulders slowly relaxing when Ririka caressed her cheeks with her soft palm. "It's okay, because.."
"I have you. And that's all I need."
“That’s.. so sappy.”
The next (last) chapter might be a little longer than this first three.