It’s such an absurd situation, Mary doesn’t know where to begin.
First: the setting. She’s sitting on Ririka Momobami’s bed - Ririka Momobami’s - and it’s half past five on a Saturday autumnal afternoon.
Second: some details, to get her focused. The bedsheets are light blue, and so are the desk chair, the lamp, the bookshelf and the two doorknobs: one to the corridor and one to the personal bathroom. Ugh, Mary wished she had a bathroom all for herself.
Other details are the white carpet, white walls, white curtains. The ceiling is orange, and it takes Mary a handful of seconds to figure out it’s because orange it’s blue’s complementary color. Other orange details are the books’ covers - who has books’ covers and isn’t in elementary school? - the many pillowcases for the many pillows - what does she need all those pillows for? - the wardrobe doors-
« Mary? »
Mary’s eyes snap up to meet Ririka’s. She’s sitting in the desk chair, a few feet from Mary, troubled look on her face.
Mary gulps. « Yes? »
the reason why she’s there.
It started that morning, for Mary, and earlier that week, for Ririka.
It was Monday evening when Ririka was laying on that same bed, nose buried in Ernst Cassirer’s “An essay on man”. An interesting read, if she was to give her opinion on it.
« If we know the anatomical structure of an animal species, we possess all the necessary data for reconstructing its special mode of experience. A careful study of the structure of the animal body, of tire number, the quality, and the distribution of the various sense organs, and the conditions of the nervous system, gives us a perfect image of the inner and outer world of the organism. » She read quietly to herself. When she was alone, she found it helpful to read out loud, despite most people deconcentrated by doing so.
Maybe it was because she was used to talking to herself, in her head, all day. Restricted in her out loud speaking, that things started going reversely for her. As if her head was now a busy place, full of the thoughts that occupied her for the day, and her mouth was free, empty if not for some greetings exchanged between classes. So that the emptiness could be inhabited by other people’s thoughts, fascinating ones that helped Ririka develop her own self.
Cassirer was a fascinating philosopher, for someone so invested in symbolism and codification as she was. Studying him gave her a new way of looking at her own mask, as if it was an extension of herself and not an imposition, as if she was an histrion just like everyone else was, and he even brought her to think that she was luckier than most people, because her mask was material rather than-
« Ah- Sayaka- »
That had been loud. Loud enough for Ririka to hear through the
. A wrinkle formed between her white eyebrows. She wasn’t stupid, she knew that her sister and her secretary were having an affair. Even a romantic relationship, maybe. And she knew what that meant, because once again, she was no fool.
She tried resuming reading.
« As compared with the other animals, man lives not merely in a broader reality; he lives, so to speak, in a new dimension of reality. There is an unmistakable difference between organic reactions and human responses. In the first case a direct and immediate answer is given to an outward stimulus; in the second case the answer is delayed. It is interrupted and retarded by a slow and complicated process of thought. At first sight such a delay may appear to be a very questionable gain- »
« Sayaka! »
Ririka frowned even more, if that was even possible, and shut the book close. With an annoyed stomping of feet she went downstairs to read, curled in the living room’s sofa.
After that, it happened again.
She truly didn’t want to hear her sister’s reactions to everything Igarashi was going to her, and yet the thought couldn’t leave her alone. Not the thought per se, but all the implications behind it.
Ririka was curious, and not in a compulsory bored way like her sister was: she was curious to learn the laws that regulated nature, humankind, the universe. Like a scientist or a philosopher, or a scientist-philosopher if she was to think herself as a seventeenth-century thinker. But she was in the twenty-first, and a woman her age with little experience as she was, was frowned upon for some reason.
She learned that last notion a few days later, bringing the subject to her twin’s attention.
They were sitting in their limousine, on their way to the Academy.
« Is everything alright, Riri? You’re even quieter than usual. » Her twin joked, probably trying to find some stimuli for her perennial boredom. She wasn’t worried for her, Ririka knew. She had other ways to show apprehension.
« Could you please do your things with Igarashi in her house? » Ririka asked, voice distorted by her mask.
Kirari raised her brows, not expecting that kind of request. She didn’t blush or avert her eyes, as if her sex life was something to talk about just as much as homework was.
That didn’t surprise Ririka.
Then she smirked, « I’ll ask her. Did we disturb you? »
Ririka would have snorted, but she kept it all to herself. « Perhaps. »
Kirari looked out at the window, a sly smile on her lips. « Are you jealous? »
Symbolism, Ririka recalled. That was Kirari’s symbolic way to assert something. What did she want to hear from her? Ririka was a scientist, or a philosopher, and she couldn’t help but try dismantling the question.
« Of whom? »
« I hope not Sayaka. » Kirari chuckled. « Albeit, both of us would be weird. It would be incest, wouldn’t it, Riri? »
« Avoid sounding stupid in front of others, Rari. It doesn’t suit you. » She answered back, ready to end that absurd conversation there. She wasn’t jealous of either of them.
But she was jealous. Of the situation. Of the opportunity of studying a phenomenon on one’s very skin.
It didn’t happen again, and Ririka was glad. She didn’t know why she was annoyed, probably she was just weirded out because it was her sister .
It was Thursday night, and Ririka was reading as per usual.
« Language has often been identified with reason, or with the very source of reason. But it is easy to see that this definition fails to cover the whole field. It is a pars pro toto; it offers us a part for the whole. For side by side with conceptual language there is an emotional language; side by side with logical or scientific language there is a language of poetic imagination. Primarily language does not express thoughts or ideas, but feelings and affections. »
Feelings and affections. As primitive objects of language. They were more immediate, Ririka thought. It made sense. And yet here she was, categorizing uncategorizable items such as feelings and affections, because they felt so strange to her.
A feeling she felt was awkwardness, earlier that week. And yet it seemed easier for her to analyze the history of language rather than her own emotions.
She folded the corner of the page, looking at the ceiling. What was she feeling at that moment? She breathed in. Frustration, perhaps. As if there was something slightly open and cold air was sneaking in. But what was it that was left open. That had been closed all that time. The only thing that changed during that week had been the Kirari incident.
So it had to have something to do with it.
Ririka was a scientist, and because of that, she believed in the galilean method.
She had a thesis, which was her being on edge, and she had a hypothesis on why that was so. But she needed to collect empirical data to demonstrate it.
She closed the book and set it beside her, on the nightstand.
Then she laid there. Heart rate picking up. The string of her pajamas came undone, as she slipped a hand in. Over the underwear. Just, putting pressure.
She closed her eyes.
Then she opened them. She was a scientist, or a seventeenth- well, whatever, but she was that, and she couldn’t proceed further without some indication. She was no pioneer in the field - if she was she wouldn’t be born in the first place - so she needed consultation.
And she wasn’t going to ask anybody in the student council, of course.
So, that was when Mary entered in the picture. They were right in the middle of the Election Campaign, Mary being followed by that weird masked girl everywhere, asking to be punched by her and all that.
It was Friday at lunch, when Ririka asked her:
« Uhm, Mary? »
Mary lifted her eyes from her packed lunch - because apparently Hyakkaou’s scholarships didn’t cover lunch expenses? - to look at the girl, who wouldn’t eat because of her mask.
« What. » She took a bite, and Ririka was once again surprised seeing how Mary kept that fierce look in her eyes even biting down on a sandwich.
« Have you ever masturbated? »
With that, she choked on her bite. She coughed a couple of times, drinking a sip of water, before turning her shocked expression to the blank mask.
« What? »
Ririka took the reaction as a sign for having touched a taboo topic, and it being a taboo topic for her had to mean that Mary wasn’t as experienced as Ririka expected her to be, for some reason. « Oh, I guess you haven’t then. Sorry for asking. »
Mary looked at her bitten lunch, contemplative. Why was she asking? That was weird. They weren’t friends. Well, Ririka sort of asked her to trust her from the bottom of her heart as a friend, that was true. And she won her gamble against that girl to prove Mary her worth or something. So maybe they were friends, after all. Even if their friendship was born out of coercion on Ririka’s part, that was it.
« I didn’t say I haven’t. » She started cautiously. Ririka looked at her once again, as Mary looked down at her lunch. « I wasn’t expecting the question, that’s all. Why are you asking? »
« I’m conducting a research on the topic. » Ririka told her. Mary huffed a smile, « Of course you are. »
Mary put the lunch away and stretched her arms, silence falling between the two.
« So you have? » Ririka pressed.
Mary lifted a brow, « Geez, that’s something private to ask. But if it’s for science, » After that, she nodded, as if speaking out loud would have been too much.
The notion gave Ririka a weird feeling. She guessed it had something to do with the exhilaration one feels getting closer to a result.
« How does one do it? » She asked then.
Mary started laughing, « Is it really for science, Momobami? »
And that was how, in those last ten minutes before the bell ringing, Mary tried explaining a bit about the mechanics.
« How do you think it’s done? » She asked Ririka.
« I really don’t know. That’s why I’m asking. »
The bitter comeback took Mary aback, as if ignorance was a sensitive subject. « I prefer you with your mask off, you know. » She commented, and Ririka took the hint. As if the mask gave her a change of personality or something.
Symbolism, she thought back. It was a symbol, and being shielded by it evoked a symbolic attitude in her. That was it. Seeing her without her mask meant seeing her bare, in a sense, because she didn’t have time to develop an inside mask like everyone else-
« You have to stimulate your genitals. » Mary told her, short and concise.
« I know that. »
« So you know something. »
« How do you stimulate them? »
« How do I do it or how is it done generally? »
That was weird, once again, and Ririka felt an urge to ask the first question of the two, out of sheer curiosity. But she shrugged instead, focusing on her goal. She just needed instructions.
« There are plenty of ways of doing it. You just have to experiment , I guess. »
Ugh, she knew that, that was precisely why she was asking. « Tell me a few. » And that almost sounded like an order to Mary. And maybe it was because they were on the topic already, but it did something.
Mary looked up, as if the sky could help her. « Uhm, let’s see… You can, uhm, touch yourself. »
Ririka would have facepalmed her, if she didn’t have her mask on. « How . » She asked, almost exasperated.
« You- you just do it! How can you not be able to imagine it? Just, I don’t know, watch some porn. » She answered, ears burning, leaving Ririka there.
Such excellent advice, indeed. She knew she asked the right gal.
So that night Ririka didn’t even pick the book up, its cover staring neglected at her, and instead she put her laptop on her legs.
They exchanged numbers when Mary agreed to join her in her election campaign, so she texted her:
[Where do I find porn?] - 20:34
[try google searching] - 20:36
[and use incognito mode] - 20:36
Ririka rolled her eyes. She hated how Mary underestimated her, of course she had to use a browser, she just didn’t want to get viruses on her laptop or something.
[Which one do you usually watch?] - 20:37
On the other end of the phone, Mary felt like slamming her forehead on the wall, for some reason. She felt as if she was taking Ririka by the hand and showing her the way to perversion, for fuck’s sake. Where was Kirari? Couldn’t she handle it?
Mary was flattered, deep down, that Ririka chose her for the task. Even if Mary doubted that the girl knew how intimacy worked, and how it was supposed to be something secretive and reserved for the right person or something. Well, those were lifestyle choices of course, but Ririka’s lack of conventional clues was funny and disturbing at times.
And that was a disturbing time, honestly.
« Why do you have to use your phone even when we’re dining, Mary? » Her father grumbled, all gray hair and wrinkles.
« Uh, just a sec. » She answered absentmindedly, as she typed out her answer.
[i don’t watch it] - 20:40
Ririka’s eyebrows shot up. Then why was she suggesting she should?
[Why?] - 20:40
Mary typed from under the table with one single hand, as with the other she moved the food in the plate.
[i dont need it] - 20:41
[Then how do you do it?] - 20:41
[i just do it what kinda question is that] - 20:42
Ririka notices how she was getting quicker at answering. She put the laptop on the side, toes curling. She liked texting Mary: that was another emotion she recognized. She enjoyed being in Mary’s presence in general, finding her amusing at times, reassuring at others. She was hot-headed but she had a good heart, Ririka could tell. She met her fair share of ill-intentioned people to recognize a good heart such as Mary’s.
[Don’t you need visual stimulation?] - 20:44
Mary bit down a smile, because who would write a question on that topic in that sciency way? As soon as she saw her father standing up she excused herself and ran upstairs.
[i use imagination] - 20:45
That was peculiar, Ririka thought. She could do imagination. She read a lot, she read since she was little, so she really could do imagination. That suited her well.
She closed her eyes, telephone in one hand and the other one under her sweatpants, much like the night before. But what could she imagine?
For some reason, Sayaka’s face flashed before her. Stupid mind-association she thought. She hoped hearing her sister calling Igarashi’s name earlier that week hadn’t scarred her forever.
She tried again, and this time it was even worse. She depicted Mary’s face, the first time they met in that gambling then, as she grabbed her mask and pinned her to the sofa.
But her toes curled, and she felt something almost pulsing. Almost vibrating, as if asking to be touched. She tried running after the feeling, understanding the appeal, but pressing aside, she didn’t know what else she could do.
She picked the telephone once again, heart racing for the effort.
She dialed Mary’s number.
« Ririka? » She answered from the other side.
« Uhm, hi. » She didn’t know what she wanted to know in particular.
« Is everything good? » From the other end, Mary was always surprised upon hearing Ririka’s true voice. So different, so much more human. Well, of course. And on the rare occasions it happened, Mary tried to crave it in her mind, hoping she’d learn how to overlap the sound to its robotic counterpart one day.
« Uhm, yeah. I don’t know why I called you. » She confessed. After all, if she wanted to know the mechanics she could look up porn.
« It’s okay. Were you, uhm… »
« ...Sort of. »
A pause. An absurd idea came up to Mary’s mind, but she tried pushing it down. « Uhm, I hope you’ll, uhm, get there. » She answered, but she didn’t hang up. She didn’t know what she was waiting for, what both of them were waiting for.
« What do you imagine when, when you do it? » Ririka asked then, finding a suitable question.
And that took Mary off guard. Because she couldn’t tell what she imagined in detail, could she? It was weird, it was secret, it was no one else’s business but Mary’s.
And yet because it was Ririka who was asking, she couldn’t find it in herself to refuse.
« Details. Uhm, jawlines, hands, things like these. » She admitted.
Ririka frowned. How did that have anything to do with the topic? « Why? »
« What do you mean why? Just because! »
« Uhm, whose? »
Mary was walking around her own room, doing her night routine. Ririka heard the water running, then some noise, and a muffled: « People’s? »
« Are you brushing your teeth? »
« Uh, yeah? »
A pause. She heard some more water, then gargle. It made Ririka chuckle. She hadn't gargled since she was ten, perhaps.
« People as in? » Ririka pushed.
« This goes beyond your research. »
« I guess I’m just curious. » During that time, Ririka hadn’t really moved her hand away, not having a reason to and not doing anything either. But she noticed that only in that moment, for some reason, as she heard Mary’s tone going a little playful, as she was used to doing sometimes. Those were Ririka’s favourites. Mary’s determined, non-compliant, fierce side was a whole phenomenon to watch, but Mary’s playful, teasing, carefree side was a whole other experience.
« What will I get if I tell you? »
« What would you like me to give you? »
Mary gulped, from the other side of the line. She put her pajamas on, and now she was laying on her own bed too.
« What would be something you wouldn’t give me under any circumstances? »
That was a good question, because right at that moment, Ririka couldn’t honestly tell.
The image from a moment ago flashed before her eyes, as an imaginative Mary pinned her against the sofa with very different intentions than just scaring her.
She put pressure against her privates just like before, but this time it felt quite different. It felt more present, as a white flashing sensation spread from the point all the way to her toes. It sent shivers running down her spine.
Are you still there?
» Mary asked. She heard Ririka gulping from the other end, then a little panting.
Was she- no, it wasn’t possible. Was it? No. But? Oh, no. Don’t go there, she told herself.
« Yeah. » Ririka answered, and she felt embarrassed by how her voice turned out strangled.
Ririka took a few breaths to steady herself, easing the pressure. « You were saying. » She prompted Mary.
« You were saying, if anything. You asked me who I think about when I… »
« When you? »
« When I, uhm, touch myself. »
Ririka bit her lower lip. That made no sense. Why was it feeling this different? This easier? She guessed it had something to do with the sense of danger, of not getting caught.
But she had to make sure, always the scientific self, so she asked: « Is it okay if I’m doing it? »
She waited, impossibly still, as something of high value depended on Mary’s answer.
« Like, right now? »
« Yeah. »
And that knowledge made funny things to Mary. So she guessed well. And, once again, she was surprised by Ririka’s straightforwardness and honesty.
« Uhm, I guess it is. I’ll- I’ll go if you need some time with yourself. »
« Are you uncomfortable? » Ririka asked, and the concern made her retract her hand in an instant. Was she being disrespectful? She would have hated it if that happened to be the case. She needed to ask priorly, so so stupid-
« I’m not. »
« Then don’t go. » Ririka asked. The only thing she knew is that the danger factor weighted just partially, and it was Mary’s voice what was doing it.
« Am I being helpful? » Mary asked, and she slapped herself the moment the words left her lips. Of course she wasn’t, what stupid question, she was just babbling some nonsense and Ririka wanted her on the call because it was new, just that.
« You are. »
Mary closed her eyes. She couldn’t act on her own urges right now, because Ririka’s avoidance of social clues and her inexperience in the territory justified her. Mary wouldn’t be excused in taking advantage of the situation. So she took a sharp intake of breath, and tried distracting herself.
« Uhm, what do you want me to tell you? »
Ririka smiled. That was the good heart she was thinking about, just moments ago. The part of Mary she liked the most, albeit not the only one. Not the only one by a long shot.
« Anything. »
And that was how that night call unraveled: Mary’s weird stories about her family, childhood, vacations, and Ririka’s occasional comments.
And at that point I asked him: “then what’s the point in making your bed every morning, dummy?”
» Mary chuckled, and Ririka drew blood with her teeth against her lips, a light headache making her way for the effort in pressure. She lifted her hips, not knowing how to meet her urges, as she was losing sensitivity in doing the same thing over and over again. She wasn’t very strong either, so that contributed too, when she just sighed and fell on the mattress. She was too tired.
She pressed her cold hand against her forehead, trying to relieve some of the aching.
« Are you alright? » Mary asked. Ririka felt guilty for making her worry.
« Yeah, sorry. I’m, I’m just tired, that’s all. »
« It happens in those situations. »
« It does? »
« Especially when you have expectations. »
« What do you mean? »
« We’ve talked for half an hour. The average woman takes five to ten minutes to, well, to come. And you did it not for doing it, but to see what happened after, right? »
Ririka nodded even if she couldn’t be seen, « Right. »
« That’s why you’re tired. Don’t stress too much over it, okay? »
Ririka smiled. « Thanks, Mary. »
And Mary smiled from the other end too. « It’s nothing. »
« Good night. »
« ‘night. »
What a weird thing to bond over, Mary thought as she drifted to sleep. And now her dreams were polluted by compromising cerulean eyes.
Saturday morning came, and that’s where we get full circle back to the beginning of our story.
Ririka texted her, earlier that afternoon, after a morning of meditation. She even read, at some point:
« Nothing has a definite, invariable, static shape, by a sudden metamorphosis everything may be turned into everything. If there is any characteristic and outstanding feature of the mythical world, any law by which it is governed, it is this law of metamorphosis. Even so we can scarcely explain the instability of the mythical world by the incapacity of primitive man to grasp the empirical differences of things. In this regard the savage very often proves his superiority to the civilized man. »
And on that note, she texted Mary. Because things changed, and she wanted to treasure the wiseness of those primitive men.
[Are you busy?] - 16:47
Mary was catching up on her homework, when she picked up the phone. Unlocking it she swore that if it was the group chat with Ryota, Yumeko and Itsuki again she was throwing the device in the trash.
But it was Ririka. The girl she hadn’t spoken to from the previous night. Radio silence all morning. But they weren’t used to texting each other every day, so she shouldn’t have been worried. Except things were a bit different now, weren’t they.
[not really, why?] - 16:48
[Want to come over?] - 16:50
[now?] - 16:53
[If you want.] - 16:54
And with that, Mary took her bike from the garage and sprinted up the hill, towards the Momobami mansion.
So, third point covered - third point being why the hell Mary was sitting on a Momobami bed right now - she doesn’t feel any calmer.
She just spaced out for a very long time.
« Won’t you ask me why you’re here? » Ririka asks, swinging a little on her chair.
That’s a good question. After their doorman escorted her to Ririka’s room, she just said hi and sat where Ririka told her to. It was a bit weirder than usual.
« Why am I here? » She asks then.
« I wanted to gamble with you. » And that’s something Mary wasn’t expecting.
« Really? » She asks herself how could the Momobami not be saturated by all the gambling that happens in the Academy, in this election period more than ever.
« Yes. The coin thing we did when we first met. » And with that, Ririka takes a coin from the wallet on the desk.
« What for? »
« What would you like, if you win? »
Mary frowns, « You can’t answer a question with another question. »
« Why not? »
« Because. What do you want if you win? »
Ririka feels awkward asking, because she knows that if Mary was to refuse, things could get weird between them. She doesn’t understand why, but she’s seen how Mary keeps reacting to the topic.
She answers nonetheless: « I want you to show me how it’s done. »
Mary’s eyes widen. « You mean… »
« Genitals stimulation. »
Mary’s expression drops, unsure whether to be amused by Ririka’s choice of words or exasperated.
« That means, it means sex, you know it? » She warns her.
« Yes? »
« That means it makes me your first time. »
« ...yes? »
Mary pinches the bridge of her nose.
« It’s something special. »
« Is it? »
« Who did you have your first time with? » Ririka asks then, curiosity and something else eating her inside.
It was weird how it wasn’t someone she fell for, someone like Tsuzura, but rather one of her closest friends now.
« It doesn’t matter. Do you want to bet something else? » She asks instead.
Ririka shakes her head.
Mary breathes deeply. She looks at the carpet, asking: « Why me? »
Not that she was complaining. She just didn’t want to make a mistake, not with her.
That was something Ririka had been thinking all morning. She looks at her hands. Polished nails, cadaveric skin.
« Because you’re a good person. »
Mary looks up at Ririka, as she speaks. « And this research is different from everything else I’ve dealt with, because it’s on me, and not something external. So I need someone I trust to help me. » She meets her gaze only then, and Mary feels her chest tighten, as if someone was squeezing her heart and her lungs.
She huffs a smile, unsure of how to answer, before saying: « You don’t have to gamble to ask for my help, you know. »
Ririka presses her lips in a thin line, suppressing a smile, « This means you’ll help me? »
Mary shrugs. « Why not. »
But despite her purposefulness of the moment, as Ririka puts the coin down and covers the distance, Mary feels her heart in her throat.
Standing in front of a sitting Mary, Ririka prompts: « Tell me what to do. »
Mary gulps, looking from her lower position, parting her lips to breathe through her mouth.
She recalls Yumeko’s teachings, as if putting a mask on.
Then, « Lay down. »
That shift of attitude sends something in Ririka’s lower belly, because she doesn’t even think as she complies. She sits next to Mary, before going further into the bed. Mary turns around, getting on her four, hands on the sides of Ririka’s head and knees alternated between Ririka’s thighs.
« You need to give me some feedback, understood? » Mary tells her, a serious expression. That was something Yumeko forgot to tell her on their first time, and that revealed to be a serious issue later on. Mary dismissed the thought, not finding any reason to be thinking of someone else as she had that vision below her.
Ririka nods, chest rising, as if taking in as much air as possible.
« Is it okay if I touch you? » Mary asks first thing, and she holds a chuckle seeing Ririka’s confused frown. « How would you do it otherwise? Of course you can. »
Mary nods, as she pulls the string of Ririka’s sweatpants. Ririka feels her body respond to that in anticipation. She doesn’t want to close her eyes, because Mary’s golden eyes ground her, and truly she has no reason to be afraid, because that’s something she asked, and Mary is someone she trusts. But Mary’s caution makes her feel as if what’s about to happen is somewhat dangerous, and that partially makes her feel things even more amplified, and partially scares her.
Mary looks at Ririka’s expressions every time she can, through her motions, to check on her.
« Is it okay if we make some foreplay first? It might help. »
Ririka grimaces. « What’s that? »
And once again, Mary doesn’t understand how someone could be so innocent and yet propose something like what they’re doing.
« Uhm, I don’t really know how to explain it. I’ll show you. » She says, as she lowers her face to be closer to Ririka’s. And Ririka’s display of confusion truly must be amusing, because Mary’s grinning as she places a little kiss on the corner of Ririka’s lips.
« Foreplay is kissing? » She asks then.
« It can be kissing. Everywhere, really. » She explains, and to demonstrate, she places another kiss on Ririka’s jawline.
From the corner of her eye she sees Ririka gulping, and it only makes her grin go wider.
« Uhm, I liked that. » Ririka informs her with a little voice.
And once again, the honesty warms Mary’s heart. To reward her of something she doesn’t know, or perhaps just to please her, Mary places another kiss there, then another one, then one a bit lower, to her neck, then to her ear, even licking, biting a little.
That surprises Ririka, because the gestures are something she would have associated with eating only, and she files the comparison for later because now she just wants to experience everything Mary has to offer.
« You might want to hold on to me, too. » Mary tells her, and the voice steadies Ririka, and so do Mary’s hands as they take Ririka’s and place them on herself: on her shoulder, on her neck.
And Ririka finds out that she likes touching Mary like that.
As Mary resumes her kissing, with her foreplay , as she called it, Ririka finds out she likes holding on Mary very much. The hand on her shoulder grabs Mary’s sweatshirt, and the one on Mary’s necks goes a little upwards and frees Mary’s hair from its ponytails. She likes it better worn down, she thinks, as Mary doesn’t flinch and let her run her finger across her hair.
Mary then takes one hand to brush at Ririka’s stomach, whispering near her ear: « Can I? » And it has no subject, it can mean everything, but Ririka just nods. It’s stupid for a calculated person like her, for a Momobami, and for a gambling player. But it’s the wisest thing a scientist or a philosopher could do. Launching themselves in the unknown. And the acknowledgment of it makes Ririka a little bolder, as she looks for friction against Mary’s tight, sighing at the contact.
That makes Mary’s mouth open a little, wondering if she was taking things too slowly, underestimating the girl.
So, smiling at the sight, her own pulsations at bay, she substitutes her tight to her hand, slipping it under Ririka’s pants but above the underwear, finding it damp.
Taking the elastic band with a finger she asks, once again: « Can I? »
And this time Ririka understands, and she looks at Mary in the eyes as she swallows and nods, « Yes, please. »
And the raspiness of her voice sends Mary on the other end. She enters with a single motion, finding wetness and easy access.
She enters, then gets out, moves around, teases, exploring what every point evokes in the woman below her.
She takes just a moment to drink the view, because she’s very convinced that Ririka got the best genetics out of the twins, despite their sameness, if that makes sense.
Silver hair spread across the bed they’re transversal to, rosy lips parted and occasionally biting down on each other, tongue wetting said lips when breathing from her mouth gets them too dry, throat moving with her gulping, brows changing expressions from rising to frowning, from stupor to concentration.
Until those light, light eyes go shut and Mary feels her hand being squeezed.
She tries seconding Ririka’s hips’ riding, as they follow the waves of the aftermath.
As soon as Ririka gets a hold on herself, she jokes: « This is the most fun I’ve had in researching. » And the lightness of it makes Mary laugh with her full heart.
« I bet. »
Mary looks at her, her smile reaching up to her eyes, peaceful expression. And Ririka looks back, a smile of her own on her lips and eyes, joyful. Both of them looking so different from what they usually show the world: one grumpy and one sad.
Ririka puts a hand on the back of Mary’s neck once again, using it as leverage to switch position, rolling on the bed.
« You’re just halfway with your teaching, Prof. Saotome. »
At that, Mary lifts a brow, « Oh, am I? »
The rest of the afternoon proves to Mary that Ririka is a fast learner.
That night Mary stares at her phone, unsure of what to do. They just fucked, no big deal.
And yet Ririka precedes her, as a notification pops up on Mary’s phone.
[Thanks for today, teacher.] - 22:31
Mary smiles like an idiot, answering.
[no prob :)] - 22:32
Ririka doesn’t know if she should write it, if Mary was just being kind to her and she’d read Ririka’s text as too pushing. But she sends it anyway.
[Hope you’ll give me extra lessons soon.] - 22:35
Mary bites her lips, in her bed smiling to a screen, as if she was thirteen all over again.
[sure ;)] - 22:35
[Good night.] - 22:36
[nightnight] - 22:36
Ririka huffs and turns to sleep, that afternoon’s images playing in her head all night.
That Monday morning Ririka still follows Mary around, but they walk side by side, talking to each other. And they still have lunch together, except Mary starts bringing double packed lunch, and they have it on the bleachers, so that Ririka can take her mask off.
And she realizes that she doesn’t feel so naked after all, not even when she, in fact, gets naked. And the common factor to those situations, she analyzes being the scientist she is, is always Mary.