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She had sworn to herself that she would keep her emotions hidden, contained in her heart for as long as she could. If the source of her feelings ever found out, certainly their friendship would end immediately. Or at the very least become incredibly awkward which honestly felt as though it would be worse. 

However, upon seeing those passionate crimson eyes yet again that day, she knew she couldn’t keep her feelings in anymore. She had much encouragement from Itsuki and Ryota who both said surely Yumeko also had feelings for her based on how touchy and open she was with her alone. Mary argued that Yumeko did this with everyone, but she too noticed that it was a bit different with her. Yumeko did it far more often with her which did raise the question of if she felt the same. 

Mary’s heart hoped that was the case. Besides, what if Yumeko did indeed feel the same? Mary’s courage would have then paid off and she knew she would kick herself in the leg later on for not confessing her feelings sooner. Though in her defense, she had been waiting for the right moment to do so since the two of them were busy conquering challengers who offered a high risk gamble where the two would leave victorious each and every time. 

Then again, what if Mary was wrong and Yumeko didn’t feel the same way? All of their future opportunities as gambling partners, as friends, would soon shatter away along with Mary’s heart. Mary knew that even if Yumeko would claim nothing would change between them, things surely would change. Because to Mary, having to look into the eyes of the one she loved who did not love her back would be rather painful. 

So in many ways, this confession of hers was going to be her greatest gamble yet. She would either win the girl of her dreams or lose her. It was a risk she was almost not willing to take. Almost.

They would have lost their final gamble of black jack that day between the two of them and an upperclassman if it hadn’t been for Mary’s ace card. Not even Yumeko had expected it, causing her eyes to ignite with the same fiery glow they always got during an intense gambling match. Mary felt very proud of herself as they left the gambling hall with Yumeko clinging to her arm excitedly.

“Mary-san, that was incredible! Even I thought we were done for! He wasn’t expecting that ace and I wasn’t either; I’m shocked you even had one!” Yumeko exclaimed with excitement. “But yet again, you never fail to surprise me. I really enjoyed that gamble! Thank you.” 

Mary shrugged and blushed as Yumeko pressed her breasts against her arm. “Eh, I’m just glad we got three million yen out of it.”

“You know I couldn’t care less about the money,” Yumeko giggled. “I’m just happy I get to gamble with you. I’m glad I have you.” 

Mary’s heart thumped faster and harder in her chest upon hearing that. She wasn’t exactly sure if what Yumeko said had a double meaning or not, but her mind was screaming at her to tell her she felt the same and even more. Yumeko deserved the truth. 

“Hey, uh, can we maybe talk somewhere less… public?” Mary requested as she looked around the gambling halls full of people. “It’s about something important.” 

“Of course,” Yumeko nodded, her expression suddenly turning serious. “Shall we go outside to the courtyard?”

The courtyard. A perfect place for a confession. Students did it all the time. It was a cold and cloudy day as well which meant that the courtyard was likely deserted. It was as good as it could get. Mary nodded. “Sure, let’s talk there before it starts to rain.”

The walk over felt longer than Mary was expecting. Her legs also grew heavier with each step, her body filling with dread but also anticipation. Mary Saotome was no coward and she never backed down from a challenge, so she wouldn’t start now. Besides, this was Yumeko she was talking to. Aside from Ririka, Yumeko was possibly the easiest person Mary could talk to and she was never judgemental about anything.

As they stepped out into the courtyard, Mary’s heart suddenly swelled with confidence. Perhaps it was due to the fact that they were now completely alone and Mary could actually hear herself think. 

A cold gust of air hit the two girls, but only Mary shivered. Yumeko instantly took notice of this and let go of her arm. 

“Are you cold, Mary-san?” Yumeko asked with concern. “You can take my jacket if you’d like.”

Mary wished Yumeko wouldn’t do that, wouldn’t give her hope that threatened to override her pessimism. Her pessimism is what kept her realistic . She wasn’t expecting Yumeko to reject her feelings by any means, but she also wasn’t expecting her to say she felt the same either. There was only one way of finding out for better or for worse. 

“A bit, but I’ll live,” Mary chuckled.

“Very well then,” Yumeko replied calmly. “So, what is it that you wanted to talk to me about?”

“I…” Mary hesitated. “Just keep an open mind, okay? This isn’t easy for me to talk about.”

Yumeko placed her warm hand on Mary’s shoulder soothingly. “You can tell me anything, Mary. You’re my best friend.” 

The words shouldn’t have stung the way they did. Mary knew this to be true, Yumeko had told her many times. If anything, her words should have been an immediate indicator to Mary that Yumeko only saw her as just that: her best friend. 

Yet she refused to turn back now or lie. She just couldn’t. She needed to know the truth and Yumeko did as well.

Mary released a soft sigh. “Yumeko, I don’t think you realize this, but you’ve changed my life. Before, I was selfish and arrogant and cruel. After you humbled me during our very first gamble, I knew then things had changed for me. For the better. So I thank you for that.”

“Oh, well why didn’t you say so? I’m so glad to hear it!” Yumeko grinned widely, instantly wrapping her arms around the shorter girl. 

Mary hugged her back and held onto her almost a bit too long. Once they broke free, Mary stared at the raven haired girl for a few moments as if studying her face for the last time. Her red eyes, glowing with adoration and joy from hearing Mary’s words. Her jet-black hair, swaying in the breeze of the winter air. Her soft lips, perfectly painted with lip gloss, which Mary desperately wanted nothing more than to place her own lips onto that very moment. But the blonde restrained herself.

In a way, it was the last time Mary would ever look at her like this. If Yumeko felt the same, well, then she’d be staring at the person who loved her back. If not, she would see the face of someone she willingly gave her heart to who did not accept it. There was no pain like any other. 

“I wasn’t finished,” Mary huffed, her face lightly turning pink.

“Oh? My apologies for interrupting then,” Yumeko smiled. “Please continue.” 

It was now or never. Mary inhaled and exhaled. “Yumeko, you’re my best friend, but there’s something you should know. I’m…I’m in love with you.”

The crack of thunder in the distance was all she heard in response. Yumeko’s usual content expression suddenly twisted into one of confusion and almost sadness. The two stared at each other, unable to speak as light rain drops started to fall from the sky. 

Mary’s heart raced like it never had before. Yumeko hadn’t even said a single word in response and Mary already knew the answer. It was written all over Yumeko’s face.

“Mary, I... I really don’t know what to say,” Yumeko murmured. 

“You don’t feel the same,” Mary responded monotone. 

Yumeko sighed and held up her hand, showing her silver ring on her left thumb. “I’m sad to say I don’t and I’m sorry. Know that I love you, Mary-san, I do. Just… not in that way, for my heart belongs to someone else. This ring shows my loyalty to her.” 

Of course Yumeko liked someone else and was in a relationship. Mary should have known. Yumeko was stunningly gorgeous as she was an excellent gambler. It should have been assumed that she wasn’t single. Mary wondered why the thought hadn’t even crossed her mind before now.

Tears threatened to fall from her eyes, though Mary was surprisingly able to hold them back. Even if she let them fall, it wasn’t like Yumeko would be able to tell. For all she knew, they could have been droplets of rain.

“Her, huh?” Mary choked out, forcing a pained smile. “Can’t say I’m surprised. Do I know her?”

Yumeko shook her head and also gave a weak smile.”No, she lives pretty far from here, but I get to see her fairly often. That’s partially why you’ve never met or heard of her.” 

“I see,” Mary whispered.

“For what it’s worth, you are very much my type, Mary. I would have asked you out long ago had I not been taken,” Yumeko offered.

That didn’t make Mary feel better at all. In fact, it made her feel worse knowing that she was Yumeko’s type and still Yuemko didn’t feel the same for her. She knew Yumeko was only trying to help, but by saying that caused whatever restraint Mary had left to burst, causing tears to freely flow down her cheeks. 

Yumeko frowned. “Oh, Mary-san. Please don’t cry.” 

“I’m not… don’t you fucking dare think I’m crying, Jabami,” Mary hissed, turning away from her. “It’s the rain.” 

Yumeko reached out, but retracted her hand, for the first time unsure what to do or what she could say. “I… can guess you’d like some space right now.” 

“Maybe,” Mary replied sadly. 

“I really am sorry, Mary. I mean that,” Yumeko said sincerely. 

“I gotta go,” Mary muttered, though she knew she wouldn’t. 

Her body felt like it couldn’t move as if she was trapped in place. All she really wanted was to get away from Yumeko, something she never thought she’d want. 

“Anywhere in particular?” Yumeko asked softly.

Mary turned to face her and sniffled. “No. Just… somewhere where I can be alone.” 

“I understand,” Yumeko nodded. “I’ll leave you be, but please, don’t do anything irrational. For me.” 

Mary only nodded in response, then watched as Yumeko walked away and disappeared. The rain had begun to fall even heavier by now, but Mary remained standing in the center of the courtyard, allowing herself to be drenched. This way if anyone came across her, they wouldn’t have been able to easily notice she was crying. 


Ririka had stopped listening to the romantic nonsense Kirari and Sayaka were spewing to each other. Yet again, she had been third wheeling in the student council room since she needed to stand guard and wanted to be anywhere than where she was now. Preferably with the girl who she was undoubtedly head over heels for: Mary Saotome. But Ririka knew Mary was likely off gambling with Yumeko at this time of day. It’s what those two would usually do after school and since it was so dark and gloomy outside, the promises for endless gambling only awaited them indoors. 

A slight yelp from Sayaka caused Ririka to turn her head slightly, only to turn it again in disgust once she saw that Kirari had pulled her Secretary into her lap on the futon, drowning her with kisses all over her face and neck. Ririka released a sigh and rolled her eyes, placing her focus back on the pouring rain outside.

“Must you look so stiff and depressing over there, Riri?” Kirari spoke up. “Are you perhaps jealous?”

Ririka wanted to flip her off or better yet, walk out of the room. Kirari was well aware that she saw Sayaka as her other sister more than anything and her heart belonged to Saotome. Perhaps she was speaking of a different type of jealousy. .  

She had guiltily imagined herself in Sayaka and Kirari’s position where instead she was in Mary’s lap while the blonde showered her with affection and told her sweet nothings. That part she was jealous of; that Kirari and Sayaka obtained it so easily. The two were like a moth drawn to a flame, Sayaka being the moth and Kirari being the flame. Though recently, the roles had appeared to reverse since all Kirari talked about is Sayaka and how she was the love of her life, someone she couldn’t live without. 

Ririka wasn’t sure if she could live without Mary or not, but her feelings for her were strong. To the point of love, she didn’t know. She hadn’t been in love before, not while in the mindset where she was nothing but a shadow of her twin. But Mary had broken her free from that mentality and given her an identity of her own. For that, Ririka couldn’t thank Mary enough.

But she was still very new to discovering who she was. This included her feelings toward certain people. 

“Never. You both are so affectionate it is sickening to see,” Ririka scoffed in response. “And I for some reason am always around to witness it. Can’t you do this in the privacy of one of your dorm rooms?” 

“Ah, but you have confessed to me more than once that you wouldn’t mind having that with someone,” Kirari smirked. “Perhaps a certain blonde we all know, yes?” 

Ririka was eternally grateful for her mask which hid her blush. “Don’t change the subject.” 

“Don’t avoid the question,” Kirari countered. 

“I don’t need to answer. In fact, I’m going to leave. I’m done here,” Ririka grumbled, heading towards the exit. 

“Would you mind locking the door on your way out, Ririka-san?” Sayaka requested kindly.

“Oh? Is there something you have planned, my dear?” Kirari grinned mischievously at her Secretary. 

Sayaka gave her lover bedroom eyes. “Perhaps.”

Ririka instantly drowned out the conversation the two were having and made sure to slam the door behind her to show her frustration before locking it. She released a long sigh, rubbing the side of her neck. The hallways were deserted and dimly lit. She wasn’t surprised considering the storm roaring outside. 

Her thoughts went back to Kirari’s comment. Though she didn’t necessarily want to do what Sayaka and Kirari were doing this very moment with Mary, she couldn’t deny she longed to have the blonde wrapped in her arms where the two could listen and watch as the rain fell. Neither would be cold for they would provide each other’s warmth. That was something she craved so desperately her heart ached for it. 

But alas, Mary was likely either off in a gambling hall with Yumeko like she had originally suspected or she was on her way home to escape the dreadful weather. Regardless, Ririka continued to walk as her mind produced scenarios she could only see happening in her dreams. 

She was very aware of Mary’s blatant crush on Yumeko; everyone knew except, apparently, for Yumeko herself. And because of this, Ririka tried her hardest not to develop feelings for Mary. But it was impossible not to. The girl absolutely captured her heart no matter how hard Ririka tried to avoid it. Her smile, her silky blonde hair, and those golden eyes that held a certain kindness toward those she loved. It hurt to see the way Mary looked at Yumeko with those golden eyes that made her seem so love sick for the raven-haired girl. Ririka wished Mary would look at her like that. Once. One time is all she asked. 

Sighing again, Ririka left the warmth of the interior’s halls and stepped outside into the courtyard. As expected, the gusts of strong wind chilled her to the bone and she placed her hands in her pockets to try to keep them from getting cold. She was surprised to see just how much it was raining; she hadn’t seen a downpour quite like this in months.

As she began to walk across the courtyard, she noticed a figure sitting beneath the sakura tree whose petals had long since fallen. This person was hugging their knees as if they were desperately trying to gain any warmth they could. Ririka almost scoffed, wondering what kind of fool would be out in the pouring rain risking getting a severe cold or even hypothermia. Upon closer inspection, she realized who this person was. 

She stood still for a moment, stunned that it was Mary. Before she could even process it, her legs seemed to move on their own and run towards her. Her uniform was quickly getting wet from the rain, but she couldn’t care less. 

Mary didn’t even look up when Ririka stopped in front of her. This terrified the older girl to no end. She had never seen Mary in a state like this. 

“Mary,” Ririka spoke up.

The blonde finally looked up at the masked girl with sad eyes. Ririka could immediately tell she was crying, even if it was raining. Her eyes told a story that even she couldn’t hide. It was very clear something or rather someone, had made her extremely depressed. And when Ririka found out who, she promised herself she would ruin their life. She never wanted to see Mary in this state ever again. 

“Just leave me alone,” Mary muttered and thunder boomed in the distance. 

Ririka shook her head and removed her mask, kneeling down to her level. “I will not. Now I must insist that you get out of the rain.”

Mary shrugged and turned away. “Why does it matter?”

Ririka frowned and placed her hand on Mary’s knee. “Because you will get sick very soon if you don’t get warm. You’re freezing.” 

“I don’t care,” Mary sighed. 

“Well I do,” Ririka huffed. “Now get up. I’m getting you out of here.”

Mary finally looked into Ririka’s concerned cerulean eyes. Something in her heart told her to move, to go wherever Ririka was going to take her. Yet her body refused to move.

“Please,” Ririka added, gently tugging on Mary’s arm. “For me.” 

Mary knew it was Ririka telling her this, but she only heard Yumeko’s words echo from earlier. Please, don’t do anything irrational. For me. Allowing herself to be drenched by icy rain pellets was certainly an irrational decision, so she forced herself to stand up and let Ririka drag her away from the courtyard until they were safe from the rain inside the academy. 

But Ririka didn’t show any signs of slowing down or stopping. She continued to pull Mary along, seemingly uncaring whether or not a couple students noticed her without her mask on. This surprised Mary slightly, but she didn’t make a comment on it.

Ririka led her to a part of the campus Mary or anyone was forbidden from entering. Only the President and Vice President were permitted here; not even Sayaka had been to this closed off portion of the school: the twin’s dorm. Ririka herself knew if Kirari caught Mary there, she would face some consequences, but this was the only real place where Ririka knew she and Mary would have absolute privacy to talk about whatever it was that was upsetting her so much. Besides, Ririka knew her sister would be busy with Sayaka for quite a while. 

“I shouldn’t be here,” Mary commented, wiping away her tears. 

“You’re right, you shouldn’t be,” Ririka nodded in agreement. “But you are because you’re going to tell me what’s wrong. I… I don’t like it when you’re sad.” 

“I don’t like being sad either. It’s fucking pathetic,” Mary scoffed.

Ririka winced. “It’s okay to feel sadness you know, Mary. It’s only natural.” 

“Whatever, I’m sad over something stupid anyway,” Mary grumbled.

“Can you tell me about it maybe after you change out of that and dry off?” Ririka suggested. 

Mary raised a brow at her. “You’re gonna let me borrow your clothes or something? I don’t have anything with me.”

The image of Mary wearing Ririka’s clothes flashed through Ririka’s mind. She had thought about it before, knowing just how adorable Mary would look in clothes that were slightly too big for her. What’s more, Ririka knew Mary would leave her scent on the clothes as well. When she would get them back, in a way, she would have a piece of Mary with her. A bit creepy, sure, but Mary didn’t need to know that.

“I… I don’t have a problem lending you some of my clothes,” Ririka blushed, entering her room with Mary close behind. 

“Thanks,” Mary hummed, sitting down on the futon close to the bed.

Had she not been in such a gloomy mood, Mary would have scoffed and made a comment on how much nicer Ririka’s room was compared to the rest of the academy who had a room likely two times smaller than this one. The room even had a sliding glass door that led to an unknown portion of the campus. She’d have to come back here more often if Ririka would let her, it was very nice. 

Ririka placed a towel, dark blue sweatshirt, and sweatpants on Mary’s lap. Mary stared at the articles of clothing and couldn’t hold back a smile. She was glad she had a friend like Ririka. If it weren’t for her, Mary’s plans for the day would have consisted of sulking alone in silence while being drenched by the rain. At least she didn’t have to go through this alone now. 

Ririka left and went to the bathroom to give Mary privacy as she changed her clothes. The sweatshirt was very comfortable and it smelled like peaches and mint, very much like Ririka.The clothes were loosely fitting, but Mary didn’t mind. They felt comforting.

Ririka poked her head out of the bathroom. “Are you…”

She didn’t even get to finish her sentence upon seeing Mary wearing her clothes. She blinked a few times in awe, taking in the sight. She imagined for a split second that Mary's heart belonged to her, that this was just another day she was visiting her in her dorm.

“Yeah, you can come out now,” Mary murmured. 

The platinum haired girl snapped out of it and slowly stepped out. She took a seat next to Mary who appeared to be staring off into space, clearly thinking about something. Ririka wasn’t sure what she should or could do. She wasn’t used to dealing with these kinds of situations. 

Though she was far more empathetic than say Kirari, even she had limited knowledge on this subject. She didn’t have a reason to know about comforting someone before now. Any kind of emotional distress for a Bami was always to be repressed and shut away. It was seen as a weakness. To show others your true emotions made you vulnerable, something a devourer could never be. But Mary was not a Bami. She had every right to vent out her feelings and not have to worry about somebody listening in to use it against her in the future.

"Mary," Ririka sighed. "What is it that’s upset you?"

"I'm upset because of Yumeko," Mary responded plainly.

An unfamiliar type of rage built up in Ririka's body the moment she heard that treacherous name. Whatever Yumeko did, Ririka couldn't care less. The point in the matter was, she was responsible for putting Mary in this depressed emotional state. That in itself made Ririka want to make plans to make the gambling addict disappear. Or maybe even borrow Sayaka’s taser and use it on Yumeko. Surely Sayaka wouldn’t mind since she too had a hatred toward Yumeko.

"What did she do?" Ririka asked calmly, not letting her anger float to the surface.

Mary scoffed, tears welling in her eyes from the memory. "That's the thing, she didn't do anything wrong at all. I should have just kept my mouth shut."

Ririka's brows furrowed in confusion. "I'm afraid I don't understand, what are you-"

"I confessed to her," Mary cut her off, allowing a couple tears to fall. "She doesn't like me back because she already has a girlfriend."

And suddenly, all the anger she felt toward Yumeko disappeared in an instant. As selfish as it was, Ririka was ecstatic to hear this news for it meant she now had a much better chance of winning Mary's heart. She now had no true competition. She felt slightly guilty, but that didn't alter her joy. She was, of course, sad because Mary was very depressed over this, but still. She hated Yumeko far less now.

"Oh," Ririka murmured. "I knew how much you liked her; that must have been tough."

"Really? I never told you that though," Mary pointed out and then shrugged. "Well, I guess I made it a little obvious."

Ririka chuckled weakly. "Just a little."

Suddenly, Mary buried her face into Ririka's shoulder and released a bitter sob. Ririka flinched from this and internally freaked out, but did what came naturally to her. She shifted her position and wrapped her arms around the blonde, allowing her to cry in the crook of her neck.

"It hurts! It hurts so fucking much," Mary bawled. "And now things between us are gonna be so weird! She'll never want to hang around me again."

"I... don't think that's the case," Ririka assured her. "I doubt Jabami is the type of person to stop talking to you just because you said you liked her."

"I said I loved her," Mary corrected her. "I mean... what would you do if I said that to you?"

Ririka's heart nearly stopped. What the hell was she supposed to say to that? Not the truth, definitely not the truth. She couldn't just tell Mary she would have kissed her in response or pour out her heart, telling her every intricate and explicit detail on why she loved her back.

"I would have told you the truth," Ririka answered honestly. "And I wouldn't have been freaked out over it."

"No? I thought you weren't good with... handling emotions," Mary said cautiously, laying her head in Ririka's lap.

Ririka shrugged, looking down at her and tried not to blush. "I'm not, but I do feel things even though I mask them."

"Hm," Mary hummed.

She had calmed down a bit, especially since Ririka had started to stroke her blonde hair. Mary usually never let anyone touch her, especially not her hair. But it felt so soothing coming from Ririka. It distracted her mind which was something she desperately needed at the moment. 

"Have you ever been heartbroken, Riri?" Mary asked.

Truthfully, she hadn't. Not to this extent at least. The only time she could remember feeling anything close to heartbreak is when she heard Ryota talk about how Mary had a massive crush on Yumeko. That alone caused her to tear up, knowing that the girl she was totally whipped for had feelings for someone else. It stung, she wouldn't deny that. And her feelings only grew stronger, much to her disapproval.

"Not like this," Ririka admitted. "But I know what it feels like to have someone not feel the same way. It hurts a lot."

"How did you get over it? Make it hurt less?" Mary questioned, eyes still sparkling from her tears.

"I'll be honest with you, I haven't gotten over it yet. I don't see much of a point in avoiding the issue entirely, so I'm content with friendship. As long as they're happy," Ririka confessed. 

"Wow, so you must feel pain every time you see them," Mary scoffed. "I don't think I wanna do that."

"I believe the best way to get over Yumeko is by liking someone else," Ririka suggested.

That wasn't such a terrible idea actually. Mary wanted to get over this quickly, so she thought of every person she could think of who she wouldn't mind kissing or spending her time with. She was surprised that the only person she could really think of was staring down at her right now. The thought had crossed her mind a fair amount of times as a matter of fact. Ririka was very beautiful and so gentle. The thought of kissing her couldn't not enter Mary's mind at least once. However, her emotions were too confusing and hurt right now for her to tell if she actually did like Ririka and was just in denial about it or if she was just trying to find someone to project her feelings onto.

"Well, anything I can do right now that'll ease the pain? Maybe a distraction?" Mary asked flatly.

Ririka gave her a light smile. "I have an idea."

Mary sat up so Ririka could stand. She walked over to the sliding glass doors and opened them, stepping outside. Mary watched as she disappeared from view and then reappeared, dragging an outdoor loveseat behind her. Once she got back inside, she snatched a fuzzy aquamarine blanket off of her bed and walked over to Mary, holding out her hand. Hesitantly, Mary placed her hand in Ririka's and stood up, allowing the taller girl to guide her outside.

It was still just as cold and the storm showed no signs of dying down, but they were safe and dry beneath the roof.

"Sometimes when I need to think or distract my mind, I'll listen to the rain. It can be very pleasant if someone is with you," Ririka grinned, sitting down on the loveseat and patted the spot next to her. "Kirari used to do this with me when we were kids. We'd count the seconds between each boom of thunder to see how far away the storm is."

Mary sat down next to her and Ririka placed the blanket over both of them. Mary wasn't cold at all, Ririka's body was warm like a furnace. 

She was correct. This did indeed feel quite pleasant. She snuggled up next to Ririka and felt a hand comfortingly squeeze her own underneath the blanket.

"God, you really shouldn't do things like this or else I might just fall in love with you," Mary joked.

"Would that be such a bad thing?" Ririka whispered softly.

Mary's breath hitched. Ririka assumed Mary didn't hear what she said, but Mary actually did. Her mind swarmed with new thoughts. The person Ririka liked was her, it must have been. Why else would Ririka make a comment like that? But now wasn't the time to think about such thoughts. Her feelings were conflicting enough. But... it was good to know. Flattering.

"Hm?" Mary asked, pretending she didn’t hear Ririka’s comment.

"Oh, n-nothing," Ririka stuttered. "It was nothing. I... hope this is helping."

"It is and thank you," Mary breathed out, leaning her head on Ririka's shoulder. "For being here with me. For me."

"Yeah, of course," Ririka smiled, leaning her head on Mary's. "Always."

Mary sighed and watched as lightning lit up the sky, soon followed by a crack of thunder. The storm seemed to be slowly moving away from the area. The rain had also started to fall less harshly and warped into a light drizzle. 

The hole in her chest was so unbearable just a few minutes ago, but sitting there with Ririka seemed to help patch the hole significantly. She knew the healing process wouldn't be easy or painless, but she was glad that Ririka was here for her. It was much better to endure heartbreak with someone by her side. 

Even now, the pain she felt from Yumeko's rejection seemed to dissipate far sooner than she predicted. Whether or not Ririka was the cause of it, she didn't know. All she knew was she wouldn't mind staying outside watching the rainfall with Ririka for hours if the weather permitted it. Though she was still very heartbroken over Yumeko, she felt safe and comfortable with Ririka. That much would never change.