“Hmm, hmm, hmm, mhm~,”
Aoba looked up to see Clear humming a small tune beneath her breath. She twirled her umbrella with a gloved hand as she hang, her steps matching the beat. The shorter of the two wasn’t sure what she was humming, but it sounded nice.
“You seem to be in higher spirits today,” the vibrant-haired female commented, a smile curving onto her lips. Clear paused in her humming and looked to Aoba, the gas mask hiding her expression.
“That’s because I’m with Aoba-san!” a bell-like voice replied. Aoba knew Clear was smiling, just from her tone. As she walked alongside the other girl, Clear’s steps were upbeat.
Clear was still hesitant about showing her face in public. While she didn’t care about covering her face in front of Granny or, now, Koujaku, she was still afraid—no matter how many times Aoba tried to reassure her. Aoba didn’t want to push her, though, so she waited patiently for Clear to slowly warm up.
“Aoba-san, where are we going to shop?” asked Clear, turning a corner and matching Aoba’s pace perfectly.
“Ah, Koujaku recommended me to it. It’s where she buys most of her,” Aoba broke off into a shy mumble, “underwear.” In all respect, Aoba hadn’t wanted Clear to come with her at first, but the android had insisted. Though embarrassed, she finally agreed.
“Oh, so you haven’t been there before?”
“Nah,” she shook her head, “It’s a pretty expensive place. I usually get my clothes and stuff at cheaper places.” Clear hummed in acknowledgement as they crossed the main street and came to a stop in front of small windowed shop. It was painted a stark ivory and the sign above reading the name of the store in bold black letters. In the windows were mannequins wearing bras and underwear, rather lacy at that.
Clear let out an “oooh” and “aaaah” at the sight and she politely folded her umbrella back up. Aoba let out a sigh. “Let’s get this over with…”
Taking a step forward, she stopped, noticing the other female’s hesitation, her face downcast. “What is it, Clear?”
“…” she was silent. Half a minute could have passed before two gloved hands reached up to undo the buckles of the black gas mask. It was then slowly removed, revealing anxious eyes that quickly avoided Aoba’s gaze. Aoba’s own eyes were wide. Even if they were going into a small store, this was the first time Clear had ever taken off her mask in public in a while.
With a kind smile, Aoba took a step towards the hesitant girl and placed a hand on a pale cheek. “It’s okay, Clear. You’re beautiful, as always.”
An almost sigh of relief left light-haired girl, and she placed a hand atop Aoba’s. “…Thank you.”
“Besides,” Aoba intertwined their fingers and lowered their hands, “you have me. So, don’t be afraid.”
Pink hues glistened with happiness and a smile spread onto her perfectly shaped lips. “Yes, I have Aoba-san.”
Giving a smile of her own, Aoba reached and pushed open the door to the store, Clear timidly following behind, looking down shyly at her boots. A lady automatically greeted and welcomed them, a tape measure slung on her neck.
“Do you need help finding something?” she asked politely.
“Ah, no we’re just gonna browse for a bit,” Aoba replied and the worker nodded, walking off elsewhere to help another customer. Clear was still tightly holding the shorter girl’s hand, and Aoba noticed how her gloved hand was shaking. With concern, she tugged and led them to the corner of the store, by a display of lingerie.
“You don’t have to do this you know,” she murmured, turning to face Clear. “I’m happy if you’re happy and comfortable.”
Clear shook her head, looking up with eyes of desperation and determination. “No, I want to do this. I want to believe in Aoba-san. You say I’m…pretty,” she gulped, “so—so I want to make you happy and believe in the truth.”
“Clear…” Aoba couldn’t find the words to say. She had no idea that the android had felt that way at all. Honestly, she’d feel a lot better if Clear didn’t have to try this hard for her sake, but at the same time she felt appreciative and relieved that Clear was at least trying.
It was then that Clear’s eyes focused onto the racks of lacy underwear hanging behind Aoba’s head. “Ah, Aoba-san, aren’t you going to look around?” Still gripping Aoba’s hand, she moved to look closer at the scanty articles of clothing.
“Oh, uh, yeah…” Suddenly, having Clear be with her was a bit embarrassing. They were both girls, so there was really no harm—but their relationship made this a little strange, to say the least. With a pink face, she turned to a shelf of more modest underwear. She didn’t notice Clear’s hand slip from hers as the other woman wandered a few feet away towards the lacy lingerie.
Already deciding on a pair of cute panties that were a bright shade of blue with white polka dots, Aoba felt a tap on her shoulder and turned to view Clear presenting a hanger to her. “Here, Aoba-san, you should get this!”
She glanced down and gold hues went immeasurably wide. It was a two-piece matching set. Pastel blue panties with a white lace trim, the fabric thinning around the hips, along with a bra with a bit of padding that was the same shade of blue, with the same trim around the edges, and an extension of more lace from the wiring of the bra downwards and around the whole bra to cover the stomach.
It was something she’d never dream of wearing.
“Cl-Clear!” her face flushed red.
“Ah, so you’ll wear it?!” Clear’s eyes immediately brightened, excited that Aoba liked her choice.
“…” A pause and then a long sigh escaped Aoba. She couldn’t really turn down Clear when she had that look. “I-I’ll try it on, but only that! Besides, how’d you know my size?”
Aoba gave a light glare along with her flushed cheeks that left Clear confused, but still happy and beaming as always. They continued browsing a bit after that, picking out multiple bras and underwear—nothing like what Clear had suggested earlier. Aoba also picked out a few for Clear, much to the taller woman’s distaste, saying that she didn’t need anything.
Then it was time to try them all on.
“Clear, I can put these on myself,” Aoba said, stopping as Clear followed her into one of the changing rooms. The android bit her bottom lip as a slight pink tinted her cheeks.
“I thought…I wanted…to see Aoba-san in them…” she murmured shyly.
Aoba’s cheeks reddened for the millionth time that day and she hurriedly walked into the small room, letting Clear in without a word. Once the door was locked, she hung the many hangers on a rack on the wall and removed her jacket and her headphones from her neck. Clear took a seat in a chair in the corner, trying to not stare too pointedly at Aoba. Next was her shirt, and then Aoba reached back and unclipped her bra, pulling it off and letting it fall on the pile of clothes. The girl turned to reach for a hanger before pausing at the heated stare from Clear.
“…Oi,” she put her hands on her hips and gave Clear a pointed look.
“Ah!” The light-haired female snapped out of her trance and looked away hurriedly, fingers playing with the edge of her skirt nervously, her face bright crimson. “S-Sorry, Aoba-san, um…I just…They’re really nice…” Clear looked to the other’s chest once more before glancing away.
Aoba blushed but grinned. Clear was just so…unbearably cute at times like these. Walking over, she ruffled Clear’s soft locks and placed a peck on the other girl’s cheek. The android’s features only burned a brighter shade, and she looked up to Aoba with a sweet smile.
“Aaaah~ you’re really too cute,” Aoba grinned, ruffling up Clear’s hair more.
“Eh? No, Aoba-san’s the cute one!” She objected with a firm look, eyes glittering.
“Nope, it’s definitely you.” Aoba chuckled, retreating to pick a bra from a hanger and beginning to put it on, fastening it just below her breasts and placing the straps on her shoulders. She tried them on one-by-one, each gaining Clear’s approval, until there was one left—the lingerie that Clear had picked out.
Biting her lip, her face an embarrassing red, Aoba reached down to undo her belt and unbutton her shorts, pulling them off along with her leg warmers. Pulling the top piece from its hanger, she slipped it on over her head, fitting the cups onto her breasts and pulling the lace down slightly to attempt to cover her panties. “U-Umm…”
“Uwahh, Aoba-san, you look very cute~,” commented Clear from her chair, her eyes glimmering.
“Y-You like it?”
“Yes, very much so! I love it!” She exclaimed. “Aoba-san, you should get it.” Clear folded her hands together in delight.
“F-Fine,” she mumbled, “but only ‘cause you like it!”
Turning back around, Aoba began to remove the garment before pausing at the larger-sized bras that were for Clear. With a smirk, she plucked one off the rack and waltzed over to the other woman. “It’s your turn!”
“Eh? Wha—Wait, Aoba-san!!” She cried as Aoba began to tug on her shirt and scarf.
“Aww, but we have to make sure they fit~,” Aoba grinned, having successfully unbuttoned Clear’s shirt.