When her mom told her it wasn't a good idea to stay up late during their Zoom session last night, Claudine didn't care. She wanted to have a long talk with her mom back in Paris. She misses her mom so much and was a bit jealous that her dad got to fly there while she has to go to school.
They talked a lot of silly stuffs, giving each other updates on what's going on in their daily lives, about her cousin who recently got married, gossiping the neighbours down the street in Paris, and of course, it wouldn't be complete if her mom didn't ask Claudine about her love life in Seishou.
"Tell me about your copine !"
" Maman ! How many times do I have to tell you! S-she's–...not my girlfriend! (yet) !"
Claudine will always try to change the subject whenever it comes to Tendou Maya, but her mom knows just how to get her daughter talking and eventually teased her about everything - like who likes who first, and who always initiated the first move in their odd lover-rivalry relationship; or how far they have progressed, which the blonde flat-out denied having any scandalous affair with the Tendou's sole thoroughbred (well, not that her mother needs to know the details). But her mom understands her awkward daughter is simply embarrassed or, what did her father always call it in Japanese?
Ah, tsun/dere .
Of course, Kaoruko was annoyed hearing Claudine talking loudly in full french in the middle of the night when she was on her way from the toilet and cursing the fact that they have thin dormitory walls.
After long hours of talking, her mom finally got to end their session when her dad purposely eavesdropping and butting in their conversations at the back.
" Ugh ! Papa, what the hell are you doing?!" Claudine squinted her eyes so many times, grunting in annoyance feeling like she had been sabotaged by her father.
"It's bedtime for you, little missy! Your Papa and Maman want to have some grownup time now. And you have school tomorrow. So, oyasumi , Claudie!" Her father couldn't stop from grinning suspiciously implying something Claudine doesn't even want to know.
Yea, yea. Geez!
" D'accord, chérie, à bientôt! " Her mother blew kisses and waved goodbyes before finally ending the session for good.
"... bonne nuit ." The blonde sighed and smiled to herself, wondering why she has such chaotic parents.
Ah, it's already 3AM. Guess she's gonna suffer with massive lack of sleep then.
Thinking back, though it kinda hurts for Claudine to say what she said about Maya, she felt like she needed to take care of the top student's reputation outside of the Academy. Sure she doesn't mind if her parents know about her sexuality or her lover, but what about Maya and her side of the story? Half of the students in the Academy might be aware of their relationships, but most of them aren't clear whether it's serious, or not, due to the otokoyaku and musumeyaku system. Many of their fans believe they are romantically involved and in love, but some simply shrug it off as "acting" because of their given roles.
° ° °
"You look tired, ma chérie . Are you alright? Did you stay all night again?" Tucking a few messy strands behind Claudine's ear, Maya kinda guessed she was up late night chatting with her mom again. She couldn't help but overheard Claudine talking loudly inside her own room last night and it was all in french, so it must be her mom.
"Yea, it was my mom. And my dad is there, in France right now. Ugh, I'm so jealous…" The blonde yawns, she could barely open her eyes on the way to school. Good thing Maya offers to walk together this early morning or she would've overslept.
When they arrived at the shoebox porch, Maya found more love letters stuffed inside her locker.
"Wow, six letters today…you're famous. You haven't even replied to the previous three yet." Claudine peeked over the brunette's shoulder, wondering why she never got any from her fans. Is it because she's approachable all the time?
Sighing softly, Maya keeps all the letters inside her bag. Now she has nine letters to answer this week. "Although I really do appreciate their thoughtful sentiments, I hope they are aware that I am in a special relationship with you, ma chérie ."
" W-well–! Not that everyone in school knows about that! Or needs to know about it, so you can't blame them!" The blonde is blushing furiously, her ears are all red just from saying it out loud to Maya. "Let's go!"
The brunette chuckled. She knows that they set a rule between themselves, a verbal agreement that to always be careful and maintain a certain kind of public image whenever they're outside. Maya finds this game exciting since she has better control and temperament compared to Claudine's. The two often express their romantic relationship in a very subtle way. It's like hiding, yet it's not at the same time. Being girls are lucky, it's easier to blend the lines between intimacy and sisterhood. Hence their audience wouldn't actually know the difference. As for Maya, so that her parents would never find out.
At least, until after graduation.
"S-she's–…not my girlfriend! (yet!)"
Claudine finds her own words echoing inside her head.
So what are we?
– Just lovers.
° ° °
Claudine sat at the empty garden bench, checking her phone looking at the clock as if she was counting how much longer Maya was going to take, confronting one of the girls who gave her the love letters.
It's been 35 minutes already.
We're gonna be late for practice…
She bet the girl must be a first-year, that's why Maya is taking her time to thread the situation in case she made the young girl cry when rejected.
After another 10 more minutes, the top student finally appeared out of the garden maze. Her facial expression remains natural as if nothing happened.
"That was rather late. You sure took your time, Tendou Maya."
Smiling softly at Claudine, the brunette replies, "Well, I made her cry, which I am not proud of. It was a rather delicate situation to be honest. She was such a kind girl."
" Ah bon ? Don't tell me you're gonna keep this up for the next eight girls?" Claudine started to sound jealous.
"Oh?" Maya likes what she's hearing. "Do you not want me to, ma chérie ? Or do you rather I let them be, living each day of their lives pondering and wondering, with no answers avail after pouring their hearts out with such courage?"
" Ugh ! Whatever!" Claudine carries her bags and walks ahead of Maya. She doesn't need her partner to tease her like this again. "C'mon, Nana is waiting for us!"
Suddenly, the brunette quickly grabs her lover by the arm and pulls her in for a quick kiss when no one is watching (after all, the garden is rather empty at this hour).
" Mmmph! "
Maya quickly breaks away, just when Claudine thought of frenching her in the heat of the moment. " Allons-y, mon amour*! "
*Let's go, my love
Her tongue is slightly hanging, Claudine then quickly snapped. "W-wha–! Qu'est-ce que–?! What the hell!"
The brunette simply chuckles, as she walks ahead of Claudine who is still blushing in pink.
"You infuriating woman!"
° ° °
Caressing her soft and still flushed cheeks, Maya gently wipes off the beads of sweat with her fingers as she stares lovingly at Claudine, who is still lying resting next to her.
" Ma chérie… " Maya whispers.
Slightly interrupted, Claudine slowly opens her eyes and stares back at Maya. " Qu'y a-t-il? What is it?"
"It's nothing. Just wondering if you love me, Saijou Claudine?" One flirty look, and it's enough to stir the blonde into an emotional mess she is.
"Y–you! What is this?! A pillow-talk?!" Claudine is red as a tomato. She quickly got up and pushed Maya down as she climbed on top of her. "We won't be fucking if I don't–"
"Love me?" The brunette cuts her off, smiling at Claudine's many reactions. "You opened the door to this question, now you must answer: do you love me, ma Claudine?" Maya asks again, sweetly.
Her head is steaming with embarrassment, her whole body is red.
" Hm ?"
"…. I,...do." The blonde admits. They did this many times, and Claudine shouldn't overreact with Maya teasing her like this anymore.
" Je t'aime,...je t'adore...je vous aime plus que tout, ma Maya… " Claudine lowers her head to the nook of Maya's neck, buries her face as she cites all of these loving words. She still doesn't want Maya to see her face burning up like this.
Maya could feel her soft lips tickle on her skins, she chuckles. "Thank you, ma chérie. Je t'aime moi aussi…"
As if her neck wasn't red enough, Claudine bites down again on the same mark with her teeth, suckling and licking then biting Maya slightly harder this time.
" Ahh–!! " The brunette gasped at the sudden pain.
"That's for asking such an embarrassing question!" Pushing their bare breasts together, Claudine starts to straddle Maya between her thighs, thrusting her core for another round by grinding their delicates together.
Maya moans, this time harder than the previous rounds.
" C-Claudine–!!! "
Claudine lifts one of the brunette's legs over her shoulder, she now has a better angle from this position. Her bed starts to creak again. One of their housemates will definitely hear them at this hour, at least someone will. Maybe Kaoruko? Or the girl from Group B next to Claudine's room?
But whatever it is, they both are too deep in their own momentary ecstasy to even care.
" M-ma Claudine…please introduce– ahh !" Her hips starting to ache, Maya knows she will definitely sore the next morning. She could feel wetness flowing from Claudine's delicate spot down to her own, she's soaking. So does Maya.
" Quoi ?! What did you say–?" Claudine bent down, taking one of Maya's nipples and suckling it hard, tweaking the other with her free hand. Thanks to their athletic flexibility, they could even continue thrusting in this position.
" Ahh! Ahh! Ahhh– !!! Claudine, I'm–….!!"
The blonde immediately sealed her lips with a deep kiss, refraining Maya from being anymore louder than she is. Claudine came a few more seconds right after Maya reached hers, she could feel her below is jerking and twitching from the orgasm. Her body went slump on top of Maya, heaving in exhaustion after such an aggressive performance.
In her still panting voice, Claudine continues to ask. " You ...w-want me, to...what?"
Trying her best to rearrange her breathing, Maya continues where she left. "....I want you…to introduce me to your mother, Claudine…"
" Wha–… ? I-introduce you?! Huh ?! Agh I'm out of breath!" The blonde flips her position, laying on her back next to Maya and still trying her best to catch her breath. She cannot think properly right now.
Maya chuckles, she's proud of her lung capacity. "Breathe through your nose, my darling…"
Getting up from the bed, Claudine walks toward her desk and taps open a mineral bottle, gulping down the water to keep herself hydrated, then wipes her face with her towel hanging from her chair. The brunette's eyes can only follow her every move and entrance with Claudine's naked figure.
"You want me to introduce you to my Maman ? Really?" She tosses the mineral bottle to Maya. It wasn't hard for the top student to catch it with just one hand in that dimmed room.
"Yes. Kindly introduce me, ma chérie . Your mother sounds fun." Maya drinks up from the bottle.
"Well, she is. And she knows many interesting people and connections. But why though?"
Maya simply smiles to herself, taking another gulp before answering.
"Remember when I said I want other students to be aware of my relationship with you?"
Putting down the bottle on the floor, Maya then fiddled with one of the pillows. "Well, I want them to know about us. I want us to be official. Can we, Claudine? Please~ "
Claudine swears, her heart was about to burst when Maya covered part of her face with a pillow, making those adorable puppy eyes. There's no way she could resist that! So adorable!
"I'll– think about it! Maman is always b-busy, so I can't really promise you when! We'll talk about this, later!"
"Thank you, Saijou Claudine. Sure, let's talk about this again. It's getting very late now, let's sleep." Maya reaches out her hands, inviting Claudine into her embrace. Claudine clicks her tongue, as if she has a choice but to accept her lover's gesture.
" Oui …"
° ° °
Claudine sent her mother a text, asking about her latest schedule this week. "When are you free, Maman?"
After waiting for two minutes, no response from her mother. She must be busy again.
No point in waiting for her mother's replies, Claudine quickly got ready for school and headed out to find Maya who left her room at 4 in the morning. On their way to school, they both didn't say anything about what Maya said last night, as if it was quickly forgotten just like that. Well, it's not like they never had this conversation before. In fact, it always happens when it comes to Tendou Maya and her pillow talk, like things suddenly gotten reset next thing in the morning and she doesn't bring it up again.
"...S-say, Maya, about last night?"
"Yes, ma chérie ?"
"Well, I texted my mom. But she hasn't replied yet, so…" the blonde quickly glances at Maya, to see her reaction about it.
But the top student's expression remains neutral, as if she's apathetic. Yet something in her eyes worries Claudine.
"Maya?" The sudden silence is bothering her.
Few more blocks before they arrived at the Academy, Maya said nothing. Claudine shrugs and sighs to herself at this awkward mood between them. Not that she wants to force Maya to say anything especially when they're near the campus entrance with Seishou students greeting each other here and there.
"Saijou-san, do you think I have become complacent?" The top student suddenly asks.
" Complacent ? As in your performance?" Now this is definitely a shocker to her ears. She would never expect Tendou Maya, of all people, to actually ask her this. Claudine suddenly feels nervous about whether she should give her an answer.
But before she could reply, they had already arrived at the school gate. Claudine could see Nana and the gang waving at them near the entryway. "Ah! Kuro-chan! Maya-chan!"
"I apologize Saijou-san, please do not give much attention to what I have asked just now. Think nothing about it, okay?" A faint smile, Claudine really hates this part about Maya.
" Alors, si vous le dites* …" Claudine swears to herself, she will pound Maya for this later.
*Alright, if you say so.
° ° °
Lunch break is over, everything went on as if nothing happened between the top pair. Both Maya and Claudine behave as usual, going about their daily routines and deciding not to bring up what Maya has said this morning; same goes with what she said last night.
And before they knew it, school's over. It's time to head back and end the day, unless they want to stay for some extra practice of course. Claudine checks her phone, she finally receives a reply from her mom.
"Oh!" She quickly tapped the icon, and read through her mother's message written in french.
"I'll be available this Thursday, around 01:30 A.M (Japan time). Can talk for an hour because I'll be having a meeting over dinner with some client. I can spare my morning for you but I'm afraid you have to wait til next week, Chérie. Is it urgent?"
Claudine knows if she just says the word, her mother will immediately drop everything and give all her attention to her one and only precious daughter. But then again, Claudine wouldn't want that.
This can wait, Tendou Maya can wait.
For now, she needs to ask Maya about that question first.
° ° °
"I'm heading for practice for a while, do you want to join me?" As usual, Maya will surely stay for some training.
"Yea, why not." Claudine figures this might be a good chance for her to get some time alone with her partner.
Unfortunately, the locker room is now crowded with a bunch of juniors from Group B under Daiba Nana's tutelage. It's packed.
"Ah! Maya-chan, Kuro-chan!" Said the tallest girl.
The top pair is graced with a lot of head turning from the younger girls; you can even see some of their eyes glittering with admiration.
"Who's that?" Claudine hears some whisperings from the juniors. "You seriously don't know them?!"
She can't help but to smirk at their naïveté.
"Okay, okay, girls! Please give them some space! Whoever is done with changing, please go to the hall right now!" Nana clapped her hands twice to instruct the juniors from their fascinations.
One of the juniors accidentally bumped into Maya in the midst of the confusion (when some were pushing each other from getting into their ways), and yelp, " Ah ! I'm so sorry!"
Maya catches the poor girl by the shoulders and keeps her steady. "Please be careful, alright?" The top student smiled and winked before heading to her locker.
♡ Kyaaaa~! Maya-sama!
She's so handsome!
She's so gorgeous!
Tendou-san is so cool!♡
Claudine and Nana expected this already and shook their heads at the juniors fangirling at the great Tendou Maya.
"C'mon girls! Let's go, let's go!" After some 5 minutes or so, Nana finally got all the juniors out of the locker room leaving only Maya and Claudine.
The pair is finally alone.
"That was a lot of first years." Claudine opens her locker, stuffing her bag and removes her blazer.
"Another new stars in Seishou." Maya unzips her skirt and unbutton her blouse.
"Well, they're from the prop department. Not really a star."
Maya chuckles, "But they may be the new genius directors and writers in the making, ma Claudine. They give us stories to play."
"Whatever." The blonde doesn't need to be corrected right now.
When changing, Claudine realized Maya has few band aids around her body. She immediately remembers why and blushes.
"Y-you should, apply some foundation…here." She points at Maya's nape.
The brunette smiles and touches her own neck. "Don't worry about it, chérie ."
Claudine turns bright red. She loves and hates it when Maya does this on purpose, as if she wants to remind her how hot their sex was last night. "You infuriating woman!"
° ° °
They both stopped by at the convenient store on their way back to the dormitory. Claudine bought some fashion magazines and a few tubs of ice-cream, mostly chocolate. Maya bought a limited edition T-shirt of the recent sports event.
"Why are you buying a shirt?"
"It says 'limited edition' . Do you want one?"
The brunette smiles and gets a pink version for Claudine before paying.
"I won't be wearing it."
Thank you! Please come again!
It's already 8 P.M, and the top pair finally back at the dormitory. They're lucky nobody's checking on the curfew. Maya and Claudine quickly sneaked inside, they didn't need Junna to nag at them for showing bad examples to the juniors.
"Do you want to shower together?" Maya whispers.
"Okay, but I'll head there 5 minutes after you." Like always, Claudine doesn't want to be seen together with Maya all the time. Although most of their friends already know about them, the blonde still doesn't want people to have the wrong ideas.
° ° °
During shower, Claudine wants to take this chance to ask Maya again. They're finally alone.
" Hm ?"
"My mamam texted me this afternoon, she said she's free to chat this Thursday at 1.30 A.M. Do you want to talk to her?"
"1 A.M huh…" The brunette slowly rinses her rapunzel hair, thinking if it's a good idea to stay up that late.
"We can arrange it next week if you want to." Claudine got out of the cubicle and headed to the huge bathtub to start the water.
Maya stays quiet, so does Claudine when she doesn't receive any answers from her partner.
" Ooh…" The blonde stretches herself after getting comfortable in the hot water, simply enjoying the nice bath. Her muscles need this after training.
Maya joins her, sitting across from her partner at the other side.
"So?" Claudine splashes a small amount of water at Maya to get her attention. She feels like her partner has a lot in her mind but isn't telling.
Poor communication, Tendou Maya. Poor communication.
"Hey!" Maya strikes back, returning the gesture in a big splash.
" Oi !"
The pair laugh at their childish behaviors. As much as Claudine wants to keep this up, she needs an answer from Maya already. "Maya! Tell me!"
The laughter on her face turns faint; her thumbs are fidgeting with each other as she turns her gaze at the reflected light on the water, sighing.
"My mother called me this morning…" The brunette began to confess.
Claudine became quiet.
"She… um …," Maya sighs again and swallows the knot down her throat, her expression turned sombre. "She was asking about you, Saijou Claudine."
" Sur m-moi… ?" Claudine swears, she never felt so nervous and her heart suddenly frightened for her own safety, even before Maya could finish her own story.
"Yes. Apparently, and somehow, she knows…about us. Implicitly . S-she didn't actually say it but I could feel as if she knew. She is my mother, after all." Her cheeks start to feel hot, there's some tremble in her voice. "She said, I have become c-complacent, and– and…"
Maya shutters at her words. She's trying to hold back her emotions. "A-and she asked, if my current slack has something to do with my relationship with...y-you…"
The brunette sobs, yet feeling slightly frustrated at herself. "How could she say that!"
"Maya–!" Claudine quickly goes to her lover, hugging her tightly. "Maya! Please don't cry…!"
What a foolish thing to say. But Claudine didn't know any better.
Of course she'd cry.
So does Claudine. Her eyes start to get teary, feeling helpless at these ominous feelings she has in her gut.
"Maya…" Claudine wanted to say something, do something. But just before she could think any, she suddenly hears footsteps and voices heading to the bathing area.
"Maya, hey….!" There's no way she wants other students to catch them in this situation, especially when Maya is in tears. For now, it's best to leave.
"Maya! Tendou Maya! Listen to me. Let's get outta here first; we need to talk about this." The blonde quickly got up and grabbed her partner by the arm, then grabbed some towels on their way out.
Forget about her own mother, they need to figure out how to deal with Maya's primadonna mother first!
To be continued...