Kaoruko had long forgotten the reason why she required Mahiru's assistance when she stepped into the kitchen.
The girl seemed to have an abundance of dauntless energy when she displayed a dreaded box which signified that objectionable day.
The combination of Mahiru's smile and the flavour of the pocky was the only reason she succumbed.
Or so she says to herself.
Her hands gripped the back of Mahiru's shirt as the flavour of double chocolate seeped over her tongue.
If it came to the battle of who could out breathe the other, Kaoruko knew she'd lose. But she wasn’t one to give up without a fight, which was the whole point of this manufactured day but it had long passed the definition of a competition.
Kaoruko was content in making out with Mahiru.
She was cornered against the kitchen worktop, the box of pocky left abandoned as Mahiru's hands had a possessive hold of her waist. There were voices from the living area but she paid no heed, too immersed in the sensation of Mahiru's tongue sweeping over her own.
Eventually, she had to stop, lungs almost burning and body flushed as the feeling of Mahiru remained in her mouth despite the other girl pulling back, her breathing slightly erratic while Kaoruko's was ragged.
Another testament to Mahiru's stamina.
"How was that?".
Kaoruko inhaled, looked up into curious dark eyes, "Are you asking about the flavour or the kiss? Because both were to my liking".
She chuckled and grabbed the box to retrieve another stick, twirling it between her thumb and forefinger.
Mahiru tilted her head in confusion, though the coquettish smirk on the heiress's face was telling enough.
She placed the chocolate covered end between her lips and pulled Mahiru in by the collar of her shirt again, a small squeak emitting while her cheeks took on an alluring pink hue.
"But the others might walk in!".
"Sure, she had her tongue down my throat a minute ago and is still shy" Kaoruko grinned, "You started this, Mahiru-han, I'm going to finish it".
"How are you taller than Kuro-han and Tendou-han?".
Kaoruko had to angle her head up to meet Shizuha's eyes as the two were in the Frontier dorms.
"Oh, this may be better" Shizuha chuckled.
She sat back on armrest of the couch and motioned for the other girl to step forward so Kaoruko took up the space between her legs.
Even sat down, Shizuha's height advantage was prevalent considering she was as tall as Nana, "How is this? I wouldn't want you to hurt your neck, Hanayagi-san".
Trust Shizuha to be concerned of the deleterious outcomes while Kaoruko couldn't take her eyes off of her lips.
"It's fine, any lower would end up with you on your knees".
The image flickered through Kaoruko's mind, a smirk forming.
She wouldn't be opposed to that.
Shizuha laughed as she retrieved a blueberry flavoured stick from the box and bit down on the covered section.
At least it was a flavour Kaoruko was familiar with, looking into Shizuha's eyes when she grabbed it with her teeth.
Kaoruko had also become somewhat well versed with that look from the other girl as her hands rested on her hips, moving her in closer till Shizuha was convinced that Kaoruko didn't have to strain herself.
The heiress couldn't look away, each crunch getting shorter and shorter till the decadent taste of blueberries tinged her lips, then her tongue, followed by another in her mouth.
The sudden action almost made the heiress react audibly much to Shizuha's delight, feeling Kaoruko's hands grip her waist from beneath her blazer.
Her knees buckled slightly at the feeling of Shizuha's tongue brushing over the flat of her own, the taste of the biscuit melding in till all Kaoruko could feel was Shizuha.
Once the taller girl felt merciful enough to let Kaoruko go, she slumped forward to rest on Shizuha while her hands crawled up to her chest, palms balling the lapels of her blazer.
Kaoruko was expecting Shizuha to be proficient at this but to the lengths where she felt like she was the one melting like pocky in Shizuha's arms?
Nobody could hear about this.
She had a reputation to protect, after all.
"I promise it isn't as bad as it seems".
"Obviously you would say that. Ponzu flavoured pocky..this shouldn't exist. Why does this exist?".
Fumi shook the hand made box, a subtle scent of sourness exuding from it, "Tamao made it".
"Of course she did" Kaoruko sighed and packed up her things since it was getting late and she had a few more stops, "She's an enabler when it comes to your ponzu habit, Yumeoji-han".
The blonde couldn't exactly repudiate that.
She grinned and collected a biscuit, placing the ponzu infused chocolate end into her mouth and moved towards Kaoruko, hands on either side of the girl to trap her on the couch in her apartment.
Kaoruko rolled her eyes, though Fumi could see the curiosity though her nonchalance.
Sensing no refusal, Fumi lowered her face as Kaoruko caught the other end, preparing herself for the monstrosity Tamao had created
Fumi was smart and intractable when she went after something and this was no different, so she took her time knowing full well that Kaoruko would take smaller bites to avoid the ponzu. Kaoruko was aware of Fumi's tactical approach as she grumbled inwardly. Her hands went to the back of Fumi's head as the biscuit between them disappeared, replaced by lips.
It was strange, a neoteric taste that wasn't necessarily unpleasant.
The tangy ponzu blended smoothly with the sweetness of the chocolate.
Also, Fumi's lips were so soft for a girl with such a sharp tongue.
Kaoruko wouldn't give Fumi the satisfaction of admitting that ponzu flavoured pocky wasn't an atrocity to society, and by proxy, compliment Tamao.
Not that it would be required since Fumi could see it on her expression, causing Kaoruko to frown into their kiss, taking it further to remove the smug look on Fumi's face.
She circled her arms behind Fumi's neck and pulled her down till the blonde was more or less on top her.
Kaoruko might as well commemorate the heinous creation by indulging herself on its key supporter.
It really wasn't that repulsive.
If there was one person Kaoruko was expecting to be incognisant about this day, it was Maya.
Her expectations were dashed the moment the brunette walked into the living area, a ruminative look on her face.
At first, she had been anticipating a lecture on practicing or something regarding her dance but neither was the case when the girl sat next to her and retrieved a box from her bag.
Kaoruko had immediately dropped her magazine as the strong smell of matcha permeated the air when Maya broke her reserved mask and smiled, almost shyly, unsure of whether to make a move.
But that uncertainty faded the second Kaoruko told her that it was fine and then, the resplendent Maya of the stage resurfaced.
Though, there was no acting in the way she bit down on the stick once Kaoruko took the plain end. The distance was quickly diminished as Maya's hands went beneath Kaoruko's hair, gripping the nape of her neck.
Kaoruko had instinctively moved closer, the slight bitterness from the matcha being dulled by Maya's edacious tongue in her mouth, the actions fervent in the way she captured her own, tugging softly.
She was convinced that someone else had taught Maya and Kaoruko had an inkling of an idea as to whom that was.
Her hands gripped Maya's forearms, breath stilling in her chest at each powerful skim and kiss over her lips till her nails burrowed in over Maya's top, the muscles flexing in reaction.
The brunette was more than satisfied when she moved back as she used her thumb to wipe Kaoruko's lower lip, "Hm, it does taste better when shared in this manner. Fascinating".
"You know that only applies to some foods, right?" Kaoruko exhaled before a thought came to her mind, "Actually, never mind. If you want to try it on someone like Kuro-han, she wouldn't mind using potatoes".
Maya's eyes expanded, "Is that so?".
"Trust me. She is going to love it".
Kaoruko chuckled to herself as she watched the ideas formulate in Maya's thoughts while she retrieved another of the matcha flavoured treat.
That was for Claudine to deal with as she gravitated towards Maya again, initiating another round which the brunette was only pleased to participate in.
Yachiyo's approach to the game was far more straightforward than Kaoruko had predicted.
As someone on par with her habit of concocting devilry, Yachiyo had opted to take the more direct method.
Well, direct would be one word it.
They were in the dressing room of Seisho since Yachiyo was in the midst of doing a fitting for Kaoruko. The heiress had just undone the buttons of her shirt before hands rested on shoulders and she was guided back to the wall.
Daring turquoise eyes had met her own, the strawberry pocky dangling from between Yachiyo's lips already in place as the smirk was notable.
The amalgam of Yachiyo's perfume and the scent of the stick was dizzying but Kaoruko quickly found her footing and yanked Yachiyo closer by the sweater around her waist.
Kaoruko wasn't one to back down, meeting the younger girl's bravado, leaning up to take the first bite.
Why was everyone taller than her?
Fingers skimming over her collarbones shook that thought away, her body shuddering when she realised her state of almost undress.
The tartness from the strawberry mixed in with the softness of Yachiyo's lips was reinvigorating and Kaoruko wanted more.
More of the girl pressing up against her, more of relishing the texture of Yachiyo's taste buds meeting her own as she watched Yachiyo's eyes close after replacing the dissolved treat with another stick.
And then another.
Followed by many more.
"You know we've finished the entire box?".
Kaoruko's tongue felt like it had had a work out as she pressed her fingers around Yachiyo's waist.
Yachiyo feigned innocence, cheeks matching her hair and the pocky as she lifted said empty box, "Oh, what a surprising turn of events. I had no idea that this was going to happen, Kaoruko-san".
"Did that work for Yumeoji-han?".
"If it worked for you.." the girl answered, left hand moving up Kaoruko's abdomen, "Then it would work for anyone. You're not easy to hide things from, you know. So this was one way to rope you in".
"I'm sure you'll catch up to me one day".
"The devil's apprentice? Maybe I am a fool" Yachiyo lamented with a sly smile.
Kaoruko leaned in and kissed her again.
She grinned, still tasting ponzu on Yachiyo's tongue.
"I'm surprised you want to do this, Tamao-han".
Tamao smiled as she retrieved a milk flavoured pocky stick from the box before turning to face Kaoruko.
It was her usual gentle smile but Kaoruko could see it inching into something more of a smirk.
A smirking Tamao was something to be cautionary of.
The tea she had brewed remained on the low table of the Rinmeikan's living area which was devoid of any other presence.
"Yuyuko-chan can be convincing".
"Oh, did you practice on her before daring to face me?" Kaoruko goaded playfully, "I like the preparation".
"Preparation would imply that you will be difficult to beat, Hanayagi-san".
Kaoruko scoffed, taking in that dangerous glint in the amethyst eyes which had become the norm.
"Seems like you really haven't learned your place".
Tamao's tone lowered, "Well, why don't you show me?".
It was enough of a taunt to make Kaoruko's grin increase as she watched Tamao bite down on the milk covered end, waiting for Kaoruko to take the other side.
With that, Kaoruko would experience the most rapacious battle yet.
One which would lead to her back colliding with the floor as Tamao managed to overpower her once the sweet taste of the biscuit was no longer in its tangible form.
She had pinned Kaoruko's wrists on either side of her head but Kaoruko was making up for it with the aggression of the kiss, biting Tamao’s lips and tongue.
The struggle ensued, Kaoruko's head up from the floor despite being locked in place in order to taste the other girl fully.
Her leg wound around the back of Tamao's thigh, the rapid movement of her tongue pressing over the side of Tamao's making the girl above her shiver.
Kaoruko refused to lose to her childhood rival, chasing her lips when she broke away, making sure Kaoruko's ego had been abraded by being pinned down.
This was just healthy competition which she was not enjoying at all.
Not in the slightest.
Or so she tells herself as Tamao reaches for another stick using nothing but her teeth.
Following her somewhat tiring yet enjoyable day, Kaoruko was looking forward to sleep and headed towards the room of her living pillow after brushing her teeth.
She ran her fingers against her jaw, hoping to assuage some of the tension as she walked into the room to find Claudine sat on her bed having had gotten changed.
"Do you plan on sleeping while sat down?".
"No, I haven't mastered your ability to sleep literally anywhere" the blonde replied back.
"It's a talent".
Kaoruko switched the light off before crawling onto the bed with the intent to shove Claudine to the side and get under the covers but the blonde held her upper arm gently, manoeuvring her to straddle her lap instead.
The hold around her hip proscribed Kaoruko's ability to move away.
She gave Claudine a look as she sat down, "Kuro-han?".
"You didn't think you would get away with not having a try with me?".
Claudine reached behind her and grabbed a box, smirking.
The light from the moon provided enough visibility for the heiress to notice the flavour and the look in Claudine's eyes.
At this point, seeing pocky had become traumatic, even if the appetising flavour of cookies and cream called out to her.
Kaoruko had consumed enough sugar to put down a whale.
Claudine saw the grimace and held back a grin which the girl on her lap saw.
"I knew you had something to do with it".
"Hm, what do you mean? It's Pocky Day, no?".
Kaoruko poked Claudine's bare shoulder in an accusatory manner, "You planted them all with the flavours I like. Except for the abomination that Tamao-han made for Yumeoji-han".
"You still enjoyed it from what she told me" Claudine chuckled quietly as Kaoruko grabbed the box and threw it somewhere to the other side of the bed, "I guess you have had enough".
"If you want to kiss me, do it without the middle messenger, Kuro-han".
The whine was notable in Kaoruko's tone as she draped her arms behind the blonde's shoulders, trying to stifle a yawn.
"Middle messenger? That's..accurate" Claudine grinned, hands wrapping around the other girl, "Well, since you asked so nicely".
Kaoruko braced herself, her heartbeat spiking as Claudine's palms stroked around her back, her face tilting to the side the closer Claudine moved to her lips.
Her brown eyes closed, lips parting as she could feel Claudine's breath against her cheek.
It was light, the press of Claudine's lips on her skin.
Never lingering for too long as she moved down to Kaoruko's jawline, dropping kisses along the way.
Like she was attempting to alleviate the soreness.
Kaoruko sighed out, one hand going into Claudine's hair as her body relaxed.
She was expecting Claudine to utilise the moment to leave her completely spent but it had gone the other way.
A kiss beneath her right jaw.
One over the corner of her left lip.
Another near her earlobe.
Then one placed beneath her chin.
All over the places Kaoruko had overworked today.
Fluttering kisses paved the way continuously as Claudine turned them so that she could lay Kaoruko down without needing to part from her.
The luxurious material of the pillow beneath her and the tender sensation caused by the blonde on her was providing the optimal conditions for Kaoruko to sleep.
Which is exactly what happened a few minutes later when Claudine heard the girl's breathing steady, pulling away so that her forearms were on either side of Kaoruko's head.
She laughed softly, brushing back Kaoruko's hair before pressing a lingering kiss to her reddened lips.