Chapter four, 2016, early resolutions

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Midsummer's eve,2040, last punsch

The Wakayama twins were happily giggling at one end of the table. Even a little bit of strong liquor was probably too much for either of them, and the dinner party had seen more than a little bit.

An evening breeze brought the smell of the nearby sea and a drop in temperature that merited a thin cardigan.

Christina spread a blanket over the drunk siblings and received nods of gratitude in return.

No competition there at least. Christina sighed. By now he trusts me. He should, shouldn't he? Over twenty years. She glanced over the scattered plates and glasses on the table and settled her eyes on Ulf's backside, a few meters ahead and years and years back in time. Has it really been that long?

Sitting in a chair across the table Yukio stared at his old style watch in disbelief. It was half past eight and sunset was still almost two hours away.

She drank the last of her punsch. Most of their guests had finished dinner as well. It was time for after-dinner activities. A little bit like club hours back then.

Chapter four,2016, early resolutions

Mid May, and the temperature was reaching summer levels. Ryu wiped sweat from his face. The air-conditioner in their classroom definitely wasn't up to the task.

Mere seconds earlier fourth period finished, and he was out of the door running.

He jumped down the stairs, half a flight a jump, and bounced to the entrance floor. From the relative light in the stairwell he reached the darker corridor and shouldered his way to the cafeteria. More than a few he passed yelled insults after him, but he really didn't care.

The cafeteria was full as usual. The third years always made it there first. He rushed headlong anyway. They'd have lunch in the shaded area between the cafeteria and the gym hall, and he wanted to make sure they got seats there. By this time of the year any sunny day promised an invasion of the cafeteria backyard.

Behind him he heard Noriko declare his dubious heritage in a voice that carried through both wings.

He zigzagged his way through the cafeteria and left it from the great glassed doors facing the gym hall. Ryu found the seats he was looking for. Now he just had to wait for someone else in the gang to show up before he could buy his lunch.

He just had time to look at the great sails above him before he was greeted.

"Mind if we join you?"

He looked around to see who had addressed him. "Yu-kun, please."

"Go get your lunch. Urufu-kun and Kuri-chan are on their way here as well."

Their way? "Uh, sure." Ryu rose and made for the glassed entrance. Their way?

The queue to the counter had built up while he secured a spot outdoors, and he barely made it to Noriko's space in it.

"Seems we're getting company from the club core sis," he said. He was probing for a reaction, and he wasn't disappointed. She blushed red and muttered something about not caring the least.

Still, it bothered him that Kuri-chan and Kyoko-chan hadn't joined them in their race for lunch.

"Did you see where Kuri-chan went?" he asked, not certain if he was probing his sister or himself.

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