Book three: Chapter two, 2016, school festival, madness beginning

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Midsummer's eve, 2040, midnight


Kyoko snuggled up closer to her husband. She was a little bit drunk, just like him, and grew goose bumps from the unexpected night chill, just like him. She felt them under her fingers as she slid her hand further inside his shirt sleeve.

There was a lot to be said about Swedish midsummer. Accurately placed around summer solstice instead of mid-July was one thing and pleasantly lacking everyday rain was another. 'Gorgeous hours of light' Yukio would have added should she ask. It was but an hour since he stopped alternatively looking at his wristwatch and the darkening skies above them.

Summer temperatures, however wasn't one of them. The high school rooftop from her youth had been warmer, if her memories from that night before the cultural festival served her correctly.

No matter whether they did or not, they still called colour to her face and she buried her nose deeper in Yukio's chest. She could feel the question in his fingertips as he caressed her hair.

A quarter of a century spent together. Most of those years happy ones and none of them entirely a bad one. The later ones filled with a calmer joy. The early ones more prone to sudden swings between exhilarating joy, fear and despair.

Like their second year cultural festival she remembered and shuddered.

She hugged Yukio closer and forced her thoughts and memories to their first school festival together. Apart from a few ugly moments it was a bright and joyful memory.

And the slightly embarrassing one from a rooftop shared between them.



Chapter two, 2016, school festival, madnessbeginning


When morning rose over the Himekaizen cultural festival, so did Yukio. He rose to the smell of too many teenagers sleeping in a classroom, the sound of snoring and the heat of Kyoko sleeping in his arms.

Shafts of sunbeams ripped through the curtains and bathed the floor in an eerie red. Drowsy with sleep he realised how the sudden dawn light had forced him awake.

There were sounds from the office area, sounds of someone sleeping over the desks and someone working. Rhythmic clattering of laptop keys sang a well-known melody – only Urufu abused a keyboard that way.

Yukio leaned on his elbows, torn between the want to help his friend and the need to feel Kyoko close to him. In the end Kyoko won, and he laid himself to rest on her arm again.

Nuzzling his head closer to her face he drank the smell of her hair and listened to her breathing. Ever so gently her calmness rocked him to sleep again.

When he woke again soothing dawn had given way to bedlam. Of his gentle Kyoko there was not a trace. She sat shamelessly astride him, all sense of propriety gone, daring any shocked onlookers to protest. Looking up at her he watched the most beautiful woman in his life glaring at students whispering and pointing at them.

His ears hurt, mostly because she tugged at them with both hands, and so did his balls.

Balls? Crap, Kyoko you can't sit there!

She didn't just sit but merrily bounced up and down. Yukio sincerely hoped she was oblivious to what it looked like. Even more he wanted her to get off him, because those parts were exactly as sensitive as his recollection of the last time he made a spectacular save as goalkeeper in a game of soccer.

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