glad you're here @parechiyu
glad you're here

Chu2 had never been to anybody else's home before, mostly due to the fact that she'd never really had the opportunity to do so. She didn't make friends growing up, so Pareo was really both her first close friend and now girlfriend. Oh man, the "girlfriend" part was still so surreal to her. But still, walking into somebody else's home was a new experience for her. 

The young couple didn't spend much time downstairs once they'd entered the house, only taking off their shoes before Pareo hurried off upstairs with a "Come on, Chu2-sama!". Chu2 didn't want to dwindle behind, but being in a new environment she couldn't help but focus on all the little details of her new surroundings; it was small, and coming through the front door instantly lead into the even smaller kitchen. Pareo had told her that her mother would be away with work that night (it was the main reason why she'd said it'd be fine for Chu2 to stay over), so the note upon the table they'd passed on the way upstairs addressing Reona from her mother wasn't a surprise. Reona... it was a pretty name. One of the many pretty things about Pareo, Chu2 thought, but she could see why Pareo preferred the super-cool stage name she'd given her. It was a very... honor-studenty name. Pretty, but had a vibe. Chu2 didn't know where she was going with this train of thought, but before she knew it she was being lead by the wrist into a room of pink. So much pink. 

Pareo's room was also small (just as expected) and even though living in a place like this was so surreal to the small DJ, Chu2 found herself finding this place very idyllic despite the seemingly hundreds of replicas of PasuPare members staring down at them. She always preferred small, comfy spaces in comparison to the large open rooms her mother and father had in their home that she grew up in, and even though it felt to her like Pareo lived in some sort of shed (in the nicest way possible) she almost wished that she could live somewhere like this. But where would she keep all her music stuff?  

Pareo's room was also small (just as expected) and even though living in a place like this was so surreal to the small DJ, Chu2 found herself finding this place very idyllic despite the seemingly hundreds of replicas of PasuPare members staring down at them. She always preferred small, comfy spaces in comparison to the large open rooms her mother and father had in their home that she grew up in, and even though it felt to her like Pareo lived in some sort of shed (in the nicest way possible) she almost wished that she could live somewhere like this. But where would she keep all her music stuff?  

At that moment, Chu2 was sat on the edge of her girlfriend's bed in the far corner of her room. It was pretty low down, so having her feet touch the floor for once was nice. Pareo had been out the room for a only few minutes to change into some much comfier clothes and wash the color from her hair in the bathroom just across from the bedroom, but Chu2 still felt a teensy bit awkward just sitting there in this unfamiliar environment. Well, part of it was familiar to her. She at least recognized the Electone across the room from the videos Pareo had recorded back when the two first met online. It was pretty weird to think that when Chu2 stumbled across her covers she would be stumbling across her first best friend and later girlfriend. Girlfriend. She still couldn't believe somebody as completely perfect as Pareo was in love with her. She still couldn't believe that Pareo was in love with her, no matter how many times she declared it.

Just as her lovey-dovey thoughts were about to swallow her up, the tall girl in question entered the room and Chu2 had to really take a moment; she could never get over how pretty Pareo was. She was wearing an adorable pajama set consisting of a pink t-shirt and shorts, but her dark hair was completely down and the tiny producer swore she looked exactly like a storybook princess. 

"I'm back, Chu2-sama~!" Pareo sung with her usual cheerful smile as she closed the door behind her. She turned to join her smaller girlfriend in sitting on her bed, but then paused to look Chu2 up and down with a perplexed look. "Did Chu2-sama not bring a change of clothes?" 

Ah. She'd completely forgotten. Before Pareo left to get changed, she'd told Chu2 that she was free to change into some comfier attire whilst she was showering but... Chu2 was too busy zoning out to remember what she was told to do. And besides, she didn't exactly bring a change of clothes with her. That was also another thing she'd forgotten.

“N-No! I’m just... uhm...” There wasn’t really an excuse to be made here. “... I... I forgot.” Chu2 admitted with a huff. There wasn’t really any need to be embarrassed right now as the only person she was with was Pareo, and she knew Pareo wasn’t one to be judgmental but getting flustered seemed to be an instinct. 

Pareo responded with a clap of her hands, looking surprisingly delighted. “Just one moment then, Chu2-sama! Pareo’s got just the thing~!” And in an instant she had made her way over to her wardrobe and had begun to rummage through it. Chu2 had a bad feeling about this.

”Pareo, I don’t think that’s necessary-"

”Ta-daaaa~! Here you go, Chu2-sama!”

Before the poor girl could finish her sentence, the tall keyboardist was presenting a Pastel*Palettes shirt in front of her with pure glee on her face. It thankfully didn’t feature any of the members, but it had the band’s logo on the front in large pink font upon a pale green flowery background. Chu2 had no chance to protest about wearing the garish garment as the shirt was promptly placed in her lap before Pareo left the room. “I’ll leave Chu2-sama to change then! Pareo has some shorts that may fit you if you need them, too!”

And then the door closed. Chu2 picked up the piece of merchandise dejectedly, but even though she didn’t want to wear something so... pink and green... a pretty vocal portion of her heart was screaming with delight. It was Pareo’s shirt she’d be wearing. 


The evening was pretty much spent entirely within Pareo’s room. They’d spent a good portion of their time together either just chatting about various thoughts that came to mind or watching the latest episodes of Pastel*Rangers together (Pareo had missed yesterday’s episode so she was very pleased to catch up with her Chu2-sama by her side), but Pareo had also played a handful of songs for her girlfriend upon her Electone and also taken great joy in painting the older girl’s nails after much persuasion. Then of course it was time for cuddles. The couple lay snuggled next to each other upon the bed, not really speaking much but simply just enjoying the other’s presence. That was until...

The buzz of a notification interrupted their moment and Pareo released her tiny girlfriend so she could sit up and grab her phone from the foot of the bed. The taller girl didn't need to ponder who'd texted her for long as Chu2 let out a short little huff as unlocked the device. 

"It's just Mom." She said, flopping back down next to Pareo with her head upon the pillow as she tapped away a response. 

She didn't mean to be nosy, but Pareo couldn't help but but have a little glance at Chu2's phone screen as she lay on her side beside her. She didn't see much of what her girlfriend's mother had said to her, but what certainly did catch Pareo's eye was the very familiar hiragana that spelled out her name followed by an endearing honorific. 

"She's just asking how you are." Chu2 obviously noticed that her girlfriend was peeking. 

"Oh! Tell Miu-san that Pareo’s doing fine!" Pareo chirped back, draping an arm comfortably over her smaller girlfriend’s torso as she snuggled in closer. She lay in silence as she listened to the tappy-tap of Chu2’s fingers against her phone screen, but a nagging thought kept gnawing away at Pareo’s mind. 

“Does Chu2-sama.... bring up Pareo with Miu-san a lot?” She pondered aloud.

“N-Not a lot! Mom just... asks. A lot.” Chu2 was visibly slightly flustered with the subject as she shut off her phone and flung it back down to the foot of her bed. “She says we’re cute or... w-whatever.”

Cute? Mrs Tamade thought they were... cute?

“Cute...? As in... dating-cute?”

The fluster on Chu2’s face had then shifted to a look of mild confusion at Pareo’s second question. “... Y-Yeah... she really likes you, you know.”

This statement seemed to take a lot of processing in the younger girl’s mind. Chu2 was getting worried.

“She... she knows... and she think we're cute..." Although the keyboardist’s mumble of near-disbelief was quiet and half to herself, her smaller girlfriend gave her a confused glance. 

"... Pareo?"

"A-Ah, sorry!" Pareo apologized as she she sat up. "I think it's just... I think I'm just wondering how my own mother might react if she knew... I’d really like to tell her! But... I don’t know." 

Chu2 looked incredibly puzzled. Pareo was getting uncharacteristically fidgety, which was something Chu2 had noticed she did whenever she was nervous or uncomfortable about something... but the fact Pareo was uncomfortable right now was weird. Very weird.

The thing that the small DJ thought was particularly strange was the fact that Pareo somehow hadn't told her mother about how the two were in a relationship yet; they'd been dating for half a year now, and she knew how gushy Pareo could be about them. She would walk up to a stranger in the street to declare that her and her Chu2-sama were deeply in love with each other if she could... so why not her own mother? Sure, Chu2 knew the two weren't close because of their time apart but that sort of thing never stopped her.

"Oh, right... she's pretty strict, isn't she?" Chu2 decided that was the most probable reason for her girlfriend's unease as she’d heard that strict academic-focused mothers usually didn’t like their child having things like girlfriends until a certain age, but as she spoke Pareo didn't look back at her. Instead, she kept her gaze upon her lap as she rubbed her arm. She looked a little hurt about something, and the fact that Chu2 didn't know what was causing it was beginning to set off concern.

A little sigh escaped Pareo. "It's... it's not that." It sounded like she had much more to say, but alas she went quiet for a few moments. 

"How did Chu2-sama know she only likes girls?"

Well... that was a question Chu2 wasn't expecting when the taller girl spoke up again. Awkwardly, she shuffled up a little close beside Pareo. Although she would usually be the one to whine about her girlfriend being super touchy and cuddly in public, it felt weird for there to be a space between them in this sort of setting. Her warmth was comfy and reassuring. 

"I don't know, I just sort of... did, I guess." She shrugged. "Mom and Dad don't care about that sort of thing. I just always found boys... weird."

The tiny giggle this earned from Pareo made Chu2 give a little proud smile, but this smile didn't seem to last that long once the girl began to speak.

"I wish it was that simple for Pareo."

"Huh?" Simple? Wasn't it simple enough as it was? Doesn't your brain just figure out boys are gross and that's it? "What do you mean?"

Pareo joined Chu2 in leaning against her bed's headboard. It seemed like she was struggling to find the right words. 

"... Whenever my mother would talk about relationships or... my future... she'd always say how I would have a boyfriend or a... husband when I'm an adult. But Chu2-sama's not a boy... and I don't have any interest in boys. None at all. It... made me feel like I wasn't right when I realized it. Like... like I was broken or something."

For as long as Pareo could remember, she was oh-so-subtly taught a strict set of rules by those around her as she grew: You are a girl. Girls like boys. In every story she was told, the prince would end up with his princess in the end. It was inevitable. It was how it was supposed to happen. TV shows, movies, the things her mother would say to her like how through being successful she would meet wealthy men in the workplace whom she would marry and thrive with. This was normal. This is what was expected from her. 

But Pareo didn’t feel normal. 

It started as innocent curiosity, but oh god how the realization that the feelings she lacked towards boys were only felt towards girls hit her. But it was fine. She could pretend. She’d been pretending she was a normal honors student with normal interests and hobbies for so long now, so what was the difference? She could just join in with chats about boys and male celebrities with her classmates at school like it was nothing. Like it was normal. But then something she’d never considered happened.

Pareo fell in love. 

She’d only been alive for a short thirteen-almost-fourteen years, but the love she shared with Chu2 had made her the happiest she’d ever felt in her life. Her heart had never felt so full, but at the same time she couldn’t help but feel like a small piece of her heart began to crumble away.

What would her mother think of her?

Her mother, stern but caring, who expected her perfect daughter to fall in love with a boy. Her mother, who when the news of the annual Pride festival in Tokyo reached the TV each year, always had something to say about how she didn’t quite agree with the whole thing. How she said she supported these couples, but how she didn’t quite agree with their marriages.

“... Is that why you were worried about your mom coming home early?" Chu2 asked as gently as she could, looking up at her girlfriends face, but Pareo still struggled to look back at her. She'd always found eye contact difficult when talking about this sort of thing. 

"Y-Yeah... I don't... think I care as much about her finding out about my part in RAS anymore because we're successful, and that's really all she expected from me, but..." It seemed like whatever she was about to say was beginning to get to her. "Chu2-sama, you helped me feel like I was somebody to be proud of! But... I keep thinking... even if there's a chance my mother is happy with me being a part of something so successful...  I... I-I don't know if she'll be happy if she knows I like girls... it'd just be another disappointment."

Chu2 wasn't too sure what to say next and could only heartbrokenly look on as her girlfriend tried her best to explain the situation. Pareo was visibly beginning to get upset which was pretty much a rare sight nowadays, and seeing her deep red eyes prick with the beginnings of tears felt completely crushing. 

“I-I’m sorry, Chu2-sama, I didn’t want to start crying! I wanted tonight to be fun but-“ Pareo cut herself off with a little sniffle as she tried wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. “I shouldn’t have spoke about this, I-I’m sorry!”

Chu2 felt her heart break at the sight. She had a brief feeling of helplessness, but determinedly she pushed it down. Pareo was always there for her whenever she was in any emotional distress, so Chu2 vowed to do the same. That’s what being in love was about, right?

And so without a second thought, Chu2 sat up properly and pulled Pareo into a big affectionate hug. “You shouldn’t apologise.” She began, hearing a shaky gasp of surprise from the other girl. “You have so much going on right now, yet you don’t seem to let it effect your determination and I... really admire that about you, Pareo.”

“... A... admire?”

Chu2 nodded against Pareo’s shoulder. “Yeah. And, Pareo... you can talk to me about this sort of stuff more often if you want to. You’re always there for me so I wanna be there for you.” Her embrace tightened as she spoke. “I... I-I love you, Pareo! I don’t care what your mom thinks!”  

Pareo was practically frozen. These words meant so much to her in ways she couldn’t describe. She deeply admired and respected Chu2 for always showing such confidence and courage, so hearing her say she genuinely admired her made Pareo’s heart swell with happiness.

“Chu2-sama~!”

Finally the keyboardist returned the hug, squeezing her smaller girlfriend maybe a little bit too tight.

“Ach-! P-Pareo! You’re squishing me!”

“Deepest apologies, Chu2-sama!”

And so, Chu2 was released from the embrace. Even though she was catching her breath from the brief squish, she couldn’t help but give Pareo a genuine happy smile as she gazed up at those warm loving eyes. 

“You know, Chu2-sama...” Almost instinctively, their hands reached for each other as Pareo began, fingers entwining.“I wished I was ‘normal’... but now I don’t, because then I wouldn’t be in love with you... and falling in love with you, Chu2-sama... is the best thing that’s ever happened to me!” 

An instant dusting of blush found its way upon Chu2’s face at Pareo’s words. She still struggled wrapping her head around the fact she meant so much to somebody, but it spread a feeling of warmth throughout her chest. “P-Pareo... you’re... the best thing that’s happened to me, too. Without you, I don’t think we’d be where we are now... we were made for each other, right?”

Oh how Pareo swooned at those words “Chu2-sama...!”

And so they shared a kiss. A kiss Pareo had feared her mother would someday shun her for, but for just a second she didn’t care. Not in a rebellious way, but because all her mind and heart was focused on in that moment was the girl she was sharing it with. The feeling of pure love and closeness brought Pareo a sort of euphoric joy she’d never would have thought existed, let alone believe she’d ever experience it. Her heart felt so full of love that she thought it would burst.

“Pareo...?”

The look of concern returned to Chu2’s eyes once they’d ended their small kiss surprised her until she felt a stray tear roll down her cheek. She reached up to wipe it away, smiling warmly to her girlfriend as she did so.

“They’re happy tears this time... Pareo promises!”

The concern quickly melted from Chu2’s expression and was instead replaced with a sweet, happy smile. She couldn’t resist the urge to nuzzle against Pareo’s neck anymore like a tiny cat, wrapping her arms around her torso as she enjoyed the comfy warmth of being held by the girl she adored.

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