Company for Dinner

Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
There, that looks about cooked.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Mmm, that smells nice. There's nothing quite like pork belly and napa cabbage mille-feuille nabe.


:
*ding dong*


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Huh... Yes?


????:
"Ms. Fumi Yumeoji? Ponzu delivery! I just need your signature or stamp here!"


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
(Ponzu delivery? That's odd, I don't recall ordering any...)


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
(Unless... Did I win that sweepstakes for a year's supply of ponzu!?)


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Coming! I'm coming! I just need to grab my stamp--


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Ta-da-da-DAA! Rinmeikan's very own idol, Ichie-chan, is here with a special ponzu delivery!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
...Well, it was a nice dream while it lasted.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Wait, what? Why do you look so disappointed!?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Ponzu's your favorite, Fumi! And this is the real deal. I didn't swap it out for soy sauce or anything this time!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Thank you. Don't mind me, I just got a bit ahead of myself.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Still, it's rare for you to come calling.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Ooh, about that! I... Hm? *sniff sniff*


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
That smells amazing! Were you cooking dinner?


:
*grrrowl*


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Uh...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
That was impressive.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
What can I say, I'm a growing girl.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
It's nothing fancy, but do you want to eat while you're here?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Ooh, can I!?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
If you'd like, though the dorm would probably serve you a more proper meal.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
I want to try your cooking! But ooh, let me call the dorm and let them know I'm eating out tonight.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Okay. I'll finish up, then. Once you're done, can I get your help with the rice and miso soup?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Roger!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Sooo yummy! The tender cabbage and meat go perfectly with the ponzu, and I can't stop wolfing down rice. Can I get a refill?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Fine, fine.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
But don't tell me you came here just to eat all of my dinner!?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Wh-What? No way! I actually wanted your advice on something.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
It's almost White Day, yeah? So I'm trying to figure out what to do to thank Tamao for the Valentine's chocolates.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Is it that hard a choice? Why not cookies or candy or something?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Cookies and candy are... Eh, they're fine, but like...


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Rui and Yuyuko are both making sweets, so I'd like to do something different, you know?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I suppose I do. I wasn't planning on giving Tamao sweets, either.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Really!? What are you giving her, then?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Well, considering it's White Day, I thought I'd cook her an all-white dinner.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
A whole white dinner? Lucky! Man, I should have given you chocolate, too!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
I could have made ponzu bonbons or something!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I'm not convinced you could. And I would be very cross if you wasted perfectly good ponzu.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Rgh, I wish I could say you're wrong...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
In any case, I'm a better cook than I am a baker, so I figured if I was making something for her, I'd do dinner.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Do you mind if I join you in making her a white dinner, too?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
It's an unexpected choice, and it sounds really fun!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I have no objections, but I don't think I've ever seen you cook before...


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
I humbly await your tutelage, Professor Fumi☆


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I guess it's going to turn out that way...


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
In return, you can leave the dinner entertainment to me! I've got an AMAZING idea!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Entertainment? That's entirely ominous... Just what are you plotting?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Mine's a play on the color white, too. ...*whisper whisper*


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
WHAT!? No! That's too embarrassing!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Whaaat? Come onnn! You'll look so cute, Fumi!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Absolutely not! Plus that sort of thing takes time to rehearse!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Pleeease? I'll come up with the schedule! Rui and Yuyuko are already on board, so please!? Fumi-sama!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
That still doesn't change...


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
You want to make Tamao happy, right!? It'll be a huge hit, I guarantee it☆


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Of everyone in the world, your guarantee is the least convincing. You really think Tamao will like it, though?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
For sure! It'll be a success... No, I'll MAKE it a success!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
*sigh* ...Fine, then.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
You'll do it!?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
If Rui and Yuyuko have agreed to do it, I don't see how I can say no.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
But I do have one condition.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
A condition? Uh oh...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
If you're going to be cooking with me, I'll have you learn properly, from the fundamentals.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Knife skills, prepping ingredients, making the stock, the five seasonings, the works!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
There are only five seasonings!?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
...Quick question. Don't tell me you never so much as cooked white rice before?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Whaaat!? C'mon, I... I love rice! Of course I... I've totally, um... Yeah, no. Sorry!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
This is going to be rough... You're spending the night here. If I don't start drilling this stuff into you now, we'll never make it by White Day!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Wait, I'm sleeping over? And when you say "drilling"...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Apron on! Let's go! The first lesson starts as soon as the dishes are washed!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! That's completely off!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
How many times must I tell you? Curl your fingers like a cat's paw when chopping! You want to be a Stage Girl with no fingers!?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
I'm sorry, I'm sorry!

Little Winged Witnesses March 14th, White Day?

Rui (icon).png Rui:
"Dear Tamao-senpai. The days are growing warmer with spring's advance. I trust you are keeping well."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"I write to you in sincerest thanks for the selfless aid and constant friendship you provide."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"Nearly a year has passed since I enrolled in the Rinmeikan Girls School."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"Looking back upon it now, so much has happened, and I've met so many wonderful people."


"When I first got here and didn't know my way around campus, I was looking for you when Ichie-senpai approached me.":


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"Despite us just having met, she spoke to me as she would a close friend, and I opened up to her immediately."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"Perhaps she was trying to hep me shake my nerves when she offered me a glass of 'barley tea.' ...It was actually noodle sauce."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"But she patiently put up with my shy, awkward way of speaking, and guided me to the classroom where you were."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"I met Yukko when I entered the dorm for the first time, both of us new students. Before I knew it, we were friends."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"Maybe I admired her so much because our personalities are opposites."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"She may be off in her own world and have trouble waking up in the morning, but she's my classmate and closest friend. Although...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"Recently, she asked Fumi-senpai for a personalized training regimen. As my closest Stage Girl rival, I can't let her leave me in the dust."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"Our studies in the dramatic arts have gotten much tougher since Fumi-senpai transferred into the department, but also much more rewarding."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"She chews us out a lot, but her critique is always on-point, and she gives amazing demonstrations of proper technique."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"When I first heard there was a transfer student from the Siegfeld Institute of Music, they said she'd been one of the top performers there."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"I don't doubt that for a moment. I can feel myself growing each and every day, and that's thanks to Fumi-senpai."


:


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"And you, Tamao-senpai..."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"I would like to tell you the rest in person. Could I ask you to come to Room 1-1 in the old building after classes let out on March 14th?"


Rui (icon).png Rui:
"I know it's a lot to ask, but I'll be waiting for you there. Yours sincerely, Rui."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
............


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Have you been waiting long, Rui-chan?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Ah, Tamao-senpai. Sorry for calling you out here...


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Not at all. I was happy to get a letter from you. So, what is it you'd like to tell me in person?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
R-Right. The truth is...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
(You can do this, Rui. Today's the day you tell her how you feel!)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Rui-chan?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
E-Er, I... Thank you again for last month! Th-The chocolates, I mean!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Chocolates? Oh yes, for Valentine's.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
I... I baked you some cookies, to say thanks. Here!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Thank you, Rui-chan. I'll be sure to savor them.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
(Now's your chance, Rui! Don't just thank her for the chocolate, tell her about the feelings you've been holding inside!)


Rui (icon).png Rui:
T-Tamao-senpai!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Yes, Rui-chan?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
I... I'm...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
(I know I've got to just be brave and say it, but the words won't come!)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Say, Rui-chan?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Y-Yes!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
If you can't say it, why don't I? I am your senpai, after all.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
S-Say... Say what?


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
As if you don't know.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Huh!?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
(As if I don't know!? Then, does she also...!? No way! I-I don't know if I can handle this!)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Rui-chan...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Gah!? T-T-Tamao-senpai, we an't! We're senpai and kohai, and...


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Yes, you're my dear little kohai, so why don't you just sit back and let your senpai handle everything--


????:
Rui? Hellooo?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Tamao-senpai, we mustn't! The... The birds are watching us...


????:
Sheesh. Using rakugo as an alarm clock seems like a waste, but here we go.


:
"A god is a glorious thing, but gods of misfortune and even death are counted among our vast pantheon."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Yikes!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Welcome back from the land of dreams.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Uhh... Yukko? I didn't say anything...funny, did I?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
"The days are growing warmer with spring's advance. I trust you are keeping well..."


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Waaaugh!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Same old Rui... I know you're just practicing, but it's a bit dangerous to daydream while baking a cake.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
In more ways than one.


:


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Please tell me there's a hole I can go crawl into...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I'm starting to worry about leaving you alone here when I head home.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Oh right, you were going back soon. Something about a famous rakugo performer coming to town?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Right! Next Sunday. It's a rare treat, plus I haven't had the chance to see the family in a while, either.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Well, have fun. Oh, but be sure you keep up with practicing for the big show.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Shhh! You never know if Tamao-senpai could be listening.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Ah, fair point. Sorry.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I don't really care if it isn't a surprise, but Ichie-san is really sold on the idea.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Yeah, but I think Ichie-senpai only cares because she thinks it'll be more fun for Tamao-senpai that way.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I feel like she just wants to surprise her. Either way, I'll help with the cake once I'm back. Let's make it a nice one!


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Okay, I'll get as much practice in as I can until then!


Rui (icon).png Rui:
I want to bake her something that's more than just payback for the Valentine's chocolates. I want to put all my gratitude into it...


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Don't worry, you will. And no birds will be watching.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Can we please forget that already!?

Birth of the White Day Alliance

Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Ichie, you've got a copy of the shopping list, don't you?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
I do! But I don't see any reason to split up. Let's enjoy being shopping buddies☆


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Veto. If I'm teaching you to cook from the ground up, we need every second we can get.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
If you're going to do this, surely you want to do it right?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Let's squeeze in as much practice as we can to make sure Tamao gets the feast she deserves.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Yeah... You're right! Tamao is always feeding us, after all☆


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
I'll do it for her! Now, I've got some shopping to do!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Bouillon, bouillon, where are you hiding?


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Huh? Wha-Wha-Whaaa!? Ichie-chan!?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Ahh, it's Karen-chan☆


Karen (icon).png Karen:
What a coincidence! How are you!?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Super duper awesome☆ And you seem fantabulous as ever!


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Oh, VERY fantabulous ♪ You out shopping too, Ichie-chan?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Yup! Tamao gave out chocolates on Valentine's Day, so now we're planning a surprise dinner for her!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
I'm here to buy groceries for that now. How about you?


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Whoa, same! I'm doing a surprise thing as a thank-you for Valentine's Day, too!


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Still not sure what I want to do, though. I figured maybe if I came out shopping something would hit me.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Oh, is this a surprise for Hikari-chan?


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Whoaa, how'd you know!?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Heh heh heh ♪ Curious? It's because I'm secretly Ichie, GIRL PSYCHIC EXTRAODINAIRE!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
...That, and anybody with eyes could tell just from looking at you two☆


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Haha, I guess so!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
I think it's great. So, did you sneak out alone today?


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Nope, Banana's with me! Oh, sorry, that name probably doesn't help much.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Heh heh heh ♪ Never underestimate my powers of observation. You mean Nana-chan, right?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Nana Daiba, alias "Banana!"


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Bingo! Also, wow, I love the idea of a surprise dinner!


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Back at Christmas, Hikari-chan saw the Mr. White cake Banana made and absolutely adored it.


Karen (icon).png Karen:
I'd love to be able to make her something tasty like that.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Mmm, but it turns out dinner's just the start. We're also gonna... *whisper whisper*


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Whaaat!? AWESOME! Seriously!? See I was thinking of... *whisper whisper*


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Wow☆ Love that idea! Hikari-chan's gonna go nuts for it!


Karen (icon).png Karen:
You think? I hope so! Aww, why can't it be White Day already!?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
(Okay, napa cabbage, potatoes, white cap mushrooms, onions... Now I just need some mixed seafood.)


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Fumi-chan ♪


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Hm? Oh... Daiba-san.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
I thought that was you ♪ Out getting stuff for dinner?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Not today. This is all... Hmm, how to describe it? It's for a cooking workshop. For White Day.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
A cooking workshop?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Ichie and I decided to cook a dinner as a Valentine's Day thank-you, but...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
She's got zero cooking experience. So I'm teaching her from square one.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Ahh, fun ♪ So, what's on your White Day menu?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
A bit of a spin on white stew.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
A White Day stew, huh? Sounds like it'd warm you up, body and soul. How wonderful ♪


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Er, thanks.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
We're actually trying to figure out what to do about White Day, too...


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Ah, there she is. Heyyy, Banana!


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Oh, and Fumi-chan too! Hello!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Y-Yes, hellow, Aijo-san.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Aww, are you blushing, Fumi-chan?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Wha-- NO, I am not!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
(I'm just...not used to being called "Fumi-chan." It's throwing me off a bit.)


Karen & Nana:
Hm?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
A-Anyway! If you two are having trouble deciding what to do, maybe consider throwing a dinner as an option?


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Oh wow, you guys were talking about that, too! I think a White Day Dinner sounds awesome!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Seconded ♪ But if we cooked in our kitchen, it wouldn't be a surprise for very long.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Oh, right. The two of you are in the dorms. Why don't you just come cook at Fumi's place? Problem solved!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
You're not even going to ask!?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
We're already cooking there, plus this way we help them out. It's two birds with one stone☆ Hmm, it might be tough getting the food from there to Seisho, though.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Well... If it's stew, you could just freeze it for easy transport. And that way the smell wouldn't tip anyone off, either.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Whoa, LIFE HACK! That settles it, then!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
You might not guess it, but Fumi here's got her own place.


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Whoaaa, you live alone!? That's so grown up! I wanna see!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Dinner is a great idea, and if we could borrow your kitchen that solves our problems. Are you sure it's no bother?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Huh? I wouldn't call it a bother, no...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
(Ugh, now they'll think it IS and I'm just being polite. I didn't mean for it to come out like that at all...)


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
You're a pro at cooking, right, Nana-chan?


Karen (icon).png Karen:
She so is! Banan's our mom!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
I'm hardly a pro, but I do enjoy cooking and baking ♪


Karen (icon).png Karen:
She says that, but everything she makes tastes amazing!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
W-Well, then! You're a welcome addition. Maybe you can help teach Ichie?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Ooh, yeah! Fumi's a rabid drill sergeant, so please be gentle with me☆


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
HEY! I've been every bit as gentle as I've been thorough!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Whatever. So we'll practice at my place until White Day, and if you bring the frozen stew back to Seisho on the 13th, you should be able to keep it a surprise, yes?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Yes, that sounds perfect! Thank you, Fumi-chan ♪


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Y-You don't need to thank me.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Now that that's settled, let's head back to Fumi's place to get cooking☆


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Yeah! Let's get cooking☆


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Karen-chan, Ichie-chan, Fumi-chan and me are all set to start this secret cooking workshop ♪


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
What are you photographing, Daiba-san?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Ooh, we're taking pictures? Peace, peace!


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Make sure to make me look cute, Banana! Peace ♪ Ooh, I can take one with you next!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Heh, thank you ♪ All three of you look great. Fumi-chan, let's see just a BIT more of a smile!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
L-Like this?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Perfect! Okay, three, two... Aaand, Bana-nice ♪

Secret Cooking Base: the Ponzu Stew Saga

Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
I'm hooome☆


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
This isn't your house, Ichie! Honestly...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Well, come on in. Sorry it's nothing fancy.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Thanks for having us ♪


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Whoa, awesome! You really do have the place all to yourself!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
It's hardly anything to be amazed by...


Nana (icon).png Nana:
I disagree. One look around is enough to show how fastidious you are. It's a lovely home.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
L-Let's just get to cooking already.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Pro tip: when Fumi acts like this, it means she's reeeally happy ♪


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Quiet, you!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Eeek! Fumi's angry☆


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Haha, Fumi-chan and Ichie-chan are so close.


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Right? They're in perfect sync!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Starting today, we'll rehearse the White Day dinner so the real thing goes off without a hitch.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I don't just mean cooking, either. That includes the plating and table decorations, too.


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Ooh, hardcore! You're going all-out for this dinner!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Wait, aren't we making stew? Is there a special way to plate stew?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
If you pour the roux first, then add the goodies after, it looks nicer.


Karen & Ichie:
Huh!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Having you here saves me so much explaining, Daiba-san. Now, let's begin.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
You can leave the chopping to me. I'll show off the skills I learned at sleepover knife camp!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
And when chopping, you remember to...?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Curl my fingers like a kitty paw!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Haha ♪ Then I'll unveil the Banana school of potato peeling!


Karen (icon).png Karen:
You got this, Banana!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
And with a knife, not a peeler. I suppose I should expect as much from Seisho's finest chef.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Ooh, you're amazing, Nana-chan! The peel's just sliding right off it!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
And she's removed all the eyes, too. Impressive.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Mahiru-chan grew up on a farm in Hokkaido. They send a bunch of potatoes every year.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
I suppose somewhere along the way I learned to peel them ♪


Karen (icon).png Karen:
*sniffle*...*sob*... We call them Mahiru spuds, and... *sob* And we'd all eat them...together...


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Oh no, Karen-chan! What's wrong!?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
That onion's hit her eyes.


Karen (icon).png Karen:
If I knew I'd be cutting onions, I'd have brought my goggles!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
I ask Karen-chan to help me cook sometimes, and whenever she chops onions she wears a full-face snorkel mask.


Karen (icon).png Karen:
That makes it... *sniff* ...not sting your eyes... *sob* ...at all. It's great!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Goggles! That's genius.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Let's keep going. Next, we brown the meat and chopped vegetables.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
You're so good at that, Fumi-chan ♪


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
It's just sautéing some vegetables. There's not much room for skill.


Nana (icon).png Nana:
That's not true. If you burned them, it would muddy up the stew.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Fumi's always modest, except when it comes to the stage.


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Not about her acting, though?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
She's SUPER confident about that! And when she teaches us stuff she goes super drill sergeant ♪


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Huh? ...Wait, whaaat?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Something wrong, Ichie-chan?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Um... Fumi, we have a problem. We forgot to buy roux!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
We didn't forget, we just didn't buy any. The recipe we're using doesn't call for it.


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Whaaat!? You can make stew without those little square guys?!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Are you pranking us? Is this a high-tier, Fumi-style prank?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Haha... All we need is a bit of flour and butter to thicken the stew. Right?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Yeah.


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Flour...?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
And butter...?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Did you decide to make the stew from scratch because it's for a special occasion, Fumi-chan?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
No, I never use store-bought roux. I'll tell you why later...when it comes time to add the secret ingredient.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Oooh☆ It really did thicken up into stew! Even without the little square guys!


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Awesome! You're like a magician, Fumi-chan!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Thank you for the compliment... That's what I should say here, right?


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Heh heh... All we should need to do now is simmer until done. It is time for the secret ingredient yet?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Yes, we're ready for the final touch.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Fumi, don't tell me...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
That's right. Ponzu!


Karen & Nana:
Ponzu?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
No way! Even a total cooking noob like me knows that stew and ponzu don't mix!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Now, now. Just watch and see. I'll prove that ponzu is the ultimate seasoning!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
There, it's done. Everyone ready to taste test?


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Student Number 1, Karen Aijo, ready to go! *nom*


Karen (icon).png Karen:
...Hmmm!? It's so good! I don't think I've ever tasted this before. It's kinda...Japanese-y!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Ooh, you're right. And the finish is really refreshing, so I feel like I could eat a ton of this. Refill, please!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Ahh, so you avoid store-bought roux to keep the flavor profile compatible with the ponzu.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Precisely.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
It's a stew engineered to draw out ponzu's balance of crisp citrus with the umami of soy and the body of vinegar.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
It's the hidden jewel of the Yumeoji household--ponzu stew!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
It's delightful ♪ That settles it. We'll have ponzu stew for White Day.


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Yeah! I bet Hikari-chan will love it, too. Thanks, Fumi-chan!

Tamao's Heart Sunday

Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Girls, I'm going to clean up the living room, so can you all... Hm?


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(That's odd. No one's here, on a Sunday? Normally Ichie or Yuyuko-chan would be here relaxing.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Oh, but Yuyuko-chan is heading back home today. She may be in her room getting ready.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
And Ichie's probably off running around who-knows-where.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Still, it feels like everyone's going out more lately...)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Probably just a coincidence. If no one else is here, I'm free to knuckle down and get cleaning.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Normally, I have to ask Yuyuko-chan to move, and I have Ichie's chatting to distract me...)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(But today I've finished cleaning already.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(I suppose I could do some solo practice with the rest of my day, but maybe I'll go out shopping for a change.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(We've all been traning so hard lately. The other girls are probably out blowing off steam too.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Yuyuko-chan is leaving the dorm this evening, so I want to be back by then.)


Clerk:
Thank you very much!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(These flower seeds should bloom for summer. I can't wait fo them to sprout.)


????:
C'mon, Fumi! Hurry up☆


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Huh? That sounded like Ichie.)


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
There's no need to rush. We're still ten minutes early.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
But I'm eager to get practicing!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(I knew it. Guess she went out with Fumi. I'm done my shopping, maybe I'll join up with... Hmm?)


Karen (icon).png Karen:
Ichie-chaaan! Fumi-chaaan!


Nana (icon).png Nana:
Sorry, did you wait long?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Nope! We just got here, too!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Shall we, then? Let's get some good practice in today!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Why did I hide...? That was silly of me.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(But that was Aijo-san and Daiba-san, wasn't it?)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(They mentioned practice. Are the four of them doing extra lessons together?)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Ichie and Fumi haven't mentioned anything like that, though.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(It must have just slipped their mind. ...Right?)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(I can ask them later. For now, maybe I'll head home and get these seeds planted.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(...If Rui-chan's home, I'd like to do that with her.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Okay! Now when the weather gets warm, we'll have a flowerbed full of summer color. It'll be lovely!)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
............


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(What's this feeling, though?)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Loneliness, maybe? At being left out?)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(But I think practicing with girls from another school will do them good. I don't want to but in on that.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Jus,t they seemed like they were having so much fun. Seeing the four of them... It stung a bit.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Ugh, but this self-pity is making me feel pathetic...)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
No. This is an important time. I can't be thinking like that.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
I need to get it together. If it's bothering me, I should just ask them directly.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Maybe I will do some training today.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(For everyone's sake, and for Rinmeikan... And for me. I need to get better!)


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Ah! T-Tamao-senpai!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Oh, hi, Rui-chan.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
I was thinking of doing some training. Care to join me?


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
I think Yuyuko-chan is stil getting ready, and Fumi's out with Ichie, so it'd just be the two of us.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Training with just you and me, Tamao-senpai!? I'd love to!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Wonderful. Then let's--


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Um! B-Before that...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
There's... There's something I need to tell you!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Is something wrong?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
This is something I'd thought to keep locked up inside, but as the 14th approaches, these feelings keep growing...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
O-Oh! But just because its' the 14th, that doesn't mean it's, um, got to do with White Day or anything!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Breathe, Rui-chan.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
R-Right. Well... You see, I...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
...I'm sorry, Tamao-senpai. I don't...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
It's nothing. I'm sorry to bother yooou!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Oh!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Whatever it was, it must really be bothering her. I wonder if it has something to do with how busy she's been lately.)


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Oh, Tamao-senpai. i'm about ready to head home here.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Hi, Yuyuko-chan. Is it that time already?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Just about. Also, Rui just sprinted by at the speed of sound. Is everything all right?


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Good question. i'd like to know myself...


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
It seemed like she had something to tell me. ...Do you have any ideas, Yuyuko-chan?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Oh right, she was mumbling something before, eyes glazed over and staring at the celiing. About the birds watching.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Birds?


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
I want to help her if I can. But how do I bring it up with her?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Er, yeaaah... I think maybe she just needs some time right now.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
R-Right...


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(I can't even help my kohai when she needs me.)


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Tamao-senpai?


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Oh, sorry. It's nothing. I don't mean to keep you here.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
No sweat. Um, I'll be going, then.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Okay. Once you know when you're getting back the day after tomorrow, let me know. I'll have a tasty meal waiting for you.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I'll be looking forward to it. Till then...


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Have a safe trip, Yuyuko-chan.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
............


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Now to get started with practice!)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(I'm through feeling helpless. Time to get stronger!)

Five Lights Shine Together March 14th

Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(We were all in perfect sync in practice today. I need to keep this up tomorrow and the day after!)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(But the others all got changed and left already. They said they had plans... I wonder what they're all doing.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(...I should really just ask them. It's silly to keep feeling left out and lonely like this.)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Okay. I'll ask them at dinner tonight. If it's bothering you, you just gotta ask, Tamao!)


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
(Huh? The living room lights are off. Is nobody home yet? Where's that switch...?)


Ichie, Rui, Fumi, & Yuyuko:
HAPPY WHITE DAY!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Huh?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Welcome home, Tamao☆


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Took you a while. Did you take a detour along the way?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Come over here, Tamao-senpai!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
VIP seating is right this way!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Girls...? Um?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
It's a White Day surprise dinner. Go ahead and have a seat.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Fumi and I made dinner, and Rui and Yuyuko made dessert! For the occasion, we made it all as white as possible!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
The Valentine's Day chocolates you gave us were so tasty, we all wanted to do something to thank you.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Look! Look! Me and Fumi made it!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Ooh, this stew looks wonderful!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Go on, Tamao. Have a taste.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
A-All right... Down the hatch.


Ichie & Fumi:
............


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
...Mmm! It's delicious.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Yesss! Okay, Fumi, let's do the thing!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
What!? We're not saving that for the end?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Seeing Tamao's smile's got me in a singing mood☆ C'mon, Rui, Yuyuko! Get ready!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Okaaay☆


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Ichie, are those costumes...


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Yup! I borrowed them from a friend of mine from my idol days!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
When Ichie told me we were dressing up as angels to sing a White Day concert I said no way, but she wouldn't hear it.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
You too, Fumi? And Rui-chan and Yuyuko-chan are playing instruments?


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
We're barely a half-notch above rank amateurs, so don't expect much.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
We'll perform our hearts out for you, Tamao-senpai!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Listen up, Tamao! I wrote this thank-you song, and we've been practicing it just for you!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
It's called "Five Lights Shine Together"! Music...START!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
You wrote that song...for me?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Tamao, are you crying?


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Sorry, I'm just so happy, and... And relieved.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Relieved? What do you mean?


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Tamao, I'm so sorry! I had no idea you felt that way!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
No, no, it was just me getting into my own head. It's fine now.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
No, it's not! Listen here, you never need to think you're alone or pathetic!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
None of us would be here if it weren't for you, Tamao!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Ah...


Rui (icon).png Rui:
That's right! You're the heart of the Performance Department. It couldn't exist without you, Tamao-senpai!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Hmm, I thought we made that clear, even if we never said as much.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
It's not that I doubted you. It was my own wekaness that let that feeling of distance creep between us.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
And now that you've seen how silly that is, you feel relieved? Honestly...


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Urk...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I knew you were a pushover and a worrywart who's kind to a fault. Caring for others at your own expense is your worst trait.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
But you're also the strongest woman in the Rinmeikan Girls School Performance Department.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Huh?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Remember when you all came to recruit me?


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I'm in the General Education Department. I'm no longer interested in acting or rehearsals.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Get it? Now leave me alone.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
You won't have to be in the play, or even practice with us! Just come and watch us rehearse. Only once is fine!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Pleeease!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I don't get what you expect from me.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Please do it for us!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Ichie-san is doing her best to ask for your help. Take pity on her, if you have a heart.


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
Hmmm, did I really say that? I might have said that.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
You definitely said that. I was really glad for the backup, Yuyuko☆


Rui (icon).png Rui:
That takes me back. It was so long ago, but I remember it all so clearly.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I was completely baffled by the whole thing. You seemed like the most sensible of the lot, Tamao, but then...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Can you please tell them to stop bothering me!?


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
I would also like to ask for your help.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I was floored. I could feel the iron will behind your words.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
An iron will...


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
That was why I agreed to go watch you rehearse.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
In the end, that turned into me going on stage with you. Thinking back on it now, it was that will of yours that pushed me along the whole way.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
If anyone has any doubts about your determination, just let them talk.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
It's the strength of your will and your convictions that saw me return as a Stage Girl.


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
Without you, I'd still be in Gen Ed.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Same for me! If I hadn't seen your acting, I don't think I'd be here right now.


Rui (icon).png Rui:
You were so nice, even to someone as shy as me... You changed my life, Tamao-senpai!


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
I'm sure I'd have taken off for someone else if you weren't a worrywart who's kind to a fault, Tamao-senpai.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
...Thank you.


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
Hear that? You're the one tying us all together here. So I need you to beileve in all of us, and that includes you☆


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
...You're right, Ichie. I want us all to support each other. I want you guys' support!


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
I lose my way sometimes, and I lose my confidence. Will you guys stick with me anyway?


Rui (icon).png Rui:
Forever! For! Ever!


Ichie (icon).png Ichie:
If Rui's gonna say it twice, I'll say it three times! I'm with you, with you, with yooou☆


Yuyuko (icon).png Yuyuko:
We're gonna have a blast!


Fumi (icon).png Fumi:
I want to dream together with you all.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
Yeah... I do too. Thank you all so much.


Tamao (icon).png Tamao:
I'll believe in myself more. Let's do it, you guys. Let's push forward together.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.