Arc 2, Ch.8: Off to the pool!
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“That’s what it’d be if it was my doujinshi, at least.”
She wasn’t God, I didn’t expect her to give me a certain answer.

If that really was the case, though, then was he being too aware of me? Damn, now I’m worried about my own looks again…

Seeing my face scrunch up made her roll her eyes at me and blow away a hair from her face in indignation.
“You awkward cinnamon buns! Stop worrying so much and just go. You’ll see his reaction, won’t you? And your body isn’t bad.”

Say what you want, getting that comment from a beautiful lady - even if it’s my sister - was rather calming.

I wasn’t the type who’d gain weight easily so I didn’t have a lot of fat. I didn’t really have muscles, either, but since I wasn’t flabby I still fit into the category of commonly accepted ‘good’ from head downwards. I wasn’t that uncomfortable about my body, usually.

Haru was still grinning at me mischievously, so I turned my eyes away.

“So you’re going swimming together, huh?”
“...What are you implying?”
“Oh, nothing.” - I don’t believe you. - “Just… that sure is a nice setting.”

I shuddered, stepping back a bit and warily watching her. “Setting? For what?”

She showed that face that she always did when she had found a new couple to ship. I didn’t like that face at all. It looked evil to me.
“Oh, you know. Playing around in the water… Going down slides together… Sure sounds like a lot of body contact.”

A shiver down my spine. “In real-life, guys wouldn’t stick as much together as in your stories.”
“But you could. Or don’t you want to cop a feel when you’ve got the chance?”

I actually do but “I’m not a pervert!”

“I don’t say you gotta push him down, but it’s a nice chance when you’re going down those ring-slides, right? Not too obvious, either. You can’t avoid contact there.”
She made a groping motion with her hand.

“Aren’t girls supposed to be less perverted than guys?!”
“Huge lie. We’re just less open about it. Moreover, you’re talking with a rotten girl here. What are you expecting from someone who spends her day reading porn?”
“At least you’re admitting it…”

A funny thought crossed my mind. I grew up with my sister being like this, but other people would probably be super awkward hearing their siblings do this kind of thing, huh?
Funny how used I am to it.

I rubbed my forehead.

“Want to stay? I can make you a snack and we’ll go home together later.”
“Sure, why not.” I wobbled to a free seat in a corner and dragged out my phone to waste some time on it.

I was going to avoid Mizuki in that swimming pool like a plague. Even just standing too close to him on the train had had me dizzy. I would go crazy if I had the same situation when both of us would just have swimwear on.

…I shuddered again.

The point was, was I even going to be left with a choice in this matter? The system was definitely rubbing its hands already.
I thought this was a dating sim! Which dating sim forces the player to get together with their target!

Stuck with those days, time passed much faster than I appreciated. The evening was gone especially fast, and before I knew it, I was up again and packing my things for the swimming pool.

The dreaded time.

The swimming pool had separate cabins for changing clothes, which was the minimum courtesy I expected. Having changed my clothes, I leaned my head against the wall for a minute, just breathing.

I didn’t want to go out. I didn’t. I liked swimming, but I didn’t want to be in this awkward situation.

Yuji knocked against my cabin. “You can’t run, you can’t hide. Why did you even suggest this?”
“I couldn’t not. I can’t explain it, but believe me, I didn’t want to.”

I stepped out of the cabin with a sour face. Yuji patted my head and accompanied me to lock my clothes away before going to our meeting place. I didn’t have a problem at being uninterested in his body, but I kept my eyes on the floor because of other people. You can only say ‘Man I’m jealous of that guy’s body’ as an excuse so many times.

“Waterslide, waterslide~”
Kaoru was humming happily, walking around a relaxed Tarou in circles. The only reason why he hadn’t run off to jump on the slides yet was because we had two additions to our usual group.

One of them was Prez… Ugh, begone. Even his body looked good. You don’t call this a tan, you call it sun-kissed. I don’t care if maintaining this type of body is hard work, it annoys me.

I turned away from Prez almost immediately, looking over the water and playing people. The place was separated into an indoor and outdoor pool, but we’d mostly be inside due to the temperatures and weather.

Prez perked up - and I already knew who the last person approaching us was. I didn’t look over immediately, I scanned the people around us. The number of glances towards our group had easily doubled, since it had gone from female-only to mixed gender.

I don’t wanna look at the guy who makes straight guys glance over. This is painful.

Still, it’s virtually impossible to look away from someone for a whole meet-up without being unnecessarily suspicious, so I hardened my face and looked up at the sound of approaching steps, bare feet on the ground.

Our whole group was staring.

Kaoru was small and slender with an androgynous touch, but even that wouldn’t attract people’s gazes.

Mizuki was obviously enough a male - his body was trained enough to let his muscles draw lines over his body, but maybe that just made it worse. He looked like a fine painting, collarbones accentuating his long neck, the muscles on his stomach creating a soft pattern. His walk was filled with natural pride and determination, like a model on a catwalk, and his slender waist moved lightly with every step.

No, he didn’t look like a girl at all.

He looked like a graceful beast turned human, inviting you to catch him. I could tell why people wanted him as a trophy, even if I didn’t agree with it.

The beauty stopped in front of us, taking in everyone’s stares and then scrunching his face in displeasure.

The low growl snapped us all out of our daze.

“The dark blue suits you”, said Prez perfectly naturally, as if he wasn’t staring at his body. He was right, though. Mizuki’s eyes and hair had a blue-ish touch that made the black colour look colder rather than warm and the colour of his swimwear matched that.

“Nice.” Tarou, blunt as ever. Yuji and Kaoru chimed in. “Yep.”

Mizuki raised his eyebrow but didn’t snap at them. Maybe because they were honest without being overbearing.

His black eyes moved over to me and I twitched, wanting to hide behind Yuji. I couldn’t actually do that, but I would have if I could. I didn’t say anything and just smiled, but my body sunk into a slouch involuntarily.

Yuji rolled his eyes and slapped my back. “Stop slouching. You’ll destroy your spine.”

I jolted to full height at the unexpected pain and glared at Yuji.
Turns out I was the tallest in the group? I always thought Yuji was taller than me, but even he was a bit smaller…

“Let’s get into the water!” Kaoru began to wail at the side, impatient. He didn’t care too much about how Mizuki looked and was easily distracted again. A good thing, because that gave me reasons to turn away.

“What water, aren’t you running straight to the slides?”, I teased, averting my gaze from my crush.
“Damn right I am. Anyone coming along?”

I did like slides a lot. Especially the ones that this swimming pool had. We had all gone almost an hour by train to reach this huge pool with over a dozen different slides, some of them focused on length, some on speed and some on fun.

The slides that my sister had meant used rings and were intended for two or more people to use at once. For the ones that were intended for two people, it was pretty much one sitting in the lap of the other. Even guys would be fine with that for the duration of the slide and it wasn’t considered weird for two guys to go together.

You could often see couples or siblings with a younger child riding them together, as well, for obvious reasons.

I could totally start the countdown now, ahaha.... The double chapter is close by and I personally like it a lot, curious to see your reactions :D The next chapter might be a bit late - i hope not - because i still have to edit a thing or two but i hope i'll manage in time and there won't be any delay :3

Mizuki's theater:

Mizuki (walking out while staring at the ground): "(HateItHateItHateIt)"
Mizuki: "(Why did I agree to this. Fuck, I hate taking off my clothes.)"
Riku: "..."
Mizuki: "Your fault!"
Riku: "Ah?"