Sector F9 was only half an hour away according to Hilda’s calculations, a calculation that proved to be pretty on point, even while drinking or coffees and milkshakes.
“So, what do you think of the milkshake, Ami?” Hilda walks next to me, still sipping from her coffee.
“It’s really good, not the best I’ve had but definitely good. What about your coffee?”
“Well, the commander was right that it was the best coffee in town, but I’m glad our city in the real world has cafés better than it. I’m not complaining though.”
“At least it’s better than the sewer water from earlier.” Nikki chimes in, she already finished her coffee.
“I think even Ami’s milkshake is better coffee than that garbage.” And my sister too.
“Milkshakes are love, milkshakes are live.”
“Is that the basketball field over there?” Sam points towards an open area in between a couple of buildings.
“Hmm, could be, it’s not on the map so I guess we’ll have to go and take a look.” Hilda folds the map away, just a little clumsily because she could only use one hand.
Sam starts leading in the direction of the open space with me right on her heels. Our doubts soon disappear however because we get greeted by some familiar faces, Charlie, her dad, a woman I assume is her mother and a fourth person.
“Ah! You’ve found it!” Charlie calls out to us, a now inflated basketball under her arm.
“Yeah, we stopped to get some coffee first, sorry for the wait.” Sam walks over to Charlie.
“You are still too early, we just wanted to be here first.” Charlie smiled and tossed the ball over to Sam who easily managed to control it, even with a coffee cup in her hand.
That’s the captain of the basketball team for you.
The rest of our group also approached the family and exchanged greetings.
“Oh, this is my mom Cadence.” Charlie
“Nice to meet you madam.” I said, making a small bow towards her.
“The honour is all mine, I should be thanking you for bringing our daughter back to us.” The lady’s smile was so genuine it made my heart melt a little.
“And this is my partner, Mist.” She quickly swung her arms around them.
“Nice to meet you all.” You can clearly hear the emotion in their voice, and to be honest, who could blame them. Until an hour or two ago everyone in this city was still convinced their loved one was dead, and now she’s here walking around, looking to play some basketball with her saviours.
“Are you joining as well, Mist?” Sam asks them with her comforting smile.
“C-can I?” They are a bit surprised by Sam’s offer.
“Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t be asking.” She gave Mist a wink.
“Yes Mist! Join too!” Their girlfriend is hanging from their sleeve.
“Ok, then I think I will.” They agree to Sam’s offer.
“Great. I’ll teach you the basics and then we can play a couple of games.”
Charlie enthusiastically jumped in the air. “Yay!”
We played for a couple of hours before we were completely drained of energy, only Sam looked like she didn’t even break a sweat.
“Tired already?” She asks me with a smirk.
“How are you even still walking...” I sit myself down on the floor.
“It’s all about pacing and technique.” Sam pats my head.
Mist and Charlie also look completely exhausted, they went to sit next to Charlie’s parents who had been watching us for the entire game together with Hilda, my sister and Nikki.
“Had fun?” I hear Charlie’s dad ask Charlie and her partner.
“Yes! I’m so glad, today is the best day ever.” Charlie sounds battered but content.
“Thank you again for your kindness.” Charlie’s dad turns to me and Sam.
“Don’t worry about it.” Sam smiles. “I’m always happy to teach new players. Give someone a fish and they are fed for a day, teach someone how to fish and they’ll be fed for a lifetime.”
Charlie’s dad nods with a smile.
“Oh, wise saying.” I whisper to Sam.
“Yeah, it was written on my online calendar yesterday.” She giggled back to me.
“Hey girls.” Hilda has come from the bench and is now standing next to me. “It’s almost time for us to log out.”
“Awh, already…” I let myself drop on my back, looking at the sky above.
“It definitely isn’t my favourite game. But I think I’ll come back from time to time to check on Charlie and her family.” Hilda comments, nodding to the reunited family behind her.
“Yeah, I think I will as well.” I look up at her. “Just tell me when you are heading in, in advance.”
“Hey, and me too!” Sam chimes in.
“I will, I will. Don’t worry little kittens.” Hilda starts laughing.
“Do you have to go already?” Suddenly Charlie is standing next to us as well.
“Yeah, sadly it’s time, but we’ll definitely come to visit.” Hilda assures her newest kouhai.
“Of course we will. It might take some time but we will definitely return.” Sam joins in on the reassurance party.
“Yay.” She jumps in to hug Sam and Hilda and immediately after me as well.
Shortly after it’s time to say goodbye to everyone. Charlie’s parents thank us again and again and promise that next time they will prepare a huge feast to honour us. While we are walking to a hotel to log off, Élise and Nikki chat a bit about their promise. “It’s pretty embarrassing to get this much praise, isn’t it?”
Nikki nods. “It is, but I completely understand them as well. Just imagine if someone saved Amicia.”
“Well, Sam already did.”
“That’s true, we should get her something as well.”
Sam’s face grows red. “Please don’t, I already got plenty.”
“See, Sam proved my point.” My sister giggles. “But it would be rude to tell them not too, so I will just power through the embarrassment.”
We arrive at the hotel when the sun has just set, the lights of the city are starting to pop on all around us.
Hilda approaches the hotel’s manager and starts talking with him about a room we could rent.
“Something about the style of this hotel feels oddly familiar.” Sam looks around while Hilda is busy.
“Now that you say so, it does ring a bell.” I follow Sam around.
It’s only when we enter our hotel room that we finally manage to place the feeling.
“Oh, this is the same room we created our characters in! Fridge and everything!” My sister calls out, looks like we weren’t the only ones who were having a deja vu.
“Hey, Ami…” Sam whispers in my ear. “Is it okay with you that we go to bed already, so we can cuddle a bit more?”
I started blushing a little. “Mhmm, I’ll come with you.”
Sam smiles and turns herself to the rest of the group. “Hey, me and Ami are going to bed already if that’s okay.”
“Of course it is.” Hilda smiles at us both.
“Oh? To cuddle a bit more?” Élise smirks.
She points to her cat-ears. “Ami isn’t the only one with exceptionally good hearing.” She winks. “But go ahead, be your cute selves.”
Nikki is giggling but waves us goodbye. “See you in a bit.”
Me and Sam walk into one of the rooms and lock the door behind us. Sam almost immediately starts undressing and I follow suit. Getting into our bed within five minutes.
“So, are you going to school tomorrow?” She cuddles up to me, her breasts pushed up against my back.
“I think I will.”
she runs her hands through my hair. “You know you can keep it calm right? It’s only really been a day since what happened, even though it feels a lot longer.”
“I know, but honestly I’m not that bothered by it anymore. I think seeing my friends will do me good as well.”
“Alright.” She puts her arms around me, pulling me even closer to her. “I’ll keep my phone on me during training, so you can call me anytime.”
“Thanks, Sam…. just make sure you don’t destroy it again.”
She starts tickling me. “Hey missy, let me tell you that before I punched the dickhead I never in my life broke my phone before.”
“W-wow, r-really?” I say in between my laughter.
“Yes, really.” She stops tickling and gets back to hugging me. “Although breaking it was worth it though.”
“I agree.” I turn around in her embrace and give her a kiss. “See you on the other side?”
She gives me a kiss back. “See ya laters.”
“No u.” Sam opens the UI and logs out, I immediately do the same.
I open my eyes in my own room and take off the headset, Sam already is embracing me.
“Now we can cuddle here as well!”
“Yeah, but sadly not for that long…”
“What about we both skip class to cuddle?”
“But you said you were going to go training?”
“Changed my mind from all the cuteness.”
“As much as I like that idea, I think we probably shouldn’t. I kiss her on the forehead and sit myself upright. “How late is it anyway?”
“Oh.” I lie down again next to Sam. “Still plenty of cuddle time left then.”