beautiful dahling

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

“That’s the last of it,” Yachi says as she comes through the door to the kitchen with a full stack of paper plates and watermelon rinds in her arms. “The teams went back in to warm up before the afternoon matches.”

“Ah, thank you, Hitoka-chan.” Yachi looks up from the precarious balance of the plates and the remains of the fruit just as Shimizu steps around the edge of the counter and forward to take the weight from her. “You’ve been a big help today, we wouldn’t have finished nearly so quickly without you.”

“O-of course,” Yachi says, looking away from Shimizu’s smile – soft, sweet, how can anyone’s lips look so pink? – to the relatively safety of the rest of the empty kitchen. “Where are the rest of the managers?”
“They’re back in the gym,” Shimizu says. “They took a set of water bottles with them for our team while we finish up the last of the cleanup.”

“Right,” Yachi says, her heart going faster at the idea of the empty room, at the reality of being alone with Shimizu, with Shimizu’s hair tied up off the summer-warm flush on the back of her neck and her elegant fingers bracing against the counter and her–and there’s a touch at Yachi’s wrist, the warm drag of friction over her skin, and Yachi squeaks and jerks back before she can stall the motion. The stack of plates teeters, slides, and Yachi reaches to catch it without realizing that she needs both hands to hold the bottom of the stack. The entire tower drops from her hands, crashes to the floor all at once, and Yachi wails incoherent apology as the watermelon rinds crack and spill juice all over the floor.

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