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"Good morning, Juri." Touga said smoothly behind her, and she could tell from his voice that he was smiling. She sighed and steeled herself for the damage control. She turned to face him, rolling her eyes at the smirk on his face.
"Look, I don't really want to talk about it."
"You don't have to- the whole school is doing just that."
Juri groaned at the thought.
"Really, Juri, I thought you would engage in that sort of activity in a more private fashion."
"Touga, it's not what it looked like, I-" Juri was trying to think how to explain it.
"By the way, I believe Miki would like to see you at lunch today."
"Miki." Juri groaned even louder. "How do I explain this to Miki?"

Juri sat at their usual corner lunch table, outwardly calm. Underneath the table, her foot tapped nervously. Finally Miki appeared through the crowd. She sighed with relief, as he didn't look angry. He came to the table and silently pulled up a chair. They looked at each other, a slight coloring on their faces. Juri took a deep breath.
"Miki, about your sister-"
"I'm not mad, senpai." Miki opened his book and took out a letter. "She seems to be really happy with you."
"Happy with me? But we're- oh, thanks" Juri took the letter as he handed it to her, confusion on her face. She opened it as he continued talking. "She actually stayed home last night." Miki said. "She did some homework and wrote you this letter. She said she can't wait to see you again tonight."
Juri wasn't listening, as her eyes were now fixed on the letter, her blush deepening with every sentence. Miki leaned over and took a look.
"Oh my..." he gasped out. Juri snapped back to attention. "Miki! You shouldn't be reading such things!"
Miki pointed halfway down the letter. "Uh- what does that word mean?" he asked faintly. Juri crumpled the letter and gulped rapidly. "Damned if I know." she muttered under breath, her hands tightly gripping the edge of the table.
"It means you shouldn't read other people's mail." she raised her voice and Miki stepped back, holding up his hands in silent apology.
"Well, I have to run. I'm supposed to help Anthy with her math today." he gathered his items up and waved as he went off. "Enjoy your date tonight!"
"Date?" Juri sputtered. "What date?"

Juri peeked around the corner of her dorm hallway, making sure Kozue was not laying in wait. Satisfied, she walked briskly to her door, quickly opened it and went inside. She leaned against the door and took a deep breath.
"The girl is insane, obviously." she mumbled. She took a step forward and her foot crunched a letter that had been slipped under the door.
"Oh no, not another one..." she picked it up and went towards the trashcan with it, tapping it on her thigh. She held it over the can and hesitated. Curiosity got the better of her and she soon stood there reading, her face once again blushing. She unbuttoned the top of her collar and fanned herself with letter, leaning back against the wall. The phone rang and she jumped out of her thoughts, furrowing her brow as she went to answer it.
"What." she snapped out, suspecting who it was.
"Did you get my letters? I really enjoyed writing them for you." Kozue's voice purred in her ear.
"They were disgustingly creative." Juri was one to give credit where it was due, even in the worst places.
"Don't wear any underwear tonight. I won't be. I want-"
"Kozue! Stop that! I'm telling you, I do not have a date with you! Now don't call here again!" Juri slammed down the receiver and gave a growl of sheer frustration, pulling the hair on her head.

The Ohtori library was a welcome sanctuary, and Juri inhaled the scent of old books, smiling. She made her way to the reference section, balancing her notebook on her hip. She chose a large table in the farthest corner, flicking on the desk lamp and settling herself in with a peaceful sigh. Opening her notebook, she flipped through it, organizing her tasks for the evening. The hushed sounds of other students soon faded as she became absorbed in her work and thoughts. After a while she got up and went down the rows, tapping her pen against the books, looking for the ones she needed. Spotting them, she reached up. Suddenly a pair of hands cupped over her breasts and a warm body pressed close behind her.
"Hello, sexy." Kozue breathed in her ear. The books came tumbling down and Kozue released her grip, smiling as Juri turned to face her. Juri saw curious faces peer down the aisle at the sudden noise. Juri gave a clenched smile back. "Why Kozue- how nice of you to give me a hand." she said, pointedly looking down at her chest.
"My pleasure." Kozue grinned, flexing her hands with apparent satisfaction.
"I'm not having another scene with you. Please keep your voice down." Juri bent her knees and started to reach down for the books, but Kozue caught her hand. "I'll get those for you. It's my fault you dropped them."
"Well, that's unexpectedly lady-like. Thank you." Juri straightened, pleased with the apology. Kozue bent over, knees straight, and Juri turned her head quickly away.
"Do you ever wear underwear?" she tossed the question over her shoulder as she walked down the aisle. Kozue caught up beside her, books in hand.
"Not around you. Call me an optimist."
"Opportunist is more like it." Juri shot back.
"Well now, isn't this a sight. Kozue in a library? With books? Someone get me a camera." Nanami's sarcastic voice cut through the air.
"What can I say? Juri knows how to show a girl a good time." Kozue retorted.
Juri rolled her eyes. "Nanami, if you'll excuse us, we need to study." she said as politely as she could muster. Walking away, she ignored the "Hmph!" from Nanami, but turned as she heard a squeal and a thud. Nanami lay on the ground, her books scattered about. Kozue was now walking towards her, a triumphant look on her face.
"Did you trip her?" Juri was trying not to smile. Kozue nodded.
"Bitch." they both muttered at the same time. Juri's smile broke loose and Kozue returned it.

It was amazing. Juri tilted her head to look over at Kozue, who for the last hour, had been diligently at work, copying into her notebook from several books on the table. Since she was across the table, she couldn't make out what they were. Her brow wrinkled as it occurred to her that Kozue might be diligently working on another one of those letters. As if she read her mind, Kozue suddenly looked up and flashed Juri a wicked smile.
A feeling of being watched took over her, and she broke her eye contact with Kozue, turning her head to see…
Shiori. Shiori, standing several tables away, a look of surprise on her face. Juri felt herself blushing. She nodded her head in greeting and Shiori hesitantly starting walking toward them. Juri's mind was racing, trying to think of ways to explain the last few days. She began to silently curse Kozue. Juri looked over her shoulder and with a start, saw Kozue's chair was empty. Glad to see that Kozue had the decency to leave, Juri abruptly got her feet, determined to set things straight.
"Shiori." Juri faltered after that, feeling awkward.
"Juri." Shiori's voice sounded frail. She always seemed to be so fragile, needing protection. Out of habit, Juri started to step forward, then restrained herself. Seeking to do something with her hands, she started tugging at her suit.
"It's nice to see you smiling again." Shiori said softly.
"Smiling?" Juri's hands dropped and her brow furrowed in confusion.
"The way you were just now, looking at her." Shiori glanced over at Kozue's empty seat.
"Oh- um, well-"
"I just want to see you happy." Shiori cast her eyes down. "No matter who it's with."
" I just want to see you happy too. But I have to tell you-"
"You don't have to tell me anything. From now on, we don't tell each other who to date." Shiori's voice had an edge to it that made Juri annoyed. Ruka. "Of course not, Shiori. " she tried to keep her voice even in her reply.
"Look, I have to go. I'm glad we had this talk. And I'm glad you're happy. Really." Shiori's head was turned to the side, and Juri followed her gaze to a young man that she had never seen before. Juri drew herself up and cleared her throat. "Good luck, Shiori."
"Huh? Oh yea, you too." she turned to leave, flashing Juri a smile that Juri knew all too well. It was the smile Shiori always had when her self-esteem got a temporary boost. Juri felt a mixture of pity and anger well up in her chest.
Juri sighed and looked down at her books, trying to regain her thoughts. She frowned, noticing her pen was gone. Assuming it had fallen when she jumped up, she got down on her knees and stuck her head under the table, only to find herself staring straight into a pair of fiery blue eyes. Kozue's hands gripped her cheeks and she was pulled face-first into a passionate kiss. Stunned, Juri lost her breath and her balance, falling forward. The room spun for a moment as she felt her lips move with Kozue's, and a jolt ran through her as she landed heavily on Kozue's body. She broke the kiss and pulled her head down on Kozue's chest, feeling the rapid beat of Kozue's heart against her cheek. "Kozue…I can't do this with you." her whisper was shaking as much as she was.
"What has she got that I don't? Tell me!" Kozue whispered feverishly, her hands gripping Juri so hard it hurt.
"Don't bring her into this. Don't you even start." Juri growled out the warning. She took a few deep breaths, composing herself. "I'm getting up now." she disengaged herself, surprised that Kozue made no attempt to stop her. Kozue slammed her head back down into the carpet, eyes closed. Kozue opened her hand and Juri's pen rolled out. Retrieving the pen, Juri looked at her in silence for moment, then turned and started to crawl out from under the table.
"Senpai?" Utena's voice rang above her head. Juri stuck her head out, blushing. "Oh, Utena- I dropped my pen and I - Iyiyi!" she suddenly yelped, feeling Kozue's teeth sink sharply into her ass. Utena jumped back, bumping into Anthy. "Senpai?" Utena's eyes were big. "Are you ok?"
"Fine." Juri grumbled, rubbing her ass with one hand as she got to her feet. She noticed Anthy staring at her. "What's wrong with you?" she snapped.
"Ink…on your face." Anthy said quietly.
"Oh." Juri turned around and slapped her notebook shut. "I'll go wash that off." she frowned as she heard gasping and giggling behind her. "Now what is it?" she turned back around, notebook under her arm. "What is wrong with you two tonight?"
"Lipstick…on your…on your…" Anthy was stammering, her eyes at Juri's waist.
"Butt." Utena giggled. "You have lipstick on your butt, Juri-senpai." she was grinning from ear to ear, and that damn blue monkey on her shoulder seemed to be laughing too.
Juri reached back and felt the welt on her ass, her nostrils flaring with anger. "I've had just about enough of this." she pushed her way past the two mirthful girls. "Excuse me. I obviously need to wash up." she stormed self-consciously down the aisles toward the bathroom, silently cursing Shiori, Kozue, and herself. She kicked the door open with her foot, went to the nearest sink and slammed her notebook down. She turned, twisting her head around to look at her own backside reflected in the mirror.
"Making a public spectacle of me." her hands went from red lipstick on her ass up to the ink line on her face. "How dare you put me on display in this humiliating fashion." her fists clenched and she bit her lip in anger. Whipping back around, she turned on the water and grabbed a paper towel, scrubbing furiously at her cheek. Tears stung the corners of her eyes and she wiped them with the towel. She turned off the water and hung her head, absorbed in her thoughts. She heard the door close softly and her shoulders stiffened. Her head remained down, her hands gripping the faucet handles.
"Get out." her voice was low and deadly.
"No. " Kozue took a step closer, her eyes narrowed. "Not until I get an answer from you."
"I don't owe you anything." Juri's words were biting with bitterness. "Nothing."
"You just kissed me like you want me." Kozue stepped closer, stopping behind Juri. " Then you say some stupid shit, Juri, that I know is not true."
Juri did not move. Kozue crossed her arms and waited. The silence was broken only by an occasional drip from a faucet. Kozue suddenly sprang forward, grabbing Juri's hair and pulling her head up. "Damn it!" her voice was scathing. "If that had been Shiori under that table you would have had her right there, wouldn't-"
The echo from the slap cracked sharply off the walls as Kozue reeled backwards, hitting her head against the towel dispenser and dropping to the floor. Juri heard squeals of fright from the entrance to the bathroom, but her eyes, blurred from tears, couldn't make out the forms as she rushed out past them.

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