Mari remembered, of course, that she wasn't supposed to use the key to Kyosuke's apartment except in cases of emergency. She often did things that she wasn't supposed to do. That was how she knew she was going to hell.
Of course, she didn't do such things without a reason. In this case, today Kyosuke had asked Tsukiko to see an R18 movie with him. Which meant Mari could not come along. They'd had the argument about sneaking her in to see adults-only films long ago - long before they met Tsukiko, in fact - and Kyosuke clearly wasn't budging on that point any time soon. Besides, the movie he was taking Tsukiko to was the scary kind, and Mari wasn't interested in those.
All that was perfectly fine, of course. She had to share her Kyo-chan with Tsukiko; that was the arrangement they had.
What had led to Mari using the key to Kyosuke's apartment was the dialogue that followed Kyosuke's invitation. Tsukiko had questioned the choice of film, and he replied with something about how he liked to watch beautiful women sweat and scream. Mari didn't understand exactly what he meant by that, but clearly it was referring to something other than the terror Tsukiko might experience watching the film, because it made Tsukiko blush something fierce. Since Kyo-chan wasn't in the habit of saying things which made women blush, that meant he was reading one of his romance novels again - a particularly spicy one, judging by the color Tsukiko blushed.
And if it was that spicy, Mari knew she just had to read it herself. Her high school education had left quite a few blanks with regard to the subject of sex, and Mari wanted them filled in.
The sooner the better, of course, so she had planned to search Kyosuke's apartment for the book while he and Tsukiko were at the movies. Unfortunately, she got caught up in going through the agency's finances, so when she next glanced up at the clock, it was five minutes after the movie was supposed to end.
She quickly dropped what she was doing, ran out the door, and hurried to Kyosuke's apartment. Kyosuke had to walk Tsukiko home before he returned to his apartment, so she still had a few minutes left even in the worst case scenario, but there was no time to dawdle.
Mari parked her bike in a discrete location before heading up the steps to Kyosuke's apartment. She took out the key he gave her, unlocked the door, and stepped inside.
"Because it's time I told you that I'm not quite as oblivious as you think I am."
Mari instinctively flattened herself against a wall, her heart pounding. That was Kyo-chan's voice! What was he doing back here already? Had something gone wrong with their date?
"Is that so?" a bored voice answered Kyosuke.
Mari's blood went cold at the sound of that voice.
It was Tsukiko. Kyosuke had brought her back to his apartment.
He was speaking again. "You remember your first day working at the agency, don't you? You told me I had two options: love just Mari, or love you and her both. But the truth is, I had four options."
"And what were the other two?" Tsukiko said, in a tone that said she couldn't care less just a little too deliberately.
What was going on here, anyway? Mari had agreed to a polygamous relationship; there was no need for them to meet behind her back. So why were they doing that?
"You know," Kyosuke said gravely. "You knew when you said it that those weren't my only options."
Just hearing them wasn't good enough. She needed to see them, to read their facial expressions, their body language. Mari risked moving, slowly inching herself along the wall.
"I hate it when men beat around the bush. Just get to the point."
"Four options. One, of course, was to love neither of you."
"Ha! Let go of the only two worthwhile women likely to put up with you? You're not that much of a fool."
Mari had reached the corner of the wall. Directly to her left was the living room; as she had already seen, Kyosuke and Tsukiko weren't in there. She peered around the corner, into the kitchen and dining room. They weren't there, either. That left only the bedroom.
"Two, as you said, was to love both you and Mari. Three was to love just Mari. The fourth option, then, is obvious." Kyosuke's voice sounded strange. He was talking more slowly than usual, and he hesitated a full moment before finishing, "It was to love just you. I realized that the very next morning, but I decided it would be better to wait before saying anything. We hadn't gotten to know each other in our ordinary daily lives yet. Once you'd lived a few months as a normal human, you might find that you didn't really love me after all."
Mari reached the door to the bedroom. It was closed, but there was a sizable crack near the edge that she could peek through. She saw Kyosuke and Tsukiko, standing not far from the bed, facing one another.
"But we know each other well enough now, after these past four months," Kyosuke went on. "So I'm ready to take you up on option four."
With those words, Mari felt her heart nearly breaking.
Tsukiko was trembling. "What are you saying?!" she demanded. "That would just be throwing away what you have with Mari for nothing!"
"I'm not throwing away what I have with Mari. Even if I were, it wouldn't be for nothing."
"Of course it would! I've already given myself to you freely!"
"Have you? A month ago, I asked you for a reward kiss for solving the Asano case. You refused."
"We were joking!"
"I was joking," he corrected her. "Before you realized that, you were being completely serious. You wouldn't have kissed me if I'd saved the entire planet. Only if I gave myself to you, and you alone."
Tsukiko folded her arms across her chest and stared down at them. "That... is illogical. Both Mari and I want you, so why should we not both have you? If I tear you and Mari apart, how could I live with -"
"There is no me and Mari. There never was."
Kyo-chan was joking. He had to be. This was... a prank, maybe, staged for her benefit? But Mari knew it wasn't.
"Don't lie to me," Tsukiko spat. "I see how much you care about her. I saw it from the moment I first walked into your office that morning when I hired you."
Kyosuke grinned. "Tsukiko, you do realize that two people can care about each other without being lovers, don't you? There are friends, parents and children, partners, and many types of relationships that there are no words for. Mari's just a kid. I couldn't love her that way."
"Because of the law, you mean? Or because you have me as an alternative?"
"Neither. Mari was working with me well before I met you, and I never felt that way towards her. I don't have that problem."
"What if I don't believe you?"
Kyosuke took a step closer towards Tsukiko, and she did not back away. "If you didn't believe me, you wouldn't have agreed to come here."
"I agreed to come here because you promised to make me a cup of coffee."
"And since both of us know better than to drink coffee late at night, you must have known what that meant. We'll be having that coffee when we get up in the morning." He reached out and lightly clasped the fingers of her right hand. She looked down at them, not meeting his eyes. "I know you, Tsukiko. And that means I know that you know me. You know that when I say that I love you, and only you, it isn't only because I can't have you otherwise. It's because I've never felt this way about anyone else."
Then they were silent, and a look passed between them that Mari could not understand.
Mari watched with mounting horror as her beloved Kyo-chan put his arms tenderly around Tsukiko, pulled her body against his, and, encountering no resistance, bent his head to kiss her. Though their mouths came together slowly, once they met, their embrace was utterly passionate. Their tongues wrapped together and caressed each other, even as Kyosuke's hands caressed her sides and the back of her neck, and her hand clutched at his hair, holding his head to hers.
The embrace seemed to go on for an eternity, as though their affection for each other could never be fully expressed. When they came apart at last, catching their breaths, Kyosuke began desperately working to undo her corset. Realizing he would never get it undone in his inexperience and over-eagerness, she pushed him away and began undressing herself. She did not need to speak a word for Kyosuke to understand; while she was unlacing her corset, unzipping her skirt, and pulling off her loose blouse, he was stripping himself down to his boxers.
Mari gawked, realizing now that things were progressing beyond the realm of her knowledge. Equally stupefying was Kyo-chan's lean but handsome body, and she was tormented by the desire to feel his hard masculine chest and abs. The desire was all the more cruel because of how obviously she came up short next to Tsukiko.
Tsukiko smiled at Kyosuke, the desire burning in her normally sleepy eyes matching his. She turned her back to him, a gesture which confused Mari, but Kyosuke immediately moved to unfasten her bra for her. It was as if they had some sort of telepathic communication. He fiddled with the clasp a moment, and then it came loose, and her bra fell, forgotten, to the floor. Mari gaped at the sight of Tsukiko's exposed breasts, their perfect shape even more apparent now that their flesh was fully bared.
Kyosuke reached around from behind Tsukiko to take hold of her breasts, and she simultaneously leaned back against his chest. Again, neither said a word, simply acting as one. He caressed her breasts lovingly, murmuring his appreciation for their soft, smooth curves. He took extra care with his mechanical arm, as the tactile feedback it provided was too crude to indicate by itself whether he was being too rough. Tsukiko moaned with pleasure at his tender handling, tilting her head back. He kissed the bare skin of her neck and shoulder. His gentle touch filled Tsukiko with pleasure and contentment, slowly nurturing her arousal without sharpening it.
She should stop them, Mari told herself, or at least leave. But Kyo-chan had already utterly betrayed her by proposing a monogamous relationship with Tsukiko, and once one was soaking wet, you couldn't get any wetter. As for leaving, that certainly seemed like the logical and right thing to do, but Mari's curiosity about Kyosuke and Tsukiko's lovemaking would not be denied. So she continued to stare in wonder as Kyosuke finally released Tsukiko's breasts and moved his hands down to grasp her supple waist.
Her face was still turned up towards his. They murmured each other's names with soft, earnest love, and they kissed again. Their faces were upside down in relation to one another, but that made the kiss no less passionate, their lips and tongues interlocking as though they were made to be together. They broke apart for a moment, only to merge again. She clutched the sides of his face adoringly; he caressed her belly, her side, her shoulders, every touch of his fingers sparking feelings she didn't know she had.
Kyosuke's hand came down, and he pushed her panties down over the slope of her hips, letting them fall to the floor. At last they stopped kissing for a moment, Tsukiko turning around in his arms. With a smile, she gripped his boxers and yanked them down. Before he could react, her hand found him. Mari looked on with wider eyes than ever. She'd never seen a man in his aroused state before. He seemed to get more aroused still as Tsukiko's smooth fingers fondled him. But this did not distract Kyosuke from caressing her body, continuing to carefully awaken her pleasure centers.
Feeling they were both at their peak of desire, Tsukiko stepped back and lay on the bed, spreading her legs for him. He crawled onto the bed with her, knelt between her legs, and kissed her mouth again. He was ready and more than willing. But he caught himself. "Do you want this?" he whispered to her. "For yourself, and not just for me?"
She smiled at him; in his way, he was almost as vulnerable as she. "For us," she said, and kissed his cheek.
He hesitated no more.
At this, it finally became too much for Mari to watch; not just because she had lost her beloved Kyo-chan, but because the intimacy of what he and Tsukiko were sharing was so intense that it couldn't be ignored, making every second she watched them feel like a gross violation. Mari fled out the front door, carefully closing it behind her, though at this point she doubted an earthquake could have attracted the attention of the two lovers.
When it was over, they just lay there a while in each other's arms, silently looking into each other's eyes. Neither was in a hurry to do anything.
At last Kyosuke said, "That was wonderful."
Tsukiko just silently nodded.
"This wasn't your first time," he said with surprise, as though he had just realized that fact at this moment. "But when did it happen before? That is, if you don't mind talking about..."
"When I was a test subject, of course." She looked to the side for a moment, as if into the past. "No one cared what was done to me so long as it didn't affect my abilities, and I have an attractive figure. Some of those in charge of taking care of me took me for their pleasure."
Kyosuke felt anger burn within him. "How many?" he demanded.
She looked at him, her eyes still perfectly calm. "How many times, or how many men?" she asked.
That she was so blasé about her molestation made him all the angrier. "How many times, of course."
He supposed it could have been worse, but that didn't appease him. "I'll kill them."
"How? You don't even know who they are."
"Tell me. I'll kill every last one of them."
She raised an eyebrow. "You are jealous, then?"
"Jealous of having raped you? Don't be ridiculous. I want to kill them because anyone who would hurt you that way should die."
"That's sweet of you to say," she said, but didn't sound particularly charmed. "So you would make a murderer of yourself for my sake? Thank you, but no thank you. I have too much blood on my hands as it is."
"But they -"
"You love me, even though I murdered your father. If you can do that, surely you can forgive them for stealing a few moments between my legs."
She had a point. "Well, we should at least have them locked away so that they can't do the same thing to anyone else. You realize that what they did is a crime, don't you?"
"It's a little late for that. I killed both of them before I met you."
He stared at her a second. "...Why didn't you just say that to begin with!"
"I wanted you to forgive them first."
Her calmness was still a little hard for him to accept. "How could you even let me touch you, after they..."
"You are not them. The way you touched me is completely different from the way they touched me." She closed her eyes. "Before tonight, I hated them for what they did. But now, what they did doesn't even matter. You cleaned it away, and now everything has started anew for me. ...Don't you feel something like that, even a little?"
"Yes, I suppose so." He hesitated. "This wasn't my first time either. But I've only been with two women before, and one was a prostitute. I buried myself so much in my work, I left no time for relationships. Looking back, I guess my relationship with that last woman wasn't much deeper than the one with the prostitute." He looked into Tsukiko's eyes. "What we did tonight... meant something. No sex I had before ever did. I feel like I'd be happy making love to you every night for the rest of my life."
"Is that your proposal? Your real proposal, I mean, not like that cruel teasing in the ZENA warehouse."
"If you want it to be." He kissed her forehead. "My arm is yours, remember? If you want me, just use it to sign the marriage certificate."
"Don't say that anymore," she answered in a pained voice. "I don't care if it's just a joke. I don't want to do anything to hurt or manipulate anyone anymore."
"...Fine, then. The truth is that there's nothing I want more than to spend the rest of my life loving you, and not only because of the sex. We both have a lot that we owe to the rest of the world... and we're both willing to do all we can to pay back the debt. I think we need each other, to catch each other when we go on the wrong track, and... I can't seem to explain it well. All I know is that I look in your eyes, and I know that you're beautiful, and that I want to make you happy. And by the way, I wasn't teasing you in the ZENA warehouse. I was in love with you even then."
"What about Mari?"
"She's just a kid. She'll get over me."
"Will she? She's more attached to you then you realize..."
"Even if that's true, it doesn't make sense to ruin both your happiness and mine just for a chance at making Mari happy. You only have to answer for yourself. Will you marry me?"
She tilted her head against his shoulder, and he could feel the wet kiss of her tears. "Yes," she whispered.
Author's notes: Well, I'm back! ...with a fic for a game that, it seems, hardly anyone but me has played. Funny story: I actually wrote most of this fic when I had only played the unmarked path through the game, even though, as you can tell from reading it, it is inconsistent with the ending of that path, instead using the pink star path as its canon. Even having only played the unmarked path, I could guess that there was at least one path through the game with which this story would work. Once I played through the pink star path, I made the necessary fixes to make the story consistent with the pink path - and believe me, very little change was needed. The biggest change I made was mentioning the polygamous agreement the three of them made.
This fic was originally posted on the smut-oriented fan fiction website (if you don't know the site I'm referring to, I'm not telling you). However, I realized in retrospect that most of the lemon wasn't necessary to the story, so this is an abridged version with the bulk of the lemon cut out. Update 9/25/19: Reflecting further, and taking into account comments made by this fic's only reviewer to date, I decided the lemon wasn't merited at all, so I've deleted the uncut version of the fic from the aforementioned website.
I have ideas to continue this fic with two more chapters. In chapter 2, Mari is not taking this lying down. So she confronts Kyosuke, which makes Tsukiko rather upset, and in need of comfort. In chapter 3, things finally work out so that everyone's happy. ...The trouble is, again, it seems like hardly anyone has even heard of this game, and I don't like the idea of spending my time writing stories no one will read. So if you want to see these chapters, please write a review letting me know! If I hear from even one person, I'll be a lot more motivated to get those chapters done.