Maria-sama ga Miteru:Volume28 Chapter5
Frame of Mind 3
"I should be heading back soon."
Katsura-san smiled, holding the photograph.
She explained that she'd told the third-years she was leaving the tennis court because she had to go to the toilet. If she stayed too long, they might start to worry that she was sick. Of course the first- and second-years knew why Katsura-san had really left so they could try to smooth things over, but it was better if they didn't have to.
Yumi and Tsutako-san both agreed with this logic and cheerfully saw their friend off. After all, they had no reason to detain Katsura-san any longer.
"That reminds me. What's up with that girl?"
Katsura-san said, stopping in front of the biscuit-door and turning to look at them.
"You know, that first year student with the fluffy hair … umm, Tsutako-san's petit soeur?"
The 'petit soeur' part was probably cheating, nonetheless Tsutako-san understood who Katsura-san meant because she responded with, "You mean Shouko-chan?" as she continued to arrange the photographs spread across the table. Shouko-chan was seen with Tsutako-san so frequently that most people thought they were soeurs.
Katsura-san then told them about how she had initially gone to the photography club's clubroom in search of Tsutako-san. When she got there, that fluffy-haired first-year had been encamped by the door and explained that Tsutako-san wasn't in. But then she kept badgering Katsura-san, asking what business she had with Tsutako-san.
"Do I really have to get permission from your petit soeur just to see my friend?"
Katsura-san said indignantly. In response, Tsutako-san stopped putting photographs back into envelopes and tilted her head inscrutably.
"I wonder what she was doing at the clubhouse. Ahh, and just a correction, Shouko-chan is not my petit soeur."
And then Yumi remembered something too. Earlier, Tsutako-san had said that third-years had taken control of the clubroom, etc. Based on Tsutako-san's reaction, there was no way that information hadn't also been passed along to Shouko-chan.
Yumi urged Katsura-san to continue. What happened next?
"What could I do? I said I had something I wanted to ask you, and she finally let me go. And if she's not your petit soeur, then that's even worse. Is she trying to be your secretary or something?"
"Now, now. Shouko-chan really looks up to Tsutako-san. You should just let it slide, this time."
"I know. But she was so inflexible for a first year. There was a real obstinate directness in the way she was behaving."
Katsura-san had probably caused her fair share of grief for the seniors in the tennis club in that respect too. Maybe she'd heard something that caused her to reflect on how she'd been. Katsura-san smiled the tolerant smile of an onee-sama, then opened the door and left.
"Say. Why don't you take Shouko-chan as your petit soeur?"
Yumi asked, once they were alone again. She'd always wondered that, especially since they were so close that everyone already thought they were soeurs.
Tsutako-san smiled, then started taking photos out of a new envelope and lining them up on the table.
"Just being soeurs isn't everything, you know?"
The photos Tsutako-san laid down were, unusually, all pictures of girls in civilian clothes.
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