Hope. Wish. Pure Desire.
Two days until the birthday.
When I turn sixteen, Mariko will be temporarily younger.
Mariko said "From now on, I should call you 'onii-chan' right?", she poked fun at me.
Back in elementary school she was taller than me, so even though I was older Mariko treated me as if I was younger.
By the way, it seems like Mariko is a Libra, born on 10th of October. And so, she was seriously considering calling me 'onii-chan' until October—— or so.
When I politely refused, Mariko said "You're more energetic than you were yesterday, aren't you?" and gently smiled, her smile was like sunlight shining through the foliage.
After the school day ended, I separated from Mariko and came home.
Once in front of Sayuri's room, I took a deep breath.
I wonder, what does Sayuri think about me quitting being her older brother.
To Sayuri, rather than being siblings... being lovers or... anyway, she wants a relationship beyond siblings with me. That's why, me quitting as her brother might not have much relation to it.
If anything, having her say "we are released from the yoke of the ethics" worried me more.
I didn't prepare anything. Even if I did a solid preparation, one unexpected event could make the plan collapse, that happened often. Faltering the plan fails happens as well.
Ehh, to hell with it. It's inevitable. Whatever happens, happe〜ens.
When I rang the interphone, the door opened.
Since Sayuri didn't jump out to meet me, does it mean she's angry after all?
When I headed to the living room, she stretched her back. She was waiting for me in seiza.
There was a blackout applied on Kyuu-chan's cage. The atmosphere in the room was somehow stagnant, heavy and wrapping around me.
Sayuri raised her face and stared at me intently.
"Sit down first, Onii-sama."
Today, Sayuri's appearance was a cardigan and skirt with very bland colours, the impression lack of frills gave me was similar to how she was when I first met her.
"I have something to speak of with Onii-sama."
"W-what is it?"
Swallowed up by her tone of voice, I started speaking formally.
"Please marry me."
"Please marry me and let's become family. For little sisters please select Mika-san."
"What are you bringing up all of a sudden!"
"I'm serious. If you do so, everyone will become family."
This is what Sayuri had come up with, the answer for the relationship with me.
Ultimately just for argument's sake, if I married Sayuri, her sisters would become my sisters in law. That's why, everyone will become family... or so.
If we pretend Sayuri and I aren't connected by blood, everything would settle peacefully.
She continued, her voice trembling.
"That's why... on Friday... please don't go there."
With tears in her eyes, Sayuri appealed to me.
"Don't go you mean... to Mariko's home?"
"That's right! I won't acknowledge Mariko-san. That's m-m-mmy place. I love Onii-sama! I love Onii-sama a lot! I really, really love you dearly."
Her shoulders trembled, it seemed like she'd burst into tears any moment now.
I want to protect her. I want to fulfil Sayuri's wishes. But...
No matter how much she seeks me, I can't respond to her feelings.
Sayuri was my little sister.
"Sayuri and I are siblings, aren't we?"
"But hasn't Onii-sama said he quit being older brother. In that case, Onii-sama and I... our relation is that of a man and a woman! Before a brother and sister, we're a man and woman!"
"Man and woman you..."
"It's stamen and pistil!"
Trembling like a small dog, Sayuri continued to appeal to me.
"I too... like Sayuri. Even though that kind of thing happened on Sunday, this doesn't change even now."
Her expression brightened.
"Then, Onii-sama will make me his wife, right? I'll study a lot, do my best with cooking, as not to let anyone complain, I'll become a perfect girl fitting Onii-sama! I'll become Onii-sama's ideal girl, I'll do put my utmost effort to meet all Onii-sama's wishes and desires. If only Onii-sama loves me, I don't need anything else."
I stared back at Sayuri.
"I like you, but not in romantic sense. As family... since we're siblings, I love you as my little sister."
Doing anything and everything for me... isn't that weird. If she matched everything to my liking, there wouldn't be any Sayuri left. Not needing anything but me, I want Sayuri to have various happy experiences... is that really fine, Sayuri?
As she said she loves me so far, it felt as if Sayuri tried to become a sacrifice. In the "love" she said so far, I could feel the scent of the sense of duty to protect her sisters.
That sense of duty, Sayuri's original personality and aspirations, it felt like that all was crushing her.
Hearing my refusal, she shook her head lightly.
"What should I do, that you love me as a girl?"
"There's nothing, it's impossible!"
"If I... wasn't Onii-sama's little sister, would Onii-sama fall in love with me? Even if Onii-sama didn't have inheritance, and didn't suddenly get little sisters... if Onii-sama was just a high school student in the high school I enter... if I confessed that I love Onii-sama, would you... love me?"
If that really was the case, the possibility I could have accepted Sayuri... was undeniable. If I didn't notice we're actually siblings.
But, we met because our position as siblings.
What should I do to make Sayuri understand without hurting her.
No, that's not enough. I won't change anything if I continue as I was until now.
Tomomi taught me, hasn't she?
Since we change, we can't be afraid of hurting each other.
In order to understand each other, we need to let out true feelings collide.
I need to respond to Sayuri's feelings, I need to tell her clearly.
Current Sayuri tried to sacrifice herself, thinking of her sisters.
It seems like Sayuri herself didn't realize herself. What meaning is there to happiness you trick yourself for?
I breathed in and confronted Sayuri.
"Even if you weren't my little sister... I think you would seem like a little sister to me. A very brave, working hard for my sake, a cute junior who feels like a little sister."
From the corners of Sayuri's eyes, transparent drops have dripped along her cheek and fell down.
"Can I only be a little sister to Onii-sama? Whenever Onii-sama wishes for it, I shall give up my body. Please satisfy your desires with me, Onii-sama!"
She took off the cardigan she wore, putting a finger on the shirt Sayuri moved closer from the seiza posture. And, she let out a quiet scream.
Retaining the momentum, Sayuri pushed down and covered me. As I received her, she spoke while crying.
"My legs have gone numb. Onii-sama, it's your chance? The female middle schooler who can't move is closing on Onii-sama asking to be eaten! Won't you shake your stick? Rather, if the stick is being cheerful, there will be no second chance."
"A girl shouldn't be talking so vulgar!"
"Vulgarity will fix itself in time!"
Fix it now! Seriously, her acting erotically from time to time was also a problem. This Sayuri.
While in close contact, Sayuri locked my legs with hers.
"Onii-sama. This is... um..."
Sayuri's breathing turned rough.
"My entire legs are numb. With my legs numb I have caught Onii-sama. Like this, even if I wanted to resist, I couldn't. Even if I'm messed up by Onii-sama... I-I think it can't be helped."
Anyway, to talk with her properly, I need to resolve myself. Recently, I feel like the time I have to resolve myself when dealing with Sayuri has shortened.
"Argh. Fine then, I'll mess you up!"
I embraced Sayuri's body, using my abdominal muscles I raised her body and after sitting down face to face with her, I pushed her down. From there on, I took initiative and moved.
"Hauu... finally, the moment I shall join together with Onii-sama has come."
"I won't be going easy on you."
I gently touched her ankle, my hands slowly raised up to her calves... and I raised them all at once.
Sayuri let out a soundless scream. Holding calves of Sayuri's both legs in my hands, I started rubbing them single-mindedly. As I massaged her numb legs, she stretched her toes, her entire body convulsed.
"Aa, aaa, aahh!! Onii-sama! I'll come! I'll end up coming!"
"Stop letting out a strange voice!!"
After rubbing her enough, I pointed Sayuri's toes upwards and slowly stretched them out. By doing so I caused her leg to cramp. When I finished stretching her both legs, Sayuri exhaled slowly from her stomach.
"Onii-sama... toying with me..."
"It was just a leg massage. Like this the numbness in your feet will go away, and we can talk without being distracted, right?"
"It might be so but... why won't Onii-sama eat me? Even in secret is fine. Try tasting first and consider it."
"Ethically, as a person, I can't do that."
"Let's go to the world without ethics! Even if we die and meet after reincarnating, surely I'll be attracted to Onii-sama since we first meet."
Dying and reincarnating, we've entered spiritual realm.
"To me, Sayuri is a little sister after all."
"I don't mind that. Let's love each other as siblings. Let's shed wasteful ethics modern society embraced, assault me, Onii-sama!"
"Won't shed them! Won't throw them away! Won't assault you!"
Before I realized, she turned into the usual troubled Sayuri. She acted rational when other little sisters were there, but when I was alone with her she always goes out of control.
Sayuri faced downwards and quietly muttered.
"As I thought... do you like Mariko-san? That's why you won't... rubrub... with me?"
She made the difficult to say part "rubrub"?! Maybe she intended to fix it, but ended up making it more noticeable instead.
Without deception or hiding anything, I confessed obediently.
"I like Mariko, but I don't know yet if it's love. I love Sayuri, and you're precious to me... as family. This isn't me minding anyone, they're my true feelings."
"If you say you love me, then even more so. To protect our family, Onii-sama and me being tied together... I won't inconvenience Onii-sama! Also, I don't want Onii-sama to be embittered by having to choose just a single little sister. Even if you choose, the entire family will remain together you know?! They will all be happy."
As long as I put up with it.
Sayuri definitely wouldn't say that. Also, it might be true that Sayuri approached me from good will. Still, her expression suggested me those words.
"They" will all be happy, there's no Sayuri in there.
Since Sayuri didn't lie to her own heart, so she didn't add "too" at the end.
She's just tricking herself to believe she loves me. That kind of "love" isn't like Sayuri.
"If it was really pure love, you wouldn't think of inconvenience to the others in the first place, don't you think?"
As she opened eyes wide, I continued.
"If I'm tied with Sayuri, Selene, Tomomi, Yuuki and Mika will be able to live as family. So, will you convince them all? Possibly, won't they think Sayuri was sacrificed to keep this life... will they?"
"I... didn't think of that. To think my sisters would feel responsibility for my actions..."
"You said you're going to match me, then... what about your feelings? If you match everything to me, where will Sayuri go?"
"I-I want to be tied with Onii-sama. I will no longer need cute clothes. Fashion will be unnecessary. Just Onii-sama's happiness will be my happiness. That's why it's fine... if I'm gone!"
"There's no way! Sayuri isn't just me. You must be having things you want to do. Deciding your heart on just me, it's strange to give up on all possibilities you have, right?!"
"I-I don't have anything else I'd like to become. I have no special talent or personality that stands out like others. I have nothing."
Sayuri was great at cooking and at studying, but she didn't realize her "talent in effort". Whether cooking or studying, it's a gift of her effort.
"I... want the girl I like, to be free."
"Am I... not suitable for... Onii-sama?"
Powerlessly, she muttered in parts.
"I don't want you to live for my sake. For no one's sake, I want Sayuri to live for herself. As much as you think of me and your sisters, I want you to think of yourself."
That's all, saying she just care for herself would be telling her to be irresponsible. I'd hate that too.
I affirmed it.
"After you do so, when you become your real self without faking anything, come at me as much as you want, Sayuri!"
Come at me... even if I say so myself, my last words were sloppy.
And yet, Sayuri slowly nodded. With a face as if she's gone over it, she told me.
"Is that so... no, that's right. What did I do, instead of just assaulting Onii-sama with my pure desire, I made concern for everyone, future of the family and such an excuse for myself. That was rude of me towards Onii-sama! I'll reflect on it."
Apparently, what I wanted to say has been relayed to her.
As if an evil spirit haunting her, with a refreshed expression she stood up and opened the room's window. Wind blew inside, replacing the stagnant air with fresh one.
While looking outside the window, Sayuri muttered with her back to me.
"But, I won't come at you again. If Onii-sama wants to marry me when I grow up, I think that's fine... but by then, I might be someone else's, you know? I'm not unwilling to admit defeat, but... that's just how attractive I shall become."
Just once, she shrugged largely with her shoulders. As if to stifle something, she muttered.
"I'll make Onii-sama regret this. I'll become a self-supporting girl, beautiful, surely making you look to this moment. Even if you regret for letting me go, I won't concern myself with it."
Looking back at me, Sayuri wiped the tears that spilled with her index finger.
"That's why, I don't mind if Onii-sama falls in love. Also, birthday doesn't happen just once. If you separate from a lover it's once for all, but a little sister will always have an opportunity to celebrate it."
With a smile, as tears pooled in her eyes, she gently pushed back.