RSS has been around since before the switch. >>26722
You confuse disappointment with resentment. I never have been nor will be resentful of my readers. This isn't an ego trip nor provocation. Nor is it borne out of any misguided sense of pettiness. It's a lamentation and overall a damn shame.
"Ah, you know what?" I shrugged as I turned to the oni, trying to loosen up. Reimu could come back any minute now (hopefully at least), but it wasn't going to make time pass by any faster if I just sat here and did nothing. I could at least do something useful in the meantime. "I'll take that bath now, I think."
"Really?" The oni asked with sparkles in her eyes, "Yay! Oh this is going to be so much fun! I'm going to wash your back, you can wash mine, and we can drink a bit and , oooh, we can play 'underwater explorers'!"
"Sounds, uh, good. But let's not get too carried away, alright?" I knew how to work with her by now, appealing to her sensibilities, "Let's leave the drinking until later, it's rude to get started without Reimu."
"Oh, do you think Reimu would want to talk a bath with us? Think about it, it'd be fun."
"I don't think so." I tried not to think about it. It was hard enough to get into a bath with Suika - it was awkward in more than one way - so I tried to block out any insinuation of possibilities of another joining us. It would be too much, I knew. "Let's not sit around here all day and get going."
Bath time with Suika was something that I had to prepare myself mentally for. I told myself that it would be like bathing with Auntie and her friends when I was smaller, but that didn't help matters. At all. Quite the contrary. That was a set of memories that I wanted to keep under lock. Maybe think about it in the late of night, when I was all alone in my room.
Before I had realized it, I was already thinking about that
. I struggled to keep my mind focused on the present.
"Wahaa~! This is fun!" Suika cheerfully commented while scrubbing my back. I was naked, save for a towel wrapped around my waist. I had insisted that we keep at least a bit of modesty between us. Naturally, she would have none of it, but when I threatened to not take a bath she complied. It had resulted in the addition of the towel around my waist and draping to my thighs and a clumsily wrapped towel around her. It made no difference in her case as she was still exposed where it mattered the most. Still, I found myself not minding as much as I thought I would. Suika's cheer was infectious and her spunk even more so. "Hey, hey Arc, tell me, am I doing a good job?"
"A real good job." I replied, feeling her small hands move with a certain precision.
"That's good then. Reimu doesn't appreciate it when I try to do her favors."
"About that. Remember we were talking earlier..."
"Stop worrying about stuff that happened earlier." She cut me off. "Wash my back, ok?"
I nodded, seeing that there was no way to get her to do something if she was being stubborn about it. She at down on a bath stool and exposed her back for me. Her ponytail had been undone and her hair clumsily kept held together on her head by a towel (which in turn was being kept in place only because of the intervention of her horns). I did my part, washing her back as best I could.
"Hehe~? She giggled. "Don't move so quickly, it tickles."
"Sorry." I tried to do as she asked, while doing a good job at all the rest. There wasn't much to wash, after all her back was as tiny as she was, so I was done quickly.
We got inside the bath. The hot water felt good and it was relaxing, despite Suika being a bit too noisy at times. It was endearing how she brought along a small wooden toy along, and splashed it around while trying to keep talking to me.
"You know Arc, you should really cut your hair."
"Huh? Really, you think?" I touched my hair. I thought that it was at a reasonable length. "Is it too long or something?"
"Nah, not really. It's just that you'll want shave it off."
"Well, to be closer to divinity."
"Oh, you mean like a monk." I smiled, understanding what she was getting at. "I think I'm fine the way I am, no need to take any shortcuts."
"Well, if you're going to be patient, that's fine with me as well. But you know, you've got to grab life by the horns and steer it where you want."
"So if I grabbed your horns I could control you?"
"Hmmmm... maybe. Probably not. That's not where my power comes from."
"Where does it come from then?" I asked, joking, "All the drinking?"
"That's not it either." She looked at me seriously, asking, "do you really want to know?"
"Even if I knew, I don't think I could do anything about it."
"Alright." She came closer to me in the bath, until she was within whispering distance. "If you hafta know, it's my hair. My long awesome hair. Cut it off and I'm as useless as a dried-up prune."
"What, really?" I looked at her head dubiously.
"Well, no." She laughed. Splashing me with bathwater. "I'm just having a little fun with ya. I don't really know myself. But it'd be awesome if it were something like that. Would explain why my hair is so awesome."
I shook my head.
"Aww, don't be like that. Lighten up." Suika went back to her end of the bath, "Bath time is fun time. It's worth ignoring the other person here for."
"Oh, you didn't notice? There were footsteps by the front just a little bit ago."
"Yup. Really. Someone else is at the shrine."
"Do you know who it is?"
"I can't know that from just hearing footsteps you know."
"Ah." I stood up.
"What is it?"
"Gonna get out or just stand like that or something?"
"Oh." I realized I was exposing myself to her. I slunk back into the water.
 Stay in the bath
 Get out