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Mar 26th, 2016
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  1. Silently, William D. Porter, American Fletcher-class destroyer, padded through the streets of Yokosuka Naval Base. The battle was over. The day was won. And all it had cost were numerous human casualties. All of her fellow shipgirls had come back alive, but not necessarily intact.
  2.  
  3. She heaved a sigh, remembering Destroyer Division 6. The four girls, usually so energetic and excitable, friendly to an almost intimidating degree, had been horribly upset. They knew that Tenryuu and Tatsuta had been badly injured, they knew that the two were in intensive care, but they four had not been permitted to see them. Willie shuddered to think of what had happened to the two light cruisers. As for DesDiv 6, they had been in tears, even the normally unflappable Hibiki unable to hide damp eyes as they wondered out loud what was wrong with their two caretakers.
  4.  
  5. Meanwhile, Kongou was messing around with a webcam.
  6.  
  7. One or the other had finally convinced Willie to take her leave of the dorms, and so she continued to walk, slowly realizing that she was heading towards Shimakaze's workshop. The realization didn't surprise her. She really needed a friend right now.
  8.  
  9. Finally reaching the workshop, Willie raised a hand to knock on the metal door when she heard some sort of commotion from within. Some sort of muffled shouting, and... that wasn't Shimakaze's voice. It sounded like a panicked Amatsukaze! Visions of the recent battle and its terrible toll danced through Willie's head, as well as the countless things that could go wrong in a machine shop, especially when you were as ambitious as Shimakaze. Combined with the frantic squeaking of fairies, and Amatasukaze's hysteric shouting, horrible visions thrust themselves into her imagination. What if Shimakaze had...! No. NO!
  10.  
  11. Filled with sudden panic, Willie seized the doorknob, pulled when she should have pushed while simultaneously leaping forward, and managed to faceplant into the metal door hard enough to give it a new dent.
  12.  
  13. Ouch.
  14.  
  15. There was a sudden silence from within as Willie whimpered in humiliated pain, the dribble of blood down her face as well as an embarrassed damage report coming from within letting her know that yes, she was going to have to visit the repair yard to get that fixed. The repair yard with that scary man with the angry eyes.
  16.  
  17. "Hello...?" Amatsukaze's tentative voice came from within. Slowly, Willie pushed the door open the right way, pinching her nose to keep the bleeding to a minimum.
  18.  
  19. "Hebbo," she said miserably, before the scene before her finally managed to register.
  20.  
  21. Shimakaze's experimental engine hung from the ceiling, looking far further along than the last time Willie had been down here. Amatsukaze stood to one side, while a troop of fairies were all across its surface, bearing an array of tools that they were apparently wielding in assistance of Shimakaze.
  22.  
  23. Shimakaze, whose mouth was wrapped around and apparently stuck to some sort of protrusion sticking out of the engine. The Japanese destroyer waved sheepishly.
  24.  
  25. Willie stared. "Wud?"
  26.  
  27. Amatsukaze raised a finger. "In fact, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this." She glanced down at Shimakaze and sighed. "...I take that back. There is in fact a really stupid explanation for this." Shimakaze just glared back. The silver-haired destroyer was about to say more when she took in Willie's condition and gasped. "Oh my goodness! Willie, are you all right?"
  28.  
  29. Willie's shoulders slumped. "I hurd by dose," she murmured. By running into a door, she added to herself. Again.
  30.  
  31. "Oh..." eyes shimmering with concern, Amatsukaze grabbed a clean rag and rushed over to Willie's side, carefully pressing the fabric against her damaged nose. "Come on in, dear. Does it hurt? Don't worry, Shimakaze will get you all patched up, right as soon as... um, as soon as we get her loose." From where her mouth was stuck around... something, bulging out at the sides, the blonde destroyer, glanced away, blushing slightly.
  32.  
  33. "Wud habbened?" Willie wondered out loud, watching as the fairies pushed tiny metal levers into the sides of Shimakaze's mouth, trying to pry her loose.
  34.  
  35. "Our dear Shimakaze finally succeeded in making a new engine," Amatsukaze explained, a trace of pride in her voice.
  36.  
  37. "Wud?!" Willie yelped.
  38.  
  39. "It's true," the silver-haired destroyer said in wonderment. "She really did it. It worked." Shimakaze squawked in pain as her fairies finally pried her loose with a POP! "Of course, then came the question of how she was going to get it into her body."
  40.  
  41. The American destroyer considered this for a moment, looking at her Japanese friend, who was rubbing her sore mouth. "...You twied to ed it?"
  42.  
  43. "Not at first!" Shimakaze protested. "I mean... it works! The engine really works!" She patted the machine with enthusiasm. "But it doesn't do me any good just hanging from the ceiling, right? So, um... I tried hugging it, to see if I could absorb it or something. I couldn't."
  44.  
  45. "Though it was adorable seeing you hugging your creation," Amatsukaze quipped.
  46.  
  47. "Well, um, that didn't work," Shimakaze said with an awkward blush. "So, I even tried unzipping my coveralls and pressing it against my bare stomach-"
  48.  
  49. "And I am SO glad nobody else saw that," Amatsukaze interrupted, facepalming.
  50.  
  51. "-and when that didn't work, I got a little frustrated, and tried, um..."
  52.  
  53. "She tried to swallow it and her mouth got stuck," Amatsukaze finished.
  54.  
  55. "...yeah," Shimakaze agreed sheepishly. There was a moment of silence. "So. What happened to you?"
  56.  
  57. Willie paused. "I walged indo a door."
  58.  
  59. The blonde destroyer nodded. "I won't tell if you don't."
  60.  
  61. "'Kay," Willie agreed.
  62.  
  63. Amatsukaze smiled sweetly. "My lips are sealed as well."
  64.  
  65. Shimakaze sighed. "Well... Willie, hop up on a bench. I'll get some tools and do something about your nose."
  66.  
  67. "Hm?" Willie queried as Amatsukaze lead her over to a bench. The silver-locked destroyer helped her up and patted Willie on the head reassuringly.
  68.  
  69. "Don't worry, I come to Shimmy for minor repairs all the time!" she insisted.
  70.  
  71. "You gan do dab?!" Willie exclaimed as Shimakaze came over with some tools in hand.
  72.  
  73. "Well, a little bit," Shimakaze said as she set to work, raising her voice over the sound of power tools. "Little stuff like this is no problem, but anything serious, you really need to see the repair yards. I just do minor things for myself and Ammy. It's no big deal."
  74.  
  75. "It started a while back, after she met Crab that one time," Amatsukaze added. She smirked. "To repeat, that 'one' time."
  76.  
  77. "He is such a jerk," Shimakaze grumbled as she worked on Willie's nose. "Wouldn't stop giving me grief about how I dress. Heck with him, I'm never going back there if I can help it." Her eyes flicked up to Willie. "Same goes for you. Anything small like this, feel free to come to me, okay?"
  78.  
  79. "Okay," Willie replied, careful to hold still. "Have you told the Admiral that you do things like this?"
  80.  
  81. Shimakaze paused. She looked up at Willie. "Um. I really don't want to be a dedicated repair ship, okay? Experimental stuff, minor maintenance, that's one thing. Doing nothing else but repairs? That's really..."
  82.  
  83. "Slow?" Amatsukaze suggested with a giggle.
  84.  
  85. "Something like that," Shimakaze muttered, wiping at Willie's nose. "And don't say a word about how I dress. I know you still have that old translucent outfit."
  86.  
  87. Amatsukaze flushed a deep red. "I-I can't just throw away a piece of myself like that! And besides, I dress like a dignified lady should these days!" She folded her arms with a huff.
  88.  
  89. Shimakaze considered her work before glancing over at Amatsukaze. "Goto might pay more attention to you if you wore the old one," she said gently.
  90.  
  91. Amatsukaze looked away. "...Admiral Goto has enough Dess in his life already. And you know how he feels about destroyers." Shimakaze just sighed in response.
  92.  
  93. ...Willie concluded that there were some things you just didn't ask about.
  94.  
  95. After another moment Shimakaze stood back, nodding in satisfaction. "Okay! How do you feel Willie?"
  96.  
  97. Willie gingerly touched her nose and blinked in surprise. "I-I feel fine!" she exclaimed.
  98.  
  99. Amatsukaze peered closely before nodding. "It looks perfect. Excellent work as always, sister!"
  100.  
  101. Shimakaze preened. "I do pride myself on my work!"
  102.  
  103. "Um, about that..." Willie glanced over at the mechanism hanging from the ceiling. "Does this thing really work?"
  104.  
  105. The blonde destroyer grinned hugely. "Why don't you see for yourself? C'mon!" Eagerly, she pulled Willie over to the engine as her fairies cleared the area. A few adjustments were made, switches were flipped, and soon the throaty roar of an engine filled the room. Willie just stared on in wonder. Shimakaze had actually made something that wor-
  106.  
  107. No. Bad Willie, she admonished herself. What a terribly mean thing to say. The gun Shimmy had made worked perfectly, didn't it?
  108.  
  109. After a few minutes to take some readings, Shimakaze shut down the motor and turned to Willie, beaming. "So? What'd you think?!"
  110.  
  111. "Coooool..." Willie breathed.
  112.  
  113. "Well done, Shimmy!" Amatsukaze clapped her hands enthusiastically.
  114.  
  115. "That is certainly very impressive!" said a fourth voice.
  116.  
  117. "Thanks, Yamato," Shimakaze nodded, turning back to her engine. "The problem is, this is really just proof-of-concept. The real problem is getting a working version inside me, or really any one of us and that's..." she trailed off, realizing something. "Huh?" The three destroyers turned their heads to the door.
  118.  
  119. Standing there, wearing a ridiculous trenchcoat and hat, sunglasses in one hand and a clipboard in the other stood Yamato, smiling sweetly. "Hello, Shimakaze! I hear you've been doing a lot of work here!"
  120.  
  121. Willie and Amatsukaze turned to the blonde destroyer, who was sweating visibly. "Um."
  122.  
  123. "So, um..." Yamato carefully walked into the room, looking everything over with interest. "I didn't realize that you were such an engineer! But scuttlebutt had it that you actually made Miss Porter here a gun turret from scratch!" She winked at Willie, who squeaked in response.
  124.  
  125. "Um," Shimakaze replied, looking around nervously.
  126.  
  127. "And then there's this!" Yamato looked at the new engine in wonderment. "Not to mention, I heard a rumor that you do... repair work?" She smiled at the smaller girl.
  128.  
  129. Shimakaze stared back, an expression of sick horror spreading over her face. Her eyes slid over to Amatsukaze, who had found something fascinating on the far wall to observe.
  130.  
  131. Yamato cleared her throat. "You know, we do need any number of people qualified to work on us ships..." she let the statement hang in the air, a suggestion tinged with the vague suggestion of authority.
  132.  
  133. Willie looked over at Shimakaze, whose expression suggested that she felt like she was facing a firing squad. Honestly, a speedster like her being relegated to repair duty, or having it dumped upon her regular duties, was probably a horrifying proposition.
  134.  
  135. However, as William D. Porter looked on, Shimakaze's eyes suddenly flashed, a look of pure determination spreading over her face. The small girl gazed hard and firm at the much larger battleship.
  136.  
  137. "I have one condition," she said sternly.
  138.  
  139. "Hm? What's that?" Yamato asked, eyes lighting up.
  140.  
  141. "I want to be part of the shipgirl upgrade project I know is going on. I'll start with you."
  142.  
  143. Yamato blinked, suddenly taken off guard. "M-m-me?" she stammered.
  144.  
  145. "That's right." Shimakaze's eyes narrowed. "I'd like to cut you for speed."
  146.  
  147. There was a deep, deep silence. "...Speed?" Yamato echoed weakly.
  148.  
  149. "That's right." Turning sharply, Shimakaze stalked over to the laptop sitting in the corner. Bringing up the web-browser, she punched in two words:
  150.  
  151. MICRO BIKINI
  152.  
  153. Seizing the computer, Shimakaze thrust it towards Yamato like a holy icon. "Here. This design should maximize your tactical speed. Would you like it in red?"
  154.  
  155. As Yamato stared at the 'bathing suit' displayed on the screen, she underwent a remarkable transformation. Her eyes got very, very wide. Her face got very, very red. And a high-pitched squeak of utter embarrassment began squeezing out of her throat. Finally, the dam broke.
  156.  
  157. "OhgeesorrylookatthetimeIgottagowe'lljustforgetaboutthisIreallyhavetoleavenowkaybyethanksBYE!" Bowing rapidly enough to make her ponytail lash like a panicking snake, Yamato burst out the door and fled as quickly as her mortified legs could carry her.
  158.  
  159. In the ensuing silence, Shimakaze put her computer back down. "Well. I guess that did make her faster."
  160.  
  161. "Could they really use your help at the repair yards though?" Amatsukaze wondered out loud.
  162.  
  163. Shimakaze narrowed her eyes. "Ammy? Remember when you talked to me about secrets, and how to keep them?"
  164.  
  165. Amatsukaze paused. "...I'm going to go check after Yamato, and make sure she's, um, fine," the silver-haired destroyer murmured, quietly making her way out of the building. This left Willie and Shimakaze alone.
  166.  
  167. "L-loose lips sink ships?" Willie suggested awkwardly.
  168.  
  169. "Or get them stuck in the repair yard?" Shimakaze commented. "Oh well. That should be the end of that."
  170.  
  171. "So, what about this engine?" Willie asked, turning to the object in question.
  172.  
  173. "That's the thing." Shimakaze heaved a deep sigh. "I can't absorb it or anything. It's too big for me to simply stick into my body somehow. Which means the only option is for me to somehow summon my full body like I hear happened with Akagi and Yuudachi, and have a full-size version put in."
  174.  
  175. "Which means making a full-size version," Willie noted.
  176.  
  177. "Yeah, which probably isn't going to happen." Shimakaze sighed again. "Oh well. I'll think of something. Do you wanna go get something to eat?"
  178.  
  179. Willie smiled. "Sure!"
  180.  
  181. "Cool! Then just let me get changed and cleaned up, and maybe we can track down Ammy to go with us!"
  182.  
  183. ---------------------------------------------------------
  184.  
  185. A little while later, Shimakaze and Willie strode through the halls of the dorms headed for Amatsukaze's room, the blonde back in her regular outfit (which now included the sarong, much to Willie's relief).
  186.  
  187. "She didn't answer her phone?" Willie asked.
  188.  
  189. "Probably forgot to recharge it or something?" Shimakaze shrugged. "Oh well. Here's her room." Coming upon a door with Amatsukaze's name helpfully written on the nameplate, Shimakaze seized the knob and let herself in, mouth open to call out to her almost-sister when she stopped in place, eyes widening in surprise. Curious, Willie peered past her to see what was wrong. Seconds later, the American destroyer felt her face heating up in embarrassment.
  190.  
  191. Amatsukaze was standing in front of a full-body mirror. Except 'posing' would be a better word. She looked at her reflection confidently, a faintly pleased smile playing about her lips. As for her clothing, it somewhat resembled her regular outfit. Save for the fact that it could be more accurately described as a mini-skirt and halter.
  192.  
  193. "You know, I think I've still got it..." she murmured to herself, reaching out to pick up another outfit, one far more similar to her regular clothing, albeit noticeably more... transparent. Then she glanced too the side and noticed Willie and Shimakaze staring at her.
  194.  
  195. Amatsukaze froze, face going as pale as a sheet.
  196.  
  197. In the ensuing silence, Willie found her hands rising to cover her face, while Shimakaze's mouth fell open in a huge, happy smile.
  198.  
  199. The next instant, Amatsukaze surged forward, seizing both destroyers and pulling them close. "YOU. SAW. NOTHING," she rasped, eyes full of barely-restrained malice.
  200.  
  201. "N-N-N-N-N-N-N-NOTHING!" Willie shrieked.
  202.  
  203. "Whatever you say, sis~!" Shimakaze chirped, nodding agreeably.
  204.  
  205. Amatsukaze searched both their faces carefully before forcefully shoving them both out of the room and slamming the door in their faces. The heavy sound of a bolt being thrown was the only other sound to come from the room.
  206.  
  207. Shimakaze giggled, giddy as a schoolgirl. "She likes the outfit I got her~!"
  208.  
  209. Willie just groaned. Fubuki was right. In their own way, those two really were sisters.
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