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_____ rose from her seat at the low table in Kiku’s living room. She, Feliciano, and Ludwig had been asked to come to Kiku’s house for a visit, which they happily accepted.

“So, what’s on the agenda for today?” she asked.

Feliciano took the liberty of answering, since Kiku had just left the room. “We’re going swimming, sorella!”

_____ blinked. She knew that swimming wasn’t uncommon in Japan, but it was a bit of a shock to hear that Kiku of all people would go on such a trip. He was the one planning the trips, after all.

“Something like that,” added Ludwig monotonously, turning a page in his book.

Still unsure, but willing to drop it, _____ nodded, saying, “Okay,” and turning to go to her room.

When she reached her room, she went through her suitcase and searched for clothes to wear. She stopped at the bathing suit and flip-flops she had packed and took them out.

We’re going swimming, right? she thought. She sighed as she held the bathing suit in front of her body. I haven’t gone swimming in so long. I wonder if this thing even fits me now?

Locking her door, she stripped down and slipped the bathing suit onto her body. It was black one-piece with a white floral design, and a short skirt was attached at the waist. _____ smoothed down the suit and skirt portion, feeling a bit self-conscious despite the fact that she was alone. A bright pink began to dust her cheeks.

I can’t go swimming in this, she thought, looking down at her body. I can’t pull it off at all.

After a long moment of thought, she sighed again. Well. . .I guess I should. . .so I don’t hurt Kiku’s feelings. . . She smoothed down the skirt one more time before pulling the cover-up over herself. The cover-up was solid white and sleeveless, a zipper going all the way up the front, and made of a towel-like material. A hood hung on the back of the neck, and _____ pulled that over her head momentarily, then pulled it back off.

“_____? Are you in there?”

_____ jumped at the voice just outside of her room. “Y-Yeah, Ludwig. What’s up?”

“We’re leaving in five minutes,” he replied, his voice muffled by the door. “You should hurry und get ready to go.”

“O-Okay. Thanks, Luddy.”

_____ heard Ludwig grunt at the sound of his unwanted pet name, and she giggled. She picked up her bag and finished getting ready.


Kiku led the group to a building not far from his house. It was a one-story traditional Japanese building, and was sprawled across the flat land, a few openings here and there. A woman in a pastel green robe appeared from the main entrance and walked toward the group. _____ absentmindedly stepped back so that she was slightly behind Ludwig.

The woman smiled and bowed, speaking in Japanese. Kiku bowed as well and spoke on behalf of the others. The woman nodded and turned, gesturing the group to follow her.

The group obeyed and followed the woman inside and down the hallway. She stopped and spoke again, pointing to a door on either side of the hall. Kiku nodded and bowed as the woman bowed and walked back the way they had come.

“I made reservations earlier,” the Asian man explained. “We are the only ones here for today. Ludwig-san, Feliciano-kun, and I will use the onsen through this door,”—he pointed to the door on the left side of the hall—“and _____-kun will use the onsen through that one.” He gestured to the door on the right.

The German and Italian agreed, Feliciano immediately dashing through the door.

_____ took a moment to think, then nodded at Kiku. “Okay. Thanks, Kiku.”

Kiku smiled understandingly and bowed before going through the door as well.

_____ sighed and looked at her respective door, freezing as she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned her head to see her German friend.

“Are you alright, _____?” he asked, his voice friendly but still containing its usual professionalism.

Hesitantly, _____ nodded. “Y-Yeah. I’ll be okay.” She smiled. “He said we were the only ones here.”

Ludwig nodded. He knew how incredibly shy and self-conscious _____ was, and he and Kiku would always try to make things more comfortable for their friend. “Alright.” He patted her head gently, and turned and walked through the men’s door, closing it behind him.

_____ opened her door and walked through, a warm and humid air enveloping her. The room was empty excluding the many cubbyholes against the walls and the three benches bolted into the tile floor. On the other side of the room was an open sliding door leading to what looked like a steaming indoor pool.

_____ looked around—even peeking out into the other room—before taking off the thin jacket she had put on when she left the house, and then slipping off her cover-up. Still clad in her bathing suit, she kicked off her flip-flops, put her belongings in one of the cubbyholes, and walked into the adjacent room.

The humidity was significantly higher in this room than the other, and _____ had to wait a moment to adjust to it. She looked down at the water, noticing a bamboo ramp steadily pouring more water into the pool. She sat down at the edge and dipped half of her foot in, yanking it out as she realized how hot it was. Her eyes widened slightly in realization.

Oh, yeah! she thought. This is one of those hot springs Kiku and Feli told me about.

Now sure of herself, _____ slowly made her way into the hot water, letting out a quiet sigh as the heat relaxed her joints. Kiku and the others must be using the guys’ one. And this one must be the girls’.

She froze as a thought came to her mind.

Wait. . .Aren’t you supposed to be naked when you’re in one of these?

A blush threatened to cover her face, but it subsided as she thought, Well, I’m going to be alone in here. I guess it’ll be alright. . .

_____ climbed back out of the water and walked back into the changing room. She took a towel from a nearby rack and pulled off her bathing suit, wrapping it neatly in the towel and setting it in her cubbyhole. She got another towel and returned to the hot spring. She left the new towel on a table close to the spring, and practically jumped back into the water.

_____ sank neck-deep into the water, a relaxed smile covering her face. She tilted her head back and soaked her hair, then decided to just dip her entire head underwater. She came back up, her face splashed with slightly cooler air, and a contented sigh escaping her lips. She felt odd being unclothed in a public place, but the relief of being alone soon replaced the thought.

Around twenty minutes after entering the hot spring, _____ heard voices coming from outside the room. The voices grew closer, and they sounded as if they were coming from the adjacent room. _____ furrowed her brows in confusion, but her eyes widened as the door opened and several women clothed only in towels came into the room. She instinctively sank down into the water until only her head was above the surface.

The women noticed her and said something in Japanese. _____ opened her mouth to speak, but shut it when nothing came to her mind. The women simply smiled and removed their towels, stepping into the hot spring. _____’s cheeks darkened as a blush dominated her face. She sank further down into the water as more women—adding up to about a dozen—piled into the spring.

_____ clung to the edge of the spring, glancing at her towel out of the corner of her eye. Her heart pounding inside her chest, she scrambled out of the spring and wrapped her towel around her body as quickly as she could. Thankfully, the other women weren’t paying attention to her, so she managed to slip into the other room without anyone noticing. Fortunately, the other room was now empty, and _____ grabbed her bag and dug through it.

Thank you, Ludwig, for making me bring an extra change of clothes, she thought, half-joking. Looks like your nagging actually pays off.

When she found her extra clothes, she dried off and slipped them on. She put both of her towels into a basket, packed her still damp bathing suit, gathered her things, and left the room. She reached into her bag again and pulled out a baseball cap Alfred had given her, putting it on her wet head. She scanned the empty hallway and sighed tiredly.

I thought I was supposed to be alone, she thought, feeling a pang of betrayal. Her eyes watered, but she shook her head to dismiss the young tears. No. I’m sure he meant it. He just didn’t know about them. . .right?

_____ stepped toward the door on the other side of the hall, leaning over and placing her ear on the door. She heard her Italian friend saying something in his usual cheerful tone, then Ludwig started to lecture him. _____ heard Kiku speak, possibly saying something to ration with the German, and Ludwig spoke again, this time in a calmer voice.

_____ half-smiled. She couldn’t disturb them while they were still enjoying their bath, not just because she was too big of a wimp to soak naked in a bath with other women. She walked down the hallway and out the main entrance. She spotted a small pond near the walkway outside and sat down on the edge of the walkway.


Almost an hour had passed since _____ came outside. She had spent some of the time listening to music on her MP3 player, some time messing around on her phone, and most of the time just staring at the pond. She had scooted up to the edge of the pond and was now dipping her fingers into the water.


_____ turned her head to see her three friends walking out of the building. “What are you doing out here?” asked Kiku.

_____ blinked, then looked back at the pond, embarrassed. “Well, um. . .there were some women that came into the hot spring while I was in there. . .”

_____ heard Ludwig grunt in frustration, and Kiku grimaced slightly. “They were most likely the women that work here.”


“I apologize, _____-kun.”

“It’s okay,” she said quietly.

“But why didn’t you come tell us?” said Ludwig. “You could have just talked to us through the door.”

_____ took off her cap and tousled her hair a bit. “Because. . .I didn’t want to ruin your time in the hot spring. . .” She placed her cap back onto her head and brought her knees close to her chest. “Sorry if I did. . .”

“No, sorella!” Feliciano interjected, sitting down next to _____. “You didn’t ruin it! But. . .yours was, wasn’t it?”

_____ pursed her lips, nodding slowly.

Ludwig sighed. “Es tut uns leid, _____.”

“Hai,” said Kiku. “We are sorry that this trip was ruined for you. Would you like to go somewhere else?”

_____ thought a moment. “Well, I kinda like that park we went to yesterday. Is it okay if we go have a picnic there?”

Feliciano’s eyes lit up at the notion. “Ś! Let’s do that!”

Kiku nodded. “Hai. I would like to have a picnic there.”

“Ja,” said Ludwig. “Let’s go.” He held out his hand for _____ to take.

_____ smiled as Ludwig pulled her to her feet. “Thanks, guys.”


“Dou itashimashite.”

Kinda got this idea after watching episode 20 of The Beautiful World. This is probably how I'd act at a hot spring, since I'm so dang shy...
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Dinky0717 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
theotakugurl Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Student General Artist
Are hot springs nice?
GarnetBoo Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I haven't been to an onsen in years T^T
Wolverina22 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Student Writer
CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!!! *foams at the mouth and dies*
ItzHotaruTomoe Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014
-kun is for guys @~@
but either way, it's a cute story :)
EvilAngel3 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Sorry, I wouldn't do the whole naked thing. Hah, I'd die first. Staying in my swim dress, thank you
pandaday12 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I probably wouldn't even get naked. I would just stay in my bathing suit.
It's not that I'm shy, it's just i'm not comfortable with my body type.
kjxyz1234-gmail Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014
Amen sister
Hetalia564 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
If I was in hot spring, naked, with a bunch of other I women I don't know, I'd probably do the same thing Reader-Chan
ShiroTakaori Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist they give out free towels ? 
Ravens-of-Rome Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
LawyerGirl227 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Alone or not I would probably just stay in my swimsuite...
Vegveghowrse Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Student Filmographer
aww~ i just gotta say one thing though, -kun refers to males, -chan refers to females ^_^
WorldOfMuffins Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013
Some girls can have '-kun' and some boys can have '-chan' it's up to who's saying it (although its more common for '-chan' to be fem and '-kun' to be masculine.
kittykatrocks12 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aw how cute and embarrassing
KuroNeko870 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Student General Artist
Yep, I think I would die of embarrassment if this ever happened. 
:iconifaintplz: :iconcutejapanplz:
xXArtimisXx Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Omg that's so embarrassing... >.<
Rayman-awesomeness Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Hobbyist Interface Designer
i would probably do the same thing!!! i am shy too....but i am not when you get to know me! ~_^
luna-nightgoddess Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I cant wait to go to japan for all the different onsen it will be an interesting experiance
XioTehLeafKing Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Student General Artist
 POOR, POOR READER-CHAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At lest she got to hold Luddy's hand, right!
bobamilkutea Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aww, this fic is just so adorable. I can really feel their friendship!
NyanCat001 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Dude, I'd do the same thing!! I'm a bit self conscious and this is basically why exact reaction. At least I'm not the only one~
TheAwesomeHero7714 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist
Hehe Poor Reader-chan. ^^;
I would die if that ever happened. u_u
MyHarliquinnWorld Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Student General Artist
At the end you mean Ihr Willkommen not bitte. Bitte means please Not your welcome.
Decepticon9000 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I hate swimming... XD
annebear1 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
haha this is so cute!! i would act like that, too
sylphwriter24 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yep, I think I would die of embarrassment if this ever happened.
Scaleon1 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
Yep, this seems like its 100% me. Sweet and wonderful!
Kimsters-Pictures Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Student General Artist
Awwwwwwwwww that's adorable! :)
imaterribledrawer Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
cute! but wouldn't Kiku be saying _____-chan, not ______-kun?
Ravens-of-Rome Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The honorific "-kun" can be used for a girl someone is emotionally attached to, good friends with, etc. So, in that respect, it's gender neutral.
imaterribledrawer Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, okay. I guess it just confuses me a little that Japan calls Germany "Ludwig-san," Italy "Feliciano-kun" and Reader "_____-kun"
Magooyi Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Loved this! Its SOOOOOO ME!EPISODE 20? you say? Did u see sexy shirtless Germany?!
Ravens-of-Rome Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes. And he has a FEAKING EIGHT-PACK!!!!! >////<
Magooyi Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I KNOW RIGHT! >/////<When o saw him i thought "Sexy! My friend would be one happy fangirl to see this!" Im not gonna say her name but, she LOVES Germany. Idk if she watched that episode yet...
Shoujo-Slytherin Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Student Writer
Aww, how adorable. :3
religiouscornrose237 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Student General Artist
Aww, this is so cute! :D Great story.
mangagrrlluv Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't access Beautiful World on YouTube... the channel I watch hasn't updated since February!
Se34r5 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

A bit of advise, I'm fairly certain that "-kun" is usually used for boys ^^
Ravens-of-Rome Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The honorific "-kun" can be used for a girl someone is emotionally attached to, good friends with, etc. So, in that respect, it's gender neutral.
Se34r5 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay c:

Thanks for the knowledge, I actually didn't know that ^^
lithuania-fangirl Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Bitte means please
imaterribledrawer Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It also means "you're welcome"
Ravens-of-Rome Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ravens-of-Rome Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It also means "You're welcome." It's actually a pretty versitle word in German.
lithuania-fangirl Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The more you know~!
SofiaWerewolf Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

But the reaction that reader-chan had with the nudity is the same as mine....only I wouldn't have stripped at all.
maevezz11 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
I would strip as I please, I have no problems with nudity
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June 23, 2013
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