Yes of course I own Marimite, why else would I be writing fanfiction on it for?
Marimite is not my favorite, and neither will it ever be my absolute favorite among animes. I cannot however deny that I am impressed and fond of it's concept. Among the many stereotypical shows featuring and popularity-riding on shoujo relations I have encountered, Marimite truly stands out for not only its drama, but also the insight on what is going on behind the drama. The many relationships that you come across in it are while arctype-wise, may have seen before, Marimite really takes its time to exlpain and show the reasons like the sometimes very complex emotions behind its events. Something I find that many shoujo-relation series sourly lacks.
Marimite is not good because it features girlxgirl action.
Marimite is good because Sachiko ate the wrong truffle, because Yoshino chose specifically that date for her heart surgery, and because Shimako wears her rosary on her wrist.
Among all relationships in this beautiful story, one however, caught my attention. It is not canonical, not very likely and certainly not evident. It is however, my two favorite characters and the interaction between them that birthed the idea.
My tribute to two of the former Roses.
Sei and Youko.
What We Left Undone
"The hair suits you."
That's all? That's all you have to say after riding the express train for hours, sacrificing your precious weekend and cutting your important visit to Lillian? I can just imagine the look Sachiko would have had on her face, if she knew you had turned down her dinner invitation because of this.
I mean, this is Youko here. Mizuno Youko, former Rosa Chinesis, the woman who more or less personally ran Lillian's student council by herself. Eriko and I helped of course, but there was little doubt where the real responsibility had been. Miss Collected Cool and Perfect. Miss Prestigious Law School. Miss Lillian.
The title fit her perfectly. I looked down at my tea, amused by the thought.
So what was she doing here?
As if she had read my thoughts, she broke her gaze from the window and turned back to me. Eyes and mind as sharp as ever, like her clothes. I had to admit that I had never associated with Youko enough to know her preferences in fashion. The Lillian uniforms, which had the same excitement value as doorknobs, and an evening gown now and then at gatherings. That's all I had ever known her by.
I returned her gaze with a casual smile.
The grey business-like suit jacket with skirt made her look ridiculously fitting with her career-to-be. She had left the jacket open in front, showing off the neatly pressed white blouse she was wearing underneath. That's Youko for you, neatness and perfection all the way. Even her hair was perfectly trimmed, still short, cut off straight below her ears.
Plus, she wore make-up. Which suited her.
It wasn't hard imagining her as an accomplished lawyer in a few years, her whole image contrasting painfully with my own pair of jeans and un-ironed shirt.
Formal and stern but still bearing a sisterly softness around the edges, she hadn't changed a bit.
I rested my chin against the back of my hands, leaning against the wooden table while looking at her, and I have to admit, enjoying it. The other girls had since long left for their dorms, the two of us of us being the sole occupants of the dimly lit common room. Neither of us had spoken for a long time, we never did, because we could never find a reason for doing so.
But this time, I have to insist and she notices, of course.
"What? I can't come and see you now?" She asked, the familiar directness curling her lips.
With Eriko, Shimako or even Yumi it would have been different, but this was Youko.
"You didn't come all the way down here to compliment my hair." I took another sip of tea, never breaking off the gaze.
A shadow of something that could have been hurt passed her face, and for one second, I was afraid that I had been wrong, that she indeed came all this way just to see my new haircut. But it was gone before the teacup had left my lips, and she became old collected Youko again.
"Of course not."
"Always so rational. Your family?" I was being rude, and I was aware of it.
"No, they are all fine." She reached for her own cup of the now lukewarm brew. We made it ourselves, like back in our bouton days. Having petite soeurs did have its quirks.
Another silence filled the room while she finished her drink.
The china rested against her pink lips for just one second, before she tipped the cup and took her sip. I noticed when she finished that she was wearing lipstick, a creamy pink color that fit well against her pale skin.
"I came back to settle something." The line was so Youko that I almost laughed out loud. She gave me a look, having already read my reaction.
"Sachiko then?" I asked, while making an unsuccessful attempt to cover my amusement. This was however, no laughing matter. Youko took her role as Sachiko's grand soeur very seriously and the efforts she had put into that girl was beyond me. The Chinesis family has always been close however, unlike my own branch of the Lillian Roses.
I should be ashamed at how little I worried about Shimako, as in her becoming Rosa Gigantea in her second year. But like I said then, it had been her own choice, and I trusted her to handle it.
"No." Now that did surprise me.
"You would break Sa-chan's heart if she heard you."
"Sachiko is doing fine, and she has Yumi." A small, fond curl tipped her lips upwards at the latter name.
Magical Yumi, I doubt the girl would ever know what power she had over the people around her, and for her own good, it was better left untold.
I tipped my head to one side, my eyes never leaving her face. Knowing Youko, the words would be all the sadness she would be willing to admit. Her precious little sister was after all, slowly outgrowing her care. Sachiko was, despite the infamous stony attitude, blooming as the Red Rose of Lillian, and she was blooming well from what I had heard. All that was left for Youko to do now was watch, which had always been a hard task for her.
Picking up the empty cups, I left the table and put them into the sink, making myself a mental note of washing them tomorrow. Youko's eyes followed me, raking against my back like a sharp knife. Despite my attempt at denial, I still had to admit that I was enjoying her attention.
But then, who wouldn't? Youko was Youko, and college hadn't made her any less beautiful.
She stood up, picking up her black, probably designer-made, purse with her. And just like in the old days, I went over and stood beside her, both of us staring aimlessly into the night. The silence stretched out, like the black sky above, the friendship we shared and the distance between us.
I dared to sneak a glance at her still, yet expressive face. She still had the same distant look about her, unreachable, untouchable, as if she was the earthly embodiment of Kaguya-hime.Especially when she was around me.
I knew why, of course.
"This involves me?" The question felt stupidly rhetorical. She simply nodded.
"I thought you were a perceptive person, or did you spend too much time with Yumi?" Both of us had to smile at that. I knew she meant nothing bad to Yumi-chan, it was simply one of the quirks that made the girl so charming.
To tease anyway.
Youko fell silent again, and I didn't have anything to contribute to the conversation. Of course this involved me. I'm not stupid, but maybe for once, just very unsure of how to approach the problem.
This was after all, not a victim of my usual daily flirting… but her, the former Rosa Chinesis.
Did I just say that?
"You want to settle it then?" Could we even do that?
"You make it sound so easy."
"It isn't?" I smirked, earning myself a sigh in frustration.
Of course it wasn't going to be easy. Three years. How could I expect to strike home a joke on this one?
"Sorry" I apologized, genuinely. She shook her head. A slight, helpless motion that coming from her hurt. Another pregnant silence followed, until I finally found the guts to mumble something.
"We... can try?"
There goes my dignity.
"Yes." She replies in a weak voice. "Let's try."
I stared agape at her, stunned by the blunt answer.
"We can do that, can't we?" Her voice trembled slightly now.
"I don't know." Damn. "Is it…… possible?"
She folded her arms in the front, the almighty Youko pose, yet not. Her hands had clutched themselves to her sides, shaking. Like her shoulders, and the rest of her body.
"Was it ever?"
Her control was slipping, and it broke my heart when a single tear rolled down her powdered cheek, leaving a small trail along its path. Are you proud of yourself now, Satou? Mizuno Youko, the ice queen is crumbling at your mercy, and yet I am standing immobile, all my usual humor and slickness seemingly having left me, all at once with no notice.
We stood like that for a long time, facing each other's breathing, until she again dared to break the silence.
But this time, like nothing I had heard before.
"Sei?" The voice was so small, so fragile, that it seemed criminal to belong to her.
The distance between us was never easier to close.
Two steps - and she were in my arms. My hands on her trembling shoulders. Her head resting against my torso. My lips in her dark, perfumed hair. Her nails digging through my shirt.
I held her, close to me, against me, entangling me, listening to her breaths as I slowly came to realize that she was crying. Her warmth seeped through the fine fabric of her suit, through my hands and into my arms as I massaged her shoulder blades, easing her weak sobs and saving her best I could from the embarrassment.
I kissed her. Her hair, neck, cheek, nose, eyes, everywhere but her lips which I furiously avoided.
Her hair had become undone and looked scarily what my own did, back in high school. Normally I would have laughed, but normally, the Ice Queen didn't cry.
Luckily, this was Lillian. No one would be up at this hour. No one other than Satou Sei and Mizuno Youko, former Roses holding to each other as if their lives depended on it.
"I'm sorry." She whispered, if that could even be counted as a whisper.
"What will you do?" I asked, our roles suddenly ridiculously reversed. She let out a small chuckle and shook her head.
"Finish college, attend university…" Her hands moved lower, rounding my waist as she pressed even closer. "find a job, get married, have children." She continued, in a half-sob. Of course, well-prepared, thoughtful Youko. I liked that about her, in contrast to myself.
"But before all that?" I massaged her neck, caressing the line where her hair and skin met in small soft pinches, nudging into her hair with my nose as I lowered my mouth, lips slightly brushing against her earlobe.
A sharp intake of breath slipped from her. She bit her lip at the loss of control, and I loved it.
"You're teasing me." She almost whimpered.
"I am, Youko-san."
"You knew." There was no accusation in her tone.
"You knew that I knew," I stated simply back, "like her." Referring to my own Grand Soeur. Her head bobbed against my neck, inclining a nod. I moved my other hand from her back, down, and slid under her jacket, feeling my way up her slim side as I kneaded her warm skin below.
We were really lucky that this was Lillian, since I really wasn't in the mood to be interrupted right now, and it was time that I took the initiative.
"You want to finish it?" Finish what we left undone, was impossible, but was there. Of all the women I had encountered, and had, she was the last one I would have imagined shy in this situation.
I was wrong.
It felt like if she had shrunk in my arms at my words, as if she wanted to sink through the floor and disappear from my sight, but since I was holding her in an iron-lock, that didn't happen.
"Only if you want to." The words were more Yumi than Shiori than Shimako but certainly not Youko. But still, the strong woman I held in my arms was one and the same, who had just spoken them. I may be a flirt and a jock, but I did not make light of other's feelings.
My arms left her cold and alone as quick as I had embraced her. She took this with a shock, of course, and snapped her head upwards, ready to meet my eyes and denial. But this was the desired effect, as I leaned in again, hand against her chin and tipped her head upwards so I could see her face and tear-drenched cheeks; and even that lasted for only another few seconds before her tear-puffed eyes shot up in surprise, when I covered her half-opened mouth with my own.
There are many things in life you can fake and pretend at; experience however, is not one of them.
And I was glad that Youko didn't lack any. However fun it may be to be the teacher, equal efforts were still the best. I didn't have to stay put for long before her response came. It was calm and refined as I would have expected from someone like her. She clung to the front of my shirt, pulling herself up towards my face as she quietly responded to my lips with her own. Brushing, sucking and caressing, with a small bite here and there.
And too damned polite.
I however, am not. My lips tilted upwards as I couldn't hold back the smile. Had she forgotten whom she was with? You kiss Sachiko and Yumi like that Youko, but not Sei. She had moved her hands upwards, across my chest and was reaching around my neck when my own response came.
Fast, urgent and deadly. She was helpless.
I pushed her backwards, my arms catching her around the waist to prevent her from falling as she broke our kiss with a small, surprised yelp. Her back hit against the table and stumbled into a sitting position as she tried to regain her balance. I wasn't about to grant her that luxury, however. With one arm still at the waist and the other shoving against her shoulder, I simply followed her already falling motion, forcing her down against the cold wooden surface while giving her no time to rethink before I claimed her mouth again.
And this time, it wasn't a soft brush of tongues.
This time, I drank her. Hard.
She gasped, for air and control as I assaulted her face, kissed her eyes, bit her earlobe and sucked against the flesh of her neck. My weight was holding her down as she put up a half-hearted struggle, and since I was naturally the taller one, I had the advantage.
She came for Sei, and Sei she would be given.
Her body wriggled under me, the warmth of it becoming almost provoking as I felt the soft curves of it grinding against my own. Her leg came up, the knee banging painfully against my hips, but I paid it no heed as I climbed on top of her.
She wasn't going anywhere.
And Youko seemed to agree, as I felt nails clawing against my back, digging into my flesh and pushing me further down to her, against her. Her reaction was so utterly unlike Rosa Chinesis, that I almost started laughing.
Needy hands and fingers grasped the back of my head and pulled, maybe harder than she had intended as we crashed into each other's faces. This time, it was me who had to gasp for breath as she stormed our tongues into battle, teeth clashing and drawing blood. The coppery taste spicing the interior of our preoccupied mouths while Youko kissed me like if she was stealing my soul, or already stolen it.
I pushed further, beyond her suit and blouse both, which suddenly felt annoyingly bothersome. My palms found skin and flesh, its softness and warmth becoming almost agonizingly to touch as a barrier in me snapped, and something red clouded my vision completely.
I wanted - craved more, and was to take it. Now.
Our eyes met in a smoldering moment, mine shining with mischief, hers caught in the midst of passion. Her shirt was opened halfway, wrung open by hurried fingers, with my right hand inside to reach for her bra when the good old Rosa Chinesis sense saved us both.
"Sei?" She broke the kiss, or soul-eating, and squeezed out a weak whisper between her ragged, aroused breaths.
"Mmm…" The break of mouth contact didn't slow my advances for long, as I simply moved south, where my struggle with her blouse had just paid off. I always liked Youko's taste in lingerie, but I have to say, that I liked her even more without it. She rolled her head back at the touch, distracted for more than a few moments before whatever mind-sake that had struck her, returned.
"Sei!?" This time between gritted teeth, more urgently.
"Say it again..." I giggled, reaching down and under her skirt as I pushed up her legs onto the table.
"Your dorm…" The tone was the one of a torture victim.
"Mmm… What about it?"
"Don't play dumb," Of course, all that properness couldn't disappear in one night. "let's go."
I raised an eyebrow; you didn't see Youko insisting like that everyday. I propped myself up on my elbows, noticing rather surprised that she done a job on my shirt as well. But in my case, a whole lot of the buttons were completely missing.
"I'm fine here." I said, in a rather pouting tune.
The glare she gave me could have killed a bear. Seeing her there, under me, with her hair wild, cheeks flushed and clothes rumpled, I helplessly laughed, straight into her face.
"You're beautiful." That was all I managed to muster between breaths. I pulled her up with me, leering down at her like an idiot. The look on her face was priceless.
Somehow, we got down from the table while never leaving each other's arms. A feather-kiss there, a soft touch there, promises of what still was to come as we broke into a clumsy sprint, still holding onto each other while trying to make it out from the common room.
I half-dragged, half-carried her still-speechless form down the hall, towards my dorm, thanking the gods for placing my room in this building and hoping, that our fumbled, passion-ridden walk along the walls didn't make all to much noise, or Youko's sense would have been for nothing.
"A friend of yours Satou-san?"
I turned around. A petite, brown-haired girl wearing spectacles from my literature class peeked curiously past me at the departing back of Youko. I couldn't, for the world, recall the girl's name as I watched the last of former Rosa Chinesis disappear between a few trees.
She ruined my shirt. There was a total of two buttons left on it when we had finally reached my room, stumbled inside and slammed the door shut behind us. I hadn't even turned the lock when I felt myself shoved against the wood, her long, slender fingers tearing away at my clothes with the fervor of a hungry animal. I was so surprised at the attack, and the onslaught of skin contact that my legs buckled, almost sinking to the ground where we stood and probably would have stayed the rest of the night.
My copy of The Iliad prevented that from happening however. A wrong step simply tripped the spitfire in my arms, and gave me back the advantage as I swung around, pulling, dragging and tugging her towards the unmade bed where we unceremoniously crashed down in a tangle of limbs, clothes and sheets.
"Yeah, a friend from high school." I replied automatically, without paying her much attention.
"You must have been close, for her to come and see you."
The memory of the many arguments we had flashed past my eyes, that is, me arguing and her listening while pointing out her points in the subtle and proper way that I always hated. Like that time when I had been a hair's-breadth from actually slapping her across that forever collected face.
Salt. The earthly taste seemed so alien on the woman below me. She was the kind you would expect to taste like lilacs, or moonlight, or roses, but certainly not salt like the rest of us. It was a pleasant disappointment, however. Her taste still lingering on my lips as I watched her whimper; small droplets of sweat collecting at the valley between her breasts, the moisture making her skin almost aglow in the cold, nightly light from the window.
She rolled her head back, and cried something, in a language I understood too well.
"Yes?" I replied, more sharply than I had intended as she flinched at my tone.
"Is this yours?"
My eyes widened in surprise at the familiar black purse she held in her hand. She glanced behind me, nodding towards the trees where Youko had disappeared.
"You don't think…?"
"It's hers, I'll take it." She handed it to me with a small smile which I returned, starting to head back to my room. "Thanks."
"Aren't you going to chase after her? I think you would still make it."
Her heart had calmed; I listened to its steady, rhythmic thumps, resting my head against her heaving chest as I planted feathery kisses across the skin. The smell and taste of her was still there, across my lips, on my hands, in my sheets and in the very room.
She wasn't asleep, yet.
Some say the aftermath was the best, I usually can't agree since most people fall asleep right away. However, this time was not the case.
"What will you do?" I ask again, the question meant for the both of us. Her reply comes late.
"The same." She answers, with no weakness, like I had hoped.
I grasp her hand, fingers intertwining as I lay down beside her, our faces level with each other, pulling her into my arms.
"So it's finished then?"
I smile at that, and kiss her across the eyes, finally ready for the sleep my body yearns so badly for. Her head sneaks into the crook of my neck as I fall into slumber, her warmth and breath being all that's left to grasp while her last whisper lulls me asleep.
"Nah." I made a casual gesture towards the door, my smile growing wider, becoming a smirk when I felt the weight of her purse in my hand. "I'll take it to her, next time I pass by." The girl made a surprised and unsure frown at this.
"Soon, I hope. I think she'll miss it."
"Then she'll come back for it." And I would look forward to that, like I think Youko would do the same. Turning back my attention to the girl in front of me, I gave her a reassuring nod when it struck me.
"Yukie-san?" She looked startled, surprised that I knew her name.
"Join me for breakfast?"
Marimite is a fairy tale. Like high school.
That was one of my first thoughts after finishing the first season. And I do not mean it like in the typical, metaphorical way which for an example Utena potraits its world. Lillian is however, and you have to admit it, almost painstakingly proper. While some people surely found this beautful and endearing, I could not entirely agree. This cannot be faulted by the anime but by my own experince as I attended a co-ed christian school for my highschool years. Despite being brought up in a traditional chinese family, I was always a bit unruly and intentionally rebellious of a person. I handled the religios strictness of my school badly, and watching Marimite sometimes brought back some bad memories. In a way, you could say that it was natural that I would choose Sei as my point-of-view character, Miss Satou and I do share a certain amount of common ground after all .
My intention, or attempt, with this story was more or less a try to take my two favorite characters, newly graduated as they are, away from the almost fairy tale-ish atmosphere in the anime. College is a big change in a person's life. You break a lot of new ground, learns tons of new things and certainly do try stuff that you know you will regret later. Before you can fully embrace a change this big however, I do believe that you need to properly finish and sort out the confusing or unclear things that lingers in your past.
Matters of heart being one of them.
While I don't think Sei's and Youko's relation to each other in the anime was unclear, it was certainly thought-provoking and a lot less evident as obvious than the other relationships that were floating around. Putting the both of them in a more realistic enviroment with less Lillian-istic influence was surprsingly easy, but turned out, as the good Leet911 pointed out, rather rough and may not fall into everyone's taste. After re-checking this a few times however, I was still rather pleased with the outcome. This may not be Marimite-ish, Lillian-ish or even character-ish, it is however how I think those two would have handled and acted through this scenario if given after their graduation from Lillian. The end of a fairy tale, and the beginning of their real life.
I hope it was sufficient, and provided an interesting read.
Because if not, I am not about to apologize.
My sincere thanks to:
Leet911 – Me perv, me decided to keep it ;D
BrokenSword – Even if Marimite is perfect, I hope this stinkin' fanfic is ok ;)
Ayu and Lililicious for providing us with the fansubs.