Written: 03/04/2006
Finalized version: 19/04/2006

I'm ignoring a lot of things in canon Mai Otome. So if you want to complain about that...well, I'm just going to ignore you. I did just admit I am ignoring a lot that happened, after all. But in any case, this is a pointless one-shot - or scene, more like - that came across my mind, while I was mentally shaking my fist at Sunrise for the lack of ShizNat scenes thereof. Things sort of went downhill and random near the end, so it probably wouldn't make much sense. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Takes place in Episode 2, after Shizuru (somehow) made Arika faint. Enjoy.

The Missing Scene
A Mai Otome Fanfiction, brought to you by Eagle8819

Thanks to Astarael00 for beta-ing.

Disclaimer: Mai Otome does not belong to me. Characters used copyright to respective owners.

She drummed her fingers against the table, her cheek leaning on a half-closed fist. Her eyebrow twitched.

"Is something the matter, principal?" A soft, mildly accented voice came from her side.

Her eyebrow twitched again.

"Shizuru," a shadow of a scowl flitted across her face, and she stared - glared, more like - sideways at the brunette, who merely sipped tea while staring out of the window.

"You sound irritated." The bemused voice said.

At that, the younger woman turned her chair a little, allowing herself a better view of Shizuru. Now, instead of tapping her fingers on the table, she tapped them on her cheek, as her chin rested against her palm. A half-frown, half-skeptical look adorned her face.

"For very obvious reasons, I might add," Natsuki replied, a little accusingly.

"Oh?" Deep red eyes turned to appraise her, and a little smile, calm and bland, curled on those soft lips. "What reasons, if I may ask?

Her eyebrow twitched for the third time.

"Very obvious reasons." Natsuki emphasized. Damn it, if Shizuru's still going to act like she did not know why...

"I'm sorry, principal," came the reply, which seemed confused, yet amused at the same time. "But I do not know the reasons you speak of. Enlighten me, please?"

This time, a scowl did form on Natsuki's face, and it stayed there.


The other only tilted her head to a side, the same calm, unreadable smile on her face. "Hmm?"

Doubt entered Natsuki's mind for a brief moment. Shizuru looked genuinely curious and confused. When she glanced at those burgundy eyes, though...

Oh, Shizuru had a good poker face, all right, but the little twinkle in those eyes and the slightly quirked eyebrows that she had learned to recognize years ago were unmistakable.

Natsuki frowned again, annoyed, before allowing her features to fall back into a well-practiced, calm, impenetrable facade - a mask that she mastered through countless dealings with bureaucrats and royalties.

Two can play a game, Shizuru.

She crossed her hands, her legs, leaned back against her comfortable chair, and stared back at Shizuru.

A delicately curved brown eyebrow rose, and the brunette's mouth formed a small "o" in surprise. Natsuki almost smirked in triumph. Shizuru must have been expecting her to start yelling or demanding an answer.

Oh, yes. Two can play a game.

"Are you totally sure you don't know what I'm talking about, Shizuru?" began Natsuki coolly.

Just as quickly, the smile returned to Shizuru's face.

"Positive, principal," answered the Otome with ease, diverting her attention to her tea momentarily as she sipped her drink. "But if the principal doesn't mind, perhaps she could enlighten me with some answers?"

Natsuki's eyebrow twitched involuntarily, again. Her temper was definitely thinning.

"Something to do with today's incident?" probed Natsuki none-too-subtly.

A pause.

"What incident, principal?" A confused reply came.

For the umpteenth time, Natsuki's eyebrow twitched. "Something to do with Arika Yumemiya, perhaps?"

The blue-haired woman prayed for her dimming patience. The familiar sparks of impatience she had learned to tame and discipline years ago during her time as a student were returning, and Shizuru, only Shizuru, seemed to be able to make her feel like this.

That thrice-be-damned woman just seemed to know what buttons to push. And Shinso forbid, if Shizuru didn't stop this act right now, Natsuki would –

"Arika-san? What about her?"

Something snapped.

"You almost kissed her, that's what!"

Maple eyes blinked.

A long silence followed.

Then, warmth flooded Natsuki's cheeks.

"Arara," Shizuru stared, surprise (obviously fake) marking her features. For the - beep - time, Shizuru had tricked her into...into this!

Natsuki scowled and blushed at the same time, cursing herself for blurting out something like that. She turned away, her crossed hands tightening defensively.

Shizuru did let out a chuckle then, her soft, teasing voice floating to her ears. "Someone is jealous, I think."

Natsuki huffed. "I am not."

"Hmm?" The brunette raised both eyebrows, and the other felt a sense of dread. She realized, of course, what that sign meant.

Shizuru was about to do something.

"I didn't even mention who that 'someone' is, principal."

For a moment, Natsuki only blinked.

Then the principal turned crimson.

The smile on Shizuru's face widened, and Natsuki let loose a rant of incomprehensible curses. "&#$!"

It appeared that the insults weren't working. Shizuru was clearly celebrating her victory with a provocative grin, and Natsuki ended her tirade by swiveling her chair around so she did not have to face those teasing maple eyes.

She harrumphed, scowling.

"I suppose," Shizuru said softly, her mischievous voice suddenly very near to Natsuki's ear, "we will have to amend that, won't we?"

Natsuki would have jumped in surprise, if not for Shizuru leaning close, sitting on the armrest of her chair, and lightly gripping the top of the chair for support with one of her hands.

Reflexively, Natsuki pressed further into the chair, as far as she could get from Shizuru - which wasn't very far at all, of course, considering the chair did not give her adequate space to retreat.

"Sh - Shizuru!"

"Hmm?" The reply sounded nonchalant, though Natsuki detected a hint of playfulness, and Shizuru's lithe fingers came around her waist to the other armrest - effectively stopping Natsuki from moving any further, and preventing her from springing away from the chair.

The green-eyed woman was suddenly at a loss for words, as Shizuru's face came nearer. "A-ah, Shizuru, I...ah..."

"Or..." the older woman paused, moving back slightly, "Do you not want me to amend this?"

"No!" She blurted out, then stopped herself when she realized what she had just said. "Uh, I mean, yes!"

"No and yes?" Burgundy eyes twinkled as she leaned closer again, her voice dropping to a sly whisper. "Which is it, Natsuki?"

Both their foreheads were almost touching now, and Shizuru did not show any signs of moving away.

"I..." Natsuki faltered. Her face was a cherry red, she knew.

Deep crimson locked onto ice green, and Natsuki, for some reason, could not break away from those maple orbs.

"Well?" Asked Shizuru, her tone so soft, so soft, that Natsuki barely heard her. Beneath the sly, teasing voice, Natsuki sensed something else, something...deeper, and intense.

"I..." The blue-haired woman's throat locked up.

Shizuru must have noticed her hesitance in answering, because her head inched away, burgundy eyes...dimming...

Natsuki moved by pure reflex, then.

Clearly, she hadn't been thinking at all when she grabbed Shizuru's collar, jerked her downwards, and crushed their lips together.

Shizuru's eyes went wide with surprise, before they closed, and she relaxed.

A Cheshire grin, one Natsuki felt rather than saw, was forming on Shizuru's face.

When they parted, only because of lack of air, Shizuru rested her forehead against Natsuki's, eyes closed. The brown locks of hair tickled her nose.

"I missed you," Shizuru said, her calm tone betraying what she was feeling. Too long had she been away, due to mission after mission. If Natsuki had not called her back, there was no telling when she would have returned.

Natsuki wasn't sure how to reply. She was never good at things like this.

But, then again, with Shizuru, words were never needed. She understood. She always understood.

So Natsuki leant forward, and initiated the kiss again.

This time, when they parted, when their eyes met, the words came so quickly she almost didn't notice them.

"Welcome back, Shizuru."

Maple eyes widened a fraction, and there were no facades now, only warmth and love.

"I'm back," whispered Shizuru, crimson eyes clear and bright.

They shared a smile.