AN: Don't have anything to say about this story but that I thought it possible for Natsuki and Shizuru to continue. WARNING: unbetaed
Dedicated to Na-chan, you're always my source of inspiration.
Love is blind.
As old as it is, this saying has proved itself true. I was blind. Too blind to see. Blinded by my love for her.
Yet, when I recall our years together I should have known, but my love and also my pride wouldn't let me see it. I deluded myself
Both our lives and our life together were based on excuses.
I was, and still am, a master of excuses. Brought up as the heir to the Fujino Corporation I was taught composure and distant politeness for as long as I can remember. Emotions were nothing one should let show. Emotions were nothing one should feel. I was to act throughout logical and effective, only depending on my brain. A machine to always work perfect, that was me.
Back at school this poised, refined façade I had put up attracted everyone. The trusted student council president, the most popular student among both, males and females, I was everyone's idol.
You gave ´a damn shit on my reputation, as you expressed it. That was what drew me to you at the beginning. You were different to all the other people around me and that I found fascinating. You were the perfect image of a rebel, riding around on your bike, skipping classes and going to bars all night.
In short you were everything I wasn't.
I was curious about you, but I also had pity for the hurt girl that seemed to lie beneath your aloof exterior, that, I noticed the first time we talked.
This pity I used as an excuse to become friends with you, as a little struggle against my parents. I always were to be perfect, I wanted to experience the exciting part of life at least through you.
It was only the first of many excuses in our relationship.
You were quite a master of excuses yourself.
In the end you even deceived me, or maybe I wanted to be deceived, I don't know.
Does it really matter?
The want of revenge for you're mother's death was just a pretext to suppress any other emotions, that might have been more difficult to understand than hate and grudge against everyone and everything.
When your father left you all on your one, you subdued to your anger. It was the easiest way out for a lost little child, who seemed to have no real place where it belonged. So you kept everybody at distance for not getting abandoned once more.
Deep down inside you, you wanted to be special to someone, though you never would have admitted it. And I wanted someone dear to me, to fill the void my education had caused.
In some way we really fitted together.
I can't recall exactly when my feelings of pity, curiosity and simple liking changed to something far more intense, but in the end I happened to be in love with you. Therefore I did anything to become your closest friend. Pretending to be your best friend, though I felt much more, I was able to be near you and that was all that mattered to me.
Everything I did back then in school, I did it for my beloved Natsuki-chan, so I told myself. I let you be observed so worried I was about your safety. In truth I just needed to fulfil my obsession. For your sake, that's how I justified it, I murdered countless people. I slaughtered guilty and innocent ones all the same, my blade slid neatly through all of them. I made myself believe I killed them for you, eliminated the First District myself to spare you the danger and bloodstained hands, but I took you're innocence simply in another way. I went insane over my twisted, wicked passion for you and had you take the blame.
Yet you had the grace to forgive me. Maybe you hadn't got the right to absolve me from my sins, but you did. You took those bloodstained hands of mine, kissed those sinful lips and forgave.
Was it because you hadn't got any other person than me?
I should have listened closely to your words back in the church. Even then you told me you don't harbour the feelings I wish you to have, but I was foolish enough to believe time would change that.
You only had to come to terms with it, that's what I've made myself believe.
We started off as roommates for the college and as best friends after we had been brought back to life. As time passed you became more comfortable to physical contact, you smiled when I hugged you, after a year or so you even hugged me back.
Things had changed for the better, I was sure you were to truly return my love one day.
I still remember the first time we kissed.
It was on a cold, rainy November day. I had been studying hard for some exams all afternoon and had fallen asleep on the table, a textbook as a pillow. You came home from buying groceries and knelt down beside me, shaking me gently to awake me. When I opened my eyes to find your lovely face just inches away from mine, I couldn't resist planting a peck on your lips. I expected you to jump away like you've been burned, one of your adorably deep red blushes covering your face. Just to find you leaning in and kissing back. I was shocked, shocked and blessed at the same time.
It was the most blissful moment in my life.
You not only accepted my love, but finally returned it. For the first moment in my lifetime I didn't feel like I had to pretend anything.
For you, I could simply be myself.
I told you I loved you that day, just like I had in the church before our deaths. You simply smiled and kissed me softly again, but you didn't say the words.
Actually you never said them out aloud.
"I like you," "I need you," or "Stay with me", those were sentences you used, but you never said "I love you."
And I never asked you about your feelings in particular.
I told me it was obvious how you felt, that I don't want you to talk about things you're not comfortable with. Teasing you was okay, but asking and expecting a serious answer was out of question, since you didn't like to talk about your emotions. Though, the truth was, I dreaded your answer.
From that day onwards we were in a mutual relationship, though beneficial contract would assumably be a better choice of words. We were together, yes, ten years even, an entire decade.
Who would've thought that our little charade would hold up that long?
Making love wasn't about love to you. It was giving into you're bodies desires. And I simply happened to be the only one you trusted enough to let yourself be touched by.
Maybe I should feel honoured about it.
After you denied me the first few times I tried to touch you, I was careful to control myself, only complying when you yourself asked silently, or when I could be sure you were ready. It was hard sometimes, sleeping next to you but not being allowed to touch that delicate skin of yours, very hard to resist this temptation sometimes, but being rejected hurt more and so I bore it.
We had each other. That was enough for me. Our days at the university were spent studying and working hard for our grades, you almost never skipped classes to my surprise. Our nights we spent together in our bed holding each other close. We were at peace, protecting each other from the cold world we didn't want to face alone. It was wonderful for as long as it lasted.
When we both had graduated I entered the Fujino Corporation as it had been planned for me, but stayed in our own apartment we had bought during our studies. For nothing in the world I would have given up my home with you. Our apartment wasn't big and luxurious but it was ours alone and it had a warmth and welcome feeling about it I had always missed at my parents' house. I never once visited my father in Kyoto, neither invited him to my graduation. I simply started at the Tokyo branch of the company and sent him a note.
To my surprise you started off as a lawyer's apprentice. It seemed an unusual profession for you, but when I asked you about it you told me your reasons. You didn't want other children to be abandoned like you. You said you wanted to become a specialist for family law to prevent such happenings like the one you suffered under half your past life. To me, the determination your features showed then was adorably. You smiled into my embrace. I was so proud of you, that the little frustrated, angry girl I had once met had developed into an energetic lively person with a purpose in mind. And secretly I was proud of myself, having given you the support to evolve.
Now however, if I was granted a selfish wish, it would be to never have our years at the university end.
Our time together grew less and less as we both had to work. I was often caught in the office until late in various meetings and you were dedicated to your job as well. When I came home at half past eleven at night I would find you on the couch in the living room, your laptop propped up in your knees and you brows wrinkled in a frown. Even on weekends we both sat at our computers or skimmed through papers we had to prepare.
In my mind I've always been the only one Natsuki could trust completely, the only one who could understand and care for you. Yet I had come to learn I was mistaken. The first few times you mentioned your senior I noted nothing suspicious about it, but bit by bit your meetings grew more frequent.
How did he sneak his way into your heart in a few years when I had tried it all the longer?
Was it because he didn't show his affection as clearly as I had done back in high school?
I can't tell, and it doesn't matter anymore.
First he took you out on business meetings, for meeting important people, as you told me, than it became dinners with a friend and somewhere along the way it became regular dates. And then you started spending the nights with him after your dates.
He had captured your heart so easily, it seemed to me. With his serene, unprying and unpressing nature he somehow managed what I had tried for years in futility. I couldn't see what he could give you that I wouldn't be able to, I still can't. But you somehow must thought there had to be something special about your relationship with him.
We still lived together but it became more like two acquaintances sharing a room than lovers. You still held me at nights, showered my skin with kisses though we had lost something along the way I couldn't name.
I told myself would be happy as long as you'd be, for I always had only wished for your well-being and happiness, just to find it another lie. I kept the mask in place but behind my walls I crumbled. I needed you, I was addicted to you and our years together had only deepened that need.
Today the invitation to your wedding arrived. In two weeks time you will be his wife, by heart and by law. I won't attend the ceremony. I wrote you a letter this afternoon, explaining that I am sorry but I will not be able to come as my relocation has been prelayed.
This will be my last excuse.
The truth is I just can't bear the thought of witnessing how you, my beloved Natsuki, will become his. Even the mask of Fujino Shizuru can't take that. A weakness I hate to admit, but neither can't deny.
My preparations are already finished, organized to the best. I've had my furniture sold, and the other stuff like clothes and such packed and sent anonymous to a charity organization. This apartment will be for sale again and I've rented a post-box in France where letters you might send me will end up.
In the end I never got what I wanted. I've struggled for a pitiful excuse of a life, and now you've even deprived me of that one. With the excuse for my existence taken, it shall end.
I take a last look on the photo of you and me, when we were still in high school. It was the first picture where you smiled happily though I embraced you from behind, and I still had my illusions.
These illusions have vanished into thin air, little by little and one by one. Now there's only reality left. No excuses to mantle the cold truth. The walls I had built up so carefully around our own little world, that belonged to just you and me, are torn. I'm standing in the debris of my fleeting dreams, forced to face reality again. But I don't want to. A reality without my Natsuki-chan is something I can't stand anymore, after I've lived so long for the phantasm of us together. I have become an empty shell over the years, a teacup you slowly drained. I gladly spilled my contents out for you but now I don't have anything left to give but an excuse for my absence.
I lift the cup to my lips, the aroma is a bit more acerbic as usual. I close my eyes, then empty it in one draught.