Disclaimer: All copyrights belong to Sunrise and producers and whoever involved legally in Mai Hime and Mai Otome.

Notes: Erm… it's a Shiz/Nao if you didn't see it properly. Not a very popular pairing, I've noticed.


Love nourishes everyone regardless of gender, age or personality or anything else. It is a fair game of trust and reaction, without any sides becoming biased towards anyone else. Love is a vector, something which needs to be defined by magnitude and direction. But because there are always positive and negative vectors, love will meet obstacles. Sometimes, when the yin and yang of love are not balanced, we tend to lose ourselves in the battle. However, love is never balanced.

Everything just boils down to a fact. Being in love means that we will lose something, however, we will also gain something in return for what we've lost. There is one very important factor though, a factor which must be present for love to flourish and be itself. Just one little condition that every heart must obey; without this rule, it's only a lose-lose game.

Love must be returned.

I am Fujino Shizuru, and this my story of warped love.


It had been a scar, one that refused to heal no matter how much effort I put in to do so. This form of scarring had no doctors; the only balm it had was with the one who placed it there in the first place. Wouldn't it ironical if the one who made me scar heals my scar as well? It will, and I do not like irony.

It hurts, you know, when it was being stamped onto me with the coldest and cruelest manner possible. All I had ever wanted was to just see her everyday, maybe talk to her a little. Perhaps I needed more than I realized, but I would be satisfied with what little she could give me.

She even deprived me of that one little hope.


"Shizuru, I… must say this today. I must make it clear to you now, before you sink in any deeper."

"Natsuki… I'm sorry…"

"No, I have no need for apologies. Anyway, Shizuru, I just want to say to you that I don't think we should see each other anymore. You see, Shizuru, I have other things to do than to worry about you. Yes, I did like you a little in the past, but that's the past now. I've found someone who I need in my life, someone that is not you. That's all I'm going to offer."

I steeled myself, but I couldn't help but let a drop of tear escape from the hood of my eye.

"I… accept your reason. So this is goodbye forever, isn't it?"

"Yes. Goodbye, Fujino."

She turned around and strode off, never once waiting for a reply.

"Goodbye… Natsuki…"


I had been wandering around for weeks, lost and without a purpose in life. Every time I walked past places we've spent together in, I could feel the scar hurting again. It's like an alarm bell that goes off haphazardly on its own bizarre timing, never once considering the pain it inflicts upon the bearer for its own merriment.

I even tried to kill myself once before, but I had figured out at the last moment when I nearly popped the pills in my mouth that it was just a waste of time. A time that could be spent on moping around more or perhaps even doing some work that depressed me even further. You see, I was addicted. I was addicted to the feeling of pain. Why, you ask? The reason is simple; because it simply serves as the best reminder that I was actually alive, living and still kicking.

Even though I wished that I'd kick the bucket instead of anything else, but apparently, the King of Hell doesn't like me enough down there. He wants me here, in the mortal world and suffering more that I would be in hell.

There was a day as gloomy as never that had dark clouds that rolling ahead in the sky. I was, as usual, wandering through the darkened streets and alleys without any concern to my surroundings at all. All of a sudden, I heard with clear precision, my name being called out in a hauntingly familiar tone emerging from within the darkness. A crossroad in my life.



Looking around, I didn't see the unknown person up till the time where she pounced on me and brought me to my back on the floor. A warm weight had settled comfortably atop me and securely locked me in my place, preventing escape. Not that I wanted to escape anyway. If this was hell coming for me, just get me with a little more speed will you?

"No, it should be Shizuru. Shouldn't it?"

I ignored the person. I no longer had any more interest in people.

The cement floor of the alleyway was rough on the back, but I had suffered worse injuries that didn't heal. Pain was nothing new.

"Hmm? Where did the proud and too-perfect Kaichou go to, huh? The Shizuru I had known would never have given in like this. What happened to all your Natsuki-ness? Shattered?"

Yuuki Nao.

I retained my stoic expression, not even bothering to acknowledge her presence as I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. It isn't the first time I've slept on the streets anyway… not since I walked out of the Fujino residence for Natsuki.

"Oh my, I'd never thought you would be so pathetic, my dear Kaichou. I expected you at least make some noise or try to talk yourself out of this situation. But it doesn't matter… this is so much better in a way. Oh? And you're falling asleep! Is my little speech here about you so boring?"

The sound of her voice was getting irritating to me. I hadn't taken in anything but the sounds of nature for the very same amount of time she killed me. Feeling the iciness of extreme boredom, I spoke to her, croaking out my words due to the lack of use.

"Yes. It's really boring. If you want to kill me, just do it and stop being irritating to my ears."

"My, my, little miss perfect has been degraded, haven't she? Even the little Kyoto accent so trademark to you has disappeared. You truly are pathetic. But no worries, Shizuru, I won't kill you. I don't kill people anyway. I'm not like you. In fact, I'm going to make you fall so totally in love with me and I'm going to dump you right after that."

"You can try. I wouldn't give a care to it."


Ever since that day, I looked forward to having Nao around me. She was just a fiery and bitter girl to me, and the arguments we got into always ended up in pain and battle. In spite of this, I was gradually starting to feel something else about her, something that remained undefined. She allowed me to move in her little apartment after she got tired of looking everywhere for me when she needed someone to insult; and once I was inside though, I was actually surprised by the design of her apartment.

Contrary to my beliefs, her personal space was not in drapes of black, red and grey. In fact, it was full to the brim with all kinds of warm colours like orange, pale blue and bright purple. Some parts of the wall were actually painted with Disney characters like Donald Duck and Pluto the dog. It resembled a place that belonged to a little kid than a bitter adult like her.

"You must be mocking at me now huh, Shizuru. I don't give a damn about your opinions though. You'll just stick with it."

I looked at this multitude display of joy and happiness, and felt something move in my heart.

You are just putting on a display… you aren't at all bitter… you've long since passed the phrase in life while I was still deluded by all my false hopes.

"I like it."

"Whatever. That bed over there can be yours. I'll sleep on the couch. Never did like the bed anyway."

"Hmm. Really. Thank you then."

Out of a corner of my eye, I observed her blushing a little at my sudden word of appreciation. I didn't see this before, perhaps I was blind or something, I do not know. However, now I do comprehend how she feels towards me. I don't know when it started, maybe from the time when I nearly killed her or something, but she was kind of in love with me.

Suddenly, I had an all new perception on her.

Maybe she was someone I could learn to love again.

I had sprung on to her, kissing her madly and fiercely that night with an unknown form of new-found strength. Somehow, I couldn't stop myself from ravaging her. She tried to resist me at first, pushing me away while using her nails to scare me away. After a while though, she gave in to my advances and we both ended up naked that night - naked and panting before giving in to exhaustion.

Naked… not just in body but in soul…

When I awoke, I saw her next to me, still in the state of undress she was in the previous night. Before I could say anything, she cut me off with her own words.

"You know, Shizuru, I suddenly can't bear to leave you now. And I don't understand it myself. However, I'm not going to chase after you now. If you want to go, just do. I won't stop you."

"You love me, don't you, Nao?"

"In a way."

"You should let the true Nao out, not this hollow outer skin that you have been using all this while."

"Perhaps, but haven't you done so before?"

"Yes, and it failed me."

I left her house that day, only to find myself coming back almost every day ever since. You may say that this feeling I had was weird, because I myself do not know how I feel about Nao. That aside, she doesn't know how she feels about me herself too. We were just two lost souls in the world of love. A world where love was doomed to fail.

But with Nao, she gave me an unorthodox balm for my scars.

It was enough.


For me, love did not truly need to be returned… For it has never been requited to me in that way before.

I preferred the lose-lose game of love.

I am Fujino Shizuru, a woman who is doomed by fate never to experience anything but warped love.


A/N: Ooookay… I admit that it's badly written and either Nao or Shizuru seemed Ooc T.T… Pardon me if you see any missing words or errors… I'm almost falling asleep now. I think it's the first Shiz/Nao exclusive ever, but I'm not sure… so leave me your comments on it. Oh yea… tell me honestly if it truly sucked, but please… no direct flaming.

- sapped totally out of energy – I'm going bonkers.