Ethereal

shuyinxlenne.

the meeting.

MAYorMAYNOTbecontinued.

Even the famous songstress Lenne was just another fangirl of Zanarkand Abes' star Blitzer, Shuyin. And all she wanted was for a chance to ask for his autograph. ShuyinxLenne, and my version of how they met.

-

The crowds were beginning to clear from the Blitzball stadium. Tons of fans had rushed down to the frontlines by now to mob their favorite players, cheering and screaming at the top of their lungs. Saved for the exception of a few who remained behind at the bleachers waiting for the ways to clear, it was a ruckus below.

Amidst the little people littered among the seats stood Lenne. She pulled the hood of her cloak furthur down, just enough to cover her eyes. She pushed a stray lock of hair behind her ears and stood on tip-toes, hoping to catch at least the slightest glimpse of her number one Blitzball player, who happened to be Zanarkand Abes' youngest player, no less star player at that.

Too bad hordes of fangirls were blocking her vision, and at the rate of them rushing down the steps to catch their eye candies, Lenne didn't think she stand a chance. Besides, she didn't want to risk being spotted among the Blitzball crowd. Not like she really bothered about her reputation - the headlines the next day would just read 'Famous Songstress Lenne actually has a crush on Zanarkand Abes' star player!'. But she didn't think nursing a wrist-ache from all the autograph signings would do her anymore good for the day. She had had enough after her afternoon concert under the hot sun exactly at this stadium, too.

"Shuyin!!!" Shrilly female giggles sounded. High-decibels screams. Lenne looked up, her heart pulse climbing its rate. Was it him? Her facial expression fell at the absence of the Blitzball player. It seemed like she wasn't feeling alone on that. Other fangirls were mourning as well, as they clung onto their fellow girlfriends, moaning "Shuyin...where's Shuyin!!!"

One cheeky fellow Zanarkand Abes' teammate of his jerked a thumb in no particular direction. "Probably ran off again. That fellow's always hungry after a Blitzball game. Maybe you girls can catch him at some food restaurants near by?"

And instantly, fangirls took off in that direction, even without confirmation that it was where their favorite Shuyin had really went. Lenne tip-toed, cast her gaze at that certain direction. Her heart fell - she probably wouldn't stand a chance against all these rabid fangirls if they all went to clamour for Shuyin's autograph...

Oh well..Probably some other time, when she could muster enough courage to finally ask Shuyin for his autograph. Maybe in another zillion years, she thought, as she retraced her steps, directing them towards the more remote exit at the back. It was a route seldom known to many, but though it was a shortcut, Lenne knew she had to pass through a relatively dark walkway first before she could reach the main exit.

But that would probably fend off her fair share of fanboys and fangirls alike for now. Even with a hood veiling the top half of her face, it was a risk she didn't want to take. People were beginning to recognize Lenne the Songstress by her silhouette, too. Fans...were scary.

"It's so dark..." Lenne resisted the urge to summon a Fire spell. No Magic, she reminded herself. She wanted to lead as ordinary life as she could outside her summoner days. Just as she was about to push forth a large, heavy wooden door, it swung open and nearly hit her in the face, had she not pivoted in her feet to avoid it.

Her hood immediately fell upon her shoulders from the impact of her swing, and just as she looked up to see what was the source of that sudden disturbance, she came face to face with...

Lenne bit back a gasp, her lips parting slightly.

It was him. Shuyin.

Tendrils of messy blond hair brushing against his bluish-colored eyes, his cheeks shone its tanned shade set against it. As he avoided colliding into her, Shuyin caught her quickly in his arms, muttering a clumsy 'Whoa!' as he swerved adroitly on the spot, stopped their fall, and as a result, ended up holding her against the wall.

Uh-oh. Shuyin's eyes widened boyishly at his unintentional...uh, wrong actions. Not a good position to be in with the opposite sex.

In that moment, Lenne, at this close proximity with THE Shuyin she had wanted to ask an autograph from since nearly the first time he had became part of Team Zanarkand Abes, was finding it very hard to breathe. His body was pressed against hers in the darkness, and she thought he distinctly smelt of, without a doubt, chlorinated water.

"Uh!!!" Shuyin, upon realizing the extent of his actions, pulled away, and let his hands fall to his side in a quick movement. He looked at the surprised girl before him, raking a hand through his hair nervously, forcing a nervous chuckle. "Eh, haha, sorry about that! My bad! I didn't think anyone would be behind the door when I, uh, opened it somewhat forcefully."

Lenne didn't know how to respond to that. Her brains still had difficulty registering the fact that this was THE Shuyin she had desired to meet nearly her whole life since she had known Blitzball. Not just any Shuyin, but THE Shuyin. Shuyin - who at the age of 17, had scored more goals than any experienced players in the Blitzball sport. Shuyin - who had more fangirls than anyone else Spira had ever knew. Shuyin - who had even earned the most admiring glances from jealous, envious male skeptics.

The same Shuyin, who now stood before her.

Lenne blinked. Shuyin had waved a hand nervously before her vision. "Hey, uh, you alright? Don't give me a fright! I didn't hurt you, did I?" And already, his eyes were examining her frame carefully for any injuries, and Lenne immediately shook her head, her hair falling softly behind her back.

"No, I'm not hurt," and when he wouldn't stop looking so nervous about having hurt her, she held out her hands, offering a small, meek smile, "See? I'm fine."

And he did that utterly boyish thing that made the fangirl heart in her melt again. He raked his hand through his hair, wet from having just finished his shower in the Blitzball locker rooms awhile ago. "Sorry about that. I was kinda in a hurry to leave, so, uh," he flashed a toothy grin, and she noticed his pearly whites set against the backdrop of darkness in the walkway, "I'll see you around!"

He threw her wave, and stepped aside.

And Lenne's heart skipped a beat. The smell of chlorine was fading away.

Something jerked in her. Jolted her thoughts violently.

Shuyin! THE Shuyin was walking away from her. This was her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and she was letting it slip away!

"Wait!" She started out on her steps towards the direction in which he had walked. She started on a slight jog to catch up to him.

"Huh?" Shuyin, still taking quick strides forward, had turned around easily, with a questioning, confused glance in his eyes. "Is something wrong?" Facing her, he was backstepping in his way. Seemed like he really was in some kind of hurry, Lenne thought hastily. She had better not waste his time so much.

"No, but--" Lenne reached out a hand, before letting it fall to her side. Her eyes uncertainly met the grounds, and she could sense Shuyin backstepping furthur and furthur away from her. Collecting her thoughts and courage, she finally gazed up to her favorite Blitzball player, and had been, for the past couple of years. Her eyes were hopeful. "Will you mind if I asked you to sign me an autograph of yours, Shuyin?"

Instantly, realization dawned in his eyes, and to Lenne's dismay, he was moving forth in his way again. Shuyin flailed his hands, shooting a quick grin to dismiss whom he thought as 'yet another fangirl' in an apologetic manner. "Sorry, but I'll be late if I spend anymore time here!"

And any hopes previously shining in Lenne's eyes were now lost. She looked to the floor, her hands clasped before her. "Oh..." She hoped she didn't look too dejected before Shuyin, but that was how she felt now.

"How about another time, if I get to see you again?" Shuyin's apologetic grin remained in place upon his tanned face. And he threw a vague promise that Lenne knew the chance of fulfilling it would be relatively, if not, improbably low, "Promise, okay?"

And Shuyin was gone.

Lenne sighed, touched her hand to her heart, and brought her hood down to carefully mask her features once more. That brief encounter had been strange, unexpected...yet had completely taken her breath away.

Lenne shook her head, though unable to deny a wistful smile from weaving its way onto her lipls. She could just imagine what the tabloid reports would read the next day if the media caught on to her latest antics in the Blitzball arena this night. 'Famous Songstress Lenne rejected by Blitzer Star Player Shuyin! Shame of the year!'

Smiling, she treaded towards the exit and reached for the door.

Perhaps...if Shuyin remembered her, then she would make sure he made good on his promise.

If she had the courage to ask again, that is.

-

I'm late, I'm late, I'm late! Yazoo is so gonna kill me! Shuyin's mind cried desperately as he clamoured for the end of the dark walkway. Still, even in his hasty rush for the exit, he could not get rid of the image of that beautiful, almost ethereal-looking girl, from his mind, try as he may.

It was silly, he knew. She was just another fangirl of his, asking for his autograph. But there was just something about her face, her movements, her gestures, her manner, her dressing (strange, why would anyone don a cloak in such a humid weather?) - all the way down to the last intricate detail of her soothing, soft voice, that touched a place in his heart, and awoke something foreign Shuyin never knew existed.

And for once, Shuyin would made this an exception and remember his promise to the girl. And perhaps, the next time he would see this fangirl of his again, just maybe, he would remember to ask for her name.

owari