A/N My thirteenth fanfiction! I need caffeine!
Friends are everything. Isn't that what they say? Well, sometimes you need a push in the right direction and who better to do it than your friends. At least, that was the pretext of the story.
It kind'a turned out to be one of those that kept pushing me in a specific direction, and in the end I just said 'screw it' and wrote as I went. That aside, then I really loved the ending on this one ;)
Anyway, for those in need of an English translation please call this toll free 800 number: 1-800-FUN-WORD
Would you please whistle and hoot and welcome again Yumi, Sachiko and friends.
Would Love Envy
"Why is it so hard to believe Yoshino!?" The pleading in Rei's voice was almost palpable.
"It's not... it's not..." Yoshino falters. "It's just... it's just that... that when I see Sachiko and Yumi I feel... I feel jealous." She meekly concludes...
"Yoshino..." Rei plopped down on the edge of the bed.
"Why would you be jealous? Don't you think our love is as strong as the bond those two share?" Rei says meekly, looking at her hands folded in her lap.
"When I see them..." Yoshino begins, in an even, calm voice. "They seem to... I can't explain it Rei!" An angry note enters Yoshino's voice, and her hands turn into knots. "They are just so... happy... It's like as if everything around them fuels their love. And the worst part of it is, they don't even realize, no make that recognize... no better yet, make that acknowledge their love… arh hell Rei! They just don't admit it! And it makes me so damn furious sometimes. And… also sad, sometimes, because Yumi is my friend and I see her suffer with it sometimes…"
"The sun shines on them, and they don't even see. How fair is that Rei? Tell me, how fair is that…" Yoshino seemed to have run out of steam and went to Rei were she edged in and sat on Rei's knee.
"I'm sorry Rei" And she gently took Rei's hand. "I know this must have been hard. And I love you too… that way too, I think." She gave a meek smile.
"But I don't feel the sun I see shining on them." She spoke very gently. " The heat of the love they must feel, even if they embrace it or not. I think that sun is what true love is. I want that too Rei, that's why I… that's why I sometimes feel jealous. That's why I think we should wait and see or…" Yoshino looked Rei in the eyes as if she might better convey her feelings by showing Rei her big beautiful eyes up close and personal. Which didn't really have the effect she was hoping for, not at all.
"I know Yoshino. But we can find our own sun. We can be happy, just the two of us." Rei began. "Our bond is…"
"I know our bond is strong. If anything, then my sickness showed me… us, that. Please Rei, I love you but…. for now, I'm sorry…
"Rei told me that she loves me."
For a second the world seemed to stop in Yumi.
"Loves you as in…?" Yumi's eyes were the size of teacups.
"Yes Yumi, as 'in'. Why is that you can have the most annoying effect on people and at the same time make them love you?" Yoshino glared at her with frustration so evident you could put it on bread.
The words hit Yumi like slaps in the face and she lowered her head, the hurt of the words showing so clearly that it made Yoshino instantly regret and feel stupid and moronic.
"Yumi no." And Yoshino edged closer on the bench, taking Yumi's hands in hers. "Yumi, please, I'm sorry, I didn't mean…"
"It's okay." Yumi looked up with a brave face, hurt clearly visible underneath.
"Anyway, I have to go check if…on… Excuse me." And Yumi stood abruptly and ran down the path towards the sports grounds. Where there, of cause, was absolutely nothing to check up on.
"Yumi!" Yoshino stood, but her own cowardice made her not run after her.
How could she possibly tell her friend that it was her envy talking, that it was her growing jealousy taking hold of her when she spoke like that to her best friend.
Best friend… what did that make Rei then, now. Did she acknowledge Rei as a partner… What was her role then for Yoshino? Did she love Rei, that way?... the thought ran loops in her mind. Yes, she was sure. She had always loved Rei, any which way, there had always only been Rei for her… And now Rei had told her she loved her back, then why…
Why couldn't she find her own sun with Rei. Why was the sun Yumi and Sachiko shared so shining to her, that there could be no other?
Rei looked up from her papers, which apparently held absolutely no interest, because for the last ten minutes she seemed to have been staring at the same word.
Rei blinked a few times, then looked up. Realizing the unspoken question and concern in Sachiko's voice she sighed and spoke apologetically.
"I told her, Sachiko."
It wasn't really that big of a Sherlock problem Sachiko needed to embark on with those few words. Of the few women Rei knew well enough to talk about in a depressed fashion, there could be only one she was referring to. As to what Rei had told her… Well, the conversation would probably reveal that soon enough with a few careful prods and pokes.
"I see…" Sachiko tried carefully. "She didn't react favorably?" It was as good a place to start as any.
"No, well, I suppose... I don't know…" Rei put her pencil down and stood. She went to the window where she sighed and leaned on the window frame. "Why won't you tell Yumi-chan that you love her?" Rei seemed to look into a distance far removed from Lillian.
The silence in the room spoke of Sachiko's surprise. It wasn't easy catching Sachiko off guard but...
Without further preamble Sachiko took her little leather briefcase and began collecting her papers, as if preparing to leave.
"When I was younger," Rei still seemed lost in thought. "I always wanted to grow up and live with her forever. She was my best friend and cousin, and that feeling of never wanting to part, never changed as I got older. What changed was my perception of her. It was my growing… longing for her. My ever increasing… desire… for her."
Sachiko had stopped in her doings, and looking at Rei told her that she was just as much speaking for the act of speaking, but still, the words were sincere and pointed at Sachiko because she apparently felt Sachiko needed to hear this, as a friend but also as a fellow 'agonizer' too.
"We're told that it's sick, or perverted, or sinful, or abnormal." Rei seemed to not even be aware of speaking anymore. There was hurt there, but not hurt of rejection, hurt of not understanding maybe.
"But the people who tell us that are the same ones who say that women belong in the kitchen, and that woman are inferior, and that woman are useless in a mans world." Rei rubbed her forehead against the window, as if the cool would bring some solace to a troubled mind.
"Who's to say what's normal anyway? Some people think eating raw fish is normal, and other people think it's disgusting and abnormal. It's all rules and boundaries and idiotic conceptions not even worth the effort of contemplating… What is left for us is the primal call of gender and the true calling of love."
Rei blinked a few times, as if returning from wherever she had been. She stood straight and looked at Sachiko. "Why then is it any different for you? Don't you think I had to ask myself the same questions you do? Am I gay, what is gay, could I be, can I be, am I, is she, could she be, will she be… The list goes on, all just the same question turned as many times as our language permits."
Sachiko blinked a little pale. She quickly collected her belongings and showed them in her briefcase, then stood to leave.
"Sometimes you can be so conceited Sachiko…" Rei spoke just as she could see the 'gokigenyou' forming in Sachiko's mouth. "Why does it matter?" She pressed on.
"Don't you realize that she long ago came to the same conclusions as the rest of us. All she thinks about now is, are you, could you be, will you be…"
Sachiko turned to leave, going around the table.
"You love her Sachiko. You should admit it to yourself, and then tell her. When you do Sachiko, you will see a smile like none other…"
Sachiko yanked the door open, almost ripping it off its hinges.
"Sachiko?" Rei spoke low.
The change in tone made Sachiko stop in the door. She looked at Rei and saw nothing but resignation.
"She too, is hurting over this…"
Sachiko looked down, a small 'Gokigenyou' left her mouth as she left the Rose Mansion.
Good evening, Yumi."
"I hope I'm not disturbing you?" The words faltered, as if the word 'disturbing' suddenly brought flashes of the disturbance she had caused in Yumi earlier.
"N-No. Come in, come in. Just go up, I'll just put the kettle on so we can have some tea."
Well placed in Yumi's room, Yumi in her usual spot on her desk chair with Yoshino on the bed.
"Yumi-chan… Yumi?" And Yoshino grasped one of Yumi's hands tightly in hers. "I'm so sorry Yumi, I was being an idiot and stupid and…"
"It's okay, Yoshino." Yumi butted in and smiled, no hint of anything but a friendly smile on her emotional face. "I was being foolish as well, running off like that."
"No, I was just… I was frustrated and didn't know what came over me" Yoshino folded her hands in her lap and looked down dejectedly.
"Why would you be frustrated if Rei told you…" Yumi's words trailed.
"I guess I… I told her 'no' Yumi-chan."
Yumi saw the frustration clear as day on Yoshino. Now that she knew what to look for, it wasn't hard. Yoshino had a more guarded face and was able to hide her emotions well enough if she wanted to. Yumi was her friend though and she was never guarded around Yumi. When Yumi didn't pick up on Yoshino's emotions, it was usually because she was too preoccupied with Sachiko.
"Ah…" Was all Yumi said. She made a little pout. "Why?" Yumi looked at her quizzically, but caringly too.
"I… I'm…" Yoshino again lost her cool when trying to tell her friend of her own envy, of her own jealousy. No will power seemed present for her to stand by her weakness.
"Why did you run?" She blurted instead.
"I-I ran because… I ran because… I couldn't help but think how lucky you are… I didn't want you to see me cry." Yumi looked down in embarrassment. Her cheeks burning brightly.
"Ma… I'm sorry for being envious like that. I just wish I had been me… And then, now you tell me you said no."
"Well, I dunno…" Yoshino looked down, annoyed at herself that she was too chicken to tell her friend that she too was envious... Seeing Yumi also lost in thought she looked at her determinately.
"Yumi-chan, you dare not say it to her, is that it?"
"Yoshino… How could I possibly? Just because my admiration for her has evolved into love, doesn't mean that she feel anything for me other than as sisters." Yumi looked down with a sigh then back up. "I'm not as strong as you Yoshino."
"In my best dreams I'm intimate with her and in my nightmares she shoves me away in disgust. I'm so afraid of my nightmares it sometimes paralyzes me."
"You love her very much…" It wasn't really question, more like a true realization for Yoshino that Yumi had admitted her love a long time ago, there was no doubt or hesitation in her, not about herself, her sexuality, her love. All she cared about was Sachiko.
But Yumi took it as a question nonetheless.
"Yes... I love her so bad it can make my heart skip beats when I see her."
"Do you love her… you know, physically too?"
It was closing time for the Yamayurikai. It was just Rei, Yoshino, Yumi and Sachiko this late as Shimako and Noriko always left earlier on Wednesdays.
Everything was stowed away and everybody was ready to leave when Sachiko asked across the table,
"Yes, Onee-sama?" Yumi looked up with her big eyes, always attentive when Sachiko called for her.
"I was wondering if you would like to go on a date with me this Sunday?"
"Onee-sama…? Yes!" Yumi's surprise quickly turned to one of joy as she smiled happily.
"Yumi…" Sachiko's resolve seemed to have hit a small quagmire. As if she was afraid, suddenly, of never seeing that smile ever again. But long hours in the dark of night with Rei's words running over and over again in her head, had made her mind one of determination.
"…This would be a romantically kind of a date, a date showing that I have an interest in you on that… level too…?" Sachiko had a nice blush going, making her fine teint very alluring indeed.
Now two things happened in the Rose Mansion. First, the silence dropping like a bomb would be scientifically very interesting for scientists around the world. Next, The absolute absence of movement, besides the pupils in Yumi's eyes, would have made Madame Tussauds jealous indeed.
"Y-Yes, Onee-sama. I would like to go on a… on a romantically… I would love that to, very much." Yumi looked down a little timidly, but when she looked up, it was with a smile that simply shattered it all and sent all three in the room gawking.
A squeal was suddenly heard from Yoshino as she threw her hands in the air. The whole room was startled and looked at her as she jumped up and made a little pirouette like a crazed Indian at a bonfire.
She stopped and looked a Rei for a split second before she ran to her, threw her arms around her neck and gave her a long soft kiss. She then looked her lovingly in her surprised eyes. "I love you, Rei." She said softly. "I always have, I always will." And as Rei eyes mellowed she kissed her again.
Apparently the action was more than Yumi could handle, She looked at Sachiko a little timidly, receiving only a loving smile in return, she slowly went around the table and into a warm embrace. She raised her head, letting her beautiful mocha eyes speak more than her word.
And Sachiko gently tipped her head.
My goodness. What wouldn't you give to have Yumi look at you like that… sigh…
I actually started this story by wanting to have Yoshino kick Yumi's rear, but ended up with Rei kicking Sachiko's. I guess that's the way of writing as you go ;)
I thank you for reading, I know a few who might even still read my stuff after thirteen stories. I thank you one and all. Should you have a second, then let me know if you liked, or hated, the story in a comment.