Mai HiME and all of its characters belongs to Sunrise. This means that they don't belong to me, and that I don't make an ounce of profit whatsoever from tampering with them. So if anybody does sue, I doubt it'll be worth the effort. But yes, there are a few people in this story that come solely from my own imagination.

Author's Notes:
This picks up pretty much where Prologue leaves off. If you haven't read that one, I strongly suggest that you do so unless you want to get very confused later on in the story.

Please also note that this will be a ShizNat fic, which means f/f romance and all that it entails. As such, the standard rules apply. If you're offended by such things, not old enough to read about them or they're just plain illegal where you live, then please save us both the headache and stop reading now. If none of the above apply to you, then please read on and enjoy.

Yes, this part is very short. I felt that it deserved its own chapter, so you'll have to forgive me on that one.

A Million Reasons; part I

Letter to My Past

Dear Natsuki

Do you remember the last time we saw each other? It was when you turned down my offer of being your tutor over spring break for the fourth time. Logically, I know how much time has passed since then, but I still feel as if I could walk out of the door, back into the Director's garden and find you there.

I realize that my sudden departure must have hurt you all those years ago, and it is something that I am deeply sorry for. At the time, however, I felt that separating us in this manner was the best chance for us both to grow as individuals. To get on with our lives, so to speak. You yourself said that you wanted to take some time off and reflect on everything that had happened, although I'm quite certain that you didn't mean for this long. I know that you've made good use of the time, though. You're too stubborn to not have.

And I must admit that I was unable to completely stay away from you. On that subject, I hope that you will accept my belated congratulations on both your bachelor's degree and your acceptance into graduate school. While I was slightly surprised as to the field of your choice, your interest in the more general area of biomechanics was something I expected to see... something which I believe ties into the memory of a former Child of yours, yes?

As I'm sure you know by now, my father's company is opening up a new office in Fuuka. What you probably aren't aware of (especially considering that I only found out myself a few hours ago) is that I've been appointed to go back and run said division. It feels very strange to know that I'll be back in Fuuka in a matter of a few weeks.

Strange, yes. And yet in a way also exhilarating. It will be odd, I'm certain, to return after all this time, but I still find myself looking forward to it. I'm sure you know that the main reason for that is you.

One would think that I had grown used not having you in my life after this long, but I still expect to hear Natsuki's voice whenever my phone rings. Does it still sound the same, perhaps? I hope so. I hope you look mostly the same as you did at the Academy, as well. It would certainly make it easier for me to reconcile the image of the girl I have in my mind with the woman that you've no doubt grown into.

I suppose that's a selfish wish.

But even if you should have decided to shave your head and gouge out your beautiful eyes, I hope you know that I would still wish to see you again. Will you help me fulfill that wish, Natsuki?



She set the letter down on her desk and sighed. "Idiot..." The dark head shook lightly. "Of course I will."