Disclaimer: I do not own Mai Hime or any of its characters.
Mai leaves. What's Mikoto to do but follow?
Guess mine is not the first heart broken,
My eyes are not the first to cry
I'm not the first to know,
There's just no gettin' over you
The raven-haired eighteen-year-old sat atop the bed and rubbed her eyes as she groggily looked around the small studio apartment. It was empty; no other sign of life in the apartment except for herself.
It was the first time it had ever happened to this degree. Mai was gone and there was no note, no food, and no hint that she had even come home the night before. Usually there was some sort of indication of the carrot top's whereabouts, but at the moment there was not.
Mikoto put her head down and clenched the sheets on her bed into fists, a small tear falling from her eye. "Mai," she said; her voice a low, somber tone. "Why...?" she asked aloud and of course received no answer. Mikoto sighed.
It was no secret that Mai had been talking to a certain male with two-toned hair again. It wasn't even a shock that she had been seeing him every once and a while. What bothered the young woman was that Mai had actually left with him.
"Tate," Mikoto growled. She could only think that the male betrayed her. They had been on the same kendo team for the past few years, after the conclusion of the Carnival, and they seemed to have a kind of mutual pact against actually taking the orange-haired girl away from the other.
So why? She asked herself again. What was so different about this week that made Mai leave?
She tried to think back onto the recent events that could've changed Mai's opinion on who she wanted to be with.
"Mikoto! You're already seventeen; I can't take care of you forever." The orange-haired woman said; trying to juggle the tasks of preparing dinner, cleaning up the mess Mikoto made, and making sure the raven-haired girl actually went to take a bath. She sighed, "Why can't you grow up a little, like Reito-san or maybe… Tate?"
Mikoto frowned at the mentioning of her former captain. "Tate?"
"Yes, Tate. He's reliable, he acts like an adult, he's caring, and he loves—"
"I love you!" Mikoto interrupted, running up to Mai and taking the older female's hands in her own. "I love you." She repeated. Looking straight into the carrot top's lavender eyes and not noticing the band that was on a special finger.
"No." Mai shook her head. "You don't know what real love is."
"You keep treating me like a child; never like an adult!"
"When you grow up I'll treat you like an adult!"
Mikoto roughly turned her head to the side and released Mai from her strong grip. "Just because I don't act mature doesn't mean that I'm not. I'm not stupid Mai; I do understand." Her shoulders stiffened and she slowly turned back to the taller woman, newfound determination evident on her face. "And I know this: I Love You." She said the words slowly; as if the length in which she said them would let Mai know she was serious.
Mai looked surprised for a second, and only a second; once that second was over she shook her head. "Mikoto you don't understand. Please… can you just go and take a bath so I can finish up in here?"
The lithe teen opened her mouth to respond but other woman had already turned her back to continue her tasks. With a slump of her head and a kick to an object lying on the ground she headed off to the bathroom; ignoring the reflection of light from the cooking woman's finger.
The light! I know now, it was… a ring. A sudden pain made Mikoto grab her chest. Tears fell from her eyes and her face contorted from a mixture of emotions. Come back Mai…
Hello, I'm just a fool who's willing
To sit around and wait for you
But baby can't you see, there's nothin' else for me to do
I'm hopelessly devoted to you
She bawled loudly. And with no one around to hear her sorrow or console her she continued to weep. Shedding tears for hours on end until she finally cried herself to sleep.
Days went by and there was word from Mai. By the end of the second week, Mikoto was through with her moping—seeing multiple couples wandering the halls somehow strengthened her resolve. She would find Mai and bring her back.
"Wait for me Mai," Mikoto whispered; getting up from her seat to leaving the classroom, intent on skipping class for the umpteenth time in the past week. She ignored the teacher's call to return to her seat as she continued to march out of the sliding doors. Not once stopping in her brisk pace, she looked back to answer the balding man, "Sorry but I have to find the woman I love." She grinned apologetically and smirked at her fellow classmates before shutting the door behind her.
Mikoto quickly walked off the school's campus and towards the dormitories of the nearby university. If there was one person she could count on with the information on Mai's whereabouts it would be Fuuka University's information and gossip queen, Chie Harada.
The raven-haired teen searched around the grounds until she found the informant with her supposed platonic brown-haired friend, Aoi Senou, in the back gardens, under the shade of a tree. The two were sitting up against each other, with Chie leaning her back against the brunette's shoulder, while talking peacefully and enjoying a lunch prepared earlier that morning by Aoi.
"Chie!" Mikoto called, running up a small hill to reach the tree. "I need your help."
The gossiper turned her head quickly, a smirk crossing her lips. "How can I be of service, Mikoto-chan?"
"Mai." Mikoto stated and Chie quirked an eyebrow. "I need you to tell me where Mai is."
"Mai-kun," Chie muttered, rubbing her chin in thought. "I wonder… Aoi?" She looked at the brunette, who in turn, nodded. "Well I do have a bit of info on where she might be, but why do you want to know?" She teased.
"I want to tell her," Mikoto frowned slightly and shook her head. "No I need to tell her that I understand—I understand what love is."
The gossip queen grinned at the straightforwardness of the girl. "That's a good enough for me, how about you, Aoi-chan?"
"Me? Well Chie… I don't exactly know what to say. It isn't so bad, but it's a bit sudden," she paused, "I know we've been friends for a long time so I think—"
"I was talking about Mikoto's answer, but you can finish what you were saying later… in private." Chie grinned like a cat at the brunette's blush and turned back toward the raven-haired girl standing in front of her. "A very reliable source told me that Mai-kun would be at a cabin on the outskirts of Fuuka, right along the beach."
Mikoto managed quick thanks before taking off towards the campus' exit.
"Go get her…"
"What was that?"
"I was just saying that I want to know what you think now…"
But now there's nowhere to hide,
Since you pushed my love aside
I'm not in my head,
Hopelessly devoted to you
Mikoto caught the subway halfway to her destination, a small shuttle bus another bit of the way and a taxi to get her to the point where the beach was visible. She had ran out of money during the last portion of the transportation and got kicked out of the small car, the angry driver cursing her as he sped off, leaving her on the side of the road. Although she was a bit disappointed with where she was dropped off, she wasn't put off with her task—she had to find Mai.
Mikoto sprinted on the road near the edge of the beach, assessing every building she passed, making sure not to overlook even the smallest of houses. After an hour and a half of running she reached the point where the road stopped with a wide turn and a large area to look over the sea. She sat on a bench and hung her head sadly, watching the setting sun out of the corner of her eyes.
Not too soon after the fading orange glow began, it was abruptly cut off when a figure covered it from her view. Mikoto turned to see what object was claiming her near-ending warmth and saw the backs of a certain blonde male and orange-haired female.
"Ma…" Mikoto stopped herself, afraid that if she uttered the busty woman's name she would disappear again.
But as time went by the image stayed—Mai leaning back against Tate's chest watching the departing sun.
My head is saying "fool, forget her,"
My heart is saying "don't let go"
Mikoto no longer hesitated; she called out the carrot top's name, "Mai…"
Said female slowly turned at the slightly raspy, but easily recognizable voice of her roommate. "Mikoto," Mai said, stopping her head's movement just before she saw the younger female. "What are you doing here?" she took a deep breath before finally looking at Mikoto.
Even though she was naturally petite, Mikoto was visibly skinnier. The two weeks alone had obviously been hard on the younger female. She looked… older, Mai thought. The lack of food had made what little baby fat Mikoto had on her face disappear, making her cheek bones more prominent and her eyes slightly thinner. Her arms and legs became leaner, showing strong muscles on the limbs that were on the lithe body. Mai believed it wasn't a bad change of appearance, but it was unhealthy.
Mai's hard gaze faltered when the raven-haired girl spoke. "I'm here for you, Mai. I came to take you back where you should be…"
A lone tear fell from Mai's lavender eyes; she quickly wiped it away before she spoke. "What are you talking about? I am where I should be! I'm in a normal relationship; I'm ready to get married, a normal marriage—"
"Normal isn't everything Mai." Mai was surprised, not only because of the statement itself, but also because the voice came from the male behind her instead of the female she was looking at.
Mai's eyes widened. "What? Don't you want to get married Tate?"
"Of course I do, I was just saying that everything doesn't have to be normal." The blonde scratched his cheek and looked away from his fiancé.
"Mai, you should be with me, come back…" Mikoto spoke up, trying to gain back the other female's attention.
"No Mikoto," Mai shook her head harshly. "I won't go back because you just want me to cook and take care of you." She turned on her heel and pulled Tate's arm as she began to walk away.
Mikoto ran up to her side and grabbed her arm to make her stop. "That's not true," she said; her voice abnormally solemn. Tears fell from her eyes and she stared unflinchingly at Mai. "I need you. I understand it now—what love is. What the love you want is."
Hold on to the end, that's what I intend to do
I'm hopelessly devoted to you
"Mai, you don't need a normal relationship." Mikoto stated, oddly sounding much more mature. She stood straight up—as opposed to her usual, unnoticeable, slightly-slouched stance—her full height dwarfing Mai by mere inches. "In fact, you don't even want one." She took a step towards carrot-haired woman—who took a step away from the black-haired teen.
"What-what are you saying?! I do need a normal relationship!"
"But you don't want one, Mai. You keep saying you need a normal relationship when in reality you're trying to get into one to feel normal yourself. What you don't know is you are normal." Mikoto smiled and Mai was taken aback by what she was saying.
"Me, normal?" Mai scoffed. "Not even in the least bit."
The raven-haired girl shook her head, "You are. Normal, I mean. I can't believe you'd think otherwise. The world we live in is based on uniqueness, being different is normal. If you aren't unique, you're alike, and that's not normal." She laughed at Mai's widened eyes; confusion was evident in those lavender orbs. "Is it that strange for me to talk like this? Or are you bewildered by my previous statement?" Mikoto purposely stressed the larger-than-usual word she was using, and smirked at Mai's uneasiness.
"Would it make you feel better if I said, 'Mai is normal because Mai is Mai! Un!'" she nodded emphatically; smirk still on her face while she returned to her "usual" persona.
"Stop it!" Mai's face scrunched up in variety of emotions. "What are you doing… why are you talking like that?"
Mikoto tsked. "Mai I'm going to graduate soon, I haven't been in school for very long but I have matured. Being in school tends to make you learn things." She paused. "You haven't even noticed my expanding vocabulary; all you see is the little girl you always have to take care of." Mikoto gazed into Mai's eyes for a moment before continuing. "I'm going to tell you this… even though I keep growing, even though I keep maturing, I still need you. I'll always need you. Not for you to take care of me—but that would be nice—I need you to be with me, by my side, Mai."
Tears began to fall from Mai's eyes, and try as she might, she could not get them to stop. "Mikoto… I-I…"
Mikoto stepped up to the other woman, taking her hands in her own. "It may not be normal by your standards, but I love you, I need you, and I want you to be with me. Mai, you are all I could ever want."
Mai tried to avert her gaze from the loving and sincere golden eyes. Her body started to crumple and she fell into Mikoto's strong arms. "I've always tried to be normal… and I ran away from what I really wanted. I'm so sorry."
She wept loudly.
Mikoto held strong, her arms tightly wrapped around the woman she loved. "Come back to me, Mai."
The slight movement of carrot-colored hair was all she needed for confirmation that her love was returned.
"Mai…" Mikoto cried out, her body bending back to its usual slouch.
"Mai," she whined, her voice turning into its usual childish tremor.
"Mai!" she cried loudly, her youthful happiness evident through her sobs.
The older woman looked evenly into Mikoto's eyes for the first time in weeks. The younger girl was grinning foolishly; Mai returned the raven-haired female's smile.
"Thank you for coming to get me, Mikoto." Mai moved in for a soft kiss to Mikoto's lips.
If possible, Mikoto's grin grew wider. "But of course, Mai. I'm hopelessly devoted to you."
The busty woman laughed at the once again mature-sounding voice. She thought that it would take some getting used to, but she was willing to try. She pulled Mikoto close for a heart-warming hug.
Her whole body felt weird… different. Mai smiled into the crook of Mikoto's neck.
Different is good... different is normal.
I'm hopelessly devoted to you,
Hopelessly devoted to you
Mikoto: -cries- Mai!
Tate: Um, hello? Mai… -waves hand in front of her face-
Mai: -doesn't notice Tate standing there and kisses Mikoto- Thank you for coming to get me, Mikoto.
Tate: Mai… are we still getting married? –is ignored-
Mikoto: But of course, Mai. I'm hopelessly devoted to you.
Tate: M-Mai… wha… no! Mikoto, you can't steal her from me! –points at author- You even forgot to put me in the last scene! I thought you said you were going to have them look at me and I would be "gone!"
Author: EH?! –looks over story- I did forget about you! Well, I WOULD put you in, Tate… but I can't change it now. How about we make a scene where you smile at your loss and walk away?
Tate: -taps chin- Can I get a girl?
Author: It won't be Mai or Mikoto…
Tate: -shrugs- That's fine.
Tate looked at the happy couple, then to the ring on his finger. He smiled sadly and pulled of the golden band to set it on the table beside him.
The male walked away from the scene.
With the sun setting behind him and the two women in the background, he made his way toward the seemingly endless highway. He had decided to be the bigger man and left the car for his fiancé, now ex-fiancé , and the raven-haired teen to drive.
Looking back at the two females one more time, he said, "Take care of her," aloud to no one, and made his way down the long road.
He had barely made way on his trek when a car drove up beside him. He looked into the open window to see a beautiful woman in white. She had a pale complexion and the area above her eyes was covered by some kind of white veil. Her mystic aura allured the blonde.
"Need a ride?" was the unasked question of the mysterious woman.
"Thanks," he said, getting into the car.
The woman turned to him, and it was then that he noticed who it was.
And the car drove off into the distance.
I do not own the song: Hopelessly Devoted to You by Olivia Newton John.
A/N: Well there you go, I hope you enjoyed this! Lol. Mikoto is horribly OOC in this, but I couldn't figure out any other way I could write it. Please review and tell me what you think! Sorry it's taken me so long to update, too!
Oh, I actually did forget about Tate, so the omake was kind of true. That was my idea for him, but I kept forgetting about it, and it got to late to add it in (I was being lazy) so I just made him his own scene!
READERS OF MY OTHER STORIES (mainly Forecast and Y.E.A.G) LOOK FORWARD TO AN UPDATE ON ONE OF THOSE STORIES IN THE NEXT FEW...weeks... SO HOLD YOUR HORSES! lol
-coughcough- review the one-shot!