beauty & the beast

by Ornery-chan

Disclaimer: The disclaimer is a wonderful thing, for it gives me the freedom to manipulate those that are not of my possession. Hail Disclaimer! (Okay, that officially means that FFIX is property of Squaresoft.)

Author's Note: That last chapter wasn't the last chapter. This one is. I will be leaving Blank & Mikoto for now…*snif snif* It's been fun writing about those two. ^_^ But we're still waiting for Sparrow to do her sequel. C'mon Sparrow! You can do it!

Chapter 6

Blank set me down on one of the benches, and a strange sense of discontentment curled inside me. I slid off his arms hurriedly, feeling very withdrawn. Such familiarity made me uncomfortable. Yet, a part of me wanted to return.

He opened his mouth, and I knew he was going to say something about my condition. Quickly I put a hand over it, shutting him up, but making me feel that queer sensation coming from my insides.

I took a deep breath, and said, "Wait.", before turning my eyes away. Somehow I couldn't look at him. Hoping I would not appear too unfriendly, I spoke solemnly.

"I am sorry I was late, Blank. I know how much your play meant to you."

His face remained impassive, and my heart fluttered. What was he thinking? I wished that I could see his eyes, but the belt was there to hinder me.

With a wave of his hand, he assured me, "You don't have to explain, Miki. We have to look after-"

Not again. I cut him off by shushing him. Did he have to be so understanding? I knew I was at fault. "I want to." I said firmly.

He nodded, and I took a deep breath again. To tell the truth, I was exhausted, but our little trip gave me a bit of strength. And I didn't know why.

"The reason I was late," I began, "was because I got locked inside the library."

From his reaction, I assumed he wasn't expecting that answer. "You what?" he exclaimed.

Hearing myself say it, to sacrifice his play for such a tiny mistake seemed so silly, I cringed. "I know, I'm sorry. I was so foolish to lock myself in."

"Who did this to you?" Blank demanded, his face getting fierce. He wasn't listening, but I felt a bit delighted with his trepidation.

"No one, Blank. It was all my fault."

Of course, he didn't believe me, and I had to shush him again before continuing. My throat was dry already, and I did not want to make unnecessary arguments.

"There was no hope for the door, so I turned my attention on the window. Fortunately I was able to fit myself through. What was unfortunate was that I did not drop myself carefully on the pavement."

Immediately he started to fuss again. That Blank. Are all friends like him? He seems so thoughtful and sympathetic. Without his company, I wonder if I could have survived Lindblum, much less Gaia.

My eyes were closing; I could feel myself dropping to that void. That must be why his voice was prodding me: "Are you alright? My God, Miki, you might have broken bones in there! Let me-"

"No need to fuss, Blank. It appears to be a twisting of some sort…"

"A sprain." He finished, with a little sigh of relief.

I looked down at my feet. They hurt so much.

"But I did not know that I had twisted my foot, until I arrived at the station, and learned that the air cab had broke down."


Something formed inside my throat, and I croaked out, "Miki? You don't mean to say…" I was horrified, recalling all the anger that had passed through me. "…you walked from the Business District to here…with a sprained foot?"

Judging from her vigorous nod, she obviously thought it was nothing,. "I had to get here." Then she turned those breathtaking eyes on me, making me breathe in sharply. "I…I had to see you perform."

The air filled with sounds of applause, and shuffling of feet from the theatre. I knew that the play was finished.

I stood up, though I didn't want to leave her.

"Wait here. I'll get something for your foot-" I felt her gentle hand stop mine though.

"No. Please stay here."

Looking at her, I saw that her eyes were drooping slightly. I sat back down, just before her head fell down on my shoulder. Automatically my hand moved to her side. It was so quick, that I could have slapped myself. What are you doing?

You like this, don't you? A dry voice in my mind replied slyly.

You shouldn't take advantage of friends…

But she's not just a friend is she?

The sun-kissed hair that framed her face felt soft, as it brushed my own scarred one.

"I'm…so tired…"

We stayed like that, for a time that seemed like an eternity. The people piled out of the theatre, chatting about our otherwise successful play.

I didn't care though. Her small, breathing figure had occupied my whole world.

"So…she arrived." Marcus suddenly came up from behind. He was actually smiling?

"I do de-clare! How dare ya disturb the luvbirds, Marcus!"

Ruby's remark made my face turn the same shade as my hair. I gazed at Miki's serene one. Lovebirds? Could the beautiful creature I held in my arms love someone like me?

From a distance, I heard some singing.

I've got sunshine

On a cloudy day…

I smirked. "Cinna."

I guess, you'd say

What can make me feel this way?

"My girl." I whispered. Miki smiled in her sleep.

For once I didn't shut Cinna up.

Always timestamp your works!

12/30/2001 - 5:25 PM

Ornery Notes: Thank you thank you thank you thank you. "My Girl" is not mine by the way. I forgot who owns that song. Blank x Miki 4-ever. Sparrow, FINISH that sequel! ^_^