Disclaimer: I do not own or claim to own Mai Hime. Mai Hime is copyrighted to Bandai Entertainment as well as Studio Sunrise. Please support the official release.
Rules of Conduct
She opened her eyes to a familiar scene. The Student Council room had been arranged in a neat square of seats to accommodate all the members. The president's desk was as spotless as ever with two flags standing neatly by its sides. And as always, the sun shone beautifully through the windowsills.
She checked her hands, still there and still rough. She batted the golden locks of her hair that obscured her vision. She wore her Executive Committee uniform, a proud green as always. For some reason, Haruka Suzushiro felt as if her mind had been disconnected from her body. Before her she saw a familiar face. It was a friendly face.
The face had soft features, including each emerald eye hidden behind a sheet of glass, mocha brown hair styled at all corners and a gentle smile. Haruka smiled and ran toward her friend, through the distant space. When she finally had reached her, she spoke.
"Yukino! I'm happy to see you."
Haruka hands closed on her mouth. Rather than a simple greeting, she felt as if her voice had been taken over by someone else.
"Why did you call me out here, Haruka-chan?" Her friend asked. Haruka was horrified at the fact that her body moved on its own, that every physical part of her body was outside her control. Haruka couldn't understand it. It wasn't long before Haruka locked Yukino into a body wrap with her right forearm surrounding Yukino's hip. It was as if she was being possessed.
Rather, it was as if she was someone else entirely.
Before she knew it, Haruka's lips met with Yukino's. Slowly, she absorbed the wonderful feeling of happiness as well as the taste of Yukino's thin lips. 'No!', she told herself. With any feasible amount of will left, Haruka tried desperately to resist this wonderful feeling surrounding her. But it was a guilty pleasure, as she witnessed the chestnut-haired girl vainly struggle against her body hold. When her nearsighted friend pried away from her, she wiped tears from her eyes.
"You're not Haruka!"
"But, Yukino…" Haruka heard herself saying again.
"You're not!" Yukino darted out the door. Haruka, whipped around to see a mirror at the far end of the room. She quickly ran towards it only to see a very perverted reflection of her.
"Ara. Now you're just like me." The other end of the reflection said.
A loud buzzing noise rang through Haruka Suzushiro's ears. Immediately, she leapt out of bed, knocking over her night stand and digital alarm clock in the process. Haruka gazed at her surroundings, seeing not the Student Council room she had been trapped in her dream, but rather the safe comfort of her dormitory. With the exception of the bed and the newly knocked over nightstand, Haruka's room was spotless. The windows were wiped weekly, the carpet was vacuumed bi-weekly and her sea green uniform hung in the closet, ironed the night before.
Snapping out of her trance, Haruka had realized that today was a Monday of all days, meaning she had work to do. Quickly getting out of her snow white nightgown, Haruka leapt into the shower and turned it on to the only setting that mattered: boiling hot. As she lathered her body in suds while steam continued to fog up her mirror, she pondered on her dream.
"Why do I keep having that stupid dream?" she thought to herself as hot streams of water rinsed the soap spuds off her body. "I even followed what that book's instructions. I didn't eat anything 2 hours before bed. Stupid disposition." The girl said, not realizing that the correct term was 'superstition'. Regardless, she quickly shut off the showerhead and dried herself off.
"Stupid!" She told herself through the foggy mirror. "Stop thinking of Yukino that way! Because Yukino…"
"Yukino isn't some toy. I'm better than that. We're both better than that." She nodded to herself as she was ready to tackle yet another day.
"A dance?" Haruka repeated from Shizuru Fujino's mouth. The Student Council had finally managed to arrange a meeting with all the present members. Shizuru Fujino smiled as gently as always. Reito Kanazaki poured more tea for the rest of the student body while Haruka and Yukino listened carefully to what their president had to say. Even though Haruka had lost the election by a landslide, she suggested, rather insisted, that she have an active hand in student affairs. Since the easy-going president was not one for conflicts, she allowed this.
"Yes," The honey-haired woman spoke. "I thought perhaps we do something a bit differently this year. After all, for most of us, it will be our last year together, yes?"
The Obsidian haired boy nodded. "Yes, I would believe so. Even though our president is planning to stay on for one more year, the rest of us will be heading off to college. We might as well make the best of this while we can."
"So we're copying a tradition from another culture." Haruka rubbed her head, thinking of the consequences as always. "I dunno. It sounds awfully baseless to me."
"Tasteless, Haruka-chan." Haruka winced a little, forgetting that her long time friend, Yukino Kikukawa, had been sitting right beside her and would often speak up to correct her mixed up words. Haruka glanced at her partner for a second, only to turn her head. Her dreams were becoming more and more bothersome. She shrugged off the feeling and stared daggers once again to the honey-haired president. If a dance was going to happen, it would be done right.
"The Executive Committee would like to address some concerns that come with this dance. For example, we should, of course, keep the decency of the school intact by banning liquor, drugs, tobacco-"
"That sounds fair enough to me." Reito nodded, unaware that Haruka was nowhere close to being finished.
"As well as loud music, outlandish clothing, videogames and bad behavior-"
"We'll see what we can do," Once again, the obsidian haired sempai hadn't realized he was cutting off a long list of to be banned items.
"The Executive Committee should also have access to walkie-talkies, security cameras at every checkpoint and specially trained German Shepherds-"
It was at this point there was virtually no stopping the blond from literally detailing every security risk from a fire because of the speakers to the less-than-likely chance of another private army taking hostage of the school. There were to be no shortcomings. However, the president smirked, as if she had a sinister scheme in her sleeve. "Ara, ara. Has Suzushiro-san planned everything out to the last detail that she even picked who she plans to take to the dance?"
Once again, Haruka found herself trumped against Shizuru's clever word games. Most people in her position would have responded politely at Fujino's suggestion and replied with a postponing answer. However, whenever the honey-haired woman addressed Haruka, it felt as if a gauntlet had been thrown at her. Haruka would not fall for Fujino's word games or her causal dirty remarks. This time, Haruka had the perfect answer to Shizuru's question.
"Ha!" she began, with the confidence of a lion. "Unlike some of us who enjoy playing around with young girls' hearts, I intend to remain on full watch of the event proceedings so that the decency of our school is exact." She had done it. Haruka had finally told Shizuru off with a strong, solid, unbreakable argument.
"It's 'intact', Haruka-chan." Yukino's statement caused a brief, humble blush from the tough blond.
Shizuru smiled. "How unfortunate. And here I thought Suzushiro-san and Kikukawa-san would've made a nice couple." Needless to say, the president's suggestive statement caused a bit of an awkward pause from both girls. Haruka's eyes tried their best to recede back into their respective sockets, and Yukino had to down the rest of her tea to get rid of her persistent cough.
"Hmm… Maybe I should ask Kikukawa-san if she wants to go to the dance with me. Well, would you care to escort me?" Shizuru smiled.
A deep sinking pain boiled in the pit of Haruka's stomach. She didn't feel impatient, as she usually did when someone broke the rules or the student body ignored her. No, this time, she felt hatred. To simply call it deep, sinking, and uncontrollable would have been too easy. It had first sprouted when people began to spread ugly rumors of how Yukino must have had an attraction to Haruka to follow her. Then, there were those foolish dreams that suggested something filthy in Haruka's mind. Fujino, with her statement that not only questioned Yukino's sexual orientation but also expressed a desire to take her to the dance, made Haruka furious.
"How dare you…" she began. Haruka had become so angry, she didn't need to shout. Malice was found in the tone of her voice.
"How dare you insult Yukino with your advances? She's my partner and my best friend. She helps me organize and run the Executive Committee. Without her, I couldn't do half the things I do, and yet people like you insist on mocking her."
"Haruka-chan…" The mocha haired girl whispered.
"You don't think I don't remember? You don't think I've still forgiven you for pointing an overgrown knife at Yukino, trying to kill her? Say anything you want about me, but what you did to her is unforgivable."
Reito quickly intervened. "Haruka-san, wait. While that is true, the extenuating circumstances of that night were-"
"Just because you're confused, doesn't mean you get to accuse other people of that, Fujino!"
A somewhat dead silence filled the room. For the first time in a long time, Shizuru actually looked shocked at the response that she had heard. Haruka felt no satisfaction in her statement nor did she intend to. Her anger wasn't nearly quelled, but at least Haruka addressed the issue at hand. She waited for the angry retort she would've felt from her rival, but no such thing came. Instead, Reito acted as the mediator for both of them.
"Please wait, Haruka-san. Shizuru-san was merely teasing you again. You don't have to get so worked up, just because she has a different sense of humor from everyone."
Haruka almost would've verbally ripped Reito to shreds if he hadn't diminished the president's character.
"Why don't you take this time and formulate how you want to arrange the dance security?" After a long, hard silence, Haruka nodded her head. She turned to her assistant, and signaled towards the door.
However, once she left, Haruka felt a strange dizziness in her head and pain in her stomach. She took a bit of time to steady herself. She winced and thought of where this foreign pain came from. Certainly, she changed nothing in her diet or her fitness. Rather, it was a pain from something she didn't understand.
"Haruka-chan, are you alright?" Her friend asked in the hallway where they stood.
After taking a deep breath, Haruka turned to her side, confident as usual.
"Yukino, no matter what happens, don't let anybody insult you and take it lying down. Promise?"
After a long silence, Yukino nodded. "Promise."
"Sometimes, even I think you go too far." Reito said once the hallway had been cleared.
"How cute. Reito-san is worried about me." The president smiled while sipping her tea.
"Still, it surprised me that Haruka-san still remembered that night."
Shizuru sighed happily. "Ara, ara. You should give her more credit than that."
"Then, you know she's struggling to resolve her feelings. Did you really need to provoke her like that?"
For a brief moment, Shizuru sat quietly at her desk and smiled. "Yes, because I trust Haruka-san."
By noon, Haruka and Yukino had made the last dozen copies of their 'Rules of Conduct' page. After the green florescent light of the Xerox had faded, the two stormed out with Yukino carrying most of the load and Haruka holding the stapler gun.
The list itself was rather plain. With a white background, and the Executive Committee's insignia on top, the list was essentially many 'NO's grouped in a long line.
The students who don't abide by the following rules or have academic prohibition will not be granted admittance:
NO alcohol, tobacco or drugs of any kind.
NO signs of interaction besides kisses, hand holding, and dancing closely to one another.
NO costume or dress attire except for formal wear.
NO ripping off posters put up by the Executive Committee.
As such, there were countless other rules, too long and numerous to list. Yukino made some odd sounds as they passed by several students in the hallway. Not one for secrets, Haruka turned to her partner and ordered, "Yukino, is something wrong?"
"Haruka-chan, I was just going over these posters. It says, 'NO same sex-couples' right at the bottom."
Haruka gave another confident nod. "Yes, we have to protect the decency of the school. Thus, it's important to dismiss publically lewd acts that have been made 'popular' by bubuzuke."
The blond bit her statement through her teeth. Even with the dreams flashing through her mind, she had to remain firm on what she perceived to be the status quo.
When the two of them finally put up a few of the posters, they would have naturally continued their duty and put up more posters, when a powerful familiar voice broke up the usual chattering of students.
"Oi! Suzushiro!" Both Haruka and Yukino turned to see a very angry First Year student with cobalt locks and deep jade eyes stare at them coldly. "What the hell is this about 'NO same-sex couples' on your poster?"
"Kuga." Haruka recognized. "Hmm. We have no need to discuss things with delinquents like you."
"That's not important. Do you realize what you've just done? You've just insulted several of the students here and slapped them in the face! Do you think anyone's going to let you get away with this?" At this point, Natsuki's outburst had caused a mass chanting of students to turn against Haruka. If the rest of the Suzushiro Executive Committee had not arrived, the two of them might have been in mortal danger.
"I have permission for the Director herself to go and authorize how proper student conduct should be. If you have a problem, I sternly suggest you take it up with Kazahana-sama."
Natsuki would have naturally reacted to Haruka's suggestion when she went silent at the appearance of a familiar figure. "Shizuru."
Naturally with the presence of the honey-haired president, the rest of the student body whispered and muttered to one another. Her relationship with the blue haired freshman was by no means a secret to anyone and many attempted to predict what kind of reaction the Student President would have against this poster. Natsuki herself stared off coldly to the side, but still curious about Shizuru's reaction.
"Ara, ara. While you do make a good point of the Director's power, Suzushiro-san, she has already made it clear that the student body will handle affairs such as this." As always, Shizuru's collected and calm attitude contrasted heavily with Haruka's. Secretly, the rest of the student body leaned in so they could hear Shizuru's rebuttal of the situation. Not one for suspense, Haruka immediately demanded an answer.
"Kaichou-san, if you think the Suzushiro committee should remove these posters, I will do it right away." Haruka knew instinctively that Shizuru was a crowd-pleaser. She would, without a doubt, try to dissolve all of Haruka and Yukino's efforts with a smile and wink. However, Haruka had already planned far ahead of this tactic. Should her posters be removed, she would stand by the school gates and distribute flyers so that the entire student body would be made aware of the indecency of the school. Haruka simply needed the word and everything would fall into place.
"If you think it's right, then it is right." The president said with a smile. Needless to say, the rest of the student body and the Suzushiro committee were dumbstruck by Shizuru's calm reaction. The President herself had made it known she often flirted with women. The rest of the students had the same thought running through their minds: why would she allow a rule that dismissed homosexual couples? However, Haruka kept her guard up. She considered this a victory.
"Right. Then, I'll be on my way." Haruka stated. However, just as she was about to leave, the amber-haired president gave one last piece of advice.
"By the way, I believe you spelled, 'Probation' wrong. May I suggest you edit your poster a bit?" Shizuru's suggestion made Haruka jump out of her consciousness. Surely enough, "Prohibition" had been used in the place of "Probation". Clearly, something was amiss in more ways than one.
"Uh…err…right! I'll have this poster fixed right away!" So, once again humiliated, Haruka ran back to the school printer to reedit her posters.
"If you think it's right, then it is right."
Her viridian eyes met with her crimson eyes. They gave each other a brief, understanding glance.
"Do you know what you're doing?" The pair set of viridian eyes thought.
"Ara, ara. Don't you trust me?" For a brief moment, they departed.
"Natsuki-chan!" One of the middle schoolers asked. "Aren't you upset by what Fujino-sama said?"
The femme fatale smiled. "Don't worry. She's got it under control."
Once again, a green florescent light swept by as new posters were printed out. For the time being, Haruka remained unnaturally concentrated on the printers before her. She crossed her arms, wondering why the mistake wasn't caught before hand. Not being the best with words, the blonde usually relied on her friend to be able to spot subtle errors such as this one. Going only on that, she knew Yukino was at heart a very well-spoken person. Thus, Haruka came to one conclusion; "Something's bothering Yukino."
"You know, it's not like you to be distracted like this, Yukino."
The tawny-haired girl retracted back a bit. "Oh, me? I'm just concentrating on preparing for the Kaichou's dance, that's all."
Haruka wasn't fooled. She knew something still disturbed her partner, and the blonde was determined to find out what bothered her.
"Yukino. Tell me right now. What's bothering you? Wait, don't tell me it's about that monster business again?"
The bespectacled girl quickly shook her head. "Haruka-chan, it's nothing. Really, I'm fine."
However, Haruka knew deep down inside, something had been off about Yukino. Normally, she would've caught common mispronouncing of words. Upon closer inspection, Haruka discovered several bags under Yukino's eyes as well as a slight redness to them. Knowing her assistant well enough, Haruka came to the conclusion that Yukino had not been getting as much sleep as she should have. Add that to the fact that she was extremely silent, and Yukino suddenly looked very odd to the assertive blonde. Thus, the truth needed to be revealed.
With a quick grasp of Yukino's thin arm, Haruka gently tugged on it. "Yukino, you know I don't like it when people lie to me. Something's clearly wrong, so tell me."
Her partner turned away. "I can't."
Haruka, desperate to shake the truth out of her said something at the top of her head. "Yukino; I don't like seeing you like this. You look tired and nervous. That's not how I want to see you! I don't want you taking it out on yourself. So, tell me or I'll- mphh! "Haruka's mouth was instantly silenced by a pair of lips: Yukino's.
As normal to her outside apperence, she would've ripped Yukino off of her. However, the strength from her arms was zapped. Her fiery attitude was no longer present, rather doused by the warm feeling she felt running through her cheeks. For some reason, a sense of timelessness fell upon the two figures. They believed they had kissed for days, weeks even months, when in reality, it was only a few seconds. When they realized this, the two quickly pulled apart, mute from what they had both experienced. Haruka panted heavily, her eyes darting in confusion. She stared at the printer and quickly tended to the copies. When a minute of silence had passed between the two of them, Haruka spoke up.
"Yukino, go to bed and get some sleep. I need you up and at men in the morning.
"'Up and at 'em'," Yukino replied.
"Oh. Sorry." Haruka said, for some reason apologizing for her actions.
"It's fine." Yukino said, finally leaving for the door. As for Haruka, she simply stood there, watching the green florescent light pass from poster to poster. She stood there dumbstruck. A mixture of emotions consumed her, fear of ridicule, anger towards Yukino, anger towards herself, dizziness by her behavior, fatigue from thinking and perhaps, happy inside. Rather than promote any of infinite number of feelings she felt, she simply grabbed the rest of the posters and put them up on the wall.
The following students who don't abide by these rules face or have academic probation will not be granted admittance:
NO alcohol, tobacco or drinks of any kind.
NO signs of interaction besides kisses, hand folding, and prancing closely to one another.
NO costume or dress retire except for formal wear.
NO tipping off posters put up by the Executive Committee.
The next day, Haruka and Yukino awaited judgment from Reito and Shizuru for the new posters they had printed out. Somehow, the dance became the least of their worries, considering the new development that blossomed between them. Of course, that didn't mean they were off the hook for putting up posters for the Executive committee.
"Well," Reito began. "At least 'probation' is spelled correctly. But, I think I spot a dozen more errors in this poster. How many did you print out again?"
"106 to be precise. We would've printed more, but we… had a little mix-up in the printing room." The two of them hid their secret from the world. For the first time in a long time, Haruka had lied in order to keep a secret. She had been so blunt and so honest in previous times, she couldn't remember telling any lies. She simply sat quietly as Yukino explained the situation.
The obsidian haired boy gave a heavy sigh. "Even if you did print too few of these posters, you'll need to correct them nonetheless. The dance is only in a few days. To be honest, I expected more of you two."
Normally at this time, Haruka would've shouted first. However, at the moment, she had to accept the fact that she failed. She failed, and she knew it. The fire that had motivated her all these years seemed lost. If her mutual friend had not have been there, she would've stayed silent.
Yukino took the speaking role of the two. "Please, give us a few more days, Reito-san, Kaichou-san. We will be able to perfect these posters, and we will prove we are capable of such a task! Believe in us!"
After a firm nod from the only male in the group, the honey-haired president allowed them to be dismissed so they could work on their next project. As Yukino and Haruka left together, the blonde suddenly stopped. "I need to- use the restroom. I'll be back soon."
The blonde left her tawny-haired friend as she briskly strolled away from the situation. She felt her hand press against the hard, cold wood of the women's washroom, turned on the nearest sink and splashed a pool of cold water on her face. She stared at the foggy mirror before her, scratched by delinquents and their peers. She stared at herself and clenched her fists. "This is unacceptable! I am Haruka Suzushiro. I am the proud daughter of Ryo Suzushiro. I know what's right and wrong, and I know that I'm not- I know I'm not a homosexual!"
"I know it!" Haruka screamed as she gave a kick of confidence. Unfortunately, she was unaware of the porcelain sink which she kicked with her shin.
"Dammit! I hit my knee!" She gritted to herself. She then turned to herself and gave a deep sigh. The powerful blonde rubbed her shoulders and marched straight out of the bathroom, only to see Yukino have all the posters in her hand. Just as her strength had quickly regained in the washroom, it quickly vanished at the sight of Yukino. Both of them were less than ecstatic to see one another. However, as Yukino stayed to further discuss things, Haruka quickly left for the exit.
"I… have to go do something. I'll be back tomorrow." With that, Haruka darted for the door, leaving Yukino behind to clean up the mess.
The next day, the confident blonde did not show up. Yukino was left by herself to do the presentation on behalf of the Executive committee while the rest of the Suzushiro Committee quickly stabled the posters. They had passed both the grammar and spelling check, leaving only Haruka's set of rules intact. Other than the fact that Haruka Suzushiro had not appeared, the Committee had gotten something accomplished today. As Yukino left the council room, she had only one thought on her mind.
Haruka would eventually reappear the next day. Though she had tarnished her perfect attendance with her 'unannounced' day off, she explained she was merely taking time to plan for the dance arrangements. Of course, everyone looked at her with suspicious eyes but went along doing their duties. However, whenever Yukino tried to talk to Haruka, the blonde would have something else to do.
If they were in the bathroom, Haruka realized she had to triple-check the adult supervision.
During their lunch together, she thought it would be best to lecture students on proper dress attire.
Even as they walked down the hall, she quickly barked at Executive Committee officers to clean their uniforms.
As she marched proudly, the blonde felt no desire to talk to her assistant. To her, whatever trivial incident happened between them had been left in the past. Now, all Haruka had to do was concentrate on managing floor plans, instruct how to perform pat-downs, see that the students were informed of the important ethics and so on. However, it was when the two of them returned to the Student Council room when Yukino slammed and locked the door behind them. Despite several claims in the past of not fearing anything, Haruka feared this moment. Steadily, she made a 180 degree turn and faced her friend, staring back at her. They said nothing for a solid minute.
"Yukino, we should get back to preparing-"
"Haruka-chan." Yukino whispered. "I know."
"You know what?" The blonde said, focusing her attention to the chalkboard.
"Back then, when I kissed you. I know what happened."
At this point, a startled chuckle ran from Haruka's mouth. "I have no idea what you're talking-"
"You kissed me back." Yukino declared, trapping her friend. "It may have been for only one, maybe two, seconds, but I felt it. I felt you kissing me."
Haruka, upon hearing this, had a couple of options. For one, she could've easily agreed she did such a thing, despite how ludicrous it sounded. The next option was denial, which would've added fuel to the flames. However, she rested upon indifference, meaning she would respond neither positively nor negatively to her friend.
"We have work to do." Haruka said, continuing to focus on the chalk board.
"Haruka-chan, what happened to you?" Yukino continued to step forward. "We've been together since we met on that playground, and I don't even recognize you anymore. Where's that person who charged straight in, with no hesitance? It's as if you've changed into a hypocrite."
Hearing this, Haruka immediately retorted, without thinking.
"Better to be a hypocrite than disgusting!"
Haruka immediately regretted the words that burst out of her mouth. Whatever angry intent had gone into her words had been doused into nothingness. Now, only bitterness and tension filled the room. Yukino quickly darted towards her. She raised her right hand as if to slap her, causing Haruka to brace herself.
But no such slap came.
Instead, Yukino quickly ripped the Executive Committee logo from her right arm and shoved it to Haruka's chest. The chestnut haired girl quickly dashed for the door, sliding it open and wiping the tears with her sleeves. Haruka quickly called her back, demanding she stop this nonsense.
"Yukino! What are you doing?"
The girl with the glasses quickly whipped around, angry tears forming on her face.
"My friend, my best friend told me, 'no matter what happens, don't let anybody insult you and take it lying down.' Well, I'm doing just that."
Haruka naturally felt angered by this act of insubordination. However, just as she would have run to catch up with Yukino, she felt a sudden dizziness once again. Somehow, she felt even worse than before and took much longer to regain her composure. By the time she found her internal balance again, she realized Yukino was nowhere to be found. Unable to think of a better reason why her sudden lack of balance struck her randomly, Haruka decided it would be best to buy a snack from the vending machines.
She quickly slammed the door behind her and marched away in an angry fashion.
"Stupid dizziness! Always causing me to lose control. I just didn't eat lunch today. All I need is that spicy curry bread, and I'll be instoppable!" Not realizing that the correct term was 'unstoppable', Haruka quickly made it to the vending machines, only to see that all the curry breads had sold out. In a foul temper, she once again kicked the vending machine, causing her shin more harm than good.
"Ara, ara". The familiar voice caused Haruka to stop dead in her tracks. "Suzushiro-san must be careful with those machines. Then again, we could always use new ones if you were willing to pay for them."
"Fujino…" Haruka acknowledged. However, after seeing her rival nip on the very bread she planned on having, she turned around and folded her arms.
"Hmm! Still being a lazy, good-for-nothing bubuzuke, I see."
Shizuru gave a small pout. "Ara, then perhaps Haruka-san can give me a quick kiss to motivate me."
The last statement caused Haruka to whip around and defend herself. "Don't even joke about that, stupid bubuzuke. It's indecent!"
Rather than showing anger, the easy-going president smiled. "Oh. Then perhaps you can tell me why you think that way? Are you a very religious person, Suzushiro-san?"
Haruka crossed her arms. "Not really. However, my parents raised me with the best of care, telling me any deviant behavior is unacceptable. This is why I remain firm on my stance, Fujino!"
A thick silence had paused between them. The blonde stared coldly at her rival, unsure what she was planning.
"I see." Shizuru said, finishing off the last of the curry bread. "Well, if that's what you believe, then I have no desire to change it. I wish you the best of luck with the dance, Haruka-san."
As the brilliant Student Body president began to walk away, something came over Haruka. She held on to the ripped Executive Committee cloth that Yukino threw away at her. At first, Haruka didn't want Shizuru's help. After all, they had been rivals from the start, and even then, Haruka felt as if she were passing up a golden opportunity. She bit her teeth, and swallowed her pride, quickly to make a last minute decision.
"Fujino!" She yelled from the top of her lungs.
"Yes?" Her rival gently replied.
"Why?" Haruka simply asked.
"I'm afraid that Haruka-san will have to be more specif-"
"Why did you let me put up those posters, even though you're involved with Kuga?"
Shizuru smiled, and came closer to the blonde. "Because I know that whatever Haruka-san thinks is best, there's no stopping her. You had a plan if I had told you to rip off the posters, correct?"
Haruka, not wanting to concede, was at the end of her rope. "Yes."
"In truth, deep down inside, Haruka-san has something that tells her to do the right thing with an inner fire, without hesitation. She always does something with 100 percent confidence. That is why I believe in you, Haruka-san."
"But what if I'm wrong?" She shouted to Shizuru. "How do I know the difference between what I think is right and what is right?"
"If you want my advice, look deep inside your heart and find the decision that will make you put 100 percent effort into it. Look inside yourself and trust that 'righteous instinct' of yours. Even if it means, changing your opinion at the last moment." Haruka stood dazed unsure how to absorb all of the advice the president had dispensed before her. However, before she could respond, the Kaichou pointed to left cheek.
It was the same cheek Haruka left a head butt print on.
"Thank you, Haruka-san." Shizuru said before slipping away.
"Wait!" The blonde screamed out, however it was too late. She then grunted and kicked in anger, unable to decipher the riddle before her. She might as well have turned to a fortune cookie, but instead was told to look inside herself. Naturally, she didn't believe such a stretch of the truth. "Please, as if what that lazy bubuzuke said meant anything."
However, the soft cloth of Yukino's torn emblem caused Haruka to reconsider. With a deep breath, she closed her eyes and thought.
Yukino Kikukawa ended up slumping on the Executive committee's desk. Her once bold decision became her biggest regret. She had feared her bold antics would have created a permanent wedge between her and her former best friend. Now, she had a few acquaintances that were nice, however they were never as close to her as the person she grew up with. As the sun had set, marking the end of the 4th day of preparations, the door slid open.
The amber haired freshman nearly leapt out of her seat when she saw Haruka Suzushiro carried a bundle full of poster in her hands. When they met face to face, Yukino felt a sudden ominous feeling.
"Yukino. I noticed something wrong with these posters. I made new ones, correcting all the mistakes."
She stood surprised. "Really? What was the mistake?"
Yukino began to stare at one of the finished posters. However, the last rule simply stated 'NO Exceptions'. At first, Yukino thought that Haruka had simply moved the same-sex rule to a different location. However, it was never found.
Then, without hesitation, the blond planted two soft lips on Yukino's mouth. Yukino's mind was filled with so many questions and so much confusion, but for the time being, she relished in the moment in which she felt alive. With the taboo set aside, Yukino embraced the feeling further by running her thin fingers through Haruka's golden locks. The Executive head responded by letting her strong arms wrap around Yukino and as their deep breaths became even deeper. Despite being caught in the moment, the necessity of air finally wrenched them apart. After they parted, her curiosity was sparked again.
"But Haruka, why?"
"Because I made a stupid decision. And all good leaders admit when they make stupid decisions. And since I'm a great leader, I'm going to fix my own mistake and admit it."
The blonde paused a bit, unsure what to say.
"That is… if I can have my partner back again." Haruka humbly held Yukino's emblem in front of her.
"Of course you will." Yukino nodded, taking the sleeve and sliding it back on her arm.
As far as adopted traditions went, the dance was a good time. With a Deejay playing the most popular songs, the boys in tuxes, the girls in dresses and security checkpoints at every station, nothing more could have been done to make the festivities grander. Add to the fact that a once empty gym floor had been filled with smoke machines and strobe lights, everybody at the dance had a splendid time.
Among the various guests who included Mai Tokiha, Tate Yuuichi, Mikoto Minagi, Reito Kanazaki, Nao Yuuki, Shiho Munkata, Akane Hisugari, and others, Natsuki Kuga looked particularly out of place as the only girl to wear a tuxedo while her partner, Shizuru Fujino, insisted on wearing the loveliest golden dress in Fuka Gakuen. As the music slowly went down and the couples began to group together, Natsuki whispered to her lover.
"Yes, my Natsuki?" The Kaichou smirked.
"How did you convince Suzushiro to let up on this?"
The honey-haired president smiled seductively, "I gave her a quick kiss on the lips, so she knew what she was missing out on."
Natsuki nodded, skeptically. "Sure you did."
The two continued to dance to the smooth rhythm and blues when the younger girl turned to her partner.
"I'm sure they've forgiven you."
"Who?" Shizuru asked.
"You know, Haruka and Yukino. I'm sure they've put that night in the past."
For once, Shizuru had neither witty comeback nor lewd expression. Rather, she simply stayed silent to Natsuki's assumption. In a way, the burden of the night she slain Diana with Kiyohime left a very deep hole in her conscience. Even if she had played it off as if it were nothing, the burden she felt was shared by Natsuki. Slowly, the cobalt beauty took one finger and directed Shizuru's face directly towards hers.
"It's okay. You made a mistake, but you fixed it. Better yet, you helped another person by fixing their mistake. Believe it or not, I'm proud of you, Shizuru."
The crimson-eyed girl leaned in. "Ara. Proud enough to come up to my room?"
"Heh, heh. Don't push your luck."
Observing each monitor with heavy focus and holding a walkie-talkie in her hand, Haruka Suzushiro diligently remained on watch as the students continued the festivities. Looking at several directions, she radioed the appropriate white-suited Executive Committee officer to respond immediately. It would've been very lonely in the monitor room had it not been for one other person.
"Pork Cutlet, Haruka-chan?" Yukino announced, bringing the dinner for the both of them.
"Of course! I need it for strength!" Haruka spoke as she opened the bento box and nibbled at the food before her. As Yukino began to eat her own meal, the two watched in silence as the other students danced throughout the entire night. The blond turned to her partner and spoke.
"I can take care of things here. You could… dance with someone if you wanted to."
"But I'm not dressed for the occasion, Haruka-chan!" Yukino smiled as she sipped on some green tea. "Besides, there's no other place I'd rather be than here with you."
With this, Yukino slid her left arm and intertwined her fingers with Haruka's.
"Same here." Haruka said, planting a kiss on her partner's cheek.
(A/N: Haruka/Yukino has always been my favorite couple in the My Hime universe. I do not mean offense to any of the many ShizNat fans, but this has always stuck to me. So, like with my Nao fanfic, "Yuuki's girl" I took a much more serious approach to this. This was a fanfiction that I took my time with. While I did want nothing more for Haruka to just confess being in love with Yukino, I had to gradually change her. I took some liberties that I 'hope' didn't upset the audience. I hope you enjoyed this oneshot.
Until then, keep writing!)