For Rocke. Prompt: a Mikuru piece, any Mikuru piece.

She sometimes feels that the life she could lead is not worth the life she won't.

She could: return to her time, finish school, get married, have kids. She could: become a scientist, a maid, a secretary, a doctor; the President, the janitor, the underling, or nothing at all. That's what it all boils down to: she could do plenty of things, or not a thing at all, and there is something admittedly kind of glorious about that. For some version of her, the course of her life will be inevitable, but at this point, both on this plane and her plane, the story's still untold, waiting for her to paint the lines as she pleases.

But in a lifetime of possibilities, none of them involve staying here, and sometimes that's fine. Sometimes she climbs up the hill after a long night and would give anything for a transport. Sometimes she forgets and answers the question right and gets marked down wrong, all because these silly people are centuries away from realizing that the brain is best divided into eight regions, not just a base four. Sometimes she sits in her room at 3:00 AM and sings off-tune, anything and everything that could possibly fill up the silence.

And sometimes, the life she could lead is not worth the life she won't. Sometimes (only sometimes), Kyon smiles that uncertain little grin and it's only for her. He has smiles for everyone, divvied up as he deems appropriate, but sometimes it's only for her and she knows that if she asked him, he'd walk with her up the hill. He'd listen to her logic and after a few moments of shock (she is supposed to be the dumb one, after all) probably completely understand what scientists will take centuries to grasp. He'd mumble in his sleep next to her, not quite the way her sister does in their room back home but enough to calm her down when she plummets head-first out of a nightmare.

Or, at least, sometimes.

Sometimes she feels that the life she could lead is not worth the life she won't. But if she's truly honest with herself, she knows that's only sometimes. Times like today, as he lies in bed healthy and whole despite the hospital setting, she knows better. She might still feel it, but she knows it's irrational, as his eyes flick to her every few seconds, like he's not sure she won't disappear suddenly if he doesn't keep watch. Times like today, she knows: the life she could lead really isn't worth the life she won't.

But even if she stayed forever, it was never hers to begin with.