A/N: Well I'm finally on break from university, and this ficlet's been nagging me for a couple of weeks, so I'm glad I had some time to get it written down. It's a Xiaoyu/Miharu, based during Tekken 4. I hope you enjoy reading it, and I'd be really grateful if you let me know any thoughts on it, good, bad or neutral.
When Xiao says that she's planning on entering the tournament a second time, she doesn't even need to tell me the reason why. We've only been friends for two years, but we're already close enough that most of the time I could tell you what she's thinking.
I just want to see him again.
She doesn't say it, but she's said it before, plenty of times, and I've always listened to what she's really saying. I can't be without him. I need to be close to him. I suppose when it's first love, that's how it always is. It's an intensity that you're not used to, of course you're going to believe it's the real thing, even if it's not. Or at least, that's what I keep telling myself. It can't be love. She can't really love him, because I love her.
If I told her, she'd flash that bright smile and say I love you too, Mi, I'm really glad we're friends!
But that's not the kind of love I mean.
I didn't want to admit it at first, myself. I don't really want to admit it now, either. I tell myself that everyone's probably gone through something like this, I'm just confused, it's natural to be curious, it doesn't mean anything, not really. And besides, she's the first friend I've become so close to in such a short space of time. It's sort of like the whirlwind intensity of a sudden crush, but no, it's not the same, not like that.
Except it kinda maybe is like that. When she talks about him, my throat tightens. When she says she needs to see him I get a strange sensation in my chest, as though someone's trying to wrench my heart free. Somehow I don't think that qualifies as simple 'he's taking away my best friend' type jealousy.
Most people would describe Xiao as 'cute'. She's clumsy and carefree and always there with a sunny smile, and her pigtails are only ever even when she gets someone else to do them for her. She's always daydreaming, hardly ever takes anything seriously. But there's another side to her. When she trains, she's beautiful and focused and graceful and off in her own world, moving fluidly from one stance to the next, and it's hypnotic to watch. Every Sunday I sit on the wall and watch her before we go shopping. She once told me that training is sometimes like being in a dream, and I told her I knew what she meant, because that's what it's like to watch her.
It's after one of these training sessions when she says she's entering the tournament again. I stare up at the morning sun and tell her I'll go with her so she has someone to cheer her on this time, and she excitedly tells me it'll be way more fun than before with me there.
Don't expect too much eye candy though, she teases. There were only two hot guys last time, and one of them was Jin.
I smile, feeling sick inside, because there's a part of me that hopes he doesn't show up at all.
And I get what I was hoping for. She crashes out of the tournament without getting to see him. I don't see her lose her match, she's in too much of a hurry to have time to wake me and by the time I get up it's already over. She's walking back through the lobby as I rush to meet her. She doesn't seem as upset as I expected, though her voice wavers when she smiles and tells me that it's okay, and I say I'm sorry and wrap my arms around her and breathe her in even though I don't really deserve to, considering this was what I wanted.
Really, it's ok, Mi. The girl who beat me, I heard she was looking for someone too. Xiao mumbles into my shoulder. I hope she sees him.
Hey, maybe he'll come to see you before you leave anyway? I suggest, letting go of her, and she nods.
Hey, Xiao! You stopped sulking now? A redheaded guy wearing army fatigues flashes her a smile from across the lobby, and I glance between them questioningly. Xiao's expression brightens, and there's that feeling again.
Just about. Thanks for earlier, Hwoarang.
Sure. Just think about what I said, huh?
When I ask her about 'earlier', she explains that Hwoarang was the one who told her about the girl's reason for entering the tournament, and the jealousy intensifies and twists painfully in my chest. How did he know to tell her that? No. This isn't fair. Cheering her up, making her happy, that's my job. At least let me have that. Don't take it away from me.
Your pigtails. I smile and tug on one, and it almost falls out. They're a mess. Want me to fix 'em for you?
Back in the hotel room, she sits cross-legged on the bed as I run a soft brush through her hair, following each stroke with my fingers.
Miharu... she murmurs, and I carry on gently working out the tangles. Hwoarang... he told me it was about time I stop running after Jin and just do what I wanna do.
Hm? I try my best to sound noncommittal. Do you agree?
I... I don't know. I don't know if I know what I wanna do.
That's ok. You don't have to know yet.
She turns to face me, uncharacteristically serious, and I smile and attempt to carry on brushing her hair.
Remember that theme park we went to in the summer?
I nod, and she takes the hairbrush from my hand and entwines her fingers with mine.
You'll laugh, but... let's make something like that. That's what I wanna do. Help me make something like that.
And I don't laugh. I nod and say we'll make it even though I know there's no place for me in her wonderland.