A/N: Please read and review.

I do not own Mai HiME or Mai Otome, nor will I ever make such a claim. I am merely a fan of anime, and thus, wish to spend my leisurely time reading and writing about my favorite characters.

Shizuru's POV for this chapter, sorry, I know it is short. I'm trying to emulate what you would see in the extras.


Chapter 7: Shizuru's Extra: 1

I remember a time when I had seen a little girl full of anger, occupied with hate and remorse. I hadn't the slightest of ideas why, but, I knew she had to be hurting. No one looks into eyes so deep and not see something under the surface. Her eyes were perhaps those of dark painful memories. One's a girl such as she would never dare speak. Brash wasn't a word that clearly defined her, but, many seemed to use such a claim. I often wondered back then just how much she really was hurting. It's been many years since that day.

Time seems like an ocean that I'll never grasp. I saw things in my dreams that I would have to say are real. I did things that I simply cannot deny. Even if I asked for atonement, I wonder if it would have been enough. Frankly, I don't mind the memories, dreams, or whatever they are. As an Otome, one learns to face anything. To be a woman, a servant, and a strong warrior is part of the job. You really needn't ask why, you only need to do what is right by the hand of whom you serve. That is a basic value we teach at the academy. I learned well, or, so I had first presumed.

After you spend a few years as an adult, you realize things aren't clearly cut like a fine diamond. Instead, you realize that possibly things waver, what is true in the reasoning of politicians isn't always true for a woman. Often, within these times, I must have looked like I had in the visions. The eyes, so cold, murderous…what could Natsuki have said to break me of the spell I seemed to have? Thinking now, as an adult, I realize I was doomed to fall to the actions and crimes I had committed. Even if I were to have protected Natsuki as I had wanted, I would have had to kill her in the end. Had I lost, I would have lost her anyway. One thing still lays in my mind despite all that I know from my visions.

If Natsuki was my most important person, and I was hers a lot goes unanswered. Things I fear to know. The facts are simple, but, the reality was far from what should have happened. We died together back then, but, what if we hadn't? What could have happened? If I had died without her child passing on, would she have still been able to summon her child? What if the rules had been reversed? I'm not sure. Actually, that's really only a minor thought.

My answer I've made is this: Fate took pity on us both. We passed away together so that I wouldn't have had to kill her. That's all the answer I'll ever need.

I have a new focus, and new worry. I have to wonder, if Nina is ours it would make more sense than either of us would care to admit. It would answer more realities than I think Natsuki would want to openly accept. I see Natsuki when I look at that girl. I see her anger, her sadness, but, I see crimson eyes, much like mine, and I have to speculate. What if she's us? What if she holds ours sins in her hands?

It is something I think of now. Watching Natsuki smile as the sun sets I see her at peace. Happy, and yet so much more.

Yes, my Natsuki isn't always just one thing. No, not at all. She's still very much the girl in our visions. She cries, she smiles, but she's still Natsuki. The girl who's picky about her underwear, who blushes at my gaze and the girl I love…Even more than that… She was the girl I saw as what she really was, likely before she even knew herself. I saw her as a woman, as a person made of the ice she resembled.

She is hard and fights like cold hunter stalking it's pray. When she's at her weakest point, she shatters into sharp fragments that may not all be seen, but can refract in such a way that her eyes become deadly. Also, like clear mirrors into anyone's own soul. They bite and pierce the skin of any who dare hurt her, but, she is fragile because she's so hard. So ruthless in her endeavors that sometimes she forgets that it's acceptable to have such weakness. The cold look she gives enables her to further cast a shell on this world.

The things she hates, she'll fight with vengeance barely contained. The things she loves, she'll treasure, and that ice will be clear enough to see what she's really feeling. Even if she may not always let a person in, that ice is clear, and, all it would take is the right person to melt it. Ice isn't a hard obstacle to overcome once you know how to brave the cold. I think, in all honesty, very few actually know that about my Natsuki. About her love, her devotion, and, her weakness.

When a person can melt the ice she always seems to carry, a pool of water remains, clear as every tear that trickled slowly down her cheek. That's when you see so deeply, you may actually end up drowning, in both her emotions, and your own.

Her ice can't stay melted forever and sometimes her eyes still have those far off looks, and, as much as I know she loves me, sometimes the ice remains. I don't mind, that's who Natsuki is. She will have her walls heavily guarded, and, I'll need to respect that. I have proven myself in her eyes, and I know that. Her reasons are her own, just as mine are my own. I will never ask of her what she is unwilling to give, and I know she will return the same for me. She never expects of me what I will not give.

What is it that I'll never offer to my Natsuki? Well, I guess if you have to ask, you'll never fully know. It can't be spoken, it can't really be given, but, it's mine to hold anyway. My sins and my burdens are only my own. Just as Natsuki's are only hers. That is what we don't offer, that's what we will never give, and, that's why, if Nina really is our daughter, we will not let her carry them on her own.

Natsuki is watering a few flowers outside as she takes in the sights ahead of her, Nina looks displeased at the mere existence of such a weak being, a sunflower barely sprouted. Perhaps…in her own way deep down…Nina really is our daughter.

TBC-


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