Disclaimer: I do not own Galactik Football.
Spoilers for Season 3 only come at the end (it's like one quote from the second episode that inspired this fic)
Her heels were clicking on the marble floor and she could vaguely hear her mother's voice in her head, berating her for stomping. It was not good for the delicate shoes, they would be damaged and she couldn't wear shoes that were anything less than perfect. Also that way of walking was sure to have her feet swollen and the pain would soon enable her from standing upright. She couldn't have less than perfect feet and she couldn't have less than perfect posture.
To hell with you, Mom!
Seconds after stopping herself a breath away from yelling out loud (and having anyone close to hear believing she had gone mad), she rested a hand against the wall and pulled the annoying stilettos off her feet. That felt definitely better, and there was no annoying sound as she wandered aimlessly in the hallways of the League Headquarters now.
The place was a lot more elegantly decorated than she would have given it credit for and what with the charity event going on in the ballroom and it being late at night, the rest of the building was mostly deserted.
Which was good, Mei needed somewhere private where she could resolve her fume and she couldn't let anyone see her in that state. Her mom would throw a fit –she believed the phrase "any publicity is good publicity" to be a load of rubbish. Only perfection shall be shown to the universe and the rest should be swept under the carpet.
Actually, it was better if there was no "rest".
Well, her Mom could shove it because she didn't have to live through the hell that was her boyfriend. Actually her mom wouldn't have thought of D'Jok as hell. She would believe what he was doing downstairs to be the epitome of perfection, and the thought made her skin crawl under her ridiculously expensive dress.
Her mom had not approved of her really falling for the striker initially ("I told you to use him, where was your mind?") but soon had realized their relationship was highly beneficial ("Well if you can't be the star of the team, being the star's spouse is your next best shot.").
That probably was the problem. She wasn't dating D'Jok for his star-status, and she was certain he had genuine feelings for her (most boys did, anyway). Their relationship was not something for the media, but they were. Individually, she and D'Jok were both striving to be worshipped by the masses, to stand out of the crowd and to be accepted. They both wanted to be the brightest star and they were both too stubborn to let the other have it.
It was almost normal for D'Jok to feel this way; the boy had grown up thinking, believing that he would have a great destiny. And he was egoistical by nature; he wanted to be the best, he thought he was the best and he wanted to be recognized as such.
Then again, no one could blame her for wanting attention either. Her mom had raised her with the belief if people didn't know who you were, you were nobody. Doing anything to achieve that trophy was acceptable and encouraged –even toying with people's emotions. It was no wonder she would feel repelled when she had someone who was fighting her for a place under the spotlight.
She climbed a few stairs through the immensely narrow staircase and arrived at the rooftop of the building. The controlled air of the Genesis Stadium greeted her; not too warm, not too windy. Her hair didn't move an inch out of place and she didn't feel even a tiny bit hot.
Controlled. Perfect. Like everything in her life.
"For fuck's sake! We've been over this a hundred times!"
Mei stopped in her tracks. That was Rocket's voice. That was Rocket's angry voice. One she had probably never heard before.
"And we've never reached a conclusion..."
Wait; Tia was angry too?
"... and why could that be? Oh, hold it, I know!" Light from a nearby skyscraper fell over Tia's grey dress and Mei spotted them by the other end of the roof just in time to see her banging a fist at his chest, "Because you run away all the time!"
Rocket was a dark figure almost impossible to distinguish from the shadows in the corner they stood.
"Are you fucking going to say something?" Tia yelled when silence stretched between them.
She wasn't angry, she was furious. And that was new. It was even more shocking than Rocket's angry voice. Mei had never heard it before, because when angry Rocket would glare until he made people uncomfortable, or disappear without a trace, or take action and slam some balls onto someone's head. He wouldn't talk.
But Tia... she thought through, she had never seen the girl genuinely angry before. Irritated yes, but never angry. Maybe she should have listened more heartily when Mark and D'Jok were talking about how mad she had been in the Sphere.
"What do you want me to say?" Rocket's voice was low now, if anything it was even more terrifying than when he had been yelling.
"I want to hear the truth!" while Tia was at the verge of losing control. Well, that certainly was different than the Sphere, too then, she remembered certain words as "determined", "strangely calm" thrown in the description. Tia looked none of those at this very moment.
Mei wondered whether she should just step in and make a lie about people looking for them to break the tension.
"The truth is Tia," Rocket breathed, "I fucked up. I'm fucked up. And the truth is... we'll probably never be the same again."
If there was the tiniest wind in Genesis, now would have been the time to hear it.
Mei watched as the perfect, fairy tale couple broke down to pieces before her eyes, holding onto her stilettos so tight her knuckles turned white and pressing her back to the metal door in hopes of not being recognized by her friends. Which was funny, any other time, she would have felt appalled that no one had noticed her until then.
"I'm aware," Tia sighed.
"Are you really?" A step and now Mei could see Rocket's face; he was mocking her friend. But it was not a regular tease, it was menacing. Cruel. "Is that why you're constantly trying to get me to be the way I was?"
"I'm not doing that," Tia scoffed, "I know that's a lost cause."
"So what's with all this doing things we used to do supposed to mean?" he shoved his hands into the pockets of his trousers, and clenched his jaw, "Why did you drag me here, if not because it's what we always do?"
"I wanted to talk to you."
"Haven't you gathered it's not going to work yet?"
"What do you want me to do then?" her head whipped back, and from the narrowed eyes of the young man, Mei could detect the exact moment her best friend's icy glare landed on his. "Do you want me to pretend like it's never happened? Do you want me to force you to get professional help?" he pulled his hands out of his pockets and grabbed at his hair, taking a few steps away from her and out from the corner they had been huddled, looking at the busy landscape of Genesis. "Or tell your parents about how you're not yourself anymore? How you do not care if you hurt anyone, how you picked that fight with those guys over nothing the other day?"
He shook his head with a small laugh, muttering something about "having bloody good reasons".
Tia followed him with a swoosh of her vintage dress (Mei almost yelled at her to hold it a little high to avoid the dust getting caught in its hem but she herself was barefoot so she actually had no place to preach her) and grabbing his arm, whipped him to force him to look at her, "How you lost your head and practically forced yourself onto me afterwards?"
Mei held her gasp just in time. What was Tia doing still talking to him? She should have handed him to the police. Her eyes narrowed; she should have seen that coming, he had been quite the cocky bastard ever since that Netherball incident.
Rocket looked unimpressed, though.
"You were quite willing."
He let go of his hair and it stuck in all different directions making a contrast to the prim suit he was wearing.
"You came three times." He faced her properly.
"I did," Tia admitted, and Mei was utterly confused; how could anyone enjoy it while being raped? Her hand paused on her phone –ready to bring all of the armed forces of the galaxy onto the boy's head. "But could you have stopped if I told you to?"
"I don't know, I don't have much experience in that department," Rocket shrugged, "You're usually all about 'harder', 'faster', 'fuck me' and 'oh, yes' during sex."
Tia smacked her forehead and sighed. Rocket smiled a small smile and took a hold of her hand and checked whether she had bruised herself.
Mei was having a hard time following what was happening now. One moment she was accusing him of such horrid actions, and he was looking pissed; the next he was concerned over such a small hit and she was letting him touch her. Why are you two not normal?
"What I mean is... you looked like you didn't care if I wanted to or not," Tia watched him study the lines on her palm with a finger, "Like you didn't care who I was."
He looked at her then:
"This is all about that, isn't it? You don't actually give a damn if I do all the rest of the fucked up shit I've been doing if I keep on treating you good?"
"No," she gathered her hand and crossed her arms. "I want to understand what you want from me. Or if you want me."
Rocket frowned and Mei was certain he would start yelling around again. Then she contemplated since when did she expect the naturally quite reserved guy to be throwing tantrums at all times. Her answer was once again: since the Netherball. Tia might have, the others might have, but Mei had never totally forgiven him for it. She would never forget the day he had turned his back to Tia and made her cry. It was one of the moments she had been so proud of dating D'Jok and not Rocket, too, the redhead had acted like such a good big brother to her best friend.
"If you don't," Tia took in a deep breath, "Don't fool me around. If you don't I... one cannot make a relationship work alone."
Something in Rocket seemed to break.
"I want you to love me."
Mei almost didn't catch it; it was said in such a low voice. And Rocket looked like a little kid asking for his mommy to save him from monsters.
Tia's voice was equally strained but upon hearing it, the young man's features relaxed remarkably. He took a step and gathered her in his arms.
"I'll try harder."
Mei thought she was imagining it initially but a moment later when his shoulders began to shake and he clutched her to his body as if trying to melt her into him there was no denying.
"Don't ever imply such things again," he said with a strong voice now.
"Rocket, I..." Oh, great she was crying too.
He backed up when she hesitated and took her face in his hands.
"Forgive me for making you feel that way."
"Those bastards had it coming for bothering you."
"Honestly, I can take care of myself."
"I know, I lost control," he fell silent, caressing her cheeks, "Did I hurt you?"
"Not really," Mei heard her smile, "I was a little scared though."
"I'm sorry. I won't ..."
"Not that it wasn't a turn on."
"Now you're just confusing me."
Well said, Mei thought, frowning.
"Sexual desire is quite incomprehensible, Rocket," Tia's delicate hands were moving up to his wild dreads, "I always found your ferocious side quite alluring."
"That was nonexistent before Netherball," his answer was quick.
"That's what you wanted everyone to think," she laughed softly, "Maybe you even convinced yourself," she reached up and left kisses across his jaw line, "I wasn't fooled."
Another pause from his side but she loosened his tie, undid the top buttons and left kisses at his throat.
"Say," Rocket grinned teasingly and Mei sighed with relief realizing they would not fight anymore, "How quickly do you think I can get you out off that dress?"
"You'll find you don't have to," Tia mumbled; as he bent down to kiss her and directed her towards that dark corner and away from the galaxy again.
Mei turned her back to them and left as quickly as possible, not quite sure what she had witnessed but feeling like it would affect not only her perception of her friends, but also of herself.
Months later she was sitting in front of her computer; recording a message for all of her teammates, hoping they would understand her decision. Her mind wondered back to the moment when she had started on a quest to follow her heart.
"Tia... Rocket. I'd love so much to have what you two have. Take care of each other."
So this... this was rather an interesting one, as mid-way it started going on its own. I actually have some idea on what happened between Tia and Rocket and how they may overcome their problems and what Mei does afterwards... If I can, this may turn into a multichapter thing (like 3 chapters maybe). But you all know of my infamous laziness, it is highly possible I might just not get down to it for a couple of years... so with loads of stuff hanging up in the air, this thing might forever be left to stay on its own too...
Also on other news: FemaleSpock created a prompt thread over at the forums under "Galactik Football Everything" anyone who enjoyed the prompts should check in there.
Also I suck at describing dresses; but Tia is wearing the vintage dress Emma Watson wore to the London Premiere of Half-Blood Prince. Google it, you'll know why it doesn't need to be removed *snicker*