Mikuo x Rin – My Ribbon-chan
"Hey, um…is this yours?"
It was a warmer-than-usual late spring day that year. The new term had begun, and I was now a first-year in junior high. The sun shined brightly against the blue sky, not a cloud in sight. The cherry blossom petals were long-gone, having been blown away in the gentle breeze. In their place fluttered fresh green leaves. It was lunch time, and I was, as always, alone.
I sat on a flat gray stone, my head in my hands, crying. The other kids in my class had taken my white ribbon, the one I wore every day, which my mom had given to me so I could "stand out." She always encouraged me to be less shy and more sociable, a problem my twin brother, Len, never had.
"It looks cute on you too. I'm sure you'll be catching the eyes of all the boys. Don't worry about competing with your brother—just know that you're special, Rin-chan, and there is someone out there just waiting for you to come along and be the cute white ribbon in their life," my mother would always say. I always thought the idea was stupid and would adamantly refuse to wear the ribbon, until one day she got in a car crash on her way back from work and…she died. From that day on, the ribbon never left the top of my head, along with my guilt, which held me down. I became a shy, wary, silent type that faded into the background, never ever noticed…until that fateful day, when I met him.
Len is probably getting beat up just trying to take it back, I thought sadly. I'm so pitiful, I can't believe myself. I'm just so—
"Um, hello? I have your…white ribbon…" A soft, deep, gentle voice penetrated the air and time froze.
I gasped and looked up, trying to wipe my face, and my eyes widened in surprise upon seeing him. His teal hair pulled back in a sloppy short ponytail shined in the spring sunlight, encompassing his smooth, unblemished, pale face. His aqua-green eyes were brimming with kindness, and his cheeks were rosy with life. He looked to be around my age but was slightly taller than most of the guys in my grade. He wore the same junior high uniform—a white short-sleeved dress shirt with a navy blue tie and navy blue slacks, the boy's partner to my sailor uniform. And in his hands, unmistakably, was my special white ribbon.
I sniffled and nodded. I was shocked beyond words.
"Here you go," the boy said, gently placing the bow onto my head. I could feel my cheeks flush slightly.
"Th—thank you," I managed to say, my voice cracking. "Wh—what's your…name?"
"Mikuo Hatsune," the boy said, smiling. I couldn't help but smile too. His smile wasn't like the many fake ones people had given me throughout the years, it was genuine. An innocent, cute, honest, boyish smile. My heart began to beat faster and faster.
"See, isn't that better?" Mikuo laughed, turning to leave. "I guess…this is goodbye, then…"
"Wait," I blurted. I pushed myself up off of the stone and wrapped my arms around him. To my surprise, he embraced me back. His scent was comforting—a mix of clean laundry, mint, and something else special. We stood there hugging each other for I don't know how long, then he finally let me go.
"See you around, Ribbon-chan," he said, flashing me that beautiful smile once more. He waved, and as quickly as he had come, he was gone.
Mom, I thought, looking up towards the sky. I think it just might have worked! You were right…thank you…
A few stray tears fell from my eyes, but they were happy this time. I had a feeling that I had just made my first friend.
"Don't call me that! My name is Rin! Rin Kagamine!"
"Aw, Ribbon-chan, don't be that way…"
Although I had sat in the most isolated, inconspicuous spot in the school library to eat lunch, he still managed to find me. That annoying idiot, Mikuo Hatsune.
"My name is not Ribbon-chan," I snapped, forcefully setting down my bento. "You can call me Kagamine-san, Rin-san, even Rin-chan, but not Ribbon!"
"What, you don't like me anymore, Ribbon-chan?" Mikuo asked in mock-hurt, looking up at me—or rather down, since he was at least a head taller than me—with puppy dog eyes. He sat down and wrapped his arms around me. My heart skipped a beat.
"P—please let go of me!" I gasped, flustered, struggling to wriggle out of his grip. Mikuo was one of the strongest guys in class, though, so there was no use.
"But you're blushing," Mikuo laughed, smiling.
"No I'm not!" I snapped, but I could only feel myself getting redder. That smile...I could never forget it. Just like I could never forget that day three years ago…
"Argh, goddammit, Mikuo-san—" I attempted to hit him, but all I ended up doing was patting his face.
"Fine, fine, I'll let you go," Mikuo sighed, finally releasing me, then helped me up onto my feet. He playfully pushed me into the wall. I was trapped.
"I'll let you go…for a kiss," Mikuo whispered as a more seductive smile crept from his lips.
"N—no…" I struggled to say, shaking my head. My face was on fire and blood was roaring through my ears. I felt as if I were going to explode.
"Ribbon-chan," Mikuo said softly, tousling my hair. He leaned in closer.
"Let me go..." I felt dizzy all of a sudden, and found myself clinging onto him for support. Why did I start leaning in closer too? Why did my body refuse to push him away?
"Ribbon-chan, you have…" He was even closer now. Just as our lips were about to touch, I felt his hand brush against my face.
"…a rice grain on your cheek." He popped the white grain into his mouth, then started laughing at me. I'm sorry to use the word, but that…that stupid bastard!
"You—you idiot!" I shouted, flustered. "What was that all for, huh? You—you—"
"You're such a pervert, Ribbon-chan," Mikuo laughed. "What, did you expect I was going to kiss you or something?"
"Well…" Well maybe. I mean, if your best guy friend hugs you and traps you between themselves and a wall what do you think is going to happen? I've read my share of romance novels and shoujo manga to know.
"Of course not," I snapped, gathering up my things and shoving them into my bag. "Well, lunch is almost over and I have art class now, so—"
"I'd only kiss you if you truly wanted it, Ribbon-chan," Mikuo said softly, gazing down at the ground. "I'd never force you to do anything you didn't want to."
"Mikuo-san…" I breathed.
"You know, I've always l—" He paused for a moment, then shook his head. "Never mind. We should probably head to class now."
"Mikuo-san, what were you going to say?" I asked, slightly concerned. His face was stone-serious now, as if he was thinking about something important really hard. I'd never seen him this way before.
"It's all right," he said, smiling. "I was just thinking about someone…want me to walk you to class, Ribbon-chan?"
That stupid name again. I'd let him get away with it so many times, I was almost starting to actually get used to it. Ugh.
"For the umpteenth time, Mikuo-san, my name is not Ribbon-chan!" I shouted.
"Shh! I finally found you kids! You two have been making noise the whole lunch period. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you to leave," the librarian whispered icily, pointing in the direction of the door.
"We're sorry," Mikuo whispered, bowing. He quickly took my hand and dragged me out the door.
"See you later, Ribbon-chan!" Mikuo chimed, waving.
"Goddammit, Mikuo-san, I told you my name is not—" He was already gone before I could say anything.
Mikuo…what on earth am I going to do about that boy?
Every time, it ends up looking like him, no matter what I do.
The hair. The face. The eyes. And that damn evil, wonderful smile.
Clay. Paper. Collages. Cloth. Pencils. Ink. Paint. Pastels.
No matter what, it ends up looking like him. God, what's wrong with me?
In my painting, a teal-haired boy is running across a green meadow. It's a beautiful, sunny spring day. One of his hands is reaching out as if he's trying to grab something—or someone.
"Argh…" I groan as I scan my most recent creation.
"Rin-chan, what's wrong?" a familiar voice asks. I turn around and meet the innocent face of my twin brother, Len.
"It looks fine to me. Much better than mine," Len laughs, pointing back to a canvas that just looks like a yellow, white, and peach blob. I assume he was either trying to paint himself or me. My brother doesn't possess the world's greatest art skills. "Is that supposed to be Mikuo-san?"
"No, you see…I was supposed to be painting…um…" I glance towards my classmate, Teto Kasane, who looks nothing like Mikuo. Unless Mikuo was a small, childish-looking girl with reddish-colored eyes and pink hair tied in two corkscrew-curl pigtails.
"But it doesn't even—pfft…" Len started to laugh.
"I know, I know," I said, rolling my eyes. "Well, I guess it is Mikuo-san. But it's not that I wanted to paint him…it's as if my hands had a mind of their own. But this happens every time, and it's really annoying." I slap my forehead and let out a sigh as I plop back into my chair.
"Rin-chan, do you…like Mikuo-san?" Len asked, his eyes narrowing.
"Of course not," I try to say calmly, but I can feel my face grow hot. "I mean, I guess he's a friend. But this 'Ribbon-chan' thing he does is really irritating."
"Why does he call you 'Ribbon-chan?'" Len starts to get more probing. I hate it when he does this—he knows me too well. Damn "twin connection" or whatever they call it.
"Well, it's because—" I glance around the room anxiously, as if somehow the answer will be standing right in front of me. I don't want to tell Len about the time Mikuo gave my ribbon back to me—it's one of my special memories. But also…the first time he called me "Ribbon-chan."
"Well, I wear a white ribbon all the time, of course," I said matter-of-factly.
"I think it's a cute name," Len said, smiling. The idea of punching my brother in the face crossed my mind.
"Well, you think that because you don't get called it all the time," I sighed. Suddenly, I hear my teacher call my name.
"Rin-san, you're needed in the computer lab," Kaito-Sensei called, motioning for me to come over. "Someone is here to take you there. You'll need to take your things with you."
"Yes, Kaito-Sensei!" I replied, gathering up my school supplies and tossing them in my bag. "See you later, Len."
"See ya," Len nodded, waving.
When I see who is waiting at the door for me from the computer lab, I gasp. He smiles that signature smile again.
"How are you, Ribbon-chan?" Mikuo greeted warmly.
"Wait, I—Kaito-Sensei, I don't know this person. I'm not even tech ed!" I attempt to lie, but Kaito-Sensei just waves at me. Mikuo takes my hand and drags me down the hall.
"Mikuo-san, what the hell? I have a class right now. Why does the computer lab need me?" I asked.
"Well…" Mikuo glances around the hall to make sure no one is around, then whispers in my ear, "I lied."
"What?" I gasped. "Where are you taking me?"
"Let's skip 6th period together," Mikuo said. "Besides, I want to show you something."
"Mikuo-san, we have to go back! I'll report you!" I shout as I attempt to wriggle out of Mikuo's grip. Rin Kagamine is not a class skipper.
"It's something really important," Mikuo said. "And quit squirming already!"
"Mikuo-san, you—" My attempt at being aggressive only ends up causing him to throw me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
"Goddamn it, Mikuo-san! Seriously, where the hell are you taking me?" I shouted, pounding Mikuo on the back with my fists. We're walking outside now, so no one can hear me. "We really shouldn't be skipping class like this! We could easily get in trouble! And besides, I don't really feel…comfortable with you carrying me like this." His arms were wrapped around my thighs, and I hated to admit it, but it felt a bit—I wasn't quite sure how to explain it, and this might be a bit strong of a word but—erotic?
We were walking through a throng of trees now, and somehow the scenery seemed familiar. We were getting close to the old junior high school now, where Mikuo and I used to go.
"I'll put you down if you promise not to run away or yell at me," Mikuo laughed.
"Well excuse me, but I—" I started, then sighed, "Fine."
Mikuo gently set me back down on my feet, then took my hand and we continued to walk. My palms started to get sweaty. I couldn't help but shake the feeling that I'd been here before. It was a warm sunny day, the light filtering through the lush green cherry blossom trees, devoid of their flowers; and a gentle breeze whistled through the leaves. And then I spotted it—a huge flat gray stone in the middle of the path.
This is the place where I…met Mikuo-san, I thought wistfully.
"You know, Ribbon-chan..." Mikuo said softly. "Remember that time when those kids stole your ribbon? And I found you here?"
"Yeah, I remember," I nodded. "Thank you for that. I really—well, this ribbon's really special to me. My mom gave it to me."
"Your mom passed away a few years ago, didn't she?" Mikuo asked as we both sat down on the stone. I remember it being huge when I was younger, but now it was just big enough for the both of us. "I'm really sorry. It must be hard."
"Yeah, but Len and I manage to get by. Our dad's rarely around though, since he's usually working," I said, gazing down. "My mom gave me this ribbon because she said it was lucky and would help me make friends. Isn't that stupid?" I tried to laugh, but it came out sounding like a strangled cough.
"I don't think it is," Mikuo said quietly, his aqua-green eyes locking with mine. "You know, on that day…I wanted to tell you something, but I was too scared to. I wasn't sure how you'd react then, and even now I'm not sure how you will…but I think now is the right time to say it."
"I won't judge, Mikuo-san. You can tell me," I said. I began to feel dizzy. Why was my heart beating so hard? And when did it get so warm? I felt like I was a hot pot about to boil over!
"Rin-chan…I love you," Mikuo said, leaning in towards me. Before I could even reply, he gently pushed his lips into mine in a kiss.
I let out a small gasp as Mikuo drew me into a tight embrace, his strong arms wrapping around my waist. But soon his hold relaxed a bit as his tongue managed to find its way through my lips. Our mouths moved in a perfect, synchronized motion together as one. An incredible feeling of pleasure and happiness surged through my body—it was so good, I didn't want it to stop. It didn't matter anymore—nothing mattered anymore except for my longing for the kiss to last forever.
My mind was a complete blur. Oh my god, I'm kissing Mikuo-san and I actually like it, my mind kept repeating. My thoughts kept flashing between Mikuo, the kiss, and then…my mom. Suddenly the kiss began to taste salty, and I could feel tears running down my cheeks. Mikuo pulled away.
"Rin-chan, what's wrong?" Mikuo asked, brushing one of his hands across my cheek to wipe away a stray tear.
"It's—it's nothing," I said, smiling. "It's just you see…I guess my mom's ribbon was lucky after all, because it brought me to a wonderful person like you."
"That's why you're my Ribbon-chan," Mikuo said, grinning his always-beautiful smile, the same one as the one he gave me on the day we first met.
"Ribbon-chan," I repeated. "Well, I guess I could try and get used to that name…"
Mikuo laughed and drew me back into a kiss again, and I closed my eyes, losing myself in the perfect moment.
"I love you too, Mikuo," I whispered. "Ever since that day…I think I have."
Mom, thank you, I thought, gazing up at the sky. You really were right. My white ribbon…brought me to someone more wonderful than I could ever imagine.
~MY RIBBON-CHAN – END~
© 2011 Ikuto-sama