A/N: Well, I haven't been in a good mood these couple of days. But it turned out that writing a really random and irreverent story is the best therapy ever.
For readers who have read Red Chains, you may find that this story is kinda different. Anyway, it's only my second story and the first time I'm writing from a first person POV. Be gentle with me okay?
WARNING: This story is AU and OOC. I repeat, this story is AU and OOC.
Just like some movies which require you to leave your brains at the door, please throw all of your pre-conceived notions of the Mai Hime / Mai Otome universe out of the (browser) window before scrolling downwards. Really.
You still here? Alright... here goes nothing!
Disclaimer: Mai Hime, Mai Otome and all their characters belong to Sunrise.
Chapter 1: Meeting the Ice Maiden
My god, this is boring.
I leaned against the wall and swirled the contents of my glass before taking a sip. The ice rattled against the glass. At least they served green tea here. Sapporo beer was pretty nice, but too much of it and I feel that you can throw me into the sea and I wouldn't sink. I would probably float all the way to Antarctica with no problem. Too much gas.
Grab somebody sexy tell 'em hey
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight
Give me everything tonight
My right foot tapped to the beat. I couldn't help it; the song was too catchy. But on the other hand, the music was so loud that I didn't see how people were supposed to socialise. Well, maybe socialise in the way that you are forced to put your mouth so close to the other person's ear that you're tempted to chew them off, like what those couples were doing right in front of me. Kinky.
I shifted my gaze over the bobbing human heads trying to catch a glimpse of my blonde friend. Nope. Nowhere to be found.
I let out another sigh. I think I've done my duty as a friend well enough. In fact, Hel—I mean Haruka should feel bad about leaving her best friend to stand around and blend into the wallpaper.
Well, to be fair, there were a couple of brave souls who decided to sidle up to make conversation. Only to find out that yours truly did not understand a shred of what they were saying. I wasn't sure whether I should be amused or embarrassed at the way they tried to gesticulate and get their point across. In the end, they give up.
They always do.
You see, I'm half-Japanese. My dad's American and my mom's Japanese. One of the great beauties of Kyoto, my dad would often say. Leaving me to roll my eyes while my mom giggles like a schoolgirl. Anyway, for reasons which I'm too lazy to go into, this was the first time I was visiting Japan. And while I speak English, French, Chinese and even a smatter of Malay (of which the latter two was picked up during my time in Singapore), I speak no Japanese. Nope. Not a squeak. Unless you're referring to the konnichiwa thing. But I'm sure that that would have been part of the dictionary of words you should know unless you live on Mars.
It didn't help that I wasn't really comfortable with being stared at. I mean, to the Japanese's credit, they don't really look at you in a way like they are scrutinizing some other-world species. But there's still that look I get, especially when they stare at my eyes. Yes, yes, it's supposed to be brown but sometimes depending on the angle of the light it resembles crimson. That's what I've heard from other people anyway. No, I have no idea why it's such a peculiar shade of colour. Maybe it's due to all the blood I've been drinking? Lame.
But I might drink a little more I should tonight
And I might take you home with me if I could tonight
And I think you should let me cause I look good tonight
And we might not get tomorrow
Well that's it Hel—Haruka. You're on your own tonight. I finally lifted my head as I adjusted my shirt. I'm going to go back to your apartment and eat every damn thing you have in your fridge as punishment.
That's when I saw her.
She spun her head around quickly, making me wonder whether she had been looking at me earlier. In any case, the brief glance I had of her before the crowd closed together like the red sea was intriguing enough. Maybe because I was really bored, I actually tipped my toes and arched my neck to the side to see how she looked like over the dancing crowd.
And I nearly choked. She was... really, really hot. A walking paradox. Her hair was long and the colour of midnight, but as it cascaded down her back it shone like a silvery river. Her skin was pale yet luminous. Her features were delicate… yet sharp enough to break your heart. Plus, she was wearing this elegant black number that had a slit so high that it should come with a health warning (for the onlookers). Too bad the place was too dimly lit; I couldn't really see her eyes.
As I stood at the other side of the room gawking, she was approached by a man who was oozing swagger without actually moving. And I witnessed the glare she gave to said man. It was as if he was turned into an ice sculpture right away. He tried to swagger off, but with his frozen movements, it looked more like he had something stuck up his butt. It was quite funny, really.
She turned to face my direction.
I smiled a big one. Only for her to shoot a glare at me as well.
What? My charm-your-pants-off smile that I always use to get myself out of trouble has failed?
Ouch, ego bruised. But no matter, my mother had trained me so well that an ogre can breathe in my face and I would just go "pfft". I just gave her an amused look and went to set my glass down on the side table. She looked confused for a moment, to my secret satisfaction. But three seconds later, she was accosted by another person.
I decided that I should make my exit.
Ah, okay. How to get out of this humongous mansion... I couldn't believe that the place was so big and packed that I couldn't find the door. Which reminds me, I wasn't actually invited to this party. Haruka, who seemed to have been in Japan forever, had been invited and she dragged me along (literally). As a sign of protest I decided to just don a t-shirt with jeans and my scruffy shoes.
The host was this girl with fiery red hair, who was dressed in this very, very mini black dress. She was reclining on a leopard-print couch when Haruka introduced me to her, surrounded by equally sexy-looking men and women. It was as if I had stumbled into Cleopatra's bedchamber. For a second I actually felt a little embarrassed for not bothering to dress up a bit. But then, she had given me an appraising look before smirking, not really in an unpleasant manner. I had to resist raising one eyebrow to say "like what you see?" I wouldn't want her to think that I'm coming on to her or something.
It sounds quite stupid, but I spent a good half an hour just wandering around the mansion, trying to understand where the hole in the wall was so that I could get out of the building. I would have thought that land was scarce in Tokyo? Why such a big mansion? But the answer was quite clear - the host "Nao" was terribly rich, and the mansion was situated on a glitzy hilltop area. Yep.
I finally managed to squeeze my way through the crowd. A door! I hurriedly opened it and stumbled out - into a garden?
"At least it's quieter here," I mumbled as I walked. Surprisingly there weren't much people around, just a few scattered here and there, and some hidden behind the bushes. I consciously averted my gaze as I walked to the edge of the garden. I most definitely did not want to know what they were doing.
The garden was set on a steep cliff overlooking Tokyo. The city lights were dazzling even though we were miles away. I closed my eyes as I leaned against the railing, feeling the gentle breeze on my face. My fingers tapped the railing erratically, while I hummed the tune I heard before stepping out of the building. What was it, "Till the World Ends" by Britney Spears? This 2012 thing is turning out to be a great inspiration for songwriters.
I heard a sound and opened my eyes immediately. Maybe because where I stood offered the best view, or maybe because I was so lousy at humming that she wanted to shut me up. Surprise, surprise, there was the girl from before, standing behind me a few metres away. At that instant, I decided to call her "Ice Maiden". She totally looked like those dark-haired beauties I've seen in the games Haruka obsesses over.
For a moment she looked like something nasty exploded in her face, but the icy look quickly returned. She stood there awkwardly, as if she was admiring the scenery behind me.
I wanted to laugh. It's quite weird to admire the scenery from a position where your view is blocked by a person standing right in front of you. I decided, for the first time that night, to make conversation. Who knows, she might be interesting...
"Hey there," I said as casually as I could. Ice Maiden just raised her eyebrows at me. Smooth, Shizuru, real smooth.
I decided to try again. "It's much better here, don't you think? At least I know that I won't have hearing loss before I turn thirty."
No reaction as well. Perhaps she doesn't understand English? But I haven't seen her try to engage me at all, unlike the rest. She was just standing there, staring at me haughtily.
Bummer. I gathered that I should just get out of there before I made a fool of myself.
I gave a small shrug. "Nice meeting you anyway, Ice Maiden." I took a few steps forward and had just passed her when she said something in Japanese.
"Pardon?" I said as I took a big step back.
Big mistake. The ground that was supposed to meet my heel decided that it shall do so a few inches lower and I stumbled backwards. But not before I had blindly grabbed Ice Maiden's arm and dragged her down with me.
I felt my head hit the ground. I barely had time to wince when I felt a weight on my chest, and something soft and moist press against my lips.
When I opened my eyes, Ice Maiden was pressing her palms against the ground, lifting herself up slightly. Her face was hovering a few inches away. For goodness knows how long I stared at those emerald eyes in front of me; they were like green whirlpools sucking me in. I vaguely wondered if this was what they meant by drowning in a person's eyes.
Finally, a dull ache at the back of my head snapped me out of the trance.
Oh boy. The girl's sure heavy for looking so slender. Has she been working out? Well that would explain the incredibly toned arms and legs, but I digress.
The commotion caused by my clumsiness had attracted a crowd. Ice Maiden scrambled to her feet and attempted to stand in the most dignified manner. I also stood up slowly, pondering if I could sue the homeowner for negligence. If you have the money to buy such a big place, at least make sure that the ground is flat!
When I finally looked up from brushing my clothes, I saw that Ice Maiden was glaring daggers at me.
I felt rather guilty. "I'm very sorry," I said sincerely, "are you hurt?" I took a step forward, but she retreated immediately, her frown tightening.
Why is she so upset?
Then I saw her move her lips.
Oh right, we had kissed.
But it was an accident!
"I'm really sorry," I said again, mentally cursing myself for not at least remembering how to apologize in Japanese. "I—I didn't know that the ground was uneven."
She continued to stare at me with that chilly glare, and even the crowd that had gathered around us could feel the temperature drop by a few degrees. They fidgeted uneasily.
I looked around and saw my blonde friend standing in the midst of the crowd. Good job, Haruka, only turning up at this time. I shot her a look that was meant to say "come and save my ass!"
But there was no need for Haruka to rescue me as the Ice Maiden finally spoke. In a husky voice which sent shivers down my spine (though I wasn't sure whether it was in a good way or bad way).
The Japanese words flew over my head.
Lacking as I was in the Japanese linguistics department, there was one word which I managed to catch. Anyone who has tried (or has been forced by their best friend) to read or watch anything Japanese would know it.
I opened my mouth, desperately trying to find a retort, but the girl had already turned around with a swish and stormed back into the building.
"What on earth...?" I grumbled under my breath, ignoring the honey-like taste that was left on my lips. Whoever said that Japanese girls were sweet and docile!
A/N: And... that's it. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I haven't decided whether to continue this, I guess it could stand alone as a one-shot? Well, dear readers, let me know. Otherwise I'll just keep the ideas in my head (including the one where Shizuru and Haruka do cosplay...hmm...)
Just don't flame me, okay :)