Title: If Only They Could See

Pairing(s): Mikage/Stephanie friendship.

Rating: T

Warning(s): Sensitive content.

Note(s): Enjoy.

"A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one."

- Rita Mae Brown

It's barely past midnight when Stephanie, in tears, calls her. Despite the fact that she's been sleeping and that she has work in the morning, Mikage gets up at once. She doesn't ask questions and she doesn't try to talk her out of it. She picks Stephanie up from her apartment and they leave wordlessly. Mikage knows exactly where to go, so there's no need to look up directions.

In the middle of the long drive, the details start to slip through the cracks.

An inappropriate relationship with her employer.

A mistake.

And an ultimatum to meet.

Mikage is able to empathize. And maybe that's why Stephanie decided to come to her, of all people. They are not particularly close, but at least she can understand. After all, she was once young and foolish too. She knows what it's like to have a severe lapse in judgment. She supposes Stephanie finds solace in the wisdom of her older age.

The place is nearly empty with how late it is. Stephanie probably planned it that way. She quickly signs in, avoiding the judgmental eyes of those who are there. The clerk offers her a few complimentary condoms and Stephanie politely refuses, which prompts a few more nasty glares. Mikage's lips tighten; hypocrites.

"Do you think it will hurt?" Stephanie asks, afraid as they sit down together.

"It doesn't." The younger woman's eyes flicker over to her companion, surprised. Mikage clamps her mouth shut; she's said too much. Time seems to pass slower than usual and after fifteen minutes or so, a name is called. A woman stands up and walks with a nurse through large white doors. She isn't seen again for about a half-hour; she leaves the place with a smile of relief painted on her face. Stephanie twiddles her thumbs, becoming more nervous.

Mikage ducks her head and wonders if she should speak up; she doesn't though and thinks maybe that makes her a bad friend. Or a really good one.

Finally, Stephanie's name is called and they walk through the two big white doors together. Mikage's feeling almost as scared as Stephanie is, but for a different reason; she's afraid that now she's going to have to confront her past regrets again, and that's something she hoped she'd never have to do. The doctor helps Stephanie get comfortable on the table and places a sheet over the lower half of her body for privacy.

Mikage sits in the corner quietly, contemplating. She's remembering, remembering when she was Stephanie's age and remembering what it feels like to have an impossibly difficult future dangling above her head. She also remembers what it feels like to be pushed and threatened into making a decision she didn't particularly want to make. She closes her eyes and swallows because these are painful memories that she'd rather forget.

The doctor takes out a metal, duckbill-like instrument which Mikage recognizes but does not know the name of. She shivers and, feeling a little overwhelmed, excuses herself. She returns to the lobby and feels bad she's leaving Stephanie alone, but she knows she can't handle being in there any longer.

So she waits instead. As the night grows weary, she yawns and checks her watch. She accepts that she might have to call in sick in the morning.

Still, her thoughts eventually begin to white out as she falls into a world of more pleasant dreams.


Comment(s): The opinions and thoughts of the characters do not necessarily reflect my own views.