NerdoftheWorld: I'm not sure when I'll be able to get to the crossover, but I'll try my best :3 My classes are pretty overwhelming at the moment :P Unfortunately, I have trouble writing pairings that I don't really ship, basically the only time Shizuma and Nagisa show up is in mention by the other characters. And thank you :3
DarkAznVampZard-AnimeFreak67: I read that one! I loved it, it was just perfectly in character and everything. I won't post the HP crossover until I have a good feel for it, but I'll start working on it :3
Huggler: Aww, poor Kenshi, he's not a bad guy, really :P But I'm pretty much neutral to him myself xD Well, my opinion of Chikaru is that she's the type to fall in love with the PERSON, not the gender, you know? I mean, Shion/Chikaru is endgame and all, but that's just the vibe I get from her. I didn't think I added TOO much fluff D: I love Momomi/Tamao, writing Tamao/Miyuki is hard D: That's what I was planning :3 It'll just be a while before I can put it up.
ChibiRox: Thanks :3 Here's your (long) update :3
FrostyAsian: Thanks :3
Shadow Apparation: I'm glad you're liking it :3 He's not an ANTAGONIST, per say, but I get what you're saying. I'll get to it as soon as I can :3 And thanks :)
Jacheis: Aww, poor Shion D: I'm actually starting to really like Shion, her thickheadedness is kind of adorable when it's not hurting Chikaru :P I always feel so bad for Tamao :(
It was a gorgeous day outside- sunny, warm and with just a little bit of a breeze, and that's how Yaya found herself relaxing in the deep green grass beside the lake.
She'd been planning to stay in her room all day, but a certain nosy, loud-mouthed pinkette had found her and forced her to "enjoy the fresh air". She was actually enjoying it quite a bit, but she didn't necessarily have to let Tsubomi know that…
"Okay, you've got me- at least tell me whatever your perverted reason for kidnapping me was," she stated melodramatically, stretching her arms out over her head only to yelp when Tsubomi kicked at her hand.
"Shut up, baka!" Tsubomi hissed, glancing around frantically for any sign that somebody had heard them. She caught Hikari watching them from a few yards away, but judging by the amused expression on her face, she knew that it was just Yaya being Yaya. "Don't be such a hentai!"
"Tsubomi-chan dragged me out here with mysterious intentions, and I'm the hentai?" Yaya asked, grinning when the pinkette flushed bright red.
"Ugh!" Tsubomi growled, folding her arms tightly over her chest and turning away. "I don't know what I was thinking, dragging you out here when Yuuki-kun invited me to take a walk with him."
Yaya tensed immediately, pulling herself into a sitting position. "He invited you on a walk?" she asked, struggling to keep a neutral tone, though her expression had morphed from one of playful teasing to one of intense jealousy. "He doesn't even know his way around the school," she added, huffing and mimicking Tsubomi's posture, arms resting on top of her knees, her voice muffled by her jacket.
"At least he has better things to do with his time than antagonize me," Tsubomi shot back petulantly, flipping her hair over her shoulder. She gave a small start when she heard Yaya give a low growl from beside her.
"Don't you ever shut up about these stupid boys?" Yaya spat, and Tsubomi blinked, completely taken aback by the sudden mood shift. "You know all that's going to happen is that you're going to get attached to one of them, and then they're going to leave."
Some instinct inside of Tsubomi told her that she shouldn't reply- that she should just let Yaya have her way, but the brunette's words struck an unknown chord within her. "There are such things as cell phones and the mail, Yaya-baka," she huffed. "If I happened to fall in love with a boy, it's not like it has to end as soon as they leave."
"Fall in…" Yaya's face twisted into an expression of disgust, mixed with something else that Tsubomi couldn't quite place. She scoffed and stood up. "You're so naïve, it almost makes me feel sorry for you," the brunette shot before turning and storming back towards Spica, leaving a wide-eyed pinkette behind her.
Tsubomi had never seen Yaya behave like that, even at her worst, when Hikari and Amane disappeared for a whole night. She turned to Hikari in shock, but the blonde only gave her a sympathetic half-smile as she bit down on her lower lip, watching after Yaya.
"Don't you ever stop working, Shion-chan?"
The blonde glanced up from the mountain of paperwork in front of her, only to meet a set of wide, slightly-amused amber eyes. "Not when there's work to be done, Minamoto-san," she replied.
"But it's such a beautiful day outside," Chikaru replied with a soft smile, stepping around the Spican's desk and seating herself on top of it, her legs crossed daintily. "Come on, Shion-chan, just an hour?"
Shion's face flushed at Chikaru's proximity. "M-Minamoto-san, please get down," she stated gruffly, turning her head to the right, away from Chikaru. The Le Rim president's expression softened further, and she reached out to run her fingers along Shion's flaming cheek.
"Always so noble, Shion-koi," she murmured, only to snap her jaw shut as she realized what she had just said. She felt Shion tense underneath her fingertips and pulled away slowly, as if she'd said nothing at all. Chikaru rarely misspoke, but when she did, she knew how to handle the situation carefully. "If you won't join me, then I'll just have to ask someone else," she sing-songed, successfully pulling them out of the awkward mood of the room.
Chikaru watched as Shion's jaw clenched. "Who?" the Spican replied lowly, and through her teeth, as though she were trying her hardest to sound neutral.
"You've always been so terrible at hiding your emotions, Shion-chan," she said gently, smiling somewhat wistfully as she gazed unabashedly at the blonde.
Shion, however, didn't seem to hear this, or simply didn't care. "Who, Chikaru?" she asked, her knuckles whitening around the desk.
"If you're so threatened by Kenshi-kun, why don't you do something about it, Shion-chan?" Chikaru asked quietly, staring down at the floor. "It would be so easy, so simple-"
"It's not simple!" Shion snapped, shoving away from the desk and turning to face the immense window behind her. Chikaru flinched, and she sighed, rubbing her temples with her fingers. "And I'm not threatened by him," she added under her breath, sounding more like a petulant child than anything.
Chikaru stared at the floor, her eyes burning with the beginnings of unshed tears for a moment before she managed to collect herself. She stared at the Spican's rigid back, her legs dangling listlessly over the edge of the desk. "And what if he asked me to be his?" she asked coolly, in a voice so unlike her natural, soft-spoken tone that it caused Shion to spin back around in her chair, violet eyes boring into her own. "What then, kaichou?"
Shion's grip tightened around the armrests of her chair. "Don't push me, Chikaru," she finally stated lowly. "You know why we can't happen-"
"Because you've decided to alienate your friends for the sake of politics," Chikaru replied, and Shion glared up at her.
"Chikaru, it's not like that, and you know it."
"What is it like, then?" Chikaru asked quietly, her tone fading back into something resembling her usual sweet demeanor. She leaned forward, running her fingers along Shion's stiff, white color. "Because I'm starting to wonder if there's a real reason at all."
"Stop it, Chikaru," Shion muttered, though she made no attempt to pull away.
Chikaru paused, her eyes flitting up and down Shion's frozen figure. "Stop it," she mused quietly. "Is there anything I can do to please you now, Shion-chan? I can't have a relationship with Kenshi-kun, but you don't want me either?"
"Chikaru," Shion choked out, her tone laced with pain. The girl looked exhausted- shattered, even, and Chikaru leaned closer to her, brushing a single stray tear away, balancing her two feet on either side of the Spican's chair. "Don't say that, you know that's not the reason why."
"Then give me another reason, kaichou, because yours isn't making much sense anymore," Chikaru murmured, her breath ghosting against Shion's lips just before she closed the distance between them, clasping her hands around the back of the Spican's neck, fingers tangled in long, pristine blonde hair.
Shion sighed, her breath leaving her nose in one long burst as she rolled the chair closer to the desk and then stood between Chikaru's legs, wrapping her arms around the girl's slender waist in a possessive embrace. She felt Chikaru smile into the kiss and tightened her grip, pulling the girl flush against her, almost causing the brunette to slip off of the desk.
Chikaru wrapped her legs around the Spican's waist, tilting her head to press slow, repeated kisses to Shion's lips, her insides swirling because she'd been missing this- this one part of her for so long, and now finally she was whole. She felt Shion press closer, felt the blonde's tongue parting her lips, and slid her arms around the Spican's neck, pulling her closer to her so that the blonde had to brace herself on either side of Chikaru in order to keep the contact.
And then slowly, Chikaru regained her senses and began to pull away, only to be tugged back by an insatiable Shion. She shook her head, this time pressing her hands against Shion's chest as she pulled away, preventing the blonde from pulling her back. "We have to stop, Shion-chan," she breathed, stroking the dazed Spican's cheek.
Shion looked as though she'd just been through an upside down roller coaster, her pupils blown and her hair mussed, mouth opening and closing like a fish. "W-why?" she finally asked, and suddenly she was the Shion Chikaru used to know, way back when they were ten, back when politics was just a fancy word for some foreign, grown-up topic. This Shion wasn't so sure of herself- this Shion had been Chikaru's prince, once upon a time.
The sight brought a swell of tears to Chikaru's eyes, and she had to avert her gaze from the innocent violet eyes staring back at her. "Because you'll regret this, Shion-chan," she finally said in a hollow whisper.
The reply was instant, rushed and breathless- words that made Chikaru's heart halt in its rhythm.
"How could I ever regret you?"
A single tear escaped Chikaru's eye, and she quickly brushed it away, leaning forward to press a brief kiss to the shell-shocked Spican. "That's something you'll have to tell me sometime, Shion-chan- I never understood it myself, not even after all these years."
The effect that the kiss had on Shion was almost as though the Spican had been drinking for several hours. And as much as Chikaru would like to make herself believe the Spican's words, she knew the blonde well enough to know that, no matter how much Shion meant the words that came tumbling out of her mouth in this moment, she could not mean them enough to make her willing to jeopardize her position.
She never did.
"Goodbye, Shion-chan," Chikaru murmured, retying the blonde's bow tie, which had come undone at some point. "I'll see you at the council meeting tomorrow, ne?"
Shion just nodded dazedly, and Chikaru spared her one last, fond smile before slipping out of the room.
She never made it out to the lake- instead she headed straight for her (thankfully) single room and collapsed on her bed in a heap, her sobs muffled by her pillows as she struggled to breathe through the intense pain in her chest.
Tamao's heart broke in her chest as she was passed in the hallway by a positively shattered Chikaru, whose attempt at a serene smile only managed to make her seem more broken.
Why was everything always so messed up now?
Why did everyone have to hurt so much?
She turned the corner, lost in thought, tears stabbing at the corners of her eyes, only to run straight into a slender figure coming the opposite direction.
"Itai…" she muttered, real tears seeping out now. She glanced up at the person she had quite literally bowled over and her violet eyes widened as she leapt to her feet. "Rokujou-sama! Gomenasai, I didn't see-"
"It's fine, Suzumi-san," Miyuki stated with a small smile, brushing herself off. "You seem distracted- is that your permanent state of mind these days?"
Tamao smiled weakly. "It seems so," she said, glancing down at the floor. Miyuki frowned.
"Are you alright? You aren't hurt, are you?"
"Huh?" Tamao asked, eyes widening as she snapped from her thoughts. "Oh, no, I'm fine- if anything, I should be asking you that."
Miyuki nodded slowly. "If you're not hurt, then why are you crying?" she asked quietly, reaching out to touch Tamao's cheek. The contact was faint- nothing more than a slightly brush of skin against skin, but Tamao started, her heart racing in her chest.
"I'm…I just…" Tamao sighed; she'd never been a good liar, but she could hardly tell Miyuki the full truth- that would take hours, and the last thing she wanted to do was just dump her problems on her crush. "I saw Chikaru rush by, just now, and she looked absolutely heartbroken. It just makes me want to cry, seeing her- maybe the strongest person I've ever met- fall apart like that, when the rest of us are just barely holding ourselves together," she said quietly, realizing that she'd already said too much.
Miyuki sighed, suddenly dropping her stern façade. "Tomori-san doesn't know what she has in Chikaru," she said softly. "It does seem hopeless, doesn't it? She has always been the one to pick up the pieces, ever since she first arrived at Le Rim, and now that she's falling apart just like the rest of us, who is there to put it all back together?"
Tamao only nodded, staring at the ground. "My Nagisa, she's…" She closed her eyes tightly to prevent the tears from streaming out. "It's like I'm completely alone now- even though I was used to it before, and it should be second nature to go back after only half a year…."
"It's not second nature to be alone, Suzumi-san," Miyuki replied quietly, but firmly, in a voice that somehow brought Tamao back to herself, just a little bit. "You've just realized what you've been missing out on, and now that it's gone, it's like it's taken a part of you with it. If you'd never been alone…if you spent your whole life clinging to the person you trusted more than anything, and then…" She broke off, taking a deep breath, clearly holding herself together for Tamao's sake. "It's not good to build your happiness on the shoulders of one person, even if you trust them with your life- even if you never think they'll ever let you go. It's a hard lesson to learn, isn't it?"
"You loved Shizuma," Tamao said, finally looking up to meet Miyuki's eyes. "You loved her, and she knew it, didn't she? She knew you relied on her, and still…"
"This isn't Shizuma's fault," Miyuki replied, shaking her head. "As much as I wish I could blame her, I can't- none of us can. We all knew that she was barely holding herself together; that she would fall eventually."
Tamao's eyes flashed suddenly, and she raised herself to her full height, staring into Miyuki's eyes with a silent challenge. "Yes, that much was obvious, especially the night Nagisa ran to me and cried in my arms because Shizuma still loved Kaori. Because it was okay for her to break Nagisa's heart because her own wasn't completely healed, wasn't it? It was okay for her to mourn for Kaori at Nagisa's expense- to try to move on before she was ready and let Nagisa suffer for it," she replied, her voice raising with every word she spoke. And then she seemed to deflate in on herself, sinking to the floor, back against the wall, her head buried in her arms. "Just like it was okay for her to snatch my Nagisa from me in the middle of the Etoile elections, just because it took her that long to realize how much of a mistake she was making. Just because she couldn't wait another minute to steal her away from me."
By this point, Tamao was sobbing quietly into her arms, her entire body shaking with the force of the sobs. Miyuki looked down at the girl, her heart breaking for her as she realized that Tamao wasn't as strong as they had all thought. "It was selfish of her," she finally stated, slowly sinking to the floor beside Tamao. "Shizuma has always been a selfish girl- she doesn't mean to be, but she's never learned how to put things into perspective."
"I pushed her away."
Miyuki blinked, turning to face the slumped girl beside her. "Well, yes, I did see that-"
Tamao's slight body was racked with a dry, painful sob. "I pushed her away because she was going to stay, but just before that, she turned to me and I saw it in her eyes- she didn't want to stay. It was for the sake of my feelings," she spat the word as if it were poison, "but I could see that all I was to her was a burden. I pushed her away because she already made her choice. I never even had a chance."
The younger girl let out another broken sob, and Miyuki hesitated for only a moment before turning to her and wrapping her up in her arms, running a comforting hand down her trembling back.
She'd spent so long pretending that the pain didn't exist, cowering away from it like it would go away if she just ran long enough. But it had caught her- it had caught all of them, and now she had to be strong for the first time, and deal with the consequences as so many girls' worlds crumbled around them.
And so she stayed like that, holding the shaking, broken girl (the girl who wasn't strong enough to deal with the aching in her chest, the girl who had hoped against hope until the last minute) for she didn't know how long in that dark, empty hallway until the tremors finally began to subside as Tamao fell asleep in her arms.
LONG chapter, please don't expect this all the time, it's just that my muse came to me around the Miyuki/Tamao part, and I just kept writing until it was gone. It's a very emotional and important chapter with very few boys, I hope you all liked it!
I've just finished my first ACTUAL novel…not that I'll ever publish it :/ I was gonna post it on FictionPress, but nobody ever reviews because I don't think a lot of people use the site :P I don't know why, considering how many people use fanfiction…huh :P