Hey everyone! Well, this quick One-Shot has been on my mind for a while! If you don't like this pairing, then it won't hurt my feelings if you don't read! Hope you enjoy!
"You can't do this to me!" Maylu screamed. Tears blinded her vision as she faced the man that held her precious P.E.T.
"I am your father and I can do whatever I please. If I say you can't see that Hikari kid, than you sure as hell won't be seeing him." His face was stony as he tucked the device into his pocket. Roll was unable to do anything but open and close her mouth in silent screams. She had been muted.
Maylu's heart wrenched as she saw her navi's frightened face disappear into his jacket. A sob escaped her lips and she impulsively flung herself at her father, pummeling her fists into his chest. His eyes remained cold as he simply brushed her out of the way, and walked to the front door. He stopped halfway outside and turned back to the girl crying on the floor. "I'm going to the office. I'll be back before sundown tomorrow." With that, the red-head heard the click of the closing door and began sobbing once again.
"Roll..." She choked out. "I'm so sorry, Roll."
Sunlight pouring in from a window kissed her face as she slowly arose from sleep. Maylu's muscles groaned as she stretched, relieving the stiffness. Pushing herself into a sitting position, she found herself in the living room of her house. Instantly, the previous night's events smacked her in the face.
Who would've thought this was supposed to be a happy surprise.
Monday afternoon - Five days previous
"Hey Maylu! You got a message from-" Roll suddenly stopped, re-reading the name over and over just to be sure it was real.
Maylu peered curiously up from her homework to look at her navi. "From who, Roll?"
"Y-your father." She half whispered. Now it was Maylu's turn to freeze. The red-head almost dropped her pencil, disbelief written all over her face. Her throat felt dry, and her head was spinning.
"From Dad?" She managed to croak. After a small nod from Roll, Maylu asked her to read the letter out loud.
Roll cleared her throat before starting. "Maylu, I am pleased to inform you that I will be visiting for a couple weeks. I know it has been quite some time, and I am confident you have kept things up and running. My plane shall arrive at 2:30 PM on Tuesday. I will see you then. Sincerely, Your Father."
Maylu sat in shock. It had been a full year and three months since she had last seen her father, and even then, she only was with him for about an hour! That night she stayed awake reading her father's letter over and over again, and every time, she felt more nervous than before. The wording sounded all to much like him. It was quick and to the point, holding no affection. It was even signed 'sincerely.' Not 'love,' or even 'yours truly,' just a dry, tasteless word that certainly held no sincerity at all. Maylu didn't get much sleep that night.
Present Time - Saturday
By 11 AM, Maylu had already eaten and gotten dressed. She still felt like crying, but found that she no longer had any tears left. She sat on the couch replaying the arguement from the night before in her head.
Her father had only been "home" for five days and things were already tense at best. It had started when she first introduced him to Roll, which happened to be when she greeted him at the airport, which led to a pretty negative beginning. He didn't like her being a net-battler because it "set her focus on trivial games instead of her studies." Maylu didn't quite agree with this not only because she loved Roll, but also since she had all straight A's. Wasn't she allowed a bit of fun sometimes? Even if things hadn't gone how she expected, Maylu didn't let it affect her optimism for her future relationship with her father.
Then he began to dissapprove of her friendship with Lan due to him being a "dense, irrational hooligan." She agreed that Lan was dense, and pretty irrational, but that didn't mean she shouldn't be friends with him. He was her best-friend for goodness sake! Half of the reasons as to why she was usually so happy was because he always cheered her up when she was sad. That was more than her own father had ever done for her. A little dent started to appear in her expectations, but Maylu continued to look for positive points.
On Thursday, Maylu came home from school to see her progress report card had come in. Her father was not a happy man. She had one B in Physics. Actually, she only had a B because the teacher had accidentely forgotten to collect one assignment from her. The teacher had already raised her grade back to an A, but by then, the reports must have been sent. Maylu tried to explain to her father, but he wouldn't listen. He blamed her for not making sure she had handed the work in, and had grounded her from seeing her friends for a week! Frustrated, she lightly argued back, which earned her another three days. The doubt and negativity had begun to exceed her former optimism.
From then on it's picky little things. A comment on her messy room, or a restriction on her diet. It seemed that with each passing moment, her father became more and more controlling. Tension grew, and tolerance levels lowered. By Friday afternoon, her father was practically seeking ways to make her life living hell, and Maylu was challenging everything her father said! This led to the full-blown arguement that eventually got her P.E.T. taken, and her unability to even see, much less talk to Lan.
As she sat in her living room pondering this, Maylu began to feel more and more bitterness well up. Her father not only managed to dictate everything she did in a span of five days, but now he took away her most trusted companion. She was banned from Lan and the others, and now Roll was gone too. She didn't even know why she obeyed him. Her guess was that she was still afraid of disappointing him. Loneliness and sadness caused Maylu's eyes to burn with unshed tears. It seemed like the walls of her house were slowly closing in on her. She felt suffocated, claustrophobic, and restricted.
Suddenly, Maylu felt the need to be outside, to escape the confinement of her home. Slipping on a pair of sandals, she walked outside, slamming the door behind her. As soon as she was out in the open air, she began to feel freer. No more rules or regulations she had to follow, only her own judgement. Walking downtown, she passed multiple familiar shops and vendors.
Looking into a window display, she saw a beautiful red and cream dress. It was knee-length, frilly, and elegant. She smiled at her discovery.
"Hey Roll! What do you think of-" Maylu stopped abrubtly as her hand brushed the empty space where her P.E.T. usually hung from. She couldn't help but imagine that a part of her soul was missing as well. Once again, her eyes began to burn, and Maylu quickly turned. She searched for some place she could escape to, where know one would see her cry. Remembering a small park she used to go to as a child, the red-head swiftly made her way back into her neighborhood, carefully avoiding the light pink house just around the corner.
She stopped as she passed by the stone wall in the center of the park. On it was the initials of two little kids, surrounded by a heart. Maylu's eyes began to water as memories replayed in her mind. Her father couldn't really ban her from Lan forever, right? She could always just defy him. But then she remembered that he had Roll in his possession. Anything she did to challenge him would only serve to make the situation worse.
Feeling hopelessly confused and angry, Maylu sat on the swingset in the park. She gently swung her legs, just barely moving the little swing. Looking up, she saw that the previously clear sky was now being obscured from view by a couple of gray clouds. She could see the tip of her roof from where she sat, reminding her that she could never escape. The depressing atmosphere sank deep into her heart. She could practically feel her heart shattering from the pressure. And this time, no one was there to pick up the mess.
No Lan. No Roll. No Mom.
The red head stopped swinging. Her arms fell into her lap as the tears dripped down her cheeks. She hung her head, bright red locks of hair cascading into her face. To think that her life had been perfectly fine without her dad in the picture. Shutting her eyes, she tried to imagine what it would have been like if her mom was still there, not halfway across the world, divorced from her father. The tears fell faster, soaking her faded pink skirt.
A gentle hand lightly gripped her shoulder, causing the teen to quickly wipe her eyes and turn to the side. Maylu was a bit shocked to find the vice president of Blaze Quest standing behind her. His normally ice blue eyes seemed softer now. She was about to speak, but he beat her to the act.
"Is something the matter, Sakurai?" He asked with concern, walking so he now stood face to face with her.
She sniffled, before clearing her throat. "Wha-What are you doing here?" She carefully avoided his question, not willing to lie just yet. He didn't seem to mind when she changed the subject.
"I was here to talk with Lan about a mission." The dual haired teen sat on the swing beside her. "Actually, I was just about to head home. Speaking of which... Protoman, please tell Kido he can leave without me. I'll send for him later."
The red raider nodded swiftly before Chaud slipped him back into his case. Maylu watched the black limo across the street drive away. He turned his head to the side, studying her carefully. "Now it's your turn to answer my question. Is something wrong, Miss Sakurai?"
Maylu brushed a stray lock behind her ear, avoiding his eyes. She tried to come up with something to tell him. On one hand, she wanted so desperately to tell him everything, to pour out all of her frustrations. On the other hand, she didn't want to worry Chaud with something that wasn't his issue. Eventually, the former option won over.
She took a deep breath before answering. "My dad. He-He's visiting for a couple weeks."
Chaud looked slightly puzzled. "Visiting? Doesn't he live with you?"
Maylu let out a mocking laugh. "No. He runs a buisness in America which occupies most of his time. I only see him once every year, and usually not for long. It's actually pretty shocking that he managed to get some time off, or that he decided to spend it with me."
"And your mother?" He asked softly.
"She divorced my father a long time ago. I haven't seen her in eight years."
Chaud was shocked to say the least. He had always thought that the perky red head that followed Lan everywhere would have a perfect family and a perfect life. He never expected it to be just as messed up as his, or worse. His attention was brought back when he heard her explain the rest.
"A couple days ago, I received a letter from my father saying that he was coming in for a visit. Usually, I live with my nanny, Teresa, but since my father was able to take care of me for a bit, she was allowed some time off. I originally was nervous for his visit, but I was also happy that he was finally coming. I had been waiting for so long to get to know my father, and I thought that since we were actually getting time together, that we would... I don't know, bond?" It ended with an unintentional question as Maylu tried to sort through all her unexpressed emotions.
She let out a dry, humorless laugh. "But, I was dead wrong. He ended up becoming dictator of my life. He told me that I couldn't see Lan anymore, and then he took Roll away from me. Can you believe he had the nerve to waltz into my life after nine years and demand I obey him? Everything I do is just another mistake to him. It's like I was finally given a chance to get to know him, and he doesn't want anything to do with me."
Her voice shook as she fought back more tears, choking down her sobs until they lay deep within her chest. "For years, I dreamed I would have someone I could call 'Dad,' and in a span of five days, those dreams were crushed. The one person that could ever be my dad barely even talks to me unless it's to criticize. I just... I wish he understood just how much I need him to be a father."
A moment of silence passed as the two processed what was said. The red head bit her lip, hoping that she didn't sound like a typical, hormonal teenager. She was growing tired of people always undermining her problems, saying she was just over-reacting. Half of her was surprised she even said so much. It wasn't like she was close to Chaud, in fact, this was probably the first time she had actually talked to him alone. Maybe that was why it was so easy for her to just talk. She didn't have to worry about anyone else's opinion, and she didn't need to worry about offending Chaud. She was pulled back to reality when she heard him begin to talk.
"I understand where you're coming from." He started with a sigh. "My father is a lot like yours. I see him during meetings every week, but it's more of a buisness kind of relationship, there aren't any personal ties. Although he may not dictate my life, he definitely influences it. Everything I do has to meet his requirements. That's one of the reasons I worked so hard to be the best net-battler."
Maylu watched as the teen moved his gaze to the cloudy sky, his sight far off. "I, like you, also grew up without my mother. She died from sickness when I was a young boy. I miss her very much. Sometimes I hate myself for wishing that she was here instead of my father. I used to wonder if that made me a bad person, but now I realized that missing her is always going to be a part of me. Those feelings can't really be helped." The sorrow in his voice echoed her exact feelings of loneliness.
"My father's approval used to mean the world to me. I guess in a way, he did control my life, but that was before I realized the truth." His eyes held a kind of confidence as he met gazes with Maylu, captivating her attention.
"And what's that?" She whispered.
He faced ahead once again, breaking the spell his blue eyes cast upon her. "No matter how hard I try, I will never be the exact person my father wants me to be. It just isn't possible. I am who I am, and I can't let his, or anyone else's opinion take that away from me. As long as I am okay with myself, I don't need to change for anyone."
His words seemed to fill the void of emptiness in Maylu's heart. Instead of feeling hopelessly powerless against her father, she realized that she didn't have to take his bullying. She could respectfully show her father that he didn't have any influence on who she was. The defiant side of her began to rise as she saw her way out of this mess. For the first time in five days, she smiled, and this time, it reached her eyes.
She beamed, turning to Chaud. His mouth quirked into a crooked half smile, lips pressed together in effort to keep from chuckling.
"I don't think you realize just how much that helped me." Maylu said with amazement.
"Just glad I could help, Sakurai." He replied.
"Please, no formalities. It's just Maylu." She said with a friendly smile.
Chaud let out an airy laugh. "You're starting to sound like Famous." He ran a hand through his multi-colored hair before turning to look at her, his eyes soft. "Okay, Maylu it is."
Together, the two sat on the swings, enjoying the comfortable silence. The clouds might be covering the sun, but to Maylu, she knew that it was just a temporary over-cast. Soon, it would clear away and turn into something brighter.
"Thank you, Chaud. For everything." She said after a few moments of quiet, turning to look into his eyes. "I think we could be good friends."
A small smile formed his lips as he faced her. "Yeah, I think we could."
Author's Note: This might develop into a longer story, depending on my mood and on reviews! So if you liked it and want to see more, let me know!
Thanks for reading!